New Books & Novel Discoveries (January 2021)

Ah, January, the magical month that somehow feels much longer than all the others. It’s been bitterly cold around these parts, so if you live anywhere like where I do I hope you’ve been keeping warm. This month I actually did have trouble recalling all the books I got, rather than the usual feeling like I’ve forgotten something when I really haven’t. An auspicious start, hopefully, for many more great new books to come this year.

On to the books!Read More »

WWW Wednesday – January 27, 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

Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray is officially on hold for the time being. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, as things are ramping up to the climax, but I will have to wait for my new copy. I will refrain from mentioning it in future posts until I can continue.

Me Talk Pretty One DayIn the meantime, I started reading Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, the author’s 2000 collection of personal essays. I have sorely missed reading Sedaris’s writing, which manages to strike funny and poignant chords quite well. I’ve read through part one of the book so far, which is a collection of anecdotes that covers a range to times throughout his life as well as members of his family. What’s been most amusing is how familiar I am with these people and phases of his life. I suspect that having read his book Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002, is the most responsible for this. I think it covered a lot of what he developed into anecdotes here, particularly his stints as an artist, creative writing teacher, and mover.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of Rebellion - VillainsKeeping the Star Wars train going, last night I finished Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Villains by Greg Pak et al. As with the other books in this “Age of” series, the issues within were one-shots about specific characters: Grand Moff Tarkin, Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt, Darth Vader, and IG-88. As with the others, each story was enjoyable fluff of varying quality. None of them were bad or boring, but as something celebratory and short they can’t do much with the characters. The story about Jabba the Hutt stood out, however, as tales centered around him are a lot less common. I’ve read so many Vader stories, however, that this was an inconsequential drop in the bucket. Worth checking out if you’re not looking to invest a lot in reading Star Wars comics, though.


Reading Next

Hellboy Oddest JobsOn the comic books front I know I’m going to move on to the Star Wars: Age of Resistance books. I’m excited to get to those, as we haven’t had as many tie-in stories to that era, I assume because the movies were still coming out. In terms of books, nothing from my yearly list is really speaking to me at the moment. I’m not sure why. I am however interested in starting the one unread Hellboy anthology I’ve got left: Oddest Jobs, edited by Christopher Golden. With that book out of the way I’ll only have the novels left to get through.

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

Reading is Believing

Where do stories live, exactly?

There is a perfectly rational answer to that question, that they’re products of human imagination, recorded/remembered for posterity in the spoken/written word, on film, in illustrations, etc. They can be left unfinished, errors can be made, or records and memories can be incomplete or destroyed and that is that.

I’m more interested in this question from an emotional standpoint, though, not a rational or logical one.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – January 20, 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

Master & ApprenticeI’m still in the midst of Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray. It’s grown on me more since last week, which I’m happy about, the more it has delved into the challenges faced by Jedi Masters and their apprentices as they try to forge a meaningful partnership. Additionally, I’m really appreciating the closer look at what Jedi attitudes toward the end of the Republic era were regarding prophecy and how the visions of the future recorded by ancient mystics should be considered. I wanted to have the book done by now, but funnily enough, I literally couldn’t have. As it turns out, about 47 pages of First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher are bound within my copy, and 49 pages of Master & Apprentice are just missing, so I can only get so far before I need a new copy. A bewildering predicament, to say the least.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of Rebellion - HeroesKeeping up the Star Wars trend, last night I finished reading Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Heroes by Greg Pak et al. Just as with Age of Republic, it’s a selection of single issues about a different hero from the era of the Original Trilogy. This is not a larger collected volume, however, so it only covered hero characters. I enjoyed it well enough, though I’ve read enough comics about these characters at this point that a small collection of one-shots isn’t going to be anything special. The stand-out issue for me was about Leia, where she had to put her skills of deception to the test and play the role of a bounty hunter against the likes of Bossk, in order to prepare for Han’s rescue.


Reading Next

Me Talk Pretty One DayI still have every intention of starting Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris next—I’m probably going to have to start it before I even finish Master & Apprentice, what with my copy being wrong. My nonsensical faith in the infallibility of printed books has been compromised significantly. I shall continue to love and enjoy them, but something in my heart has been permanently dulled forever more. Future instances where I’ll just hold a book and consider it shall never be the same. Then again, maybe I’m being too dramatic.

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

Book Review – Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Spiderlight

Spiderlight is a 2016 fantasy novel by Adrian Tchaikovsky. The Church of Armes of the Light has battled against the forces of Darkness for as long as anybody can remember, and their campaign against the Dark Lord Darvezian is the latest in their long history. It has been foretold that a band of misfits, led by a priestess of the Light, will bring about the end of this latest Dark Lord, armed only with their wits and an artifact retrieved from the wretched Spider Queen. The group’s conviction is put to the test, however, as they are forced to take Nth into their party, a spider from the Queen’s hideous brood. Without him they cannot find the “spider’s path” to the Dark Lord, as foretold, but can servants of the Light utilize the Dark in such a way without being corrupted by it?Read More »

WWW Wednesday – January 13, 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

Master & ApprenticeI’m just over a third of the way through Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, and I’m enjoying it well enough, though it’s a little slow so far. I haven’t been as swept away with Gray’s writing in this book as I have her other Star Wars titles, but I’ll reserve judgment for when it’s all done. She has done an admirable job with Qui-Gon and young Kenobi, though, as The Phantom Menace really doesn’t give a lot for anyone to gone on as far as their characterization. The book has appreciably gotten into the finer details of the dynamics between a master and their Padawan, as well as the myriad of ways Jedi are trained at their temple on the planet Coruscant. As the story gets into the meat of the conflict the Jedi pair have become embroiled in I’m hoping I will start to feel more engaged with it.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of RepublicIt has been a rather Star Wars focused week, as I finished reading through the comic book volume Star Wars: Age of Republic by Jody Houser et al, which collects all of the Age of Republic one-shot issues. Focusing on both heroes and villains, each issues focuses on a specific character from that era of the saga. They weren’t especially deep stories, as you can only do so much in a one-shot issue, but there was something to enjoy in each of them. I was especially fond of the Anakin issue, which gave us a story where he acts more considered and compassionate as a Jedi than his usual brash, combative nature. It’s a side of him we can always stand to see more of. The first issue was about Qui-Gon Jinn as well, which was a nice supplement to Master & Apprentice, though it had nothing to do with the events of that novel.


Reading Next

Me Talk Pretty One DayTo take a little detour from all the fantasy I’ve been reading lately, I think I’ll get back to an author I’ve neglected for a while now. I’m sure there’s a few that qualify, but I’m specifically going to start reading Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, which is a collection of humorous, autobiographical essays. I haven’t read one of his books for three and a half years, which is an absolute crying shame. I’ve certainly acquired a few more of them, at least, so I’ll have another at the ready the next time I want to start one.

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

WWW Wednesday – January 6, 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

Nothing this week. Been taking a little breather from reading since my blitz last week, but I’ll start reading my next book before the week is out.


Recently Finished

Hellboy 1956The night of last Wednesday I read through Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1956 by Mike Mignola et al. It had been a little while since I continued this series, and it was strange coming back because of how much the whole volume felt like filler. I liked how it tied itself in with Hellboy in Mexico, which took place in the same year, having Hellboy largely absent from the events concerning the BPRD. The death of his childhood dog being part of his motivation for going AWOL/on a bender in Mexico for six months was a nice addition too, though I wish it had had some sort of emotional payoff, since the people around him were oblivious to what he was going through. The rest of the book kind of spun its wheels, though, and connected with other books I’ve yet to read.

SpiderlightI also finished Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky last Thursday, which I largely loved. It was a strong contender for one of my Top 5 Books Read in 2020, but I ended up having really mixed feelings about the ending that I’m still trying to come to terms with. When considering the novel’s tongue-in-cheek attitude toward fantasy tropes, I kind of love what the ending does to the characters and the world itself. As something emotionally cohesive with the themes of the story, however, it felt like a bit of a cop out. I’m firmly of two minds about this, which has made tackling the review in a more timely way a little difficult. I should have it up before next Wednesday, at any rate. Still, it was a great fantasy novel with an excellent inhuman character and a highly nuanced look at the dynamics of good vs evil.

The Force Awakens The Visual DictionaryLastly, I read through The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo as my 11th hour read for 2020, allowing me to complete my Goodreads challenge on time. Though a lot of the lore within I’d learned from secondary sources that used this very book for the information, it was a lot of fun to read through the primary source itself. I really enjoyed running into some snippets of information that I first ran into in novels that came out after this one, showing how long these ideas had been in place in canon. It provides some great, close-up images of props from the film too.


Reading Next

Master & ApprenticeSomething I’ve mentally committed to doing this year, as I did last year, is reading through the leftovers from my scrappy to-read list, which I put together every January. With that being the case, the next book I’m going to start will be Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, which I’m still really looking forward to thanks to Gray being the author. Her Star Wars stuff has been so good so far. The other two leftovers are Moby Dick by Herman Melville and American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I don’t know when I’ll get to them, as I expect the first will be a particular undertaking, but I am resolved to read them this year nonetheless.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below. Happy New Year, everyone 😀

Top 5 Books I Read in 2020

Well, 2020 has officially finished happening. I’m of two minds about people personifying years too much, but 2020 was such an eventful one that it’s hard to give people too much flak for it. We’re not quite out of the woods yet, but it was nice to have books during it all and going forward. I didn’t read as many as I have in previous years, but I’ve still got a nice bunch of them finished in 2020.

Without further ado, I’d like to present my top five books I read in 2020, in no particular order as per usual. These are simply my five favourite reads of the year.Read More »