WWW Wednesday – June 17, 2020

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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 Rise of SkywalkerI’ve made considerable headway in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson. When I started it I intended to set aside time I’d normally use for other hobbies to read this, but my efforts on this front have been mediocre. So, with the other books I was in the middle of finished up, I decided to give this book more direct attention and now I’m over 75% of the way through. For all the film’s flaws, I still quite like it, so I’m happy to see this novel present a better version of that story. I’ve reached many of the bigger moments from the film now, and the benefit of prose and some expansions have appreciably given the story more depth. Some of my inferences prior to reading have been vindicated as well, which is always a plus.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Rogues and RebelsOver the weekend I finished up Marvel’s mainline Star Wars series that started in 2015, set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. The 13th and final volume was Star Wars: Rogues and Rebels by Greg Pak et al, which nicely tied up the story lines of the previous volume. The stuff with the rock people got really weird (in the best of ways), and I particularly liked that the book didn’t try to stitch itself seamlessly into the beginning of the film that follows it. I guess I just like that it gave things a little room to breathe. The only thing that bristled me a little was one of the epilogue chapters, which tied into the end of the Doctor Aphra series, which I’ve yet to finish. I wish I’d known that was in there before I started, but oh well. It didn’t spoil too much.

White TearsI also finished reading White Tears by Hari Kunzru, which became quite intense as it got further into the back half of the novel. It made for a superbly unique ghost story, the main character Seth being pushed to the brink by the mashup of real-world and otherworldly forces that assail him. His search to uncover the origins of the anomalous “Graveyard Blues” he recorded, and in turn make-good with the ethereal musician Charlie Shaw, takes a decidedly dark turn as he gets closer and closer to the heart of the matter. It made for some effectively harrowing reading, and I especially liked the how disorienting the narrative became as his placement in reality became more distorted and unreliable. I posted a full review yesterday, which you can check out here.


Reading Next

Hellboy Unnatural SelectionComing away from White Tears, which uses horror to cover rather heavy, real-world subject matter, I’ve decided I want the next book I start to weigh easier on the mind. To avoid starting another Star Wars or Discworld novel so soon, I’ve decided I’ll start Hellboy: Unnatural Selection by Tim Lebbon, which is the next standalone Hellboy novel that I need to read. It should make for some good, pulpy fun as he faces off against mythical creatures turning up in major cities around the world. This will be the second multi-media tie-in novel of Lebbon’s I will have read too, after reading Alien: Out of the Shadows back in 2018. It wasn’t badly written, but I had mixed feelings, so I’m intrigued to see what he does with a less restrictive property.

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

Book Review – White Tears by Hari Kunzru

White Tears

White Tears is a 2017 literary horror novel by Hari Kunzru. Seth and Carter are two young white menwho share a passion for music; particularly black music. Thanks to Carter’s trust fund and wealthy family, and Seth’s technical skills and talent, the two run a successful recording studio in Brooklyn. Their lives take a turn, however, when Seth records an unknown singer in the park. Carter mixes the lyrics in their studio, making it sound like an authentic recording of a blues musician from the 1920s, and releases it online as a song by a lost artist of his invention named Charlie Shaw. It seems harmless enough to them, until somebody online reaches out saying that their fictional song and musician are somehow very real. What begins as the two humouring a seemingly confused old man sends their lives spiraling down into the darkness of the nation’s heart.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – June 10, 2020

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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

Still just chipping away at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson. Only read a chapter or so, but I’m continuing to get the finer details that I’ve been wanting, which continues to be nice.

White TearsI haven’t made the progress in White Tears by Hari Kunzru that I wanted to, but I’m still enjoying the book; quite a lot, in fact, as the seemingly otherworldly elements have become more apparent in the lives of the main characters. Music isn’t something I especially connect with myself, but I am loving the ghost story elements manifesting through the music and music collecting, though it seems there is still much to be revealed. There’s still room for it to be in characters’ heads, but I hope that isn’t the case. My father is a huge blues fan and he often emphasizes the otherworldly elements at the periphery of the genre, so I’m appreciating how these elements go together.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, I’m afraid. I’m hoping I’ll occupy this space with a couple by next week, though.


Reading Next

Star Wars Rogues and RebelsI’m still not sure what book I’m going to start reading next, but I do know for sure what graphic novel I want to start. I enjoyed Star Wars: Rebels and Rogues by Greg Pak et al so much that I decided to pick up the continuation, Star Wars: Rogues and Rebels (a little confusing, I know), which is also the 13th and final volume in that series. If you don’t know, this series is set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, so recently they’ve brought it around to a conclusion, leading in to that next film. With the opportunity to finish the series one volume away I feel a personal obligation to do so as soon as I can. After that, I’ll continue reading the deluge of other Star Wars comics I bought last month.

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

WWW Wednesday – June 3, 2020

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!

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

I’m only a chapter or two further along with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson. I’ve definitely got to pick up the pace. Story is getting moving a bit, but still in its early phase. Also, a small detail spoken by Lando has expanded on something I had assumed from the film, which is nice.

White TearsI’m only about 60 pages into White Tears by Hari Kunzru, which is a little disappointing. It’s been a scatter-brained few days, so I didn’t get as much reading done as I wanted to. I am enjoying the book so far, though. The writing style is fairly unique, using dialogue sparsely and presenting the story in a more detached way, thanks to the perspective character. Anomalous media is a really fun concept to me, so I love the ghostly recordings that Seth, the main character, doesn’t remember recording while walking through New York City with his hidden mic. It feels as if the story is only just building itself up, though, so I don’t have a clear sense of where this is going or what it’s more specifically about yet.


Recently Finished

Star Wars Rebels and RoguesDespite my lack of progress with my other books on the go, I did manage push myself to read through a comic book volume; last night I read through Star Wars: Rebels and Rogues by Greg Pak et al. This is Pak’s first volume with this series, but it was easily one of the best. The core cast is split up three ways to do their own mission for the Rebellion, yet I was invested in each of them pretty equally. The only standout was Chewbacca and C-3PO getting to do their own mission together, wherein they have to place explosives on an unstable planetoid, lure in some Star Destroyers, then blow the planet and take out the ships. Problem is, the seemingly uninhabited planet is actually populated by rock people, adding a perfect moral quandary to their mission.


Reading Next

This is still anybody’s guess, except for the fact that I’ll likely read more Star Wars comics. Don’t know if I’ll continue reading Doctor Aphra volumes, or if I’ll start the Age of Republic book, though. Either way, I’m too early on in White Tears to have another novel lined up in my mind.

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

WWW Wednesday – May 27, 2020

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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

I have read another chapter of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson since last week, though this is less than I was hoping I’d get to. Nevertheless, I am appreciating the slower pace compared to the film, giving a more thoughtful look at how characters are processing what’s going on.


Recently Finished

OtherMindsIn an uncommon move on my part, I actually managed to finish reading Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith in about a week. I’m happy I was able to push myself to read it so fast, as I’m still nervous about finishing my to-read list for the year. I enjoyed this book quite a lot, though the science was a lot to take in sometimes. An appreciable amount of time is spent explaining aspects of the mind and how we currently understand its emergence in an evolutionary context, which I genuinely feel I learned from, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take some more mental legwork to understand. There are plenty of charming anecdotes and details of experiments about octopus behaviour that were a lot of fun and helped to balance the denser science.


Reading Next

White TearsSince I was being choosy between Other Minds and White Tears by Hari Kunzru about a month ago, I will be reading the latter next. Other than that, I don’t know why I’ve been so neglectful of my graphic novels as of late. I’ve always got a number of them left unread, and I just bought a lot of digital Star Wars comics since they were on sale. It’d be the easiest way in the world to get caught back up with my Goodreads challenge, but something is holding me back. Dunno what’s up with that.

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

 

WWW Wednesday – April 29, 2020

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!

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 Strings of MurderI’m still in the midst of The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel, just a little over halfway through. I’ve warmed to the book some more since last week, though admittedly it has more to do with how much the mystery has captured by interest, rather than the characters. They’re still their trope-y selves: Frey is a prim jerk with a conscience and McGray is boorish yet intelligent. I’m still waiting for the penny to drop on them learning to like one another. I find I’m most interested in how much the novel will commit to it’s implied supernatural elements. Frey is the perspective character and sees it all as nonsense, whereas McGray is a believer, so I wonder if it will be debunked, left vague so neither loses, or if Frey’s worldview will be turned upside down.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week. That’s what I get for neglecting comic book volumes. My Goodreads challenge has suffered a tad too. I’ll have to fix that.


Reading Next

Soul MusicWhile a potential comic book read is a flurry of possibilities, I still have the adamant intention to pick up Soul Music by Terry Pratchett as the next novel I read. That will get me halfway through the Discworld novels I’ve allotted for the year. After that, I’m not certain what I will pull from my to-read list for 2020, but I’ve narrowed it down to Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith or White Tears by Hari Kunzru. The former is a nonfiction look into the intelligence of cephalopods, especially octopuses, and the latter is a novel centred around music that is partly ghost story, partly murder mystery. I don’t remember a lot about the second book, to be honest, but I’d like to keep it that way. I guess I’ll have to see which I’m in the mood for when the time comes, at any rate.

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