WWW Wednesday – 2018/07/04

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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

MovingPicturesOver the weekend I finally started reading Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett, the tenth Discworld novel. This is another book in the series that follows a new cast of characters, parodying a specific concept in its own Discworld-y fashion. This time around it’s Hollywood (“Holy Wood”) and the film industry, which has made its way onto the Disc in a roundabout, fantasy sort of way. The protagonist is not particularly remarkable so far, but I really like the notion that something Lovecraftian is at play giving people “Holy Wood dreams.”

Recently Finished

JourneyToTheCentreOfTheEarthSaturday morning I finished reading Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne. Check out my full review here. I liked it well enough, but it ended rather abruptly when the real sense of adventure and discovery had finally started taking off for me. There’s only so long that characters can wander deep underground, perilous though that can be, before it becomes played out. I can respect the book for trying to be as scientific as possible in dealing with the seemingly impossible things the characters do come across, but I wanted them to more directly confront the more startling discoveries they did make.

StarWarsOutAmongTheStarsI also read Out Among the Stars by Jason Aaron et al, the sixth volume in the current Marvel Comics run of Star Wars. I rather liked this volume, despite its focus on the core crew of the Millennium Falcon (which hasn’t been stellar in this series as of late). Each issue of this volume was dedicated to different pairings of characters, telling brief self-contained stories that had some well done little character moments. One chapter followed the SCAR squadron of elite Stormtroopers, a perspective I especially enjoyed in this book. The RD-D2 story was a little silly. I have trouble with the little astromech running circles around supposedly trained soldiers, but it’s not too big of a bugbear for me.

Reading Next

MyYearOfRestAndRelaxationOttessa Moshfegh’s new novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation should be arriving any day now, so I’ve decided to get the jump on that net while it’s newly published. The only thing I know about it in a roundabout sort of way is that it deals with feelings of apathy and depression in an otherwise privileged life. I really enjoyed her last book, so I’m really looking forward to checking this one out.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

Book Review – Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

JourneyToTheCentreOfTheEarth

Professor Otto Lidenbrock’s great adventure begins by chance when a scrap of paper drops out of an ancient book he has just bought. The coded inscription reveals the existence of a passageway leading to the centre of the earth and that the entrance lies within the crater of an extinct volcano in Iceland.

The professor travels to Iceland accompanied by his nephew, Axel, a keen young geologist. Together with a Swiss guide, they descend into the bowels of the earth where an amazing prehistoric world awaits them.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth, first published in 1864, is Jules Verne’s second novel. It is placed as the third book in the Extraordinary Voyages series, though it was added retroactively by the author. This series ultimately numbered 54 books. While far from the first example of subterranean fiction, a subgenre of adventure fiction, this book was highly influential and helped make the subgenre more popular. Verne is not an author I’m hugely familiar with, but I enjoy reading old science fiction and adventure stories when the mood strikes me, which is part of the reason why I first picked this up. The title evokes cheesy movies for me, whether adapting this book outright or just influenced by it, so I was interested to have a firsthand look at the source material.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2018/06/27

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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

JourneyToTheCentreOfTheEarthI’m still getting through Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, though I’m a fair amount past the halfway point in the story. I’m a little disappointed I’m not finished with it, but I’m not going to dwell on that too much. It won’t be much longer. I’m enjoying the book well enough, though I’m finding it a little odd as far as adventure fiction goes. This really is more the journey to the centre, rather than time spent in the centre itself. Much of it has been the Professor bullishly pushing forward and his nephew Axel, our narrator, complaining about how much he doesn’t want to be there.

Recently Finished

GyoNot long after last week’s post I finished reading Gyo by Junji Ito. I’ve written a review of it, please check it out here! It was a heck of a strange trip by the end, which I actually had to reckon with for a little while. I’m still a little disappointed with the way it turned out (I just really prefer supernatural sources for horror), but the more I look back on it the more positively I consider it. It’s not one of my favourites of his regardless. There are still a few things I raise my eyebrows at, but it’s more fun to view as a “B movie” type of story that I shouldn’t scrutinize too heavily. It did have some great visual and conceptual moments of body horror too, context notwithstanding.

Reading Next

ZeldaEncyclopediaI still have every intention of continuing with the Discworld series next, but as a supplemental read I think I will start gradually making my way through The Legend of Zelda: Encyclopedia, which I got my copy of late last week. Apparently this has some information that contradicts the timeline established for the games in Hyrule Historia, which I’m both intrigued and irritated by.

Until next time!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/06/20

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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

JourneyToTheCentreOfTheEarthI’m only about 25 pages in, but I recently started Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne as a lighter read to sure up the numbers for my reading goals this year. I’ve still got a lot of catch-up to do. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the older science fiction and/or adventure fiction I’ve read before, though I believe this is my first time reading one of the “lost world” genre. Since it’s a book first published in the mid 1800s I’m really interested to see how they interpreted worlds like this straight from the source.

GyoI’ve also started reading Gyo by Junji Ito, one of his books that I picked up a few months ago now. I’ve been meaning to get back to reading through those and a friend having read it herself inspired me to pick it up off the shelf. It’s honestly a lot different than what I was expecting, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I need to see it through to the end first, but some of the nature of the threat is vastly different than what I thought it would be in a way I find less appealing so far.

Recently Finished

CirceOver the weekend I powered through and finished Circe by Madeline Miller. I should have a review up within the next couple of days. I’ve got a few issues with it, but overall I liked the book a lot. Miller is exceptionally talented at faithfully adapting mythology into fiction. I feel like a lot of other media gets really indulgent with the source material, but this I believed as existing in the realm of classical myths through and through. Circe herself was a thoroughly interesting character too, and the changes Miller did make to expand her history and character worked really well.

DoctorAphraAndTheEnormousProfitI also finished reading Doctor Aphra and the Enormous Profit by Kieron Gillen et al, which was a worthy send off for the writer and character’s creator. Aphra organizes a giant auction for the crystal she obtained, which contains the mind of an insane ancient Jedi, and as expected things go awry in spectacular fashion. Something I really love about this series is how little Aphra and her “companions” actually care for one another. When it comes down to it they’re truly out for themselves and I appreciate the commitment to their villainous sides. Darth Vader becomes involved in an awesomely satisfying way as well.

Reading Next

MovingPicturesI don’t intend to take very long with Journey to the Centre of the Earth, so hopefully I will be starting Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett soon, so I can finally continue with the Discworld series. I’m really disappointed with how much I’ve neglected it in 2018 thus far. I’m pretty sure this time last year I had completed two of them already.

Until next time!