WWW Wednesday – August 10, 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’ve made some decent progress in Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones this past week, though it had to share attention with a few other things. I’m still really enjoying the story; managing these tours has become a proper nightmare for Derk’s family and they haven’t even had to deal with any pilgrims yet. Factors are being introduced that complicate things further, and I’m still wondering if this will turn into a phenomenal blunder or if this is a villain’s origin story. It’s exciting not to know, though I would like a bit more momentum in the story soon. I’ve continued to be surprised by of the ideas this book is exploring too, such as the fact that the world where the tourists come from frequently sends its prisoners to play soldiers in the Dark Lord’s evil army as a means to deal with its “violent criminals”, which carries with it a lot of unsettling implications considering how many tours this fantasy land seems to host on a regular basis.


Recently Finished

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsOver the weekend I pushed myself to finish reading The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig, which I enjoyed quite a lot. In typical fashion with my “supplemental reads”, I had to just blitz the rest of it to finally be done with it. So it goes. Reading so much of it at once actually made me a little melancholic, which I probably could have expected. It’s not about obscure delights, after all. I’m happy I was able to post a review of this book so quickly afterwards, albeit more of an informal one since it’s the sort of book that feels less my forte. In my review, I shared some words that stuck out to me, as I’ve been doing on these posts. I’ve liked doing that, and since this is the last one, I thought I’d share just one more.

This week’s word is vellichor, “the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured. From vellum, parchment + ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of gods in Ancient Greek mythology. Pronounced ‘vel-uh-kawr.'”


Reading Next

I’ve not really cemented any further plans about what I’ll be reading next as of yet, other than getting a start on Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn et al., which I still plan on doing.

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

Book Review – The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a project by John Koenig that he has undertaken since 2009. Originally a blog and then a YouTube series, the author’s work culminated into this book, which was published in November of 2021. All of them created by the author, the book is a collection of new words and their definitions, which encapsulate emotions we all feel but have difficulty putting into words.

This review is going to be a little different from normal, as fiction/nonfiction is more typically my wheelhouse. I don’t feel I’m equipped to examine it more deeply as a reference book or a work of linguistics. However, I wanted to write a little something about this book anyway to share some of my feelings about it, so this is going to be a less formal review among my posts.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – August 3, 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

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsHere I am again after a week off! Getting this up pretty late again, though, but still happy to be here. I went on a camping trip last week, so I wasn’t able to post. I tried to get some reading done, but as is common for me on trips I did not manage to read all that much. I did make a little bit of progress in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig, but only about 10 or so pages. This week’s word is allope, “a mysterious aura of loneliness you feel in certain places; the palpable weight of all the lonely people secretly holed up in their houses and apartments, with a flickering blue glow cast up on their walls—so many of whom might just want someone to talk to, or just want to feel needed, and could be that for each other if only they could somehow connect.” Short for “All the lonely people,” from the song “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles. Pronounced “al-uh-pee.”

Dark Lord of DerkholmI’ve also made some progress in Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. This book really does continue to throw me for a loop, as yet another thing has happened that I really wasn’t expecting, dealing potentially permanent physical harm to Derk, who will be playing the Dark Lord of their world soon. It seems to be taking things in a direction I was speculating on though, as pain and disfigurement may very well put him on that path of becoming an actual Dark Lord, rather than just playing one for tourists. Whenever I happen to have the time, I really need to dig into this book properly and get a proper long reading session in. The tone surprisingly fluctuates in this book too, as part of me feels like it’s written for a younger audience, yet at times Jones doesn’t really restrain herself with some of the grisly details, while still refraining from being too graphic. Perhaps she just gives her audience a lot of credit.


Recently Finished

Nothing in the past two weeks, regrettably.


Reading Next

PaperGirlsVol1I’ve still not fully made up my mind on what novel/book I’ll want to start up next, but I have decided what comic books I’d like to start cracking open. I’ve had several volumes of Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn for a while now, and the release of the TV series adaptation has oddly spurred me into wanting to start reading them finally.  I don’t actually remember a lot of what this series is supposed to be about, other than the 1980s and time travel, but I hear so many good things about Vaughn’s work that I’m confident I will be more into it than I was with Animosity.

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

WWW Wednesday – July 20, 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

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsUnfortunately, I’ve not made any further progress in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig since last week. I do however have another word saved that I can share, for what its worth, since I’m enjoying sharing some of those here. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. The word this week is lockheartedness, “the atmosphere of camaraderie when people are stuck together in a certain place—a stalled elevator, a shelter during a storm, the sleeper car of a train—which leaves them no other option but to be present with each other, with nowhere else to go, and nobody else to be.” (From locked up + fullheartedness.)

Dark Lord of DerkholmI’ve made progress in Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones, though only about 20–30 pages. They’re still preparing their world for the arrival of the pilgrim tours, and poor Wizard Derk is under an incredible amount of stress. I really feel for the guy; he just wants to take care of his family and create new animals, not turn his entire life upside down for rich jerks who want to run roughshod over an entire world. He’s like a wholesome Shou Tucker (if you know, you know). I’m wondering if this will make him snap, and he will become a proper Dark Lord, rather than just pretending to be one. Only time will tell. I really don’t know what to expect from this, and that’s exciting on its own.


Recently Finished

The Liminal ZoneOver the weekend I read through The Liminal Zone by Junji Ito, which is the latest collection of some of his stories to be published in English. The book includes four newer stories by the artist, which were more recently published in a digital publication, so they’re longer than his typical short stories. I have weirdly mixed feelings about this collection. I’ve certainly read worse, and a couple of these have really good premises, but I just didn’t really get into reading this one. Worse yet, in the afterword Ito himself remarks about how he thinks his best ideas are behind him. It was honestly a little poignant. I’m not sure if I even want to review this one, but I’ve reviewed every other book of his I’ve purchased over the last several years, so perhaps I would be remiss if I skipped this one.


Reading Next

I’ve not fully made up my mind on what I want to read next. I’ll be on holiday next week without convenient access to a computer or the Internet, so I likely won’t have one of these posts up next week. Just a heads up.

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

WWW Wednesday – July 13, 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

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsI’ve made a little bit of progress in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig since last week, though only a bit. This week’s word is probably a relatable mood for a lot of people right now. Certainly seems to be the vibe going around, at any rate. The word is kuebiko, “a state of exhaustion inspired by senseless tragedies and acts of violence, which force you to abruptly revise your expectations of what can happen in this world, trying to prop yourself up like an old scarecrow, who’s bursting at the seams yet powerless to do anything but stand there and watch.”

Dark Lord of DerkholmI also started reading Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones since last week, and I have gotten nearly 100 pages in, which is better than I expected of me. This book is also 500 pages long, which I wasn’t expecting. Why are some paperbacks deceptively long? At any rate, I’m really enjoying the tone and premise of this story. It’s about a fantasy world beset upon by a great evil: capitalism. A business man from another world runs tours for people wishing to have a fantasy adventure, sending them to a magical land that he keeps at his beck and call thanks to the powers of a demon he has made a compact with. Naturally, the denizens of the world are terribly exploited, and the only way for them to get out of it, apparently, is if the wizard Derk plays the Dark Lord for the current year’s tours. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this goes, I have no idea what to expect.


Recently Finished

Animosity Vol. 2Over the weekend I also made sure to read through Animosity, Vol. 2: The Dragon by Marguerite Bennett et al. I did like this volume better than the first one, but I’m really not sure I want to continue with these books. It managed to make itself a lot more interesting when the characters were at rest, as they each puzzled over how The Wake happened in the first place and whether or not they and their fellow animals have souls, but it didn’t exactly make for a great narrative. The back of this volume actually had a collection of text entries about different states of America and the world at large, detailing events that have gone down, and I couldn’t help but wonder why in the heck that was all more interesting than the comic book itself. I won’t say never, but it’s unlikely I pick up volume three.


Reading Next

I’m really not sure what I’ll pick up next, I’m just getting into new stuff. Ought to figure out another comic to crack open.

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

WWW Wednesday – July 6, 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

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsPardon the unusually late post this week, I’ve had a bit of a day. I’ve only made a small amount of progress in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig, but considering this past week as a whole, I’m seeing this as a positive. I’ve actually recorded a new word from what I’ve recently read as well, so I’m not just pulling from a backlog. This week’s word is moledro, “a feeling of resonant connection with an author or artist you’ll never meet, who may have lived centuries ago and thousands of miles away but can still get inside your head and leave behind morsels of their experience, like the little piles of stones left by hikers that mark a hidden path through unfamiliar territory.”


Recently Finished

Son of a TricksterI’m happy to report that I used may available free time more wisely this past weekend and finished reading the last hundred or so pages of Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson. I quite like this book, it has certainly gotten me interested in reading the whole trilogy, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I can’t help having mixed feelings about it. I guess I was expecting the magical elements to expand more meaningfully than they did, but the novel still does something interesting and different with the whole “teen discovers they have a connection to magic” type of story. The ending was actually rather bittersweet/poignant, I’m not sure which best describes how I feel, and it was tied mostly to very grounded, real-world problems. The magic is no longer a secret, but I do have to wonder what the future has in store for Jared, as he doesn’t suddenly have endless possibilities open to him.


Reading Next

Dark Lord of DerkholmRight off the bat, I want to read volume two of Animosity by Marguerite Bennett et al. soon so that I can figure out if I actually want to stick with this series or not. Hopefully I can read that by next week. I’ve also decided, right this moment, that I will read The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones next. This is the first book in a pair that I have had my eyes on reading for a while, and it has been too long since I’ve read any of Jones’s work. It actually feels criminal how little of her fiction I’ve actually finished. It’s time to change that.

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

WWW Wednesday – June 29, 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

Son of a TricksterStill chipping away at the same books. I feel like I’m so close to finish Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, all I need is a good window of time to read it. Unfortunately, I have been especially busy since last Wednesday, which hasn’t allowed  me a lot of time for leisure reading, nor the drive to be honest. It has been quite exhausting. I did manage about 20–30 pages, but that isn’t a huge amount of progress in a week. With so little left in the book, seemingly, I must say that it isn’t what I was expecting from a story about a youth discovering a familial connection to a mythical figure. I’m eager to see how things wrap up, but I’m worried a lot of the story will end up amounting to wheel spinning. Perhaps that is the point.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig has once again been neglected outright, but I do have another word saved for you all anyway; the word this week is manusia, “the ambient feeling of being a human being; a baseline mood that everyone feels intensely every moment of their lives, but can never pin down because they have nothing else to compare it to.”


Recently Finished

Animosity Vol. 1I actually made good on some plans I’ve been talking about all month and read Animosity, Vol. 1: The Wake by Marguerite Bennett et al. It was interesting, to say the least, though I’m afraid I’m not exactly hooked yet. The idea of “the wake” is that, seemingly inexplicably, every other animal on Earth has gained sapience and the ability to speak. As can be expected, a lot of chaos ensues, as many of them don’t appreciate how humanity has treated them. I feel like this first volume was in far too much of a hurry, however, not taking the time to plant its characters in the situation and just let in unfold. In a few spots the art is confusingly laid out too, where I found myself actively baffled by the events unfolding, such as a character within sight seemingly 20 feet away somehow not seeing a fight between to others. If the second volume doesn’t improve, I think that’s going to be it for me and this series.


Reading Next

Once again, I have still not made up my mind on anything new I might want to start. Too much to finish that has hung around all month. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this stuck in a rut with some books. Not that I dislike them, but the fact that I’ve genuinely finished neither of them this entire month troubles me. On top of that, I still have a Sleeping Giants review to finish. Ah, what a month.

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

WWW Wednesday – June 22, 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

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsUnfortunately, I didn’t get a whole lot of reading done this past week. I’m not sure what happened, but all of the potential reading time just slipped through my fingers. I’ve been feeling a little burnt out, so I guess I gave that time to more carefree hobbies. I only read about 20 pages of Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson since last week, so I don’t really have much more to say about it. I really want to make a push to finish this book in particular before June is done, so I’ll try to make a greater effort to prioritize it. I didn’t pick up The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig  at all either, though I do have another entry saved from my last reading, so I can share another word.

This week, the word is solysium, “the unhinged delirium of being alone for an extended period of time—feeling the hours stretch into days until a weird little culture begins to form inside your head, with its own superstitions and alternate histories and a half-mumbled dialect all your own—whose freewheeling absurdity feels oddly liberating but makes it that much harder to reacclimate to the strictures and ambiguities of normal social life.”


Recently Finished

Nothing again. This is a really unfortunate trend.


Reading Next

I still want to read the first volume of Animosity by Marguerite Bennett et al. and start Stories of Jedi and Sith. I’ll probably need to start thinking about whatever will properly follow Son of a Trickster too, I just need to get my in gear with what I’m currently reading.

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

WWW Wednesday – June 15, 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

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsI’ve gotten a chapter further along in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig since last week. Progress is slow and steady, but I happy I’m making regular progress regardless. This week’s word from the book is the wends, “the frustration that you’re not enjoying an experience as much as you should, which prompts you to try plugging in various thought combinations to trigger anything more intense than roaring static, as if your heart had been inadvertently demagnetized by a surge of expectations.” I’ve definitely felt this, though usually with experiences I’ve had many times before.

Son of a TricksterI’ve made more progress in Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson as well, though perhaps not as much as I think I should have. I may have even been able to finish it over the weekend had I focused solely on it, but my attention was too divided between other things. Nevertheless, I’m happy some progress was still made and I’m continuing to enjoy this book, though it’s still feeling more like a slice-of-life story, with little in the way of a precise plot having emerged. There’s a new character that’s been introduced that I have mixed feelings about, though I appreciate that she too isn’t exactly a positive influence in Jared’s life, despite being very different from everybody else. I’m eager to see what it’s all building toward, as one incident of the possibly supernatural variety was rather creepy.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week either. I’m going through a bit of a bad spell it would seem, as I’m having trouble getting myself motivated to read comics more so than usual. Hopefully I get out of this funk sooner than later.


Reading Next

Stories of Jedi and SithI still have grand designs to start reading this or that, such as the first volume of Animosity by Marguerite Bennett et al. or Stories of Jedi and Sith by various, but I just haven’t gotten myself to crack them open just yet. I had a peak at the story I was most interested in checking out in the latter book, the story about Rey, and while it’s not quite what I was hoping it’d be, it does still sound interesting and it explores a relationship that is only touched upon in the films, so I’m still looking forward to checking it out. Maybe I’ll be able to start these by next week. Should probably finish one of my other books on the go too though.

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

WWW Wednesday – June 8, 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

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsI’ve had a bit more reading time this past week, so I’ve made some decent progress on both of my current books. First is The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig, which has continued to be a nice leisurely read. Since it’s mainly definitions, I’ve decided to share a word or phrase that’s stuck out to me since the previous week. This week the word is proluctance, “the paradoxical urge to avoid doing something you’ve been looking forward to—opening a decisive letter, meeting up with a friend who’s finally back in town, reading a new book from your favorite author—perpetually waiting around for the right state of mind, stretching out the bliss of anticipation as long as you can.” If that ain’t me.

Son of a TricksterI’ve made especially good progress in Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson this past week; I’m now nearly 100 pages further than I was last week. So far the story feels like a slow burn, going through the ups and downs of Jared’s tumultuous, adolescent life. The magic elements are still only just creeping in so far, as mundane life has far too much going on for him to be seeking some sort of fantastical escape. This poor kid has to deal with so much, and I have a hard time imagining his mythical father will be a positive influence. The only thing about the writing I’ve found a little jarring is that on occasion it tries to use what sounds to me like “gamer speak” circa late 2012, and it felt just off enough that it came off as a little forced to me. Hopefully that’s more anomalous overall, as I’m enjoying the writing a lot otherwise.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week either. Shame!


Reading Next

Stories of Jedi and SithI’m still thinking about reading the first volume of Animosity by Marguerite Bennett et al. soon, I just need to set aside time for it. However, I’m also thinking about starting to read Stories of Jedi and Sith by various, which is currently waiting for me at the bookstore. It’s more of a Middle Grade book, which I don’t typically go for, but I’m interested in some lighter-reading short stories about the various characters included. I’m thinking I could slowly read through it at a story or two a week—a supplemental supplemental read. It’ll help justify buying this now too instead of just waiting for a paperback. We’ll see what I actually manage.

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