119 Followers
125 Following
tannat

Tannat

Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

The Grace Year
Kim Liggett
The New Voices of Science Fiction
Jamie Wahls, Sarah Pinkser, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, Rebecca Roanhorse, S. Qiouyi Lu, Darcie Little Badger, Kelly Robson, Nino Cipri, Amal El-Mohtar, Sam J. Miller, E. Lily Yu, Alice Sola Kim, Suzanne Palmer, Alexander Weinstein, Rich Larson
Progress: 13%
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

Snakes and Ladders - Update 8

 

(Moonlight Reader's rule post)

 

Squares:

1. Author is a woman: Poulets grillés par Sophie Hénaff (2 dice: 2+6 = 8)

 

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K: Blood Price by Tanya Huff (4+4 = 8)

 

17. Genre: horror: Salvage: a Ghost Story by Duncan Ralston (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long: An Excellent Mystery by Ellis Peters [Cadfael #11] (6+5 = 11)

 

37. Has won an award: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (1 die: 4)

 

41. Characters involved in politics: The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover: The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters (4+3 = 7)

 

57. Was published more than 50 years ago: Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein

I combine this with a couple of short stories from The New Voices of Science Fiction to be sure to hit the 200 page count mark.

 

 

62. Cover is more than 50% green

 

Well if I'm going to combine this with BL-opoly, I'm thinking a visit to the Roman empire is in order...

 

Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein

Podkayne of Mars - Robert A. Heinlein

 

Well, I stopped short of wanting to throw the book across the room but overall it was a disappointment. And a lot of stuff with the bomb just doesn’t make sense to me.

 

It started out promisingly enough, and I thought Poddy’s (Podkayne’s) jocular tone was fun at first. Her mother is even a big shot engineer, so I thought there might actually be some truth in Heinlein’s earlier stuff being better. But boy oh boy does he start showing his true colours as the story progresses. It started with little things, like comments about how all a woman has is her looks, despite any other accomplishments. That scene with the makeup was just cringeworthy. And I’ve honestly never met a teenage girl who was baby crazy, or who judged that her hips made her designed for making babies. Maybe things were different back then, but…I’m thinking it was some authorial projection. I’m not saying she can’t like babies, it’s just the way it’s presented, you know? Up to that point she’d been spaceship crazy. The book presents forgetting about trying for traditionally male careers as “growing up”, to which this engineer offers a middle-fingered salute.

 

Oh, and in the end Poddy’s mother is portrayed as being negligent for having a career instead of spending all her time raising her kids, so between that and the ending…I’d generally recommend taking a hard pass on this one.

 

It’s so depressing to think that Heinlein is still worshipped today as a master of SF.

 

Previous updates:

52 %

Reading progress update: I've read 52%.

Podkayne of Mars - Robert A. Heinlein

Pokayne's opinion of how different languages sound is...interesting...

 

German sounds like a man being choked to death, French sounds like a cat fight, while Spanish sounds like molasses gurgling gently out of a jug. Cantonese—well, think of a man trying to vocalize Bach who doesn’t like Bach very much to start with.

BLopoly Update 5

Bank: $31

 

 

Well, I rolled the same total as for Snakes and Ladders...

 

 

 

Well, Mars is a space word right?

 

 

Rolls:

2020-05-26 Stay-cation 7: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins, 390 pages, $3

2020-05-29 Beach Week 11: Skipped

2020-05-30 Mountain Cabin 18: Icy Clutches by Aaron Elkins, 277 pages, $3

2020-06-03 The Lake House 20: The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters, 497 pages, $5

 

Snakes and Ladders - Update 7

Still pawing along...

 

 

(Moonlight Reader's rule post)

 

Squares:

1. Author is a woman: Poulets grillés par Sophie Hénaff (2 dice: 2+6 = 8)

 

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K: Blood Price by Tanya Huff (4+4 = 8)

 

17. Genre: horror: Salvage: a Ghost Story by Duncan Ralston (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long: An Excellent Mystery by Ellis Peters [Cadfael #11] (6+5 = 11)

 

37. Has won an award: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (1 die: 4)

 

41. Characters involved in politics: The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover: The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters

57. Was published more than 50 years ago

 

Well, if I want to try to keep double counting books for Snakes and Ladders and BL-opoly, I think Podkayne of Mars fits.

 

The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters

The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog  - Elizabeth Peters

Series: Amelia Peabody #7

 

As I stated in my previous update, it may have been a mistake to jump to the seventh book directly after the first. It’s possible that I would have been more invested in the characters and more lenient with some of the narrative twists and turns that presented themselves. But then again, maybe not.

 

The shenanigans in this book included an amnesia subplot and a lot of running around Egypt being attacked by a mysterious enemy. The ending was rather ridiculous. I’m not sure if I’ll be wanting to revisit Peabody’s world or not in the future. The master criminal angle was a bit much.

 

The cat, Anubis, was the highlight of the book.

 

Previous updates:

65 %

Reading progress update: I've read 65%.

The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog  - Elizabeth Peters

Skipping to the seventh book in the series after only having read the first may have been a mistake. But I was trying to combine a book for both Snakes and Ladders and BL-opoly, and this book has both a dog and a domestic animal (the dog) on the cover. And as I recall, the first Amelia Peabody book was alright, and had a character who set his pocket on fire with his pipe (more books should use that scenario).

 

This one appears to be combining an amnesia storyline where a husband forgets his wife of a decade because apparently he's secretly tired of domestic life or something (I'm not entirely clear on that point but it sounded like a silly excuse), a doctor called Schadenfreude who claims that men and women are natural enemies (see silly excuse above), and some master criminal who deals with antiquities who apparently has shown up in a previous book.

 

At least there's a cool cat called Anubis.

Reading progress update: I've read 19%.

L'Enigme des Blancs-Manteaux - Jean-François Parot

Finished chapter 3.

 

Not making much progress, but at least I found some time to read this book for a bit tonight. Of course, that puts me behind on my other books, but oh well. Il faut que j'avance au moins un peu. I have to advance at least a little.

 

All I can say is that it must have been some carnival the year before. And is Isabelle's Nicolas's sister or something? Did her father have a fling with his mother and then have her abandon him in the cemetery?

 

Oh and I have a soupçon about who was in that barrel.

BLopoly Update 4

Bank: $26

 

 

 

Well this is inconvenient. If only I had found a book with a dog on the cover for my domestic animal square in Snakes & Ladders. I guess I will be taking turns for squares between these two games, unless someone can suggest a book with a dog on the cover? I hate to keep skipping squares in this game.

 

Rolls:

2020-05-26 Stay-cation 7: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins, 390 pages, $3

2020-05-29 Beach Week 11: Skipped

2020-05-30 Mountain Cabin 18: Icy Clutches by Aaron Elkins, 277 pages, $3

2020-06-03 The Lake House 20

 

Update:

Maybe I can jump ahead and read this:

 

 

 

I've only read the first Amelia Peabody but you don't have to read them in order, right?

Icy Clutches by Aaron Elkins

Icy Clutches - Aaron Elkins

Series: The Gideon Oliver Mysteries #6

 

I picked this up on a whim a few months ago when it was on sale and I’m glad that I can say that I don’t regret it. Gideon Oliver is a forensic anthropologist who sometimes gets called out on police cases but this time he just stumbles into a case while he’s accompanying his wife as the plus one/spouse on a training trip to a remote lodge in Alaska. Apparently he forgot to bring any books (silly man) and there are fewer trails around the place than he expected so he really lucks in when they discover some human remains on the glacier. And then a modern murder happens, naturally (he doesn’t have to examine those bones). Could they be related, he wonders?

 

Anyway, this is basically a cozy mystery with nice banter and a surprising lack of things that drive me up the wall. Gideon is completely in love with his wife to the point that it was almost too sugary, but mostly I found it cute. It was a nice break from amateur detectives with dysfunctional relationships, anyway. I have another one of these that I picked up on sale even though I hadn’t read the this one yet, so I guess I’ll be keeping an eye out for any additional sales.

 

Previous updates:

56 % (Cusinart joke)

7 % (I think I found the victim)

 

Oh what the heck, I'll reproduce the Cusinart joke here:

There was a way to use bone weights to find out whether a set of bones had come from the same person, but you needed the right bones, and Gideon didn’t have them. Of course, with Owen’s rangers out searching for more, there was a possibility that they’d turn up, and then a scale would come in handy. But not this scale.

 

“Actually, Arthur, I’d need something a little more accurate. This—”

 

“Accurate?” Arthur cried. “Good heavens, man, this is a Cusinart!”

 

Admittedly I'm not that familiar with 1990 scale technology but just the idea of using an uncalibrated kitchen scale for this...

Reading progress update: I've read 56%.

Icy Clutches - Aaron Elkins

There was a way to use bone weights to find out whether a set of bones had come from the same person, but you needed the right bones, and Gideon didn’t have them. Of course, with Owen’s rangers out searching for more, there was a possibility that they’d turn up, and then a scale would come in handy. But not this scale.

 

“Actually, Arthur, I’d need something a little more accurate. This—”

 

“Accurate?” Arthur cried. “Good heavens, man, this is a Cusinart!”

 

I can't really explain why I find this exchange so amusing, but there you have it. There are lots of great little snippets of dialogue in this book.

Snakes and Ladders - Update 6

Well, I'm halfway there.

 

 

(Moonlight Reader's rule post)

 

Squares:

1. Author is a woman: Poulets grillés par Sophie Hénaff (2 dice: 2+6 = 8)

 

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K: Blood Price by Tanya Huff (4+4 = 8)

 

17. Genre: horror: Salvage: a Ghost Story by Duncan Ralston (2 dice: 3+6 = 9)

 

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long: An Excellent Mystery by Ellis Peters [Cadfael #11] (6+5 = 11)

 

37. Has won an award: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (1 die: 4)

 

41. Characters involved in politics: The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson

50. Has a domestic animal on the cover

 

That should be doable...

 Brat Farrar - Josephine Tey  

 

Wait is that domestic as in domesticated or domestic as in a pet?

The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson

The Division Bell Mystery - Ellen Wilkinson

This seemed to start off a bit slow just because it seemed to take a while to establish the characters and cover a lot of the governmental stuff. But either it picked up or I got more into it because the later chapters seemed to go by much more smoothly. The mystery is good and interesting overall although I think the biggest selling point of the book is that it was written by a former MP back in the early 1930s and she peppers the book with observations on the government and how women MPs were treated. I liked how the relationship between the elected people and the civil servants was portrayed as well.

 

Previous updates:

65 %

47 %

Year to date reading summary

I debated whether to post a book summary, but it seems so obvious that all you booklikers help me read more so I thought I'd share some pretty graphs. As you can see, my numbers of books skyrocketed in May. I started posting on booklikes again sometime in April.

 

 

Of course, it's not quite as impressive when you look at the number of pages read. Basically, I read more shorter books. In May, my average book length was 288 pages.

 

A reading summary wouldn't be complete without some information on genres and authors.


 

My average rating for May was 3.6 stars, but this histogram is for the whole year from January to May.

 

Included just for curiosity's sake, here is the spread of publication years I've read so far this year.

 

I continue to pursue a losing battle with my growing Mount TBR.

 

 

And these graphs are just for May!

 

 

 

 

Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson

Europe In Autumn - Dave Hutchinson, Graham Rowat

Abandoned @ 19 %

 

This just isn't holding my attention.

Reading progress update: I've read 65%.

The Division Bell Mystery - Ellen Wilkinson

Lady Bell-Clinton pulled a face at Robert as he opened the door for the retreat of the ladies. It was tiresome to have to go and be a lady in the drawing-room when she wanted to be an M.P. and remain for the talk. The House of Commons unfits a woman M.P. for the smaller observances of the social routine that is prescribed for the Lady Bell-Clintons.

 

I vote all the women MPs should have a houseparty with only one male MP and so he's left on his own when the ladies leave and talk business.