Tag: weekly roundup


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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Weekly Roundup

Posted 6 October, 2018 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Good morning, everyone! It has been a quietish week for me, mostly spent coughing and sniffling, but I’m almost better now. And it’s a good thing I’m not putting library books in these posts anymore, because I’ve been on a serious spree lately. (Right now, I have, um… 50ish books out of the four libraries I’m a member of.)

Anyway! To books!

Received to review:

Cover of Skyward by Brandon Sanderson Cover of Shadow of a Lady by Jane Aiken Hodge Cover of In The Vanishers' Palace by Aliette de Bodard

I’m especially excited about In the Vanishers’ Palace. I had it preordered anyway, and then I spotted it on Netgalley…

Bought:

Cover of Salt by Mark Kurlansky Cover of Fayke Newes by Derek Taylor Cover of Hekla's Children by James Brogden

Cover of The Sussex Downs Murder by John Bude Cover of The Colour of Murder by Julian Symons Cover of Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

Exit Strategy! The final Murderbot! Eeeeek gaaah eeeeeee etc.

Read this week:

Cover of Ancient Lives, New Discoveries Cover of Poison: A Social History by Joel Levy Cover of The Maya by Michael D. Coe

Cover of Stardust by Neil Gaiman Cover of The Incas by Craig Morris Cover of Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean Carroll

Reviews posted this week:

Gods, Graves and Scholars, by C.W. Ceram. This is out of date in many ways, but the fascination is very much still there. It covers a lot of the great sites of archaeology that formed the whole discipline. 3/5 stars
The Descent of Monsters, by JY Yang. I liked this less than the others: it seemed less able to stand along, more fragmentary. Still a fascinating addition to the world being built here, though. 3/5 stars
Spying on Whales, by Nick Pyenson. Whales aren’t one of my primary fascinations, but they are fascinating creatures and Pyenson’s enthusiasm is catching. 3/5 stars
Murder at the Brightwell, by Ashley Weaver. A fun Christie-esque mystery: nothing special, but nonetheless fun. 3/5 stars
Ancient Lives, New Discoveries, by John H. Taylor and Daniel Antoine. A fascinating glimpse beneath the wrappings of mummies from the British Museum’s collection. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: How do you review? Musing on the ingredients that go into a good review.
WWW Wednesday. The weekly update!

Out and about:

Once Upon A Blue Moon: ‘Me, Too‘. A poem and commentary on the #MeToo movement.
NEAT science: ‘Writing in DNA‘. Answering the question of how information can possibly be encoded by acids.
NEAT science: ‘Why chimpanzees are still around‘. Explains how chimpanzees can be around if humans evolved from them. (Spoiler: we didn’t, we evolved from the same common ancestor, also, species do not have to die in order for new species to evolve anyway.)

So actually it’s been a bit of a busy week in some ways. How’re you doing?!

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 29 September, 2018 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

Good morning, folks! I have a bit of a cold and (writing this on Friday night) rather want to get to bed, so I’ll keep this quick! It’s been a quiet week except for my various trips from the library (I have [mumble] books out of four different libraries right now…), but I still have some books to show off from last week in London, plus a review copy.

Received to review:

Cover of The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Yay! I’m torn about whether to reread The Traitor Baru Cormorant first: I think I could maybe use a reminder on the political background, but the character-development stuff has really stuck with me.

Bought:

Cover of Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall Cover of Vengeful by V.E. Schwab Cover of The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca Cover of Starless by Jacqueline Carey

Cover of Made to Kill by Adam Christopher Cover of Killing Is My Business by Adam Christopher Cover of I Only Killed Him Once by Adam Christopher

And my copies of Made to Kill and Killing is my Business are actually signed! Thank you, Forbidden Planet London. Likewise, my copy of Vengeful is one of the limited edition signed ones. I really need to at least get that one out of the plastic and admire it!

Books read this week:

Cover of Alpha Beta by John Man Cover of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie Cover of Legion by Brandon Sanderson

 Cover of The Lake District Murder by John Bude Cover of The Mystery of the Skeleton Key by Bernard Capes Cover of Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver

Reviews posted this week:

Men Explain Things to Me, by Rebecca Solnit. Clearly written essays, most of them kind of indifferent, but the title one is worth the time for that sense of validation: ah, it’s not just me this happens to. 3/5 stars
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, by Steve Brusatte. A bit basic for me — go with David Hone’s Tyrannosaurus Chronicles instead, and you won’t be disappointed. 3/5 stars
Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds, by Brandon Sanderson. Finally got to read the whole story in this collected edition! Well worth the time, though I’m unsure about how I feel about the ending. Maybe I just didn’t want it to end. 4/5 stars
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie. Christie could put a heck of a story together, and I read this one straight through. Kind of creepy, too. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Keeping Books. Do you hoard the books you’ve read? Or do you pass them on once you’re done?
WWW Wednesday. The usual weekly update on what I’ve just read, what I’m reading now, and what I might be about to read next.

Out and about:

NEAT science: Calculating the mass of a planet. Ever wondered how we do that, given you can’t stick Jupiter on a set of weighing scales? I go through that here!

How’s everyone else doing, anyway? Exciting week?

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 22 September, 2018 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

Hey everyone! I know the tradition is that you get a pic of my buns if I’m away from them, but I won’t be away from them very often anymore, so now you’ll just get one if they’re being particularly cute. And they have been, this week: they’re just settling into the new flat, and getting up to shenanigans…

I just found a bunny nose-print on the glass door of one of my bookshelves, so methinks those doors were definitely a good idea, too…

Anyway, it’s been a busy week with a nice day trip to London, and I got plenty of new books. Oops? Wait, not sorry. I’ll split them into two lots just to keep the page manageable and give me something to post next week!

New books:

Cover of Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire Cover of The Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire Cover of The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire Cover of The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire

Cover of Indexing by Seanan McGuire Cover of Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier Cover of The Etruscans by Lucy Shipley Cover of Breaking the Maya Code by Michael D. Coe

My editions of the Seanan McGuire books don’t match in size, but I’m not too bothered about that. And now I have Den of Wolves in paperback, I have no excuse not to finish the series. Right? …Right?

Books read this week:

Cover of Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit Cover of Death of a Clone Cover of Descent of Monsters by JY Yang Cover of Spying on Whales by Nick Pyenson

Reviews posted this week:

The Paper Trail, by Alexander Munro. This spends an amazingly long time on the origins of paper in China — which makes sense, but somehow I hadn’t expected. Lots of stuff I didn’t know, despite having read about the origins of the book specifically before. 4/5 stars
Verdict of Twelve, by Raymond Postgate. An interesting set-up, but a bit thin in places. 3/5 stars
Seeds of Science, by Mark Lynas. A former anti-GMO activist talks about what changed his mind and the key points to know about GMOs. Refreshingly lacking in scaremongering for something about GMOs. 4/5 stars
Death of a Clone, by Alex Thompson. Reminded me very much of the book I happen to be reading concurrently, One Way, but with fun touches in the references to Agatha Christie’s works. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Shelving. How do you categorise your books? Do you categorise your books? Featuring a whistle-stop tour of my own newly organised bookshelves.
WWW Wednesday. The usual update on what I’ve been reading, what I might read next, etc.

Out and about:

Once Upon a Blue Moon: ‘Forbidden Fruits‘. A little bit of microfiction on the topic of curiosity and the knowledge of good and evil.
NEAT science: ‘Gene editing and allergies‘. If you use genes from a peanut in another plant, will people eating the new plant get peanut allergies? Answer: probably not.

How’s everyone doing? I’m very nearly caught up with everything I plan to be caught up with, and my little office is cozy and useful (I stay on task so much better when I don’t have someone else in the room distracting me! what a surprise). Whew!

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 15 September, 2018 by Nikki in General / 10 Comments

Slowly, slowly, we’re coming to the end of the moving nightmare. I’m writing this from my new office space, and all my books are on shelves… if not quite the shelves they will finally be on (and the comic books aren’t unpacked at all). Here’s a sneaky shelfie… (and a bun checking his email).

 

So much left to do, but we’re here and the bunnies are here and everything’s gonna be good.

Books read this week:

Cover of Genghis Khan by John Man Cover of The Paper Trail by Alexander Monro

They were both pretty fascinating — learned a lot more about the impact of Buddhist sutras on the history of paper than I ever expected to.

Reviews posted this week:

The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler. Nobody writes quite like Chandler, though some of his views on women and people of colour are sickening. I wouldn’t recommend him to anyone without caveats, but boy oh boy he could write. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Too many books at once? Is there such a thing?
WWW Wednesday. The latest update on exactly what I’m reading right now.

Out and about:

NEAT science: Vive la Pluto. My entry into the debate over whether Pluto’s a planet or not. (Spoiler: yes. As my sister says, with an appalling lack of concern for whether it’s actually correct French, “vive la Pluto”.)

So how’re you all doing? I miss checking out other people’s blogs — I have a list of posts to check out as long as my leg (we overflowed my arm a couple of weeks ago)!

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Weekly Roundup

Posted 8 September, 2018 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Good morning, folks! I keep thinking that the moving stuff is going to slacken off and I’m going to have time to reply to all my comments and posts that I’m saving up for when I have some spare time. So far… it’s not happening. The stuff keeps on a-comin’. But we have now successfully got a washing machine and a fridge/freezer, and later today we get the car, so that’s nice.

New books:

Cover of The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate MasCarenhas Cover of City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab Cover of The Edge of Memory by Patrick Nunn

Read this week:

Cover of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler Cover of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs Cover of Gods, Graves and Scholars by C.W. Ceram

Reviews posted:

Farthing, by Jo Walton. Quite uncomfortable to read in many ways at this point in political history, but so worth it to my mind. 5/5 stars
A History of Ancient Egypt Volume 2, John Romer. So much information, and so much of it fascinating. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

Discussion: Buying a Series. Do you buy the first book of a series as soon as it comes out? Or wait, to make sure you don’t get lumped with a cliffhanger?

Out and about:

NEAT science: The toughest creature on Earth. Have a guess!

How’s everyone doing?

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