Monday 2 August 2010

Looking Back on July, Looking Forward to August

July I secretly tried something. I didn't want to announce it, in case it was doomed to fail, but I tried to post something for every single day of July. And I'm pleased to say that I managed it. Not so many reviews, but various little articles and one very big competition.

My July can be summed up as follows...


Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti
Daughters of Fortune by Tara Hyland
Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw
Lucy In The Sky by Paige Toon
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Wicked Games by Sasha Wagstaff
By Midnight by Mia James
Pan's Labyrinth - a film review

Other News

By far my biggest news in July was the Malazan Re-read over at So far we have covered:
1) The Prologue and Chapter One
2) Chapter Two and Chapter Three
3) Chapter Four and Chapter Five
4) Chapter Six and Chapter Seven

These are being posted weekly on a Wednesday over at Tor and I would urge you to join us. The comments being made by both experienced readers and first timers (just like myself) are amazing, shedding so much light on what is a challenging, but extremely rewarding read. And the timing is ideal for you to jump on board the Malazan series, since Erikson has announced his completion of the last book.

I also joined another project this month - an ambitious and overdue effort to read all of the SF/F Masterworks published. So far I have contributed one review and have another in the pipeline.


I had a few bits and pieces to say this month, and posted a handful of articles - many of which drew some wonderful comments that are worth reading more than the original verbiage by myself!

1) Simon & Schuster Blogger Event
2) Meme With Relish: All About The Books!
3) Formidable Female Protagonists #1: Polgara the Sorceress
4) The Seven Link Challenge
5) Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned...
6) Bella and Edward: Romantic or Dysfunctional?
7) "This Blog Has Heart"
8) Special Editions: Do You Collect?
9) Man Booker Prize Long List Announced
10) Travelling With Books

Looking forward to August

So why the snail then? Well, mainly because I am entertaining the thought of a little slow blogging this coming month. This is partly due to the fact that I feel some of my content during July was skirting the boundaries of being merely fluff (memes I participated in, for instance - an easy way to create a quick post). However, it is mostly to do with my ongoing projects:

1) The Malazan Re-read - two chapters analysed in depth every week (you wouldn't believe how long this takes!)
2) Sam Sykes' Bravest Challenge
3) A forthcoming Diamond in the Rough challenge (to be properly announced this month)
4) A trilogy of books to be read and reviewed for Vector within the next month
5) My SF/F Masterworks book commitment (Grass by Sheri S. Tepper is my next read)
6) Keeping up with my various Fantasy Literature commitments, including reviewing books, producing a weekly World Wide Wednesday piece which trawls the Internet for the top ten items of interest, and a weekly Friday piece where I invite bloggers and authors to talk about Why You Should Read... various authors
7) Reading the review copies I am kindly being sent by publishers and authors

Quite a bit on my plate, non? So trying to make a commitment to a post a day for my own blog was causing me stress and creating a position where you, the reader, was not getting my best work! So.... slow blogging.

I'm not going away, far from it. I'll still be all over this blog and Twitter like a rash (a nice rash, you understand, not one of those embarrassing can't-tell-your-friends or the horrific you-have-been-quarantined rashes - a friendly rash.... Hmm, the rash picture just can't be made to look good, can it?) So, anyway, I'll be around. But I will be posting quality content on this blog when it is ready and I'm happy with it, rather than because 'hey look, it's Tuesday and I don't have anything for my blog, so I'll talk randomly about this for a while...'

Hopefully you'll all understand and not depart in your droves to that nice blog up the road that is putting out a post a day!

Anyhow, that's me all talked out! Let me know how your July went, what you're looking forward to in August, and whether I'll still feel the love of lots of loyal readers! *grin*


  1. You think you'd get rid of your readers that easily? Well, not me at least ;) And I totally understand you'd rather put up quality content less frequently, than have puff pieces every day.

    And can you be more of a tease, dangling that line about the Diamond in the Rough Challenge in front of us and not giving any hint as to what that is? *tries to look stern* Enquiring minds NEED to know! *wonders whether that worked*

    As for my July. It was interesting to say the least :D I started my blog, I solved one of my #bookfails; I read The Name of The Wind, finally! Now I just need to write up the review. I also had my birthday, so consequently I got to buy lots of books. Always a good thing!

    In August I'm looking forward to getting into a routine for my blog. I'm not going set myself a really strict schedule, but am going to try for at least two, maybe three times a week. Also figured I'd read weeknights after work and write stuff up for the blog in advance on the weekends. But not sure whether that's a good idea. How do you and other bloggers do that?
    Oh and ofcourse I'm looking forward to keeping up on the Malazan re-read! Finished Ch. 9 this weekend, can't wait for Wednesday ;) I do have to honestly say, that I really look forward to the re-read posts every week. Makes me happy that MBotF is such a huge series, means there'll be lots of Wednesdays to look forward too.

    Other than that, I look forward to reading some awfully good books :D

  2. Nope I'm not going anywhere either ;)

    In August - looking forward to our holiday, relaxing with the family... reading more and doing an art class.

    Getting organised so I can stay on top of things and maybe start thinking about selling stuff.

    Lots of days out with the kids while they are off school. We are definitely doing Howletts and a few picnics... maybe a day up in London.

  3. Wow, that is very impressive and I'm not surprised you're slowing down a little. Posting every day last week was a challenge for me, I'm not even going to attempt every day of the month! You certainly won't get rid of us.

  4. If you're up to it, there is a new reading challenge that might be to your liking ;)

  5. @Mieneke: Aww, what a lovely post :-) If the Diamond in the Rough thing was my initiative, then I would willingly tell all, but I don't want to reveal it all too soon. I'm sure the person behind the idea will do a post shortly to announce it all - interesting idea!

    In terms of your blogging - well, I can only talk from my experience! I would say don't set yourself too-hard deadlines to start with - ease into it and keep the enjoyment factor high. Don't let yourself become stressed about producing content otherwise you can end up feeling that it is all a chore - and reading should ALWAYS be a joy!

    And thanks so much about the Malazan compliments. That is the work I am most proud of right now. Chapter 9 is a complete beast of a chapter that I am still working through - so much to comment on and dig out! I am leaving this one a little late, I do admit...

    @Carmen - aww, thank you to you as well! It sounds as though your August will be peaceful and perfect. Enjoy all of your relaxing :-)

    @Steve - yeah, I just knew it was going to be hard, but didn't expect it to feel so stressful. July was not my most fun of blogging since I've started, I'll say that.

    @Larry - hmm, not sure that Sadistic Challenge is the one for me ;-) Certainly I don't feel like adding more work to my plate right now, but thanks for the offer *grin*