Story Hoarding

I’ve been ill for the past week, and while that hasn’t stopped me from getting a couple hundred pages into The Dark Tower or from getting sucked into Breath of the Wild, my motivation to write has been a little shot. The sickness was so bad at one point it even stopped me from enjoying said anticipated video game. That being the case, this week’s post is more on the light side. I just wanted to make sure I wrote something. This is a bit of a continuation of a line of thought I had in a post I wrote months ago called “What We Get To,” although more lighthearted.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/03/22

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

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 started reading What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe this past week, though I only read one entry. I’m excited to get into it, though I intend to have it as a supplemental book to what I’m mainly focusing on, so my progress on it will be slow. I love the mix of humour with the stick figure illustrations and the deeply thought out scientific information, so I may get through it faster than I think.

Recently Finished

Over the weekend I finally powered through the last of Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King, so that book is finally behind me, so I can move on to The Dark Tower without any loose ends behind me. The final short story in the book ties things together nicely, where otherwise I’d found everything after “Low Men in Yellow Coats” to be a little bit weaker, though admittedly I’m biased toward the Dark Tower connections.

I also read Hellboy: The Crooked Man & Others. It was a good collections of stories, though at this point in the series I’m much more interested in where Hellboy’s story is going, especially after the events of The Wild Hunt, rather than these miniseries or one-shots that take place in the character’s past. I really like the design of the Crooked Man, he was quite memorably grotesque, and that story itself was really good despite Hellboy being more of a passive participant to the whole thing.

Reading Next

I’m putting most of my energy for the time being into getting through The Dark Tower (Dark Tower VII) by Stephen King. I know I’ve talked about this book every entry I’ve done, but I’m finally gonna get to it in the next day or so. Other than that, it’s continuing Hellboy, of which I only have two numbered volumes left to read.

 

Book Review – Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King

Summary from Goodreads

Hearts in Atlantis is composed of five interconnected, sequential narratives set in the years from 1960 to 1999. Each story is deeply rooted in the sixties, and each is haunted by the Vietnam War. Full of danger, suspense, and full of heart, Hearts in Atlantis takes some readers to a place they have never been…and others to a place they have never been able to completely leave.

HeatsInAtlantisScan

Hearts in Atlantis was an interesting undertaking. What I assumed to be a short story collection was actually a strange beast all on its own. The first story “Low Men in Yellow Coats” could be a novel in its own right, same goes for “Hearts in Atlantis,” which follows, then the book concludes with three short stories. My initial reason for reading this book was the first story, which prominently ties-in to the Dark Tower series, but I resolved to finish it I’m left both enchanted by the writing and a little befuddled at the mixed focus of the whole thing.Read More »

Book Review – Homesick for Another World by Otessa Moshfegh

Excerpt of Summary from Goodreads

The flesh is weak; the timber is crooked; people are cruel to each other, and stupid, and hurtful. But beauty comes from strange sources. And the dark energy surging through these stories is powerfully invigorating. We’re in the hands of an author with a big mind, a big heart, blazing chops, and a political acuity that is needle-sharp. The needle hits the vein before we even feel the prick.

HomesickCover

Homesick for Another World is a collection of short stories by Ottessa Moshfegh, whose debut novel Eileen was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. I have not read Eileen, which I mainly bring up because I find it interesting that I started this book on a whim. She’s a talented author, this collection apparently quite anticipated, but I first started looking into it because there’s a spaceship on the cover. It’s funny how things work out sometimes. The design hearkens back to old science fiction pulps, and I honestly appreciate this beyond how I was simply drawn to its imagery.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/03/08

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

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’m still getting through Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King, which has slowed down considerably after I finished “Low Men in Yellow Coats.” It was a great story and I’m not sure the rest of the book will be able to live up to considering I’m pretty sure it was the only one with the connection to The Dark Tower. I’m on the story “Hearts in Atlantis” itself now, which interestingly feels very different in writing style from “Low Men,” but still hasn’t quite grabbed me. I plan to power through it over the next week or so.

I started reading Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh since my last entry, and I’m about half-way through at the moment. This is the book I’ve been putting the most energy into. The prose is quite beautifully written, the perspective in each story feeling wonderfully distinct while having clear thematic connections and similarities in a way that I feel is deliberate. It’s almost like the book sets out to convey a core human experience in as many different ways as it can.

Recently Finished

Since my last entry I finished Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris. It had some of my most favourite essays of his I’ve read so far, most notably “Loggerheads,” and I felt I learned more about him as an author, whereas in When You’re Engulfed in Flames it was focused more on his personal life and history. I’m not sure which I prefer, but it was an interesting expansion on my understanding of the writer of these pieces nonetheless. The “Forensics” sections were good insofar as they would be interesting to hear performed, but otherwise were too obvious for me and interrupted the flow of the book more often than not. A good collection, but my least favourite thus far.

I also started and finished The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman and J. H. Williams III. I loved the story and how it tied into elements in the main series, while also expanding upon my knowledge of the world Dream inhabits, specifically the hierarchy of forces at play. It was a little jarring because the impression I got of the story when I read issue #1 when it first came out was quite different from what the story was actually about, but I fault myself for that. William III’s art is absolutely gorgeous and the colours employed by Dave Stewart really made the visuals pop. It really makes me want to read through The Sandman all over again.

Reading Next

I still want to start The Dark Tower (Dark Tower VII), but I’ve resolved myself to finish Hearts in Atlantis first so that the list of books I’m reading doesn’t pile up. I’m hopeful that I will begin it long before March is over.

I’ve been eyeing some of the Star Wars books on my shelf, particularly Tarkin, though I can’t say for sure I will get to it yet. I’m also considering starting What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions as a supplemental read once I clean up what I’m currently reading.

I finally got a copy of Hellboy: The Crooked Man and Others, the elusive 10th volume that I needed in order to continue finishing the series. I will likely read through that over the next few days. I also just got Death by Neil Gaiman, a collection about the character Death of the Endless from The Sandman. It includes chapters focused on her from that series, as well as collecting her miniseries The High Cost of Living and The Time of Your Life. I will likely read this soon too.

 

Movie Review – Logan

LoganPoster

Logan, directed by James Mangold, is the tenth and latest installment in the X-Men series of films and the third in a trilogy specifically focused on Wolverine. The film stars Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan and Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, each actor said to be reprising these roles for the final time. Set in the year 2029, mutants are all but wiped out; there hasn’t been a new one born in 25 years. Logan, formerly Wolverine of the X-Men, is aged substantially as a result of his miraculous healing abilities degrading. Along with the mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant) he works as a limo driver to help care for Xavier, who suffers from a neurodegenerative disorder in his advanced age. Coasting along through this meagre existence Logan gets caught up escorting Laura (Dafne Keen) — a young girl being hunted by a shadowy organization — across country to safety in North Dakota.Read More »

Book Review – Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

Summary from Goodreads

A guy walks into a bar car and…

From here the story could take many turns. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humor and intelligence and leave you deeply moved.

Sedaris remembers his father’s dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant), and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy.

letsexplorediabeteswithowlscover

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls is a collection of narrative essays by David Sedaris, and is his most recent book. This is the third collection of his I’ve read in less than a year, which is noteworthy to me because I’ve found there was a substantial difference between my mindset going into the first essay collection I read, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, and this one.Read More »