WWW Wednesday – August 10, 2022

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

Dark Lord of DerkholmI’ve made some decent progress in Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones this past week, though it had to share attention with a few other things. I’m still really enjoying the story; managing these tours has become a proper nightmare for Derk’s family and they haven’t even had to deal with any pilgrims yet. Factors are being introduced that complicate things further, and I’m still wondering if this will turn into a phenomenal blunder or if this is a villain’s origin story. It’s exciting not to know, though I would like a bit more momentum in the story soon. I’ve continued to be surprised by of the ideas this book is exploring too, such as the fact that the world where the tourists come from frequently sends its prisoners to play soldiers in the Dark Lord’s evil army as a means to deal with its “violent criminals”, which carries with it a lot of unsettling implications considering how many tours this fantasy land seems to host on a regular basis.


Recently Finished

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsOver the weekend I pushed myself to finish reading The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig, which I enjoyed quite a lot. In typical fashion with my “supplemental reads”, I had to just blitz the rest of it to finally be done with it. So it goes. Reading so much of it at once actually made me a little melancholic, which I probably could have expected. It’s not about obscure delights, after all. I’m happy I was able to post a review of this book so quickly afterwards, albeit more of an informal one since it’s the sort of book that feels less my forte. In my review, I shared some words that stuck out to me, as I’ve been doing on these posts. I’ve liked doing that, and since this is the last one, I thought I’d share just one more.

This week’s word is vellichor, “the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured. From vellum, parchment + ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of gods in Ancient Greek mythology. Pronounced ‘vel-uh-kawr.'”


Reading Next

I’ve not really cemented any further plans about what I’ll be reading next as of yet, other than getting a start on Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn et al., which I still plan on doing.

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

Book Review – The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a project by John Koenig that he has undertaken since 2009. Originally a blog and then a YouTube series, the author’s work culminated into this book, which was published in November of 2021. All of them created by the author, the book is a collection of new words and their definitions, which encapsulate emotions we all feel but have difficulty putting into words.

This review is going to be a little different from normal, as fiction/nonfiction is more typically my wheelhouse. I don’t feel I’m equipped to examine it more deeply as a reference book or a work of linguistics. However, I wanted to write a little something about this book anyway to share some of my feelings about it, so this is going to be a less formal review among my posts.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – August 3, 2022

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 Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsHere I am again after a week off! Getting this up pretty late again, though, but still happy to be here. I went on a camping trip last week, so I wasn’t able to post. I tried to get some reading done, but as is common for me on trips I did not manage to read all that much. I did make a little bit of progress in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig, but only about 10 or so pages. This week’s word is allope, “a mysterious aura of loneliness you feel in certain places; the palpable weight of all the lonely people secretly holed up in their houses and apartments, with a flickering blue glow cast up on their walls—so many of whom might just want someone to talk to, or just want to feel needed, and could be that for each other if only they could somehow connect.” Short for “All the lonely people,” from the song “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles. Pronounced “al-uh-pee.”

Dark Lord of DerkholmI’ve also made some progress in Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. This book really does continue to throw me for a loop, as yet another thing has happened that I really wasn’t expecting, dealing potentially permanent physical harm to Derk, who will be playing the Dark Lord of their world soon. It seems to be taking things in a direction I was speculating on though, as pain and disfigurement may very well put him on that path of becoming an actual Dark Lord, rather than just playing one for tourists. Whenever I happen to have the time, I really need to dig into this book properly and get a proper long reading session in. The tone surprisingly fluctuates in this book too, as part of me feels like it’s written for a younger audience, yet at times Jones doesn’t really restrain herself with some of the grisly details, while still refraining from being too graphic. Perhaps she just gives her audience a lot of credit.


Recently Finished

Nothing in the past two weeks, regrettably.


Reading Next

PaperGirlsVol1I’ve still not fully made up my mind on what novel/book I’ll want to start up next, but I have decided what comic books I’d like to start cracking open. I’ve had several volumes of Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn for a while now, and the release of the TV series adaptation has oddly spurred me into wanting to start reading them finally.  I don’t actually remember a lot of what this series is supposed to be about, other than the 1980s and time travel, but I hear so many good things about Vaughn’s work that I’m confident I will be more into it than I was with Animosity.

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

New Books & Novel Discoveries (July 2022)

I think for the first time ever I’m getting one of these up late. Unfortunate, but not the end of the world. I was on holidays last week, and though I was back home by the end of the week, I didn’t manage to set aside time to get this post in order. July was a hard month for a lot of personal reasons, so that little trip did me some good. Not going to let a post being a little late get me down.

Enough about this, on to the books!Read More »

WWW Wednesday – July 20, 2022

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 Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsUnfortunately, I’ve not made any further progress in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig since last week. I do however have another word saved that I can share, for what its worth, since I’m enjoying sharing some of those here. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. The word this week is lockheartedness, “the atmosphere of camaraderie when people are stuck together in a certain place—a stalled elevator, a shelter during a storm, the sleeper car of a train—which leaves them no other option but to be present with each other, with nowhere else to go, and nobody else to be.” (From locked up + fullheartedness.)

Dark Lord of DerkholmI’ve made progress in Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones, though only about 20–30 pages. They’re still preparing their world for the arrival of the pilgrim tours, and poor Wizard Derk is under an incredible amount of stress. I really feel for the guy; he just wants to take care of his family and create new animals, not turn his entire life upside down for rich jerks who want to run roughshod over an entire world. He’s like a wholesome Shou Tucker (if you know, you know). I’m wondering if this will make him snap, and he will become a proper Dark Lord, rather than just pretending to be one. Only time will tell. I really don’t know what to expect from this, and that’s exciting on its own.


Recently Finished

The Liminal ZoneOver the weekend I read through The Liminal Zone by Junji Ito, which is the latest collection of some of his stories to be published in English. The book includes four newer stories by the artist, which were more recently published in a digital publication, so they’re longer than his typical short stories. I have weirdly mixed feelings about this collection. I’ve certainly read worse, and a couple of these have really good premises, but I just didn’t really get into reading this one. Worse yet, in the afterword Ito himself remarks about how he thinks his best ideas are behind him. It was honestly a little poignant. I’m not sure if I even want to review this one, but I’ve reviewed every other book of his I’ve purchased over the last several years, so perhaps I would be remiss if I skipped this one.


Reading Next

I’ve not fully made up my mind on what I want to read next. I’ll be on holiday next week without convenient access to a computer or the Internet, so I likely won’t have one of these posts up next week. Just a heads up.

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

Reading Challenge Update

This is a couple of weeks later than I ought to have put it up, but a lot of life has been happening, so I hope you can forgive me procrastinating this a smidge. I still want to get it up regardless, though, so it’s time to see where I’m at with my challenges with the year now half over.

Right off the bat, I’m not really where I want to be. Having been doing freelance editing work for almost a year now, I think it is safe to say it has a significant impact on my reading progress. I will have to re-evaluate my goals in the future, presuming that I continue to do this job long term, which I would like to do, but you never know what the future might hold.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – July 13, 2022

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 Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsI’ve made a little bit of progress in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig since last week, though only a bit. This week’s word is probably a relatable mood for a lot of people right now. Certainly seems to be the vibe going around, at any rate. The word is kuebiko, “a state of exhaustion inspired by senseless tragedies and acts of violence, which force you to abruptly revise your expectations of what can happen in this world, trying to prop yourself up like an old scarecrow, who’s bursting at the seams yet powerless to do anything but stand there and watch.”

Dark Lord of DerkholmI also started reading Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones since last week, and I have gotten nearly 100 pages in, which is better than I expected of me. This book is also 500 pages long, which I wasn’t expecting. Why are some paperbacks deceptively long? At any rate, I’m really enjoying the tone and premise of this story. It’s about a fantasy world beset upon by a great evil: capitalism. A business man from another world runs tours for people wishing to have a fantasy adventure, sending them to a magical land that he keeps at his beck and call thanks to the powers of a demon he has made a compact with. Naturally, the denizens of the world are terribly exploited, and the only way for them to get out of it, apparently, is if the wizard Derk plays the Dark Lord for the current year’s tours. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this goes, I have no idea what to expect.


Recently Finished

Animosity Vol. 2Over the weekend I also made sure to read through Animosity, Vol. 2: The Dragon by Marguerite Bennett et al. I did like this volume better than the first one, but I’m really not sure I want to continue with these books. It managed to make itself a lot more interesting when the characters were at rest, as they each puzzled over how The Wake happened in the first place and whether or not they and their fellow animals have souls, but it didn’t exactly make for a great narrative. The back of this volume actually had a collection of text entries about different states of America and the world at large, detailing events that have gone down, and I couldn’t help but wonder why in the heck that was all more interesting than the comic book itself. I won’t say never, but it’s unlikely I pick up volume three.


Reading Next

I’m really not sure what I’ll pick up next, I’m just getting into new stuff. Ought to figure out another comic to crack open.

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

WWW Wednesday – July 6, 2022

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 Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsPardon the unusually late post this week, I’ve had a bit of a day. I’ve only made a small amount of progress in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig, but considering this past week as a whole, I’m seeing this as a positive. I’ve actually recorded a new word from what I’ve recently read as well, so I’m not just pulling from a backlog. This week’s word is moledro, “a feeling of resonant connection with an author or artist you’ll never meet, who may have lived centuries ago and thousands of miles away but can still get inside your head and leave behind morsels of their experience, like the little piles of stones left by hikers that mark a hidden path through unfamiliar territory.”


Recently Finished

Son of a TricksterI’m happy to report that I used may available free time more wisely this past weekend and finished reading the last hundred or so pages of Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson. I quite like this book, it has certainly gotten me interested in reading the whole trilogy, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I can’t help having mixed feelings about it. I guess I was expecting the magical elements to expand more meaningfully than they did, but the novel still does something interesting and different with the whole “teen discovers they have a connection to magic” type of story. The ending was actually rather bittersweet/poignant, I’m not sure which best describes how I feel, and it was tied mostly to very grounded, real-world problems. The magic is no longer a secret, but I do have to wonder what the future has in store for Jared, as he doesn’t suddenly have endless possibilities open to him.


Reading Next

Dark Lord of DerkholmRight off the bat, I want to read volume two of Animosity by Marguerite Bennett et al. soon so that I can figure out if I actually want to stick with this series or not. Hopefully I can read that by next week. I’ve also decided, right this moment, that I will read The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones next. This is the first book in a pair that I have had my eyes on reading for a while, and it has been too long since I’ve read any of Jones’s work. It actually feels criminal how little of her fiction I’ve actually finished. It’s time to change that.

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

Book Review – Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

SleepingGiants

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel is the first novel in the Themis Files series. Seemingly at random, a mysterious object of massive scale is found in a sinkhole in South Dakota after a young girl crashes her bike into it. Rescue crews working to get her out are baffled by the fact that she rests in a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, the hand’s purpose and origins are still a complete mystery. Some can’t let secrets lie, however, and Dr. Rose Franklin, the girl who first stumbled upon the thing, is now a physicist who leads a top-secret team determined to uncover the truth. The work is challenging, but the object’s hidden power is greater than they could have imagined. As they get closer to unlocking its secrets, it becomes impossible to keep such a thing hidden from the world, which may not be ready for it.Read More »

New Books & Novel Discoveries (June 2022)

June was  a weirdly dizzying month. As per usual, I’m a little stunned that it’s finished already, but at the same time it felt oddly drawn out. I think the main thing making me feel this way is the fact that I feel stuck on the books I’m reading at the moment. This is the first time in a while I’ve gone through an entire month without finishing any of the books I’m in the middle of. I don’t dislike them or anything, so I’m troubled by this reading rut I’m in at the moment.

Anyway, enough disgruntled introspection. On to the new books!Read More »