Tag: Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 16 June, 2018 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

Good morning, folks! I’m back in Belgium with the bunnies, and they are precious clingy creatures right now. It’s the best. And I had quite a book splurge this week with my sister, celebrating the end of our exams. I’m going to split it up into a couple of posts by category, though, just so I don’t have to spend too long uploading things and such. So this week, here’s a review copy received this week, and the SF/F books I picked up.

Received to review:

Cover of The Black God's Drums 

Lucky as ever — thank you, Tor and Rebellion! <3

Bought:

Cover of Moonshine by Jasmine Gower Cover of Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott Cover of The Armored Saint by Myke Cole

I’ve heard mixed things about all three of these, actually, but they intrigue me all the same, so we’ll see!

Books read this week:

Cover of Koko Takes a Holiday by Kieran Shea Cover of Murder in Piccadilly by Charles Kingston Cover of Kin by John Ingraham 

Cover of The Amazons by John Man Cover of Against Empathy by Paul Bloom Cover of The Templars by Piers Paul Read Cover of Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Reviews posted this week:

Murder in Piccadilly, by Charles Kingston. Not the best of the British Library Crime Classics so far, definitely. I found the characters unpleasant, almost all of them, so it was no fun, and the mystery itself was never a mystery, yet nor was it never satisfactorily wrapped up. 2/5 stars
Koko Takes a Holiday, by Kieran Shea. Bloody gorey fun, but not really more than that. And the portrayal of depression doesn’t really bear a longer look. 2/5 stars
The Telling, by Ursula Le Guin. It was nice to revisit this as an adult and understand more of what it was driving at. I got distracted by all the wrong things, as a kid. 4/5 stars
Against Empathy, by Paul Bloom. A fascinating dissection of why empathy may not be the best guide to morality. 5/5 stars
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente. A reread, and I’m so glad to spend time with the narrator again! 5/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Blog Tours. When they work for me, and why they often don’t.
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update on what I’ve been reading.
Blog tour and giveaway for Jacqueline Carey’s Starless. There’s an international prize as well as a US/Canada one! There’s also an excerpt exclusive to this blog tour.

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 9 June, 2018 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s been a rough week for me, with a horrible cough and a horribler exam, but I’m very nearly at the end now — the cough’s tapering off, and the last exam of my degree awaits me at 10am on Monday morning. On Wednesday, me and my sister are going for a post-exam jaunt in a bookshop, and then on Thursday I’m heading back to Belgium to smoosh my face into my bunnies’ fur and snuggle them good.

For now, here’s the now-traditional I’m-away-from-my-bunnies pic.

Which is actually a favourite from before I left, where you find Breakfast napping by my leg with my teddy bear. <3

Anyway, no books bought this week (when would I have had time?), but I have managed to do some reading, hurrah.

Books I’ve finished this week:

Cover of Power, Sex, Suicide by Nick Lane Cover of Rubicon by Tom Holland

Cover of The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente  Cover of The Telling by Ursula Le Guin Cover of The Castlemaine Murders by Kerry Greenwood

The non-fiction books were new to me, but the fiction books were all rereads. I needed Valente, Le Guin and Greenwood to take me to familiar places this week. It helped. <3

Reviews posted this week:

The Seafarer’s Kiss, by Julia Ember. I wanted to like this queer retelling of My Little Mermaid, but it didn’t quite come together for me. There is fascinating stuff — mostly Loki and the fact that they are genderqueer — but, meh. 2/5 stars
The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, by Margaret Killjoy. Like an origin story for a hunter on Supernatural, only not so white nor so co-dependent. And, you know, queer, and involving women. It didn’t quite grab hold of me enough that I’m in a hurry to get the second book, but I enjoyed it. 4/5 stars
The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu, by Charlie English. The author isn’t honest in the way he tells his story: there are doubts about some of the sources he uses and the story he presents as fact, but he waits until the end to let you know that. Not something I appreciate. 2/5 stars

Like last week, I might not comment back right away, but once my exam is over I’ll be all over you fine people. Have a good week!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 2 June, 2018 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

Technically, I think this might be an unStacking week, but I found some books I never featured so hey! They get their chance to shine this week. Also, I haven’t been doing much unstacking anyway, given that I am hurtling towards my final exams (and caught a horrible stupid virus).

But first, of course, here’s a bunny pic, since I’m still away from them. Breakfast wants to know what y’all are doing!

And here’s the new(ish) books!

New books:

Cover of The Vikings by Else Roesdahl Cover of Stealing History Cover of The Tangled Lands by Paolo Bacigalupi Cover of The Henchmen of Zenda by KJ Charles

A rather random assemblage, but that will surprise no one when it comes to me!

Books read this week:

Cover of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente Cover of The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M Valente Cover of The Girl who Soared Over Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente Cover of The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

Reviews posted this week:

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, by Christopher de Hamel. I found this really relaxing to read, just something where I could let tons of information wash over me while enjoying descriptions of beautiful books. 4/5 stars
Seven Dead, by J. Jefferson Farjeon. Melodramatic, of course, but also oddly compelling just from the weirdness of the opening. 4/5 stars
On a Red Station, Drifting, by Aliette de Bodard. This writer has a gift for complex characters you can’t quite root for, but who seem very human all the same. (Even when they’re not.) I enjoyed this, and I’m looking forward to trying more of the stories in the same world. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Romance. Tl;dr? Don’t knock romance just because it’s not your thing.
WWW Wednesday. The weekly update on what’s on my plate or, er, stack right now. Spoiler: too many books at once.

So, what’re you reading? Stacking your shelves with anything fascinating? I can’t promise I’ll comment back immediately (EXAM TIME!), but I always do visit back in the end!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 26 May, 2018 by Nikki in General / 11 Comments

Good morning, everyone! I’m in the UK again ready for my exams, and getting up bright and early every day to study. So it’s no surprise that I’ve, uh, had quite a haul and not managed to read much. But before we get into that, here’s the obligatory bunny pictures!

Hulk sat in an office chair looking stern

She looks stern, but she just wants a piece of banana. You know you want to give her one.

“Oh no! The paps caught me cleaning my paws!”

I miss ’em, even though they’re a pile of chaos.

Received to review:

Cover of Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang Cover of The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew Williams Cover of Redemption's Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Cover of The Chrysalis by Brendan Deneen Cover of Shelter by Dave Hutchinson

I also now have a paperback copy of Yoon Ha Lee’s Revenant Gun to go with the ebook! Now I definitely must hurry and read it.

Bought this week:

Cover of The Lake District Murder by John Bude Cover of Excellent Intentions by Richard Hull Cover of Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjohn

Cover of Death of Anton by Alan Melville Cover of The Dead Shall Be Raised & Death of a Quack by Goerge Bellairs Cover of A Scream in Soho by John G. Brandon

Cover of Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David D. Levine Cover of Behave by Robert M. Sapolsky Cover of The Amazons by John Man

Yay, more British Library Crime Classics! I think there are two more in the post, too… Better be the last of the books for a while, heh.

Read this week:

Cover of Hardian's Wall by David Breeze and Brian Dobson

Yep, that’s the sum total.

Reviewed this week:

The Great Mortality, by John Kelly. A historical look at the Black Death, how it started and how it spread. Less science details than I’d have liked! 3/5 stars
Death on the Cherwell, by Mavis Doriel Hay. Entertaining, but not a patch on that other book written in the Golden Age about a women’s college in Oxford. 3/5 stars
Keeping Their Marbles, by Tiffany Jenkins. One of my more in-depth and conflicted reviews in quite a while. This book examines the case for repatriating artefacts and remains, and the author’s opinion is a resounding “don’t”. I struggle with that. 3/5 stars
The Fisher of Bones, by Sarah Gailey. Some fascinating ideas, and particularly the ending, but it felt more like a sketch map than a painting. 3/5 stars
Brimstone, by Cherie Priest. This one worked for me because of the strength of the characters. I’m not sure it’s Priest’s most memorable book, but I enjoyed reading it and definitely got invested. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual update!

And now, studying… What’s everyone else up to?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 19 May, 2018 by Nikki in General / 9 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s been another week already, strange as it seems to me. I’m in the depths of exam revision and such, but I’m still finding some time to read (thank goodness).

Received to review:

Cover of Starless by Jacqueline Carey Cover of The Testament of Loki by Joanne Harris

Starless! There are stars in my eyes right now.

Read this week:

Cover of Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay  Cover of On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard Cover of The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy Cover of Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts

Reviews posted this week:

Universal, by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw. Probably great if you’re more into maths, but not really for me. 2/5 stars
American Hippo, by Sarah Gailey. Contains the two novellas plus two short stories — to my mind, worth getting, but a little disappointing as I wanted more about Hero. 4/5 stars
Seven Daughters of Eve, by Bryan Sykes. For the most part, this is really informative and covers some really awesome science, but it’s a little out of date now and there are a few chapters which are just too weak academically for me (as in, I don’t even want them in my pop-science). 4/5 stars
Permeable Borders, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. The impression I took away from one of these stories was basically rapey rapey mcrapeface, so I decided to quit. 2/5 stars
The Sisters of the Crescent Empress, by Leena Likitalo. I found this a little disappointing in some ways, in that I wanted some more resolution of certain plotlines, but it’s still a fascinating world. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Audiobooks. Do you listen to audiobooks? Personally, I mostly stick to radioplays, because my attention spa
WWW Wednesday. The latest on my currently reading pile!

How’s your week been? Anything exciting going on?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 12 May, 2018 by Nikki in General / 12 Comments

Good morning, folks! As this goes live, I’ll be spending a weekend in a holiday cottage, possibly ignoring my emails, definitely doing things like sleeping in and going swimming. I will catch up with everything when I get back, I pinky-promise. Since I’m technically away from the bunnies, I have to go with tradition — so here is a pic of Breakfast from earlier this week. He jumped up onto my study notes to make it clear that I should have other priorities. Like petting him.

Meanwhile, I got some new books this week, so of course, it’s time to showcase them.

Received to review:

I asked for American Hippo for the short stories included, but y’all should be all over it for the novellas too, if you haven’t read them. Hero!! <3

Bought (with a gift voucher from my rabbits):

Cover of The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard Cover of On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard Cover of The Teamaster and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard

Cover of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs Cover of The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy

What, your pets don’t buy you book vouchers?

Books read this week:

Cover of The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes Cover of The Seafarer's Kiss by Julia Ember Cover of The Sisters of the Crescent Empress

Cover of Brimstone by Cherie Priest Cover of Artificial Condition by Martha Wells Cover of Planetfall by Emma Newman Cover of Feed by Mira Grant

Reviews posted this week: 

The Black Tides of Heaven, by JY Yang. I really got to love Akeha and the world of this book! All aspects of it: the magic, the gender stuff… <3 4/5 stars
The Red Threads of Fortune, by JY Yang. A great followup, though I kind of like Akeha more than Mokoya, even if she seems like more the protagonist of the series as a whole. 4/5 stars
Void Black Shadow, by Corey J. White. This goes some really dark places, with some really good writing. 4/5 stars
Time Was, by Ian McDonald. Hello, Bury Your Gays trope. Nice to see you aga — wait. 2/5 stars
Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells. YAAAAY MURDERBOT. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Did Not Finish. Do you put down a book if it isn’t working for you? Or do you stick at it till the bitter end?
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update!

What’re you doing this weekend? Hoping for plenty of time to read? I sure am!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 5 May, 2018 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

Good morning! Thank goodness it’s the weekend — not that I work any less over the weekend, typically, but I decided to do a readathon from Litsy and thus put a lot of effort into clearing my backlog of things to do. Including the last major assignment of my degree! Just my exams (erk) and my dissertation to go now.

Anyway! Onto the books.

Received to review

Cover of Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik Cover of Artificial Condition by Martha Wells Cover of The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Yaaaay, Murderbot!

Oh, and I almost forgot (how rude of me!) — I won this from Imyril‘s giveaway!

Cover of Daggerspell by Katherine Kerr

Read this week:

Cover of The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang Cover of Permeable Borders by Nina Kiriki Hoffman Cover of Spider-Woman: Baby Talk Cover of Semiosis by Sue Burke Cover of Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart

Cover of Universal by Brian Cox Cover of Void Black Shadow by Corey J. White  Cover of Keeping Their Marbles by Tiffany Jenkins

Reviews posted this week:

Exiled from Camelot, by Cherith Baldry. Reread of a book I wrote part of my MA dissertation on. Sometimes feels overly emotional, but I loved what it does with the Arthurian material. 4/5 stars
Spider-woman: Shifting Gears – Baby Talk, by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez. A bit of a left turn out of nowhere for Jessica Drew, but still fun. 4/5 stars
Semiosis, by Sue Burke. I had a couple of quibbles with the narration, but I loved the ideas behind this one. 4/5 stars
Island of Apples, by Glynn Jones. Nope. Didn’t really get it, nor get along with it. 2/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Affiliate links. That experiment on The Bibliophibian is now over! It didn’t work out very well for me, so this is a bit of a post mortem — and a plea for people to support other bloggers whenever they can.
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly report on what I’m reading right now.

So what’ve you been reading this week? Anything fun going on for you? Let me know!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 28 April, 2018 by Nikki in General / 14 Comments

Welp, I have deadlines coming out of my ears. I haven’t replied to last week’s STS comments at the point I’m typing this. I’m gonna sit down and blitz through it tomorrow, along with any I get on this post! I am sorry to be a failboat: I blame the fact that I have two (two!) new(ish) jobs and four assignments due within a three week period. And exams coming up.

Ulp.

Still, in cool news, this is my hair now.

(It was teal until yesterday morning, and red for a long time before that. But this was the actual target colour when it ended up teal, more or less.)

Received to review:

Thank you, Tor! But especially thank you Crown Publishing for sending me Foundryside — via express mail, no less!

Books read this week:

Cover of Seven Dead by J. Jefferson Farjeon  

Cover of The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang Cover of Immune by Catherine Carver Cover of Murder in the Channel by Freeman Wills Croft

Reviews posted this week:

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, by Dan Ariely. Nothing much new to me, but solid stuff if you don’t know the psychology. 3/5 stars
Bats in the Belfry, by E.C.R. Lorac. Fun mystery, with a good twist and some very sinister scenes. 4/5 stars
War for the Oaks, by Emma Bull. It’s the grandma of Kate Daniels, October Daye and their like, and it’s a lot of fun. 4/5 stars
Evolution in Four Dimensions, by Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb. If you want to learn about non-genetic methods of inheritance, this is a great place to start. Not all of the layout worked for me, but there’s some very good stuff. 4/5 stars
The Cornish Coast Mystery, by John Bude. If I was just reading this as a random story picked up without context, I might not have enjoyed it so much, on reflection. But being able to place it in the Golden Age of crime fiction, and knowing a little about the influences and so on, I found it an entertaining cosy mystery and worth the time. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW WednesdayThe weekly update!

How’s everyone else doing? Been reading, in a slump, too many other things to think about? Anything amazing hit your doormat as an ARC?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 21 April, 2018 by Nikki in General / 16 Comments

Sooo, Amsterdam happened! And so did many books. Also some awesome socks.

Books acquired

Cover of Murder in Piccadilly by Charles Kingston Cover of Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay Cover of Fire in the Thatch by E.C.R. Lorac Cover of Seven Dead by J. Jefferson Farjeon

Cover of Death of a Busybody by George Bellairs Cover of Roar by Cora Carmack Cover of Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn Cover of Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer

Cover of Head On by John Scalzi Cover of Semiosis by Sue Burke Cover of Skullsworn by Brian Staveley Cover of The Sisters of the Crescent Empress

Cover of The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis Cover of I Only Killed Him Once by Adam Christopher

Though the last one is, of course, an ARC — Tor are as good to me as ever.

Books read this week:

Cover of The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English Cover of The Secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton Cover of War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

Cover of A Long Day In Lychford by Paul Cornell Cover of Exiled from Camelot by Cherith Baldry Cover of The Brain Supremacy by Kathleen Taylor

Reviews posted this week:

A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin. This was mostly just a comfort read so I didn’t actually have much to say. I still love it with all its flaws. 5/5 stars
The Poisoned Chocolates Case, by Anthony Berkeley. I add to a classic murder mystery in my review… 4/5 stars
The Atrocities, by Jeremy C. Shipp. Some good atmosphere but ultimately I didn’t love it. 3/5 stars
The Golden Age of Murder, by Martin Edwards. This book tries to do a lot, but it’s mostly successful and it made me really curious about Golden Age crime fiction I’d never even heard of. 4/5 stars
A Long Day in Lychford, by Paul Cornell. I don’t love this series like some other people do, but this book did really manage to put its finger on some of the feelings in Britain around Brexit. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW WednesdayThe weekly update on what I’ve been reading lately.

How’s everyone doing? Delicious book hauls? Dying of the sudden warm weather, Europeans?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 14 April, 2018 by Nikki in General / 21 Comments

I’m safely back in Belgium! And in our little game of doing chores and healthy things, my wife and I have hit 200 stars (ish), so we’re off to Amsterdam today for books, yarn and goodness knows what. (Mostly books and yarn.) So I’ll reply to any comments tomorrow!

Books bought/received to review:

Cover of Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer Cover of The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston Cover of Booked to Die by John Dunning

Cover of The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis Cover of The Secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton

A bit of a weird mix, maybe…

Read this week:

Cover of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert Cover of Daphne du Maurier by Margaret Forster Cover of Almost Human by Lee Berger Cover of Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero Cover of The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Cover of Evolution in Four Dimensions by Eva Jablonka Cover of The Honest Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely Cover of The Atrocities by Jeremy C. Shipp Cover of Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland Cover of The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude

Reviews posted this week:

The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert. It took me a while to figure out what this was trying to do, but I ended up enjoying it. 4/5 stars
Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero. Okay, this had its annoying aspects (oh my goodness, you can use the word “said”, I promise!) but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Especially Kerri and Andy. 4/5 stars
The Prince and the Dressmaker, by Jen Wang. Lovely. The historical setting doesn’t quite work, but I loved the rest of it. 4/5 stars
Daphne du Maurier, by Margaret Forster. I found this interesting, but I felt like I was prying. 3/5 stars
Lost for Words, by Stephanie Butland. Not quite as light as I expected, and gah, the mental health clichés. 2/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: The usual weekly post.

So how’re you doing? Reading plenty? Got weekend plans?

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