April 01, 2024

Offbeat Offline: March 2024 (Plus Announcing the First Hiatus of the Year)

Welcome to Offbeat Offline, where I bring you up-to-date with what went on in my life during the month just gone, give you a sneak peek of my next shenanigans, and share my favourite posts of late!

What happened last month to yours truly? The hubs got some of the money he was waiting for but didn't make any progress on the walking front; I read some good books but got a stiff neck, and the dumpster fire house is screaming for vengeance. I'm tired and angry, but what's new? especially since, after 19 months spent tending to my bedridden husband, I can't see the end of the tunnel yet. Also, I have a ton of ARCs for review (well, five, but at the rate I'm reviewing, they might as well be a ton)...so I decided to take a hiatus this month. In the meantime, here's the rundown of my March...

๐Ÿ“š STILL GOING SLOW. I did my best in order to cross some review books from my list, but I couldn't manage more than 3 (though one of them was a 640-page-long monster. Beautiful monster, but still). It's not like I didn't want to do my homework write my reviews, and heaven knows I'm NEVER not in the mood for reading, but time flied (OK, I did waste a few hours doing word games on the internet, but I need a break sometimes, and they're less brain-consuming than writing a book report...). Also, I usually have my reviews for the month written in advance, but this time I had to race to finish my March books and review them in time for pub date. Anyhow, here's my monthly bookish recap...

Approvals (0):

Yep...I've got nothing this month - but not for lack of trying. Some of my requests are still in limbo, two were refused. Maybe it's for the best, given the rate at which I go through my ARCs lately...

Reads (3):
I didn't know cozy sci-fi was a thing before I read it, but I guess it's not really MY thing. I did like it enough, but it didn't leave an impression.
  • Colossus by Ryan Leslie (Adult, sci-fi/multiverse)
Now that's the kind of sci-fi I enjoy. Kind of epic.
Even better than I expected. I could have done without the bouts of graphic sex, but otherwise, it was a fantastic read!

Reviews (3):
  • Floating Hotel by Grace Curtis (see above)
Mini review posted around mid-March.
  • Colossus by Ryan Leslie (see above)
Review posted a few days ago.
  • The Book of Love by Kelly Link (see above)
To be honest, I've barely started on this review, and I plan on posting it right after my hiatus (that is, in May...I was so late with regard to the pub date already, so why hurry at this point?).

As I said, I'm taking the month off in order to get my act together (which involves reading my three June ARCs at least, and writing reviews for all of them ๐Ÿคฏ. I plan on posting them on the blog in May...wish me words). But I'll resurface on Tue. 30th for a Tell Me Something Tuesday round-up covering all the March and April questions (if in brief!). In the meantime, here's the TMST prompt list for the month of April, in case you want to join in:

  • April 2nd: Are you fluent in more than one language? (a question I submitted)
  • April 9th: What have you been watching? Share your TV show or movie picks
  • April 16th: What new-to-you authors have you enjoyed in the past 12 months?
  • April 23rd: TBR update: How is your list coming along?
  • April 30th: Social media: Where can you be found these days?

๐Ÿ˜“ MIND YOUR STEP. You might remember that my husband got his new prosthetic in February, and he's been trying to go back to walking since then, but with very little success. I can only repeat what I said last month...it's not just that he's been in a bed for one year and a half - the situation is made extra hard by his having to heavily rely on crutches (which he has already been using for years, practically destroying his arms in the process) and his being unbalanced (his remaining leg, the one with the ulcer, is bent sideward because he started to wear a prosthetic at age 4, when the bone was still tender, and back then the follow-up for amputations wasn't the greatest...). Add to that a case of chronic pain, and you get a recipe for disaster. He tries to walk a little in between rooms every day, but after a couple of rounds (with a pause in the middle, too), he's done for. Frankly, I'm dismayed.

๐Ÿ’ถ MONEY MATTERS. We're still waiting for my husband's pension to arrive, but in the meantime, we got his assistance allowance (with arrears) and severance pay. The latter was a complete letdown...think working for 40 years only to get around 22,000 euros. Early repayment of our mortgage (which we hoped we could do with the redundancy money) would involve twice that sum and then some. So we're stuck with paying such mortgage for another seven years (I'm talking about the 61,000 euro loan we should have paid in full by now, had not the first bank crashed and our debt been bought by a second one for 100,000 ๐Ÿคฌ ๐Ÿ˜ญ).





That's it for now. My next post will be up on April 30th, and it will be the TMST round-up I mentioned above. In the meantime, I'm going to disappear in my cave and try to make a dent in that ARC list...while doing my best to quench the dumpster fire in my house. Wish me luck...

So, what were your highs/lows in the past month?


  1. Colossus I need. Floating Hotel... maybe. I'm so sorry about your husband. That has to be so hard. I feel s bad that he and you have to go through that.

    I hope April is a good month for you.

    1. FH is said to be "for fans of Becky Chambers", so I guess you fit? Other reviewers have noted an affinity of sorts between FH and her books. Colossus I can see you enjoying, since sci-fi, multiverse and AI are your brand ๐Ÿ˜‰.

      Thank you so much! I hope April will treat you well too!

  2. My March was okay, nothing to write about so I didn't bother writing a post for it.

    I hope writing about what stress you out helps. I find just writing things down or posting about it helps a little. Thoughts and worries need to get out so.

    I hope you have a relaxing April or at least, not get too stressed out.

    Have a lovely day.

    1. It does help a little. At least I'm not alone with my frustration...

      Thank you, and you too! I hope April brings you good things. I'll catch up with you and everybody else next month!

  3. Hopefully reading will let you relax a little. Do you have help with your husband at home, like home health care, nurse, physical therapy?

    1. Our sanitary system provides help in the form of a nurse who dresses his wound (twice a week, as the specialist recommended). I can take care of the rest, but physical therapy is beyond my wheelhouse...the problem is, you qualify for PT under the National Health System only if you have undergone orthopedic surgery. His general practitioner said he'd try to find a way for him to get it, but I'm not holding my breath...

  4. I am never going to understand how that house situation can happen. That is just the craziest - almost criminal consumer thing I've heard of.

    I'm sorry you husbands situation isn't improving. Chronic medical issues have a way of compounding.

    I play all the word games now. I've gotten good at Connections which I just could not comprehend for the longest time lol

    Wishing you a month of meh... (aim low an dmight be better lol)

    1. House: me neither. But apparently, the law permits it.

      I love Connections! Sometimes I get it, sometimes not - but then again, there are some things that are typically American that I don't know, and that you don't even find in a dictionary (sport teams, etc.). I also love Letter Boxed (I always try to beat it by using less words than the limits it gives you). I was doing two different Spelling Bees (not the NYT one because I can only get to a certain point without an account) and other word games, but I've decided to cut on them for a while, because they were too time-consuming.

      LOL, a month of meh is definitely better than a month of ouch ๐Ÿ˜‚.

  5. A little reading is still better than none! I wish you best on getting through your ARCs AND writing the reviews this month! I have been reading slowly, but I'm only taking one or two review books a month, and so far, I'm keeping up. *knock on wood*

    1. Thank you! Ah, the problem with me is that all my books are "review books", even the ones who aren't ARCs ๐Ÿ˜…. Good luck to you as well!

    2. I understand... I do review all the books I read, but not all of them are scheduled on the blog at this point. I save them in reserve for when I need a post. But I am relaxing a little on those and trying not to be so strict with the review.

    3. It's great that you're able to do that...I'm too much of a completist LOL.

  6. Your husband's situation sounds difficult (for you, too). I hope he can make some progress and that the medical professionals can find a way to alleviate some of his pain. Cozy scifi, I like the sound of that. ((HUGS))

    1. Alas, not much you can do in a situation like his, other than swallow painkillers. Anyhow, thank you! Hugs appreciated ๐Ÿงก.

  7. I think I must've missed or forgotten the house situation. I'm sorry things with your husband's health and the money situation aren't going well still. Play all the word games you want. All I do anymore is play BG3. You could even make a blog post about your favorite word games if you need ideas after your hiatus? People would probably like that :-) I'm curious for your Book of Love review, I've seen that book around a lot.

    1. Thank you! His pension finally arrived, but having to use half of it for the loan we should already have paid is NOT fun ๐Ÿ˜ก.

      LOL, I have so many reviews to write I'll never run out of posts in this life...

  8. So sorry to hear that your husband isn't progressing and isn't able to walk. I'm sure that has to be terribly stressful for both of you!

    I hope you have a relaxing hiatus!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Thank you - and ha! I'm trying, but it turns out that "hiatus" is just another word for "scheduling posts for the following months" ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜“.

  9. Hope you're enjoying your hiatus Roberta!

    And thanks so much for the links!!!! <3

    1. Thank you!

      The shout-outs were well deserved ๐Ÿ™‚.

  10. Thank you so much for the shoutout!! And I really hope that you have been able to take care of yourself, at least a little bit, during your hiatus. I am so sorry that things have been so hard for you and your husband, and I am sending all the good vibes for some light at the end of the tunnel ♥♥♥


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