WWW Wednesday – 2017/06/21

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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

TheftByFindingCoverI’ve finally put my energy back into reading Theft By Finding by David Sedaris; I’m a couple more hundred pages in now. I’m still a little disappointed I haven’t finished it yet, but for some reason I’m just finding it harder to get through as quickly as a straightforward novel. I’m really enjoying it now, regardless. The diary entries are curated, so we’re only seeing what Sedaris wants us to see rather than the whole raw thing, but it’s still surreal to see the years of a life summarized and pass by so quickly. It’s making me a little self-conscious about how I’m spending my own time, though optimism is among the resulting feelings.

Recently Finished

WyrdSistersCoverOver the weekend I finished reading Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (review here). It was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed the characters, as well as the use of theatre to explore how words and stories can effect truth. It shows how a story with the right spin can effectively change reality by warping people’s perception of something until it’s no longer what it once was, as far as public opinion is concerned. I was a little disappointed, however, simply because I think it was a little too built up for me. It was good, consistent with Pratchett’s work, but not especially captivating.

HellboyWeirdTalesVol1I also read Hellboy: Weird Tales Vol. 1, which is a collection of stories written and drawn by other artists who wanted an opportunity to portray Mignola’s iconic character. Some of the stories were really great, giving glimpses into Hellboy’s relationships with other members of the B.P.R.D. that we don’t really see in the main series. A good number of others were very cartoony, though, which is not what I read Hellboy for. They were cute and fun, but not to my taste for the character.

Reading Next

LovecraftCountryCoverI’m pretty much dead set on reading Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff once I’ve cleared by current slate. I really ought to look into other new books coming out, but as of yet I have nothing on my radar. I’ve been meaning to get to Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein this year too, which should be a quick read, so I may tackle that soon as well.

Book Review – Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Summary

Three witches gathered on a lonely heath. A king cruelly murdered, his throne usurped by his ambitious cousin. A child heir and the crown of the kingdom both missing…

Witches don’t’ have these kind of dynastic problems themselves – in fact, they don’t have leaders. Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn’t have. But even she found that meddling in royal politics was a lot more complicated than certain playwrights would have you believe, particularly when the blood on your hands just won’t wash off and you’re facing a future with knives in it…

WyrdSistersCover

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett is the sixth book in the Discworld series. It is also the second book to focus on the Witches, reintroducing Granny Weatherwax, who first appeared in Equal Rites. She is part of a coven with her old friend Nanny Ogg and a younger witch Magrat, the trio serving as a parody of the three witches from Macbeth, as well as a play on the archetype of the Crone, the Mother, and the Maiden. The works of Shakespeare are a particular subject in this novel, with a traveling theatre troupe playing a huge role, and story elements from the plays Macbeth, Hamlet, and King Lear being adapted as well.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/06/14

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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

Unfortunately I have not made any progress on Theft By Finding by David Sedaris since last week. I’ve been a little out of whack. I’m a little disappointed in myself, since I feel getting a review up for it should be more urgent, but I just don’t feel a huge drive to get through it.

I decided to focus the majority of my energy on Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, which I’m over 200 pages into now. It’s an odd tale that puts an interesting spin on Macbeth story, if Macbeth were wracked by his crimes for himself and his wife. It feels like the plotline is more of a frame to flesh out the witches and their place in the world than it is the focus of the book. I’m quite fine with this though, as the three have a good dynamic between them. For the most part they’ve reacted to what is thrown at them, so to speak, rather than being more active, but that is changing in the book’s final third.

Recently Finished

I read Darth Vader: The Shu-Torun War over the weekend, the third volume in Marvel’s Darth Vader series that ran from 2015-2016. Though it does involve Vader combating some of his rivals, challenging him to become the Emperor’s new enforcer, this volume felt a lot more like a side-story than I would have liked. This was following the crossover event Vader Down, however, so I do understand  a desire to let things settle a little before ramping back up.

The story concerns a conflict on a planetary level — a change in scale I appreciate in Star Wars when I can get it — and shows the kind of measures the Empire takes to keep certain worlds in line, as well as what they shape out of impressionable young leaders in the process.  I liked seeing both Vader’s influence in political matters and his being made to reign himself in (out of necessity) by the rulers otherwise under his heel.

Reading Next

Hard to say what novel I’ll read next, though I am still eyeing Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Since the New Year I’ve had a list of books I wanted to read this year, though, and there are a couple of Neil Gaiman books on there I ought to crack open as well. Otherwise, I’m definitely going to read Darth Vader: End of Games soon to finish off that series, and will probably read the first volume of Hellboy: Weird Tales as well.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/06/07

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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

I’m currently 105 pages into Theft by Finding by David Sedaris. I wanted to have a lot more of it done by now, but I spent last Thursday to Monday visiting with family and attending my brother’s wedding, so I did not have as much time for reading as I normally would have.

Things were off to a bit of a shaky start with this book, as it’s a lot different from what Sedaris normally writes. Though hand-picked and edited, these are his raw diary entries from these points in his life, so they lack the refinement of his anecdotal essays. As I’ve gone through it my interest has been continuously sated anyway; the glimpses into his life, while at first vague and feeling without context, have grown into something more as I get deeper and learn.

I’m afraid I haven’t made any progress on Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett due to the already-stated busyness. I’ll push myself to get further along soon, though. I plan on making myself get through it before I finish Theft By Finding, if I can.

Recently Finished

The only thing I managed to finish in the last week was Frankenstein Underground by Mike Mignola and Ben Stenbeck. It is about Mignola’s version of Frankenstein’s Monster, who previously appeared in Hellboy in Mexico. This book immediately follows the Creature’s parting ways with Hellboy from that book. The story goes to some strange places, incorporating the Hollow Earth hypothesis with established Hellboy mythology to explore how a creature such as he could come to be, all the while remaining pretty faithful to the original characterization of the Creature. It’s a wonderfully weird tale that fleshes out an otherwise brief appearance into a meaningful addition to Hellboy canon.

Reading Next

While in the middle of two books already it’s hard to say what novel I will get to next. I’ve been meaning to get to Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, but I really can’t say what I’ll go for when the time to grab another book comes.

Otherwise, I’ve been able to snag The Shu-Torun War and End of Games, the last two volumes of Star Wars: Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen et al. There was a big sale on Kindle editions for Marvel books last week, so I got them for only a couple dollars each. These I will definitely get through soon, then I can move on to the Doctor Aphra spîn-off series that followed.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/05/31

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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

At the moment, I’ve only just started reading Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett. I’m a little over 30 pages in, so I don’t have much of an impression of it yet. It looks like the story will be mashing up elements of  Hamlet and Macbeth, which sounds like fun. This book is the second one focused on the Witches, with the return of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, the former being a recurring character I’m fond of since reading her debut in Equal Rites. Other than that there’s a great little scene where Death is perturbed about having to explain that someone is set to be a ghost after dying (undead things are not really his jurisdiction).

Recently Finished

I’ve had a rather busy week in this respect. First I finished reading Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. The ending wasn’t what I expected, but it was a tale that inspired a lot of thought, as well as conflicting emotions. Ultimately, I really liked it. It’s a great story about the effects of power and responsibility over it. I posted a review for it last Thursday.

I also finished Hellboy in Hell: The Death Card, the final volume and conclusion of Hellboy’s story. While short, this series was a wonderful couplet that wrapped up the whole series quite nicely. The final pages are artfully done, leaving things on a muted, bittersweet tone (leaning more towards the sweet). There are a lot of call-backs to the series as a whole, which were woven into the story taking place quite well. One in particular made me very happy I read Hellboy in Mexico before moving onto these books.

Lastly, I also finished reading On Writing by Stephen King, his memoir on the craft that also teaches how to write. I found his advice invigorating and valuable. I’m hopeful that I will take his lessons forward with me as I push myself to write my own fiction. It did leave me a little disappointed in myself as well, however, as I have not been writing fiction as much as I want myself to be. Hopefully I get a good kick from this book. I see myself reading it again in the near future to make his advice stick.

Reading Next

Yesterday I got my copy of Theft By Finding by David Sedaris. I will be starting that soon, and probably putting more energy into it than Wyrd Sisters for the next little while so that I can get a review out as soon as possible.