New Books & Novel Discoveries (July 2018)

July has been fairly light once again, though with some surprises. My reading has picked up somewhat, which I’m happy about, though I’m beginning to suspect that I’ve fallen too far behind to catch up to where Goodreads thinks I should be. I’m probably not going to hit my mark this year, but for now I will leave my challenge at 75 books.

Would it betray the spirit of the challenge to decrease the mark I want to hit? In the past I’ve increased it because I ended up reading more than I thought I would, but I wonder if anyone would consider decreasing to spoil things a little. I’m sure most people don’t care that much, but the thought does make me apprehensive about doing it all the same.

Anyway, onto the books!

New Books

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Sticky Monsters by John Kenn Mortensen is a book I picked up simply because I remembered it existed. I came across some article or another talking about the work of Edward Gorey and the macabre art style reminded me of Mortensen’s drawings, which I’m simply enamoured with. The small hardcover book was fairly affordable, so I scooped it up before it faded to the background of my memory once again.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh is a book I pre-ordered as soon as I heard it was coming out. I really enjoyed the author’s book Homesick for Another World last year so I decided to jump on this while it was newly released. If you haven’t noticed I’ve since read it too and I encourage you to check out my review for here.

I picked up Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett because to be honest, I have been low-key chomping at the bit to finally get to this book. I’ve enjoyed all the other Discworld novels I’ve read since Mort, the first book in the Death sub-series, but I have been wanting to get to this next book really badly. It is only my steadfast desire to read all the books in order that has reined me in from jumping ahead to it.

Lastly, I received a copy of the Bloodborne Collector’s Edition Strategy Guide just yesterday, a book I had resigned to never getting. I’m sure this is the most niche thing on this list, but I’ve been entrenched in the the action role-playing video game for the past couple of months and I happened to come across as used copy being sold through a third party seller on Amazon for $40. That might not sound special at first, but few other copies I’ve seen online cost less than $100. The publisher apparently took the whole “collector’s edition” thing very seriously, so by all appearances it’s rare to be able to buy it new or used without the price being significantly marked up. I had to jump on the opportunity, lest is pass me by.

My digital purchases have been a little more diverse this month, which a couple of books instead just comic books. In a dark, dark wood by Ruth Ware is a book I had in “Novel Discoveries” last month. I was intent on buying the mass market paperback to make good on my budding interest to read more mysteries, but the Kindle edition happened to be on sale so I made myself buy that instead. I feel like I need to be apologetic for that, but I really shouldn’t. I did miss out on a physical book, but it would be better to economize space (and my wallet) a little better when purchasing books.

I picked up the Kindle edition of Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly for the same reason. I’ve had the book on my to-read list for a while, ever since I saw the film last year, and while I had plans to pick up a physical copy of that too an inexpensive digital version came to my attention and I decided to go for the option that’d save me some money.

Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman is a comic book I actually don’t know that much about in terms of story, though the title itself implies a lot about the premise. It’s a story by Neil Gaiman though, so I don’t really care to know much beforehand. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

Lastly I picked up Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn et al on sale as well. It’s about exactly what the title says, though in an alternate universe or something like that, so one not worry about any fictional consequences on the continuous Marvel Universe as it is. I don’t expect much from it other than some gruesome fun.

Novel Discoveries

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With the Bloodborne comic book you’re probably recognizing a pattern. It can be a teeth-grindingly hard game sometimes, but I’m in love with the world and the lore. As such, I was excited to discover that a comic book volume is being released soon. I’m not finished with the game yet, but I’m eager to experience more of its world all the same.

Jurassic Florida by Hunter Shea is a book I came across from a WWW post. It has giant lizards on the cover and looks like dumb fun. I need not say more.

As I said above I read a bit about Edward Gorey, which pointed out The Gashlycrumb Tinies to me. It’s not more than a poetic alphabet book, but wonderfully macabre and worth owning as far as I’m concerned.

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter is another book I shelved after hearing about it from a WWW post. It’s a story of new motherhood set during an environmental crisis in the near future. From what I recall being told it tells its story in a detached sort of way from its characters’ perspective.

The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel is the first in a book series that I’m especially interested in checking out. Set in Edinburgh in 1888 it tells a story that weaves together historical fiction, mystery, and horror. I particularly like the idea that apparently each book in this series follows a self-contained case, rather than a continuing story across many books.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers is the first novel in the Wayfarers series, which I’ve been hearing some good things about from recent WWW posts at I Wuv Books. As a fan of Star Wars that definitely does not limit himself to Star Wars I’m excited to check it out.

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert is another science book I’ve added to continue expanding my horizons in that area. Apparently I chose this one to be more knowledgeable about stuff that will make me really sad? I won’t ignore the truth in front of me, but that doesn’t stop it being upsetting.

Lastly I’ve added Dreams of Terror and Death, an H.P. Lovecraft collection that compiles his entire Dream Cycle. Some of these stories are in the copy of the Necronomicon that I have already, but not all of them. Bloodborne (there it is again) takes a lot of inspiration from Lovecraft’s Dream Lands too, which has inspired me to take a deeper dive into the Dream Cycle at some point. I’ll likely pick this up as a convenient all-in-one source for those stories.

Closing Thoughts

It’s kind of funny to me that a post about books has brought up a video game so many times. I really have been wracking my brain about the lore and story of Bloodborne, which the player could easily overlook if they just focus on the gameplay. Storytelling in unconventional forms still fascinates me, though I write about it a lot less lately. I may change that with this game if I feel I have something meaningful to talk about in relation to its narrative and world. I’m just so intrigued by the way it forms its story and what it can get away with because of the medium. More on this later if I can form it into something I think is worthwhile.

Thank you for reading!

4 thoughts on “New Books & Novel Discoveries (July 2018)

  1. I love how you start this post with “July has been fairly light,” and then go on to list more books than most people read in a year. As always, your choices intrigue me and I find myself interested in so many books on your list. I am also very interested in reading The Long Way… Those WWW posts grow my TBR exponentially! I hope you enjoy Hidden Figures. I always love to read books made into movies and compare and contrast.

    Finally, I would leave your goodreads number as it is and just not worry about it. As winter comes you may have more time but in the end, it is just a goal, an ideal from early 2018 you who had no idea what the world would bring. Last year I didn’t meet mine and it forced me to be more organized in my reading. We learn more from our failures than our successes.

    To a happy reading month of August!

    • I suppose I mean “light” relatively speaking haha 😛 Thanks for the advice about my reading challenge, I’ll take that to heart whenever I’m reflecting on it.

  2. I remember loving Reaper Man. I need to get back to some Terry Pratchett, I think!

    I’ve been considering picking up Bloodborne recently. I can’t decide. I played a bit of Dark Souls, but I didn’t really get into them.

    • I’m confident I’ll love it too. Death is by far my favourite aspect about that whole series.

      Bloodborne is definitely worth checking out if you have the patience for the difficulty and how much about the gameplay it leaves for the player to discover/figure out on their own.

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