Humouress finally hit 75 - only a decade on - in 2020 - thread 5

Esto es una continuación del tema Humouress a decade on in 2020 - thread 4.

Charlas75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Humouress finally hit 75 - only a decade on - in 2020 - thread 5

Editado: Ene 1, 2021, 4:03 pm

Woo Woo! I finally made it!

You know me; I'm Nina, currently living in Singapore with my husband, two boys and - the star of the show - Jasper their/ our dog. 2020 has been a tough year for everyone but Singapore got off fairly lightly (touch wood) and the upside for me was that I had a good reading year. My sons are superboy - but, sadly, he's given up reading though he used to be keen - and firelion, who still likes to read but a year ago (end of 2019) he got his first phone for his birthday and then at the beginning of the year he got a laptop (supposedly) for schoolwork so he's getting distracted too.

My preferred genres are fantasy and sci-fi with a touch of golden age humour, mysteries and the occasional school story though I'll venture further afield (very) occasionally. I also have a heap of cookbooks which, really, I ought to crack open and experiment with.

I will hunt for a suitable photo of Jasper since he seems to be building a fan base here. Who knew dogs were into social media? At least he's picked a good place.

This is actually from September last year.

75 Book Challenge 2019 thread 1
75 Book Challenge 2019 thread 3

75 Book Challenge 2020 thread 1
75 Book Challenge 2020 thread 2
75 Book Challenge 2020 thread 3

75 Book Challenge 2021 thread 1

Green Dragon 2019 thread

ROOTs 2020 thread

>2 humouress: ticker & covers (this thread)
>3 humouress: books (this thread; beyond 75)
>4 humouress: 4th thread (4th quarter)
>5 humouress: 3rd thread (3rd quarter)
>6 humouress: 2nd thread (2nd quarter)
>7 humouress: 1st thread (1st quarter)

>9 humouress: constellation
>10 humouress: icons
>11 humouress: reading inspirations

>14 humouress: currently reading
>15 humouress: welcome in

Editado: Dic 29, 2020, 10:26 pm

87. 85. 84. 81. 79. 78.

Editado: Sep 21, 2021, 7:03 am

the first 75

december & covers/ beyond the 75

(if it's got a tick, I've posted my review to the book's page; stars are self-explanatory; clicking on the number will take you to the post where I've at least put down some ideas; last is the book title. I hope you appreciate the alliteration)

review posted/ rated/ written/ read

/ / (#) / Title

90) Raelia by Lynette Noni (2016)
      89) Asterix and the Golden Sickle by Goscinny & Uderzo (1962)
88) Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (2013)
      87) Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (2012)
      86) Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher (2017)
      85) Giant Days, volume 1 by Allison, Treiman & Cogar (2015)
      84) Royals by Rachel Hawkins (2018)
          83) King Breaker by Rowena Corey Daniells (2013)
  82) Asterix the Gaul by Goscinny & Uderzo (1961)
  81) Paper Girls 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang (2015)
          80) First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn (2020)
  79) My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (2017)
  78) Ruby Red by Kerstin Grier (2011)
77) Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (2001)


76) The Traitor's Game by Jennifer Nielsen (2018)

Editado: mayo 27, 2021, 2:53 pm

From my fourth thread:

(if it's got a tick, I've posted my review to the book's page; stars are self-explanatory; clicking on the number will take you to the post where I've at least put down some ideas; last is the book title. I hope you appreciate the alliteration)

review posted/ rated/ written/ read

/ / (#) / Title

75) The Hallowed Hunt
74) The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
          73) The King's Man by Rowena Corey Daniells (2012)
72) Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
      71) The Usurper by Rowena Corey Daniells (2010)
  70) Erak's Ransom by John Flanagan (2007)
          69) The other miss bridgerton by Julia Quinn (2018)


68) Wishing Season by Esther Freisner
          67) The Uncrowned King by Rowena Corey Daniells (2010)
          66) Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (2016)

Editado: Jul 24, 2021, 1:23 pm

From my third thread:

(if it's got a tick, I've posted my review to the book's page; stars are self-explanatory; clicking on the number will take you to the post where I've at least put down some ideas; last is the book title. I hope you appreciate the alliteration)

review posted/ rated/ written/ read

/ / (#) / Title


      65) The Book of Swords: part 2 edited by Gardner Dozois (2017)
          64) Moontangled by Stephanie Burgis


  63) Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones (1986)
      62) Akarnae by Lynette Noni
      61) The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
  60) Seraphina
      59) The King’s Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells (2010)
          58) Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin (2007)


57) The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (1913)
  56) The Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher
          55) Hamlyn All Colour Cook Book
54) The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury
      53) Dr. Thirteenth by Adam Hargreaves (2018)
      52) Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (2016)
      51) Dr. Eleventh by Adam Hargreaves (2017)
      50) Dr. Tenth by Adam Hargreaves (2018)
      49) Dr. Ninth by Adam Hargreaves (2017)
      48) Firebirds Rising {anthology} edited by Sharyn November (2006)

Editado: Jul 23, 2021, 8:48 am

From my second thread:

(if it's got a tick, I've posted my review to the book's page; stars are self-explanatory; clicking on the number will take you to the post where I've at least put down some ideas; last is the book title. I hope you appreciate the alliteration)

review posted/ rated/ written/ read

/ / (#) / Title


47) Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly (1998)
  46) Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale (2012)
  45) The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White (2019)
      44) Hospital Station by James White
  43) Esme's Gift by Elizabeth Foster
      42) Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews


        41) The Phantom's Curse by Shelley Wilson (ARC)
      40) The Queen’s Secret by Jessica Day George (2019)
      39) Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster (2017)
         38) The Queen's Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler (2016)
      37) The Village Witch Doctor and Other Stories (1990)
   36) Oakleaf Bearers by John Flanagan (2006)
         35) The Rose Legacy by Jessica Day George (2018)
      34) The Icebound Land by John Flanagan (2005)


      33) The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan (2005)
   32) The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho (2012)
   31) Cabin Pressure; series 1 by John Finnemore (2008)
         30) Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis (2016)
      29) Lady in Gil by Rebecca Bradley (1996)
      28) The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan (2004)
      27) Spellswept by Stephanie Burgis (2018)

Editado: Jul 23, 2021, 8:45 am

From my first thread:

(if it's got a tick, I've posted my review to the book's page; stars are self-explanatory; clicking on the number will take you to the post where I've at least put down some ideas; last is the book title. I hope you appreciate the alliteration)

review posted/ rated/ written/ read

/ / (#) / Title


      26) Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis (2019)
  25) Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis (2017)
  24) Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale (2012)
      23) Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (2005)
  22) Princess at Sea by Dawn Cook (2006)
      21) Nevertheless She Persisted anthology (2020)
      20) Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook (2005)


      19) First Truth by Dawn Cook (2002)
      18) Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (2016)
         17) Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal (2018)
  16) How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason (2019)
      15) The Sound of Her Wings by Neil Gaiman et al
         14) Sound and Fury by Neil Gaiman et al
           13) 24 Hours by Neil Gaiman et al
         12) Passengers by Neil Gaiman et al
      11) A Hope in Hell by Neil Gaiman et al
      10) Dream a Little Dream of Me by Neil Gaiman et al
      9) Imperfect Hosts by Neil Gaiman et al
      8) Sleep of the Just by Neil Gaiman et al
           7) First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennet (2018)
      6) Forest Born by Shannon Hale (2009)


      5) The Lost Heir by Tui Sutherland (2012)
      4) The Book of Swords. Part 1 edited by Gardner Dozois (2017)
         3) The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (2018)
         2) Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (2018)
      1) Wings of Fire; the Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland (2012)

Editado: Dic 12, 2020, 4:39 pm

december & covers/ beyond the 75

78) Ruby Red by Kerstin Grier
77) Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
76) The Traitor's Game by Jennifer Nielsen

Editado: Dic 13, 2020, 5:44 am

The constellation:

  You have got to read this one!                          
  Really good; worth reading                                
      Good, but without that special 'something' for me  
       Very nice, but a few issues                                   
           An enjoyable book                                                                        
           Um, okay. Has some redeeming qualities                  
                Writing is hard. I appreciate the work the author did    
               (haven't met one - yet)                                               
                     Rated only as a warning. Run away. Don't stop.               

Purple stars, from Robin's thread:


Robin has made coloured stars for me (happy dance) so I'm back in business. The codes are now enshrined in my profile.

Editado: Dic 13, 2020, 5:47 am

Reading at home :

‘Waiting for the boys to finish classes’ book :

Bedtime reading :Tashi series (yes, still), Robin Hood, Swallows & Amazons

Kindle :

Downtime : Skulduggery Pleasant

Overdrive :

Book club Six of Crows (we haven't had a chance to meet & discuss for a while)

online story

audio book



Editado: Dic 13, 2020, 5:50 am

Reading inspirations

Ongoing series:

The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper
Chronicles of the Cheysuli - Jennifer Roberson
Chronicles of the Kencyrath - P. C. Hodgell (group read, started January 2018; thread 2)
Tashi - Anna Fienberg
The Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold (2014-2017 group read - savouring it before I run out of these glorious books)
**Farseer (group read starting March 2018)
***The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan (relaxed group read starting January 2019)
{Tor read

Planning to read with the kids:
A Series of Unfortunate Events - Lemony Snickett
Ranger's Apprentice - John Flanagan (group read starting January 2019)

Ooh, what about...

Miss Fisher mysteries
Vatta/Honor Harrington
*Ready Player One
Earthsea book 1

Mmm - looks like I need to pick up the pace on some of these.

Dic 4, 2020, 11:31 pm


Dic 4, 2020, 11:31 pm


Editado: Ene 1, 2021, 6:24 am

Currently reading

ink & bone

Right-handed people didn’t generally look to the left when they were trying to avoid pursuit; they looked forward and back and toward their dominant side, unless something drew their eye.

Clockwork Boys

The phantom herb didn’t pay attention, but then, it never did.

City of Brass
The smoke flattened and condensed to form a thick map in the sky before her, Suleiman’s temple at the center. As she watched, blazing pinpricks of light spun out from the temple across the world, falling to the ground like meteorites and bouncing back as fully formed people.
“He divided us into six tribes.” Dara pointed at a pale woman weighing jade coins at the eastern edge of the map, China perhaps. “The Tukharistanis.” He gestured south at a bejeweled dancer twirling in the Indian subcontinent. “The Agnivanshi.” A tiny rider burst out of the smoke, galloping across southern Arabia and brandishing a fiery sword. Dara pursed his lips and with a snap of his fingers lopped off its head. “The Geziri.” To the south of Egypt, a golden-eyed scholar tossed a brilliant teal scarf over his shoulder as he scanned a scroll. Dara nodded at him. “The Ayaanle,” he said and then pointed to a fire-haired man mending a boat on the Moroccan coast. “The Sahrayn.”
“What about your people?”
“Our people,” he corrected and gestured toward the flat plains of what looked like Persia to her, or perhaps Afghanistan. “Daevastana,” he said warmly. “The land of the Daevas.”
She frowned. “Your tribe took the original name of the entire daeva race as your own?”
Dara shrugged. “We were in charge.”

Editado: Dic 4, 2020, 11:54 pm


Come on in - the water's warm!

Dic 4, 2020, 11:32 pm

I'm in!! 'Course you haven't posted anything but numbers up above, so I'll have to come back to see what's up. LOL.

Editado: Dic 5, 2020, 12:03 am

Hi Kim and welcome! I don't know that I ever finished setting up thread 4 properly but I wanted to grab a chance at thread 5 since it may not happen again. Soon, anyway.

Dic 4, 2020, 11:59 pm

Happy new one neighbour

Editado: Dic 5, 2020, 12:04 am

>17 humouress: Thank you Paul!

Dic 5, 2020, 12:03 am

I'm going to nip off and use the daylight to try and get decent cover photos for my catalogue; I'm finding this cataloguing addictive. Nothing new, really - it's one of the reasons I joined LT in the first place. I've wiped down each book and reorganised my shelves. But as I did that, I decided to stick stars on the spines so I can see which ones I've already read (I get lost when I'm in the middle of a series that I haven't read in a while, for instance). And I thought I'd take the opportunity to update my covers with member-uploaded ones rather than the generic Amazon ones because some of them have changed on me and one or two even turned into completely unrelated books. But I couldn't always find my specific covers even when I hunted for them on the web. So I had to use the app to put my own covers in. And since they came out okay, NOW I want to put all my own covers in. But I have to photograph them in daylight for maximum resolution and to avoid having the ceiling lights reflecting off the covers.

So please come in and make yourselves at home. I shall return anon.

Dic 5, 2020, 12:23 am

>20 humouress: I have been uploading my own covers when I can't find ones that match what I have. It's kind fun!

Dic 5, 2020, 12:38 am

Happy new thread!

Dic 5, 2020, 2:39 am

>21 Berly: It is fun! :0)

Dic 5, 2020, 2:39 am

>22 quondame: Thanks Susan!

Editado: Dic 25, 2020, 4:41 am

76) The Traitor's Game by Jennifer Nielsen

I bought this paperback because I liked her False Prince (and because if I'm going to wait for the book sales and the kids are picking up heaps of books, I want at least one, too); however I didn't find her protagonists as engaging as Sage.

I say 'protagonists' advisedly because there are two and, like her Ascendance series, this book is written in the first person. And this is a problem - I found it confusing to be reading from two different people's immediate point of view especially since they were always together so the action would keep flowing but switch between the two of them. If they had had alternating chapters, it might have been easier to follow without having to register the chapter headings every time but there might be two chapters from Kestra's point of view followed by a chapter from Simon's point of view.

People switched sides or gave their loyalties too easily I thought. Plus teen romance.



Dic 5, 2020, 7:03 am

Happy fifth thread, Nina!

>20 humouress: I have been adding my own covers from the start, as most of them were not on LT at all.

Dic 5, 2020, 9:29 am

Hope you're not miffed with me too much for my little quip on Ape's thread. T'was lighthearted and I found it interesting that he was in 90th place in both lists.

From your last thread I loved the Jasper story and the club sandwich.

Dic 5, 2020, 9:44 am

>26 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita!

Most of my covers come through with their ISBNs but some of my older ones have had new covers issued since I bought them or have changed after I catalogued them so I've usually hunted them down on the net. But I couldn't find images for a few of those or the resolution wasn't very good. The only problem is that I've put jackets on my books to protect them from the climate so I have to carefully take those of, first, so as to get a decent photo. I'm finding that some of the covers have turned brittle.

Dic 5, 2020, 9:46 am

>27 PaulCranswick: No, of course not Paul. I was just pretending, too (hence my citing Richard as my referee).

I think Jasper liked the club sandwich too ;0)

Dic 5, 2020, 10:07 am

>29 humouress: I also consider RD as kindness personified - and I'm not kidding - behind his curmudgeonly veil.

Mmm maybe that is not the most eye-warming image Richard in a veil.

Dic 5, 2020, 2:23 pm

Hmmmm....Richard as a a veil. ROFLOL

Dic 5, 2020, 11:00 pm

Dic 6, 2020, 12:28 am

Happy New Thread, Nina!!

Dic 6, 2020, 1:42 am

What was that?

Dic 6, 2020, 2:08 am

>33 ronincats: Thanks Roni!

>34 PaulCranswick: That's Roni. She's a friend of mine. Nice dress Paul ;0)

Dic 6, 2020, 8:53 am

AAAAGGGGhhhh. Touchstones are still being sporadic. I'm trying to copy across my lists of books read and I can't get the touchstones to work. Anyone else having this problem? It's been an issue for me for at least a couple of weeks now. Only three or four made it across in my post >7 humouress:.

Dic 6, 2020, 11:05 am

Happy new thread!

Dic 6, 2020, 11:08 am

>37 drneutron: Thank you Jim!

Dic 6, 2020, 11:38 am

Happy new thread! Lovely photo, too.

Dic 6, 2020, 11:51 am

Happy new thread!

>36 humouress: Yes, I’ve been struggling with the touchstones for a couple of weeks also. I’m sorry you’re having the same problem, but it’s good to know it’s not just me.

And congratulations on the 75!

Dic 6, 2020, 4:44 pm

Touchstones have been unusually touchy for several weeks. I'll hit "Post message" and touchstones that looked just fine are suddenly off.

IDK what programming goes on behind the scenes but I'm inclined to think some of it isn't touchstone-friendly....

Dic 7, 2020, 7:43 am

Happy new thread!

Dic 9, 2020, 12:38 am

>39 charl08: Thank you Charlotte!

I had to go back a bit to find a nice photo of Jasper that I haven't used yet. I'm guessing one of the boys took that one.

Dic 9, 2020, 12:40 am

>40 Matke: Thank you Gail! And thank you for the congrats too.

There's a bug report thread on the touchstones, so the LT gods are aware of the problem but I think they're caught up in getting other stuff rolled out at the moment. Which is fair enough - but frustrating for us, in the mean time.

Dic 9, 2020, 12:41 am

>41 richardderus: Yes; I'm thinking some of the new stuff is kicking out the touchstones. I suppose they'll get to it once the rollout is done. No point fixing it if it's going to get knocked out again?

Dic 9, 2020, 12:42 am

>42 foggidawn: Thank you foggi!

Editado: Dic 25, 2020, 4:16 am

78) Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

{1st of 3 Ruby trilogy; fantasy, YA. Translated from German}


This time, knowing how it ends, I paid attention to all the twists and turns. Still good and very engaging. I read it straight through this time. Narrated in first person from Gwyneth's point of view.


My review from 22-02-2016:

(First of 3: Ruby Red trilogy. Fantasy, YA) (Re-read)

I re-read this before I continue on with Sapphire Blue, the next in the series. I realised I hadn't finished my review last time to post it. This is what I wrote:

'I really enjoyed this story, possibly because it was reminiscent of the books I used to read as a teenager, with its very English flavour (though the original was written in German and translated into English by Anthea Bell (sister of BBC's Martin Bell)). In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I think I may buy the whole series. I seem to be a sucker for LT recommended YA trilogies coloured (individually) red, blue and green and written by authors named a variant of Kirstin. (I also went out and bought the Graceling trilogy after borrowing the first one from the library.) :0)

The story is told from the point of view of Gwynneth. she has always been overshadowed by her perfect cousin Charlotte (not to be confused with her sister Caroline), who has inherited a time travelling gene. Charlotte has been trained all her life in the 'mysteries' and now she is the right age, the family is anticipating her first jump. But it is Gwynneth who unexpectedly time travels and who turns out to be the last prophesied gene carrier, and now she is thrust unprepared into the 'mysteries' that her mother was hoping to protect her from.'

I still enjoyed the story on this re-read, though of course without being quite so much on tenter hooks. I like the way Gier / Bell have captured the flavour of being a teenager, and of being in London.Of course, being a time travelling story, it covers London in different time periods. I can't claim personal experience there, but it does convey the differences from present-day London (the fashions, the smells, the traffic)(coach traffic is different from car traffic). All in all, an excellent book; a little adventure, a little fantasy, a little humour, a little romance, and all well written.

Apparently I was undecided between a 4.5 star rating and a 5 (and still am this time around) but I finally decided on a 5, so I'll go with my first decision.

5 star

Oh, and Gwynneth (almost) shares my birthday. So does Kerstin Gier (a surprisingly rare occurrence). Definitely a 5 star then.

Editado: Dic 25, 2020, 9:57 am

77) Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl is a child genius and comes from a long line of super villains. Unfortunately his family has fallen on (relatively) hard times and he wants to restore their fortunes. And so, he comes up with a dastardly plan to kidnap a fairy (yes, they do exist - one of the benefits of being a child super villain is that it's easier to believe) to ransom them for fairy gold.

Not bad, especially if you just go with the flow, and it has generated a whole series to follow this book.

I can see the ground-eating (literally) dwarf with his fast - and explosive - digestive system would appeal to my nearly-12 year old's sense of humour.

I did wonder about fairy technology, which seems to be just ahead of human technology; the People also use human satellites to piggy-back their video feeds from. There doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between the species. And, weirdly, although they decry the destruction that humans have wrought on the world, fairies use petrol-driven wings. Hmm.


Editado: Dic 25, 2020, 5:57 am

79) My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (2017)
(aka Thicker than Water)


{stand-alone, crime}

So this is not a whodunnit; we know that it was Korede's sister Ayoola because the book opens with her calling Korede to help her clean up because yet another of her boyfriends has happened to be stabbed to death in her presence. Rather, it is Korede's worrying as to whether she has done enough to cover up for her sister especially when the police start asking awkward questions. Meanwhile, she follows the family of Femi, the boyfriend, on social media in the aftermath of his disappearance and reads some of his poetry - while having to restrain Ayoola from making frivolous posts because she doesn't seem to understand it would look bad.

Korede is a nurse at a hospital on the outskirts of Lagos (Nigeria) and has a compulsion for everything to be spotlessly clean. If she's troubled, cleaning helps her think and to regain some equilibrium.
I slip on the gloves and take out the multi-surface cleaner. I need some time to think.

As the older sister, she has always taken care of Ayoola. (And, as an older sister myself, I can empathise with Korede *sigh*, for example, folding up Ayoola’s untidy clothes.) Ayoola is beautiful and (Korede feels) anyone who looks at her wants to give her everything so she has had a long line of boyfriends while Korede hasn't had any.
“Your sister just wants to be around you, you know. You are her best friend.” It is my mother. She comes to stand beside me. Mother still talks about Ayoola as if she were a child, rather than a woman who rarely hears the word “no.” “What harm will it do if she comes to your workplace now and again?”
“It’s a hospital, Mum, not a park.”
“Eh, we have heard.

She likes Tade, one of the doctors at her hospital who, as well as being easy on the eyes, sings so well that everyone stops to listen and children take their injections without noticing. But then Tade sees Ayoola and Korede watches as her sister walks away with him while resenting having to help cover up her crimes and knowing that Tade is just another in her long line of easy conquests. What is Korede to do - should she warn Tade that Ayoola has killed her last three boyfriends?

We live with Korede through the period that Ayoola and Tade date while she wonders which one of them she would choose - the man she loves or the sister she has looked out for all their lives. At the hospital she unburdens herself to a comatose man whose family visit him less and less often, even though he isn't her patient, as she wonders how to deal with Ayoola's string of dead boyfriends, how to warn Tade without giving her away and whether they've done enough to hide the bodies.

The sisters' father, who has been dead for ten years, is still a large presence in their lives. We see, in flashbacks, his behaviour towards them especially around the time that he died and understand that he was instrumental in making the sisters the personalities that they are now; why Korede looks after her sister or Ayoola's amoralness, for example.

There is a way out for Korede, to not have to keep covering up, to not keep wondering who will be the next victim - if she is willing to give up Ayoola. And finally, Korede is forced to make her choice.

I like the way day to day life, Nigerian food and accents are woven through the narrative without being forced and I enjoyed hearing the accent in my head while reading. Although the subject matter is dark, this is not, somehow, a dark book. It is, behind the story, about families; the sisters' relationship, the expectations from being the older sister, the widow (for example, the sisters and their mother are forced to hold a memorial celebration for their father in an expensive venue suggested by their rich aunt even though she only contributes a little money) or even the first twin.
Yoruba people have a custom of naming twins Taiwo and Kehinde. Taiwo is the older twin, the one who comes out first. Kehinde, therefore, is the second-born twin. But Kehinde is also the older twin, because he says to Taiwo, “Go out first and test the world for me.”
This is certainly how Father considered his position as the second twin. And Aunty Taiwo agreed—she did everything he told her to and held an unquestioning trust in everything he did.

4.5-5 stars

Dic 14, 2020, 4:54 pm

Happy new one! Congrats on meeting your reading goal!

Dic 14, 2020, 5:00 pm

>49 humouress: I really liked this one too! I have been reading a lot of Nigerian fiction lately and all the food descriptions make my mouth water. I desperately want to try some jollof rice and pepper soup but we don't seem to have any Nigerian restaurants anywhere near the Seattle area :( Lots of Ethiopian places, and one place that just describes itself as serving "African" food, which might be the closest I'm going to get for a while.

Dic 14, 2020, 5:09 pm

>49 humouress: I really enjoyed My Sister, the Serial Killer as well. In 2019, I had a plan to read more African fiction. What I actually did was read more Nigerian fiction as it seems to be the most widely available in the U.K.

Dic 15, 2020, 3:32 am

>50 figsfromthistle: Thank you Anita!

Editado: Dic 24, 2020, 8:37 am

>51 curioussquared: >52 SandDune: I grew up in northern Nigeria but so long ago that, unfortunately, I don't recognise the names of the food - I should really look them up. But you're right, there has been a lot of Nigerian fiction around and there was so much buzz on LT for My Sister the Serial Killer that I went out of my usual comfort zone to read it. And it definitely paid off. Plus, it was fun hearing a Nigerian accent in my head as I was reading.

Editado: Dic 25, 2020, 6:05 am

80) First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn

{Fourth of 4 Rokesbys; romance, historical fiction} (2020)

This is the last of the Rokesbys, which is the prequel series to the Bridgertons (which I haven't read). Nicholas, the youngest of the Rokesby children, is called back urgently from his medical studies in Edinburgh in the middle of exams to be informed that Georgiana, the youngest of the Bridgertons and his best friend's sister, had been abducted. Although she escaped unharmed, her reputation is ruined and his father, whose goddaughter she is, wants him to marry her. Though they both feel that they have little choice given to them, they are good enough friends that they go through with it.

Romance is outside my usual reading fare although I venture occasionally and, having read most of the other books in the series, I thought I would finish it. I've also manage to let go of any notion that these might bear any resemblance to a Jane Austen novel or any other contemporary account so I could relax and enjoy the story for what it was.

Of the three books in the series that I've read, I think I prefer this one the best. I like the way that they are attracted to each other before they get married and (later) they realise that they have fallen in love with the person they are married to. Somehow, I find that more romantic. I confess - I was happy that the obligatory bedroom scenes (which seem to be the same in all the books) happened after the couple were married but I especially liked the fact that neither party had any experience before their wedding night. And I did like the way that the story continued on beyond the protagonists getting married and into the first months of married life. Though, to be honest, that seemed to be more to shed light on medical teachings of the time than to further their story.

3.25 stars

Editado: Dic 29, 2020, 1:18 am

81) Paper Girls 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang

{First of 6 volumes Paper Girls series 1-5; graphic novel, YA, sci-fi, mystery}

I've seen this recommended around LT and I considered getting it for my kids, who enjoyed watching Stranger Things but unfortunately, volumes 1 and 3 are not available from my bookshop. I managed to find it on Overdrive but for some reason it had to download on my browser rather than on the app (maybe because it's a GN?). This made it a bit awkward to read, especially as I kept having to reload/ refresh the browser quite a few times.

That aside, it is an intriguing story and at 1/6th of the way through, I would like to see how it plays out.

I'm going to have to get hold of a hard copy and re-read this properly but I'm planning on continuing with the remaining five volumes of this series. I like the way the artists have mixed ethnicities and social classes without making a song and dance about it. (In this year of high sensitivity I couldn't miss that.)

3.5 stars

Okay - I managed to download the GN to my desktop where I didn't have to constantly refresh the screen and I had it on the larger screen which made for a more cohesive experience - and maybe reading it the second time through helped me understand the story a bit better.

The story begins in the early morning after Hallowe'en 1988 (the year of the Bush/ Dukakis election) in Stony Creek, Ohio with a twelve year old girl getting up very early in the morning to do her paper round on her bicycle for the Cleveland Preserver. As she does her rounds, she is accosted by a group of older teenage boys but then rescued by three other paper girls - Mac, Tiffany and KJ - so she asks to join them. And then things get weird as they are attacked by beings. Whether these are aliens, people from the future or people from a parallel dimension we have yet to find out ...

We start off with the main protagonist, Erin, in heaven having to save her younger sister from hell but we quickly realise she is dreaming. At a later point she has a delirium dream (compered by Ronal Reagan); I'm not sure if her dreams tie into the story somehow but there is a constant theme of an apple.

Intense. Intriguing. I want to know what happens next - actually, I want to know what just happened.

I'm upping my rating to 5 stars

Dic 15, 2020, 2:58 pm

>49 humouress: I'm so glad you liked it so well! It was a fave of mine, too.

Dic 15, 2020, 10:37 pm

>57 richardderus: The title is a bit scary but there was so much love for the book on LT that I went ahead and took the plunge. Everyone's reporting was spot on.

Dic 15, 2020, 10:45 pm

Well, my project to photograph more of my own covers for my catalogue has been temporarily stalled. The monsoon weather has returned and when there aren't torrential downpours, there are magnificent thunderheads or at least an England-like overcast (covers the sky, lasts for hours). At least it alleviates some of the residual homesickness.

But it means that the ambient light isn't as bright. I've recently acquired (well, you know, Books K is on sale this month and it's been closed for most of the year. I couldn't help it) a set of Asterix omnibus which are mostly white. The one cover photo I did take looks a bit shadowed so I wanted lots of sunshine to try and capture the rest.

... Aaaand here comes the rain. So much for hoping that that small patch of blue was expanding.

Dic 15, 2020, 10:46 pm

Yer know what? I'm just gonna sit here and read my Asterix.

Editado: Dic 26, 2020, 12:05 pm

Asterix Omnibus 1 by Goscinny & Uderzo

82) Asterix the Gaul

The year is 50BC. Gaul is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, not entirely ... One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders. And life is not easy for the Roman legionaries who garrison the fortified camps of Tortorum, Aquarium, Laudanum and Compendium ...

The inhabitants of the village go about their daily activities unconcerned about the Romans camped outside their walls because they know they can defeat them easily. How? That's what Crismus Bonus wants to know, so he sends a volunteer spy into the village, who discovers that their druid mixes a magic potion that can give the drinker the strength of ten men for a limited time. Of course then he wants to get his hands on that potion.

Wonderfully silly with ridiculous puns on Latin (meet Crismus Bonus, the commander of Compendium, for example, or his second in command, Ginandtonicus). I love the little details in the background of the panels and the footnotes in some panels (one says 'this is an example of Latin grammar' followed a few panels later by 'this is bad grammar'). Or, when defeated enemies throw their weapons at Caesar's feet, they drop them on his toes. For those acquainted with the series already the world building may be a little stilted but, as the first publication, necessary.

So much fun and a good (and easy) way to revisit childhood.


ETA: I found this site with cameo appearances in the Asterix comics.

Dic 16, 2020, 6:33 am

>61 humouress: Asterix is always good :-)

Dic 16, 2020, 7:22 am

>61 humouress: I used to get these out from the library as a kid, although I think most of the puns passed me by completely.

Not a fan of jollof rice! (Too much heat for me)

Dic 17, 2020, 6:09 pm

My name is Nina and I’m a book addict. Or possibly a book-buying addict which, while probably related, isn’t quite the same thing. Whatever it is, I need help. I raided Books K again today just because they have a sale on. The danger is that I may go again next week (sale continues until the 25th) if I can think of anything else to buy.

Dic 17, 2020, 6:24 pm

>64 humouress: You're in good company here, Nina!

Dic 17, 2020, 6:43 pm

>64 humouress: Hi Nina.

My name is LT Member and I'm a biblioholic, a tsundoku sufferer, and a homecoming queen.

...wait, that's a Monkees song...

Dic 18, 2020, 1:29 am

>65 curioussquared: Thanks Natalie. We form a good support group for each other - only I don't think that it would qualify as support for any other type of addiction ;0)

Dic 18, 2020, 1:34 am

>66 richardderus: Ah, Richard. Yes, LT is the catch-all for all of the above. I was standing in the (strung out because of CoVid) queue to pay when the guilty/ not guilty feelings struck. I knew LT would be the place to come for support but I couldn't post at the time (because my hands were full of books).

Dic 18, 2020, 1:47 am

But what did you buy?! (In a supportive way, obviously)

Dic 19, 2020, 10:39 pm

Last week's were

Asterix omnibus 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire & Ash and Quill (they don't have the fourth in the series in stock at the moment)
The King of Elfland's Daughter
and The Guinevere Deception which I loved and have been waiting for to be issued in an mmpb size that fits my bookshelves.

Dic 20, 2020, 5:09 am

>63 charl08: Oops sorry Charlotte - I missed you the first time. Asterix is one of those that's always good for a quick re-read and you pick up a few more of the puns as an adult. I suspect, though, that some of them may be pop culture references of the time - but it doesn't really matter.

I'm sure you could make your own jollof rice and adjust the heat. I've not made it myself, or maybe only once a long time ago and that was kind of made up as I went along, so I couldn't tell you how easy it is to make the authentic version.

Dic 20, 2020, 7:10 am

Wishing you a great Sunday, neighbour.

Editado: Dic 20, 2020, 10:18 am

>73 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. And to you too.

This weekend was a bit busy because my eldest had his birthday yesterday. My younger son helped me make him a cake (England world cup 2018 shirt) and we went out for dinner (with masks, of course). And we saw a film - Wonder Woman 84 - in the cinema. We went for a 'gold class' cinema where the seats are large and already arranged in pairs (and, therefore, there are only 20-30 seats in the theatre) so social distancing was almost automatic. Good film.

My husband, if you let him, would probably be in the cinema every week so this year has been a bit hard on him. This is the first film we've been in to see in a long, long time. He did propose one a couple of months ago but I vetoed it.

Dic 20, 2020, 10:16 am

Hi Nina, I send all good wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

Dic 20, 2020, 10:18 am

>74 humouress: Thank you Linda!

Dic 21, 2020, 5:40 am

I, too, wish you a happy holiday season!

Dic 21, 2020, 2:41 pm

Tachyon Publications, an SFF house, posted this on Twitter. Says it all, no?

Dic 21, 2020, 3:34 pm

>74 humouress: I love the cinema, although less so here (small town) than when I lived in a city with two arts cinemas a short bus ride away. Saved some cash by not going at all this year though, so I suppose there's a plus side.

Editado: Dic 22, 2020, 11:48 pm

Today my younger son turns 12 but, having felt under the weather for a couple of days and run a temperature last night, he's gone into hospital for a test. Yes, that one - though chances are slim that he's got THAT thing; we obviously have our fingers crossed. Since he's still a child we're hoping that if he's got to have the test, it'll just be a throat swab.

Last night my older son and I stayed up to decorate his birthday cake and then, somehow, all four of us ended up in the room with our younger one to check on how he was feeling, monitor his temperature and discuss contingencies for his birthday plans and Christmas dinner plans. (I know - so much for isolation.) And then we discovered someone had already sent birthday wishes to him at 3 a.m. - but then we realised he's sent it himself so although he's feeling miserable, he's still himself. Anyway, birthday lunch out has been cancelled but the cake is still in the 'fridge, should he feel like having any, and Christmas dinner has been postponed for now. Meanwhile, in Sydney, my sister took a test yesterday and received the all-clear today so she may go ahead and celebrate with our parents.

Dic 22, 2020, 11:49 pm

>77 The_Hibernator: Thank you Rachel!

Right now, it's so-so though it is nice to have the kids around the house during the day :0)

Dic 22, 2020, 11:53 pm

>78 richardderus: Well, it hasn't been all bad for us in Singapore. We got to spend more quality time together and my husband and I did actually get out of the house for some exercise during the lockdown sorry, circuit breaker period (although that unfortunately petered out quite quickly).

I think the phrase 'hindsight is 20-20 vision' will take on new meaning after this ;0)

Dic 22, 2020, 11:56 pm

>79 charl08: I see in the papers that some of the film companies will be releasing their films on cable at the same time that they come out in theatres - I assume that will be world-wide. That should save some cash? I'm happy we saw WW84 in the cinema; I glimpsed something that suggested it didn't come across as spectacularly on the small screen.

Dic 23, 2020, 5:41 am

>83 humouress: Not at the prices they're charging for digital access, Nina. I guess if you're watching as a family £15 is quite a bargain, but for one person it's really not. I googled for the price for WW 1984 to download (apparently, not til next month) and was amazed to see some cinemas are open down the road, I'm not sure how that's even legal!

Hope your son is feeling better soon. Sending a birthday message to yourself sounds like a good way to make sure no one gets to say they forgot!

Dic 23, 2020, 6:32 am

>84 charl08: That's true; between my husband and the channels he's subscribing to 'for the kids' I think we already have a lot of those channels already. Maybe the cinemas haven't updated their websites? The government has been yo-yoing a bit, so maybe they're waiting to see what happens ;0)

firelion seems to be a bit better, thanks. He had to have the test done, so now he's got a stay-at-home order until the results come through though the doctors think it's just normal (!) flu. He sent his birthday message on the family group chat with my parents and sister. Mind you, my mum did call my older son on his birthday to ask how his studies were going and had forgotten the significance of the date.

Editado: mayo 27, 2021, 3:08 pm

83) King Breaker by Rowena Corey Daniells

This was the last book in the King Rolen's Kin series and, to be honest, it was a bit of a slog getting to the end.

The main characters in the initial two books had a naïveté that had me curious as to what happened to them but the last two books spoiled that appeal.

Having secured Merofynia, Byren turns his attention to reclaiming his father's throne in Rolencia leaving his brother as lord protector. But suddenly Fyn has his hands full as spar warlords attack from the mountains and the Merofynian lords would rather play politics than save their neighbours' estates. Piro finds herself involved in state affairs in both countries as well as in the Ostron isles and her Affinity grows stronger.

So many times, things looked like they were heading towards resolution only to be diverted at the last minute. However, as in the previous books in the series, I felt that a lot of detail was missing and new ideas were crammed in (like freed mine slaves who used to be farmers defeating hardened warriors in a land that isn‘t even theirs, there‘s a suddenly a whole new country slap bang in the middle of Merofynia and Rolencia that no one noticed before and now there are more and more types of Affinity beasts that were supposed to be rare and dangerous) so the quality of writing is equivalent to what is acceptable in juvenile fiction these days (although why young readers should get stuck with lower standards, I haven't yet worked out).

In this book, as in The King's Man, Corey Daniells seems to have tried to spice things up by introducing crudeness and sexual assault; both books seem to have been written a while after the first three books. Unfortunately, since the quality of writing hasn't changed, rather than making the books edgier, it rather backfired (making me less forgiving of the faults in the writing) and made them drag for me. Towards the end, I couldn't tell some of the minor characters apart but I couldn't be bothered to go back and work them out. I still liked the story enough to want to find out how it ended (having read through the better part of five fairly thick books) but I was getting very impatient with all the diversions. Finish it, already. I did like the last couple of sentences at the end but there were still several story lines left open. It looks like Piro has a romantic interest waiting for her who is almost a decade older but since all the characters acted the same age, the age difference didn't even register with me; in fact until it was pointed out, I thought that it was much less.


Series summary:

The titles don't seem to refer to the characters in the books

The prophecies in the first book are misleading. Both indicate that Corey Daniells had something different in mind initially. I can't seem to pin down the exact ages of the main protagonists but this book definitely states that Piro is not yet 14 while Fyn is 17.

Litsy notes:
Slogging through book 5. Details are still missing; so many times I think ‘how did we get here?‘ but at pg 8532 of 11500 I‘ll let it slide. Things like freed mine slaves who used to be farmers defeat hardened warriors in a land that isn‘t even theirs.
Sexual violence & crudeness is shoehorned into this last book of a YA series, seemingly in an attempt to appeal to an older audience but it backfires badly.

We keep seeing more and more types of Affinity beasts though they were supposed to be rare and dangerous. The main land mass with 2 warring countries (Rolencia & Merofynia) is divided by a mountain range with spars jutting into the flatlands and ruled by spar lords struggling for existence. Now there‘s a whole new country slap bang in the middle of all that.

Nearly there, with fewer than 10 chapters to go. But most of the protagonists are in trouble (again) and I don‘t see how it‘s going to end well for them. I want to know how it ends (especially since I‘m so close to the end) but the story is still dragging.

king breaker

The last in the box set of king rolens kin. Everyone is all at sea; byren & orrie sailing back to rolencia, piro sailing to ostren isles & fyn helping isolte make a royal progress around the inland sea.
New affinity beasts starting to proliferate, people & animals gain new names. Author has added more ... grit ... to the last 2 books. Doesn’t work well

I can't seem to pin down the exact ages of the main protagonists but this book definitely states that Piro is not yet 14 while Fyn is 17.

Author skims details so the quality of writing is acceptable for juvenile books though I don’t know why young readers should get stuck with sub quality writing. Last & 2nd last book introduce more violence as iauthor js trying to appeal to a different audience but writing quality is the same and it doesn’t sit well.
Introduces rape and sex but not very well done so it backfires; ends up being neither here nor there. As a result, it’s a bit annoying and starting to drag a bit.

Titles - not sure how each title relates to its book.

Dic 23, 2020, 7:30 am

Dic 23, 2020, 4:50 pm

>85 humouress: I hope the test comes back negative, Nina, and happy (belated) birthday to firelion!

Dic 24, 2020, 3:19 am

>87 figsfromthistle: Thank you Anita! Merry Christmas to you too.

Dic 24, 2020, 3:20 am

>88 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita - the test did come back negative this morning. Suddenly he feels a lot better - my sister says it's partly psychological.

Dic 24, 2020, 3:26 am

Or in other words, Happy Christmas! And have a great New Year as well. Here’s hoping 2021 is an improvement on 2020.

Dic 24, 2020, 3:53 am

>91 SandDune: Thank you Rhian! Wishing you and your family a merry Christmas too and a vastly improved 2021.

Dic 24, 2020, 4:44 am

I'm just watching two birds chase each other between the aerials of the houses across from us and the jungle that they back onto. I suspect that they are kingfishers because I can just about tell that they have bright blue wings, white undercarriages and a hint of orange-red at the front. (*$&$&£* ageing eyesight) I daren't get up and go to look for camera or binoculars ... well, anyway, they've gone now.

Editado: Dic 26, 2020, 4:37 am

84) Royals {aka Prince Charming} by Rachel Hawkins


{First of 2: Royals; teen romance, YA} (2018)

It's 2018 and Ellie, who grew up in Florida, has found her prince Charming. No, this isn't her story; Ellie (Eleanor, El) is already engaged to Alex, heir to the throne of Scotland after his mum who is the queen. This is the story of Daisy, her sister, who is still in high school in Perdido in Florida. She's working in the Sur-and-Sav and planning to go to Key West for the con with her best friend Isabella but suddenly their plans are derailed in favour of Daisy spending the summer holidays in Scotland to get to know her sister's future world and escape the paparazzi who have already started hounding her family in Perdido. But then she meets Seb, Alex's younger, rowdy brother, and his group of friends, known to the media as the Royal Wreckers, not to mention Seb's twin sister Flora, who doesn't seem to like El.

Light, fun teen romance written in the present tense from the first person point of view. I'd be happy to read more of the same. I like Daisy's family, especially her dad and his sense of humour. It may not be earth-shattering literature but it's lots of fun.
I tuck the blanket a little more tightly around me and start heading back the way I came. I’m not someone who’s easily spooked, but this is all just a liiiiiitttttle too Gothic for me, swanning around the dark halls of a castle at night. Plus, I’d also dealt with having a charming scoundrel in my room, and a fight with a stuck-up snob.
Not even a full two days into my trip, and I was already going full Jane Austen.

It's fairly obvious from the details that it's an American author writing about Brits - I don't think you would have found an ashtray in a pub in Edinburgh in 2018 (though I could be wrong - but I can guarantee you wouldn't have found one in a pub in York in 2016), for instance, but as the book doesn't take itself too seriously, it doesn't really matter.

I see that there's a sequel focussing on Flora and I wouldn't mind seeing Sebastien's real story or, better yet, a continuation of Daisy's story.


Dic 24, 2020, 5:51 pm

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May 2021 bring you less need for masks, loads of peace and joy, good health and, of course, books!

Dic 24, 2020, 6:06 pm

>95 Berly: Thank you Kim. I wish the same for you.

Dic 24, 2020, 6:07 pm

Merry Christmas everyone!

Dic 24, 2020, 6:36 pm

>94 humouress: Glad you liked that one! I totally agree with your assessment -- just pure light-hearted fun. Her Royal Highness was fun, too.

Merry Christmas!!

Editado: Dic 25, 2020, 1:04 am

Happy Holidays Nina!

Dic 25, 2020, 1:09 am

>99 quondame: Thank you Susan. And to you too!

Dic 25, 2020, 11:11 am

I hope you get some of those at least, Nina, as we all look forward to a better 2021.

Dic 25, 2020, 12:09 pm

>101 PaulCranswick: Thank you Paul. And I wish the same for you.

Editado: Dic 26, 2020, 4:45 am

85) Giant Days volume 1 by John Allison & Lissa Treiman (illustrations)

{First of 14 +2 Giant Days series; YA, graphic novel, life experience} (2015)

This is graphic novel collects the first four issues of a series centred on three girls who started at an unspecified university in England three weeks ago and written from Susan's point of view. From the first page:
Homeschooled and naïve, Daisy Wooton is 50% hair and 100% not ready for this mean old world.
Esther De Groot is pale and interesting. Maybe too interesting. Her high school sweetheart lasted eleven days into her university career.
I, Susan Ptolemy, am a human common sense silo. Without me, they'd probably both be dead, in jail or dead and in jail.

(FYI - that last is just wishful thinking)

This volume takes us through about a term in which the Susan meets someone unwelcome from her past, innocent Daisy goes to a party and gets high and Esther is put on a 'hot girls' website and the girls take their - very apt - revenge.

As in the best comic series, the details in the artwork make it.

Light and fun. I'll look for the rest of the series.


Dic 26, 2020, 4:58 am

>103 humouress: I want to read this series. Better wait for the GN I er, ordered for myself as a Xmas present turns up first though.

Dic 26, 2020, 5:57 am

>104 charl08: Probably best :0)

Dic 26, 2020, 10:51 am

>103 humouress: Oh yay! I'm so pleased you enjoyed it.

Dic 26, 2020, 11:45 am

>98 curioussquared: >106 MickyFine: That's what LT is about - picking up book bullets. I'm pretty sure I got hit for Royals and Giant Days on your (respective) threads - but it does take me a few hits before I go and look for a book, so it's a bit hard to attribute a book bullet to a specific person. Just in case you were feeling miffed that I hadn't credited you with them :0)

Okay - looks like it might have reached that time of night where I'm rambling nonsense. Time I hit the sack with a good book. Let me just ...

Editado: Dic 29, 2020, 5:06 am

86) Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher

{First of 2 Clocktaur War duology; fantasy, steampunk, YA} (2017)

We meet Sage as she is sneezing her way through the Dowager's prison. Sage is a forger but she has inherited a vague sense of magic - she smells rosemary whenever her magic wants to warn her of something important but she's allergic to the scent (amongst other things). And she never seems to be able to hold on to handkerchiefs.

The city of where she lives is under threat of attack from the city of Anuket who send constructs that those who have seen them and try to describe them cannot decide whether they are living beings or machines. The Dowager want to send a mission to Anuket to either find out how disable the constructs - known as 'Clockwork Boys' - at the source or bring back the secret of their creation to make them for her side. The first two missions have been unsuccessful so she is resorting to sending criminals on this third one. Along with Sage will go her erstwhile companion Brenner, an assassin, and one more whom Sage is in the prison to find. But the man she finds is demon-ridden.

This book tells us the story of how Sage, Brenner, Caliban and - eventually - the Learned Edmund meet, set out on their journey and the adventures that accost them on the way. As it ends, they are just approaching Anuket city walls, but there are still parts of their backstories that we have not yet learned. A lot of the story is the banter and interaction between the characters which is quite fun. Brenner and Caliban are both obviously potential rivals for Sage, although otherwise they seem to reluctantly admire each other, whereas the Learned Edmund (who is along for research) cannot bear to look at her or talk to her.

I did find the characters internal monologues a bit of an issue; granted, I have long conversations with myself inside my head but finding myself listening inside someone else's head was a bit disconcerting. Fortunately that tailed off after the initial chapters. The other issue I had was not always knowing whose head I was inside. The story (narrated in the third person) was told mainly from Sage's point of view but occasionally I would realise it had switched to Caliban's which was a bit confusing. I was also confused about the paladin's demon. It was dead (very definitely dead, he kept asserting) but it kept speaking through his mouth and seemed to have feelings.

But overall I'm looking forward to the next book.


Dic 27, 2020, 11:03 am

You have some great reviews here! Leo some books way, way out of my usual reading zones, so potential library check-outs.

I’ll just say that I came to Asteryx as an adult and find them hilarious fun with little brainpower required.

Let’s hope 2021 is marvelous.

Dic 27, 2020, 12:06 pm

T Kingfisher appears on a lot of steampunk lists, in a favorable light. You seem to agree...must look into her ouevre.

Editado: Dic 29, 2020, 4:29 am

>109 Matke: Thanks Gail. I'm a bit behind on a lot of reviews, especially from the middle of the year onwards, but I've managed to do most of my December books.

Asterix is always fun; I've invested in a few omnibus editions - and I may even share them with the kids. Maybe.

Let's hope 2021 is marvellous, indeed.

Dic 29, 2020, 4:28 am

>110 richardderus: Roni is a big fan of T. Kingfisher aka Ursula Vernon so my book bullet came from her direction. I think the steampunk may ratchett up a gear in the next book; this one was more of an introduction to the situation and the characters. I wouldn't say 'world building' because we haven't learned much about the city we/ they are travelling to (deliberately, I think) where, I suspect, things will take off in unexpected directions.

Editado: Dic 30, 2020, 1:46 pm

87) Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

{2nd in Ruby trilogy; fantasy, YA, time travel adventure} (2012)

ETA: I like the way Paul kisses Lucy for the first time in the prologue and it ties in to chapter one, when we enter right in the middle of the kiss that was interrupted by the end of Ruby Red.

My review from February 2016:

(Second of 3: Ruby Red trilogy. Fantasy, YA)

This is the second instalment of the time-travel trilogy, translated from German by Anthea Bell.

There are two families, now based in London, with the time-travelling gene; one carries it in the male line and the other in the female line. There are destined to be twelve time travellers in all down through the centuries, and in the first book, Ruby Red, Gwyn discovered that she was the last of them - the long awaited Ruby. There is a secret society that helps them, founded by one of their time traveling ancestors, the self-styled Count Saint-Germaine. It maintains a chronometer which, once a small sample of that time traveller's blood has been entered into it, prevents uncontrolled jumps back in time. Once the blood of all twelve time travellers has been entered, the prophecies say, the Circle will be closed and the Secret that will save the world will be revealed.

Or so Gwyn is told. But there are other secrets and mysteries that seem to be kept from her. And there seem to be deeper mysteries beneath those secrets. The only thing she can do is follow her mother's advice and trust no-one, especially the Count whom she travels back in time to visit with the oh-so-handsome Gideon of the green eyes, who kissed her. But did he kiss her cousin Charlotte, too?

Gwyn and Gideon have a mission - to travel through time and persuade the remaining time travellers to donate their blood. Although most of them did so in their lifetimes, the original chronometer was stolen and now the replacement needs their samples. But why was the first one stolen? And which is the bad side?

I must say I'm still quite baffled. I thought I had it partly worked out ... And then ... But no, maybe not.

This is a light read, quite more-ish but not at all fluffy. There's a bit more action in this second book than the first, and a bit less of modern day London. So far, there haven't been any time paradoxes, which may be due to the Count's Golden Rules which must on no account be broken. I think the giggly friendship with Lesley is nicely portrayed, and she is a good friend to Gwen. Add to the mix a few ghosts and demons and Aunt Maddy's visions and you get a thoroughly engrossing novel. I'm looking forward to the third book and the denouement.

4 star

Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 12:16 pm

88) Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier


Whew, the hormones! It’s a good thing the ghost/ demon Xemerius is there to keep things under control. But I enjoyed the romance

I liked the strong sense of family Gwen had with her mum and siblings and even her dad even though he died six years before the beginning of the story. The whole trilogy takes place over about a 3 week period.

Mr. Bernard (ahem), the family butler, turns out to be an unsuspected ally.

It was amusing that Paul and Lucy, a generation older than Gideon and Gwen, behave as though they are the more mature even though - because of the time travelling - they meet when they are only a few years older. (Gwen is 16, Gideon is 19, Lucy is 18 and Paul is about 19 or 20.

Gier avoids time travelling paradoxes through the whole trilogy except right at the end (maybe she saved them for the end intentionally?) so, fortunately, my brain survived relatively unscathed.

The emerald in the prophecy represents Count Saint-Germaine.

A good book to finish; just about everyone gets the ending they deserve; even the ‘mean girl’ got some kind of compassion.

I would like to know a bit more about the background of the count and the whole prophecy.


Dic 30, 2020, 1:56 pm

>113 humouress: I'm glad to see you're enjoying these; I found Ruby Red on my kindle with no memory of how it got there (I am in a complicated relationship with kindle deals) but hope to get to it soon!

Editado: Dic 30, 2020, 4:08 pm

>115 curioussquared: I’m re-reading them, mainly so I can fill in gaps in the TIOLI birthstone challenge (since I set it up) but I do enjoy them. It doesn’t hurt that my birthday is (almost) a star :0)

Yes - a few books have ended up on my Kindle though I can’t remember how they got there (although I checked back and found the invoices). They must have seemed like good deals at the time.

Editado: Jun 16, 2021, 1:14 am

Squeezed one last one in before midnight:

89) Asterix and the Golden Sickle by Goscinny & Uderzo


Asterix Omnibus 1 by Goscinny & Uderzo

All is well in the village - until Getafix the Druid breaks his golden sickle, without which he cannot imbue mistletoe with magic, just before he has to leave for the Druid conference. The only golden sickles worth having are made in Lutetia by Metallurgix - who happens to be Obelix’s cousin - and so our two heroes volunteer to make the dangerous journey. But when they hit the big city, they find things not as easy as they were expecting- for one thing, Metallurgix has disappeared.

As ever, there's a lot of fun in the punny names; the Gaulish names tend to end with X while the Roman names tend to end with -US and they all give us a clue as to the owners' characteristics. And, once you've enjoyed the story, come back and read it again for the jokes in the background drawings as our heroes go about their adventures.


Coincidentally, translated by Anthea Bell who also translated Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green

Dic 31, 2020, 12:18 pm

So. It’s 1.10 in the a.m. of the 1st of January 2021 here in Singapore. Happy New Year everyone!

Dic 31, 2020, 12:40 pm

>118 humouress: “Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”
— Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, 1987

Dic 31, 2020, 9:08 pm

Happy New Year, Nina!

Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 9:17 pm


As the year turns, friendship continues

Ene 1, 2021, 4:19 pm

>119 richardderus: Thank you Richard. Coincidentally, Adams's Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy was one of my acquisitions this year. The whole trilogy - all 5 books - in one tome.

Ene 1, 2021, 4:20 pm

>120 MickyFine: Thank you Micky. Wishing you the same.

Ene 1, 2021, 4:21 pm

>121 PaulCranswick: Thank you Paul. We're all good friends in this group - whether we meet up or not. Let's hope that we're able to travel again this year.

Ene 1, 2021, 4:22 pm

They say hindsight is 20-20 vision. I've started a new thread for the New Year

Ene 1, 2021, 11:11 pm

Editado: Sep 21, 2021, 7:07 am

89 90 books read
62 79 reviews posted

47 - June
54, 57 - July
68 - October
72, 74, 75, 76 - November
77, 88, 90 - December