New Books & Novel Discoveries (November 2021)

November was a bit more of a low-key month, which is perhaps more appropriate since the holiday season is ramping up. I should probably spend more on other people than myself right now. Only once did I splurge on a full-price book I didn’t need, the rest were convenient discounts, I swear.

Enough rambling, on to the books!Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 24, 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

A Gathering of GhostsSince last week I was able to read some more of A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland, though my progress was just shy of 100 pages. The novel continues to be a pretty slow burn, though certain elements are starting to come together in interesting ways. The magical elements of this story seem to be genuine, but are very subdued, showing old pagan beliefs falling to the wayside with the ever-growing prominence of Christianity. I don’t know how true it all is, but it’s been teaching me interesting little factoids I had no idea of about the 1300s, a time I know very little about. Apparently, they saw frogs as evil and unclean creatures. I’m aghast at the very idea! I hope the snake on the cover has a role to play.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, I’m afraid.


Reading Next

The Complete CosmicomicsWith only so much time left in the year, I have to be realistic about what I think I can finish. There are two more books in mind that I want to get done, but I’ve decided to prioritize one over the other. The next book I’m going to read is The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino. I’ve only read one other Calvino book so far, but I really enjoyed how unconventional and meta it was, so I’m excited to check this out, which seems to be altogether different. I don’t know too much about it, except I think the narrator is a weird consciousness in space and it’s a collection of short stories. Once I finish this book, after A Gathering of Ghosts, I will have at least finished by scrappy to-read list for the year.

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

Book Review – ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Salems Lot

‘Salem’s Lot is a 1975 horror novel by Stephen King, and it is the prolific author’s second novel. Set in the small fictional town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine, the story follows a young author named Benjamin Mears. He has returned to the town, where he spent a number of years growing up, in order to face some old childhood fears and continue working on a new novel inspired by the source of those fears, the foreboding and abandoned old Marsten House, which looms over the town on a hill.

Although his arrival in the Lot is met fairly warmly, a mysterious new pair of residents have arrived at the same time, lodging in that decrepit old mansion that Ben can’t help fixating on. Though at first these changes are simple curiosities, the disappearance of two local boys is a sinister portents of things to come, as the town’s new residents have brought with them a nightmarish blight that threatens to consume the town whole.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 17, 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

A Gathering of GhostsSince last week I once again had an unexpected amount of free time, so I was able to get a good start on A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland. I’m enjoying the book, though it has been a little slow-paced so far. Not necessarily a bad thing, I’m just surprised with how much things feel like they’re still being established despite the fact I’m 100 pages into the book now. Strange happenings have taken place and changes are afoot, but a core conflict or concern has yet to fully materialize. Nevertheless, I do enjoy a slow burn, and I like the light-fantasy and spooky vibes the book is giving, so I’m excited to get further along. It’s done a great job of capturing just how bleak impoverished life must have been in the 1300s too. Nothing Romantic about all this muck and hunger.


Recently Finished

Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star 1Late last week I read through Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star by Kaeruno Erefante, which made for a quick and very amusing read. It wasn’t too heavy on plot or character, but in this way fulfilled its role as a diary very well. Keeping in mind how these are somebody else’s lived experiences, however embellished, made it easy to look past these shortcomings. I managed to learn a thing or two as well, such as, apparently, a stigma around the adult film industry in Japan is the fact that many people cannot separate the industry from its past association with the yakuza (the Japanese mafia). I also learned that the author does not draw himself as a bean, but rather frog—a rather minimalist frog at that. His reason for doing so is essentially a dirty joke, so I’ll spare any who would mind that. I look forward to reading more of this series.

Salems LotI also used my surprise free time to finish reading ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I wanted to have a review up before today, but being completely honest, I haven’t even started it yet. My priorities are all over the place, I guess. I really enjoyed this book, at any rate, though there were definite peaks and valleys throughout the story. I absolutely loved all of the prose discussing the town itself, especially as the scourge of vampires slowly makes victims out of everybody in town. The ragtag group of intellectuals coming to grips with the fact that vampires are the problem? I found them inconsistently compelling. I understand that an American vampire novel in 1975, one that refers so much to the films more recent to that time, needs to have the characters come to grips with the seeming impossibility of it all, but it could have been accomplished faster. Too much time spent on skepticism when the reader knows it’s definitely vampires.


Reading Next

This is anybody’s guess right now, to be honest. I have plans, but I’m too in the weeds with A Gathering of Ghosts to commit to anything. I’m also very tired; I have been awake since 4:30 PM yesterday, so I think I will bid you all adieu for now. I’ll have better reading plans to tell you about next week, I’m sure.

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

Books to Read if You Love Inhuman Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Books to Read If You Love/Loved X (X can be a genre, specific book, author, movie/TV show, etc.)”, so I took this opportunity to talk about a favourite character type of mine: inhuman characters. This could be anything from machines and aliens to gods and monsters, though the less human-like the better. My focus for this list is more on the ways a character’s inhuman-ness is represented and explored in the story too, rather than them just happening to have inhuman qualities.

In putting together this, I realized that the list of books/series I could personally pull for this post was not nearly as extensive as it could be. There’s surely a wealth of sci-fi and fantasy that qualify. I really hope there isn’t something obvious from all of the books I’ve read that I’m just not remembering. At any rate, I hope you enjoy checking these out if you do, and feel free to leave any recommendations of your own in the comments.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 10, 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

Salems LotOver the weekend I unexpectedly had a lot more free time than I was expecting, so I managed to get a lot of reading done on ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, where I am now just over 300 pages in. King has done an excellent job of making the infection of this town creeping and gradual. So far, most of the townsfolk are still blissfully unaware of what is going on, but it is now noticeably escalating, with a number of people having fallen under the vampire’s thrall. An effectively realistic element is how much the people clued-in to what is going on are wasting time coming to grips with the idea that it could be vampires at all. It’s especially amusing to remember this is much closer to the heyday of the classic Universal and Hammer horror films about Dracula. A sudden incursion of vampires would be hard to believe indeed, and that hesitance is so far undoing them.


Recently Finished

Once again, I’ve not finished anything. I’m really going to have to turn this around soon, for the first time all year I’m behind on my Goodreads challenge.


Reading Next

Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star 1The reading plans I’ve been talking about for the past couple of weeks are not going anywhere, so I’ll not repeat myself, but I recently borrowed a manga volume from a friend that I’m really interested in reading soon. The book in question is the first volume of Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star by Kaeruno Erefante. Though it covers more adult subject matter, it looks to be doing so in a rather PG way, depicting the humorous tribulations of being a male porn star rather than trying to be titillating. I find it especially hysterical how the main character is depicted. While surrounded by beautiful women, our protagonist looks like a bean with arms, legs, and big eyes. I’ll probably read through it in a sitting before next week.

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

Frighteningly Good Reads 2021 Wrap-Up 

Though my schedule has had me a lot busier these past few months, over October I participated as much as I could in Frighteningly Good Reads, a laid back readathon hosted by Molly at Silver Button Books. Be sure to check out her wrap-up post too!

Ideally, I would have chosen a few more books to get through for the spooky season, but I tried to be a little more realistic for the amount of time I have for reading lately. As it turns out, results were oddly familiar to previous years anyway.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 3, 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

Salems LotWorking two jobs took a particular toll on me this past week for some reason, but I did manage to sneak in a little bit of reading ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King anyway. I’m 117 pages in now, so I’ve managed to more than double my page count since last week, but I’ve still got a long way to go. This book has got me continually wanting to nod my head and say “vintage King” aloud with approval. I’m loving the small town setting and cavalcade of small town people. The horror factor is insidiously burrowing its way into these peoples’ lives too, and I wonder if I will slowly behold the undoing of all of them. I’m especially enjoying how much certain facets of the plot are reminding me of the plot of Dracula. I wonder how closely it will follow those lines, or if it’s only lightly referential.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, sadly. Even my Halloween was bogged down with work. 💀


Reading Next

Scott Pilgrim Color Edition Digital OmnibusI still intend to start A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland next, but obviously that will still have to wait for at least another week. In the meantime, I do have a lot of comic books that need reading, many of which are from the two Star Wars: The High Republic series that I’ve been following. I’m way behind on those, and I’m already hearing about “phase one” of The High Republic ending soon. I think, by next week, I will make a concerted effort to start Scott Pilgrim: Digital Omnibus by Bryan Lee O’Malley as well, so I can read it again in colour. I really ought to continue Hope is the Thing with Feathers too… 😓

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