Ani's Book Abyss

Ani's Book Abyss

I like to read. A lot.

Bout of Books 25: Day 2 Update
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



I feel like I'm still making great progress, and even as this post goes up, I will have finished reading Seduction by Amanda Quick.  But since I didn't finish it before midnight, I'll have to count it towards Day 3 progress for Bout of Books.  Still, that's two books in three days, so I'm quite content.  All of my pages read for Day 2 belongs to Seduction, and I'm still listening to The Sittaford Mystery, a little at a time during my drive to work and home each day.

Day 2 of Bout of Books, and not only have I made some reading progress, I'm also keeping up with those daily updates I keep promising myself.  So far.

Meanwhile, aside from these updates, it's been work and reading, so I've had little time to bother with some reviews I'd been meaning to write.  So there's a distinct possibility that I'll be flooding the feeds with reviews after this week is over.  My plans and goals this week, after all, are to read, read, and read some more!

 

 

Progress For the Day


# Pages Read:  273 pages
# Minutes Listened:  46 minutes
# Books Read:  0 books

 

 

Currently Reading

 

 

 

Progress Running Total


Overall Weekly Running Total
# Pages Read:  457 pages
# Minutes Listened:  93 minutes
# Books Read:  1 book


Monday, May 13
# Pages Read:  184 pages
# Minutes Listened:  47 minutes
# Books Read:  1 book
-- Finished Ever Strange by Alisa Woods | read 149 pages

Tuesday, May 14
# Pages Read:  273 pages
# Minutes Listened:  46 minutes
# Books Read:  0 books

Wednesday, May 15
# Pages Read: 
# Minutes Listened: 
# Books Read: 

Thursday, May 16
# Pages Read: 
# Minutes Listened: 
# Books Read: 

Friday, May 17
# Pages Read: 
# Minutes Listened: 
# Books Read: 

Saturday, May 18
# Pages Read: 
# Minutes Listened: 
# Books Read: 

Sunday, May 19
# Pages Read: 
# Minutes Listened: 
# Books Read: 

 

 

Books Finished During Bout of Books

 

 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls

 



I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/bout-of-books-25-day-2-update.html
Bout of Books 25: Day 1 Update
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



I've been playing with different ways to track my Bout of Books progress for the past few years, and still haven't really come up with one I like.  This time around, I'm switching things up again, with hopes that I'll like this new tracking format.  If not... well, back to the drawing board...

 

 

Progress For the Day


# Pages Read:  184 pages
# Hours Spent Reading:  N/A (did not track)
# Books Read:  1 book

Technically, I really only finished reading the last half of Ever Strange by Alisa Woods (149 pages), but we'll count it as a win anyway.  Meanwhile, I started reading Seduction by Amanda Quick (28 pages), and I'm still continuing to listen to The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie and narrated by Hugh Fraser (47 minutes).

Progress is great so far!

I may also get rid of the "# Hours Spent Reading" stat, since I'm not really tracking at all, if I want to be honest.

 

 

Currently Reading

 

 

 

Progress Running Total


Overall Weekly Running Total
# Pages Read:  184 pages
# Hours Spent Reading:  N/A (did not track)
# Books Read:  1 book


Monday, May 13
# Pages Read:  184 pages
# Hours Spent Reading:  N/A (did not track)
# Books Read:  1 book
-- Finished Ever Strange by Alisa Woods | read 149 pages

 

 

Books Finished During Bout of Books

 

 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls

 


I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/bout-of-books-25-day-1-update.html
BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Final Square Voting!
The Duchess Deal - Tessa Dare Mortal Arts - Anna Lee Huber My Fair Concubine - Jeannie Lin Mistress of Rome  - Kate Quinn
Help me choose a book for Square 100!

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber
My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin
Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn
 
Created with PollMaker



In keeping with my Reading Assignment Challenge, I need one more historical fiction book to finish this month's requirements, so this poll is made up of all historical fiction novels.  Also to give me an extra push, these are also all books that I already own and have been trying to find a chance to read since forever... except for Mistress of Rome, which was a fairly new addition to my digital shelves.

I don't know how long I'm going to keep this poll up, but it'll at least be for 24 hours to give lots of people a chance to vote.  Thanks, everyone!


The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night.  Now there’s a new item on the list.  He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife.  When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly…  Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover.  She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly…  Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

 



Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber

Scotland, 1830.  Lady Kiera Darby is no stranger to intrigue—in fact, it seems to follow wherever she goes.  After her foray into murder investigation, Kiera must journey to Edinburgh with her family so that her pregnant sister can be close to proper medical care.  But the city is full of many things Kiera isn’t quite ready to face: the society ladies keen on judging her, her fellow investigator—and romantic entanglement—Sebastian Gage, and ultimately, another deadly mystery.

Kiera’s old friend Michael Dalmay is about to be married, but the arrival of his older brother—and Kiera’s childhood art tutor—William, has thrown everything into chaos.  For ten years Will has been missing, committed to an insane asylum by his own father. Kiera is sympathetic to her mentor’s plight, especially when rumors swirl about a local girl gone missing.  Now Kiera must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend—and save the marriage of another…

 



My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin

The Nobleman Who Turned a Tea Girl Into a Princess...

Yan Ling tries hard to be servile—it's what's expected of a girl of her class.  Being intelligent and strong-minded, she finds it a constant battle.

Proud Fei Long is unimpressed by her spirit—until he realizes she's the answer to his problems.  He has to deliver the emperor a "princess."  In two months can he train a tea girl to pass as a noblewoman?

Yet it's hard to teach good etiquette when all Fei Long wants to do is break it, by taking this tea girl for his own...

 



Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

First-century Rome: A ruthless emperor watches over all—and fixes his gaze on one young woman...

Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia.  Now she has infuriated her mistress by capturing the attention of Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator—and though his love brings Thea the first happiness of her life, their affair ends quickly when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.

Remaking herself as a singer for Rome’s aristocrats, Thea unwittingly attracts another admirer: the charismatic Emperor of Rome.  But the passions of an all-powerful man come with a heavy price, and Thea finds herself fighting for both her soul and her sanity.  Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin.  But in the end, the life of Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor’s mistress.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/booklikes-snakes-and-ladders-final.html
BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Final Dice Rolls!

Twenty-three dice rolls and three snakes later, I've made it!  I never hit a ladder, but that's fine!  I made it, and Dino Baby is all the more happy for it, because now he can crawl back into bed and take a nap.  Thanks Baby!

My most recent Snakes and Ladders book, Ever Strange by Alisa Woods was super fast to breeze through, and probably another one of my guilty pleasure reads.  Not even a full day and I had it finished... okay, maybe about a day...

Anyway, moving along to the my last dice rolls!

 

 

 

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders



Basically, all of my hoarded books DID come in handy at one point or another throughout this game, and very much so with these last three rolls.

Long story short, the next two rolls after finishing my last book were both eights, which managed to land me on squares where I could fit a book I'd already read into.

 


I landed first on Square 90: A new-to-you author, then on Square 98: Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS.  In which I inserted the following two books, respectively.

 


Dangerous for square 98 speaks for itself, and Indigo is the first Beverly Jenkins book I've ever read.  It all fits!

And since I was on square 98, and was able to insert a book that fit the prompt, I was able to roll two dice, which pretty much meant that anything I rolled would have landed me on the last square, Square 100:  Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

 


I rolled anyway and got a 4, but that's a moot point now.  I made it and will have a poll up shortly so that everyone can tell me what to read next!

 



(I am no longer showing what books I'm currently reading and what books I've hoarded for future use, because it won't matter anymore.  I'm at the end!  In case anyone's wondering...)

 

 

My Progress


Dates for each dice roll corresponds with respective update post.
Book titles link to reviews if written.
Completed books' covers (read and used for squares) following table.

 

Date Dice Roll Square/Prompt Book Title / Author Fits Square?
02/20
na
1.  Author is a woman Sweet Release by Pamela Clare Yes
02/22 (#1)
(2 + 4)
6
7.  Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D. Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare Yes
02/24 (#2)
(2 + 3)
5
12.  Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z. SEAL for Her Protection by Paige Tyler Yes
02/27 (#3)
(2 + 4)
6
18.  Set in a school Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger Yes
03/09 (#4)
(4 + 5)
9
27.  Set during WWI or WWII Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld Yes
03/12 (#5)
(5 + 6)
11
38.  Newest release by a favorite author Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz Yes
03/12 (#6) (3 + 5)
8
46.  A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years Slightly Shady by Amanda Quick Yes
03/16 (#7)
(5 + 6)
11
57.  Was published more than 50 years ago Thunder on the Right by Mary Stewart Yes
03/16 (#8)
(4 + 4)
8
65. Snake - go back to 52 n/a n/a
03/16
snake
52.  Has a tree or flower on the cover The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin Yes
03/19 (#9)
(2 + 5)
7
59.  Was published more than 10 years ago Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare Yes
03/19 (#10)
(2 + 5)
7
66.  Part of a series that is more than 10 books long Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson Yes
03/24 (#11)
(1 + 2)
3
69.  Something related to travel on the cover A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Julana Gray Yes
03/30 (#12)
(4 + 6)
10
79.  Main character is a woman Don't Look Back by Amanda Quick Yes
03/31 (#13)
(3 + 5)
8
87.  Snake - go back to 57 n/a n/a
03/31
snake
57.  Was published more than 50 years ago The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy Yes
4/28 (#14)
(3 + 6)
9
66.  Part of a series that is more than 10 books long Mort by Terry Pratchett Yes
4/28 (#15)
(4 + 5)
9
75.  Set in a fantasy world Wild Country by Anne Bishop Yes
4/28 (#16)
(3 + 3)
6
81.  Ghost story An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James Yes
5/5 (#17)
(2 + 6)
8
89.  Published between 2000 and 2017 Late for the Wedding by Amanda Quick Yes
5/5 (#18)
(4 + 6)
10
99.  Snake - go back to 69 n/a n/a
5/5
snake
69.  Something related to travel on the cover The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James Yes
5/12 (#19)
(2 + 2)
4
73.  Categorized as YA Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld Yes
5/12 (#20)
(3 + 6)
9
82.  Genre: urban fantasy Ever Strange by Alisa Woods Yes
5/13 (#21)
(3 + 5)
8
90.  A new-to-you author Indigo by Beverly Jenkins Yes
5/13 (#22)
(3 + 5)
8
98.  Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS Dangerous by Amanda Quick Yes
5/13 (#23)
(1 + 3)
4
100.  Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes! TBA YES!

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/booklikes-snakes-and-ladders-final-dice.html
Bout of Books 25 - Starter Post
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



It's Mother's Day, rolling to the end of the weekend in about an hour!  It's been a great weekend, non-bookish-wise, but now it's time to refocus on some of my reading goals.

Bout of Books 25 will be beginning in my time zone soon.  I may or may not go ahead and read a little bit after midnight rolls around, but more than likely I'll just wait until I wake up in the morning.  I'll either read during lunch break at work, or wait until after I get off work.

Either way, Bout of Books 25 is starting!

Happy reading to everyone!  And let's all have a great reading week!

 

 

Main Goals


I only have two simple goals for this May 2019 Bout of Books Readathon

1)  Read 3 books.
2)  Update daily... or barring that, as regularly as possible.
Bonus Goal:  Read for at least 2 to 5 hours daily, or on average

 

 

Books I'm Currently Reading

 

 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls

 



I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post.

Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/bout-of-books-25-starter-post.html
BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Dice Roll #19 & #20

It's Mother's Day, and I stayed up way too late reading so that I could finish my most recent Snakes and Ladders book, The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James.  Fortunately, all the ghostly, creepy stuff in the book were more towards the middle and beginning, because I was slight bit worried I'd start having creepy, ghostly nightmares.

Our family celebrated Mother's Day a couple days early, if only because everyone was going to be busy with work obligations today, except myself and my mothers.  So Mom and I are probably going to spend most of the day baking (after I get this post up, of course), or making use of the brand new air fryer we got her as a Mother's Day gift.  She was so super pumped to use the thing that she had already started slicing up potatoes for french fries before I even had the air fryer installed for her.

This fun new gadget is quite lovely.  I even made candied bacon with it and was very happy.  Mom is looking forward to trying other recipes, such as chicken wings and the like.  And our air fryer can even be used to dehydrate fruits, so she's looking forward to doing that as well.

All-in-all, quite a well-spent weekend.

 

 

 

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders



With a few weeks left until this game is officially called to an end, in light of all the BL-opoly excitement, I'm hoping I'll make it to the end of the board by then.  At the very least, I also need to get my current reads finished so that I can be ready to hop into the next game.

Meanwhile, my next roll came about quite nicely:

 


Rolling a 4, I landed on Square 73: Categorized as YA.  This is an excellent stroke of luck since I now get to use one of my hoarded books to fill in this square.  Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, will fit in just fine!

My next roll was only less aligned with my luck, but at least it's not another snake, so I'm not complaining.

 


I rolled a 9 and landed on Square 82: Genre: urban fantasy.  I don't have a hoarded book for this square, since my reads lately have been historical romance, historical mystery, and some nonfictional work.  So after a bit of a search, I'd considered briefly books such as the next in the Incryptid series by Seanan McGuire, or maybe even Storm Front by Jim Butcher, or some other popular urban fantasy series out there.  But then I came across a Kindle freebie by Alisa Woods I recently acquired, and decided to give it a go.  It sounded interesting enough, involving magic users, witches, and an undercover FBI agent with "monstrous powers", as well as some sort of investigation of a street drug laced with something called magick.

I've enjoyed a few books by Alisa Woods in the past, so let's see how this goes!

 

 

Currently Reading

 

 

 

Books Hoarded Read For Future Square Use

 

 

 

My Progress


Dates for each dice roll corresponds with respective update post.
Book titles link to reviews if written.
Completed books' covers (read and used for squares) following table.

 

Date Dice Roll Square/Prompt Book Title / Author Fits Square?
02/20
na
1.  Author is a woman Sweet Release by Pamela Clare Yes
02/22 (#1)
(2 + 4)
6
7.  Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D. Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare Yes
02/24 (#2)
(2 + 3)
5
12.  Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z. SEAL for Her Protection by Paige Tyler Yes
02/27 (#3)
(2 + 4)
6
18.  Set in a school Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger Yes
03/09 (#4)
(4 + 5)
9
27.  Set during WWI or WWII Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld Yes
03/12 (#5)
(5 + 6)
11
38.  Newest release by a favorite author Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz Yes
03/12 (#6) (3 + 5)
8
46.  A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years Slightly Shady by Amanda Quick Yes
03/16 (#7)
(5 + 6)
11
57.  Was published more than 50 years ago Thunder on the Right by Mary Stewart Yes
03/16 (#8)
(4 + 4)
8
65. Snake - go back to 52 n/a n/a
03/16
snake
52.  Has a tree or flower on the cover The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin Yes
03/19 (#9)
(2 + 5)
7
59.  Was published more than 10 years ago Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare Yes
03/19 (#10)
(2 + 5)
7
66.  Part of a series that is more than 10 books long Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson Yes
03/24 (#11)
(1 + 2)
3
69.  Something related to travel on the cover A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Julana Gray Yes
03/30 (#12)
(4 + 6)
10
79.  Main character is a woman Don't Look Back by Amanda Quick Yes
03/31 (#13)
(3 + 5)
8
87.  Snake - go back to 57 n/a n/a
03/31
snake
57.  Was published more than 50 years ago The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy Yes
4/28 (#14)
(3 + 6)
9
66.  Part of a series that is more than 10 books long Mort by Terry Pratchett Yes
4/28 (#15)
(4 + 5)
9
75.  Set in a fantasy world Wild Country by Anne Bishop Yes
4/28 (#16)
(3 + 3)
6
81.  Ghost story An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James Yes
5/5 (#17)
(2 + 6)
8
89.  Published between 2000 and 2017 Late for the Wedding by Amanda Quick Yes
5/5 (#18)
(4 + 6)
10
99.  Snake - go back to 69 n/a n/a
5/5
snake
69.  Something related to travel on the cover The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James Yes
5/12 (#19)
(2 + 2)
4
73.  Categorized as YA Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld Yes
5/12 (#20)
(3 + 6)
9
82.  Genre: urban fantasy Ever Strange by Alisa Woods Yes
TBA
TBA
     
TBA
TBA
     

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/booklikes-snakes-and-ladders-dice-roll_12.html
Review
4 Stars
Brief Thoughts: An Inquiry into Love and Death
An Inquiry Into Love and Death - Simone St. James

An Inquiry into Love and Death

by Simone St. James

 

 

After her uncle Toby, a renowned ghost hunter, is killed in a fall off a cliff, Oxford student Jillian Leigh must rive to the seaside village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings.  Almost immediately, unsettling incidents - a book left in a cold stove, a gate swinging open on its own - escalate into terrifying events that convince Jillian an angry spirit is trying to enter the house and is haunting the woods around Blood Moon Bay.  If Toby discovered something sinister during his investigations, was his death no accident?

The arrival of handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken leaves Jillian with more questions than answers - and with the added complication of a powerful mutual attraction.  She suspects someone will do anything to hide the truth and begins to discover secrets that lie deep within Rothewell... and at the very heart of who she is.



An Inquiry into Love and Death was just as beautifully written as I remember St. James' writing in Maddy Clare... that was at least a year or two ago since I first read this author's work.  The small seaside town gave off a wonderfully atmospheric feel, and I could just imagine the moodiness of Barrow House, the woods, and the rough waters nearby.  The inclusion of how the war affected the men and and women in this time frame was also a lovely touch, and St. James weaved the post-WWI aftermath into this mystery rather well, I think.

Inquiry was really more mystery and legend than it was romance.  And it also focused more on Jillian's own self-revelations, which became quite clear as the book progressed.  I loved the tidbits of folklore and tales of history told by the local residents in Rothewell, and found myself more immersed in those than in the book's actual present-day story line with Jillian and Inspector Merriken.  In fact, I found myself wanting to know more about the lore and about the Walking John hauntings, as well as the other unnamed hauntings that were said to take place.

I loved the little mention about how most of the hauntings, save for the Walking John, seemed to be about certain people who may have lived in Rothewell, now all forgotten.  Hauntings by people who have been forgotten seems like a wonderful idea for more books!

Meanwhile, as I'd already mentioned, the romance kind of takes a backseat in this book, which, in a way, I'm not really complaining about.  I didn't have any strong feelings about Inspector Drew Merriken one way or another, though I also didn't particularly like him.  I found myself more interested in how things would turn out for Jillian concerning her family, the secrets she started uncovering, and what her Uncle Toby was doing in Barrow House when he died.

The outcome of the romance was really the last thing on my mind, surprisingly.

This was a lovely, enjoyable read, overall.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/brief-thoughts-inquiry-into-love-and.html
Reading Update for The Bone Woman: Intro and Part One
The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo - Clea Koff

The Bone Woman

by Clea Koff

Intro:  Before
Part One:  Kibuye


I hadn't expected to run through as much of this book as I ended up reading.  My relationship with nonfictional work typically tends toward the "~20 pages read per sitting."  But as I started into The Bone Woman, I found myself readily pulled into Clea Koff's accounts of her first mission in Kibuye to help exhume and autopsy, and hopefully to help survivors identify as many victims of the Rwandan Genocide as could be possible.

This section reads more like a journal, or a memoir (as Elentarri's reading update mentions), of Koff's time in Kibuye, detailing each moment from arrival in Kigali, heading toward Kibuye, trading stories and jokes and experiences with her colleagues, and also of the grueling task of unearthing the grave.  The telling is also interspersed with a lot of personal history and experience outside of the current exhumation, a running joke about Koff's "bride price," and Koff shares a lot of her emotional reactions and self-revelations.

As for the scientific aspects of forensic anthropology, she doesn't go very in-depth into the work, but what she DOES share is still interesting.  There are a lot of parts that present a certain amount of detail, such as when she talks about finding the grave's perimeters, probing the ground to find anything that could be significant, or the setup of work areas, or even the process of going through clothing and other material items after each autopsy.

To be honest, I had really been expecting more detail in the forensic anthropology aspects in this telling.  Because while I found myself immersed in Koff's day-to-day activities during her time in Kibuye, enjoying some of her side tangents, and just generally loving her style of presentation, there were moments where I felt like she had yet to get to the point of the story.  Then she'd start talking about unearthing a skeleton, skim over some details and characteristics of said skeleton, and then we'd be moving right along into the rest of the not so scientific parts of her work.

I guess I'd been expecting a bit more about how forensic anthropology, specifically osteology, plays into identifying a skeleton than what she has given so far--how to use length of leg bones to determine height and mass, how to determine sex via the pubic of the pelvis (which she does briefly bring up a time or two, but hardly tells us how it works), or how to age a skeleton based on cranial development.  Maybe some people might not have found this stuff interesting, but I had totally been expecting at least some osteology.

While this was a slight disappointment for me, it didn't really deter how easily I started becoming intrigued by other aspects of her work, and how other aspects of forensic anthropology can help in the identification of an unknown victim.  Needless to say, the first thing I'd obviously been expecting had been osteology, which DID in fact feature as a very prominent part of my own Forensic Anthropology class years ago when the university I studied at had tried to adopt a Forensic Science program.  And so the other aspects of anthropology--clothing, accessories, the surroundings of the grave, and other human connections--always seem to get forgotten in my mind when I think about dig sites.

Of course, it has been well over ten years since I studied this field, and I don't even use it in my current career, and so my own knowledge could be quite lacking compared to someone who lives the life that I, once upon a time, dreamed of.

I'm eager to continue reading the rest of this book, and can hopefully keep up with my updates.

Meanwhile, here are a couple passages I found that particularly stood out:

 

The way the bones fueled my awareness of my job assured me that the fears engendered by reading the Kibuye witness accounts would not come to fruition while I was working on these bones.  Strangely, what affected me more than the skeletons were the bloody handprints (tiny hands) in the priests' rooms, the machete cuts in the doors of the outdoor privies, the blood splatters on the ceilings--the ceilings--of the church anterooms, the machete slash to the middle of the clay Virgin Mary statue, and the lower extremity of an angel lying on the windowsill.  Those remnants of violence were evocative in a different way than the bones.

 

***
I was finding it hard to work in a crouched position because of the heat and the stench: normally I would be alternately standing and crouching, picking and troweling.  But I forgot my discomfort when I found pink necklaces around the skeleton's neck vertebrae and some hair.  Now I was totally focused.  This woman had been alive once, not so long ago, and had fastened the necklaces herself.

[...]

... when Kaban asked me what I was thinking about when I was in the grave, the pink-necklace woman was foremost in my mind, particularly the way she had given the grave character by individualizing its "contents."


One of the things I did find about this 'Kibuye' section was that there still felt like there wasn't much of a sense of completion in the mission.  I mean, yes, they exhumed a lot of bodies, autopsied a lot of the victims, and there was a "Clothing Day" for survivors to come and try to identify clothing that belonged to someone who might have been in the center of the massacre.  But even as she writes about getting on the plane and going back home after all the work done, you don't really get a sense that there was closure for everyone, and there's little talk about the aftermath of the entire mission--that there still seemed to be a lot left unfinished.

Of course, that's probably because this is reality, and even after all the work and progress made, a lot of the victims will still remain unidentified.  After all, as she mentions at the end of the section, it seemed like the chief purpose of this mission was to prove that a genocide happened so that the proper people could be put on trial for the crime.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/reading-update-for-bone-woman-intro-and.html
Review
3.5 Stars
Thoughts: Behemoth
Behemoth (Leviathan #2) - Scott Westerfeld, Alan Cumming

Behemoth

by Scott Westerfeld
audio book narrated by Alan Cumming
Book 2 of Leviathan

 

 

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy.  It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite.  The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner.  Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.

Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.



If I wanted to be honest with myself, I both don't remember much about this book, but also very much enjoyed listening to it.  I can see that Behemoth sort of suffers from that second book syndrome--at least in my case, it didn't do much for me--and yet, at the same time, there were a lot of new character developments that helped propel the book forward.

I won't reiterate the concept behind the Leviathan series--the whole Darwinists versus Clankers of World War I.  But I DID find the introduction of the Perspicacious loris quite fun.  It DID take some time before I could picture the creature in my head... and probably would have benefited from going out and doing a search for an artist's rendering.  After all, for the longest time, I thought it was some sort of reptilian creature until the narrative started mentioning its fur.  Of course, that was my own stupid imagination considering a loris is, indeed, a cute little primate thing... duh.

And in the book, it is a cute little primate thing, and it tends toward repeating words, alerting useful noises, giving our main characters insights and clues; and having it in the background softened a lot of the darkness of the impending war.

Meanwhile, character and story-wise, the plot was interesting to an extent, but I found that it felt like there was entirely too much going on.  And a lot of the actions of our characters didn't really make a whole lot of sense.  I would almost agree with Count Volgar that Alek's actions were a bit foolish, as he so readily reveals his identity as the runaway prince from Austria-Hungary to everyone.  And all because he's got this notion that he was the one who needed to end the war somehow.  I'm not entirely sure that Alek remembers he's just a kid, and a prince who's being hunted.

And while I had mentioned that there was a lot of new character developments, I'm not entirely sure that those developments really lasted.  Alek and Deryn learn more about each other, and their friendship seems to get that much tighter.  The introduction of Lilit to create a bit of romantic tension was interesting, but I'm not sure quite necessary for the romantic tension.

This story, after all, still reads a bit juvenile in voice, and I have a hard time picturing any kind of romance developing at all.  As far as I'm concerned, Deryn and Alek are just best friends even as there is constant mention of how Deryn has developed feelings for Alek.

In spite of all of my complaints and quibbles of this particular installment of Leviathan, however, I found myself immensely enjoying the forward progress starting from the last half of the book.  As I'd mentioned in my review of Leviathan, I found the narration that follows Deryn the most interesting.  In contrast, I found Alek's parts of the story a bit lacking, and I'm not sure what it is about Alek I don't really like--maybe too much of his "Woe is me, but I'm the chosen one" attitude?

When Deryn and Alek reunite towards the middle half of the book, things felt like they were finally going somewhere.  But while there was a lot of action, the whole course of the series plot still felt a bit stagnant.  Thus is the fate of being the second book in a trilogy, I suppose.

Meanwhile, even as I write this review, I'm almost done with the last book and probably ready to write its review.  This pretty much tells anyone, myself mainly, how much I'm enjoying this trilogy even in spite of all my complaints.  Blinders... they're always good for something, right?  =D

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/thoughts-behemoth.html
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- April 2018

This monthly wrap up is a little late, but only because I've been lazy and sick and haven't felt like doing much of anything akin to blogging.

But here it is now!  Better late than never!  =D

Better progress was made in the month of April than I'd expected (considering I probably finished the bulk of my reads during the last two weeks of the month), but still not the average number of books I used to be able to read.  Times are definitely changing, but I'm still quite satisfied with myself.  I read two books the first two weeks of the month, and then somehow managed to squeeze seven books into the last two weeks... all because of library book due dates, though.  And also, at least three of the books I've been reading for a long time, so they were bound to get finished eventually, and fortunately all were finished about the same time.

Unfortunately, I did not read all of the Reading Assignment books I'd set out to read for the month of April... and I also only rolled once all month for BookLikes Snakes and Ladders.

Here's hoping the next month will bring more progress!

 

 

April Reads

 

 

 

Books Dropped/Put On Hold

 

None this month!  Yay!

 

 

Currently Reading

 

 

 

April Reading Stats

 

Total works read:  9

  • 8 print/e-book novels
  • 1 audio books


Average rating: 3.61 Stars

  • Highest Rated:  A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn // 5.0 Stars
  • Lowest Rated:  4 books // 3.0 Stars
    • (1) Late for the Wedding by Amanda Quick
    • (2) Furry Logic by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher
    • (3) Indigo by Beverly Jenkins
    • (4) Dangerous by Amanda Quick


Series I started reading:

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy

 

Series I completed:

  • Lake & March by Amanda Quick

 

Series I have made progress on:

  • Veronica Speedwell by Deanna Raybourn
  • Discworld by Terry Pratchett
  • The World of the Others by Anne Bishop
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld


Favorite reads:  As we can see, I was absolutely entranced by Deanna Raybourn's newest installment of Veronica SpeedwellA Dangerous Collaboration proved to be just as great as its predecessors, and dare I say, maybe my favorite of the series so far, if only because Stoker has grown to the point of fictional character true loves out for my heart!

Disappointing reads:  Just as last month was, I don't think I really had any disappointing reads in April, as no book rated any lower than the average rating of 3.0 stars.  I've enjoyed everything I've read so far, though if I really had to pick one book, I guess I'd say that I was a little disappointed in the Amanda Quick books, if only because I know she can do so much better.

 

 

Reviews & Notable Posts

 

Reviews Written

 

Memes

 

Other Posts

 

 

Coming Up In May

 

Tentative TBR

 

 

Other Stuff

I would love to read the above books this month, and in fact, I have plans to start The Sittaford Mystery as soon as I finish Goliath.  I'm crossing my fingers with hopes that Tightrope will be accessible to me soon, and I've decided to start tackling all the Amanda Quick books starting with her first (or at least the first JAK book written as Amanda Quick), so Seduction went on the list.

With my Snakes and Ladders game still going though, it's a little hard to figure out what books I'll be reading next.  I definitely will be jumping into Hard Target, because I've never let a new Pamela Clare release sit for too long before devouring it (except her historicals, which I've just recently gotten interested in).  Otherwise, aside from An Inquiry into Love and Death, which I recently finished reading, and The Other Side of Midnight, which I'm currently reading, I need one more historical novel to complete my Reading Assignment this month.  So we'll see how things play out.

As I stated, I'm still working on the Snakes and Ladders game, so there will be other update posts forthcoming.  I'm starting to plan the Summer Semester for Reading Assignment, so there will be an announcement post for that, probably closer to the end of the month.

In the meantime, it's really just reviews, as well as sitting back and waiting to see if my BookLikes buddies will be planing any summer games!

 

 

2018 Wrap-Ups 

 

Past Monthly Reading Wrap Ups (2016 / 2017)
See Also: 2015 Reading Wrap-Up posts (scroll to bottom of page)

(updated as year progresses by month)
January | February | March | April | May | June
July | August | September | October | November | December

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/monthly-reading-wrap-up-april-2018.html
Read-a-thon: Bout of Books 25
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



Alrighty!

I'm gearing up for Bout of Books 25, but I have no idea how well I'll do.  In recent years, it seems I tended to fall short of my goals.  And then, the most recent Bout of Books 24, I managed to overshoot my goals by just a smidge.  That's still enough to give me confidence that I'll be able to manage some sort of reading goal.

Had this readathon taken place in April, I would have been done for.

Anyway, I'm going to try to keep this simple once again.  I never participate in any of the mini challenges or surveys--maybe one of these days I will.  But I try to see the week as a double reason for me to reach for a book instead of a mobile game or a YouTube video.

So... moving right along...

 

 

Goals


This BoB, I'm reiterating the same goals I had for the last one:
1) Post regular updates, daily... or every other day, maybe.
2) Read at least 3 books.

Wish me luck!

 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls


I used to always have plans for my tentative readathon lists, but lately it's a little hard to determine which books I'll be getting to by the time the week rolls around.  So I'm going to simply list a few books I'd love to get to, or that I plan on reading this month and see where I'm at by then.

 



Meanwhile, I will more than likely still be reading these books by the time the readathon week rolls around.

 


I haven't started listening to The Sittaford Mystery yet, but I've only got about two hours left of Goliath to finish, so I'll certainly be jumping into The Sittagord Mystery pretty soon.


***

I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/read-thon-bout-of-books-25.html
BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Dice Roll #17 & #18... with a third snake...

I had had hopes of finishing my most recent Snakes and Ladders books sooner, but I ended up getting sick again and pretty slept all of my free time away.  But no matter, this time around, it seems that the cold isn't here to stay and after about three days of feeling groggy, snotty, and stuffy, I'm doing much better.

Unfortunately, apparently after having a run of good luck with all the hoarded books, I've hit my third snake.  Ya'know, I kinda already knew that my luck was bad with this game, so I'm not at all that surprised.  It could have been worse, I suppose.  I could have hit the snake that came previous to this one and ended up further back.

So I'm running with it...  Maybe after this, I'll be able to put all those hoarded books I have into use.  XD

 

 

 

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders



Since we already know I hit a snake, let's not drag this update out for too long.

My first roll for this update was an 8, which took me to Square 89: Published between 2000 and 2017.  As luck would have it, I have a book hoarded that fits the bill (two books, in fact), but I decided to use Late for the Wedding by Amanda Quick to fill this square.

 


Rolling again, I ended up with a 10, which took me to Square 99: Snake - go back to 69.  Le sigh...

 


I've been on this square once already, and had considered using one of books I didn't choose the first time around, but I recalled that there was a Simone St. James book that had a cover with elements related to travel (see above), what with a woman carrying a suitcase, and a train running along the right side of the cover.  Since I'm still kind of in the mood for Simone St. James, I'm going to go ahead and read this book.


Meanwhile, it looks like I've got a million books hoarded for more possible squares in the future... and, of course, none of them fit the square I slid onto via snake.  Boo...  =(

But whatevs, this just means I keep reading more books!  =D

 

 

Currently Reading

 

  

 

 

Books Hoarded Read For Future Square Use

 

 

 

My Progress


Dates for each dice roll corresponds with respective update post.
Book titles link to reviews if written.
Completed books' covers (read and used for squares) following table.

 

Date Dice Roll Square/Prompt Book Title / Author Fits Square?
02/20
na
1.  Author is a woman Sweet Release by Pamela Clare Yes
02/22 (#1)
(2 + 4)
6
7.  Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D. Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare Yes
02/24 (#2)
(2 + 3)
5
12.  Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z. SEAL for Her Protection by Paige Tyler Yes
02/27 (#3)
(2 + 4)
6
18.  Set in a school Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger Yes
03/09 (#4)
(4 + 5)
9
27.  Set during WWI or WWII Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld Yes
03/12 (#5)
(5 + 6)
11
38.  Newest release by a favorite author Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz Yes
03/12 (#6) (3 + 5)
8
46.  A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years Slightly Shady by Amanda Quick Yes
03/16 (#7)
(5 + 6)
11
57.  Was published more than 50 years ago Thunder on the Right by Mary Stewart Yes
03/16 (#8)
(4 + 4)
8
65. Snake - go back to 52 n/a n/a
03/16
snake
52.  Has a tree or flower on the cover The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin Yes
03/19 (#9)
(2 + 5)
7
59.  Was published more than 10 years ago Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare Yes
03/19 (#10)
(2 + 5)
7
66.  Part of a series that is more than 10 books long Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson Yes
03/24 (#11)
(1 + 2)
3
69.  Something related to travel on the cover A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Julana Gray Yes
03/30 (#12)
(4 + 6)
10
79.  Main character is a woman Don't Look Back by Amanda Quick Yes
03/31 (#13)
(3 + 5)
8
87.  Snake - go back to 57 n/a n/a
03/31
snake
57.  Was published more than 50 years ago The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy Yes
4/28 (#14)
(3 + 6)
9
66.  Part of a series that is more than 10 books long Mort by Terry Pratchett Yes
4/28 (#15)
(4 + 5)
9
75.  Set in a fantasy world Wild Country by Anne Bishop Yes
4/28 (#16)
(3 + 3)
6
81.  Ghost story An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James Yes
5/5 (#17)
(2 + 6)
8
89.  Published between 2000 and 2017 Late for the Wedding by Amanda Quick Yes
5/5 (#18)
(4 + 6)
10
99.  Snake - go back to 69 n/a n/a
5/5
snake
69.  Something related to travel on the cover The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James Yes
TBA
TBA
     
TBA
TBA
     

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/booklikes-snakes-and-ladders-dice-roll.html
Review
3 Stars
Thoughts: Indigo
Indigo - Beverly Jenkins

Indigo

by Beverly Jenkins

 

 

As a child Hester Wyatt escaped slavery, but now the dark skinned beauty is a dedicated member of Michigan's Underground railroad, offering other runaways a chance at the freedom she has learned to love.  When one of her fellow conductors brings her an injured man to hide, Hester doesn't hesitate even after she is told about the price on his head.  The man in question is the great conductor known as the "Black Daniel" a vital member of the North's Underground railroad network, but Hester finds him so rude and arrogant, she begins to question her vow to hide him.

When the injured and beaten Galen Vachon, aka, the Black Daniel awakens in Hester's cellar, he is unprepared for the feisty young conductor providing his care.  As a member of one of the wealthiest free Black families in New Orleans, Galen has turned his back on the lavish living he is accustomed to in order to provide freedom to those enslaved in the south.  However, as he heals he cannot turn his back on Hester Wyatt.  Her innocence fills him like a breath of fresh air and he is determined to make her his, but traitors have to be found, slave catchers have to be routed and Hester's refusal to trust her own heart have to be overcome before she and Galen can find the freedom only love can bring.



I'm finding that I'm kind of an outlier in my reaction to this book, not quite as enamored with it as everyone else.  And for that, I'm feeling a bit conflicted.  Because, on the one hand, Indigo was written well, with a wonderful premise and an amazingly created heroine.  Even some of the side characters were brought to life, and I feel like Ms. Bev did a great job showing us the times and reality of slavery during this era in American history.  She doesn't sugar coat anything, and gives depth to how terribly cruel slavery truly was--not that we didn't already know, but it's great that she simply lays it all out there.

Hester's history is a heavy one, and I found her little flashback of the moment in which she and her childhood friend Ella learned the harsh truth of their reality to be quite heartbreaking.  This is a heroine you love to root for, because she's level-headed, resourceful, and has no trouble standing up for herself.  I loved her sarcastic returns to Galen in the beginning while he was still healing and being super surly about his situation.  I rooted for her big time when she faced down the nasty Ezra Shoe and his men with nothing but a rifle and her own gumption.

I wished she'd have given Foster more of a verbal thrashing after the way he treated her throughout the book.  But nonetheless, she wasn't too meek to throw him off her property when he got to be a general jackass.

My only quibble with Hester was that she might have been too created to be too innocent and too perfect, which is quite typical of a lot of romance novel heroines, so I didn't dwell on that for too long.

Meanwhile, in the same turn, I'm not sure that the romance between Hester and Galen really worked all that well for me--specifically the courting phase of the relationship.  The married phase of their romance was a bit more fun, in terms of flirty barbs and witty banter, but otherwise, I felt that the romance itself was rather too cookie cutter for my liking.  And I never really warmed to Galen, having not been able to get past the scene wherein he sneaks into Hester's bedroom at night while she's sleeping and watches her without her knowledge--this kind of behavior is a hundred percent NOT OKAY in my book.  And his advances come on rather too strong, and I'm not sure how I felt about the whole lavish gifts scenario that came across like a typical Cinderella story after we find out how wealthy Galen is and how he can afford pretty much everything in the world.  I'm afraid it made it hard for me to appreciate all of his other, more charming behaviors and attributes in the latter parts of the book.

Truth be told, the story starts out very strong, with the hiding of the Black Daniel, and the anxiousness you felt for Hester as slave catchers entered into the picture, searching her home, and lobbing threats and insults at her.  The talk of a traitor amidst the Conductors in Whittaker was a great way to start off the book, and I found it kept me intrigued, just wanting to know what Galen and Hester would end up finding out.

But after Galen heals up and leaves Hester's care, I feel like the story kind of plateaus from there, becoming more romance... which this book is, first and foremost anyway, so I don't know why I'm complaining.  Probably because, as a romance, it doesn't really stand out much, nor satisfy my own expectations.  I guess I just wished there'd been more about the Underground, and Hester's part in it.  And even the investigation of the traitor kind of gets set aside for a while.  The ending picks up a bit in terms of action and the final reveal to the traitor--which I found rather more complex than I'd predicted, but in a good way.

In the end, I found that I was much more interested in all the little history lessons that Ms. Bev peppers into the story throughout than I was in the outcome of Hester's and Galen's romancing.  The little news snippets about different activities and movements of the abolitionists, as well as prominent figures of the Road were quite educational, being the parts that I enjoyed the most out of this book.  Although, I will admit that the ending info dumps about John Brown and Harper's Ferry felt a bit awkward in terms of narrative.

Overall, this was still a very enjoyable read, and I will definitely be looking into more works by Beverly Jenkins.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/04/thoughts-indigo.html
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? | 4/29/2019
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself.  It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile!  So welcome in everyone.  This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey.  Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.  And here we are!



So this last week was much better in terms of finished books, and also, I made my next Snakes and Ladders move after a few weeks.  Yay!  With library due dates looming, I kind of scrambled to get a couple books read, but considering the caliber of said books, I didn't really have to force myself to binge-read anything.  Everything I've finished so far these past couple weeks has either been delightful, or good enough to keep me hooked!  Always yay for that!

In other news, I've got some fun bookish stuff to share!

My brother and his wife recently went on a vacation to Los Angeles, and came home bearing souvenirs.  Mine, of course, was of the bookish variety (they know me so well!  =D).  They had gone to Harry Potter World, and asked me which House I was:

 


I got a scarf and a leather bookmark.  Excellent choice for a bookworm like me, right?

Meanwhile, I had my own bookish excursion at the local library sale.  They do these every few months, and you get to bring home a large bag of books for only $5.  I couldn't resist this time, and also came home with a brand new library tote for an extra $2.

 


My haul this time around wasn't as great as it's been in recent years, but my BFF and I combined our findings and shared one bag--and I got to keep the tote, cause you can never have too many totes--so we still came away with a great deal.  The above are some romance novels and a few other interesting looking books I found.

The photo is a little too bright, so you can't really see most of the titles, but the books front and center include The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran, Girl in Blue Hyacinth by Susan Vreeland, a short story volume by Ellery Queen, A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  The rest of the books were random romances by authors like Jayne Ann Krentz, Laura Kinsale, Linda Howard, Cassie Miles, and others that I'm interested in.

You know, because I need more books on top of all the books I still haven't read yet that are on my shelf...

 

 

What I Read Last Week

 

 

 

What I'm Currently Reading

 

 

 

What I'm Planning to Read Next

 

 

 

Other Plans On the Blog


I haven't made a lot of permanent decisions, but the above books are the following line-up for after I finish up my current reads.  Although four of those books are really for May, which is two days away, so not long before I start into them.  An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James also doubles for two reading challenges, Snakes and Ladders as a book with a ghost story, and the Reading Assignment Challenge for the historical genre.

I'm hoping to get a hold of Amanda Quick's newest release, Tightrope, due out the beginning of May, so I'm crossing my fingers that my library picks up the e-book, and that I'm the first person in line to check it out.  Otherwise, I'll probably just have to choose another Amanda Quick book to fulfill my Reading Assignment requirements.

Meanwhile, it's actually quite unusual that I haven't started the newest Pamela Clare book yet, even though it's sitting hot on my Kindle right now.  I've just been trying to finish other reads first, and you know how I am when it comes to reading schedules and such.  I take them too seriously, which, in a strange sort of way, is still part of the fun.

I usually average about one audio book within the time span of a month or two, so I'm hoping to finish Goliath soon enough to start The Sittaford Mystery, before the end of May, as The Sittaford Mystery was a pre-chosen book for May.  I'm almost done with Behemoth, and am planning on jumping right into Goliath, mainly because the Leviathan series is starting to get interesting enough that I don't want to push the last book too far back.  According to my calculations, even if I only listen to about fifty minutes of it each day on my way to and from work, it should take about thirteen days to finish, which will still give me time to start The Sittaford Mystery, which is much shorter than Goliath's ten hour length at six hours, which will spread out into eight days of listening during my drive to and from work.

This doesn't factor in those times I decide to listen to the books outside of driving, or during other times of driving outside of work commute.

Nonetheless, with the completion of more books, I've got more reviews pending, and hopefully after the beginning of the next month, I can add An Inquiry into Love and Death to my Snakes and Ladders count and roll another set of dice!  Until then, I'm going to try to finish up the books currently on my plate so I can start fresh in May!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/04/its-monday-what-are-you-reading-4292019.html
Review
3 Stars
Final Thoughts: Furry Logic
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher, Matin Durrani

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life

by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher

 

 

The principles of physics lie behind many of the ways animals go about their daily lives.  Scientists have discovered that the way cats and dogs lap up liquids can be explained by the laws of surface tension, how ants navigate is due to polarized light, and why pistol shrimps can generate enough force to destroy aquarium glass using their "elbows!"

Each of Furry Logic's six chapters tackles a separate branch of physics and, through more than 30 animal case studies, examines each creature's key features before describing the ways physics is at play in its life, how the connection between physics and animal behavior was discovered, and what remains to be found out.  Science journalists Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher make the incredible interdisciplinary world of animals accessible to all, in an enthralling and entertaining read.



I skipped update posts for Chapters 5 and 6 for my own reasons, as I was more determined to finish what was left of the book than I was in making updates.  This book took a bit longer for me to complete than I'd expected, but life has been quite busy, and there were other books I was wanting to read.  But I've been enjoying Furry Logic, and so I was quite determined to get it read, rather than delegating it to the 'DROPPED' or 'ON HOLD' pile.  The only thing that had been keeping me were other obligations, really, and nothing to do with the book itself.

The truth is, Furry Logic was a formidable read, not exactly a hundred percent enticing, but at the very least, it was presented in a way that I found enjoyable and tolerable.  It doesn't escape my notice that I HAD found parts of this book a little bit boring (which would explain why it was so easy to set it aside for a couple weeks without touching it), and that while the chattiness of the writing style would have bugged me in other books (certain previous Flat Book Society reads), it actually ended up growing on me in this book.

I think the main appeal is that the authors stuck with the subject they promised to present: "The Physics of Animal Life."  There were no random tangents into random historical moments that had nothing to do with the subject, and there were no prolonged, unnecessary ramblings about key people who contributed to the science of certain studies of discoveries.  The authors stuck to their animals, presenting each topic of physics with several examples... and to be honest, that was interesting enough for me.

As much as I hate to compare and contrast certain books, it's hard not to do so.  While certain previous books tended towards mocking or condescending tones, I found this book rather sincere in its presentation.  The authors are immensely fascinated with their subjects, with the animals in this world, and with the way in which physics and biology work together to explain how and why animals do the things they do.  They bring up key names and players in all of the studies presented, and keep to the facts, with maybe a few odd one-liner quips that in no way insult said key people nor their studies.  And in that presentation, I found myself fascinated by the world that this book was presenting to me... enough that I really DID start doing my own searches for pictures, videos, and other information about the gecko, or the pond-skater, or the mantis shrimp.

If I were honest, this book wasn't the best in the world, as I'd mentioned earlier, it DID end up getting a little boring in certain places.  And in fact, between those last two chapters, I found that I'd sort of forgotten what Chapter 5 was about, having to go back to confirm that there was something to do with turtles and magnets and electricity or something.

 


Chapter 6 was a bit more interesting with the archerfish and how it spits at prey above the surface of the water to obtain food.  I found some of the light scatter analogies a bit tacky (Zombies crossing a line?  Really?), but overall, it was an enjoyable chapter that had me finishing the book a lot earlier than I'd thought I would (I was under the assumption that it would probably be another week or so before I finally finished this book).

Overall, while this book DID provide a lot of science about the animals and the physics presented, it also feels like a rather "skim the surface" type of "facts list" book, where the subject is interesting enough to keep your attention, but not quite enough to satisfy your curiosity.

I will give a kudos to the photo plates that present at the end of my Kindle edition.  Those were neat to look at, and also gives a nice recap summary of the highlights of this book.

Here are a couple of my favorites, including the archerfish photo plate above:

 


I like how they were able to capture the trajectory and movement of the water while the dog is shaking.  And also, doggy is just cute.  And also, poor doggy in the background is probably getting drenched.  O.O

 


This particular photo plate, I just found fascinating, as I had trouble picturing the mosquito expelling that drop of blood while feeding.  It's not the prettiest picture in the world, but it still comes off rather artistic... in a physics kind of way.  If that makes any sense.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/04/final-thoughts-furry-logic.html
BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Dice Roll #14, #15, and #16!

I've finished reading about five books since the last time I rolled.  So while I could have finished reading The Scarlet Pimpernel a long time ago, it ended up taking me all month to finish the book and roll again...  Between chaotic family social functions and library book due dates, I ended up putting off The Scarlet Pimpernel again and again...  Of course, within the past week I managed to finish a bunch of books and still have a chance to get back to my Snakes and Ladders book, finish THAT and finally be able to move on.

Rest assured, my inability to finish reading The Scarlet Pimpernel had nothing to do with the book itself, but everything to do with how I've been trying to prioritize my time.  As I mentioned already, library book due dates took precedence, as there were two books I'd been waiting a very long time to get a hold of, and knew that I wouldn't be able to get back to them for months if I didn't take my chance.  So, seeing as how The Scarlet Pimpernel was a paperback in my own collection, I made my reading decisions accordingly.

Anyway, in the meantime, I had managed to collect five other books for use with other squares, and as we will come to see, they came in quite handy.

Meanwhile, allow me to point out that I've decided to add numbers to my board.  After hitting two snakes, the backtracking was getting a little confusing, so I decided that I needed a way to track where I've been.  And it looks like I've already landed on the same square twice, but hopefully we won't be seeing anymore of that.

 

 

 

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders



I'll try not to drag this out.  For this update, I managed to get pretty far by rolling three times.  My first roll got me a 9, which took me to Square 66: Part of a series that is more than 10 books long.  I've been here before, and ended up starting a whole new historical mystery because of it, but this time around, I happily inserted Mort by Terry Pratchett into it, having just finished reading this book about a week ago.  Discworld is a good 40+ books long, so this definitely fits.

 


My next roll brought another 9, which took me to Square 75: Set in a fantasy world.  Once again, my luck (and my book hoarding) held, because I have also recently finished reading a book that takes place in a fantasy world, even if it is a fantasy world based on the real world.  Yay for Wild Country by Anne Bishop!  And onto the next roll!

 


My final roll for this update was a 6, which took me to Square 81: Ghost story.  Okay... this one apparently could not be filled with a book I've recently finished reading.  And even if the talks of the ghost of a missing bride from years ago could count as a ghost story, I'm not sure that A Dangerous Collaboration actually fits the square.  I won't take too many liberties.  I've already gotten lucky and landed quite far up the board with one update.

 


And so after a bit of contemplation and searching, I decided that I would try to stick with my historical fiction theme.  And as it is getting close to the beginning of the next month, and I've already read all of the required historical fiction books for April, I will hold off for another three days before I start reading An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James so I can count it towards my May Reading Assignment books.  I'd thought I'd have to look for some sort of haunted mystery cozy or something, but I couldn't believe that I hadn't thought of Simone St. James in the first place, since I DID very much enjoy The Haunting of Maddy Clare when I first read it about two years ago.

At least I've managed to avoid certain other squares I'd rather not hit.  Onward and forward, and hopefully I will be rolling once more in the next week now that I've caught up with so much of my reading!  In the meantime, I actually DO have another required book to finish for my other challenge, so I'm going to work on that one and maybe hoard one more book for future use.

 

 

Currently Reading

 

 

 

Books Hoarded Read For Future Square Use

 

 

 

My Progress


Dates for each dice roll corresponds with respective update post.
Book titles link to reviews if written.
Completed books' covers (read and used for squares) following table.

 

Date Dice Roll Square/Prompt Book Title / Author Fits Square?
02/20
na
1.  Author is a woman Sweet Release by Pamela Clare Yes
02/22 (#1)
(2 + 4)
6
7.  Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D. Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare Yes
02/24 (#2)
(2 + 3)
5
12.  Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z. SEAL for Her Protection by Paige Tyler Yes
02/27 (#3)
(2 + 4)
6
18.  Set in a school Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger Yes
03/09 (#4)
(4 + 5)
9
27.  Set during WWI or WWII Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld Yes
03/12 (#5)
(5 + 6)
11
38.  Newest release by a favorite author Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz Yes
03/12 (#6) (3 + 5)
8
46.  A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years Slightly Shady by Amanda Quick Yes
03/16 (#7)
(5 + 6)
11
57.  Was published more than 50 years ago Thunder on the Right by Mary Stewart Yes
03/16 (#8)
(4 + 4)
8
65. Snake - go back to 52 n/a n/a
03/16
snake
52.  Has a tree or flower on the cover The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin Yes
03/19 (#9)
(2 + 5)
7
59.  Was published more than 10 years ago Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare Yes
03/19 (#10)
(2 + 5)
7
66.  Part of a series that is more than 10 books long Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson Yes
03/24 (#11)
(1 + 2)
3
69.  Something related to travel on the cover A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Julana Gray Yes
03/30 (#12)
(4 + 6)
10
79.  Main character is a woman Don't Look Back by Amanda Quick Yes
03/31 (#13)
(3 + 5)
8
87.  Snake - go back to 57 n/a n/a
03/31
snake
57.  Was published more than 50 years ago The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy Yes
4/28 (#14)
(3 + 6)
9
66.  Part of a series that is more than 10 books long Mort by Terry Pratchett Yes
4/28 (#15)
(4 + 5)
9
75.  Set in a fantasy world Wild Country by Anne Bishop Yes
4/28 (#16)
(3 + 3)
6
81.  Ghost story An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James Yes
TBA
TBA
     
TBA
TBA
     

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/04/booklikes-snakes-and-ladders-dice-roll_28.html

currently reading

Progress: 30%
Wolfskin - Juliet Marillier
Run to Ground - Katie Ruggle