Tag: weekly roundup


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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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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