June 2020 Roundup – Reading, Writing and Blogging… #BrainfluffJune2020Roundup


Lockdown has continued throughout June, though we have been able to see more of our family, which has been wonderful. We were particularly thrilled to be able to meet up on my birthday and have a picnic. Most of the time, though, we have been continuing with the new normal. Himself going off to work, while I have stayed at home reading and writing… While we have had some wonderful warm weather, the cooler windy episodes means spending time with visitors outside hasn’t been practical.


I read seventeen books in June, which is still more than usual – though I am increasingly unsure what usual means anymore. I had a single DNF and once again, I’m struck by the overall quality of the books I’ve read. My Outstanding Books of the Month were TUYO by Rachel Neumeier and The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal. Neither were audiobooks, as most of the month I’ve been in the thickets of The Priory of the Orange Tree, which I am listening to at 1.5x slower as the narrator’s voice is quiet. I might have completed it by Christmas…

My reads during June were:

AUDIOBOOK The Naturalist – Book 1 of The Naturalist series by Andrew Mayne

Hostile Takeover – Book 1 of the Vale Investigation series by Cristelle Comby – see my review

The House on Widows Hill – Book 9 of the Ishmael Jones mysteries by Simon R. Green – see my review

Set My Heart To Five by Simon Stephenson – see my review

The Empire of Gold – Book 3 of the Daevabad trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty – see my review

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – see my review

Flower Power Trip – Book 3 of the Braxton Campus mysteries by James J. Cudney

The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken – Book 3 of the Vish Puri series by Tarquin Hall

NOVELLA To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

The Ruthless – Book 2 of The Deathless series by Peter Newman

Entangled Secrets – Book 3 of the Northern Circle Coven series by Pat Esden

Perilous Hunt – Book 7 of the Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker

TUYO – Book 1 of the Tuyo series by Rachel Neumeier – see my review – Outstanding book of the month

The Calculating Stars – Book 1 of the Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi

The Fated Sky – Book 2 of the Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Kowal – Outstanding book of the month

Ghost Ups Her Game – Book 9 of the Bailey Ruth mysteries by Carolyn Hart

Writing and Editing

I worked on editing a friend’s book for the first quarter of the month, then turned to a space opera adventure I’d written several years ago to see if it was any good. I worked on rewriting and tidying it up and hopefully will have it ready to publish before the end of the year.

I then published my short story Picky Eaters about a grumpy elderly dragon, who suddenly finds himself in the middle of family life when he gets unexpectedly evicted from his lair and has to move in with his daughter. I have been really pleased with the reception, as I’d hoped it would provide an enjoyable escapist read. All proceeds will go to mental health charities.

Because I was editing and rewriting, my wordcount is far smaller this month, but that’s how it goes. Overall, I wrote just under 31,000 words in June, with just over 21,000 on the blog, and just under 10,000 on my writing projects.


I am finding being able to chat about books a great comfort on my blog, but as Himself is now on holiday from the last week in June, I haven’t been around to comment and visit as much as I’d like – sorry about that. Hopefully once we get back to normal, I will be around more. I hope you are all keeping well, both physically and mentally. It’s an ongoing strain and I’ve been rather frayed at times, even though I’m also aware we have been very lucky… so far. Take care and stay safe.x

12 responses »

  1. It is odd how this has become the new normal, right? I’m very content as I’m not a social person anyway, but my poor husband is not used to being home so much. Sounds like you had a pretty good month, wow 17 books!!

    • Yes – I’m getting to a stage where I’m slightly uncomfortable claiming that it’s unusual… Fortunately Himself isn’t highly social and is an avid reader, as well as a sports fan – he has to be really, given the hours I spend writing in the corner of the lounge.

    • It was SUCH a treat, Hayley:)). As for my reading numbers… I never set any monthly goals, so it’s always somthing of a surprise. I’m reading more intensely right now, though.

  2. I’m starting to think that we’re actually looking at a new normal now… with people staying home much more than in the past, and wearing masks to go somewhere else. It’s scary how this virus is able to flair up again and infect a lot of people when there were hardly any cases at all for a while while we were in confinement.
    I’m glad you’ve read so many excellent books in June! It’s always a pleasure when most of the books we pick up please us 🙂
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

    • I think you’re right about the new normal, Linda. I try not to think about it too much – and thank goodness for books and stories that can take me away from the helpless worry! It’s such a bonus when those stories are so good:). I hope you, too, have a great week with some lovely reads.

    • Thank you, Jessica:)). I was quite startled when I realised just how many books I’d clocked up during the month – it’s a by-product of reading so many good ones that I tend to tear through them rather fast… I’m also hoping July is going to be a great month:))

  3. It sounds like you had a good reading month, Sarah. It sounds like you are making the best out of our current situation. That’s all we can do, right? I hope you have a great week. Stay safe and well.

    • Yes, I had an excellent reading month – many of those reads were 8 and 9 stars and a fair sprinkling were 10s… You can’t ask for more, can you? I hope you, too, stay safe, Wendy:)

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