Book Review – The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

The Faceless Old Woman etc

The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor is the third standalone novel set in the world of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast series created and written by the authors. The Faceless Old Woman is a mysterious, spectral figure who has haunted the homes of Night Vale in the series for years now. Often menacing, yet sometimes obtusely helpful, who she might have been and where she came from had always been an unknown. Narrated by the Faceless Old Woman herself, this novel tells her entire life story, from her birth in the Mediterranean in the early 19th century all the way to how she first came to Night Vale, intercut throughout with her meddling in the life of Craig, a young man living in Night Vale in the 2010s.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – April 8, 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 Crocodile HunterLast night I started reading The Crocodile Hunter by Steve & Terri Irwin, a memoir by the pair published before Steve’s untimely passing. I first read this book as a kid; I wasn’t much of a reader then, so it was one of those anomalous books that caught my interest but didn’t spark regular reading from me. I’ve always been something of a reptile nut, and I absolutely loved the Crocodile Hunter show back then, so I wanted to know all about the energetic and affable host. The writing is a little more awkward than I remember, but not to the point that I’m not enjoying it. I expect to have this reread finished relatively soon, as it’s not very long nor densely packed.


Recently Finished

The Faceless Old Woman etcThe other night I finished reading The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor, the third standalone Welcome to Night Vale novel. I expressed my misgivings about this book last week, and after steadily reading through it over since then I must say that they were most soundly quelled. This has definitely become my most favourite Night Vale novel. The curtain is peeled back quite a lot for the character, but in such a way that turned out deeply compelling. Just the right amount of information was still kept obscure, and the story itself becomes so gut-wrenching and dark that it was oddly spellbinding. My interest in the series in general feels invigorated after reading this book.


Reading Next

I’m currently mulling over what book to pull from my yearly to-read list next. Haven’t pinned anything down with definite interest yet, but I’ll have to pick something soon. Other than that, expect I will have read the graphic novel Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians by Ricardo Delgado by next week, as I meant to before I got completely enthralled by the Faceless Old Woman.

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

 

WWW Wednesday – April 1, 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 Faceless Old Woman etcOver the weekend I started reading The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor, the third Welcome to Night Vale novel. Like its predecessors, this is a standalone story. You needn’t have read the previous books, nor listened to the podcast series, though if you haven’t you will likely have a lot of questions. I have some apprehensions about this book, but so far I am enjoying it. I have these misgivings because the Faceless Old Woman is an enigmatic, creepy character in the series. I am worried that a book dedicated to her origin will be pulling back the curtain too far. That being said, I do really like the way she tells her story in the first-person, plus much of it takes place outside of Night Vale, which is kind of unprecedented. So far I’m optimistic.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, but that’s okay.


Reading Next

Age of Reptiles Ancient EgyptiansFor starters, a graphic novel has jumped to the head of the line. I just bought a digital copy of Ages of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians by Ricardo Delgado last week and I’m really looking forward to cracking it open (so to speak). I read the omnibus for this series last year and it was a really unique reading experience. This series uses nothing but visual storytelling to tell its tales of these ancient beasts that once roamed the Earth, and I love that about it alone. Also, dinosaurs are awesome. Other than that, I’ve been thinking a more and more about rereading The Crocodile Hunter by Steve & Terri Irwin, which is a memoir by the famous pair that I first read as a kid. A lot of it has stuck with me and I’d love to give it a second look after all this time.

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

 

WWW Wednesday – March 25, 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

Nothing at the moment; I just finished up what I was in the middle of last night.


Recently Finished

Doctor Aphra Worst Among EqualsOver the weekend I read Doctor Aphra: Worst Among Equals by Simon Spurrier et al, the fifth volume in the Star Wars comic book series about the titular character. This is one of those volumes I wish I’d gotten to sooner, as it really feels like the finale in a story arc. The previous volume left things on quite the cliffhanger for the characters, Aphra and the murderous droid Triple-Zero tethered to each other with remote bombs that will go off if either dies or ventures too far from the other. It was an exciting conclusion, though it beat the drum of a few too many times with its sentiments. That aside, this volume introduced a pair of absolute darlings in the monster hunting couple Winloss and Nokk, a human male and Trandoshan female respectively. I loved their dynamic and can’t wait to see more of them.

MaddAddamJust last night I finally finished reading MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood. With all said and done, I find myself with rather mixed feelings about the book. Have you ever spent nearly 400 pages reading a book, only to wonder how the story was so long when you reflect back on all that happened? That’s where I’m at with this book, and I feel that could be both positive and negative, depending on how you look at it. I still really enjoyed it, even loved certain aspect of it, I guess I just need to process it for a bit. I’m especially not sure how to feel about the ultimate ending, on the last few pages, which has honestly brought me down a bit, mood-wise. I’m not sure what the downer tone really adds. I should have a review up by the end of the week.


Reading Next

I still have every intention of reading The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home next, the new Night Vale novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, I’m just waiting for it to arrive.

WWW Wednesday – March 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

MaddAddamI’m still chipping away at MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, though as I often find myself saying, I haven’t read as much as I wanted to this week, though progress has certainly been made. I just feel as if I probably could have finished it if I put my mind to it, but I’m sitting at just under a third of the way through. I spoke a little too soon last week when I said that it was more focused on the present this time around. In some ways the book is—certainly more than The Year of the Flood so far—but there has been a growing focus on the character Zeb’s personal history, which I’m sure will lead into more history of God’s Gardener’s as well as the MaddAddam group. I’m really enjoying how these accounts of the past are also being mythologized for the Crakers by Toby; it’s like witnessing a belief system’s birth.


Recently Finished

The last 10 days or so have been odd or disruptive, at large and on a personal level, as I’m sure is the case for many of us. Considering reading is such a stay-at-home activity I suppose this isn’t that much of an excuse for me, but I actually get the least amount of my reading done at home. I should be back to my regular routine, such as it is, by tomorrow, so hopefully I can kick myself back into gear.


Reading Next

The Faceless Old Woman etcWith so much left to go in my current novel, I’m usually rather wishy-washy about what I want to read next, but this week I actually know what I want to pick up. The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the third Night Vale novel, is coming out next week. I’m always eager to check one of these new novels out, even if I often let myself fall behind on the actual series as of late. This is a rare case where I’m actually tempted a little more by the audio book, since Mara Wilson, the voice actor for the Faceless Old Woman, will be serving as narrator, but I’m still too much a sucker for print. I want to pick up my copy at a local bookstore, but we’ll have to wait and see if that can still happen next week.

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

WWW Wednesday – August 7, 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

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI have started The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, though honestly I’ve barely scratched to surface. I wanted to have read more, but during my prime reading time over the weekend I was frankly too exhausted to have gotten properly into the meat of it. As such I’m only 19 pages in, but even these have not been what I was expecting. It begins in medias res with a character realizing he has amnesia while in the middle of a pursuit in the forest, too late to stop the presumed murder of a woman he believes is named Anna. He has found his way back to the mansion he was staying at, which is soon to be host of a ball, but nobody there knows who this Anna is. I’m pretty well hooked, though for now it’s just a burning desire to learn what’s going on.


Recently Finished

Who's a Good BoyOver the weekend I did manage to push myself to finish Who’s a Good Boy? by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, despite the exhaustion I already mentioned. Had I not been so, I would have finished it faster and read more Seven Deaths, but here we are. Just as with the third volume it was great to revisit these stories again, especially some of the more dramatic moments that took place during this story arc. The creators plant the seeds for different story lines a lot earlier than I’d noticed or given them credit for before, which was an especially prominent takeaway with this volume. I still do feel something is missing without Cecil’s performance though. His soothing baritone is easy to miss.


Reading Next

The Man in the PictureThrowing a bit of a curve ball with what I’m reading next since it’s a little off script as far as my scrappy reading list goes. I was at the library last week to pick up some DVDs and decided to browse the horror section a little bit. While I was there The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill caught my eye. I haven’t read any of her work, but I do know she also wrote The Woman in Black. The synopsis grabbed me enough, and it’s less than 200 pages long, so I decided to take this little detour and make good on reading more library books. To give a summary I’m sure is reductive, it’s about an evil painting.

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

WWW Wednesday – July 31, 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

Who's a Good BoyI’m making pretty steady progress reading Who’s a Good Boy? by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. I’m nearly halfway through it already, which I’m happy about because I want both want to read it and want to be done reading it. I feel like I’ve kicked book reading into a higher gear and I’m hoping I can keep some momentum going. As I’m getting further along I’m realizing just how little I actually remember about the key story arcs from this series. I could have sworn the storylines being built up in this book happened more recently, yet they’re in 2015/2016. Just time being funny again, I guess. Slipping through my fingers and down the drain, leaving me to underestimate just how much of it has flowed by.


Recently Finished

Exit WestIn an completely unprecedented move (considering my reading habits) I started and finished Exit West by Mohsin Hamid since last Wednesday. To be fair, it is a rather quick read though. The page count was not especially high and it was aided further by a stream-of-consciousness style of writing that had each page flow on by quite swiftly. I really like how adept the book was at evoking a myriad of feelings, both good and bad, when it came to both mundane and horrific or extraordinary situations. One downside I did find to this writing style is I had an intimate sense of who the two protagonists were yet felt they were also kept at arms length from me. I should have a full review up by next week.


Reading Next

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI’ve already made up my mind on this one. I’m going to read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton next. I remember reading a lot of buzz around this book last year, and this book will both satisfy my scrappy list further and feed my perpetually budding interest in reading more mystery stories. A little time travel thrown in for extra spice makes it all the more enticing. Beyond that, I’m really not sure what it’s about. Evelyn’s probably gonna die a few times, I do feel pretty confident about that.

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

WWW Wednesday – July 24, 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

Who's a Good BoyI was supposed to have started Exit West by Mohsin Hamid by now. The problem is, I couldn’t find the dang thing. I went to grab it from my bookshelf before a little road trip the other day, but I couldn’t find it. It has to be on that shelf somewhere, I’m just going to have to dig through the layers of books. Nevertheless, starting it has been delayed. I have started Who’s a Good Boy? by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor though (which I quickly grabbed instead), which is the fourth collection of Welcome to Night Vale episodes. Look at that cover art: beautiful. I’ve only read the introduction so far, but I continue to be surprised by how little I remember about what happens in each story arc. I could swear the arc with the beagle puppy happened much later after the conclusion of Lot 37.


Recently Finished

The Buying of Lot 37Speaking of which, over the weekend I powered through and finished reading The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. It was great to get a refresher on those episodes, but I especially enjoyed getting to read a transcript of their live show “The Librarian” for the first time. Part of the way they designed that show is a reference to a weird old horror movie starring Vincent Price called The Tingler that I once saw as a kid. I hadn’t thought of that movie or heard anybody mention it for ages, but it’s not at all surprising that the creators of this series know of it. I’m flip-flopping on whether or not I want to actually review this book. I think it’s good, but it kind of feels like reviewing a script book when you ought to review the film, you know?


Reading Next

The next books I’m going to read have been stated before. Out of resentment toward myself I’m not going to belabour the point. They’re going to be Exit West and The Catastrophe Con. Definitely going to start them. I swear.

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

WWW Wednesday – July 17, 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

The Buying of Lot 37I’m still making my way through The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, but with it being the only book I’m currently reading I think I’m going to give it greater attention before I move on to anything else. It’s time this got finished. The funny thing I realized while reading further is, while the arc in this volume concerns the use of Lot 37, the actual buying took place many episodes ago. Episode 37, in fact. This collection starts with episode 50, so as it turns out they waited a fair bit before starting to make good on this subplot. I just find it funny that the actual buying of Lot 37 does not take place in the book The Buying of Lot 37. How about that.


Recently Finished

RemasteredOver the weekend I decided it was high time I continue the Doctor Aphra series of Star Wars comic books with the third volume Remastered by Kieron Gillen et al. I actually thought this volume was where Simon Spurrier would be taking over as writer, but it turns out that’s not until the next volume. Spurrier only wrote one issue here. I thought this volume was excellent, in any case. 0-0-0, the psychotic murder-droid, has Aphra at his beck and call, forcing her to bring together a delightful menagerie of questionable characters to uncover the secrets of where his programming came from and what his life before his software was quarantined was.

PhasmaI also finished reading Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson just yesterday, which I’m happy to add to my finished pile of new Star Wars novels. I should have a review up for it soon. The reading experience for this book was a little bizarre for me. I appreciated how it tried to tell a different sort of story in this universe, but the bulk of the novel stumbled a bit for me. There was something missing in the telling that left the narrative’s hold on me a little flimsy. The final chapters, however, were actually excellent. Most of the book is essentially a flashback, told by a spy being interrogated. Once the revelations of this tale effects the present I was way more engrossed in what happened next. It’s given me such mixed feelings.


Reading Next

The Catastrophe ConI still have every intention of reading Exit West by Mohsin Hamid next, but I want to finish Lot 37 first. In the meantime, I will be reading volume four of Doctor Aphra soon too: The Catastrophe Con by Simon Spurrier et al. I suppose this is the real test if Spurrier has legs with this character or not. His addition to the previous volume was seamless, so I’m hopeful. I wish I was better at making up my mind about what comics to read next. I’ve got plenty left unread, I’m just picky if it’s not Star Wars or Hellboy for some reason. I vex myself.

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

WWW Wednesday – July 10, 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

The Buying of Lot 37Progress on The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor is slow but steady. I think I got through a small handful of episodes this past week. Since this is more of a supplemental read I’m satisfied with that. Once again I’m really enjoying the nuggets of information the little preface toward each episode provides. In one, Jeffrey Cranor discusses how in one of the earliest episodes two random characters are said to have gone on a date after a harrowing experience. These two characters crop up again in a much later episode, in this collection, where we get a brief update on their lives. I really like these little Easter Eggs they’ve added in the story, things that are easy to miss if you’re not going back and re-listening to episodes.

PhasmaI’ve given Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson more attention this past week, but I do wish I was further along with it. I am enjoying it just fine, but I do need to pick up the pace if I want to get through my personal to-read list for the year. Phasma has already crossed paths with the First Order on her destitute native planet, though it is only General Hux Sr. and a trio of stormtroopers who have crashed on it. They’re currently on a journey to find the crashed ship, taking them across areas on the planet left unexplored for generations. I’m really liking the more intimate look at one planet’s history that this book is providing. One of the more intriguing things about the Star Wars universe is how old space-faring civilization is in the galaxy. The idea of a world that fell and is left behind is really interesting to me.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, but I’m working on it. Believe you me.


Reading Next

Exit WestI’m sitting here looking at my little to-read list and I need to make a decision. I can’t hum and haw as much; it’s time for action. So, I’m going to read Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. I won a copy of it at a book mixer a year or so ago and have been meaning to read it for a while now. Sam spoke quite well of it in her WWW posts and subsequent review a few months ago and I’d like to finally read it for myself. I really ought to pick up another comic book volume to read too, but I can’t make up my mind on that front yet. I find that less urgent anyway.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to link to your own post bolow.