March is the month for making plans

Resolutions and plans made in January are almost always doomed to fail. It’s still the middle of winter – cold, dark and uninspiring – so I decided a long time ago that my personal New Year was 21st March, coinciding rather neatly with the beginning of Spring and therefore much more conducive to the success of new intentions. As the mornings get lighter again and we start to see green shoots poking up out of the ground and promising little buds forming on branches, I feel a lot more awake, alive and raring to go.

So, what would I like to achieve this year reading-wise/blogging-wise?


21 TBR Books for 2021

I have no great ambitions. I’d really like to read more of what I have on my own shelves because (a) I’m flat broke at the moment – the first three months of the year being seriously birthday and bills heavy for us – and (b) so I can make room for more new books when funds allow *grins widely*. To this end I’m joining in with Calmgrove’s 21 TBR Books in 2021 – which is beautiful in its simplicity and feels like a manageable goal. The aim is right there in the title: read 21 books from your TBR stack over the course of the year.

So far, I’ve knocked Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier off my TBR stack by buddy-reading it with Lynn over at Books and Travelling with Lynn – and you can read our conversation about that here and here.


Backlist Bingo

Continuing on the theme of reading stuff I already own, I’m also playing imyril’s Backlist Book Bingo … (I lovelovelove book bingo almost as much as I love book tags and it was one of the first things I did on this blog when I started, before I know that you’re supposed to share stuff like this, because otherwise you’re just playing on your own – give a little love to my 2017 and 2018 bingo cards if you will, or at least to the completion badges I made for myself!) …

… *ahem* back to the point: Vintage SciFi Month has enabled me to cross off three categories on my bingo card so far: My Hugo Award Winner read was Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein, for the SciFi category I’m counting J G Ballard’s The Crystal World and The Man With Six Senses by Muriel Jaeger might have been irritating, but it was definitely Not Written By a Bloke.

Contrition of a bad SF fan backlist bingo card with three out of the sixteen categories marked 'completed'

As imyril has given the option to either do a bingo line or to try and complete the whole card, I’m going to try for the whole thing. I’m feeling pretty confident right now, but watch me flail and flap later in the year!


The Great Series Read Project

And I’m going to try this year to be a bit more systematic in my approach to the Great Series Read Projectthat beautiful brainchild of Caitlin’s over at Realms of My Mind. I performed poorly last year, adding more series to my list than chipping away at series already on there. I hope to do better.


A Goofy Goal

I also have a goofy goal that I’d be chary of admitting to anyone IRL, but which I think at least some of you, my bloggy buddies, will appreciate. In indexing my book posts I am always pleased when I can add an author surname for a letter that doesn’t yet have anything listed under it. Last year, for example, I fell head-over-heels in love with This is How You Lose the Time War, but it was the icing on the cake when I was able to add my post for that book under the big E in my Index!

I still have a few letters to fill in. And they’re all awkward ones too. I need to find authors with surnames beginning with the following letters: Q, U, X and Z. Anyone got any suggestions?


In Other News…

That’s kind of it for my goals for the year. I’m looking forward, as always, to taking part in events like Wyrd and Wonder, Spooktastic Reads and SciFi Month; I already had a blast doing Vintage SciFi Month this year; I hope to do a couple more buddy reads, lots of book tags, and I’m making a conscious effort to join in with a more things.

In the next few weeks I’m going to try and post something for March Magics – a celebration of all things Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett that Calmgrove drew my attention to – and same for the super chill new All Systems Read mini event happening over the Easter weekend.


Finally, I am very much sticking to comfort reading still for the time being, which I know I’ll get bored of eventually, but I really need right now. That said, the exception to this is the buddy read of Kindred by Octavia E Butler that Maryam the Curious SFF Reader and I are just finishing up. Watch this space for our posts on this absolute killer of a read. Coming soon to two blogs near you!



    • Good call! I have his Chronicles of Amber sitting on the shelf unread. And I *know* I have Lord of Light somewhere, because it’s got an awesome old cover …
      Thanks Ollie! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ooo, thank you. I’ve not read anything by him, but the name rings a bell … I may have seen something by him in the library, I think. Thanks Bookstooge! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for adopting the #21TBRbooksin2021 tag, I’m sure you’ll polish that off in no time!

    Author alphabet: Q is, I’m pretty sure, the abbreviation Arthur Quiller-Couch adopted for his novels; I stalled on Daphne du Maurier’s continuation of his incomplete Castle Dor but you may have more joy with it, or with any of his other titles.

    U? You might enjoy Alison Uttley’s A Traveller in Time, I know I did (, or her The Country Child (, ditto.

    Z? Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry ( may be right up your street, a lovely poignant tale and it’s set in a bookshop! Win-win! 🙂

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    • You’re awesome! Thank you for all these suggestions Chris! 😀 I have definitely seen both Alison Uttley’s books and The Storied Life of A J Fikry in the library.

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    • Oh! My earlier reply disappeared! I must have pressed Back instead of Send 😕

      But yay, another for the #21TBRbooksin2021 tag! Author alphabet? Q: Arthur Quiller-Couch’Castle Dor was completed by Daphne du Maurier—you may have better luck with that than I did. U? Alison Uttley’s A Traveller in Time and The Country Child are both worth a look. Z? Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A J Fikry would be up your street: it’s about a bookshop! 🙂

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  2. I fear landslide when I touch that Mt Readmore, that’s why I just add books to it 🤣
    Series can be daunting. Imaging you‘d like to finish that’t 🙀
    And now I‘ve forgotten most of it.
    Same for the new Rhythm of War – I‘m slowly rereading the series but it will still take a good while until I‘m there at the latest volume.
    And now consider me crazy, but I‘ve started a slow-reading project two months ago rereading WoT. Estimations are upward of 3-4 years for all of it 🤪

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  3. You have so many fun things going!! I was thinking about doing the same with my index page 😂 I think everyone has a similar group of letters left empty haha.

    If I’m not working I’d love to read all systems red. I’ve only made it to the first three, so due a reread!

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    • I’ve only read the first one – which I loved! The plan for Easter weekend is to read any scifi I think, it doesn’t have to be the Murderbot books (I think I’ve understood that right), but I would really like to get hold of them and read them all – when money is incoming instead of outgoing! 😀


  4. Delving into my huge TBR first is something that I mean to do every time I have to pick up the next book, but it’s not always easy, so I’m looking with great interest at the 21 books in 2021 challenge to see if I can make some inroads in my oh-so-long list of unread books… 🙂

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    • Dooo iiittt! 😁
      Honestly though, making it a goal like this is the only way I can motivate myself – and telling everyone I plan to do it means I can’t get out of it! 🤣

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  5. If you’re into picture books, for U, I recommend The Sound of All Things by Myron Uhlberg, illus. by Ted Papoulas. It’s semi-autobiographical (if I remember correctly) and is about a hearing boy visiting Coney Island in Brooklyn with his deaf parents. It’s a really good one and the illustrations are great.

    And, for Z, another picture book — Sky High by Germano Zullo, illus. by Albertine. It’s a fun, silly book containing only a few words and not much plot, really, about two neighbors competing to build the grandest mansion.

    I love your goofy goal, btw.

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