QLTR* February 2020

*Quite Like To Read: full explanation here, if you’re interested.

I’ve chosen a background of rain clouds, because that’s what I’m hoping to see a lot of this month in my drought-stricken Australian regional city. I’m also hoping to read seven books: four fiction and four non-fiction. As I’ve already started three of them, this doesn’t seem like too many, even in a month when I’m trying to prioritise my own writing and publishing.

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QLTR August 2019

Once again, as I do at the end of every month, I’ve taken a big breath, dived deep into my stack of books and come up with some volumes I’d Quite Like To Read over the next several weeks. This time, I broke the surface clutching six books. August is the last month of winter here in Australia and I wanted some reading material that I was already pretty sure I’d enjoy, to see out the last of the winter, especially as I’ll be heading back to chilly Bathurst after two weeks at the coast. Here are my picks and the reasons I chose each one.

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QLTR July 2019

Well, here’s a turn-up for the books, so to speak: only four of them? Is that really all I’d Quite Like To Read next month? What’s going on, I hear you ask. It’s simple. I have declared July 2019 to be Writing Month. And if I’m writing more, I’ll need to be reading less.

When I’m writing a first draft, I average about 12 000 words a month. But not this month. No, in July I intend to be a Super Drafter. I’m aiming for 30,000 words, which should bring my work in progress up to around 85,000 words in total. The end will be in sight!

I’m excited and apprehensive. Can I do it? Even if I can, will I? Or will I wimp out and capitulate to the desire to read other people’s words while consuming too much chocolate? Who can say? Only time will tell. And other cliches. Can you tell I’m nervous about this? Anyway, this isn’t meant to be about me and my neuroses. On to the books. The very, very few books.

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QLTR June 2019

Here are the books I’d Quite Like to Read in June. QLTR is my version of TBR (To Be Read). If you’d like to know more, see my fuller (and rather rambling) explanation here.

So, on to the books, in order from top left to bottom right:

1 RED SISTER by Mark Lawrence.

Yes, well spotted, this was also on my QLTR for May. And in my defence, I did start it in May. But I was loving it so much that I didn’t want to rush through it, meaning I didn’t finish it, so here it is again. This is the first in Lawrence’s Book Of the Ancestor trilogy. Fantasy? Check. Magic school? Check. Warrior nuns? Yes please. And I can now add, it’s beautifully written.

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QLTR May 2019

QLTR? What the heck is a QLTR?

It’s simple, really, and yet diabolically clever at the same time. This is my monthly list of books I’d Quite Like to Read. And why only Quite Like to Read? Isn’t that a bit wishy-washy?

Well, to be honest, it started out as TBR (To Be Read), but a curious thing happened. I would carefully compile the list, all shiny and new at the beginning of each month. And then I’d immediately want to rebel and read something entirely different. This caused feelings of guilt, failure and despair at the end of the month when I hadn’t read anything at all from my list.

What to do? Exercise more self-control? No. Don’t be silly. Change the name! So the list became WTR (you guessed it: Want to Read). But it turned out I didn’t, really. Want to read them, that is. Cue the guilt, failure, etc.

Again,what to do? Abandon the list idea entirely? Come on. It’s a list. Lists are good. So I came up with this genius idea. I don’t have to read these books. I may not even want to read them once the month begins. But I’d quite like to read them. Maybe. See how it goes. No pressure. And you know what? It worked. Last month, I read almost all the books on my list. Sometimes my mind is a frighteningly irrational place to live in.

So what would I Quite Like to Read in May? I have a list of 10 books. They’re in the image at the beginning of this post. Interestingly, they look sort of autumnal, don’t they? This wasn’t deliberate, just a sort of serendipity, because it’s autumn here, though maybe not where you are. Eight of them are from the library (I love my library), I own one, and the other is an audio book on my phone (although I have cleverly cheated and added its image into the photograph through the magic of photo editing software). So here they are:

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