WWW Wednesday – February 19, 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

Men at ArmsI finally made my darn mind up and started reading Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett, the 15th Discworld novel. This decision was made in part thanks to a nudging from Sammie @ The Writerly Way. I wanted something light after all the dreary reads I’ve been going through lately. Pratchett is a perfect answer to that. This is the first novel in a long time that I’m actually rereading too. About 10 years ago now, this was my introduction to the Discworld series. It was a while before I embarked upon reading the rest of them, but I never forgot the book. I’m only 27 pages into it now, but I’m already enjoying revisiting it. I had forgotten how much this story in particular played with the fantasy trope of the King returning, ordained by Destiny.


Recently Finished

Here (away from it all)Over the weekend I finally finished up reading Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope. I posted my full review last night, which you can check out here. Reading this novel was certainly an experience. I was along for the macabre ride while reading it, but a lot of elements frustrated me once all was said and done. The small group of people made destitute after the island is cut off from the rest of the world are continually victimized by the native islanders, in increasingly horrific ways, but it doesn’t get enough into why things get this bad. There’s a vague sense of resentment that’s certainly not unfounded in context, but I really wish the story had taken a deeper look at it. The characters frequently fail to take proportionate action against their abusers as well, which I simply could not understand given what happens.


Reading Next

MaddAddamAs far as novels are concerned, I can confidently say I will be reading MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood next. I very much mean to finish that trilogy this year and I’ll waste no more time getting to it. I’m excited to finally finish the series after letting it languish for so long.

Other than that, I’ve got some graphic novels that could probably use some attention; I’m thinking either Star Wars or Doctor Aphra, though The Immortal Hulk is tempting too. We’ll have to wait and see.

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

Book Review – Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope

Here (away from it all)

Here (away from it all) is a 1969 novel by Polly Hope, originally published under the pseudonym Maryann Forrest. On an unnamed Greek island, often swamped with tourists, a small number of wealthy expatriates from around the world live a fairly carefree, relaxed lifestyle in one of the island’s villages. Our unnamed narrator lives with her husband, only referred to as “N,” and a number of her children. One lazy summer’s day the island is covered in a thick layer of dust, as if the fallout of some cataclysmic incident. Communication with the rest of the world ceases after this “Day of the Dusting” and leaving the island becomes hazardous. Left to their own devices, the precarious relationship between the native islanders and the foreigners stuck there begins to fall apart, as some of the old traditions come back into fashion and the expats realize they may never have been as welcome as they thought.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – February 12, 2020

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

Here (away from it all)I’m coming up on halfway through Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope. The story was a bit of a slow burn for several chapters, but the situation has been steadily ramping up in a way that’s become more and more interesting. As expected, humanity is disappointing me in this story. I really would like to think that in a crisis such as this, small communities left on their own wouldn’t take such a bad turn, but I do know it’s very probable. I’m a little thrown by some of the language in the book; taking place on a small Greek island there have been some names and nuanced language I’ve had to research while reading. I do wish context had just been given, but it’s an issue I can live with.


Recently Finished

Hellboy Winter Special 2019It’s been a bit of an odd week. Along with personal matters, I for some reason struggled to get my review of The Year of the Flood finished. I wanted it up Friday, but didn’t finally get it posted until Sunday morning. So, I failed in finishing Here over the weekend like I wanted to. Oh well. It’s not much, but I did read the Hellboy Winter Special 2019 by Mike Mignola et al. Fairly self-explanatory by the title, it’s a single comic issue that’s a little longer than normal, featuring three Winter/Christmas-y stories. Perfect time of year for them. Only one of them featured Hellboy, but it was a great little Christmas ghost story with a nice, warm sentiment and a creepy final panel as a spooky little cherry on top.


Reading Next

I am still drawing a blank on what I want to read next…but I have decided that whatever it is ought to be lighter in tone. The Year of the Flood and Here have both been heavy stories. I could use something a little more fun and/or uplifting.

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

WWW Wednesday – February 5, 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

Here (away from it all)I only managed to get myself to read the first chapter of Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope last night, so I’m only just getting started. That inaugural chapter was an interesting one, as it has done a lot to set the tone for the story so far. It was a bit of a “chapter two switcheroo,” the first chapter taking place long after everything has gone badly. It’s written in a very stream-of-consciousness style that did a good job of balancing exposition and having the perspective character’s thoughts interrupt the narration. There’s a division between the island’s residents and the tourists, which I’m looking forward to seeing fleshed out. Were they cooperating first, or did the native islanders shun them as soon as things took a turn? Time will tell.


Recently Finished

The Year of the FloodI finished reading The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood over the weekend. I should have a review up soon; I’ve been relishing my days off a little too much to have one finished already. I’m surprised by how much I ended up loving this book. I figured it would be good—Atwood is no slouch—but I really enjoyed the corners of its world this book explored. With all said and done there were a few details that did nag at me, as certain developments are uncannily centred around a small group of people despite it being a global pandemic. At the time I let it go for the sake of the drama, but it has stuck with me as a negative since. All in all, though, I’m excited to see where this is heading with the final book.

The Case of Charles Dexter WardI also read through the graphic novel adaptation of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by I.N.J. Culbard. I feel this book was nearly perfect as an adaptation, preserving the story as it was originally told while adding its own little details in the visuals that flesh out it even more. It would have had the same problem as the original novella for me, had I read this first, but the format made it all much more palatable. I really liked the art style too, which was more on the cartoonish side without detracting from the tone of the story. There was an older-fashioned style to it that really worked for me.


Reading Next

I need to get back to my yearly to-read list for my next book, but as I write this I cannot decide what that book should be. I swear, I’m staring a hole into this list right now and nothing speaks to me. I’m not sure if I want to read MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood next to finish up the trilogy, or read something else a little different first before coming back to it. I guess I’ll just have to leave you all in suspense for now.

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

WWW Wednesday – January 29, 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 Year of the FloodI’m just over halfway through The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, and I’m happy to report that my misgivings from last week have been quelled. The world before the pandemic is still horribly bleak, but I feel I know enough about all of the supporting characters that I’m not dreading the worst from all of them. I’m also really enjoying the distinct perspective each protagonist brings, one having been a child/teen before the Flood, and the other an adult. The lives of the lower classes, less seen in the first novel, are much more fleshed out in this book too. Despite living among them, there’s something quaint about this eco-relgious group that lives in squalor but have richer lives. I’m looking forward to seeing how they might play a role, if any, in how the pandemic starts.


Recently Finished

No Longer HumanOver the weekend I finished reading No Longer Human by Junji Ito, and posted a full review of it last night. I think this manga is one of those stories where you acknowledge that it’s conveying something meaningful or important, but actively engaging with it is a disconcerting or unpleasant experience. It deals with a lot of heavy subject matter that in some cases is executed upon really effectively, and in others muddied by borderline supernatural elements that I speculate are Ito’s additions to the tale. I think this manga is good, but its character has a repellent quality that gives me mixed feelings. I feel really motivated to check out Osamu Dazai’s original novel now, though, so I can see the clay Ito is molding with.

I also read Jenny Finn by Troy Nixey & Mike Mignola, et al. Haven’t much to say about it. The art was good, and it had some interesting visuals and ideas, but the story felt half-baked. Didn’t really care about any of the characters or what was happening. First two-star rating I’ve given on Goodreads in a while.


Reading Next

Here (away from it all)For starters, I’d really like to read The Case of Charles Dexter Ward graphic novel adapted by I. N. J. Culbard soon, since I’m really interested in checking out how he adapts Lovecraft’s work. I should probably do this before I go out and buy more of them. Other than that, I think I will deviate from my 2020 to-read list to check out Here (away from it all) by Polly Hope, one of the books that caught my eye in The Book of Forgotten Authors. I’ve mentioned it before, but to refresh it’s been described as Lord of the Flies with adults, which is what originally piqued my interest. I expect society to devolve and disappoint me in compelling ways.

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