WWW Wednesday – November 23, 2022

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Tracking the ChupacabraI managed to get a nice modest start on Tracking the Chupacabra by Benjamin Radford finally, though regrettably I didn’t get to any of A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris as well. At any rate, I’m enjoying the book quite a bit, as Radford’s style is making the subject a lot of fun to read while still being critical and informative. One of the early chapters is a brief history of vampires, since the creature is vampiric in nature, which led things down a path to how deeply colonialism has influenced the folklore of certain places in the world. I had no idea there were urban legends of white colonizers stalking the streets, wanting to harvest body parts from innocent bystanders caught unawares. Can’t say I blame them, all things considered. It was also amusing to have it pointed out just how inconsistent accounts of what the chupacabra is supposed to look like are. It seems a chupacabra can be whatever you want it to be.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week. Boo.


Reading Next

Galatea (book)I’ve still not made up my mind about a bigger book to read next, but I have recently made a purchase that I’m going to read through as soon as I can: Galatea by Madeline Miller. The book is actually a short story that Miller first published ages ago; in fact, I already own it on Kindle. Nevertheless, once I heard they released an actual book, I knew I had to buy it. Even at it’s tiny size, the story is only 50 pages or so long, so it should take virtually no time at all to complete, and I look forward to finally reading this story. I’ve put it off long enough, but I guess being a bit of a Luddite with Kindle has paid off; I get to enjoy this physical book now.

Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Books I’m Thankful that School Had Me Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a “thankful freebie”, which I presume is because American Thanksgiving is this week. I’m Canadian, so Thanksgiving was back in October for me, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to put together a list of books I’m thankful for. To make the list a little more considered, I decided to provide a list of ten books I’m grateful for having to read in school. Ever since high school and university, I’ve only ever really chosen books out of personal interest; I don’t really follow any book clubs or things like them. So, that was the last real time in my life that it wasn’t up to me what I needed to read. I’m not sure I’ve properly plumbed the depths of every syllabus I’ve ever been given, but I’m happy with this all the same.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 16, 2022

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Nothing really to report on this front again this week, though it’s because I’ve actually managed to get yet another book finished. I will hopefully start reading more of A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris again soon.


Recently Finished

The King in YellowLast night I finished reading The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers. I definitely liked this book the further I got along in it, though my feelings are more middling overall; it’s definitely a three out of five read for me. I don’t know what influences Chambers may have had, but I find this book really interesting as an early work of weird fiction all the same. Specifically, I wonder how his readers of the time must have reacted to it. Though it’s still niche, this genre is fairly well defined these days. Even people who don’t read it probably know the name Cthulhu. With the vague yet repeated references to the contents of the play “The King in Yellow” within these stories, making reference to a world under dark stars, twin suns, and strange moons, I have to wonder how much things like this had been written about before or if his readers were having an experience truly weird and new to them I wonder if this real book, though it originally included more stories than these, also inspired a fragment of the macabre fixation the play instills in its victims.


Reading Next

Tracking the ChupacabraI still want to start reading Tracking the Chupacabra by Benjamin Radford soon, I just wanted to get The King in Yellow finished first. With so little time left in the year I really do have to wonder how much I’ll actually manage to make time to read, and more importantly, which books matter most to me that I actually go through soon. Part of me really wants to make sure I read Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, but what deters me is the fact that I would be start yet another trilogy. Since it’s looking like I won’t be finishing my scrappy to-read list of 12 books this year either, I wonder if I should maybe turn to some of my other challenges for the year so that they’re not completely left in the dust. I have a lot to consider and not a lot of time left at my disposal.

Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – November 9, 2022

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Nothing at the moment. Technically, I’m still in the middle of both The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers and A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris, but I still haven’t made any further progress with either yet. The former of the two is rather short, though, so I’m going to push to get that finished ASAP.


Recently Finished

Pet SemataryLast night I pushed myself to finish reading Pet Sematary by Stephen King. I’m still ruminating on my final impressions of the book, but I can confidently say that I quite liked it overall. The only thing I’m a little stuck on is just how much everything is drawn out until a climactic finish, when I was expecting that his son would be resurrected for a better part of the novel. I suppose I had expected that there would be more of a sense of hope, even just a fool’s hope, that Gage could come back normal. It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that there is no hope for such a thing, however, and so much more of the final parts of the story is just Louis doing his macabre work to get his son’s body to the burial ground. It’s not so much that I didn’t like it and more that I have to reconcile my expectations vs. reality.


Reading Next

Tracking the ChupacabraIt turns out a lot of the books I have left on my to-read list are all horror adjacent, if not outright horror, so my middling October efforts may well be supplemented by some of the books I want to read next. I still want to put better emphasis on what I’m currently reading in the short term, but in the slightly longer term I think I will try to read Tracking the Chupacabra by Benjamin Radford anyway, Halloween’s end be damned. I have had a particular interest in reading this soon, and I especially don’t want to put this one off until next year, so I’m going to commit to starting it here and now.

Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

First Impressions: The Denim Devil #1 by Zach Carter and Jared Yanez

The Denim Devil issue 1

Excerpt from the press release:

Created by Zach Carter and Jared Yanez, the 5-issue series follows the Denim Devil, local nuisance and public embarrassment to Vanglerton, a city under the thumb of the Vangler family’s crumbling denim manufacturing empire. When a gruesome murder is tied to Vangler’s reclusive young CEO, the Denim Devil’s at the bottom of the suspect list—but not for lack of trying!

When the mystery killer’s reign of terror collides with the Denim Devil’s rain of errors, the resulting vortex drags in a motley array of possible suspects and future victims. Who will survive and what will remain of them? What is the deadly secret of Vangler denim? And will the Denim Devil find meaning and mentorship from the mystery killer, or just become more meat for the massacre?

Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 2, 2022

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

A Carnival of Snackery is still shelved for the time being, but I’m hoping to pick it back up again soon.

The King in YellowSince last week I finished the first story in The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, “The Repairer of Reputations”, which turned out pretty all right despite my initial bristling. Something that became increasingly notable about this story was just how unreliable its narrator turned out to be, which wasn’t all that apparent at first. It was quite deftly done, because I don’t feel like I can dismiss everything as the invention of a deluded mind, so I have to wonder how much was really at stake. It wasn’t quite as much of a horror story as I was hoping, but it was definitely weird. I read something describing it as an “anti-story” which I find interesting too, because there really are a lot of elements you’d expect to mean something to the overall narrative, but they just don’t factor in. All the same, it somehow adds to the deluded aspects of the narrator.

Pet SemataryI’ve only gotten a little further into Pet Sematary by Stephen King, though I’m really enjoying how much it is having Louis stew in his situation. Knowing the premise of the story, it’s easy to think to oneself “I simply wouldn’t bury my dead son in the evil resurrection graveyard,” but King is actually doing a great job of having Louis agonize over the situation. Pretty much every argument for why it’s a bad idea is running through his head, but it has taken on an aspect of a mad compulsion. Part of him knows it is a terrible idea, yet all the same he knows that he will do it. I suppose it must be a magnetic and seductive power of that place, bewitching those with promises that won’t be delivered.


Recently Finished

Beautiful DarknessOn Halloween night I read through Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët, which I really enjoyed. Though it wasn’t firmly a horror story, it explores so much that is dark, cruel, and/or uncaring that it definitely felt appropriate for the occasion. Essentially, the story is about a population of pixies who suddenly must flee their home, finding themselves in the wilderness of our world. They are only about the size of mice, give or take, and the world grants them no special treatment. It was a captivating story of a type of creatures often romanticized in our folklore succumbing to their worst impulses as they struggle to survive after being displaced. Coupled starkly with a cute watercolour art style, what I found most haunting about this story was how matter of fact its horrible moments are, demonstrating that in nature, death is just a part of life, and in societies of people, some of the cruelest acts are performed not as elaborate dramas but as straightforwardly self-interested actions.


Reading Next

For the time being, I don’t really have a plan on what I will read next. Right now, I just want to focus on getting what I’m currently reading done.

Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

New Books & Novel Discoveries (October 2022)

No unfortunate happenings got in the way of me posting this on time in October, I just wanted to indulge in Halloween, so I didn’t set aside the time to work on it. October was a strange month, as it was so eventful that it didn’t just fly by, but I also find myself marveling at how little I was able to finish doing with respect to the blog. Work has continued to be a lot busier than normal. I also managed to do a lot of fun things for the Halloween season, though, so my life still has a little balance.

Enough rambling about life, we’re here to talk about books!Read More »

WWW Wednesday – October 26, 2022

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

For the time being, A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris is still shelved.

Pet SemataryI’m still in the midst of Pet Sematary by Stephen King. I’m a little bummed out that I likely won’t even have it finished before Halloween, but I’m also kind of just accepting that. Work has been a lot busier the last couple of months, and I’ve been hit with a few life events, so I’m actually managing to cut myself some slack, at least for now. I was surprised to find that the death of Gage is something that has already happened once we learn about it. It isn’t an event that unfolds in real time in the narrative. I think this was interestingly done, as we still learn much of how it went down, but from Louis’s pained recollection of it. It reads like remembering a real traumatic event, where your memories treat it like it happened to somebody else.

The King in YellowI also managed to start reading The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, a work of weird fiction from the late 19th century. So far, I’m a little disappointed to find that the author has some distasteful views that he’s injected into the text from the get-go. I’m not really shocked by it or anything, it’s just disappointing that this genre seems to have authors that cannot help but espouse their views to such a degree. Just tell me the story about the play that drives people nuts, I don’t care about your vision of 1920s America and what has been done to what minority groups to accommodate this vision. Uncanny that he predicts a war with Germany having been a big historical event, though, considering this was published in 1895. I’ve not gotten far enough into this to comment on anything else. The prose is better than Lovecraft so far, at least.


Recently Finished

Black ParadoxLast night I read through the entirety of Black Paradox by Junji Ito, the latest book of his published in North America by VIZ. Turns out this book was originally published in 2009, so my suspicions that this was much newer were actually unfounded; I’d just never heard of this book before. All in all, it was pretty good. The book definitely had its spookier moments and disturbing imagery, but it is more of a weird thriller than a horror book. Based on the first chapter, I was a little worried that it would be too all over the place, but it quickly found its footing. I won’t spoil how things play out, but I must say that this book about four people who decide to carry out a suicide pact together did not at all go the way I was expecting.


Reading Next

Beautiful DarknessIt would seem that most of my hopefuls for October won’t be happening this month, though it’s not that surprising. I won’t harp on that further. In any case, I have yet another graphic novel I want to check out before Halloween. It’ll be November by the next WWW post, but we’ve still got some time until the 31st, so I’m confident I can make time for it. The graphic novel in question is Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët. I’ve already read the prologue, just to give it a quick glance, and there is a beautiful contrast between the art style and characters and the content, considering I see that a bunch of cute, pixie-like people seem to be living in the corpse of a little girl lying in a field. I’m eager to dig into the story further.

Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – October 19, 2022

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Pardon the brief hiatus from last week, I was out of town until late into the week visiting family for my birthday and Canadian Thanksgiving. I read another year’s section in A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris in that time, though I’ve since put the book aside to focus a little more on horror. Not that I’ve actually started anything else, but you live and hope.

Pet SemataryI’ve been continuing to make my way through Pet Sematary by Stephen King, though I’ve not been able to make as much progress as I’d have liked over the last two weeks; I never truly am able to get reading done when I visit home, no matter how much I hope I may. Last night I reached the end of the first section of three in the novel, which takes up the majority of pages. I’m sure people with even a passing awareness of the book know what happens in it, but I was surprised to find that King outright tells you in the book too before anything actually goes down. I have to wonder if it was him giving fair warning to his readers, as the tragedy may be too much for some, giving them an opportunity to back out before they are too upset by it.


Recently Finished

Nada.


Reading Next

Black ParadoxAnother Halloween read I have lined up that I’m actually confident I will be able to read this month is Black Paradox by Junji Ito, a newly published story of his in English by VIZ media. I just picked up my preorder of it, which I wasn’t sure would arrive before Halloween or not, so I’m happy I’ll be able to read it for the season. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anything about this story before, so I suspect it is another newer work rather than a translation of something older, but we’ll see. At any rate, it’s rather shorter than some other collections, so it won’t take me too long to get through. I’ve experienced diminishing returns with his work, so I’m only cautiously optimistic about this book.

Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Book Review – The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

Dark Lord of Derkholm

The Dark Lord of Derkholm is a 1998 young adult fantasy novel by author Diana Wynne Jones. Once a year, a magical fantasy land receives guests from another world. These guests, whom visit as Pilgrim Parties under the organization of a ruthless businessman named Mr. Chesney, embark upon this journey to experience a real-life fantasy adventure, complete with dragons, battles between the forces of good and evil, and even a Dark Lord to vanquish at the end of their hard-fought quest. However, after years of suffering the devastating consequences, the people of this fantasy land have had enough. Maybe, if they completely sabotage this year’s tours, nobody will ever want to visit again. To do so, they’ll have to appoint the worst wizard for the job of Dark Lord. Unfortunately for Derk and his family, that’s him.

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