Tag: WWW Wednesday


WWW Wednesday

Posted 17 April, 2019 by Nikki in General / 0 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha LeeWhat are you currently reading?

Far, far too much at once, of course! I’m partway through rereading Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee — I tore through my reread of Ninefox Gambit. The books really are pretty compulsive reading, especially now that (given it’s a reread) I know the world a little and what things are possible. I did find the magic-math a little mind-bending the first time, but it’s easier this time. Aaaaahhhh Jedao. AAAH.

I’m also reading Religion and Magic in Ancient Egypt, because I can never stay away from books about Ancient Egypt. I’m not very far into it, but it seems so far to be taking a common-sense approach that attempts to unify the various different threads of evidence (graves, texts, monuments, artefacts) rather than relying on just the mummies, or just the texts.

Cover of Hacking the Code of Life by Nessa CareyWhat have you recently finished reading?

I just finished Nessa Carey’s new book, about CRISPR (or really, gene editing a little more broadly). It’s rather short and the emphasis is much more on the pop than on the science aspect, but it does feature an extremely excellent description of how exactly CRISPR works, and the discussion of the ethics is timely and important, if rather basic because it’s addressed to a non-scientific audience.

Cover of Inheritors of the Earth by Chris D ThomasWhat will you be reading next?

*shakes Magic 8 Ball* “My sources say no”?

Well, I’m guessing I’m going to be as capricious as usual. I do know that I’d like to have fewer books on the go at once, so chances are high I’ll be finishing Inheritors of the Earth — a discussion of whether species diversity is really under threat in the Anthropocene, taking a common-sense approach to things like invasive species — and other books recently added to my currently reading pile, like Hild. Probably especially Hild, since it’s a book-club read!

What are you reading? Please do comment and let me know so I can raid your books when you’re done!

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 10 April, 2019 by Nikki in General / 2 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. SayersWhat are you currently reading?

A couple of things, me being me, but most actively I’m actually rereading two books: I’m mid-Wimsey reread, of course, so I’m partway through Unnatural Death. I’m kind of enjoying how obvious Agatha Dawson and Clara Whittaker’s lesbian relationship is, while wondering what Sayers thought of it — the narrative is pretty non-judgemental, but the preface suggests that Sayers put her own words in Miss Climpson’s disapproving mouth. Kind of disappointing, if so; I always rather thought Wimsey didn’t care.

I’m also rereading Enchanted Glass, by Diana Wynne Jones; I remembered being fond of it, and I am, though the only concrete thing I seem to have remembered about it was the line: “I seem to have excalibured this knife.” It’s rather charming, and I do enjoy the way she didn’t explain much. As she rightly said in an essay somewhere, kids work this stuff out. It’s adults who expect everything to be pinned down and explained. Hopefully I retain enough of the child to just enjoy.

Cover of King Arthur: The Making of the Legend by Nicholas J HighamWhat have you recently finished reading?

King Arthur, by Nicholas Higham. He examines all the various historical origins for King Arthur… and rejects them one by one. His evidence seems thorough and sound, though of course it always helps that I’m in agreement with him. He covered all the fictional texts I would’ve expected, and the bibliography is very thorough (although I couldn’t find what edition of Malory he used, and he did persist in saying Le Morte d’Arthur, instead of the correct Le Morte Darthur), so all in all I’m inclined to believe it’s all pretty sound. Romans, Sarmatians, Narts, Greeks — all dismissed as sources, after discussion and presenting the evidence for and against.

Cover of Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky ChambersWhat are you reading next?

I really don’t know. I’d like to focus on Record of a Spaceborn Few, and I still need to read The Priory of the Orange Tree to the end. I’ve got rather behind on reading during this holiday, which has involved a lot of people and not enough time using the opportunity to hide from chores to just craft things and read all day. I’ll be travelling back to the UK tomorrow, and I have the radioplay of Unnatural Death and some cross-stitch for the drive up from Ebbsfleet to Yorkshire, but I’ll be reading Record of a Spaceborn Few on the train, probably.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 3 April, 2019 by Nikki in General / 5 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of My Brother Michael by Mary StewartWhat are you currently reading?

After reading some non-fiction about Crete, I’m off to Delphi with a reread of My Brother Michael; Camilla is not my favourite of Stewart’s heroines (that’s probably Charity, from Madam, Will You Talk?), but the atmosphere is amazing, as ever.

I’ve also started on Becky Chambers’ Record of A Spaceborn Few, because it’s been sat by my desk for too long and I couldn’t resist. She’s broken the record and made me tear up in twelve pages. I’m getting susceptible! And finally-ish, I started on Nicola Griffith’s Hild, for my Habitica bookclub read. I really enjoy all the sensory stuff, the way Hild hyperfocuses on the scents and smallest movements around her, but I kept losing track of the politics when I was trying to read it last night.

Cover of The Bull of Minos by Leonard CottrellWhat have you recently finished reading?

The last thing was my reread of Clouds of Witness, I think! And before that, The Bull of Minos — super out of date, and rather fanboyish about Arthur Evans and Heinrich Schliemann, rather than actually being informative about the Minoan civilisation. I can’t remember where that got recommended to me, but tsk, tsk, whoever/whatever you were!

Cover of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha ShannonWhat will you read next?

Well, I think I say this every week, but I really should get back to The Priory of the Orange Tree. I should load up my ereader and take it with me on the little trip to Belgium starting on Friday. Other than that, I’ve been rather wanting to reread Ancillary Justice, and to be quite honest, I seem to be reading more and more overall (including more from my backlog) after making a firm resolution to be like the Wimseys and do “As my Whimsy takes me”, and reread whatever I like.

What are you reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 27 March, 2019 by Nikki in General / 0 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of T. Rex and the Crater of Doom by Walter AlvarezWhat are you currently reading?

Whose Body, again, because we’ve been rewatching Strong Poison and Have His Carcase while I was stitching something and needed familiar background noise. It’s as entertaining as always. Equally entertaining is T. Rex and the Crater of Doom, by Walter Alvarez. Sounds sensational, from the title, but it’s a pop-science explanation of the evidence for the KT boundary impact — better known as the extinction event in which the dinosaurs perished. It’s really easy to read; I’m enjoying it.

Cover of The Lost Girls by Sarah PainterWhat have you recently finished reading?

I think the last thing was Sarah Painter’s The Lost Girls, which I just posted the review of. Other than that, it was my reread of Without a Summer; I love the way Kowal examines the issues of the historical period with a fantastical twist, and explores the implications of her changes.

Cover of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha ShannonWhat will you be reading next?

I should get stuck back into The Priory of the Orange Tree, honestly! Maybe I need to grab an ebook version, so I can read it in bed…

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 20 March, 2019 by Nikki in General / 0 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Watch the Wall, My Darling, by Jane Aiken HodgeWhat are you currently reading?

Most actively, Watch the Wall, My Darling, by Jane Aiken Hodge. I remember liking at least one of her romances before, and I wouldn’t mind this one if it finished soon… but instead, it has a climax-y feeling at 50% of the way through, and according to reviews it has a whole weird bit to go. I’m pretty sure I am going to stop enjoying it. But I’ll give it a bit more of a chance…

Cover of Glamour in Glass, by Mary Robinette KowalWhat have you recently finished reading?

Glamour in Glass, which was a reread; this series has really grown on me, and I enjoyed reading the author’s note about how the particular themes of this book came about. And I do enjoy Jane and Vincent’s relationship; it is certainly loving, but it isn’t perfect — but they communicate.

Cover of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha ShannonWhat will you be reading next?

I should read more of The Priory of the Orange Tree! It’s just so massive I can’t read it in bed, and that’s when I’ve been doing most of my reading, but I plan to get back into that because I was tearing through it when I had a quiet weekend.

What are you reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 13 March, 2019 by Nikki in General / 1 Comment

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Lucy: The Beginnings of MankindWhat are you currently reading?

At this very moment, typing this the night before, Beauty, by Robin McKinley. I’m very sure I’ll have finished it by morning, though! I’m also partway through Donald Johanson’s book, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind. It’s out of date in terms of the conclusions, of course: much has moved on since Lucy was found. But it’s still a fascinating insight into the early days of palaeoanthropology, and into the conditions out on a dig.

What have you recently finished reading?

The Unexpected Truth About Animals, which is okay, but contained a lot of stuff that was not unexpected for me, and was not in fact that interesting. There were some titbits, but mostly… nah, it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped.

Cover of Rose Daughter by Robin McKinleyWhat will you be reading next?

Rose Daughter, by Robin McKinley; I always enjoy reading her two takes on Beauty and the Beast at around the same time, to watch what she does differently each time.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 6 March, 2019 by Nikki in General / 3 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Space Opera by Catherynne M ValenteWhat are you currently reading?

I’m making another attack on Space Opera; I’m half-tempted to just ditch it, but I keep wondering if there’s a plot in there somewhere, under the frippery. I’m also reading Kassia St Clair’s The Golden Thread, which is just the sort of focused history I like. I just learned that Viking sails were made of wool — which surprises me, but I’m not sure what I thought they were made of.

What have you recently finished reading?

The Hollow Man, by John Dickson Carr. It’s a clever setup for a mystery, but I feel kinda meh about it because it has no characters that I like. There’s no personal side to it: it’s all about the central puzzle. So meh.

What will you be reading next?

Cover of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha ShannonThe Priory of the Orange Tree, maybe? Finishing my reread of Glamour in Glass and the rest of that series? Not sure! I am trying pretty hard to finish the books I start, at the moment, and also trying to read the books I buy this year before buying any more, so either of those are good guesses.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 27 February, 2019 by Nikki in General / 0 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Pale Rider by Laura SpinneyWhat are you currently reading?

I’ve just started reading Pale Rider by Laura Spinney, which is about the 1918 flu epidemic. I’m very curious whether this is going to teach me anything new, given I’ve already read The Great Influenza, and that was pretty in-depth. I’m excited to see, though! It does sound from the introduction like it might go a bit more into the political/social impact of the flu, as well as the medical aspect, which should be interesting.

Cover of Death at Bishop's Keep by Robin PaigeWhat have you recently finished reading?

Death at Bishop’s Keep, by Robin Paige, which was… okay. The main female character is an interesting idea, though perhaps a little anachronistic by way of wishful thinking, but the main male character is kind of meh. I also finished Fayke Newes, by Derek Taylor: it’s all about the media vs those in power, from Henry VIII through to Trump, and it was pretty fascinating to read about how the press developed. It ends on a bit of a paean to unbiased reporting that kind of belies all the evidence presented within the book that really objective reporting that doesn’t bow to power is, um, rare to say the least.Cover of Fayke Newes by Derek Taylor

What will you be reading next?

Well, I just got The Priory of the Orange Tree in the mail today, hurrah! But I’ll probably also read My Sister, the Serial Killer, since it seems quite short and I’ve heard enthusiastic things. The Priory of the Orange Tree is a bit of a huge book, so I predict it’ll take me some time, and won’t exactly be my bedtime/treadmill/out and about reading.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 20 February, 2019 by Nikki in General / 6 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

What are you currently reading?

Cover of Space Opera by Catherynne M ValenteMost actively, it’s Space Opera, by Cat Valente. It feels way, way too beholden to Douglas Adams in terms of the tone and humour, while Valente’s usual adjective-vomit is in full spate. It’s a style choice, and I’ve enjoyed some of her other books despite that being very much her usual style… but in Space Opera it feels like I’m standing in front of a firehose of adjectives. I lose the point of sentences before I’ve got to the end. I know some other people have really enjoyed this, but… gah. I’m not sure I can find the plot for sheer adjectival profusion.

I mean, it’s also very much the style of and critical reaction to the musicians she’s writing about, so it’s probably intentional, and I’m probably a joy-stealing curmudgeon, but… all the same, you can’t make yourself enjoy something.

I’m also reading Heartstone, by Elle Katherine White. I’m enjoying that and figuring out what various characters’ deals are, and thinking I could use reading some more fantasy romance in this vein. (Which is, in summary: Pride and Prejudice, but with dragons.)

Cover of The Case of the Murdered Muckraker by Carola DunnWhat have you recently finished reading?

The last thing I finished was, uhh… The Case of the Murdered Muckraker, which was a fairly typical Daisy Dalrymple book, only with death-defying aerial stunts and a chase across the country, set in the USA. Ms Geneveieve/Eugene Cannon was a particularly interesting glimpse of a character.

Cover of The Dark Days Club by Alison GoodmanWhat will you be reading next?

I have no idea. I have a book on Aztecs from the library, so maybe that. Or maybe I should get back to my neglected read of The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman? I was enjoying that, but it kind of got shelved and I didn’t pick it back up. Whoops.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 13 February, 2019 by Nikki in General / 7 Comments

The three ‘W’s are what are you reading now, what have you recently finished reading, and what are you going to read next, and you can find this week’s post at the host’s blog here if you want to check out other posts.

Cover of Threads of Life by Clare HunterWhat are you currently reading?

Way too much at once, as ever! Most actively, Threads of Life, by Clare Hunter. It’s about the history of embroidery and its meaning/use in different cultures/contexts, so it’s covered all sorts from banner-making for political events to traditional sewing. The BBC radio thing is very very abridged and the book contains a lot more interesting things, in case anyone was wondering!

Cover of The Copernicus Complex Caleb ScharfWhat have you recently finished reading?

I think the last thing was The Copernicus Complex, by Caleb Scharf. Not bad, but I felt like I came to more or less the same conclusions long ago, and thus I was the choir, being preached to. Basically, he’s pointing out that we can’t rely on our world being mediocre (i.e. not the centre of the universe in any sense), but we also have no good evidence that it’s especially rare in the sense of being fine-tuned for life. Which to me is so obvious I find it frustrating.

Cover of The Raven Tower by Ann LeckieWhat will you be reading next?

The Raven Tower! I got a copy from Orbit and I’m pretty excited to get right to it. I’ve been excited for this for waaaay too long now, I need to tuck in as soon as I can. There’s a couple of things I already have on the go that I should probably finish first, though.

What are you currently reading?

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