Two on time round ups in a row! Whoop whoop. Helps that it’ll be a fairly short one
WHAT I READ
Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey – Decent enough read. Bit too mundane and pain-driven for me for most of the book.
The Wandering Fire by Guy Gavriel Kay – Still very very good
The Border Keeper by Kerstin Hall – So many great vibes but ultimately too confusing; felt like it needed to be a short story or a novel with plenty of exposition.
The Wee Free Men by Sir Terry Pratchett – I literally only just realised I forgot to add this. Anyway, yeah, pretty cool book.
The Food & Cooking of Romania & Bulgaria by Silvena Johan Lauta – Interesting. Might have to track down again. Carp with sage and pancetta sounded v. interesting.
Books 1-12 of Schlock Mercenary – Thought I’d go and revisit now its tied up, and ended up getting sucked in by the continuity for a long time before overdosing/seeing a spoiler I didn’t like. It’s fun, but never quite as fun me as it is for the author.
There was once again a lot of filler (I’m not sure I’m supposed to be that shameless about what I do here, but I like to think youse all like me for my charmingly slapdash approach to this all) but I did occasionally not phone it in with posts that I want to share again like Some Thoughts of Multiple PoVs and Plot Strands and More Author Influences: Founders of Urban Fantasy
However, the absolute best thing I did was the Great Women of Fantasy’s Past, which has already nearly attracted as much attention as the Evil Cats tag I did last year. It deserves all of that attention, even if I say so myself.
And speaking of such things, the spike I got from this has inspired me to get a bit more on it for the blog with publicity and stuff. I set myself targets at the start of the year of 10,000 views and 4,000 visits, fairly modest upticks from last year. A quiet start to the year means I’m behind on that and I’d kind of given the idea up, but I feel reinvigorated. Which might mean some extra content for you lovely people, after stinting you with mere daily updates.
Down the pipeline you can expect reviews of The Princess and The Goblin, Against All Gods, The Wandering Fire, Notorious Sorcerer, and Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances. I might also revisit my last holdouts in Discworld – The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, and finishing Snuff and Raising Steam, so I can do my definitive ratings of all the Discworlds. That’s how you make friends and influence people after all. I also want to ramp up the Retro Reviews and do some more history of fantasy articles, mainly as drafts for books.
WHAT ELSE I DID
Well I put a lot of things in suitcases and got on a plane. But what else?
Food and Drink
I am reunited with Utz Maui BBQ Crisps, which threaten to single-handedly derail all thoughts of weight loss. The Stacys Chipotle and Sour Cream Pitta thins are also solid snack food.
I’ve yet to go anywhere super cool or really get my glutton on except for my trip to Headkeeper in Greensburg, whose American tapas menu remains a solid favourite of me and The American. Highlights were the soy and ginger prawn on noodles and the ice cream sandwich tray our friend brought out once we were already too full to move.
I also drank well that day with a SLUSHY XL Sour Worms by 450 North Brewing Company and Sorbetto Series #48 by Ever Grain Brewing Co both giving me my necessary fix of sour fruity goodness.
Wait hang on I nearly forgot all the cool things I did before leaving old Blighty. If anyone is into hard seltzer, the Bodega Apple & Ginger is solid.
But what’s fucking great is Donnellys in Bermondsey, which did these amazing ginger soy chilli sesame chicken wings, and the steak cucumber salad was outrageous. Afterwards we went to 3B1S in Borough Market, where the dark chocolate ice cream was great and the lime blew my mind. This is a rival to Gelupo. For those still in London – love it, treasure it.
I went back to old favourites this month – bit of Depeche Mode, bit of Gothenburg, bit of electronic, bit of Britpop – but I have celebrated being back with The American by doing some car karaoke to Hamilton.
Ah, one new thing to rec. If you like your Gothenburg metal, check out The Halo Effect, a superband of In Flames alumni with Mikael Stanne on vocals that brings back the good old days. It emulates the less interesting band for my money, but it’s still damn good listening.
TV and Movies
Just in case I wasn’t annoying you enough with food stuff, I might start doing episode recaps of Guy’s Grocery Games. Or maybe that should be a new website. Who knows. Probably won’t happen. But that, Taskmaster, Only Murders in the Building, American Ninja Warrior… that’s the background stuff.
Rewatches of AtLA and Cowboy Bebop are also underway. I find I’m incapable of watching Cowboy Bebop without wanting to write something like it. I also rewatched Dot Cottan’s interview from Line of Duty the other night, because it’s just magical.
Oh. And The Bear! The Bear was good. I want a roast beef sandwich now.
Movie wise, I caught the end of The Running Man – maybe the best Arnie movie – on TV, and rewatched The Dirty Dozen.
Building back up on the exercise and healthiness front. Just walks, bodyweight stuff, and salads.
Oh. And job hunting beckons. If any of my US readers has a great remote job opportunity for an all round office monkey, do let me know…
Oh oh. My ‘wonderful’ sister got married to a person of many qualities which don’t include good taste. Congrats again to them. It was a lovely day.
And that’s it. Tell me about your Julys!