Tag: WWW Wednesday


WWW Wednesday

Posted 12 September, 2018 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 The Paper Trail by Alexander MonroWhat are you currently reading?

Mostly non-fiction, as is my habit during stressful times. So at the moment it’s John Man’s book on Genghis Khan, and Alexander Monro’s The Paper Trail, about the invention and spread of paper as a technology. The latter surprised me in how very heavy it was on the linkages between the origins of paper and the popularisation by Daoism and Buddhism, through its use for sutras. Did not know anything about that before, despite knowing that China was the origin of paper made from mulberry trees.

Cover of Seeds of Science by Mark LynasWhat have you recently finished reading?

The last thing I finished was Mark Lynas’ Seeds of Science. It’s pro-genetic modification, pointing out that there’s no reputable science to suggest there’s any harm being caused by the production of GM crops. He was once a major critic and protestor of GMOs, so it’s interesting from that perspective as well. Sadly, I doubt he’ll change anyone’s mind, but it was interesting to read up on it from the point of view of someone who was once a sceptic.

(I’m pro GMOs, obviously; science says they’re safe, I don’t believe that science should be guided by religious taboos, and I think — as Lynas points out — they can help ameliorate food insecurity.)

Cover of River of Stars by Guy Gavriel KayWhat will you be reading next?

I have a massive craving to reread Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven — and finally get round to River of Stars! — probably due to the Genghis Khan book and The Paper Trail. So maybe I’ll pick those up — I just got them out of their boxes today! The unpacking has begun, and nearly all the bookcases are in place.

How about you? What are you reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 5 September, 2018 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 The Rise and Fall of the DinosaursWhat are you currently reading?

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte. Nothing incredibly new to me so far, but it’s kind of soothing just to read about dinosaurs and not, you know, obsessively check the dimensions of the washing machine I’ve ordered to make sure it fits in the space, which is my other chief occupation at the moment.

(Fingers crossed. It’s arriving tomorrow.)

Cover of The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerWhat have you recently finished reading?

Ugh, you know, I don’t even know anymore. It might’ve been my reread of The Big Sleep; hideously racist and sexist (though not as bad on the racism front as the second book, ye gods) but so very well written. Chandler knew how to pick up a metaphor, show it a good time and leave it wanting more, for sure.

Cover of Provenance by Ann LeckieWhat will you be reading next?

Well, me and one of my buddies from Habitica are talking about rereading Ann Leckie’s Provenance, so there’s a good chance it’ll be that. Or I have a whole bunch of books from the library, including Conway Morris’ book on the Burgess Shale, for a change of pace.

What are you reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 29 August, 2018 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 Gods, Graves and Scholars by C.W. CeramWhat are you currently reading?

Too much at once, as ever, but most actively I’m reading Gods, Graves and Scholars, by C.W. Ceram. It’s out of date now — definitely in terms of Egyptology, at least — but there’s still a fascination and grandeur about the finds Ceram describes and the broad history of archaeology mapped out here. And knowing some of the more recent material, it’s doubly fascinating to see what we used to think. I’m glad I picked this up, even though I had doubts because of the age of it.

Cover of Verdict of Twelve by Raymond PostgateWhat have you recently finished?

I just finished Verdict of Twelve, by Raymond Postgate. It’s one of the British Library Crime Classics, and it’s definitely an interesting one. I had the weirdest sense of deja vu reading the ending, even though I know I haven’t read the book before, and don’t remember peeking at the end! It’s a sort of character study in many ways of the court and how a jury works. It’s less about the actual mystery and more about how people interact..

Cover of Blackout by Mira GrantWhat will you be reading next? 

No idea. Me being me, it could be anything. I’m strongly tempted to pick up Provenance by Ann Leckie again already and give it a reread — I just seem to be in the mood for Leckie’s writing. Or I might settle down to reading some more of Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye books, and finishing up Blackout

Who knows. The ways of the Nikki are strange.

What are you reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 22 August, 2018 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.

Cover of A History of Ancient Egypt Volume 2 by John RomerWhat are you currently reading?

Most actively, the second volume of John Romer’s A History of Ancient Egypt. I’m up to a lot of discussion of hieroglyphs in tombs now, which is kind of fascinating, and Romer has a quite refreshing pragmatic view of Egyptian society instead of seeing it as totally mystical and magical — he talks about some of the rituals being part of the state and as such, more secular than we imagine, because it’s to do with supply and so on. I’m not explaining it very well (it’s late and I’ve been travelling all day as I write this ready to go up in the morning!), but it’s really interesting.

I’ve also finally picked up Blackout by Mira Grant, and I’m excited to finally find out what happens. I’m hoping for a particular reunion in the next 50 pages or so (I know it does happen because spoilers, but not when!) so… eeeh.

Cover of Moral Tribes by Joshua GreeneWhat have you recently finished reading?

Moral Tribes, by Joshua Greene. The most interesting thing about this is that it’s a defence and elucidation of utilitarianism than does deal with a lot of the reflexive dislikes I have about utilitarianism, while acknowledging that it’s not necessarily the perfect value system — just one that enables us to answer most of our moral conundrums in the real world.

Cover of Rogue Protocol by Martha WellsWhat will you be reading next?

The third Murderbot novella, I think! I’ve finally actually put it on my ereader. I also bought myself one book for my birthday: Seeds of Science by Mark Lynas. It’s about GM crops, which he used to vehemently oppose (including taking physical action to destroy GM crops), and which he’s now in favour of. I think it’ll be fascinating. So I definitely plan to pick that up soon!

What are you reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 15 August, 2018 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.

What are you currently reading?

Cover of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky ChambersI’m partway through rereading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, since the new book in that world is out now. I keep picking it up meaning to read a couple of pages and just sinking back into it, and suddenly, boom! I lost half an hour. Not that I mind that too much!

I also accidentally picked up Circe, by Madeline Miller, after reading people’s raptures about it on Litsy. I meant to just read a couple of pages (I know, I know, it’s a theme with me) and then found I’d read over 100 while my game was paused. Oops.

Then I accidentally picked up A Study in Honor, too. It’s an interesting choice for a Sherlock Holmes retelling. It’s actually reminding me somewhat of Witchmark, but I think that’s partly the main characters being doctors in both books.

Cover of Think Again: How To Reason And Argue by Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongWhat have you recently finished reading?

The last thing I finished was Think Again: How To Reason and Argue by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong. I’m not sure yet quite what I think of this: it’ll probably become clear to me as I write the review! It definitely has good tips on how to understand other people’s arguments and put together a strong argument yourself, but it also has a lot of commentary on the right/left divide in politics.

Cover of At the Table of Wolves by Kay KenyonWhat will you be reading next?

Well, chances are I’m going to succumb to a new shiny and pick up Kay Kenyon’s At the Table of Wolves. It mentions Marvel’s Agent Carter in the blurb, and the cover is basically Peggy Carter with some colours switched round, and I’m kind of into that (even though I still haven’t actually watched Agent Carter).

What are you reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 8 August, 2018 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.

What are you currently reading?

Cover of Dreadful Company by Vivian ShawDreadful Company, still. For all my excitement, so much else has been happening that I really haven’t been reading enough. Actually, most of the books I talked about last week are still in progress, and a couple more. For a book club read, I’m partway through Death of an Airman, but primed by Murder Must Advertise and Cocaine Blues, I pretty much know the plot, I think. Still, one of the detectives is a Bishop, which is different.

What have you recently finished reading?

Cover of The Civilization of Angkor by Charles HighamThe last thing was The Civilization of Angkor, which was interesting but a bit repetitive. A lot of the interpretations are made from the tons and tons of inscriptions we’ve apparently found in Angkor and the environs, which isn’t my favourite kind of archaeology/history. There’s surprisingly little about burials in and around Angkor Wat in this book! Boo.

What will you read next?

One thing at a time. I have no idea right now. I want to finish Death of an Airman and Dreadful Company, and then I’ll think about it!

What are you reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 1 August, 2018 by Nikki in General / 4 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 Rosemary & Rue by Seanan McGuireUhoh, where do I start? Okay, so last night (well, Monday night, since I’m writing this on Tuesday evening) I started reading Phyllis Ann Karr’s At Amberleaf Fair, because I read The Gallows in the Greenwood at the weekend and felt like maybe reading another of her books was indicated. Also, someone on Goodreads said the main character’s gender is never revealed, so I was a bit intrigued about how that was handled. They must have a very different copy from me, because Torin is definitely a guy in my copy.

Then on the train I started rereading Seanan McGuire’s Rosemary & Rue, because my wife is mainlining that series right now and I need to reread and then get onto reading the ones I haven’t read yet. Devin is a creep, such a creep, ughh. Then I also started Think Like An Anthropologist, by Matthew Engelke, because it sounded interesting and it totally leapt into my bag of my own accord while I was in St Pancras today.

And then I arrived at my parents’, where my copy of Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw was waiting, so of course I dived right in and I just got to the part with the pastry-baking demon, and I just love these books so much.

Cover of Strange Practice by Vivian ShawWhat have you recently finished reading?

I think the last thing I finished was probably Vivian Shaw’s Strange Practice, a reread I engaged in for a) pure fun and b) because I knew I’d be getting my paws on Dreadful Company. I also read Leonard Mlodinow’s Subliminal, but that was kind of disappointing and pretty much the same as every other book on the weird way humans actually think.

Cover of Blackout by Mira GrantWhat will you be reading next?

Once I’ve finished Dreadful Company, I’ll focus back in on Rosemary & Rue, and then after that there’s the whole October Daye series to be dived into. Other than that, I would like to polish off something from my backlog, so I’ll probably pick up Blackout by Mira Grant and finally finish that. I’ve had a bookmark in the first chapter for far too long now. On the other hand, A Study in Honor just hit my ereader. I’d forgotten that I preordered it but I’m excited.

So yeah, that’s me. How about you?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 25 July, 2018 by Nikki in General / 10 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 The Zoo by Isobel CharmanWhat are you currently reading?

The Zoo, by Isobel Charman: it’s not exactly “wild and wonderful”, as the subtitle goes, but it’s still quite an interesting reconstruction of history. It probably takes too many liberties in imagining what the real people it follows thought and felt, but it’s entertaining enough.

I’m also partway through rereading The Burning Page, by Genevieve Cogman. That’s as entertaining as you’d expect, and I’m looking forward to finally getting onto the fourth book, The Lost Plot.

Cover of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh BardugoWhat have you recently finished reading?

The last thing I finished was Crooked Kingdom. Everyone who told me it picks up halfway through was right — yeesh, I barely put it down after I got just past 50%. At first it felt like Kaz’s team just weren’t coming together properly to pull things off, but once they figured things out… Also, ouch, that ending. Ouch.

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

Record of a Spaceborn Few is out, so I’m thinking of rereading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit first, because that’s how I roll. Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw is also about to come out, so I want to reread Strange Practice as well, but I’ll probably read Small Angry Planet again first.

What about you?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 18 July, 2018 by Nikki in Reviews / 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 Human Universe by Brian CoxHuman Universe, by Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen. I’d kind of expected a little more of a biological focus from something called Human Universe with a chimpanzee hand reaching out to touch a spacesuited human hand on the cover, but so far it’s very much been about humanity’s place in the wider universe. It’s light on the equations, though, and I’m now onto a chapter which is discussing the Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation, which is the kind of thing I can really get into.

I’m also reading Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo. I’m enjoying it, but also kind of stalling with it — I want to see Kaz’s point of view more, and… I don’t know, something isn’t quite working for me.

What have you recently finished reading?

Cover of The Invisible Library by Genevieve CogmanI zipped through The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman as a little treat to myself after some truly stellar exam results; it remains a lot of fun, and I found myself pondering a lot on the great relationships between Kai, Vale and Irene, and wondering what would happen if any of them developed romantic relationships with each other and who I’d want to get together. (I’ve no idea if that’s the way Cogman plans to go with the characters, it just struck me as I was reading the bit where Kai propositions Irene.)

What will you be reading next?

Looks like Witchmark by C.L. Polk is the next book to win my #MakeMeReadIt polls on Twitter, so that’s probably next up. I’ve already started that, really; I just need to get back into it! Other than that, I’ll be continuing my reread of Cogman’s books, so The Masked City is up next.

What are you reading?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted 11 July, 2018 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 The Planet Factory by Elizabeth TaskerWhat are you currently reading?

I’m working my way through The Planet Factory, by Elizabeth Tasker. It’s interesting stuff, of course — it’s about the formation of planets! how could that not be fascinating! — but I’m finding it a little slow going because it’s hard to grasp some of this stuff. There are some diagrams, but not enough to compensate for the fact I totally can’t visualise any of this stuff, and I think it does require visualising. Add the succession of hot Jupiters, super Earths and whatnot, and I’m a little bit at sea.

Cover of An Accident of Stars by Foz MeadowsWhat have you recently finished reading?

The last thing was An Accident of Stars, which took me far too long to read, and I don’t really know why that is. There’s lots that I enjoyed about it, but whenever I put it down, it didn’t scream out for me to pick it back up. Although I’m very curious about some aspects of the ending, so maybe I’ll pick up the second book in more of a hurry. We’ll see.

Cover of Children of Time by Adrian TchiakovskyWhat will you read next?

According to a Twitter poll, I’m pretty sure it’s Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I’m already a few hundred pages into it, if I recall correctly, so this will be an effort to finish it — there are some fascinating ideas, even if I don’t really have characters that I’m all that interested in (and that’s often what keeps me reading).

So what are you reading?

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