Tag: WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday

Posted October 28, 2020 by Nicky in General / 3 Comments

Here we go! I’m actually pretty on time to post this for once… Check out the host’s post and find others from the comments!

Cover of Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon JamesWhat are you currently reading?

I’m still working on Black Leopard, Red WolfI’ve sort of ended up just letting it wash over me, and see where it goes, and that’s working for me a bit better. I still don’t love the narrative style, and it’s hard to hold onto the clues that will be important later, because it feels unstructured.

I’m also reading Luke Arnold’s Dead Man in a Ditch, which is — like the first book — pretty fun but not amazing. It’s a nice pulpy read, like some of the noir it imitates in fantasy-form, and I’m still so frustrated by how much of an idiot Fetch is.

Non-fiction wise, I’ve got Mary Dobson’s Murderous Contagion on deck; it’s okay, but I know a lot of this stuff already, of course, and it doesn’t often go into the kind of tasty depth I was kind of hoping for (which pop-science/pop-history is perfectly capable of doing). Perils of the type of book it is, really!

Cover of Blackout by Mira GrantWhat have you recently finished reading?

Ugh, what have I? I’m having trouble focusing on reading at the moment, being honest. I did recently finish Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy, and I’ve also read a book called The CBT Toolkit to evaluate whether it can be used alone. (The answer is no, I wouldn’t recommend it.) I also joined in part of the 24-hour readathon on Sunday, and finished a couple of books then, so I think mostly my brain is just too tired to hold onto stuff right now.

Cover of Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha LeeWhat will you be reading next?

Well, I have four books on my “next up” pile. This doesn’t mean I’m definitely going to read them next, but it means they’ve been plucked off the shelves to sit prominently in my field of vision, increasing the chance I’ll pick them up. So that’s Phoenix Extravagant (Yoon Ha Lee), Cemetery Boys (Aidan Thomas), The Angel of the Crows (Katherine Addison), and The Animals at Lockwood Manor (Jane Healey). I should add a fifth book — Dead Man in a Ditch just came off the shelf, so it needs to be replaced.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted October 22, 2020 by Nicky in General / 0 Comments

Hey folks! I’m having a tired and overloaded week, so I’ll try to make this quick!

What are you currently reading?

A bunch of things, as ever! I’ll keep it to the three most “on deck” at the moment: I’m reading Blackout, the third in Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy. I keep restarting the trilogy and having to reread the first book, because a lot of the themes are a bit anxiety-making for me, but this time I am determined to get all the way to the end. There’s so much goodness here, even with the anxiety-making.

Cover of The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary SutcliffI’m also rereading The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff. I love the way she put some historical facts together to make this story, and I love Marcus and Esca, and I love the fact that I’ve finally managed to track down another copy of the edition I read to pieces, with the illustrations that are so familiar and the right cover and everything (not the one pictured here). It’s odd how much shorter some bits of the book seem now than I remember them to be. I had this with Narnia, too — I feel like as a child I roamed a lot freer in imagining the bits between chapters and scenes, and made it longer as an experience.

I’ve just started The Little Free Library by Kim Fielding, today, and I’m halfway through. The impulse-buying of books thing is — ouch! I feel called out. I’m finding the rapport between the love interests believable, though, and I’m enjoying watching them get where they’re going.

Cover of Deadline by Mira GrantWhat have you recently finished reading?

Oof. I’ve been bad at actually finishing books, lately, so it might have been Mira Grant’s Deadline. Bit middle booky, now I look back at it, though with some good stuff.

What will you be reading next?

I really couldn’t tell you. I just got Joyce Chng’s Dragon Physician, and I’m intrigued. It’s also short, which suits my current attention span.

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WWW Wednesday

Posted October 15, 2020 by Nicky in General / 2 Comments

Here we go as usual, the weekly reading update!

Cover of Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon JamesWhat are you currently reading?

I’m still working my way through Black Leopard, Red Wolf, and I actually feel like I’ve got a bit more of a handle on it. I don’t like it very much, I’ll admit, but I’m finding my way with it and no longer so disinclined to finish.

I’m also about 70% of the way through rereading Mira Grant’s Deadline, which feels more middle-book-y than I remembered.

Cover of Stuck by Heidi J. LarsonWhat have you recently finished reading?

A bunch of things all in one go, but the most-most recent was Heidi J. Larson’s Stuck, about vaccine rumours and why they stick around. I can summarise the book for you in one sentence: “vaccine rumours are the fault of public health for not explaining things to people nicely enough, and the fix is for public health initiatives to be nicer.”

That’s about as good as it gets. Preeeetty disappointing.

Cover of Murderous Contagion: A human history of disease by Mary DobsonWhat will you be reading next?

Well, I have a few different books on my ‘next up’ shelf, including Mary Dobson’s Murderous Contagion, which should be fun for me. But I’m not sure; the shelf isn’t a hard commitment, more ‘hey, remember these books you were keen to read?’

What are you reading, or excited about reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted October 7, 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 How to Change Your Mind by Michael PollanWhat are you currently reading?

Oh, far too much at once! Non-fiction: still working on Michael Pollan’s How To Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics. Mostly the point so far is that the science isn’t so very new at all; psychedelic drugs were originally expected to be useful in treating mental health disorders, and go figure, now we’re figuring out that that was probably true.

Fiction: I’m rereading Mira Grant’s Deadline, in the firm hope that one day I’ll actually get onto Blackout and finish the whole book. It’s not that I don’t like the trilogy — I’ve read the first book several times! It just hits hard, and especially so at the moment, given the themes the zombie pandemic raises in the book…

I’m also reading Black Leopard, Red Wolf, and I kinda hate it. I can’t get into the narration, and it’s hard to find a story past the narration. I know, I know, I hear everyone on Twitter shouting at me that I’m just asking for all books to be typical European narratives, and that probably has a part to play. But… I don’t know, I’m not a fan of any of it so far; what I do understand is that there’s a lot of violence, including sexual violence. Just not the sort of thing I enjoy, without other high points.

That’s not all I’m reading, but that’s enough to be getting on with!

Cover of Entangled Life by Merlin SheldrakeWhat have you recently finished reading?

Non-fiction: Entangled Life, by Merlin Sheldrake. I had been really looking forward to this, and it is really fun. I enjoyed all the facts about fungi! I think Sheldrake loves his subject a lot, and that always helps. Need to ponder my review a bit more, though. Obviously this had some odd parallels with How to Change Your Mind, since Sheldrake also mentioned psilocybin mushrooms!

Fiction: I finished my reread of Feed, basically all in one go now I’m not so dang anxious!

Cover of The Angel of the Crows by Katherine AddisonWhat will you be reading next?

Not sure, but I ordered Stuck: How Vaccine Rumours Start and Why They Don’t Go Away by Heidi J. Larson, and that just arrived today, so maybe I’ll get stuck into that before I shelve it and it goes out of sight, out of mind! Larson’s a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where I now study, so it especially caught my eye — and public health initiatives like encouraging vaccine uptake are something I’d be interested in getting involved with myself.

Other than that, rereading The Goblin Emperor for a book club reminds me I really need to get round to reading The Angel of the Crows.

What are you folks reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted September 30, 2020 by Nicky in General / 8 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 X+Y by Eugenia ChengWhat are you currently reading?

Non-fiction: X+Y, by Eugenia Cheng, which is — well, the subtitle is “A Mathematician’s Manifesto for Rethinking Gender”, which is a pretty good summary. Cheng works with a field of mathematics called “category theory”, and is applying that technique to unpick a lot of gender inequality and offer solutions. My thoughts are so far are mostly that I’d love to see if she could teach me maths, based on her discussions of how she tries to apply her understanding when it comes to teaching! Seems like an environment that might suit me better.

Fiction: I’m struggling through Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird, and I couldn’t honestly put my finger on why. I’ve enjoyed her other books and on the surface, I can’t see why this one isn’t working for me. I guess I’m just not connecting so well with the characters?

I’m also reading Kushiel’s Dart, still, and it’s coming up to time for another big heartbreak. Gah!

Cover of The Story of Wales by Jon GowerWhat have you recently finished reading?

I think the last thing I finished must’ve been Jon Gower’s The Story of Wales. I was surprised by how much I knew already, through having studied Welsh fiction (in English) and cultivated an interest since. I still had some serious gaps and surprises, though. Overall, it made me really annoyed with how little I was taught about that part of British history, attending a school in England. You’d think they could at least mentioned that David Lloyd George was Welsh, for instance, while teaching me about the part he played in WWI.

Cover of Cemetery Boys by Aiden ThomasWhat will you be reading next?

As ever, I don’t really know. I’d like to pick up Aiden Thomas’ Cemetery Boys, and I’m still working my way through the Shelf of Abandoned Books. Then there’s a bunch of other new books I got recently…

I have found that I have a sort of “out of sight, out of mind” problem with books sometimes. I want them and want them and want them and then when they get here and I shelve them, I forget to go grab them off the shelves! So I’m keeping my options open to wander along my shelves and choose at random, as ever.

How about you folks?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted September 23, 2020 by Nicky in General / 10 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 Firebird by Susanna KearsleyWhat are you currently reading?

Fiction: I’ve gone back to Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird after a long time away. It’s not capturing me (or in this case recapturing me) as her other books usually do. I’d hoped it was just my mood, and coming back to it now would let me slip back into it… but apparently not. It might still be my mood, but it’s a bit disappointing.

Non-fiction: I’m back to The Story of Wales, by Jon Gower. I think that was a mood problem, because I’m digging into it more now… and getting angry about the historical treatment of the Welsh, of course. People forget, or never knew, that before English rule suppressed native languages on other contents, they started in Wales.

I’m also a good chunk of the way into How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics. So far it’s talked a lot about the promise of psychedelics for treating depression, anxiety, stress in people with terminal illnesses, etc… but it hasn’t gone into the science much. It’s been more of a history, so far, along with an exploration of the user’s personal feelings and experience,

Cover of The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. SayersWhat have you recently finished reading?

I finally finished my reread of The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. It’s not one of my favourite Wimsey novels, though there are definitely fun bits, so I bogged down in it a while ago. Which means Strong Poison is next! Yay!

Cover of X+Y by Eugenia ChengWhat will you be reading next?

I’m slowly working through my “shelf of abandoned books”, so the next up on that shelf look to Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind, by Colin Renfrew, Feed by Mira Grant, and The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman. I’ll probably read a new-to-me book in tandem with trying to finish those; maybe Eugenia Cheng’s X+Y: A Mathematician’s Manifesto for Rethinking Gender.

What are you reading? What’s got you enthusiastic at the moment? Let me know!

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WWW Wednesday

Posted September 16, 2020 by Nicky in General / 1 Comment

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!

What are you currently reading?

Cover of Digging Up Armageddon by Eric H. ClineFiction: I’m neck-deep in Kushiel’s Dart, and just finally getting to the bits which I always struggle to read because aaaaaahhhh nooooo. I forget how long it takes Joscelin to really start being amazing! I haven’t really been taking part in the readalong discussions, because my brain is just tired and I’m probably reading too much at once.

Speaking of which, I’m also reading The Fifth Season, and working on my shelf of abandoned books. I’m closing on finished with my reread of Nine Coaches Waiting, which is still fun but… I don’t know, the melodrama of this one doesn’t work for me as well as (say) Madam, Will You Talk? Perhaps it’s also because it’s longer.

Non-fiction: I’m finally back to reading Eric H. Cline’s Digging Up Armageddon, which I stalled on because I wasn’t in the right mood before. I’m enjoying the details of the digs and the team a bit more this time, and closing on the end… despite feeling that the team had so many questions left to answer. Gah.

What have you recently finished reading?

The last thing I finished was Beneath the World, A Sea, by Chris Beckett. It was… okay. I actually originally said it’d be something my wife was likely to love, but I think it floundered around a bit and then petered out, despite the original promise. It lacks any kind of resolution — I didn’t necessarily need an explanation, but something better than the sense the characters are running away.

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

I’m planning to work more on the shelf of abandoned books, but there’s still quite a bit of scope there. I could get back to my reread of The Lost Plot, by Genevieve Cogman, or of Feed by Mira Grant. Or I could finish a book that’s new to me, like Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird.

Probably I’ll pick two and chip away at them by setting myself a goal of reading a minimum of five pages a day. It seems to be the key to unlocking a book I’m struggling with — with all of them I’ve suddenly had a moment of getting back into it and finishing it all in one go.

So what’re you reading? 

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WWW Wednesday

Posted September 9, 2020 by Nicky in General / 0 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 Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline CareyWhat are you currently reading?

I’ve started rereading Kushiel’s Dart, to join in with the Wyrd & Wonder readalong. I’ve just realised my careful planning out actually has me a week behind, so I need to rejig that. Argh. Anyway, I’m enjoying revisiting this world — the writing always takes me just a little bit to sink back into, given how flowery it is… but it always sucks me in eventually. Damn, Phèdre is a brat at first.

Other than that, I’m reading The Fifth Season (finally), also as a readalong with one of my fellow Beeminder workerbees. I’m ahead on this one, though. From everything I’ve heard about it, I wonder if I’m putting two and two together correctly… but I hate being wrong, so I’m not going to admit to what I guess!

Cover of The Grace of Kings by Ken LiuWhat have you recently finished reading?

I just finished reading Marie Brennan’s Driftwood last night, and still need to ponder how to review it. It’s still settling in my brain at the moment.

I also finally finished Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings, and I’m just done settling my thoughts about that down. I don’t think I’m going to read the next book… unless it weighs on my mind, which it might. I just didn’t care enough, despite finding it compelling enough in and of itself.

What will you be reading next?

Probably I’ll return to Beneath the World, A Sea, by Chris Beckett, and try to finish it; I only got about 60 pages in, if I recall correctly, and I’m doing my best to go back to my half-read books and dig in.

I’m also curious about Utopia for Realists, by Rutger Brenman, and In Black and White, by Alexandra Wilson. So I’m not sure what will be next… and besides, I’m spending half my time beating my head against the basics of statistics and probability, because I let myself get complacent and I’ve forgotten half of what I ever drummed into my brain (with great difficulty). If anyone has good suggestions for books on the basics of biostatistics, let me know…

Anyway, being busy with that makes me inclined to read some fluffy fiction instead, but what I don’t know.

What’re you folks reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted September 2, 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 Mudlarking by Lara MaiklamWhat are you currently reading?

Fiction: The Belting Inheritance, by Julian Symons. It’s heavy going compared to a lot of the other British Library Crime Classics; it’s very consciously literally, and it has a rather stodgy narrator (an older man narrating events of his youth, groan).

Non-fiction: I’m back to reading Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish), having got my ereader all set up again after the replacement, and also got back to the front of the queue from the library. I’m finding it hard going, not because of the subject matter, but just something about the writing. I’ve never done that well with memoir, and that’s largely what this is, though it does also discuss society-wide issues.

I’m also reading Lara Maiklem’s Mudlarking, which is a very easy read. I love microhistories, so perhaps it’s not surprising that this exploration of mudlarking and the things you can find while doing it is working for me.

Cover of Unfit For Purpose by Adam HartWhat have you recently finished reading?

The last thing I finished was Adam Hart’s Unfit for Purpose, which I found a fairly obvious exploration of how human beings are ill-adapted to our modern environment because we evolved for a wholly different one. It never really dug into the issues enough to satisfy me.

Cover of Drift Wood by Marie BrennanWhat will you be reading next?

Most likely I will get back to work on The Grace of Kings, which I’ve been neglecting a bit too long. I have a whole shelf-full of books I’m partway through (or have been partway through at some point in the last… year-ish) that I want to pick back up, but there’s also a chance I’ll pick Marie Brennan’s Driftwood first.

What are you currently reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted August 26, 2020 by Nicky in General / 4 Comments

Keeping it quiet for another week and just posting here and not going round other blogs in the link roundup… but looking forward to hearing what blog regulars are reading!

Cover of A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna RaybournWhat are you currently reading?

I decided I wanted something light and fun, so I’m reading Deanna Raybourn’s A Dangerous Collaboration. I normally tear through these because I can read great big chunks at a time, and so it is proving this time.

Mind you, Skyrim is really distracting, or I’d probably have finished it already…

Cover of The Secret Life of Bones by Brian SwitekWhat have you recently finished reading?

Last thing I read was Brian Switek’s The Secret Life of Bones. He’s primarily known for his enthusiasm about dinosaurs, but this is actually largely about human bones. Other species come into it for illustrative purposes, and a good broad sweep of evolutionary history is discussed to explain how bones in general developed… but mostly it is about human bone. I enjoyed it.

What will you be reading next?

I’m gonna go with “goodness knows”, again. I just spent a birthday cheque from my grandma on a couple more birthday books… and there’s some library books… and books I fancy rereading. So I’ll just go “as my Whimsy takes me”, as ever.

What are you reading?

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