Tag: Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 31 March, 2018 by Nikki in General / 24 Comments

So my excuse for last week was that I’d been good for ages. My excuse this week is… um… look, I’ve been restrained all year, now it’s breaking out. I can’t help it. I’m in the UK with books easily accessible to buy, I know I’m going away again until my exams, so I have to make the most of the opportunity.

Speaking of being in the UK, though, I’m still away from my buns so here’s a couple of pics of them being adorable that my wife sent.

Photo of Hulk and Breakfast booping noses through the pen Picture of Hulk sitting up and cleaning her face

Review copies

Cover of The Atrocities by Jeremy C. Shipp Cover of Void Black Shadow by Corey J. White

Because Tor are so good to me. <3

Bought 

Cover of Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton Cover of Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft Cover of The Rift by Nina Allan Cover of Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Cover of Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell Cover of A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows Cover of The Honest Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

Cover of Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate Cover of The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley Cover of Murder in the Museum by John Rowland

Quite a mixture, as ever, though perhaps not as mixed as I’d like — I was tempted by more non-fiction, but it didn’t exactly fit into the budget.

Books read this week:

Cover of Built on Bodies by Brenna Hasset Cover of The Genius of Birds

Not much read, I know. Failboat.

Reviews posted this week:

The Terracotta Army, by John Man. Pretty clear and accessible history about something I knew sadly little about. Particularly fascinating on the politics around the Terracotta Army, both ancient and modern. 3/5 stars
The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Fascinatingly written, if not quite as good or as expert as Mukherjee’s other book. 4/5 stars
The Mummy Congress, by Heather Pringle. The kind of archaeology book I love — wide-ranging and totally absorbing. 4/5 stars
Built on Bones, by Brenna Hassett. A good history of the development of the city, told through bioarchaeology. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: The weekly update.

How’s everyone doing? Plenty of books, or going through a dry spell? Getting reading done, or way too stressed?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 24 March, 2018 by Nikki in General / 24 Comments

Well, I’ve been too good to be true lately with my reasonably small hauls, so here’s a nice big one! Granted, this includes some books that were sent to my parents’ place over the last couple of months that I’ve only just picked up, but it’s still… well… a little unwieldy.

I’ll start off with the review copies and stuff from subscription boxes… although first you get a bunny picture because I’m away from my precious idiots. (Hulk update: this week she ate a rubber band. It has not yet reappeared. Breakfast update: he only needs meds in the morning now, and he’s very pleased by this.)

Hulk and Breakfast snuggle together under our duvet

Review copies and subscription boxes:

Cover of The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green Cover of The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton Cover of The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse

Cover of Fury of the Tomb by S.A. Sidor Cover of Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

An odd mix, perhaps! Looking forward to some of these a lot, though. Fury from the Tomb in particular sounds like a lot of pulpy fun.

Books bought:

Cover of Autonomous by Annalee Newitz Cover of Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear Cover of The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang Cover of They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera

Cover of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton Cover of Witcheskin by Nem Rowan Cover of The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude Cover of Murder in the Channel by Freeman Wills Croft

Cover of An Incredible Crime by Lois Austen-Leigh Cover of Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith Cover of Bats in the Belfry by E.C.R.Lorac Cover of Catullus' Bedspread by Daisy Dunn

Again, quite the mixture, I know! I’ve been curious about the British Library Crime Classics for a while, and especially since reading Martin Edwards’ The Golden Age of Murder. I don’t expect to be blown away by most of them, but they’ll be entertaining and unlikely to be horribly traumatising (sorry, modern crime fiction lovers — Val McDermid and Tess Gerritsen’s works turn my stomach).

Read this week:

Cover of Ironclads by Adrian Tchiakovsky Cover of A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe Cover of Masquerade by Laura Lam Cover of Sum by David Eagleman

I haven’t read the most ever this week, but I did enjoy these books and read all of them in one or two sittings each! So that’s something.

Reviewed this week:

Ironclads, by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Fairly good adventure story with an anxiety-making (or anxiety-reflecting, maybe) Brexity corporate background. I didn’t love it, but I found it entertaining. 3/5 stars
A Borrowed Man, by Gene Wolfe. Fascinating background, but the execution is basically pretty typical noir. The more I think about it, the less I think of it. 3/5 stars
Experiment Eleven, by Peter Pringle. This had much less about TB than I’d hoped, but it is a rather interesting examination of two scientists and their intellectual property battle over the antibiotic streptomycin. 3/5 stars
Masquerade, by Laura Lam. Yaaaaas. Micah is awesome, the supporting characters continue to be awesome, and there’s an epic showdown. Only quibble is that some of the political aspects feel too easy. 4/5 stars
Sum, by David Eagleman. Interesting collection of short stories based around a single theme. They got a bit repetitive, but there are some really good bits too. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW WednesdayMy usual weekly update on what I’m reading, what I’ve just read, and what I might read next.

How’s everyone doing? Brought in a massive haul this week, or practising restraint? Lemme know in the comments!

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 17 March, 2018 by Nikki in General / 12 Comments

It’s been a quiet week for me, book-wise — actually, I’m really stressed — but I did read the books below…

Cover of The Gene by Siddhartha Mukkherjee Cover of The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson Cover of The Mummy Congress by Heather Pringle

… and these things were posted.

Reviews from this week:

Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey. Okay, it’s a problematic fave in some ways, but I still adored it. Joscelin is just… gah. <3 5/5 stars
An Unnatural Vice, by K.J. Charles. Not my favourite of the trilogy, but that’s mostly because I didn’t love the characters. Still a fun read. 3/5 stars
The Master Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg. More of the same if you’ve read the previous books; wraps things up neatly. 3/5 stars
The Ghost Map, by Steven Johnson. Lots of interesting stuff on this specific cholera outbreak, though the coda about living in cities is kind of weird. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: The usual weekly update on what’s currently on my side table.

How’s everybody doing?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 10 March, 2018 by Nikki in General / 10 Comments

Hey all! It’s been a quiet week for me again, but my hand is finally on the mend. Actually, the quiet is pretty much just because I’ve been beavering away at some crochet projects. Since I don’t have much to show off this week, book-wise, I thought I’d start with a few of those…

Watch a bunny come out of a hat... and go back in... on an infinite loop Tiny crocheted Oreos A stitched monkey plays on a branch that looks rather like a crochet hook

 That’s the tiny, tiny crochet… but something else has been growing much faster.

From humble beginnings… to whoa. It’s not quite finished yet, but it’s pretty close!

Books received to review:

Cover of Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

Just one, but it’s one I’m ridiculously excited for!

Books read this week:

Cover of The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards

I know, it’s not like me. I blame crochet!

Reviews posted this week:

Shadowplay, by Laura Lam. I read this in two massive gulps, and loved it. And I’m aboard the Drystan and Micah ship now. 4/5 stars
Wonderful Life, by Stephen Jay Gould. Fascinated by fossils, and the weird life of the Cambrian Explosion? This is your book. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: The weekly update on what I’m currently reading, etc.

So how’s everyone else doing? Getting in more reading than me, I hope!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 3 March, 2018 by Nikki in General / 16 Comments

Good morning, folks! I have a lot this week, because I have a backlog of approved books on Netgalley that I didn’t get emails for somehow. It’s been a quietish week reading-wise, though, because I’ve picked crochet back up…

Received to review:

Cover of Lost Gods by Micah Yongo Cover of Dragon Road by Joseph Brassey Cover of In the Eye of Heaven by David Keck Cover of The Sisters Mederos by Patrice Sarath

Cover of Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian Cover of Good Guys by Steven Brust Cover of Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland

Oof. Quite a haul, right?

Bought:

 Cover of Experiment Eleven by Peter Pringle Cover of Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns Cover of Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart

Quite an odd mix, I’ll admit.

Read this week:

Cover of Shadowplay by Laura Lam Cover of Experiment Eleven by Peter Pringle Cover of The Terracotta Army by John Man

Reviews posted this week:

Virus X, by Frank Ryan. A bit out of date now, but fascinating stuff. 4/5 stars
Camelot’s Blood, by Sarah Zettel. I love what Zettel does with the Arthurian story, and this might be my second favourite of the series because of how it humanises Agravain and shows how much he really cares. 4/5 stars
The Stone of Farewell, by Tad Williams. It remains pretty typical fantasy, but I think this book is stronger and better paced than the first. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: The weekly update.
Behind the Screen Tag: A little bit about the me behind the blog.

How’s everyone doing? I haven’t been posting/commenting as much as I’d like because I’ve injured my hand in a stupid way, and it makes typing quite painful after a while (while crochet only really requires dexterity from one hand). I’m hoping to pick things back up more by Monday!

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 24 February, 2018 by Nikki in General / 18 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s been a good week for me — it doesn’t look like I read that much, but actually, The Stone of Farewell and Kushiel’s Dart are rather long, so I think this is pretty monumental.

Read this week:

Cover of Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams Cover of The Wanderer in Unknown Realms by John Connolly Cover of Camelot's Blood by Sarah Zettel

Cover of The Master Magician by Charlie N Holmberg Cover of Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey Cover of Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles

Perhaps I’ll read just as much in the coming week, since I have suddenly got no books at all on my currently reading list, for the first time in many, many moons.

(Seriously, many.)

Reviews posted this week:

Ars Historica, by Marie Brennan. This is a great collection, written with Brennan’s usual skill, and made me really want to pick her Onyx Court novels back up (though you don’t need to have read them to appreciate the stories). 5/5 stars
The Laws of Medicine, by Siddartha Mukherjee. Short, but worthwhile; Mukherjee uses his experience as a doctor to posit some basic rules that govern how he practices. 4/5 stars
Five Red Herrings, by Dorothy L. Sayers. Not a favourite Wimsey story, but nonetheless it’s clever as heck. 4/5 stars
Libraries in the Ancient World, by Lionel Casson. Engagingly written, though most of the history wasn’t new to me. 3/5 stars
The Wanderer in Unknown Realms, by John Connolly. Kind of tailed off without using the background it had built up to the sort of effect I’d like to see. Creepy, though, with a good atmosphere. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: The usual update on what I’ve been reading in the last week.

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 17 February, 2018 by Nikki in General / 14 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s been a quiet week around here, with me getting into the swing of doing more work and trying to balance things a little more. Which has not meant very much reading, alas. But here’s what I have read — no new books this week!

Books finished this week:

Cover of Virus X by Frank Ryan Cover of Ars Historica by Marie Brennan Cover of Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Cassen Cover of Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers

Reviews posted this week:

A Monstrous Commotion, by Gareth Williams. A thoroughly enjoyable historical and scientific appraisal of the Loch Ness Monster — sympathetic to those who want to believe, but realistic as well. 5/5 stars
Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal. I found this difficult going emotionally because I got invested in a particular character/relationship, but I do think it’s a great read. 4/5 stars
The Philadelphia Chromosome, by Jessica Wapner. Fascinating stuff, and really encouraging when you think about the journey to treating this type of cancer. 4/5 stars
An Unseen Attraction, by K.J. Charles. A lovely relationship and some non-typical elements to the characters too. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: The latest and greatest on my TBR pile.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 10 February, 2018 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

This week I did buy some books, but a few of them were just for reference and I won’t be posting about them here (probably). Still, I got a couple of pop-science/history books about diseases that I think I’ll probably review for this blog, so here are those titles!

New books

Cover of The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson Cover of The Great Mortality by John Kelly Cover of And the Band Played On by Randy Schiltz

Cheerful stuff.

Books read this week

Cover of A Monstrous Commotion by Gareth Williams Cover of An Unseen Attraction by K.J. Charles Cover of Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal Cover of The Laws of Medicine by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Reviewed this week

Changing Planes, by Ursula Le Guin. A charming travel guide to the alternate dimensions (planes) you can reach from an airport… 4/5 stars
The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke Bollander. I liked a lot of things about this, but it didn’t quite come together for me. 3/5 stars
I Am Morgan Le Fay, by Nancy Springer. An interesting view of Morgan’s character, though I found it very young. 3/5 stars
Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers. A perennial favourite of mine — what else can I say? 5/5 stars
Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart. A fun fictionalisation of real events and characters that left me wanting more. 4/5 stars

Other posts

WWW Wednesday. My weekly update.

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 3 February, 2018 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

Can it be? Yes, that’s right! No new books this week, neither to review nor bought. I did buy a couple of Guy Gavriel Kay books for my Kobo, but I already owned them in paperback — got them second hand years ago, so I had an attack of conscience.

And because it’s UNstacking the shelves, I get to post full size covers of the books I’ve finished this week. Pleaaaaase don’t comment to tell me to enjoy my new books, ’cause I ain’t got any. Honestly, I appreciate the visits, but if you don’t read the post, what’s the point?

Books read this week:

Cover of Changing Planes by Ursula Le Guin Cover of The Philadelphia Chromosome by Jessica Wapner Cover of I Am Morgan Le Fay by Nancy Springer

Cover of The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander Cover of Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers Cover of Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

A good reading week, as you can see!

Reviews posted this week:

Restless Creatures, by Matt Wilkinson. An interesting topic, but something about the book just didn’t work for me. 2/5 stars
No Time To Spare, by Ursula Le Guin. Her last publication. Gah. 4/5 stars
RUR, by Karel Capek. Fascinating because it was so foundational. 3/5 stars
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, by Alan Garner. Nope. Still don’t get the appeal. 2/5 stars
Beneath the Sugar Sky, by Seanan McGuire. Not quite my favourite, because I don’t get on with nonsense worlds, but I enjoyed spending more time with Christopher and Kade. 4/5 stars
Words Are My Matter, by Ursula Le Guin. Her non-fiction is not my favourite, but she still has a crystal-clear vision and way of putting things. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. My latest reads.

What’s everyone been up to? Good week, bad week, read everything you could get your hands on week? Let me know!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 27 January, 2018 by Nikki in General / 16 Comments

Good morning, folks! I’ve had a quiet week. Though quite a few books have somehoooow made their way in, I haven’t actually paid for any! They’ve all been review copies, or bought with gift vouchers. Hurrah!

Received to review

Cover of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyumi Cover of The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg Cover of The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander

I’ve been interested in all these for a while.

Books bought

Cover of The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood Cover of Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

I’ve been curious about these, too. So hurrah!

Books finished this week:

Cover of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner Cover of R.U.R. by Karel Capek Cover of Words Are My Matter by Ursula Le Guin Cover of Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan Mcguire

Reviews posted:

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, by Dorothy L. Sayers. Not a favourite, but still — of course — clever. 4/5 stars
The Written World, by Martin Puchner. I’ve seen some concern about historical inaccuracies, but I really enjoyed reading it. 4/5 stars
Cro-Magnon, by Brian Fagan. I originally gave this four stars, but I think I’ll lower it to three. Some sexist assumptions, mostly the same info as found elsewhere. 3/5 stars
In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan. I found this a delight. 4/5 stars
The Emperor of All Maladies, by Siddhartha Mukherjee. So much information, tons of fascinating stuff. 5/5 stars
How the Zebra Got Its Stripes, by Léo Grasset. Fairly slim, but some fun facts. 3/5 stars
Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo. This one really worked for me — it was a quick read and I got into the characters. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Turn Around: Ursula Le Guin’s Words of Wisdom. On Earthsea and anxiety and what Le Guin did for me.
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update.

How’s everyone doing?

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