Noisy Deadlines


  1. Machinehood by S.B. Divya, 416p: This book is full on ideas and questions about artificial intelligence and how it can integrate with humans. It presents a future dominated by the gig economy, humans have to take advanced enhancement pills to compete with bots and weak AI's (WAI) in the labour force, people have online “tip jars” to receive money from other users that are watching their live social media feeds. It is a disturbing view of the future where there are swarms of nano cameras everywhere, watching and broadcasting everything you do to the internet. The main plot point is the conflict raised by a movement to defend WAI's and bots rights and end the inequality between humans and artificial intelligence. It also touches on the human+machine integration, and how that could change the world. It has lots of interesting ideas, it shows personal insights of the day to day lives of the characters, new views on religion, glimpses of life in space stations, some simplified politics conflicts. I thought that the final resolution of the plot was too easy, and a little bit too rushed.

  2. Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky, 599p: Earth is dust, humans are looking for new planets to settle. Generation ships travelling for thousands of years, genetically engineered spiders, failed terraformed planets, first contact, a look into an alien society evolving through the years. Even though there are wars and the classic conflicts for power, I liked the optimistic ending.

  3. Honor and Shadows (Starlight's Shadow #0.5) by Jessie Mihalik, 70p: Short story, not much to it. Just another day in the life of Captain Octavia Zarola, trying to do good in the world.

  4. A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas, 419p: It was not my cup of tea. I didn't really like any of the main characters, I thought the Fae magic powers were loosely explained, it felt limitless and inconsistent.  The romance didn't convince me at all. Can’t say more without huge spoilers.

  5. Avogadro Corp (Singularity #1) by William Hertling, 302p: What if a generative artificial intelligence is incorporated into an email program to help users write more compelling messages based on data from all the emails that are sent back forth? Sounds familiar? What if this AI receives a directive to benefit its own development and starts to write emails on its own?  The book was written in 2011 and it already talks about generative artificial intelligence.  An interesting premise, it got me hooked till the end.  It made want to continue reading the series.

  6. Homo Distractus: Fight for your choices and identity in the digital age by Anastasia Dedyukhina, 282p: Lots of references about how technology is impacting us and possible strategies to fight the downsides. I enjoyed the first chapters talking about how devices affect our focus, the advantages of deep reading, the ineffectiveness of “multitasking” and the importance of making space for boredom. It is still relevant today.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

  1. Foundryside (The Founders Trilogy #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett, 503p: I enjoyed the magic system of giving the power of sentience to objects. It adds a whimsical feel to the story. I loved the main character, Sancia: she's a rogue/thief, living in the outskirts of society getting by as best she can. She is smart and independent. She has a dark past, being a victim of unmentionable experiments that left her with uncomfortable (but useful) abilities. One of her goals is to get enough money to cure herself. The world building is cool with an everyday magic aspect based on using ancient alphabet to imbue commands to objects and convince them to behave in certain ways. This process is called “scriving”. For example, a sword can be “scrived” to believe it is as sharp as ten blades in one, capable of cutting through nearly anything. The last third of the book dragged a little bit, but overall, it was very interesting with a main character that I sympathised with.

  2. The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax, 304p: It's an interesting account of some analog technology that came back after the phase of digitisation that started with the first computers in the 60's and 70's. My favorite chapters were the ones about the revenge of Vinyl and Moleskine notebooks. After the music industry distribution went digital, culminating in music streaming services, there was a movement to get back to vinyl. Records pressing plants were restored and put into operation again.  Moleskine started a designer trend towards nice and beautiful paper notebooks. Film directors helped the movement for analog film movies again, film producing factories were re-opened and it's possible to get new Polaroid and Instax cameras nowadays. It also touches on board games, meditation sessions in the workplace, high-end analog wristwatches, print books: all things that are contrasting with the digital environment we live in today. The author praises these analog experiences, reasoning on why we need them more than ever and points out these markets tend to grow even more. Sometimes I found the tone of the arguments too geared towards consumerism and these non-digital options were just creating a market for wealthier people to consume more things. I've been reading digital books for years and I don't plan on going back to paper books (the irony of reading a book about non-digital things in an e-reader).

  3. Atlas Alone (Planetfall #4) by Emma Newman, 320p: This book takes place 6 months after the events of Planetfall #2 (“After Atlas”). We have Dee as our main character and she gets unknowingly involved in a suspected murder inside the colony ship. As we know from the previous book, Dee is an avid gamer, and she soon joins elite game servers, or “leets” where the gamers real life abilities are represented in game, making these games extremely challenging. This is another unputdownable book by Emma Newman with virtual reality immersive games, discussions about AI and consciousness, corporate indenture, social justice and revenge. It's all intertwined with the main character's journey confronting her traumatic past while she investigates and plans for the future. It's intense, thrilling and the ending was breathtaking.

  4. Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab, 282p: This is a light read on the topic, offering practical examples on phrases to express verbally our boundaries. I had the impression the topic was over simplified. The author mentions a lot of “results” from polls she conducted in her Instagram account with her followers and that took away some of the credibility of the facts presented.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

  1. The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga #1) by G.A. Aiken, 304p: Not what I was expecting. It caught my attention because of the strong female characters (women blacksmiths), but the writing style didn't please me. It follows the trope of the death of a ruler and then a prophecy that will point to the new heir. It has brutal and bloody battle scenes that were treated so childishly as if they were of no consequence. It uses an amusing tone for everything (even violence), and that bothered me.

  2. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, 507p: It's a well-crafted murder mystery. It was fun to try to figure out who was the killer. It's complicated, there are lots of moving pieces, but it all fits together in the end. There are a lot of characters, tho! I started a list, and I got to at least 30. It was hard to keep track of everything. I felt a lack of emotional connection to the characters, and the mystery itself kept me engaged. It reminded me of puzzle games, and it was a book that I loved thinking about while I was not reading it. Also, it was excellent for a Book Club session!

  3. How to Be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do by Graham Allcott, 368p: Lots of good advice in this book, but it clearly uses most of the ideas from David Allen, who wrote “Getting Things Done” (which I've read more than once). So for me, there weren't too many new things added to my toolbox. It was fun because the author uses ninja references and imagery to get his point across.

  4. Dance with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #3) by Kit Rocha, 352p: I loved this series, I loved the characters and their positive overall mindset to try to make their dystopian futuristic reality a better world. This one was faster-paced than the second one but not overly so. It had a good rhythm, alternating between world-building, the big plot to turn down big corporations, and the characters' personal drama. The romance is not cringy, sex scenes are very well written. I would read more stories in this universe! Hopefully the author writes one more.

  5. Life is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way by Kieran Setiya, 222p: I listened to the audiobook, and for me the beginning and the end were good, I wasn't as interested in the middle chapters. It brings some philosophical discussions about grief, happiness, hope, and the meaning of life. I enjoyed the reference to the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

Only after putting this list together I realised that my fiction reads were all romances! All of them lighthearted, hopeful and relaxing.

I totally failed at finishing a book for my local Book Club because it was a grim-dark fantasy from the 80’s and I couldn’t get past the second chapter. Well, I guess I needed some lightness this month. No regrets.

  1. Legends & Lattes (Legends & Lattes #1) by Travis Baldree, 318p: This is a book that made me happy. It's a cozy fantasy and I loved every word of it. An orc barbarian decides to retire and open a coffee shop. That's it! And I loved following her steps, from acquiring a place, renovating, getting the coffee machines, finding friends, and baking delicious cinnamon rolls and pastries in her coffee shop. Friendship with romance and all the good vibes.

  2. The Devil You Know (Mercenary Librarians #2) by Kit Rocha, 416p: I'm enjoying this post-apocalyptic world quite a lot because although it's a dark reality, the series focus on the group of characters that are trying to make the world a better place. This second book was hopeful and had some intense character development. I’ll read the next one for sure!

  3. Below Zero (The STEMinist Novellas #3) by Ali Hazelwood, 121p: Another adorable romance story with a female scientist. This time the protagonist works for NASA on one of the Mars rovers project (super nerdy), a big misunderstanding, a rescue mission on an island in the Arctic Ocean, and, yes, romance. I had a good time.

  4. Winning the Week: How To Plan A Successful Week, Every Week by Demir Bentley, 269p: This book covers detailed steps on how to plan our weeks so that it gets done regularly. I learned a few things that I will start implementing in my own routine. The most valuable message for me was the idea that I need to accept my reality:

“…look at your life with zero wishful thinking. Be able to see when a timeline isn't realistic and accept that reality without getting emotional.”.

It talks a lot about perfectionism and encourages us to ask ourselves what “good enough” looks like and where we can accept a lower level of quality and move forward. I thought there were too many steps to the process, tho. I'm not sure I would go ahead and plan EVERY hour of my week in advance, as the method seems to suggest. I prefer to do daily planning and allocate time for tasks on a day-to-day basis.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

1. Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #1) by Kit Rocha: I gotta say the series’ name combining the words “Mercenary” and “Librarians” was what attracted me to this book. And I enjoyed it! Strong female characters, information brokers who just want to help people, near-future post-apocalyptic setting, super soldiers against the power of corporations, augmented humans,  librarians, mercenaries, and romance. The characters grew on me, the plot was intriguing, enough, and the romance was NOT the usual  “alpha male” dynamic. It made me want to read the next in the series.

2. Ancestral Night (White Space #1) by Elizabeth Bear: This book starts with space opera feels, then turns into a more introspective narrative inside the main character’s head. It’s a far-future society, people have implants that can record memories, search for information and communicate with each other. There are spaceships AI’s who can be citizens, implants that can regulate hormones on the fly and enhance or avoid certain feelings, alien technology, a problematic cult, personal trauma discussions, humans enhanced to live in low gravity, and pirates. There is a lot going on! Did I mention space alien giant whales and a mantis cop? Also, there are discussions about social freedom versus social responsibility. The pace of the book was uneven, and it felt super slow in some parts.

3. Still Life (Chief Inspector Gamache #1) by Louise Penny: I wanted to get more into mysteries, and this was a good start. This is the first book in the series, and I wanted to read it mostly because the story location is a small fictional town in the Eastern Townships region in Quebec. The detective, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, is a lovable character: he is kind and smart, but also firm when needed. I wasn’t sure who the murderer was until it was revealed. This book is very sensible as well, and we get to know what the characters are thinking and feeling, making them believable. I just wanted to hang out in the local B&B (brunch and breakfast) with them someday!

4. White Night (The Dresden Files #9) by Jim Butcher: Nice page-turner, with vampire courts conflicts, lots of ghouls, Harry Dresden working together with more allies (so it’s not himself alone against the bad guys) and a lot is happening in this book.

5. Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer: This book discusses how anxiety can become a habit we barely notice and suggests some ways we can get out of the loop. I enjoyed it because it focuses a lot on mindfulness practices, and how they can help in the process of noticing the anxiety habit. My main takeaways were: mindfulness meditation is an excellent practice to notice what is going on, loving-kindness meditation helps with resilience and well-being, and it reminded me to not fall into the “Why am I having these thoughts” question loop. It doesn’t matter why thoughts are happening, what matters is how we react to them.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

Happy New Year! 🎉

Every year I look back at my reading list and think about my reader goals. I don’t have any specific genre or theme I want to focus on now. For 2023 I want to tackle my TBR digital pile.

I have 106 unread books that are already loaded in my e-reader. I quickly looked at the list and I’ve chosen 37 that I’d like to get through in 2023.

I have some series I want to continue reading:

  1. A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2) by Becky Chambers

  2. Aurora Blazing (Consortium Rebellion #2) by Jessie Mihalik

  3. The Ghost Brigades (Old Man’s War, #2) by John Scalzi

  4. Wanderlust (Sirantha Jax #2) by Ann Aguirre

  5. Planetfall (Planetfall #1) by Emma Newman

  6. Atlas Alone (Planetfall #4) by Emma Newman

  7. Persepolis Rising (The Expanse #7) by James S.A. Corey

New series and books that have been on my radar:

  1. Poison or Protect (Delightfully Deadly #1) by Gail Carriger

  2. Ambush or Adore (Delightfully Deadly #3) by Gail Carriger

  3. Defy or Defend (Delightfully Deadly #2) by Gail Carriger

  4. Between Two Thorns (The Split Worlds #1) by Emma Newman

  5. Any Other Name (The Split Worlds #2) by Emma Newman

  6. Arsene Lupin, gentleman cambrioleur (Arsene Lupin #1) by Maurice Leblanc

  7. Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

  8. Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #1) by Kit Rocha

  9. Diving into the Wreck (Diving Universe #1) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

  10. Fire Logic (Elemental Logic #1) by Laurie J. Marks

  11. Lock In (Lock In #1) by John Scalzi

  12. Nightfall (Blood Magic #1) by L.H. Cosway

  13. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

  14. Rosewater (The Wormwood Trilogy #1) by Tade Thompson

  15. The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield

  16. The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken (The Scarred Earth Saga #1 )

  17. The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

  18. The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley

  19. The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe

  20. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

  21. The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

  22. The Cold Between (Central Corps #1) by Elizabeth Bonesteel

Non-fiction books:

  1. Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed by Ben R. Rich

  2. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn

  3. How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them by Jason Stanley

  4. How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil

  5. In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan

  6. The Science of Time Travel by Elizabeth Howell

  7. Power of Fun by Catherine Price

  8. The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara

I will have at least 12 more books that are going to be picked for my local Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club and I’m sure I’ll have more books added to this list. This is a starting point, in case I run out of ideas!

Happy reading in 2023!

#Books #Booklist #ReaderGoals

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

  1. Under One Roof (The STEMinist Novellas #1) by Ali Hazelwood, 112p: Another funny and lighthearted romance with engineers/women in STEM!

  2. The Cloud Roads (The Books of the Raksura #1) by Martha Wells, 278p: Shape-shifting flying lizard-draconian type beings (Raskura), mysterious magic, an outcast story, and an evil enemy. This one didn't grab me that much, maybe it was the writing style or the fact that I didn't really like the main character? This was the first fantasy novel I read by Martha Wells, and now I know I prefer her sci-fi books better. I won't continue reading this series.

  3. Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood, 354p: Full of cool science references, like Marie Curie and NASA, with engineers, astronauts, and neuroscientists. I don't where else a romance novel has all these elements together, and that's why I love this author's books with STEM-inspired themes.

  4. Book Lovers by Emily Henry, 377: I usually read romance with fantasy or sci-fi elements so I'm kinda new to the contemporary romance genre. This book was such a delightful vacation read: small town, people who love books, people who work in the publishing industry, and an unconventional romance storyline. It turns upside down some normal romance tropes, and I was surprised by the ending. It was the perfect read while I was recovering from COVID-19.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

  1. After Atlas (Planetfall #2) by Emma Newman, 384p: I was blown away, this book is unputdownable! So good! It’s a sci-fi thriller with a murder investigation along with a mysterious cult, global politics, and the issue of the asymmetric power of big corporations. It was the first book I read from this author, and now I want to read all her books!

  2. Witchmark (The Kingston Cycle #1) by C.L. Polk, 318p: It starts with a murder mystery in this Second World War Britain setting. it has magic, people biking everywhere, queer romance, and the main character just wanting to help people and be independent.

  3. Babylon's Ashes (The Expanse #6) by James S.A. Corey, 538p: Not my favorite of the series. Each chapter is one-character POV, and I didn't enjoy that in this one we get way more POVs, other than the core main characters. I particularly didn't enjoy the chapters with Marco Inaros and his son. They are not on my list of likable characters (for obvious reasons if you know the series) and there were maybe too many of those chapters. Anyway, I want to continue reading the series, it seems the plot will continue in a different direction, and that's promising!

  4. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Monk & Robot #2) by Becky Chambers, 152p: This book warmed my heart! Such a delightful, calm, compassionate read. Everybody is so nice in this world, I like that they say to each other: “no pressure, take your time, do what feels good, and I will help you”. I need more books like that! Can’t wait for the next in the series.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.


  1. The Books of Magic by Scott Hampton, John Bolton, Charles Vess, Paul Johnson, Roger Zelazny, Neil Gaiman, 200p: It was okay as a graphic novel. It introduces the main character, Timothy Hunter, to the world of magic, but doesn’t go beyond that. I missed some more character focus and that probably happens in the next volumes.

  2. Seal of the Worm (Shadows of the Apt #10) by Adrian Tchaikovsky, 642p: This is the last book of the series, and it is impressive how the author manages to link everything together. The series has memorable characters, and I created a kind of emotional connection to them throughout the 10 books. It's epic, complex, and heavy on worldbuilding but also excellent in character-building. This was probably the longest fantasy series I finished reading, and I enjoyed that it is a unique world, getting away from the typical European-centric fantasy. A satisfying end for this series.

  3. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn, 280p: It is always nice to read about mindfulness. This book can be read slowly, one chapter at a time because it's a collection of essays on mindfulness meditation and how it can be integrated into our daily lives, in our most mundane activities.

  4. Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1) by Gail Carriger, 357p: This was fun and silly. There is a dirigible named the Spotted Custard that is painted to look like a black and red ladybug. There are people riding wolves. There are new supernatural beings introduced, other than werewolves and vampires. I liked the main group dynamic on board of the Spotted Custard (Rue, Quesnel, Prim and Percy). I'm not sure about the Indian cultural references, I'm afraid they were inaccurate and maybe even offensive to Indian natives. Overall fun, but not to be taken seriously.

  5. A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) by Becky Chambers, 147p: This novella felt like a warm embrace. It's cozy, cute, and light. A traveling tea monk exploring the world comes in contact with one of the few conscious robots left in their world. Robots were long forgotten by humanity, having fled to the wilderness to live their own lives. I loved the discussions about life’s purpose, animals, and consciousness. It made me want to continue reading the next one.

  6. BONUS: Replaceables – Short Story by Ithaka O., 19p: This short story was gifted to me by a fellow reader of this blog and I’m so grateful! A touching story about friendship, love, and death. About caring, about letting go, and also cherishing what is gone. It soothed me during a difficult time. The author’s page can be found here.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.

  1. The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken, 478p: It was an interesting premise overall, with posthumanism discussions and creepy religions. Lots going on here: complex worldbuilding. creative and unusual hard sci-fi concepts and bioengineering of specialized human sub-species. There are different post-human beings that were heavily genetically modified, like Homo Quantus, who are able to make astounding leaps of intellectual analysis by stepping away from their individuality, Homo eridanus (The Mongrels): engineered people adapted to live on the deep-sea floor and the creepiest of all, Homo pupa (The Puppets): a type of slave species who were genetically modified to experience awe under pheromonal cues of their masters. I gotta say some of the quantum philosophical passages about faith, existence, and quantum calculations were boring to me. The part about Homo pupa and their blind worshipping was super disturbing, exploring the worst part of blind faith fanaticism.

  2. Midnight Riot (Rivers of London #1) by Ben Aaronovitch, 298p: Cool urban fantasy set up in London. It's got the Dresden Files vibe. It's full of British slang, which was not familiar to me. I'm not knowledgeable in London geography so I must have missed tons of references. It was still a nice read for me, but I guess I was discouraged to go on with the series because it seemed very niche and more interesting for people who know London culture.

  3. Stuck with You (The STEMinist Novellas, #2) by Ali Hazelwood, 127p: A quick and fun enemy to lovers trope, but with engineers!

  4. Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5) by Gail Carriger, 407p: This was probably my favorite book of the series, with a satisfactory ending. I love the writing style of these books, there is a lightness to it that makes me smile all the time. This one has dirigibles, a boat trip, balloon trips, a cute metanatural baby (Prudence), children traveling with their parents, Egypt ancient mysteries, and adorable supernatural beings. (vampires and werewolves). It's witty and sensible and classy. It was a true feel-good read. And I felt compelled to continue reading the next series (The Custard Protocol) that focuses on Prudence as a grown-up lady.

#readinglist #books #reading

Thoughts? Discuss... if you have a account or Reply by email

By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.