Category: General


Top Ten Tuesday

Posted 4 July, 2017 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

There’s no official Top Ten Tuesday theme this week, but I thought I’d post something anyway. Here’s ten things I need to know about people I like (and their books).

  1. Can you name a favourite? It doesn’t matter if you can or can’t, but one hopes you know the answer! I can’t, but if I was pressed I’d name The Goblin Emperor as one of my favourite recent books, and The Lord of the Rings or The Grey King for an older one.
  2. Do you dog-ear pages, use a bookmark, or just remember the page number? I’m not a fan of dog-earing, myself. I use bookmarks — more than one, usually. (Where I’ve read up to, and where I’d like to get to before I put the book down next.)
  3. Do you bend the spines, or keep your books pristine? Honestly, there’s arguments on both sides. I keep a lot of my books pristine, but there are some old beloved copies that aren’t.
  4. Do you buy second-hand books? Possibly you’d think I don’t, given that I do like to keep many of my books pristine. But actually, I don’t care as long as it’s consistent. Don’t bend just half the spine, ugh.
  5. What genre do you read? I’m pretty eclectic, myself, so I’ll often know at least some books in common with anybody. This just gives me a direction!
  6. Do you use the library? I love libraries, having volunteered in one myself and used them as a lifeline at times.
  7. Do you buy books at all? Some people only use libraries, and I don’t get that. I’m too impatient for new books!
  8. Do you believe that there are books everyone should read? Not actually sure where I stand on that; we could have a good chat about it. I think there are books that help you understand the world better — the Bible is so influential, for example; Shakespeare, too, in a different way — and it’s a good idea to read them. But then I don’t necessarily think it’s a must.
  9. Do you reread? I reread books a lot, and nearly always find something new to enjoy in them (or I find the familiarity comforting), but some people think there isn’t enough time in the world. I can get that, but I love to reread.
  10. Comics? I didn’t get into comics myself until a few years ago, really, and I get that they just aren’t for some people. But I do like to know if I can ramble about Marvel’s latest direction with someone or not…

Honestly, if I know all those things about someone, I feel like we’re already pretty close! Books are pretty darn important, yo.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 1 July, 2017 by Nikki in General / 18 Comments

Good morning, everyone! I’m back in Belgium with my bunnies and my wife, hurrah. And thankfully the weather is not trying to boil me alive at the moment.

I was going to say I don’t have any new books this week, but actually I got a last minute order in, so apparently I do.

Bought: 

Cover of The Wanderers by Meg Howrey Cover of The Space Between Stars by Anne Corlett Cover of Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

I was intrigued by The Wanderers after reading someone’s review on Litsy; The Space Between the Stars is imyril’s fault; I read Harari’s other book a while ago and quite enjoyed it.

Received to review:

Cover of Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Had me at “features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.” Should be interesting!

Read this week:

Cover of Genomes and What To Make of Them by Barry Barnes Cover of Spaceman by Mike Massimino Cover of Dark North by Gillian Bradshaw Cover of Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix

Cover of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Cover of Walking on Knives by Maya Chhabra Cover of Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty Cover of Shattered Minds by Laura Lam

5 stars: The Hate U Give.
4 stars: Newt’s Emerald, Six Wakes and Shattered Minds.
3 stars: Dark North and Spaceman.
2 stars: Genomes and What to Make of Them and Walking on Knives.

Reviews posted: 

The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Not something to read when you’re feeling pessimistic about the future of the human race and all the other creatures we impact. But very interesting and well written. 4/5 stars
The Emperor’s Railroad, by Guy Haley. Really strong narrative voice, and I’m definitely intrigued to read more about Quinn and his world. 4/5 stars
Dark North, by Gillian Bradshaw. Not my favourite book by Bradshaw, but she does write such good historical fiction. 3/5 stars
Death on Earth, by Jules Howard. A bit rambling and reluctant to address the real topic. 2/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Best So Far. My favourite reads of 2017, so far.
WWW Wednesday. A little update on what I’m reading, and what I plan to read next.

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 28 June, 2017 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Six Wakes by Mur LaffertyWhat are you currently reading?

Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty, and Shattered Minds, by Laura Lam. I’ve been looking forward to both for a while, and I’m enjoying them — though with Six Wakes I am kind of going “omg, give me the answer already!” because I’m impatient, and afraid that someone I like might have caused the mayhem. I’ll probably finish one or the other today; the plan is to finish Six Wakes, but Shattered Minds is technically a review copy, so I should finish that soon too.

Cover of Walking on Knives by Maya ChhabraWhat have you recently finished reading?

I read Walking on Knives, by Maya Chhabra, yesterday. It’s a retelling of ‘The Little Mermaid’, with a lesbian couple at the end. I wish I liked it, but I actually found it a bit confusing that no one had names, and why/when people were even in love. Also, lots of consent issues, ugh.

I’ve also just finished Newt’s Emerald, by Garth Nix, which is adorable. It’s basically Georgette Heyer but with magic, which is obviously right up my street. Cover of Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix(Though the writing is a bit more modern and Garth Nix-ish, of course.)

What will you read next?

I’m thinking I’ll finally work on books I’ve started but not finished. Maybe I’ll get back to my reread of The Dragonbone Chair, by Tad Williams. Otherwise I might read Thomas E. Sniegoski’s The Demonists, since I got approved for the sequel on Netgalley and haven’t actually read the first book yet! Should be fun, either way.

What’s everyone else been reading? I’m now back in Belgium, my computer’s not in for repairs, and I’m not way behind with work/studying, so hopefully I’m going to get to comment more on people’s posts!

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Top Ten Tuesday

Posted 27 June, 2017 by Nikki in General / 22 Comments

This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is pretty much about taking stock, now we’re almost halfway through 2017. What’re the best books I’ve read so far this year? Hmm…

Cover of The Tyrannosaur Chronicles by David Hone Cover of Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan Cover of The Worm at the Core Cover of The Unreal and the Real by Ursula Le Guin Cover of An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire

  1. The Tyrannosaur Chronicles, by David Hone. A Christmas present from my sister, and an awesome one. It’s just come out in paperback, I think, so I definitely recommend it if you’re interested in dinosaurs and palaeontology. It’s pretty exhaustive, though; not for those who don’t like non-fiction.
  2. Within the Sanctuary of Wings, by Marie Brennan. The final volume of the Lady Trent books, this was really worth it. I wish there were a ton more of Isabella’s adventures, but it’s a great ending.
  3. The Worm at the Core, by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski. Very worth reading, all about how humans react to the knowledge we’re going to die, and how that sets us apart. It sounds depressing, but it’s really not.
  4. Outer Space, Inner Lands, by Ursula Le Guin. Amazing, of course — a collection of her best short stories, focusing in this volume on her SF.
  5. An Artificial Night, by Seanan McGuire. I’ve been reading quite a bit of Seanan McGuire’s work this year, and this volume of the Toby Daye series sticks in my head because of all the awesome references to myth and legend.
  6. Miranda and Caliban, by Jacqueline Carey. I didn’t expect to get so involved with the story of Miranda and of Caliban, but Carey got me hooked. I think I read it all in one go.
  7. The Burning Page, by Genevieve Cogman. The Invisible Library books continue to be a heck of a lot of fun, and I’m glad there are more to come.
  8. Passing Strange, by Ellen Klages. The first time I read anything by Ellen Klages, and it won’t be the last.
  9. On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin. I know I’m dreadfully late to the party in reading this, but at least it’s stood the test of time. Darwin didn’t know a lot of key information about heredity, but he got so much right — and he was so willing to look exhaustively for evidence.
  10. Summer in Orcus, by T. Kingfisher. It’d be easy to get tired of portal fantasy, but this is so charming and full of ideas and characters I’d love to explore more.

Cover of Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey Cover of The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman Cover of Passing Strange by Ellen Klages Cover of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin Cover of Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher

What about you? What’re your greatest hits so far this year?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 24 June, 2017 by Nikki in General / 13 Comments

Good morning, folks! I’ve spent this week away at a residential school learning lab skills, which was awesome but means I’ve hardly had any time for blog stuff. However, look at the bacteria I made! They’re antibiotic resistant and fluorescent under UV light.

Photo of a petri dish with fluorescing bacterial cultures.

Note: for the concerned, which seems to happen more than I expected, it’s a proper lab with disposal procedures and so on. All the samples have been autoclaved by now, my lab coats have both been washed hot enough to denature anything from the lab, and the antibiotic resistance conferred on these bacteria is common outside the lab already; even if these were introduced into the wild, they wouldn’t do any harm.

In case that didn’t move you, here’s the now-traditional picture of my bunnies, as I’m still away from them:

Photo of Hulk and Breakfast, my bunnies; Hulk is grooming Breakfast.

But I’m not away for much longer! I’ll be back with them on Tuesday. Anyway, back to the books!

Received to review:

Cover of Killing Is My Business by Adam Christopher

Yay, a new Adam Christopher book! I’d say gimme, but they have!

Bought:

Cover of A Crack in Creation by Jennifer Doudna

This is about the gene editing tool, CRISPR, that I would maybe one day like to work with. Jennifer Doudna is one of the two authors of the paper that first talked about using CRISPR for gene editing, so this is going to be fascinating.

Read this week:

Cover of The Making of the Fittest by Sean B. Carroll Cover of Incognito by David Eagleman Cover of 15 Million Degrees by Lucie Green Cover of The Vaccine Race by Meredith Wadman Cover of The Emperor's Railroad by Guy Haley

Sneak peek at ratings:

Four stars to: The Vaccine Race and The Emperor’s Railroad.
Three stars to: The Making of the Fittest, Incognito and 15 Million Degrees.

Reviews posted this week:

Cold-Forged Flame, by Marie Brennan. I think I’d have enjoyed this more if the first book had been fresher in my mind. I love the world, and Ree, but the characters didn’t always click with me in this one. 3/5 stars
Pavlov’s Dogs and Schrodinger’s Cat, by Rom Harré. Dodges the ethical issues which would’ve made the book more interesting to me. 2/5 stars
The Shambling Guide to New York City, by Mur Lafferty. So much fun! And not gimmicky in the way I’d feared. 4/5 stars
Death Before Wicket, by Kerry Greenwood. Fun as ever, but definitely missable. 3/5 stars
Saturn’s Children, by Charles Stross. Way oversexualised and rapey. Consciously so, and not in a way that celebrates the rapiness, but that doesn’t mean I liked it. 2/5 stars
The Ghost Train to New Orleans, by Mur Lafferty. A fun follow-up. Zoe can be a bit annoying at times in this one, but it’s a solid story for my money. 4/5 stars
In Search of the Multiverse, by John Gribbin. Actually made more aspects of quantum physics and string theory make sense to me! 3/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Been Meaning to Read.

Worth noting:

I’m very conscious that most people are not here for non-fic reviews and that I’ve been posting a lot of them. I suspect that’s why some followers have already unsubscribed. That’s cool if you want to; I’ve never made a secret of being a rather eclectic reader and prone to going through stages, but if you jumped on during a different stage it could be pretty annoying to find me switching gears. I get it. But at the moment I’m going to try and mitigate it a bit by spreading out my non-fic reviews more. For the next couple of weeks at least, that’ll probably mean no new reviews on days when other posts are going up, i.e. Saturdays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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Top Ten Tuesday

Posted 20 June, 2017 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

Hey all! I’ll be in the lab when this goes live, so I might not be very quick to respond to comments or visit you back. But I will when my lab school is over, so please do comment. <3 This week’s theme is “Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start But Haven’t”. Boy, oh boy, have I got some for this.Cover of Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

  1. The Milkweed Triptych, by Ian Tregillis. I even managed to get all the books relatively cheap from The Works, of all things. But haven’t got round to them yet. Soon… soon… ish.
  2. The Book of the New Sun, by Gene Wolfe. I don’t want to know how long these have been waiting on my shelf, actually.
  3. Hidden Legacy, by Ilona Andrews. Ilona Andrews’ books are just perfect for my brain sometimes, so my excuse is that I’m saving these.Cover of Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire
  4. The Erebus Sequence, by Den Patrick. I have the first book! …Have had it for a while. Are you sensing a theme?
  5. The Shadowmarch Series, by Tad Williams. I suspect the first book might even have been bought long enough ago it’s not on my lists of acquired-unread books.
  6. Tales of the Ketty Jay, by Chris Wooding. I got this for Christmas through a gift exchange. Not last Christmas. And I don’t think it was the Christmas before, either. Argggh, self.
  7. InCryptid series, by Seanan McGuire. It’s Seanan McGuire, I’m planning to get to it. Soon. Soon. Cover of The Thousand Names by Django Wexler
  8. Sevenwaters, by Juliet Marillier. Technically, I think I started reading Daughter of the Forest, once, many moons ago, but I didn’t finish it at the time for whatever reason.
  9. The Shadow Campaigns, by Django Wexler. My sister speaks highly of these, and I have the first two books…
  10. Cainsville, by Kelley Armstrong. I’ve enjoyed a couple of books by Kelley Armstrong, and the first one of this series tickled my fancy, but I haven’t got round to it yet. I don’t think I’ve owned it that long, though.

So yeah, I could go on. But I’ll stick to ten. How about you lot? Always finding new series to read? Or wishing you didn’t read them so fast so you had more books in great series to look forward to?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 17 June, 2017 by Nikki in General / 26 Comments

Good morning! It’s been a week already? I’ve been spending the week reading, mostly, as you might expect. It’s been fun! And before I get to business, here’s this week’s pic of one of my bunnies — this is Breakfast, ‘splooting’. Apparently he finds it comfortable?

Picture of Breakfast the bunny splooting, aka lying with his legs stretched way behind him

Yep, I still miss them. But, books!

Received to review:

Cover of Walking on Knives by Maya Chhabra

Little Mermaid queer retelling! I’m so there.

Bought/given:

 Cover of Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell Cover of Knight's Shadow by Sebastien de Castell Cover of Saint's Blood by Sebastien de Castell

Cover of Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty Cover of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden Cover of The Wicked + The Divine: Vol 5

It’s been a while since I read Traitor’s Blade, so I figured I’d get the whole lot (except the newest one, which wasn’t there anyway and isn’t in paperback yet) and reread from the beginning. And hurrah for getting Six Wakes — thank you to Alys from Habitica for bringing me a copy from the US!

Also, I got just one comic; I’m not buying Marvel at the moment, so I tried not to look!

And finally, a whole bunch of non-fic — of course.

Cover of Personality by Daniel Nettle Cover of Brainwashing by Kathleen Taylor Cover of Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean Carroll Cover of The Viral Storm

Cover of Brainwashing by Kathleen Taylor Cover of Forces of Nature by Brian Cox Cover of The Bonobo and the Atheist by Frans de Waal Cover of Vanished Ocean by Dorrick Stowe

…Which you may have noticed includes quite a few books from one of my recent wishlists! Hurrah!

Books read this week:

Cover of Lightning in the Blood by Marie Brennan Cover of The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty Cover of Saturn's Children by Charles Stross Cover of The Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur Lafferty Cover of Journey to the Centre of the Earth by David Whitehouse

Cover of A Rough Ride to the Future by James Lovelock Cover of In Search of the Multiverse by John Gribbin Cover of Shapes by Philip Ball Cover of Flow by Philip Ball Cover of Branches by Philip Ball

Four stars to: The Shambling Guide to New York City and The Ghost Train to New Orleans.
Three stars to: Lightning in the Blood, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, In Search of the Multiverse and Shapes.
Two stars to: Saturn’s Children and A Rough Ride to the Future.

Reviews posted this week:

Trial by Fire, by Lore Graham. Fun, and though more focused on the sexual relationship than I’m interested in, I did appreciate the theme of clear communication. 3/5 stars
How We Live and Why We Die, by Lewis Wolpert. Pretty basic from my point of view, but it’d make a good introduction or refresher on the subject of how cells in the body live, work together and die. 3/5 stars
Words and Rules, by Steven Pinker. If you’ve read The Language Instinct, this probably won’t add anything to your understanding, but Pinker is a clear and accessible writer. 3/5 stars
Shanghai Sparrow, by Gaie Sebold. This is fairly typical steampunk, but it was a fun and quick read all the same.
Dino Gangs, by Josh Young. A good overview of Phil Currie’s work on dinosaurs and the way they may have lived in groups. However, it makes Currie seem as if he just rejects evidence he doesn’t like. 3/5 stars
Raisins and Almonds, by Kerry Greenwood. I might be hesitating a bit about the tendency to describe Phryne’s lovers as exotic and such, but this one does contain a really powerful scene that’s pretty much worth the price of admission on its own. 3/5 stars
Within the Sanctuary of Wings, by Marie Brennan. The final book of this series really delivers. That’s all I’m gonna say. 5/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Last 10 Books I Inhaled. What it says on the tin — a departure from the official theme, this week.
WWW Wednesday. An update on what I’m reading.
From my other blog, NEAT science: Experiment – Does my mood correlate with the amount I read? Pt 1. It’s a theory, and now I’m out to test it!

How’s everyone doing? Good week, bad week? All the books, nothing new?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 14 June, 2017 by Nikki in General / 0 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post here if you want to check out other posts.

What are you reading now?Cover of Shapes by Philip Ball

Non-fiction: Shapes, by Philip Ball. It’s part of a trilogy of books about patterns and forms in nature. I’m finding it easy to read, and yet at the same time sometimes it loses me completely by going into complexities about geometry. Still, interesting.

Fiction: Dark North, by Gillian Bradshaw. It’s feeling rather Rosemary Sutcliff-ish, since it’s set in Roman Britain, though the protagonist is an Ethiopian auxiliary. I’m enjoying it, though I do wish the main character (Memnon) wasn’t driven by guilt that his sister was raped and killed. Common enough story, I suppose, but shades of women in refrigerators

Cover of The Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur LaffertyWhat have you recently finished reading?

Non-fiction: In Search of the Multiverse, by John Gribbin. I mostly understood the quantum physics behind all this, at least while I was reading!

Fiction: The Ghost Train to New Orleans, by Mur Lafferty — the sequel to The Shambling Guide to New York City. It’s a lot of fun, and I tore through both books in two days.

What will you read next?

Non-fiction: probably The Making of the Fittest, by Sean Carroll, since it’s a library book. Same goes for my fiction choice, which will probably be The Cold Between, by Elizabeth Bonesteel — I’ve been curious about this one for a while, so I’m hoping to use the opportunity of being at my parents’ and having a bit of a wider choice in library stock!

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Top Ten Tuesday

Posted 13 June, 2017 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is dads, in honour of Father’s Day. I love my dad, but he doesn’t love Father’s Day, so in deference to his wishes, I’ll skip it and regale you with the last ten books I inhaled. Ready?

Cover of Saturn's Children by Charles Stross Cover of The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty Cover of Alchemy of Fire by Gillian Bradshaw Cover of The Worm at the Core Cover of Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

  1. Saturn’s Children, by Charles Stross. This might be my preferred Stross book so far… and that’s not saying a lot, I’m afraid. For whatever reason, I don’t get along with Stross’ writing. It doesn’t help that apparently it pastiches/parodies Heinlein, but I haven’t read the right Heinlein to appreciate any grace notes. But I did read it in less than 24 hours.
  2. The Shambling Guide to New York City, by Mur Lafferty. And the sequel. If I was inclined to categorise books as beach reading, it’d be these two books. Lots of fun.
  3. Alchemy of Fire, by Gillian Bradshaw. It’s not exactly fast-paced, but somehow it kept me reading from start to finish. Bradshaw’s historical fiction is always good, and I particularly enjoy it when she uses settings/characters that are a little less well-trodden — like a perfume maker in Constantinople.
  4. The Worm at the Core, by Sheldon Solomon et al. This is non-fiction about death and its role in life, and you’d think that’d make it morbid and boring. It doesn’t. I actually found it really interesting and engaging. It helps that I know I have that very human anxiety about death, and have to look it in the face every day. (Generalised anxiety disorder and I are coming to a truce, though.)
  5. Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel. The idea got me hooked, and the transcript format surprisingly seems to work for me. Recommended, if you enjoy sci-fi. Just don’t yell in frustration when you get to the end of the second book and there’s no third yet.
  6. The Emerald Planet, by David Beerling. We don’t appreciate plants enough, considering we would literally not exist and definitely could not survive without them fixing carbon for us. This book takes a trip into the hows and whys of that, and the tone is actually really engaging. I like non-fiction, but I don’t often give it five stars. I did for this one.
  7. Radiance, by Catherynne M. Valente. I don’t always get on with Valente’s style; it leaves me feeling drunk on words, sometimes in an unpleasant and disorientated way. Somehow, it worked in this one.
  8. Passing Strange, by Ellen Klages. My introduction to Ellen Klages, and one which has left a lasting impression.
  9. Miranda and Caliban, by Jacqueline Carey. If you know Carey’s work, you can imagine what this is like: a lush retelling of The Tempest, designed to break your heart and make you hope, painfully, that things will turn out differently.
  10. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers. I kept picking it up to read a couple of chapters, and devouring whole chunks. I have some quibbles with pacing/structure, but I do enjoy the characters and the world they inhabit. I need to read the companion book!

Cover of The Emerald Planet by David Beerling Cover of Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente Cover of Passing Strange by Ellen Klages Cover of Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey Cover of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Anything on my list that catches your eye?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 10 June, 2017 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

This week has been my exams, and now I’m free. It’s not been wonderful — my brain is tired, and at least one of the exams didn’t go well. But I survived!

Here’s the obligatory I’m-away-from-my-bunnies cute pic. Or two:

 My rabbits flopping together in their pen

Gah, they’re so sweet they make my teeth hurt. And here’s my book haul!

Received to review:

Cover of The Waking Land by Callie Bates Cover of The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King Cover of The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

I requested The Hundredth Queen after seeing someone else’s review, which I think I found through browsing other Stacking the Shelves posts. So whoever you were, thanks! And yaaay, The Tiger’s Daughter!

Bought:

Cover of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab Cover of Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews Cover of Death's End by Cixin Liu Cover of Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

Our Dark Duet! I got it last weekend already, but I haven’t managed to start reading.

Read this week:

Cover of Pavlov's Dogs and Schrodinger's Cat by Ron Harré Cover of The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert Cover of Death on Earth by Jules Howard Cover of Neurotribes by Steve Silberman

Four stars: The Sixth Extinction and Neurotribes.
Three stars: Pavlov’s Dogs and Schrodinger’s Cat and Death on Earth.

Reviews posted this week:

How Your Brains Works, by New Scientist. Not exactly revelatory, but probably a good introduction to the subject. 3/5 stars
Life’s Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable, by Paul G. Falkowski. Crystal clear style, and he managed to make the stuff I already knew fascinating. 4/5 stars
A New History of Life, by Peter Ward and Joe Kirschvink. “New” is a bit of an overstatement, and it needed a date with an editor, but there is interesting stuff in here. 3/5 stars
The Ghost Line, by Andrew Neil Grey, J.S. Herbison. Genuinely creepy, with an ending that doesn’t cop out one bit. 4/5 stars
False Hearts, by Laura Lam. I really enjoyed this — I didn’t expect to be so sucked in to the story of the formerly conjoined twins and how they find their pasts entwining with their present all unexpectedly. 4/5 stars
Alchemy of Fire, by Gillian Bradshaw. Bradshaw can certainly surprise you with the kind of historical fiction she writes — the stories of people who were actually on the edge of history. I enjoyed it, despite the rather low-octane pacing compared to, well, False Hearts. 4/5 stars
Nightwood, by Djuna Barnes. Nope. Sorry. Miss me with modernism forevermore, please. 1/5 stars

Other:

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Non-fiction Books I Want to Read. In honour of exam week, and an unexpectedly non-fic heavy week on the blog!
WWW Wednesday. The weekly update on what I’m reading, what I’ve just finished, and what I might read next!

How’s everyone? I’ll be catching up with my emails over the weekend — expect some comment replies and blog visits as I catch up on my rather impressive backlog!

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