Category: General


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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WWW Wednesday

Posted 17 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 The Cruel Prince by Holly BlackWhat are you currently reading?

The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black, which… I’m quite tempted to ditch, actually, because it is not striking me as particularly fresh or original, and I’m honestly dragging through it at 50 pages a day, merely for obligation’s sake. I’m told it does pick up and become quite surprising, but I’m not sure I’m interested.

I’m also reading Late Eclipses, by Seanan McGuire. Which is probably a bad combo with The Cruel Prince, since the October Daye books are a long-running adult fantasy series with Fae and The Cruel Prince is a first-of-a-series young adult with Fae. Plus, Late Eclipses is a reread, so has the benefit of being familiar — though honestly, I’ve forgotten a lot of the details.

What have you recently finished reading?

I just finished Darwin Comes To Town, by Menno Schilthuizen. It was really fascinating — I love studies into natural selection in an urban environment, and there are some fascinating stories here. I wanted to eat it right up, though I ended up taking a few days over it.

What will you be reading next?

Don’t know! Probably The Fated Sky, by Mary Robinette Kowal, as that’s on my July TBR and probably a nice quick read after the way I’m struggling with The Cruel Prince.

What are you currently reading?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 13 July, 2019 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s Saturday again. How’s everyone doing? I’ve had a quiet week, with lots of reading, yay!

Books acquired:

And I’ve already got stuck in!

Books read this week:

Cover of The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton Cover of The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal Cover of Necessity by Jo Walton Cover of Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Cover of Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

Reviews posted this week:

The Just City, by Jo Walton. A thought experiment about actually enacting a thought experiment, with help from a little time travel. I do so enjoy Simmea’s narration. 4/5 stars
Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee. Lovely ending to a rather mind-bending series. I’m sure I won’t understand it all unless I reread it. 4/5 stars
Lifelode, by Jo Walton. A domestic fantasy with a curious structure/narration, and a whole lot to enjoy. Made me think mostly about what my lifelode is… 5/5 stars
Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells. Pooossibly my favourite in the series because of ART. Robots watching drama together just kinda warms the cockles of my heart. 4/5 stars
The Border Keeper, by Kerstin Hall. This one didn’t quite work for me. Some beautiful images, but it felt all disconnected and discombobulated to me! 2/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update about what I’m reading, what I’ve just read, and what I might read next.

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Cancer-killing cold virus.’ By request, an explanation of how an experimental new treatment for bladder cancer might work.

So how’re you doing? Anything delicious on your reading pile? Share, share!

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 10 July, 2019 by Nikki in General / 4 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?

I’m tearing through books right now, so that question is a bit of a toughie. Technically, I’ve just started on Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland, so we’ll say it’s that one. I’m a little nonplussed as to why black girls specifically would be used to fight zombies — the notion of black people in general being used to fight zombies in this time period because their lives are considered worthless is quite obvious, but the school for black girls specifically… why? Hopefully that will somewhat get explained, because right now it feels odd.

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

I just finished rereading Magic Strikes, which is mostly just a lot of fun. Partially because it’s a reread and I knew what the stakes were and how things turn out, sure, but also because the relationship between Kate and Curran sparkles. I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to start counting these books as romance as well, now Kate and Curran’s courtship is really off the ground. Really, it feels… not incidental, because it is key to their characters and to later events, but it doesn’t feel more like romance than any of the other genre books I read. I feel like the paranormal romance stamp got applied to this series because they eventually get together, and it just can’t shake it.

Still, I gotta decide soon when I made its motif for my blanket. Any thoughts, folks?

Cover of The Cruel Prince by Holly BlackWhat will you be reading next?

Most likely it will be something from my July TBR, which I have been tearing through. I think either The Cruel Prince or The Fated Sky are likely to be up next, because I’d like to keep up my book-a-day streak, and I think I can finish those in a day each. Record of a Spaceborn Few, possibly.

But mostly, as always, we’ll see where my fancy takes me.

What are you currently reading?

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