WWW Wednesday – June 30, 2021

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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

I’m between books at the moment, but technically still at the beginning of Hope is the Thing with Feathers: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. I haven’t read any more of it since last week, though, so I’ve got nothing to say this week!


Recently Finished

Slaughterhouse-FiveI read through all of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut since last week. Hooray for me, sticking to yet another reading deadline. I’m on a small roll here. So, at first I thought I had remembered very little of what interested me about this book enough to buy it. As it turns out, I did vaguely remember the bit about the aliens and time travel. This was an excellent novel, one of those books that you start reading and immediately recognize as 𝐿𝒾𝓉𝑒𝓇𝒶𝓉𝓊𝓇𝑒. That’s not always a fun thing to run into, but I really enjoyed reading this book too. It was so darkly humorous, dryly matter-of-fact, and utterly bleak. One passage actually hit me like a surprise brick too. An unexpectedly strong emotional response is always welcome. This is one of those books that I’m not sure how to go about reviewing. It would feel a little presumptuous. I still may, I haven’t made up my mind yet.


Reading Next

Into the DarkI still intend to start reading Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters by Eric Powell et al soon, especially with my having read through three novels since my last comic book now. In accordance with my recently laid out summer reading TBR, however, I am also going to start The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray soon. It hasn’t been all that long since I last read a Star Wars novel, but I was good about staying on top of my challenges in June, so I welcome the detour. With the follow-up to Light of the Jedi having also arrived at my doorstep the other day, I want to make sure I stay on top of all the books coming out in this series.

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

New Books & Novel Discoveries (June 2021)

I hope everybody has been enjoying the hotter weather we’ve been having here in the Northern Hemisphere lately. I’ve got mixed feelings about it, because I like it warm, but when it gets to hot I become a sweaty mess and I struggle.

While I was starting to put this post together, I noticed that I actually read all of the books I got in May between that post and now. Has that happened before? Maybe. But I’m gonna celebrate it anyway. Hooray for reading book purchases in a timely manner!

And without further ado, on to yet more books.Read More »

Book Review – Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden

Alien River of Pain

Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden is the third novel in the trilogy of canon Alien books that were published from 2013-2014. This novel tells the never-before-told story of Hadley’s Hope, the doomed colony and setting of the film Aliens. This colony was tasked with terraforming LV-426 (renamed Acheron), the planetoid where Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo had their nightmarish encounter with the Alien. The story follows Anne and Russell Jorden, two “wildcatters” who seek their fortune by surveying the planet, their children Rebecca (aka Newt) and Tim, and Captain Demian Brackett, the new CO of the colonial marines posted to the colony.

Ellen Ripley, long thought lost after the disappearance of the Nostromo 57-years previously, has been discovered adrift by a salvage crew. After her story is unraveled, the Weyland-Yutani Company sends survey coordinates to the science team at Hadley’s Hope, eager to rediscover the derelict ship on Acheron and secure a xenomorph specimen. Anne and Russ are ecstatic when they find the decaying vessel, but what they encounter within spells doom for their fledgling community.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – June 23, 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

Hope is the Thing with FeathersSince bookstores opened up again where I live, I decided to do a little book shopping and came home with Hope is the Thing with Feathers: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. I typically don’t read a lot of poetry; most of what I have I read for school. Nevertheless, I like the idea of trying to read through poetry from time to time, without the expectation of having to dissect or criticize what I’m reading. Admittedly, my eyes glazed over while I was reading a few poems, so I had to reread them a few times. Not knocking her at all, poetry’s just a different beast for me. Some of these were really lovely too, though. I guess some of these will just be harder for me to parse than others. I’ll try not to sweat it too much.


Recently Finished

Alien River of PainOver the weekend I finished reading Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden. While it might be the best written of this little trilogy of Alien novels, I don’t think this one is my favourite after all. That honour narrowly goes to Sea of Sorrows. I did enjoy this book, but I think that has more to do with how much I like the film Aliens than the actual story here. I’m mostly proud of finishing this novel so quickly; reading quotas really are working well for me. The characters were enjoyable enough, with some decent standout moments, but there were some annoying contrivances for the sake of tying it to the film that made some things a little dumb too. I’m walking away from this trilogy still curious about reading more Alien books, though, so it’s got that going for it. I should have a review up soon.


Reading Next

Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters Vol1I still very much intend to start Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut within the next day or so. With a good week left in June, I should be able to get it done by next Wednesday. In terms of comic books, I think I will start reading the three-volume series Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters by Eric Powell et al. I don’t have any new Berserk to read at the moment, and I’m actually decently caught up on most of my Star Wars comics, so it’s time I read something a little different. I’m not expecting the deepest of storytelling, but it’ll hopefully be a fun monster romp.

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

Book Review – Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Hogfather

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett is the 20th novel in the author’s comic fantasy Discworld series, and the fourth in the Death sub-series. Susan Sto Helit, the granddaughter of Death himself, has settled into a life of education, living with a wealthy family as their astute and capable governess. Sure, she occasionally has to bash in the heads of monsters the kids imagine live under their beds or in the basement, but such things are old hat for someone like Susan. She knows all too well how powerful imagination and superstition can be on the Discworld. Aside from such hiccups, everything is perfectly normal, just the way she wants them to be.

But things take a turn for the stranger on Hogswatch Eve, a time when a jolly fat man is meant to be about delivering presents to all the good little girls and boys. He’s nowhere to be found, and in his place is Death, trying to fill the big man’s over-sized coat. With Death unwilling to inform Susan of what is going on, it’s up to her to learn the reason for her grandfather’s odd behaviour and uncover what has happened to the Hogfather. It’s a race against the clock as Hogswatch morning approaches. If she fails, the sun may never rise again.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – June 16, 2021

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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

Last night I stated reading Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden, which I managed to read 59 pages of. Reading quotas have been working out for me pretty well so far, as I set out to make sure I read at least 50 pages last night. So far, I think my suspicions were correct and that I will like this book the most in the trilogy of books it belongs to. So far, it feels a bit like cheating, though, because a few sections are just scenes from Alien and Aliens adapted into prose. They’re adapted well, mind you, so if they’re sparsely used I don’t think I’ll mind. They’re only just establishing the characters we’ll get to know at the Hadley’s Hope Colony, but it has been enjoyable so far. It has amusingly raised questions as to why anyone would want to make a colony there, and I wonder if that’ll be further addressed.


Recently Finished

HogfatherOver the weekend I finished reading Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, the 20th Discworld novel. This feels to be a rather momentous achievement, I wish I felt more inclined to bask in it a little. 20 books deep into a series is no small feat, even if it took me five years to get here. I really enjoyed this book—absolutely loved certain parts of it—but I can’t help but feel my experience was a little tainted by familiarity. This novel is among the most quoted of Pratchett’s work, and my own curiosity years ago had me looking up clips of the TV adaptation. I just wish I’d known less about it. Some other things in the execution held it back a little for me too, so while I loved it overall, I’m not completely enamoured with it. I should have a review up sometime later this week.


Reading Next

Slaughterhouse-FiveI’m hoping I can get River of Pain done soon, allowing me to squeeze in one more book in June. A novel that might just fit in perfectly is Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I bought this book relatively recently and even added it to my yearly to-read list, but honestly, I can’t remember what precisely drew me to it. I know it’s an American classic, and it never hurts to read more classics, but I really can’t summon any relevant information about it in my memory. Well, I’ve got it anyway, so we’ll soon see how a fairly blind reading of it goes.

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

Books On My Summer 2021 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by That Artsy Reader Girl. Though I’ve only participated in TTT once before, I really like the idea of it and try to keep an eye out for topics I’m inspired to make a list for.

I’m often quite bad at making up my mind about what to read next, so I saw this week’s topic as a great opportunity to get all of my ducks in a row and lay out what I hope to read this summer, in my mind specifically meaning from July through to the end of September. I don’t read especially fast, so 10 whole books for those three months felt a tad too ambitious for me, but I think I’ve drawn up a list I can reasonably expect myself to get through.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – June 9, 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

I’m currently only 15% of the way through Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, the 20th Discworld novel, so the story is really only getting started. I am loving the setup so far, as I wasn’t completely aware that what Death and his granddaughter Susan will be dealing with is, essentially, the assassination of Santa Claus (named the Hogfather on the Disc). The assassin Mr. Teatime is spearheading the plot, and while it has yet to be executed upon, he’s so elegantly deranged I can only assume he will be successful, at least at first. He’s actually been the greater focus of the story so far, so I look forward to learning more of what Death and Susan specifically get up to. I’m weirdly familiar with this book, but in a vague way, so I don’t actually know a lot of what precisely goes down.


Recently Finished

Over the last week I’ve mostly been reading volumes of Berserk by Kentaro Miura, specifically finishing Vol. 28 and then making much shorter work of Vol. 29. I’m continuing to enjoy it a lot, though it feels a bit like its spinning its wheels at the moment. I had expected they would have made more progress trying to get to Puck’s homeland, but Vol. 28 was a lot of just fighting crocodiles and then a sea monster. The last few chapters of that volume did have some good character stuff with Schierke the witch, though, which bled into 29, where there was then some good stuff with Farnese. I’m realizing that lately Guts goes through stages of fighting and being hurt, with a lot of character focus going to his companions.


Reading Next

Alien River of PainI’m still going to read Berserk Vol. 30 before I even push hard toward finishing Hogfather, but I still have my next novel decided anyway. I need to get further along with my challenges, darn it. In keeping with reading a holiday(ish) book out of season, I’m going to read Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden, which tells of the events at the colony of Hadley’s Hope that the marines are deployed to in the film Aliens. I read the first two books in this trilogy around Halloween, but I’ve realized that I’ve set myself up to read so many horror books this year that I don’t want to read yet another Alien book during the spooky season this year.

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

Book Review – Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry

Bacchanal

Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry is the author’s newly published, debut novel. Set during the Great Depression in the Southern United States, the story follows Eliza Meeks, a young black woman barely getting by in Baton Rouge, abandoned by her family many years previously. Thanks to a latent, otherworldly power that allows her to communicate with animals, she is noticed by a talent prospector and hired by the G. B. Bacchanal Carnival as a new crowd-drawing oddity.

Among the other carnies and strange folk, Liza finds a place to call home, but Bacchanal is not entirely as it seems. Lurking behind the games, attractions, and sweet treats is a demonic being that feeds on innocent lives and imbues the carnival with the presence of spirits from beyond the veil. Only Liza has a chance at stopping her, if she can come to understand the true nature of her burgeoning powers.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – June 2, 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

Berserk 28I’ve started reading more Berserk by Kentaro Miura, specifically Volume 28. So far, this volume has really reminded me of the warmth and tenderness Miura was able to inject into his work, despite all the darkness and violence that permeates the story. It was a simple moment where a normally stoic character breaks down despite herself, and our gruff and detached hero Guts is able to provide a modicum of comfort for her. I was thinking more about moments like these thanks to a tweet I read reflecting on Miura’s work in the wake of his passing, and it’s a good reminder of how important positivity is, even in stories full of struggle and despair.


Recently Finished

BacchanalOver the weekend I finished reading my ARC copy of Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry. I wanted to have the review up yesterday, but I wasn’t quite able to get it finished, and I really didn’t want to rush it out. Nevertheless, I should have it up soon. Overall, I quite liked this book. There were some notable hitches in the plot for me, but the setting and characters really won me over. It was a slow burn for a lot of the book, but I really liked the way it took its time getting Liza to understand the nature of her supernatural abilities. I was more than happy to spend lots of time with this otherworldly carnival too. I’ll have to keep an eye out for more of Henry’s work in the future.


Reading Next

HogfatherBetween personal reads that I didn’t list and getting ARCs done, I’ve gone off the rails a little as far as my reading challenges are concerned. So, I’m going to get back on track and start reading a few of those soon. To stay on top of my desire to read a Discworld book every quarter, I’m going to start reading Hogfather by Terry Pratchett next. It’s the penultimate Death novel, which makes me sad, but it’s also one I’ve seen most referenced, so I’m excited to finally check it out for myself. Feels a bit odd to read a Christmas-y book in June, but I shan’t put it off.

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