Tag: weekly roundup


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 30 January, 2016 by Nikki in General / 30 Comments

Wait, it’s Saturday again already? Well, I haven’t bought any books this week (despite some temptation), so once again I get to showcase what I’ve been reading. It isn’t a true “Unstacking” week, though, because I did get a review copy… although technically, I got it last week and forgot to include it in the stack.

Cover of The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Hellig Cover of The Collectors by Philip Pullman Cover of Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood Cover of The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy Sayers Cover of Signal to Noise by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia

 Cover of Time's Anvil by Richard Morris Cover of Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart Cover of Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip Cover of Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey

It was a very good reading week, despite the struggle I had with the maths assignment that just wouldn’t die.

And here’s a book I was sent by the author:

Cover of Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver

Aaaand the weekly round-up…

Reviews this week:

City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett. Loved this one, really looking forward to City of Blades5/5 stars
Unnatural Death, adapted from the book by Dorothy L. Sayers. I think in previous readings I rated it higher, but I got a bit tired of the convolutions in this one. Still, 3/5 stars
Santa Olivia, Jacqueline Carey. Actually a reread for me, but it still had some surprises. Lots of fun! 4/5 stars
Phonogram: Rue Britannia, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. I was toddling in the 90s, so a lot of the references were lost on me. The art’s great, though. 3/5 stars
How Not to Summon Your True Love, by Sasha L. Miller. Cute story, kinda fun, but the asexual relationship wasn’t as big of a feature as I’d have liked. 3/5 stars
The Girl from Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig. I read it in two sittings, so despite having some quibbles about characterisation later on, the setting and worldbuilding definitely worked for me. 4/5 stars
Flashback Friday: Camelot’s Shadow, by Sarah Zettel. An old review of a series that’s turned into comfort reading for me, and this is the book that features Sir Gawain the most! 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Picked Up At Random and Loved. It was a freebie week, so it took me a while to think of a topic, but this one was fun.
On reading kinks (that one trope). Is there something in a story that will always make you love it? I had a go at dissecting mine here.

How is everyone? Eating up books as much as you’d like? Tempted by anything in particular? Update me!

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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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