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tannat

Tannat

Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

Ninefox Gambit
Yoon Ha Lee, Emily Woo Zeller
The Black Tides of Heaven
JY Yang
Engineering Animals: How Life Works
Alan Mcfadzean, Mark Denny
Progress: 125/314pages
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
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

Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy

Tea with the Black Dragon - R.A. MacAvoy

Series: Black Dragon #1

 

Well that was disappointing. It's a little hard to describe why this didn't click with me, but the dialogue just seemed too scattered and dreamlike and the daughter was a total idiot. Sure, she had brains, supposedly, but she was basically TSTL. Oh, and there was a pet death that just sunk my estimation of the book more.

 

Also, the way Long went from task to task as if he had a plan while he really didn't seem to have one based on what happened really annoyed me.

Mort by Terry Pratchett (audiobook)

Mort  - Terry Pratchett, Nigel Planer

Series: Discworld #4

 

Definitely not one of the stronger books in the series, but listening to it was enjoyable enough.

Furry Logic by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher (Abandoned)

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher, Matin Durrani

Abandoned at 85% (page 249 of 294).

 

Thinking about this book makes me angry. Trying to read it made me even angrier, so I'm not going to bother with the rest of it even though it's less than 50 pages.

 

The interesting things about animals mentioned in this book could be fit on maybe five pages; the rest is filler. Or I should say that the things that could be interesting would fit on that many pages because the authors made none of it interesting. The authors didn't write any of their arguments clearly; I had to wade through paragraphs and sometimes pages of inanities before they got to their point. By then I just didn't care. They also dumbed their explanations down to the point that I couldn't really follow them; I was too bored to attend to the page.

 

I can't believe I wasted time on this. If I had bought this book instead of taking it out from the library I'd be tempted to set it on fire.

 

Previous updates:

15 of 294 pages (I didn't think I'd hate it, apparently)

70 of 294 pages (chattiness hadn't improved)

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco (audiobook)

The Girl from the Well - Rin Chupeco

This was a creepy novel with a main character that's a ghost that takes revenge on people who kill children. Unfortunately it devolved into a bunch of rituals but overall it wasn't bad. It did rely on some improbable happenings (Tarq and the smiling man) and a completely incompetent police infrastructure.

Snakes & Ladders Square 100 Poll Winner

We have a clear winner!

 

 

Thanks for everyone who voted! And if your favourite didn't win and you're still interested in my take on it, I do plan on reading them all eventually.

 

Here are the results (for those interested in graphs):

 

 

 

I don't know why the colour coding screwed up. But whatever.

Snakes & Ladders Square 100 Poll

Now, let's see if I can do this right...

 

 

Which book should I read for square 100?
The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley
The Chelsea Strangler by Susanna Gregory
Happy Snak by Nicole Kimberling
Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy
 
Created with PollMaker

 

 

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

 

They said the war would turn us into light.
I wanted to be counted among the heroes who gave us this better world.

 

The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief—no matter what actually happens during combat.

 

Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.

 

Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero—or maybe a villain; in war it’s hard to tell the difference.

 

 

Happy Snak by Nicole Kimberling

 

Gaia Jones is on A-Ki space station for one reason, and it’s not to schmooze the hermaphroditic aliens. She’s out to make a name for herself and her restaurant. Not an easy task in A-Ki’s tightly controlled, rigidly separated society. But her business plan gets complicated when she rushes to the aid of a dying alien—and finds herself the unwilling guardian of a shunned alien ghost named Kenjan. And the new owner of Kenjan’s servant, Wave Walker.

 

Then Kenjan’s grieving lover, the powerful leader of the Kishocha, offers her a dream and a nightmare rolled into one: a brand new store with a strange double purpose—half snack bar, half shrine to his dead beloved. The catch? She must spend the rest of her life there, tending Kenjan the Heretic’s ghost. Or the entire station will be destroyed.

 

 

The Chelsea Strangler

 

In the sapping summer heat of 1665 there is little celebration in London of the naval victory at the Battle of Lowestoft. The King, his retinue and anyone with sufficient means has fled the plague-ridden city, its half-deserted streets echoing to the sound of bells tolling the mounting number of deaths. Those who remain clutch doubtful potions to ward off the relentless disease and dart nervously past shuttered buildings, watchful for the thieves who risk their lives to plunder what has been left behind.

 

At Chelsea, a rural backwater by the river, with fine mansions leased to minor members of the Court avoiding the capital, there are more immediate concerns: the government has commandeered the theological college to house Dutch prisoners of war and there are daily rumours that those sailors are on the brink of escaping. Moreover, a vicious strangler is stalking the neighbourhood.

 

Thomas Chaloner is sent to investigate the murder of the first victim, an inmate of a private sanatorium known as Gorges. There have been thefts there as well, but the few facts he gleans from inmates and staff are contradictory and elusive. He realises, though, that Gorges has stronger links to the prison than just proximity, and that the influx of strangers offers plenty of camouflage for a killer - a killer who has no compunction about turning on those determined to stop his murderous rampage.

 

 

Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy

 

Martha Macnamara knows that her daughter, Elizabeth, is in trouble—she just doesn’t know what kind. Mysterious phone calls from San Francisco at odd hours of the night are the only contact they've had for years. Now, Elizabeth has sent her mother a plane ticket and reserved a room for her at the city’s most luxurious hotel. Yet, since Martha checked in, she still hasn’t been contacted by her daughter, and is feeling lonely, confused, and a little bit worried.
 
But Martha meets someone else at the hotel: Mayland Long, a distinguished-looking and wealthy Chinese man who is drawn to Martha’s good character and ability to pinpoint the truth of a matter. They become close quickly, and he promises to help her find Elizabeth. Before he can solve the mystery, though, Martha herself disappears—and Mayland realizes that he’s in love with her.
 
Now, a man whose true nature and identity is unknown to those around him will embark on a potentially dangerous adventure in a city on the verge of exploding with its own sort of magic as technology spreads through the region that will become known as Silicon Valley.

 

Snakes & Ladders Update Post 9b

Yay for ladders!

 

 

1. Author is a woman: Ruler of the Night by David Morrell [1 die = 3]
4. Published in 2019: Graphene by Les Johnson & Joseph E. Meany [1 die = 1]
5. Published in 2018The World in a Grain by Vince Beiser [2 dice = 8]

13. Author is a manA Necessary End by Peter Robinson [2 dice = 7]

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residenceA Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson [ladder]

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover: The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson [1 die = 6]

76. Set in a world with magic: Jade City by Fonda Lee [1 die = 6]

80. Main character is a man: The Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman [1 die = 2]

82. Genre: urban fantasyLies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch [2 dice = 5]

87. Snake - go back to 57

57. Was published more than 50 years ago: Changing Planes by Ursula K Le Guin [1 die = 5]

62. Cover is more than 50% green"A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton [2 dice = 3]

65. Snake - go back to 52

52. Has a tree or flower on the coverSpinning Silver by Naomi Novik (they're tiny but there are trees on the cover) [2 dice = 10]

62. Cover is more than 50% green: The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan [1 die = 6]

68. Something related to weddings on the cover: The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum [ladder]

98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells + My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Artificial Condition fits the square but neither it nor My Sister, the Serial Killer is long enough to count on its own) [2 dice = 7]

100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

 

Post to follow.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (audiobook)

My Sister, the Serial Killer - Oyinkan Braithwaite, Adepero Oduye

This is one of the times that I'm glad I took a chance on a book I saw floating around my dashboard. The audio is great, and I had a lot of fun with the sisterly relationship in this one, which basically consists of loyalty while still not really liking each other. I mean, Ayoola understandably exasperates Korede but Korede always answers when Ayoola calls her to help take care of a body. You know the joke where they say a friend is someone who will help you move whereas a best friend is someone who will help you to move a body? Apparently a sister falls into the best friend category.

Snakes & Ladders Update Post 9

In which I wait to finish a book that fits a square (Lies Sleeping for urban fantasy) so that I can roll two dice and land on a snake...twice (well the second time I wasn't waiting since I was using up already read books)....then get stuck on a ladder.

 

I resorted to tracing my recent past in red because it got confusing (starts at square 82 and ends at 68).

 

 

1. Author is a woman: Ruler of the Night by David Morrell [1 die = 3]
4. Published in 2019: Graphene by Les Johnson & Joseph E. Meany [1 die = 1]
5. Published in 2018The World in a Grain by Vince Beiser [2 dice = 8]

13. Author is a manA Necessary End by Peter Robinson [2 dice = 7]

20. Set in a country that is not your country of residenceA Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson [ladder]

70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover: The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson [1 die = 6]

76. Set in a world with magic: Jade City by Fonda Lee [1 die = 6]

80. Main character is a man: The Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman [1 die = 2]

82. Genre: urban fantasy: Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch [2 dice = 5]

87. Snake - go back to 57

57. Was published more than 50 years ago: Changing Planes by Ursula K Le Guin [1 die = 5]

62. Cover is more than 50% green: "A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton [2 dice = 3]

65. Snake - go back to 52

52. Has a tree or flower on the cover: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (they're tiny but there are trees on the cover) [2 dice = 10]

62. Cover is more than 50% green: The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan [1 die = 6]

68. Something related to weddings on the cover

 

Um...if you're on a ladder, do you have to read something that fits the square, or can you read any book? Because I'm going to be stuck a long time if I have to read something related to weddings on the cover (too bad I already used Spinning Silver because the coins would have worked).

 

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (audiobook)

Spinning Silver - Naomi Novik, Lisa Flanagan

I'm not sure how to describe this book without getting bogged down in just reciting the plot. There's a moneylender's daughter who catches the eye of a winter fairy lord who wants her to turn silver into gold, but there's also a story about a demon and a Czar and everything gets tangled together and it's still snowing by June, basically. I liked it, and I thought it started off great but the dénouement just seemed to take a little too long. I mean, it wasn't a simple wrap up, which is good, but at one point I thought it was pretty much over and then discovered I still had three more hours to listen to.

 

The narration is good, but I don't think I'd recommend the audiobook because there are several point of view characters, all of whom are written in the first person and with no indication of scene breaks. So it got very confusing at a few points and I'm still not sure I caught everything.

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch

Lies Sleeping - Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Rivers of London #7

 

What can I say about a book this far into a series? I thought it started a bit slow and it meandered a bit throughout, but I still love hanging out with Peter and I'm pretty sure he made me laugh out loud a couple of times. I'm looking forward to listening to the audio version later. And Lesley was very Lesley.

The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum (audiobook)

Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century - Kirsten Potter, Deborah Blum

This was an interesting although somewhat dry look at the early history of American food safety laws. Audio may not have been the best medium for it, since it led to a lot of recitation of facts and encounters and quotes that blurred together. Or at least I found they did. I did find it interesting that Americans (the vocal ones) seem just as against regulation over a hundred years ago as they do now.

 

I could have done without some of the biographical details, but all in all it wasn't bad. Americans might find it easier to follow.

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan (audiobook)

The Tropic of Serpents - Marie Brennan, Kate Reading

Series: The Memoirs of Lady Trent #2

 

This installment of the memoirs of Lady Trent has her trekking off into the jungle to learn more about dragons. I'm not exactly sure why but I think I liked this second book more than the first. I especially found it amusing that she was better able to relate to motherhood when she considered it from a natural history perspective.

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition - Martha Wells

Series: Murderbot #2

 

This was an okay installment in the Murderbot series. It would have worked much better as part of a longer novel, but as a novella it can't really stand on its own. Don't get me wrong; I like Murderbot when they're doing Murderbotty things and running commentary on the stupidity of their humans, but there was just too little happening to build any suspense. The revelation such as it was was predictable and it took half the novella for anything to actually happen. The first book was good, this was meh, so I'm not sure whether I'll bother with the rest.

 

Previous updates:

18 %

"A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton (audiobook)

A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone #1) - Mary Peiffer, Sue Grafton

Series: Kinsey Millhone #1

 

Not a bad mystery, although the romance angle earned a few eyerolls. The main character as a female PI who is actually competent at her job was a nice angle, although I'm not sure if I'll explore the rest of the series.

Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin (audiobook)

Changing Planes: Stories - Ursula K. Le Guin, Eric Beddow

I'm not sure what I was expecting with this book, but this definitely wasn't it. This isn't a story, or even several interconnected stories; it's a series of travel articles about different alternate worlds ("planes") that can be accessed by being uncomfortable in airports and reaching the correct state of mind.