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nocto

nocto

Joined January 2021

You learn something new every day. She/her. https://nocto.com/
review
nocto
The Heights | Louise Candlish
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I very nearly sent this one back to the library about a quarter of the way into it. I‘ve read enough Candlish to expect unreliable narrators and wild twists. I kept going and I‘m glad I did as I liked it in the end. I should have written down all the theories I had at that quarter way mark - I reckon about half of them were right, but there was more I hadn‘t thought of, and besides it‘s the excellent characters that make these, not the twists.

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nocto
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This was completely fabulous. I don‘t quite do New Years resolutions but have a plan to try and read a bit more across some different genres in 2022. Picked pretty much randomly from the library this is a fun and interesting story in an alternative timeline where a meteor hits Washington DC in the 1950s and the space race accelerates as Earth becomes inhospitable to life. I‘m pleased there are more books in the series.

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nocto
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Mehso-so

My #bookspin for January was a non fiction book about how less traffic makes life better in all kinds of ways. The authors moved from Vancouver 🇨🇦 to Delft 🇳🇱 and detail their personal experiences of the effects a more liveable city had on them and their children as well as lots of transportation geekish stuff. The takeaway for me was learning how the Netherlands also had a “that won‘t work here” attitude on its to becoming a bike paradise.

nocto I‘ve rated it so-so because it‘s not really something I‘d recommend to anyone who wasn‘t already interested in the subject matter. 1w
8 likes1 comment
blurb
nocto
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I'm totally cheating myself a good start to 2022 as I already have three of these partially read for my January #bookspin list 🤣 Happy New Year! 🥳

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nocto
Bitter Orange | Claire Fuller
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Just managed to finish the tagged book, which was my #bookspin for December, in time. Very good too, I'll post more another day. I'll take four books read and another in progress for December, it's more than I thought I would manage. I've started a couple of new books over Christmas but I'm going to put those on my January list so I have a head start on the next year if that's not cheating too much!

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nocto
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I must be on the nice list 🎅🏻 😍 Susie Dent‘s word of the day for Dec 25th is ‘confelicity‘, finding pleasure in the happiness of others. I hope all your Christmases are happy and bookish!

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nocto
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It‘s #jolabokaflod o‘clock, which comes just after the annual viewing of The Snowman. I have the tagged book, my other half has a book of Christmas mystery stories, the 16yo has manga. Love this tradition! We only discovered it a few years back but it‘s a firm fixture on our Christmas calendar now.

review
nocto
A Perfect Cornish Christmas | Phillipa Ashley
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I picked this to try and get me into the seasonal spirit, something I always struggle with. I enjoyed it and of course all is well in the end though there were heartaches beforehand. Actually it helped me reading about characters who weren‘t necessarily expecting Christmas to be the best thing ever.

7 likes1 stack add
review
nocto
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As seems to be the pattern for me lately this one was slow going for the first half and then the second half flew by. It was my #doublespin book for December. One of Kinsey‘s elderly neighbours (not Henry!) has a fall and ends up the victim of a elderly care scammer. I enjoyed the change from a regular murder mystery, I just wish it hadn‘t taken me so long to engage with the story.

review
nocto
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This was a tough read and even though it‘s quite a short book it took me a while to get through it. You know in the beginning that the narrator gets out of her abusive marriage in the end but that barely takes the edge off it. It shows very well how “why didn‘t you just leave him” is never as simple as it sounds like it should be.

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nocto
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Ooops, that‘s my December #doublespin and I do not have 12 hours free to read right now! I hope the next reader is less tardy than me & I get it back before the end of the month, or at least before I‘ve forgotten the plot.

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nocto
A Perfect Cornish Christmas | Phillipa Ashley
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Rolling in late with my December #bookspin picks. One book is still in progress from November so I've left it on the list. No idea how much reading time I'll find this month but let's try anyway. (whispers) I'm really not a Christmas fan, I find it all a bit overwhelming and chaotic and full of too many demands so I just hope I manage to find some quiet reading time in among the madness to satisfy my soul!

nocto @TheAromaOfBooks here I am, late as ever! 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
7 likes2 comments
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nocto
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November's #bookspin went pretty well, five books finished including the two selected ones, and the tagged one still in progress. That'll do me nicely, thank you.

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nocto
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Loving this series - each one is set on a different Scilly Isle. This time it‘s high summer on St Marys, the largest island, and a young woman has been murdered and dressed as a bride. I think this is the fourth in the series, I started on the second and am planning on going back to read the opening instalment soon. This was my #bookspin for November.

review
nocto
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A fairly cozy sort of a mystery set in the Lake District. I‘d read the first in the series a while back and thought it was ok. This was the second and I nearly put it down after a few chapters but the second half got a lot more interesting and I‘m glad I stuck with it.

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nocto
Oxford Shift | Veronica Stallwood
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Approaching the end of this and I have had a feeling that I‘ve read it before growing on me for a while. I‘ve kept track of everything I‘ve read since 2000 and this was published in 1999 so I either missed it or I just have mystery that uses same devices as other mysteries false memory syndrome. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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nocto
26A | Diana Evans
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I adored this. The story of twins, Georgia & Bessi growing up, mostly in London with a spell in Nigeria, in the 1980s and 90s. They were about the same age as me so the cultural nostalgia was strong. The end of the book gets sad and had me in tears😢 This was my #doublespin book for November.

review
nocto
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Enjoyable, but it‘s about the twelfth in the series, if it wasn‘t enjoyable I wouldn‘t still be here! I thought the plot was pretty thin in places though, it felt like you could have pinned the crime on any of a number of characters and the non-recurring characters could have been fleshed out more. Still fun all the same. This was October‘s #doublespin book.

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nocto
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New month, new plans! Though not very different from October as I hardly got through anything. Tagged book is my leftover #bookspin from October which I've started and am now speeding through. Let's hope that bodes well for the rest of the month. Thanks as ever to @TheAromaOfBooks for organisational goodness!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3mo
4 likes1 comment
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nocto
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Where on earth did 🍁October go to? I think I must be reading my calendar wrong as we can't be more than a few days into the month yet? I'm certainly planning to finish the tagged book, at number 1, before the end of the weekend but think there's zero chance of me getting through my #doublespin too. And both books I did read, including my #bookspin, were pretty short and easy reads as well. @TheAromaOfBooks

TheAromaofBooks I agree, October went WAY too fast!!! 3mo
8 likes1 comment
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nocto
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Enjoying this. It‘s much better written than I‘d expect books that turn up as 2 for Qd at the garden centre to be! Slow reading though, just because the atmosphere it creates seems to want to be savoured that way.

review
nocto
The Island House | Amanda Brittany
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That‘s my October #bookspin read. A quick thriller that teeters on the edge of predictable but then falls the other way. It has all the Christie-based clichés of a group of people trapped on an island with a killer but it knows it and plays with the genre quite nicely. A modern twist that I quite enjoyed.

review
nocto
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A quiet and interesting book. I thought I was going to end up unsatisfied with it and in a way I am, but also, the ending wasn't what I was expecting and so I was satisfied. I read it without knowing what it was about so I don't want to spoil it for anyone too much. In the end I think it was an exploration of how we piece together ideas and belief systems. Nothing mind bending, but definitely thought provoking.

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nocto
The Venetian Legacy | Philip Gwynne Jones
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Another enjoyable romp round Venice with Nathan Sutherland and his cat Gramsci. This one‘s set in the summer and features the inheritance of a summer house on the island of Pellestrina, out in the Venetian lagoon. All sounds good except the Venetian mafia seem to have links to it too. Interesting setting, fun characters, plot gets a bit outlandish but that‘s fun too.

review
nocto
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Mehso-so

Didn‘t really work as a beginning-to-end read as it was lots of separate essays by different people and got a bit repetitive. Lots of interesting facts that often counter popular opinion though. One to dip into slowly.

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nocto
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I'm all ready for October's #bookspin - I doubt I can reach September's seven books read but I'm all stoked up and ready to try. @TheAromaOfBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
3 likes1 comment
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nocto
Summer | Ali Smith
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September was a much better reading month than I've had lately 🥳🎉 Five books finished and another two almost done so I'm rounding it up and calling it seven. Hurray! #bookspin #doublespin @TheAromaOfBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Fantastic month!!! 4mo
5 likes1 comment
review
nocto
Silver Sparrow | Tayari Jones
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This was my #doublespin for September and I loved it. It‘s the story of a bigamous marriage told through the eyes of the daughter. I love it when you see one side of a story and then things flip and you see the other side too. Things are never quite how they seem and I ended up with sympathy for everyone involved.

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nocto
Summer | Ali Smith
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I enjoyed this series more with each book as the connections between the stories reveal themselves. Glad I read it, though I‘m sure I missed loads and if someone could make a graph of all the connections I missed that‘d be great 😬 Love the Hockney covers too.

CarolynM Wonderful books with beautiful covers😍 4mo
6 likes1 comment
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nocto
The Rose Code | Kate Quinn
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I love Bletchley Park stories, real or fictional. This is fictional though, as always, a degree of real anecdotes & characters are thrown in. I enjoyed this, though the presence of Prince Philip (who I just can‘t stand) nearly made me give up in the beginning. Apart from him it‘s a good story (and his presence makes sense, just 🤮).

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nocto
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Mehso-so

My #bookspin for September. I came for a story/memoir about cycling and this turned out mostly to be a story about fighting body dysmorphia. Which is all fine, but I wanted more fun cycling. I found it all a bit disjointed and it felt more like binging on someone's blogposts than a book, could probably have used better editing. I found the mental health struggles here illuminating but not quite what I expected.

6 likes1 stack add
review
nocto
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This series has really hit its stride; the gradual change in the characters over the years is what really matters here. This book sees Nick in his mid-thirties; I find it a bit alarming that this is the start of the “autumn“ of his life! I was concerned that the military nature of this would take us back to the all male cast that annoyed me in the first book, but I ended up fairly satisfied. The characters are more varied & interesting now.

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nocto
Summer | Ali Smith
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OK! Bring on the September #bookspin - In August I only finished two books and I already have two of these on the go so I'm setting myself up to do better this month, right? 🙏

nocto Many thanks to @TheAromaOfBooks for all the fab bookspin organisation! 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!!!! 5mo
6 likes2 comments
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nocto
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August, you were a terrible reading month. Dragged down by Castle Shade, which was July's #doublespin, and this month's #bookspin being mediocre. What We Really Do All Day is interesting non-fic that's better read slowly. On the plus side I'm really enjoying The Valley of Bones and I got lots of productive work and home stuff done in August. I'm happy-ish with that. Can't win them all.

TheAromaofBooks Some books it's just a relief to get them off the list! 5mo
9 likes2 comments
review
nocto
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Mehso-so

I wanted to like it but it was decidedly ordinary. Short, cozy mystery with lots of interesting sounding ingredients that just didn‘t cook up any excitement. The seaside setting should have been just my thing but it didn‘t come alive; the characters had potential but didn‘t fulfil it. Perhaps just one of those series where starting with the first book is a bad idea but not sure I‘d try again. My #bookspin for August.

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nocto
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Mehso-so

Finally finished my July #doublespin Not my favourite of the series, I found it slow going and this hardback edition was riddled with typographical errors. Glad to have it out of my way!

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nocto
The Venetian Legacy | Philip Gwynne Jones
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Right, on with the August #bookspin though it includes two hangover books from July which might give me a bit of a head start, but I always feel like everyone else is way ahead of me so I don't feel guilty jumping the gun a bit occasionally!

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nocto
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I feel like I've read more in #bookspin July than previously but the roundup doesn't reflect that. My #doublespin Castle Shade is still on the go and I've only just started What We Really Do All Day so they are staying for August. Waterlog, about wild swimming around Britain, wasn't holding my interest so it's been sent back to the library.

review
nocto
A Perfect Cornish Summer | Phillipa Ashley
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Quick, rather predictable, feel good summer fiction. I couldn‘t cope with a constant diet of books this sweet but it was just what I needed at the moment.

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nocto
American Marriage | Tayari Jones
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I had very little clue what to expect of this book when I started reading it. I think it was on the Women‘s Prize shortlist when it caught my eye. Good story, and enlightening. Great characters, I liked the way the story was passed around between them so you got to understand the different viewpoints. Sadly the central premise of the book in which a black man is falsely accused of a crime was all too believable. My #bookspin for July.

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nocto
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July! Though I'm actually rather pleased that 2021 is sailing by at a faster clip than 2020 did even if I have a loitering pessimism that we're not really on the other side yet. Pick me something good to read please #bookspin random numbers and @TheAromaOfBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 7mo
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review
nocto
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This is long, dense & on a subject I knew little about so it‘s been a slow read & it‘ll take me a while to process it too. Until Brexit reared its ugly head I had never thought much about where my food came from. This is scathing on the UK‘s “imperial arrogance” of assuming that the world will fill its supermarket shelves, as well as having lots to say about health and inequality. These aren‘t problems that we can solve at an individual level.

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nocto
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Well, that's June done and dusted, just about. My #bookspin and #doublespin books both got read and I feel it was a good reading month all round! I have a handful of pages of Feeding Britain left to read which I'll get to this evening, and I've read the very beginning of one of the other books which I'll leave on the list for next month.

review
nocto
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I got my June #bookspin finished. Yay! Super glad I read this. A book that explains why we humans are actually pretty much kind & decent people but often think the evidence is for the opposite conclusion. Uplifting and has left me with a lot to think about.

review
nocto
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Good holiday reading. I kind of wished it had got deeper into some of the social issues raised though really. I felt it had a good cast of characters - young students, their parents generation & young refugees - who didn‘t get explored enough. Enjoyable enough, but it could have been more than that.

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nocto
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This was excellent and fascinating! You know that being homeless and not having an address can make it impossible to get on in the modern world but this book digs way beneath that surface. History of how we got street names and numbers; explorations of the many places and people that don‘t have them and why; and the whole way that power is tied up in these seemingly innocuous details is explored here. Tons of citations to explore as well.

7 likes1 stack add
review
nocto
Lean Fall Stand | Jon McGregor
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I wasn‘t sure about this at first but it grew on me as I read through it. Started off feeling a bit of a Boy‘s Own Adventure in Antarctica but it got more interesting after things went wrong. I loved Reservoir 13 and don‘t think this is quite as good but that‘s still pretty good.

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nocto
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And here's my slightly late June #bookspin list. Two entries on it are hangovers from May that I've already started but nowhere near finished either of them and they are both kind of stalled so they can stay on the list and hopefully I'll get them finished this month!

nocto And, yay, it looks like I snuck my list in before @TheAromaOfBooks posted the numbers. Phew. 8mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! I'm getting ready to post the numbers in just a few minutes!! 8mo
2 likes2 comments
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nocto
The Satapur Moonstone | Sujata Massey
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Right, let's wrap up May! I finished my #bookspin but didn't get near my #doublespin. It was a much better reading month than April as I read a couple of books that weren't on the list as well as what's here.

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nocto
Lean Fall Stand | Jon McGregor
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Oh no, I‘m trapped under a cat. What can I do but read 😃