WWW Wednesday – December 4, 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

ThrawnI’m making good progress on Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. I’m just about halfway through it now. I’m really enjoying Thrawn’s rising through the ranks, thanks in large part to the fact that the novel doesn’t go out of its way to frame the Empire as evil and menacing as per usual. They did enforce law and order throughout the galaxy, after all, and while their nasty side still shines through, Thrawn’s commendations are received for how he deals with pirates and organized crime, at least so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if rebel cells make their way into the story in some way, but I like this angle for a villain’s origin story. I prefer the idea of him being an admirably cunning, even honorable character, who doesn’t shy away from doing bad things if it suits a goal, rather than being just another overtly malicious figure.


Recently Finished

HellboyKrampusnachtLast night I read Hellboy: Krampusnacht by Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes. I honestly feel a little guilty about counting this on my Goodreads Challenge for 2019, but even with its inclusion I’m not going to reach my goal, so I’m just going to let it sneak in. I feel this way because it’s only about a single comic book issue long. A volume is normally composed of at least 4-5 issues, if not more. It was a fun little Christmas story nonetheless, giving an interesting little twist on the Krampus figure, though a little formulaic for a Hellboy story at the same time. I’ve no regrets about reading it though, and discovered when I was done that they’ve released a Hellboy Winter Special issue every year since 2016, so I’m probably going to get those now too. Probably won’t count those though.


Reading Next

Lords and LadiesIt has occurred to me that I wanted to try to read more Discworld books this year than I did last year, but I cannot do that if commit to reading The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. There is a good chance, if I have the time for it, that my final book for the year will be Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett instead. I’ve only matched the number of books I finished last year. If I clear that one I can beat it. I will simply push Atwood’s book to January. My Gaiman backlog has been around longer, though, so I do still intend to read Stardust after Thrawn.

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

New Books & Novel Discoveries (November 2019)

Where the heck did November go? I live in Canada, so other than Remembrance Day on the 11th there is nothing going on this month, and I guess that’s why it just blew by like a dead leaf in a storm. This month was very nearly the outlier since I started writing these monthly posts: I almost went the entire month without getting any new books. Almost.

Without further ado, on to the books that very nearly weren’t.Read More »

Book Review – Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft

Dreams of Terror and Death

The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death is a collection of short stories and novellas from the author’s “Dream Cycle,” which is a series of stories that explore the idea of alternate worlds accessible to humans through dreaming. Though treated as a distinct cycle of stories here, it is made evident in the text that these tales exist within the same narrative universe as the Cthulhu Mythos that Lovecraft is better known for. While a number of the stories are fairly self-contained with unique protagonists, a number of settings recur throughout. The most important recurring character is Randolph Carter, a young man more adept at exploring the realm of dreams than the average person.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 27, 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

ThrawnI’ve gotten a decent start on Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn since last week. I’m a little over 100 pages in at the moment. It really has been a nice change of pace after I was left a little frustrated by the last book I was reading. That being said, the pacing of the story has been surprisingly slow, though not in a bad way. More taking its time. Though I suspect it is all building toward something particular, for now it has been all about Thrawn’s induction into the Imperial Navy and the obstacles he deals with as an outsider. I particularly like how his perspective is written, as he is always reading the people he’s interacting with, so we get some insight into the expressions he observes in others and what he interprets about them.


Recently Finished

Emotions Explained with Buff DudesAs an additional cleanse of my reading palette I decided to properly read through Emotions Explained with Buff Dudes by Andrew Tsyaston. It is a collection of the author’s online comic strips Owlturd Comix, which you’ve likely come across yourself online at some point. Many, if not most, of the strips collected in this book I had definitely read online before already, but it’s nice to own a physical copy and show support for artists you enjoy when you can. This was mostly why’d I’d picked it up, admittedly, but I did have fun reading through properly. I’ve had it for a while, but for some reason put off reading it.


Reading Next

The Year of the FloodWith only about a month left in the year I keep mulling over what I think I can get through with the limited amount of time I have. I’ve gone over the Christmas-themed graphic novels I’d like to get to, as well as Stardust by Neil Gaiman, but I want to fit in something more if I can. Perhaps I should see if I can squeeze in The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. I’ve been meaning to continue the MaddAddam trilogy for years now, yet each time I make a list I never get around to it. I can’t guarantee I will get to it, but perhaps I will try in December.

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

Movie Review – Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep_Poster

Doctor Sleep is a 2019 horror/thriller directed by Mike Flanagan, based on the 2013 Stephen King novel of the same name. It is the sequel to the 1980 horror classic The Shining directed by Stanley Kubrick, itself having adapted the predecessor King novel. Years later and suffering from alcoholism, the same as his father, Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) is still traumatized by his experiences at The Overlook Hotel when he was a young boy. After years of drifting he settles in a small New Hampshire town where he manages to clean up and eke out a peaceful existence as a hospice orderly, known by some as “Doctor Sleep” for using his psychic abilities, or “shining,” to ease those passing on. This is all disrupted when a young girl named Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran), with a shine more powerful than his own, comes to him for help against the True Knot, a tribe of psychic vampires that prey upon those like them.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 20, 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

Oof, this is going up late, isn’t it? Nothing I’m currently in the middle of, which is part of why this is going up so late. My schedule is a weird, tiresome, mess sometimes. I need a bit of a mental palette cleanser.


Recently Finished

Dreams of Terror and DeathI have finally finished Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft. Oh boy, do I have polarizing feelings about this book. I can’t quite remember the last time I struggled with a book that I still concede has enjoyable and artful qualities. Such an awkward spot to be in. The bulk of the reading over the last week was the story “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward,” the longest in the collection. While there are many details I really liked, it also highly exemplified a problem Lovecraft has. He would foreshadow something, seed clues throughout the story that made it obvious to me, then proceeded to keep building up clues and draw out the story and “mystery,” despite the fact that I’d already figured out what was going on. Woof. I should have a review up soon. Need to get some things posted finally. So much for finishing this book in early November.


Reading Next

Marley's GhostThrawn by Timothy Zahn and Stardust by Neil Gaiman are in my near future, but Christmas is fast approaching too. I don’t usually go out of my way to crack open a holiday read, but as it turns out I’ve got a couple that I need to actually get to. The first is Hellboy: Krampusnacht, which is a short issue that has Hellboy clashing with a Satanic Santa-like figure. The other is Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley’s Ghost, which is a graphic novel adaptation of A Christmas Carol (my go-to Christmas story, because I go against the grain ;)). I’m going to finally read those this year, I promise. The Christmas Spirit is forgiving, but it’s disappointment in you can be crushing.

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

WWW Wednesday – November 13, 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

Dreams of Terror and DeathI’m still in the thick of Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft, though I got over a significant hump the other day. After a long series of really short stories I got to “The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath,” which as far as I’m aware is one of the better known stories in the Dream Cycle. It’s a strange, often fantastical odyssey that main character Randolph Carter takes through the dream lands of earth, with many callbacks to previous stories. I enjoyed it, but it was also quite an undertaking. This is weird to remark for a story under 100 pages, but it does drag a smidge. The ideas are really good, but I’ve heard many authors say that he’s not the best of storytellers and even though I’ve read some of his stuff before without much issue, I’m really feeling it in this book. It also had no section or chapter breaks, which is a pet peeve of mine, though I’ll not fault him for my idiosyncrasies.


Recently Finished

False KneesOver the weekend I read through False Knees: An Illustrated Guide to Animal Behavior by Joshua Barkman. There’s always a small part of me that questions buying a collection like this, since many of the strips I’ve read as web comics before getting them collected in a book. I mostly bought it to support an artist I really enjoy, but I sincerely enjoyed actually reading through this book too. I love how realistic his art style is, especially in how he also manages to evoke human emotions so strongly with these animals. It’s got me looking at another collection of web comics I bought more for support that I really ought to just sit down and read through as well.


Reading Next

StardustIt’s really getting to that point in the year where I realize I’m probably only going to finish a few more books before the new year, and I’ve got more books left on my scrappy to-read list than I think I can finish. I still intend to read Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn, but I want to plan a little past that too. Looking my list over, I’m realizing a lot of the books are newer to my collection, while a few I should have gotten to years ago. With that in mind, a near-future read ought to be Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I’ve had that book for many years, and it’s the last of my Gaiman backlog.

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

Book Review – Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

Little Heaven

Little Heaven is the fourth and latest novel by horror author Nick Cutter. In the backwoods of New Mexico in the mid-1960s a religious commune has built themselves a community to get away from the sinful world, guided by their charismatic leader Reverend Amos Flesher. Only one rough road and some trails lead back to civilization. They are surrounded by woods and ever in the shadow of a monolithic black rock that looms over the landscape. They have dubbed their community Little Heaven, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many months after Little Heaven is settled a young woman named Ellen hires a trio of mercenaries to take her there. Her goal is to find her nephew, ensure he is safe, and if he isn’t, get him out of there. Finding the place is easy enough, but getting out becomes another matter entirely.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 6, 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

Dreams of Terror and DeathI’m making my way through Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft now, the last holdout of my Halloween reads. I barely started it before the holiday, but I’m committed enough to read through it nonetheless. I’m enjoying the stories well enough so far, though his writing style occasionally requires me to re-read a passage to make sure I understood what I read. He’s heavy on description, yet vague on the details, if that makes sense. The last story I finished was “The Nameless City” and while I got fairly swept away by the concept, I’m not really sure how it ended. Apparently, I’m not the only one either, as searching online has revealed other people unsure as well, who have an array of interpretations. Oh, Lovecraft.


Recently Finished

Little HeavenOver the weekend I finally finished Little Heaven by Nick Cutter, which I really enjoyed. It’s honestly a fantastic horror novel, I only wish I hadn’t been so slow getting through it. I won’t belabor the point anymore, but I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately. I should have a review up soon, at any rate. What helped cinch my esteem for the book was the way it ended. I enjoyed the way the story developed, but was wary of where everything was headed; the influence behind the nightmarish creatures, misery, and madness. Ancient, unknowable evil is well-tread ground in horror, after all (see above), so I was worried at how that would end up playing out. Simply put, I loved it. Not wholly original, but well executed all the same.

Immortal Hulk Hulk in HellI also read volumes two and three of The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing et al. These books are a wonderfully thoughtful exploration of the Hulk as a character, thanks especially to the persona the Hulk inhabits in this story. The history of Banner/Hulk’s mental state is long and complicated, and despite the uncanny intelligence of the Hulk in this book it is surprisingly faithful to this history. I also really enjoy just how subtle this series has managed to be about the cosmic horror elements at play. So many cosmic forces are given a face and identity in superhero comics in a way that brings them down to Earth—even the diabolical ones—yet the presence in this series has been surprisingly obscure, despite the characters finding themselves face-to-face with it.


Reading Next

False KneesI’ve discussed my Star Wars related reading plans for the near future already, but as a nice light read to shine onto the dreary Lovecraft I’ll be absorbing for the next little bit I’ve decided to start reading my copy of False Knees: An Illustrated Guide to Animal Behavior by Joshua Barkman. I’ve followed the online comic strips for a while now and when I heard he had a book coming out I jumped on a pre-order. I picked it up in mid-October and it’s high time I read through it as a nice little detour.

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

Frighteningly Good Reads 2019 Wrap-Up

For the month of October, I took part in Frighteningly Good Reads hosted by Molly over at Silver Button Books. Making good on my post from earlier in the month, I want to take a look back on my progress over the month and see how I did.

Yes, yes, it is November 4th, even though I said I’d get this up on Halloween. October turned out being an odd month, and on top of that I stubbornly decided to stick some things out before getting this up.Read More »