Monday, 28 February 2011

February Retrospective

A Look Back on February

It's been an odd month - and a long one (ironically, considering it is the shortest month of the year!) I've felt a little bit persecuted by various parties on the Internet. When you're constantly used as an example in posts that a blogger marks 'silliness' it makes you wonder whether you'll ever get anything right. It has been a month of various Internet bust ups and incivility and blasts of hot air from different parties. Not a pleasant environment, and leaves me feeling rather sick in the stomach. So I have taken solace in the wonderful friends I have made - those who don't worry about cliques or ARCs or what should/shouldn't be done on blogs. Can I give a great big shout out to Liz, Mieneke, Sam, Ole, and Sarah? Your messages of support came at a really good time and released me from the downward spiral of trying to please everyone. Offline the best part of my life BY FAR has been my dance lessons - if I could afford to go every single day, I totally would. I love the company of my dance instructor, I love learning the proper way to do all the steps, I love having something so tangible to work towards. I've been up to London a few times this month as well, which has been good fun and an opportunity to catch up with various people. I am sincerely looking forward to March, though - new month, fresh start.


Here is a list of the books I completed in February (with links to the reviews):

14) The 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison
15) A Girl's Guide to Kissing Frogs by Victoria Clayton
16) Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
17) Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
18) Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
19) Snapped by Pamela Klaffke
20) Belle's Song by K M Grant
21) King Arthur: Dragon's Child by M K Hume
22) Long Reach by Peter Cocks

So, a quick breakdown...

- 3 books by men; 6 books by women (so far in 2011 I've read way more books by women, might switch that around for March)
 - A real mixed bag in terms of genre: 2 books I'd consider for children, but at very different ends of the spectrum; 3 YA that cover fantasy, thriller and historical; a horror; 2 chick lit; 1 historical. I didn't settle at all to one particular genre this month!
 - I was clearing a backlog: 2 of these are library books, but the rest are review copies. None from my shelves this month.

Best Book of February

Pages Covered

The nine books in February came to a rather slight total of 3,632 pages after a few thin books read in February. Add this to January's total and my running total for the year is 9,271 pages. The longest book this month was A Girl's Guide to Kissing Frogs, while the shortest by a very clear margin was Belle's Song.

Places Visited

Well, it's time for me to head back to a secondary world, clearly, since all of my novels this month took place in some incarnation of earth - either a historical version, or a futuristic version, or a right now version! On earth, I went to Canterbury, and Canada, and Yorkshire amongst others. I would most like to live in Conrad's house in A Girl's Guide to Kissing Frogs - a truly spectacular and down at heel mansion in Northumberland.

Plans for March

Well, the biggest plan for March is World Book Night, coming up this weekend! I will be giving away 48 copies of Dissolution in various different ways that I have had great pleasure in coming up with *grins* I also have a couple of London visits to fit in - a dinner with Deborah Harkness, and a pre-publication event for Department 19 and Will Hill. In non-book news I have another Come Dine With Me evening with hockey pals, and my eldest nephew's birthday to look forward to, amongst other things. Reading wise I want to finish Dancing Jax, which I started today. I will be reading Embedded definitely as well, for Vector Reviews.

But March is mostly given over, in terms of reading, to these tasks:

- completing the editing on Whitechapel, for Morrigan Books
- beta reading a completed novel for a good friend
- slush reading (!)
- tackling the Arthur C Clarke shortlist once it is announced on Friday 4th March

March is looking busy, y'all!

Over to You

How many books have you read this month? What were your favourites? Any particular plans for March?


  1. If it helps I've really enjoyed your blog both for the posts and recommendations.

    Quieter month for me just 7 books but Rivers of London was the stand-out.


  2. I think there's an important point here. First, you shouldn't feel put upon, most definitely. But secondly, some of the snark that you exude about the books you don't like has the same effect on other people. So it works both ways, and none of it is good. There should be the possibility of disagreement without the edge that cuts.


  3. Our blogs are our opinions. Since everyone is an individual with individual thoughts, each person's opinion is therefore different from the other person. Some people would agree with some things while others have a different point of view. It's the difference in the points of view that make this life an adventure. Otherwise only one book per subject would have been written because once it was said there was nothing more to add on the matter. What's silly for this person may be helpful for the other.

    Observe all, and retain the good.

  4. Awww, thanks for the shout out :-)

    Hope your March is better than your February. Do you have a regular dancing partner, or do you guys switch around? Any ideas on when you have to dance for your first medal or aren't you that far along yet?