Category: General

Weekly Roundup

Posted July 20, 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 July 17, 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 July 13, 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 July 10, 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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Weekly Roundup

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

Good morning, folks! It’s been a quiet week on most fronts, but I’ve done a fair bit of reading. What’s more, I had a greedily-awaited book come in months ahead of schedule, since I just got an e-ARC ooooof…:

I am very excited!

Books read this week:

Cover of The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams Cover of Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells Cover of Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

Cover of Forces of Nature by Brian Cox Cover of The Just City by Jo Walton Cover of Lifelode by Jo Walton

Reviews posted this week:

The Afterward, by E.K. Johnston. An enjoyably fluffy fantasy romance about what happens after an evil god fails to take over the world. 4/5 stars
A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan. A beloved favourite and a timely reread. This time I couldn’t help but appreciate the science the most. 5/5 stars
Extraordinary Insects, by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson. Insects might be extraordinary, but this book wasn’t. Maybe a good introduction? 2/5 stars
The Ninth Rain, by Jen Williams. A deeply satisfying fantasy world, with some fun characters to boot. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

A July TBR. Here I go, possibly biting off more than I can chew. It’s going well so far, though.
WWW Wednesday. The usual update!

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘NEAT RNA.‘ Yes, I found that there’s an RNA called NEAT1, and I had to write about it, because… well, what it does really is neat.

So what’s everyone else been up to? Good reading week? Anything enchanting on your pile?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted July 3, 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 The Just City by Jo WaltonWhat are you currently reading?

I’m getting stuck into a reread of The Just City! I never got round to reading the third book, and then I felt I’d better remind myself of all the details, so here I am. I do enjoy the way Simmea throws herself into her new life and makes it sound so wonderful, while we do see the gaps from the other points of view. Also it is weird reading this and knowing a character or two from Lent (and again, yes, I keep saying it, from Assassin’s Creed).

What have you recently finished reading?

I spent today (Tuesday, when I’m scheduling this post) finishing off Angela Saini’s Superior. It’s an interesting history of race science, but I’m not entirely sure I’d call it pop-science myself, though it seems to be being categorised there. I don’t feel like it gave me a good handle on the actual data presented by race scientists, or why it’s wrong other than It Just Is and some generalities. Granted, I haven’t looked at the original work at all yet — there is definitely science you can critique by saying it just does not work that way.

Cover of The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew WilliamsWhat will you be reading next?

Not sure! I should make a start on The Stars Now Unclaimed, as that’s a book club read. Admittedly I’ve peeked into it and read a handful of chapters already, but I’m really not far in. Not even enough to understand what I’m getting into, really!

What are you currently reading?

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A July TBR

Posted July 1, 2019 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

How did I do with my June TBR? 10/10! Hurrah. So it seems like this idea is still working for me — and to be frank, between the Hugo nominees I still need to read and some agreements to catch up with particular series/authors, I’ve got quite a lot on my plate this month…

So here goes:

Cover of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyumi Cover of Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews Cover of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black Cover of Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers Cover of Hild by Nicola Griffith

  • Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi. I’ve been meaning to read this forever, and it’s on the Hugo ballot.
  • Magic Strikes, by Ilona Andrews. Always good to have something I know I’ll eat up in minutes on the list!
  • The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black. Was this really out just last year? (Oh, I see, just barely.) Anyway, it’s on the Hugo list, so I’m fitting it in at last! I seem to remember not always loving Holly Black’s books, but let’s give it a whirl.
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers. I pounced on this when it was out in paperback, and then got busy. With the Hugos coming up, it’s time to dig back in!
  • Hild, by Nicola Griffith. I’ve, uh, had this half-read for a while. It’s time to finish up.
  • Forces of Nature, by Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen. I started this last week, and it sounds like a good way to get some non-fiction mixed in!
  • Tess of the Road, by Rachel Hartman. For the Lodestar Award voting!

Cover of Forces of Nature by Brian Cox  Cover of The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

  • Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland. I wasn’t actually sure if I was going to vote in the YA category of the Hugos, and then the library had this in. So it’s this book’s fault I have such a full menu this month.
  • The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal. “Gah, finally” — my sister, probably.
  • The Fated Sky, by Mary Robinette Kowal. I hear that the books are best judged together, so…
  • Den of Wolves, by Juliet Marillier. Yay! Finally I will get round to this!
  • Late Eclipses, by Seanan McGuire. It’s the next in the series, and I really don’t want to lose sight of the series I’m reading in between all the other lovely books I want to cram into my brain.
  • Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer. For whatever reason I’ve forgotten, I promised to read this by August, so okay, here goes! I’ve tried starting it once before, but it didn’t really work for me at the time. I was busy, though.

Cover of Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier Cover of Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire Cover of Too Like The Lightning Cover of The Just City by Jo Walton

  • Superior, by Angela Saini. This is a book on race science I just picked up last week. I enjoyed Inferior, so here’s hoping this is as good.
  • The Just City, by Jo Walton. Technically I’ve promised to finish this whole trilogy, but I’ll start by rereading the first one!
  • The Philosopher Kings, by Jo Walton. Well, in for a penny…
  • Necessity, by Jo Walton. In for a pound. I haven’t actually read this one, but I’ll need to reread the first two before I can get to this one. My brain doesn’t hold the details, these days!
  • Lifelode, by Jo Walton. I loved this book, so I’m excited to revisit.
  • The Poison Song, by Jen Williams. I just finished The Bitter Twins and aaaah! Gotta know what happens.
  • The Stars Now Unclaimed, by Drew Williams. My Habitica book club pick for July, so it kinda has to go on my list.

Cover of The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton Cover of Necessity by Jo Walton Cover of Lifelode by Jo Walton Cover of The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew Williams

Should keep me busy, right?

N.B.: The original version of this to-read list had a book by a notorious racist who supported eugenics on it. I had no idea, and I’m sorry. I’ve swapped a different book in.

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Weekly Roundup

Posted June 29, 2019 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Good morning folks! I’m super tired this week, so I’ve been kind of dragging behind a little on everything, but hey, here I am. How’s everyone been?

Read this week:

Cover of Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse Cover of An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire Cover of Lent by Jo Walton

Reviews posted this week:

Sunshine, by Robin McKinley. A reread of a book I used to adore! Still has a lot going for it, not least that end leaving everything open to the imagination. That’s also a frustration with it, at the exact same time. 4/5 stars
Valour & Vanity, by Mary Robinette Kowal. Kowal takes on a heist novel! Not my favourite, but it’s fun just to sit back and watch the versatility of this series. 4/5 stars
The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman. Decidedly meh. It felt so juvenile. 2/5 stars
Spineless, by Juli Berwald. Enjoyable pop-science with a touch of autobiography. Well, more than just a touch. 4/5 stars

Other posts:  

WWW Wednesday. The usual update!

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Poor little Pluto?‘ Is Pluto a good place to look for life? Well, at least the precursors to life, yes!

And now this post is written and ready to go out in the morning, I get to go and sleep.

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WWW Wednesday

Posted June 26, 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.

What are you currently reading?

Actively, hm, I seem to have accidentally started Forces of Nature, by Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen. I’m finding it more interesting than the other book in this series, and I actually understood some physics, so yaaaay me. I enjoyed the micro to macro to micro again discussion of snowflakes quite a bit. Here’s hoping the rest of the book keeps it up!

Other than that, I’m also reading The 10,000 Year Explosion, which I just picked up last week. I’m not very far into it, though.

Cover of Lent by Jo WaltonWhat have you recently finished reading?

I liiiiterally just finished reading Lent, Jo Walton’s new book. I feel like I might need to read the last couple of sections again to really compass it, but it feels like it ended quite abruptly. (On the other hand, much more repetition could have been infuriating. Hence the reread of the last bit, though to let it settle in so I can actually decide.)

Before that, it was An Artificial Night, because one of these days I’ll get through all the Toby Daye books.

Cover of The Bitter Twins by Jen WilliamsWhat will you be reading next?

Well, before the end of June I ideally want to finish The Bitter Twins and Revenant Gun, so I need to get stuck into one or the other. I’ve already started The Bitter Twins, so I think I’ll get stuck into that properly.

After that, who knows, but I have many ideas about what my July TBR will look like….

What are you currently reading?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted June 22, 2019 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

It’s been another week! This week my sister took me out for some stress-busting book retail therapy, and it was Good. The bunnies gave me some pocket money, and I had £10 off from a full stamp card…

(I also got a stack of psychiatry textbooks from my mother, because it turns out my next degree will almost certainly be an MSc in Mental Health Science.)

Bought:

My usual rather odd mix, I think!

Read this week:

Cover of All Systems Red by Martha Wells Cover of Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Reviews posted this week:

A Talent for Murder, by Andrew Wilson. I found this rather bland, despite the copious details of Christie’s life shoehorned in. Or possibly because of the shoehorning. 2/5 stars
Sorceror to the Crown, by Zen Cho. A reread, and just as enjoyable the second time! 4/5 stars
All Systems Red, by Martha Wells. A reread, because I hadn’t got round to the last book yet, and I wanted a refresher. I do love Murderbot, social anxiety and all. 4/5 stars
Fire Logic, by Laurie J. Marks. Just didn’t work for me. Slow, and there’s something about the style… meh. 2/5 stars

Other posts: 

WWW Wednesday. The usual update!

And that’s me! I caught up last week, only to find myself with a gazillion tabs open again now. Sigh. It never ends…

How’re you doing? Good books, something you’re excited about? Weirdest book ever on the go? Let me know!

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