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shanaqui

shanaqui

Joined December 2016

Eternal dabbler: BA Hons (Eng Lit), MA (Med Lit), BSc Hons (Nat Sci/Bio). Crochets, cross stitches, blogs at breathesbooks.com. Occasionally sleeps.
blurb
shanaqui
The Burning Page | Genevieve Cogman

I'm being bad about adding my reads to Litsy at the moment. I just steamed through rereading the first two books; they're so fun and fast to read, I could probably do them in one sitting if I didn't persist in having work to do...

review
shanaqui
Mehso-so

Not as innovative as it wants to think it is, and lacking in evidence for its points. Discusses the “murder“ of Tutankhamun and completely ignores the evidence of the recent CT scan that there was no such thing.

There are some interesting speculations and a reasonably thorough going-over of the evidence, but also big gaps.

shanaqui Hm: the book cover didn't make this clear because it talks about being new and revolutionary, but the text was originally written before then and seems to be unedited in this 2019 edition. Nonetheless, I still have qualms. My full review talks more about this: https://breathesbooks.com/2019/11/15/review-akhenaten/ 3d
13 likes1 comment
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shanaqui

This is so much my thing it might as well have come off the shelf dancing with pompoms and flashing my name in lights! Got started on it already. Back cover promises insight into whether Tutankhamen was murdered, which I thought I remembered had been discredited... But we'll see, we'll see. I don't know that much about excavations at Amarna despite my interest in the period, so that first introductory chapter was really helpful context.

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shanaqui
Quick Curtain | Alan Melville
Mehso-so

Oh no, so silly. There's some good dialogue, but it all got a bit Too Much for me. Especially that final chapter. Granted, I am not often a fan of humourous books so take my mehness with a pinch of salt. I imagine it would have been quite the breath of fresh air among the serious detective novels, good and bad, of the Golden Age.

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shanaqui
The Sparrow: A Novel | Mary Doria Russell
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Turns out this is a rather appropriate year to reread this book, though I'm starting late...

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shanaqui
Quick Curtain | Alan Melville

Hmm. This is more than half billed as a comedy, so I suspect it will largely not be my thing. Already irritated with the jettisoning of all sensible police procedure -- obviously Melville's not interested in it and that's fine for him, but very irritating for someone who prefers my mysteries to hang together before you add comedy.

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shanaqui
Pickpick

The title/subtitle probably don't help this book. In reality, it's a thoughtful examination of various cases where illness was profound and difficult to cope with, but had no biological cause. O'Sullivan sounds like an ideal doctor, patient and understanding of the true distress caused by disorders people sometimes dismiss as “all in the mind“. We could do with more of that attitude.

shanaqui I find it a little superficial at times -- surely the choices are not always this clear -- but it makes sense. I feel that the people who most need to read about this are not the ones who will (though perhaps I'm an exception, as I *know* I am at risk of conversion disorders of this sort!). 1w
10 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
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Weather to stay inside reading in! We went out to impulsively get my hair cut shorter, but I was so glad to get home and warm and dry. I read one of the author's other books; this is super similar in format but has some different case studies. It is fascinating what our brains can do to our bodies.

Clare-Dragonfly That certainly doesn‘t look safe! Glad you are home and dry (and surrounded by bunnies?) now. 2w
12 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
Lord Roworth's Reward | Carola Dunn
Pickpick

Cute! Never particularly surprising, but enjoyable and sweet.

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shanaqui
Lord Roworth's Reward | Carola Dunn

Folks around me were dissing romances a lot, so I made sure to pick up a bunch from the library. I enjoy Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple books, so these were an obvious pick. Felix is a ninny, Sophia sounds like a snooty bitch, and my rubbishness at geopolitics is showing. Love Felix with the kid, though.

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shanaqui
Mehso-so

This gets really, really unfocused at times. At least half the book is about stuff that might *maybe* have influenced the Lewis Chessmen, if the theory Brown likes about their origin is correct -- which would otherwise be irrelevant. There's some interesting stuff, but it's short on Lewis Chessmen-focused facts.

(And okay, perhaps there's little to tell, but I would like much closer examination of each INDIVIDUAL chess piece, at least!)

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shanaqui
Pickpick

I think the format got a bit confused at times, but it was an interesting choice and it mostly worked out!

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shanaqui
The Steerswoman | M. S. Rosemary Kirstein
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Biscuit has examined my book haul and declares it good (and gave me permission to buy myself a copy of the first book in this series too). #BunniesofLitsy

Glad to get the Kirstein books -- never yet finished the series but I know from reading the first book it is a great concept.

Books were obtained from Portal Bookshop in York. New queer/SFF store, lovely folks, nice selection both new and secondhand.

Bklover Hi Biscuit!❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2w
Megabooks What a cutie!! ❤️❤️ 2w
Reviewsbylola Biscuit is ADORABLE. 2w
See All 7 Comments
rubyslippersreads ❤️🐰❤️ 2w
shanaqui @Megabooks @Bklover @Reviewsbylola @rubyslippersreads Biscuit accepts your praise graciously! She is a cutie and has me wrapped right round her paw. 2w
rabbitprincess Awwwww the best photo! I probably say that about all your rabbit photos, but it's always true 😉 She looks so adventurous, ready to explore new worlds in books ♥️♥️🐰 2w
shanaqui @rabbitprincess She's a curious little bun, always the first to stick her nose into something new! 2w
28 likes7 comments
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shanaqui

Hmm, interesting format! Starts with the trial, carefully omitting the name of the accused.

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shanaqui
Mehso-so

Kinda meh. Just felt a bit superficial. Not a terrible reading experience, just not especially good either.

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shanaqui
Ancillary Sword | Ann Leckie
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Pickpick

Just finished rereading the whole trilogy again. ❤❤❤ Hard to put into words how much I love these books -- at least in THIS few words.

Here's a pic of when Eclair and Biscuit fell asleep cwtched up on me, instead. #BunniesofLitsy Good thing I have ebooks on my phone...

Gezemice So cute! They look almost like my new bunnies, Gwen and Midna! 3w
shanaqui @Gezemice They're a year old now! Who authorised that??? 3w
Gezemice Hmm authorised.. I don‘t know but it is awesome. Mine are only four months old but are huge already! 6 pounds each! We think they will be at least 10 pounds... 3w
Clare-Dragonfly So cute! 🐰❤️🐰❤️ 3w
15 likes4 comments
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shanaqui
Untitled | Unknown
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Sounds awesome, I'm in. Won't read exclusively non-fic, probably, but a good opportunity to peruse my backlog!

@rsteve388 @Clwojick #NFNov

Clwojick 🙌 🙌 🙌 3w
14 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
Untitled | Unknown
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♥️ Yorkshire, UK (but I am Welsh, from Cardiff).
? 30.
? Meaning how one affords it? I'm head of support at beeminder.com and a contractor for Habitica.com support.
? Married.
? They/them/their.
? I always use this. It's from Michael Scott's Culai Heritage books and is probably from Irish "seanchai", meaning "storyteller". Don't know if I'd like the books now, but it's been my username for at least 15 years now!

#gettingtoknowyou

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shanaqui
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Busy week with not much reading because our custom made rabbit hutch arrived and was an absolute pain in the butt to shift up into our flat. But there it is! It is taller than I am...

You can just see Hulk and a white blob that is Eclair, just beginning to explore! #BunniesofLitsy

rather_be_reading awwwwwwww 1mo
Linsy Oh my gosh, that‘s so cute!!! 🐰 1mo
Alfoster Love it!👏👏👏 1mo
Clare-Dragonfly Wow! That is fancy! 1mo
Gezemice Wow! Very fancy! 3w
22 likes5 comments
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shanaqui
Pickpick

Received to review from Tor!

This went wholly different places than I expected, though not in a way that could really be foreshadowed. It was okay, but I wasn't in love with it; I did enjoy that it is clearly, unapologetically queer, with Latinx main characters.

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shanaqui
Weekend at Thrackley | Alan Melville
Pickpick

Rather uncosy for a Golden Age crime novel! This one isn't really a murder mystery, which makes it an odd duck in this series of reissues as well. Enjoyable, though reliant on coincidence and insta-love in the way that Golden Age fiction could be.

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shanaqui
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"...by all the rules of infectious diseases, when the Black Death was finished it should have disappeared."

What idiocy is this? Animal reservoirs. Endemic infections like measles, chicken pox, polio. Reintroduction from the same source again. Why are these authors so utterly wrong if one is allegedly an epidemiologist???

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shanaqui

The authors assert that there is no panic or mystery about HIV, and that it is completely understood and under control, which makes me think they're living under a rock. Or just don't actually know what they're talking about, which I'll confess is my suspicion about this whole book, despite my attempts to be fair.

shanaqui @Clare-Dragonfly If nothing else (and there is a lot else) it makes me want to write them letters asking when they solved the issue of why TB and AIDs tend to co-infect and make each other worse, and why they haven't published the proof... As just one example from my personal knowledge of why they are wrong on HIV. 1mo
12 likes2 comments
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shanaqui

Interesting enough so far, but it wanders quite a long way from the chessmen themselves. It's relevant, e.g. in discussing the material used, but... some of this doesn't feel so necessary.

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shanaqui
Dreadful Company | Vivian Shaw
Pickpick

Reread complete! Still in love with all of it. Still adore Greta calling Corvin an edgelord.

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shanaqui
Pickpick

Not as good as The Emerald Planet, I think. Less clear, and less... boundlessly enthusiastic? It's been a while since I read TEP, but I was so enthused by it, and much less so for this. It has plenty of interesting info, don't get me wrong... but the enthusiasm I hoped for wasn't there as strongly, and honestly that's most of why I read it.

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shanaqui
Fire in the Thatch | E.C.R. Lorac
Pickpick

Aaaah, I loved the character of the victim as described in the first couple of chapters, so I got surprisingly invested in this one. Lorac's good at a slow unfolding of the mystery that ends up satisfying anyway; definitely more in the procedural line, detective-wise.

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shanaqui
Unnatural Death | Dorothy Leigh Sayers
Pickpick

I've probably told the story about when I had my gallbladder out: I had a panic attack while coming out of anaesthesia. The nurses could not calm me down and I was hyperventilating so badly my blood oxygenation was dangerously low. So they called my mother in, and she put on an audiobook... I don't think it was Unnatural Death, but it was one narrated by Ian Carmichael. That's why this series is so comforting for me.

It worked this time too.

shanaqui Not that I needed comforting now as badly as I did back then! 1mo
8 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
Unnatural Death | Dorothy Leigh Sayers

Rereading because I feel bleh. Dorothy Sayers is always good for that! I never think of this as my favourite, but it has so many good bits with Miss Climpson, and the dialogue between Peter and Parker.

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shanaqui
Bailedbailed

I read this about ten years ago, and I keep vaguely intending to go back, read more of the series, etc. Then I reread the first two chapters of this and remembered why Harry annoyed me the first time. Racing a woman to the door because you have to open it for her isn't ~chivalry~, Harry, it's being a jerk. Open the door for everyone, and accept having it opened for you; that's just politeness.

Gezemice I read the firs four then I got tired of Harry‘s self-aggrandizing and constant whining. 1mo
13 likes2 comments
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shanaqui
Pickpick

Ooof. Off this book goes. Atlanta can never catch a break, but at least they have Kate and Curran.

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shanaqui
The Red House Mystery | A. A. Milne
Pickpick

It's funny to think of the author of Winnie the Pooh writing a mystery novel! It's not a bad crack at it, either. It doesn't stand out as being especially good, but it's enjoyable enough and I do enjoy that the Watson character isn't *too* silly.

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shanaqui

This is very sweet so far! I'm rooting for them, and also hoping they don't do anything stupid like stop communicating. >_>

(I hate the trope where everything goes wrong because people don't talk to each other. I've been with my wife for 14 years, married for three; we have never argued. That works because we COMMUNICATE. Healthy adult relationships ftw.)

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shanaqui
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I went "shopping" on my own bookshelves today. ? These were books I had left at my parents' house, and want to read or reread soon. I loved The Paradise War trilogy as a kid, I do hope it hasn't been visited by the suck fairy.

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shanaqui

So far this is more a biography of Mary Shelley than anything. The science is there, but mostly in the background; it's more about the formational influences. Not as interesting as Harkup's book on Agatha Christie's poison plots, so far, but there's time!

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shanaqui
October Man | Ben Aaronovitch
Pickpick

I found this surprisingly meh? Part of the disappointment is just that it's so like a Peter Grant book, even though it's supposed to be a different character! So much of it was predictable, even down to the way the narrator expressed himself. It was enjoyable in and of itself, but... still.

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shanaqui

So far they've presented no proof, but I think I see some of the angles of attack. For example, they've noted that the first burial recorded as being due to plague in this town they're using as a case study was on its own, followed by 11 days without any burials marked as being due to plague. The incubation period of bubonic plague is only a few days, and pneumonic as little as a single day. Where did it go for 11 days?

(Cont in comments...)

shanaqui However:

1) The modern strain of Yersinia pestis is not the same as the medieval strain, so we can't draw too many conclusions about that.

2) The first death may have been from something else and attributed to plague from fear. There may have been other unrecorded deaths in between, possibly the first person to die was isolated and the next person to be infected only developed the disease days after they were buried, and had a long illness.
2mo
shanaqui ...Needless to say, if they're going to argue from the incubation period, I'm going to be sceptical.

They've also listed out symptoms which were reported, which sound EXACTLY like pneumonic and bubonic plague. These are the same disease, presenting differently depending on where it is localised in the body. Septicaemic plague is also possible and can account for even more of the variation seen in the plague.
2mo
11 likes2 comments
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shanaqui

Seanan Mcguire posted on twitter that one of her opinions she will never change her mind about is the idea that the Black Death was not due to bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis). I asked her for a source and she referred me to this book.

I'm not impressed by the idea of referring to a disease as a serial killer (it's true in a figurative sort of way. sure, but agency is totally lacking in the disease!), but I'll give it a chance.

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shanaqui
Pickpick

It's so much fun seeing more of the Lilywhite Boys. It is also great to read a cute ace romance. And Christiana is trans, as well! The romance is adorable, but the Lilywhites kind of steal the show. That defenestration scene, omg.

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shanaqui
Mehso-so

Lovely book full of colour reproductions, but more a vague tour through art and history than something directed, so it felt very vague.

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shanaqui
The Documents in the Case | Dorothy L. Sayers
Pickpick

A fascinating format. Lots to side-eye when it comes to Agatha Milsom, whose institutionalisation is never shown to us directly. Hard to judge if she's actually mentally ill to a great degree, or (more likely) mostly just inconvenient.

I do love that the resolution leans so hard on chemistry, though! Bit rambling as it gets toward the solution, but overall entertaining.

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shanaqui
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Okay, I don't need much encouragement. 😆 Here's the latest progress pic of the #bookblanket. That's our queen size bed it is spread out on. Nearest the camera is the start of the year.

(Quick project description: for each book I read, I make a hexagon. The colour of the center tells you the genre, the outer ring tells you whether I bought the book this year, in 2017-18, in 2011-16, or got it from the library/other.)

@rabbitprincess TADA!

llwheeler It looks awesome! 2mo
Samplergal Great idea! And beautiful! 2mo
rabbitprincess WOW! That is amazing!!! 2mo
See All 6 Comments
AnneCecilie That‘s so cool. It looks gorgeous 2mo
ljuliel Great idea, and nice work. Are you going to quit at year‘s end, or keep going til it‘s the size you want? 2mo
shanaqui Thanks guys! 😊😊

@ljuliel Just to the end of the year -- it's already a very good lap blanket, and I'm pretty sure with my projected reading speed, I'll get to a good size at the end!
2mo
23 likes6 comments
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shanaqui
Brightfall | Jaime Lee Moyer
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They're not for me, they're for Norman and Hogglestock! Well, I'll read them while putting my feet up on him...?

The blanket is my #bookblanket! It's getting big, around 150 motifs. Shall I post a full progress pic?

rabbitprincess Yes to progress pic and YES! to more BLCCs 😄 2mo
16 likes1 comment
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shanaqui

I'm enjoying this so far, though the bits on the fly-bys are quite similar -- it must have been fascinating to watch and follow at the time, and especially exciting to work on, but it loses some of the wow when it's just words on a page.

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shanaqui
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He says autism may be caused by parental neglect. This is Bettelheim's theory and has been disproven -- Bettelheim's cure rates were proven fraudulent by 2000 at the latest. God, this author is irresponsible.

Clare-Dragonfly 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️😡 2mo
13 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
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This is from 2005, and refers to a chemist who happened to be female as a "woman chemist". Temptation to bail, increasing...

Megabooks Well, I‘d hate to think that there are woman pharmacists or woman engineers. Oh, there are? You mean women can do anything but pee standing (easily). Wow...🙄 2mo
11 likes1 comment
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shanaqui

Sold as a history of poison, but kinda more like a biography of elements which have been used as poison. Other poisons aren't even in the contents, so no digitalin here. Very dry so far; might bail.

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shanaqui
Mehso-so

Meh? I don't think I enjoy John Dickson Carr's books, really. The locked room mystery thing he does is just so contrived and constrained, and then everything around it feels like melodrama.

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shanaqui
Smallbone Deceased | Michael Gilbert
Pickpick

Since @rabbitprincess mentioned enjoying it, I picked this one up first. I have some questions about the series editor's claims of this being THE best crime book ever, but it's an enjoyable read. The real killer is produced with a sort of TADA once you've got confused suspecting everyone else, of course, and there is a convenient left-handed criminal... But like Sayers in Murder Must Advertise, Gilbert writes entertainingly about his home turf.

rabbitprincess Yeah, I think it certainly deserved being on the list of top 100 crime novels, but I wouldn't call it the best crime novel ever. And I loved how delightfully gruesome the discovery of the body was -- just the right level of EWW. 😝 2mo
12 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
Death In Captivity | Michael Gilbert
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I have been trying to ignore lists and guilt trips about "you should be reading X" or "you shouldn't buy new books till you read X number of old ones" (that kind of thing has been killing my love of reading), so today I dropped by Waterstones to grab a pile of British Library Crime Classics, which always seem to suit my mood!

rabbitprincess Smallbone Deceased was great! 2mo
shanaqui @rabbitprincess I took that as a recommendation on where to start, and am now halfway through it! 😁 2mo
15 likes2 comments