WWW Wednesday – November 24, 2021

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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

A Gathering of GhostsSince last week I was able to read some more of A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland, though my progress was just shy of 100 pages. The novel continues to be a pretty slow burn, though certain elements are starting to come together in interesting ways. The magical elements of this story seem to be genuine, but are very subdued, showing old pagan beliefs falling to the wayside with the ever-growing prominence of Christianity. I don’t know how true it all is, but it’s been teaching me interesting little factoids I had no idea of about the 1300s, a time I know very little about. Apparently, they saw frogs as evil and unclean creatures. I’m aghast at the very idea! I hope the snake on the cover has a role to play.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, I’m afraid.


Reading Next

The Complete CosmicomicsWith only so much time left in the year, I have to be realistic about what I think I can finish. There are two more books in mind that I want to get done, but I’ve decided to prioritize one over the other. The next book I’m going to read is The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino. I’ve only read one other Calvino book so far, but I really enjoyed how unconventional and meta it was, so I’m excited to check this out, which seems to be altogether different. I don’t know too much about it, except I think the narrator is a weird consciousness in space and it’s a collection of short stories. Once I finish this book, after A Gathering of Ghosts, I will have at least finished by scrappy to-read list for the year.

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

Book Review – ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Salems Lot

‘Salem’s Lot is a 1975 horror novel by Stephen King, and it is the prolific author’s second novel. Set in the small fictional town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine, the story follows a young author named Benjamin Mears. He has returned to the town, where he spent a number of years growing up, in order to face some old childhood fears and continue working on a new novel inspired by the source of those fears, the foreboding and abandoned old Marsten House, which looms over the town on a hill.

Although his arrival in the Lot is met fairly warmly, a mysterious new pair of residents have arrived at the same time, lodging in that decrepit old mansion that Ben can’t help fixating on. Though at first these changes are simple curiosities, the disappearance of two local boys is a sinister portents of things to come, as the town’s new residents have brought with them a nightmarish blight that threatens to consume the town whole.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 17, 2021

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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

A Gathering of GhostsSince last week I once again had an unexpected amount of free time, so I was able to get a good start on A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland. I’m enjoying the book, though it has been a little slow-paced so far. Not necessarily a bad thing, I’m just surprised with how much things feel like they’re still being established despite the fact I’m 100 pages into the book now. Strange happenings have taken place and changes are afoot, but a core conflict or concern has yet to fully materialize. Nevertheless, I do enjoy a slow burn, and I like the light-fantasy and spooky vibes the book is giving, so I’m excited to get further along. It’s done a great job of capturing just how bleak impoverished life must have been in the 1300s too. Nothing Romantic about all this muck and hunger.


Recently Finished

Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star 1Late last week I read through Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star by Kaeruno Erefante, which made for a quick and very amusing read. It wasn’t too heavy on plot or character, but in this way fulfilled its role as a diary very well. Keeping in mind how these are somebody else’s lived experiences, however embellished, made it easy to look past these shortcomings. I managed to learn a thing or two as well, such as, apparently, a stigma around the adult film industry in Japan is the fact that many people cannot separate the industry from its past association with the yakuza (the Japanese mafia). I also learned that the author does not draw himself as a bean, but rather frog—a rather minimalist frog at that. His reason for doing so is essentially a dirty joke, so I’ll spare any who would mind that. I look forward to reading more of this series.

Salems LotI also used my surprise free time to finish reading ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I wanted to have a review up before today, but being completely honest, I haven’t even started it yet. My priorities are all over the place, I guess. I really enjoyed this book, at any rate, though there were definite peaks and valleys throughout the story. I absolutely loved all of the prose discussing the town itself, especially as the scourge of vampires slowly makes victims out of everybody in town. The ragtag group of intellectuals coming to grips with the fact that vampires are the problem? I found them inconsistently compelling. I understand that an American vampire novel in 1975, one that refers so much to the films more recent to that time, needs to have the characters come to grips with the seeming impossibility of it all, but it could have been accomplished faster. Too much time spent on skepticism when the reader knows it’s definitely vampires.


Reading Next

This is anybody’s guess right now, to be honest. I have plans, but I’m too in the weeds with A Gathering of Ghosts to commit to anything. I’m also very tired; I have been awake since 4:30 PM yesterday, so I think I will bid you all adieu for now. I’ll have better reading plans to tell you about next week, I’m sure.

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

Books to Read if You Love Inhuman Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Books to Read If You Love/Loved X (X can be a genre, specific book, author, movie/TV show, etc.)”, so I took this opportunity to talk about a favourite character type of mine: inhuman characters. This could be anything from machines and aliens to gods and monsters, though the less human-like the better. My focus for this list is more on the ways a character’s inhuman-ness is represented and explored in the story too, rather than them just happening to have inhuman qualities.

In putting together this, I realized that the list of books/series I could personally pull for this post was not nearly as extensive as it could be. There’s surely a wealth of sci-fi and fantasy that qualify. I really hope there isn’t something obvious from all of the books I’ve read that I’m just not remembering. At any rate, I hope you enjoy checking these out if you do, and feel free to leave any recommendations of your own in the comments.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 10, 2021

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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

Salems LotOver the weekend I unexpectedly had a lot more free time than I was expecting, so I managed to get a lot of reading done on ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, where I am now just over 300 pages in. King has done an excellent job of making the infection of this town creeping and gradual. So far, most of the townsfolk are still blissfully unaware of what is going on, but it is now noticeably escalating, with a number of people having fallen under the vampire’s thrall. An effectively realistic element is how much the people clued-in to what is going on are wasting time coming to grips with the idea that it could be vampires at all. It’s especially amusing to remember this is much closer to the heyday of the classic Universal and Hammer horror films about Dracula. A sudden incursion of vampires would be hard to believe indeed, and that hesitance is so far undoing them.


Recently Finished

Once again, I’ve not finished anything. I’m really going to have to turn this around soon, for the first time all year I’m behind on my Goodreads challenge.


Reading Next

Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star 1The reading plans I’ve been talking about for the past couple of weeks are not going anywhere, so I’ll not repeat myself, but I recently borrowed a manga volume from a friend that I’m really interested in reading soon. The book in question is the first volume of Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star by Kaeruno Erefante. Though it covers more adult subject matter, it looks to be doing so in a rather PG way, depicting the humorous tribulations of being a male porn star rather than trying to be titillating. I find it especially hysterical how the main character is depicted. While surrounded by beautiful women, our protagonist looks like a bean with arms, legs, and big eyes. I’ll probably read through it in a sitting before next week.

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

Frighteningly Good Reads 2021 Wrap-Up 

Though my schedule has had me a lot busier these past few months, over October I participated as much as I could in Frighteningly Good Reads, a laid back readathon hosted by Molly at Silver Button Books. Be sure to check out her wrap-up post too!

Ideally, I would have chosen a few more books to get through for the spooky season, but I tried to be a little more realistic for the amount of time I have for reading lately. As it turns out, results were oddly familiar to previous years anyway.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 3, 2021

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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

Salems LotWorking two jobs took a particular toll on me this past week for some reason, but I did manage to sneak in a little bit of reading ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King anyway. I’m 117 pages in now, so I’ve managed to more than double my page count since last week, but I’ve still got a long way to go. This book has got me continually wanting to nod my head and say “vintage King” aloud with approval. I’m loving the small town setting and cavalcade of small town people. The horror factor is insidiously burrowing its way into these peoples’ lives too, and I wonder if I will slowly behold the undoing of all of them. I’m especially enjoying how much certain facets of the plot are reminding me of the plot of Dracula. I wonder how closely it will follow those lines, or if it’s only lightly referential.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, sadly. Even my Halloween was bogged down with work. 💀


Reading Next

Scott Pilgrim Color Edition Digital OmnibusI still intend to start A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland next, but obviously that will still have to wait for at least another week. In the meantime, I do have a lot of comic books that need reading, many of which are from the two Star Wars: The High Republic series that I’ve been following. I’m way behind on those, and I’m already hearing about “phase one” of The High Republic ending soon. I think, by next week, I will make a concerted effort to start Scott Pilgrim: Digital Omnibus by Bryan Lee O’Malley as well, so I can read it again in colour. I really ought to continue Hope is the Thing with Feathers too… 😓

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

Book Review – The Grip of It by Jac Jemc

The Grip of It

The Grip if It is a 2017 horror novel by Jac Jemc and my first Frighteningly Good Read for 2021. Married couple James and Julie have purchased their first home together in a small town just outside of the city where they met. They have decided to seek a fresh start after James’s gambling problem leaves his personal savings emptied out, putting some strain on their relationship. The transition to their new home is so seamless, however, it’s almost too good to be true.

They purchased the house, which has a forest behind it that leads to a beach, for a great price too. The seemingly innumerable hidden rooms are strange, but they provide a lot of extra storage space. And that constant deep, vibrating noise just at the edge of hearing, not unlike throat singing, is probably just the house settling, or so they tell themselves. They try their best to settle into their new home and lives, but it seems the house has other plans for them.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – October 27, 2021

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

Salems LotI was finally able to start reading ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King later last week, though I’m only about 50 pages in at the moment. I’m sad that I won’t be finishing it before Halloween, but I expected that possibility already. I’m busier than normal, and in previous years this would often happen anyway. I’m enjoying the book so far, though it’s taking its time at the moment. I didn’t realize there was a “chapter two switcheroo” so to speak, with the prologue taking place after what I can only assume is at least a huge chunk of the story. Though I know what it’s building to already, I’m enjoying the mystique being built around the Marsten House concurrently with the arrival of its mysterious new resident.


Recently Finished

The Grip of ItIn the middle of last week I finished reading The Grip of It by Jac Jemc, though regretfully I’ve not had the time to finish up a review for it just yet. I’m expecting I will have one up by Friday, just in time for Halloween. With all said and done, I did really enjoy this novel, and a prediction of mine from last week came true. It was specifically that the story would amount to something much more up to interpretation than concrete that came true, which is the lesser of two evils, I suppose. Upon reflection, the ways in which it leaves things up to interpretation are actually quite clever, because you cannot simply reduce everything to the perspective characters being unreliable. It’s a book I would love to have a long, in-person conversation about, but I don’t know anybody who has read it yet.

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (2)I also read through the graphic novel adaptation of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by I.N.J. Culbard, adapting the short story by H.P. Lovecraft. I was right, I did enjoy this story much more visually than I did Lovecraft’s prose, but there is definitely something lost when considered by itself rather than the culmination of a number of Dream Cycle stories. It helps that I’ve read them, of course, but I wish this book had instead been a part of something bigger. This isn’t even the first Lovecraft story to involve Randolph Carter, nor the numerous denizens of the dream lands that he encounters. Still, it is a worthwhile read and far more accessible than his prose, so it’s worth checking out if you’re at all curious about his work.


Reading Next

A Gathering of GhostsWith all of this consideration for Halloween going on, I actually hadn’t given much thought toward what I want to read next. With autumn still in full swing and myself continuing to be in a horror mood, however, I think I will make good on my old September plans and start reading A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland next. When this will be is hard to say, since I will probably be reading ‘Salem’s Lot for the next little while, but hopefully I can push for more reading time instead of other leisure activities to pick up the slack. Easier said than done, in practice, but we’ll see.

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