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Queen of ShadowsWhat is this, the Year of Slumps? After my super-long one back in the spring/early summer, I had a great reading month and then slowly devolved into another slump. It took me a full month to read Siege and Storm, even though I utterly adored Shadow and Bone and Ruin and Rising after it (now I’m on Six of Crows!). I don’t know if it’s other stress in my personal life, putting pressure on myself to blog/write more consistently, or simply facing my growing TBR from reading other blogs; whatever it is, something’s making me less enthusiastic about books lately, so I’ve been trying to pinpoint what it is.

Even though I’m not always around here, though, I do post regularly over at Coven Book Club. This month I recommended Theresa Breslin’s Spy for the Queen of Scots, Elsie Chapman’s Dualed, Maria V. Snyder’s Study series, and a trio of my favourite prequels. I also discussed Sarah J. Maas’s Queen of Shadows with Allison and Alyssa.

I’m writing this from my rental cottage on the Isle of Skye (if you’re following me on Instagram, you’ve probably already noticed because of my gratuitous scenery shots. I do occasionally post bookish photos there, too). We’re only here for the weekend, but it is beautiful. I always feel so inspired to write big, sweeping Tolkien-esque fantasy – with the attendant scenery porn – when I’m in the Highlands. And I love October; it feels like the entire world is gearing up and settling in for my favourite season.

DualedAnyway, this month I read eight books: Siege and StormRuin and RisingMagic StudyFire StudyThe Martian, DualedDivided, and Spy for the Queen of Scots. As you can see from that list, I also managed to adhere to my goals for reading more widely and diversely, something I didn’t manage in September (when the only two books I read were Queen of Shadows and Meg Cabot’s Royal Wedding). I didn’t even have to try that hard to make sure I was meeting them; I think I picked up The Martian because my fiancé wanted to see the movie, then went ‘Hey, that counts as my wider read!’ When I’m in a slump then there’s no point in pressuring myself to read specific books, so I think these goals are broadly achievable long-term (as long as I can get this slump problem sorted!).