The State of the Reader: 2/1/17

<–The State of the Reader: 1/25/17          The State of the Reader: 2/8/17–>

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 Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2017
Date Finished: January 26, 2017
Reading Duration: 25 Days

This is without a doubt the best book I’ve read in a long time, and unless I read something utterly spectacular, The Raven Boys will be the best book I’ve read all year.  I immediately bought the next book The Dream Thieves, and I’ve already delved in.  The subtle magic of the story makes you almost believe such wonder exists in our own mundane world.  I’ll be writing a review for this one.  It’s added to my growing to-be-reviewed list (which I’m trying to do in order finished).

Books Purchased This Week: 1

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Purchased: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $5.99

Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Rest in Piece
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: December 12, 2016
Date Started: January 7, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 67%

In an art mimics art kind of situation, I played a game called Limbo this week, a term that perfectly describes where the people in the puzzle are trapped.  I’m anxious to find out how this occurred and how Louise is going to help them and Catherine escape.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 22%

Oh man…well, if this doesn’t prove I’m not smart enough to study astrophysics and quantum physics, I’m not sure what else does.  I’d been dividing the number of pages I’d read by the number of pages I thought this book had ever since I started reading, because the percentages didn’t make sense.  Then yesterday I reached around page 100, but I have more than half of the book left.  Much more.  This makes no sense if the volume only has 200 pages or so.  Well, it turns out that The Illustrated A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell are two separate books put together.  Universe has its own page count so the 200 I was seeing at the end of the volume was actually the 200th page of Universe, not of both *slaps forehead*  I’m actually reading two books in one.  I should figure out a way to count them as such so I receive the proper credit for my efforts.

I just completed a dizzying chapter on elementary particles and the forces of nature.  I think I understood around 40% of it.  I know that protons, neutrons, and electrons are made up of smaller particles called quarks, and I also know that for reasons they explained there is more matter than antimatter (I’m a bit fuzzy on the details though), but that has to do with those fore mentioned forces of nature.  The next chapter is on black holes, and I’m looking forward to how Professor Hawking sheds some light on that subject.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 10%

I bought this immediately after I finished the first book in The Raven Cycle Series, because the end of The Raven Boys is such a magnificent cliffhanger.  The main plot of the story is resolved, but the overarching plot remains open and intriguing.  The boys are becoming far more interesting and complex and Ms. Stiefvater already did an excellent job presenting them as three dimensional entities rather than flat, rich snobs.

Ronan Lynch appears to be the prime focus of this entry whereas Blue and Gansey took more center stage in the prior.  Though the author is still utilizing her back and forth method between chapters to include our non-psychic from a psychic family protagonist.  Ronan has a special ability he inherited from his father Niall, and the more we hear about him, the more his cutting and guarded personality makes sense.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 59%

I’m almost to the end of the third branch, and I’m shocked and surprised that something good happened to the current main character.  Sometimes lost things can be found again if one is clever, brave, and determined.

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Date Added: October 15, 2016

Media: Hardback
Progress: 15%

This book is not quite turning out as I expected.  I thought it would have a similar mien to Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale, and even the prologue chapter seemed to have supported that, but as I go along, something is missing.  I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s sadly not as compelling as I hoped it would be.  Currently, Vassa is on her way to the destiny promised by the blurb, so I’m going to continue reading in hopes her encounter with Babs Yagg makes the story more interesting.

Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

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

No update from her this week, but I’m happy she’s back/okay and will hopefully be posting again soon 🙂

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week:

Title: Brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley
Date Added: January 26, 2017

The other day I made a Facebook post asking people for their favorite dystopian story of any medium.  Mine is Final Fantasy VII (of course), but I was curious what others would pick.  There was the expected Hunger Games and the less expected Dune (which I haven’t read), 1984, which is currently selling at record rates on Amazon not at all to this Narcissist’s surprise…though another narcissist who doesn’t deserve a capital ‘n’ (nor does he deserve to be in the Capitol) would probably be furious if he even had an inkling to the reason why, and Blade Runner (which is something else I’ve neglected).  Then my one friend mentioned this, and I remembered reading this book in high school.  I don’t recall if it was for a class, and I certainly don’t recall the intricacies of the story other than people are classified as Alphas, Betas, etc., and the main character, though technically classified as an Alpha (I think) isn’t quite up to Alpha standards.  This book is more subtle than 1984 which the friend who recommended insisted would lead to open rebellion because it was such blatant, militaristic control (I’m not entirely sure I agree with that if you consider how people dismiss small, but virulent changes over time, but I’ll make a better judgment call when I reread that).  BNW is dangerous because it employs the use of panem and circenses, which is blatantly referenced in Hunger Games with the nation of Panem, the games themselves serving as “circenses.”  FFVII also uses it or at least did so prior to President Shinra having a gigantic sword shoved through his back *blink* It’s the idea of entertaining the masses with “bread and circuses,” in order to keep them amused and complacent.  A complacent population is less likely to rebel even if the entertainment is the very horror they should be rebelling against.  More than ever, narratives like this are needed to remind us what we must fight against.

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Date Added: January 26, 2017

This was another response from my “favorite dystopian” post.  My husband read this about a year ago.  He recommended it, but I forgot about it until he posted it on my status.  It’s dystopian and cyberpunk…like something else I know (you guys must be sick of how often I refer to it by now), and the only escape the main character has is a virtual reality utopia known as OASIS.

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: January 23, 2017

I was firmly on the side of the fence where this book wasn’t, but two friends, Megan of the Ink Garden and Kim of By Hook or By Book, convinced me that it was worth my time and better than the first.  Apparently, it deals with some of the issues I had with Tamlin, and I’m hoping the political intrigue it promises is enough to override the problems I also had with Rhysand.  I could’ve bought this yesterday when I went to Target, but it was around $15!  That’s a bit too much for a book whose predecessor I didn’t like very much.  I was going to go to Barnes and Nobel today to pick up postcards and possibly a book or two, but I may utilize my library card, which I really should start using.

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: January 28, 2017

This is another book published by a fellow blogger/writer whose blog Inkbiotic I am pleased to follow (link goes to the latest update about the above book), since it gives me a front row seat to knowing about any of her work 🙂  The story is set in the late 90s (a bittersweet time for this Narcissist) and centers around drugs, cynicism, and magic.  I take (legal) drugs, am a gigantic cynic, and desperately want to believe in magic.  I also love magical realism and wish more authors would venture into those glittering waters.  Per Ms. Jacob’s Goodreads profile, she specializes in gay and lesbian fiction, which is another point for this novel in my book.  It looks like it’s not available on Kindle, so I’ll be going the old paperback route!

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 548
Change from Last Week: +2

Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List 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: 1/25/17          The State of the Reader: 2/8/17–>




25 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 2/1/17

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 1/25/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. Great write ups as always. Thank you for choosing my book! I really hope you like it (gonna be chewing my nails til I find out! But I always love your reviews, so I know it will be insightful whether you do or not 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw I know that feeling. Don’t worry. If I do find anything to critique, I’m a very gentle critiquer because I’m super sensitive myself. Especially with indie and/or new authors. I’m more harsh with the more established set. Me giving George R R Martin or JK Rowling a 1 or 2 star review doesn’t really matter to their livelihood, but for newly minted authors that can be devastating, and I hate the vitriolic culture of people who do that “just for fun” or to be trolls.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a warm-hearted approach! But please don’t stop yourself saying what you feel to save hurting my feelings. You’re a good reviewer, I trust you (although I also know my book is not to everyone’s taste) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • If a book isn’t too my taste and I recognize that, I always make sure to bring that up! It’s like if someone asked me to review their video game and it was a first person shooter, that’s not a genre I like, so I’d make sure I let people know that up front. A lot of times I’ve seen reviews that were bad because the novels weren’t in the reviewer’s preferred genre, and it’s pretty unfair to judge something too harshly with that bias.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That is a very wise and reasonable way to review. I think being a reviewer involves have a bit of power, and some people forget that so it goes to their heads. But as the comics say, with great power comes great responsibility! 🙂


  3. Great reads! I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on Brave New World and A Court of Mist and Fury…

    I had a (very brief) hiatus from thesis, so I picked up Death By Video Game and Gaming at the Edge, both of which make interesting points about which I’m trying to decide my own feelings toward. I had to restart Elfstones of Shannara since I just couldn’t remember all the details from when I started it months ago (oops).

    And now that real live people are going to be reading it, I’m looking over my fanfic again to make sure it makes sense. But it’s back to thesis next week, so I’ll be starting Elfstones a third time, I’m sure… sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I might start Mist and Fury soon, and BNW will be my next “classic,” one I finish the over 700 Welsh mythology monster I’ve been reading for nearly a year.

      Ah I hate that. When you have to restart a book because it’s been too long. That’s how I’m going to b3e with Anne Rice’s (second) newest Prince Lestat. I started reading it, but then stopped for some unknown reason.

      It’s in my bookmarks!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for reminding me about BNW. I’ve been meaning to add that to my TBR list for awhile.
    I went to the library to rent some feminist novels and no surprise, they were ALL checked out. Guess I’ll just have to wait my turn while all the other ladies juice up their lady power as well. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d like to try and read that Stephen Hawking book someday. I doubt I will understand much of it though. You make Raven Boys sound amazing. I usually love any good dystopian story so Brave New World and Ready Player One sound intriguing! And just like, that there’s 3 more books on my list. I fear my TBR list is growing faster than my game backlog… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are some parts I’m still scratching my head on, but he does manage to bring it down to a level that allows me to understand around 40% hehe.

      The Raven Boys is absolutely amazing. I was shocked when I realized it was YA. I’m not usually a fan of YA, but I think I just don’t like YA that slacks because it’s YA. Though some people don’t like Harry Potter because they think it’s too simply written (which I can see, but it doesn’t bother me). This is YA that definitely reads like typical paranormal/fantasy, but the teenagers do act like teenagers, but not stereotypically so.

      My husband loved Ready Player One, and I’ve read Brave New World, but it was so long ago, it’ll be like I’m reading it again.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 2/8/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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