WWW Wednesday – 2018/07/18

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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

MyYearOfRestAndRelaxationI’ve been reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, though I’m only just getting started with it. My reading plans took a slight detour. Though I’m still within the first chapter, I have read until the first section break. It was a bit of a whirlwind so far, giving a lot of information on the narrator’s daily life such as it is and her dysfunctional friendship with a college friend named Reza. The style is rather fast paced, though I haven’t exactly gotten a hold on what the story is about yet. I’m a little wary with how much I’m being told rather than shown, but that may just be Meshfegh setting the scene. I’m still optimistic.

Recently Finished

MovingPicturesOver the weekend I finished reading Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett! Please check out my review here. I enjoyed it well enough, though it went pretty much as I expected it to. Though it hasn’t been the case every time, there is a general skeleton of a story that Pratchett seems to use when he has more of an idea he wants to explore than a specific story he wants to tell. Gaspode the Wonder Dog did not entirely take over the role of protagonist, but he was one of the most complex characters in the story, torn between his resentment for how humans mistreat him and his innate nature as a dog (a Good Boy). I was thrilled to learn that he becomes a recurring character throughout the series.

TheAshesofJedhaI also read The Ashes of Jedha by Kieron Gillen et al, which has caught me up on all of the available volumes of the current Star Wars series by Marvel. This is the first book with Gillen taking over from Jason Aaron and the difference was a little staggering. Maybe I just prefer something about Gillen’s style, but I was vastly more intrigued with the story here than I was with most of Aaron’s stuff. There was some weird stuff with the Force in it, which is always a win for me, but the book was mostly about a Rebel operation yet it still had me hooked. It bodes well for me for the series going forward.

NecronomiconThough this is not a completed book, I also read “The Shadow over Innsmouth” by H. P. Lovecraft from my massive tome of his stories. I’ve been playing the video game Bloodborne recently and a friend of mine told me to read this—basically a homework assignment—before I begin a specific portion of the game. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I had absorbed more about it through osmosis than I realized, since much of it didn’t surprise me. I will likely have a review up of it soon.

Reading Next

AftermathI know I gab a lot about Star Wars, but I’ve got a list with five of the newer novels still on it that I want to get to this year. So, it’s high time I started the first Aftermath novel by Chuck Wendig, which is following the Galactic Civil war after the deaths of the Emperor and Darth Vader. I’ve been wanting to read this trilogy for a long time and I’m not putting it off any longer (once I’ve finished up with Moshfegh’s novel).

Until next time, thanks for reading!

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WWW Wednesday – 2018/07/11

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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

MovingPicturesI’m still reading Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett. I’m a little over half way through the book at the moment. In a surprising turn a new character seems to have emerged as a focal point of the story.  This character is Gaspode the Wonder Dog, a mangy mongrel that can inexplicably talk and think like a person thanks to the eldritch forces of Holy Wood. I don’t know if he will actually usurp the role of protagonist, but he has wound up being far more interesting than the lead character and I’m wondering now if that was Pratchett’s intention all along. I’m still enjoying reading the book, but it often feels like it’s stalling in terms of pace, which can be a little frustrating.

Recently Finished

Progress has waned a little this week, so nothing unfortunately.

Reading Next

TheAshesofJedhaAs I said last week, I intend to start My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh soon. I’ve received my copy of it since last week, so now it’s simply a matter of finishing up what I’m currently reading. Meanwhile, I do need to continue catching up on Star Wars comics. I’ve only got one volume of the main title left to read, The Ashes of Jedha, before I’m all caught up on that specific series. After that, I just need to read some of the more standalone Star Wars comic book volumes and then I will feel like I can move on to other series I need to get to.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/07/04

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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

MovingPicturesOver the weekend I finally started reading Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett, the tenth Discworld novel. This is another book in the series that follows a new cast of characters, parodying a specific concept in its own Discworld-y fashion. This time around it’s Hollywood (“Holy Wood”) and the film industry, which has made its way onto the Disc in a roundabout, fantasy sort of way. The protagonist is not particularly remarkable so far, but I really like the notion that something Lovecraftian is at play giving people “Holy Wood dreams.”

Recently Finished

JourneyToTheCentreOfTheEarthSaturday morning I finished reading Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne. Check out my full review here. I liked it well enough, but it ended rather abruptly when the real sense of adventure and discovery had finally started taking off for me. There’s only so long that characters can wander deep underground, perilous though that can be, before it becomes played out. I can respect the book for trying to be as scientific as possible in dealing with the seemingly impossible things the characters do come across, but I wanted them to more directly confront the more startling discoveries they did make.

StarWarsOutAmongTheStarsI also read Out Among the Stars by Jason Aaron et al, the sixth volume in the current Marvel Comics run of Star Wars. I rather liked this volume, despite its focus on the core crew of the Millennium Falcon (which hasn’t been stellar in this series as of late). Each issue of this volume was dedicated to different pairings of characters, telling brief self-contained stories that had some well done little character moments. One chapter followed the SCAR squadron of elite Stormtroopers, a perspective I especially enjoyed in this book. The RD-D2 story was a little silly. I have trouble with the little astromech running circles around supposedly trained soldiers, but it’s not too big of a bugbear for me.

Reading Next

MyYearOfRestAndRelaxationOttessa Moshfegh’s new novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation should be arriving any day now, so I’ve decided to get the jump on that net while it’s newly published. The only thing I know about it in a roundabout sort of way is that it deals with feelings of apathy and depression in an otherwise privileged life. I really enjoyed her last book, so I’m really looking forward to checking this one out.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/06/27

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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

JourneyToTheCentreOfTheEarthI’m still getting through Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, though I’m a fair amount past the halfway point in the story. I’m a little disappointed I’m not finished with it, but I’m not going to dwell on that too much. It won’t be much longer. I’m enjoying the book well enough, though I’m finding it a little odd as far as adventure fiction goes. This really is more the journey to the centre, rather than time spent in the centre itself. Much of it has been the Professor bullishly pushing forward and his nephew Axel, our narrator, complaining about how much he doesn’t want to be there.

Recently Finished

GyoNot long after last week’s post I finished reading Gyo by Junji Ito. I’ve written a review of it, please check it out here! It was a heck of a strange trip by the end, which I actually had to reckon with for a little while. I’m still a little disappointed with the way it turned out (I just really prefer supernatural sources for horror), but the more I look back on it the more positively I consider it. It’s not one of my favourites of his regardless. There are still a few things I raise my eyebrows at, but it’s more fun to view as a “B movie” type of story that I shouldn’t scrutinize too heavily. It did have some great visual and conceptual moments of body horror too, context notwithstanding.

Reading Next

ZeldaEncyclopediaI still have every intention of continuing with the Discworld series next, but as a supplemental read I think I will start gradually making my way through The Legend of Zelda: Encyclopedia, which I got my copy of late last week. Apparently this has some information that contradicts the timeline established for the games in Hyrule Historia, which I’m both intrigued and irritated by.

Until next time!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/06/20

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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

JourneyToTheCentreOfTheEarthI’m only about 25 pages in, but I recently started Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne as a lighter read to sure up the numbers for my reading goals this year. I’ve still got a lot of catch-up to do. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the older science fiction and/or adventure fiction I’ve read before, though I believe this is my first time reading one of the “lost world” genre. Since it’s a book first published in the mid 1800s I’m really interested to see how they interpreted worlds like this straight from the source.

GyoI’ve also started reading Gyo by Junji Ito, one of his books that I picked up a few months ago now. I’ve been meaning to get back to reading through those and a friend having read it herself inspired me to pick it up off the shelf. It’s honestly a lot different than what I was expecting, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I need to see it through to the end first, but some of the nature of the threat is vastly different than what I thought it would be in a way I find less appealing so far.

Recently Finished

CirceOver the weekend I powered through and finished Circe by Madeline Miller. I should have a review up within the next couple of days. I’ve got a few issues with it, but overall I liked the book a lot. Miller is exceptionally talented at faithfully adapting mythology into fiction. I feel like a lot of other media gets really indulgent with the source material, but this I believed as existing in the realm of classical myths through and through. Circe herself was a thoroughly interesting character too, and the changes Miller did make to expand her history and character worked really well.

DoctorAphraAndTheEnormousProfitI also finished reading Doctor Aphra and the Enormous Profit by Kieron Gillen et al, which was a worthy send off for the writer and character’s creator. Aphra organizes a giant auction for the crystal she obtained, which contains the mind of an insane ancient Jedi, and as expected things go awry in spectacular fashion. Something I really love about this series is how little Aphra and her “companions” actually care for one another. When it comes down to it they’re truly out for themselves and I appreciate the commitment to their villainous sides. Darth Vader becomes involved in an awesomely satisfying way as well.

Reading Next

MovingPicturesI don’t intend to take very long with Journey to the Centre of the Earth, so hopefully I will be starting Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett soon, so I can finally continue with the Discworld series. I’m really disappointed with how much I’ve neglected it in 2018 thus far. I’m pretty sure this time last year I had completed two of them already.

Until next time!

WWW Wednesday – 2018/06/13

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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

CirceI am currently about 40 pages into Circe by Madeline Miller and already I can see what a lot of the fuss is about. Part of me was admittedly a bit leery about how the mythology would be adapted, because usually when it is the author or other person with creative control takes a lot of liberties with the material. Reading this so far feels like a direct attempt to try to more closely capture the lives of these godly figures in  prose. It’s especially interesting to me because the myths are literally full of nymphs and I hadn’t really considered what their daily life would look like. Miller gives a really interesting interpretation of that thus far.

Recently Finished

TheLordoftheRingsI finally finished all of The Lord of the Rings! You can read my review of The Return of the King, my third and final review covering the book, here. My status with this book is to blame for the absence of one of these posts last week. I had to travel that weekend, which really threw off my reading plans. I had actually finished the story itself, but I was intent on reading at least most of the appendices, which were full of extended lore. I refused to count to book as finished until I’d read all of it. As a result my post last week would have been pretty much identical to the week before. I’m relieved to finally have it done and moved on to other books, but I did sincerely enjoy the experience.

Reading Next

DoctorAphraAndTheEnormousProfitI’ve listed Doctor Aphra and the Enormous Profit by  Kieron Gillen et al on my currently-reading list on Goodreads, but I haven’t actually started it yet, so I’m definitely picking that up next. I’m only about three volumes away from catching up with the current Star Wars comic books I’m following, which has me pretty excited. I’m just now realizing that this is the last book in the Doctor Aphra series written by the character’s creator. I do hope that Simon Spurrier’s take is faithful.

WWW Wednesday – 2018/05/30

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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

TheLordoftheRingsOh boy am I getting close to finished with The Lord of the Rings. I’ve got less than 100 pages to go of The Return of the King, which for the most part seems to be epilogue material. The Ring has been destroyed, but surprisingly there seems to be a fair amount of story left before this tale finally wraps up. I honestly can’t wait. I’ll be happy to finally be able to say I’ve read it, and more importantly I will be able to move on to other books without feeling like I’ve got unfinished business.  I have started debating whether or not I should read some of the appendices, which seem to fill in some gaps with actual narrative, rather than textbook-style information. We’ll see what I end up doing.

Recently Finished

ScreamingCitadelSince last week I read through The Screaming Citadel by Kieron Gillen, Jason Aaron, et al. It’s a Star Wars comic book volume that crosses over the main Star Wars series with the Doctor Aphra series. It took things in a weird direction that was stylistically interesting, but also a little boring in terms of plot. The main threat involved parasitic creatures, which is a well-worn path for science fiction. I enjoyed the dynamic between the unseasoned, plucky Luke Skywalker and the manipulative and self-serving Dr. Aphra. There was a good amount of friction and cooperation between the two that made the crossover feel more worthwhile.

Reading Next

MovingPicturesI’ve mentioned numerous times now that I plan to start Circe by Madeline Miller next, which I will hopefully have begun by next week (fingers crossed). I need to travel again this weekend, which may hinder reading progress. I also really need to continue reading the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, which I have neglected in 2018 so far. Next up in the series I need to read is Moving Pictures, which I have fortunately had a copy of for a while. It will simply be a matter of picking it up when I’m ready.

WWW Wednesday – 2018/05/23

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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

TheLordoftheRingsI started The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien last week, so I’m on my way to finally finishing The Lord of the Rings. This volume especially feels like a direct continuation of a story, rather than a new novel continuing a story. I’m finding this lends the most credence—aside from Tolkien’s own word—to the idea that this story really was meant to be a singular novel and not a trilogy. The War for the Ring continues to ramp up at the onset of this book; I don’t think I’ve even 100 pages in and Gondor is already under siege something fierce. It’ll be interesting to see how all of this story is divided up, since my only previous point of reference is the film.

Recently Finished

SkeletonCrewI finally finished reading Skeleton Crew by Stephen King late last week. You can read my full review here. It ended on a surprisingly somber note with a story called “The Reach” about community, family, and reflecting back on a life long lived. It does feature ghosts that may or may not exist, but as a more kindly presence as the main character reckons with her inevitable passing. I mention things to this effect in the review, but I just really appreciate how great of a storyteller King is regardless of genre. His frightening tales are great, but his core strength is the humanity he gives his characters and this is especially evident when he writes stories that are closer to standard fiction.

AphraI also read Aphra by Kieron Gillen et al, which is the first volume of the Doctor Aphra series of Star Wars comic books. The series is a spin-off of Gillen’s run on Darth Vader from 2015-2016, which first introduced the rogue archaeologist to the Star Wars universe. I absolutely loved this book, reminding me why I got into these new comics in the first place. Aphra is a great new character full of charm and positive energy yet borderline sociopathic and usually out for herself. Despite her moral ambiguity she does have a heart too, though it often conflicts with her self-interests. The story itself goes to weird places with the Force as she helps her blackmailing father track down a lost, ancient citadel created by a subset of Jedi.

Reading Next

CirceI’m still planning to read Circe by Madeline Miller next, which should hopefully be soon. I only have a couple hundred pages left of The Return of the King, so in theory I could finish that rather soon. We shall see though. On the comic book front, I’m probably going to read The Screaming Citadel next, which is a crossover comic book between the flagship Star Wars title and Doctor Aphra. Hopefully it holds up to my experience with Aphra.

WWW Wednesday – 2018/05/16

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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

SkeletonCrewOh boy…here we are a week later and this looks worse than last week. I’m close to finished with Skeleton Crew by Stephen King—I’ve got less than 100 pages left to go—but I wasn’t able to finish it outright because I visited home for four days over the weekend, during which I didn’t get a chance to get any reading done. I managed to finish the story “Gramma,” which did a great job of legitimately upsetting me though. King really made me care of the kid in the story, left alone at home with his ailing grandmother, and the way things turned out really got to me. Some details were a little too on the nose as the story developed, but the ending paid off well.

Recently Finished

Nothing this week. Going to have to try and turn this around something fierce over the next week, if I can. I’m going to be balancing it with revising some creative writing, so we shall see. Skeleton Crew will at least end up here by then, I can promise you that.

Reading Next

I’m going to start The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien any day now. Other than that, I might read a comic book volume or two. I’m really close to caught-up on my Star Wars graphic novels.

WWW Wednesday – 2018/05/09

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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

SkeletonCrewI’ve made a lot of progress on Skeleton Crew by Stephen King since last week, though I’m disappointed that I didn’t manage to finish it. I’ve really enjoyed most of the last several stories I’ve gotten through in this collection. I’d last left off with “The Raft” which I knew the basic plot of, but really enjoyed finally reading firsthand. It’s a simple yet effective horror scenario with a paranormal element: my favourite. The last batch of stories has really emphasized how varied this collection is, including a science fiction tale of a pair marooned on a strange desert planet, a Word Processor that can change reality, and a young man recounting how he fell in love and went on a killing spree. Some are better written than others, but I’m really enjoying that how this book keeps me on my toes.

Recently Finished

YodasSecretWarSince last week I read through Yoda’s Secret War by Jason Aaron et al, the fifth volume Marvel Comics’ currently ongoing Star Wars series. There’s some general Rebel Alliance mishaps going on with C3P0 having been captured by the Empire, but it really just works as a frame for Luke to read Obi-Wan’s journal, which recounts the tale of a strange experience a great Jedi Master once had. This master, unnamed to Luke, was Yoda. Years before the Clone Wars he answers a strange call in the Force to an uncharted world populated by warring tribes of children. I absolutely love when Star Wars stories do weird things with the Force, and this story certainly goes to some strange places without compromising existing lore. It’s nothing too surreal, but a lot more interesting than random rebel exploits. I wish writers for this franchise would do this sort of thing more often.

Reading Next

Shortly after I finish Skeleton Crew I intend to dive right into The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, and then I will be done with The Lord of the Rings—probably forever. I’ve waded in these waters too long. Far too long. It needs to be done. It will be done. Other than that you can expect to hear about some more Star Wars comics. I’m on a roll with them and really want to get caught up.