Category: General


WWW Wednesday

Posted 21 August, 2019 by Nikki in General / 3 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 at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

What are you currently reading?

Most actively, I’m neck-deep in Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan, the sequel to the Memoirs of Lady Trent series! Audrey is a delight, and I do so adore the way these books showcase the scientific and academic processes — coming from a background of both literature (with a lot of focus on translation) and later science as well, it’s just. Yay!

Cover of Magic Bleeds by Ilona AndrewsWhat have you recently finished reading?

I read Magic Bleeds on our flight back from Worldcon! (Well, half of it; I read the first half before — the flight isn’t that long/I don’t read that fast!) It has some of my pet peeves in fiction (miscommunication) and yet Kate and Curran are so extreme and stupid it ends up just being funny to me.

What will you be reading next?

I don’t know! I still have a crowded TBR for August, and I haven’t read even half of those books yet. I have a bunch of them half-finished, though. I know that the library really wants the book on the Aztecs back (in fact, the lady was reluctant to re-issue it at all) because someone shouldn’t have let me have it (it’s a reference book), so maybe I’ll get on with reading that!

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 14 August, 2019 by Nikki in General / 1 Comment

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 at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

What are you currently reading?

Cover of Die Laughing by Carola DunnI’m partway through the same Daisy Dalrymple book as last week! That’s surprisingly slow for me and this series; maybe it’s already time for another short break before I pick up the next book. It’s not that I don’t enjoy Daisy in a cosy sort of way, but still… it is getting frightfully predictable.

I’m also paging through the Good Omens script book, which I picked up today.

What have you recently finished reading?

I think the last thing I finished was Joanne Harris’ The Blue Salt Roadwhich is a selkie story. Fairytale-like narration, but some surprising stuff under the hood at times. And lovely illustrations! It was worth finally picking it up, for sure.

What will you be reading next?

Well, my preorder of Turning Darkness into Light is here, so even if I was holding off because I prefer to read this series in dead tree rather than ebook (I couldn’t say why, I guess it’s all part of the experience), now I have no excuse! Time to dig in. Possibly during the trip to Dublin…?

Which, again, if anyone is going to Worldcon, lemme know! Let’s maybe meet up!

And, as always, what are you reading?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 10 August, 2019 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

Good morning, folks. It’s been a quiet week around here, given last week’s news, but we’ve been getting on with things.

Received to review:

Cover of Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

New Frances Hardinge! 😍

Bought:

Cover of Biased by Jennifer Eberhardt Cover of Unthinkable by Helen Thomson Cover of Secrets of the Human Body by Xand and Chris Van Tulleken Cover of Snowball in a Blizzard by Steven Hatch

When I’m sad, I… buy non-fiction? It kinda makes sense; it’s the most likely to really engage my brain.

Finished reading this week:

Cover of The Warrior Queen by Joanna Arman Cover of Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan

Reviews posted this week:

The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson. Really great and really bleak. Makes accountancy exciting. 5/5 stars
Superior: The Return of Race Science, by Angela Saini. A good history of race science, a bad overview of the actual evidence. 4/5 stars
Lent, by Jo Walton. Sympathy with Savonarola? Oh yes. 4/5 stars
An Artificial Night, by Seanan McGuire. One of my favourites in the series as I’ve read so far, because of all the stuff it weaves together. 4/5 stars
The Bitter Twins, by Jen Williams. Well gah! What a way to go about things. A very good second book. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update.

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Ice cream headache. Ever wondered what causes one of those? I’ve gotcha covered.
NEAT science: Chocolate antidepressants. There’s currently a fair bit of reporting that chocolate has been shown to help with depression. The answer is, no, it’s been shown that people who eat dark chocolate are less likely to report depressive symptoms. There may be other things going on.

And that’s it for this week! Next week I might not post, given we’ll be in Dublin at Worldcon! But reviews and such will go up as normal, and I’ll check in again soon… maybe with some new books bought in Dublin!

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 7 August, 2019 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 at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Die Laughing by Carola DunnWhat are you currently reading?

I picked up Carola Dunn’s Die Laughing today; it’s the next in the Daisy Dalrymple series, and while it’s not particularly fresh and new (even within the series), it’s good to just sit and let the book take it away. They’re always absorbing, even if they’re not super new.

I’m also partway through Within the Sanctuary of Wings, which I should give some more attention to!

Cover of The Warrior Queen by Joanna ArmanWhat have you recently finished reading?

I just finished The Warrior Queen, by Joanna Arman. Ostensibly it’s about King Alfred’s daughter, Æthelflæd, but in practice it’s mostly about the menfolk around her. I know that’s the hazard with women in history, but it was really heavily waited toward discussing Alfred, or Æthelflæd’s husband, or her brother. The two-ish chapters discussing her in her own right are pretty interesting, but… meh. Also, the book is badly edited and just all round a bit suspect.

What will you be reading next?

Something from my August TBR, most likely, but what I couldn’t say! I might hurry up and get to The Fated Sky before my wife does…

What are you currently reading?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 3 August, 2019 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

Hey guys. So bad news on the Breakfast front; he’s gone as of Friday evening, fairly unexpectedly. I’m not really wanting condolences much right now; if you want to express them, could you stick to liking this post or just commenting something nice and unrelated?

I’ll continue things much as normal around here, because that helps, but please don’t take it personally if I forget to comment back or anything.

Books read this week:

Cover of Too Like The Lightning

Reviews posted this week:

Storm of Locusts, by Rebecca Roanhorse. I still find the world refreshing, but the plotting itself feels so… predictable. 3/5 stars
Necessity, by Jo Walton. I did not expect this series to lead here, but there’s so much fascinating about it. 4/5 stars
Forces of Nature, by Brian Cox & Andrew Cohen. Not bad at explaining some things, but the physics still mostly goes beyond me! The series is probably better for that. 3/5 stars
Tower of Thorns, by Juliet Marillier. This kind of nudges in a direction I hoped the books wouldn’t go, but it’s still a fascinating story. 4/5 stars
Magic Strikes, by Ilona Andrews. Vastly entertaining, as with most of this series, and starts stepping things toward the epic overarching story… 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. This week’s post about my current reads.
An August TBR. Planning for what to read in August!

What’re you reading?

And also, if you’re going to Worldcon, sound off! Let me know! I’ll be there and so will my wife.

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An August TBR

Posted 1 August, 2019 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

Greetings! It’s August somehow: the month of my birth, and the month of Worldcon! Give me a shout if you’re attending Worldcon and would like to meet up! I’m shy, but if we have books in common it’ll always work out.

Last month was not the greatest, though I did finish 15 of the 20 books (and 20 books overall), which isn’t bad at all considering the mess that was the last week of it. (If you didn’t hear, one of our bunnies is really sick.) The theme for this month is tackling my “on-deck” books; books that are either half-finished, due back at the library, due for review before the publication date, or just stacked on top of my desk for no apparent reason. I’ll also include the next book in a couple of series, to keep me on track with those. Let’s see how many this is… I’ll set a cap of 20!

Cover of Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews Cover of The Warrior Queen by Joanna Arman Cover of Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan

  • Facism: A Warning, by Madeleine Albright. I think this was recced by someone on Litsy? Anyway, it’s due back at the library and I’ve renewed it a bunch of times already, so here goes!
  • Magic Bleeds, by Ilona Andrews. To keep chugging along with my reread/catchup! This will be a delight.
  • The Warrior Queen, by Joanna Arman. I’m partway through this book about Aethelflaed. It’s not that great, but I’d like to see if it improves now that (halfway through) we’ve actually got onto the part of history where Aethelflaed was doing things instead of just existing.
  • Her Royal Spyness, by Rhys Bowen. I don’t want to know how long I’ve had this out of the library, but I finally dipped into it last week. Just need to finish up!
  • Within the Sanctuary of Wings, by Marie Brennan. Finishing the reread!
  • Turning Darkness into Light, by Marie Brennan. Hopefully before it actually comes out, since I have an ARC! I can’t wait.
  • The 12:30 from Croyden, by Freeman Wills Crofts. I was supposed to buddy read this, uh, months ago. Oops.

Cover of Die Laughing by Carola Dunn Cover of How Long Till Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin

  • Die Laughing, by Carola Dunn. Should be an easy read, and it keeps me ticking along through the series!
  • The Blue Salt Road, by Joanne Harris. This one’s short, and due back at the library.
  • How Long Till Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin. I picked this up in May, and then other stuff happened. Time to read more!
  • The Fated Sky, by Mary Robinette Kowal. I meant to read this in July. My wife’s started reading The Calculating Stars now, so I’d like to get reading!
  • Den of Wolves, by Juliet Marillier. Also one I meant to read in July. Looking forward to seeing what happens.
  • One Salt Sea, by Seanan McGuire. Next in the series!

Cover of Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier Cover of One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire

  • The Subversive Stitch, by Rozsika Parker. I’ve had this out of the library for way too long, and it’s actually from the stacks, so I really should pick it up soon. Though I’m wondering if it’s worth buying the more recent edition, in case anything changed…
  • Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea, by Sarah Pinsker. I was in a book club with Sarah Pi; it’s high time I read this. I’ve already read a couple of them, actually.
  • Gene Machine, by Venki Ramakrishnan. I started this and then got distracted, but it’s due back at the library on the 5th. Whoops.
  • The Gendered Brain, by Gina Rippon. Started this last month, but ran out of brain due to The Rabbit Situation.
  • The Aztecs, by Richard Townsend. I may have had this out of the library since… Christmas?
  • The Piltdown Forgery, by Joseph Weiner. I think the ‘who’ of this case is quite obvious, but it’s still fascinating. And the book is, wait for it, due back at the library.
  • Heartstone, by Elle Katharine White. I started this ages ago and then stopped for… I don’t know what reason. Time to finish it!

Cover of The Gendered Brain by Gina Rippon Cover of Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

So that’s the lot! Let’s see how I do this month…

What’re you reading this month? Or are you winging it?

Don’t forget to let me know if you’re going to Worldcon!

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 31 July, 2019 by Nikki in General / 2 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 at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Too Like The LightningWhat are you currently reading?

I’m most of the way through Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer, and it’s still not really working for me. It’s one of those where I feel like the payoff is constantly just one more revelation out of reach, and now I’m really close to the end, so I will be finishing it, but… I find myself thinking that this book was not for me, probably.

I have got a couple of other books on the go, including the rather lighter Her Royal Spyness, which promises to be one of those fluffy mysteries I can nom in a day or two.

Cover of Perihelion Summer by Greg EganWhat have you recently finished reading? 

I think the last thing I finished was Greg Egan’s Perihelion Summer, which didn’t impress me very much. I found it flat and lacking in characters who I could possibly care about.

I’ve way slowed down my reading speed the last week, with all the stress, so there’s not much else since my last WWW check-in!

Cover of Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie BrennanWhat will you be reading next?

Working on the Lady Trent books and then the new book which I got as an ARC! Other that that, who knows? It’s a big world full of all the tastiest books, but I’m not sure what I’ll be in the mood for, so I’m not over-committing!

What are you currently reading?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 27 July, 2019 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Greetings, folks. As discussed in my Wednesday post this week, things are rough around here. Breakfast Bun is doing a little better in some ways, but he’s not out of the woods yet. So wish us luck, and consider this a rare reminder that I do have a Ko-Fi for this blog (see sidebar) and donations are always helpful. Also, hey, it’s nearly my birthday, too.

(And just thinking good thoughts for us and for Breakfast would be very welcome, of course!)

Books received this week:

I feel like it’s been too long since I read the second book in Aliette de Bodard’s series… maybe I need to look for a summary online. The other book is my Illumicrate subscription book for this month.

Books read this week:

Cover of Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire Cover of In The Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan Cover of Perihelion Summer by Greg Egan

Reviews posted this week:

The Dinosaurs Revisited, by Michael J. Benton. A great overview of what we know about dinosaurs, and how we know it; as up to date as possible! 4/5 stars
The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal. A heck of a fun read; I tore right through it. 5/5 stars
The True Queen, by Zen Cho. Not as fun as the previous book, but definitely some enjoyable elements. 3/5 stars
Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik. Interesting and fairly solid, but a little slow; leans a little too much on a kind of twist that Novik already used for Uprooted3/5 stars
Voyage of the Basilisk, by Marie Brennan. Ever so much fun, as ever! 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly post, with the note about Breakfast.

Hope everyone’s weeks were better than mine…

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 24 July, 2019 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

Hey everyone. Just to update, I don’t know how much I’ll be dropping by other people’s posts or replying to stuff. I know I only just got caught up properly, but Breakfast Bun is really, really ill — enough that we don’t know if he’ll pull through, and in a really distressing way as well. I’m going to try and keep up with everything, because it helps to be busy — but I know that if I don’t, everyone who matters will understand. Please think good thoughts for Breakfast.

That said, back to the usual content! 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 at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Too Like The LightningWhat are you currently reading?

Nominally, I’m reading Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer, but it’s kind of slow going because I feel like I’m lacking some background, or maybe am just not smart enough? And I don’t think I like the gender stuff at all, though I think it’s all about the narrator and showing us that mindset.

I’m now mostly reading The Gendered Brain (Gina Rippon), because science is comforting, and In the Labyrinth of Drakes, because it’s familiar and lovely.

Cover of Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuireWhat have you recently finished reading?

Uhhh, you know, I’m not sure. It’s been a few days. Apparently it was Late Eclipses, the fourth Toby Daye book, which is mostly entertaining but wildly annoying in that it feels like Toby spends the entire book being hit repeatedly with the stupid stick.

What will you be reading next?

Within the Sanctuary of Wings, most likely, and then the new book. This world is all I want right now, something familiar and already solidly beloved. Maybe some Ann Leckie, or Vivian Shaw, for variety.

What are you currently reading?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 20 July, 2019 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

Good morning, folks! I’ll be honest, it’s been a heck of a week. Let’s see what I managed to get done anyway, reading-wise!

Books acquired:

 

Used to be in a book group on Goodreads with Sarah Pi, for years, so it seems about time I read her stories!

Books read this week:

Cover of Exit Strategy by Martha Wells Cover of Mistletoe and Murder by Carola Dunn

Cover of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Reviews posted this week:

Brainstorm: Detective Stories from the World of Neurology, by Suzanne O’Sullivan. A collection of fascinating case studies; more human interest, at times, than science — but still of genuine interest. 3/5 stars
Tropic of Serpents, by Marie Brennan. The book that really got me into this series, which made it a very nice reread as well. 4/5 stars
Rogue Protocol, by Martha Wells. Not my favourite of the series, but it still contributes to the overall arc. Maybe I should up my rating a little, actually… 3/5 stars
The Philosopher Kings, by Jo Walton. I’m always a little sad about the beginning and the fact that Simmea isn’t a part of the story, but it does a lot of interesting things. 3/5 stars
Of Noble Family, by Mary Robinette Kowal. A powerful and worthwhile wrap-up to the series. Not a favourite, but solid. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual update!

So that’s that! How’s everyone else doing? Anything lovely on your TBR?

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