Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
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

I've been promising to read and review this for Postcrossing's blog, and somehow it ended up in my hand today, so why not. It's certainly a fast read so far -- something about the letter format makes it fly by.

7 likes1 stack add
blurb
shanaqui
The Grief of Stones | Katherine Addison

So glad I got a review copy! Though I'm juggling too many things at once and reading really slowly, this is my #BookSpin (or was it my #DoubleSpin...) so I hope to finish it this weekend.

blurb
shanaqui
Along the Saltwise Sea | A. Deborah Baker

Had to grab this after enjoying Over the Woodward Wall so unexpectedly much! Looking forward to it, though gah, today was not a day for reading. At all...

review
shanaqui
Language of Roses | Heather Rose Jones
Pickpick

Received to review!

This one was lovely, weaving together a couple of different fairytale strands to flesh out a Beauty and the Beast retelling which doesn't quite follow the traditional lines. One of the main characters is aromantic and asexual, which is well-handled.

15 likes1 stack add
blurb
shanaqui
Language of Roses | Heather Rose Jones

Received this to review a couple of weeks ago and just digging in. It's a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and I thiiiink I see where things are going to go. I'm here for it!

review
shanaqui
Over the Woodward Wall | A. Deborah Baker
Pickpick

I loved Middlegame, but wasn't sure if I was interested in this spin-off. Turns out I was! It shares a fair bit of DNA with Cat Valente's Fairyland books, with a sliiightly less knowing narrator. On finishing it, I was irritated not to have the second book; I'd got really into it.

Clare-Dragonfly Similar to the Fairyland books?! I‘m sold! 5d
18 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
shanaqui
Dreadful Company | Vivian Shaw
post image
Pickpick

Welp, finally got a line! #BookSpinBingo I've pretty much abandoned my hopes of getting more than last time, but I should manage two lines, and probably three. I still need to read The Grief of Stones, so... to be honest, I might still manage four. 😅

It was nice to reread Dreadful Company, but I think this trilogy needs to wait a while before I can reread it again, lest it run out of magic.

blurb
shanaqui

Hm. That was most of a chapter of reconstruction, without telling me where the evidence comes from, which is not reassuring...

blurb
shanaqui

I'm barely reading at the moment, with my exams coming up and causing stress-stress-stress, but I am enjoying this in small doses -- Cahokia's not an area I know much about at all.

If anyone has recs for books about/adjacent to archaeology, I'd love that. I've read a fair amount in that genre in the past, but probably easiest to just rec me stuff anyway and I'll sift through for stuff I haven't read!

review
shanaqui
post image
Pickpick

This was just the sort of thing I wanted right now during my exam revision period; I don't have the brainspace to get absorbed in people's emotional ups and downs too much, I just want to read about interesting things. I really liked the section on the family's letters, which was not what I expected from this book... really wished it would discuss the Gawain-manuscript or something instead of Beowulf like everyone else does.

shanaqui #BookSpinBingo progress continues. I know I said I'd like to get more lines than last month, but with my exams coming that might be a silly idea. 2w
16 likes1 comment
review
shanaqui
post image
Pickpick

I actually got this soon after it came out, because I liked Fortey's book that was heavy on geology way more than I ever expected to like anything about geology, and then didn't touch it until now. Oops. It's gentle, curious and exploratory; not everything was of interest to me, but it was interesting to poke around into the corners of the woodland.

I think this is about where I stand with #BookSpinBingo...

review
shanaqui
Mehso-so

I found this very anecdotal, rather than based as strongly on studies as I'd prefer. It makes some very good points, but I'd like to see the numbers that would back it up, and make it harder for people to ignore. It also felt like it kind of meandered from stuff that you would directly peg as being to do with laziness.

Nonetheless, a lot of it rings true for me -- I'm not saying Price is wrong.

review
shanaqui
Bitter | Akwaeke Emezi
post image
Pickpick

I've slowed down a bit in my reading, but I have made some progress. I didn't like Bitter as much as Pet, and it feels more... relevant, very close to the bone. It's a very quick, compulsive read, though.

#BookSpinBingo

blurb
shanaqui
Bitter | Akwaeke Emezi

Not entirely sure what I think of this right now. I remember liking Pet a lot, but this isn't clicking with me as well, though I couldn't tell you why.

review
shanaqui
post image
Pickpick

And done! I didn't get into it at first, and then I got to the chapter about the cathedral in Mexico City and that really piqued my attention. Agrawal does explain things well!

#BookSpinBingo progress, slow and steady. I'm currently reading Hidden Hands, The Wood for the Trees, Dreadful Company, Bitter and Ancillary Mercy, so I'm a bit all over the shop... but it's all what I planned.

blurb
shanaqui
Dreadful Company | Vivian Shaw

Anxiety's bad, and this book is Dreadful Company.

...Yes, I know, that joke was bad and this book is actually great company. Okay, Greta's in a bit of trouble right now, but having read it before, even that's quite fun and familiar.

blurb
shanaqui

Spent a good part of my lunch break infodumping at my wife about the subsidence in Mexico City and how it affected the cathedral there, because that's what I just read about.

That's how you can tell I'm enjoying a book! (And it's okay, my wife doesn't mind.)

review
shanaqui
Mehso-so

Not much new for me here, but at times it broke into surprising levels of technical detail (like the specific receptors used by particular strains of influenza in order to enter cells). I don't know if I'd recommend it: it's quite dry, and yet the technical details I craved were few and far between. It leans more toward descriptive history.

I feel like it needed a more thorough rewrite given the current pandemic, because that dated it very fast.

review
shanaqui
The Magpie Lord | KJ Charles
post image
Pickpick

I love the way Lucien is... forceful, in a way he has that arrogant confidence of his breeding... but he also very fiercely cares about everything that his family did not. He might pin Stephen to a wall, but only as long as he really wants to be there.

First square for #BookSpinBingo! I've got books on the go for that whole column, oops.

blurb
shanaqui
The Magpie Lord | KJ Charles
post image

I've been planning an epic reread of K.J. Charles' work in order, so I've started on this. Very comforting and familiar, even as the stuff happening in the story is horrible. 😅

I've set up my #BookSpinBingo card, as usual... I might try to go for last month's six bingos again -- I've placed the TBR signs to point their way to the 3 verticals, 2 horizontals, and 1 diagonal I've marked out as possible.

Maybe I could even get the left vertical...?

Nutmegnc Great idea!! 4w
14 likes1 comment
review
shanaqui
Pickpick

If you're familiar with Icelandic sagas, this is probably especially delightful: Tolmie captures something of the rhythm and the language of them (albeit of course in English, but you might be familiar with it even from translations), and the way of thinking. It felt so familiar, like surely it must really be part of that tradition, right down to the interpolations by a later Christian author. I enjoyed it a lot.

blurb
shanaqui
Untitled | Unknown
post image

Here's my list for May! As usual, if I read a book in a series for a slot, and it wasn't the end of the series, I've simply filled the slot with the next book. The circled letters tell you what months I've read that number in before.

Clearly I need to get to number 4 sometime soon. 😅 It's looking a bit neglected.

#BookSpin

mrsmarch When I read a book from a slot, I refill it and then try to rearrange a few so the “refill” ends up on another number. I‘m sure there‘s no right or better way to do it, but I do think your 4 slot is developing some bad juju 😂 1mo
10 likes1 comment
review
shanaqui
post image
Pickpick

All of this series tends toward the personal and slices of life over big meaningful events, but this is probably the most of all. I found it very restful and hopeful, as Chambers' work usually is.

And that's my sixth line (three verticals, two horizontals, one diagonal)! #BookSpinBingo

I will never be this successful again, I'm sure. 😆

shanaqui Thank you, @TheAromaofBooks, for running this challenge. It's pretty amazing how much progress I made on backlogged books this month! 1mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! Fabulous month!!! 4w
13 likes2 comments
review
shanaqui
Strange Practice | Vivian Shaw
post image
Pickpick

This reread was like a warm comforting bath for me; it's getting a little over-familiar (I probably shouldn't reread it again too soon), but I'm not constituentially capable of skipping it and skipping straight to the second and third, which I've read less often. I adore Ruthven and Fass.

And here we go, 5th line of the #BookSpinBingo.

review
shanaqui
Nemesis Games (Expanse, #5) | James S.A. Corey
post image
Pickpick

I found it interesting that only now do we get these perspectives that we see in this book. Also holy crap it blows the status quo right outta the water.

And that's my fourth bingo... #BookSpinBingo

Nutmegnc Great job!! 1mo
11 likes1 comment
review
shanaqui
The Bone Orchard | Sara A. Mueller
post image
Pickpick

Received to review! This one makes the reader do a lot of work; it did pay off in the end, but I wasn't sure during the journey.

And this gives me my third #BookSpinBingo line. I still hope to get a 4th, 5th and 6th line tomorrow (by finishing Nemesis Games, reading the whole of Strange Practice, and then if I can reading the Becky Chambers)... but I feel I've done pretty great.

blurb
shanaqui
Nemesis Games (Expanse, #5) | James S.A. Corey

You know, when I complained about Cibola Burn being a little too much like the status quo not changing at all, I didn't expect the answer to be... well... this. Holy cow.

blurb
shanaqui
Nemesis Games (Expanse, #5) | James S.A. Corey

Wait... they're all splitting up for this book??? No. :| Not allowed.

(This isn't a spoiler, it happens in the first 50 pages.)

review
shanaqui
Dangerous Spirits | Jordan L Hawk
Pickpick

Arghhh! Relationship advice Dalek moment: comm-un-i-cate! Comm-un-i-cate!

This was fun, but frustrating in the sense that I always get on badly with lies and stupid misunderstandings between couples in a romance. I get that it's a powerful driver of conflict, but it just isn't enjoyable to read about for me. I do enjoy Henry, Vincent, Lizzie and Jo, all the same, and here's hoping the third book features less by way of idiocy.

blurb
shanaqui
Dangerous Spirits | Jordan L Hawk

The book more or less opens with Henry stupidly lying to Vincent, and I don't like it. Very difficult to force myself onwards.

review
shanaqui
post image
Pickpick

I did enjoy this, but I've only got one book left already purchased and I won't buy more if Colin's character doesn't improve. Honestly he was half the villain of the piece to me. Wtf.

Anyway, here we go, another step towards my smorgasbord of intended bingos this time. #BookSpinBingo

blurb
shanaqui
This post contains spoilers
show me

Wow, I'm a bit over halfway through this and not keen at ALL on Colin's attitude. “I must protect you, we can't be equal partners anymore, I'm your husband and I can force you to stop.“ Wtf?

review
shanaqui
post image
Pickpick

I have so many questions, and so few answers. Whoa.

And there we go: second line for this month's #BookSpinBingo! Because when I over-achieve I REALLY overachieve, I'm aiming for six lines in all: three verticals, two horizontals, and a diagonal. It's a bit ambitious still but pretty sure I can do it.

Nutmegnc Such good reads!! 1mo
15 likes1 comment
blurb
shanaqui

In a way, I'm annoyed I took so long to read this... especially with my mum and my wife both giving dark hints about it. It's no surprise that I think it's great -- it's N.K. Jemisin! But it IS kinda dark, and I haven't always been in a great headspace for that. So I don't really regret leaving this for when I can enjoy it!

Just discovered who the narrator is. Interesting...

17 likes1 stack add
review
shanaqui
post image
Pickpick

This book is very much about British colonial history, because much of the development of curries (from Collingham's chosen perspective, at least) happened in reaction to British rule.

I haven't had a lot of curry, especially not traditionally cooked curries, so I sometimes struggled to imagine the dishes and tastes she was explaining, but now I have some new things to try.

Moving toward my second line in #BookSpinBingo!

blurb
shanaqui
The Bone Orchard | Sara A. Mueller

Originally received this to review, but I think it's out now? Argh, self. Anyway, I'm just starting to get stuck into it and figure out the world; it definitely expects you to piece things together yourself, which is always fun.

blurb
shanaqui

I took a break from this series for a while, because I was getting a bit irritated with it... and it turns out now was exactly right to come back. I'm definitely in the mood for Colin, Emily, their bets with each other, and a side of Cécile. 💙

review
shanaqui
Pickpick

And tada, I met my goals for my mini-readathon! This was a reread, and I still loved it; I want to reread the last couple of pages tomorrow morning and sit with them a bit, because I think it's beautifully expressed stuff about doing what you can in the face of events too big for one person to stop.

mrsmarch I just put two and two together and realized you‘re the Habitican behind the Legendary Book Club! 🤪 🧙🏻‍♀️ 📚 1mo
shanaqui @mrsmarch I am indeed! Or the current runner of the guild at least (it was originally created by deilann, but life took him away from Habitica for a long while), and the runner of the capricious monthly readalong. 😁 1mo
11 likes2 comments
review
shanaqui
Dragon Physician | Joyce Chng
Mehso-so

Went a bit too fast over big earth-shaking stuff, but there were some intriguing ideas (like the trans folks forming a Rookery together, and mostly just the idea of a dragon vet).

I feel like it could've been a fascinating novel, or with less scope a solid novella, but as it was it felt rushed.

review
shanaqui
Subtle Blood | KJ Charles
post image
Pickpick

Dang, that's a heck of a ride. I love how much Will and Kim love each other, even though it took some hecking work to get to here.

And a quick update on my #BookSpinBingo, where I'm solidly tempted to go for four lines, or even a blackout. I have Curry and The Obelisk Gate on the go already, wouldn't hurt to pick up Bone Orchard, Dangerous to Know, Nemesis Games, Persephone Station and Fallow... surely?

review
shanaqui
The Bone Way | Holly J Underhill
Pickpick

Cute and fairytale-like Sapphic version of Orpheus and Eurydice, with a happy ending. Not super detailed, definitely a light little novella, and left me very curious about the motivations of characters in the background.

blurb
shanaqui
The Bone Way | Holly J Underhill

Actually, totally gonna make this weekend my own little mini readathon. Goals:

* Read this book
* Read Dragon Physician
* Reread Sisters of the Vast Black
* Finish Subtle Blood

Let's say that is enough for a start, though I'd love to read more!

blurb
shanaqui
The Bone Way | Holly J Underhill
post image

Starting this before I study today since I got a lovely box of books! I've read the Tensorate books before, and Sisters of the Vast Black, but I fancied a reread and to be able to keep them in my collection. And Eclair was just feeling friendly this morning when I was taking a picture; we don't mind that he stole the show, right? #BunniesofLitsy

shanaqui Eclair has got way more cuddly with me recently, though my wife was far and away his beloved favourite before. I think that's because I established a way for him to say "no" to being cuddled and petted: if he goes to either of his litter trays, I leave him alone. Even if we need to clip his nails or something, the "no-no box" is respected. So he's chilled out a lot. ? 1mo
shanaqui (Hulk refused that rule: she gets INTO the litter box if she particularly wants attention. Sigh. Biscuit also appreciates being able to say "no", though, and does so frequently. ?) 1mo
RaeLovesToRead Awww, Eclair is adorable 🥰🥰🥰 Look at that booplesnoot 🐰 1mo
See All 8 Comments
shanaqui @RaeLovesToRead He has an excellent snoot, but my favourite cute feature out of all his cute features is how very, very fluffy his toes are. Like bunnies all have quite a bit of foot fluff, but Eclair has about trouble the amount of any bunny we've known. He can barely even walk on slippy surfaces because he just... sliiiiiides. 1mo
rabbitprincess Hello Eclair! 😻 I wonder which of the books behind him he would want to read 😆 1mo
shanaqui @rabbitprincess Well, he most frequently scooched his butt towards the Becky Chambers, and her work is usually very soothing and kind, so probably that? He is a very soft, gentle boy. 1mo
RaeLovesToRead I love those fluffy toes!!! 💕 1mo
Clare-Dragonfly Hi Eclair! Thanks for showing up! 😍🐰 1mo
18 likes8 comments
blurb
shanaqui
Subtle Blood | KJ Charles

It's amazing, Will and Kim are having fights and managing to TALK about it and make up RIGHT AWAY. It's really nice that they've actually made some emotional progress!

CarolynM 1mo
10 likes1 comment
review
shanaqui
Labours of Stone | Emma Mort Harding
post image
Pickpick

There's a twist in this book, which didn't entirely work for me, but I know other people come across it and love it. I enjoyed the reading experience and trying to figure out what was up right up until the point the twist hit, though!

I've also read EM Harding's Moon-Sitting, which I had a similar experience with; broadly enjoyable, but didn't quite hit the spot. So that's two more free spaces on #BookSpinBingo filled!

shanaqui I don't know why, but #BookSpin is really pushing me onwards this month. Maybe it's the pretty card. 😆 But I've read 10 books in a month -- sure, lots of novellas/short books, but it's a lot more reading oomph than I've had of late, so I'm enjoying it. 2mo
Clare-Dragonfly That‘s awesome! I have been finding the pursuit of bingos very motivating this year. 😄 2mo
shanaqui @Clare-Dragonfly I actually should have said 10 books in a week in my above comment, that's how inspiring I've found it. 🥳 2mo
Clare-Dragonfly Amazing! 2mo
shanaqui I'm glad it's working out for you too! 2mo
18 likes5 comments
review
shanaqui
post image
Pickpick

Received to review!

That was a lot of fun. I completely blasted through it. It's quippy and sometimes funny and very Scalzi, and I had a great time.

Plus, hey, a bingo! #BookSpinBingo

blurb
shanaqui

I've probably missed the deadline on reviewing this before it's out, knowing me... 😅 I picked it up tonight on a whim and ended up reading 40% already. It's very fun and readable, as I expect of Scalzi; I wonder where it's going.

review
shanaqui
Honeycomb | Joanne M. Harris
post image
Pickpick

This was an enjoyable reading experience, though I'm not entirely sure it came together -- some of the stories don't feel like they contribute to the narrative, but there is a strong narrative binding many of them together.

Aaand this helps me work toward one of the other lines I want to get in #BookSpinBingo. I'm on a roll, this month!

review
shanaqui
The Only Good Indians | Stephen Graham Jones
post image
Mehso-so

Not quite my thing, and I guess I found the ending kind of predictable in a way... but I think that's part of the horror genre, a trope that's baked in, like the happy ending in romance. Bit too much basketball for this rugby-watching Taffy.

Still, glad I gave it a shot.

And I'm so close to a bingo and it's only the 8th! #BookSpinBingo

review
shanaqui
Murderers Make Mistakes | Freeman Wills Crofts
post image
Mehso-so

These short stories become rather formulaic after a couple of them, and the characters are usually fairly wooden. I was curious enough about the different tricks in each murder to read on, but not exactly riveted.

And that's my #BookSpin done! It's not part of one of the lines I'm going for, but oh well, at least the #DoubleSpin (already finished) was.