The State of the Reader: 9/14/16

<–The State of the Reader: 9/7/16          The State of the Reader: 9/21/16–>

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 Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: September 12, 2016

Mystical Qabalah, TheAfter more than a decade, I finally finished this book (pay no attention to the date added.  I attempted to read this long before Goodreads existed).  I’ll say what I said in my (currently drafted) review.  The reason I read this is due to Final Fantasy VII.  This is probably the first thing I ever read because of that game (I really should make a list of all the volumes I can say this about; both read and TBR).  Since the Qabalah concerns the Tree of Life, which is made up of the Holy Sephiroth, you can probably divine why I made such a choice.  So yes, a video game caused me to take up (more) theology studies.  What’s this about them being worthless wastes of time again?

While I can’t even say that I’m remotely adept in Western Occultism, I do have a wonderful, metaphysical diagram for how I think (at the very least).  I believe with every problem you can’t just look at one issue but how it connects with everything else, which is integral to understanding the Tree of Life.

I should have my review of it up by this evening.  I’m desperately trying not to just talk about how it equates to FFVII, because ASOIAF deserves so blog time, too :p

Suffice it to say that (with only a few caveats) I highly recommend this volume, if you’re looking for a comprehensive study of the Qabalah/Jewish Mysticism.  While it’s not something you can just skim through, Fortune does break it down as simply as something so esoteric, philosophical, and metaphysical can be rendered palatable to those willing to consume.

Now I have to pick another reference book, but I think I already decided on The Poetic Edda (which is another volume I’m reading due in part to FFVII).

Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week:

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 14%

I finished the first book or “branch” yesterday and started reading the next part “The Children of Llyr.”  I only got through two paragraphs because I had other things to do, but Walton’s writing is so engrossing plus I’ve head the name Llyr before in The Prydain Chronicles.  One of the books is called The Castle of Llyr.  I think Pwyll is mentioned in the Chronicles, as well, but I can’t quite recall where.  Either way, I’m going through this much faster than I thought.  It’s not nearly as stodgy and stuffy as you might expect such a compendium to be.  If the book keeps up the momentum, it’s on its way to a five star rating, and I need to look at some of Walton’s fiction/fantasy works.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Date Started: August 24, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 54%

This book is so damn good, and it gets more interesting with every reading session.  I’m now at a point where I have an idea what might go down, and I can’t wait to see how the author handles it.  It’s probably going to be heartbreaking and brutal.  I won’t give anything away.  I’m so happy I started reading it before I knew anything about a movie.

Title: Sigil
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Started: August 23, 2016

Medium: Kindle
Progress: 81%

I feel like I’ve slowed down in reading this because I’m not at work (ironically).  There seems to be a ceasura in the action, the deep breath before the storm.  I hope I’m right.  Reid delivered very well before with Spectrum, so history is on his side.

Fanfictions Finished: 1

Title: Flower Bud
Author: xLilly White
Fandom: FFVII
Pairing: Aeris (Aerith) Gainsborough/Sephiroth

This was a cute little one shot from Aeris’s POV.  She comes across the Great General outside of Midgar, and her mental machinations pretty much match what my own would be in such a situation.

The author is an absolute darling.  Her opus magnum is a fanfiction called Border of Taboo, which is +260K work about Aeris’s life as a courtesan in the Honeybee Inn.  Eventually it ends up as an Aeris/Sephiroth/Genesis love triangle, buuuuut I only pair her with Seph and Seph alone (he’s possessive in my head canon dammit, but not stalkerishly so.  There’s such a balance with these things.  Aeris is just as possessive of him so it’s okay), and while I loved the idea, I just can’t read (or write) any pairing other than Aeriseph, and I’m also picky with how I like the characters portrayed (this is one of the main reasons I started writing fanfictions of them myself).  I’m not one of those “OMG you’re soooo dumb for liking this OTP gtfo” people, because frankly, I think that’s asinine (there is one pairing I’m not super fond of, but I’ll only talk about it if you ask nor will I shame anyone for liking it).  I feel the same way about console wars and the iPhone vs. Android debate.  Number one, the droid mascot is adorable so stop it, and number two, I have an iPhone and couldn’t give a damn what phone you use.  Preferences aren’t something to mock, and this is the very reason I won’t rate certain books because they’re just not my preference in reading, and I won’t lower a novel’s ranking just because it’s not my cup of tea for that same reason (see my review of The Invisible Library). 

So I was happy to find a story by her that had Aeris and Sephiroth even though nothing really happened between them (sadly), but there could be more in the future, and she’s on my alert list.  Also she’s a Francophile and French is the only other language I can claim to speak.

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0

I heard from my FFVI writer friend and that makes me happy!  She’s more to me now than just a fanfiction writer I read, and online friendships are just as valid as IRL ones; don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.

Books Added to Goodreads To Read List This Week: 5

Title: Fantasy and Mimesis: Responses to Reality in Western Literature
Author: Katheryn Hume
Date Added: September 10, 2016

I did find this book due to a blogger, but I can’t say fellow blogger and be accurate, because it’s author Theodora Goss whose blog I follow, but as she’s an award nominated author, and I’m, well, nobody in the author world, I’m not going to link her blog, because I fear I’d just be annoying.  Be that as it may, she spoke highly of this book as a fantastic resource for why fantasy is so important and not just a side quest in the world of literature.

Title: Red as Blood and White as Bone
Author: Theodora Goss
Date Added: September 10, 2016

Since I looked up a book the author recommended, I figured I’d look up the author herself.  I have another of her books, but in taking a peek I found this dark fantasy about a kitchen girl obsessed with fairy tales.  On the surface it seems like your standard fantasy fare, but I have a feeling Ms. Goss will go a different route.

Title: Iron Cast
Author: Destiny Soria
Date Added: September 12, 2016

Sometimes all it takes is a good review to sway my opinion on a book.  I saw this one before, but I’m being more discriminating when it comes to what books I add, since I have so many.  By Hook or By Book is quite persuasive though, and I love the different take on blood magic this novel offers up.

Also diversity yasss!

Title: RoseBlood
Author: A. G. Howard
Date Added: September 13, 2016

The Phantom of the Opera is my favorite musical, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before.  I haven’t read Gaston Leroux’s ponderous work, but I have read Susan Kay’s adaptation of the story simply entitled Phantomwhich has been on my To Reread List for quite some time.  Copies are quite expensive, which tells me the book must be out of print or rare so I haven’t picked one up yet.

I’ve also read the semi-erotic, modern day Night Magicwhich combines elements of Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast.  It wasn’t terrible, but I also read it years ago, and novels read in my youth sometimes don’t stand up to my current, more cutting scrutiny.

RoseBlood is also a modern day spin on the dark tale, with the title being the name of a French arts conservatory the main character’s mother sends her to.  It was an easy add since I love the tale of Phantom so much, and hold it up as a timeless, gothic icon that I doubt any other narrative will be able to dislodge.

Title: When the Moon Was Ours
Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
Date Added: September 14, 2016

I was immediately sold on the language this story per a review by By Hook or By Book.  I add so many books due to her awesome reviews.  I hope she won’t mind me quoting directly from her post.

“People here argued about what the moon smelled like. Some said it was a crisp scent, like pressed linen or new paper. Others said no, it was sweet and alive, like night blossoming jasmine on the first warm night of spring. Others swore it was new and silvery, like just washed spoons, still warm from a sink full of hot water and lemon soap. But to her, it was Sam. The metal and paper of his moons, the rosewater from his mothers kitchen, the sharp trace of paint and turpentine she only ever picked up when she was this close to him.”

This is 100% the kind of language I love, the kind of poetry I crave.  This is the type of lyrical prose I attempt in my own works (whether I fly or fail remains to be seen), and it’s what drew me to Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale, another story with magical realism, years ago.  While I’m trying to cut down on the number of books I add to my TBR list, I’m not going to avoid increasing that number and risk missing something like this.

Books Purchased This Week: 0

Books Added to Goodreads To Reread List This Week: 0

If I remove a book from my TBR list is that something you’d all want to know?  I’m trying to keep a positive air around these posts, but I did take a book off of my list this week.  I pondered whether or not to mention that.  Let me know in the comments!

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: 9/7/16          The State of the Reader: 9/21/16–>






6 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 9/14/16

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 9/7/16 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

      • I love the musical! I’ve always had a passion for classic horror: Poe, Frankenstein, Dracula, etc. So, I was immediately fascinated with the idea of Erik, a tortured musical genius, mistreated by the world and living underneath a Paris Opera House. I think it’s one of my absolute favorites! I haven’t read Susan Kay’s adaptation but I’ve heard great things about it so it’s on my TBR list. Have you read Howard’s Splintered series? It’s a reimagining of Alice In Wonderland, and the covers are gorgeous! Ironically, I actually liked her modern take on Alice more than I did the original. Anyway, I’ll probably wait until it’s a little closer to the release date to review RoseBlood, but I can’t wait!☺️

        BTW, thank you for all your kind words about my blog. They mean so much to me.🙋🏻

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 9/21/16 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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

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