#WWW Wednesday – March 21, 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

Due to me having no time a couple of weeks ago and still alternating Wednesday posts between this blog and my writing blog, it’s been about three weeks since I last did a WWW Wednesday. I’ve finished a number of things, and am progressing through my March-April TBR quite nicely. But it does make for a bit of a long post! Sorry!

What have you recently finished reading? 

First up, I finished Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.  I enjoyed quite a few of the essays in here, particularly the way she explained her depression and the stories about Simple Dog and Helper Dog. I’m not going to get around to reviewing this one properly, but I would recommend picking it up if you enjoyed the HaaH blog.

Next, I finished my ARC of Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge. This was such a cozy urban fantasy mystery and I enjoyed it a lot. Though it did make me hungry. I want to hang out in Lola Dodge’s kitchen while she’s baking. My review is here.

The next one was Deep Storm by Lincoln Child, which I listened to. This was a sci-fi thriller, I guess. I found some of the ideas quite interesting, but it is in a third person omniscient style, and I found it a bit too detached to get interested in anyone.

On the same day, I finished an ARC of Daddy Dearest by Ellery Crane. This was a compelling thriller though there was one character where I couldn’t decide whether to sympathise with her considering how messed up she was, or whether I just thought she was completely irresponsible. So that did affect my enjoyment a bit. You can read my full review here.

Next I finished Call Me Sasha by Geena Leigh. This is Geena Leigh’s memoir of her time working in prostitution in Sydney. I’ve read a few books in this vein and it wasn’t my favourite. Though I think the audio book narrator also contributed to that because it sounded like she pouting at everything. You can read my review here.

A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester was my next read. This was a damn fine piece of historical romance, set in 1920s New York, and featuring young women bucking societal norms and also lots of Broadway. So I was sort of destined to like it. My review is here.

Last but certainly not least, I finished the audio book of The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. This was fascinating, and I’m already pretty sure will be one of my favourite books of this year. It is another historical fiction, set during the “War of the Currents” and featuring historical figures such as Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. I have never googled so many real events to find out more while reading a novel. My review will be up on Friday.

Phew! That’s it. Only seven books, but I do tend to go on a bit, don’t I? (I have actually been drafting this post for at least a week and adding books as I finished them, but it still feels like it took forever to write).

What are you currently reading? 

I’ve been reading The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, which is on my March-April TBR… I feel like the blurb promises one thing and the words between the covers go off in a completely different direction and I’m not sure how I feel about that. So I’m having a bit of a break from it.

In the meantime, I have started The Sherlockian by Graham Moore. I’m not quite as into it as I was into The Last Days of Night. I think it’s little things like small Americanisms in the chapters set in Victorian London, and a fictitious descendent of Arthur Conan Doyle (I’m never sure how to feel about liberties taken with such recent historical figures). But I only started it last night and I’m  already a third of the way through, so there’ s that.

What do you think you will read next?

I’ve got Ready Player One by Ernest Cline out from the library. To be honest, the excerpts I’ve read, along with everything I’ve heard from people with similar reading tastes to me, suggest that it is pretty terrible, so the best I’m hoping for is “so bad, it’s good.” Yes, every now and then I like to rage-read a book, it’s true.

It will probably be another three weeks before I post a WWW again, as I am flying to Nepal on April 2! Eeeek! I won’t be reading much while I’m there, but I have a number of ebooks lined up to read on the flights!

What are you reading this week?~ Emily

“All that stuff about the pleasures and dangers of fantasy, and what are stories for?” // Review of “Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen” by Dylan Horrocks

Title: Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen
Author: Dylan Horrocks
Genre: Graphic novel/fantasy/sci-fi
Date Read: 25/11/2016 – 26/11/2016
Rating: ★★

Review:

This was an interesting book and I admire it for what it’s trying to do and the messages it is trying to convey, but I felt it got a little too bogged down in that and forgot to tell and interesting story at the same time.

Sam Zabel is an aspiring cartoonist, carving out a living writing bad superhero scripts that he hates, all the while trying to find the inspiration to write something truly incredible. Then one day, he comes across an issue of an old New Zealand comic from the 50s, and when he sneezes, finds himself transported to the world inside its pages. What follows are a whole lot of questions Sam is not sure he knows the answer to.

The themes of this book are ones worth considering. It touches on the objectification of women in comics, and how far can we allow the “it’s just fantasy” argument to go before fantasies that are presented in and absorbed through comics and other mass popular culture media become problematic. These are important things to consider, and I appreicated Horrocks bringing them up.

Unfortunately, I found the storytelling a bit bland. Particularly at the start, there’s a lot of telling rather than showing. You’d expect a graphic novel to manage that better than a novel written in prose! The characters were all fairly two-dimensional character archetypes, and I didn’t feel that they each had their own unique voice. While obiously the artwork made them easy to tell apart, if I had been reading this in prose, it would have been one of those cases where I could barely distinguish them.

While this was a good idea, there was too much emphasis on the ~point, and not enough on storytelling to hold my interest for too long. I would recommend this if you are interested in the themes, but not so much if you’re just interested in reading some more graphic novels.


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#WWW Wednesday and WIPpet Wednesday- 04 November, 2015

This has been one of those weeks where I can barely believe it’s only Wednesday, and yet Wednesday it is. On the upside, that means fun blog hops! First up we have WWW Wednesday, which is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in over there by leaving a link to your own WWW Wednesday on today’s post. All you need to do is answer the three questions.

  • What are you currently reading?

wwwwednesdayI started Chasing Nonconformity by indie author Michelle Proulx yesterday. This is the sequel to Imminent Danger (And How to Fly Straight into It), which I reviewed back in February. This is a really fun YA/sci-fi/romance series with some really entertaining characters and strong world-building. After reading a whole slew of things that only got three stars, I wanted to read something that I’m pretty sure I’ll give at least four to.

Still going with The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker. The pace is very slow, but the writing is good, and I am interested in the characters. They’ve only just met where I’m up to, and I really want to see how their relationship develops.

I’m also reading How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson. I’ve been interested in this method for a while, so I’m going to give it a go with my next WIP.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I read the first two volumes of Jim Henson’s Return to Labyrinth. They were fun, and I’m thinking about making my rating 3.5 rather than 3. They gave Jareth a tragic romantic backstory, though, which I have mixed feelings about, because really, can you imagine the man who sang “Dance, Magic, Dance” having a tragic backstory? And even though this is set 13 years after the movie, he seems to have been mooning over Sarah all that time. Now don’t get me wrong, I am totally a Jareth/Sarah shipper, but I’ve read fanfiction that depicted this relationship better (The Goblin Market is a good one, if you’re interested).

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Mothers Grimm by Danielle Wood is my November Pick for me read, and it arrived for me at the library today, so probably that. I’m actually not sure what to expect with it.

In other news, I hand in my final assignment for the year on Friday, and I’ve got to say, after the best part of ten months spent studying straight, I am so looking forward to the break. Nothing to get up for on the weekends! No feeling guilty for doing fun things! Yay!

On that note, since I now have free time on my weekends, I decided it was time to re-join WIPpet Wednesdays. I missed sharing my writing with you guys, though on the upside, sitting out for a few weeks does mean I’ve got lots of new stuff to share from. I’m actually pretty excited, as I may end up finishing the first draft of Operation Sugarplum tonight or tomorrow! I plotted out the last few scenes at the end of my lunch break yesterday. I’ve also got a lot of notes for things to be improved upon in the second draft, as well as some glaring inconsistencies that need patching up, but I will be putting this aside for a little while and picking up something else. Probably Lessons Learned, which I have shared from before. It’s the one with Grace and Frederick.

wednesdaybannerAnyway, WIPpet Wednesday. It’s a blog hop where we share some of our current WIP that somehow relates to the date. Our linkup is here. K. L. Schwengel is our host and she is awesome. This week, I’ve four paragraphs for the 4th of November. Not long after the last excerpt, in which the Creelan King was threatening Clara that she’d better do as she’s told, he notices that she’s wearing a familiar pendant. Max gave it to Clara earlier, promising it would guard her against Creelan magic. The King wants to know why she has it and if she knows where it would have come from.

“I can tell you where it came from. Either your Max, or someone else who could then pass it on, stole it from the body of a Creelan soldier. When there is magic flying blindly in the heat of battle, it can be easy to miss our intended target. These stones ensure we cannot be hurt by our own magic.” Again, he reached out his hand, though this time it was with the palm held upwards. “I would be grateful if you would hand it back, so it could be returned to the man’s family.”

Clara had to admit he was good. She nearly took the pendant off and handed it over, but common sense kicked in at the last second. “Do you think I’m that stupid?” she asked. “Give up my one means of protection while you’re keeping me a prisoner in my own house?”

“You think I’d need to rely on magic to hurt you?” the King countered, his voice rising. “Give it to me!” He lunged towards Clara, grabbing both the pendant and a handful of her shirt in his fist. Clara wrenched herself away.

“No!” she screamed. “Do you think I’m going to believe a single word you say to me? When you’ve already tried to kill me once, and now you’re taking me hostage? Leave me alone.”

Clara then flings herself off to her bedroom and the King lets her go because honestly, he’s got plenty of time to wrestle pendants from around her throat.

I have to dash now, as I need to be somewhere in half an hour or so, but I will catch up on your blogs soon!

~ Emily