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review 2017-02-25 09:00
So much more than I expected!
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor

I expected this to be rather near-future SF about a Himba girl, a girl from the Namib Desert, going to a university in space and all the cultural differences and difficulties she would experience there. Instead, this was far-future SF with a culture clash of a different kind. Also, the Himba have developed into mathematical geniuses and can perform a mathematical meditation called ‘treeing’, through which they are able to steer ‘mathematical currents’ in order to make certain devices work and to analyze the world around them. Fascinating!


And that’s where my scientific interest kicks in: If I get presented with such a unique concept, I want to know more about it. Much more. Unfortunately, as the story develops, we only get a few glimpses at this astonishing ability. It is as if we were peeking through a hole in a fence, allowing us to see a certain section of a beautiful garden. But we want to see more of it, want to know which other flowers and trees are there, where the gravel path leads to, and if there is a pond or a greenhouse or a pavilion.


I really hope that the second part of the series, Binti:Home, will allow us to sneak a peek through further holes in that fence, and thus give us a wider view of the garden. That’s why I will start to read it immediately.

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text 2017-01-15 02:25
DNF - but will probably pick it up again at some point
Hild - Nicola Griffith

I've been enjoying this, but it's quite detailed and slow-moving and unfortunately the library said I wasn't allowed to renew it for a third time, so I've had to return it. 


But I took the opportunity to check out a Kilt Dude book. 

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text 2016-12-30 10:39
Book Bloggers Pick Best Books of 2016

It's hight time to sum up the passing year with some bookish thoughts. Let's have a look at some of the reading overviews prepared by BookLikes bloggers.



This year, I participated in fewer Reading Challenges than in the past, but I managed to do quite well in completing them.  Then there was a general effort to try to finish series I've already started, as well as the starting of new series that I totally intend to finish reading in 2017.

I've picked up over 50 new-to-me authors, participated in a few read-a-thons, and then there were the bookish activities taking place on Booklikes, such as Halloween Bingo, which brought me out of my usual reading comfort zone.
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

This was a given.  I loved this series, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue was my favorite book of 2014.  If The Raven King had been written in 2015, then it would have been my favorite book of 2015.  But the publication date got pushed back a year, so it became my favorite book of 2016... continue reading and see all top books



angelsgpAngel's Guilty Pleasures

We’re kicking off the week with the best books we’ve read in 2016. These are books that don’t have to have been released in 2016, only read in 2016... continue reading and see all top books



I may have rated a few other books just as highly as these, but when I look through the 100 books that I read this year these are the ones that give me pause. Each of these books surprised me, challenged my way of thinking, uplifted me, or were extraordinarily memorable in their own way... continue reading and see all top books

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy - Eric MetaxasRavenspur: Rise of the Tudors - Conn IgguldenThe Heretic - Henry Vyner-BrooksHow To Be A Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Everyday Life - Ruth Goodman


I had these books sitting on my TBR list for like FOREVER. So one day, I decided to finally read it, get it over with and cross it off my list. But boy, what an unexpected surprise this series turned out to be... continue reading and see all top books



Grac's Never-ending TBR Pile of Doom:

Yep, it's that time of year again and I'm looking back at the best things I've read this year - let's try and do this in categories, shall we?

Science fiction: We started the year off with Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor, a first contact novel set in Nigeria, before what might be a real contender for next year's Best Novel Hugo, the wonderful Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee. The other book which is a contender, though I know it's unlikely a middle book in a trilogy will pick up that prize, was the awesome The Obelisk Gate ... continue reading and see all top books



Here are my top 5 novellas of the year. This was the toughest category for me this year. I read a ton of excellent novellas, so it was difficult to whittle this list down to the top 5, but I finally did it... continue reading and see all top books

Detritus in Love - Mercedes M. Yardley, John Boden The Sadist's Bible - Nicole Cushing The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle Last Train from Perdition (I Travel By Night) - Robert R. McCammon


Read also:

BOOM! goes the 2016 Reading Challenge!

2016: My Reading Year in Review

Top 10 of 2016: Best Book Covers 2016

Char's Horror Corner Top 5: Short Story Collections/Anthologies Read in 2016!

My year in books

December 2016 Wrap Up

Biggest Disappointments of 2016


And how did you do in 2016?

Feel free to add links to your 2016 in Books posts in the comment section below.


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text 2016-12-16 11:12
Christmas reading list by book bloggers


If you're not in the holiday spirit yet this reading list will do the trick. Have a look at books with a Christmas touch picked by BookLikes book bloggers.


A Copper Ridge Christmas - Maisey YatesFic Central gives 4 stars to A Copper Ridge Christmas 

As much as I try to avoid novellas, I couldn’t pass up a book from the Copper Ridge series, and while it was just under a hundred pages in length, it almost felt like a full story.

Holly’s rather attached to holidays, and since her former foster parents will be away until Christmas, she wants to be sure they come home to all the decorations, snacks, and guests they’d usually have planned.  But she can’t do it on her own. Read more


WARM WINTER KISSES a feel good Christmas romance novel - JILL STEEPLES BuckeyeAngel gives 4 stars to Warm winter kisses


This was an enjoyable story as well as well written. It was predictable but still a good read. I enjoyed the back and forth between Rocco and Sarah. I also laughed while reading this. This was one of those stories that just makes you feel good although not really very realistic. Read more



The Angel of Forest Hill: An Amish Christmas Romance - Cindy Woodsmall Cafinated Reads gives 5 stars to The Angel of Forest Hill


Fabulously done! Ms. Woodsmall is a wonderful Amish author and I always look forward to her works. When I saw that this was not only an Amish novella but a Christmas Amish novella, I was ecstatic. Two of my favorite things wrapped up in one beautifully written package. Read more


A Winter Dream - Richard Paul Evans jbarrett5 book reviews, etc gives 3.5 stars to A Winter Dream

Family fate and forgiveness. The thirteen children all work for the family business but joseph, the 12th. It comes to a head one day when his parents are traveling and the others have found one brother has stolen money from the company.
The others want to prosecute the brother. One brother has a solution. He has to start a new life in another city. Read more


Kiss Me For Christmas - Christine Bell, Serenity Woods, Riley Murphy, Ros Clarke Hopeless Romantic gives 4 stars to Kiss Me For Christmas


Kiss Me For Christmas is the perfect present to ward off the winter chill. Dynamite in a tiny bundle, these authors are on fire with their sweet stories of holiday second chances at romance. Read more




A Kiss for Midwinter - Courtney Milan Cat's Books: Romance give 5 stars to A Kiss for Midwinter


On Thursdays, I pick a book beloved to me to share. This week's Christmas choice is A Kiss For Midwinter (Brothers Sinister, #1.5)  by Courtney Milan. 


Oh this book! It such a smart Historical Romance. Sweet and Sour in just the right ways. The writing lovely, The characters perfectly drawn with a romance you will always remember. Read more


A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings - Charles Dickens,Michael Slater "I cannot live without books" gives 5 stars to A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings


Charles Dickens may have possessed all the wordiness, sentimentality and tendency to “purple prose” that come with being Victorian (and getting paid by the installment), but that man could write compelling characters…and this is some of his best! Read more


The Christmas Grandma Ran Away from Home - Nancy Warren Olga Godim gives 4 stars to The Christmas Grandma Ran Away from Home


An unexpectedly sweet short novella about an old woman who rebels against her family’s Christmas tradition. This year, for the first time in half a century, she doesn’t want to host a Christmas gathering of her children and grandchildren, doesn’t want to cook her 55th Christmas turkey. She wants someone else to pick up the responsibility. Read more


Have and Hold Me: The Magister Series, Book 4 - July Hall Kitty's Book Spot! gives 4 stars to Have and Hold Me


This is book #4 in The Magister series.  This book is not intended to be a standalone novel.  This is the conclusion for this amazing series, which I recommend you read in order.

Sandra & Charles are separated as we get back into their saga in the latest book.  There has been a lot of loss and anger on both sides.  Will they fight for what they care most for? Read more


All He Wants For Christmas Eve: An Erotic Holiday Story - Ruby Carew,Opal Carew debjonesdiem gives 3 stars to All He Wants For Christmas Eve


All He Wants For Christmas Eve by Ruby Carew is a short and sizzling tale, a perfect choice for those with limited time for reading.  Ms Carew has delivered a well written book.  Brad and Juliette's story is a fast paced romp.  The characters are lovable.  I enjoyed All He Wants For Christmas Eve and would happily read more from Ruby Carew in the future. Read more


Jingle Bells - Kathleen O'Malley EpicFehlReader gives 3 stars to Jingle Bells


This is a little holiday book, designed & manufactured with the idea of gifting I imagine, that I came across just recently.


Inspired by the classic Christmas song, this book features a quick little story for young readers that tells of a brother and sister who plan a holiday surprise for their family. Read more


The Mistletoe Effect - Cate Ashwood Susan gives 3.5 stars to The Mistletoe Effect

Such a cute Christmas story with no angst whatsoever.

Danny is driving to Las Vegas to get a job, when his car breaks down. He hasn’t slept or eaten in days, so when he accidentally finds out the door to the little town’s bakery is open, he sneaks in. After he eats some cookies he falls asleep on the couch. Read more


A Family for Christmas - Jay Northcote MerissaArchaeolibrarian gives 5 stars to A Family for Christmas

A Family for Christmas has got to be THE most feel-good book I've read this Christmas season! Zac had a rough upbringing, was in the system, and now he refuses to let anyone get close in an attempt to keep from being hurt. Rudy has everything that Zac could ever want, but Zac doesn't want anything to do with him. Until, that is, they go out with the office for Christmas drinks and tequila is involved! Read more
A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights - Peggy Jaeger

That's What I'm Talking About gives 4 stars to A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights


A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights is a delightful holiday novella centered on a large Italian family and its traditions. I thoroughly enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Gia's life. The author invests time developing the San Valentino family, bringing heart to the story, and Gia's loving, meddling family provides tender moments with a healthy side of humorous embarrassment. Read more


Christmas Joy: A Novel - Nancy Naigle Shygirl: Reading After Midnight gives 4 stars to Christmas Joy


Christmas Joy was a heartening small town holiday romance that truly expressed the ‘reason for the Season’. Author Nancy Naigle created a group of characters who were charming, down-to-earth, and just quirky enough to lend a bit of fun to an already solid story. Read more


Have more on your shelves and blogs? Share them in comments :) Enjoy!


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text 2016-12-07 14:50
Reading progress update: I've read 268 out of 560 pages.
Hild - Nicola Griffith

It feels like forever since I last posted anything, but work has been hellish, the election threw me completely off kilter, and I have been in a complete reading slump. And of course the glitchyness of this site isn't helping.


Hild has been on my wish list for a while now, and I saw it on the shelf while I was in the library collecting a Baldacci book for my husband (yeah, I know; he's also in a reading slump and just wanted something easy to read).


It's a fictionalised account of the life of the childhood of Hilda of Whitby, and much of it is set in places I know very well. (I'm from the Kingdom of Elmet).


The writing style has taken a bit of getting used to, and a more detailed glossary would be helpful, but that's just me being nitpicky. It looks as if the slump could be over.


Whitby Abbey



Hilda of Whitby



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