Stacking the Shelves

Posted December 2, 2023 by Nicky in General / 22 Comments

Good morning, folks! My weekend away was lovely, but this week I have relatively little going on, and I’m excited to settle down and do some reading and talking about books.

Because Stacking the Shelves is way quieter than it used to be (so I ought to have time for comments elsewhere!), I’ll be linking up with a few different memes each week: Reading Reality’s Stacking the Shelves, Caffeinated Reviewer’s The Sunday Post, and the Sunday Salon over at Readerbuzz. Hoping to reconnect with other bloggers and readers a bit more after my quiet time of the last year or two!

Books acquired this week:

As I predicted in last week’s post, I went on a bit of a bookshopping spree while I was away for the week in lovely Bath. I’ll start with my haul from the lovely Topping & Company, and save my other acquistions for another week, since I don’t expect to get more new books until Christmas now!

Topping & Company have a pretty great mix of everything; I think Edinburgh and Bath are my favourite branches in terms of selection, but Edinburgh is the most magical (somehow, it’s bigger on the inside, and there’s always another corner round which there are yet more books), though Bath’s might be the nicest building. I love the ladders (on rails so you can easily move them) and the fact they wrap the books in plastic. I liked the Ely branch too — it was surprisingly big considering the narrow store-front — but Edinburgh probably wins overall.

Not that I didn’t have fun in the Bath branch! I let the friend I was with choose a couple of the non-fiction books for me based on both his random interests and mine, so this should be fun. (His picks were Rebel Cell and Overkill. The others are my own fault.)

Cover of Rebel Cell by Kat Arney Cover of A Fish Caught in Time by Samantha Weinberg Cover of Ten Birds That Changed the World by Stephen Moss

Cover of Sticky by Laurie Winkless Cover of Overkill by Paul Offit Cover of A Short History of Tomb Raiding by Maria Golia

Of course, I didn’t stick to non-fiction only. I also grabbed a couple of the older Christmas-themed anthologies of short stories from the British Library Crime Classics series, this year’s Christmas mystery from Ada Moncrieff (I’m always sceptical of gimmicky things, but the previous two didn’t come across as gimmicky), and a couple of books from the SF/F section. Unnatural Magic was my friend’s recommendation, while A Portrait in Shadow has been on my wishlist for a while.

Cover of Final Acts ed. Martin Edwards Cover of Silent Nights, edited by Martin Edwards Cover of The Christmas Card Game edited by Martin Edwards Cover of Murder at Maybridge Castle by Ada Moncrieff

Cover of Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner Cover of A Portrait in Shadow by Nicole Jarvis

All in all, it was quite the haul, as you can see!

Posts from this week:

I reviewed quite a few books this week, so here’s a quick recap:

I also posted a guide to some crime fiction:

What I’m reading:

Right now I’m between books, but it’s December now, so I expect to start tucking into some of the Christmas-themed crime novels I have. I’ve been waiting for December to start on John Dickson Carr’s The White Priory Murders, and also to read my November book from the British Library Crime Classics subscription, so… iiiit’s time!

I’ve finished a few books this week; I haven’t written the reviews for most of them yet, but here’s a glimpse of the line-up:

Cover of The Waking of Angantyr by Marie Brennan Cover of Unwell Women by Elinor Cleghorn Cover of The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson Cover of Peter Cabot Gets Lost by Cat Sebastian Cover of The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System by Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù

Cover of Dragons' Teeth and Thunderstones by Ken McNamara Cover of The Golden Mole by Katherine Rundell Cover of Adrift by Tracey Williams Cover of Daniel Cabot Puts Down Roots by Cat Sebastian

Clearly the holiday time was good for me!

And that’s it from me; how’s everyone else been getting on?

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22 responses to “Stacking the Shelves

  1. mae

    I loved “Ten Birds that Changed the World” and your other nonfiction choices all sound very intriguing.
    best, mae at

    • I really did — and this isn’t all of it, I need to showcase the other two bookshops I went to, next week. Oh well, it’s a lovely problem to have!

  2. I like the covers of the Christmas mysteries. I searched for Ada Moncrieff in our local libraries and found Murder Most Festive, so I’ll look into that — imagining that I bought it in Bath. Topping & Co in Bath was the first bookstore we visited in England.

    • I enjoyed Murder Most Festive! I think Murder at the Theatre Royale (I think that was the title) was my favourite so far, but I’ve found them all fun reads. Very classic mysteries, and not too gimmicky.

  3. I’m delighted to have you join us at Sunday Salon. I’m sorry that I’m late to the table. I’ve been out of town.

    The two books that look most interesting to me are Overkill and Ten Birds That Changed the World. I will look for both of these. I’ve been a little iffy lately with nonfiction. I really need some wonderful reads to shake me out of this nonfiction slump.

    • Thanks for dropping by!

      I just read Overkill and really liked it; it really debunks some stuff that we more or less hold as sacred. I don’t want to summarise it because it’s better read in context with the papers etc he presents alongside it, otherwise it risks sounding sensationalist, but it was a lot of food for thought.

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