Close encounters

We’ve not long passed May Day, the waymarker for the second third of the year. I thought I’d just do a little crystal-gazing and a quick retrospective in the lull between reviewing one book and the next.

First, the scrying. May being Wyrd & Wonder month, with a focus on fantasy, I’m firming up what I’d like to read over the thirty days. In the photo above, going left to right, you can see my final (?!) choices for High Fantasy, Low Fantasy and Grimdark, and below these, Urban Fantasy, Portal Fantasy and my take on Fairytale.

Still to be decided are Magic Realism and Myth, but I have a shortlist for both; and which titles will emerge will be as much a surprise for me as it will be for you. Will they be as mainstream as the others or rather more obscure?

And now, with my Epimethean spectacles on, how am I doing with my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 52 books for 2019? I see that, if I don’t include Ursula Le Guin’s Tales from Earthsea (which, though I posted the review in May, was actually read in April) I will have completed and reviewed thirty titles over the first third of the year. That, for me, is impressive … though, er, it’s about quality, not quantity, right?

Anyway, a fair variety of reading I fancy, from novellas to non-fiction, crime to picture books, graphic novels to humour, satire to science fiction, classics to contemporary, short stories to magic realism: I’m quite pleased with the range of genres I’ve fitted in.

And what about you? What did you spy through your Epimethean spectacles, and what do you scry in your crystal ball?

Screenshot from my Goodreads page

23 thoughts on “Close encounters

  1. 30 reviews in 4 months! I can certainly read that many books, but reviewing all of them, and as thoughtfully as you do, is something else altogether.

    I know you probably don’t need more book suggestions, but Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle might count as magical realism (yes, that would be a stretch, but no penalties for soggy boundaries, right?).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, a couple of people have recommended the Vonnegut to me, even one recently, so I really ought to consider it seriously especially as you’ve been so kind as to suggest it too! I’m glad you think I review thoughtfully, Lizzie, I do try my best though I’m often dissatisfied with the end result for not quite saying everything I wanted to say as I imagined me saying it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. piotrek

    Both the quantity and quality are impressive 🙂 You’ve been very active this year, Chris, to the betterment, and enjoyment, of us all…

    I’ve never heard of Rotherweird, looks promising, can’t wait to see the review 🙂

    Me, I’m at 25 books read (well, volumes, the lit includes 5 graphic novels), but just a few reviews written. What makes me really… happy and sad at the same time? is the fact I’m almost done with my great Pratchett re-read, with Raising Steam almost finished, and never yet read Shepherd’s Crown waiting on a shelf… I admire him more and more with each read tome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, my face is warm with embarrassment… 😁 Yes, my list includes graphic novels too, Piotrek, but some are so wordy these days, aren’t they? And 25 titles is no mean achievement—and you work too!

      I picked Rotherweird up in bookshops a couple of times, only to put them down again, but finally took the plunge recently. It definitely looks intriguing!

      Your Pratchett marathon: it must feel strange to be nearing the end, especially after such an intense dedication; I tend to spread out my reads of the same author (except when I read all the Earthsea books in one go last autumn for Witch Week).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow – I’m amazed that you’ve read and reviewed 30 books this year – that’s astounding for one person! I really enjoy your reviews and what’s more, for me, how I feel about a review you’ve written really accurately matches how I feel about the book once I’ve read it which means I can find books I will enjoy with great ease and delight via your writing! So thank-you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very kind of you to say so, Jo! When it comes to reading and reviewing though I’m in a minor league compared to many book review bloggers, though maybe I’m a bit more verbose than many!

      Still, I’m really chuffed that my judgement chimes in with your responses to novels, it feels good to get something right! 🙂


  4. Well done, my friend. (I’m back from oblivion, ha ha ha. I’ve been working as a sub as much possible, and trying to be by the side of my two teen daughters in the final weeks of school, –no small feat, I tell you, LOL–). This year, –unless I can make an increase in books this summer–, I’ve not read as much as before. I may not reach my goal of 50. I’ve only read 17, and I also have dropped the ball on reviews, reading my favorite blogs, commenting, etc. But I don’t ever forget about you and my other few reader friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’ve read 17 in the first third of the year, Silvia, you’ll actually be on course to reach your goal: 17 x 3 = 51 books! But yes, having been a teacher myself (and a parent) I know how work and family reduce reading time! And, of course that includes other people’s blogs… But I know that there are always good reasons why bloggers drop off the radar for a while, so don’t worry, we’ll welcome you just whenever you can spare time, that precious resource. 🙂


      1. Thanks for your words of encouragement, Chris.

        I miss reading the blogs, and blogging, since when I do it means I am more actively reading myself. Actually, I just managed to post right now. I love that it gives some order and momentum to my reading life. It inspires me.
        And something tells me I am going to have ample time this summer to read away!

        Finally, no matter how”little”, it’s been varied and solidly good in quality across the different levels and genra.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Variety is good! I’ve not been much active on WP the last few days, mainly because of involvement in a music festival, but I’m back now on catch-up and have scheduled a post on the music events for tomorrow. And I’ll have a look at your post presently!


  5. I also wanted to say that I like how much fantasy and the many different kinds of it you read. It’s a genre I know nothing about! But Ursula Le Guin is an author I’d like to read at one point.


    1. I’m not as much a fantasy fan as many, and I tend to go for what’s mainstream more than the YA fantasy series that seem to have proliferated in recent years. (Not that I’ve anything against them, but often I suspect I’m not part of the target audience.)

      But Le Guin, yes, do try her sometime, she’s well regarded for good reason.


      1. I know what you mean, as I am not the targeted audience either. I was thinking more that you read a lot of “folk” or “lore”, or “folklore”, hahaha.

        And I will take your advice regarding Le Guin.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Gah, I’m so behind! What a fantastic mix of worlds to explore. I’m trying to read more, esp since the kids are in the summer reading programs at the library. Finished Pinocchio the other day–talk about dark!

    Liked by 1 person

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