Tag: Stacking the Shelves


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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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 20 January, 2018 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s been a slow reading week for me, with one really disappointing book, but I’ve got an assignment done and I’ve been doing quite a bit of work, so that’s not bad!

Received to review:

Cover of The Toy Maker by Robert Dinsdale Cover of Semiosis by Sue Burke Cover of Quietus by Tristan Palmgren Cover of Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby

I really should stop requesting until I’m all caught up, but it was so tempting…

Read this week:

Cover of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Cover of Restless Creatures by Wilkinson Cover of The Written World by Martin Puchner

Four stars: Six of Crows, The Written World.
Two stars: Restless Creatures.

Reviewed this week:

The Power of Babel, by John McWhorter. Surprised me somewhat, since it contradicted some of the stuff I’d always read about languages, e.g. that only children turn pidgins into creoles where they become actual full languages. 3/5 stars
Arabella of Mars, by David D. Levine. So much fun, and a really quick read. Like a classic adventure story. 4/5 stars
Unnatural Death, by Dorothy L. Sayers. The motive and method are just so clever in this one. 4/5 stars
Priam’s Gold, by Caroline Moorehead. More of a biography of Heinrich Schliemann than really being about Troy, though there is some interesting stuff on when the Russians looted the treasure from Germany. 4/5 stars
The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison. I reread it again, so no surprise that I loved it again. 5/5 stars
Lumberjanes to the Max: Volume 1, by Noelle Stephenson et al. So much fun, and really cute too. 5/5 stars
Fossils: The Key to the Past, by Richard Fortey. Not Fortey’s most fascinating work in terms of the prose, but all the colour photography and reconstructions make it worth having just to look at! 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday. My bookish resolutions for 2018!
WWW Wednesday. The latest on my TBR pile.

How’s everyone doing? Good week, bad week, somewhere in the middle?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 13 January, 2018 by Nikki in General / 20 Comments

Good morning, folks! I sort of haven’t got new books to show off today… but I sort of have, as a preorder arrived on my Kindle this week and I realised I didn’t feature a book I bought just after Christmas. So here they are!

Cover of Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan Mcguire Cover of Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby

Books read this week:

Cover of Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn Cover of In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan Cover of The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukharjee Cover of Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine

Two stars: Heroine Complex.
Four stars: In Other Lands, Arabella of Mars.
Five stars: The Emperor of All Maladies.

Reviews posted this week:

The Unbelievable Gwenpool: Believe It, by Christopher Hastings et al. Not quite my thing, but fun and great colours. 3/5 stars
Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell. A reread just for the pure fun of it, and it was very satisfying. 5/5 stars
Tutankhamen, by Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt. I loved this as a kid, and even now it still fascinated me. It’s a great account of Tutankhamen’s tomb and the earliest theories about his life. 4/5 stars
Heroine Complex, by Sarah Kuhn. It’s fun in many ways, but not for me. 2/5 stars
Bones of Contention, by Paul Chambers. A fascinating retrospective of the Archaeopteryx fossils and what they’ve meant to the scientific community. 4/5 stars
The Sutton Hoo Story, by Martin Carver. A survey of the Sutton Hoo site and the archaeology done there since excavations began. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Sell me a book! The catch is, it’s gotta be a book from my backlog.
WWW Wednesday. What I’ve been reading, what I’m going to read.

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 6 January, 2018 by Nikki in General / 12 Comments

Hey everyone!

Perhaps it’s no surprise, but after the epic barrage of books for Christmas, I didn’t get anything this week. So I just get to showcase the books I read!

Books read last week

 Cover of The Unbelievable Gwenpool: Believe It Cover of Lumberjanes Vol 1 Cover of The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers Cover of Fossils by Richard Fortey

Five stars: The Goblin Emperor (reread), Lumberjanes to the Max vol 1.
Four stars: Fossils: The Key to the PastThe Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (reread).
Three stars: The Unbelievable Gwenpool: Believe It.

Reviews posted this week:

Prime Meridian, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I feel like saying too much about this would be a disservice — not that it has an epic plot to be spoiled, but I don’t think I’d be able to convey the right things. 4/5 stars
Imagining Head-Smashed-In, by Jack W. Brink. About the buffalo jump called Head-Smashed-In, this goes into all the details of how people made the buffalo jumps work and why they needed them. It goes into a lot of detail I didn’t really find interesting at times, but it’s definitely a great window into a different way of life. 4/5 stars
The Statues that Walked, by Carl Lipo and Terry Hunt. Fascinating stuff about Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island, and debunks the “ecocide” theory credibly. 4/5 stars
The Earth After Us, by Jan Salasiewicz. More geology-focused than I hoped (perhaps not surprising, given the author’s other book I’ve read) but it does have a good chapter at the end that was more what I was looking for. 3/5 stars
The Glass Town Game, by Catherynne M. Valente. This feels very like the Fairyland books, but if you’re a fan of both those and the Brontes, this might well be right up your alley. 4/5 stars
Winterwood, by Dorothy Eden. Not the most original or fascinating Gothic-romance-mystery I’ve ever read, but solid enough fun. 3/5 stars
Suspicious Minds, by Rob Brotherton. Not about conspiracy theories as such, but about why we believe in them. I found it interesting, though not always surprising. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

2017 stats. What I read, when I read it, and other such fascinating stats from 2017’s reading year.
Game of Books 2018. Did you join in my little game last year? Whether you did or not, you miiiight be interested in checking out this post which explains how I earn points by reading whatever I want, instead of a strict challenge.

So how’s everyone’s 2018 looking so far? Read anything good?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 30 December, 2017 by Nikki in General / 18 Comments

Good morning, all! I hope you had a good festive season, whatever you celebrate — or a nice week, if you don’t celebrate! I certainly did, and I’ve got a heck of a haul to share with you guys.

New fiction

Cover of The End of the Day by Claire North Cover of The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman Cover of Runebinder by Alex R. Kahler

Cover of The Seafarer's Kiss by Julia Ember Cover of Jade City by Fonda Lee Cover of Ars Historica by Marie Brennan

I’ve been looking forward to some of these for quite a while, so I’m excited!

New non-fiction

Cover of Power, Sex, Suicide by Nick Lane Cover of The Story of Pain by Joanna Bourke Cover of A History of Ancient Egypt Volume 2 by John Romer Cover of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are by Frans de Waal

Cover of Fossils by Richard Fortey Cover of Kin by John Ingraham Cover of Improbable Destinies by Jonathan Losos Cover of How Language Began by Daniel Everett

Cover of Into the Grey Zone by Adrian Owen Cover of The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English Cover of Almost Human by Lee Berger Cover of The Sutton Hoo Story by Martin Carver

Quite a stack, on all kinds of topics — but that’s me all over.

Comics

Cover of Captain Marvel: Alien Nation Cover of Spider-Gwen: Weapon of Choice Cover of The Unbelievable Gwenpool: Believe It Cover of Lumberjanes Vol 1

I’m interested to see what the new run of Captain Marvel is like! I did not like the direction they went with her for Civil War II etc, but this is a new volume one…

Books read this week:

Cover of How The Zebra Got Its Stripes by Leo Grasset Cover of Cro-Magnon by Brian Fagan Cover of The Sutton Hoo Story by Martin Carver Cover of Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers

Yeesh, I need to fit in some more fiction sometime soon!

Reviews posted: 

Three Stones Make A Wall, by Eric H. Cline. This was a really fascinating survey of a lot of different archaeological sites, which mostly pointed me at things I want to read more about. 5/5 stars
The Intimate Bond, by Brian Fagan. An interesting account of how human lives have been entwined with those of animals, for a long time. 3/5 stars
Murder in Montparnasse, by Kerry Greenwood. Better on a second reading, with a lot going on. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. Updates from the TBR pile this week.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 23 December, 2017 by Nikki in General / 10 Comments

It’s nearly Christmas! I’m so excited to give my family their presents, I might explode! I’ve done a better job of keeping secrets than I normally do, at least… How’s everyone doing? Are you celebrating Christmas or an equivalent holiday, or is it just an ordinary day/week/month for you? Whatever it is, I wish you safe, happy and warm.

Like our bunnies, safely at the bunny hotel without us. But since we’re apart, here’s a picture of the two of them cuddling, last week.

New books

Cover of The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie Cover of The Picts by Tim Clarkson Cover of In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan Cover of The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Cover of Artemis by Andy Weir Cover of Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas Cover of The Written World by Martin Puchner

Perhaps a slightly odd combination… but I’m looking forward to all three.

Books read this week:

Cover of Maps to Nowhere by Marie Brennan Cover of No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin Cover of Prime Meridian by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia Cover of The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente

Cover of Winterwood by Dorothy Eden Cover of Priam's Gold by Caroline Moorhead Cover of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Cover of Bones of Contention by Paul Chambers

Reviewed this week:

Zika: The Emerging Epidemic, by Donald G. McNeil. A good overview of what we know about Zika, at least as of the publication date. 4/5 stars
Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee. I stayed up all night to finish it, ’nuff said. 4/5 stars
Locust, Jeffrey A. Lockwood. A little long-winded, but some interesting stuff. 3/5 stars
Herding Cats, by Sarah Andersen. Fun, as with the rest of Andersen’s work. 4/5 stars
Dark Sky, by Mike Brooks. This is still really really reminiscent of Firefly, but it’s fun. 3/5 stars
The Viral Storm, by Nathan Wolfe. Not particularly stunning or new if you’ve read other pop-science on the topic, but well-expressed. 3/5 stars
Maps to Nowhere, by Marie Brennan. A good collection, with one or two really great stories. 5/5 stars

Other posts:

Project More Joy. Making my blog more about me again.
WWW Wednesday. What I’m reading lately.

How’s everyone?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 16 December, 2017 by Nikki in General / 28 Comments

Hello everyone! It’s been a long week, but it’s better than last week. I have my money back from Paypal, for one… Busy week ahead too; I’ve got an assignment due, and me and my wife are travelling to the UK (from Belgium) to spend Christmas with my parents. So much to do!

Received to review

Cover of No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin Cover of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Yay, Ursula Le Guin! I didn’t really expect to be approved for this, so I’m happy. Must read it stat, of course. The other one sounded intriguing from the summary, so we’ll see how that goes…

Books read this week

Cover of Tutankhamen by Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt Cover of The Power of Babel by John McWhorter Cover of Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood

Not a very productive week, reading-wise! Oops. All of these get four stars, though!

Books reviewed this week:

Abaddon’s Gate, by James S.A. Corey. If you’re enjoying the series at this point, this is more of the same… with some especially big implications towards the end. 4/5 stars
Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner. Preferred this on rereading to how I felt about it as a teen — I think I expected more straightforward romance back then. But this time I just found it a delightful melodrama of manners, as advertised. 4/5 stars
The Stars are Legions, by Kameron Hurley. So. Weird. I think I prefer Hurley’s non-fiction, even though I think she’s very inventive and her writing is good. 3/5 stars
What On Earth Evolved… In Brief, by Christopher Lloyd. Interesting to dip into, though not terribly surprising for me. 3/5 stars
The Horns of Ruin, by Tim Akers. There’s some fun stuff going on with the worldbuilding, but it feels like reading an action videogame — it’s all go! 3/5 stars
Strange Practice, by Vivian Shaw. I didn’t see this around much, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I actually found it a lot of fun, and I’m excited for the next book. 4/5 stars
The Godless, by Ben Peek. I found the world really interesting, again, but I didn’t get into the characters or plot, somehow. I’m not sure I’ll bother reading the sequels. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The latest on my reading pile.

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Stacking the Shelves

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

Good morning, folks! It hasn’t been the greatest week for me, since a scammer of some sort took over my Ebay account and spent most of my money. But I’ve tried to keep my mood up by finally spending a couple of Amazon vouchers I’d been saving, and reading whatever I felt like instead of sticking to a firm rule.

Books bought:

Cover of Maps to Nowhere by Marie Brennan Cover of The Terracotta Army by John Man Cover of Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Cassen

A bit of a random assemblage, I know!

Books read this week:

Cover of Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen Cover of Suspicious Minds by Rob Brotherton Cover of Three Stones Make a Wall by Eric H. Cline Cover of The Statues That Walked by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo Cover of Dark Sky by Mike Brooks

Four stars: Herding Cats, Suspicious Minds, Three Stones Make A Wall, The Statues that Walked.
Three stars: Dark Sky.

Reviews posted this week:

Camelot’s Sword, by Sarah Zettel. Not my favourite of the series, but still a great trip into the Arthurian world. 4/5 stars
The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry. There were aspects of this that were really strong, but sometimes the style of the narration just got on my nerves and was way too dry. 3/5 stars
The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben. A good casual read, but I felt it was very much pitched at the layperson and that sometimes Wohlleben was a little overenthusiastic about how he interpreted facts. 3/5 stars
The Gracekeepers, by Kirsty Logan. I really just wanted more from this — the world just felt bland and one-dimensional. 3/5 stars
The Dragonbone Chair, by Tad Williams. A reread for me, and one which I found surprising in a few ways — sometimes in how frustrated I was with the characters, sometimes in how the plot went because I really didn’t remember it! Overall, still solid epic fantasy, though. 4/5 stars
Cleopatra’s Heir, by Gillian Bradshaw. A fascinating version of Egypt just after Cleopatra’s death, and an interesting character study of a historical figure we don’t know much about. 4/5 stars
Castles: Their History and Evolution in Medieval Britain, by Marc Morris. Highly enjoyable, and informative without being exhaustive. 5/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The latest and greatest on my TBR list this week.

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