Tag: weekly roundup


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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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 2 December, 2017 by Nikki in General / 16 Comments

Good morning, folks! Yesterday I was at Boekenfestijn in Mechelen, which was fun, though a little disappointing in terms of the English language selection (but you know, I didn’t expect tons). So I have one new book and one to review.

New to the shelves

Cover of The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel Cover by Master Assassins by Robert V. S, Redick

I’ve been meaning to read The Cold Between for ages, so I’m glad I found it at Boekenfestijn. And I’ve been meaning to try Redick’s work, too, so that works out well too!

Read this week

Cover of Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw Cover of The Godless by Ben Peek Cover of Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee Cover of Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould

Four stars: Strange Practice, Raven Stratagem, Wonderful Life.
Three stars: The Godless.

Reviews posted this week:

Provenance, by Ann Leckie. This is quite different to the Imperial Radch books, though set in the same world, and there’s so much I enjoyed about it that I can’t even begin here. 4/5 stars
The Great Influenza, by John M. Barry. Very much enjoyed this one, and if you think you know influenza, well… read on. 5/5 stars
The Silver Wind, by Nina Allan. An interesting novella, though I didn’t like it as much as I liked Spin. 3/5 stars
Summerlong, by Peter S. Beagle. This was not my thing, partly because I loved the couple at the beginning and just Did Not Want that ending. 3/5 stars
Goldilocks and the Water Bears, by Louisa Preston. Should win all the internets for the title alone, but it turned out to be more general than I’d hoped. 3/5 stars
Futureland, by Walter Mosley. Some powerful stories, but it didn’t seem like my thing overall. 3/5 stars
Pantomime, by Laura Lam. I tore through this and enjoyed it a lot… apart from one little quibble. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. What I’m currently reading, what I might read next, the usual stuff.

What’re you reading? What have you got your hands on this week? Definitely share your links, and I’ll visit back as soon as I can!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 25 November, 2017 by Nikki in General / 16 Comments

Good morning, folks! As I write this, I’m about to take the little mister to the vet for what might be a fungal infection, so you get an adorable picture of him with my ereader — which he somehow turned on while I was out of the room…

Photo of Breakfast, a brown bunny, apparently looking at a page of text on an ereader.

“Yes? You are disturbing my reading.”

Update: it is not a fungal infection. He’s just an idiot.

New books

Cover of Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher Cover of Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher

Got these through being a patron of Ursula Vernon’s on Patreon! Woo.

Read this week

Cover of The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams Cover of The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley Cover of Locust by Jeffrey Lockwood

Cover of Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner Cover of Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers Cover of Imagining Head-Smashed-In by Jack Brink

Four stars: The Dragonbone Chair, Swordspoint.
Three stars: 
The Stars are Legion, Locust, The Horns of Ruin, Imagining Head-Smashed-In.

Reviews posted this week

The Hanging Tree, by Ben Aaronovitch. A worthy and exciting entry to the series, but oh man, I want the Faceless Man plot to wrap up. It’s not that it isn’t awesome, but I’m worried about it getting stretched too thin. 4/5 stars
Trouble and Her Friends, by Melissa Scott. Classic cyberpunk with a lot of queer people. It’s slow-paced, but that works for it. 4/5 stars
Spin, by Nina Allan. A fresh, if not surprising, retelling of a certain myth I enjoyed a lot. 4/5 stars
The Rabbit Back Literature Society, by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen. Male-gazey and unfocused. 2/5 stars
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, by Philip Jose Farmer. An interesting reworking of the original story, perhaps best enjoyed if you’re familiar with Verne’s work. 3/5 stars
The Uses of Enchantment, by Bruno Bettelheim. Decidedly outdated and based on somewhat ridiculous Freudian concepts, but surprisingly enjoyable to read. 2/5 stars
Friday’s Child, by Georgette Heyer. A fun romance, as you’d expect, and I got rather caught up in what would happen even though really, you know the happy ending is inevitable. 4/5 stars

Other posts

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For. What it says on the tin.
WWW Wednesday. The latest and greatest on my currently-reading pile.

How’s everyone doing? Leave me a comment and don’t forget to link your STS post or weekend wrapup; I always visit back as soon as I can!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 18 November, 2017 by Nikki in General / 41 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s been a busy week around here with assignments and such, but I managed to get very good marks in my Infectious Diseases class, so I’m super pleased.

News

You may have noticed, if you’re a follower of this blog, that I now have Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links — general ones in my sidebar, and specific ones on each book. If you’re not in the US or the UK, my affiliate links should redirect to the same book on your local site if you’re in Germany, France, Italy, Spain or Canada. At this point I’m not planning on enabling ads or anything like that, and there’ll be nothing more intrusive or obvious than the affiliate links I’ve just implemented.

I 100% understand anyone who doesn’t want to use Amazon and Amazon-owned companies to buy books, but if you do and you use my affiliate links, I get a 5% commission on whatever you order. I plan to put any money I earn back into this blog, either through buying books to review or just by using it to keep my URL and pay for WordPress plug-ins or whatever. If it doesn’t work out, well, never mind! If it does, I get a little back for the amount of time I put into this blog.

Bunnies

If you sat through that, you deserve a treat, so here’s a bunny picture even though I’m with them at the moment!

A photo of Hulk (a grey and white bunny) lying stretched out in a blue tunnel, thinking she's hidden.

Whaddya mean you can see me?

New books

Cover of Prime Meridian by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia Cover of Blood Binds the Pack by Alex Wells

Looking forward to reading more of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work! And I couldn’t resist the cover of Blood Binds the Pack, though I still need to read the first book…

Books read this week

Cover of Castles by Marc Morris Cover of Pantomime by Laura Lam Cover of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry Cover of Abaddon's Gate by James S. A. Corey

Cover of Camelot's Sword, by Sarah Zettel Cover of Cleopatra's Heir by Gillian Bradshaw Cover of The Viral Storm

Five stars: Castles.
Four stars: Pantomime, Abaddon’s Gate, Cleopatra’s Heir and Camelot’s Sword.
Three stars: The Viral Storm, The Essex Serpent.

Reviews posted this week:

Bog Bodies Uncovered, by Miranda Aldhouse-Green. If you find bog bodies fascinating, this is definitely a great book for you. 4/5 stars
Connection Error, by Annabeth Albert. A sweet romance which builds slowly and features an injured Navy SEAL and an ADHD video game developer. 4/5 stars
The Chocolatier’s Wife, by Cindy Lynn Speer. A cosy mystery in a fantasy setting, with a bit of romance. I enjoyed it a lot. 4/5 stars
Bring Back the King, by Helen Pilcher. If you’ve read other books on de-extinction, you might want to avoid this, but it’s a fun enough read. 3/5 stars
Sea, Swallow Me, and Other Stories, by Craig Laurence Gidney. Powerful stories, some of which I found really disturbing. 3/5 stars
The Five Daughters of the Moon, by Leena Likitalo. A fascinating fantasy retelling of the fall of the Romanovs, only marred by the fact that it isn’t a complete story in one volume. 4/5 stars
Ebola, by David Quammen. Avoid it and just get the full book, Spillover3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. An update on what I’m reading.
The Book Depository Bookmarks Disaster. So I collect Book Depository bookmarks, right? And I have bunnies, right? … A plea for help rebuilding my collection.

So how’s everyone else doing? Feel free to leave links to your weekend posts here; I always comment back as soon as I can!

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