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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.
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shanaqui
Something Fabulous | Alexis Hall

Every day is too warm at the moment, so I'm about to go have a cool bath to try and get myself comfortable enough to sleep. This book will be going with me and causing inappropriate snorking noises (come on, it's a great made up word for the undignified giggle-snort-laugh, as usually reserved for Georgette Heyer and K.J. Charles' work), I'm sure.

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shanaqui
Something Fabulous | Alexis Hall

I keep starting more books on a whim, and hey, this is my #DoubleSpin (or maybe my #BookSpin and Den of Wolves is my #DoubleSpin, I can't remember right now). So far I'm having fun; all feels a little anachronistic, but it seems nicer than some reviews led me to believe!

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shanaqui

Picking this up now, on a whim, since it's been a bit since I read a mystery! So far I'm not in love with it; reminds me a bit of the style of John Dickson Carr.

Still, just glad my brain is finding the idea of reading compelling again lately!

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shanaqui
Into the Windwracked Wilds | A Deborah Baker
Pickpick

Received to review.

I liked the addition of the new character here, and learning more about the Crow Girl! And eeeek, I wonder what will happen when Avery and Zib return, at this rate -- they'll have changed so much. If they ever go home?

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shanaqui
Pickpick

Received to review.

I didn't love this one quite as much as the second in the series, but there was definitely a lot to enjoy. Mostly Almost Brilliant, of course.

I liked the fact that Chih didn't get all the answers they wanted, and that there were questions left about the stories... that's how it goes, sometimes!

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shanaqui
Persephone Station | Stina Leicht
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Pickpick

The curse is truly broken! I really enjoyed this actually: it was an interesting take on aliens (well, aliens-to-humans), and I found myself reading it in big chunks. #BookSpinBingo

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shanaqui
Den of Wolves | Juliet Marillier
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Okay, gotta start this up for #BookSpin! I've been putting it off for a while because in a sense I'd wanted Blackthorn and Grim to maintain a non-romantic relationship, with just as strong a bond. But... here we go.

And here's the #BookSpinBingo card for this month. Not sure yet what line I might go for...

Nutmegnc OMG I LOVE Blackthorn and Grim!! I‘ve read and reread fifty times!! I loved the audiobook too!! You won‘t be disappointed with anything that Janet Marillier writes!! 7d
14 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
Persephone Station | Stina Leicht
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Late to post my #BookSpin list, but I made the list before I saw the numbers, promise!

And though Persephone's Station has persisted as the only book unread on my list since January, I'm happy to announce I actually picked it up a couple of days ago and it should be finished this month. The curse is broken.

I'm about 33% of the way through, and enjoying it. Very curious about a few things...

Clare-Dragonfly Hooray, I‘m glad the curse is broken! 1w
19 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
The Hands of the Emperor | Victoria Goddard
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Well!

This book is well worth the time-investment, and I loved it very, very much. There's a certain repetitiveness to it as people underestimate Cliopher and he comes out on top, but in a way that -- to me -- was delightful. It is “hopepunk“ and wish fulfillment and I love it dearly.

EXCEPT. HOW CAN IT END THERE WHEN I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

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shanaqui
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Pickpick

I made it to a bingo! #BookSpinBingo I wanted to finish The Hands of the Emperor too before I start my card for August... hopefully I'll manage it tomorrow.

This installment of the series restored my faith in Colin a bit, but I'm still mad about his patronising behaviour in Dangerous to Know, and I'm disinclined to trust him. Bleh. I know it keeps him from being too good to be true, but I'd prefer some other part of his character be compromised.

Clare-Dragonfly Ooh, we got the same bingo! 😄 1w
11 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Looks like I might get a #BookSpinBingo after all, now I've finished my #DoubleSpin!

I really liked this book; it's less about the library fire in some ways and more just a history of the whole library, and a little of the development of how libraries are framed through history. Which might sound dry, but there's plenty of fascinating detail.

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shanaqui
The Library Book | Susan Orlean

I'm finding this riveting and wishing I had time to finish it today, aaah. Though it feels weird to spend so much time on Harry Peak when, idk, it doesn't seem like arson was his style?

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shanaqui
The Hands of the Emperor | Victoria Goddard

After burning myself out on this last month by making it into an obligation, like a dummy, I'm back to adoring this. I just love the interactions between Kip and his Radiancy. Also, my interest is piqued about the other stories in the same world.

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shanaqui
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Need to read this for my #DoubleSpin, so I've just started digging in. It's a horrifying description of a fire, for sure, and I can't help but wonder if any of those firemen suffered longer-term effects...

Trying to figure out a line in #BookSpinBingo, too. It's been a weird old month, and I haven't at all read the things I intended to read! But I have options now, if I read speedily.

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shanaqui

This is actually a reread for me, mostly just because it's soothing and I couldn't remember which objects got picked!

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shanaqui
The Duke Heist | Erica Ridley

It's funny reading this *after* having read the second book; I'd normally never do that, but I was assured it wouldn't matter. It doesn't, much, but they definitely are in the expected chronological order, so I do know a little of how things turn out.

I was initially really unsure about the male lead and how his behaviour in the prequel novella would actually lend itself to him being a romantic interest, but I'm warming to him rapidly.

Clare-Dragonfly I am so often assured of that and always regret it, even if only a little, when I listen 🙄 3w
shanaqui @Clare-Dragonfly Yeah, even with romance where each book will focus heavily on a single relationship, unless each book is happening simultaneously or totally unconnected, I still prefer to read in the correct sequence. It's often not a BIG deal, it's totally possible... But it still matters! 3w
10 likes2 comments
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shanaqui

Been a few days at least since I was around here; the heat had me withdrawing into survival mode! It's cooler today, thank goodness. I need to look at #BookSpin and #DoubleSpin because I've forgotten what I'm reading, and I've not even thought about #BookSpinBingo... but for now I'm reading this ARC, because little snippets about cryptids felt about my speed after the last few days!

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shanaqui
Crook O'Lune | E. C. R. Lorac
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Every time Wales play, my wife and I put a tenner on them. (We don't generally gamble, but the way the media etc all bet against the team drives us nuts.) Even if everyone is betting they lose. Last week they beat the Springboks in SA for the first time ever. The end result, in short, is that I was woken up today by my wife piling the results of our winnings on me. 😁 New E.C.R. Lorac! 💙💙

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shanaqui
Siren Queen | Nghi Vo
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Love the Tam Lin reference, in case anyone hadn't caught on about the Fairyland connection at this point. I have a friend who'll want to read this just for that.

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shanaqui
Hard Reboot | Django Wexler
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Jiminy Cricket, this fortnight just hasn't stopped. Hospital appointment, heatwave, water leak and a full day without running water in 30 degree heat (in the UK, so no air conditioning or anything)... but I have managed to get a little reading done! Hard Reboot was fun without being that deep. Mecha fighting!

I enjoyed it for the cool factor, but it wasn't much more than that.

Smrloomis Good for you for getting some reading in. That sounds pretty stressful so I hope things settle down a bit from here on out! 1mo
13 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
River of Teeth | Sarah Gailey

I was thinking about this and trying to remember the story. Couldn't, but I love hippos and I could use a comfort reread, so why not? All I remember so far is that I love Hero.

willaful I started this and got grossed out *real* fast. 1mo
shanaqui @willaful There's definitely some scenes that are not pretty! 1mo
willaful It's a shame because I also love hippos. At least in theory. :-) 1mo
11 likes3 comments
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shanaqui
Pickpick

This was really good. It was kind of slow at the start, and it doesn't help at all that Kinyoun was kind of an asshole (however right he was about needing to contain the spread of plague). Once Blue was called in and some things started being done competently, it became pretty riveting. It's a bit sad that Blue became bitter toward the end of his career -- but he had, in the end, a career to be very proud of, and his work in SF was exemplary.

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shanaqui

I'm developing myself a new public health hero in the form of Rupert Blue! I love the fact that he may not have been the most academically able person, but he was able to succeed where others failed because he made connections, listened to people's needs, and looked at the evidence beyond his own prejudices.

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shanaqui
The Hands of the Emperor | Victoria Goddard

I kinda burned myself out on this for a while, trying to read it All At Once, but now I'm back into it slooowly and it's really nice. I've heard it described as “like The Goblin Emperor, from the point of view of Csevet“, and it's definitely it's own thing as well... but yes, it's that too.

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shanaqui
Siren Queen | Nghi Vo

This is really good so far. It explains very little, but you very quickly realise that certain things are not metaphors and what kind of tropes you should be looking for. I still don't know how everything works yet, but I know enough about the “rules“ now that I won't be (too) surprised when it does. It's so cleverly done.

13 likes1 stack add
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shanaqui
Mehso-so

John Green and I deeefinitely share a genre of anxiety, which made this surprisingly hard to read for me, but I did enjoy it. At times it feels a little... I guess the word is “sentimental“, but Green does remind you too that feeling things isn't actually a BAD thing.

Not entirely for me, because it did make me anxious, but it's not that I wouldn't recommend it to others!

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shanaqui
Pickpick

Fun! Very much setup for The Duke Heist, I think -- I've read the second book, but not that one yet, so I was mostly in it for more of the Wynchesters, though. I'd love to see more of Graham and Jacob...

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shanaqui

"I wish I wasn't so scared all the time -- scared of the virus, yes, but there is also some deeper fear: the terror of time passing, and me with it."

shanaqui This book was making me anxious somehow and my theory on why is that me and John Green share a similar sort of anxiety -- and this quotation proves it. 1mo
Chelsea.Poole Oh my yes! He hits the nail on the head with this quote, and actually throughout the entire book for me. Loved it but also it taps into all that anxiety!! 1mo
12 likes2 comments
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shanaqui
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I'm getting started on this book already no matter what shows up in the draw, but here's my #BookSpin list as well!

So far, I haven't read much of this, but it's like... it's sentimental, but he's leaning into that, and reminding everyone not to be ashamed that they feel things. Of course we feel things. We're humans.

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shanaqui
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Pickpick

There! I didn't read at all the things I planned/expected to, but despite my end-of-module exams for my MSc and everything else, I have a bingo! #BookSpinBingo

This third book is so MUCH. Like, there's direct divine intercession, twice, and there's Greta's battlefield-adjacent medicine, and... it starts out slowly with her work at the spa and the mystery of what's happening to the mummies, and then BOOM.

It's so good, but it's such a lot, too.

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shanaqui

I'm sneaking in little bits of this between emails at work, ahaha. Thank goodness for being self-employed. Will I make it to the end before June's over? Maybe. Right now I'm back to caring more about whether the characters sort things out, which is a relief; there was a few days there where I was reading because reading challenges said I HAD to, and I was putting books down almost as soon as I picked them up...

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shanaqui

I have forgotten sooo many of the details here.

I'm a little worried I will, for the first time, not get anything this month for #BookSpinBingo. 230 pages to read -- in theory doable, but my brain hasn't been letting me read much.

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shanaqui

Time for a reread. 💙 I almost resent the bigger plot for how fascinating it is to follow Greta around in the mummy spa, though, and how little of that we end up getting?!

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shanaqui
Death of a Bookseller | Bernard J. Farmer
Pickpick

This did turn out to be quite the interesting cast of characters, though few of them actually read, so I didn't find it as charming as you'd have expected! They're all about buying/selling/collecting books.

Enjoyable, though, and I didn't figure out the killer.

willaful I remember when I was a kid reading a book about a girl who didn't like to read and wondering, “who is this written for?“ 😂 1mo
14 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
Pickpick

Yikes, that had a lot of kick. I really sympathise with Jewel's plight and her fears, even when she makes less than awesome choices.

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shanaqui

Thanks to whichever Litten I follow read this lately -- I'm really in the mood for non-fiction right now, and of course I'm always interested in all things to do with infectious diseases. Not sure how much the science part will be in the foreground here, but honestly sometimes that's the most interesting -- where biology meets how people live.

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shanaqui
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I've felt crummy and down after my exams, so I treated myself to another little stack of books that made me want to read them immediately. I actually wanted to read Four Lost Cities from the library, but since they cut me off...

Anyway, I'll probably start with this!

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shanaqui
Death of a Bookseller | Bernard J. Farmer

I'd be finding this book more charming if anyone seemed to ever read books, rather than run around selling them for as much money as possible. The bookselling is just set dressing, this way. And I have no idea of how this is going to work out, feels like there's no clue yet to who has actually done the murder if it somehow isn't Hampton.

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shanaqui
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Well this is definitely a cracking start. 👀

Clare-Dragonfly I am intrigued! 2mo
11 likes1 comment
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shanaqui
The Hands of the Emperor | Victoria Goddard

I love this a lot so far, but it's such a chonker and my brain is so tired. Having to admit that I may not finish it this month for #BookSpinBingo. Bah.

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shanaqui
Pickpick

Just finished it up this morning -- juuust before my library suspended my account because I haven't borrowed any physical books in 3 years. (Ebooks aplenty, but apparently that doesn't count. 😑)

It's quite in-depth about archaeological findings, but there's enough interpretation as well to keep it interesting. I found it surprisingly breezy -- Davenport is good at being clear and descriptive while not being stodgy.

DivineDiana I have never heard of a library suspending a card for that! Seems counter productive. 😕 2mo
shanaqui @DivineDiana My bet is that they forgot to/couldn't get the ebook lending app to feed into their checks on whether a patron is active. In this library, they suspend your card if you haven't borrowed books in a year (though this was suspended during the height of the pandemic) because they want to see you in person and confirm your details are correct. It's a pain. 2mo
DivineDiana That it is. ☹️ 2mo
See All 6 Comments
WorldsOkayestStepMom My library also suspends accounts for "inactivity" even though I use Libby all the time. It's annoying. 2mo
shanaqui @WorldsOkayestStepMom I'm kinda glad it's not just me at least. 😆 I wonder if Libby sends them data about activity at all, but it seems so weird if not, that kind of info is so crucial. 2mo
WorldsOkayestStepMom @shanaqui I'm not sure, but you'd think they'd share the info! 2mo
15 likes1 stack add6 comments
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shanaqui
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Pickpick

Really enjoyed this -- hit the spot in terms of the exact kind of non-fiction I was looking for right now. It treats books as objects, so it's not discussing novels per se, but more people's habits surrounding books, how books have evolved and been used, etc.

And of course, it checks off a square for #BookSpinBingo, and was my #DoubleSpin book.

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shanaqui
Pickpick

I didn't always love this one in the past because there's a lot of uncertainty in Crane and Stephen's connection, but they do talk it out and figure things out, and there's a lovely scene where they finally talk about love. The mystery is okay, and the introduction of Esther and a bit more of the background of Stephen's life as a justiciar is awesome.

Pretty much no POV from Stephen in this book, unlike the first. Missed that!

11 likes1 stack add
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shanaqui
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Pickpick

I've been reading Cahokia for a while, but it still seems fair to include it in my #BookSpinBingo. For a short book, it took a while to get through, and I found that it took quite a while to get down to business and start discussing archaeology. Once it did, that was fascinating, though!

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shanaqui

So far, this is a pretty smooth read, and doesn't get too bogged down in imagination or stodgy detail. I loved the fact that painters who went to Bath to take the waters after becoming paralysed would actually have seen benefit -- because their work involved lead in the paints, and while they were away from work and not ingesting the paint, the mineral-rich waters of the springs could help leach the lead from their body, improving the symptoms.

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shanaqui
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this! Fashion isn't my “thing“, it's sort of incidental to my interest in fabric/sewing through history, so I'm the wrong person to judge whether it's insightful or skimming the surface. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it, and then I guess I cottoned onto the tone and settled down.

#BookSpinBingo My path toward any kind of line is, as usual, circuitous.

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shanaqui
The Forgotten Dead | Jordan L. Hawk
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I tore through this one, and found it genuinely creepy at times -- more because of the backstory than the current events, I think. Oscar and Nigel are cute, though clearly there's a ways to go in their relationship.

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shanaqui
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Pickpick

It feels pretty weird that Gemma and the others don't reconnect in this book, and as a result it feels odd in general. Although a lot HAPPENS, not a lot happens, in a way... yeah, I'm describing it badly. It feels like a middle book, a biding-time book. Which is not to say there weren't enjoyable aspects, but I definitely didn't love it as much as the first book.

Counting it in for #BookSpinBingo.

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shanaqui
Murder of a Nymph | Margot Neville
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This wasn't super special among detective stories, but it was enjoyable enough, and I liked that it was set in Australia, which is different to a lot of the contemporaneous stuff I read.

It was either my #DoubleSpin or my #BookSpin and I can't remember which now...

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shanaqui
The Girl from the Sea | Molly Knox Ostertag
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A cute selkie story which deals with some of the struggles of coming out and of worrying about being your real self. It's not quite clear to me why Morgan struggles with it so much, though? Her family seem warm and accepting, and OK, it's a difficult time for her with her dad leaving, and her brother's acting out, but...

Though of course, teenagers don't have to do things that make total sense. Goodness knows I didn't!