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Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

Use of Weapons
Iain M. Banks
Progress: 123/411pages
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
Neil Gaiman

Reading progress update: I've read 123 out of 411 pages.

Use of Weapons - Iain M. Banks

The real reason why so many aliens are humanoid (said in a bar, naturally):

'Alcohol in the dust clouds. Goddamn stuff is everywhere. Any lousy species ever invents the telescope and the spectroscope and starts looking in between the stars, what do they find?' He knocked the glass on the table. 'Loads of stuff; but much of it alcohol.' He drank from the glass. 'Humanoids are the galaxy's way of trying to get rid of all that alcohol.'

Does this look like water to you?

Here are a couple photos that I took of my cover of Use of Weapons. Does it look like there's water in front of the city? Or is it snow or slagged ground?



Booklikes-opoly Turn 7 (April 27th)

Bank: $43


I rolled 8:



The Water Works square says, "Read a book with water on the cover, or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e., cries) because of an emotional event."


So I guess I have to find a book with water on its cover... Does snow count?


I've found a couple possibilities:

Le premier jour - Marc Levy - 496 pages (my copy has a lake on it)

Use of Weapons - Iain M. Banks - 411 pages (I think I see water...either that or the ground is reflecting weird)


 Use of Weapons - Iain M. Banks  


I think I'm leaning towards Use of Weapons...although I've had Le premier jour for years.


The Shadow of the Torturer (audiobook) abandoned at 34%

The Shadow of the Torturer  - Gene Wolfe, Jonathan Davis

I'm abandoning this audiobook. I've read it before in print and although the narrator isn't bad, I'm bored by it. The print version was actually interesting. The audio one just doesn't work for me.

Hexed by Kevin Hearne

Hexed - Kevin Hearne

Series: Iron Druid Chronicles #2


This was another fun installment in this series. It’s light reading, just a fun urban fantasy adventure series with a two thousand year old druid as a main character who tries to blend in by talking like a college student. In this one, Atticus faces an evil German witch coven he’s encountered before. I don’t have much else to say about it, so I’ll just throw in some links to my updates (I liked quite a few of the passages):





I read this for square #16 “Read a book set in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California” for the booklikes-opoly game since it takes place in Arizona. The paperback is 320 pages so that’s another $3 for my bank, bringing my total to $43. And I get to roll tomorrow!

Reading progress update: I've read 89%.

Hexed - Kevin Hearne

The answer to enemies who heal annoyingly fast is always, always decapitation. That is why swords will never go out of style.

Reading progress update: I've read 71%.

Hexed - Kevin Hearne

Dropping a werewolf into a witch fight is like dropping a tank into a snake pit. The snakes might have fangs, but the tank isn't going to feel their bites.

Reading progress: I've read 24%.

Hexed - Kevin Hearne

“Begging your pardon,” I said to the widow, “would you mind if Oberon went inside for a bit?”
“Eh? No, me boy, not at all. Good exercise for me pussies. They’re good, dog-fearing cats.”
Oberon chuffed. <I like it when they hiss at me and it brings up a hairball.>


Tee-hee, "dog-fearing".

Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler

Wild Seed - Octavia E. Butler

Series: Patternmaster #1


Finally, a book by Octavia E. Butler that I didn’t hate!


I really didn’t like Dawn and Parable of the Sower, you see. So it seems like Butler’s writing got worse as time passed, at least in my opinion. I’m not entirely sure the ending was all that convincing since it seemed like such an abrupt shift, but it’s late at night and I’m willing to accept it for now.


Anyway, Anyanwu is a witch and she meets another witch, Doro. Anyanwu is immortal because her body stopped aging naturally and she’s gained complete control over it while Doro is immortal because his spirit keeps stealing bodies. Doro is the epitome of taking because he’s powerful without giving anything back (other than his “protection”) and is basically a kind of soul-stealing vampire. He seeks to control Anyanwu too with only moderate success. Wild Seed is the story of how they met and the first 150 years or so of their relationship.

Booklikes-opoly Turn 6 (April 25th)

Bank: 40$


I couldn't sleep, so I rolled a 6:



Now, my ereader says Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is 301 pages, which might be kinda cheating. Alternatively, I'm pretty sure Hexed by Kevin Hearne takes place in Arizona (that's what's mentioned in the description anyway). Or The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson appears to end on page 276, but there's no guarantee I'll make it through that one (there's a reasonable chance I'll abandon it).


Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell

Yarned and Dangerous - Sadie Hartwell

Series: A Tangled Web Mystery #1


I picked this up because I just couldn’t resist the title and I fully expected to have to write a rant review. I expected to want to throw my ereader across the room or to be tempted to beat myself in the head with it. Much to my surprise, this didn’t happen. Oh, it wasn’t perfect: it was a bit light on the mystery side, some of the family banter stuff came off as a bit forced, and some of it was a little implausible, but I enjoyed it. There is a mystery here, but the investigation by the main character was light. Admittedly this also means that she’s not doing incredibly stupid things chasing after criminals, and she does help to solve the mystery in the end.


The background to the story is that Josie’s great uncle, Eben, has broken his leg in a car crash that killed his wife, and Josie (who is from the big city and works in fashion) has to go visit him in this small town to help look after him because her mother has booked a cruise and she can’t cancel. Eb is very crotchety and has a long-standing feud with his neighbour. Josie brings her cat Coco with her, naturally, who gets along great with Eb’s giant dog (not really).


The deceased wife, Cora, had a yarn shop called ‘Miss Marple Knits’ that Josie is supposed to help close up. And then a dead body shows up, apparently strangled with an I-cord or some yarn. Josie tries to investigate a bit but mostly gets laughed out of the police office and thinks a lot about going back to the big city while simultaneously being drawn to the yarn. The mystery took a weird turn at one point that was a bit silly but also quite amusing.

The little old ladies that Josie finds are acting so suspiciously are actually spying on one of the other women in the Charity Knitters Association using equipment they bought online to try to blackmail her out of her prominent position in town because they don’t like her. And they ask Josie for tech help because Cora was their “tech whiz”.

(show spoiler)


So, it was pretty cute and it didn’t make me want to throw anything across the room. Yay!


I read this for square #10 “Read a book that takes place in a small town in the U.S.A.” for the booklikes-opoly game because Dorset Falls definitely fits the bill. Amazon tells me the paperback is 288 and Kobo tells me the ebook is 258, so I’m counting it as $3 to add to my bank, bringing my total to $40.

Booklikes-opoly Turn 5 (April 23rd)

Bank: $37


I rolled a 7 and just managed to miss going to jail!



I landed on Main Street #10 "Read a book that takes place in a small town in the U.S.A."


I'm thinking of reading Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell. That counts as taking place in a small town, right?


Yarned and Dangerous - Sadie Hartwell 


Hôtel Olympia par Élisabeth Vonarburg

Hôtel Olympia - Elisabeth Vonarburg

English to follow.


Et j’ai finalement fini !


Ce livre aurait pu être intéressant mais il ne passe pas grand-chose pour tellement de pages que la lecture est devenue un peu pénible. Même rendue à mi-chemin je me demandais si on allait quelque part avec l'histoire de l’Hôtel ou bien si on terminerait en finissant les redécouvertes des mémoires de Danika. Même la résolution de la fin a pris une cinquantaine de pages. Je n’ai pas encore décidé si je vais essayer l’autre livre par Élisabeth Vonarburg qui m’avait intéressé. À celui-ci je donne juste une étoile parce qu’à la fin j’étais devenue tellement tannée du livre. Presque 600 pages de ça !



And I’m finally finished!


This book could have been interesting except that nothing much happens for so many pages that the reading became somewhat painful. Even mid-way through I was wondering whether we were going anywhere with the Hôtel story or whether it would end with the rediscoveries of Danika’s memories. Even the resolution of the end took about fifty pages. I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll try the other book by Élisabeth Vonarburg that caught my eye. I’m giving just one star to this one because by the end I was just so tired of the book. Almost 600 pages of this!


Rivers of London: Night Witch

Rivers of London: Volume 2 - Night Witch - Ben Aaronovitch, Lee Sullivan Hill, Andrew Cartmel

Series: Rivers of London Volume 2 (#6-10)


I guess I’m in a generous mood today since I’m rating this one slightly higher than the last even though I don’t think it’s actually better. It’s about the same, I think. The storytelling could still use some work, but overall it was a quick, fun read. The reason I say the storytelling could use some work is that there were a lot of info-dump style panels which got the point across but didn’t make for a riveting storyline. I think I’m giving it bonus points for centring on Varvara Sidorovna, the kickass Russian witch and for what happens when a bunch of Russian thugs break into Beverly Brook’s place intending to do her harm.

She uses her goddess powers and gets them to do the cleaning. And wait on her.

(show spoiler)


I’m counting this for square #4 for the booklikes-opoly game “The letters in the title can be used to spell RIVER” because of the way the graphic novels are always listed with the series title as well as the individual volume title, even on the copyright page. This volume doesn’t have page numbers, but the page count is listed as 128 at various online sources (it also makes sense if you look at the binding), so I’m going with that and adding $2 to my bank, bringing me to $37.


Booklikes-opoly Square #4 Question - Does this count?

Rivers of London: Volume 2 - Night Witch - Ben Aaronovitch, Lee Sullivan Hill, Andrew Cartmel


Would this count as the letters in the title spelling "River"? Technically "Rivers of London" is the name of the series, but it does appear in the title line: Rivers of London: Volume 2 - Night Witch - Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, Lee Sullivan...

Booklikes-opoly Turn 4 (April 21st)

Bank: $35


Time to roll again!



This one will take some thought and some scouring of the bookshelves...