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

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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 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

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 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.

WWW Wednesday – July 3, 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! Feel free to leave a link to your own down below as well.

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, which I’m continuing to enjoy. The most recent episode I read through was great because it was the first episode to ever mention the character of Jackie Fierro, one of the protagonists of the Welcome to Night Vale novel that did not come out until another year after the episode in question was originally released. A wonderful insight was provided in the introduction to the episode, where Fink talks about how they’d already written hundreds of pages about Jackie for the novel before her introduction here, but it was still a year away from being published. It was a peak behind the curtain I really enjoyed.

PhasmaSo, last week we all wondered together what novel I’d pick up next. I hadn’t even decided yet myself. Well surprise! It is a Star Wars book. I’ve been reading Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson, a novel that gives an origin story to a character who stands out yet remains mysterious and unfortunately underused in the new Star Wars trilogy. I’m actually loving how different of a story is being presented here. The frame narrative is about a rival Captain in the First Order named Cardinal interrogating a Resistance spy for information he can use against Phasma. This spy, in turn, tells tales of Phasma’s life on the harsh planet she grew up on. I love how intimate the frame setting is, as well as the presentation of the distinct society that Phasma was a part of.


Recently Finished

The Midwich CuckoosOver the weekend I finished reading The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. I really loved this novel. A lot of classic science fiction is respectable for the ideas they introduced, by a bit of a letdown for me when I actually read them. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, however, which presents an alien invasion as more of a moral dilemma and less clear-cut. While certain developments feel inevitable, one cannot help but be left with the sense that a great failing in human (and perhaps inhuman) nature led to such things. I couldn’t help but imagine how the Doctor (Doctor Who) might have sorted that problem. She’d have know what to do. I should have a review up before the end of the week.

SabrinaI also read Sabrina by Nick Drnaso, which I borrowed from my local library. When I first heard about the book it was in a video discussing how the book is, broadly speaking, a hard look at what life in our time is like, especially with the rise of social media and the notion of “fake news” infecting the discourse about daily events. More specifically put, this book is titled after a fictional young woman who gets abducted and murdered, a video tape of her execution being sent to various media sources soon after. It was a powerfully evocative read that I won’t soon forget. It was the first graphic novel to ever make it onto the longlist for the Man Booker prize.


Reading Next

With as much as I have on my plate with reading right now I don’t have any plans for what to read next. The future is but a track being freshly laid before a train already in motion. I also struggle for consciousness; night shifts can be rough, my friends.

Until next week, thank you for reading. Feel free to share your posts below.

WWW Wednesday – June 26, 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! Feel free to leave a link to your own down below as well.

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 Midwich CuckoosI finished reading Part One of The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham over the weekend. I continue to be surprised by how progressive the book is in dealing with the subject of mass unwanted pregnancies. There’s a rather effective moment where Angela, the woman helping to hold the community together, vents to her husband about how his support is all well and good, but it’s all too easy for him because it’s impossible for him to ever have to deal with what the women are dealing with. The nature of the alien offspring they birth is much more fascinating than I expected too. While there are about 60 children, split almost evenly between male and female, they seem to be two distinct male and female hive-minds.

The Buying of Lot 37I’m also a few chapters into The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the third volume collecting the scripts of episodes for the podcast series Welcome to Night Vale. It’s been nearly three years since I read volume two, and that was the last time I went through those episodes, so it was actually a little jarring to be thrown back into the mix. I am slowly recalling where everything is at for the characters at this point in the story though. I am enjoying revisiting them nonetheless, especially with Jessica Hayworth’s illustrations added to the mix. The pacing does feel a little off, however, since it was originally dictated like a radio show and now is formatted like standard prose. This is a small gripe though.


Recently Finished

Eating the DinosaurOver the weekend I finished reading Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman and you can check out my full review here. This really was a refreshing read thanks to the randomness involved in my deciding to pick it up. I especially enjoyed the final two essays, the penultimate one dealing with our society’s fixation on irony/sarcasm and how we often completely misunderstand artists and other figures who are very literal. The last was a deeper look at the effect the internet has had on our society, through the controversial lens of the Unabomber’s manifesto (whom the author dismisses for the radical murderer he is, but nonetheless is intrigued by what he wrote). I may have to pick up more of Klosterman’s books in the future.

A Study in EmeraldI also read through A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman, Rafael Albuquerque, and Rafael Scavone. It was a wonderful adaptation of the story, bringing it to life visually almost perfectly. I especially liked the way Queen “Victoria” was represented as a Lovecraftian horror that is standing as monarch over Britain. I am happy I managed to secure an inexpensive digital copy of this book, however, as it is quite directly a retelling of the short story with little to no alteration from what I could notice. The art work has it’s merit of course, but I do feel I’ve just bought the same story again. I think I’d have been a little beside myself if I bought a physical edition for the same price as the entirety of Fragile Things.


Reading Next

With Midwich still unfinished I haven’t settled upon another novel to read next. I should have it finished before June is over, though, so expect to see something new in the Currently Reading section next week. Isn’t this exciting? I wonder what it’ll be.

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

WWW Wednesday – June 19, 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! Feel free to leave a link to your own down below as well.

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

Eating the DinosaurI’m still in the middle of reading Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman, and the experience continues to be an interesting one at the very least. His essays are excellently written, but what I’m having diminishing returns with is how much he writes about music and sports. I dislike neither topics, but don’t have an especially big interest in them either. The football essay was especially in-depth, though fortunately I used to play so I was able to appreciate much of it, even if I’m not an active fan of any  league. Often his discussions of these subjects do tie into greater ideas about culture as well, which is all the better. I just can’t help being a little disappointed in what he chooses to focus on.

The Midwich CuckoosOver the weekend I started reading The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. It’s a classic science fiction novel about a village that has a visitation from a UFO that makes everything in the village fall unconscious. A day later it is gone and soon after it’s discovered that all the women in the village are pregnant. What I’m pleasantly surprised by with this book is how much it has been exploring the social impact of sudden, inexplicable pregnancies throughout a village. I would have expected it to gloss over this part of the story, but the troubling implications of the event and the ways women are handling it is being explored more than I thought a novel written in the 1950s would.


Recently Finished

Nothing for this week. Shame on me. June has been a slower month for some reason. Certainly feels like it, anyway.


Reading Next

The Buying of Lot 37I’m definitely going to start The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor next, though I would like to at least finish up with Eating the Dinosaur first. Lot 37 will be a supplemental read too, so I do still have to figure out what novel to read next, but there is plenty of time for that. In terms of comic books I will likely read A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman, Rafael Albuquerque, and Rafael Scavone. It is a graphic novel adaptation of a story that appeared in Giaiman’s collection Fragile Things. I’m excited to see it adapted into a visual medium.

Until next week, thank you for reading!