What is up with the weather lately? It’s looks like it’s a lovely summer day, and then bam the sun goes in and it’s freezing. At least we had a lovely day out at the Christchurch Cheese and Chilli Festival, eating food and chilling out to music. We even took Scully and she made so many (human) friends. It seems cheese and chilli fans are also Labrador fans.

Korean fried chicken loaded fries

The week after was the broader Christchurch Food Festival, but it had rained the night before making the ground waterlogged. It just seemed a bit less lively than past years. Though we did get our annual bottle of Wyrd Gin.

After all the activity of getting Paws and Portals ready to go, it’s been a bit of a lull since. Thanks to everyone who grabbed a copy, and a shout out to Norfolk Bookworm for reviewing it.

There’s a bit of overlap between this check-in and my Wyrd & Wonder wrap-up… So, first have a photo of Scully nodding off while begging for crisps:

Labrador dog with chin resting on sofa in begging mode

On the blog:

Review: The Honey Witch by Sydney J. Shields

Paws and Portals is Out in the Wild!

Wyrd and Wonder: Dragon’s Pass

Review: Elusive by Genevieve Cogman

Fantasy Games in My Comfort Zone

Review: The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

On My Radar: June

Wyrd and Wonder: Journey’s End

Review: The Cautious Traveller’s Guide to the Wastelands by Sarah Brooks

Currently reading:

The Stars Too Fondly by Emily Hamilton

Books read:


[ARC] The Honey Witch by Sydney J. Shields

See review above.

  • Popsugar # 38. A cozy fantasy book

A Power Unbound by Freya Marske 🎧

This was way too explicit for me to be listening to on audio! I’m glad I finished the trilogy, but I think this was the weakest of the three books.

  • ATY # 24. A book with a secondary color on the cover
  • Popsugar # 45. An LGBTQ+ romance novel

[ARC] The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

See review above.

  • ATY # 35. A science or science fiction book

Scales and Sensibility by Stephanie Burgis

This was so much fun. A lighthearted regency rom-com with added miniature dragons.

  • Popsugar # 23. A book that features dragons

[ARC] The Cautious Traveller’s Guide to the Wastelands by Sarah Brooks

See review above.

  • ATY # 33. A book involving travel

Leave No Trace by Jo Callaghan

It’s a shame I find Kat so irritating because the premise of this series is a good one: an almost contemporary police procedural with an AI detective. Some things about the investigation made them seem so sloppy, especially considering they could have been utilising the AI for really obvious things from the start. Please someone get the team some media training!

  • ATY # 17. A book involving intelligence

Funny Story by Emily Henry

I loved this. Miles is one of my favourite Emily Henry love interests!

  • ATY # 23. A book related to Boats, Beaches, Bars, Ballads, or Jimmy Buffett
  • Popsugar # 14. A book recommended by a bookseller

Books acquired:

Argh! I’ve ended up with so many review copies for June. I’m just going to have to get to them when I get to them.


For Review:

Daughter of the Merciful Deep by Leslye Penelope (Orbit)

Echo of Worlds by M.R. Carey (Orbit)

The Last Song of Penelope by Claire North (Orbit)

The Undermining of Twyla and Frank by Megan Bannen (Orbit)

This is Why We Lied by Karin Slaughter (HarperCollins)

Bought – Physical:

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Bought – Digital:

Everyone on this Train is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

Crypt by Alice Roberts

Claws and Contrivances by Stephanie Burgis

Into the Riverlands by Nghi Vo (audiobook)

How to Survive Your Murder by Danielle Valentine


Β Dreadful by Caitlin Rozakis

I got Dreadful from Buy a Stranger a Book Day on Bluesky. Simon @ Big Green Bookshop runs it every Wednesday on Twitter (daytime) and Bluesky (evening). People buy books for strangers, no catches. He sometimes struggles to get it going on Bluesky, so if you have an account there, check it out.