WWW Wednesday – August 21, 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!

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

TheSevenDeathsOfEvelynHardcastleI’ve left things after a rather nail-biting series of chapters in The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. The death tally is technically at six now, I think, though I’ve only witnessed two on the page. Things are getting rather knife-y at Blackheath as our protagonist edges closer to solving the mystery, his rivals nipping visciously at his heels. I keep finding myself sub-consciously trying to see if I can piece anything together for myself, but I honestly think the time travel aspects are too elaborately structured for the reader to do that. Luckily, I’m still enthusiastically on board for wherever this is going.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Myths and FablesSince last week I started and finished Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann, with illustrations by Grant Griffin. It turns out it’s a middle grade book, which I’d somewhat expected but didn’t fully appreciate the significance of. While I can’t say that younger readers won’t get something out of this collection, I was personally underwhelmed. There were a couple stories I did find myself quite partial too, but ultimately the effort was rather pedestrian. I think I imagined the author would be a little more ambitious with the concept than he ended up being. I’d say they largely played it safe with this book. I should have a full review out soon.


Reading Next

Small GodsI expect that I will have Seven Deaths finished by next week, which had left me to wonder what I’m going to be picking up off the shelf next. I have decided I really need to continue with the Discworld novels for this year—I’ve only read one of the four I mean to get to—so the next book I will be picking up will be Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. I believe it’s another standalone novel that takes place in the Discworld’s more distant past (that’s the impression I have anyway). I’m excited for the more isolated approach to the world.

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

Book Review – Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

Witches Abroad

Witches Abroad is the 12th novel in Terry Pratchett’s comic fantasy Discworld series, and the third in the “Witches” subset of books. Desiderata Hollow knows that soon she will pass on. She’s a witch. Witches are good at knowing things like this. The problem is, she’s also a fairy godmother to a girl far across the Disc in a land called Genua, whose destiny is being meddled with. She passes her wand onto Magrat Garlick, one of the witches of in the kingdom of Lancre, with express instructions to travel to Genua to help this girl, and to not allow the other witches Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg to help her (knowing full well that those two will do the exact opposite of what is asked of them). Their objective vague and their destination clear, the trio commence their long journey to Genua.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – May 8, 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

On Earth as it is in HellI’m only a quarter of the way through On Earth As It Is In Hell by Brian Hodge, but that’s a fair amount more than where I was at last week. As a Hellboy novel I’m enjoying it quite a bit. He’s taking his time to set the stage for something a little more intricate. I love reading about Hellboy clobbering monsters as much as anybody, but he’s more than just a brute. I did have a moment where I laughed at this book really hard though. You may or may not be familiar with posts going around social media poking fun at male authors clumsily writing female characters. I’ve encountered an example in the wild with this book and it had me in stitches for a good 5 minutes. Otherwise the writing has been pretty good, so I’ll try not to hold this against it.

On Earth As It Is In Hell Excerpt
Mystifies men, wears a choker, has periods…you know, a woman. Duh.

Planting Gardens in GravesI’ve also started reading Planting Gardens in Graves by R. H. Sin. I’ve only read about 50 pages, which is especially little considering it’s a poetry collection that I could power through quickly if I chose to do so. Reading it has been enjoyable so far; Sin’s style is very accessibly. The only misgivings I have about the book are what these poems collectively seem to be about. In a broad sense it so far seems to be capturing the feelings of investing yourself in people romantically who let you down. I don’t mind this necessarily, but so far there has been a weird line in the sand drawn between the sexes, when I feel most of these sentiments are pretty universal.


Recently Finished

Hellboy 1955Over the weekend I finished reading Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1955 by Mike Mignola et al. I enjoyed it a lot more than 1954. This book managed to balance episodic adventures with a connective narrative really well. There were also some great little characters moments that helped this time in Hellboy’s life feel more distinct. Despite his appearance he’s only about 10 years old, after all, and his relative inexperience with life grates against his teammates in interesting ways. Despite this, he’s demonstrating how much he excels at his job as an agent too. I’m actually pretty excited to see what 1956 has in store for the characters now.

Witches AbroadI also finished reading Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett and I enjoyed this novel quite a lot. I should have a full review up soon. Discworld novels often have at least one moment that makes me burst out laughing, and I’m happy to report that this novel was not an exception. He just has such a way with words sometimes that it strikes such a cord with me. I know Lords and Ladies is not far off in my reading lineup, which is another Witches novel, but this book has got me excited to revisit these characters again so soon. The trio of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick might just be my favourite, second only to Death himself.


Reading Next

TheAmazingScrew-OnHeadI’m afraid I’m at a bit of a loss again regarding what novel I’d like to read next. I may deviate from my list for the year for my next one, but I’ve made no decision yet. I have finally gotten more digital Star Wars comics, at any rate, so it’s likely I read some of those next. I’d also like to read The Amazing Screw-On Head by Mike Mignola, which is a collection of stories by the creator of Hellboy. One story in particular is “The Magician and the Snake”, which he co-wrote with his daughter and I’m happy to have a physical copy of. It’s a lovely little story.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – May 1, 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 other people’s 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

Witches AbroadI’m well into Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett now, and the first thing I’m happy to report is I still love Granny Weatherwax as much as ever. I think my initial misgivings were more a result of how long it’s been since I read about the Witches. Her characterization in Equal Rites left a firmer impression on me too, but she did not have a dynamic with the other two witches in that novel. Along with the humour of the trio traveling through foreign parts, there has been a legitimately heart-wrenching moment as well that was doubly effective because I was not expecting it. This may be a comedy series, but Pratchett definitely has range as an author, and even in parody he always makes things surprisingly complex.

I’m still technically reading On Earth As It Is In Hell by Brian Hodge, but regrettably I’ve not picked it up once since last week. I’ve felt a little less motivated lately, but hopefully I’ll be out of that slump soon.


Recently Finished

Hellboy 1954Slight slump notwithstanding, I did manage to read Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1954 by Mike Mignola et al, which I’ve been wanting to pick for a while. I read the first two books late last year, but haven’t had any of the follow-ups until recently. The stories in this volume were all right, but they unfortunately read a lot like filler. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, if not for the fact that these books also seem to be trying to have a narrative thread running throughout them all. This thread isn’t given a lot of attention though, so I’m vexed because I can’t tell if I should just read this as a collection of his early adventures or if it’s all leading to something.


Reading Next

Hellboy 1955I still have every intention of starting Planting Gardens in Graves by R. H. Sin soon, but I’m also going to crack open Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1955, so I can be fully caught up with the volumes that have been released so far. Other than that, I don’t really have any plans for novels as yet. I’ll likely keep to my scrappy list of books to read this year, but I have no idea what I want to pick up yet. I’m behind on reviews as well, for the first time ever I think, and that’s causing me to drag my feet a bit too.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – April 24, 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 other people’s 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

Witches AbroadLate last week I started reading Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, the 12th novel in the Discworld series. I’m enjoying it quite a bit so far: the idea of a fairy godmother so invested to the literal power of story that she turns an entire kingdom into a dystopian nightmare is both hilarious and compelling to me. Citizens must fulfill all the storytelling tropes associated with their vocation/role in society or meet an unpleasant fate. I’m excited to see where this goes once the trio of witches arrive. I’m not sure if I had this problem with Wyrd Sisters, but Granny Weatherwax seems more indignant about things than I remember. She’s one of my favourite characters so I hope this doesn’t stick too much.

On Earth as it is in HellI also started reading On Earth As It Is In Hell by Brian Hodge, which is the third Hellboy novel. This is the first of the novels not written by Christopher Golden and so far I’m really liking Hodge’s approach to the story. I’m not very far yet, but so far there has been an attack at the Vatican Archives, seemingly by seraphim of all things, who have unleashed heavenly fire upon a whole area of the library. What I’m liking about Hodge’s approach is the story so far is told through straightforward narrative as well as reports written by B.P.R.D. consultant Kate Corrigan after the fact, which helps to exposit details more elegantly.


Recently Finished

SmashedNot long after last week’s post I finished reading Smashed by Junji Ito. It hasn’t wound up being my favourite collection, but I’m happy to report that despite the shaky start with the earlier stories things did start to pick up for me. There’s almost always an element of weirdness to the horror he writes, and most of the collection wound up being weird and creepy in a way that worked really well. The art continues to be great too, though I’m finding that I’ve now read so much of his stuff that it does not have the same effect on me it once did. I’m not sure how to feel about that. The titular story was the one that closed it out and it had a great balance of body horror, suspense, and mystery.


Reading Next

Planting Gardens in GravesThe other day I got some new books, and among them was the poetry collection Planting Gardens in Graves by R. H. Sin. Lately I’ve been wanting to read poetry again, especially as a palate cleanser from the novels I’ve usually got my nose buried in. I like the look of it and the feelings the title evokes, so I decided to pick this book up. I’m particularly excited to start it because I’ve decided I don’t want to review any of the poetry books I read. I’ll still share my thoughts and feelings in these posts, but for the time being I’d like poetry to be something I read only for the pleasure of it.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – April 17, 2019

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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

SmashedOver the weekend I started reading Smashed by Junji Ito, the newest English translation collection of some of the author’s horror manga stories. I’ve only read three of the stories so far, and I’m finding myself notably struck by how ridiculous Ito’s writing can be sometimes. I’ve sung his praises many times before, and I stand by all that I’ve said before, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent to me how hit-or-miss his short stories can be. The opener, which involves dieting and vampire bats, was more perplexing than it was horrific or creepy, and I hope the tone that it has set for the collection is not maintained.


Recently Finished

Fragile ThingsI finally finished Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman last night. Even though it’s only been a little over a month, I’m disappointed with how long this actually took me. I could have finished it in a much shorter amount of time had I put my mind to it. Oh well. The book closed with the story “The Monarch of the Glen,” which takes place after American Gods, catching up with Shadow Moon two years after the conclusion of that novel. I really enjoyed reading about that character and world again, especially with the surprise appearance by two other characters from another story in this collection. I went back and read the introduction after I’d finished too, which as I expected was a lot more meaningful that reading it as an actual introduction to the collection.


Reading Next

On Earth as it is in HellAs I’ve been saying for a few weeks now I’m going to start reading Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, since all the prose I’ve been reading has been finished up. I feel like I ought to pick something else up to read concurrently as well though. I’ve been a few books behind schedule for a while and would love to catch back up. With an apparently not-very-good Hellboy movie in theatres now, perhaps I will pick up On Earth as it is in Hell by Brian Hodge, the next of the Hellboy novels I need to read. We shall see.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – April 3, 2019

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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

Fragile ThingsI’m still chipping away at Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. Reading has been consistently enjoyable, but admittedly some of the stories have been apparently forgettable. I say “apparently” because I just had to flip back through all the stories I read in the last week to fully refresh myself on what exactly I had read. Only one actually did little for me, so this is more indicative of the problem short story collections can have sometimes. Some stories just stand out a lot more than others. That being said, I do really like when he implies that a story has happened to him. It’s preposterous to seriously consider some events as having actually happened, but I do like the blending of reality with fiction.

The WonderI’ve also begun reading The Wonder by Emma Donoghue, just as I promised last week. I’m only about a quarter of the way through it and so far I’m intrigued but not completely drawn in. The writing is good, I just don’t quite have a good sense of the story being told yet. A nurse from England in the 1800s is called to Ireland to watch over a young girl who has gone four months without eating, a supposed miracle. The story is so grounded so far that I feel like making the girl’s condition authentic is unlikely, yet the main character is already so confident that it’s a con that I’m wondering what may happen to change her mind. I’m actually quite excited to not know going in which direction the story will take, not that I think on it.


Recently Finished

Batman White KnightLast night I finished reading Batman: White Knight by Sean Murphy. Though pulling from familiar continuity, this Batman graphic novel is its own self-contained world. The Joker has been cured of his insanity, becoming a very sane Jack Napier once again, who sets his sights on Batman and the brutal vigilantism that has been allowed to run amok in Gotham City for far too long. Though it sounded gimmicky on its surface, it was a surprisingly poignant story that examines the characters of both Batman and the Joker through a critical yet fair lens. I’m especially fond of how many references there are to the 90s animated series. I don’t usually review superhero comics, but since it’s a standalone volume I will likely write one up for this soon.


Reading Next

Witches AbroadHaving balanced out genres with The Wonder—and not sticking with Fantasy constantly—I think I will start the next Discworld book I need to get to once I’ve cleaned up what I’m currently read. That book is Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, which is the third book in the “Witches” subseries. I love Granny Weatherwax, so I’m excited to see what it’s all about. I do hope the story is a little more focused on her in this book however. I thought the focus was a little too split in Wyrd Sisters.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

Top 5 Books I Read in 2018

A sentiment at the moment seems to be that 2018 has felt like a very long year, but honestly I feel like I blinked and we’re at the end of the year. Certain moments throughout the year feel like they happened ages ago, yet it also feels to me like Halloween just happened. Maybe my perception of time is a little skewed right now.

At any rate, here we are once again with my end of the year top five list, presenting the five books I enjoyed reading the most in 2018. They are in no particular order, nor do they need to have come out in this year.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 19, 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

BloodlineI’m just over 100 pages into Bloodline by Claudia Gray and I can already see why it is highly regarded among the new Star Wars novels. Set decades after the fall of the Empire, the book follows Princess Leia Organa at a time of great divide in the New Republic Senate and burnout with politics for her personally. I love how focused this book is on Leia’s perspective, deviating to other characters sparingly to help establish them in their supporting roles. Many of the other new Star Wars books I’ve read, even those meant to focus on a specific character, would jump between too many different plotlines for my liking. This is just so well-written, evocative of Carrie Fischer’s performance, and streamlined with its perspective that I’m eating it up.


Recently Finished

Reaper ManAt the end of last week I finished reading Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett, the 11th novel in the Discworld series. Please check out my full review here! I really liked this novel, though in the trio of storylines it followed one of them felt a little too tangential and filler-y for me. At any rate, I really enjoyed reading Death’s experiences as Bill Door, the name he takes for himself as a farm hand, and the way that it sort of mirrors Windle Poons’s experiences as a newly undead thanks to Death’s imposed retirement. I especially liked the way Death’s story ended. It was touching and made it clear that his experiences really changed him rather than things ending up back to the way they were before.

TomieI also read Tomie by Junji Ito over the weekend, collecting the serial series of the same name that follows a beautiful young woman named Tomie who is continually murdered by men that become unnaturally obsessed with her, yet she never stays dead. Though this is a little hyperbolic, the experience reading this kind of floored me. I’ve been enjoying Ito’s work a lot over the last year, but this book has reminded me for the first since reading Uzumaki that he really his a brilliant horror writer. I should have a review up by the end of the week.

 


Reading Next

Berserk 17The year is almost wrapped up for me as far as reading is concerned, though I’ve unsurprisingly (to myself) a little behind on what I want to get finished. I intend to read two more comic books before Christmas Eve, as well as finishing Bloodline, to end my yearly reading list at a nice even 60 books. Hopefully I can actually do it within my self-imposed timeline. The two comics I will read are Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953 by Mike Mignola et al and Berserk Vol. 17 by Kentaro Miura. The latter I’m picking up after a hiatus from reading the series that has lasted for something like 6 years. A friend has motivated me to pick it up again.

Until next week, thank you for reading!

Book Review – Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

Reaper Man

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett is the 11th novel in the comic fantasy Discworld series and the second book in the Death subseries. The Auditors of Reality, godlike beings that act as bureaucrats for the cosmos, have decreed that Death (the being) of the Discworld has developed too much of a personality, which they believe is improper for his position. As such, Death is suddenly issued a new timepiece counting down to his impending demise. Officially retired, with the populace left to sort out manifesting a new reaper to fill his shoes, Death decides to do what he’s never been able to before; spend Time. Meanwhile, the Wizards and other citizens of Ankh-Morpork must deal with the consequences of excessive life force filling the world during this transitional time when passage to the afterlife for all living things has been interrupted.Read More »