Tag: weekly roundup


Weekly Roundup

Posted 13 April, 2019 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Hey guys! I’m back from my holiday, which included a trip to Amsterdam to ABC (mostly for me) and Stephen and Penelope (mostly for Lisa). I was good and stuck well within budget, but I do have some new shinies! I also have a new ereader: I’ve switched back to Kindle, since I didn’t like some of the design choices for the Kobo Clara, so I have a Kindle Paperwhite (2018 edition) now. By next week, my personalised case should have arrived to be shown off, too…

For now, here goes the haul!

Received to review:

Cover of Ragged Alice by Gareth L. Powell Cover of Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

Bought:

Cover of The Afterward by E. K. Johnson Cover of Atlas Alone by Emma Newman Cover of Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K.J. Parker

Finished this week:

Cover of King Arthur: The Making of the Legend by Nicholas J Higham Cover of Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones Cover of Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh Cover of Ragged Alice by Gareth L. Powell Cover of Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Reviews posted this week:

The Edge of Memory, by Patrick Nunn. I have concerns about this one. The basic premise is okay, but then I think it tries to go too far and gets rather circular in argument. Interesting, but the methodology doesn’t seem sound. 2/5 stars
Rose Daughter, by Robin McKinley. Still a nice retelling, with some definite advantages over the earlier Beauty, but ultimately not a favourite. 3/5 stars
Spirals in Time, by Helen Scales. Are you fascinated by shelled creatures? If so, this is probably more for you than for me. I got a little bored before the end, to be honest. 2/5 stars
The Unexpected Truth about Animals, by Lucy Cooke. Kind of meh in the end? Much of it was not unexpected at all, for me. Some interesting titbits, though! 2/5 stars
The Human Planet, by Mark Maslin and Simon Lewis. Got a bit bogged down in how to define the Anthropocene, for me, instead of sticking to the slightly broader topic of human impacts on Earth. A lot of fascinating stuff, though! 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update!

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘More accurate gene editing? Some CRISPR news, with a dose of caution.

It’s been a busy week — I feel like I need a holiday from my holiday. How are you guys doing? Reading anything awesome?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 6 April, 2019 by Nikki in Reviews / 7 Comments

Good morning, folks! As we speak, I’m off for a few days in Belgium, hanging out with my in-laws and so on. So this is totally prepared in advance! Here’s hoping it’s been an acceptable week…

Books read this week:

Cover of The Edge of Memory by Patrick Nunn Cover of Life in a Medieval Castle by Francis Gies and Joseph Gies Cover of Catullus' Bedspread by Daisy Dunn

Cover of The Bull of Minos by Leonard Cottrell Cover of Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers Cover of Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt by Chris Naunton

Reviews posted this week:

Watch the Wall, my Darling, by Jane Aiken Hodge. Really disappointing and badly paced. 1/5 stars
The Mummies of Ürümchi, by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. Fascinating, especially as it deals a lot with the preserved fabrics! 4/5 stars
Glamour in Glass, by Mary Robinette Kowal. This is where this series really takes off for me, and I enjoyed it just as much a second time. 4/5 stars
Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers. The usual good time. It’s Lord Peter! 4/5 stars
Lucy: The Beginnings of Mankind, by Donald Johanson. This is hardly new and groundbreaking at this point, but it’s still fascinating, explaining a lot of the controversy and questions around Johanson’s findings. 4/5 stars
A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers. Insert fannish flailing here. 5/5 stars

Other posts:

Top Ten Tuesday. This one’s all about what will prompt me to pick up a book!
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update!

So how’re you guys doing? I’m trying to get better again at replying to and returning comments, so I’ll be visiting back anyone who comments here.

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Weekly roundup

Posted 30 March, 2019 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Good morning, folks! I missed my STS post last week due to sporadic posting, which was mostly because my WordPress install (or rather, the security enabled by my host) occasionally decides to not allow me to insert images into my posts. But here I am again!

Also, I know I’m doing badly at returning comments and dropping by people’s blogs. I’m still adjusting to some schedule changes with work, and doing a bad job of keeping everything balanced. I haven’t forgotten you all!

Books received to review:

Cover of Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Books read in the last two weeks:

Cover of A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine Cover of Lucy: The Beginnings of Mankind Cover of Glamour in Glass, by Mary Robinette Kowal Cover of Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

Cover of Watch the Wall, My Darling, by Jane Aiken Hodge Cover of Without a Summer Cover of The Lost Girls by Sarah Painter Cover of T. Rex and the Crater of Doom by Walter Alvarez

Cover of Whose Body by Dorothy L. Sayers Cover of The Human Planet by Simon L. Lewis and Mark A. Maslin

Reviews posted since the last roundup:

How the Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill. Rather misleadingly titled: it’s more about how Irish monasteries copied Greek and Roman works so they weren’t lost. So a very specific definition of civilization. 2/5 stars
Beauty, by Robin McKinley. A relatively simple retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but effective! 4/5 stars
The Etruscans, by Lucy Shipley. Not a subject I knew much about, and this book makes a beautiful introduction to various Etruscan objects and what we understand about the people. 4/5 stars
The Lost Girls, by Sarah Painter. I’m honestly still pondering the review and rating, even though it’s already posted. There’s definitely interesting stuff, but I found the ending kind of unsatisfying, and the romance particularly so. But then, that’s not really what the book was doing, in the end… 3/5 stars
A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine. This didn’t quite work for me, partially because it’s very like two series I really love and admire. 3/5 stars
T. Rex and the Crater of Doom, by Walter Alvarez. Engaging and surprisingly riveting for me, given I knew the theory in quite a bit of detail. Alvarez is great at explaining the evidence. 4/5 stars
The Golden Thread, by Kassia St Clair. A history of fabric, from Viking sails to modern high performance fabric. Pretty riveting, from my point of view! 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The update on what I’ve been reading this week.

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘The Red Queen.‘ Inspiration from classic children’s literature in the world of biology.
NEAT science: ‘A cool customer.’ Another vertebrate without haemoglobin!

So that’s it; that’s the update. How’s everyone else doing? Busy week? Reading anything good?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 16 March, 2019 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

Good morning, folks. I am writing this the night before, as usual, and very very sleepy. Thank you wife for once more coming to my rescue and setting most of this up!

Books acquired:

Cover of Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

Books read this week:

Cover of Spirals in Time by Helen Scales Cover of A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers Cover of The Unexpected Truth about Animals by Lucy Cooke Cover of The Mummies of Urumchi by Elizabeth Barber Cover of Beauty by Robin McKinley

Reviews posted this week:

The Hollow Man, by John Dickson Carr. I know Dickson Carr is the king of the locked room mystery, but this just wasn’t my thing. It’s all about the puzzle, not people. 2/5 stars
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, by Adam Rutherford. Some interesting stuff, but a bit basic for me and very disorganised. 3/5 stars
A Kiss Before Dying, by Ira Levin. Meh, charming psychopath story. Well-written, but I’m sick of charming psychopaths. 2/5 stars
Threads of Life, by Clare Hunter. A fascinating history of embroidery and sewing; necessarily cherry picks some particularly interesting individual stuff, and no doubt misses out a lot of other things, but fascinating. 4/5 stars
The Copernicus Complex, by Caleb Scharf. I agree with Scharf mostly, but he takes a long time to get to actually expressing an opinion. It’s more a primer on factors that might be involved when you try and guess whether there’s life elsewhere in the universe. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. Such book, very update, wow.

How’s everyone doing? Good week?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 9 March, 2019 by Nikki in Uncategorized / 3 Comments

Hey guys! It’s been a good week for me, with plenty of reading! And Record of a Spaceborn Few is out in paperback, so I’ve snapped that up, obviously!

Books acquired:

Cover of Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

Books read this week:

Cover of How the Irish Saved Civilisation Cover of A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin Cover of The Etruscans by Lucy Shipley

Cover of The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr Cover of Space Opera by Catherynne M Valente Cover of The Golden Thread by Kasia St Clair

Reviews posted this week:

Fayke Newes, by Derek Taylor. Not a bad history of the press vs people in power, but not properly sourced and thus rather hypocritical. 3/5 stars
The Bell at Sealey Head, by Patricia McKillip. Beautifully written fantasy, as ever, with only a couple of hitches. 4/5 stars
The Case of the Murdered Muckraker, by Carola Dunn. Very different setting and feel for Daisy; includes an epic cross-country plane chase. 3/5 stars
The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison. Yep, again. What can I say? 5/5 stars
Pale Rider, by Laura Spinney. A good history of the 1918 flu pandemic. 4/5 stars
My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite. This felt kind of predictable for me? Like most of it was just following an obvious path. The ending didn’t exactly surprise me, but it was nicely done. 2/5 stars
Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente. Not a winner for me. Holy cow, I am tired of the TORRENT OF GLITTER just thinking about it. 1/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update!

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Blue-blooded. Ever wanted to know how copper-based blood works? Tahdah!

That’s it for the week! How’s everyone else been doing? Reading anything good?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 2 March, 2019 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s been a good week for finally catching up on the reviews I’ve needed to write for a while; I’m really getting somewhere! And it felt like a good week for reading, even though I finished fewer books than I thought.

Books acquired:

Cover of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon Cover of My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Books read this week:

Cover of Death at Bishop's Keep by Robin Paige Cover of Fayke Newes by Derek Taylor Cover of Pale Rider by Laura Spinney Cover of My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Reviews posted this week:

Murder Most Unladylike, by Robin Stevens. Not 100% my thing, but fun for a change, and something I would recommend for someone in the right age group. 3/5 stars
Rosewater, by Tade Thompson. For me, the intriguing setting and ideas were eclipsed by the main character being a sex-obsessed misogynist. 2/5 stars
Stars Uncharted, by S.K. Dunstall. A ragtag crew end up being something like a found family, after being chased around the universe by bad guys. Sounds familiar? Yeah. Fun, though, and with a couple of elements that stood out. 3/5 stars
Kill the Queen, by Jennifer Estep. Very very typical fantasy tropes in a blender, but it’s nice brain-candy, and does not take itself overly seriously. This is like… an urban fantasy feel on an epic fantasy scale. 3/5 stars
How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith, by Mary Beard. Really, this is best viewed as two separate books bound into one. Both topics are fascinating, although the analysis here is fairly shallow — an introduction and overview. 3/5 stars
A Local Habitation, by Seanan McGuire. A reread; not the strongest of the series, I think, though there’s some intriguing stuff going on. 3/5 stars
Death at Bishop’s Keep, by Robin Paige. A kind of meh mystery with an interesting female lead. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update on what’s on my reading pile right now.

Out and about:

NEAT science: ‘Burning questions‘. Your chance to ask the science questions you’ve been wondering about!

So how’re you doing? Good reading week? Wish you’d had more time for books? Something you’re excited about?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 23 February, 2019 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Almost forgot to set this up — in fact, have snuck out of bed because I know I’ll forget in the morning! 2019 continues with me being very good about book purchases, and better about what I ask for to review — only one new book this week, from Pan Macmillan!

Books acquired:

Cover of The True Queen by Zen Cho

I’m not sure whether I want to reread Sorcerer to the Crown first. Hmm…

Books finished this week:

Cover of The Case of the Murdered Muckraker by Carola Dunn Cover of Rosewater by Tade Thompson Cover of A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire

Reviews posted this week:

The Raven Tower, by Ann Leckie. I was so excited to get this advance copy, and it did not disappoint me. 5/5 stars
To Davy Jones Below, by Carola Dunn. Fairly typical Daisy story with a slightly different setting and some recurring characters. 3/5 stars
What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape, by Souhaila Abdulali. A frank and freeing look at a taboo subject, treating rape as the violence it is and as something that doesn’t have to be defining, while looking at the social issues surrounding it. 4/5 stars
Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal. This novel actually grows on me every time I read it. This one is primarily romance, but the later books expand the world and feature a lot more politics and world events. 4/5 stars
Band Sinister, by K.J. Charles. Like Georgette Heyer, but with more free-thinking and queerness. 5/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual update, featuring my thoughts primarily on Space Opera by Cat Valente.

How’s everybody doing? Read anything good this week?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 16 February, 2019 by Nikki in General / 8 Comments

Today I’m going to keep this quick, because one of my rabbits has been sick* and I’m really tired and worn down. And starting to get a cold myself! Gah. So, keeping it quick…

(*It’s Biscuit. She was spayed on Wednesday and hasn’t been eating too great since then. Cross your fingers for her!)

Books acquired: 

Cover of Threads of Life by Clare Hunter Cover of The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

Books read: 

Cover of Threads of Life by Clare Hunter Cover of Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall Cover of The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

Reviews posted:

Stitches in Time, by Lucy Adlington. A restful read that goes into some details about the history of the clothes we wear. 4/5 stars
Busman’s Honeymoon, by Dorothy L. Sayers. This might not be the height of the series, but it’s lovely for those who know and love Peter and Harriet. They are my idea of romance. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Book Blanket. A progress pic (with a scene-stealing hedgehog) and some pondering on how to fit it together.
WWW Wednesday. The usual update.

How’s everyone else doing? Read anything good this week?

Right. Writing this the night before, so hello from the wrong side of sleep, and goodbye!

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 9 February, 2019 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

This post is prepared well in advance, as I’m away this weekend! I’ll pop by and see everyone as soon as I’m back, though: pinky-promise! We’re just off to Wales to see some of my friends from university (*waves*) and my aunt. Road trip time!

Books read this week:

Cover of 4th Rock from the Sun by Nicky Jenner Cover of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford

Reviews posted:

Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers. It’s a lovely book that is the culmination of so much in the other books, while being unlike them in some ways. (For instance, it’s largely Harriet’s point of view, and it’s mostly not a crime story but a story about a long process of trying to prevent a crime… but mostly coming to terms with personal and philosophical pros and cons of married life vs vs a job vs academia.) It’s well worth it for people who are fans already, but I wonder how interesting it is to new folks. 4/5 stars
Breaking the Maya Code, by Michael D. Coe. Really fascinating history of how the Mayan glyphs were finally, finally decoded. 4/5 stars
Mystery in White, by J. Jefferson Farjeon. Rather incoherent and reliant on coincidence, actually; I turned out not to be much of a fan, despite enjoying Farjeon’s other work. 2/5 stars
The Cobbler’s Boy, by Katherine Addison and Elizabeth Bear. A historical fiction/mystery about how Kit Marlowe first became a spy… I really enjoyed it, though the decision to render the dialogue somewhat realistically for the time period might throw people off. 4/5 stars
Ninja, by John Man. Eminently skippable. Bleh. 2/5 stars
Molecules at an Exhibition, by John Emsley. Kind of interesting but got boring fast as the novelty wore off. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update!

Out and about:

Once Upon a Blue Moon: ‘A Woman Skilled in Physic.’ A short story which will turn out to be a retelling if you give it a few moments…
Once Upon a Blue Moon: ‘A Room Without A Soul.’ An attempt at making books creepy.

So how’s everyone doing?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 2 February, 2019 by Nikki in General / 7 Comments

Hey folks! Another week, another… total lack of new books?! What’s wrong with me??

Anyway, so that was January, I guess. I read 15 books, bought only a handful, and generally behaved myself pretty well.

Books read this week:

Cover of The Cobbler's Boy by Elizabeth Bear and Katherine Addison. Cover of Seahenge: An Archaeological Conundrum by Charlie Watson Cover of How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith by Mary BeardCover of Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Reviews posted this week:

The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers. Beautifully atmospheric, and always one of my favourites of the series. I love how much work Sayers did to integrate change ringing into the fabric of the story. 4/5 stars
Seahenge, by Charlie Watson. Definitely a good primer on what Seahenge was and what was done to preserve it; Francis Pryor’s book does more work on interpretation, though, if that’s your interest. 4/5 stars
Styx and Stones, by Carola Dunn. Okay, one aspect of this book really annoyed me: that stupid scene where Daisy and Alec briefly break up. What’s the point? Otherwise a fairly standard entry in the series, with a couple of twists you may not expect. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

A Personal Note. In lieu of a discussion post this week, I wrote about my feelings on Brexit.
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update!

Out and about:

NEAT Science: ‘Is there any (intelligent) life out there? My answer is ‘I really don’t know, and I don’t think anyone else has any idea how likely it is either’ — and I touch a little bit on why I think so and why other people think it might be likely or unlikely.

So that’s this week. How’s everyone else been doing? Any good books? Anything you’ve been dying to get your hands on finally fall into your lap?

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