Books, hockey, and a bucketful of snark

Being the musings of a Yorkshire lass living in the USA. I'm a book geek, bird nerd, grammar Nazi, and hockey nut.  Sarcasm is my default setting. 

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - Stuart  Turton

I loved the idea of this, but unfortunately it just didn't work for me. I think other writers have done a much better job with the waking up in someone else's body thing.



After I finished the book, my first thought was this would have been so much better if the author had written it as a straightforward murder mystery and not bothered with the supernatural element


And I hate first-person present tense.


King Hereafter - Dorothy Dunnett

In King Hereafter, Dorothy Dunnett's stage is the wild, half-pagan country of eleventh-century Scotland. Her hero is an ungainly young earl with a lowering brow and a taste for intrigue. He calls himself Thorfinn but his Christian name is Macbeth. Dunnett depicts Macbeth's transformation from an angry boy who refuses to accept his meager share of the Orkney Islands to a suavely accomplished warrior who seizes an empire with the help of a wife as shrewd and valiant as himself.  


I'm really enjoying this, but it's very slow moving.

Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - Stuart  Turton

The Rules of Blackheath


Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00pm. There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. Understood? Then let's begin...


Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others.


I came across this in the library and I loved the premise. I just hope it lives up to the hype.

Work-Around for "Date Read" / "End Reading" Setting

As Moonlight Reader and Darth Pony Pedant noted, there's a bug in the system that currently doesn't let you record any reading end dates beyond 2019 (i.e., from Jan. 1, 2020 onwards).  This is systemic, i.e. will have to be fixed by BookLikes or their outsourced helpers, HOWEVER, for the time being here's an easy workaround:


Open your bookshelf in admin view.  Among the icons next to the 25-50-75 drop-down menu for selecting the number of books displayed on your shelf, there is a little nut (or wheel)-shaped icon that takes you to the special "settings" menu for your shelf page.  Click on it.



You shelf settings menu contains a category called "Shelf table view - visible columns."  Among the selections offered there, find the option for "private note".  Check it off -- but leave all your previously checked selections alone!  I.e., just add this selection to all the others ... unless of course you really want to modify those, too, while you're at it.  Don't forget to save your settings.



Now, if you return to your bookshelf, it should contain a new column called "Note". 


Find the book(s) for which you want to record your reading end date.  Open the popup screen where you'd ordinarily do so.  At the bottom of that screen, there is a "private note" option.  Click on it and record your "finished" date there.  Save and close the menu.  Your note should now show up in the shelf table column that you just created.  Ehh voilà -- you're done!





↓↓↓ detail ↓↓↓


Please note: This is only a workaround to record your reading end date as such -- it's no replacement for a proper fix, and it will not work with your 2020 reading challenge nor with sorting books by read date.  But it's easy to implement, and at least allows you to keep your records straight as far as dates go.

Reblogged from Themis-Athena's Garden of Books

Sounds about right

The Archer's Tale - Bernard Cornwell

His female characters might be a little bit one-dimensional, but Cornwell sure can write a convincing battle scene.


And Crecy was one hell of a battle.

The Archer's Tale - Bernard Cornwell

A brutal raid on the quiet coastal English village of Hookton in 1342 leaves but one survivor: a young archer named Thomas. On this terrible dawn, his purpose becomes clear -- to recover a stolen sacred relic and pursue to the ends of the earth the murderous black-clad knight bearing a blue-and-yellow standard, a journey that leads him to the courageous rescue of a beautiful French woman, and sets him on his ultimate quest: the search for the Holy Grail.


I decided to hold off from reading The Heretic and have found book #1 in the series.


Heretic (The Grail Quest, #3) - Bernard Cornwell

I didn't realise this was #3 in a trilogy. Before I dive in, can anyone tell me if I can read this as a standalone, or would I be better off reading the earlier books first.

Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities - Nigella Lawson

Picked this up for $1 at the Friends of the Library book sale. At that price, it seemed rude to leave it on the shelf.


Obviously my husband is now expecting me to turn into a domestic goddess and provide him with plenty of tasty festive goodies.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway - Ruth Ware

Yes, I know I said I was done with Ruth Ware and her TSTL heroines, but the library book I wanted was already out, so this one will have to do.

Reading progress update: I've read 698 out of 870 pages.

Mary Queen of Scotland & The Isles - Margaret George

I'm getting a wee bit bored now to be honest. There's only so much interest to be had from reading about Mary being moved from castle to castle.

Reading progress update: I've read 445 out of 870 pages.

Mary Queen of Scotland & The Isles - Margaret George

Hmm, not sure John Knox would have called someone a 'hooligan'. I think it was another three hundred years before the word came into use. 

Reading progress update: I've read 176 out of 870 pages.

Mary Queen of Scotland & The Isles - Margaret George

I think the biggest problem for authors writing about Mary is the fact that just about every other woman involved in her story is also called Mary. 

So much fun

Sweep of the Blade -  Ilona Andrews

I was initially skeptical about these books. At first glance they appeared to be trying to cram way too much into them. Spaceships, magic, vampires, werewolves, aliens, sentient inns with dimension-warping capabilities, etc etc.


But damn, they're entertaining. And I think this one could be my favourite in the series. The first three told from Dina's POV are great, but in this one, the POV switches to Dina's sister Maud. And she is seriously kick-ass. I was cheering for her all the way through.

Sweep of the Blade -  Ilona Andrews

Maud Demille was a daughter of Innkeepers. She knew that a simple life wasn't in the cards, but she never anticipated what Fate would throw at her.

Once a wife to a powerful vampire knight, Maud and her daughter, Helen, had been exiled for the sins of her husband to the desolate planet of Karhari. Karhari killed her husband, and Maud had spent a year and a half avenging his debts. But now all the debts are paid. Rescued by her sister Dina, Maud had swore off all things vampire. Except she met Arland, the Marshal of House Krahr. One thing led to another and he asked for her hand in marriage. She declined.

Try as she might, she can't just walk away from Arland. It doesn't help that being human is a lot harder for Maud than being a vampire.

To sort it all out, she accepts his invitation to visit his home planet. House Krahr is a powerful vampire House, and Maud knows that a woman who turned down the proposal from its most beloved son wouldn't get a warm reception. But Maud Demille never shied from a fight and House Krahr may soon discover that there is more to this human woman than they ever thought possible.

On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan

In 1962, Florence and Edward celebrate their wedding in a hotel on the Dorset coast. Yet as they dine, the expectation of their marital duties weighs over them. And unbeknownst to both, the decisions they make this night will resonate throughout their lives.


I do enjoy McEwan's writing. He can say so much with so few words.

Currently reading

A Column of Fire
Ken Follett
King Hereafter
Dorothy Dunnett
Progress: 62 %