What Are You Reading? Feb 2021

I have a habit of trying to do regular posts that tie into one big thing, like my Final Fantasy IX playthrough (hopefully some positive news on that soon), Hitchcock watch, Book Club and Top 100 Movies. There have been others too, and I’ll return to all of them at different times depending on what I’m getting up to.

So, this is another, and ties into other content I create, that being the Book Club stuff and the book reviews I do. It’s also me trying to engage with you guys as I’m always looking for new, cool stuff to add to my ever-growing list of things to read. Now, I used to have a sort of rule in place of things I’m currently reading, as its rarely ever just one book that I have on the go, and that rule was that I’d have something fictional, non-fictional and a comic available to read at all times, that’s not including ongoing stuff like when I read a chapter of One Piece on the Shonen Jump app or my monthly pull list from Close Encounters, nor does it include falling down the rabbit hole in regards to something else I’m doing or have found.

So, I’ve waffled enough as an intro to this, here’s what I’m reading:

After finally finishing the currently released A Song of Ice and Fire books for book club, which we were doing every other month, we’ll be moving on to another series in March, but for February one of our members has picked True Grit by Charles Portis, which at less than 200 pages I feel I can definitely read without having to cram just before we meet on Discord to chat about. It’s not a genre of book that I have much experience of, and I’m aware movies have been made from it which I’ll have to check out (not for book club, but I like watching movie adaptations once I’ve finished reading a book), my only experience of it is seeing loads and loads of ex-rental copies of the 2010 movie when I started working at Blockbuster, the company had obviously over-anticipated the number of people who would want to see a Western by the Coen Brothers and we were still trying to sell copies off when the store closed in 2013. Despite having the staff bonus of being able to take home ten movies a week none of those copies of True Grit made it home with me, but I’ll be trying to watch both that movie and the 1969 John Wayne adaptation.

My Non-Fiction book this month is actually one I’ve been reading since receiving it on Christmas Eve as my family partake in the “Christmas Eve Box” tradition (where we each have a decorated box with a DVD, a book, some sweets/chocolate and pyjamas inside) and that’s Science(ish) Presents… Hollywood Wants To Kill You – The Peculiar Science of Death in the Movie by Rick Edwards and Dr Michael Brooks, which is equal parts fun and worrying to read. It takes common concepts of Hollywood movies a chapter at a time (killer robots, global warming, aliens) and talks about the fictional and non-fictional realities of those things, its full of interesting things, like taking the ideas presented in the Clive Owen movie Children of Men and its take on infertility and presents the reader with statistics and information about how that one thing that we experience in the film is actually something that the real world is facing. I binged the first half of it at the end of December and then the first week of January, but then they need to fit in starting and finishing A Dance With Dragons 2: After The Feast in around homeschooling took priority and I’ve only just gone back to it.

I didn’t mention this next book in my Goals for the Year post. I’ve wanted to read Lovecraft for years but never gotten around to it, I’ve been on the cusp of buying a physical collection of his works a number of times, but always felt like a daunting task to read so I put it back and bought something else. But I picked up Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft Commemorative Edition from the Kindle store that now have sat on my tablet, and like with my progress through One Piece, its something I’ll read through a section of as and when the mood takes me, whilst also trying to ignore the progress counter at the bottom of the screen!

Onto comics, I was bought a few TPB’s for Christmas: vol.4 of Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing” run, vol.3 of Promethea, and vol.5 of Immortal Hulk. It’s been several years since I read the first two volumes of Promethea, so I’ve decided to go back and restart Promethea vol. 1 – Alan More, J.H. Williams III and Mick Gray, I say “decided to restart”, but I’ve not actually done that yet, but it’s in my pile that I keep nearby rather than it being sat on the bookshelf with the others, its one book I remember easily getting lost in the artwork for, something that I also experienced with Sandman: Overture, which was also drawn by J.H. Williams III. I have another comic on the go, well, technically a Manga, and that’s the second volume of Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa: A History of Japan, there’s (I think) four in total, and they’re huge tomes that cover Japan’s history from 1926 through to 1989 with this one covering the period around WW2 (so 1939-1944). They’re wonderfully put together, and not just the history of Japan but also a biographical work of Mizuki’s life during each time period and based on what I’ve read of the series so far, I’d recommend anyone who even has a passing interest in Japan to give them a read. If I get the time I also hope to read Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures (edited by S.M. Beika) that I recently purchased as a friend of mine (Sztehlo) has a story published in it. If not, that may appear next month.

So, readers, what are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments below or on my Twitter, tell me about the book/s and what you’re enjoying about them, why you think I, or anyone for that matter, should read them.


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