Tag: weekly roundup


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 15 December, 2018 by Nikki in General / 1 Comment

Good morning, folks! Another week closer to Christmas, and so many parcels arriving with books… which aren’t for me! 😱 No new books this week at all.

Read this week:

Cover of A Most Novel Revenge by Ashley Weaver Cover of Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge Cover of Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers Cover of The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers

Reviews posted this week:

Murder on the Flying Scotsman, by Carola Dunn. Another entertaining entry in the series, this one featuring Alec’s daughter. 4/5 stars
The Greeks, by H.D.F. Kitto. Out of date, in attitude as well as facts, but the guy was so darn enthusiastic about the Greeks it was kind of charming anyway. 3/5 stars
The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard. A Sherlock Holmes inspired story where Watson is a sentient ship. Definitely enjoyable, though more about the characters and their interactions (very early in their relationship — they meet at the start of the book) than the mystery or even the world they inhabit, part of Aliette de Bodard’s Xuya universe. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: When To Give Up. I have stacks and stacks of books in my backlog. When should I admit that I may never read them? Hmm… never!
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update.

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘The deep biosphere. Wanna know about the weird and wonderful lifeforms found deep under the surface of the Earth?
NEAT science: ‘Antibiotic use in lifestock: surely it’s a good thing! Spoiler: it really isn’t. Wondering about the news that McDonald’s are looking to use fewer antibiotics in the livestock animals they source their beef from? Hopefully I’ve explained why clearly enough to show why it’s probably a very good thing.

So how’s everyone doing? Any good books this week? Been holding back for sales?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 8 December, 2018 by Nikki in General / 7 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s starting to look kind of like Christmas here — me and my wife have our very first Christmas tree (since this is the first time we’ve lived together and been together at Christmas), and we have the very best (if unconventional) topper.

 

Books bought this week:

Cover of Rattle His Bones by Carola Dunn Cover of To Davy Jones Below by Carola Dunn Cover of The Case of the Murdered Muckraker by Carola Dunn

Books read this week:

Cover of Dead in the Water by Carola Dunn Cover of Death Wears a Mask by Ashley Weaver

Reviews posted this week:

Rogue Protocol, by Martha Wells. A fun entry in the series, though I miss ART and feel it’s a little… episodic for my tastes. 4/5 stars
Requiem for a Mezzo, by Carola Dunn. One of those cosies where the dead person is so awful you can’t really help but root for whoever did them in… Fun, but not demanding. 4/5 stars
Pax Romana, by Adrian Goldsworthy. Definitely an interesting re-examination of the Roman Empire and its benefits for those under its banner. 4/5 stars
The Division Bell Mystery, by Ellen Wilkinson. Mostly stands out because of the setting, but has some surprising moments of pathos near the end. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Habitica Bookclub: Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About RaceAn intro post about my pick for December’s readalong.
WWW Wednesday. The usual update on what exactly I’m reading right now.

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Gecko Jesus‘. Or, “how exactly do geckos walk on water?”

So yeah, how’s everyone doing? Getting Christmas-y, if you celebrate? Any good books lately? Tell all!

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 1 December, 2018 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s been a quietish week, which was a nice feeling! But I got a couple of books I’ve been excited about, and my book subscription box (Illumicrate) arrived this week too, so there’s a couple of new books to get excited about. And then there was one review copy, so… maybe it wasn’t that quiet after all! Here goes…

Received to review:

Cover of Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

New books:

Cover of Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce Cover of Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch Cover of Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean Cover of The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman

Books read this week:

Cover of Samurai by John Man Cover of Requiem for a Mezzo by Carola Dunn Cover of Murder on the Flying Scotsman by Carola Dunn Cover of Damsel in Distress by Carola Dunn

Reviews posted this week:

The Testament of Loki, by Joanne Harris. I thought the concept was kind of goofy, and that bothered me enough that I didn’t really enjoy the book, even though Harris writes Loki’s voice so convincingly. 2/5 stars
Unearthing the Dragon, by Mark Norell. Some interesting stuff about feathered dinosaurs, but a lot of weird exoticising stuff about China. Meh. 2/5 stars
Sandman Slim, by Richard Kadrey. Gritty urban fantasy with a tough male protagonist who has just got back after being dragged down to hell, and various angels, demons and monsters. No, I’m not intentionally describing Supernatural… It’s not a bad read, but it didn’t feel particularly fresh to me either. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussions: ARCs. Do you get them? Do you hanker after them or just accept them when they come? Are bloggers getting too entitled about getting ARCs?
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update!

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’ If you feel like your family only ever tend to have daughters, then you might be right. Scientists have confirmed it really does happen, and how.

So how’s your week been? Getting any reading done?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 24 November, 2018 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

Hello, everyone! This week I’m away from my bunnies, visiting my grandmother. Here’s a pic of Biscuit back home — hiding out in my pocket while her cage was being cleaned last week!

Bought:

Cover of Life in a Medieval Castle by Francis Gies and Joseph Gies Cover of The Warrior Queen by Joanna Arman Cover of Queen Emma and the Vikings by Harriet O'Brien Cover of The Elements of Murder by John Emsley

Cover of Molecules at an Exhibition by John Emsley Cover of How Long Till Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin Cover of Murder by Matchlight by E.C.R. Lorac Cover of The Luck of the Vails by E.F. Benson

Books read this week:

Cover of Timekeepers by Simon Garfield Cover of Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey Cover of The Testament of Loki by Joanne Harris Cover of The Teamaster and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard

Reviews posted this week:

Angkor and the Khmer Civilisation, by Michael D. Coe. A scholarly but nonetheless fascinating discussion of the Khmer and particularly Angkor. 3/5 stars
The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle. A response to Lovecraft with some genuinely horrifying bits. 3/5 stars
The Magpie Lord, by K.J. Charles. I really enjoyed the characters, and the mystery is pretty fun too. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Book Club. Are you a book club person? How do you pick a book for a group read?
WWW Wednesday. The weekly update!

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Concerning wombats.‘ Did you know that wombats have cube-shaped poop? Well, now you do — and scientists have figured out why, if that interests you.

So how’re you doing? Up to anything good this weekend?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 17 November, 2018 by Nikki in General / 9 Comments

Good morning folks! Thank goodness, the issue with adding images on my site is fixed now, so I can actually get this post done. It’s been a quiet week, partly because I’ve been in a terrible mood and didn’t want to get anything done…

Anyway, here’s the stack this week.

Received to review:

Cover of A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

Bought this week:

Cover of The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

Books read this week:

Cover of The Roman Forum by David Watkin Cover of The Mycenaeans by Rodney Castleden Cover of The Crucible of Creation by Simon Conway Morris Cover of The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson

Reviews posted this week:

War Cry, by Brian McClellan. This felt a little unsatisfying, because it didn’t feel like a whole story. It’s an interesting world, though. 3/5 stars
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Read for the comfort of familiarity, and thus as satisfying as ever. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Regular Features. Do you like joining in on things like Top Ten Tuesday, WWW Wednesday, et al?
WWW Wednesday. This week’s update on what I’ve been reading.

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Llama vs flu‘. News about a potential innovative vaccine (made with the help of llamas) to beat flu, without the need for new vaccinations every season.

So how’re you all doing? Big plans for the weekend, or just a nice big book?

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Weekly Roundup

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

Good morning folks! It’s been quite a week, with one of the new buns rather suddenly becoming a teenager on us and needing to be separated from his sister. They get play dates, but they can’t live together now. It’s a bit sad, but on the other hand one cage now lives next to me so I have tons of awesome pictures of them just hanging out close by.

It would’ve been a quiet week, book-wise, except that a few I ordered last week have come in and I have one new ARC!

Received to review:

Cover of The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

New books:

Cover of This Case is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova Cover of Murder of Millionaire's Row by Erin Lindsey Cover of Wychwood by George Mann Cover of The Dragon's Legacy by Deborah A Wolf

Cover of Dead in the Water by Carola Dunn Cover of Styx and Stones by Carola Dunn

Cover of The Mummies of Urumchi by Elizabeth Barber Cover of Religion and Magic in Ancient Egypt by Rosalie David Cover of The Bull of Minos by Leonard Cottrell

Read this week:

Cover of The Greeks by H.D.F. Kitto Cover of Unearthing the Dragon by Mark Norrell

Reviews posted this week:

Magna Carta, by David Starkey. Not bad, but seemed basic to me. 2/5 stars
Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse. I liked this when I first read this, but apparently that moment can’t be recaptured! 2/5 stars
One Way, by S.J. Morden. I’d have liked this more if it wasn’t so very much like another book I read recently, though I found the characters thin and mostly distinguishable by their crimes. 2/5 stars
The Ancient Celts, by Barry Cunliffe. Beautifully presented, but for some reason Cunliffe’s writing seems to put me to sleep. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Film Adaptations. Yay or nay?
WWW Wednesday. The usual update!

So how’re you all doing?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 3 November, 2018 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

Happy weekend! It’s been a rollercoaster of a week for me — new bunnies, degree results, dentist appointments… But in the end, it’s pretty good. And worth celebrating with an immense book-spree, obviously, because hey! I’ve gone and graduated with first class honours (again).

Also, these guys. Meet Biscuit and Eclair! The left pics are Eclair, our new baby boy, and right is Biscuit, a girl who is already planning to rival Hulk in size.

It was super hard to pick which photos to share. They’ve had their first vet checkup and are doing well.

Received to review:

Cover of Middle-Game by Seanan McGuire Cover of In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

Aka AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I am so excited.

New books:

Cover of King Arthur: The Making of the Legend by Nicholas J Higham Cover of Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt by Chris Naunton Cover of Inheritors of the Earth by Chris D Thomas Cover of Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Cover of Pale Rider by Laura Spinney Cover of Breaking The Chains of Gravity by Amy Shira Teitel Cover of A History of Histories by John Burrow Cover of T. Rex and the Crater of Doom by Walter Alvarez

Cover of The Amazons by Adrienne Mayor Cover of The Lost World of Byzantium by Jonathan Harris Cover of China A History by John Keay Cover of The Roman Forum by David Watkin

Read this week:

Cover of The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien Cover of The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles Cover of War Cry by Brian McClellan Cover of The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

 Cover of Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells Cover of A Little History of Science by William F BynumCover of Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

Reviews posted this week:

The Winter Garden Mystery, by Carola Dunn. A good follow-up to the first book, though the phonetic Welsh accent is a bit comical (and bad) and I wouldn’t be inviting Daisy round to my house anytime soon… murders follow her! 4/5 stars
The Incas, by Craig Morris, Adriana Van Hagen. This is great — detailed, but absorbing all the same, and richly illustrated too. 4/5 stars
In The Vanishers’ Palace, by Aliette De Bodard. I didn’t get it, alas. 2/5 stars
Daughter of Mystery, by Heather Rose Jones. This might’ve been mediocre as a fantasy, mystery or romance story on its own. The combination of the three made it really absorbing. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Likeable Characters. How do you feel about the importance of characters in fiction? Super important, or is the plot or the writing quality more important to you?
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update!

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Gravitational Waves’Have they really been detected? What about that controversial article and coverage saying that there’s something up with the results?! Answer: the team are being tardy in full publication, but… well, read the post!

This post was brought to you by WifePress, aka Lisa did most of the formatting and left me free to do other things. Much gratefulness.

How’s everyone doing?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 27 October, 2018 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

Good morning, folks! Today I’m out in the chilly pre-dawn (okay, well, not quite) to go to Liverpool for the day to see the Terracotta Warriors exhibit, and whatever else catches my fancy. And then tomorrow, the new bunnies arrive. We’ve been talking about boxing up this old one and sending it away…

(No, of course not really.)

And then on Tuesday I should get my dissertation marks, and thus know how well I graduate. And sometime in the next week or so I need my teeth fixed again because the fix that was meant to help is causing pain in itself. Gah. Buy me books. (Is my constant cry when I feel terrible.)

The bunnies did actually buy me a couple of books this week, so it’s only fair to share.

New books:

Cover of The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones Cover of Band Sinister by K.J. Charles

I am especially excited about Band Sinister, since it’s a homage to Georgette Heyer, except with queer people.

Read this week:

Cover of Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones Cover of The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien Cover of In The Vanishers' Palace by Aliette de BodardCover of One Way by S.J. Morden

Reviews posted this week:

Alpha Beta, by John Man. A competent pop-history on the origins of the Roman alphabet. 3/5 stars
Death at Wentwater Court, by Carola Dunn. Entertaining and just cosy enough, with a hint of romance to come. 4/5 stars
The Maya, by Michael D. Coe. Interesting topic, but Coe’s treatment of it is somewhat dry. 3/5 stars
The Seventh Miss Hatfield, by Anna Caltabiano. Incoherent and badly written, alas. 1/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Real Life. How much do you reveal?
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update.

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Neat little boxes‘. Why biological sexual development isn’t at all that simple. If you think there’s men and women and nothing else in between, this is specially for you.
Once Upon A Blue Moon: ‘On Books‘. A triolet on the topic of books, mostly written for the fun of writing to a strict structure.

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Weekly Roundup

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

Good morning, guys! Not next week, but the week after, I should be able to introduce you all to our new bunnies! For now, Breakfast has a fistbump for you all.

A brown bun wants to fistbump you

I should hurry up, because I’m writing this on Friday evening (as ever) and we’ve been to the gym and are tired. We being me and my wife, not me and the bunnies, entertaining though the image of them hopping on a treadmill is (and much as Hulk could use the exercise). So here goes!

Books acquired this week:

Cover of The Cardinal's Blades by Pierre Pevel Cover of Hounded by Kevin Hearne Cover of Sharps by K.J. Parker

Cover of Requiem for a Mezzo by Carola Dunn Cover of Murder on the Flying Scotsman by Carola Dunn Cover of Damsel in Distress by Carola Dunn

Library sale + falling in love with a new series!

Books read this week:

Cover Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn Cover of The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn Cover of The Ancient Celts by Barry Cunliffe

Reviews posted this week:

The Mystery of the Skeleton Key, by Bernard Capes. Nothing groundbreaking, and a bit slow, but if you’re into Golden Age crime fiction… 2/5 stars
Endless Forms Most Beautiful, by Sean Carroll. A great entry-level book on Evo Devo. 4/5 stars
Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection, by John Man. Another entertaining pop-history part-travelogue book from Man… 3/5 stars
Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer. This was a reread for me, and one I found worth it. I enjoy the narrator’s matter-of-fact tone a lot. 4/5 stars
Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton. Another reread, so I can get on with the series. Still entertaining, without being very groundbreaking. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Returning Comments. What do you do if someone comments on your blog, you go to return it, and you find out they think you’re going to hell and frequently post saying so whenever homosexuality comes up in the books they read? To the extent of no longer supporting an author because they’re tolerant of homosexuality?
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update.

Out and about:

Once Upon A Blue Moon: ‘[UNTRANSLATABLE]‘. A rather cynical take on why an alien might be interested in Earth.

So how’s everyone’s week been? Anything exciting going on for you?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 13 October, 2018 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

Good morning, readers! It’s been a quiet week for me, still getting over my coughing and wheezing, lots of bunny-snuggling, etc. I did get my hair dyed again, it’s a rather amazing colour…

Pic of me and my bright teal hair

We’ll see how long that lasts! Anyway, no new books this week, so here’s a feature of the covers of the books I finished!

Books read this week:

Cover of The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri Cover of Angkor and the Khmer Civilization by Michael D. Coe Cover of The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman

Cover of Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton Cover of Annilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Reviews posted this week:

Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. A reread of a beloved book. There’s still much to love, though maybe I’m less taken than I used to be! 4/5 stars
The Lake District Murder, by John Bude. Another in the British Library Crime Classics range. Entertaining enough, but not a particular highlight. 3/5 stars
Poison: A Social History, by Joel Levy. An interesting, if somewhat limited book with rather short chapters and some good scientific profiles of poisons. 2/5 stars
The Book of Hidden Things, by Francesco Dimitri. This one was an interesting read, but not really my thing. Some aspects felt way too obvious to me. 2/5 stars
The Lost Plot, by Genevieve Cogman. A good installment of this series, although I’m not sure I love all the developments! 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussions: What to discuss? I know, I’m cheating. Any topics anyone wants me to write about, though?
WWW Wednesday. The usual update on what I’m currently reading.

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Evaluating scientific papers‘. Breaking down exactly how to decide what to trust and avoid being taken for a ride.

So that’s that. How’s everyone doing? Anything good on your shelves right now?

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