Well, it has been… years since I joined in with WWWWednesday. Like, I think it was 2014 when I did it last, kind of years ago.
But hey, it turns out that it is still running over on Taking On A World Of Words, so I am sliding back into it to try and get myself to post more regularly about my reading again.
Can’t remember what WWWWednesday is? I’ll remind you…
The 3 Ws are…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
So here I go…
The World Of The Unknown: UFOs by Usborne Books, The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, Shropshire Folktales by Amy Douglas, Morgana by Neven Iliev, and Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff In Simple Words by Randall Munroe.
Okay, that looks ridiculous when I write it out in a list like that, but in my defence three of those are the sort of books you dip in and out of rather than read straight through, and I am reading pages of them between chapters of my other books or when I know I only have a couple of minutes to read.
I will cover those three first, as I imagine I will still be reading them next post!
Thing Explainer is brilliant. The author explains complicated things (like nuclear power stations and the human body) using only the thousand most commonly used English words. (So my examples become Heavy Metal Power Building and The Bags Of Stuff Inside You.) It is fully illustrated and I am enjoying reading a section or two here and there.
You may well recognise the UFOs book, and I am 100% certain that this is a re-read for me as I remember borrowing it from the library as a kid. This was one of the very first books Usborne printed, along with the Ghosts title in the same series, back in 1977 but my copy is from the reprint in 2020, where they brought them back because so many people had asked if they still printed them! Obviously I bought both for the Not-So-Smalls, and have decided I need to revisit them myself. Mostly I have been picking this one up when I have been making dinner and reading the odd page whilst waiting for timers to go off.
Shropshire Folk Tales is my ‘bedtime book’ at the moment. I am trying to stay in the habit of reading at least on story in it before I go to bed each night. The stories vary in length from half a page to several pages so progress isn’t very regular, but it is steady. I particularly enjoyed last night’s one which was all about how Fox’s Nob at Hawkstone Park down the road got its name, because I know the spot quite well and loved being able to really visualise the action on-location!
To be entirely honest with you, I only started The Invisible Library this morning and have read exactly one chapter. However that chapter involved Hellhounds, guard Gargoyles, an exploding fire hydrant, and magic, so I am genuinely very excited to read more where that came from! Strong start, five stars.
Finally, there is Morgana which is my current Audiobook listen. It is book four in the Everybody Loves Large Chests series that I am sure I have mentioned before. I am an hour or so in, and it is just as irreverent, ridiculous, funny, and borderline-awful as all the others have been. I am a hopeless addict.
It is like listening to a D&D campaign and I can’t help but love it, even though the main character is horrible (I love them) and the storyline is batshit, for lack of any better expression. So far there has been some imp vs elf battles, a hyperactive cat-girl has hooked up with an elf girl, and Boxxy T. Morningwood (the mimic-turned-Doppelganger MC) is pretending to be an elf to advance his Ranger and Doppelgänger attributes and has mostly been fighting giant termites.
Batshit was not an exaggeration.
This week I have finished Happy Fat: Taking Up Space In A World That Wants To Shrink You by Sofie Hagen (Audiobook), Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman, What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, Traffic by John Ruskin, and The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell.
I read Cloud Busting and Traffic whilst watching the Snooker Masters Final – the former is a short children’s book written in verse and I enjoyed it but already can’t remember exactly what it was about, and the second was one of the Penguin Little Black Classics I like to buy and read to pretend I am sophisticated… It was two essays about er, architecture? I think. It was sort of interesting although Ruskin does like going off on tangents (that I didn’t really understand) and one essay was about the Bradford Exchange and how he had been asked to advise? give suggestions? about how it should be designed and I’m pretty sure he never answered the question at any point at all but just used the whole thing as some sort of metaphor. About what I have no idea, his words were very compelling to read and flowed nicely but it was a bit too sophisticated for my brain to be honest.
I started What If It’s Us last year and was really enjoying it, until I managed to misplace it at the Scout Hut and then after it was found (somewhere obvious, of course) I just didn’t pick it back up until after New Year. That said, I had no difficulty sliding right back into the story and finished it quite quickly once I started up again. It’s a very sweet, heartfelt story about first-love and growing up and how friendships grow and change, with a diverse cast of nationalities, sexual orientations, and disabilities but without it feeling forced.
My only problem was one of the lead characters was called Arthur so obviously my brain liked to plonk my Arthur in there which got a bit weird in the romance scenes!!
I got Happy Fat purely because I ran out of the Bad People podcast to listen to (I caught up! Boo to having to wait between episodes!) and I wanted to listen to Sofie talk to me some more because I love them. I was not exactly the intended audience – I am overweight by BMI standards, but I am not so overweight that I can’t just got to a shop and buy clothes, and I never worry about not fitting in a chair at a theatre or on a plane – but it was still a good listen. It made me more aware of how society treats people who don’t fit into the ‘acceptable fat’ boxes, of how I can be better to people, think more about my language choices, and how to help stand up for marginalised parts of society.
Finally, I finished The Shark Caller last night and it made me cry. It’s a beautiful children’s novel set on an island in Papua New Guinea all about love, friendship, learning to forgive yourself and others, dealing with grief, looking for treasure, and sharks. It was a lovely warming antidote to the January weather and was a book filled with hope and sprinkled with fascinating Papuan Pidgin English.
I am probably going to pick up the Usborne Ghosts book when I finish the UFOs one, but other than that I think I have enough in my ongoing pile of started books to tide me over for the week!!
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