Tag: WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday

Posted August 5, 2020 by Nicky in General / 3 Comments

It’s Wednesday again! So here’s the usual check-in. You can go to Taking On A World Of Words to chat with everyone else who has posted what they’re reading right now!

Cover of A Scream in Soho by John G. BrandonWhat are you currently reading?

Probably a bunch of stuff that I’ve accidentally put down when I didn’t mean to… but primarily, I’ve just started A Scream in Soho, by John G. Brandon. There’s so much period-typical racial stereotyping (largely about Italians, but Germans too), and the murdered person is… well, the way the story puts it is that it’s a man disguised as a woman. Which the plot will probably bear out, given they’re probably a spy. Still, it’s not exactly aged well in various ways.

Cover of Lock In by John ScalziWhat have you recently finished reading?

I devoured a reread of John Scalzi’s Lock In, and then followed it up with the sequel, Head On. I’ve been meaning to read it for ages, and I didn’t really need the reread of the first book… but it was nice. I still need to sit down and do my review of Head On and think through it, but I tore through both books.

Cover of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky ChambersWhat will you be reading next?

Goodness knows! I want to reread The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet for a Habitica book club readalong, so there’s that… but I also just got my replacement ereader and I had a bunch of books part-read on Libby that I need to get into the queues for again. If they’re not currently reserved, maybe I’ll be able to grab them and restart on those.

But as usual, it could really be anything.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted July 29, 2020 by Nicky in General / 10 Comments

Hey folks! I’m not linking this one up, because I know I don’t have the energy to answer many people… but I’d love to hear from regulars. Lisa’s sick, and there’s an outside chance it might be COVID… so it’s quarantine for us.

Cover of The Lost Boys by Gina PerryWhat are you currently reading?

My wife’s sick, so I’m pretty brain-dead. I’m supposed to be finishing up The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu before the end of the month, but I think the chances are slim. I’ve tried to pick up The Lost Boys, by Gina Parry, which is about the Robbers Cave experiment by Muzafer Sherif; I really want to be interested, but I don’t have enough brain.

Kassia St. Clair’s The Secret Lives of Colour is going down better, because it has very short chapters.

Cover of Return of the Earl by Sandra SchwabWhat have you recently finished reading?

The Return of the Earl, by Sandra Schwab, which was kind of cute but won’t prove memorable. I had to look up the eponymous Earl’s name again to write my review two days later, eek.

Before that it was Rivers Solomon’s The Deep, which was less forgettable but which I haven’t quite managed to review yet.

Cover of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky ChambersWhat will you be reading next?

I really have no idea. I’m being gently urged to reread some favourites, whether that’s Dorothy L. Sayers or Becky Chambers or something else, in the hopes that whatever it is will better suit my brain at the moment through its familiarity. Probably a solid plan, but who knows if I’ll stick to it.

What are you reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted July 15, 2020 by Nicky in General / 6 Comments

It’s Wednesday again! So here’s the usual check-in. You can go to Taking On A World Of Words to chat with everyone else who has posted what they’re reading right now!

Cover of The Grace of Kings by Ken LiuWhat are you currently reading?

Fiction: The Grace of Kings, by Ken Liu. I was warned by friends who found it really slow that I might not like it… well, I’m not sure about the liking it or not, but I’m definitely not finding it too slow. I haven’t read for a day or two because I wasn’t feeling like it, but I’ve been reading it in chunks whenever I do.

Non-fiction: The Story of the Dinosaurs in 25 Discoveries, by Donald R. Prothero, which the library ordered for me in ebook on my request. It would probably be better in pbook format because it’s got a lot of pictures, but it’s not so bad in ebook; I’m glad I’m reading it, but also glad I didn’t buy it for £27! It’s nothing I haven’t read before, but it’s always fun to spend some time with dinosaurs.

Cover of Ring Shout by P. Djeli ClarkWhat have you recently finished reading? 

Uhhh, interesting question.  Oh: Ring Shout, by P. Djèlí Clark. I’m still thinking this one over. I found the idea of members of the Ku Klux Klan being literal monsters a bit… simplistic? That’s not quite the word I want. Obvious? And I never wholly warmed to it, though I appreciated a lot of aspects of the novella. I want to read around some other reviews and see if they help it click into place for me, before I write my review. (And of course Tor used to say not to post a review until two weeks before publication; I still stick to that, though most bloggers don’t… I’m auto-approved on Netgalley, though, so I don’t see that approval message anymore.)

Cover of The Lost Boys by Gina PerryWhat will you be reading next?

Still Ninth House, most likely; I’m also eyeing The Lost Boys, by Gina Perry — I was eager to read it anyway, and now it fits a book club prompt (as a book in the 300s in the Dewey Decimal System). I loved Perry’s book on Stanley Milgram’s experiments, and it looks like she’s done much the same here with pulling apart Sherif Muzafer’s experiments a bit and examining how they tick and where they go wrong.

So what are you reading at the moment?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted July 8, 2020 by Nicky in General / 7 Comments

It’s Wednesday again! So here’s the usual check-in. You can go to Taking On A World Of Words to chat with everyone else who has posted what they’re reading right now!

Cover of Invasive Aliens by Dan EatherleyWhat are you currently reading? 

Actively, I think it’s pretty much just Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch — my loan got renewed from the library even though there were people in the queue, which is weird but I’m not arguing, because it lets me take my time and let it sink in a bit more — and Invasive Aliens, by Dan Eatherley, which I will probably sit down and finish as soon as I get done with this post.

Invasive Aliens is okay, but it feels a bit scattered; there are themes to the chapters, but it starts becoming a bit “and ANOTHER thing” after a while.

Cover of Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders by Aliette De BodardWhat have you recently finished reading?

I read Aliette de Bodard’s Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders yesterday in a hot bath, and narrowly resisted the urge to arise dripping and covered in bubbles to read bits to my wife, since Asmodeus is definitely her sort of thing. Instead I took photos of the relevant pages and sent them to her via chat, circling the good bits in red. It was rather nice.

(And yes, she’s convinced and plans to read it.)

Cover of Ninth House by Leigh BardugoWhat will you be reading next?

Book club reads this month are Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo and The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu, and I’ve been meaning to read both more or less since they came out, so that’s probably something I’ll do soon. I’m probably in the mood for a palate-cleansing murder mystery from the British Library Crime Classics series first, and maybe an installment of the Whyborne & Griffin series by Jordan L. Hawk as well. I also have a wicked bad urge to reread John Scalzi’s Lock In, and I might just listen to it.

So basically, as usual, it’s anyone’s guess.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted July 1, 2020 by Nicky in General / 7 Comments

It’s Wednesday again already! Check out Taking On A World Of Words to chat with everyone else who has posted what they’re reading right now… and here’s my answers.

Cover of Brit(ish) by Afua HirschWhat are you currently reading?

Mostly non-fiction; I’m having a hard time settling down to anything. Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch is due back at the library, so I’m trying to finish that on time; I’m not very far into it, and mostly I was struck by realising how strongly my view of people of colour in Britain was informed by growing up where I did, in an area where there are a lot of Muslim and Hindu immigrants. The Ghanaian context Afua Hirsch speaks about is not something I ever really came into contact with growing up. So, yeah, I’m getting the different perspective I hoped for from Brit(ish), even if it is disappointing to see a total blind spot I have.

I’m also still reading Dan Eatherley’s Invasive Aliens, but I don’t think I’ve actually picked it up since last week…

Cover of The Covid-19 Catastrophe by Richard HortonWhat have you recently finished reading?

I read Richard Horton’s The COVID-19 Catastrophe, which is pretty short. Most of it is preaching to the choir, for me, but I hope his clear elucidation of what went wrong helps other people see it. I think he could’ve spent a bit more time on the “how to stop it happening again” part; it feels a bit abbreviated. I think there’s a lot you can say about how to build strong and effective surveillance systems, and on what public health initiatives need to take place.

Still, it’s a pretty good analysis of how we got here and what went wrong in the process.

What will you be reading next?

Nobody knows, least of all me.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted June 24, 2020 by Nicky in General / 4 Comments

Hey folks! I keep saying I’m going to be better this week and it turns out I’m still burnt out, so I’m not linking up and being super social this month, but I totally welcome a chance to chat about books and will do my best to comment and visit in return. I know I’ve been saying this a lot; turns out it takes time.

Cover of Invasive Aliens by Dan EatherleyWhat are you currently reading?

I’m in the middle of Invasive Aliens, by Dan Eatherley, which is all about how non-native plants got to Britain and established themselves. There are some surprises in here — I think I knew at some point about rabbits being non-native, but I’d forgotten it, and I also didn’t know that when they were first imported they were helped a lot by landowners. They didn’t establish themselves well at all, compared to their reputation now!

I have a few other things on the backburner, but nothing else jumps to mind as something I want to talk about.

Cover of Murder in the Mill-Race by E.C.R. LoracWhat have you recently finished reading?

I think it was Murder in the Mill-Race, by E.C.R. Lorac. She’s one of my favourite writers whose works are being reprinted in the British Library Crime Classics series; there’s something very reliable about her ability to portray characters and particularly the landscape and the way people interact with it, and how it shapes people. Most of her novels feature a pretty strong sense of place, if not outright love of the land (it was less prominent in Murder in the Mill Race than in Fire in the Thatch, for example).

Cover of Brit(ish) by Afua HirschWhat will you be reading next?

I don’t know, but my library just purchased a bunch of books I’d requested, which is exciting. There are a few books I want to focus on finishing first, though, including Daisy Jones & The Six (Taylor Jenkins Reid) and Beneath the World, A Sea (Chris Bennett). We’ll see, though — as usual, I do want to try and listen to my whim, and stop if something isn’t working for me, and read according to what sounds good right now.

There’s a couple of library books I’ve had a bit longer and need to read soon, too, like Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish).

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WWW Wednesday

Posted June 17, 2020 by Nicky in General / 6 Comments

It’s that time again! Check out Taking On A World Of Words to chat with everyone else who has posted what they’re reading right now!

What are you currently reading?

I have a couple of things that I’m partway through, but not much directly on the go. I did recently start Beneath the World, a Sea by Chris Beckett, which starts off satisfyingly weird with the main character coming back to consciousness after his time in an area of the world where no matter how long you stay or what you do there, you won’t ever remember what happened.

It’s feeling a bit less fresh now the main character, a policeman, is supposed to be investigating the deaths of creatures called “duendes”, which weirdly break down human inhibitions and make them think dark and awful thoughts. It’s feeling a bit like Vandermeer’s Southern Reach books for me. Which is not a bad thing, per se, and it really depends on where it goes with all these ideas. I’m not that far into it yet.

Cover of How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. KendiWhat have you recently finished yesterday?

I just finished reading How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi. I need to digest it a little, I think. It’s definitely a memoir, rather than a handbook: there’s a lot of personal reflection in there. There’s a lot that’s in direct opposition to the kind of discourse I’ve heard online; he doesn’t believe that racism is a question of power, for instance: he’s adamant that Black people can be racist against white people, and that that’s as much of a problem as any other kind of racism. I think it’s important to remember that all these books people are offering up in reading lists still come from just one perspective; you can’t just read one and be done.

Cover of Pet by Akwaeke EmeziWhat will you be reading next?

I’m pretty sure I’m going to read Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. It’s nice and short (~200 pages), and it’s YA, so it should be a quick read. I think I’ve mentioned before that that’s the kind of thing I’m really enjoying at the moment, and it feels like leaning into it is making me feel more enthused about reading in general.

I’m also going to start Afua Hirsh’s Brit(ish), though. It doesn’t look like there’s anyone currently waiting for it at the library after me, but I was in a bit of a queue to get it, so I’d like to get it back on their virtual shelves sooner rather than later.

What are you reading? Looking forward to anything new?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted June 10, 2020 by Nicky in General / 14 Comments

It’s that time again! Check out Taking On A World Of Words to chat with everyone else who has posted what they’re reading right now!

Cover of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha ShannonWhat are you currently reading?

Fiction: currently still in the middle of The Priory of the Orange Tree, at the five-pages-a-day pace. I’m not sure if everyone else is still doing it, actually; I should drop a message in our group thread! It’s a very slow pace for me, but it’s something that’s doable even when my brain is rubbish, so actually it’s really nice.

I think it’s the only thing I currently have actively on the go, fiction-wise, though as usual there are a lot of books lying around at some stage of progress.

Cover of How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. KendiNon-fiction: I’m reading Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be An Antiracist. It’s been on my radar for a while, and then my library actually bought it (probably because of everything that’s going on at the moment). I think a lot of people think it’s a handbook, a list of steps about how you, the reader, should become an antiracist; my impression was that it’s more of a memoir about how Kendi became and experiences being an antiracist, and why he feels it’s important, and so far that’s being borne out.

What have you recently finished reading?

Cover of Burning Roses by S.L. HuangFiction: I just read Burning Roses, by S.L. Huang. I didn’t know the Hou Yi legends before (or rather, I think I’ve read about the story somewhere, but it’s not part of my cultural consciousness), but I thought it was neat how the novella weaves that story in with Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, and even Beauty and the Beast. They’re all stories at different registers, for me, and yet Huang makes it work.

It’s also delightfully queer.

Non-fiction: I read the Secret Barrister’s Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken at a gallop because someone else had a hold on it, and finished that this weekend. Meep, I do not ever want to end up in the British court system for any reason. Yeeesh.

Cover of Pet by Akwaeke EmeziWhat will you be reading next?

Good question! My library have just bought Empire of Light by Alex Harrow at my request, so that’s definitely high on the list; I’ve just got Pet by Akwaeke Emezi, so I want to read that soon. As always, what I’ll actually read is anyone’s guess — I also just got a review copy of Boyfriend Material, by Alexis Hall, and goodness only knows what non-fiction I’ll pick up next.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted June 3, 2020 by Nicky in General / 1 Comment

It’s that time again! Check out Taking On A World Of Words to chat with everyone else who has posted what they’re reading right now!

Cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins ReidWhat are you currently reading?

In theory a whoooole bunch of things, but not many of them are giving me joy in this particular moment and there’s only one book on my mind, which is Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Someone sent me this via the LibraryThing/Litsy Secret Santa, and I wasn’t sure because I normally think of myself as a genre person… but on the other hand, I like so many different genres and… well, I gave it a try.

I blasted through 200 pages in an hour without really wanting to put it down; I’m a little annoyed that I have put it down. I’m not sure what I think of it, yet, but it’s fun and gossipy and I want to know Evelyn’s secrets, so it’s a success on that front.

Cover of Language Myths by Laurie Bauer and Peter TrudgillWhat have you recently finished reading?

Language Myths, ed. Laurie Bauer. I read it for the Dewey Decimal challenge. It was interesting, but I could tell it was very surface level and so some arguments just felt rather glib and like a straw man was installed just to be dismantled as quickly as possible. I didn’t disagree with any of it or think any of it sounded untrue to my experience or other reading, but… each linguist’s response was very brief.

Cover of The Lost Plot by Genevieve CogmanWhat will you be reading next? 

That all depends on whether either of my libraries purchases the books I’ve been recommending, I guess. In terms of what I’m going to focus on next, I have the Secret Barrister’s book due back in a couple of days, so I should finish reading that… and I also want to finish rereading Genevieve Cogman’s The Lost Plot finally. However, I’m hoping that the library orders copies of Felix Ever After and Black Girl Unlimited. (Or I might just pick them up myself come Saturday, which is my book ordering day.)

What about you?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted May 27, 2020 by Nicky in General / 14 Comments

It’s that time again! Check out Taking On A World Of Words to chat with everyone else who has posted what they’re reading right now!

Cover of The Colour of Murder by Julian SymonsWhat are you currently reading?

Fiction: I just started The Colour of Murder, by Julian Symons. It’s one of the British Library Crime Classics collection, one of the post-war ones; the first half at least consists of a sort of confessional meander to a psychologist about the events leading up to the murder. It’s interesting because it’s not a “whodunnit”, and you don’t even yet know who has been killed, though my two candidates are basically the female characters.

Non-fiction: I’m in the middle of How to Invent Everything, by Ryan North, and Around the World in 80 Words, by Paul Anthony Jones. The former is interesting, but the jocular tone and asides about pizza are starting to irritate. I don’t read non-fiction for the authorial voice to intrude quite so much, usually. Around the World in 80 Days is for the Dewey decimal challenge I think I’ve mentioned before, since How Language Began felt too heavy to finish in a week. It’s okay; a bit random, and sometimes really stretching. Some of these words are neither terribly interesting nor terribly relevant, whereas the author’s Twitter has a tendency to come out with a perfectly apposite word for the current political situation… which I like more.

Cover of Unfit to Print by K.J. CharlesWhat have you recently finished reading?

I think it was K.J. Charles’ Unfit to Print, which is a lot of fun; I do enjoy righteous, caring Vikram, even if Gil is a bit of a hedgehog (prickly to stop you getting too close) and rather reluctant to do the right thing. Not my usual sort of character, but Vikram is more to my taste, so they balance one another out.

I feel like I haven’t really been reading much, and indeed, I finished Unfit to Print on Saturday. Yipes. My 500-books-a-year days are so far behind me, and I miss them rather.

Cover of The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin LambertWhat will you be reading next?

Goodness knows, but the book I picked up this week was Kristin Lambert’s The Boy in the Red Dress, which sounds like a lot of fun. Someone called it a queerer Phryne Fisher, which sounds right up my street. I also intend to pick up the book I got last week as soon as I’m reading slightly fewer non-fiction books concurrently.

What are you currently reading?

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