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tannat

Tannat

Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

The Prayer of the Night Shepherd
Phil Rickman
Sleeping Giants
Sylvain Neuvel
Progress: 23/509minutes
Engineering Animals: How Life Works
Alan Mcfadzean, Mark Denny
Progress: 125/314pages
Debt Collector Season One
Susan Kaye Quinn
The Rise of Yeast: How the Sugar Fungus Shaped Civilization
Nicholas P. Money
Conservation of Shadows
Yoon Ha Lee
Progress: 22%
Le premier jour
Marc Levy
Progress: 180/496pages
Dracula
Bram Stoker, Susan Duerden, Tim Curry, Graeme Malcolm, Steven Crossley, John Lee, Alan Cumming, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren
Progress: 104/928minutes
Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
Herman Melville
Manifold: Time
Stephen Baxter, Chris Schluep
Progress: 99/480pages

Reading progress update: I've listened 104 out of 928 minutes.

Dracula - Bram Stoker, Susan Duerden, Tim Curry, Graeme Malcolm, Steven Crossley, John      Lee, Alan Cumming, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren

Dracula counts as gothic, right?

The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley (audiobook)

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag  - Alan Bradley, Jayne Entwistle

Series: Flavia de Luce #2

 

This was a solid installment of the Flavia de Luce series. I like Flavia, but I sometimes find her chemistry digressions a bit dull. The narrator managed to capture Flavia's enthusiasm for poisons quite well and overall I thought was a good choice. Honestly, Flavia can be quite a beastly child at times though, like when she pulled the stunt with the chocolates.

 

I read this audiobook for the Terror in a Small Town square (since Flavia investigates a suspicious death in her small village) for the 2018 Halloween Bingo.

 

 

Previous updates:

19 %

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (audiobook)

Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett, Celia Imrie

Series: Discworld #6

 

This is still an early Discworld book, so the world isn't fully fleshed out and Pratchett, although entertaining, still hasn't quite hit his groove. It's the first book with the witches (no, Equal Rites doesn't really count in my book) and we see that Granny Weatherwax isn't nearly as formidable or as wise as she becomes in later books. Greebo does feature, however.

 

It does have some great moments, which I didn't share this time around because I was listening to the audio version and it's harder to note them. I read this for the Spellbound square for the 2018 Halloween Bingo.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 19%.

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag  - Alan Bradley, Jayne Entwistle

I didn't really read the description of this before starting (it's the second book in the series), but assuming something happens that Flavia decides to investigate, would this book count toward the Terror in a Small Town square? Flavia does live in a village out in the country, after all.

Halloween Bingo 2018 Update 4

Bingo!

(4th column)

 

[pumpkin border = called ; pumpkin-tree scene = read] 

 

 

Books (Called squares in bold):

1. A Grimm Tale
2. Genre: Horror: 
3. Shifters
4. DoomsdayGet Well Soon by Jennifer Wright
5. Darkest London: Rivers of London Vol. 5: Cry Fox (graphic novel)

 

6. 13:
7. Supernatural:
8. Spellbound: 
9. Creepy Carnivals: Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine
10. Terrifying women: Mr Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal

 

11. Ghost stories
12. Relics and CuriositiesThe Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
13. Free Space
14. Diverse voicesA Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas (audiobook)
15. Terror in a small town: 

 

16. Fear the Drowning Deep: 
17. Deadlands: 
18. Genre: Suspense
19. Amateur sleuthDeath on the Saphire by R J Koreto (audiobook)
20. Country house mystery: 

 

21. Cryptozoologist: Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
22. Baker Street Irregulars: Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger (audiobook)
23. New releaseBefore Mars by Emma Newman
24. Murder Most FoulA Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas (audiobook)
25. Gothic: 

Mechanique by Genevieve Valentine

Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti - Genevieve Valentine

It's finally over.

 

I wasn't really sure what I was getting in for, but I thought this story of a circus company in a kind of dystopian post-apocalyptic world might be interesting. It wasn't so much the story itself that bothered as the way it was told. There was a lot of jumping around between characters (mostly told in the third person), which was fine, and there was a lot of jumping around in time, which could have been fine, except that that the same events got referred to and covered over and over again. Sure, we got a few extra details now and then, or more context, but it got to be quite repetitive. By mid-way through, I was finding it to be a slog, and nearing the end I got very impatient. There was also one character that had both first-person and third-person chapters and I didn't really see the sense in that.

 

Finishing this book did let me complete my Creepy Carnivals square for 2018 Halloween Bingo, which finally gets me a bingo. :D

 

Death Qualified by Kate Wilhelm (audiobook)

Death Qualified - A Mystery of Chaos - Kate Wilhelm, Anna Fields

Series: Barbara Holloway #1

 

The courtroom drama portion was interesting, but the later part of the book fell pretty flat, especially the ending. I'm not sure if I'll bother picking up any of the rest of in the series. Basically, Barbara Holloway is defending Nell Kendricks, who is accused of murdering her estranged husband (after he's been off the grid for 7 years), but after the trial the story takes a bit of a nosedive. The romance definitely didn't bring much to the table either.

 

I was thinking of counting this for Halloween Bingo, but I'm not sure for which square. I was thinking of maybe "Terror in a small town" because several of the main characters live out in a small community in the woods, basically, but I'm not sure if it's a bit of a stretch. There's always the Free Square, of course.

Mr Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (audiobook)

Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Audio) - Susan Elia MacNeal, Donada Peters

Series: Maggie Hope #1

 

This mystery/suspense novel seemed promising. It's about a young British-born American woman in WWII who takes a job as one of the typists for Winston Churchill. Unfortunately, she had previously been passed over for an actual secretary job which she thought had to do with her sex while really it had been because of her personal connections.

 

It was very disappointing. And interminable. Yeah, my main problem wasn't that Maggie's aunt managed to get tenure in chemistry or some such as a woman in the 1930's or that we had a flat-footed ballerina but rather that I found the scenes with Maggie and her friends boring. I did find it a bit odd that a certain character chose to dye her hair rather than obtain a wig in this time period, though. Also, I think an egg may have been taken from an ice box at some point? And the denouement with Maggie's involvement was rather far fetched...

 

Overall it read like a bad YA novel without the YA characters (since they were mostly in their 20s). The rest of the series might be better and perhaps the series is best approached by skipping the first one entirely since it's possible that some of its deficiencies (e.g. the never ending "ending") might have been in its setup of the rest of the series. But I'm not tempted to seek it out.

 

I think I'll count this one for the Terrifying Women square for the 2018 Halloween Bingo since I'm not sure what else it'd fit.

 

 

Previous updates:

6 %

Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

Thief of Time (Discworld, #26) - Terry Pratchett

Series: Discworld #26

 

Excellent Pratchett.

 

I'm not sure what else to say. There's an organisation called the Monks of History that can basically control time and Susan shows up to save the world. With "help" (/hindrance) from the Death of Rats and its Raven. If you'd like to know more or just giggle a little, I suggest you check out the quotes from my updates.

 

Previous updates:

page 22 of 430 (Miss Ogg becomes Mrs Ogg)

page 50 of 430 (Igor)

page 53 of 430 (more Igor)

page 109 of 430 (Susan on the unwritten rules and humanity's stupidity)

page 210 of 430 (the Yeti and Lu-Tze's resemblance to Granny Weatherwax)

page 247 of 430 (Auditors vs doorknob)

page 349 of 430 (the wisdom of avoiding otters)

page 359 of 430 (numbering of the Rules)

page 388 of 430 (Susan comments on astrology)

 

I'm counting this for the Cryptozoologist square for 2018 Halloween Bingo because of the Yeti. And the Death of Rats. And other Discworldy stuff.

 

Halloween Bingo 2018 Update 3

So close!

 

[pumpkin border = called ; pumpkin-tree scene = read]

 

 

Books:

1. A Grimm Tale
2. Genre: Horror: 
3. Shifters: 
4. Doomsday: Get Well Soon by Jennifer Wright
5. Darkest London: Rivers of London Vol. 5: Cry Fox (graphic novel)

 

6. 13:
7. Supernatural:
8. Spellbound: 
9. Creepy Carnivals
10. Terrifying women

 

11. Ghost stories: 
12. Relics and CuriositiesThe Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
13. Free Space
14. Diverse voicesA Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas (audiobook)
15. Terror in a small town: 

 

16. Fear the Drowning Deep: 
17. Deadlands: 
18. Genre: Suspense: 
19. Amateur sleuth: Death on the Saphire by R J Koreto (audiobook)
20. Country house mystery: 

 

21. Cryptozoologist
22. Baker Street Irregulars: Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger (audiobook)
23. New releaseBefore Mars by Emma Newman
24. Murder Most FoulA Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas (audiobook)
25. Gothic: 

Rivers of London Vol 5: Cry Fox

Rivers of London Volume 5: Cry Fox - Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Rivers of London Graphic Novels #5

 

A quick read featuring Reynard up to his old tricks where he manages to involve Abigail in a kidnapping. Someone should tell that girl not to talk to foxes. Literally. But at least Dan's family is safe.

 

I read this for the "Darkest London" square for 2018 Halloween Bingo. I'm pretty sure it works. A lot of it takes place in London. And the estate must be near London.

 

Um, can I count this for Darkest London?

 

Reading progress update: I've listened 33 out of 585 minutes.

Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Audio) - Susan Elia MacNeal, Donada Peters

So it looks like here we have a British-born, American-raised MC working as a secretary for Churchill during the war.

 

Crossing my fingers...

Death on the Saphire by R J Koreto (audiobook)

Death on the Sapphire: A Lady Frances Ffolkes Mystery - Justine Eyre, R.J. Koreto

Series: A Lady Frances Ffolkes Mystery #1

 

This is another one of the books that I stumbled across while looking for mystery genre audiobook possibilities at my library since I've been doing so much walking lately that I need to listen to something! Don't be scared away by my rating, for the reasons that I'll explain below.

 

Lady Frances (I think I'm using the naming convention correctly since her father had a title) is a very modern woman in Edwardian London (1901-1910) who has moved out of her brother's house upon his marriage (to a good friend of hers) to a respectable ladies hotel because she's just that kind of independent woman. She's involved in the suffragette movement too, naturally, and actually went to university in America (so she calls it "college"). She gets drawn into a mystery when a friend of hers asks her to help look for a manuscript that her brother (the friend's brother) was writing before his accidental death.

 

All that is well and good. The mystery was somewhat interesting, the narration was good, and the relationship between Frances/Franny and her maid, Mallow, was well done (Mallow got promoted to lady's maid partly because she used to cover for Franny back in the day). It was well-done but overall just average, and I'm giving it 2.5 stars instead of 3 because it was just a bit too American and Franny was just a bit too modern. At one point she calls trousers "pants", which was just a little bit shocking (I don't know when pants came to be known as underwear in Britain but to a modern ear it doesn't quite work), and her insistence that Mallow travel first class with her on the train just struck me as odd. Also, I think it may still have been just a little bit early for the upper class to be dining in restaurants for dinner/supper (I may be wrong on this point) and I'm pretty sure accepting a tête-à-tête dinner invitation to a man's house would have been outright scandalous.

 

There were a few other things, but to me it felt that Franny ignored her class just a little too much to really work for me. I like to read historical fiction books that try to understand the culture of the time rather than just overwrite it with modern sensibilities. Admittedly, some books piss me off when they seem to be doing the opposite (applying outdated notions to modern day settings). However, I do know that others enjoy modern women plopped into historical settings, and so if you're one of them you might want to look into this one. It is part of a series, and if my library has the rest of them, I may check them out.

 

Also, Franny's first suitor was far more interesting when the reader thought he was just trying to seduce her and/or take advantage of her.

 

I'm counting this one for the "Amateur Sleuth" square for the 2018 Halloween Bingo.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 388 out of 430 pages.

Thief of Time (Discworld, #26) - Terry Pratchett

'It makes you wonder if there is anything to astrology after all.'

'Oh, there is,' said Susan, 'Delusion, wishful thinking and gullibility.'

 

 

Burn.

Reading progress update: I've read 359 out of 430 pages.

Thief of Time (Discworld, #26) - Terry Pratchett

'Well, I expect you have heard of Rule One, right?' he said.

That seemed to give them pause. One said, 'We know millions of rules, human.'

'Billions. Trillions,' said another.

'Well, you can't attack me,' said Lu-Tze, ' 'cos of Rule one.'

The nearest Auditors went into a huddle.

'It must involve gravitation.'

'No, quantum effects. Obviously.'

'Logically there cannot be a Rule One because at that point there would be no concept of plurality.'

'But if there is not a Rule One, can there be any other rules? If there is no Rule One, where is Rule Two?'

'There are millions of rules! They cannot fail to be numbered!'

Wonderful, thought Lu-Tze. All I have to do is wait until their heads melt.

Reading progress update: I've read 349 out of 430 pages.

Thief of Time (Discworld, #26) - Terry Pratchett

Koan 97: 'Do unto otters as you would have them do unto you.' Hmm. No real help there. Besides, he'd occasionally been unsure that he'd written that one down properly, although it certainly had worked. He'd always left aquatic mammals well alone, and they had done the same to him.