106 Following


Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

Clockwork Boys (Clocktaur War)
T. Kingfisher
Death of a Cozy Writer: A St. Just Mystery
G.M. Malliet, Davina Porter
Death from a Top Hat
Clayton Rawson
Progress: 17%
The Secret Library
Oliver Tearle
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
Barbara W. Tuchman, Nadia May
Progress: 696/1718minutes
Conservation of Shadows
Yoon Ha Lee
Progress: 22%
Le premier jour
Marc Levy
Progress: 180/496pages
Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
Herman Melville
Manifold: Time
Stephen Baxter, Chris Schluep
Progress: 99/480pages
The Long War
Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett
Progress: 68/501pages

Death of an Outsider by M. C. Beaton (audiobook)

Death of an Outsider - M.C. Beaton, Shaun Grindell

Series: Hamish Macbeth #3


This one was read by a different but equally competent narrator. I'm rating this a little bit higher because although Hamish has some messed up ideas about marriage (this is the 80s not the 50s as far as I know), this had a line that greatly amused me and sparked discussion about lobsters and whether they'd actually eat a corpse.


Otherwise I don't have much to say; Hamish has to deal with another murder while subbing in for another policeman on vacation.


Previous updates:

62 %

50 %

Reading progress update: I've listened 181 out of 294 minutes.

Death of an Outsider - M.C. Beaton, Shaun Grindell

"She was drinking sherry from the bottle, like a harlot."


That's got to be one of the best lines in the book.

Reading progress update: I've listened 148 out of 294 minutes.

Death of an Outsider - M.C. Beaton, Shaun Grindell

A murder victim eaten by...lobsters?!


(Presumably tossed into the tank after death.)


Would lobsters eat a person if he or she were tossed into their tank?? That just sounds too weird to be possible.


(Apparently lobsters eat crabs, clams, mussels, and sometimes other lobsters.)

Reading progress update: I've read 17%.

Death from a Top Hat - Clayton Rawson

Reading this at the same time as listening to a Hamish Macbeth audiobook is making me read it in a Scottish accent in my head, which is just plain weird.


So far I'm not a huge fan of the narrator and the ultra meta style that had the narrator/POV character starting off the book by writing a magazine article about detective novels. I am, however, still curious to find out how this locked-room mystery is resolved.

Reading progress update: I've read 13%.

The Penguin Pool Murder - Stuart Palmer

I know I'm supposed to be finishing my library books so I can get to Homicide Sanitarium, but Kobo is having a sale that had some interesting old mysteries, so I'm trying to figure out if I'd actually want to read more from the series in question.


But I'm also sleepy. So very sleepy.


So far it's cute though. A 1930s schoolteacher is supposed to get involved in a murder investigation after she discovers a body when on a fieldtrip with her class. She can be amusingly forceful. A couple excerpts:


"Who was the first person to see the body?”
Miss Withers stepped forward. “I was. Go ahead, young man.”
It nettled Piper to be called a young man by a woman who could not have been any older than he was.


“Okay, then. Your full name?”
“Hildegarde Martha Withers.”
“One-eleven West Seventy-sixth Street. I share an apartment there with two other teachers.”
“At present, answering foolish questions. Young man, I told you I was a teacher.”

That last line (At present, answering foolish questions) makes me giggle.



Death of a Gossip by M. C. Beaton

Death of a Gossip - M.C. Beaton, Antony Ferguson

Series: Hamish Macbeth # 1


I picked this up from the library because I wanted a break from my long history audiobook and listen to something lighter for a bit. I thought I had read the first Hamish Macbeth book because I'm pretty sure my mother reads this series, but apparently not since I'd never read this book before. Oh well.


One thing that's useful to keep in mind is that this book was published in 1985 so although the nineteen year old completely naive girl (who fantasizes about her boss and about marrying the first guy who comes along in the book that shows interest in her) seems pretty ridiculous it's not quite as crazy as it would be in a more modern book. Don't get me wrong; Alice was plenty ridiculous, but I was more amused by her than frustrated by her. Her silliness made me laugh, although perhaps it was mean of me to laugh.


Oh well. I quite liked the narration and so this cute cozy mystery served its purpose.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

This book starts by following Baru Cormorant as a young girl in Taranoke when her homeland is taken over by the Masquerade (or the Empire of Masks since they wear masks as part of their public personas). So we see the colonization and the start of the erasure of an indigenous culture and people and it's awful and harsh but I was invested in the character of Baru as a young girl so I was more or less sucked in.


Then she graduates from school and gets sent to this other land to act as Imperial Accountant and it was okay...but there was a lot about monetary policy and then there was a rebellion with battles and I just got kind of...bored. And the ending was therefore pretty meh.


Also it seems like a lot of the peoples who aren't the Masquerade are cool with homosexuality and polyamorous family structures but to the Masquerade those things are "unhygienic" which became more frustrating as the book progressed for reasons that involve spoilers. Maybe this ends up someplace interesting in later books, but I don't think I'll be sticking around to find out.

Non-Book Election Post


It's looking like Ontario elected the PCs (Progressive Conservative Party) as a majority....ugh. Sorry, I'll get back to books shortly.



Credit for original comic KC Green but it's totally a meme.

May 2018 Wrap-Up

A bit late, I know, but I had to work this weekend. After a solid April, my May reads were a bit disappointing (as in it was a slow month) but it still wasn't as slow as February.


Total number of books read: 10

Number of Audiobooks: 3

Pages read: 1946

Average rating: 3.1


4.5 stars:

After Atlas - Emma Newman 


3.5 & 4 stars:

Bunnicula - a rabbit tale of mystery - James Howe Men Explain Things To Me - Rebecca Solnit Nineteen Eighty-Four - Simon Prebble,George Orwell 



2.5 & 3 stars:

Libraries in the Ancient World - Lionel Casson Murder on Black Swan Lane - Andrea Penrose  The Seven - Peter Newman House of Suns - Alastair Reynolds  


2 stars:

Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language - Emma Byrne 



1 star:

The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition - Margaret Atwood,Claire Danes  



Les seigneurs de Mornepierre: roman - Isabelle Berrubey 





Bunnicula by Deborah Howe and James Howe

Bunnicula - a rabbit tale of mystery - James Howe

Series: Bunnicula #1


Although I'd heard of this before when it popped up on my feed, I'd never actually read it, and it sounded cute enough that I thought I might as well if I could get it from the library. It was as cute and as funny as promised, although I can't say that I approve of giving the dog chocolate (he seems to tolerate it though).


I think my favourite parts were Chester and his antics. Especially the scene where he gets given a bath after dousing himself in garlic. Anyway, if you're up for a cute story about a vampire bunny sucking vegetables dry (and the family trying to figure out this strange vegetable "blight"), you might want to check it out even though it's a kids book.


I'm not sure if I'll check out any of the other books in the series since I've heard they're not as good.

Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Casson

Libraries in the Ancient World - Lionel Casson

This one was hard to rate. It's basically a history of books and libraries of the ancient Greco-Roman world. It started off fairly interesting but my interest didn't seem well matched to the length of the book, and it wasn't a long book. So I'm not sure whether the later chapters on Roman libraries and early Christian libraries were drier or more repetitive or what, but my interest flagged a little. I considered dropping down to 2.5 stars but thought that might be a bit harsh.

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

Men Explain Things To Me - Rebecca Solnit

This book is a collection of essays by Rebecca Solnit, all more or less on feminist topics. The essays are well written, and I did get a bit of kick out of the story of the man who decided to tell her about her own book without realizing that she was the author. I'm not sure how much any of the essays will stick with me though, so I'm only giving it 3.5 stars.

TBR Thursday: May 31st 2018

— feeling beat brick

(copying idea from Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue)


I've thought about doing one of these posts for a while just to illustrate how ridiculous my Mount TBR is (and to emphasize that it needs the "Mount"), so here it is.


Currently reading:

Bunnicula - a rabbit tale of mystery - James Howe  A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century - Barbara W. Tuchman   Conservation of Shadows - Yoon Ha Lee  

Plus some others I may have to restart.


Going to read (soon):

The Secret Library - Oliver Tearle  The Traitor Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson  Clockwork Boys (Clocktaur War) - T. Kingfisher  Homicide Sanitarium - Fredric Brown  Before Mars - Emma Newman


The state of Mount TBR:

(I've been tracking my to-read list for the last few months. Note that this doesn't include library potentials that I've flagged...that's part of a separate list...currently sitting at 193 books.)



Yes, that's 478 books. I'm also a good ten books behind on my reading challenge. Sigh. 


Oh, and there are a couple reviews I haven't written yet. 

My books are here!

Tigus very kindly offered to send me a couple of books that he'd finished with and surprised me by sending three! And he packaged them really, really well, so they arrived in perfect condition. [Balou wasn't too impressed, unfortunately.]




They all look interesting, although I should get through a few other books before I touch any of these....I'll probably start with Homicide Sanitarium though.


Thank you, Tigus!

What do you make of Balou's new haircut?

I took him in today to get rid of the mats...what do you think? 





I gave him some toys for Grim :


Reading progress update: I've listened 696 out of 1718 minutes.

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century - Barbara W. Tuchman, Nadia May

I wonder if the Swan Festival, where everyone chased young swans not yet able to fly, was an inspiration for the gosling juggling in Firefly. Fortunately participants were forbidden from killing what they caught.