107 Following


Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

Death of an Airman
Christopher St. John Sprigg
Progress: 140/253pages
The Science of Discworld
Terry Pratchett, Jack Cohen, Ian Stewart
Progress: 32/385pages
Children of Time
Adrian Tchaikovsky, William Henry Hudson
Progress: 355/990minutes
Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology
Hilary Rose, Steven Rose
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

Reading progress update: I've read 140 out of 253 pages.

Death of an Airman - Christopher St. John Sprigg

Well at least now it makes a little more sense. I feel like it's going to turn out to be murder after all though.

Reading progress update: I've listened 355 out of 990 minutes.

Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky, William Henry Hudson

They could hear Bales screaming as soon as the outer door opened. The woman lay on the ground just outside, smashing both hands against her suit, kicking and flailing as though beset by an invisible attacker. Everyone except Holsten and Tevik piled out to help her, trying to get her under control. They were shouting her name now, but she was oblivious, thrashing out at them, then trying to force her helmet off as though she was suffocating. One foot was a red ruin – seeming half cut away – the leg of her suit slashed open with a weird precision.

It was Nessel that released the catch and dragged Bales’s helmet off, but the screaming had already turned to a ghastly liquid sound before then, and what came out first, after the seal broke, was blood.

Bales’s head flopped aside, eyes wide, mouth open and running with red. Something moved at her throat. Holsten got sight of it just as everyone else suddenly recoiled: a head rising from the ruin of the woman’s throat, twin blades brandished at them under a pair of crooked antennae that flicked drops of Bales left and right as they fidgeted and danced.


Mwahaha. Meet...the ants!

Reading progress update: I've read 77 out of 253 pages.

Death of an Airman - Christopher St. John Sprigg

It's ok so far, but I'm having some trouble overcoming my incredulity that a head wound could cover up a shot to the head that occurred afterward. Perhaps it will make more sense once the whole thing is explained.


I could also do with more Bishop and less Inspector. The Inspector's pretty boring.

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett (audiobook)

Hogfather - Terry Pratchett, Nigel Planer

I've lost count of how many times I've read Hogfather and this isn't my first time around with the audiobook either. It's pretty brilliant and I especially like the exchanges with the Death of Rats and the raven.


I think I'll count it for the Hogswatch Night book for square 13 and save the holiday joker for a murder that's discovered Christmas day.

16 Festive Tasks Card

Points marked by stars.


Total points: 19





Square 1

- Dia de Muertos/All Saints Day: a book that has all the colours (ROYGBIV) together on the cover

- Calan Gaeaf Book: read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft


Square 2

- Guy Fawkes Night Task: post a picture of past fireworks

- Guy Fawkes Night Book: any book about political treason


Square 3

- St Martin's Day Book: read a book set in a rural setting

- Veteran’s Day/Armistice Day Task: show us a pic of your red poppy or other symbol of remembrance

-  Veteran’s Day/Armistice Day Book: read a book with poppies on the cover


Square 4

- Thanksgiving Day Task: treat yourself to a new book and post a picture of it


Square 5

- Advent Task: post a pic of your advent calendar


Square 7

- International Human Rights Day Task: post a picture of  a war memorial

- International Human Rights Day Book: read any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused


Square 8

- Hannukah Task: play the Dreidel game to pick the next book you read


Square 9

- Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night Task: grab one of your thickest books off the shelf.  Ask a question and then turn to page 40 and read the 9th line of text on that page

- Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night Task: eat a pomegranate for good luck and health in the coming year


Square 10

- World Peace Day Task: cook something involving olives or olive oil

- Pancha Ganapati Task: post about your 5 favourite books this year and why you appreciated them so much


Square 14

- Dies Natalis Solis Invicti Task: Find the sunniest spot in your home, that’s warm and comfy and read your book


Square 15

- St. Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day Task: If you have a cat, post a picture of your cat in a box


Bonus Points

- World Peace Day (actually the "International Day of Peace") from Square 10 is actually celebrated September 21st

All is Fair by Emma Newman

All is Fair: The Split Worlds - Book Three - Emma Newman

Series: Split Worlds #3


This book took me quite a while to get through, so this is actually the first book I've finished in December, but that shouldn't be viewed as a negative reflection on the book. The book (and the series) is great. Here we have the aftermath of the last book playing out and Cathy learns more about the Agency and tries to find new ways to help people in the Nether now that she's duchess. William even redeems himself a bit and the side plot with Lord Iron really didn't go the way I expected. I didn't expect the sorcerer of Mercia stuff to go the way it did either. Unexpectedness all around! 


The green cover lets me count this for square 10 for Festive tasks, Pancha Ganapati: read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow.


I've decided to count this book for square 7's International Human Rights Day book instead, read any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused. Cathy learns that even though she's paying the Agency for her servants as if they're earning wages, the servants don't actually receive wages and so she sets out to change this in her household. She also tries to seek out like-minded people who could help her fight for women's rights in the Nether.


And you know what's next in the series? The fourth book! (I'm pretty that's one of the other squares). [edit: square 5, actually: Advent]


Previous updates: 

0  %

21 %

Le vide by Patrick Senécal (abandoned)

Le vide - Patrick Senécal

Abandoned @ 38%


I tried skimming after my last update and I only managed to get another 20 pages in before wanting to throw the book across the room and deciding that I really didn't care. I'm sorry about giving up on this buddy read, Themis-Athena, but I have to give you props for being able to put up with this book. I can't find anything interesting in it and I don't care about any of the characters. Je m'en fiche royalement et c'est une vraie perte de temps. 


I'm giving up on Senécal as an author. He just doesn't write stuff I want to read.


And I'm too annoyed to write this half-assed review in French.


Previous updates:

221 of 642 pages

97 of 642 pages

21 of 642 pages

Before starting

Reading progress update: I've read 221 out of 642 pages.

Le vide - Patrick Senécal

This book just seems long and boring. I'm debating between dropping it entirely and just starting to skim to see what happens.


I find zero of the characters sympathetic. None of them are even interesting. Even Pierre is just a socially maladjusted man who has warped ideas on psychiatry and thinks it's normal to shake his teenage daughter to the point that she has to threaten to hit him over the head with her drinking glass if he touches her again.


So far all I'm getting from the story is that far too many people have empty lives that can only be filled with sensation because they lack the introspection and will-power to make anything of their lives and are incapable of picking up a book. Pretty plate and pathetic, in other words.

Kitty in a box?!

So it looks like a certain someone does climb into a box when he wants to tell me he's hungry.


Reading progress update: I've read 97 out of 642 pages.

Le vide - Patrick Senécal

I'm sorry Themis-Athena for being so slow with this book. I've just been doing *gasp* other stuff than reading, so I haven't finished any books in ages, and my progress in the individual books I've been reading has been at a snail's pace. 


That said, I've found that Chloé voices the perfect description of the reality TV show Vivre au Max:

"C'est le comble de la niaiserie humaine.*"

* For the non-francophones (cheating with google translate): "It's the height of human nonsense." Of course, that doesn't convey exactly the same sense since I'd translate niaiserie as something closer to foolishness than nonsense, but hopefully you get the idea.


Reading progress update: I've read 32 out of 385 pages.

The Science of Discworld - Terry Pratchett, Jack Cohen, Ian Stewart

Well, I've started. So far I'm enjoying the humour and the little snippets of history/science.


I also still get a kick out of the Bursar safety system with his backup.


Now I give you...Sombrero-Agrippa!


November 2017 Wrap-Up

November was a slower month for me, with only 11 books (3 audiobooks) but some of that was because I was sick and either didn't do much of anything or watched more TV than usual. Plus I keep starting new books without finishing the previous ones.


I had a few disappointments, as you can see from the ratings, but my reread of the first two books of the Split Worlds series (recommended for urban fantasy fans who aren't looking for thinly disguised romance novels) as well as Infidel helped make my month. I should probably give an honourable mention to Footsteps in the Dark too since the banter was so fun.


Average rating: 3.1 stars


4 stars

Between Two Thorns - Emma Newman Infidel - Kameron Hurley Any Other Name - Emma Newman 



3.5 stars

Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey,Jefferson Mays Footsteps in the Dark - Georgette Heyer  Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race - Margot Lee Shetterly  


3 stars

The Chatter of the Maidens - Alys Clare From Eve to Evolution: Darwin, Science, and Women's Rights in Gilded Age America - Kimberly A. Hamlin 


2 stars

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime - Val McDermid  Le cas des casiers carnassiers - Patrick Senécal  


1.5 stars

Tail and Trouble - Victor M. Catano 



Reading progress update: I've listened 284 out of 990 minutes.

Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky, William Henry Hudson

I think this was about the point where I came across this other passage about spider society that I also wanted to share:

"Portia gives the activity below a second glance, and is shocked. Your assistants are male.
Indeed, Bianca agrees, with a stance that suggests this topic is not a new one.
I would have thought they would prove insufficient for the complexity of such work, Portia assays.
A common misunderstanding. If well coached and born with the pertinent Understandings, then they are quite able to deal with the more routine tasks. I did once employ females, but that results in so much jostling for status and having to defend my preeminence; too much measuring of legs against each other – and me – to get the work done. So I settled on this solution."

Reading progress update: I've listened 244 out of 990 minutes.

Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky, William Henry Hudson

Ah, the quirks of a spider society:

"The act of courtship is consummated as a public ritual, where the hopeful males – in their moment of prominence – perform in front of a peer group, or even the whole city, before the female chooses her partner and accepts his package of sperm. She may then kill and eat him, which is thought to be a great honour for the victim, although even Portia suspects that the males do not quite see it that way.

It is a mark of how far her species has come, that this is the only openly acceptable time when killing a male is considered appropriate. It is, however, quite true that packs of females – especially younger ones, perhaps newly formed peer groups seeking to strengthen their bonds – will descend to the lower reaches of the city and engage in hunting males. The practice is covertly overlooked – girls will be girls, after all – but overtly frowned upon."

Reading progress update: I've read 21%.

All is Fair: The Split Worlds - Book Three - Emma Newman

As usual with books in this series, I'm having fun with this. And I have to say that Lord Poppy (one of the fae) is delightfully mad and such a flake. This is from an exchange earlier in the story:

“Are you saying the eldest son of my favourite family line has nothing to offer?” Poppy asked sharply.
“Not in entirety, Lord Poppy. I’m sure Thomas has a great deal to offer to the academic community in matters of twentieth-century warfare, but, as I far as I know, that knowledge may not be the most useful at Court.”
“He’s intelligent and very tall,” Poppy said, chin in the air. “Both qualities will serve him admirably.”

It's too bad Axon (Ekstrand's butler) and Petra (his librarian) haven't had big parts to play so far.

Reading progress update: I've read 0%.

All is Fair: The Split Worlds - Book Three - Emma Newman

Oh look what next book in the series conveniently has a green cover for Pancha Ganapati!


Book themes for Pancha Ganapati

Read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow.