Book Review – The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler

The Book of Forgotten Authors

The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler is a nonfiction collection of 99 authors (with a 100th added to this paperback edition) whether fairly obscure, decently successful, or prolific in their time, who have since become almost completely forgotten by the reading public. In each author’s respective section Fowler discusses some of their most notable works and their writing career, while also offering a glimpse into their personal lives and insight into why they disappeared from the public eye. Peppered throughout are 12 short essays about broader subjects, such as contemporary characters who competed with the likes of Sherlock Holmes and James Bond, now forgotten, or authors who drifted from memory by writing too little—or too much.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – January 15, 2020

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

The Book of Forgotten AuthorsI’m about 65% of the way through The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler. The book continues to be really fascinating, as well as a source of new books for my TBR.  Fowler has a nice, distinct voice that stops this book from just being informational, making it more fun to read. A particular book that I added that has me quite intrigued is described as “Lord of the Flies with adults.” There’s a Kindle edition of it too, so it’ll be easy to check it out. Since last week I encountered another author I’d heard of before too. Though I haven’t read any of his books yet, I’ve had one on my TBR for years. Maybe it’s weird, but I take a small amount of pride in having heard of a couple of these “forgotten” authors.

I started The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood last night, though I’ve only just scratched the surface. I’ve met two of the main characters and learned how and where they’ve survived “the Flood,” but I don’t know too much about them as characters yet.


Recently Finished

Nothing so far, sadly. I really thought I’d be able to finish The Book of Forgotten Authors over the weekend, but for some reason I couldn’t push through it. I guess I haven’t gotten completely back into the swing of things after my little break from reading.


Reading Next

No Longer HumanLike I said last week, I intend to read No Longer Human by Junji Ito very soon. I only haven’t yet because I wanted to put all my energy into finishing what I’ve already started. In addition to this, I’ve got a graphic novel adaptation of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward that I really want to check out soon. The story is by H. P. Lovecraft and adapted by I. N. J. Culbard. I actually didn’t like this story very much when I read it as prose, but the prospect of reading it in this medium has my interest piqued. I feel some of his stories might really benefit from a visual element. It’s looking like the latter half of the month is going to be back-loaded with books, compared to the sparse beginning of the year.

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

Book Review – Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

Lords and Ladies

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett is the 14th novel in the Discworld series, and the fourth in the “Witches” subseries. Unlike most other Discworld novels, this book begins with a note from the author suggesting you read some of the previous “Witches” novels before starting this one. This novel begins right where the last one, Witches Abroad, left off, and also continues plot threads from Wyrd Sisters, the novel before that.

Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick have returned home to the small kingdom of Lancre after their journey abroad, only to find trouble afoot before they can even settle back in at home. Magrat finds that her potential husband-to-be Verence II, the former Fool made King, has fast-tracked a lot of their wedding arrangements without her input. Meanwhile, crop circles are appearing all across the kingdom; it seems somebody has been dancing around some stone circles, inviting the return of the elves. While remembered fondly in the minds of people, their return only spells trouble for everybody living on the Disc.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – January 8, 2020

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

The Book of Forgotten AuthorsThough I’ve been taking a little break from reading more intently, hence the absence of a post last week, I did end up starting a book anyway: The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler. Each entry for an author is usually no more than 3-4 pages long, which makes this a perfect book for reading in short bursts. A funny bit of happenstance while reading it, I’ve actually heard of one of the authors included so far, and I’ve read one of her books. Not all that forgotten, after all. So far, learning all these nuggets of literary history has been really enjoyable. A double-edged side effect is I’ve started adding books to my to-read shelf, so I’m likely going to come away from this with a laundry list of old books that will inflate my TBR pile and be difficult to find. Marvelous.


Recently Finished

Lords and LadiesJust before the end of 2019 I finished reading Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, the 14th Discworld novel. I should have a full review posted soon. In a few ways this book seemed to work toward tying up loose ends from Witches Abroad. There was a lot of emphasis in that novel on the youngest witch Magrat being a “wet hen,” but it didn’t do much to help her grow past that as a character. In this book she finds herself being suddenly swept up into her wedding with King Verence II (a loose end from two novels prior), which pushes her to stand up for herself and work toward carving out her own destiny. It’s always a delight to read more of the exploits of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg as well, the former having an appreciable amount of her personal history explored too.


Reading Next

The Year of the FloodIn terms of novels, I’m going to make myself finally read The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. It’s been on yearly to-read lists for years now, and I’m fed up with my own procrastination with it. It’s been nearly a decade since I even read Oryx and Crake, for goodness sake. I also want to start reading some of the new graphic novels I got over the last month, starting with No Longer Human by Junji Ito, which I’m most excited to finally check out. It’s unique, in that it’s not an original work of the author’s, but a manga adaptation of a well-known Japanese novel. I only have a vague understanding of what it’s about, so I’m really eager to get started on it.

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

Looking Back at 2019 & New Challenges for 2020

Though we’re about a week into 2020 now, me taking my little reprieve before throwing myself back into reading more intently, I wanted to take a little look back on my reading from 2019, as well as introduce my new reading challenges for 2020. It’s been an interesting year, to say the least, and has me rethinking my priorities a little bit going into the future.Read More »

New Books & Novel Discoveries (December 2019)

I’m annoyed about this (no good reason really), but circumstances dictate that I must post twice in a day. I got sick for Christmas, which put a significant damper on my ability to get anything written. Finding myself suddenly preoccupied yesterday, that left today to post my Top 5 and New Books. It would bother me more if I did it tomorrow or beyond that, though, so here we are. Feel free to giggle at my little idiosyncrasies.

Anyway, on to the books!Read More »

Top 5 Books I Read in 2019

The final year of the decade has come and gone. It’s strange how one of the most ordinary things in the world can feel so uncanny sometimes. The last five years were long, there is no doubt, but I can’t escape the sense that they were the fastest five years of my life. 2019 itself was weird for feeling both long and short, in its own right.

With the year over and done, that is also another load of books that I’ve finished reading. Every year I pick my top five favourites among them, in no particular order, and this year is no different. They needn’t have come out this year, I just need to have read them this year. Without further ado…Read More »

Book Review – Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Stardust

Stardust is a 1998 fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. It’s been a part of my personal backlog of books to read by the author for a while, and in a lot of ways it was not what I’d been expecting. The story concerns the small village of Wall in England, known for the ancient wall that is its namesake that separates our world from that of the Faerie. The only way to pass through the wall is a small passage, typically guarded to keep village folk from wandering into the unknown. Tristran Thorn, however, is hopelessly in love with the captivating yet disinterested Victoria Forester, and after the two witness a falling star he pledges to fetch it for her in exchange for whatever his heart desires. Though it has landed beyond the wall, Tristran will stop at nothing to fulfill his oath and win Victoria’s heart. This is complicated, however, when he finds that the fallen star is not a celestial rock, but a beautiful young woman named Yvaine, with no interest in coming back with him.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 25, 2019

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

Lords and LadiesIt’s a Christmas Wednesday! I should probably take a day off, but how often will this come around? I’m barely 15% in to Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, though I’m loving it so far. With a preface from the author declaring it so, this is the first book in the series since The Light Fantastic that you would do well to have read the previous books in the sub-series beforehand. The witches have returned home after their exploits in Witches Abroad, and already it’s hit the fan. Circumstances are still fairly mysterious for me at the moment, but it seems to have something to do with elves, or fae folk, which haven’t been a common or even present thing in the series as far as I can recall.


Recently Finished

StardustI finished reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman last week, and with all said and done I must honestly say I was a little disappointed, though with some caveats. The writing and the characters are simply lovely, with plenty of evocative elements that kept me invested in this lengthy fairy tale. There are some good lessons to be had about being over zealously romantic too. That all being said, the story is almost bereft of conflict. A number of villainous elements are introduced, each of them interesting characters in their own respect, yet except for one scene they don’t really have a significant impact on the characters for the majority of their journey. Conveniences keep the characters out of harm’s way, and that made everything a little less compelling.


Reading Next

Lords and Ladies shall be my last book for the year, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.

I hope everybody has a happy Holidays, and very merry Christmas Day.

Until the New Year, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post, or what you’re reading, down below.

Book Review – Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Thrawn

Star Wars: Thrawn is the first book in a trilogy of Star Wars novels centred around the titular character, a blue humanoid alien with red eyes from the Chiss species, who rises to great prominence in the Imperial navy in the time between the prequel trilogy of Star Wars films and the original trilogy. The author originally created the character in older novels that are now deemed “Legends.” This is the first novel to feature the character in the new canon since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, initially debuting him in the series Star Wars Rebels.

In this first novel, Mitth’raw’nuruodo, simplified as Thrawn, is discovered on an uncharted world in Wild Space by Imperial scouts. Apparently exiled by his people, the Chiss Ascendency, he impresses the officers sent to investigate by cleverly sneaking aboard their capital ship despite his limited resources. Brought before the Emperor, Thrawn’s talents for strategy are recognized and he wishes to serve the Empire with the hope that, should it be needed, the it might come to the aid of his people. Seeing his knowledge of the Unknown Regions of the galaxy as a further asset, he is allowed to enroll in the Imperial Naval Academy, with the reluctant cadet Eli Vanto to accompany him as an aid and translator.Read More »