Then and Now #29 (9/5/2022 - 9/11/22
Last week was my penultimate week in the Netherlands, so I had some farewell drinks as well as some official stuff like letting the municipality know I'm emigrating, etc. In between I've also tried to leave space for plenty of down time so that this whole moving process doesn't become too stressful. I've got help from family and friends so I can't actually complain about how the moving is and will be going, but the thinking through of what to pack when and how is still something that tires me out a bit. But I'm also just super excited to get to Germany, get started with my job and the PhD, so that is really getting me through. On the blogging side of things I've finally decided that I need to work on my enormous backlog of requested books on NetGalley. It's honestly really bad, considering I've over-requested since 2010... but I've really gone through the books still waiting for me and they are all books I want to read. And now my goal is to get through as many before the semester starts on the 16th of October and to read at least one "backlog book" a week from then on. I already knocked two off the list: My Purple-Scented Novel by Ian McEwan and White Horses by Alice Hoffman.
I've also started watching Rings of Power, the new Lord of the Rings show from Amazon. I had some issues with it initially, mainly because Tolkien and his work are so close to my heart and because I'm not super happy about a company like Amazon working with his material. But I decided to set some of that aside to see what the hundreds of people working on it have created. And I must say that it looks absolutely stunning and the music is gorgeous. The plotline is still a little wonky but I think that the third episode, which came out this Friday, hit its stride a little more. This show won't please hardcore fans, since it doesn't actually have the rights to most of the "canon" lore, and it might be a little hard for complete newbies since it does work with some of the lore, but I think the work countless of people have put into it is worth recognising. Am I happy with all their choices? No. Is it a relatively valid take on or interpretation of Tolkien's work? I think so.
- Reading Round-Up: Little Grey Cells and Vampires
- Audiobook Review: The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham, narr. by Alex Jennings
- Friday Friyay: Laxdaela Saga by Anonymous, trans. by Magnus Magnusson and Herman Palsson
- Audiobook Review: The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, narr. by Noah Reid
- Friday Friyay: The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty
- Short Story Review: 'My Purple-Scented Novel' by Ian McEwan
- Review: White Horses by Alice Hoffman
This is probably my favourite track from the Rings of Power soundtrack so far. It's the 'Scherzo for Violin and Swords'. I just love the urgency of it! Bear McCreary is a brilliant composer.
Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortunes by Eric LaRocca (Titan Books; 9/6/2022)
A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s—a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.
A couple isolate themselves on a remote island in an attempt to recover from their teenage son’s death, when a mysterious young man knocks on their door during a storm…
And a man confronts his neighbour when he discovers a strange object in his back yard, only to be drawn into an ever-more dangerous game.
From Bram Stoker Award finalist Eric LaRocca, this is devastating, beautifully written horror from one of the genre’s most cutting-edge voices.
What have you done today to deserve your eyes?
This is going to be my early Halloween read. I love the sound of the three stories in here and the title, in combination with the cover, just really caught my eye. Horror is not everyone's cup of tea but it's such a rewarding genre for me. I'm really able to confront some things through it, so the fear is almost always cathartic.
White as Witching: Faerie Tales Rich & Strange by Katherine Buel (Victory Editing; 10/4/2022)
A wicked queen. Dark magic. A heart as cold and fierce as winter.
This book was preciously published as Heart of Snow but it's completely new to me. I'm always down for some long-term vengeance as well as weird Selections and wicked queens. Maybe this will be a good book to read when I make a trip to the Black Forest!
Foster by Claire Keegan (Grove Atlantic; 11/1/2022)
An international bestseller and one of “Top 50 Novels Published in the 21st Century,” Claire Keegan’s piercing contemporary classic is a heartbreaking story
I had never heard of this novel before but the blurb really struck me. I can't imagine the heartbreak of finding a safe home, only to once again have something be wrong. I can't wait to discover this modern Irish classic for myself!
Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction ed. by Sheree Renee Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, and Zelda Knight (Macmillan-Tor/Forge; 11/15/2022)
A group of cabinet ministers query a supercomputer containing the minds of the country’s ancestors. A child robot on a dying planet uncovers signs of fragile new life. A descendent of a rain goddess inherits her grandmother’s ability to change her appearance—and perhaps the world.
Created in the legacy of the seminal, award-winning anthology series , celebrates the vibrancy, diversity, and reach of African and Afro-Diasporic SFF and reaffirms that Africa is not rising—it’s already here.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
I must admit that the first thing that caught my eye here was the cover. It's absolutely stunning! I'm also a big fan of Speculative Fiction and short stories, however, so this is an absolutely ideal book for me. I'm hoping to savour it and take my time with it, but knowing myself I'll race through it once I start.
So that's it for me this week!