We have now survived over three months of lockdown and the world of man has become a strange place. Talk of easing restrictions is shadowed by measures put in place that make our limited social contact less enjoyable: keep your distance, wear a mask, don’t go out unless necessary. The wider impact of the various rules imposed is becoming more obvious: other health issues ignored and therefore exacerbated (mental and physical), long term economic hardship likely for a great many, disruptions to education affecting the prospects of young people.
With no client work available this month, husband and I continue to fill our days with walks, runs and bike rides in the surrounding countryside. I beat my personal 5k running time – finally getting it to below 30 minutes – and completed my second, lonely half marathon. I am also trying yoga at home, coached by Adrienne via YouTube.
Our children finished their on line exams and we celebrated with a little family party. A few days later we ordered a takeaway for younger son’s birthday. It feels important to create highlights in days that are merging and can quickly grow stale.
On the henkeeping front, we gave a new forever home to four ex-farm rescue chickens who are settling in well. As is always the case, our existing flock has yet to come to terms with this invasion of their enclosure – it is clear where the terms henpecked and pecking order originate.
I reviewed 8 books in June – 6 fiction (1 translated), 1 poetry, 1 non fiction. My reading rate has been affected by lockdown and associated concerns. To counter this I took on an intern, explaining my reasons in my first post of the month – Something is changing on the blog. I hope readers have enjoyed Robyn’s reviews. This month they included 3 fantasy fiction books and 1 non fiction. I have offered her additional slots on the blog over the coming months.
Click on the title below to read the review, and on the cover to find out more about each book.
Death & Other Happy Endings by Melanie Cantor, published by Black Swan
The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves, published by Century
Broken Angels by Beth Webb and Mark Hutchinson (soon to be available from the abbey bookshop)
Lake of Urine by Guillermo Stitch, published by Sagging Miniscus
For Bookmunch – and my book of the month
The Wild Laughter by Caoilinn Hughes, published by Oneworld
Holiday Heart by Margarita García Robayo (translated by Charlotte Coombe), published by Charco Press
Depth Charge by Chris Emery (limited edition, privately published)
Into the Tangled Bank by Lev Parikian, published by Elliott & Thompson
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, published by Orbit
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, published by Gollancz
We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson, published by Orbit
Sway by Pragya Agarwal, published by Bloomsbury
Sourcing the books
Robyn is on Netgalley and is grateful for all approvals of titles requested. She is also an avid collector of eye-catching fantasy fiction and has recently been receiving as much book post as me.
Happily, I have taken delivery of a greater number of books this month than has been typical during these lockdown months.
As ever I wish to thank all the publishers who send me their titles to review – the arrival of a book parcel remains a cheering event in my day.
My thanks also to those who share my words across their social media platforms. Your continuing support is always appreciated.
And to everyone reading this, I wish you and yours good health, speedy recovery from any illness, and as much mental stability as can be mustered in these challenging times. May we strive, at all times, to be kind xx
Good luck with all your endeavours – I am in awe of your running prowess. I have been severely sidetracked with that this month.
Having only become a regular runner this year it has helped me so much in lockdown – an activity that demands so much self discipline to keep going it has taken my mind off other concerns (plus the satisfaction on completion is invariably positive). I realise I am fortunate in being able to focus on this.