New Books & Novel Discoveries (February 2021)

Another month on the cusp of falling away from the year 2021. My reading has been weirdly inconsistent so far. I’ve been great at finishing a lot of comic books, but somehow I’ve only read three books of prose. I’m usually good about finishing at least two a month, which isn’t exactly great, but it’s better than this below-average pace. Gotta try and pick things up a bit. Speaking of picking things up, I’ve got a nice new handful of books I’ll eventually read at an indeterminate time.

On to the books!

New Books

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A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs is a book I’ve been wanting to check out since I first heard about it over at The Bookwyrm’s Den a year or so ago. I love the title and the cosmic horror genre, so that was enough to get me to want to check it out. I’d been aware a copy was at one of my local bookshops for a while now, so to show support during the ongoing unpleasantness I decided to pick it up. Do you call something a novel if it contains two stories? Surely each is long enough to be a short novel, but they’re presented together. What do you call that?

I picked up this copy of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne completely on a whim. It’s a book I’ve always been curious about, with my interest piqued further by reading The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which includes Captain Nemo, as well as Journey to the Center of the Earth, the first Verne book I’d ever read. I feel like I may have cheated myself out of a copy with a good picture of a giant squid on the cover, but I just loved the leathery binding of this copy, so here we are.

Some stores opened up more in my area this month, so while I was already out one day I picked up Berserk volumes 26 and 27 by Kentaro Miura from a local comic book shop. Having read through a small burst of volumes back in December, I didn’t want to let the series languish for another year like I did when I picked up reading the series again in 2019. New volumes will probably be featured with some regularity for a while, if I stay committed, until I catch up and have to suffer with the rest of the Berserk fans as they wait and wait for more of the story to be produced.

Batman Hellboy Starman

Batman Hellboy Starman by James Robinson & Mike Mignola is my only digital purchase this month. It’s a non-canon crossover comic book issue that teams up the three titular characters in an adventure together. I’m not sure who Starman is, but I’ve been trying to track down a way to read the Hellboy and Batman crossover for a while, so when I saw this available on Kindle I jumped on it.

Novel Discoveries

My Last Summer with Cass by Mark Crilley is the author/illustrator’s latest graphic novel. I haven’t read one of his books/series since I finished reading Brody’s Ghost, but I’ve been following him on YouTube for over 10 years and this new book particularly captured my interest.

Lovesickness by Junji Ito is the newest collection by the author, soon to be published in English by Viz media. At this point, I just occasionally type the author’s name into the search bar on the Indigo website and check if there’s a new book listed there, which is how I’ve learned of the last several new Ito books. The more I read his body of work the less universally enamoured I am with it, but I’m always excited to reading something new of his no matter what.

The Diary of Mr. Poynter by M.R. James is an odd addition, because I learned about this book thanks to the last short story in Hellboy: Oddest Jobs, which incorporated the tale in a really strange and compelling way. More importantly, however, it led me to learn about these paperback editions of short stories labeled “A Ghost Story for Christmas” by publisher Biblioasis. I love the tradition of ghost stories for Christmas, but haven’t really been a participant of it before, with the exception of A Christmas Carol. I love the idea of picking up a new one of these books every year to read during the Christmas season, and just might use this as an excuse to finally start doing that.

Closing Thoughts

Are there any other lesser-known holiday reading traditions that you practice/know of that other people may not? I’d love to hear about them. Ditto for personal reading traditions. I love the general idea, just haven’t formed any organically myself.

Until next time, thank you for reading.

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