The State of the Reader: 3/1/17

<–The State of the Reader: 2/22/17          The State of the Reader: 3/8/17–>

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 Declared DNF This Week: 1

Title: The Clockwork Scarab
Series Title: Stoker and Holmes
Author: Colleen Gleason
Date Added: August 1, 2016
Date Started: February 21, 2017
Date Declared DNF: February 24, 2017
Reading Duration: 3 days

Media: Kindle
Progress: 11%

It seems like a record at only three days to declare DNF, but I started skimming around 7% progress so I knew that was a bad sign.  This is not a bad book though.  It’s well-written and witty with Miss Holmes (the narrator) as a crisp, clever voice.  It just didn’t tickle my fancy, because I’m not really one for Victorian mysteries.  Now it’s possible I may come across one that holds my interest, and I feel if you’re into that sub-genre, you’ll take a great deal of enjoyment from this.  I’m looking at you Ignited Moth and Cupcakes and Machetes since you mentioned it for your book club 🙂  In fact, I’m hoping you decide on it, because I’m curious about the plot; the book just wasn’t my cup of tea ;p

There’s a certain point you reach with either maturity or understanding where you realize that just because you don’t like something, it doesn’t mean it’s not valid or good. I’m learning this from trudging through my extensive reading list (and gaming backlog). Something may not be for me (FPS, urban fantasy, etc.), but it’s a preference issue not a value issue.

Books Purchased This Week: 4

Title: The Golden Apple
Series Title: The Dark Forest
Author: Michelle Diener
Date Added: February 25, 2016
Date Purchased: February 24, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: The Quantum Door
Author: Jonathon Ballagh
Date Added: February 18, 2016
Date Purchased: February 24, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: An Unattractive Vampire
Author: Jim McDoniel
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Purchased: February 24, 2017

Unattractive Vampire, An

Media: Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: The King of Elfland’s Daughter
Author: Lord Dunsany
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Purchased: February 24, 2017

King of Elfland's Daughter, The

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

As you know, my never ending quest is to decrease the number of books on TBR list in any way possible without missing out on something phenomenal to read.  Since I have over 500 items on on, logic dictates that a good percentage of the will not hold my interest until the end; therefore, I should attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff so that what is on my list is what I genuinely want to read.  The best way for me to do this is to either download samples (where available) to gauge my interest in the novel and act accordingly, or to buy really cheap books on my Kindle with prices low enough that I won’t care either way.  I spent a little over $5.00 yesterday for four books, which I consider a good deal.  I almost spent around $30 for seven books (at $0.01 a piece, but shipping costs add up), but decided against that.  I downloaded a few samples, too (you can see them on my sample bookshelf on Goodreads if you’re so interested).  The goal is to download a sample, read it, decide whether I’m passing on it (there’s a shelf for that, too) or keeping it.  I was doing this before with the sample downloads, but I only did one batch of 25.  Eventually, I want to download samples for all the books I can (except for the ones I know I’m going to read), and I really, really need to start utilizing my local library.  I’ll save so much money.

Books Received This Week: 1

img_9808The cover is a bit hard to see, because it’s one of those shiny, library cases.  This is the other $0.01 book I bought a few weeks ago that I received the other day.  Again, I’m going to modify how I post purchased and received books, but I figured since I should tie up this loose end.  Another book the vein of Redwall, Watership Down, and Wind in the Willows.  I grew up loving fantasy stories that featured animals, and I really think reading them helped shaped my perspectives.

Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 23%

This remains a fun, little romp.  It’s one of those stories that has a huge background, but gives it out in drips and drops.  Since the main character is over 500 years old, she has a long, rich history and retains a wealth of knowledge.  Right now, it’s mostly a fetch quest that’s hopping from person to person with some random information tidbits thrown in.  I think the author is playing the game of not telling us everything about the characters in terms of powers and abilities.  This can be a hit or miss method.  If you fail to adequately explain how they manage to escape a dire strait with the rules of your story intact, you risk losing the confidence of the audience; however, if you’re careful with your foreshadowing and how you dribble information, it can turn out quite well.  So long as you don’t break the rules of your own fictional universe, though in this story, the rules haven’t been entirely established.  We know magic exists.  We know there are (conditionally) immortal characters, and we know that these fore mentioned characters can bind other entities to their will.

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: 34%

The chapter I’m on now is much easier to follow than the prior one on black holes.  It’s about the beginning and the end of the universe, and it’s funny that speculation about both is equally valid.  The moments after the singularity known as the Big Bang are still a mystery since the laws of physics as we know them today could not exist.  The end of the universe is also up for speculation.  I like the theory of the “big crunch,” where everything collapses on itself at the end, which might possibly prompt another Big Bang.  The thought of that is comforting(?) and right, and it brings up the question of how many times has it already happened.  What universe are we living in now (though there’s no way we could ever know…)?  Have we done this dance millions of times in eons beyond count?  I often get the feeling that all of this has happened before, and we’re all part of this eternal cosmic dance.  There’s no way of knowing if prior universes were exactly the same (like that episode of Futurama “The Late Philip J. Fry” suggest), but everything would always be made up of the same stuff.

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: 81%

This book is slower than the first one, but I suppose that’s to be expected for a novel about dreams and dreaming.  I can’t say much about it, because it would give integral plot points away.  I’ve avoided adding the third book Blue Lily, Lily Blue, because I don’t want to read the blurb and be spoiled, but I plan to read it immediately after I finish this.

*******Warning: Discussions about rape below.*******

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 67%

Okay.  I may have to rant about this.  Last week I talked about how the characters in this section weren’t nearly as likable as the characters in the other sections.  While those characters might have done not so smart and even arguably selfish things, they were still respectable people.  Well, in this section, the heir to the throne helps his brother rape his uncle’s maiden foot holder, and I nearly threw the book across the room.  I’m absolutely disgusted by this.  It wasn’t described (not that that makes it better), but she fought him the entire time, which he has the fucking audacity to bitch about.  All his brother says to him is “Well, you’ve had your fun,” and “Your beloved kisses like a bumblebee.”

are-you-fucking-kidding-meI’m not using the meme to take away how vile this was.  I just have no words.  Since these are the “heroes” of the story, I’m not hopeful there will be any comeuppance or at least not enough.  Their uncle (the king) doesn’t know about what happened (yet) so I’m hoping when he does find out what his younger nephew did, there will be hell to pay.

Title: “Beta Reading”
Author: High School Friend/Fellow Author
Date Added: N/A
Date Started: February 14, 2017
Media: PDF/Kindle
Progress: 82%

I was complaining about this on the Book of Faces, but I’m not finding much to critique with this work.  My friend gave it to me to beta read, which means he’s looking for critiques prior to him (re)submitting it to an agent, and I just can’t find anything to give him.  Every character is well written, even the “bad guy” who is a total asshole, but the reasons why are heartbreaking and cyclical.  I’m hoping I find something to “complain” about before I finish hehe.

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

Last week I finished and reviewed The Missing Orchid where I talked about the importance of doing BDSM correctly.  In my grand tradition of finding multiple examples of a paradigm at a time, the latest chapter of this fanfiction is also a paragon of that.  I’m not usually one for erotic fanfiction, not that I have anything against it (and I’ve dabbled a bit in erotic RP); it’s just not my thing.  However, this author has made me jump from one ship to another (canon ship to non-canon), and I actually now dislike the original ship I liked, much preferring the one she’s going for!

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: Warm Bodies
Series Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Date Added: February 25, 2017

The story behind my adding this book is kind of hilarious and involves the orange shit stain in the Oval Office.  I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw that Lord Commander Marmalade was bitching on Twitter about this author writing an apocalyptic novel that had to do with him and how it wasn’t very good.  Mr. Marion gave a reply that amounted to “if the shoe fits,” though the dictator in chief hadn’t been his target.  I had no idea he was the author of Warm Bodies, a movie I’ve been wanting to see for a while.  I also have no idea if this is the novel in question, though it is (post) apocalyptic.  I support any artist who pisses that jack ass off, and I also love subversions of tropes.

Update:  Big old nope!  I found out that the author non-maliciously fabricated the conversation between him and Lord Dampnut lol.    I’m still going to read his book though and have already breezed through the sample.  Out of all the ones I’ve downloaded, it’s the most interesting.

Title: The Path of Flames
Series Title: Chronicles of the Black Gate
Author: Phil Tucker
Date Added: February 26, 2017

Look, don’t judge me.  This is partially my Kindle’s fault for recommending it, and…well, you know how I feel about white haired people.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 440
Change from Last Week: -111

The drastic change in the number of books on my list is due to me removing all but one per author (except in a few cases).  I had several for each author on my list prior with some authors I’ve never read before.  I figure I’ll have only one per and add another book by them as I finish it or not depending on how I liked the book.  The exceptions were for authors like GRRM and ones I know personally like Katherine McIntyre.  I also kept multiples if I owned the book physically or on Kindle (e.g. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin since I own both books in The Inheritance Trilogy).

I also made another “download sample” folder so I have one for current items and one for items I downloaded before.  This way I can check to see if I’ve downloaded a sample already.  There’s also a folder for books I’ve rejected and removed from my main list based on the sample downloads.  I grabbed a few samples from Amazon this week, so hopefully I’ll be able to weed some more books out based on that.

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: 2/22/17          The State of the Reader: 3/8/17–>










16 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 3/1/17

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 2/22/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. Yep, skimming usually means something has lost your interest. Everyone has different tastes. It’s great there are so many different genres of things to please everyone.

    Ugh! It really sounds like The Mabinogion Tetralogy took a vile direction. I really don’t know the story, but the King better say off with their heads…

    Your friend’s book sounds interesting! Fingers crossed that an agent likes it on the resubmit. It sounds like they don’t understand perfection.

    Gee, I wonder what made you add The Path of Flames…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so pissed about The Mab 😡 This is my night to read it, too, and I’m really hoping justice is served. It’s a 700+ page book and the previous parts don’t have this issue. I HATE when heroic characters do something reprehensible, and it’s really shocking because they’re of the group that’s supposed to respect women more. We’ll see what happens.

      It’s such a good story. He does have an agent already. I think he just wanted another beta reader. I was honored and was excited to read it. I’ll probably be done this weekend, and I’m totally counting it towards my 2017 goal.

      Ohhhhh no reason *whistles innocently*

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t blame you! I’d be very angry if I read that in a book I had invested a lot of time into. Hopefully justice is served! I can’t wait to find out in your next State of the reader post 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The Clockwork Scarab, unfortunately, did not win our book club nomination. I’ve bought it already though, so I’ll give it a try at some point.
    It’s too bad that author fabricated the conversation with Lord Commander Marmalade (now my new favorite nickname for him), because I would have immediately read that shit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Lord Commander Marmalade” lmao I had a great laugh at that. It’s brilliant!
    Yeah, I voted for The Clockwork Scarab, but unfortunately it did not win. :/ It’s still on my TBR list though, so whenever I get around to it I shall report my findings! 😛
    I really dig your idea for using kindle samples to weed out some of the tossers from your TBR mountain of books. Good thinking! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Have you ever heard of BookBub? If you go to their site and sign up with your e-mail, they will send you great book deals every day. You can pick the categories you are interested in and even what format you want them in! I’ve gotten a lot of great suggestions from them! It kind of sucks, though, because my book backlog is getting as ridiculous as my game backlog…

    Also, I never knew Warm Bodies was a novel! I saw the movie and it wasn’t bad. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll have to look into this! I love book deals. I’ll get offers from Goodreads for book giveaways, but I’ve yet to win one of those lol.

      I’m worried about my backlog, too, if I sign up for it. I just cut around 100 books out of it by just having around one per author so it’s 440, but it’s still hard to pass up free/cheap books!

      Neither did I! The book is really interesting, too. I downloaded a sample and now I want to read it. I’m currently in the midst of a series and I started another book on my Kindle, but once I finish the latter, I’ll probably make Warm Bodies my next read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah it’s pretty cool! It’s neat to see what they send you every day. Aww maybe you’ll win a Goodreads giveaway at some point! 😉 Wow, having one book per author is actually a good way to maintain your backlog! I’m curious to see what you think of Warm Bodies! I’ll have to download it and read it soon myself!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I just keep entering them lol. I’m very bad at giveaway contests though :p I just keep buying cheap books on Amazon and Kindle. You can find physical ones for $0.99! Sometimes physical copies are cheaper than Kindle, which I think is really weird, but it guess it all has to do with licensing. I really need to start utilizing my local library. The thing is I have so many books sitting on the floor near my bookshelf I need to read and then I’ll just pick up cheap ones. What I should do is go to the library right when I’m about to finish one of the books I’m reading physically so I can just fit it into the rotation :p

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 3/8/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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