WWW Wednesday – March 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

Feet of ClayI finally started reading Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett, the 19th Discworld novel, after goodness knows how long talking about starting it. This book already feels different from the usual fare, though it does actually seem to be following in step with Maskerade so far. Specifically because it has all the trappings of a murder mystery. With the City Watch more directly involved as lead characters, however, I’m sure this book will be a much different beast. Tonally it is still funny, but surprisingly a little more serious too, which I can appreciate. Either way, it’s great to be back among the City Watch and see how they’ve expanded since the events of Men at Arms. The plot is still unfolding and I can’t wait to see what’s afoot.


Recently Finished

to-be-taught-if-fortunateOver the weekend I finished reading through To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers, which I posted a full review for yesterday. I liked this book a lot, especially the way the significance of their scientific discoveries were outlined and made relatable to our understanding of life on Earth. I wish there was even more narrative time spent in active study, in fact. They were on some of these planets for several years, and while I’m sure by necessity that involved a lot of monotonous work, I would love more details of planetary exploration in a grounded narrative like this one. One section subjected them to a biome that made them utterly miserable too, and I was compelled by how worn out they became. Give me all the nitty-gritty.

My Last Summer with CassI also read through My Last Summer With Cass by Mark Crilley, the author/illustrator’s latest graphic novel, which just came out last week. It’s about the friendship of two young artists and childhood friends Megan and Cassandra, the former spending three week’s of the summer at the latter’s home in New York City. Both are talented artists, one more restrained and anxious about appeasing her parents, the other uninhibited, bold, and a little wild. I don’t want to get too much more into the story, as I want to review it within the week and it’s a fairly light and quick read, but I will say that I really enjoyed it. Crilley is a fantastic illustrator, but I found I especially loved the art in this book. The mix of sketchier lines and colouring really worked for me.


Reading Next

I’m at a bit of an impasse again, as I don’t rightly know what I want to read next. There are a few titles swimming around in my head, but nothing that I’ve fully committed to yet. One way or another, I’ll be sure to let you know when I do make up my mind.

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

Book Review – To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

to-be-taught-if-fortunate

To Be Taught, If Fortunate is a 2019 science fiction novella by Becky Chambers. Close to the end of the 21st century, science has made a breakthrough in space exploration. Using a revolutionary method called “somaforming”, an astronaut’s biology is synthetically supplemented by a patch worn on the skin, allowing them to survive the harsh conditions of interstellar travel and other planets. Instead of trying to alter the destination, we alter ourselves.

With this bold new technology on hand, a number of manned missions have been launched to survey exoplanets suspected of harbouring life. Ariadne O’Neill is part of one such mission, Lawki 6, along with three other scientists, to explore four worlds in a system 15 light-years away from Earth. Arrival on each world brings unique changes to their bodies, alien landscapes, and news of an ever-changing Earth as the years back home pass them by.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – March 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

to-be-taught-if-fortunateOver the weekend I started reading To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers, finally making up my mind on what I’d be starting next. I only read it on and off throughout the day on Sunday and I’m already 40% of the way through, so I expect this really won’t be a long read at all, I just haven’t picked it up again over the last couple of days. So far it’s an enjoyably optimistic view on the future of space travel, presenting a more grounded science fiction than the author’s Wayfarers series. As the narrative frame suggests, it’s not all elation over scientific discovery, and there’s already a poignant quality with regards to the reality of space travel, so I’m really curious to see how things go wrong.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Age of Resistance CEOver the weekend I also finished reading Star Wars: Age of Resistance, the collector’s edition magazine about the sequel trilogy of Star Wars films. I’d really like to know who wrote and edited this, because the quality of the writing continued to be a little spotty towards the end, specifically regarding awkward syntax and errors in design and grammar. It wasn’t filthy with them, but there were enough that it stuck out. It did include some excellent high quality stills from each film, nice concept art, and appreciable insight from the actors and other people involved in the production, so it was still a more positive reading experience overall.


Reading Next

Feet of ClayFor sure, for sure I’m going to start reading Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett soon. I was much better about finishing these Discworld books in their respective quarter of the year in 2020, this being a little down to the wire. There’s also an ARC I’m looking to start reading too, though I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it before the release at the end of the month. It seems I’ve slowed down on reading comics as well, which I should turn around too. There’s still so many of those to catch up on.

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

WWW Wednesday – March 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

Star Wars Age of Resistance CELast night I started reading Star Wars: Age of Resistance, which is a collector’s edition hardcover magazine celebrating the story and production of the Sequel trilogy of films. It starts with a timeline of events for the whole saga, a section which had me worried about the whole book. The little snippets of text for each segment of the timeline were of such bizarrely varying quality. There were typos, misused words, and awful syntax in more than a few places. Getting past that section into more of the meat of it, however, has been better. It’s more celebratory than deeply informational, but I’m enjoying that. There’s some nice high quality concept art included too.


Recently Finished

The Song of AchillesOver the weekend I finished reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, and goodness I don’t know why I put off reading this book for so long. It finds itself on a very short list of books that have gotten genuine tears out of me. A particular testament to just how effective it was is the fact that I’ve read The Iliad before, so it’s not as if I couldn’t see things coming. Though there are a number of things omitted, this novel serves as a very worthy retelling of that epic too, the rage of Achilles being oh so important to that story. The only actual drawback to having read this is now I have to wait until her next novel, whenever that may be. She adapts this mythology so dang well, I just want more. I should have a review finished and posted soon.


Reading Next

I’m still determined to read Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett this month, so I’m bound to get that started soon. I also want to quickly read To be Taught, if Fortunate by Becky Chambers, so I might try to get through that first. Haven’t decided yet. Not much else to say on this front, I’ve said as much about these books before.

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

Top 5 Books I Read in 2020

Well, 2020 has officially finished happening. I’m of two minds about people personifying years too much, but 2020 was such an eventful one that it’s hard to give people too much flak for it. We’re not quite out of the woods yet, but it was nice to have books during it all and going forward. I didn’t read as many as I have in previous years, but I’ve still got a nice bunch of them finished in 2020.

Without further ado, I’d like to present my top five books I read in 2020, in no particular order as per usual. These are simply my five favourite reads of the year.Read More »

Book Review – The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is a science fiction novel by Becky Chambers, the first in the author’s Wayfarers series. Rosemary Harper is a young woman with a troubled past that she is all too eager to get away from. She finds the escape she’s looking for aboard the Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that’s seen better days. The crew have an important job, however, as the ship can create the hyperspace tunnels that make long-distance space travel safer and time-saving. As the ship’s new clerk, she seems to find exactly the peace and quiet she was looking for, albeit alongside the Wayfarer’s chaotic yet affable crew made up of a mishmash of different species. Their relative comfort in close quarters is put to the test, however, as they take on a riskier, more lucrative job: creating the first tunnel to a distant planet. They’ll have to take the long way to get there first, however, contending with each other’s secrets and whatever the galaxy can throw at them along the way.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – September 2, 2020

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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

I’m just over 40% of the way through Kong Unbound, a collection of essays by a number of writers. Have you ever started reading a book and just known in your heart that you have zero desire to review it? It’s rare for me, but I feel it so strongly with this book. It’s interesting enough, but it’s a lot of fluff. Perhaps it’s easy to see why, since this book came out specifically in time for Peter Jackson’s King Kong back in 2005. It even has an emblem that says “Official Movie Merchandise” on the cover. As a result, it has amounted to a lot of repeated information between the different essayists, really just talking about why they like the original film so much. It’s fine, but it doesn’t inspire critical assessment.


Recently Finished

Last week I finished reading The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I continued to enjoy this novel a lot, though I must admit that it could have used a stronger plot thread throughout. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I guess it comes down to wanting a continual sense of conflict; that something concrete and apparent throughout the book need be resolved. That’s not to say there weren’t some great story branches with their own unique tribulations, but something underlining it all, you know? I’ll get more in depth with this when I review it, I’m sure. The character stuff was absolutely golden, though. So much so, that I actually reread that section I gushed a little about last week. I never do that, which says a lot.


Reading Next

To keep up properly with at least some of my goals for the year, I need to finish a Discworld novel before this quarter of the year is over. So, I will be reading Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett next. Looking at this being the 17th novel in the series it’s just sunk in how many of these I have read. Goodness. It’s been a while since a book has featured the wizard Rincewind as well, and even longer since it was a full-length novel. I’m excited to see if and how his return from almost certain death back in Sourcery will be addressed.

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

WWW Wednesday – August 26, 2020

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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

I’ve made a lot of nice progress in The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers since last week; I’m 69% of the way through. I was hoping to have it done, but aren’t I always? The novel is really character driven, almost to a fault sometimes with how much time Chambers spends building people and places instead of plot, but I’m really enjoying the almost episodic travails of the crew as they make their journey. Evidently all of Chambers’s hard work has paid off too, as last night two crew members became involved with one another, which I had foreseen to an extent, yet I was embarrassingly flustered and giddy about it. I wouldn’t mind a stronger plot, but goodness am I invested in these people.


Recently Finished

Over the weekend I read through Venus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito, which you can read my full review for here. I’m always excited to dive into a newly released Ito collection, but I was regrettably a little disappointed with this one. It didn’t exactly live up to its claim of being a “best of”, though it certainly does include one of my favourite stories of his. It did have the odd effect of having me utterly fixate on one story that didn’t resonate with me the way I’d hoped, though. I just couldn’t stop trying to puzzle it out after the fact. It even became a major focus in my review, as both a point of criticism and praise. Worth checking out, at any rate, just not among my favourites.


Reading Next

I expect I’ll be finished with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet soon, so I suppose I ought to have my next book lined up and ready, which I of course do not as I write this. So, eyeballing my to-read list to see what jumps out at me, I have settled on Kong Unbound, which is a collection of essays from a plethora of writers about the iconic behemoth of the silver screen. I’ve owned this book for many years, having bought it at an HMV for about $3, so it’s high time I actually read it. I’m hoping I can plough through it relatively quickly so I can strike yet another book from my list soon too—I’m still sweating about getting that done.

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

WWW Wednesday – August 19, 2020

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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

The Long Way to a Small Angry PlanetRegretfully, I haven’t read much more of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers since last week. Not a big week for reading overall, really. A lot of energy was being put into my review of Into the Unbounded Night, which took longer than I thought. Nevertheless, what I did read of Chambers’s book continued to be enjoyable; I got a firsthand account of what creating a tunnel in space is like, which sounds like a trippy and horrifying non-Euclidean experience. I also got to meet the last crew member finally, who seemed surprisingly mellow considering the unique way their brain works. As a final aside, the way the food is described in this book continually makes me hungry for the strange space delicacies described. It’s not fair.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, I’m afraid. See above. Also, new WP editor is the devil.


Reading Next

Venus in the Blind Spot

I’ve procrastinated reading any Star Wars comic books this past week, and they’re likely going to have to wait a little longer, because Venus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito has come out this week. It’s finally another English collection of his short stories, and I expect to be picking up my copy later today. I’m not sure which stories are included in this collection, except for “The Enigma of Amigara Fault”, which was included in Gyo. I’m really excited to get this book read and reviewed soon. Maybe I’ll squeeze in some Star Wars after all too, to make up for a lackluster week.

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

WWW Wednesday – August 12, 2020

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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

The Long Way to a Small Angry PlanetYesterday I started reading The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers; as of writing I’m about 60 pages in. It’s been a pretty good introduction to the motely crew of the Wayfarer. I’m enjoying it so far, though it has felt like a bit of a lengthy introduction. There’s a decent handful of crew members on the ship the protagonist, Rosemary, is starting her new job on, and Chambers lovingly introduces all of them. One of them is from a reptilian species, which is an immediate plus for me. I love the detail she has put into making a multi-species crew feel diverse in terms of biological needs and capabilities. I understand the need to world-build, and she’s doing a good job, but all the same I’m ready for some forward movement in the plot now.


Recently Finished

Into the Unbounded NightMonday I finished reading Into the Unbounded Night by Michell James Kaplan, officially finishing my first ARC. I was hoping to have a review up before now, but I took a little longer to finish it than I was expecting, and I wanted some time to ruminate on it too, so I should have one up by the end of the week instead. Nevertheless happy to report that I did enjoy the novel quite a bit. I’ve not had many forays into historical fiction, and this was quite the journey. It made a period of history that felt so distant and abstract to me before now (with the exception of the Roman aspects) feel so much more alive and relatable. There are a few things I have some mixed feelings on, but I will hash them out in greater detail in my review.


Reading Next

Doctor Aphra Unspeakable Rebel SuperweaponWith The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet only just getting started, I’m really not sure what book I’ll pick up next. I still need to shift into a higher gear if I intend to actually finish my personal to-read list to for the year, so I better make up my mind quick. Goodness, I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record. In the meantime, I’m sure there’s a Star Wars comic or two I will read over the next week. Probably the next Doctor Aphra book; I really need to see what that lovable rogue is up to, especially since I’m just now remembering I prematurely read an epilogue to that series in Star Wars: Rogues and Rebels. That needs fixing.

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