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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Book Review – Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

MovingPictures

People might say that reality is a quality that things possess in the same way that they possess weight. Sadly alchemists never really held with such a quaint notion. They think that they can change reality, shape it to their own purpose. Imagine then the damage that could be wrought if they get their hands on the ultimate alchemy: The invention of motion pictures, the greatest making illusions. It may be a triumph of universe-shaking proportions. It’s either that or they’re about to unlock the dark terrible secret of the Holy Wood hills — by mistake.

Moving Pictures (1990) by Terry Pratchett is the tenth novel in the Discworld series. It is also the first book in the Industrial Revolution novel sequence, where the catalyst of the story is some manner of technological innovation or invention. Unlike the other sub-series that focus on a specific character or characters, this book introduces a new cast to the reader. It isn’t until the fourth Industrial Revolution book that a recurring protagonist is introduced. This novel, unsurprisingly, follows the emergence of a motion picture industry on the Discworld and the mayhem it eventually unleashes.Read More »

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!

Mid-Year Freak Out

I was tagged to write this by Molly from Silver Button Books, a wonderful blog that I’ve been following for a while now, and vice versa. I always enjoy hearing from her on my posts. Take a moment to check out her blog, if you like.

“Mid-Year Freak Out” feels rather apt for this tag. For one, I’m freaking out a bit that it’s already July, some personal-life stresses having made time especially dissolve away this year. Furthermore, thanks to my prolonged affair reading the entirety of The Lord of the Rings, which is exhaustively documented here at this point, I am woefully behind on the amount of books I want to read this year.

I read a lot of comic books throughout the year as well, but I’m going to try to make this a little more book focused, allowing for something comic book related to trump in when appropriate.Read More »

Book Review – Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

JourneyToTheCentreOfTheEarth

Professor Otto Lidenbrock’s great adventure begins by chance when a scrap of paper drops out of an ancient book he has just bought. The coded inscription reveals the existence of a passageway leading to the centre of the earth and that the entrance lies within the crater of an extinct volcano in Iceland.

The professor travels to Iceland accompanied by his nephew, Axel, a keen young geologist. Together with a Swiss guide, they descend into the bowels of the earth where an amazing prehistoric world awaits them.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth, first published in 1864, is Jules Verne’s second novel. It is placed as the third book in the Extraordinary Voyages series, though it was added retroactively by the author. This series ultimately numbered 54 books. While far from the first example of subterranean fiction, a subgenre of adventure fiction, this book was highly influential and helped make the subgenre more popular. Verne is not an author I’m hugely familiar with, but I enjoy reading old science fiction and adventure stories when the mood strikes me, which is part of the reason why I first picked this up. The title evokes cheesy movies for me, whether adapting this book outright or just influenced by it, so I was interested to have a firsthand look at the source material.Read More »

New Books & Novel Discoveries (June 2018)

June has been another rather light month. A few things have caught my eye, which I’ll get in to, but I decided to hold off on the temptation to pick them up. With The Lord of the Rings finally finished I’m wanting to get back into the swing of reading through more books, rather than picking up more new ones.

It’s also been a while since I put out a Writing Report, which I’m going to fix soon. I do have some updates to share, though nothing major. I really need to motivate myself to finish writing my short horror story too, so I can start submitting it places.

Anyway, on to the books!Read More »

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!

Book Review – Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Circe is the newest novel by Madeline Miller, published on April 10 of this year. Though not a sequel, this is her second novel exploring the world of Ancient Greek mythology following her first novel The Song of Achilles, which I have yet to have the pleasure of reading myself. I have heard many great things about that book, but being a greater fan of The Odyssey than The Iliad I jumped at the chance to read an in-depth tale about Circe, the alluring goddess and sorceress of Aiaia.Read More »

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!