Tag: Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 18 June, 2016 by Nikki in General / 12 Comments

Hey everyone! It’s been a busy week, but finally my wedding plans are looking more sorted and both me and my partner are done with assignments and such (for now). Now I can read more, right? Right?!

Books received to review:

Cover of Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I wasn’t 100% sold on Signal to Noise, but I’m interested in this one all the same.

Books finished this week:

Cover of Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers Cover of Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury Cover of The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

 Cover of Fever by Mary Beth Keane Cover of A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke Cover of Surfeit of Lampreys, by Ngaio Marsh

Reviews posted this week:
The Book of Phoenix, by Nnedi Okorafor. Maybe the strongest of Okorafor’s books I’ve read so far, at least for me. It’s crammed full of stuff and I didn’t feel like it really used it all, but it was a good narrative of how we make myth. 3/5 stars
The Raven and the Reindeer, by T. Kingfisher. A sweet version of The Snow Queen, with a twist. Gerta still rescues Kay, but along the way she meets her real love… 4/5 stars
Spider-Woman: New Duds, by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez. A fun redesign for Jessica Drew, and an interesting story… unfortunately cut off by Secret Wars. 3/5 stars
The Other Wind, by Ursula Le Guin. The ending this series deserved, beautifully dealing with some of the issues that might have been nagging at the observant. 4/5 stars
Snobbery With Violence, by M.C. Beaton. Relatively silly and light, with a by-the-numbers mystery, but it entertained me. 3/5 stars
Wylding Hall, by Elizabeth Hand. Has a real sense of the uncanny and an interesting structure (which some people might find annoying, but which I enjoyed). Never pushes into horror for me, but stays solidly unsettlingly. There’s one bone-chilling moment, though… 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Prince of Annwn, by Evangeline Walton. Skillful retelling of the First Branch of the Mabinogion. Expands and humanises, but deals very well with the original material and keeps everything in line with it. 3/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year. What it says on the tin. Gimme!

How’s everyone been?

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 11 June, 2016 by Nikki in General / 16 Comments

No books bought this week! Wow. And this week started off quite slow, reading-wise, but I got quite a bit packed into the last couple of days and have plenty to show off in my fourth Unstacking post ever! We did briefly have the excitement of having a wedding date, but now we’re having to change it… ah well, at least now we have the paperwork all sorted?!

Books finished this week:

Cover of The Ancient Paths by Graham Robb Cover of Murder and Mendelssohn by Kerry Greenwood Saga vol 1 Cover of Talking Hands by Margalit Fox

Cover of Saga vol 2 by Brian Vaughan Cover of Blood Lines by Tanya Huff Cover of Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart Cover of Saga vol 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Reviews posted this week:
Finn Fancy Necromancy, by Randy Henderson. I wasn’t really won over by this. I thought it was trying too hard to be the fantasy version of Ready Player One, in terms of references, and the characters didn’t strike me as being particularly mature or interesting. 2/5 stars
Ashoka: The Search for India’s Lost Emperor, by Charles Allen. This really is more about the search, and the searchers, than the lost Emperor himself. There’s a lot of interest, though if you’re sensitive to colonial issues you might not be comfortable with the fairly uncritical praise Allen has for the people who ruled colonial India and, coincidentally, did some work on Sanskrit and excavating Indian temples. 4/5 stars
Rosemary and Rue, by Seanan McGuire. This is perhaps the best answer to Jim Butcher’s urban fantasy I’ve found: female driven, complex mythology, and it’s not all about who sleeps with whom. The main character isn’t always smart, but she is at least sympathetic. 4/5 stars
Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez. This is very much a getting-up-to-speed issue, and it’s a bit goofy at times, but I do enjoy that someone has made Gwen Stacey the hero. Not so keen on the treatment of MJ, though. 3/5 stars
Dreamer’s Pool, by Juliet Marillier. Solidly entertaining, although with some themes people might find themselves very uncomfortable with. The side characters are engaging enough to carry a lot of the book, while the main characters’ story is set up for the future. I’m looking forward to reading more. 4/5 stars
A Companion to Wolves, by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear. Deals seriously with the issues of soul-bonding to animals a la the dragons of Pern, except there’s also a solid fantasy story with wolves and trolls as well. It’s mostly about the interactions of the wolfheall, and the difficulties the main character has in adjusting to his role, but there’s an intriguing world in the background too. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. Fun and nostalgic, though a bit gimmicky in execution with all those pop-culture references. The main character can be a bit of a creep at times, but then, he is meant to be a teenage boy. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I Love Fairytales. A somewhat lyrical celebration of these really old, really new, endlessly adaptable stories.

How’s everyone been? Anything exciting? Anything I just have to read?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 4 June, 2016 by Nikki in General / 10 Comments

This has been a less busy week, thankfully, and I’ve got some work done on tackling my backlog — including an epic sweep removing about 70 books from the backlog that I’m no longer interested in, or where I didn’t enjoy the first book of a series, etc. I really should get back to work again, though, because my next deadline is approaching fast…

Oh well, books first!

Received to review:

Cover of Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

I’ve been interested in this for a while, particularly since my mother actually writes to Yoon Ha Lee regularly, and I’ve read The Fox’s Tower and enjoyed the stories in it.

Books bought this week:

27281393 26792189 Cover of Last First Snow by Max Gladstone

I wasn’t 100% in love with The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, but I love the covers of these books and I’m curious enough… Kameron Hurley’s The Geek Feminist Revolution is obviously going to be awesome, though I don’t know how much new content it contains (since I’ve read We Have Always Fought). Aaaand the Max Gladstone means I have all the books so far, until the next one is out.

Reading wise, it’s been a relatively light week. The M.C. Beaton books aren’t even that great, but they were just the right brain candy for me at the time.

Books finished this week:

Cover of Snobbery With Violence by M.C. Beaton Cover of So You Want to Be A Wizard by Diane Duane Cover of A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner Cover of All For Love by Jane Aiken Hodge

Cover of Hasty Death by M.C. Beaton Cover of Sick of Shadows by M.C. Beaton Cover of Our Lady of Pain by M.C. Beaton Cover of Lucky Planet by David Waltham

Reviews posted this week:
Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean. It took me a long time to really get into this, and then suddenly at 85% it made things work. Also, love the setting. 4/5 stars
Spider-Woman: Spider-Verse, by Dennis Hopeless and Greg Land. Fun enough, and if you didn’t bother with Spider-verse in general, this does give you some info. Involves a lot of the Spider-ladies! 3/5 stars
The Sudden Appearance of Hope, by Claire North. A very interesting one-sentence idea (“what if nobody could ever remember you?”) combined with a technology thriller type plot. 4/5 stars
The Queen of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner. More complex than the first book, The Thief, this pushes the characters we’ve already been introduced them and develops them beyond the thumbnail sketches we had before. It was a reread, so maybe no surprise I loved it. 5/5 stars
Hawkeye: Rio Bravo, by Matt Fraction and David Aja. This run of Hawkeye has been fun, and I appreciate a lot about it, but I think the storytelling style wasn’t ideal for me. It relied a lot on the art, and I am not a visual person. 3/5 stars
Tales from Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin. My main comment on this one is that you really need to read ‘Dragonfly’ to understand The Other Wind. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Debatable Space, by Philip Palmer. Fun and compulsive read, even though it didn’t seem like it would be my thing at all. 4/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Beach Reads. Except I was difficult about the theme, because I don’t do “beach reads”.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 28 May, 2016 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

How’s everyone been this week? The week has gone both really fast and really slow for me; it’s a little weird. I’m working on my next assignment already, but fortunately I’m not down to the wire on it, so there’s still plenty of time for reading as well as learning about microbes!

New books

Cover of Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier Cover of Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier Cover of In Ashes Lie by Marie Brennan Cover of The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

After reading Dreamer’s Pool a week or two ago, I got the itch to read more of Marillier’s work again — and I found Raven Flight in the cheap-ish second hand shop in Leuven. Perfect! In Ashes Lie, I had to grab after loving Midnight Never Come (maybe not as much as the Lady Trent books, but a lot all the same). I haven’t got that pretty cover edition — yet — just an ebook, but I will be picking that up to join my paperbacks of the Lady Trent books and Midnight Never ComeThe Orphan Queen, I’ve been curious about for a while, and I saw it was £1.99 on Kindle…

As for what I’ve been reading, it’s been a productive week! I still need to get my thoughts down about most of these, but there isn’t a dud among ’em.

Books finished this week:

Cover of Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Cover of Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand Cover of King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Cover of The Other Wind by Ursula Le Guin

Cover of Midnight Never Come, by Marie Brennan Cover of Blood Price by Tanya Huff Cover of Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood Cover of Blood Trail by Tanya Huff

Reviews posted this week:
Grave Secrets of the Dinosaurs, by Philip Manning. Solid enough book on the soft-tissue finds from dinosaurs, past and present, featuring one particularly complete mummy. 3/5 stars
The Movement: Fighting for the Future, by Gail Simone, Freddie Williams II. Love this team, wish we had more of them. Maybe they were a little ahead of their time, with comics-verse not yet ready for a team like this. 4/5 stars
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, by Sydney Padua. Cute art, exhaustively researched and sourced, and features Ada Lovelace being badass. What’s not to love? 4/5 stars
Tehanu, by Ursula Le Guin. Thematically, this one is really important for Earthsea. I could do without it, though; I dislike seeing Ged so helpless. 3/5 stars
Cruel Beauty, by Rosamund Hodges. Some interesting ideas, and definitely an interesting setting, but some insta-love and asshole alpha male stuff. 2/5 stars
Silk: The Life and Times of Cindy Moon, by Robbie Thompson, Stacey Lee. Lovely art and a fun enough story, though Silk facing up to the real world and her responsibilities as a hero aren’t really new, especially in the context of the other Spider-characters. 3/5 stars
Flashback Friday: The Vintner’s Luck, by Elizabeth Knox. A book I found very enchanting at the time, not least for the way it engages with the senses. And the love story. 5/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Books I Changed My Mind About. Mostly for the better, but sometimes for the worse.
On Steve Rogers as an Agent of Hydra. I have problems with Marvel’s latest direction for Captain America, clearly.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 21 May, 2016 by Nikki in General / 20 Comments

This week hasn’t been great for reading, but my assignment is finally done, and it was the last one for this module! So maybe I can relax a bit now? I started off the relaxation in style with some new books, of course…

New books:

Cover of The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor Cover of Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers Cover of The Tempering of Men by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear Cover of Lois Lane: Double Down by Gwenda Bond

Cover of An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire Cover of The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher Cover of Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald Cover of A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A mixed bag, which probably surprises no one. I’ve already finished reading The Book of Phoenix; it might be the Nnedi Okorafor book I appreciate the most so far! The other stuff is mostly from my wishlist, except The Horns of Ruin, which was an impulse buy. Oh, and The Tempering of Men, because I finished the first book earlier this week.

Books to review:

Cover of An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows Cover of Tremontaine, by various Cover of The Fireman by Joe Hill

I’ve read some of Foz Meadows’ blog posts and such, I think? Anyway, I enjoy how rainbow-y the cover is and the fact that it’s openly queertastic. Tremontaine and The Fireman I’ve been hearing a lot about…

Books finished:

Cover of A Companion to Wolves by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette Cover of Ashoka by Charles Allen Cover of The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor Cover of The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher

Reviews posted:
Captain America: Civil War Prelude, by Corona Pilgrim et al. I was not impressed by the lack of new content in this tie-in release. If you’ve seen the other Marvel films, or even just a good selection of them, you’re good to go. 2/5 stars
The Bread We Eat in Dreams, by Catherynne M. Valente. A varied and typically gorgeous collection. If you’re a fan of Valente, you’ve probably read some of these before — but probably not all… 3/5 stars
Dead Man’s Chest, by Kerry Greenwood. Another strong outing for Phryne, and it introduces a secondary character who I rather hope will stick around. 3/5 stars
The Door into Fire, by Diane Duane. A book well-deserving of the nostalgic love people have for it. I love the way it deals with polyamorous relationships, without them being idyllic, but without demonising any of the participants either. 4/5 stars
The Movement: Class Warfare, by Gail Simone and Freddie Williams III. This is basically like Gotham, if it was policed not by Batman, but by the 99%. I didn’t like the reread as much as the initial read way back in 20…14? But still fun, and really cool and diverse characters. 4/5 stars
The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, by Melinda Salisbury. I think it’d be hard for a book to match up to that gorgeous cover, and so it proved. But I enjoyed the story well enough, and it caught me by surprise… 3/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Kalpa Imperial, by Angélica Gorodischer, trans. Ursula Le Guin. An interesting what-if, and I think it’d appeal to fans of Le Guin’s writing and world building. There’s something of the same flavour. 4/5 stars

How’s everyone else been? Good weather where you are? Any reading achievements to share?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 14 May, 2016 by Nikki in General / 13 Comments

Yay, it’s the weekend! How’s everyone been this week? I have not got enough reading done, because assignment hell. It’s nearly done, but… gaah, a few more days.

Books acquired:

Cover of A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire

Because I read Rosemary & Rue and haaad to get the next lined up.

Books finished this week:

Cover of Rosemary & Rue by Seanan McGuire Cover of Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson Cover of Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier Cover of The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

Reviewed this week:
Bryony and Roses,  by T. Kingfisher. An interesting take on Beauty and the Beast, with an angle I didn’t quite expect. Much more clear about the curse and the hows and whys of it than is often the case. 4/5 stars
Lady of Mallow, by Dorothy Eden. A potentially good source of new comfort reads for me, Dorothy Eden’s basic plot/writing style reminds me of Mary Stewart’s suspense/romances, except with less of a sense of place. 3/5 stars
All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders. Not quite sure what to make of this one; it’s an interesting fantasy vs technology scenario, but I didn’t connect much with the characters. 3/5 stars
The Farthest Shore, by Ursula Le Guin. A reread of a less-liked book in this series. I can see the beauty in it, but I’m just… not a fan in the same way. 3/5 stars
Silver on the Tree, by Susan Cooper. Maybe I liked this one a little less than I usually do, because this time I so much wanted more. I do love the books, but… 4/5 stars
Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine. Interesting alternate universe: what if the Library of Alexandria was not destroyed, and preserving books and the Library became ever more important? 3/5 stars
Flashback Friday: The City and the City, by China Miéville. I think I like the idea of some of Miéville’s ideas almost more than the execution sometimes. It’s always worth (for me) hanging on and seeing how it all plays out, but the main draw is the idea4/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Feels. I went off with my own theme this week, rather at random.

Here’s to a good reading week ahead!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 7 May, 2016 by Nikki in General / 26 Comments

Hello, everyone! It’s been both a busy and a quiet week, in weird ways. But hey, now I’m with my partner in Belgium, I have a document that affirms I’ve never been married, and okay, I should be doing my final assignment for my course, but other than that, I can spend a good amount of time just reading and recharging for the next week!

And I have books (new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books).

New books

Cover of More than Human by Theodore Sturgeon Cover of Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson Cover of The Deep by John Crowley Cover of Missing Microbes by Martin Blaser

Cover of Being Mortal by Atul Gawande Cover of Lucky Planet by David Waltham Cover of To Explain the World by Steven Weinberg Cover of The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Cover of Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt Cover of Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand

I’m a wuss, so Hex might be a bad choice, but I’m intrigued with the buzz about it and the translation stuff. A lot of the other stuff was fairly random, just picked up because it interested me in Brussels’ Sterling Books. I came to Belgium with only 22 books… this makes a start at making up for it!

Books finished this week:

Cover of Grave Secrets of Dinosaurs Silk #1 Cover of Spider-Gwen Cover of Hawkeye: Rio Bravo by Matt Fraction Cover of Spider-woman: Vol 0

Cover of Spider-woman: New Duds Cover of Tehanu by Ursula Le Guin Cover of Tales from Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin Cover of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodges Cover of Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean

Reviews this week: 
Rat Queens: Demons, by Kurtis J. Wiebe et al. I think this is my last volume of Rat Queens; it just didn’t come together for me. 2/5 stars
Murder on a Midsummer Night, by Kerry Greenwood. Fun, though typical of the Phryne books. 3/5 stars
Bone and Jewel Creatures, by Elizabeth Bear. An interesting novella, with an aged protagonist and some neat magic. 4/5 stars
The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter, by Rod Duncan. Fun set-up, and I’m intrigued enough to read the other books. 3/5 stars
Flashback Friday: A History of the World in 100 Objects, by Neil MacGregor. A lovely book which made me really eager to go back to the British Museum. Which I did, not too long ago. 5/5 stars

Other posts:
ShelfLove Update and May TBR: what it says on the tin, with lots of statistics!

How’s everyone else been? Any exciting news?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 30 April, 2016 by Nikki in General / 34 Comments

As you’re about to see, it’s been a busy week full of reading for me! I’ve been adding books to the “books read this week” section right up to the last minute. It’s always nice when I have plenty of time to read! And despite having an Amazon voucher to spend, so far I haven’t picked a new book — though I did get a couple of books to review.

Received to review: 

Cover of Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy Cover of The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

I’ve followed Claire North’s work for a long time now, so I’m hopeful about this new one. I’ve heard a lot about Woman on the Edge of Time, so I’m curious about it.

Books read this week:

Cover of Murder on a Midsummer Night by Kerry Greenwood Cover of Rat Queens vol 3 Cover of Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher Cover of Lady of Mallow by Dorothy Eden Cover of All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

 Cover of The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin Cover of Silver on the Tree, by Susan Cooper Cover of Forensics by Val McDermid Cover of Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine Cover of The Bread We Eat in Dreams by Catherynne M. Valente

Cover of Civil War Prelude Cover of Dead Man's Chest by Kerry Greenwood Cover of The Movement by Gail Simone Cover of The Movement vol 2 by Gail Simone Cover of The Door into Fire by Diane Duane

Cover of The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua Cover of The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

A whole bunch of these were rereads (The Farthest Shore, Silver on the Three, volume one of The Movement, The Door into Fire), but there were a lot of new-to-me books too. And I enjoyed most of them! An excellent week.

Reviews this week:
Every Heart A Doorway, by Seanan McGuire. This is probably my favourite story from Tor.com’s novella line. The plot and world are awesome, and so are the characters. 4/5 stars
Century Rain, by Alastair Reynolds. A reread of a book I loved as a teenager, which I haven’t revisited in a long time; it didn’t disappoint. 4/5 stars
Death at the Bar, by Ngaio Marsh. Felt a bit too by-the-numbers as a mystery, without the strength of character of Sayers’ Wimsey or even Christie’s Miss Marple. 2/5 stars
Forensics, by Val McDermid. A good survey of forensic science and how it’s used to catch and indict criminals; well-written, too. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Blackbirds, by Chuck Wendig. I think this is one of the first Angry Robot books I ever read; I’ve kept on reading both the publisher and the author. Wendig’s work is generally a lot of fun, and Blackbirds does well with an interesting idea. 4/5 stars

Other posts: 
Readathon progress. The start of my excellent reading week, even though I didn’t stay up the full 24 hours!
Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s theme was bookworm delights, like the smell of books.
Bout of Books signup. Aka, another readathon!

How’s everyone else been?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 23 April, 2016 by Nikki in Uncategorized / 12 Comments

Despite the busy week, I did find time to get to a bookshop — aided and abetted somewhat by Robert @ Bastian’s Book Reviews, of course. I haven’t had time for much reading — you wouldn’t believe how many random clothes I seem to have acquired to sort through — but I have squeezed in a few minutes here and there. Soon, of course, I shall be off to stay with my partner for a few months, and I intend to start out by luxuriously flopping on the floor with our bunny and a book.

Anyway!

Books bought this week:

Cover of The Fold by Peter Clines Cover of Planetfall by Emma Newman Cover of Children of Time by Adrian Tchiakovsky Cover of All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Cover of The Bread We Eat in Dreams by Catherynne M. Valente Cover of Rat Queens vol 3 Cover of The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua

These have all been on my wishlist for a while, so I was happy enough to finally pick them up! I was very good and resisted other books which haven’t been on my wishlist.

Books read this week:

Cover of Bone and Jewel Creatures by Elizabeth Bear Cover of Darwin's Ghosts by Rebecca Stott Cover of The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan

Reviews posted this week:

Voyage of the Basilisk, by Marie Brennan. Predictably, loved this reread. Yay for plots and intrigue and deranged practicality! 5/5 stars
Forest of Memory, by Mary Robinette Kowal. I got more into this than I expected, and wanted to know more4/5 stars
Fated, by Benedict Jacka. Solid urban fantasy, which handles a complex power surprisingly easily (the protagonist can see potential futures). I want to read more. 3/5 stars
The Skeleton Cupboard, by Tanya Byron. Avoid. Horrible disrespect/dismissal of trans people in the very first chapter. 1/5 stars
In the Labyrinth of Drakes, by Marie Brennan. Last book for now in this series. I loved it to bits, and it’s really important in the development of Isabella and answers so many questions. 5/5 stars
SPQR, by Mary Beard. A good survey of Roman history, focusing on the rise of the Empire rather than its decline. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Liar, by Justine Larbalestier. This is a book I devoured and still find myself pondering at times. 5/5 stars

Other posts: 
Top Ten TuesdayThis week was meant to be funny books, but I’m bad at humour, so instead I did ‘books that made me make delighted noises’.

How’s everyone doing? Lots more reading than me, I hope!

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 16 April, 2016 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

This is a very quickly put together post, as I am on a tiny laptop in the middle of moving house! It hasn’t been a terrible week for reading, even though I had an assignment due as well, and I (gasp) haven’t bought any books!

Books read this week:

Cover of Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds Cover of SPQR by Mary Beard Cover of Death at the Bar, by Ngaio Marsh Cover of The Skeleton Cupboard by Tanya Byron

Reviews this week:
Wolves, by Simon Ings. Not a fan of this one, at all. Sometimes I couldn’t even tell what the individual sentences were supposed to mean. 1/5 stars
Wolfsbane Winter, by Jane Fletcher. This is fairly typical fantasy, except that it features a lesbian romance… and it’s maybe not exactly fantasy. 3/5 stars
A Civil Contract, by Georgette Heyer. This isn’t the most typical of Heyer’s romances, but I really liked it — it’s more about the process of negotiation and habituation that comes when two people live together and have to make their lives together. 4/5 stars
Tropic of Serpents, by Marie Brennan. A favourite series reread, so no surprises that I liked this a lot. 5/5 stars
Dreadful Skin, by Cherie Priest. Intriguing ideas — a nun hunting a werewolf — but sometimes shaky execution. 3/5 stars
The Stress of Her Regard, by Tim Powers. I’ve tried to read this a few times now, and finally I did finish it. But I’m still not a great fan. It might help if I were more of a fan of the Romantic poets… 2/5 stars
Flashback Friday: The Hundred and Ninety-nine Steps, by Michel Faber. The most powerful thing about this book — something I remember years after reading it — is the feeling of anxiety. Ughh. 2/5 stars

Other posts:
Top Ten TuesdayThis week I recommended stories with romance for those who might be reluctant to read romance as a genre.

How’s everyone doing? Anything exciting going on? Any books you just can’t wait to read?

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