Tag: Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

Posted 14 October, 2017 by Nikki in General / 32 Comments

Good morning, folks! I’m finally better from my cough… at least mostly, though if you look at me wrong I might go off into a little coughing fit, alas. I’ve just ordered a bunch of background reading for my course, but it hasn’t all arrived yet, so I only have a small stack of books to share this week: a couple of ARCs and a novella.

Oh, and here’s the obligatory away-from-buns bunny picture:

Photo of my bunnies sat together.

Double Trouble.

Received to review:

Cover of Close Encounters with Humankind by Sang-Hee Lee Cover of Valiant Dust by Richard Baker

I’ve already read Close Encounters with Humankind, which is pretty fascinating; I can’t remember the summary of Valiant Dust, so that one’s going to be a surprise…


Cover of The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford

I’ve been curious about this since N.K. Jemisin mentioned it in her column, so I picked it up with what was left of an Amazon voucher after buying stuff related to my classes.

Read this week:

Cover of Away With the Fairies by Kerry Greenwood Cover of A is for Arsenic by Kathryn Harkup Cover of Close Encounters with Humankind by Sang-Hee Lee Cover of A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson Cover of The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford

A bit better week for reading, this week! Here’s hoping I get back into top form soon…

Reviews posted this week:

The Hammer and the Cross, by Robert Ferguson. A little dry and very detailed; a very good read for someone who’s really interested, though. 4/5 stars
A Very British Murder, by Lucy Worsley. A fun book covering the evolution of crime fiction in the UK, and people’s love of it. 4/5 stars
Machiavelli: A Man Misunderstood, by Michael White. Another good biography from White. 4/5 stars
The Man Who Fell to Earth, by Walter Tevis. I didn’t love this, but the way it ended was perfect — it made so much sense with what we see in reality. Hence, 4/5 stars
The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden. This didn’t quite work for me, and I’m not sure why. I guess it felt rather predictable/typical in some ways. 3/5 stars
How We Got To Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World, by Steven Johnson. Good points and a pretty entertaining read, but nothing earth-shatteringly surprising. 3/5 stars
The Lost City of Z, by David Grann. Really, I want the book about the archaeology being done now, rather than about Victorian explorers, but it’s reasonably entertaining all the same. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW WednesdayThe weekly update on what I’m reading.

How’re you doing? Comment here to let me know, and don’t forget to provide a link so I can visit you in return!

Tags: , ,


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 7 October, 2017 by Nikki in General / 22 Comments

Good morning, folks! I’m not quite over the cold yet, since I have a horrible cough that won’t shift, but I’m doing better. And, I ended up with a whole stack of books from London/friends/etc. Woo!

Update on the me:

As you can see below, it still hasn’t been a good reading week. I’m just so tired. I have a few books on the go, but nothing’s sticking very well. Mostly I feel like reading non-fiction, but I’m mindful of the fact that most people are here for my fiction reviews, and don’t even read non-fiction, so I do need to keep up with the fiction content!

Although, maybe that’s the problem. I do view keeping my blog interesting as being a job, and reading ARCs as a job, sometimes. Maybe that’s taking the fun out of it a little — but on the other hand, I get fun back from running a blog people enjoy and engage with, so… Hm.

Anyway, other than that, you may have noticed that I’ve got my green lock showing my site is now secure! With the help of Lynn O’Connacht, who is very patient and hosts my blog for free, my site is now secured and fit for anything.

In other news, I’m away from the bunnies again, and you know what that means. Here is Hulk, showing everyone she’s a civilised lady and can sit at (well… under) the dinner table.

New books:

Cover of Built on Bodies by Brenna Hasset Cover of Science and the City by Laurie Winkless Cover of Goldilocks and the Water Bears by Louisa Preston Cover of Bring Back the King by Helen Pilcher

Cover of Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews Cover of The Five Daughters of the Moon by Leena Likitalo Cover of After the Bloodwood Staff Cover of The Occasional Diamond Thief by J.A. Mclachlan

Cover of Going For Stone by Philip Gross Cover of Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle

Some good non-fic picked up at the New Scientist Live event, and a bunch more fiction to keep me occupied. Hurrah!

Read this week:

Cover of Bring Back the King by Helen Pilcher Cover of Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn Cover of The Servants, by Michael Marshall Smith


Reviews posted this week:

The Wimsey Family, by C.S. Scott-Giles & Dorothy L. Sayers. A little piece of, well, whimsy, covering the background of Lord Peter’s family in bits and bobs pieced together from letters and piffle. 4/5 stars
Mask of Shadows, by Linsey Miller. Mostly, this felt a little bit too much like Throne of Glass and The Hunger Games, though the genderqueer protagonist was an interesting touch. 3/5 stars
A Rare Book of Cunning Device, by Ben Aaronovitch. A fun audio-exclusive. Not essential to the broader plot of Peter Grant’s story, but a good aside and a perfect narrator. 4/5 stars
Leonardo: The First Scientist, by Michael White. A readable and apparently well-sourced biography of a great thinker. 4/5 stars
Drawing Breath: the Making and Unmaking of Tuberculosis, by Kathryn Lougheed. A lot of stuff I didn’t know about TB itself, and a wake-up call if you didn’t know that TB is very far from being unmade. 4/5 stars
The Secret History of the World, by Jonathan Black. Not about what I thought it was about from other reviews, sadly. 1/5 stars
The Carpet Makers, by Andreas Eschbach. A reread of a carefully crafted favourite. 5/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW WednesdayThe weekly update on what I’ve been reading

So how’re you?

Tags: , ,


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 30 September, 2017 by Nikki in General / 21 Comments

Good morning, folks. I’m currently in London, about to attend the New Scientist Live event, and completely full of cold. Wife brought it home last week, but now I’m in the thick of it too. Bleh. So anyway, I might not reply to comments/other people’s posts until tomorrow, but I promise I’ll get to them, as always!

Books received to review:

Cover of Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren Cover of The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang Cover of The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang Cover of The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt

Thank you Tor and Angry Robot! Exciting stuff.

Books bought:

Cover of Keeping Their Marbles by Tiffany Jenkins Cover of Provenance by Ann Leckie Cover of A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

Thank you, Mum! I’ve been wanting all these for ages.

Read this week:

Cover of Snowdrift & Other Stories by Georgette Heyer Cover of Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey Cover of Bog Bodies Uncovered

Again, not the greatest reading week. It started okay, but then I got sick…

Reviews posted this week:

The Warrior Princess, by K.M. Ashman. Disappointing in execution, but still pretty awesome to see someone dealing with Welsh history. I learnt something! 2/5 stars
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore. It started out entertaining, but I got tired of the brand of humour, which mostly revolves around sex and bodily functions. 2/5 stars
Proust and the Squid, by Maryanne Wolf. About the science of how we read. I have serious questions about some of the research described. 3/5 stars
Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee. I couldn’t wrap my head around it as science fiction, but once I treated it as fantasy and just accepted the world, I loved it. 4/5 stars
Neanderthals Rediscovered, by Dimitra Pappagianni and Michael A. Morse. Not as in-depth as I’d hoped, but interesting stuff. 3/5 stars
Starlings, by Jo Walton. Unsurprisingly, I loved this collection of Jo’s short work. 4/5 stars
The Planet in a Pebble, by Jan Zalasiewicz. Not as poetic as Richard Fortey’s work, but an enjoyable survey of the rock cycle. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

The cost of reading: Books ARE expensive. Apropos of a throwaway tweet stating that books are not expensive. (Spoiler: it depends.)

No WWW Wednesday post this week, see also: I was sick! Hopefully there’ll be more activity round here in the week to come. How’s everyone else doing?

Tags: , ,


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 23 September, 2017 by Nikki in General / 20 Comments

Good morning, folks! Here’s the second part of the great Calgary book haul, featuring all the fantasy books I got! Plus some more review copies, of course.


Cover of Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Cover of A Season of Spells by Sylvia Izzo Hunter Cover of Everfair by Nisi Shawl Cover of The Tower of Beowulf by Parke Godwin

Cover of The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish Cover of American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett Cover of The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky Cover of The Innamorati by Midori Snyder

Cover of Nobody's Son by Sean Stewart Cover of I Am Morgan Le Fay by Nancy Springer Cover of Warrior and Witch by Marie Brennan Cover of The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power

Cover of The Painter Knight by Fiona Patton Cover of The Granite Shield by Fiona Patton Cover of Devil's Call by J. Danielle Dorn

Quite a few from my backlog of wishlist, there! Looks like it’s gonna be fun.

Received to review:

Cover of Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden Cover of Ironclads by Adrian Tchiakovsky Cover of Weaver's Lament by Emma Newman Cover of A Long Day In Lychford by Paul Cornell

Cover of A Matter of Oaths by Helen S. Wright Cover of Nanoshock by K.C. Alexander Cover of Damn Fine Story by Chuck Wendig

I’ve been meaning to read Annie On My Mind forever, so yay for getting that. Well, yay to all of them (and thank you to the publishers/publicists).

Read this week:

Cover of The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera Cover of Damn Fine Story by Chuck Wendig Cover of Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

It hasn’t been a reading week, really, as you can see — I’ve been focusing on replaying Final Fantasy VIII with my wife, which is a different sort of fun!

Reviews posted this week:

Harkworth Hall, by L.S. Johnson. I have a couple of minor quibbles, but I was pretty hooked all the same. 4/5 stars
The Deeper Genome, by John Parrington. It starts off simple, but it does start delving into stuff I wasn’t very familiar with. Definitely worth reading. 4/5 stars
The Ghoul King, by Guy Haley. Quinn intrigues me, even though he isn’t outwardly the best person. I need moooore. 4/5 stars
The Button Box, by Lynn Knight. A lovely survey of women’s fashion through the medium of the family button box. 4/5 stars
Defy, by Sara B. Larson. The main character is a girl disguised as a boy. Everyone seems to know her secret, though. Meh. 2/5 stars
The Emerald Planet, by David Beerling. I didn’t expect to love this, but I really did — it’s fascinating stuff. 5/5 stars
Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb. This is a reread, and I’m relieved that I still loved it. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. What I’m reading right now (or as of Wednesday, anyway).

How’s everyone?

Tags: , ,


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 16 September, 2017 by Nikki in General / 23 Comments

Hey everyone! I’m back! And now I have to actually account for my hauls, erk. I’m gonna split it up into two posts, because, um, yeah. So look out next week for my fantasy haul!

Received to review:

Cover of First Grave On the Right by Darynda Jones Cover of Snowdrift & Other Stories by Georgette Heyer Cover of Immortal Architects by Paige Orwin Cover of A Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey

Cover of The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear Cover of The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo Cover of Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee Cover of The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Quite a bunch, right? I was really excited about most of these, and I’m so glad I got approved for them!

Crime/mystery bought

Cover of Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart Cover Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn Cover of The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn

I’ve been meaning to read these for a while. I have high hopes of the Daisy Dalrymple books being my new Phryne-like fix…

Sci-fi bought

Cover of Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott Cover of Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine Cover of Too Like The Lightning

I’ve been meaning to read all three of these entirely different novels for ages, so… here goes?

Non-fiction bought

Cover of Moral Tribes by Joshua Greene Cover of The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson Cover of Words Are My Matter by Ursula Le Guin Cover of Imagining Head-Smashed-In by Jack Brink

Cover of Against Empathy by Paul Bloom Cover of The Great Influenza by John M. Barry Cover of The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes Cover of Gorgon by Peter D Ward

Cover of Bog Bodies Uncovered Cover of The Gods of Olympus by Barbara Graziosi

Bit of a mix, as per usual! I was glad to find something like Imagining Head-Smashed-In when I visited Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, because I would like to read more about First Nations people, and this was at least praised by modern First Nations people.

LGBT bought

Cover of The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles Cover of An Unseen Attraction by K.J. Charles Cover of Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles

I read An Unsuitable Heir while I was away, and decided I really needed to read more by K.J. Charles. Here’s hoping they all match up in quality!

Read this week:

Cover of The Naming of the Shrew by John Wright Cover of Adventures in Human Being by Gavin Francis Cover of The Brain by David Eagleman Cover of Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Cover of The Beautiful Ones by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia Cover of A Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey Cover of First Grave On the Right by Darynda Jones Cover of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Reviews posted this week:

Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris. I enjoy Harris’ work for light reading, but just don’t get along with Sookie. 1/5 stars
Outer Space, Inner Lands, by Ursula Le Guin. It’s Ursula Le Guin’s SF short fiction. ’nuff said. 5/5 stars
Camelot’s Honour, by Sarah Zettel. A beloved reread that winds together the Arthurian story and the non-Arthurian bits of the Mabinogion. 4/5 stars
One Renegade Cell, by Robert Weinberg. At one point, this was the state of the art in describing and understanding cancer. It’s still pretty helpful. 3/5 stars
Magic Shifts, by Ilona Andrews. As usual, a fun entry to the series. 4/5 stars
An Unsuitable Heir, by K.J. Charles. A lovely romance/mystery I enjoyed on a lot of levels. 4/5 stars
Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real, by Brian Gordon. Collection of a fun comic. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: What I’m reading at the moment!

Tags: , ,


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 9 September, 2017 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

This is the second of my scheduled way-in-advance posts, so it’s not the most up to date, but next week I’ll be back with your regularly scheduled update. I don’t have a new bunny picture to share, since the buns are off at the babysitter’s, but here’s an older one of Hulk begging to be pet, and one of Breakfast cleaning his face!

How have I deserved such cute buns?

Books bought this week:

Cover of Updraft by Fran Wilde Cover of Too Like The Lightning

Again, just a tiny selection from a rather larger haul. Calgary’s bookshops probably fear me, by now.

Books read this week:

Cover of The Gods of Olympus by Barbara Graziosi Cover of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden Cover of The Bonobo and the Atheist by Frans de Waal

Not much reading this week, given roadtrips and such!

Reviews posted this week:

Acadie, by Dave Hutchinson. I was along for the ride, nodding at the fairly predictable beats — and then wham, the ending jacked it up a star. 4/5 stars
Why Dinosaurs Matter, by Kenneth Lacovara. Nothing much new if you know your dinosaurs, but interesting all the same. 3/5 stars
The Shadowy Horses, by Susanna Kearsley. Give me moooore of the archaeology, less of the ghost story! 3/5 stars
Hengeworld, by Mike Pitts. Fascinating discussion of the mythic landscape of Paleolithic Britain, although I don’t always agree with Pitts’ assessments. Lots of depth on the archaeological digs and so on. 3/5 stars
The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin. …I don’t get the fuss, sorry. 2/5 stars
A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers. More insular and intimate than the first book, this feels less easily resolved too. I enjoyed it a lot, and it can stand alone if you’re interested. 4/5 stars
The Making of the Fittest, by Sean B. Carroll. Basically looks at the “forensic record” of evolution encoded in DNA. Interesting enough, especially if you’re looking for examples to cite… 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The update on what I’m reading and what I might read next.

I know I’ve been away, but I’ll be back soon after this goes up, so let me know how you’re all doing!

Tags: , ,


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 2 September, 2017 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Hello from Calgary!

This post was mostly written in advance, so sorry if I don’t manage to comment back to you! Here’s the obligatory away-from-bunnies bunny pic — some cuddles with Breakfast a couple of days before we set off.

Books bought in Calgary:

This is just a taster, because jetlag has hit me hard and I can’t focus beyond the next ten minutes involving my pajamas.

Cover of Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Cover of Everfair by Nisi Shawl Cover of Roses and Rot by Kat Howard Cover of A Season of Spells by Sylvia Izzo Hunter

Most of these I’ve had before, but review copies… I felt guilty, okay?

Books read this week:

Cover of The Lost City of Z by David Grann Cover of The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis Cover of An Unsuitable Heir by K.J. Charles Cover of Inferior by Angela Saini

Cover of A Wrinkle in Time Cover of Jhereg by Steven Brust Cover of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

I should come up with ratings for these, but honestly I’m this close to falling asleep in the middle of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

Reviews posted this week:

Buffalo Soldier, by Maurice Broaddus. I feel like I’d have appreciated this more if I knew US history better, but it’s fascinating all the same. 3/5 stars
A Crack in Creation, by Jennifer Doudna and Sam Sternberg. A timely exploration of the latest in gene editing — something I’d love to work on. 5/5 stars
15 Million Degrees, by Lucie Green. Solar physics might not be quite my thing, but Green’s sense of wonder definitely came across. 3/5 stars
Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey. I enjoyed this a lot, and had to get the next book. It has its flaws (some more female characters, please?), but in general it worked for me. 4/5 stars
The Trouble with Physics, by Lee Smolin. Understand string theory? It’s okay, Smolin points out that nobody does. This book got me as close as I’ve ever been to understanding it, though. 4/5 stars
Starborn, by Lucy Hounsom. I found a few aspects of this problematic, and I’m not gonna read the rest of the series. 2/5 stars
False Colours, by Georgette Heyer. It’s fun — as you’d expect from Heyer. 3/5 stars

Tags: , ,


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 26 August, 2017 by Nikki in General / 21 Comments

I am back with the wife and the bunnies! And soon I’m off to Canada. I don’t know how much I’ll be around there, so there may not be a weekly roundup/STS post, but I have reviews scheduled to go up as usual.

Received to review:

Cover of Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell

Yay! I only recently read Spellslinger, so I was glad to get this now.

Birthday presents:

Cover of The Hidden Life of Trees Cover of Scientific Babel by Michael Gordin Cover of Priam's Gold by Caroline Moorhead Cover of Neanderthals Rediscovered by Dimitra Pappagiani

Cover of Striding Folly by Dorothy L. Sayers Cover of The Wimsey Family Cover of Castles by Marc Morris

I actually got almost the full set of Peter Wimsey books in these new editions like Striding Folly, all matching, but I’m not listing them as new books because there’s so many, and because I’ve read most of them many a time!

As you see, it’s quite a mix. I picked all of them myself, so I can’t blame anyone else’s weird taste…

Books I bought:

Cover of Universal by Brian Cox Cover of Inferior by Angela Saini Cover of The Lost City of Z by David Grann Cover of How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson

Cover of The Genius of Birds Cover of Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee Cover of Nyxia by Scott Reintgen Cover of Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Cover of Abaddon's Gate by James S. A. Corey Cover of Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey

I swear, there were sales.

I’d say this is my last acquisition for a while, but I specifically saved up some money for a little book spree while visiting the in-laws in Calgary…

Books read this week:

Cover of Leonardo by Michael White Cover of Neanderthals Rediscovered by Dimitra Pappagiani Cover of Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee Cover of A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley Cover of The Wimsey Family

Cover of Starlings by Jo Walton Cover of A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch Cover of Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller Cover of How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson

Four stars to… pretty much all of these. Three stars to Mask of Shadows, though.

Reviews posted this week:

Life on the Edge, by Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili. The idea of quantum biology scares me a little, since I’d rather keep quantum out of biology… but this book makes it seem pretty manageable. 4/5 stars
The Vaccine Race, by Meredith Wadman. A lot of stuff I didn’t know about the development of vaccines! 4/5 stars
Just Six Numbers, by Martin Rees. A bit out of date now, but still worth a read and pretty clear for someone not in the field. 3/5 stars
Mapping the Interior, by Stephen Graham Jones. Creepy stuff, and I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, but it’s definitely effective. 3/5 stars
Babylon, by Paul Kriwaczek. What is it about books about Mesopotamia that they fall prey to total lack of sourcing…? 1/5 stars
The Fire’s Stone, by Tanya Huff. A reread, and it’s still fun. 4/5 stars
A Pocketful of Crows, by Joanne Harris. Weaves together a whole bunch of interesting stories into a whole. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual update.
Experiment results: My mood does correlate with how much I read! Nobody who reads my book blog is surprised, but hey, here’s the results of the little study I did on myself over on my science blog. Plus bonus maths! Now doesn’t that sound tempting?

Tags: , ,


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 19 August, 2017 by Nikki in General / 18 Comments

Good morning! Tomorrow is my birthday, so I’m getting a couple more books then… but after that, I swear I’m toning down my hauls for a while.

Since I’m still at my parents’, here’s a bunny pic! Yes, this is Hulk. Yes, that’s her bag of hay — the one we use to replenish her ball of hay, which is the hay she’s actually meant to eat.

Hulk (bunny) bodily in her bag of hay

I recognise that furtive-looking butt…



Cover of The Zoo by Isobel Charman Cover of Timekeepers by Simon Garfield

Cover of Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw Cover of The Regional Office is Under Attack Cover of Masquerade by Laura Lam

Ah, Waterstones, I missed you.

Received to review:

Cover of Starlings by Jo Walton Cover of The Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock

Yaaaay! I love Jo Walton’s work, so I am excited for this. I’ve also been eyeing An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors for a while, so I’m excited to get to that, too.

Read this week:

Cover of The Ghoul King by Guy Haley Cover of The Button Box by Lynn Knight Cover of The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach Cover of The Hammer and the Cross by Robert Ferguson

Cover of Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb Cover of Defy by Sara Larson Cover of Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore Cover of Machiavelli by Michael White Cover of The Warrior Princess by K.M. Ashman

Five stars to: The Carpet Makers.
Four stars to: The Ghoul King, The Button Box, The Hammer and the Cross, Machiavelli, Assassin’s Apprentice.
Two stars to: Defy, Lamb, The Warrior Princess.

Reviews posted this week:

The Martian, by Andy Weir. Still a lot of fun on a reread. Such snark! 4/5 stars
The Spellslinger, by Sebastien de Castell. This is a fun coming of age story that doesn’t go the typical, easy way of fantasy novels that feature misfits who can’t use their magic. 4/5 stars
Wicked Plants, by Amy Stewart. More for flicking through than reading exhaustively. 3/5 stars
The Real Lives of Roman Britain, by Guy de la Bedoyere. A good attempt at bringing the Britons of Roman Britain alive. It falls a little short for me, because we have so little information. 3/5 stars
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. A reread I thoroughly enjoyed, although aspects seem a bit too… obvious to me now. 4/5 stars
Clouds of Witness, by Dorothy L. Sayers. Another reread of a favourite. 4/5 stars
The Glass Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg. Ceony drives me a bit mad, but overall I still had fun. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday. My last regular Top Ten Tuesday post, this features a top ten of past top ten posts.

How are you doing?

Tags: , ,


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 12 August, 2017 by Nikki in General / 20 Comments

Good morning! I’m in the UK again, visiting my parents for my birthday, so I’d better go with the tradition — here’s a pic of one of the buns which my wife sent me! Here Breakfast is somewhere he shouldn’t be, looking very curious…

He’s going to get himself in trouble any minute now.

So, right, the haul. Here goes…

Received to review:

Cover of Harkworth Hall Cover of Swearing Off Stars Cover of Fowl Language by Brian Gordon Cover of Skyfarer by Joseph Brassey

I asked for Harkworth Hall after reading Bob @ Beauty in Ruins’ review, and it was worth it! Swearing Off Stars was a random grab, while I got Fowl Language because I’ve loved the cartoons from Brian Gordon’s series that I’ve seen around.

Fiction books bought:

Cover of Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older Cover of The Shards of Heaven by Michael Livingston Cover of The Red by Linda Nagata Cover of The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Cover of Arena by Holly Jennings Cover of In the Shadow of the Gods by Rachel Dunne Cover of After the Crown by K.B. Wagers Cover of Rosewater by Tade Thompson

Cover of The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin Cover of Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson Cover of Europe in Winter by Dave Hutchinson

 Cover of Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells Cover of Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

I know, I know, it’s an amazing haul. Woohoo for the American Book Centre in Amsterdam — definitely recommended: great deals on books, a good selection, and friendly staff. 10% off for students, too! A bunch of these were just €6.99, which is amazingly cheap for imported books in Europe.

Non-fiction books bought:


 Cover of The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukharjee Cover of A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley Cover of The Button Box by Lynn Knight

I was initially going to complain that I wanted more non-fiction books, but I let myself buy a few more as I passed through London, and now I have quite the satisfactory haul!

Books read this week: 

Cover of Hengeworld by Mike Pitts Cover of Catching Breath by Kathryn Lougheed Cover of Fowl Language by Brian Gordon Cover of The Secret History of the World by Jonathan Black Cover of Harkworth Hall

Four stars to: Hengeworld, Catching Breath, Harkworth Hall.
Three stars to: Fowl Language.
One star to: The Secret History of the World.

Reviews posted this week:

Star-shot, by Mary Ann Constantin. This wasn’t quite my thing, but I was still impressed by the way it was written and some of the fascinating images. 3/5 stars
Machine, by Jennifer Pelland. This left me with pretty mixed feelings. It’s a powerful story, but also disturbing. 3/5 stars
Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie. I want more, but this is still a great book. 5/5 stars
The Refrigerator Monologues, by Catherynne Valente. Very fun, although also depressing. 4/5 stars
Life Unfolding, by Jamie T. Davies. A really fascinating exploration of how the human body develops. 4/5 stars
The Paper Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg. This is a bag of cotton candy as far as my brain is concerned. Sweet and some fascinating magic. 3/5 stars
Incognito, by David Eagleman. Very readable, but it won’t contain any surprises if you’ve read other pop-sci about the brain and its weird ways before. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was Forced To Read (And Loved).
WWW Wednesday. The weekly update!
The Reading Quest. My sign-up for a new readathon.

Tags: , ,