A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list. Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy. I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case. If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me! I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.
Books Currently Reading: 4
Change from Last Week: -1
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle
Title: Paradise Lost
Author: John Milton
I finished up Book IX last night. Only two more books to go before I write an extensive review/analysis. This might take several months mind you, but finishing this will also fulfill one of my self-imposed prerequisites for numerous essays.
Title: Dreamsongs Volume II
Author: George R R Martin
Finally finished up “Shell Games.” It at least had a satisfying ending even if the story was less so. The second story in the Wild Cards section is much better, “From the Journal of Xavier Desmond.” There’s fantastic world building, and the theme of it is far more overarching and integral I read half of it last night and will probably finish tonight. “Shell Games” took me over a month to complete for comparison. “Journal” actually pushed me to add the first book in the Wild Cards Series to my Goodreads list, as you’ll see below. This one story has made the series seem worthwhile to me.
Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Books Finished This Week: 1
Author: Brian Jacques
Rating: 4 stars
This was a slight deviation from standard Redwall fare and is supposed to serve as a counterpoint comparison to Outcast of Redwall. The series is immersive, rich, well-written, and fun; however, it’s easy to divine the blatant classism that runs rampant throughout. Certain creatures are (almost) always vermin/evil, while others are (almost) always wholesome and good I’ll discuss this more when I write my review.
Diving back into the Redwall Series again revealed some recommendations from Goodreads, quite a few of which I added this week, as will be seen below.
Books Added to Goodreads This Week: 17
Somewhere this week I heard a mention of The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. Ah, I recall now…sort of. I read something about the dark night of the soul, and it reminded me of the levity (it’s also a Loreena McKennit song). I didn’t know Teatime was part of a series, but since I adored Hitchhikers, I had no issue adding this other Adams offering to my plate.
The second story in Dreamsongs II prompted me to add this. I’ll talk about the world and why the fore mentioned story drew me after the first one bored me.
Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone are of course a part of the Oedipus Cycle, a drama/tragedy I read many years ago back in high school.. It’s fairly impossible for anyone not to be familiar with the story of Oedipus, especially since the term “mommy issues” is thrown around as an insult as easily as people breath *fumes* I believe I have read these other two, but a reread would not be useless, and they would also be part of my prerequisites for many essays.
These are on my Classic list. I’m not sure at what point they’ll fall. The next one from there I’m reading is The Rape of Lucrece and I want to say after that is The Poetic Edda. Both of them are also prerequisites for essays.
A review on The Writer’s Path reblogged from All Romance Reads (which I now also follow) prompted this add. I was titillated by the unconventional heroine, but also by the fact that she wasn’t typically unconventional (yes, we have to clarify that now).
I never got into this when I was in high school, though I heard stellar things. I suppose now after becoming obsessed with GRRM’s epic and the promise of dragon riding there, it’s time to set sights on the past.
These last three were all added due to my love of Redwall. The Dark Portal seems especially interesting and ominous. I grew up reading animal centered fantasy and fiction, and in fact Redwall was discovered later when I was a teen after I was already well interested in such a motif.
Like Dirk Gently, this book was added because of the second book in the series, which is entitle The Dark Is Rising. I’ve used that phrase numerous times in stories, because of its ominous resonance, though I’ll often follow it with the more hopeful, “But the light must prevail.”
Reading a series because of the second book is not too odd of a paradigm for me since the same happened with A Song of Ice and Fire.
Title: A Little Princess
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Date Added: May 12, 2016
I’ve read Burnett’s The Secret Garden, and I’ve seen both that and the movie for the above, but I’ve never read this book. There are two scenes that stand out in the TLP film. One, is the fantastic (if blatant) camera effect where Sara is confronting Miss Minchin, drives a verbal arrow into her deepest fear, and you can see the cruel headmistress not only crumble, but the camera pans on her from bottom to top giving the illusion that she’s shrinking as the opposite occurs for Sara. The second scene is where Sara gives this hot roll to a woman selling flowers, desperate for money as she holds a very young child in her arms. It’s the only food Sara has, yet she gives it to this other needy soul. Afterwards, the woman gives a flower and says, “For the princess.” Just writing it now is making me tear up
Title: Hands, Kings, & City-States: Analyzing a World of Ice and Fire
Author: Steven Attewell
Date Added: May 12, 2016
The author of this has a blog Race for the Iron Throne where he delves deeply into the political machinations of Westeros. It is one of most intelligent, well researched, and involved projects I’ve ever seen. He just published an break down of a Catelyn chapter from A Storm of Swords. If you have any interest at all in ASOIAF/GOT, I highly recommend it. The historical and political examinations are without compare.
Title: Robbed of Sleep: Stories to Stay Up For
Author: Troy Blackford
Date Added: May 12, 2016
I believe this was another recommendation based on something I read. While I want to write horror, I’m also a giant wuss, but to write something, you really need to read it.
I’m really upset that I don’t remember the blogger who mentioned/reviewed this. I like to post links to their reviews/give credit. I need to make sure I note it down next time. Anyway, I love stories where the characters start out with one mission, but then circumstances cause a drastic shift. Most of my writing has that paradigm so like calls to like I suppose.
This is by the same author as the above, and it also has a paradigm that I love and share: the unity of opposites. “…a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.” Yes. Sign me up. The main character of my original paranormal romance is a dark angel who carries the light inside so there you go.
Title: Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan’s Foremost Geisha
Author: Mineko Iwasaki
Translator: Rande Brown
Date Added: May 12, 2016
I was pointed towards this one’s direction by A Woman on the Internet whose WordPress and Facebook page I follow. I’m not sure how she feels about links to her sites, so I don’t want to do that, but you can find her by searching that name on either. She is vocally feminist, and exactly what I need to read some days. Her post about this book enlightened me to a fucked up situation I wish I’d known about. This is the geisha so written about by Arthur Golden (and I’m not going to link to his work, and you’ll momentarily see why) whose story he essentially stole and changed to fit a desired narrative. I didn’t even know Mineko wrote her own until now, because it was pretty much buried with Golden’s being held up as the true narrative *fumes* This woman deserves to have her voice and her story heard. I was going to reread Memoirs, but I’d rather read the true one instead.
Title: After the Woods
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Again one of the bloggers I follow reviewed this, but I can’t recall whom. I was intrigued by it being about a friend relationship instead of a romantic one.
Holy shit, I added a lot of books this week…
What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next? What would you recommend based on my current and recently added? As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!