The State of the Reader: 12/14/16

<–The State of the Reader: 12/7/16          The State of the Reader: 12/21/16–>

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 Currently Reading: 3

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 45%

I’m still on the Third Branch, and I just keep climbing the tree.  The poetry in this compendium is magnetic.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 62%

I’m starting to really not like a particular character whom I don’t want to mention so as to not spoil anything, but I’ll say I don’t think he has Rupert’s best interests at heart.  The eponymous ghost is such an endearing character.  His adorable descriptions of modern objects is so charming, for example how he calls Aaron’s laptop a “futuristic typewriter.”

One thing I’m enjoying about this novel is the mystery.  How the hell are Rupert and Aaron ever going to be together when the former is dead?  I have no doubt Mr. Ferrara will have an amazing solution/conclusion, and even if I’m write about that fore mentioned character, it won’t take anything away from the narrative.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 42%

I made some serious progress on this book this week.  As mentioned before the ends of the chapters lend themselves to dive into the next.  Additionally, the novel has a serious Beauty and the Beast vibe to it.

Feyre is becoming less annoying, but I have to bring up a particular critique usually unique to romance stories.  Since the blurb already mentioned it, this isn’t a spoiler.  We the readers are made to know that Feyre and Tamlin are going to fall in love, lust, or what have you. The issue I have is how quickly it occurs.  Now, I’ve written enemies to lovers stories…in fact, that’s pretty much all I write (wow really??), and one of my worries is just that: the change is too abrupt, but the one thing I try to do in order to forestall that is establish attraction even amongst loathing early on (this was far more important in my original novel The Serpent’s Tale, but not so much in Northern Lights since the enemies thing was already mitigated by time and circumstance, though I still established early attraction)  This sets the standard and also adds a layer of potential self-loathing/self-criticism for each character in finding their enemy or adversary attractive.  However, when the turn comes, it flows a bit better, because we know there was attraction between the two sides that can be explored once the source of the hatred is either mitigated or extinguished.

My issue with Thorns/Roses is that it happened far too fast with nothing to really lead up to it.  It’s an abrupt change in Chapter 18.  It’s certainly not a deal breaker in terms of me finishing the novel, but it was highly noticeable.

Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 1

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

Hoping the author updates again soon.  I’m dying to see how she handles the finale of the game and how Celes and Setzer’s relationship is going to work out in the aftermath especially since the last chapter I read had them finding Locke #lovetriangle

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter
Author: Theodora Goss
Date Added: December 11, 2016

One of my old high school friends marked this as TBR, which brought it into my sphere of notice, but Ms. Goss is already an author I follow on Goodreads and here.  This is a tale of “monsters'” revenge, women created through terrifying experimentation.  If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know full well that characters created by cruel and obviously unconsenting experimentation is a morbid fascination of mine, and questioning who the true monster is is a favorite pastime.  I’m incredibly interested in this story.

A brief note that may lead me to annoyance.  This book is currently rated at 1 star with no review as to why, and I worry the rater might be a troll.  Even if I don’t finish a book, I don’t give it a rating lower than 3 stars without explanation, because bestowing such poor measure on a novel without reason is detrimental to authors, and as a wannabe one, I’d never subject a potential contemporary to such treatment.  I feel this way about all artists.  I haven’t read a novel by Ms. Goss yet, but I have read her blog, and I find little there to warrant such a meager assessment.

Title: Rest in Piece
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: December 12, 2016

This is a debut novel by fellow blogger G.W. Ginsburg that was brought to my attention by the well read Kim of By Hook or by Book.  Ms. Ginsburg (whom I will be following as soon as I finish writing this up) has a blog with the same title as the book here and an informative and creative blog here.  You should know by know I highly favor supporting up and coming authors, so I recommend checking out her blogs as I have done.

The blurb for this story reminds me of The Lake House; even though I’ve never that movie, I’m still aware of that facet of plot.  The two characters are connected even though they’re decades apart, and Louise holds the key to saving a nine year  girl who disappeared two decades earlier.  It sounds like there might be time and space shenanigans going on, and I’m interested and intrigued.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 530
Change from Last Week: +2

Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0

Books Purchased This Week: 0

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: 12/7/16          The State of the Reader: 12/21/16–>








18 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 12/14/16

  1. The cover art for The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter really “pops” out at me for some reason. I know i shouldn’t judge a book based on its cover, but it has me interested in it, lol. It’s a shame the 1 star troll didn’t elaborate. As a wannabe author myself, I do feel terrible for the author… It must suck to have that low grade hanging on their work.

    I’m still slowly reading Moonborn. It’s really interesting now that I’m further in! The first-person writing style is amusing. I get the sense that the author is poking fun at his own dreams of getting a book published. I also think the evil moon robots are coming up soon, so I’m excited 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really does! I follow that author, and she’s quite brilliant. She wrote this manifesto about the “heroine’s journey” as a sort of riposte/response to the commonly known Hero’s Journey as coined by Joseph Campbell, and it was quite brilliant. I find out very hard to believe anything she wrote would warrant one star, and it really irks me. I feel exactly how you do, and sadly many authors have to deal with this. People just want to be trolls. It doesn’t hurt established ones as much but if you’re up and coming it can be devastating. It’s why I’ll either hold off on giving a rating or I’ll explain why I gave the one I did. If you’re a new author, I don’t think I could ever give one star unless you were promoting something horrendous.

      Oh really? That makes me more excited to read it! I LOVE tongue-in-cheek stories hehe. It’s one of the reasons I’m a huge fan of The Last Unicorn (which is Kat’s favorite story btw ) because it not only does that, but was one of the first fantasy novels to do so. It was written in the 60s (I think) and was ahead of it’s time.

      Evil moon robots? Sign me up!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These looks really cool! My recent reads aren’t nearly as exciting. When I’m not reading articles for my thesis, I’m reading NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (which is really interesting despite its title) and The Elfstones of Shannara (which is also a fun read, for slightly different reasons).

    Liked by 1 person

    • What is your thesis about? Actually…that sounds fascinating. My younger brother is autistic and I’ve heard the term neurodiversity in some of the advocacy circles I run in! I have a BA in psychology plus some mental shenanigans (as I like to call them) of my own so many reasons for interest.

      I have that Shannara book! I wound up buying it on a bookstore run one day because Goodreads erroneously told me it was the first in the series. Something seemed fishy, but I didn’t investigate more before purchase. I wound up buying the actual first book, which is sitting on my shelf, too. So many books to be read…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, my *first* thesis was about how individuals with autism identify emotions in music and in prosody (the rising and falling of pitch in your speech), but unfortunately I didn’t get many participants and due to some financial stuff I had to switch topics in order to graduate… So *now* I’m conducting a systematic review (read: literature review on cocaine) about music and music therapy interventions that address emotional needs (e.g., emotion regulation) in individuals with intellectual disabilities.

        (crickets chirp) But yes, the book is fascinating, because it really gives an in-depth look at the etiology of the diagnostic terms and the “history” of autism 🙂

        I actually got the Elfstones book because I thought it was the first one, as well. Apparently you can read it without reading the first one and not be lost. At least, I’m not lost yet!

        I heard you, friend. My “to read/play/watch” lists are just insurmountable at this point haha.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I would love to read that. I think I mentioned before that my younger brother is autistic with developmental delays, and he was able to participate in music therapy, which was useful to him. I would definitely like to read more about the science/research behind that. I’m surprised and disheartened that there wasn’t more interest in such a study.

          What gets me is people who say, “Well in my day we didn’t have this autism stuff!” Um, yes you did, it just wasn’t diagnosed. That’s why anything that claims how the propensity of autism or other instances of neurodiversity is pretty flawed since we haven’t been keeping track for long enough to make that call.

          Well that’s good to know about Elfstones! I attempted to read Sword, but decided on another book at the time. It’s definitely *older* style fantasy, which is the kind I grew up with, but am not as used to know lol. They start with some kind of pastoral description of setting before even giving you a character. It’s too slow paced for today’s market, where not even LOTR would stand a chance to be published by a first time writer.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, “in their day” the diagnosis was childhood schizophrenia, and the people were institutionalized so you didn’t see them. And now the A/V geek has a diagnosis, instead of just being a socially-awkward nerd who’s a whiz at one particular area but is lacking in other areas. But I digress.

            And I know! So many people just aren’t patient with their novels anymore…

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yup. The one thing I always try to check with myself is that I’m not getting so set in my ways that I ignore or brush off new realizations. The instant you close your mind is when you really start to age.

              They really can’t be! We’re in the “hook me now” age where if it doesn’t catch attention right away, it won’t sell. It’s kind of a shame, because some stories work better with that slow burn.

              Liked by 1 person

              • That’s right! Age is certainly in your mind, and that sort of aging is, to a certain degree, preventable (or at least something you can slow).

                And I know… (shakes fists at kids on lawn) No one has patience for things they want anymore!! But seriously, so many great stories are passed up because the world has started moving so fast!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yup, it’s frustrating to think about how many awesome stories and amazing artists/writers are out there undiscovered because they can’t get past the threshold guardians or they’re so burnt out and disheartened from trying and trying again. Granted I will say that the internet has made it easier to make your work accessible, but you still have to make a living somehow, and it’s painfully difficult to do so.

                  Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness certainly! I do a State of the Reader post every week and if an author is a fellow blogger I always put a link to their blog if possible! I’m currently reading a book from a fellow blogger right now. It doesn’t take much to put a link for support. Writing is so often thankless work and the more people you can get to spread your information the better. It costs me nothing to help bolster someone else. I actually found out about it from Kim of By Hook or By Book!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 12/21/16 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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