End of Month

End of Jan 23 Round-Up

Welcome to my first monthly round up. I am planning on publishing them on the last Sunday of the month. They are mostly for me to look back on at the end of the year but you’re welcome to come along for the ride.

The New Year always starts with the best of intentions, at least for me, but planning and doing are two entirely separate things.

Playing Catch-Up

I have set this year’s plan as ‘playing catch-up’ and that’s still my intention though as you’ll see the struggle is real.

Currently Reading: The Fifth Season & Far From the Light of Heaven

I said in my opening blog post for the year that I wanted have another go at reading N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy and after a few false starts I think finally I’m invested.

The Fifth Season is told from the point of view (pov) of three main characters. Each gets their own chapter and Jemisin is swapping between them regularly. Every chapter swap between the characters but there is no order to it .

Having multiple povs is standard but my brain doesn’t really enjoy the swapping and changing. I like consistency and so this tends to subtly kick me out of the story.

In The Fifth Season one point of view is narrated using ‘you’.

You are she. She is you. You are Essun. Remember? The woman whose son is dead

The opening line to Chapter 1

I really don’t think it helped me to settle into the book as I usually bounce straight off second person narratives. And then I say bounce, they make me incredibly frustrated.

I wasn’t really feeling it on the second attempt either but I asked Mastodon for their views and I got two really helpful comments:

And then there was this.

So I am now listening to a mix of the audiobook and reading the text. Listening to The Fifth Season got me into the ‘you’ voice and combined with Robin Miles’s narration gave the voice of the story, which I’ve very grateful for.

And I’ve settled in to each pov and the ‘you’ doesn’t seem jarring now I’ve got used to it. I am very curious what the payoff is going to be.

I was listening to Runemarks when I tried the audiobook for The Fifth Season so I am balancing both books.

I’m now at page 200 and I don’t think there is further DNF potential. So thank you Cina and Louise for the feedback to get me going again.

I’m about 80 pages into Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson. I wasn’t sure what to read as my next ebook but someone mentioned that Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson. is a space horror book. And as it’s a book I already have, I have it a go.

I also found out that it’s also a detective story. I love this combination.

Tade has a storytelling style that had be invested from page 1. I am now on page 80 and I am curious to see where this is going as there is a lot of pages to go.

Back to Runemarks, I’m about 2 hours (or 66 pages in) and as it’s a relisten I can take me time and enjoy it. And I am. It’s a fun take on Norse myth.

For my own notes these books were published in 2007, 2015 and 2021.

Reducing the overflowing physical and digital TBR piles

I failed. I’ve failed so hard. It’s gone up. It’s gone up by quite a margin. I am keeping a spreadsheet of what I’ve bought but also how much I’ve spent. I’ve bought more books than I’ve set as my reading goal for the year. I need an intervention. Or better budgeting skills.

Below are some of the highlights. And can you blame me? Look at them, they all come highly recommend.

I dipped my two into these fancy book you can get with sprayed edges from Illumicrate last year getting the full package of book plus extras (Babel and The Book Eaters). I could see me accumulating lots of lovely items that stay in the box quite rapidly so I cancelled my subscription.

I did continue to have FOMO so I’ve got a book-only subscription to both Illumicrate and FairlyLoot.

My rationale is that I’ll pick up nice editions of new books. And this will scratch some sort of new book-itch… it’s not a very strong reason I grant you. But the two February books are high on my radar list. And the January Illumicrate (if I understood the teaser correctly) is a stand-alone I’m itching to read as well.

Bonus Challenge of Reading More Shorter Fiction       

If you check out my Read in 2023 page, you’ll see I’ve logged 1 short story. It was a short story that got me thinking but I need to get more shorter fiction under my belt in February, I think I’ve been distracted by acquiring new books…

Plans for February

Finish the books listed above, get some shorter fiction read, and maybe start The Stand.

Oh, and actually not buy that many books…