Comic Book Review – Lovesickness by Junji Ito

Lovesickness

Lovesickness by Junji Ito is the latest story collection by the horror manga author to be published in English by VIZ media. The featured story stars Ryusuke, a middle school student who has returned to the foggy town of Nazumi after his family moved away eight years previously. Soon after moving back and reuniting with some old friends, rumors begin swirling about a bewitchingly handsome young man who has been compelling girls to commit suicide after telling them their fortune at the crossroads. Eerily reminiscent of a dark secret of Ryusuke’s from before his family first moved away, the boy takes it upon himself to confront the beautiful boy of the crossroads and bring an end to the mystery once and for all.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – April 14, 2021

www_wednesdays

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

I’ve only gotten a little further along in Where Have You Gone Without Me? by Peter Bonventre, since I was more focused on getting Norse Mythology finished and getting the Feet of Clay review written. So, I haven’t got much more to say about the book itself right now. With those other things out of the way, though, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to finish this up by next week.


Recently Finished

The other night I finished reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, which served as an excellent introduction to the subject. I’ve actually got another book of Norse tales that seems a little denser, and I’m hoping that will be more accessible now that I’ve read this as a primer. It’s so amusing how this mythology seems to have no real concept of scale, describing so many beings as impossibly massive, yet gods like Thor, who is sized more or less like a regular person, is so easily able to kill such massive beings. That really must have been some hammer. I’m surprised the book didn’t include a story of how Loki came to be blood brothers with Odin and dwell among the gods in Asgard, especially considering he causes them as much trouble as he helps to resolve.


Reading Next

Though I’ve got a few books on the brain for what to read next, I’m most certainly going to read Lovesickness by Junji Ito next, which is the newest collection of the manga author’s short horror stories. I haven’t been enamoured with all of the author’s short fiction, but I think my expectations have been decently tempered after having read so much of his work over the passed couple of years, I’m hoping that’ll help me enjoy the book more overall. All the same, I do hope there are some gems in this book that I haven’t heard of before.

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

Book Review – Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett

Feet of Clay

Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett is the 19th novel in the author’s Discworld series and the third novel in the City Watch sub-series. There’s murder afoot, as the bodies of a priest and a baker have been found bludgeoned in their respective homes. Headed by Commander Vimes, Captain Carrot, werewolf Corporal Angua, and their new forensics expert Cheery Littlebottom, the City Watch is on the case. Despite the talents each bring to the case, however, it seems no other living thing was present for either murder, though a lot of clay was.

Golems are made of clay, but they’re just things that do as they’re told, not alive, and murder goes against the sacred scrolls that make them function. With the case only getting foggier, the Patrician of the city, Lord Vetinari, suddenly falls victim of poison from an unknown source, weakening him but not killing him outright. Vimes and the Watch’s policing skills are put to the test as they must uncover not only whodunit, but howdunit.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – April 7, 2021

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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

Norse MythologyI started reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman last week and I’m a little over a third of the way through it at the moment. My only frame of reference for Norse mythology has been popular culture so far, but it turned out to be a decent primer. In the past I’ve had trouble with mythology books because I have no frame of reference for names and terms, which makes it harder for me to remember things. For the most part this hasn’t been the case with this book, plus Gaiman writes in a really accessible way. It still feels like I’m reading myths, which don’t flow quite like standard prose, but I’m enjoying it all the same. I had no idea our sources on Norse myths are so scant either, with most not even being from a time when the beliefs were practiced.

Where Have You Gone Without MeI also started reading Where Have You Gone Without Me? by Peter Bonventre, an eARC I received a little while ago. I’m a little behind on starting it, since it came out at the end of March, but wanted to make sure I read through it all the same. I’m only about 30 pages in so far, during which I’ve had a range of reactions to it. At first I was feeling a little iffy, but I think that had to do with the fact that I don’t read a lot crime thrillers. There have been a few recurring technical errors as well, but I’ll chock that up to it being an advance copy. By the end of my last reading session, it had grown on me a lot more. I’m still waiting for the story to hook me, though, but it’s very early on in the book so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.


Recently Finished

Feet of ClayLast Wednesday I succeeded in finishing Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett by the end of the day, in keeping with my personal challenge to read at least one Discworld novel every quarter of the year. I should have a review up within the week. This was a good novel, and I appreciated how different it felt from other Discworld books, but I couldn’t help feeling that there were facets of it that I enjoyed more than the whole of it put together, if that makes sense. I feel like I’m still collating my feelings on the book, even a week later. The mystery at play was a little too convoluted for me, but I really liked some of the ideas explored along the way, such as the questions of how life is defined when confronted with some truths about golems, which at first seem animate but not truly alive.


Reading Next

I’m not really sure what I’ll be reading next, especially with two books on the go right now. I should probably just shift focus towards some comics until I’ve got those two finished. I’ve been neglecting them again anyway, so I’ll probably go back to the Star Wars well.

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

Reading Challenge Update

This feels a bit late, since we’re nearly a week into April now, but it was a long weekend so I’ll cut myself a bit of slack. Why not? The stresses of the past year have continued, but it seems like maybe there’s more light at the end of the tunnel. This Winter felt especially desolate for some reason, so the emergence of Spring has been especially appreciated this year.

Admittedly, books haven’t quite been the escape they usually are for me, but I’m still trucking along, committed to reading them. They don’t feel a chore, but I find I’m having a harder time with longer sessions. Let’s see how I’m doing with my challenges now that the first quarter of 2021 has finished.Read More »

Comic Book Review – My Last Summer with Cass by Mark Crilley

My Last Summer with Cass

My Last Summer with Cass is the newest graphic novel by author and illustrator Mark Crilley. The story follows two young artists, Megan and Cassandra, who are on the cusp of adulthood. Though they’ve been friends since they were young children, their time together was limited to the summers their families shared with each other at a cottage in Michigan, where the girls created all sorts of art together, nurturing each other’s talents. This summer tradition came to a sudden end, however, with Cass and her mother moving to New York.

Three years later, Megan convinces her parents to let her stay with Cass in Brooklyn while they are on a business trip. Reunited after so long, Megan is introduced to a world of art like she’s never experienced before—and a friend who has changed a lot in three years. The big city offers big opportunities, both exciting and scary, but as their personalities begin to clash, putting their art at risk, can their friendship survive?Read More »

WWW Wednesday – March 31, 2021

www_wednesdays

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

Feet of ClayI’m just over halfway through Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett, the 19th Discworld novel. As is usually the case with me, I wanted to be done with the book by now, but clearly that’s not the case. I might be blitzing through the rest of it today so I can have it done before April. I do think I have the time today, but we’ll see if I can manage it. Nevertheless, I’m really enjoying this book, which feels rather distinct from the many other Discworld novels that have come before it. It still has its comedic edge, but it’s taking itself a lot more seriously than other plotlines have. I’m really intrigued by the way he’s introducing golems into the world too, which function more or less like robots and seem to be gaining sentience, with all of the ethical dilemmas that come along with that.


Recently Finished

I haven’t finished anything else this week, as my focus was meant to be on Feet of Clay. Progress on it over the weekend was stunted by exhaustion, if I’m honest, and I have nobody to blame but myself for that.


Reading Next

Norse MythologyEyeballing my to-read list for the year, I have just this moment decided I’m going to read Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman next, which I expect will be a unique offering from the author considering he is adapting folklore and mythology, rather than crafting a novel all on its own. That’s what I presume, anyway. It’s been well over a year since I’ve read any Gaiman too, so it’ll be nice to get back into some of his writing again. I’ll probably try catching up on more Star Wars comics soon too, but with my Goodreads challenge nicely on track I’m not in a hurry to rush through comics at the moment.

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

WWW Wednesday – March 24, 2021

www_wednesdays

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

Feet of ClayI finally started reading Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett, the 19th Discworld novel, after goodness knows how long talking about starting it. This book already feels different from the usual fare, though it does actually seem to be following in step with Maskerade so far. Specifically because it has all the trappings of a murder mystery. With the City Watch more directly involved as lead characters, however, I’m sure this book will be a much different beast. Tonally it is still funny, but surprisingly a little more serious too, which I can appreciate. Either way, it’s great to be back among the City Watch and see how they’ve expanded since the events of Men at Arms. The plot is still unfolding and I can’t wait to see what’s afoot.


Recently Finished

to-be-taught-if-fortunateOver the weekend I finished reading through To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers, which I posted a full review for yesterday. I liked this book a lot, especially the way the significance of their scientific discoveries were outlined and made relatable to our understanding of life on Earth. I wish there was even more narrative time spent in active study, in fact. They were on some of these planets for several years, and while I’m sure by necessity that involved a lot of monotonous work, I would love more details of planetary exploration in a grounded narrative like this one. One section subjected them to a biome that made them utterly miserable too, and I was compelled by how worn out they became. Give me all the nitty-gritty.

My Last Summer with CassI also read through My Last Summer With Cass by Mark Crilley, the author/illustrator’s latest graphic novel, which just came out last week. It’s about the friendship of two young artists and childhood friends Megan and Cassandra, the former spending three week’s of the summer at the latter’s home in New York City. Both are talented artists, one more restrained and anxious about appeasing her parents, the other uninhibited, bold, and a little wild. I don’t want to get too much more into the story, as I want to review it within the week and it’s a fairly light and quick read, but I will say that I really enjoyed it. Crilley is a fantastic illustrator, but I found I especially loved the art in this book. The mix of sketchier lines and colouring really worked for me.


Reading Next

I’m at a bit of an impasse again, as I don’t rightly know what I want to read next. There are a few titles swimming around in my head, but nothing that I’ve fully committed to yet. One way or another, I’ll be sure to let you know when I do make up my mind.

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

Book Review – To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

to-be-taught-if-fortunate

To Be Taught, If Fortunate is a 2019 science fiction novella by Becky Chambers. Close to the end of the 21st century, science has made a breakthrough in space exploration. Using a revolutionary method called “somaforming”, an astronaut’s biology is synthetically supplemented by a patch worn on the skin, allowing them to survive the harsh conditions of interstellar travel and other planets. Instead of trying to alter the destination, we alter ourselves.

With this bold new technology on hand, a number of manned missions have been launched to survey exoplanets suspected of harbouring life. Ariadne O’Neill is part of one such mission, Lawki 6, along with three other scientists, to explore four worlds in a system 15 light-years away from Earth. Arrival on each world brings unique changes to their bodies, alien landscapes, and news of an ever-changing Earth as the years back home pass them by.Read More »