Tag: weekly roundup


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 21 April, 2018 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

Sooo, Amsterdam happened! And so did many books. Also some awesome socks.

Books acquired

Cover of Murder in Piccadilly by Charles Kingston Cover of Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay Cover of Fire in the Thatch by E.C.R. Lorac Cover of Seven Dead by J. Jefferson Farjeon

Cover of Death of a Busybody by George Bellairs Cover of Roar by Cora Carmack Cover of Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn Cover of Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer

Cover of Head On by John Scalzi Cover of Semiosis by Sue Burke Cover of Skullsworn by Brian Staveley Cover of The Sisters of the Crescent Empress

Cover of The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis Cover of I Only Killed Him Once by Adam Christopher

Though the last one is, of course, an ARC — Tor are as good to me as ever.

Books read this week:

Cover of The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English Cover of The Secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton Cover of War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

Cover of A Long Day In Lychford by Paul Cornell Cover of Exiled from Camelot by Cherith Baldry Cover of The Brain Supremacy by Kathleen Taylor

Reviews posted this week:

A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin. This was mostly just a comfort read so I didn’t actually have much to say. I still love it with all its flaws. 5/5 stars
The Poisoned Chocolates Case, by Anthony Berkeley. I add to a classic murder mystery in my review… 4/5 stars
The Atrocities, by Jeremy C. Shipp. Some good atmosphere but ultimately I didn’t love it. 3/5 stars
The Golden Age of Murder, by Martin Edwards. This book tries to do a lot, but it’s mostly successful and it made me really curious about Golden Age crime fiction I’d never even heard of. 4/5 stars
A Long Day in Lychford, by Paul Cornell. I don’t love this series like some other people do, but this book did really manage to put its finger on some of the feelings in Britain around Brexit. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW WednesdayThe weekly update on what I’ve been reading lately.

How’s everyone doing? Delicious book hauls? Dying of the sudden warm weather, Europeans?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 14 April, 2018 by Nikki in General / 21 Comments

I’m safely back in Belgium! And in our little game of doing chores and healthy things, my wife and I have hit 200 stars (ish), so we’re off to Amsterdam today for books, yarn and goodness knows what. (Mostly books and yarn.) So I’ll reply to any comments tomorrow!

Books bought/received to review:

Cover of Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer Cover of The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston Cover of Booked to Die by John Dunning

Cover of The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis Cover of The Secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton

A bit of a weird mix, maybe…

Read this week:

Cover of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert Cover of Daphne du Maurier by Margaret Forster Cover of Almost Human by Lee Berger Cover of Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero Cover of The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Cover of Evolution in Four Dimensions by Eva Jablonka Cover of The Honest Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely Cover of The Atrocities by Jeremy C. Shipp Cover of Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland Cover of The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude

Reviews posted this week:

The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert. It took me a while to figure out what this was trying to do, but I ended up enjoying it. 4/5 stars
Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero. Okay, this had its annoying aspects (oh my goodness, you can use the word “said”, I promise!) but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Especially Kerri and Andy. 4/5 stars
The Prince and the Dressmaker, by Jen Wang. Lovely. The historical setting doesn’t quite work, but I loved the rest of it. 4/5 stars
Daphne du Maurier, by Margaret Forster. I found this interesting, but I felt like I was prying. 3/5 stars
Lost for Words, by Stephanie Butland. Not quite as light as I expected, and gah, the mental health clichés. 2/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: The usual weekly post.

So how’re you doing? Reading plenty? Got weekend plans?

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 7 April, 2018 by Nikki in General / 20 Comments

Good morning, folks. I am still in the UK, despite intending to go back last week, due to the rail strikes in France and ensuing mayhem. New departure date to get back to wife and bunnies for a while: Tuesday. Wish me luck.

But hey, since I’m away, that means you get one more lot of bunny photos because I miss them. Here they demonstrate the principle “I fits therefore I sits”.

And since last week was Easter, have the Easter Egg I gave my sister…

New books from various sources

Cover of Head On by John Scalzi Cover of Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine Cover of The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso

Cover of Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts Cover of The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Looking forward to all of these, different as they are from one another!

Books read this week:

Cover of Murder in the Museum by John Rowland Cover of A Matter of Oaths by Helen S. Wright Cover of Bats in the Belfry by E.C.R.Lorac Cover of The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley Cover of Improbable Destinies by Jonathan Losos

Reviews posted this week:

Murder in the Museum, by John Rowland. Entertaining but fairly typical Golden Age crime story. 3/5 stars
A Matter of Oaths, by Helen Wright. Why did I wait so long to read this one? I loved it and it’s high time it got more attention. 5/5 stars
The Genius of Birds, by Jennifer Ackerman. Entertaining, but not much that was new to me. 3/5 stars
Improbable Destinies, by Jonathan Losos. A fascinating examination of the idea about evolution being repeatable. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: The usual update on what I’m reading, what I might read next, etc.

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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 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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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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