WWW Wednesday – December 16, 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

SpiderlightLast night I started reading Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky, though I’ve only read up until the end of the first chapter, which is just over 30 pages. I’ve had a vague notion of what the book has in store for me for a while now, but this first chapter alone has given me a much clearer picture and I’ve got a feeling I’m in for a treat. A ragtag band of heroes is on a quest to defeat a Dark Lord, armed with the Light on their side, as foretold by prophecy. Wouldn’t it surprise you to hear, then, that the book opens from the perspective of a giant spider? His home in “Mirkwood”, along with countless others like him and their Mother, is beset upon by these heroes as they seek an item crucial to their quest. Right from the get-go the dynamics of Light and Dark are turned on their head, at least figuratively so far, and I love it.


Recently Finished

MaskeradeOver the weekend I finished reading Maskerade by Terry Pratchett and you can read my full review for it here. I ended up liking this book a lot more than I even realized when I finished it. While reviewing it I had a little trouble settling on my rating, because I was surprised to realize that I couldn’t think of anything I had a problem with. In my estimation, nearly everything fit together so neatly that I could appreciate it even more in retrospect. I especially loved how much a of smaller scale problem Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg were up against. It wasn’t about the fate of the world or that of kingdoms and kingship, just a murder mystery in an opera house. It felt like the characters had more room to breathe, and allowed for some hilarious sequences along the way too.

The Rise of Kylo RenI also read Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Soule et al. I haven’t read many of the comic books related to the sequel trilogy yet, but this one was very good. It gives a closer look at the criminally underused Knights of Ren, what they were about, who their former leader was, and encounters they had with the likes of Luke Skywalker. The book also shed some appreciable light on some of Ben’s relationships at Luke’s Jedi Temple and clarified some of the events on that fateful night when everything changed for the worse. My only real problem with it was it was too short. I’d love an entire series about Ben’s turn towards the dark side and becoming Kylo Ren, expounding on his activities with the Knights and when he eventually joined up with the First Order.


Reading Next

ReminaWith only a little over two weeks left in December, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’ll be reading next. I’m not sure I’ll meet my revised goal, but I do know I’ll be reading Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray next, which is about Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi before the events of The Phantom Menace. Gray’s Star Wars books have been excellent so far, so I’m especially looking forward to this one. Before then, though, I am going to read Remina by Junji Ito. I picked up my copy last week, it just came out, and I’m eager to check it out. It’s a longer, single story that looks like it will be dealing with cosmic horror. What more could I possibly want?

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

Book Review – Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

Maskerade

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett is the 18th novel in the author’s comic fantasy Discworld series and the fifth in the “Witches” subseries. Agnes Nitt, a young woman from Lancre in the Ramtop Mountains, has made her way to the bustling city of Ankh-Morpork in order to seek her fortune. Though possessed of an untrained talent for witchcraft, she has an especially gifted singing voice and is determined to see how far it can take her, auditioning at the city’s Opera House. It’s a chaotic world of melodrama and vanity, where the show must go on, even with a Ghost lurking about and murders piling up. Only the meddling of the Lancre witches, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, can challenge this nonsensical world and unmask the Ghost before everything comes crashing down.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 9, 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

MaskeradeI’ve made some good progress with Maskerade by Terry Pratchett, the 18th Discworld novel, though as is often the case this is short of my desire to have it finished as soon as possible. I was much too fatigued over the weekend to get that far along. My schedule is not normal. There’s an unexpected element of murder mystery to this novel that I’m more than here for, though. A “ghost” of the opera keeps murdering those involved in production and his motives seem unclear. It certainly seems to me that this ghost is probably just a murderer, yet I suspect there is also an actual ghost among the cast of characters and most of them don’t realize it. I’m really intrigued to see where this all goes.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week. I have been awful and neglected my comic books once again. There will have to be reckoning before the month is done.


Reading Next

SpiderlightWith my pace being as slow as it is, I’m afraid I won’t meet the revised goals I’ve set for myself (completely my list except for Moby-Dick). I’m going to try and dedicate more time to reading and away from other hobbies, but I don’t know how successful I’ll really be with that. At any rate, I really want to read Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky next, if I read nothing else. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while now—it’s actually on the first page of my to-read shelf on Goodreads—and I’ll be darned if I don’t finally do so this year. Other than this, I still meant to read The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Soule et al soon. It’s only a matter of making time.

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

WWW Wednesday – November 18, 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

Thrawn AlliancesI started reading Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn on Sunday and have gotten nearly 30% of the way through it so far, which feels like a decent amount of progress for me. I’m enjoying it quite a bit, the story split between two different eras; the Clone War and the Imperial era. It tells of a mission Anakin underwent to planet Batuu to look for a missing Padmé in the former time, with Thrawn meeting him there and offering assistance, and in the latter Thrawn and Darth Vader return to the planet to investigate a disturbance in the Force sensed by the Emperor. Though the story has spent more time in the past with Anakin, I am enjoying the juxtaposition between the two times. It’s fascinating to see both him and Vader represented so firmly in the same story, the differences with how he interacts with Thrawn being the most dynamic.


Recently Finished

EileenOver the weekend I finished reading Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, and I must say the slow burn really paid off by the end. It spent a lot of meticulous time getting into the head of the character and really understanding how she ticks, which built up well toward her foreshadowed disappearance and the circumstances surrounding it. The climactic chapter had a great deal of suspense to it as well, banking on so much of the groundwork laid leading up to it. There are some pieces I was able to connect on my own before things were revealed, but it was also much darker than I had been anticipating. I meant to have my review up yesterday, but life got a bit in the way of that, as it it wont to do. I should have it up by tomorrow.


Reading Next

MaskeradeWith my final books of the year pretty much set in stone, I have decided I will start reading Maskerade by Terry Pratchett next, the 18th Discworld novel. I haven’t read about the Witches since last December, which doesn’t feel that long ago for some reason, yet there have been three books between them all the same. I’m glad I will be meeting my Discworld quota for the year once this is done. I’m always happy to read about my favourite coven too, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to quickly read through this book during the remainder of November.

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

Book Review – Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

Interesting Times is the 17th novel in Terry Pratchett’s comic fantasy Discworld series and the 5th novel in the “Rincewind” sub-series. The Patrician of the city of Ankh-Morpork has received a vexing message from the reclusive Agatean Empire, simply reading “Send Us Instantly The Great Wizzard.” Tasking Archchancellor Ridcully of the Unseen University with finding him, he and his faculty deduce that this “wizzard” can only be one man: the infamously hapless Rincewind. They retrieve him from his life as a castaway, goading him into visiting the mysterious Agatean Empire to see what it is they want. Magically transporting him there, Rincewind is placed smack in the middle of a polite rebel uprising, a barbarian invasion, and the schemes of an ambitious Grand Vizier who is pulling the strings.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – September 16, 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?

Goodness, I am running behind today.


Currently Reading

I didn’t make as much progress with Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett as I would have liked, but I’m right smack in the middle with hope that I can get it finished by next week. Since arriving in a strange land, Rincewind’s travails have amounted to a lot of running away and being put on a pedestal as something he’s not. It’s been amusing character stuff, but I’m waiting to see what it’s all building toward. I had higher hopes at the beginning, and so far I’m not sure if he’s just going to bumble his way to success or if he’s going to develop into a somewhat better version of himself. It has still been an enjoyable read, at any rate, Pratchett is nothing if not consistent, so I’m just waiting to see if this novel is among the higher pedigree.


Recently Finished

Over the weekend I read Fangs by Sarah Andersen, the author better known for her Sarah’s Scribbles webcomic. This book was another collection of strips, though of a different style and tone about a vampire and a werewolf in a relationship. I had read a lot of these online as they were coming out, but when I found out such a gorgeous hardcover was going to published, I decided to wait until I had it in my hands before I finished them. They’re cute, funny, and more adult that her usual strips, so much so that I was actually craving a plot line. There is a continuity, but story developments are typically contained within a strip. It’s a wholesome, macabre little collection worth checking out if it strikes a chord with you.


Reading Next

I’m still planning to read Thermopylae by Paul Cartledge next, it’s just a matter of finishing up Interesting Times. I’m also considering starting The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht as a little supplemental read, though that will invariably become something I have to power through so it’s not hanging around forever. It just looks cute and funny and I want to actually read it rather than occasionally peak at a page or two.

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

WWW Wednesday – May 20, 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

OtherMindsLast night I started reading Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith, a science and philosophy book about the emergence of consciousness, with a specific focus on the minds of octopuses. I only got a couple of chapters in, but I’m rather enjoying it so far. There was a fear that it would make for a dry nonfiction read, but fortunately that hasn’t been the case so far. I do noticeably have to work harder while reading it, though. So far it has been exploring the origins of the mind itself in life on Earth, considering the earliest animals and when they started sensing the world and other creatures around them, and how complex this sense was. It has made for a lot of new terms to learn, since I’m not exactly familiar with life that existed before the Cambrian era.

I’m still technically reading Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson, but I haven’t made any progress in the last week.


Recently Finished

Soul MusicOver the weekend I finished reading Soul Music by Terry Pratchett, the 16th novel in the Discworld series. I may be disappointed Death didn’t have a more active role in this story, but darn it this book was just so just solidly enjoyable that it didn’t matter too much. What was most surprising was how much I warmed to the story of “The Band With Rocks In” and their explosion onto the music scene of Ankh-Morpork. While the music itself was a more typical invasive force affecting the Discworld in a way that mirrors something about our own modern world, I appreciated how it was used more as a vehicle to explore the effects and costs of sudden fame. I posted a full review yesterday, which you can check out here.


Reading Next

Shucks, I haven’t made up my mind about this just yet. I’ve only just started Other Minds after finishing Soul Music. I did just buy a bunch of Star Wars graphic novels a couple of weeks ago, though, I’ll probably be checking out some more of those.

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

Book Review – Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

Soul Music

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett is the 16th novel in the author’s Discworld series and the third in the Death sub-series. After a tragic carriage accident kills his adopted daughter Ysabel and his son-in-law/former apprentice Mort, Death becomes distraught and bemoans his inability to forget anything, wishing to quell his grief. Death wanders off into the world, leaving his vocation unfulfilled. It is soon foisted upon his bewildered granddaughter Susan, who was kept away from him for the sake of living a normal life. She struggles with the duties of the vocation, however, feeling she ought to use it to make the world a fairer place. Meanwhile, a young musician named Imp has traveled from his distant home in the mountains to make a name for himself in the city of Ankh-Morpork. Unbeknownst to him, something powerful and ancient has set its sights on him, shifting reality to make his dreams comes true…on its own terms.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – May 13, 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

Soul MusicI’m close to half way through Soul Music by Terry Pratchett, the 16th Discworld novel, and I’m continuing to enjoy it a lot. I do wish  we’d get more time reading about Death himself, as he’s clearly going through some stuff, but Susan and Buddy are making for more than worthy perspective characters in their respective story lines too. I’ve especially warmed to the latter, which is where the musical focus of the story comes from. Pratchett is clearly using this plot line as a vehicle to tell as many Rock industry jokes and references that he can, and I can sense the glee coming from it in a way that makes me smile. It’s yet another story about a force invading the Discworld too, but I’m finding it better told than the previous ones I’ve read.

The Rise of SkywalkerI also started reading Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson, the novelization of Episode IX. I’m only about 40 pages in, but already I’m appreciating the better insight into the story that it’s providing. Especially missed from the film, which couldn’t be helped, was a deeper look at the relationship between Leia and Rey as master and apprentice. Carson does a really good job of faithfully capturing the voices of the characters as well, which markedly contrasts with something else I finished this past week. More on that later. I’d prefer the film were more fleshed out, to be sure, but as a lover of the universe and characters I’m feeling rather satisfied with what this book is providing so far.


Recently Finished

Star Wars AllegianceOver the weekend I read through a single graphic novel, Star Wars: Allegiance by Ethan Sacks et al, and it was an unfortunately rough read. It’s a four issue miniseries collected into one volume and it tries to to somehow tell two separate story lines under such limitations. One was about Finn and Poe trying to secure weapons for the Resistance, with bounty hunters in pursuit, and the other was Leia, Rey, and the rest traveling to Mon Cala to try and get the king there to pledge ships to their cause. They weren’t the worst ideas, but they were thin and played out like filler. It would have benefited much more from focus on a single story. Much of the dialogue felt forced and awkward too. I was a little interested in what he was trying to go for with Rey, but for the most part came off as a little out of character.


Reading Next

OtherMindsSince it’s likely I’ll be finished with Soul Music by next week, I suppose I ought to finally choose what book I’m going to read next from my to-read list. As I write this, I really haven’t made up my mind yet. I guess I will go with…Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Things are a little fantasy-heavy at the moment, I really ought to vary things a bit by reading some science nonfiction. I do hope that the writing style doesn’t slow my reading progress to a crawl; that’s always a slight concern with nonfiction. We shall see.

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

WWW Wednesday – May 6, 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

Soul MusicI’m just over a hundred pages into Soul Music by Terry Pratchett, the 16th novel in the Discworld series, which I started over the weekend. I’m excited to finally dig into the third Death novel, though disappointingly he is once again sharing the spotlight with others. Well, mildly disappointing. I just really like him. It’s partly about his granddaughter Susan too, so in her discovering her connection with him and the memories she’s forgotten, it is very much about him even when he’s not on the page. The anthropomorphic personification actively dealing with grief over the deaths of his daughter and son-in-law has me most interested, though, so I hope there’s a good amount of that. Not sure how I feel about all the rock music stuff yet. It’s the odd man out in a trio of plot lines.


Recently Finished

The Strings of MurderOver the weekend I finished reading The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel, the first book in the Frey & McGray series of mystery novels. I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. It was an entertaining read much of the time, and when the characters are actively engaged with trying to solve the mystery I was pretty invested, but they were both just so exaggerated as characters. The writing leaned into their “odd couple” roles to a fault, and it just got grating by the end. I may need some assurances that these characteristics are dialed back in further books if I’m going to continue this series. I liked the book enough that I’m still curious, but we’ll see. I posted a full review on Monday, which you can check out here.


Reading Next

The Rise of SkywalkerI still haven’t made up my mind about what to move on to from my to-read list for the year, but I have made a resolution to read the novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson, which I purchased a copy of on Star Wars day. Since I don’t want it to cut into getting through my list, I’ve decided to make sure I commit free time I would otherwise spend on hobbies like video games or TV shows to reading this book. Though it didn’t stick the landing in a lot of ways, I still really liked the film and want to learn the finer details that were for some reason left on the cutting-room floor.

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