Tag: Stacking the Shelves

Weekly Roundup

Posted January 13, 2020 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

What do you mean, I’m late? 😀

Well, okay, I’m late, but I don’t want to end up rounding up two weeks again next Saturday, so let’s chalk it up to experience and do this one late.

Books acquired:

Cover of The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles Cover of A Fashionable Indulgence by KJ Charles Cover of A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles

Cover of A Gentleman's Position by KJ Charles Cover of Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather

Yep, that’s my wife finishing up spoiling me by buying me the Society of Gentlemen books. Plus a new Tor novella, after imyril tempted me on Litsy.

Books read this week:

Cover of Watchtower by Elizabeth A. Lynn Cover of Tea & Sympathetic Magic by Tansy Rayner Roberts Cover of The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles Cover of Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather

Cover of Venus & Aphrodite by Bettany Hughes Cover of A Case of Possession by KJ Charles Cover of Flight of Magpies by KJ Charles

Reviews posted:

Sorting the Beef from the Bull, by Nicola Temple and Richard Evershed. A bit frightening, and pretty darn interesting. It goes into the science of food fraud — and how to detect food fraud when it happens. Think Horsegate, but also fake eggs, adulterated spices and other weirdness. 4/5 stars
A Hidden Hope, by Laura Ambrose. I didn’t love this, though I recognised a lot of myself in the girls’ actions and relationship. I just didn’t feel there was enough of them outside the relationship to really root for. 2/5 stars
Watchtower, by Elizabeth A. Lynn. I confess, I didn’t really get it. The characters all seemed opaque to me, I couldn’t figure out what everyone was thinking. 3/5 stars
Tea & Sympathetic Magic, by Tansy Rayner Roberts. Cute and fun, and a quick read too. 3/5 stars
The Magpie Lord, by K.J. Charles. This was a reread, and yep, I enjoyed it just as much as I did before. The sexual tension went unresolved longer than I remembered! And wow, that horrific scene is still pretty horrific. 4/5 stars
Sisters of the Vast Black, by Lina Rather. If you liked Jesuits In Space (The Sparrow), then try Nuns In Space! Okay, it’s not quite as heavy as The Sparrow and definitely not as philosophical, but it does justice to the idea. It’s also powerfully hopeful. 4/5 stars
Venus & Aphrodite, by Bettany Hughes. Fairly light, but some interesting stuff I didn’t know yet about the development of the Aphrodite myth. 3/5 stars
A Case of Possession, by K.J. Charles. More development for Stephen and Lucien’s relationship, and they’re mostly not too stupid at each other. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update on what I’m reading at the time!

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Falling temperatures.It’s not the weather report! It’s all about the observation that the average body temperature of humans seems to be falling by the decade, and why that might be.

And that’s it, that’s everything. Whew.

How’re you all doing?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted January 4, 2020 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Well, Happy New Year! It’s been a quiet-ish week, but I did pick up a new book today. I don’t watch much TV, but hearing people talk about The Witcher made me curious. So, of course…

Cover of The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Books read: 

Cover of Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole Cover of Wanted, a Gentleman by K.J. Charles Cover of The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by K.J. Charles Cover of Sorting the Beef from the Bull Cover of A Hidden Hope by Laura Ambrose

Reviews posted:

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy, by Alyssa Cole. Author does not seem to know the meaning of ghosting (the breakup is emphatic and final, kind of the opposite of ghosting), but the relationship is sweet. 3/5 stars
Wanted, a Gentleman, by K.J. Charles. This didn’t go anywhere I didn’t expect, but I enjoyed it anyway; it’s very Regency in some ways, and yet of course a black former slave and a poor man would not be the heroes of a Regency novel. 4/5 stars
The Santa Klaus Murder, by Mavis Doriel Hay. Actually a repost, because something went awry somewhere. A Christmas-themed mystery, but like most sold that way, doesn’t feel Christmas-y; too sordid and full of family squabbling. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

Game of Books 2020. The rules and my set-up for this year.
2019 Stats. A bit of a breakdown of last year’s reading!
How to Meet Your 2020 Reading Goal. My tips and tricks for reading as much as I do (and more).

And that’s it for this week! How’re you guys doing? Bought your first books of 2020 yet, or holding out?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted December 28, 2019 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Greetings, folks! It’s been Christmas, so I’ve got quite a few new books… for instance, I got my wish for more physical copies of K.J. Charles’ work! 😍 (Some of these I bought myself, mind you.)

Stack of KJ Charles books with a stuffie hedgehog on top

(Sssh, don’t disturb the Librarian Hog, he’s been deliberating for days about how to shelve these!)

So here’s a selection of my new books…

Newly Acquired:

Cover of Romancing the Duke Cover of The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare Cover of Proper English by KJ Charles

Cover of Death in Fancy Dress Cover of Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger Cover of Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch

Cover of The Christmas Egg by Mary Kelly Cover of The Pursuit of by Courtney Milan Cover of This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan

In no particular order, because why not enjoy the eclectic way things come into my brain?

Thank you again to the anonymous friend who bought me Steel Crow Saga via Portal Bookshop. Also the anonymous friend who bought me The Private Life of Jane Maxwell, because you only identified yourself as “a Habitican book blogger”, and I know a few. Much much love to you and to everyone who’s bought me books lately. <3

Reviews posted:

Magic Rises, by Ilona Andrews. This book drives me a little bit mad because there’s a lot of awesome, but then also a stupid miscommunication plot between Kate and Curran, just when they were acting like sensible people. 4/5 stars
This Wicked Gift, by Courtney Milan. I have (serious) issues with the male love interest, but there is a lot to enjoy here as well. 3/5 stars
The Pursuit of…, by Courtney Milan. Okay, this one’s really cute. 4/5 stars
The Christmas Egg, by Mary Kelly. Rather meandering and unfocused, but not a bad seasonal read. 2/5 stars

And that’s it for this week! How’s everyone doing?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted December 21, 2019 by Nikki in General / 9 Comments

Hi folks! It’s been a while since I did one because stuff got overwhelming, so I’m calling bankruptcy on an actual roundup. Here are a few books I’ve been granted e-ARCs of or been gifted recently, and I’ll start next week’s roundup from here!

E-ARCs

Cover of Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey Cover of Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire Cover of Hearts of Oak by Eddie Robson Cover of The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

SantaThing

Cover of The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi Cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid Cover of Lady Killers by Tori Telfer

Now back to crocheting Christmas presents! But what have you guys been up to lately?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted November 23, 2019 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

Two weeks since the last roundup! What have I been doing? Working, mostly, and doing NaNoWriMo. I’m hoping in December I’ll get back into the swing of reading more… but if I don’t, that’s fine too. Here’s everything that’s been going on…

New books:

Cover of The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman Cover of The Light Years by R.W.W. Greene Stormsong by C.L. Polk

Thanks to Angry Robot and Tor for the ARCs!

Books finished:

Cover of Quick Curtain by Alan Melville Cover of Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet by Nicholas Reeves Cover of The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Cover of The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman Cover of A Mourning Wedding by Carola Dunn. Cover of The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman

Reviews posted:

Heraclix and Pomp, by Forrest Aguirre. Not quite my cup of tea. 1/5 stars
Hekla’s Children, by James Brogden. I found this rather predictable and nasty, with one of those entitled male protagonists that bug me so much. Sure, that’s part of the point, but it doesn’t make it more enjoyable. 2/5 stars
Akhenaten: Egypt’s False Prophet, by Nicholas Reeves. Misleadingly still billed by the publishers as revolutionary for this 2019 reissue, when it was in fact written in 2005. Not updated. Rests on some very tenuous evidence and generally entirely skippable. 2/5 stars
The Invisible Library, by Genevieve Cogman. Remains one hell of a romp, and a book I recommend. 4/5 stars
Quick Curtain, by Alan Melville. Unfortunately, this is another one that was solidly not my thing. Comedic and incompetent crime detection story? Meh. 2/5 stars
The Reluctant Widow, by Georgette Heyer. Still enjoyable, but the male lead drove me a bit nuts on this reread. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

The Sparrow Readalong Week One: I need to catch up! Way behind now. But here were my thoughts on week one…

And that’s it! Here’s hoping things will be busier around here in the next couple of weeks. *blows away the cobwebs*

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Weekly Roundup

Posted November 9, 2019 by Nikki in General / 9 Comments

Welp, it’s been a quiet time on the blog since I’ve been doing plenty of work — and doing NaNoWriMo for the first time in years! Last weekend we went out on a trip to the lovely Portal Bookshop in York, which I thoroughly recommend, so I have a few new books! (Also some dead tree copies of beloved books I only had in ebook, but I won’t list those too. Still, have this lovely pic of Biscuit investigating my haul!)

Pic of a small brown bunny standing up against a pile of books

Books acquired:

Cover of Hexbreaker by Jordan L. Hawk Cover of Murder on the Titania by Alex Acks Cover of Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Books read since the last roundup:

Cover of Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard Cover of Provenance by Ann Leckie Cover of Excellent Intentions by Richard Hull Cover of Murder at the Fitzwilliam by Jim Eldridge

Cover of Ivory Vikings by Nancy Marie Brown Cover of Lord Roworth's Reward by Carola Dunn Cover of It's All In Your Head by Suzanne O'Sullivan

Reviews posted since the last roundup:

Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie. This remains a great favourite of mine, and one I’m sure I’ll come back to again. 5/5 stars
Murder at the Fitzwilliam, by Jim Eldridge. Kind of meh, despite a promising setting. 2/5 stars
Excellent Intentions, by Richard Hull. Slightly odd format, interestingly carried out but a bit lacking in personality. 3/5 stars
Women & Power: A Manifesto, by Mary Beard. The first essay is very worth the read; the second a bit less sure ground. 4/5 stars
Lord Roworth’s Reward, by Carola Dunn. An unsurprising but sweet Regency romance. 4/5 stars
It’s All In Your Head, by Suzanne O’Sullivan. Interesting discussion of psychosomatic illness, but simplifies things rather through idealised cases, and the chapter on ME/CFS would make folks I know see red. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. This week’s update!

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Pain and hunger.‘ Can the sensation of hunger change how you perceive pain? Yep, there is good evidence that it can — in both directions.
NEAT science: ‘The biopsychosocial model of mental health.‘ A pet peeve and a cry for holistic care…

And whew, that’s everything. How’re you folks?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted October 26, 2019 by Nikki in Reviews / 6 Comments

Good morning, folks! The bunny hutch drama took some sorting out — it arrived, and we spent about three hours trying to push it into the flat, but we couldn’t manage it. Buuut we found a local moving company willing to help, and they shifted it in, and now it sits in our flat, minus only the trim on its roof! To gain an appreciation of how truly large it is (and how cute the buns are), here are some pics (click them to embiggen)…

That last pic is me standing on the floor, body mostly straight… I am 5ft4, or around 1.6m tall.

You see why it was a bit of an effort! In any case, a mostly quiet week for acquiring and reading books…

Acquired:

Cover of Gilded Cage by KJ Charles Cover of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Read this week:

Cover of Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water by Vlyar Kaftan Cover of Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie Cover of Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

Reviews posted this week:

Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water, by Vylar Kaftan. Less plotty and more character-focused than I expected; I found at least one of the twists rather… not so much predictable, in retrospect, as banal. Of course that was what happened. So it left me a little cold. 3/5 stars
Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. A reread, and just as beloved as ever! I found myself focusing on Seivarden and how she is an utter problematic fave. 5/5 stars
Any Old Diamonds, by K.J. Charles. Lovely relationship between the characters, wrapped into a plot that’s both heart-wrenching and satisfying. 4/5 stars
Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie. Quieter than the first book, maybe; I think this had people thinking about second book syndrome, and yet to my mind it totally avoids that. Perceiving it as that is to sort of miss the point of Breq’s quiet one-step-forward-and-then-the-next passage through life. The point isn’t to shake the stars, it’s to stay alive and do what one can in one’s own orbit. 5/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual Wednesday post, including lesbian space pirates and Ann Leckie.

So that’s that. How’s everyone else been doing?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted October 19, 2019 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

This has been a slow reading week, and a week for getting those backlogged reviews out there! Only three books read this week, booo. I’m not even sure why, but there you go — sometimes it happens that way.

Acquired this week: 

Cover of The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by K.J. Charles

Read this week:

Cover of Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw Cover of Making Eden by David Beerling Cover of Weekend at Thrackley by Alan Melville

Reviews posted this week:

The History of Life in 100 Fossils, by Paul D. Taylor and Aaron O’Dea. Not solely a coffee table book, but the details can be annoyingly focused on other unpictured specimens, or just not quite the thing I wanted to know. Still, lovely presentation. 4/5 stars
Making Eden: How Plants Transformed a Barren Planet, by David Beerling. I loved Beerling’s other book, The Emerald Planet, and bought this on the strength of his enthusiasm and clear communication in that book. I don’t know what was different here, but it just didn’t really work. It wasn’t uninteresting, but didn’t have the joy. 3/5 stars
Dreadful Company, by Vivian Shaw. A reread to get ready for the final book! Deeply enjoyable, as ever; Greta is an awesome character. 4/5 stars
The Gendered Brain, by Gina Rippon. I think there’s a lot of genuine value here, but I also had questions about the way Rippon seems to view sex as a genuine binary, when a scientist should know darn well it isn’t. 3/5 stars
The Border, by Diarmaid Ferriter. Darn near unreadable if you don’t already know the topic, in my opinion. 1/5 stars
Weekend at Thrackley, by Alan Melville. Somewhat less than cosy, but pretty enjoyable. A country house mystery, of a sort… 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update!

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Feeding bread to ducks FAQ.‘ There’s a thing going round on Twitter about how you should feed ducks bread because they’re starving without it. So I decided to explain 1) why bread is bad, 2) why bread can be fine in moderation and 3) several other options to try feeding ducks that would be more healthy. Please feel free to share it…

So that’s that. Today the bunnies’ new custom hutch is arriving and I will be spending the day tetrising it into our flat. Wish us luck!

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Weekly Roundup

Posted October 12, 2019 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

Good morning, folks! Luckily, I am connected to the world again: we left Virgin Media and signed up with a new ISP whose service has, so far, been seamless. Zen Internet have a thumbs up from us so far!

It’s been a quiet week in terms of book purchases, in that I have made none! But I have got some reading done.

Books read this week:

Cover of The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne Cover of Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews Cover of The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

Cover of Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers Cover of Fire in the Thatch by E.C.R. Lorac

Reviews posted this week:

The Red House Mystery, by A.A. Milne. An okay but not astounding foray into detective fiction by A.A. Milne, decidedly shaped by his preferences (for instance, for a solution based on pure deduction, not forensic evidence, and for the main character to be an amateur detective). 3/5 stars
Magic Slays, by Ilona Andrews. The latest in my reread of the series! I continue to marvel at how often people write it off when it has so much to offer. 4/5 stars
Murder by Matchlight, by E.C.R. Lorac. Very atmospheric and of its moment in a positive way: it evokes London during the Blitz beautifully, and the mystery uses every ounce of that atmosphere. 3/5 stars
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, by Olivia Waite. A lovely historical romance featuring female scientists, and mostly steering away from the guilt and shame sometimes attendant upon LGBT fiction set in that era. Wish the rival love interest wasn’t so immature and manipulative, though. 3/5 stars
Unnatural Death, by Dorothy L. Sayers. A beloved reread with much to recommend it, though with period-typical hints of racism and a hefty dollop of class snobbery. 4/5 stars
Fascism: A Warning, by Madeleine Albright. Part history, part memoir, part political treatise, this book gives a good overview of what fascism looks like, sounds a warning about various current regimes, and points several accusing fingers straight at Trump. It’s very readable, if not surprising in its slant and what it covers. 4/5 stars
Fire in the Thatch, by E.C.R. Lorac. This one is really very sad, because we meet the victim in the first chapters and really get to like him. Mystery-wise, it’s well-written without being groundbreaking, as I’m coming to expect from Lorac. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual mid-week update!

So that’s it for this week! How’s everyone doing?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted October 5, 2019 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

G’morning folks. It’s been a tiring week, as my sleeping schedule has been topsy-turvy. I had to go to my parents’ house to get internet every day this week so I could work, which meant getting a lift with my wife in the morning. My circadian rhythm is… not calibrated for this. Gah. And now I’ll be up early on a Saturday for the engineer. Bah!

Anyway, here are the other titles from last week!

Acquired:

Cover of Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron Cover of Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Cover of Grave Importance by Vivian Shaw

Cover of Brightfall by Jaime Lee Moyer Cover of The Rat-Catcher's Daughter by K.J. Charles Cover of Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Some stuff I’m really excited for, some a bit less so, some I’d barely heard of… a nice mix!

Read this week:

Cover of The Rat-Catcher's Daughter by K.J. Charles Cover of Lost Languages by Andrew Robinson Cover of The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch Cover of Making the Monster by Kathryn Harkup

Reviewed this week:

The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter, by K.J. Charles. Lovely, though the Lilywhite Boys kinda stole the show. 4/5 stars
Lost Languages, by Andrew Robinson. An interesting primer on undeciphered scripts and the progress we (might) have made in deciphering them. 4/5 stars
The October Man, by Ben Aaronovitch. Very similar to the Peter Grant books in voice, as well as (obviously) content. Fun, but not great. 3/5 stars
Making the Monster, by Kathryn Harkup. Takes a while to get onto the actual science behind Frankenstein, but not bad once it does. 3/5 stars
Too Like The Lightning, by Ada Palmer. The narrator is very gender essentialist, and this book barely stands alone enough to even begin to judge what it’s doing there, but overall not my thing and I doubt I’ll continue the series. 2/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update!

That’s it for this week! How’s everyone doing?

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