Tag: Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

Posted 23 January, 2016 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

Another week without having purchased any new books! Surely I deserve some kind of reward, like a new bo — oh. Oh well! Here’s the books I’ve finished this week:

Cover of City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett Cover of Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey Cover of The Castlemaine Murders by Kerry Greenwood

Cover of the Unnatural Death audiobook by Dorothy Sayers Cover of Phonogram: Rue Britannia by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie Cover of How Not to Summon Your True Love by Sasha L. Miller

Plenty of reading this week — some of it very last minute, actually.

Just two books acquired this week — two review copies via Netgalley, Less Than Three Press and Hot Key Books:

Cover of How Not to Summon Your True Love by Sasha L. Miller Cover of The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Hellig

I’m not a big fan of the cover, but apparently this is part of a set of books which will focus on aromantic and asexual characters. That I can get behind, and I enjoyed Sasha L. Miller’s The Errant Prince. So I’m excited about the whole idea, and I enjoyed the story.

And now the weekly roundup:

Reviews this week:

Unnatural Creatures, ed. Neil Gaiman. Fun theme and a bunch of great stories, some old and some new. 4/5 stars
A Portrait of the Brain, by Adam Zeman. Disappointingly simplistic and not really suited to my level of understanding, but probably a good starting point for those interested in neurology. 2/5 stars
Impulse, by Dave Bara. A fun enough space opera that didn’t really shine. 2/5 stars
This Savage Song, by Victoria Schwab. Monsters and humans and an interesting world set-up, oh my! I really enjoyed this and recommend it. 4/5 stars
The Frog Princess, by E.D. Baker. A favourite of my sister’s, I thought this was cute, though slight and very much aimed at the middle grade. 3/5 stars
The Castlemaine Murders, by Kerry Greenwood. It’s Phryne, so it was fun, but it was lacking the spark that made some of the other books great. 3/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, by Tad Williams. This is a whopping big series with four huge volumes, which is about the only reason I haven’t read it since I was eighteen. It’s typical, in some ways: a scullery boy becomes… well, you’ll see. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Recently Added To My TBR. What it says on the tin — some books I’ve got, some books I’m hankering after.

How’s everyone been doing? Hope you’ve all been reading tons, and adding great books to your shelves!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 16 January, 2016 by Nikki in General / 13 Comments

Not quite an Unstacking the Shelves week, but that’s okay because I don’t have many books finished, either! I’ve been trucking along with reading City of Stairs, but haven’t finished it. As you might expect, given my goal is to finish 365 books this year, I’m now behind! I’ve made my partner promise that tomorrow is all for reading (except for the bit where we go for a walk — I’ve just got a Fitbit, and I’m determined to get my 10,000 steps!).

Still, I haven’t bought any books this week, just received one ARC:

Cover of Different Classes by Joanne Harris

I’m excited to have got this, as I usually enjoy Joanne Harris’ work and this has the same setting as Gentlemen & Players and blueeyedboy, if I recall correctly. Looking forward to reading it.

And now for the weekly roundup:

Reviews this week:

The Grey King, by Susan Cooper. An old favourite, and set in Wales, so no wonder it gets… 5/5 stars
The Parthenon, by Mary Beard. Interesting, even if it didn’t focus on what I was expecting it to focus on. 4/5 stars
Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo. Last book of the trilogy, and definitely worth it in my view. Loved the moral ambiguity at some points. 4/5 stars
Murder in Montparnasse, by Kerry Greenwood. Another solid instalment of Miss Fisher solving mysteries, though not my favourite. 3/5 stars
Lagoon, by Nnedi Okorafor. I found this interesting, but ultimately the pacing didn’t work for me, nor the treatment of LGBT characters. 3/5 stars
The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales, by Kate Mosse. Some interesting stories, but overall it felt kind of overwritten. 2/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Young Avengers: Family Matters, by Allan Heinburg and Jim Cheung. A reminder to reread this whole series soon, I think! 4/5 stars

Other posts: 

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Releases. Just shows you how behind I am, really…

Hope everyone’s well and reading more than me! Totally feel free to explore the week’s posts and comment, or go further back if you like — I always try to return comments!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 9 January, 2016 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

It’s not quite an Unstacking the Shelves week, but I haven’t bought anything, so here’s a quick peek at what I’ve finished!

Cover of Unnatural Creatures ed. Neil Gaiman Cover of A Portrait of the Brain by Adam Zeman Cover of Impulse by Dave Bara

Not as good a reading week as last week, but still, progress!

My haul this week is all via Netgalley. I’m so excited to have got Kingfisher, and I’m looking forward to trying Adrian Tchiakovsky’s work. I need to read City of Stairs pronto so I can get to City of Blades

Cover of Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip Cover of City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett Cover of The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchiakovsky

I’m especially glad about Kingfisher, because I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it — they normally only grant ARCs to people with over 1,000 followers, and the Bibliophibian lost around 400 in moving from WordPress hosting to self-hosting. So hurrah! Hurrah!

And what else has been going on? Well, here’s the weekly roundup:

Reviews this week:

The Dark Arts of Blood, by Freda Warrington. Deliciously self-indulgent. I remain so glad I picked the first book up on a whim. 4/5 stars
Siege and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo. Not as compelling as the first book, but I did enjoy it. 4/5 stars
Before They Are Hanged, by Joe Abercrombie. I knew I’d enjoy this, as it was a reread, and it definitely stood up to it. 4/5 stars
Genes, People and Languages, by Luigi Cavalli-Sforza. Interesting, but lacked focus. 3/5 stars
Death Before Wicket, by Kerry Greenwood. Probably my least favourite of the series so far, alas. Maybe I just hold Phryne to really high standards. 2/5 stars
Beauty, by Sarah Pinborough. Slightly darker again than the other two books, this wraps up the trilogy… and leaves a lot of things open. 3/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Young Avengers: Sidekicks, by Allan Heinburg and Jim Cheung. A favourite series of mine, this was the first Young Avengers comic I read! 5/5 stars

Other posts:

January TBR. Check out what I’m planning to read this month!
On Deadlines, GRRM and Consequences. The POV of a freelance ghostwriter on the issue of Martin’s announcement that The Winds of Winter will be late.
Top Ten Tuesday: Resolutions. Check out my bookish resolutions for the year.
Bout of Books Progress. Follow along and see how I’ve been doing.

How’s everyone else been? Any awesome discussion posts you want to share? Any exciting ARCs hit your doormat?

I may be slow to reply today, as I’m getting on the train at ridiculous o’ clock to head to Belgium for a month with my partner. So yay for that, and feel free to mob my inbox while I’m out…

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 2 January, 2016 by Nikki in General / 26 Comments

For the first time in a long time — or possibly the whole time I’ve been doing the Stacking the Shelves meme via Tynga’s Reviews — I don’t have any new books from any source to share this week! It helps that the library is closed and I have a firm resolution to stick to a budget (see my Shelf Love participation post). Technically, my book ban from December is over, but I do want to try and be mindful of buying books this year.

So to celebrate, I have a new feature for this blog. Sort of. I remember someone else once posting “Unstacking the Shelves” posts, while they were trying to catch up with their backlog, and I’m going to shamelessly steal their idea. Whenever I have no books to report buying, I get to do an Unstacking the Shelves post, showing what I’ve read in the last week!

Which is, this week, the following six books:

Cover of Word Puppets by Mary Robinette Kowal Cover of The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman Cover of Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood

Cover of The Parthenon by Mary Beard Cover of Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor Cover of The Mistletoe Bride by Kate Mosse

My favourite read this week was probably The Masked City, which I enjoyed more than I expected to based on my rating of the first book — I’m beginning to think I was overly cranky with that one! It was interesting to read Kowal and Mosse’s short stories, too; they’re very different collections. Lagoon, I’m still processing… So far, I still need to write reviews for the last four.

At the same time, I thought I might start highlighting my other posts this week for people who only come by on a Saturday via the link-up. That way, people just dropping by can get a better idea of my blog — and maybe some people will want to stick around!

Reviews this week:
Greenwitch, by Susan Cooper. This was my reread for the TDIR Readathon; it’s a very familiar book for me, so it was like visiting with old friends. I did have some new thoughts about Jane Drew this time, though. 5/5 stars
Charm, by Sarah Pinborough. Second in the series, this retells the story of Cinderella… with extra sex and links to all kinds of other fairytales. 3/5 stars
Word Puppets, by Mary Robinette Kowal. Received to review via Netgalley, this introduced me to Kowal’s non-Regency work. There are some forgettable stories, but for the most part it’s a strong collection. 4/5 stars
The Masked City, by Genevieve Cogman. So much fun! Magic and books and dragons and Fae… And did I mention that the main character is an operative for an organisation called the Library, and there’s an awesome magic system using the power of words? Sign me up! 4/5 stars
The Cutting Room, ed. Ellen Datlow. Unfortunately not really my thing, though there are some very memorable stories in the collection. Probably a case of ‘it’s not you’… 2/5 stars
The Blade Itself, by Joe Abercrombie. This was another reread, albeit one I wasn’t as familiar with as Greenwitch. I enjoyed it a lot; memory, if anything, had downgraded this from the rating it deserved. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: The House at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman. This feature reposts old reviews I wrote before I had this blog. Neil Gaiman’s work is solidly entertaining, but I thought maybe I was exactly the wrong age to appreciate this one. 3/5 stars

Other posts:
Bout of Books Participation Post. For once, I’m on time to join in the Bout of Books readathon!
Top Ten Tuesday: Repeat Gifts. This week I went off-script and picked a theme of my own, talking about the books that I’m always giving to new people.
ShelfLove Participation Post. This challenge worked really well for me last year, and here’s my (rather ambitious) plan for 2016!

I’ve also just added a bunch of social media options to the blog, so you can now follow me on Google+ or Facebook. I have a Twitter as well, but it has more of a personal focus. Me being me, though, a personal focus still means a lot of book chatter.

Oh well, we’ll see! How’s everyone doing? Hope you’ve started 2016 as you mean to go on, with laughter and light and love and anything else your heart desires.

(Please please please do not comment telling me to enjoy my new books. It will make it obvious you haven’t read the text at all and will make me sad.)

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 26 December, 2015 by Nikki in General / 26 Comments

It’s Boxing Day already? Where’d the time go?! Anyway, I hope everyone had a good day yesterday, whether they celebrate Christmas or not. I always think of Christmas as a time when I get stacks and stacks and stacks of books… but luckily for my TBR, it didn’t really go that far. Dad and my aunt got me a load of Phryne Fisher books (yay!), and between my parents, my sister and my friends, I got plenty, haha.

Anyway, I also popped by the library this week, where I picked up a couple of books…

Cover of Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen Cover of Unnatural Creatures ed. Neil Gaiman Cover of The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

I’ve been meaning to read all three of these for a while, so hopefully I’ll get round to them soon.

And here’s my Christmas haul!

Cover of Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood Cover of The Castlemaine Murders by Kerry Greenwood Cover of Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood

Cover of Death by Water by Kerry Greenwood Cover of Murder in the Dark by Kerry Greenwood Cover of Murder on a Midsummer Night by Kerry Greenwood

 Cover of Dead Man's Chest by Kerry Greenwood Cover of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Cover of Darkwalker by E.L. Tettensor

Cover of Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman Cover of Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman Cover of Black Wolves by Kate Elliott

Cover of Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen Cover of Firefight by Brandon Sanderson Cover of An Atlas of Tolkien by David Day

My sister also bought me some hard copies of Tanya Huff books that I’ve been failing to get around to on my Kindle. And since I like to show off my geekiness, here are some of my other gifts…

 Photo of my in my Star Trek jammies Wearing my Cap shield backpack

Photo of my gifts all together, including a stack of books and a shield backpack My Captain America bear, in dressing gown and bunny slippers

As you see, my Captain America bear got a dressing gown, and slippers too. And I got hedgehog slippers, and Star Trek TNG uniform pajamas. And a shield backpack, because I <3 Steve Rogers.

And most importantly, a surprise from my dad — proper library steps which convert into a chair. You may remember my surprise giraffe, from last year…

Photo of a suspiciously wrapped object, with "not a giraffe" written on it Library Chair Library Steps

So all in all, pretty awesome haul! What’s everyone else been getting? Anything special?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 19 December, 2015 by Nikki in General / 18 Comments

Just one library trip this week — partly because I have a book I really should return soon that I need to finish. So not many books picked up!

Cover of Beauty by Sarah Pinborough Cover of Fathom by Cherie Priest

Since you probably know me at least a little, you know that I’ve started Beauty already, because I can never wait and just read books I already have… At least it finishes off that trilogy!?

Oh, and I did get one review copy this week, via Edelweiss. Exciting!

Cover of This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

What’s everyone else been getting, reading, or coveting? Reading-wise, I’m partway through Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and The Cutting Room edited by Ellen Datlow, among others. I’m not sure a book of horror stories based around movies is really my thing, but at the same time I’m kind of mesmerised.

Also, yay! It seems I have reached my goal of getting 80% feedback submitted on Netgalley. Finally.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 12 December, 2015 by Nikki in General / 18 Comments

A quiet week, since I haven’t gone to the library (yet)! I got a few books from Robert, but most of them I either had already in ebook or left at my grandmother’s house for now. I also got my early Christmas present from Robert, and that looks really interesting — fantasy/mystery set in Cardiff!

Cover of Star-Shot by Mary-Ann Constantine Cover of Moon's Artifice by Tom Lloyd

What’s everyone else been grabbing? And don’t forget, I still have a giveaway running here to celebrate my blog’s new home!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 5 December, 2015 by Nikki in General / 26 Comments

First things first! You’ll no doubt have noticed that the layout of the blog has changed. Well, so has the host — The Bibliophibian is now self-hosted, courtesy of the amazing Lynn O’ Connacht (who provided the hosting and did the migration for me)! So you may find that you need to resubscribe, if you haven’t already. If you have any issues at the moment, that might be due to the DNS redirect still percolating through the system. If there’s anything wrong with the layout, please let me know so I can try to fix it — at the moment it’s been optimised based on my mother’s visual needs, as she has macular degeneration, but I want to do my best to make it accessible in general.

Anyway, to celebrate the new hosting, and the fact that I can now embed Rafflecopter, there’s a giveaway! There are several options for joining in, including following the blog, tweeting, commenting on a post and a freebie. So please do join in!

Back to the original purpose of this post. I’m still doing okay on not buying books for myself — two big boxes of books have come in for family members, though! I love getting ready for Christmas and buying people the perfect book.

Despite the buying ban, I did get some preorders arriving. These don’t count, since I ordered them before the ban came into place! (And with Amazon vouchers, at that.)

Cover of The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman Cover of Pantomime by Laura Lam Cover of Shadowplay by Laura Lam

Excited to read Laura Lam’s books finally, and The Masked City should be a lot of fun too. I did also get a couple of library books, though not as many this week as sometimes!

Cover of The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean Cover of Charm by Sarah Pinborough

I’ve been reading Sam Kean’s books one by one, so here’s the latest I’ve picked up. And I read Poison, so I wanted to pick up Charm. Annoyingly, the library had Beauty as well, but my library card was “maxed out”…

What’s everyone else been picking up? And it can’t just be me that “maxes out” their library card, right?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 28 November, 2015 by Nikki in General / 10 Comments

Just library books this week — my resolution is holding good, so far! Here’s hoping I stick to it (though I have put some books on my Christmas list, of course).

 Cover of Feed by Mira Grant Cover of Deadline by Mira Grant

Cover of The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer Cover of Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

Feed and The Talisman Ring are rereads; the former so I can read the whole series, and the latter for sheer fun. Started Early, Took My Dog was a challenge read and ugh, I have not enjoyed it. It’s already winged its way back to the library.

What’s everyone else been getting their grubby mitts on?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 21 November, 2015 by Nikki in General / 14 Comments

Hello, everyone! This week, I have a relatively small haul — I think it might be the first time in a while I’ve really shown any restraint! I’m now trying not to buy any books until Christmas, so it’ll hopefully just be library books from here on out… I have just one new-to-me owned book this week, and that came via Illumicrate (which I need to review).

Cover of Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

I’ve heard a lot about this one, so I’m excited for it!


Cover of The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie Cover of Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie Cover of Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

Cover of Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey Cover of Arrow's Flight by Mercedes Lackey Cover of Arrow's Fall by Mercedes Lackey

Cover of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater Cover of Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins

The Abercrombie books are rereads; I’ve never read Mercedes Lackey and spotted the omnibus of those at the library and thought, eh, why not?; Cait @ Paper Fury demanded I read some Maggie Stiefvater; and finally, I had access to Wolfhound Century on Netgalley… many moons ago. It’s time I actually reviewed it.

How’s everyone been? Interesting hauls? Tell!

Incidentally, I recently passed my 1,000th post and my 1,000th follower, and this is my 100th STS post. Definitely time to celebrate! But, does anyone know of a giveaway widget that works with WordPress-hosted blogs? Rafflecopter does not, as I recall.

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