Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This book meme was initially created by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. There are three Ws to answer in each post. What are you currently reading?, what did you recently finish reading? and what do you think you’ll read next? Please feel free to join me in the comments below to discuss your three Ws too!
I began 2021 with such vigour and high hopes, yet life is still in a state constant interruption and as a result, so is my ability to function as a book blogger worth actually investing in! I have been reading though! As much as I can. I am currently reading a book about death festivals that is both inspiring and deeply interesting. I recently finished another Grisham novel which was pretty decent. And I am planning to read a new awesome looking new Grimdark Fantasy novel called Seven Deaths Of An Empire. I hope you enjoy the post and let me know what’s on your reading list these days.
What Are You Currently Reading?
Synopsis: By the time Erica Buist’s father-in-law Chris was discovered, upstairs in his bed, his book resting on his chest, he had been dead for over a week. She searched for answers (the artery-clogging cheeses in his fridge?) and tried to reason with herself (does daughter-in-law even feature in the grief hierarchy?) and eventually landed on an inevitable, uncomfortable truth: everybody dies.
While her husband maintained a semblance of grace and poise, Erica found herself consumed by her grief, descending into a bout of pyjama-clad agoraphobia, stalking friends online to ascertain whether any of them had also dropped dead without warning, unable to extract herself from the spiral of death anxiety… until one day she decided to reclaim control
With Mexico’s Day of the Dead festivities as a starting point, Erica decided to confront death head-on by visiting seven death festivals around the world – one for every day they didn’t find Chris. From Mexico to Nepal, Sicily, Thailand, Madagascar, Japan and finally Indonesia – with a stopover in New Orleans, where the dead outnumber the living ten to one – Erica searched for the answers to both fundamental and unexpected questions around death anxiety.
This Party’s Deadis the account of her journey to understand how other cultures deal with mortal terror, how they move past the knowledge that they’re going to die in order to live happily day-to-day, how they celebrate rather than shy away from the topic of death – and how when this openness and acceptance are passed down through the generations, death suddenly doesn’t seem so scary after all. (Amazon UK)
My Thoughts: It has been ages since I picked up some non-fiction and I managed to land on a book about death! I do read quite a lot of death related non-fiction actually thanks to Caitlin Doughty and her expertise as a mortician and writer. Her books opened the way for so many more writers to elaborate on the subject of death with different perspectives and meanings. Erica Buist found hope in exploring other cultures approach to grieving and caring for their deceased after the devastating circumstances around her own loss. This Party’s Dead is a curious, endearing and fascinating look into how communities the world over deal with death (much better than we do in the UK) and how they send off and remember their loved ones. It also addresses interesting social, psychological and religious debates that surround the subject of death. Such as death positivity (being more educated about death) vs transhumanism (defeating death all together). I am really enjoying Erica’s writing style, her adventures and how she communicates with those she meets along the way (she speaks five languages and I can barely speak one). I am well over half way through and I am still eager to see where else Erica is going to take me and what I am going to learn about humanity’s connection to death while I’m there.
What Did You Recently Finish Reading?
Synopsis: When Hurricane Leo threatens Florida’s Camino Island, the Governor is quick to issue an evacuation order. Most residents flee but a small group of diehards decide to ride it out. Amongst them is Bruce Cable, proprietor of Bay Books in downtown Santa Rosa.
The hurricane is devastating: homes and condos are levelled, hotels and storefronts ruined, streets flooded, and a dozen people are killed. One of the victims is Nelson Kerr, a friend of Bruce’s who wrote timely political thrillers. But evidence suggests that the storm wasn’t the cause of Nelson’s death – he had received several mysterious blows to the head.
Who would want Nelson dead? The local police are overwhelmed with the aftermath of the storm and in no condition to handle the case. Bruce begins to wonder if the shady characters in Nelson’s novels were more fact than fiction. And somewhere on Nelson’s computer is the manuscript of his new novel – could the key to the case be right there, in black and white? Bruce starts to look into it and what he finds between the lines is more shocking than any of Nelson’s plot twists – and far more dangerous.
Gripping, compelling and pacy, this exceptional thriller from international bestseller John Grisham is the perfect escapist read this summer.
My Thoughts: Another classic Grisham thriller. No more no less. Camino Winds is definitely way more far-fetched than Camino Island, bordering on absurd but it is still a bookish thriller that has its moments. I have read several murder-mysteries that involve storms, hurricanes etc and Grisham did a fine job. He really highlighted the entirety of the devastation left in the wake of a hurricane, the loss and the rebuilding of communities that you never really see in the media. The story itself was a bit silly when you think of it for too long but enjoyable in the moment. Grisham excels at legal thrillers but his other stories have their merits (if you ignore Skipping Christmas).
I really like the setting of Camino Island, its a place I would imagine retiring to myself (hopefully without the murder/storms). I like the characters in this series, their an eccentric bunch of writers that all look out for each other. You’ll have to make up your own opinion about Bruce Cable. I don’t know if I truly like him or not, I’m on the fence. The mystery is a solid one but I think Grisham is being fairly tongue-in-cheek with this story. If you love thrillers that lean into the preposterous elements than you’ll have a great time with Camino Winds.
What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?
Synopsis: The Emperor is dead. Long live the Empire.
General Bordan has a lifetime of duty and sacrifice behind him in the service of the Empire. But with rebellion brewing in the countryside, and assassins, thieves and politicians vying for power in the city, it is all Bordan can do to protect the heir to the throne.
Apprentice Magician Kyron is assigned to the late Emperor’s honour guard escorting his body on the long road back to the capital. Mistrusted and feared by his own people, even a magician’s power may fail when enemies emerge from the forests, for whoever is in control of the Emperor’s body, controls the succession.
Seven lives and seven deaths to seal the fate of the Empire.
My Thoughts: I am going into this with no hopes or expectations. I have been on a pretty winning fantasy streak this year so there is a potential that Seven Deaths Of An Empire can keep that going. It seems like the whole fantasy package in one place! I want another fantasy series that I can talk endlessly about as my Kings Of The Wyld and Hall Of Smoke talk is getting a bit thin.
Thank you for stopping by for another instalment of WWW Wednesday here on ATIB. I am still a bit slow on the posting side of things but I am thankfully reading quite a bit. I am back into my NetGalley-ing and its going really well. I appreciate all the support everyone is kind enough to give me! I hope you enjoyed the post and are leaving with another great read in mind.