WWW Wednesday – January 25, 2023

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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

Wolf in White VanI was hoping I’d have made more progress with Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle since last week, but work comes first, so I did not end up having as much reading time as I was anticipating. Still, I have made some decent progress and have a better picture of what this whole story is all about. It’s made clear from early on that the main character, Sean, is facing some legal trouble related to the pen-and-paper role-playing game he operates for people via the mail, and up until the point I have reached, the details of the tragedy leading to his legal troubles have been slowly elucidated. It’s painting an interesting picture of how a disfigured loner has found a way to form his own little sense of community and the baffling yet believable misunderstanding that led to the tragedy which puts an unfortunate spotlight on him. With so much of that case uncovered already, I’m curious to see what details are yet to be revealed or if there is a turn in store for Sean.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week!


Reading Next

Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star 2I’m still not anticipating that I will have another book in my hands by this time next week, since I should be more realistic about my time, but I do intend to read more comics by next week if I can. Of course, I really want to keep myself going on Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang with the third volume, but I would also really like to read volume two of Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star by Kaeruno Erefante, which I intended to read back in December but never actually made time for. Despite the length of time since volume one, this is at least not a narrative-heavy series, so it will be easy enough to jump right back into it.

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

WWW Wednesday – January 18, 2023

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

Wolf in White VanFinally I’m posting one of these in 2023 (albeit quite late in the day). I have started reading something new this year, Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle, though I’ve only just read the first chapter, so I haven’t gotten far enough to have any substantial impressions to share about it. So far, I’ve gotten a vague understanding of the state of mind the main character exists in and impressions on life-changing bodily harm he inflicted upon himself. With luck, I’m hoping to make some good progress on it by next week. I enjoyed Universal Harvester well enough, which was the last Darnielle novel that I read, but a lasting impression is that it didn’t quite meet my expectations either. With virtually no expectations for this book, I’m hoping for a better result by the end.


Recently Finished

A Carnival of SnackeryFinally, I finished reading A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris. This book was the reason I hadn’t posted one of these yet in the new year; I just really didn’t want to be banging the same drum about having to finish this book. That being said, I really enjoyed the reading experience. I believe I had been doing it a disservice by initially going at it slowly. All things considered, 400 or so pages really blew by, and his perspective on the world was enjoyable to behold, exploring subjects humorous, mundane, and poignant. What became most surreal about this book was how familiar the events he comments on were as the years became more and more recent. It’s a bit unnerving to see 17 years condensed in such a way on its own, but the emergence of the pandemic and other huge political issues of the last 6 or so years was a stark reminder of how candid these diaries are.

Paper Girls 2I also read the second volume of Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn, finally. I really wish I had read this closer to the first volume, as I’m still having a bit of trouble keeping track of who is who among some of the main cast, though only with a couple of the characters. I’m honestly a little tempted to go back and read it again, just so I can appreciate it a little better. I’m not sure what it was, but something clicked for me with this volume and now I’m into it in a way that I wasn’t after finishing the first volume, so that’s nice. I’m really enjoying the idea that this story’s time travel doesn’t allow for branching timelines, so I’m curious as to what the capabilities and constraints are under this system. Can things be changed or is everything set in stone, it’s only a matter of the order we’re seeing things happen in? I have the third volume already, so I’ll hopefully be reading that soon.


Reading Next

With my focus being on getting into Wolf in White Van right now, I haven’t really decided what I definitely want to read next, but I do know that Springfield Confidential by Mike Reiss is still of great interest to me, so I may be reading that in the near future. I’m trying not to stress reading specific books too much though, so we’ll see where whims take me.

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

Book Review – Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

Summary

Life in a small town takes a dark turn when mysterious footage begins appearing on VHS cassettes at the local Video Hut.

UniversalHarvester

Universal Harvester by John Darnielle is a 2017 mystery/fiction novel set in the late 1990s. The story follows Jeremy, a man in his early twenties who works at his local Video Hut, a dead-end job he finds palatable because it gets him out of the house and makes his daily life predictable. He lives with his father; his mother having died six years previously in a car wreck. His daily monotony is interrupted when he starts to notice a trend of people complaining about “something else” being on the tapes they’ve rented. Troubling, homemade footage not a part of the movie. It’s a premise that I found quite tantalizing, as I’m sure many others have. An effectively simple concept that promises to unsettle, yet you feel drawn in. Despite how this sounds, however, this book is not a horror story.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2018/01/10

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

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

UniversalHarvesterI’m about three quarters of the way through Universal Harvester by John Darnielle. It’s a lot more of a slow burn than I was expecting, the nature of these strange tapes still left nebulous to the reader at this point. It’s a lot more focused on people’s lives, their roots, processing grief, and trying to figure out their place in the world. It’s amusing to me to think that this novel is essentially an internet “creepypasta” turned into literature, where normally a story like this would be entirely fixated on the the creepy premise, this novel is building out its people and their world carefully. Where this falls in my esteem will ultimately have to do with its payoff.

Recently Finished

Nothing yet, but I expect to have Universal Harvester done any day now.

Reading Next

45MasterCharactersAs a supplemental read I think I’m going to finally start reading 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt soon. It’s a book I picked up for reference a while ago, but with my growing drive to actually get started on a book I’ve been building up in my head for years now, I want to use more of the tools available to me to help me make it as good as it can be. Other than that, I will probably start Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller as my next novel, as I’ve got a lot of those books that I want to get through this year.

WWW Wednesday – 2018/01/03

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

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 given myself a bit of a break from reading for the first week of January, so I’m not currently in the middle of anything. I just wanted some time to reflect and not worry about getting through anything.

Recently Finished

StarshipTroopersCoverJust in nick of time, on New Year’s Eve, I finished reading Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, making it my final book of 2017. I was surprised with just how much the plot points of this novel were mirrored in the better-known 1997 film, considering how different they are. It takes a significantly different approach to its world and the Bug War. The war itself is rather incidental to the plot, strangely enough. I will have a review of it posted after my brief repose.

HellboyIntoTheSilentSeaI also read Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea by Mike Mignola, Gary Gianni, and Dave Stewart. It was an interesting little nautical tale, set during the events of the sixth volume Strange Places. Hellboy finds himself captured on a ship seemingly out of the past, which voyages in search of a serpent that will supposedly grant great knowledge. It was brief story, good but unremarkable compared to other Hellboy tales. I particularly liked the art, which had an especially ghostly quality to it. I’m curious what inspired this book, since it was a full 11 years after Strange Places.

Reading Next

UniversalHarvesterI may not be reading anything at the moment, but I’ve already set my sights on my first novel for 2018, which I plan to start this weekend. It shall be Universal Harvester by John Darnielle, which follows a young man working in a video store in the late 1990s who begins to receive complaints from customers that certain tapes they’ve rented included unsettling footage not part of the movie. I first heard about this book from a Night Vale Presents podcast and I’m eager to finally dig into it.