So, I have read more books since I posted last — I just didn’t have the mental energy to say anything about it. (Sorry.) Here’s a recap of what’s happened since my last report.

I made some progress on the “bought but never read” list. I started with two Fae books — Spare Changeling by Andrea Stewart and Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. I didn’t actually plan to read two similar books so close together; I was trying to give priority to the books that I’d neglected the longest, only my memory wasn’t entirely accurate and I really should have read a different book before R&R. But it was interesting to read these back to back, since the structure of the novels seemed very similar — lots of fight scenes before any progress was made finding the unknown murderer. I enjoyed both but got antsy waiting to past all the fights and move the plot forward.

At some point, I also read Murder on the Titania, a series of connected stories and novellas by Alex Acks. I spaced these out a bit, reading one or two and then taking a break to read a novel. I felt like these stories were a bit of a mixed bag; some I liked, while one or two felt like a bit of a slog. I was happy to check this one off and move on.

After that, it was early October, and my careful plan kind of went off the rails. I started reading several books from authors I’d met at writing events; I had a book of short essays, a book of longer essays, and a novel, and I started going back and forth between them. I got halfway through the essay books before I lost the ability to concentrate on anything substantial. (This was probably around the time that three extended family members got COVID.) I put all three books aside in favor of comfort reads — an old Tom Holt favorite, then three Sariah Wilson romances (one excellent, one okay, and one disappointment), and finally a Hamster Princess book. That got me past the COVID scare and the election drama and out the other side.

I’m still having a little trouble reading, but I got one more book off my “bought but not read” list: This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I really liked it at first but had mixed feelings by the end. I may revisit it at some point and see if I have a different reaction.

So that’s more or less where things stand now. I still have more books in my TBR pile than I’d like (partly because I bought two more books and got five free through a holiday promotion), but I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself to whittle down the pile right now. I discovered the library has a lot of Courtney Milan historical romance novellas, and that seems to be the right speed for my current frame of mind. (My current frame of mind would be better if eleven members of my extended family hadn’t decided to go to Disney World during a COVID surge, but they’re finally back home and no one seems to be sick so far, so fingers crossed.)

I hope you’re enjoying a comfort read of your own, preferably safe in your own germ-free space. Happy quarantine holidays.

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