The State of the Reader: 3/22/17

<–The State of the Reader: 3/15/17          The State of the Reader: 3/29/17–>

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 Unfinished This Week: 1

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017
Date Unfinished: March 13, 2017
Reading Duration: 30 days

Media: Hardback
Final Progress: 38%; Page 135

Before I talk about the status of this book, I should first explain the “Unfinished” status.  It’s different from “Did Not Finish/DNF.”  I used to call my DNF books “Unfinished” (I know, hella confusing), but I decided to differentiate.  DNF means I have absolutely no interest in finishing the book.  It was either not for me and/or I found the writing not up to par; and it’s likely not a book I’m ever going to pick up again.

Conversely, “Unfinished” consists of books I either didn’t finish for reasons that have less to do with their quality or books I’m setting aside for the time being.  Prospero Lost falls into the latter camp.  It’s not a bad book by any means, but it’s not really holding my attention as hard as something else might right now, and I have so many books to read.  I may come back to it at a later time, but I do intend to write an Unfinished review at some point in the near future..  I need to buy more bookmarks …

So as suggested last week, I’m going to shelf Prospero Lost for the time being and move onto the next book on the fantasy/sci-fi/general fiction shelf.

Samples Read This Week: 7

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: Kept (RWTR) – This book starts off so strong and intriguing and also has one of my favorite elements: mental manipulation/mind control.  The first chapter lures you in with the lovelorn plight of a lonely guard then it utterly blows you away with the unexpected.
  2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: Kept (RWTR) – Holy shit do I really want to read this.  It has FFVII, Hunger Games, and Mistborn all over it.  The elite, ruling class literally has silver blood (Silver…Elite ahhhh!) whereas the lower class has common, red blood.  The main character Mare has a voice similar to Katniss, and she and her people are as downtrodden as Mistborn’s skaa.  While I didn’t finish Sanderson’s series for various reasons, I still loved the idea behind it, the detail, and the world building so books that contain similar themes are of interest to me.
  3. Ratha’s Creature by Clare Bell: Kept – I grew up reading animal based fiction/fantasy (e.g. Watership Down, Tailchaser’s Song, Fantastic Mr. Fox, etc.) and was introduced to this story through an 80s/early 90s cartoon CBS Story Break.  The writing reminds me of what I grew up with, so there’s a definite nostalgia factor involved.
  4. Written in Blood by Anne Bishop: Passed – This book has a 4.30 rating, and I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Bishops Black Jewels Trilogy in high school, but this book just didn’t do much for me.  I’m pretty sure it’s because it’s urban fantasy, and I’m really hard to please in that department.
  5. Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil: Kept (RWTR) – This book throws you right into the fray or should I say flood.  The opening line is gut wrenching, since the catalyst for the story has already happened, and the main character is recounting how everything occurred.
  6. Chime by Frannie Billingsly: Passed – While I loved the fairy tale aspect and the slight subversion with the dead stepmother (as opposed to dead mother), the writing just wasn’t for me.  The main character liked to double back on her sentences and almost seem like she was speaking to the reader, and it was jarring and took me a bit out of the story.  I also found out that this could be considered urban fantasy, so that’s another strike.
  7. Consider Phelbas by Iain Banks: Kept (RWTR) – This is a sci-fi novel written almost poetically.  It has more of a fantasy flare to it, which I really like.  I’m a fan of what I used to call sci-fi/fantasy fusion, which I found is already been named science fantasy.

Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: The Golden Bough
Author: James George Frazer
Date Added: February 21, 2012
Date Purchased: March 17, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $0.00
Retailer: Amazon

There’s nothing cheaper than something free, and this is a book I’ve wanted for years.  I may still pick up a hard copy, because I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do the combination of reference and Kindle (I usually have fantasy/sci-fi/general fiction on there), but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

Title: Silent Child
Author: Sarah A. Denzil
Date Added: March 13, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: January 28, 2017
Date Started: March 19, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 8%

I love the taste of the words.  They’re random, scattered, and deliciously mad, yet they weave the lives before you in such brazen relief.  The narrative doesn’t have just one direction; it has all directions dependent on which way the characters, the carriers of it, decide to go.  It’s equal parts worrisome (to the outside observer and stodgy adult) and equal parts devil may care.

I’ve seen a paltry few shows about British teens (the only one coming to mind right now is The Misfits), and I have to agree with the assessment by Roll Magazine on the back cover that standard portrayals of their American counterparts are tame/genteel in comparison.  I’m looking forward to where Jitty and gang take me.

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: March 4, 2017
Date Started: March 5, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 38%

Speaking of American teens hehe.  Blue and crew are much tamer in comparison to the fore mentioned, but what they’re seeking is more than wild.  This installment seems to be focusing more on Gansey and her, which makes sense since that’s how it all started (plus the title does heavily suggest she’ll be center stage).

Title: The Quantum Door
Author: Jonathon Ballagh
Illustrator: Ben J. Adams
Date Added: February 18, 2016
Date Started: March 3, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 71%

I’m really curious what the final act of this novel is going to bring.  The main concern of the first two parts was solved, but then something else happened at the end of second.  The book has been very stingy in showing us what’s really going on.  Why is there a quantum door in the first place?  How is that other world connected with our own?  Why is the nature of that world what it is?  Are there other worlds?  And more questions that would be spoilerific to post here.

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: 45%

The latest chapter was on time travel, which Professor Hawking has some doubts on.  He brought up the question of “If time travel is possible, why hasn’t anyone from the future come back to visit us?”  He went over the idea that it might be highly regulated, but humans will always be what they are, and it’s highly likely that someone would slip through the cracks.  It’s possible that time travelers are among us, and we just don’t know about.  They’re either good at keeping the secret or more likely if they told anyone in this time, they wouldn’t believe them anyway.  Maybe that’s the real paradox.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 76%

I officially like the third section of this compendium the least.  The main character is the least likable and the most dastardly and selfish.  It’s hard to come back from aiding and abetting your brother in such a heinous crime, and even after the siblings were punished (more or less duly), they still showed little remorse for what they put that poor maiden through.  There’s also a creep factor in that Gwydion proposed marriage to his own sister (ugh and ew) to which she wasn’t really disgusted, but rather just said the New Tribes didn’t like it.  Granted, I love ASOIAF so this shouldn’t be too out of sorts for me, but it’s still super icky.  The sister Arianrhod isn’t that much of a treat either.  When she came to the court, she did the whole “it’s the victim’s fault for getting my brothers in trouble” thing, and I wanted to pull out all of her hair.  It’s really interesting how the first two parts had main characters of honor and grace where this part you really can’t sympathize with them, and you hope they get an eternal comeuppance.

Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 2

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

No update from RM, but I need to hop on tumblr to check out the pics from PAX East she said she’d post 🙂

Title: I Will Call You Home: A Recounting of the Fifth Blight
Author: AtheneTseta
Fandom: Dragon Age
Pairing: Leilana/Various

I read Chapter 2 last night, and oh my god…it’s so well written.  It doesn’t even matter that I haven’t played Dragon Age and I’m not that familiar with the culture of the Dahlish elves.  I could learn about it from Athene’s story.  Words from their language is seamlessly woven in, and even though there’s a glossary at the end of each chapter, it’s really not that hard to figure out the gist of the words.  I  may try to read two chapters a session so I can catch up.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 1

Title: The Vagrant
Series Title: The Vagrant
Author: Peter Newman
Date Added: March 20, 2017

This came up as a recommendation after I bought Silent Child.  The blurb was a bit more elaborate on Amazon.  It mentioned seraph defenders and something else angelic, but even the shorter blurb on GR would’ve been sufficient for me to add.  The nameless protagonist carries a legendary sword and a baby, and that’s too odd of a combination for me to pass this up.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 442
Change from Last Week: -7

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: 3/15/17          The State of the Reader: 3/29/17–>









31 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 3/22/17

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 3/15/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

    • I was shocked! I love The Black Jewels Trilogy so I thought I’d like this one, too, but it just didn’t hit me. The premise seems interesting, too, with the blood divination. I think it could be the urban fantasy sub-genre that’s putting me off. I *can* read books in that mien, but they seem to be hit or miss.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Okay. Now you’ve done it! I’m now making it my mission to get you hooked on urban fantasy, LOL! Hmm. Let’s see.🤔 Have you tried the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher? Or the Women of the Underworld series, by Kelley Armstrong? Oh! Snap! What about the Hollows series, by Kim Harrison? I’m sorry. I do love a challenge. Tell me to buzz off if I’m being obnoxious!🤗

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve read Dresden and I enjoyed it greatly! I’ve only read Storm Front, but I have Fool Moon on my TBR list 🙂 I think it’s the combination of White Knight Harry in an urban setting, and the language is so witty and clever, not to mention you literally have NO clue what’s about to happen next. He’s on his way to a case and he gets abducted by the mob. Excuse me WHAT?

          I added the other two to my TBR list, and I’ll give their samples a try! Not remotely obnoxious. I’ll always take book recommendations, and I think it’s more along the lines of I like a certain type of writing style, regardless of genre/sub-genre, but urban fantasy and/or YA tends to go a different direction from that. When it comes down to it, I just like good writing so nothing is really off limits!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Aaaaaah! I wish I’d known that you wanted to read The Vagrant! (I know, I know, you literally just added it.) Because it was recently a kindle daily deal for $0.99.
    I did not know there was a genre called science fantasy. I could be using one shelf on GoodReads instead of two.
    P.S. I’m sorry for my review of THGTG. I feel like a dirty, rotten traitorous bitch. D:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Didn’t you review it a while back?? I swear I’ve seen the title before. Damn…I totally would’ve bought it. It was full price when it popped up in my recommendations.

      I just use a shelf dedicated to general fantasy/sci-fi hehe. It makes it easier. I don’t think it’s an “official” genre; it’s just one people use when a work has elements of both, but it’s been around forever. Like I’d consider Star Wars science fantasy. The only really sci-fi element is the fact that it involves spaceships and occurs in outer space.

      Bah, I commented on it! You’re opinion was informed and sound. It’s not like you just yelled “This sucks!” It wasn’t your thing, and that’s perfectly okay 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been reading the Golden Bough too, very slowly getting through it. It’s quite heavy going – one to read in small chunks – but fascinating stuff.
    (I’m chuffed you’re liking my book! 🙂 It is a bit intense, I know, maybe another one to read in chunks 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s been on my TBR list forever like as long as The Mystical Qabalah which I’ve known about since high school/college. I expect it’ll take me quite some time to read it, but I’m okay with that.

      It’s intense but it seriously sucks you in! I love how I never know what’s going to happen next and how you say things without “saying” them. Telling rather than showing is such a tricky business, but this book is a perfect example of how to do that. Is this the only book you have out so far?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It means a lot to me to hear you say that, releasing the book to the world was a bit scary.
        So far only Riddled is published. I’m currently trying to get another book published, but it’s tricky. That book is more a story and less an explosion of words than RWS. If I can’t find a publisher, then I’ll self publish, just to know people are able to read it would be good.
        Thanks again for your lovely words, have a beautiful day! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I really love the stream of consciousness writing that RWS uses. It works perfectly for that novel.

          The publishing world is so damn cutthroat, and it’s not because of other writers really either. I was just giving another blogger friend some agent hunting advice, not that I really know anything. I just have some info saved that I hope was useful.

          Liked by 1 person

          • And publishing is kind of illogical too! If I figure anything useful out, I’ll post it up (or send it via email if it’s something I need to be quiet about 😉 ) right now I’m still at the fumbling in the dark stage, but there are a few glimmers of hope, so we’ll see.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Good call on differentiating your “Unfinished” list. I know there are some things I’m just not in the mood for, but I do want to finish at a later date.

    Athena’s DA fan fiction is so good! I also just got my invite to AO3 so I have a proper account that gets notified of updates now. I’m familiar with the world since I have played DA II, but I’ve also moved DA Origins up on my To Play list, after HZD is done. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I wanted to read the Golden Bough, as well. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it! Also, good on you for still plugging through Hawking’s book! It must be so interesting…

    And a huge THANKS for the lovely comment on my fanfiction! I’m so happy you’re enjoying it and incredibly flattered it matters enough to make your State of the Reader post! So thank you thank you! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going to finish the “first part,” then read the next reference on my list, which just happens to be The Hyrule Historia, so I’m quite excited. I have the combination Universe in a Nutshell/A Brief History of Time, so I think I’m going to break my reading of the two with some Zelda goodness 🙂

      Of course! I try to showcase everything I’m reading, and fanfiction definitely counts!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 3/29/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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