WWW Wednesday – 2018/08/22

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by 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

The Princess BrideI’m well into the thick of it now with The Princess Bride by William Goldman, just shy of the halfway point. Reading this book has been a bit of a bizarre trip for me so far. Goldman makes it hard to forget that the story is an abridgment of a fictional book, abridged by a fictional version of himself. In a nonsensical way it makes Buttercup, Westley, and the rest feel more fictional that they already are. Can anyone else who has read it relate to that? Either way I’m simply charmed by the story, its evocative characters, and tongue in cheek sense of humour.


Recently Finished

Chaos WarI actually had a hard time picking another comic book to read, despite the smorgasbord I’ve got to choose from. That is until last night, when I realized I still wasn’t all the way caught up with the Incredible Hercules books that I’ve got, the last of which was the event comic book Chaos War by Greg Pak and Gus Van Lente et al. After Hercules is revived thanks to the events of The New Prince of Power, giving him the Godliest of Godly powers, he must band all heroes together to stop King Chaos from reducing the multiverse to nothing but the Void once again. It was as humorous and action-packed as always, though fairly bog-standard as far as the events I’ve read are concerned. It did make good on a lot of foreshadowing set up much further back in the series though. It was a nice way to cap things off before leading the character into a new direction.


Reading Next

The Gunslinger BornThe plans I set out next week are still more or less what I have in store for myself, though on the comic book front I’ve made some more concrete decisions. For one, I’ve decided I need to finally read through the prequel Marvel comic book series to The Dark Tower by Stephen King. I made a point of purchasing the last couple books I needed last year, yet here I am a year later having left them to languish on my shelf even further. That all being said, my next comic book endeavour will be The Gunslinger Born by Peter David.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesday – 2017/10/11

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by 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

TheNightmareCollectiveI’m in the middle of a number of books now, The Nightmare Collective, a horror anthology edited by PlayWithDeath.com, being the one I’m giving the most attention to. As a $0.99 horror book on Kindle I honestly wasn’t expecting much, but I’m happy to report there have been some really good stories in here. A lot of them have great pacing and they’ve been good at avoiding predictability for the most part. The story “The Feral One” by Kyle Yodlosky struck a particular cord with me for how wonderfully bizarre it was.

StarWarsFromACertainPointofViewI also couldn’t resist starting Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, a new anthology from Del Rey featuring more than 40 authors for a collection of 40 stories to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. Each story is told from the perspective of a background character in A New Hope. So far I’m really enjoying how they tie into moments and sequences in the film, which the book goes through chronologically. I’ve read three stories so far and I haven’t even gotten onto Tatooine yet.

TheNewPrinceOfPowerLastly I’m reading The Incredible Hercules: The New Prince of Power by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, et al, the follow-up book to the Hercules series I’ve been reading over the last year and a bit. There have been some nice chapters dealing with the aftermath of the finale book, though it all seems a little silly considering what I know gets restored in future stories. Nevertheless, a fun read thus far, seeing all the characters from across the last several volumes coming back, as well as continuing the story of Amadeus Cho.

Recently Finished

Guards!Guards!I finally finished Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett over the weekend — check out my review here — which took me disappointingly long compared to how quickly I was able to get through Neverwhere. Alas, I am a little behind schedule. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this book. The Discworld is a great fantasy world as a whole, but there is something about Ankh-Morpork itself as a city that is a lot of fun to dive in to. I love the ridiculous yet functional way everything is run through guilds, including legal thievery. I love the cast, who were the first I ever came to know of in this series, and it feels weird that I won’t be encountering them again for another eight books.

Reading Next

HellboyAnAssortmentOfHorrorsI’ve got a pretty set schedule for October still, so next on my list is Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors, the new short story collection edited by Christopher Golden. I’m planning to start it shortly after I finish The Nightmare Collective, which should be any day now.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/08/02

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by 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

GuardiansOfTheGalaxyCosmicAvengersCoverHaving just finished a number of books I’m taking things a little lighter with some Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis et al before I get back to some lovely walls of text. I’m only a couple of issues into the volume but I’m liking it a lot so far. I have to keep reminding myself character backstories are different from the movies, but the two interpretations are rather close to each other so it doesn’t throw things too much. I especially like that it has started to confront how insanely frequent cosmic threats are on Earth, and in turn shows how uncanny and even dangerous the planet looks to Galactic community.

Recently Finished

AssaultOnNewOlympusI finished reading the final two Incredible Hercules volumes I had, The Mighty Thorcules and Assault on New Olympus by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente et al. The former was a fun romp with Hercules along with meaningful plot development from Amadeus Cho. The latter was a worthy conclusion (though it’s not quite the last volume as it turns out) with everything that’s been building throughout the series finally coming together into a showdown of Olympic proportions.

I also finally concluded Reflections: On the Magic of Writing by Diana Wynne Jones and posted a review yesterday if you want to check out my thoughts in depth. It became a bit of a chore to read so much of it at once, but Jones’s insight was utterly valuable nonetheless. Though some details are repeated a lot, her history is fascinating as well. I only regret that I’m not yet a bigger fan of her work.

TheOldManAndTheSeaCoverLastly, within a span of eight hours I read through The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I know that’s no spectacular feat, it’s only 100 pages long, but I was proud of myself for sticking with that personal challenge all the same. The dialogue at the start felt a little rigid to me, but once it gets into Santiago’s struggle with the marlin things really pick up. I especially admire his determination to succeed mixed with reverence for nature and the animal itself, as well as the regret that can come with pursuing something so formidable to its death.

Reading Next

PyramidsI’m determined to get through the six volumes of Guardians of the Galaxy I picked up, so expect to see those here in the future. I’ve also decided to continue onward through Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. The next book shall be Pyramids, the seventh novel in the series. I’m interested to see how he produces a more standalone novel, unlike those previous which are parts of sub-series that continue throughout Discworld. I won’t be surprised if this novel has it’s connections and Easter eggs too, though.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/07/26

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by 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

Regrettably, I have not made any progress on Reflections: On the Magic of Writing by Diana Wynne Jones. I just didn’t really make time for it over the last week, so I’m resolving to finish with it by next week. I like having supplemental readings, but it does reach a point where I feel I’ve been on them for too long and I must push through.

TheMightyThorculesOtherwise, I just started reading The Incredible Hercules: The Mighty Thorcules by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, et al. I’m only a couple of issues into the volume, which have only introduced the different stories going on. Hercules, along with Zeus who is now a child with no memory, is tricked into pretending to be Thor to help fight dark elves (it has yet to be revealed why) and Amadeus Cho is in a strange small town taken over by what appear to be glowing space brains. The series has been a lot of fun thus far and this volume doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint. I especially like how petty Herc is when comparing himself to Thor.

Recently Finished

SistersBrothersCoverI finished reading The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt over the weekend and posted a review yesterday. I think I still like Undermajordomo Minor best of his novels, though this one is definitely close behind it. It ended up being much more of an odyssey than I expected, with the duo’s story being a lot more about the strange people, turns of fortune, and encounters they have on their way from Oregon City to Sacramento. Going in I expected it to be more about the developments that take place after they find their mark, but that’s really more of a chapter in the journey.

Reading Next

DarkDiscipleI still intend to read The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway over the next week, and I will probably read the final Incredible Hercules volume I own as well so I can shelve that series finally. I’ve also realized it would be a good idea for me to read Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden relatively soon. I bought it a while ago just to have it, but I’ve actually restarted watching the series The Clone Wars (after I got frustrated with its donkus chronology last year). As it turns out this novel was meant to be an eight episode story arc before the series was cancelled, so once I finish the series I’m going to dig right into this book, which I’m much more enthusiastic about now.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/05/17

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WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by 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?

I meant to write one of these last week, I really want to start doing them weekly. Sadly, I also do shift work and that Wednesday disappeared in a haze of fatigue. Here’s hoping I can start weekly from here.

Currently Reading

Right now I’m in the middle of reading Tarkin by James Luceno, one of the new canon Star Wars novels. I am enjoying it; this book tells a much more grounded story of Imperial intrigue and squashing dissent and rebellion than Lords of the Sith did, which I’m finding translates better to novel form. However, I wonder if I’m making a mistake by only having read the novels about villains thus far. I like getting into the heads of these characters, but ultimately it is giving the backstory of a man who destroyed an entire planet without batting an eye, because of how much he believes in a strong show of force to eliminate dissenter.

It still presents Tarkin with some interesting dimension, showing that he’s not wickedly cruel and sadistic, but ruthless and committed to his cause all the same. His involvement is a little more nuanced than simply being in on an evil plot to turn the galactic government into a dictatorship. I just can’t get completely behind him because he has no problem enforcing this dictatorship.

I like the book regardless and I’m intrigued to see where it goes. Tarkin and Darth Vader are currently being given a run for their money, which I hope will lead to more interesting developments as they become more compromised. I hope the implied rivalry between him and Vader comes to a head more as well. So far it’s been hinted at, but they’re cooperating just fine.

Recently Finished

Since my last entry I finished The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (review here). I must say, it did make me eat my words a bit. I said that it likely didn’t have any surprises for me, but I was wrong. There weren’t any shocking plot developments, but what I did find was a prominent personal connection with Holden, which made me empathize with him a lot more than I had before. The novel felt bittersweet by the end and I’m happy I read it. I took more away from it than I thought I would.

I also finished reading What If? by Randall Monroe (review here), which was a lot of fun to get through. I treated it like a read I would come back to periodically, but I enjoyed reading a lot of entries at once too. The humour was solid, but what I really took away was how much his explanations of physics and the laws of nature, when answering these absurd questions, actually taught me things I didn’t know before. It was fun and I know more about the world than when I started.

Lastly, I read through The Incredible Hercules: Dark Reign, which is the fifth volume in a Marvel Comics series about Hercules, which were originally published in the late 2000s to early 2010s. Once again I found they blend the mythology of Hercules with the modern, comic book interpretation of him very well, even dealing with how he’s always working toward overcoming the negative aspects of who he was in those old stories. The previous volume dipped a little in quality for me, so it was great to see it pick up again here.

Reading Next

It still feels as if I’ve got endless books to choose from, but I think I’m pretty set on what I’m reading next. I want to start and finish On Writing by Stephen King as well as Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett before the end of May. In terms of comic books, I want to read the two volumes of Hellboy in Hell — having recently acquired volume two — as well as the first volume of Hellboy: Weird Tales and Frankenstein Underground, which I just picked up for great prices used yesterday.

I hope to have all these books done before May 30th, when Stephen King’s new book Gwendy’s Button Box and Devid Sedaris’ new book Theft by Finding both come out. I want to finish those two new books as quickly as I can to get reviews written and posted, sot that I’m not just writing about older books. Looks like it’s going to be a bit more of an exciting few weeks for reading.

Mighty Thursday #19

The Incredible Hercules: Love and War

By Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (Writers), Clayton Henry & Salva Espin (Artists), et al; Marvel Comics; 2009

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Summary

Marvel’s Amazons don’t merely attack. They rip, rend, smash, bash, eliminate, annihilate and just plain violate any man, woman, or god that dares get in their way. Led by Princess Artume, daughter of the Amazon queen Hippolyta, these Amazons aren’t gonna wimp out when it’s their turn in the ring — or in the boudoir!

Amazons are unleashed as Hercules and sidekick Amadeus Cho find themselves unwittingly wound up in Artume’s insidious plot, one that eventually draws in plenty of other Marvel heroes and gods from the pantheon! Love and War is a story full of action and unbridled humor, with Herc just the way you like — no, love — him. Charming, dumb, and getting away with it!Read More »

Mighty Thursday #2

The Incredible Hercules: Against the World

By Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (Writers); Khoi Pham, Reilly Brown, Eric Nguyen, & Bob Layton (Illustrators); 2008

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Summary from Goodreads

From Hulk to Herc and still Incredible! WORLD WAR HULK is over, the man-monster Hulk defeated and imprisoned following an earth-shaking battle that left both allies and enemies struggling to pick up the pieces. Having sided with the Hulk, legendary demigod Hercules and boy genius Amadeus Cho are now outlaws, a situation further inflamed by Cho’s grudge against the super-spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and Herc’s feud with his estranged half-brother — Ares, god of war, who isn’t above abusing his new federal clout for the sake of sibling rivalry. It’s Marvel’s mightiest manhunt, guest-starring Wonder Man and the Black Widow – plus an untold tale pitting Hercules against the Incredible Hulk!Read More »