Review: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers



To Be Taught, If Fortunate

A Novella

by Becky Chambers

Science Fiction | 136 Pages | Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2018


| Rating |


| TL;DR |

To Be Taught, If Fortunate tells the tale of the crew of the Merian as they explore the universe in a quest to understand life as no one yet knows it. Following their passions, their hopes, and their dreams, this is a tale that binds us to their mission in an exploration of exhilarating highs and terrifying lows.

In a narrative suffused with joyful discovery and mounting despair, To Be Taught, If Fortunate warms the heart and sets the soul soaring to the stars.

| Synopsis |

In the future, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the galaxy transform themselves.

At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight. Through a revolutionary method known as somaforming, astronauts can survive in hostile environments off Earth using synthetic biological supplementations. They can produce antifreeze in sub-zero temperatures, absorb radiation and convert it for food, and conveniently adjust to the pull of different gravitational forces. With the fragility of the body no longer a limiting factor, human beings are at last able to explore neighbouring exoplanets long suspected to harbour life.

Ariadne is one such explorer. On a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds fifteen light-years from Earth, she and her fellow crewmates sleep while in transit, and wake each time with different features. But as they shift through both form and time, life back on Earth has also changed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the wonders and dangers of her journey, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.

| Review |

Ariadne O’Neill is an astronaut and flight engineer aboard the OCA spacecraft Merian. After near three decades of sleep, she and her crew awake above their vessel to complete their mission amongst the stars – an ecological survey of exoplanets known or suspected to harbour life.

The development of somaforming has enabled astronauts to adapt their bodies to new environments; to survive crushing gravity, sweltering heat, dangerous levels of radiation and below freezing temperatures. Under the protection of this genetic supplementation, the research team are able to adapt, survive and survey their surroundings in earnest; cataloguing planets, ecological habitats and ensure there is a record of all sentient life.

Written in the form of a communications report to earth, Ariadne condenses the journey and experiences of the Merian and her crew into four equal parts, each telling a tale of discovery and wonder as the crew explore a different planet. These linked journeys are overflowing with worldbuilding and scientific details, both of which form the backbone of this novella and allow Becky Chambers to showcase her beautiful, literary prose – a quite different experience to that aboard the Wayfarer.

The descriptions of the Merian – the inflatable habitat modules, the close internal quarters, the interconnecting spaces – are some of my favourite in the whole novella, and give a sense of home in a vast and endless wilderness. Similarly, the descriptions of somaforming are well thought out and provide a considered explanation for how humans have been able to endure space travel and commence their exploration of new worlds. The science, however, is developed with a light touch and never overwhelms the narrative.

While this novel focuses more on the exploration of worlds rather than the characters inhabiting them, there is still a drive and goodness behind Chambers’ creations which give the reader hope and an emotional connection to the narrative. Ariadne, Elena, Jack and Chikondi are interesting yet relatable creations, albeit ones whose jobs are intertwined with their hobbies and their passions. and their unique shared experience aboard the Merian makes for a fascinating read.

There is a simple beauty to Chambers’ writing and To Be Taught, If Fortunate is a unique and memorable novella with a focus on joy and discovery, and the impact of the journey on the crew. Told from the single point of view of Ariadne, Chambers skilfully unravels a meaningful narrative which has been written with nothing short of warmth and love for the human condition and our seemingly in-built desire to explore the stars. This is a novella that seems real, feels real and, though fairly light on the science fiction, is effortlessly engaging throughout.

To Be Taught, If Fortunate can best be described as a love letter to the stars, to space exploration and to the people who make it all possible. It eloquently captures the joy of space travel, the awe of discovery, and new possibilities that can only be imagined a world away from home. While this novella is perhaps not the equal of Chambers’ Wayfarers series, it has a beauty and a charm all of its own that captures the imagination and sets our minds soaring through the universe around us.

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

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This Week by Proxy: 20 July – 02 August


Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I link up with the Caffeinated Reviewer to look back on the past week and see what I’ve been reading, posting, watching and playing!


| This Week by Proxy: 20 July – 02 August 2020 |

This week’s post is actually a two-week post, as last week my weekend was so chaotic that I didn’t find any time to wrap up anything! I did, however, do some gardening with a three year old, read many a children’s book, drank copious amounts of wine, and had an insanely lengthy trip to Ikea where I spent a veritable fortune on items that I hadn’t planned on buying in the first place! But such is life.

I have also managed to enjoy several socially distanced meet ups with both my parents and my partner’s parents, which was a lovely change to my somewhat house-bound working week. However, both their areas have now gone into an extended lockdown period and we will be unable to meet up until restrictions have been lifted again.

I hope you are all safe and well and I can’t wait to catch up on your bookish posts during the week!


| Books Read |

I finally finished Ashes of the Sun, the first in a new fantasy series by Django Wexler, which proved to be a beautifully wrought and complex tale of siblings who find themselves on opposite sides of a war that has lasted the ages. This was a joy to read from beginning to end and has me itching to see what else Wexler has to offer.

I also finished Becky Chambers’ novella, To Be Taught, If Fortunate, which tells the tale of the crew of the Merian as they explore, study and catalogue their findings of strange, new worlds. While not in the same league as the Wayfarers series, this was still an enjoyable tale which explores several interesting concepts.

I also completed my second Jeeves novel, Right Ho, Jeeves, which I rather enjoyed, and a collection of Blandings short stories, Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best.


| Currently Reading |

I just can’t cope with how in love I am with Leviathan Wakes. If a book can be devoured, then every time this one is opened up it is a feast for the mind. The worlds, the ships, the people – they’re all so clearly and wonderfully wrought that I feel lucky to be reading it.

I have also finally gotten around to reading Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie which, for some unknown reason, I’ve left high and dry on my bookshelf – pristine signed hardback looking down at me in stunning blue. I am thoroughly ashamed! With short tales of new and familiar characters, I couldn’t be happier to be back in the world of The First Law.


| Upcoming Reviews |

I am definitely struggling to stop myself from reading and start reviewing at the moment. I partially blame my excessive hours behind a computer whilst working from home but, in all honesty, everything I’m reading is so exciting that I’m too eager to go onto the next thing before I’ve given myself some time to process. I will, however, be playing a bit of catch up this week (as I certainly don’t want to fall any further behind!) and should have all the above reviews out in the next two weeks.  


| Watching |

The other half and I are slowly making our way through The Order in between bouts of gaming, while I’ve been watching Humans, an addictive science fiction series about AI and synthetic consciousness. I first started watching Humans when it was first released and, for some unknown reason, failed to continue – so I have plenty to catch up on!


| Gaming |

For the past two weeks I have been playing copious amounts of No Man’s Sky and Red Dead Redemption 2, interspersed with Apex Legends. No Man’s Sky is a beautiful and expansive game of planetary exploration which I now believe I’m slightly addicted to. Likewise, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a stunning, chaotic and wild ride across the Wild West. Had I not already chosen my Top Ten Games of the Past Two Years, which will be posted next week, these two would almost certainly be featured.


| Posts |

Review: A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Music Mondays: Huggin & Kissin

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book Festivals in the UK

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title

Teaser Tuesdays: Ashes of the Sun

Teaser Tuesdays: To Be Taught, If Fortunate

Waiting on Wednesday: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Waiting on Wednesday: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Friday Face-Off: Framed

The Friday Face-Off: White

Friday Firsts: Leviathan Wakes


I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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Review: A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers



A Closed and Common Orbit

Book Two of the Wayfarers Series

by Becky Chambers

Science Fiction | 385 Pages | Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2016


| Rating |


| TL;DR |

The second in the Wayfarers series picks up the narrative of Lovelace and Pepper after the conclusion of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Following the story of Pepper’s past and Lovelace’s present, A Closed and Common Orbit is a tale of love and hope, friendship and family, and the struggle for identity in a vast and sometimes unforgiving universe.

This is a sequel that not only surpasses its predecessor in its richness of setting and depth of character, but opens up a beautiful and terrifying world of possibilities for the ongoing series. Utterly captivating from beginning to end, raising thought-provoking questions throughout, this is a series that really shouldn’t be missed.

| Synopsis |

The stand-alone sequel to the award-winning The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in a new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has to start over in a synthetic body, in a world where her kind are illegal. She’s never felt so alone.

But she’s not alone, not really. Pepper, one of the engineers who risked life and limb to reinstall Lovelace, is determined to help her adjust to her new world. Because Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that, huge as the galaxy may be, it’s anything but empty.

| Review |

Lovelace, once the AI of the Wayfarer, has a new body. She can move and speak and interact as other humans do, but she is not human and the vastness of the world around her is an intimidating prospect. Supported by Pepper, a human unlike any other she has seen, and armed with a new name – Sidra – she must learn to live a life that she is already railing against.

But Pepper’s past speaks just as loudly as Sidra’s present and there may be more similarities between them than Sidra initially thought. Through interwoven arcs of past and present, the mirrored narratives reveal moments of joy, pain, heartbreak and success and prove that, in this universe, just about anything may be possible.

Where The Long Way was a character-driven space opera full of excitement, discovery and intrigue, A Closed and Common Orbit is decidedly not. It is instead a study of character, or two characters to be precise, and how their lives, stories and motives intertwine – and it is all the better for it. This is a heart-warming and beautiful read which questions morality and humanity and takes the reader on a character-driven journey of identity, acceptance and freedom.

The transformative journey that Sidra embarks on runs in parallel with the often heart breaking story of Pepper’s – or Jane’s – past. These two timelines draw interesting and surprising parallels throughout the narrative and explore thought provoking questions about identity, family and belonging. It also demonstrates that even in an advanced, universal society that is accepting of a multitude of species, genders and cultures, that there are always those on the outside looking in; those who feel they do not belong or who cannot show their true selves to the universe.

While some readers may be disappointed that the original and familiar crew of the Wayfarer do not appear in this sequel, their absence does not detract from the richness of the story or depth of character portrayal. In fact, A Closed and Common Orbit explores character with a profound depth and focus that just wasn’t possible in the first novel.

Sidra’s arc readily demonstrates the confusion, fear and frustration of coming to terms with her new situation, combining her endearing qualities with a petulance that makes her appear ever more human as the narrative progresses. By contrast, Jane’s story shows the fear, determination and desperation of escaping a past that defined her entire perception of the world and how, through the kindness of unexpected strangers, she became the Pepper we see today.

The interweaving arcs of Jane’s past and Sidra’s present are cleverly written and striking in their reflection of one another, resulting in a beautiful and utterly compelling narrative that sweeps you along at a steady pace and fills you with outrage, joy, sadness and hope at the turn of each page.

Unexpected and surprising, A Closed and Common Orbit took a hold of my heart at the outset and brought tears to my eyes as it closed. This isn’t a book about action or conflict, or about a quest to save a dying world; it is a book about identity, our similarities and differences, and how we can work together to make a better future. But more than that, it is a book about family, friendship and, above all, hope.

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

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This Week by Proxy: 13 – 19 July


Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I link up with the Caffeinated Reviewer to look back on the past week and see what I’ve been reading, posting, watching and playing!


| This Week by Proxy: 13 – 19 July 2020 |

With work deadlines, socially-distanced birthdays and family gatherings aplenty, this week has been busy, busy, busy! This has resulted in my reviews and Top Tens of the Past Two Years taking a bit of a dive – if you can call it a dive after such a prolonged absence – but hopefully I will be back on schedule next week!

I hope you have all had fantastic weeks and I cannot wait to read all your latest recommendations!


| Books Read |

Becky Chambers’ A Closed and Common Orbit is so beautifully written and so heartwarming that I had tears in my eyes as it came to a close. It truly is a wonderful space opera and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough! It also means that I am having to restrain myself from opening Record of a Spaceborn Few immediately!

On top of my Wayfarers indulgence, I also read The Man with One Name, a novella in Tom Lloyd’s God Fragments series. Having left such a long period between reading Stranger of Tempest and Princess of Blood, I thought it best if I reintroduced myself to the world through the accompanying prequel before embarking on the next feature length novel – and it must have worked because I cannot wait to start!

I also completed A Pelican at Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse, the eleventh novel in the Blandings series. Although this novel follows the same formula used time and time again throughout this series, A Pelican at Blandings really was quite entertaining and, as usual, didn’t fail to make me smile. 


| Currently Reading |

Having finally finished A Closed and Common Orbit, I find myself unable to get enough of Becky Chambers’ writing. So, while Record of a Spaceborn Few burns a hole in my Kindle, I have started reading her stand-alone novella, To be Taught, If Fortunate. So far, so good.

With the publishing date looming, I have also started reading Django Wexler’s epic, Ashes of the Sun. This is the first novel of Wexler’s I have ever read and I can’t seem to put it down at all – never a bad sign! I am really looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all!


| Upcoming Reviews |

Life, the universe and everything have put me a little behind schedule but, never fear, I will have reviews for Going Postal, A Closed and Common Orbit and The Man with One Name coming up over the next week or so. With all three books over the four star mark, you can expect some very happy responses!


| Watching |

While the other half and I continue watching Warrior Nun and the second season of The Order, I have finally gotten around to watching The Sinner. Weaving mystery, murder and a complex, layered narrative, the first season starts with Cora’s story and is seriously addictive. If you like dark psychological crime thrillers, this really is for you!


| Gaming |

In between numerous failed bouts of Apex Legends, I have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch. Having never had a console before and having never played Zelda before, this has been a wonderful and addictive introduction! Thank you to everyone who recommended this!


| Posts |

Review: How to Rule An Empire and Get Away With It

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books That Make Me Smile

Teaser Tuesdays: The Man with One Name by Tom Lloyd

Waiting on Wednesday: Tales from the Folly by Ben Aaronovitch

The Friday Face-Off: Just as it Seems

Friday Firsts: To Be Taught, If Fortunate


I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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Friday Firsts: To Be Taught, If Fortunate


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. First paragraphs. First impressions. A new favourite?


| Friday Firsts: July 17 |

To Be Taught, If Fortunate

A Novella

by Becky Chambers

Science Fiction | 136 Pages | Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2018


| First Paragraphs |

If you read nothing else we’ve sent home, please at least read this. I ask knowing full well that this request is antithetical to what I believe in my heart of hearts. Our mission reports contain our science, and the science is by far the most important thing here. My crew and I are a secondary concern. Tertiary, even.

But all the same, we do have a lot riding on someone picking this up.

You don’t have to rush. The file will have taken fourteen years to reach Earth, and assuming that we have the good luck of someone reading it right away and replying straight after, it’d take that file another fourteen years. So, while we can’t wait around forever, the urgency – like so many things in space travel – is relative.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

Hot off the heels of finishing the second novel in Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series, A Closed and Common Orbit, I decided to embark on her stand-alone science fiction novella, To be Taught, If Fortunate.

Having read several disparate reviews for this novella, I have decided to read it with no expectations either way and let myself be carried along whether good, bad or ugly. Having said that, I have developed a somewhat unreserved love for Chambers’ writing and the opening paragraphs are so very intriguing and, as always, so beautifully written that I can’t help but feel like I will love this novella all the same!

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books That Make Me Smile


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books That Make Me Smile |

Books can make us smile for many reasons, they can be happy or they can be sad, they can be triumphantly savage or just darn-right hilarious. This week, I’ve broken down my Top Ten into the reasons these books make me smile, from the very first to the very last. And who knows, maybe one day one of these books will make you smile too!

Scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By.heart

| 1. |

The First Book That Made Me Smile

Where’s Spot?

by Eric Hill

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I am reliably informed by my mother that nothing would bring me more joy as a baby than Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill. This little beauty even came with a Spot the Dog toy that, by the time I was too old to play with it, was a lovely shade of well loved brown and was for all intents and purposes the family dog. heart

| 2. |

A Book That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Going Postal

Book Thirty-Three of the Discworld Series

by Terry Pratchett

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I am almost certain that any Pratchett novel could be inserted under this title and still be relevant. Going Postal was, however, the last Pratchett novel I read and is well deserved of the title of Book That Made Me Laugh Out Loud – as I did, multiple times.

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| 3 |

A Book That Made Me Cheer

(For death, mayhem, and bloody destruction)

The Blade Itself

Book One of The First Law

by Joe Abercrombie

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There is no other author that brings me joy like Lord Grimdark himself. Witty, exciting, visceral and bloody brilliant; every single one of Joe Abercrombie’s books is a masterpiece that makes me, as a reader, feel inexplicably jubilant. And seeing as it was The Blade Itself that commenced this half-life-long obsession, it was only right that it should find its place on this list. heart

| 4. |

A Book That Brings Me Comfort

The Little White Horse

by Elizabeth Goudge

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The Little White Horse is a beautiful children’s novel which captivated me throughout my childhood. Reading (and repeatedly re-reading) an old, yellowed copy of the book which had belonged to my mother, the magical writing and wonderful illustrations whisked me away to Moonacre Manor and has remained a favourite ever since.

My particular favourite illustration was the one shown above which I used to stare at, so very hard, and wish that one day I would have a room just like Maria Merryweather’s.

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| 5. |

A Book That Changed My Life

The Lord of the Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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And once again Mamma Proxy shows her literary influence! I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was ten years old and it has been read and re-read many, many times since. Those of you who love Tolkien need no description, this book has defined and influenced so many in so many aspects of their life that the only reaction is to smile.

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| 6. |

A Book That Made Me Laugh as a Child

The Bartimaeus Trilogy

by Jonathan Stroud

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If it wasn’t my mother getting me into all her favourite reads, it was my great uncle researching the latest and greatest in children’s fiction to spend my birthday book vouchers on. The Bartimaeus Trilogy was sarcastic, funny and everything I didn’t know I wanted and more! In fact, I loved it so much that a re-read wouldn’t go amiss. Bravo Uncle Ted, you pulled that one out of the bag.

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| 7. |

A Book I Loved as a Teenager

Lion of Senet

Book One of the Second Sons Trilogy

by Jennifer Fallon

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As a teenager, The Second Sons Trilogy absolutely blew me away. It was exciting, action packed, with twists and turns a-plenty and, up until that point, had the biggest cast of evil bastards I had ever had the pleasure to read. Slow to start but a joy all round, this series is a YA epic that I wouldn’t be sorry to re-read.

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| 8. |

A Book I Should Have Read Much Sooner

The Importance of Being Earnest 

by Oscar Wilde

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The Importance of Being Earnest was the first Oscar Wilde book I read and, while I had of course heard of his comedy credentials, it was in fact so much funnier than I expected it to be. Wilde is so witty and so eloquent that every moment spent with this book was pure, unadulterated joy.heart

| 9. |

A Book That Came as a Surprise

Senlin Ascends 

Book One of The Books of Babel

by Josiah Bancroft

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Beautifully descriptive with more than a little dose of steampunk and Victoriana, the first in this fantasy series chronicles Thomas Senlin’s momentous and utterly chaotic ascent through the Tower of Babel in search of his misplaced wife Marya. Having not read anything about about this prior to cracking it open, Senlin Ascends came as a thoroughly enjoyable surprise.heart

| 10. |

The Last Book That Made Me Smile

A Closed and Common Orbit

Book Two of the Wayfarers Series

by Becky Chambers

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I finished A Closed and Common Orbit yesterday… and it was absolutely amazing! As I read the final paragraphs I had tears in my eyes, my heart was soaring and I was so goddamn happy. This book – nay, this series! – is so very highly recommended. If you haven’t already, add it to your TBR!

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Which books make you smile?

If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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This Week by Proxy: 06 – 12 July


Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I look back on the past week to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted and the goals I’ve completed.


| This Week by Proxy: 06 – 12 July 2020 |

Ahh my second Sunday and it still feels so good to be back! I have spent a lot of time catching up on your wonderful blogs, reading reviews and generally enjoying this amazing community. I think I may have enjoyed it a little too much though as WordPress decided to confine me to several spam folders on Friday… which I entirely blame on my enthusiasm for commenting following such a prolonged absence!

I hope you have all had wonderful weekends and I can’t wait to see all your posts this coming week!


| Books Read |

After completing my Top Ten Tuesday, I had a sudden and irresistible urge to read more works by P.G. Wodehouse. Having only ever read stand-alone or Blandings novels, I decided to venture into the realms of Reginald Jeeves and Bertie Wooster. The Inimitable Jeeves is the first full length Jeeves novel out of a series comprising of eleven full length novels and thirty-five short stories – a series which is bound to keep me busy for a lifetime!

Now I have a bit of a soft spot for Blandings so no sooner had I completed The Inimitable Jeeves, I picked up yet another Blandings novel in order to get my fix of Lord Emsworth and the magnificent Empress. Galahad at Blandings was, as usual, an amusing and chaotic affair which was enjoyed alongside the excellent fantasy novel How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It by K.J. Parker. 


| Currently Reading |

While you might think two P.G. Wodehouse novels in one week would keep me ticking over for some time you would, in fact, be entirely wrong. As soon as Galahad at Blandings reached its joyful conclusion I reached for A Pelican at Blandings, another truly dotty book from the master of wit.

As Wodehouse novels tend to be distinctly different and a lot shorter than my ‘main’ reads, I find them relatively easy to squeeze in and around more complex or longer novel, such as the truly wonderful A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, which I am enjoying immensely!


| Upcoming Reviews |

For those of you I have spoken to in the week about Terry Pratchett, I apologise. For some reason I have continually referred to Going Postal, an incredibly witty novel about the fantastical postal service of Ankh-Morpork, as ‘Postal Service’, which is literally just describing its contents. This, however, just makes me love the bureaucratic madness that is this book even more…  and I have a sneaking suspicion that Junior Postman Tolliver Groat would approve of such direct and to the point ‘regulation’ descriptions. I hope to have a review out for both Going Postal and How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It this week!


| Watching |

While catching up with the third season of Killing Eve and the brilliant I May Destroy You, the other half and I have started to watch Warrior Nun on Netflix. While I expected this to be a cheesy and mediocre offering, I really am rather enjoying it and find myself eagerly awaiting the next episode. I’m also not going to deny that if there is hype for warrior nuns I am all for it as the Book of the Ancestor is just ripe for dramatisation!


| Gaming |

This week I have continued to play the fifth season of Apex Legends. After achieving rank Gold IV in the season’s first half, I was very close to putting it down and starting an entirely new game (as usually I just play Apex as a ‘filler’ game between larger titles) but lo and behold the ranks and maps reset and I have once again been suckered back in!

The other half and I also purchased a Nintendo Switch but I am yet to play anything as I am still umm-ing and aah-ing over which game I want to play! Let me know if you have any suggestions!


| Posts |

Review: Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K.J. Parker

The Friday Face-Off: The Sea Brought You. The Sea Shall Have You Back. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By

Teaser Tuesdays: How to Rule an Empire and Get Away With It by K.J. Parker

Waiting on Wednesday: The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie

The Friday Face-Off: At the End of Every Light, is a Tunnel of Darkness.

Friday Firsts: A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

My Top Ten Books of the Past Two Years


I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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Friday Firsts: A Closed and Common Orbit


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. First paragraphs. First impressions. A new favourite?


| Friday Firsts: July 10 |

A Closed and Common Orbit

Book Two of the Wayfarers Series

by Becky Chambers

Science Fiction | 385 Pages | Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2016


| First Paragraphs |

Lovelace had been in a body for twenty-eight minutes, and it still felt every bit as wrong as it had the second she woke up inside it. There was no good reason as to why. Nothing was malfunctioning. Nothing was broken. All her files had transferred properly. No system scans could explain the feeling of wrongness, but it was there all the same, gnawing at her pathways. Pepper had said it would take time to adjust, but she hadn’t said how much time. Lovelace didn’t like that. The lack of schedule made her uneasy.

‘How’s it going?’ Pepper asked, glancing over from the pilot’s seat.

It was a direct question, which meant Lovelace had to address it. ‘I don’t know how to answer that.’ An unhelpful response, but the best she could do. Everything was overwhelming. Twenty-nine minutes before, she’d been housed in a ship, as she was designed to be. She’d had cameras in every corner, voxes in every room. She’d existed in a web, with eyes both within and outside. A solid sphere of unblinking perception.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

It has been far too long since I finished The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Four years in fact; and despite it being one of my favourite science fiction reads of the 2015/2016 period, I still hadn’t picked up A Closed and Common Orbit. Following a timely reminder by The Earthian Hivemind that this series existed, I quickly bought a copy and placed it on the top of my ever-increasing book pile.

And I am so happy that I did.

In just a few short paragraphs I was fully absorbed into a landscape I thought I had forgotten. Familiar names, familiar faces; the events of the previous novel slowly unfolding in my head. The character driven plot was the highlight of the first novel and I find it unlikely that this sequel will disappoint.

I truly cannot wait to get lost with the Wayfarers, or at least Lovelace and Pepper, once again.

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

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The Monthly Round-Up: February 2016


Welcome to The Monthly Round-Up. Join me as I look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and my all important Book of the Month!


| Books Read |

February 8

February has flown by in a torrent of amazingly bloody, beautiful and brilliant books. I only managed a respectable eight but every single one of them was fantastic – I expect that there won’t be less than a four star review amongst them! I may have completely ignored my goals of the month but never mind! February was a blast. It also featured a book so good it required its own rating!

Here’s the run down of the books I devoured last month:

| 1. |

The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky

| 2. |

The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

| 3. |

Broken Banners by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

| 4. |

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

| 5. |

The Grim Company by Luke Scull

| 6. |

Legend by David Gemmell

| 7. |

The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

| 8. |

Dragon Hunters by Marc Turner


Book of the Month


Promise of Blood

by Brian McClellan


| February Goals |

To finish NOS4R2 and Emma before the month is out!

Status: Incomplete (I haven’t even picked one of them up!)

heart

And to really challenge myself to be organised…

To post every day in February

Status: Incomplete (22 of 29 days Complete)


| Goals for 2016 |

Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge: 18/100 Books Read (18%)

Status: +8% in February


| Reviews Posted |

5+

Promise_of_Blood

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan


5 Stars

The Thief by Claire North


Faith and Moonlight by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire


three point five

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer


Rising Tide by Rajan Khanna


| Other Posts From February |

The Monthly Round-Up: January 2016

The Month Ahead: February 2016

Cover Reveal: Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Cover Reveal: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – Paperback Edition

Cover Reveal: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

Bookish Beats: Bonobo – Black Sands

Bookish Beats: Massive Attack – Mezzanine

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Historical Settings

Teaser Tuesdays: February 02 – The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

Teaser Tuesdays: February 09 – Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

Teaser Tuesdays: February 16 – The Grim Company by Luke Scull

Teaser Tuesdays: February 23 – A Fever of the Blood by Oscar de Muriel

The Friday Face-Off: February 05 – The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

The Friday Face-Off: February 12 – The Thousand Names by Django Wexler

The Friday Face-Off: February 19 – Vicious by V.E. Schwab

The Friday Face-Off: February 26 – The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Book Haul: February 06 – The Frey and McGray Series by Oscar de Muriel

Book Haul: February 08 – Drake, Servant of the Underworld and The Crimson Ribbon

Book Haul: February 10 – Low Town Series and City of Bohane

Book Haul: February 13 – The Rats, The Folding Knife and The Electric Church

Book Haul: February 23 – The Raven’s Head, And Then There Were None and Ink and Bone

Book Haul: February 24 – Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart