WWW Wednesday – September 16, 2020

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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?

Goodness, I am running behind today.


Currently Reading

I didn’t make as much progress with Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett as I would have liked, but I’m right smack in the middle with hope that I can get it finished by next week. Since arriving in a strange land, Rincewind’s travails have amounted to a lot of running away and being put on a pedestal as something he’s not. It’s been amusing character stuff, but I’m waiting to see what it’s all building toward. I had higher hopes at the beginning, and so far I’m not sure if he’s just going to bumble his way to success or if he’s going to develop into a somewhat better version of himself. It has still been an enjoyable read, at any rate, Pratchett is nothing if not consistent, so I’m just waiting to see if this novel is among the higher pedigree.


Recently Finished

Over the weekend I read Fangs by Sarah Andersen, the author better known for her Sarah’s Scribbles webcomic. This book was another collection of strips, though of a different style and tone about a vampire and a werewolf in a relationship. I had read a lot of these online as they were coming out, but when I found out such a gorgeous hardcover was going to published, I decided to wait until I had it in my hands before I finished them. They’re cute, funny, and more adult that her usual strips, so much so that I was actually craving a plot line. There is a continuity, but story developments are typically contained within a strip. It’s a wholesome, macabre little collection worth checking out if it strikes a chord with you.


Reading Next

I’m still planning to read Thermopylae by Paul Cartledge next, it’s just a matter of finishing up Interesting Times. I’m also considering starting The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht as a little supplemental read, though that will invariably become something I have to power through so it’s not hanging around forever. It just looks cute and funny and I want to actually read it rather than occasionally peak at a page or two.

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

Stuck At Home Book Tag

Though I cannot work from home due to the nature of my job, I saw this tag completed by Sammie over at The Bookwyrm’s Den and decided to take her up on her open invitation for others to participate. I’d like to thank her for sharing her post, be sure to check out hers as well.

I may not be stuck at home as much as others, but the fact is we can’t really go out and do whatever we wish like the way we used to until the pandemic is over, so it feels an appropriate tag to fill out nonetheless.

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WWW Wednesday – September 9, 2020

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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

The other day I started reading Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett, the 17th Discworld novel. I’m just over 20% of the way in, and so far it’s feeling like it might be above average in the series. After 16 books patterns do emerge, so it’s good to see things mixed up. It’s kind of dizzying how long it’s been since Rincewind was a lead character. The faculty of the Wizard’s College has been so well-defined for so many books, but here it dawned on me that Rincewind had never interacted with Archchancellor Ridcully. That was quite enjoyable. There is a good balance between Rincewind acting exactly like his old self, while still giving the sense of all the development he’s had in the past. He is a seasoned adventurer, after all, even if he’s always running away.


Recently Finished

Over the weekend I finished reading Kong Unbound, a collection of essays about the 1933 King Kong film, and I was simply elated to get it finished. It wasn’t awful, but the fluff problem persisted throughout most of the book. Also, if I ever have to read about what someone thinks of Kong ripping off Ann’s dress again it’ll be too soon. One essay by Joe DeVito started like many others, just an old guy reflecting on his childhood love of the film, but fortunately developed into talking about a Kong book series he made that I’d never heard of before. I’d certainly like to check those out, so the experience isn’t a total loss if I come away with some new books. Alan Dean Foster had a good essay too, but I’m still pretty adamant about not reviewing this. I have little else to say.


Reading Next

I want to stay on top of things better, with time being of the essence for completing my reading list, so I’ve decided I’m going to try and quickly read Thermopylae by Paul Cartledge, a history book about the titular battle between Greece and Persia, known by many for the famous 300 Spartans who held the position for so long, despite the odds. I read another book about Spartan history by the author many years ago. I meant this to be a companion read to that, but I didn’t actually crack it open in a timely fashion. Better late than never.

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

Book Review – The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is a science fiction novel by Becky Chambers, the first in the author’s Wayfarers series. Rosemary Harper is a young woman with a troubled past that she is all too eager to get away from. She finds the escape she’s looking for aboard the Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that’s seen better days. The crew have an important job, however, as the ship can create the hyperspace tunnels that make long-distance space travel safer and time-saving. As the ship’s new clerk, she seems to find exactly the peace and quiet she was looking for, albeit alongside the Wayfarer’s chaotic yet affable crew made up of a mishmash of different species. Their relative comfort in close quarters is put to the test, however, as they take on a riskier, more lucrative job: creating the first tunnel to a distant planet. They’ll have to take the long way to get there first, however, contending with each other’s secrets and whatever the galaxy can throw at them along the way.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – September 2, 2020

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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 just over 40% of the way through Kong Unbound, a collection of essays by a number of writers. Have you ever started reading a book and just known in your heart that you have zero desire to review it? It’s rare for me, but I feel it so strongly with this book. It’s interesting enough, but it’s a lot of fluff. Perhaps it’s easy to see why, since this book came out specifically in time for Peter Jackson’s King Kong back in 2005. It even has an emblem that says “Official Movie Merchandise” on the cover. As a result, it has amounted to a lot of repeated information between the different essayists, really just talking about why they like the original film so much. It’s fine, but it doesn’t inspire critical assessment.


Recently Finished

Last week I finished reading The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I continued to enjoy this novel a lot, though I must admit that it could have used a stronger plot thread throughout. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I guess it comes down to wanting a continual sense of conflict; that something concrete and apparent throughout the book need be resolved. That’s not to say there weren’t some great story branches with their own unique tribulations, but something underlining it all, you know? I’ll get more in depth with this when I review it, I’m sure. The character stuff was absolutely golden, though. So much so, that I actually reread that section I gushed a little about last week. I never do that, which says a lot.


Reading Next

To keep up properly with at least some of my goals for the year, I need to finish a Discworld novel before this quarter of the year is over. So, I will be reading Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett next. Looking at this being the 17th novel in the series it’s just sunk in how many of these I have read. Goodness. It’s been a while since a book has featured the wizard Rincewind as well, and even longer since it was a full-length novel. I’m excited to see if and how his return from almost certain death back in Sourcery will be addressed.

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

WWW Wednesday – August 26, 2020

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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’ve made a lot of nice progress in The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers since last week; I’m 69% of the way through. I was hoping to have it done, but aren’t I always? The novel is really character driven, almost to a fault sometimes with how much time Chambers spends building people and places instead of plot, but I’m really enjoying the almost episodic travails of the crew as they make their journey. Evidently all of Chambers’s hard work has paid off too, as last night two crew members became involved with one another, which I had foreseen to an extent, yet I was embarrassingly flustered and giddy about it. I wouldn’t mind a stronger plot, but goodness am I invested in these people.


Recently Finished

Over the weekend I read through Venus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito, which you can read my full review for here. I’m always excited to dive into a newly released Ito collection, but I was regrettably a little disappointed with this one. It didn’t exactly live up to its claim of being a “best of”, though it certainly does include one of my favourite stories of his. It did have the odd effect of having me utterly fixate on one story that didn’t resonate with me the way I’d hoped, though. I just couldn’t stop trying to puzzle it out after the fact. It even became a major focus in my review, as both a point of criticism and praise. Worth checking out, at any rate, just not among my favourites.


Reading Next

I expect I’ll be finished with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet soon, so I suppose I ought to have my next book lined up and ready, which I of course do not as I write this. So, eyeballing my to-read list to see what jumps out at me, I have settled on Kong Unbound, which is a collection of essays from a plethora of writers about the iconic behemoth of the silver screen. I’ve owned this book for many years, having bought it at an HMV for about $3, so it’s high time I actually read it. I’m hoping I can plough through it relatively quickly so I can strike yet another book from my list soon too—I’m still sweating about getting that done.

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

Comic Book Review – Venus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito

Venus in the Blind Spot is the latest collection of horror stories by manga artist and writer Junji Ito to be published in English by VIZ media. Marketed as a “best of” collection of stories by the author, there is a common thread throughout each of them related to compulsions and/or utter fixation. Included is the fan-favourite story “The Enigma of Amigara Fault,” previously included in the deluxe hardcover of Gyo, with some bonus colour panels/pages featured in that story and others, unique to this collection. While the majority are Ito original stories, this collection is noteworthy for including a few stories by other authors, which Ito has adapted. Additionally included are a colour poster and gallery of art featuring the subjects of some of his other famous works not included in the collection, which can be removed and displayed if the reader so chooses.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – August 19, 2020

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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

The Long Way to a Small Angry PlanetRegretfully, I haven’t read much more of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers since last week. Not a big week for reading overall, really. A lot of energy was being put into my review of Into the Unbounded Night, which took longer than I thought. Nevertheless, what I did read of Chambers’s book continued to be enjoyable; I got a firsthand account of what creating a tunnel in space is like, which sounds like a trippy and horrifying non-Euclidean experience. I also got to meet the last crew member finally, who seemed surprisingly mellow considering the unique way their brain works. As a final aside, the way the food is described in this book continually makes me hungry for the strange space delicacies described. It’s not fair.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, I’m afraid. See above. Also, new WP editor is the devil.


Reading Next

Venus in the Blind Spot

I’ve procrastinated reading any Star Wars comic books this past week, and they’re likely going to have to wait a little longer, because Venus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito has come out this week. It’s finally another English collection of his short stories, and I expect to be picking up my copy later today. I’m not sure which stories are included in this collection, except for “The Enigma of Amigara Fault”, which was included in Gyo. I’m really excited to get this book read and reviewed soon. Maybe I’ll squeeze in some Star Wars after all too, to make up for a lackluster week.

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

Book Review – Into the Unbounded Night by Mitchell James Kaplan

Into the Unbounded Night is an upcoming historical fiction novel by Mitchell James Kaplan. Set in the first century Roman Empire, the story follows a myriad of characters from different walks of life and cultures. The most prominent perspective character is Aislin, a young woman native to Albion (Britain) during the Roman conquest of her land, who becomes a refugee as a result. Second to her point of view is Yohanan son of Zakkai, a studious and thoughtful young Judaean man living in Roman-occupied Jerusalem who philosophically struggles with keeping to the traditions of his faith and respecting the institution of the Temple, which seems more concerned with pleasing their Roman overlords. Other characters include a disgraced Roman soldier turned artist, the Roman general Vespasian, and the condemned angel Azazel.Read More »