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!

WWW Wednesday – June 12, 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 reading Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman, though I’ve only read one essay since last week. The essay in question was all about time travel, however, and that made it really fascinating. In fact, when I was considering picking the book up it was one of the pages I flipped to in this chapter that sealed the deal; it was all about the “Bootstrap Paradox.” It read like a well-crafted rant, though that’s hardly a bad thing for me. He dives into time travel in films, the problems he has with the concept of time travel and explanations of its hypothetical consequences, and most importantly I now understand where the title of the book comes from; it’s the only worthwhile reason he sees for traveling to the past.


Recently Finished

The Hidden Life of TreesOver the weekend I finished reading The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and should have a review up before the end of the week. I maintain the criticisms I brought up last week, but all in all this book gave me valuable insight in a fairly accessible way that made some hiccups in the readability more than forgivable. I think I was hoping this book would recapture the passion The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs filled me with, but I can’t expect every science book I’m intrigued by to pull that off. I’m just not into learning about trees in the same way. I rate this book pretty high nonetheless, and I’m really excited to check out the next book in the Mysteries of Nature series by the author.


Reading Next

The Midwich CuckoosI’ve finally just settled on the next book from my scrappy list I’m going to read, and that is The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. It’s a science fiction classic that looks to be a relatively quick read, so I thought I’d quickly scratch if off my list. I really enjoyed the last two Wyndham books I read—The Day of the Triffids and The Chrysalids—so I’m looking forward to this one too. I also want to start The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor, the third volume collecting scripts of Welcome to Night Vale podcast episodes. I really enjoyed the insight the first two volumes provided for the making of the series.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – November 21, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at 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

aftermathempiresendI’ve finally started reading Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig, the final book in the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy. I’m only a little over 50 pages into it, so it has only set the stage for where the story is going so far. Though in a vague sense I know where this book is going because of my impulses to research Star Wars, I’m pretty hooked already as one of the more responsible characters acted surprisingly rashly, putting her and a companion in tough stop in one of the forgotten little corners of the galaxy—the planet Jakku. Considering the characters find themselves on that planet so soon I’m really curious about what will develop there, since surely the inevitable battle (the remains of which can be seen in The Force Awakens) will not happen until late in the book.


Recently Finished

AliceIsntDeadOver the weekend I finished reading Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink. Please check out my review here! I liked the book, it’s certainly more refined in certain areas than the podcast it is adapting, but unfortunately it read a little too much like and abridged version of the story. I understand removing the episodic adventures that do not serve the plotline, but in trimming things down a lot of the slower, more intimate character moments got lost along the way too. It felt like things happened too quickly by the end, glossed over in the narration without much engagement with what the characters were doing. For those intrigued by the premise of oddities and horrors encountered on the highways of America I do recommend it though. It’s got its faults that keep me from really loving it, but it’s a solid story.

Fall of GileadI also read Fall of Gilead by Robin Furth et al, the fourth volume of the prequel comic books to the series The Dark Tower by Stephen King. Now this is what I’d been hoping for from these comics, giving me a closer look at events only hinted at or briefly mentioned in the books. Gilead indeed falls, but I enjoyed the valiant efforts of our characters and the tragic extent that the ill influence of John Farson had infected the city’s walls. One slightly unfortunate thing this book made me realize is these comic books came out before The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King. That book takes place between books four and five of the main series, but it came out after the series had ended. So, certain events in Fall of Gilead are contradicted by The Wind Through the Keyhole, which I must concede takes canonical importance over these comics.


Reading Next

Reaper ManHaving everything laid out and planned for the rest of the year, the next book I’m going to read shall be Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. This year has been rather disappointing as far as keeping up with reading the Discworld series. I set a good pace when I started in 2016, which I built upon last year. When I’ve finished Reaper Man I will only have read two this year, which isn’t even half of the number of books I read last year. 2019 will have to be a resurgence.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

Book Review – Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink

Alice Isn’t Dead is the latest novel by Joseph Fink, adapting his podcast series of the same name. This novel marks Fink’s first solo outing as an author, usually teaming up with Jeffrey Cranor for the novels based on the podcast series they created together, Welcome to Night Vale.

The novel follows Keisha Taylor, a woman working as a trucker who is searching for her wife Alice, who went missing some time before Keisha started trucking. After months of searching and turning up nothing Alice was presumed dead. Keisha mourned and tried to work through her grief, until she started to notice something strange during news reports of tragedies and accidents across America: always in the background, never the focus, was Alice staring right into the camera. Alice wasn’t dead, and Keisha meant to find her wife, uncovering clues in Alice’s personal documents pointing to Bay and Creek Transportation. Following these leads further she embarks upon a road trip into a world that exists on the backroads and highways of the country full of misshapen creatures, otherworldly forces, and conspiracies that go well beyond a simple missing person.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 14, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at 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’m a little over halfway through reading Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink, which has in many ways been a rather different beast from the podcast series that it is retelling. Something I’m actually finding I miss are the little episodic outings from Keisha’s journey in the series. There are some nods as she investigates more about Thistle, but she doesn’t encounter these anomalies herself like she does in the series. I understand why this would be removed from a novel adapting all three seasons, to keep the narrative clean and without filler, but I miss them all the same. Those little oddities were some of my favourite things from the podcast.


Recently Finished

Over the weekend I finished reading Elevation by Stephen King, which you can read my full review of here. I liked it well enough; it was a nice uplifting story with a bittersweet ending, though I think it’s a far cry from horror. I’d meet it halfway and call it eerie fiction, if that can be considered a genre. It was also a very fast read, which made it a welcome little addition to my reading endeavours. There really isn’t much more to say about it here. It was short and sweet, with some references to other King works for the keen-eyed fan, since it takes place in the recurring setting of Castle Rock.


Reading Next

I’m going to start reading Fall of Gilead by Robin Furth et al soon, as I said last week, but I have my books worked out for the remainder of the year too. There’s not much time left of 2018, so I decided I had to commit. Once I’m finished with Alice Isn’t Dead, which I expect will be rather soon, I’m going to start Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig, the final book in the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy. I know a little more about how things turn out than I would’ve liked going into it, thanks to some fanatic research in the past, but I’m still looking forward to seeing this trilogy through.

Until next week, thank you for reading!


WWW Wednesday – October 31, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at 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

House of LeavesI’m still in the thick of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. The last chapter I was finally able to finish was entitled “The Labyrinth” and quite astoundingly that’s precisely what the chapter was. The formatting of that chapter was literally a labyrinth in book form. Footnotes led to other footnotes, winding around and through the pages of the chapter, taking me backwards and forwards, sometimes telling me something insightful, sometimes telling me nothing and leading nowhere. It was fascinating, but also a little frustrating. When a footnote passage was clearly going nowhere I would make sure to read it through anyway just to make sure I didn’t miss something. I suppose that’s on me, but it made the whole ordeal take a long longer to get to the other side of. I’m most interested in “The Navidson Record”—the exploration of the impossible house—but it keeps getting buried in footnotes and tangential passages.


Recently Finished

The Death Of SleepOver the weekend I read through Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep by Aleš Kot and Piotr Kowalski. You can check out my review here. It was all killer and no filler, telling the more personal story of a nameless Hunter’s journey to try and escape the nightmare that plagues the city of Yharnam. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t simply a comic book adaptation pumped full of mindless action and boss monsters from the game. That wouldn’t have been a bad thing necessarily, but I’m just so happy with how faithfully the tone and intent of the game was captured here. Some light is shed on lore, but nothing too expounding. You can suss out details from what you’re reading, but nothing is hand-fed to you. This is simply one of the best media tie-ins I’ve read in a while.


Reading Next

AliceIsntDeadWith the spooky season wrapping up it’s time to start thinking about what I’m going to be reading for the rest of the year. I’ve also come to realize I can likely count on my hand (excluding comics) the number of books I’ll finish by the end of December. That means I’ve definitely got to finish the two Star Wars novels I meant to this year, but I also want to read Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink. I actually feel bad for not reading it during October; it suits the season and it showed up at my house well before the release date (yesterday). I think I can get through it quickly though, so it’ll be up next.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

Happy Halloween!

WWW Wednesday – 2017/11/15

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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

StarWarsFromACertainPointofViewI’ve started to make a lot of headway reading Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. I had actually jumped the gun last week; I wasn’t quite out of Mos Eisley yet. The stories have moved much farther along from that space port now, though more frequently now to halls of the Death Star. The destruction of Alderaan is given some noteworthy attention, unsurprisingly, with a rather tragic tale told from the perspective of people on the planet in the story “Eclipse” by Madeleine Roux, as well as a surprise appearance from Dr. Aphra in “The Trigger” By Kieron Gillen, which explores the ramifications of that planet’s destruction in a more societal way. I’ve picked up a lot of momentum reading this book, and I’ll hopefully have it finished by next week.

Recently Finished

ItDevours!Before the weekend I finished reading It Devours! by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor. I posted my full review of the novel yesterday, which you can read here. It was not without its imperfections — one unfortunately glaring for me — but as a lover of good storytelling, as well as the world of Night Vale, I enjoyed it all the same. The humour was on point, the story was full of all sorts of creepy and vague yet menacing life, and the writing style drew me in throughout. It’s just a shame things didn’t quite come together in the climax as I’d hoped.

Reading Next

AhsokaI have still yet to start Eric by Terry Pratchett, but I intend to go through it this weekend. Once all other reading is out of the way I will start Ahsoka by E. K. Johnston. Yes, I know, another Star Wars book. Well, they won’t be going away any time soon. It turns out I’m not quite out of the Clone Wars related stuff just yet either, which is why I’m adamant about reading this book before the year is out so I can move on from that era.

Book Review – It Devours! by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

Summary

Welcome to Night Vale . . . a friendly desert community somewhere in the American Southwest, where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are parts of everyday life.

Nilanjana Sikdar is an outsider to the town of Night Vale. Working for Carlos, the town’s top scientist, she relies on fact and logic as her guiding principles. But all of that is put into question when Carlos gives her a special assignment investigating a mysterious rumbling in the desert wasteland outside of town. This investigation leads her to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, and to Darryl, one of its most committed members. Caught between her beliefs in the ultimate power of science and her growing attraction to Darryl, she begins to suspect the Congregation is planning a ritual that could threaten the lives of everyone in town. Nilanjana and Darryl must search for common ground between their very different world views as they are faced with the Congregation’s darkest and most terrible secret.

ItDevours!

It Devours!? Oh yeah, I’ve read that book. It’s the second novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor based on their popular serial fiction podcast Welcome to Night Vale. The book was released on October 17, 2017, and as a big fan of the podcast I had been eagerly awaiting it for a while. When the first novel came out — simply titled Welcome to Night Vale — I was cautiously excited. While I loved the audio show, its translation to the novel format was untested. The first book had a few hiccups, but I think it turned out quite well. With the debut book out of the way, proving their narrative world had legs in the medium, my expectations of a second book to do a little more with the setting grew.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/11/08

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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

StarWarsFromACertainPointofViewI have started up reading Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View once again, though it is still more of a back-burner read. It’s been a bit ridiculous with how committed this collection got to portraying different perspectives from the film. I have been in Mos Eisley for much longer than I expected. Numerous aliens from that dang cantina, most of whom did not do anything other than appear in a few shots for a couple seconds, have been given stories. There are only so many different contexts and points of view I can see that scene from before I get sick of it. They weren’t all bad on their own, but it all became a bit much.

ItDevours!I’ve also been reading It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor quite devoutly over the last week. I’ve got just under 100 pages left to go, so I should have it wrapped up very soon. I’m enjoying the novel a lot so far. I’m happy to see that the duo are able to write about another mystery set in Night Vale without it being too similar to their first novel. The writing has been really drawing me in; I’ve been devouring it at a rate I’m quite happy with.

Recently Finished

Sadly nothing finished this week. I guess I needed to cool off a little from the four I finished last week. Here’s hoping I’ll have more than one to talk about next week!

Reading Next

EricI have had Eric by Terry Pratchett, the ninth Discworld novel, for a while now and I’m eager to get to it once I complete It Devours! It’s comparatively shorter than these novels usually are — illustrated as well — so I’m confident I will be able to power through it in no time. I will savour the experience as much as I can, but I’m also eager to read Reaper Man, the 11th novel in the series and the second one about Death, so I welcome a shorter book along the way.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/11/01

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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

I’m still “currently reading” Star Wars: From A Certain Point of View, though like I said last week I’ve put the book on hold. After a slew of finished titles I’m actually not in the middle of reading anything at the moment.

Recently Finished

HellboyAnAssortmentOfHorrorsTrue to my word last week there are a lot of entries under this heading this week. First up is Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors, which I finished up shortly after my post last week. You can find my full review here. I liked the book a lot, though ultimately it lacked the wow factor that I had with the first anthology I read a few months ago. After everything the character has gone through, however, I’m happy to see authors writing him so effectively.

UzumakiOver the last few days leading up to Halloween I read through Uzumaki by Junji Ito, a short horror manga (comic book) series collected into a deluxe hardcover. At times it could drag a little, as some chapters felt more episodic and inconsequential to the overall story, but these moments were outweighed by how messed up this story could get. So many horrifically imaginative moments of body horror and distortion of reality populate this book. The art is especially to die for, bringing the story together in a way that other artists could not.

ThroughTheLookingGlassLastly, I finally finished up the run of Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis et al that I’ve been going through, having finished the event The Black Vortex and the final volume Through the Looking Glass. I think I’m going to do a little write up on my experience trying to read through these. There’s a lot of good about the characters and some of the stories, but thanks to the way Marvel manages its books it was very frustrating to keep track of what was going on sometimes. I’ve been a frustrated regular reader before, and it wasn’t a feeling I welcomed back heartily.

Reading Next

ItDevours!I’ve still got to get started on It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, so I’m definitely going to be starting that novel either today or tomorrow. I’ve got a spike in available reading time coming up over the next week, so I’m hopefully going to power through it over that time so I can move on to other books. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t manage to read this book within October.