Top 5 Books I Read in 2022

Transitioning to a new year of reading has been going slowly, as it turns out. I’m still trying to finish up my final read from last year (a fact that will keep bothering me at least a little bit), so I haven’t even given myself the chance to start reading anything new for 2023. As my editing workload increased after the end of 2021, I managed to have less and less time to read throughout the year, so I actually read an even smaller number of books than I was expecting. Still, I did manage to finish a decent amount, and as I’ve done the last several years, I’d like to list my five favourite reads from the past year, in no particular order. As is always the case, these are not books that came out in 2022, simply the five books I enjoyed the most.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 9, 2022

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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. Technically, I’m still in the middle of both The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers and A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris, but I still haven’t made any further progress with either yet. The former of the two is rather short, though, so I’m going to push to get that finished ASAP.


Recently Finished

Pet SemataryLast night I pushed myself to finish reading Pet Sematary by Stephen King. I’m still ruminating on my final impressions of the book, but I can confidently say that I quite liked it overall. The only thing I’m a little stuck on is just how much everything is drawn out until a climactic finish, when I was expecting that his son would be resurrected for a better part of the novel. I suppose I had expected that there would be more of a sense of hope, even just a fool’s hope, that Gage could come back normal. It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that there is no hope for such a thing, however, and so much more of the final parts of the story is just Louis doing his macabre work to get his son’s body to the burial ground. It’s not so much that I didn’t like it and more that I have to reconcile my expectations vs. reality.


Reading Next

Tracking the ChupacabraIt turns out a lot of the books I have left on my to-read list are all horror adjacent, if not outright horror, so my middling October efforts may well be supplemented by some of the books I want to read next. I still want to put better emphasis on what I’m currently reading in the short term, but in the slightly longer term I think I will try to read Tracking the Chupacabra by Benjamin Radford anyway, Halloween’s end be damned. I have had a particular interest in reading this soon, and I especially don’t want to put this one off until next year, so I’m going to commit to starting it here and now.

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

WWW Wednesday – November 2, 2022

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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

A Carnival of Snackery is still shelved for the time being, but I’m hoping to pick it back up again soon.

The King in YellowSince last week I finished the first story in The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, “The Repairer of Reputations”, which turned out pretty all right despite my initial bristling. Something that became increasingly notable about this story was just how unreliable its narrator turned out to be, which wasn’t all that apparent at first. It was quite deftly done, because I don’t feel like I can dismiss everything as the invention of a deluded mind, so I have to wonder how much was really at stake. It wasn’t quite as much of a horror story as I was hoping, but it was definitely weird. I read something describing it as an “anti-story” which I find interesting too, because there really are a lot of elements you’d expect to mean something to the overall narrative, but they just don’t factor in. All the same, it somehow adds to the deluded aspects of the narrator.

Pet SemataryI’ve only gotten a little further into Pet Sematary by Stephen King, though I’m really enjoying how much it is having Louis stew in his situation. Knowing the premise of the story, it’s easy to think to oneself “I simply wouldn’t bury my dead son in the evil resurrection graveyard,” but King is actually doing a great job of having Louis agonize over the situation. Pretty much every argument for why it’s a bad idea is running through his head, but it has taken on an aspect of a mad compulsion. Part of him knows it is a terrible idea, yet all the same he knows that he will do it. I suppose it must be a magnetic and seductive power of that place, bewitching those with promises that won’t be delivered.


Recently Finished

Beautiful DarknessOn Halloween night I read through Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët, which I really enjoyed. Though it wasn’t firmly a horror story, it explores so much that is dark, cruel, and/or uncaring that it definitely felt appropriate for the occasion. Essentially, the story is about a population of pixies who suddenly must flee their home, finding themselves in the wilderness of our world. They are only about the size of mice, give or take, and the world grants them no special treatment. It was a captivating story of a type of creatures often romanticized in our folklore succumbing to their worst impulses as they struggle to survive after being displaced. Coupled starkly with a cute watercolour art style, what I found most haunting about this story was how matter of fact its horrible moments are, demonstrating that in nature, death is just a part of life, and in societies of people, some of the cruelest acts are performed not as elaborate dramas but as straightforwardly self-interested actions.


Reading Next

For the time being, I don’t really have a plan on what I will read next. Right now, I just want to focus on getting what I’m currently reading done.

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

WWW Wednesday – October 26, 2022

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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

For the time being, A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris is still shelved.

Pet SemataryI’m still in the midst of Pet Sematary by Stephen King. I’m a little bummed out that I likely won’t even have it finished before Halloween, but I’m also kind of just accepting that. Work has been a lot busier the last couple of months, and I’ve been hit with a few life events, so I’m actually managing to cut myself some slack, at least for now. I was surprised to find that the death of Gage is something that has already happened once we learn about it. It isn’t an event that unfolds in real time in the narrative. I think this was interestingly done, as we still learn much of how it went down, but from Louis’s pained recollection of it. It reads like remembering a real traumatic event, where your memories treat it like it happened to somebody else.

The King in YellowI also managed to start reading The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, a work of weird fiction from the late 19th century. So far, I’m a little disappointed to find that the author has some distasteful views that he’s injected into the text from the get-go. I’m not really shocked by it or anything, it’s just disappointing that this genre seems to have authors that cannot help but espouse their views to such a degree. Just tell me the story about the play that drives people nuts, I don’t care about your vision of 1920s America and what has been done to what minority groups to accommodate this vision. Uncanny that he predicts a war with Germany having been a big historical event, though, considering this was published in 1895. I’ve not gotten far enough into this to comment on anything else. The prose is better than Lovecraft so far, at least.


Recently Finished

Black ParadoxLast night I read through the entirety of Black Paradox by Junji Ito, the latest book of his published in North America by VIZ. Turns out this book was originally published in 2009, so my suspicions that this was much newer were actually unfounded; I’d just never heard of this book before. All in all, it was pretty good. The book definitely had its spookier moments and disturbing imagery, but it is more of a weird thriller than a horror book. Based on the first chapter, I was a little worried that it would be too all over the place, but it quickly found its footing. I won’t spoil how things play out, but I must say that this book about four people who decide to carry out a suicide pact together did not at all go the way I was expecting.


Reading Next

Beautiful DarknessIt would seem that most of my hopefuls for October won’t be happening this month, though it’s not that surprising. I won’t harp on that further. In any case, I have yet another graphic novel I want to check out before Halloween. It’ll be November by the next WWW post, but we’ve still got some time until the 31st, so I’m confident I can make time for it. The graphic novel in question is Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët. I’ve already read the prologue, just to give it a quick glance, and there is a beautiful contrast between the art style and characters and the content, considering I see that a bunch of cute, pixie-like people seem to be living in the corpse of a little girl lying in a field. I’m eager to dig into the story further.

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

WWW Wednesday – October 19, 2022

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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

Pardon the brief hiatus from last week, I was out of town until late into the week visiting family for my birthday and Canadian Thanksgiving. I read another year’s section in A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris in that time, though I’ve since put the book aside to focus a little more on horror. Not that I’ve actually started anything else, but you live and hope.

Pet SemataryI’ve been continuing to make my way through Pet Sematary by Stephen King, though I’ve not been able to make as much progress as I’d have liked over the last two weeks; I never truly am able to get reading done when I visit home, no matter how much I hope I may. Last night I reached the end of the first section of three in the novel, which takes up the majority of pages. I’m sure people with even a passing awareness of the book know what happens in it, but I was surprised to find that King outright tells you in the book too before anything actually goes down. I have to wonder if it was him giving fair warning to his readers, as the tragedy may be too much for some, giving them an opportunity to back out before they are too upset by it.


Recently Finished

Nada.


Reading Next

Black ParadoxAnother Halloween read I have lined up that I’m actually confident I will be able to read this month is Black Paradox by Junji Ito, a newly published story of his in English by VIZ media. I just picked up my preorder of it, which I wasn’t sure would arrive before Halloween or not, so I’m happy I’ll be able to read it for the season. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anything about this story before, so I suspect it is another newer work rather than a translation of something older, but we’ll see. At any rate, it’s rather shorter than some other collections, so it won’t take me too long to get through. I’ve experienced diminishing returns with his work, so I’m only cautiously optimistic about this book.

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

WWW Wednesday – October 5, 2022

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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

Unfortunately, I’ve not made any progress in A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris. I’ve been emotionally compromised due to the loss of a pet so I just didn’t make time for it.

Pet SemataryI have however managed to read more of Pet Sematary by Stephen King, though only about 50 pages or so. Things have finally taken a spookier turn in the story, as Church the family cat has met his untimely end and Louis and Jud are currently taking his body to the real cemetery where what you bury doesn’t stay buried. I’ve not finished reading this chapter yet, but I really like how hauntingly King describes the landscape on the way to the burial ground, especially with whatever massive creature passes nearby them on their way there. I’m almost positive that will not be revisited in the story, but I just love it as a little detail, that there’s a lot paranormal or unnatural going on at that location.


Recently Finished

Nothing once again.


Reading Next

Tracking the ChupacabraI figured I would supply you once again with a Halloween hopeful for the month. Again, with my pace, I probably won’t get to all that I’ve been sharing here, but I want to make the attempt anyway. The book is Tracking the Chupacabra by Benjamin Radford, which is also on my yearly to-read list. This is spookiness from a nonfiction angle, investigating the history of the cryptid known as the Chupacabra, alleged sightings with which actually only date back to the 1990s. I know the gist of some things this book explores, but I’m looking forward to a proper deep dive. I’ve been wanting to read this since I first heard about it on The ParaPod many years ago, so I’m really hoping I’ll be able to get to it this month.

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

WWW Wednesday – September 28, 2022

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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

Progress on A Carnival of Snackery has been slow but steady. I’m just over 50 pages in now, having just finished reading the collection of entries from 2004 now. I’m kind of hoping I can finish at least a year each week. That should keep me well on track. Other than that, I haven’t got much more to say about the book right now, other than I continue to enjoy it.

Pet SemataryI’ve made a modest amount of progress in Pet Sematary by Stephen King now too. I’m right now sitting at 70 pages in. I was hoping I’d crack 100 pages this week, but work has continued to be rather busy, so I’ll take what I can get in terms of progress. The timing on this book turns out to be a little uncanny, as I’ve had to grieve the passing of a couple of beloved pets the past few months and I have another at the moment who is not doing well. It does not deter me from reading, but it makes the active discussions about death between the characters hit a little closer to home now. My father has often remarked to me that the most impactful thing about this book to him was its exploration of abject grief, so perhaps the impact will only be stronger as I get further.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week.


Reading Next

The King in YellowI still intend to read the second volume of Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn et al. soon, it’s just a matter of setting aside the time to read it. I’ve also got a few spooky reads lined up for October. With my current pace, I doubt I will get to all of them, but I nevertheless want to share one of the hopefuls with you here. The King in Yellow by R.W. Chambers is a collection of weird horror stories by an author that actually influenced Lovecraft, so it’s from the 19th century. This book isn’t on any of my lists for this year, but it’s rather short so I’m hoping I can squeeze it in somewhere.

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

WWW Wednesday – September 21, 2022

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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

A Carnival of SnackerySince last week I managed to get a modest start on A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris. So far I’ve read all the included entries for the year 2003, though that’s only about 25 pages. It really does make for some nice, easy reading, as each diary entry isn’t especially long and they can be fairly self-contained. There have been a few mentions of the Iraq War and references to tension between the U.S. and France related to it. I was 12 at the time, so I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention to the fact that apparently France and the U.S. were sniping at each other at the time because they didn’t agree over the war or something? Was this the reason for that “freedom fries” thing?

Pet SemataryI’ve also started reading Pet Sematary by Stephen King, though I’m only about 25 pages into that novel as well. I’m enjoying the personal relationships the story is building so far; King has a way with highlighting personal, internal things that are honest but you would perhaps never say out loud. The narrative expressing that Jud is the man who should have been Louis’s father, for instance, communicating how close their friendship will become, is so resonant. It feels like something you might be embarrassed to actually say, but it is nevertheless a reflection of the truth. It has also occurred to me that I know the general idea of what this book is about, and I even saw the most recent film adaptation of it, but I really don’t know what the bulk of the actual novel entails. I look forward to learning how it all unfolds.


Recently Finished

Dark Lord of DerkholmAfter far too long in the midst of it, I have finally finished reading The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. Somewhat off-putting, I realized when I finished it that my copy has “the” at the front of the title, but on Goodreads it doesn’t. Why did this website gaslight be into thinking I had been writing the title wrong? Very bizarre. Even the cover image they use is identical, but no “the” above the D like my copy has. At any rate, I liked this novel overall, but it was a lot more lacking in plot than I was hoping. It had really strong characters, but it felt mostly like a lot of hectic stuff went down and then somehow everything wrapped up fairly neatly by the end. I couldn’t help feeling a little let down by the end. I will hopefully have a review up before next week.


Reading Next

I’ve finally been able to start some new things, so I don’t really have anything new planned to tell you about here. I do want to try and cram in a lot of spooky reads though, with October just around the corner. We

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

WWW Wednesday – September 14, 2022

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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

Regrettably, despite what I said last week, I’ve actually made no progress on Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. Though work has been a little lighter over the past week, other obligations have made it so I’ve been able to squeeze in very little reading time.


Recently Finished

PaperGirlsVol1Despite the limited reading time, however, I was able to squeeze in an hour or so this morning to get the first volume of Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn et al. finished. Though the plot, such as it was, felt a little hectic by the nature of what the main characters are exposed to this bizarre All Saints Day morn, I’m more than hooked on the story and look forward to seeing where things go next. We’ve seen a glimpse of forces at play who seem to use time travel to their own selfish ends, and I’m eager to see their natures expanded upon and with whom the characters will align. The core group is fairly well characterized too, so I expect I’ll continue to enjoy this even if they’re just trying to survive in reaction to the forces around them, rather than getting more actively involved.


Reading Next

Paper Girls 2I’ve got plenty of things lined up here now, don’t I? I still want to start A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris soon. Won’t be long now, that’s for sure. I’m also planning to start Pet Sematary by Stephen King soon. I’m hoping I can finish that book a lot faster than Dark Lord of Derkholm. I do not know what it is with this book, but I have just been the worst at actually reading it, which is weird because I’m enjoying it a lot. Nevertheless, I’ve been reading it since July; this amount of time on one book is really bad, even for me and my below-average pace. Lastly, since I’m properly getting into it now and I have a couple more volumes, I’m going to read volume two of Paper Girls soon too. Hopefully I get to it more promptly.

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

WWW Wednesday – September 7, 2022

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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

Dark Lord of DerkholmI feel like I’m coming up on the final stretch of Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. In fact, I’m fairly confident that if I hadn’t been more swamped with work than normal over the past week or so, I would have had it finished by now. So it goes. I’ve reached a seemingly perfect point of suspense, as Blade has had his Pilgrim Party campaign go horribly awry so far and now they’ve all up and disappeared. We’ve also gotten a bit of a better look at the plan in action regarding trying to get the tours canceled for good, though I’m sure the linchpin will come down to Derk and Blade. I’m hoping that by next week I’ll be talking about this book in past tense, enjoyment aside. Fingers crossed!

PaperGirlsVol1I finally started reading the first volume of Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn et al., though I’m disappointed that that’s all I was able to manage. Like I said though, I’ve been a bit swamped. I finished the first chapter/issue of the volume, which was a nicely effective introduction to the characters and they’re surprisingly quickly escalating situation. I was particularly impressed, oddly, but the suspenseful last panel, which has these girls in the 1980s finding a device with a modern Apple logo on it. It’s simple, yet I really liked this small mundane hint of time travel and how it demonstrates how much tech advances in a relatively short amount of time.


Recently Finished

Nothing once again, even after being absent last week. Things have just been so tiresome lately.


Reading Next

Pet SemataryI’d still like to start reading A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris soon, but with it already being September and my reading going at a snail’s pace, I think I’m going to start reading one of the spooky books from my to-read list for the year. For the moment, I think it shall by Pet Sematary by Stephen King. Something easy and hopefully breezy, to help pick up the pace. It seems that the Comixology app has been fixed a bit too, at least as a digital reader (sans storefront), so maybe I’ll dig back into my digital comics soon too.

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