WWW Wednesday – July 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 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

Who's a Good BoyI was supposed to have started Exit West by Mohsin Hamid by now. The problem is, I couldn’t find the dang thing. I went to grab it from my bookshelf before a little road trip the other day, but I couldn’t find it. It has to be on that shelf somewhere, I’m just going to have to dig through the layers of books. Nevertheless, starting it has been delayed. I have started Who’s a Good Boy? by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor though (which I quickly grabbed instead), which is the fourth collection of Welcome to Night Vale episodes. Look at that cover art: beautiful. I’ve only read the introduction so far, but I continue to be surprised by how little I remember about what happens in each story arc. I could swear the arc with the beagle puppy happened much later after the conclusion of Lot 37.


Recently Finished

The Buying of Lot 37Speaking of which, over the weekend I powered through and finished reading The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. It was great to get a refresher on those episodes, but I especially enjoyed getting to read a transcript of their live show “The Librarian” for the first time. Part of the way they designed that show is a reference to a weird old horror movie starring Vincent Price called The Tingler that I once saw as a kid. I hadn’t thought of that movie or heard anybody mention it for ages, but it’s not at all surprising that the creators of this series know of it. I’m flip-flopping on whether or not I want to actually review this book. I think it’s good, but it kind of feels like reviewing a script book when you ought to review the film, you know?


Reading Next

The next books I’m going to read have been stated before. Out of resentment toward myself I’m not going to belabour the point. They’re going to be Exit West and The Catastrophe Con. Definitely going to start them. I swear.

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

WWW Wednesday – July 17, 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

The Buying of Lot 37I’m still making my way through The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, but with it being the only book I’m currently reading I think I’m going to give it greater attention before I move on to anything else. It’s time this got finished. The funny thing I realized while reading further is, while the arc in this volume concerns the use of Lot 37, the actual buying took place many episodes ago. Episode 37, in fact. This collection starts with episode 50, so as it turns out they waited a fair bit before starting to make good on this subplot. I just find it funny that the actual buying of Lot 37 does not take place in the book The Buying of Lot 37. How about that.


Recently Finished

RemasteredOver the weekend I decided it was high time I continue the Doctor Aphra series of Star Wars comic books with the third volume Remastered by Kieron Gillen et al. I actually thought this volume was where Simon Spurrier would be taking over as writer, but it turns out that’s not until the next volume. Spurrier only wrote one issue here. I thought this volume was excellent, in any case. 0-0-0, the psychotic murder-droid, has Aphra at his beck and call, forcing her to bring together a delightful menagerie of questionable characters to uncover the secrets of where his programming came from and what his life before his software was quarantined was.

PhasmaI also finished reading Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson just yesterday, which I’m happy to add to my finished pile of new Star Wars novels. I should have a review up for it soon. The reading experience for this book was a little bizarre for me. I appreciated how it tried to tell a different sort of story in this universe, but the bulk of the novel stumbled a bit for me. There was something missing in the telling that left the narrative’s hold on me a little flimsy. The final chapters, however, were actually excellent. Most of the book is essentially a flashback, told by a spy being interrogated. Once the revelations of this tale effects the present I was way more engrossed in what happened next. It’s given me such mixed feelings.


Reading Next

The Catastrophe ConI still have every intention of reading Exit West by Mohsin Hamid next, but I want to finish Lot 37 first. In the meantime, I will be reading volume four of Doctor Aphra soon too: The Catastrophe Con by Simon Spurrier et al. I suppose this is the real test if Spurrier has legs with this character or not. His addition to the previous volume was seamless, so I’m hopeful. I wish I was better at making up my mind about what comics to read next. I’ve got plenty left unread, I’m just picky if it’s not Star Wars or Hellboy for some reason. I vex myself.

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

WWW Wednesday – July 10, 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

The Buying of Lot 37Progress on The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor is slow but steady. I think I got through a small handful of episodes this past week. Since this is more of a supplemental read I’m satisfied with that. Once again I’m really enjoying the nuggets of information the little preface toward each episode provides. In one, Jeffrey Cranor discusses how in one of the earliest episodes two random characters are said to have gone on a date after a harrowing experience. These two characters crop up again in a much later episode, in this collection, where we get a brief update on their lives. I really like these little Easter Eggs they’ve added in the story, things that are easy to miss if you’re not going back and re-listening to episodes.

PhasmaI’ve given Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson more attention this past week, but I do wish I was further along with it. I am enjoying it just fine, but I do need to pick up the pace if I want to get through my personal to-read list for the year. Phasma has already crossed paths with the First Order on her destitute native planet, though it is only General Hux Sr. and a trio of stormtroopers who have crashed on it. They’re currently on a journey to find the crashed ship, taking them across areas on the planet left unexplored for generations. I’m really liking the more intimate look at one planet’s history that this book is providing. One of the more intriguing things about the Star Wars universe is how old space-faring civilization is in the galaxy. The idea of a world that fell and is left behind is really interesting to me.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, but I’m working on it. Believe you me.


Reading Next

Exit WestI’m sitting here looking at my little to-read list and I need to make a decision. I can’t hum and haw as much; it’s time for action. So, I’m going to read Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. I won a copy of it at a book mixer a year or so ago and have been meaning to read it for a while now. Sam spoke quite well of it in her WWW posts and subsequent review a few months ago and I’d like to finally read it for myself. I really ought to pick up another comic book volume to read too, but I can’t make up my mind on that front yet. I find that less urgent anyway.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to link to your own post bolow.

WWW Wednesday – July 3, 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

The Buying of Lot 37I’m still making my way through The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, which I’m continuing to enjoy. The most recent episode I read through was great because it was the first episode to ever mention the character of Jackie Fierro, one of the protagonists of the Welcome to Night Vale novel that did not come out until another year after the episode in question was originally released. A wonderful insight was provided in the introduction to the episode, where Fink talks about how they’d already written hundreds of pages about Jackie for the novel before her introduction here, but it was still a year away from being published. It was a peak behind the curtain I really enjoyed.

PhasmaSo, last week we all wondered together what novel I’d pick up next. I hadn’t even decided yet myself. Well surprise! It is a Star Wars book. I’ve been reading Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson, a novel that gives an origin story to a character who stands out yet remains mysterious and unfortunately underused in the new Star Wars trilogy. I’m actually loving how different of a story is being presented here. The frame narrative is about a rival Captain in the First Order named Cardinal interrogating a Resistance spy for information he can use against Phasma. This spy, in turn, tells tales of Phasma’s life on the harsh planet she grew up on. I love how intimate the frame setting is, as well as the presentation of the distinct society that Phasma was a part of.


Recently Finished

The Midwich CuckoosOver the weekend I finished reading The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. I really loved this novel. A lot of classic science fiction is respectable for the ideas they introduced, by a bit of a letdown for me when I actually read them. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, however, which presents an alien invasion as more of a moral dilemma and less clear-cut. While certain developments feel inevitable, one cannot help but be left with the sense that a great failing in human (and perhaps inhuman) nature led to such things. I couldn’t help but imagine how the Doctor (Doctor Who) might have sorted that problem. She’d have know what to do. I should have a review up before the end of the week.

SabrinaI also read Sabrina by Nick Drnaso, which I borrowed from my local library. When I first heard about the book it was in a video discussing how the book is, broadly speaking, a hard look at what life in our time is like, especially with the rise of social media and the notion of “fake news” infecting the discourse about daily events. More specifically put, this book is titled after a fictional young woman who gets abducted and murdered, a video tape of her execution being sent to various media sources soon after. It was a powerfully evocative read that I won’t soon forget. It was the first graphic novel to ever make it onto the longlist for the Man Booker prize.


Reading Next

With as much as I have on my plate with reading right now I don’t have any plans for what to read next. The future is but a track being freshly laid before a train already in motion. I also struggle for consciousness; night shifts can be rough, my friends.

Until next week, thank you for reading. Feel free to share your posts below.

WWW Wednesday – June 26, 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

The Midwich CuckoosI finished reading Part One of The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham over the weekend. I continue to be surprised by how progressive the book is in dealing with the subject of mass unwanted pregnancies. There’s a rather effective moment where Angela, the woman helping to hold the community together, vents to her husband about how his support is all well and good, but it’s all too easy for him because it’s impossible for him to ever have to deal with what the women are dealing with. The nature of the alien offspring they birth is much more fascinating than I expected too. While there are about 60 children, split almost evenly between male and female, they seem to be two distinct male and female hive-minds.

The Buying of Lot 37I’m also a few chapters into The Buying of Lot 37 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the third volume collecting the scripts of episodes for the podcast series Welcome to Night Vale. It’s been nearly three years since I read volume two, and that was the last time I went through those episodes, so it was actually a little jarring to be thrown back into the mix. I am slowly recalling where everything is at for the characters at this point in the story though. I am enjoying revisiting them nonetheless, especially with Jessica Hayworth’s illustrations added to the mix. The pacing does feel a little off, however, since it was originally dictated like a radio show and now is formatted like standard prose. This is a small gripe though.


Recently Finished

Eating the DinosaurOver the weekend I finished reading Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman and you can check out my full review here. This really was a refreshing read thanks to the randomness involved in my deciding to pick it up. I especially enjoyed the final two essays, the penultimate one dealing with our society’s fixation on irony/sarcasm and how we often completely misunderstand artists and other figures who are very literal. The last was a deeper look at the effect the internet has had on our society, through the controversial lens of the Unabomber’s manifesto (whom the author dismisses for the radical murderer he is, but nonetheless is intrigued by what he wrote). I may have to pick up more of Klosterman’s books in the future.

A Study in EmeraldI also read through A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman, Rafael Albuquerque, and Rafael Scavone. It was a wonderful adaptation of the story, bringing it to life visually almost perfectly. I especially liked the way Queen “Victoria” was represented as a Lovecraftian horror that is standing as monarch over Britain. I am happy I managed to secure an inexpensive digital copy of this book, however, as it is quite directly a retelling of the short story with little to no alteration from what I could notice. The art work has it’s merit of course, but I do feel I’ve just bought the same story again. I think I’d have been a little beside myself if I bought a physical edition for the same price as the entirety of Fragile Things.


Reading Next

With Midwich still unfinished I haven’t settled upon another novel to read next. I should have it finished before June is over, though, so expect to see something new in the Currently Reading section next week. Isn’t this exciting? I wonder what it’ll be.

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

WWW Wednesday – June 19, 2019

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! 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

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! 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!