The State of the Reader: 6/22/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/15/16          The State of the Reader: 6/29/16–>

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: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 76%

I’m happy I stuck with this, because it did become interesting again in a bookendish fashion actually.  While I have my critiques that will be discussed during the review, I actually found myself tearing up at a critical and heartbreaking part.  I hope to finish this by next week’s update.

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
76%

Disclosure time.  I only stuck with this book in order to find that part where God allegedly takes one of Satan’s wings as per what a few people said on an FFVII forum in response to why Sephiroth only has one wing.  They insisted it was a Paradise Lost reference.  Well, I looked up the synopsis of the two final books, and Satan doesn’t seem to be in any of them.  He gets transformed into a giant serpent and the synopses only mention Adam, Eve,  God, and the angels, which is so freaking boring.  I know this is messed up, but Satan was 100% carrying that story.  I decided to google “Paradise Lost God takes one of Satan’s wings.”  Nothing directly about it came up, but there was a summary of Book VI, where Michael brutally slashes Satan’s right side.  Maybe there was an implication that that was the result?  I don’t know.  I’m going to see if I can find a review/analysis of it.  Even without that, FFVII still has plenty of PL references, and though I should’ve mentioned this in my paragraph about Windhaven, it was not the first narrative to have the “one-wing” motif.  GRRM may have been the modern progenitor of that, which is just adding more notes to my Song of VIIs comparison.

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%

I thought I read more of it than this (at least enough to go up a percent), but I did at least start Chapter 8, which concerns Hod.  Very slowly I’m chipping away at this explanation of the esoteric, though I feel I should carry it around with me for reference even when I’m finished.  Though it is touted as the best and simplest volume on it, The MQ is still quite dense.  It has to for the weight of what it’s explaining.


Books Finished This Week: 0


Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

I figured I’d add this feature since I now have time to catch up on my much neglected fanfiction reading.  This lovely author whom I also follow on tumblr has given me the courtesy of reading my Northern Lights on the same site, so I feel I owe her the same support.  Granted, I’d still read this regardless, because she’s an excellent storyteller and is doing an amazing job fleshing out a part of the game that was kept under wraps.  VI doesn’t have the silence and secrets that VII does, but there are a few parts that are a bit more clandestine, and there’s not a story in history that doesn’t have something or many things going on behind closed doors.

So I actually read Chapter 7 of this first…not because I’m 7 obsessed, which I am, but rather because I swore I’d already read the first six chapters, so when the author posted her update, I just clicked and read.  Only afterwards did I realize my error and decided to go back.  So far I’ve only read Chapter 1, and she’s still updating, so I’d better catch up before I’m left behind.


Books Added to Goodreads This Week: 26

Title: The Shadow Soul
Series Title: A Dance of Dragons
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Date Added: June 15, 2016

Shadow Soul, The

I have The Book Review Directory to thank again for recommendation.  They gave this book a wonderful review here, and based on such I added it.  The blurb alone didn’t really do it for me, but I’m a sucker for a stellar review.  The one main character can weave elements into illusions and the other can pull flames from his flesh.  Together they must face an awakened evil.  It’s an old story.  Between that and the review, I’m sold.

Title: An Unattractive Vampire
Author: Jim McDoniel
Date Added: June 16, 2016

Unattractive Vampire, An

I almost didn’t add this one either, because I have no interest in unattractive vampires hehe.  I’m not a fan of Twilight in the least; however, I love sexy vampires á la Anne Rice’s Lestat and Louis and the lesser known, but still hot, Elizabeth Hunter’s Gio from A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries Series).  This book popped up in my Goodreads feed because noted author of The Kingkiller Chronicles Patrick Rothfuss gave it a glowing recommendation (btw you should also read Patrick Rothfuss).  I love the irony of a vampire who’s unattractive in a world where vampires are overly attractive where initially vampires were hideous monstrosities.  It’s like the beginning is the end is the beginning, a world turned upside down, disguising a unicorn as herself.  The reviews sold me along with Mr. Rothfuss’s review.  I love well done satire/parody and clever tongue in cheek.  This seems to have the makings of the dry, cynical humor I adore with the eponymous character whom reviewers liken to a grumpy old man.

Title: The King of Elfland’s Daughter
Author: Lord Dunsany
Date Added: June 16, 2016

King of Elfland's Daughter, The

Found this while looking up the Goodreads link for The Last Unicorn in the the entry above.  I was sold on mentions of Victorian prose.  It sounds lovely and enjoyable, a “what if” if you will of what happens after fairy tale’s ends.

Title: Dolor and Shadow
Series Title: Tales of the Drui
Author: Angela B. Chrysler
Date Added: June 16, 2016

Dolor and Shadow

Ugh, I can’t stop chanting Saevam iram, iram et dolorum...” while looking at this book title because of the “Dolor,” (which means “pain”) in the title.  It’s also the root of the word “dolorous,” which means expressing great sorrow or distress and puts me in the mind of Dolorous Edd, the dour Night’s Watchman from ASOIAF.  So this book igniting my VII Sense and my Song Sense in addition to tapping into my love for Norse Mythology (which both VII and Song also do) with its mentions of Alfheim and Jotunheim, certain references to the world of the light elves and the world of the giants respectively.  How could I resist a tale with this, a stolen child, vengeance, and enemies forced into alliance?

Title: The Arrival of Missives
Author: Aliya Whiteley
Date Added: June 16, 2016

Arrival of Missives, The

This book is touted as a hodgepodge of metaphors, a genre defying tale that was highly lauded in the reviews.  I saw nothing below four stars, and I’m a sucker for anything having to do with pagan rituals.  It also takes place in the aftermath of The Great War, and though war constantly derided as hell, there’s a certain romanticism especially when it’s called that.  You know it’s the time between wars because obviously no one living in its shadow knew we’d be stuck on repeat.

Title: The Paper Magician
Series Title: The Paper Magician Trilogy
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Date Added: June 17, 2016

Paper Magician, The

I wasn’t going to add this.  Another book about someone who’s passion’s hopes were dashed by circumstance, but who manages to like if not relish the role they’re forced to play…but then the “dark, flesh magic” happened, and my darkling heart was caught 😉

Title: Dawn of Wonder
Series Title: The Wakening
Author: Jonathan Renshaw
Date Added: June 17, 2016

Dawn of Wonder

I will almost always add a book to my Goodreads if has some kind of “dark is rising” motif.  Throw in long kept secrets and I’m sold.

Title: Charmed Life
Series Title: Chrestomanci
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Date Added: June 17, 2016

Charmed Life

Once again I had the second book of the series on my list instead of the first.  I’ve read DWJ before in the form of her novel Dogsbody, and I have (now that I know she wrote it!) Howl’s Moving Castle on my to-read list, too.  For this story one sister’s talent is recognized; the other sister’s talent is ignored.  Guess which sister we’re following?

Title: A Spell for Chameleon
Series Title: Xanth
Author: Piers Anthony
Date Added: June 17, 2016

Spell for Chameleon, A

As I stated in my latest State of the Writer post, I had time last night to work on organizing my Goodreads list, and in doing so I cleaned up some of the works on my to-read shelf.  I had a ton of Xanth books there, and quite frankly, it’s very possible I may not want to read or reread all of them anymore.  It’s been years since I read one, and as I recall now, I didn’t even finish the last one I purchased Yon Ill Wind.  Some of the critiques of the series as virulently anti-feminist spurred this conclusion on. I’ll obviously judge better for myself when I read, but I have definitely found that things I read in high school do not hold up so well now that I’m a better informed adult.  So I’m going to do what I do with series I haven’t read and just add the first book, which interestingly with Xanth, I missed.  It’s not a series that really forces you to start at the beginning.  Each installment is fairly standalone unlike say A Song of Ice and Fire or LOTR, which are really just long stories broken up into separate books.

Title: Stolen Songbird
Series Title: The Malediction Trilogy
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Date Added: June 18, 2016

Stolen Songbird

I forget what book I was looking at when this recommendation came up, but  I almost didn’t add it.  Then then Stockholm Syndrome paradigm started to interest me.  I like the enemies to friends motif.  It forces a hitherto unobserved perspective.

Title: High Rhulain
Series Title: Redwall
Author: Brian Jacques
Date Added: June 19, 2016

High Rhulain

I was up until 5-6 in the morning last night organizing my bookshelf and adding things to my Goodreads list.  I didn’t realize I already owned this later Redwall book.  Rakkety Tam is the next one from that series book on my list, but since I already own this one, it just makes sense to add it.  Also it’s only one up from RT  I don’t recall if I ever even attempted a read, but I know it concerns an otter queen or an ottermaid who will eventually become a queen.

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Prospero's Lost

I was adding Prospero’s Children to my physical-copy list on Goodreads, and in searching for that the above novel popped up.  I’d seen this before but at the time the blurb didn’t intrigue me enough.  Last night though…some combination of sleepiness and the silvery hair sold me.  I don”t know why I didn’t add it before tbh.  It’s based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, concerns a sorcerer’s daughter who runs a company that uses its magic to do good in the world, there’s an ominous presence called the “Three Shadowed Ones,” it takes place across the past, present, and future, and the north is involved, among other things.  I have an idea for a similar story that’s modern/futuristic, so this would be excellent inspiration.

Title: In the Dinosaur’s Paw
Series Title: The Kids of the Polk Street School
Author: Patricia Reilly Griff
Date Added: June 19, 2016

In the Dinosaur's Paw

I have no clue where this book came from, but it was on my shelf so I figured I’d add it.  It’s 3-5 grade level story that looks cute.  I could probably read it in less than an hour, so why not?

Title: Popular Tales from Norse Mythology
Author: George Webbe Dasent
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Popular Tales from Norse Mythology

I have owned this book for years, and I remember lending it to one of my other writer friends not even a month after I bought it.  Between this and The Poetic Edda and I will soon be a Norse Mythology expert.

Title: The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy
Author: Yoshitaka Amano
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Sky, The - The Art of Final Fantasy

I don’t think I even need to explain why I added this.  I put it on my Amazon wishlist about a month ago, and I could just buy it with my Amazon credit care, but I really need to curb my spending.  Maybe I’ll buy it next month instead of making my (newly established) Barnes and Noble run.  I also accept offerings 😉

Title: Dawn: The Worlds of Final Fantasy
Author: Yoshitaka Amano
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Dawn - The Worlds of Final Fantasy

Same as above.  These two books caused me to add the art-book list to my Goodreads shelves.  I’m not sure if The Sky includes this since I know that’s made up of several volumes.  I’m planning on purchasing that first just in case.

Title: The Hobbit (Graphic Novel): An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic
Authors: Chuck Dixon (adapter), Sean Deming, J.R.R. Tolkien
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Hobbit, The

My old roommate gave me this book years ago.  I’ve never gotten around to reading it, so I figured I’d give it an add when I found it during my bookshelf cleanup.

Title: The Greenstone Grail
Series Title: The Sangreal Trilogy
Author: Amanda Hemingway
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Greenstone Grail, The

The first line was really all I needed…

“A desperate mother spirits away her infant son…”

The more I read, the more interesting it became though.  Dreams coming to life, a magical green MacGuffin that may have come from another world, a place called Darkwood.  It has all of the makings of an intricate story, one that I would love to see unwind..

Title: The Little Book of Angels
Author: Nicole Masson
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Little Book of Angels

I bought this when I was in Cape May last year.  It was in one of the gift shops I visited. While I’m sure my other angel books more than likely have the same information, it never hurts to have more points of reference.  Plus it’s about angels.  Of course I needed it 🙂

Title: The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes
Author: Anonymous
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Poetic Edda, The

I added this a while ago, but it was the wrong version or had the wrong cover.  The one you see above is the one I own, and I purposely bought this edition because it bears the northern lights.

Title: Blood Lance
Series Title: Crispin Guest Medieval Noir
Author: Jeri Westerson
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Blood Lance

My writer friend Kat bought this for me for Christmas last year, and I never got around to adding it to my Goodreads list.  It’s actually the fifth book in the series, and I should add the first, but I don’t think it’ll be too hard to follow from what I’ve seen of the blurb.

Title: Fallen Angels and the Origins of Evil: Why Church Fathers Suppressed the Book of Enoch and Its Startling Revelations
Author: Elizabeth Clare Prophet
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Fallen Angels and the Origins of Evil

I bought this book a while ago, started reading it, but it didn’t really capture my interest.  It was a little too occult for me to the point where the author seemed…off.  I don’t know how to explain it.  I’m reading The Mystical Qabalah as you well know, which is the premier study on western occult tradition, but that has a grounded still in reality…even if that reality consists of four worlds.  Fallen Angels seems…fanatical, I suppose.  But…I recently had a conversation my friend Siobhan who has very interesting and often prophetic dreams.  She introduced me to the concept of El Shaddai, a name I had never heard before, but for some reason gives me a very odd feeling.  Anyway, the other week she recounted her latest dream to me where she was told she should study Enochian magic, and lo and behold I find a book on my shelf about that very thing.  I texted her about it when I realized it, but she may have missed the message. I must remember to bring it up to her tomorrow, but I added the book back.  I may skip the introduction, where most of the fanaticism seems concentrated and just go straight to the Book of Enoch.

Title: Hans Christian Anderson: Best Loved Fairy Tales
Author: Hans Christian Anderson
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Best Loved Fairy Tales

I picked this up a few months ago from Barnes and Noble.  It was one of the classic collections on the buy one get one 50% off shelf.  Combined with Grimm’s compendium, I’ll never be bereft of fairy tales.

Title: Nightseer
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Nightseer

 

I don’t recall how this book came into my possession.  I don’t think I bought it.  I obviously didn’t steal it. Someone must’ve given it to me at some point, but I can’t recall who did the deed.  Anyway, it’s the first book of the author of the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry Series.  Long before she was writing about supernatural orgies (I think…) she wrote Nightseer, and from I just read of the blurb, the protagonist is attempting to avenge her mother’s death.  Totally sounds like something that would fall into my hands.

Title: The Tower at Stony Wood
Author: Patricia McKillip
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Tower at Stony Wood

Another one by this author whose prose I adored, but whose plotting could not keep up.  I want to give her another chance though, and it’s on my shelf so I might as well add it.

Title: Murphy’s Lore: Tale from Bullfinche’s Pub
Author: Patrick Thomas
Date Added: June 19, 2016

Murphy's Lore

I believe I obtained this book from a Steampunk convention at the Double Tree Hotel not a mile from my apartment.  It was part of a grab bag and held my attention long enough for me to get through at least one of the stories.  It’s worthy enough for a place on my Goodreads list.

Title: Peter Pan
Author: J.M. Barrie
Date Added: June 20, 2016

Peter Pan

This is one of the many classics I still need to read.  I remember years ago reading a snippet from it that explained young children are always scratching their backs because they all used to be angels and the memory of feathers still causes an itch. I thought that was delightful, though I obviously don’t believe it.  Any dream of the fantastic/magical has long been leeched from my black, dead heart.  Wow, this turned morbid really quickly.  Sorry about that.

Title: All Fall Down
Series Title: Tales of the Latter Kingdoms
Author: Christine Pope
Date Added: June 20, 2016

All Fall Down

This was in my fantasy recommendations for today, and I wasn’t going to add it.  It was a bit interesting at first being about a healer who’s kidnapped by slavers (that’s a bit reminiscent of my paranormal romance novel.  Not exactly, but sort of close).  She’s sold to a brooding lord who needs her to heal his injured daughter, but then a deadly plague threatens everyone on his estate.  The healer (obviously) develops a bit of Stockholm Syndrome or she’s just a true healer and comes to care about people regardless of her circumstance, and of course the master of the house has become more to her than that.  I started comparing it to my latest finished effort where someone is referred to as “master,” but he utterly rejects that as a false title.  Then I realized All Fall Down sounded interesting enough to warrant at least a trial.

Title: The Book of Earth
Title Series: Dragon Quartet
Author: Marjorie B. Kellogg
Date Added: June 20, 2016

Book of Earth, The

The blurb for this book honestly reminds me of Mother 3, a game I never played, but was fortunate enough to watch a Let’s Play of.  It’s been a while, but I believe with Mother 3 there’s just one dragon bound by seven swords.  Whoever pulls the swords determines the nature of the dragon, and when it arises it will reshape the world.  Since there are an odd number of swords, this means that more than one person can pull them, and in the game, two characters are vying for that chance.  Now that I’m writing about it, I wonder what would happen if more people were added to that mix.

The nature of this book seems pretty par for the course.  The apocalypse is coming sooner than anticipated, and the heroine needs to stop it, but in this case one of the bringers of the apocalypse, the dragon known as Earth, helps her with this quest. It’s almost like one of the weapons in FFVII helping to stop the meteor.  Geez…I think about video game plots a hell of a lot almost like it’s shouldn’t be treated like a bastard medium…

Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Date Added: June 21, 2016

Darkest Part of the Forest, The

I started following a new blogger today, Ocean Full of Books, and did so after reading her review of this.  It doesn’t take much for me to follow a blogger especially one that specifies in book reviews.  So long as I like one of your book posts, I’ll more than likely give you a follow 🙂

This story concerns humans who exist side by side with the fae and the shenanigans that ensue from that.  Such a motif reminds me of Stardust, which I’ve reviewed here, and the village of Wall that acts as one against such a realm.


Books Added to To-Reread List: 1

Title: Old Man’s War
Series Title: Old Man’s War
Author: John Scalzi
Date Added: June 17, 2016

Old Man's War

I read this years ago and never quite finished it.  Oh, I wrapped up the major plot points, but didn’t quite get through the denouement.  It was recommended by my then boyfriend’s old roommate whose opinion I couldn’t have cared less about.  It’s a shame, too, because I could’ve watched Dexter years ago, but it wasn’t until my brother told me how great the show was that I finally did.

I hadn’t named it my VII Sense back then, but this novel definitely made it tingle.  The main character joins the army on his 75th birthday, and from what I can recall they move your consciousness into an enhanced body with kitty cat eyes, soooo super soldiers with kitty cat eyes.

Also, I have to mention this, because it’s hilarious, but Amazon has been trying to sell me Final Fantasy VII figurines for a few weeks now because I looked them up for a totally unrelated purpose.  Since they have ads on Goodreads, ones will often pop up, and the one in the sidebar for this book is Sephiroth.  I find it hilarious that they’re trying to sell me the figurine of a super soldier/enhanced human on the page of a book about the same.

Anyway, the MC of OMW enlists in the interstellar army, and shenanigans ensue.  The military wants the wisdom and experience of the elders, and since they now have the technology to give them enhancements, it’s a win-win situation.  I recall the book as well written and witty, and the author’s Goodreads page is quite tongue-in-cheek, too.


As you can see, I added a ton of books this week since I spent the weekend organizing my one bookshelf.  I’ll be doing my other one this upcoming weekend, and I’m also participating in book swap.  I bought and sent mine on Monday, and hopefully will be receiving some back soon.  According to the terms you can receive up to 36.  Dear gods I hope not lol.  I’ll probably give a lot of them away if I already own or am not interested.  Despite some of my friends thinking it’s a scam, I don’t have much of an issue spending less than $20 on sending someone one of my favorite books and receiving nothing tangible in return.

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!

<–The State of the Reader: 6/15/16          The State of the Reader: 6/29/16–>

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5 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 6/22/16

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 6/15/16 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 6/29/16 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  3. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 1/4/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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