Tag: WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday

Posted May 8, 2024 by Nicky in General / 0 Comments

It’s WWW Wednesday time! So, as always, that’s:

  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What will you read next?

Cover of Final Acts ed. Martin EdwardsWhat have you recently finished reading?

The last thing I finished was an anthology of short stories from the British Library Crime Classics series; this one, Final Acts, was themed around theatre. Killings on stage, actors getting themselves into trouble, in one case a clown, etc.

It was okay, though it had a repeat story in it from a different anthology by the British Library, which I find a bit disappointing. (It’s possible that this came first and the other is the repeat, or the repeat is one of the extras included at the end of some of the novels, but regardless, argh.)

Cover of Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma TörzsWhat are you currently reading?

Many, many things at once, as usual — though I’ve finished some that I wrote about last week. I’m close to finishing Ink, Blood, Sister, Scribe (Emma Törzs) at last, just by making sure I picked it up for a few pages a day even when I wasn’t feeling it. I don’t think it’ll quite come together for me, bit too slow to give a payoff, but I’m glad I’m finishing it all the same.

I have also more recently picked up Dragons, Heroes, Myths & Magic (Chantry Westwell), a book about the illustrations in medieval manuscripts. It includes examples (in full colour) from various manuscripts, along with explanations of their contents.

What will you read next?

I’m not totally sure! I should probably pick something else from the list of books I’m currently reading to focus on, in which case I suspect I’ll try to finish A History of the World in 100 Animals (Simon Barnes). I’ve had that on the go for ages, mostly just because I haven’t been picking it up — it’s a hardcover and a bit unwieldy.

What about you? Anything fascinating tempting you when you should be working?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted May 1, 2024 by Nicky in General / 0 Comments

It’s WWW Wednesday time! So, as always, that’s:

  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What will you read next?

Cover of Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution, by Cat BohannonWhat have you recently finished reading?

I think the last thing I finished was Cat Bohannon’s Eve: How The Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution, which I found fascinating, and rather less essentialist about sex/gender than I’d feared it might be. It’s a bit overladen with footnotes at times, but I ended up settling in on Saturday and reading from around page 100 to the end, once I got back into the swing of it.

I actually finished that on Saturday and apparently haven’t really finished anything since, which is weird for me! It’s not that I haven’t been reading, but I guess I’ve not been very focused. Which is fine!

Cover of Murder in Vienna by E.C.R. LoracWhat are you currently reading?

I’ve started a few books at once, on a whim, so… oops. Especially since I have a list of books I’m partway through that’s 22 books long. I won’t talk about them all (some of them are just kinda backburnered), but this might still be easiest as a list! Here they are, in no particular order…

  • Murder in Vienna, by E.C.R. Lorac:
    I have a few of Lorac’s books that haven’t (yet?) been republished by the British Library Crime Classics series, because they’re cheap on Kindle. I’m finally getting round to this one, and I love it as much as usual. She’s very good at evoking Vienna, including the unsettled post-WWII vibes.
  • This New Noise: The Extraordinary Birth and Troubled Life of the BBC, by Charlotte Higgins:
    This is a history of the BBC, which I picked up on a whim. I’ve always felt fondly about the BBC, home of Doctor Who, and of all almost all the TV channels I could pick up with my old TV when I was a kid. I’m not very far into the book yet, but I’ve been fascinated to learn about Hilda Matheson.
  • In Deeper Waters, by F.T. Lukens:
    I wanted something a bit lighter, so this seemed like it might do — it gets rated as fast-paced on StoryGraph, anyway. I’m not very far into it, so far, but I’m interested enough.
  • Ink, Blood, Sister, Scribe, by Emma Törzs:
    I’ve been “reading” this for a while, but I’ve finally got back to actually making progress on it, even if it’s just a chapter or two a day. I don’t know why it isn’t quite clicking for me — parts of it are fascinating.
  • Cover of A Short History of Tomb Raiding by Maria GoliaA Short History of Tomb-Raiding, by Maria Golia:
    Pretty much what it says on the tin, though it’s more specific than it sounds from the main title. It’s focused on Egyptian tomb-raiding, starting back when the tombs were built, and moving forward to the beginnings of archaeology (so far). There’s a chunk of book left, so I wonder how much it’s going to talk about modern archaeology.
  • Threading the Labyrinth, by Tiffani Angus:
    I saw this described a while back as a “garden fantasy”, and I have a friend who absolutely loves gardening (and trees and flowers and most anything green), so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m not very far in yet, so it’s hard to say what I think of it.
  • The History of the World in 100 Objects, by Neil MacGregor (audiobook):
    Technically I think this was a radio series first, and then the book was written. This is the radio series, so I don’t think it has word-for-word the same content as the book. I’ve read the book (twice in fact), but at the moment I just wanted some soothing background noise while doing other stuff, and realised I had this in my Audible library. I’m enjoying it all over again, especially since it involves bringing in other experts to talk about the objects discussed. I was tickled to hear Phil Harding (best known from Time Team) opining on the hand axe, for example!

And that’s… okay, not all of them, but the ones I’m reading most actively. I know, I know, it’s a funny mix!

Cover of Death in the Spires by KJ CharlesWhat will you read next?

I probably shouldn’t be thinking about that, with that list of books I’m already reading… but regardless, I have thought about that, so we might as well not pretend I haven’t. I’m thinking about picking up Murder in the Basement by Anthony Berkeley, or maybe jumping from the classics to a very recent book and try Death in the Spires by KJ Charles.

We’ll see, though!

And what about you? Anything good tucked into your backpack to travel around with you?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted April 24, 2024 by Nicky in General / 6 Comments

It’s WWW Wednesday time! So, as always, that’s:

  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What will you read next?

Cover of Exposed: The Greek and Roman Body by Caroline VoutWhat have you recently finished reading?

I’ve been embarking on a bit of a crusade to finish the books I’ve started, so I returned to Exposed: The Greek and Roman Body, by Caroline Vout. In the end, there was less to surprise me than I’d thought, but maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, since I did study classics at university, and have read a few other books on Greek/Roman customs.

I also finished listening to Fugitive Telemetry (Martha Wells), since I’ve been tearing through the series on Audible. Not my favourite, admittedly; it feels a little inconsequential after the events of Exit Strategy. But still fun!

Cover of The Missing Lynx by Ross BarnettWhat are you currently reading?

After my TTT post yesterday mentioning books I’ve been neglecting, I actually picked one of them up: I started on Ross Barnett’s The Missing Lynx, which I’m enjoying so far. Barnett writes in a lively way about the extinct megafauna, and his excitement about the animals (especially sabretooths) comes through.

I’m also partway through the audiobook of Network Effect, by Martha Wells. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Kevin R. Free as a narrator: sometimes he’s perfect, and sometimes I just… aah. Not quite. The voice he uses for Gurathin is perfect, but of course Gurathin isn’t in this book.

Cover of The Book of Perilous Dishes by Doina RustiWhat will you read next?

Not sure! Probably I’ll return to another of the books on my backlog, though. There’s a bunch to choose from, but maybe Doina Ruști’s The Book of Perilous Dishes, because I’d only just started that when I got distracted, and it should be easy to get back into.

How about you? Anything interesting on your bedside table at the moment?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted April 17, 2024 by Nicky in General / 2 Comments

It’s WWW Wednesday time! So, as always, that’s:

  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What will you read next?

Cover of Mountains of Fire by Clive OppenheimerWhat have you recently finished reading?

I think the last thing I finished was Mountains of Fire, by Clive Oppenheimer. It’s about volcanoes, about which the author is undeniably enthusiastic. Sadly, I think volcanoes are just not really my thing? There were interesting facts in the book, particularly when he discusses local culture around volcanoes, but overall it just didn’t speak to me.

Before that, I read The One-Cent Magenta, by James Barron. It’s less about the stamp itself and more about how collectors gave the stamp such value (it’s the most valuable stamp in the world).

Cover of Lapidarium: The Secret Lives of Stones by Hettie JudahWhat are you currently reading?

Apparently, 26 books at once. This isn’t ideal, it’s just that I keep picking up books and reading part of them, and then my whims move on somewhere else, unfortunately. I’m trying to get back to actively reading some of them, so I’ve gone back to Lapidarium: The Secret Lives of Stones, by Hettie Judah. It’s not that it isn’t interesting, it’s just kind of bitty, as there’s only a couple of pages per stone before it moves on. Sometimes I’m in the mood for that, and sometimes less so. It’s a beautiful book, though.

Cover of London Particular, by Christianna BrandWhat will you read next?

I want to get back to focusing on some of the fiction on my list as well! I think I might dig back into London Particular, by Christianna Brand: I only started that a few days ago, so it’s fresh in my mind (even if I did read 50 pages and then just wander off). As is pretty typical for me with Christianna Brand’s work, I don’t really like any of the protagonists (and I know I don’t like the detective, whenever he actually appears), but she does make them come alive.

What about you? Reading anything good?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted April 10, 2024 by Nicky in General / 2 Comments

It’s WWW Wednesday time! That’s:

  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What will you read next?

Cover Honey & Pepper by A.J. DemasWhat have you recently finished reading?

I’ve mostly been reading Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail, a manga series which is a bit male-gazey and focused on fighting, but has been fun enough and low-stakes enough to keep my interest when I’m feeling a bit meh and having trouble getting into the swing of things again.

Before that, it was A.J. Demas’ Honey & Pepper, which is a standalone romance set in an alternate Ancient Greece. I loved the way the relationship between them develops and how thoughtful Nikias (one of the two main characters) is about his own kneejerk reactions.

What are you currently reading?

Cover of A Fish Caught in Time by Samantha WeinbergLike I mentioned, I’ve been a bit fidgety, but last night I did pick up A Fish Caught in Time: The Search for the Coelacanth last night, which is by Samantha Weinberg. It’s not just about coelacanths: there’s a good amount of info about the guy who described the first recently-dead specimen found, J.L.B. Smith. I’m not always a fan of more biographical stuff, especially when I’m more interested in popular science, but there’s a good amount of context for the importance of coelacanths and what they can tell us. I’ve found it surprisingly absorbing.

I’m also partway through The Ha-ha Case, by J.J. Connington, which is a pretty classic mystery, nothing special.

Cover of Mountains of Fire by Clive OppenheimerWhat will you read next?

Possibly I’ll get back to one of the books I have on the go — for example Clive Oppenheimer’s Mountains of Fire. On the other hand, I’m really trying not to nail myself to anything, and just read whatever strikes my fancy in the moment. So we’ll see!

What about you? Reading anything good?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted April 3, 2024 by Nicky in General / 4 Comments

It’s WWW Wednesday time! That’s:

  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What will you read next?

Cover of Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne JonesWhat have you recently finished reading?

I just finished up listening to the audiobook of Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle, narrated by Kristin Atherton. I loved her narration, because she did all the voices, and did a good job of making Howl sound Welsh (which, minor spoiler, he is). I know the book well and have read it several times before, but I wanted something familiar to listen to while my hands and eyes were busy with something else. I’m not always great with audiobooks, tending to get fidgety, but this one was great.

Cover of Exposed: The Greek and Roman Body by Caroline VoutWhat are you currently reading?

A few books at once, as usual. Most actively, I’m halfway through one of the Edible series, this one Heather Arndt Anderson’s Chillies. Is it making me crave more tex-mex food than I normally already crave? Youuu betcha.

The other thing I’m partway through is Exposed: The Greek and Roman Body, by Caroline Vout, which is non-fiction and a bit heavier than I have braincells for just now.

What will you read next?

If Found, Return to Hell by Em X. Liu is top of my list right now. It’s a short one, and very tantalising. But as usual I plan to follow whatever passing whim shows up.

How about you?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted March 27, 2024 by Nicky in General / 0 Comments

It’s time for WWW Wednesday again. That’s:

  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What will you read next?

Cover of Across a Field of Starlight by Blue DelliquantiWhat have you recently finished reading?

The last thing I finished was Across a Field of Starlight, by Blue Delliquanti, which I talked about a bit last week. I need to put my thoughts together in order to write a review, but I very much enjoyed the diverse body types represented.

Before that, I finished Ghosts in the Hedgerow, by Tom Moorehouse. It’s a look at why hedgehog populations are declining in Britain, written in the format of a whodunnit. As with many whodunnits, the answers weren’t too surprising to me — but it’s a fun format and has lots of information to help those who don’t already know much about hedgehogs.

Cover of The Corpse in the Waxworks by John Dickson CarrWhat are you currently reading?

I’ve dug into John Dickson Carr’s The Corpse in the Waxworks. It’s from the earlier period of his career and features one of his detectives I don’t enjoy much, but it can’t be denied he had a good sense of atmosphere. I’m not hating it, anyway, which has been the case with some of Carr’s work (even though I came to enjoy his work starring Gideon Fell as the detective).

I’m also reading Exposed: The Greek and Roman Body, by Caroline Vout. I’ve been curious about this one for a while… though I haven’t really got far with it yet.

Cover of Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma TörzsWhat will you read next?

I’m planning to focus on finishing books I’m partway through, like Ink, Blood, Sister, Scribe, by Emma Törzs. I’m partway through that one, but it’s sat neglected beside my desk for a couple of weeks now, while I was more in the mood for non-fiction. Once I start a new book… I’m not sure what it’ll be.

How about you?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted March 20, 2024 by Nicky in General / 2 Comments

It’s time for WWW Wednesday again. That’s:

  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What will you read next?

Cover of The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Bettany HughesWhat have you recently finished reading?

I finally finished up reading Bettany Hughes’ The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. I don’t know why the first 100 pages took me so long, and then just a couple of days for the last 200 pages, but here we are. Perhaps it was just getting into the right frame of mind for a slow and considered tour of the ancient world. I was quite surprised that Hughes linked basically all seven of the Wonders to Alexander the Great; I hadn’t thought about it that way before.

Fiction-wise, the last thing I finished was a review copy of Aliette de Bodard’s Navigational Entanglements, which I’m still thoughtfully chewing on. It reminded me a little bit of Yoon Ha Lee’s work (particularly Ninefox Gambit), which took me a while to fully appreciate.

Cover of Across a Field of Starlight by Blue DelliquantiWhat are you currently reading?

Too many books at once, as usual! But just today I started on Across a Field of Starlight, by Blue Delliquanti. I read a really horrible review of it quite recently by another blogger, but the things they hated about it were things that I’m interested in: both main characters are non-binary, for example, and there’s quite a range of gender expression on-page. That blogger complained that the art is ugly because of that, but I quite like it, and I love that it doesn’t feel bound to showing characters in a whole other time and place with the same gendered characteristics people have now. Markers of gender have been very different in different societies at different times, after all, let alone in an intergalactic civilisation.

I also started on Alice Oseman’s Nick and Charlie, a novella that fits into the Heartstopper world. I’m not sure how it’ll fit in with the last volume of Heartstopper, because it so far feels very continuous to Charlie’s feelings in volume 5…

Cover of The Eye of Osiris by R. Austin FreemanWhat will you read next?

I’m thinking of picking up R. Austin Freeman’s The Eye of Osiris, a classic mystery novel featuring the disappearance of an archaeologist. I don’t know what it is about archaeology (too much Time Team as a kid?) but it’s always a draw. I’d also like to focus on some of the books I’ve put on the backburner, though, like the ones I mentioned in my Top Ten Tuesday spring TBR.

As ever, though, mostly I’ll follow my whims.

How about you, readers? Anything amazing open on your ereader or propped up against your cereal box?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted March 13, 2024 by Nicky in General / 1 Comment

Wednesday again already? Time is flying by, but as usual, we’re asking:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What are you reading next?

And linking up with Taking on a World of Words.

Cover of Big Ben Strikes Eleven by David MagarshackWhat are you currently reading?

I have a few books on the go at once, as is usual for me: I guess the primary one right now is Big Ben Strikes Eleven, by David Magarshack. I’m not very far into it and I’m finding it kind of slow. I mean, classic mysteries often are, but it feels like it’s being described in a needlessly complicated way. The facts so far are simple enough, but there’s a whole scene with the detective (not the same one as from the opening chapters, of course, sigh) trying to familiarise himself with the case and just tying himself in knots.

So I’m not sure how warm I’m going to feel about this one, but I’m giving it time.

Cover of Mushroom by Sara RichWhat have you recently finished reading?

I’ve been digging into the Object Lessons books I got last week, so the last thing I finished was Sara Rich’s Mushroom. I liked it a bit more than Spacecraft and Sticker, neither of which really focused on the topic in the way I’m interested in. Mushroom didn’t really either, though, being much more about mushrooms as a metaphor and mushrooms as being involved in various kinds of mysticism and religion. There’s also what seems like some honking great hypocrisy (going on about even the land being alive and how much she respects Native American beliefs about it, and then referring to “my family’s land” in Kansas, which of course was home to Native Americans not long before). Maybe there’s an explanation for that, but, hmmm.

Cover of The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson BennettWhat are you reading next?

I probably shouldn’t start anything else new! According to the Bookly app, I’m partway through seventeen different books. So I’m hoping to focus on finishing some of those! I started The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett, over the weekend, so probably I’ll turn my focus to that next. The Sherlock Holmes parallels are so far very obvious in terms of characterisation (though eccentricities are taken to extreme).

How about you? Anything fascinating open on your ereader or lurking on your desk?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted March 6, 2024 by Nicky in General / 0 Comments

Happy Wednesday! Time for the usual trio of questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What are you reading next?

Linking up with Taking on a World of Words.

Cover of Spacecraft by Timothy MortonWhat are you currently reading?

Thankfully, after a few days of feeling too stressed to read, I actually found my way into it over my long weekend. Right now I’m reading a new-to-me Object Lessons book, Spacecraft, by Timothy Morton. Sadly, I’m not really a fan: it’s not about real spacecraft, but about the idea of spacecraft, and it’s illustrating all its points by way of the Millenium Falcon. I liked Star Wars when I was a kid but haven’t watched the more recent movies (no, not because of Rey, just because I don’t watch much of anything), so… It’s talking to an audience that’s not me half the time.

Cover of Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands by Heather FawcettWhat have you recently finished reading?

Last night I finished The Walnut Tree (Kate Morgan), which is a history of how the law has treated women in the UK. Which sounds quite dry, but I loved her book on murder which took a similar tack, and this was just as fascinating. She uses examples and case studies to illustrate the point, and it works really well.

I also finished Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands (Heather Fawcett) yesterday, and now I’d like the next book, please. I love Emily and how bad she is at human interaction, and how much she cares about Wendell and Shadow and Ariadne.

Cover of The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson BennettWhat are you reading next?

I don’t know for sure. Chances are my next fiction read will be Robert Jackson Bennett’s The Tainted Cup, because I guiltily bought myself a copy after failing to read my advance copy before publication. I’ll probably start a non-fiction read as well: possibly another Object Lessons book, in which case Sticker (Henry Hoke) is catching my eye, or possibly A Bookshop of One’s Own (Jane Cholmeley), which is a history of the feminist bookshop Silver Moon. (Man, I’m hoping there’s nothing transphobic/enbyphobic in there.)

How about you, dear reader? Anything great on your bedside table or about to drop through your letterbox?

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