The Monthly Round-Up: February 2018


Welcome to The Monthly Round-Up. Join me as I look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and my all important Book of the Month!


| The Monthly Round-Up: February 2018 |

February has been a fantastically busy month but I couldn’t be happier to have returned to Books by Proxy. It’s been wonderful catching up with books, posts and this wonderful blogging community, and I have a whole heap of ideas for the future of this blog – as well as a ‘to-be-read’ pile as big as a mountain!

And with the weather turning into a veritable winter wonderland, I can’t think of a better place to be than being wrapped up in the warmth with a good book!.. Or settled down to write some long overdue reviews!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful month! 😀


| Books Read |



Spellslinger

by Sebastien de Castell


| February Goals |

To read four books

Status: 4 of 4 Complete

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To write a review once a week

Status: 2 of 4 Complete


| Reviews Posted |

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley


The Hit by Nadia Dalbuono


| Other Posts From February 2018 |

The Month Ahead: February 2018

Tough Travelling: Shapeshifters

Chapter + Verse – The Hobbit: Chapter I – An Unexpected Party

Chapter + Verse – The Hobbit: Chapter II – Roast Mutton

Chapter + Verse – The Hobbit: Chapter III – A Short Rest

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Doomed Romances of Fantasyland

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Could Re-Read ForeverTeaser Tuesdays: The Grace of Kings + The Hobbit: Chapter I

Teaser Tuesdays: Half the World + The Hobbit: Chapter II

Teaser Tuesdays: Spellslinger + The Hobbit: Chapter III

Teaser Tuesdays: Lois the Witch + The Hobbit: Chapter IV

Waiting on Wednesday: February 07 – Black Mirror: Volume 1 by Charlie Brooker

Waiting on Wednesday: February 14 – King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist

Waiting on Wednesday: February 21 – The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams

Waiting on Wednesday: February 28 – The Hyena and the Hawk by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Friday Face-Off: February 02 – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

The Friday Face-Off: February 09 – My, What Big Teeth You Have

The Friday Face-Off: February 16 – Groovy Baby

The Friday Face-Off: February 23 – The Staircase

Friday Firsts: February 02 – The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

Friday Firsts: February 09 – Half the World by Joe Abercrombie

Friday Firsts: February 16 – Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

Friday Firsts: February 23 – Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell


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Waiting on Wednesday: Black Mirror – Volume 1


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme linking Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking The Spine and Can’t Wait Wednesday by Wishful Endings


| Waiting on Wednesday: February 07 |

Black Mirror

Volume 1: A Literary Season

Cory Doctorow | Claire North | Sylvain Neuvel

Edited by Charlie Brooker


From the creator of Black Mirror comes the first book in an anthology series featuring original stories from leading fiction writers, all set in the world of the cult series.

Edited by Charlie Brooker, the creator of the hit Netflix original series Black Mirror, this book takes the very essence of the globally acclaimed cult TV show to create new, original, darkly satirical stories that tap into our collective unease about the modern world. This is Black Mirror in book form, allowed to roam through the imaginations of some of the leading names in contemporary fiction. This collection will challenge you to see the world in a different—and more disturbing—light.

You have been warned. . . .


To be published by Del Rey Books on 20th February 2018

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The Month Ahead: February 2018


Welcome to this February’s The Month Ahead at Books by ProxyBringing you blog related news and announcements!


| Announcement |

After a somewhat extended interval Books by Proxy is back! And I’m so looking forward to getting back into the swing of posting – believe me, I’ve missed it!

At some point in 2016, and again in 2017, my inability to strike a work / life / blog balance lead to a complete fall off the edge of the book-o-blogosphere – As many fellow bloggers can attest, sometimes we forget to just take it easy.

Life is considerably busier these days; 2017 saw me move into my new home with the other half, continue my foray into (not-at-all-wicked) step-motherhood, and commence the final step in my professional qualifications whilst assuming more responsibility at work. Something definitely had to give somewhere and, unfortunately, it was this blog.

Reading, however, remains my passion and, as I begin to organise my time more effectively and remember that this blog is for fun and my own peace of mind, it seemed like the perfect time to kick things off once again – both books and blogs are here to be enjoyed after all!

So here’s to catching up with reading, blogging and the wonderful online book community in 2018!


| Currently Reading |

Once again I am reading far too many books at one time – but why change the habit of a lifetime! This month I’m continuing my read of The Vagrant by Peter Newman and Half the World by Joe Abercrombie – two books which were started a considerably long time ago but got left behind when I moved house.

They are joined this February by the esteemed company of Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell, which I’m reading as part of The Gaskell Society lecture events in Manchester, The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, as part of my There and Back Again feature (see below). heart


| Coming Up on Books by Proxy |

There and Back Again: A Journey Through Middle Earth, is an indefinite season of all things Tolkien here at Books by Proxy. Join me as I make my journey through the most defining literature of my childhood, and unravel the details behind one of the most spectacular fantasy worlds ever made.

Beginning with a re-read of The Hobbit – where week by week I explore the novel in Chapter and Verse – I aim to bring you a series of continuing posts which take us on a journey through the works of Tolkien.

This series will be ongoing and fluid with both regular, weekly posts and one-off explorations – Expect Middle Earth related content a-plenty!

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It’s back! I couldn’t return to this blog without returning to one of my favourite memes of all time – Tough Travelling, now hosted by The Fantasy Hive. Join me once again as I explore the biggest tropes and clichés in fantasy fiction.heart

During my prolonged absence, my wonderful blogger friends have continued with The Friday Face-Off and kept it alive for well over a year – something which makes me immensely happy! I’ll be jumping back into the meme with the list compiled by the amazing Lynn over at Lynn’s Books, where you’ll be able to see all upcoming themes.

Here’s what’s coming up this February in The Friday Face-Off:

02nd February 2018 | Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

A psychedelic cover

09th February 2018 | My, What Big Teeth You Have

A cover featuring a cloaked figure

16th February 2018 | Groovy Baby

A cover that is retro

23rd February | There are too many steps in this castle, and it seems to me they add a few every night, just to vex me

A cover featuring a staircase


| February Goals |

To read four books

Status: 0 of 4 Complete

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To write a review once a week

Status: 0 of 4 Complete

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What are you reading at the moment? What are your goals for the month ahead? 

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Ember Blade


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.


| Waiting on Wednesday: July 26 |

The Ember Blade

by Chris Wooding


A land under occupation. A legendary sword. A young man’s journey to find his destiny.

Aren has lived by the rules all his life. He’s never questioned it; that’s just the way things are. But then his father is executed for treason, and he and his best friend Cade are thrown into a prison mine, doomed to work until they drop. Unless they can somehow break free…

But what lies beyond the prison walls is more terrifying still. Rescued by a man who hates him yet is oath-bound to protect him, pursued by inhuman forces, Aren slowly accepts that everything he knew about his world was a lie. The rules are not there to protect him, or his people, but to enslave them. A revolution is brewing, and Aren is being drawn into it, whether he likes it or not.

The key to the revolution is the Ember Blade. The sword of kings, the Excalibur of his people. Only with the Ember Blade in hand can their people be inspired to rise up . . . but it’s locked in an impenetrable vault in the most heavily guarded fortress in the land.

All they have to do now is steal it…


To be published by Gollancz on 15th February 2018

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