New Books & Novel Discoveries (December 2019)

I’m annoyed about this (no good reason really), but circumstances dictate that I must post twice in a day. I got sick for Christmas, which put a significant damper on my ability to get anything written. Finding myself suddenly preoccupied yesterday, that left today to post my Top 5 and New Books. It would bother me more if I did it tomorrow or beyond that, though, so here we are. Feel free to giggle at my little idiosyncrasies.

Anyway, on to the books!Read More »

Top 5 Books I Read in 2019

The final year of the decade has come and gone. It’s strange how one of the most ordinary things in the world can feel so uncanny sometimes. The last five years were long, there is no doubt, but I can’t escape the sense that they were the fastest five years of my life. 2019 itself was weird for feeling both long and short, in its own right.

With the year over and done, that is also another load of books that I’ve finished reading. Every year I pick my top five favourites among them, in no particular order, and this year is no different. They needn’t have come out this year, I just need to have read them this year. Without further ado…Read More »

Book Review – Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Stardust

Stardust is a 1998 fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. It’s been a part of my personal backlog of books to read by the author for a while, and in a lot of ways it was not what I’d been expecting. The story concerns the small village of Wall in England, known for the ancient wall that is its namesake that separates our world from that of the Faerie. The only way to pass through the wall is a small passage, typically guarded to keep village folk from wandering into the unknown. Tristran Thorn, however, is hopelessly in love with the captivating yet disinterested Victoria Forester, and after the two witness a falling star he pledges to fetch it for her in exchange for whatever his heart desires. Though it has landed beyond the wall, Tristran will stop at nothing to fulfill his oath and win Victoria’s heart. This is complicated, however, when he finds that the fallen star is not a celestial rock, but a beautiful young woman named Yvaine, with no interest in coming back with him.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 25, 2019

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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

Lords and LadiesIt’s a Christmas Wednesday! I should probably take a day off, but how often will this come around? I’m barely 15% in to Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, though I’m loving it so far. With a preface from the author declaring it so, this is the first book in the series since The Light Fantastic that you would do well to have read the previous books in the sub-series beforehand. The witches have returned home after their exploits in Witches Abroad, and already it’s hit the fan. Circumstances are still fairly mysterious for me at the moment, but it seems to have something to do with elves, or fae folk, which haven’t been a common or even present thing in the series as far as I can recall.


Recently Finished

StardustI finished reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman last week, and with all said and done I must honestly say I was a little disappointed, though with some caveats. The writing and the characters are simply lovely, with plenty of evocative elements that kept me invested in this lengthy fairy tale. There are some good lessons to be had about being over zealously romantic too. That all being said, the story is almost bereft of conflict. A number of villainous elements are introduced, each of them interesting characters in their own respect, yet except for one scene they don’t really have a significant impact on the characters for the majority of their journey. Conveniences keep the characters out of harm’s way, and that made everything a little less compelling.


Reading Next

Lords and Ladies shall be my last book for the year, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.

I hope everybody has a happy Holidays, and very merry Christmas Day.

Until the New Year, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post, or what you’re reading, down below.

Book Review – Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn

Star Wars: Thrawn is the first book in a trilogy of Star Wars novels centred around the titular character, a blue humanoid alien with red eyes from the Chiss species, who rises to great prominence in the Imperial navy in the time between the prequel trilogy of Star Wars films and the original trilogy. The author originally created the character in older novels that are now deemed “Legends.” This is the first novel to feature the character in the new canon since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, initially debuting him in the series Star Wars Rebels.

In this first novel, Mitth’raw’nuruodo, simplified as Thrawn, is discovered on an uncharted world in Wild Space by Imperial scouts. Apparently exiled by his people, the Chiss Ascendency, he impresses the officers sent to investigate by cleverly sneaking aboard their capital ship despite his limited resources. Brought before the Emperor, Thrawn’s talents for strategy are recognized and he wishes to serve the Empire with the hope that, should it be needed, the it might come to the aid of his people. Seeing his knowledge of the Unknown Regions of the galaxy as a further asset, he is allowed to enroll in the Imperial Naval Academy, with the reluctant cadet Eli Vanto to accompany him as an aid and translator.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 18, 2019

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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

StardustCurrently a good ways into reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Of course, this means that I came up short on my little challenge to myself from last week. Can’t say I’m too surprised, but it did motivate me, so it had its intended effect. 67% of the way through in a week’s time, with other books along the way, feels pretty good. That all being said, I’m actually surprised with how much I’m enjoying it, which is saying something since I had no misgivings about it. It’s a more whimsical, lighter read, while still brimming with Gaiman’s imagination. I’m most surprised with how naughty the book is. I don’t think it’s especially explicit, but there’s a lot more sex and risqué descriptions than what its YA-fairy-tale appearance suggested to me.


Recently Finished

Saturday night I finished reading Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. I enjoyed it as a more character-focused novel (as the title suggests), but all the same I do wish the narrative through-line had built up to something a little more climactic. I should have a review up soon.

Marley's GhostI also read through Marley’s Ghost by Harvey Kurtzman et al, which actually has a much more complicated history than I realized. Kurtzman had the idea of adapting Dickens’ story as a comic book back in the 1950s, when the idea of a “graphic novel” was inconceivable. Kurtzman’s adaptation notes were expanded into a full graphic novel for publication in 2017 by Gideon Kendall, Josh O’Neill, and Shannon Wheeler. The result is really lovely. It’s an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, so most of us already know the story, but it appears to use writing lifted right from the original book. The art is also gorgeous. It made me realize why I love this story too: not just for its messages, but also the fact that it’s a ghost story. Hadn’t quite thought of it in such terms so consciously before.


Reading Next

Lords and LadiesDespite the incoming holidays, and my usual brief interlude from reading, I am determined to read one more Discworld novel, Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, before the decade is out. The trick with this is it will really bother me if I don’t get it finished before midnight on December 31st. With the holidays keeping me busy, this may be difficult. This will likely being my last book for the year, period, as well. I’ll save cracking open another graphic novel until 2020 (maybe). Let’s see if I can pull this off, friends.

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

I Have A Good Feeling About This (Part Two)

So…it has been a little bit longer than “a month or so.” Nearly half a year, in fact. I let this sit on the back-burner in my mind for quite a while after getting Part One off my chest, and while I’ve been ruminating on this continuation for a while, it’s about time I finally got this finished and posted. There’s less than a week before The Rise of Skywalker hits theatres and it would really bother me if I didn’t get this up before then. Cutting it close, but here it is.

You can check out part one of this post here, if you haven’t already, and be fairly warned that there are of course spoilers ahead.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 11, 2019

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

ThrawnI had hoped I might finish Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn by now, but alas, I have just over 100 pages left in the book. This does mean I’ll be done with it very soon, though, so I’m still happy about that. I continue to be compelled by Thrawn’s story and the ways he resolves complicated situations, earning him accolades, but woven throughout this novel is also the story of Arihnda Pryce, a young woman working her way up government ranks, rather than the navy. Since she’s an established character prior to this novel I have been interested in her story, but I have to wonder where it’s all going. I can’t tell if her rise will intersect with Thrawn’s in a more meaningful way, or if her origin was just snuck into this novel because it couldn’t have carried a book on its own.


Recently Finished

Nothing for this week, I’m afraid. Hopefully the only time that will be the case this month.


Reading Next

StardustOver the past few weeks I’ve pointed out a number of books I want to read in December, so lets make this section a little more interesting this week. Not only do I want to read Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Marley’s Ghost by Harvey Kurtzman soon, but I challenge myself to have them both finished alongside Thrawn by next week. Now, I know I haven’t had a perfect track record recently, so I may be overextending myself. I do want to get a non-book related Star Wars post finished before the new movie comes out too. So I accept this may not happen. All the same, I’d just like to at least finish all that I plan to read in December, since all my other personal reading challenges are pretty much bust.

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

Writing Report #9

Oh my goodness, I did not realize how long it has truly been since I posted one of these. Seven months. I have been remiss in my commitment to putting these out to keep myself on track, and honestly there has been a lack in work to show for that. I am sorry, though more sorrow than apologetic. I just ought to do better.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however, and with certain things developing for me in the more than half a year since I posted one of these, I thought I should make damn sure I post one this month before the year is over with.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 4, 2019

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

ThrawnI’m making good progress on Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. I’m just about halfway through it now. I’m really enjoying Thrawn’s rising through the ranks, thanks in large part to the fact that the novel doesn’t go out of its way to frame the Empire as evil and menacing as per usual. They did enforce law and order throughout the galaxy, after all, and while their nasty side still shines through, Thrawn’s commendations are received for how he deals with pirates and organized crime, at least so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if rebel cells make their way into the story in some way, but I like this angle for a villain’s origin story. I prefer the idea of him being an admirably cunning, even honorable character, who doesn’t shy away from doing bad things if it suits a goal, rather than being just another overtly malicious figure.


Recently Finished

HellboyKrampusnachtLast night I read Hellboy: Krampusnacht by Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes. I honestly feel a little guilty about counting this on my Goodreads Challenge for 2019, but even with its inclusion I’m not going to reach my goal, so I’m just going to let it sneak in. I feel this way because it’s only about a single comic book issue long. A volume is normally composed of at least 4-5 issues, if not more. It was a fun little Christmas story nonetheless, giving an interesting little twist on the Krampus figure, though a little formulaic for a Hellboy story at the same time. I’ve no regrets about reading it though, and discovered when I was done that they’ve released a Hellboy Winter Special issue every year since 2016, so I’m probably going to get those now too. Probably won’t count those though.


Reading Next

Lords and LadiesIt has occurred to me that I wanted to try to read more Discworld books this year than I did last year, but I cannot do that if commit to reading The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. There is a good chance, if I have the time for it, that my final book for the year will be Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett instead. I’ve only matched the number of books I finished last year. If I clear that one I can beat it. I will simply push Atwood’s book to January. My Gaiman backlog has been around longer, though, so I do still intend to read Stardust after Thrawn.

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