The State of the Reader: 4/19/17

<–The State of the Reader: 4/12/17          The State of the Reader: 4/26/17–>

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.

Samples Read This Week: 8

  1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: Kept (RWTR/Purchased) – A slave turned rebel and an unwilling soldier.  Neither of them is free.  I can’t stop thinking of a picture I recently used, and I couldn’t stop reading the sample then I reached a part that made me say, “Holy shit, I have to buy this book immediately.”  So I did.
  2. Spelled by Betsy Schow: Passed– The writing style isn’t for me.
  3. Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror by Eden Royce: Kept– I was on the fence with this one.  It seems to have potential, but it’s just not pulling me in.  Alright…I just looked at the blurb again, and it could just be the first story isn’t for me; the others look promising.  I’m keeping it on my TBR list and relegating it to the “library” shelf.
  4. Lavender by Sophie Welsh: Kept (RWTR) – This almost ended up on the passed pile, because the underlying premise of it is such patriarchal bullshit that it really pisses me off.  The titular character is a free-spirited 13 year old girl who just wants to explore the forest near her house, but both her and her mother are under her blacksmith father’s thumb.  The worst part is that he really isn’t presented in a “bad” light even though he won’t let her eat until she agrees to marry the village elder’s son.  He makes her feel bad for not knowing how to cook, clean, or want to marry, and while I get that it’s “that time,” I’m too old, grumpy, and feminist to not have that piss me off.  What saved it was the village elder’s son Eldrin, ironically enough.  He seems just as reluctant to marry Lavender as she does him, and while he does kind of follow her around like a lost puppy, he doesn’t seem forceful or aggressive, so I’m curious where this story is going to go.
  5. The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr: Kept – The first chapter kills off the people introduced in the prologue, and the main character seems to be a medieval detective of sorts trying to piece the crime together.  It’s interesting enough to keep on my list.
  6. The Battle for Oz by Jeyna Grace: Kept (Purchased) – I honestly didn’t have high hopes for this one.  Rewrites of classic stories tend to go for the edgy, snarky, and/or modern viewpoint, and that’s just not my cup of tea (it’s one of the reasons I passed on that other novel that took place in the Emerald City), but this started out showing someone I believe is/was the Red Queen being ousted from Wonderland.  She retains her retinue of guards (and her bitterness) and discovers a way to get to Oz.  From the sample and the blurb, I believe this story has Dorothy and Alice working together to banish her once and for all, and I’m curious what their personalities are going to be like in this iteration and how they might collaborate/clash.  I wound up purchasing it, because it was super cheap (as you’ll see below).
  7. The Stolen Child by Peter Brunton: Kept – The first chapter didn’t show any hint of fantasy until the very end, and it was very realistic about what would’ve happened to 14 year old, homeless Rachael if any authority became involved.  I want to know what she either ran away or is keeping away from.  The second chapter has no seeming connection to the first (save for that fore mentioned bit of fantasy), and I want to see the bridge.  Is she the titular stolen child?
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (J. K. Rowling): Kept – Even though there was barely any sample, of course I kept this book in the extended Harry Potter universe.  I’d still like to see the movie, too.

Books Purchased This Week: 6

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Series Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Date Added: December 30, 2015
Date Purchased: April 14, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $10.79
Retailer: Barnes and Noble

Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Purchased: April 14, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $14.39
Retailer: Barnes and Noble

Title: The Vagrant
Series Title: The Vagrant
Author: Peter Newman
Date Added: March 20, 2017
Date Purchased: April 14, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $15.29
Retailer: Barnes and Noble

Title: Seraphina
Series: Seraphina
Author: Rachel Hartman
Date Added: May 6, 2015
Date Purchased: April 14, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $9.89
Retailer: Barnes and Noble

Title: Shadows on Snow
Series Title: Flipped Fairy Tales
Author: Starla Huchton
Date Added: January 12, 2016
Date Purchased: April 14, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: The Battle for Oz
Author: Jeyna Grace
Date Added: October 26, 2015
Date Purchased: April 17, 2017

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

I should not be allowed anywhere near a bookstore without supervision.  Crap…two of these are from Amazon.  No place is safe!  I really need to start utilizing my local library, but I need to figure out how I’ll edge that into the rotation.  Most of the books I’d borrow from there fit into the fantasy/sci-fi/general fiction genre, so I’d have to make sure I was close to finishing the book at hand and not planning on reading anything I already have next.

Total: $54.34
Average Price: $9.06

Books Finished This Week: 0

Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
Authors: Patrick Thorpe, Various Others, and Translators
Date Added: October 30, 2016
Date Started: April 11, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress:  30%

This is a much quicker read than I thought it would be.  I imagined it being more along the lines of The World of Ice and Fire with the pages full of Hyrule’s history.  It does a good job showing that with brevity as the soul of wit.  It’s just as much of an art book as it is a (fictional) history.  I’d love to see something like this done for Final Fantasy.

Title: The Raven King
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 4, 2017
Date Started: April 8, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 25%

Each chapter feels like a rising crescendo, the big build up.  I can’t wait to see how it explodes.

Title: The Descendents
Series Title: The Arete Series
Author: Rae Else
Date Added: March 5, 2017
Date Started: April 1, 20147
Recommended by: Rae Else

Media: Kindle
Progress: 68%

The plot of this book is moving towards a definite Hunger Games feel with some Mistborn thrown in, as well.  I have some critiques that I’ll talk about more when I review it, but all in all, it’s a good first novel (I think it’s the author’s first novel, if not first publication).

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

Media: Paperback
Progress: 53%

I think this may be the best standalone I’ve read this year, and it’s fast becoming one of my favorite books.  I was really curious how the two parts of it were going to come together, and they finally collided in the most appropriate way possible.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 87%

I’m not quite trudging through this book, and I’m more lukewarm towards the characters than antagonistic now, but I really can’t wait until I finish it.  I’m tired of the rivalry between Gwydion and his sister Arianrhod,and I’m sick of Arianrhod’s hatred towards her only son.  The latest chapters have concerned Blodeuwedd, which is interesting, though I really hope she isn’t just going to be a female automaton created just to fulfill Llew’s every whim, ugh.  She is a woman made out of flowers, and therefore a literal (wait for it) flower maid, and flowers can be pretty willful, so we’ll see.

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 again this week.  I still need to check tumblr, too.

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

I love how Athena handles the differing personalities of the group Renya finds herself with.  Even in a place full of Grey Wardens no one is homogeneous, and even when people know they have a blight to fight, long held bigotry can still get in the way.  I love Renya’s relationship with Duncan and how quickly they gained a mutual respect, and I’m enjoying how she interacts with Alastair, too, who actually was a templar.

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 8

Title: Mother Night
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Date Added: April 12, 2017

The first time I came across Kurt Vonnegut was a book entitled Timequake that I believe belonged to my brother.  He used to receive mountains of books through one of those bulk dealers back when we both lived at home.  This was also how I was introduced to Dean Koontz’s Fear Nothing, which prompted me to read Watchers.  I never read Timequake, nor any of Mr. Vonnegut’s work.  Last week when I added Wolf of Shadows and remembered how I’d read that alongside of Fahrenheit 451, I thought I’d extend the question to the crowd about other Bradbury works, and I figured I’d throw Vonnegut into that as well.  The book above stuck with me, so I added it.

Title: Dandelion Wine
Series Title: Green Town
Author: Ray Bradbury
Date Added: April 12, 2017

The same story as the Vonnegut novel for this one.

Title: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
Author: Natasha Pulley
Date Added: April 13, 2017

Stories involving time, mysterious timepieces, and those who can craft them will always be fascinating.

Title: The Demon King
Series Title: Seven Realms
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Date Added: April 14, 2017

My excursion to the book store netted me this add to the TBR list.  I was good and didn’t buy it, because I’m really trying to sample books first before I commit to them, but the title is interesting, the cover intriguing, and the fact that the series title is Seven Realms doesn’t hurt one bit.

Title: Quantum Ghost
Author: Jonathan Ballagh
Date Added: April 14, 2017

After writing my review of The Quantum Door, I received a lovely message from the author about it.  He absolutely loved my review and was overjoyed that I picked up the references and deeper meaning (e.g. figuring out the symbolism behind Nova’s name and the neurogeists aka brain ghosts).  I told him that doing such is my passion, and I, myself, was impressed that he incorporated such things into a mid-grade/YA novel.  While J. K. Rowling is well known for doing so, may other authors fail to realize children that age are more than apt to pick such things up, and even if they aren’t, it begins to hone their minds for critical thinking.  We’ve had a nice back and forth, and in his last email, he asked if I would like an eArc for this book, which takes place in the same universe, but is shorter and darker than Door.  I was delighted to receive such an offer, and it’s always wonderful when an author appreciates your review even with critiques 🙂

Title: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Series Title: Space Odyssey
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
Date Added: April 17, 2017

You know how everyone has that one popular and ubiquitous thing that they’ve never seen (or worse, to some, never liked)?  I have never seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, at least not enough to really talk about it.  Of course I’ve witnessed the movie’s most famous scene with the monolith and the apes (and the millions of parodies of it), but the film in it’s entirety?  Nope.  I also didn’t know if was originally a book by Arthur C. Clarke, who is another sci-fi writer I haven’t read.  Seeing as this is probably his most famous work, it’s a good place to start.

Title: The Grim Company
Series Title: The Grim Company
Author: Luke Scull
Date Added: April 18, 2017

The mages who once rose up to overthrow the corrupt gods are now themselves the de facto corrupt gods who rule of dystopian city states.  The world is in a state of chaos and woe.  Just read that the author worked on acclaimed titles for BioWare, which is a company that deals in cyclical stories.  Now I’m super excited to download a sample for this.

Title: The Bad Beginning
Series Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Author: Lemony Snicket
Date Added: April 18, 2017

I was not fond of the movie that was based on this book/series, and I’ve heard there’s been a TV show made as well.  I’m curious about that, and I hope I like it better than the film.  I’d like to give the book a chance.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 456
Change from Last Week: +7

Books Added to Reread List This Week: 3

Title: Lassie Come-Home
Author: Eric Knight
Date Added: April 15, 2017

I was thinking about my cats this morning (as I often do) and how absolutely shameless they are in what they’ll eat.  My mind wandered (as it often does), and I remembered how Lassie refused to eat food that wasn’t in a bowl, because her human trained her by putting hot peppers or something in meat on the ground.  So she learned that scraps just lying around were not to be touched, but food in a bowl was okay.  This was to hopefully protect her from being poisoned, as any potential poisoner probably wouldn’t have a convenient vessel available.  In her journey back home, she comes across a kind man who takes care of her for a while, and he immediately notices this trait.  He’s quite amused by it and realizes that Lassie is obviously no ordinary dog.  He starts calling her “Herself,” in a sort of “Her Majesty” mimicry, but there’s no malice in it.  It’s odd what memory can dredge up, but the long and short of it is I’d love to read this again.

Title: Lad: A Dog
Series Title: Lad
Author: Albert Payson Terhune
Date Added: April 15, 2017

Once you start thinking of one collie/dog based story, you tend to recount others.  This could almost be considered the male equivalent of Lassie, considering his name is Lad, the literal male equivalent of “lass,” and he’s a male dog.  I don’t think Lad ever was sold like Lassie was, but his adventures were pretty solid.

Hm, can I think of anymore dog stories to add to my TBR or reread list?

Title: Gentle Ben
Author: Walt Morey
Date Added: April 15, 2017

Well, it’s not a dog story, but another dog story led me to this one.  Kavik: The Wolf Dog to be specific.  I read and reread that book so many times, I’m sure I wore my copy out.  The same author wrote both that book and this, but I don’t think I read Gentle Ben nearly as much since I owned Kavik, but for Ben I needed to visit the library.

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: 4/12/17          The State of the Reader: 4/26/17–>








37 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 4/19/17

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 4/12/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. I have Ember in the Ashes but I haven’t found the time to read it yet, so I can’t wait to hear what you think Adrienne. And Cinda Williams Chima is one of my favorite fantasy authors. I have a feeling you’re going to LOVE The Seven Realms series. There’s also a new spin-off of that as well as her other series, The Heir Chronicles. And Lemony Snicket! Another favorite series of mine! Hated the movie, but I just finished watching the first season on Netflix and it was awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, I can’t wait to read it. After I finish my friend’s book (which is phenomenal btw Riddled With Senses), it’s the next one on my list.

      I didn’t like the Jim Carey movie either! It didn’t do anything for me, and I was happy I didn’t see it in theaters. I know that movies often really fail the books, so I want to give that a chance. I’m glad to hear the Netflix series is good. I’ll throw that on my to watch list then 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve heard sooo many good things about Ember in the Ashes and I really want to read it. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. 🙂
    That’s really great to hear of the pleasant exchange you had with that author. That must have been such a nice surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I could not stop reading the sample. Like usually, I’ll read enough to let me know I like it or really like it, but this…it was just so compelling, and there’s so much at stake. The characters are also a little bit older than the standard YA MCs, and I liked that. Well, the male character is. The female is 17, but he’s around 20. I want to tell you what the huge catalyst that had me say “YES, I must read this NOW” was, but it would be a huge giveaway. It happens only a few chapters in, but I had to sit at my desk for a few minutes just to absorb the tremendous revelation that had just occurred. If you can (or if you get to suggest for your reading club) highly recommend it. It’s going to be my next book after my current fantasy/sci-fi/general fiction is done.

      It was very awesome! He seems like a nice guy. I follow him on Goodreads now, and I’m really hoping he writes a sequel to the first book I read. It was a fun mid-grade/YA novel.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nice! That’s really good to hear because I totally added it to the nomination list for book club when I host in June! 😀 I hope it wins, but there were five options so who knows. It’ll probably wind up being one of the nonfiction books that wins because that’s what most of the girls in the club enjoy reading. That’s okay though, I still will wind up reading it on my own if it doesn’t win. It sounds way too good to miss out on, especially after what you’ve just told me about it. ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah I hope so! If not yeah, you could definitely read it on your own if/when you have the time. I’ve had it on my TBR list for a while, and I’m ever so slowly downloading samples to read so I can remove things that don’t catch my interest and bump up things that really do.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, it’s definitely a must-read on my list. 🙂 It would be nice to see it win but I am not sure which book will wind up with the most votes. I gave them five options and I got a message from C&M afterward cursing me for making it so hard to choose just one. lol Which was awesome because I spent so much time trying to put together a really good list that would appeal to the different types of readers in our group.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. 2001 A space odyssey movie was based on a short story by Clarke. The book was written after the movie came. Both are really good. You should definitely watch and read both. I have been eyeing Peter Newman’s series and Seraphina has also been on my TBR for quite sometime now. Please do review them once you are done.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh I didn’t realize the movie preceded the book! This is how much I know about old school sci-fi. I’m going to read Childhood’s End first from him then move on to his other works.

      I certainly will! I’m not sure when I get to them, because I have a pile of books a mile high just in my possession, but it should hopefully be this year. I’m very excited about The Vagrant.


    • If you ever join Goodreads let me know! It’s how I keep track of all the books. I don’t know what I would do without it. I love organization sites.

      I was really surprised how much I liked that sample. Like I said a lot of times, people will try to make the story snarkier and edgier, and it often isn’t my style, but this I really liked.

      I was very happy he liked my review that much! I need to send the eArc he gave me to my Kindle so I can read it.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I totally understand that. Every time I have to sign up for something, I’m like “Ugh, more email,” or “Another password to remember.” Goodreads is, well, it’s not addictive in and of itself, though at the beginning it might be if you’re trying to add all of your books. I honestly don’t remember everything I ever read since there’s just too many years to go through “p

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I forgot about those library things! I remember they trust people enough to let them borrow any book they want. Not a good business plan, haha.

    A Final Fantasy Historia type book line would be spectacular! I’m really starting to get into buying art books/guides for the games I love playing. It’s a great way to look back on them.

    Oh and that’s so awesome that you had an interaction with the Quantum Door. It sounds like he values his fans and amazing reviewers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I forgot that there’s one right near me, too! It’s like right on my way home from work, only five minutes away. It’s such a great resource. They have video games, too.

      I’m surprised they don’t have one already! Art books are so expensive. The Sky is this huge art compendium that’s at least $50.

      I love when authors/creators interact with their readers. It’s so flattering. I need to send the story to my Kindle so I can read it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Trust me, I know. Goodreads is more of a tool than social media platform for me, but I have heard of drama erupting on there. Any time you gather people together where opinions can be shared, you’ll always find drama. I mostly use it as a repository for my reading lists, and it’s an excellent resource for that!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 4/26/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a nice, short little read! Of course, I love anything Harry Potter, and I’ll take any excuse to enter that world one more time! I wish it had pictures of the Beasts, but I’m just being picky 😉

    I’m interested to see what you think of A Series of Unfortunate Events! I thought the movie was so awful and annoying I didn’t even finish it! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah you’re a Potterhead! I don’t know if I’m quite that, but I greatly enjoyed the books and spent all night reading them when they came out. I’m a little cooler on it now, but I’m still a huge fan of the movies; I love the world she’s created, and I can’t choose between Gryffindor or Ravenclaw.

      Omg I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thought that about the movie. I didn’t like it at all. I don’t know what it was, but it just didn’t do anything for me. I’ve heard great things about the series though, and I’m sure the books are far better than that movie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, the world J.K. Rowling created is so amazing! I remember being so bummed when I read the last book, because I found the Muggle world so boring haha! I just recently re-read all of the books again; I do it every couple of years and find that I enjoy them just as much every time!

        Yeah I don’t know what it was about that movie either, but it aggravated me so much! I hope the books are better!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I need to reread them. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve had the pleasure! I do watch the movies quite often, but that’s not the same hehe. I liked the first two, but then the third deviated in a way that aggravated me even though I understood why they did that. I have such a ridiculous book backlog though lol.

          I don’t know what it was either. I’ve heard the show it good though.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Haha I know what you mean… the movies are good, but I do like the books better because I feel like that is the “real” story. I have quite the book backlog myself, lol! Don’t think I’ll ever clear it out because I keep adding to it, which I know you can relate to! 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  8. My favorite Bradbury was always Something Wicked This Way Comes, which I read for the first time when I was in 9th grade. It’s been many years since the last time I read it, but I recall it becoming more meaningful with each reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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