Monthly Roundup – July 2021


Today would have been my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary. It seemed an appropriate day to finally scatter their ashes. Sadly, once again, I won’t be joining my sister to share in this act of remembrance. Guidelines for travel are still too unsettled, with uncertainty around rules for last minute testing and vaccination. Despite the supposed lifting of restrictions earlier this month, many businesses continue to mandate mask wearing. My social media feeds are exuding anger against those who show their faces in enclosed settings. To the righteous, it seems, being exempt is a poor excuse for what they regard as endangering others. I do not wish to risk enforced cancellation or confrontation.

And so, July has seen little change in my locked down life. Daughter started her new job meaning three family members now come and go thanks to gainful employment. Younger son read the proposed rules for students in the coming academic year and, realising his final terms at university would likely remain on-line, has opted not to return. He has still to clear out the expensive room he has been renting in Cardiff, that he has spent just the one afternoon in – to deliver his belongings when he was told there would be in person teaching, last September. What a waste of borrowed finance.

We have been doing our best to find entertainments. In an attempt to be upbeat I wrote a second instalment in my teddy bear series: Edward Explores – Lockdown Life. I continue to run, cycle, and visit the gym for strength training. Parkrun finally restarted and, in our delight at the opportunity to run alongside others after a 70 week hiatus, both husband and I achieved personal bests at the first event. I also ran my first half marathon distance of the year, again achieving a personal best time.

I posted reviews for 9 books in July – all worth reading. Robyn added her thoughts on a further 10 books.

As ever in these monthly posts, click on the title below to read the review and on the cover to learn more about the book.


siphonophore  Source
Siphonophore by Jaimie Batchan, published by Valley Press
Source by Rosemary Johnston, published by Story Machine

Translated Fiction

forty lost yearsForty Lost Years by Rosa Maria Arquimbau (translated by Peter Bush), published by Fum d’Estampa


white eye needle
White Eye of the Needle by Chris Campbell

Non Fiction

where  things are against us
Where? Life and Death in the Shropshire Hills by Simon Moreton, published by Little Toller
Things Are Against Us by Lucy Ellmann, published by Galley Beggar

white spines  unwell women
White Spines: Confessions of a Book Collector by Nicholas Royle, published by Salt
Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine and Myth In a Man-Made World by Elinor Cleghorn, published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson

Corpsing: My Body and Other Horror Shows by Sophie White, published by Tramp Press

Robyn Reviews

1aewa  1aide
Subject Twenty One by A. E. Warren, published by Del Ray
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, published by Swoon Reads

1rach  1seve
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin, published by Sourcebooks Fire
Seven Deaths of an Empire by G. R. Matthews, published by Solaris

1camr  1shel
Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett, published by Penguin
She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan, published by Tor

1chuc  1jenw
The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig, published by Del Rey
Dog Rose Dirt by Jen Williams, published by Harper Collins

1kath  1nkje
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, published by Solaris
The City We Became by N. K. Jemison, published by

Sourcing the Books

Robyn is on NetGalley and is grateful for all approvals of titles requested. She also received a good number of hard copies, gifted from publishers or purchased.

robyn books july 2021

My book post included several titles I have reviewed already, along with a generous number of additions to my TBR pile.

jackie received July 2021

As ever I wish to thank all the publishers who send me their books 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 and as much mental stability as can be mustered in these challenging times. May we strive, at all times, to be kind  xx


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