Book Review – Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann

Star Wars Myths and Fables

Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann is a middle grade collection of stories set in the Star Wars universe, with an illustration by Grant Griffin accompanying each story. Though the connections are not especially overt, the book was released as a part of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge media project. Unlike a typical collection, each story is a piece of in-universe folklore from across the galaxy. Some are self-contained little fables, while others work to mythologize iconic characters we know and love from the films.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – August 21, 2019

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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

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI’ve left things after a rather nail-biting series of chapters in The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. The death tally is technically at six now, I think, though I’ve only witnessed two on the page. Things are getting rather knife-y at Blackheath as our protagonist edges closer to solving the mystery, his rivals nipping visciously at his heels. I keep finding myself sub-consciously trying to see if I can piece anything together for myself, but I honestly think the time travel aspects are too elaborately structured for the reader to do that. Luckily, I’m still enthusiastically on board for wherever this is going.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Myths and FablesSince last week I started and finished Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann, with illustrations by Grant Griffin. It turns out it’s a middle grade book, which I’d somewhat expected but didn’t fully appreciate the significance of. While I can’t say that younger readers won’t get something out of this collection, I was personally underwhelmed. There were a couple stories I did find myself quite partial too, but ultimately the effort was rather pedestrian. I think I imagined the author would be a little more ambitious with the concept than he ended up being. I’d say they largely played it safe with this book. I should have a full review out soon.


Reading Next

Small GodsI expect that I will have Seven Deaths finished by next week, which had left me to wonder what I’m going to be picking up off the shelf next. I have decided I really need to continue with the Discworld novels for this year—I’ve only read one of the four I mean to get to—so the next book I will be picking up will be Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. I believe it’s another standalone novel that takes place in the Discworld’s more distant past (that’s the impression I have anyway). I’m excited for the more isolated approach to the world.

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

WWW Wednesday – August 14, 2019

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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

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI’m just over 150 pages in to The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton and it has been living up to the hype. Technically, the tally I’m at is 4 deaths for poor Evelyn, although it’s only ever taken place on the page once so far. I had thought this book would be a typical Groundhog Day situation, but Turton took that and made it even more complex in a way that I’m completely on board for. Despite the fact that it is so complicated, he writes it in such a way that so far I haven’t found it difficult to follow. I am a little wary, however, as it seems that if our protagonist is to prevent Evelyn’s murder he will have to break rules established by the narrative. There’s much left to read, so I’m hopefully things work out.


Recently Finished

The Catastrophe ConI finally read The Catastrophe Con by Simon Spurrier et al, and I’m happy to say that his taking the reigns as writer for the series has not diminished its quality for me. Doctor Aphra has become a corner of the Star Wars universe where stuff can get weird and I honestly can’t get enough of it. A penal colony made of smashed-together ships, insane probability droids, and Force-possessed spores? Yes, please. Aphra is so lovable and self-destructive, she’s become the epitome of chaotic-neutral in this universe to me. Her pursuit of personal gain, at the expense of even people she cares about it, is basically pathological. With the way this book ended I’m really excited to read the next.

The Man in the PictureI also read through all of The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill in one night, which is rare for me when it comes to novels. It was only 145 pages, but even at that length it’s unlikely for me to finish so quickly. I’ve already written a review, which you can check out here. The book had a wonderfully pleasant writing style and good atmosphere befitting a ghost story, I just wasn’t super thrilled with the direction things went. The nature of the haunted object, such as it is, becomes odd in a way that was more confusing than compelling. Credit where it is due, though, I’m creeped out by the idea of this painting as an image alone, which is hard to do with no visual reference point.


Reading Next

Star Wars Myths and FablesWelp, looks like I’m reading another Star Wars book. I got my copy of Myths & Fables by George Mann this past week and it looks like it’ll make for a great supplemental read. I’m not sure how much will be original in-universe tales and how much will be mythologizing what we know, but I do know that Darth Vader gets a depiction as some sort of boogeyman and I’m curious to see what that looks like. The accompanying art is stunning as well, which is an added bonus. I’ve gone off script with my reading list more than I’d like, but it’s hard to resist reading a new book sometimes, eh?

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

Book Review – The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill

The Man in the Picture

The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story is a horror novel by Susan Hill. A young man named Oliver is visiting his old professor Theo Parmitter, an elderly bachelor who lives on campus at Cambridge University. One cold winter’s night during Oliver’s visit Theo tells him the strange story of a painting he has hanging in the room, depicting masked revelers at a carnival in Venice. Seemingly burdened by not having shared this tale, he tells of how he came to acquire it and the disturbing history of people becoming entrapped by its macabre beauty.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – August 7, 2019

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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

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI have started The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, though honestly I’ve barely scratched to surface. I wanted to have read more, but during my prime reading time over the weekend I was frankly too exhausted to have gotten properly into the meat of it. As such I’m only 19 pages in, but even these have not been what I was expecting. It begins in medias res with a character realizing he has amnesia while in the middle of a pursuit in the forest, too late to stop the presumed murder of a woman he believes is named Anna. He has found his way back to the mansion he was staying at, which is soon to be host of a ball, but nobody there knows who this Anna is. I’m pretty well hooked, though for now it’s just a burning desire to learn what’s going on.


Recently Finished

Who's a Good BoyOver the weekend I did manage to push myself to finish Who’s a Good Boy? by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, despite the exhaustion I already mentioned. Had I not been so, I would have finished it faster and read more Seven Deaths, but here we are. Just as with the third volume it was great to revisit these stories again, especially some of the more dramatic moments that took place during this story arc. The creators plant the seeds for different story lines a lot earlier than I’d noticed or given them credit for before, which was an especially prominent takeaway with this volume. I still do feel something is missing without Cecil’s performance though. His soothing baritone is easy to miss.


Reading Next

The Man in the PictureThrowing a bit of a curve ball with what I’m reading next since it’s a little off script as far as my scrappy reading list goes. I was at the library last week to pick up some DVDs and decided to browse the horror section a little bit. While I was there The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill caught my eye. I haven’t read any of her work, but I do know she also wrote The Woman in Black. The synopsis grabbed me enough, and it’s less than 200 pages long, so I decided to take this little detour and make good on reading more library books. To give a summary I’m sure is reductive, it’s about an evil painting.

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

Book Review – Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Exit West

Exit West is a 2017 novel by Mohsin Hamid that blends fiction and magical realism. The story follows dual protagonists Nadia and Saeed, a young woman and man who live in an unnamed city that is gradually beset upon by militants. Though Nadia is more independent and outspoken, which goes against tradition, and Saeed is generally more conservative, the two begin a romantic relationship. As they try to survive day-to-day in their city, with the militants encroaching further and further, mysterious doors begin popping up there and around the world, linking places many miles apart. As life in the city becomes nearly unlivable the two seek out one of these doors to escape the daily violence and build a new life far away.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – July 31, 2019

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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

Who's a Good BoyI’m making pretty steady progress reading Who’s a Good Boy? by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. I’m nearly halfway through it already, which I’m happy about because I want both want to read it and want to be done reading it. I feel like I’ve kicked book reading into a higher gear and I’m hoping I can keep some momentum going. As I’m getting further along I’m realizing just how little I actually remember about the key story arcs from this series. I could have sworn the storylines being built up in this book happened more recently, yet they’re in 2015/2016. Just time being funny again, I guess. Slipping through my fingers and down the drain, leaving me to underestimate just how much of it has flowed by.


Recently Finished

Exit WestIn an completely unprecedented move (considering my reading habits) I started and finished Exit West by Mohsin Hamid since last Wednesday. To be fair, it is a rather quick read though. The page count was not especially high and it was aided further by a stream-of-consciousness style of writing that had each page flow on by quite swiftly. I really like how adept the book was at evoking a myriad of feelings, both good and bad, when it came to both mundane and horrific or extraordinary situations. One downside I did find to this writing style is I had an intimate sense of who the two protagonists were yet felt they were also kept at arms length from me. I should have a full review up by next week.


Reading Next

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI’ve already made up my mind on this one. I’m going to read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton next. I remember reading a lot of buzz around this book last year, and this book will both satisfy my scrappy list further and feed my perpetually budding interest in reading more mystery stories. A little time travel thrown in for extra spice makes it all the more enticing. Beyond that, I’m really not sure what it’s about. Evelyn’s probably gonna die a few times, I do feel pretty confident about that.

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

New Books & Novel Discoveries (July 2019)

The impulse to buy a lot of books has continued to be more subdued, though I do have more to show than I did in June. I think part of it has to do with my growing interest in using my local library. Granted, I’m currently much more interested in their collection of movies than books. There are many movies I haven’t been able to find on streaming services that they have available and I want to take full advantage.

I digress. On to the books!Read More »

Book Review – Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson

Phasma

Phasma is a Star Wars novel by Delilah S. Dawson, published in 2017 as a part of the “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” series of books released in anticipation for Episode VIII. Despite this banner, the story is largely separate from the plot of that film. Resistance spy Vi Moradi has been captured and taken aboard the First Order Star Destroyer Absolution. She is kept in an interrogation room in the bowels of the ship, where a crimson-armoured stormtrooper—Captain Cardinal—keeps her secret from his superiors. He wants to learn everything Vi knows of his counterpart and rival, the mysterious Captain Phasma, who threatens his place of prominence in the First Order. Vi divulges to him Phasma’s elusive origins on the world of Parnassos, long left for dead by the galaxy at large, and the strange odyssey she took to join the ranks of the First Order. By the end of her story, however, Cardinal may have learned more than he bargained for.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – July 24, 2019

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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

Who's a Good BoyI was supposed to have started Exit West by Mohsin Hamid by now. The problem is, I couldn’t find the dang thing. I went to grab it from my bookshelf before a little road trip the other day, but I couldn’t find it. It has to be on that shelf somewhere, I’m just going to have to dig through the layers of books. Nevertheless, starting it has been delayed. I have started Who’s a Good Boy? by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor though (which I quickly grabbed instead), which is the fourth collection of Welcome to Night Vale episodes. Look at that cover art: beautiful. I’ve only read the introduction so far, but I continue to be surprised by how little I remember about what happens in each story arc. I could swear the arc with the beagle puppy happened much later after the conclusion of Lot 37.


Recently Finished

The Buying of Lot 37Speaking of which, over the weekend I powered through and finished reading The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. It was great to get a refresher on those episodes, but I especially enjoyed getting to read a transcript of their live show “The Librarian” for the first time. Part of the way they designed that show is a reference to a weird old horror movie starring Vincent Price called The Tingler that I once saw as a kid. I hadn’t thought of that movie or heard anybody mention it for ages, but it’s not at all surprising that the creators of this series know of it. I’m flip-flopping on whether or not I want to actually review this book. I think it’s good, but it kind of feels like reviewing a script book when you ought to review the film, you know?


Reading Next

The next books I’m going to read have been stated before. Out of resentment toward myself I’m not going to belabour the point. They’re going to be Exit West and The Catastrophe Con. Definitely going to start them. I swear.

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