Sunday, 15 June 2014

Tsana's June Status

It's been a strange month. I found out with less than two weeks to go that I could in fact vote for the Ditmars — I had completely forgotten that I was a supporting member of last year's NatCon — so I madly tried to read all the stories and books for that. I didn't quite finish everything, but I read all the short fiction and enough of the other categories to make a decision. This also resulted in buying all the books that I didn't already have. Turns out, that's a lot of books acquired in the past month... and a lot of short stories read (by my standards, at least).

And of course, the Ditmar awards were actually awarded. And, since awards season is well and truly upon us, the Australian Shadows Awards were also announced.

In unrelated and much more mundane news, I also wrote my usual monthly round-up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge blog, which you can read here.

What have I read?

What am I currently reading?

I was reading Trucksong by Andrew Macrae but, for the first time this year, I've consciously stopped  reading reading a book when I was a substantial part of the way in. It's not an objectively bad book — there's nothing wrong with the writing — but it just wasn't for me. It was actually really hard to decide to stop reading. Once I was a substantial chunk of the way in it felt like a waste to just give up, even if I wasn't enjoying it. It was when I was three-quarters of the way in that I realised that even if I did finish, I wouldn't get a good review out of it. With bad books it's easy; you can just list and discuss the problems. But this was just a book that didn't click with me, rather than one that had specific faults. Also, one of my new year's resolutions was to let myself not finish books, so go me.

When I realised that I was in fact able to vote in the Ditmars I started a lot of books that I didn't necessarily finish but still plan to. I've so far only read the two Ditmar-shortlisted stories in Prickle Moon by Juliette Marillier, but I hope to get back to it sooner rather than later (if only because being part-way through several books at once is a bit stressful). I also started reading Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead by Robert Hood, which is a fantasy/horror (dark fantasy?) novel. Not very far in yet (but far enough to rank it on my ballot).

Moving away from Australian books, I haven't had a chance to pick up Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen again, because of the Ditmar books, but I'm still planning to finish it. I've also just started reading Use Only As Directed, an anthology edited by Simon Petrie and Edwina Harvey and I'm about to start Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne this evening.





New Booksies:

A lot of my favourite authors seem to have recently released books too, which definitely added to the virtual pile I'm about to list... Furthermore, the 2014 Hugo Packet was released adding to by TBR pile and my acquired books. But the way that works for me is I only add a free book to my "books owned" list (on LibraryThing) if I actually read it, or read a significant portion before giving up. For example, I am not going to make any attempt to read the Wheel of Time series at this point in my life because a) I'm pretty sure I won't like it that much and b) it's way too long to fit in (both in generally and also around other reviewing/reading commitments and desires).
  • Thief's Magic by Trudi Canavan — purchased because a favourite author
  • Prickle Moon by Juliet Marillier — purchased because Ditmars
  • The Bride Price by Cat Sparks — purchased because Ditmars
  • The Year of Ancient Ghosts by Kim Wilkins — purchased because Ditmars
  • The Lowest Heaven edited by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin — purchased because Ditmars
  • Fragments of a Broken Land by Robert Hood — purchased because Ditmars
  • Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld — eARC. I've already read it, but it's not out until September, so no review until then. But oh my goodness this book was AWESOME. I can't wait until more people have read it so I can discuss it with them. !!! 5 stars. (Mind you, I suspect people who aren't interested in/involved with the publishing industry may not like it as enthusiastically, but shh.)
  • Delete by Kim Curran — eARC from Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot. The conclusion of the trilogy including Shift and Control
  • The Guild of Assassins by Anna Kashina — eARC from Angry Robot, sequel to Blades of the Old Empire
  • The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley — eARC, also from Angry Robot. Haven't read anything of hers before, but I've heard a lot of good things, so looking forward to it.
  • City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare — purchased because I've enjoyed all her books.
  • Guardian by Jo Anderton — preorder came in. Purchased because favourite author.
  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie — Purchased because Hugos and heard a lot of things. Didn't want to get to the end of the extract and have to break.
  • I, Morgana by Felicity Pullman — eARC from Momentum, because it sounded good and also AWW
  • Chasing the Valley 3: Skyfire by Skye Melki-Wegner — eARC from Random House, because I loved the first book
  • Chasing the Valley 2: Borderlands by Skye Melki-Wegner — purchased because I got the eARC of book 3 and also because I loved the first book and was intending to get around this this either way
  •  Last Year, When We Were Young by Andrew Mckirnan — eARC because the author is a friend (and because I want to read it)

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