The State of the Reader: 5/3/17

<–The State of the Reader: 4/26/17          The State of the Reader: 5/10/17–>

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: 11

  1. The Whispers of the Fallen by J. D. Netto: Kept – It’s a book about fallen angels and the first chapter had the image of one wing on it.  Hells yes, I’m going to keep this.  I didn’t put it on my really-want-to-read list only because the writing is a little “below” the type I like, but I’m very curious about what happens.
  2. The Reviled by Cynthia A. Morgan: Passed – Sometimes in reading samples and stories of other authors, you learn what not to do with your own.  This book has a prologue that not only introduces the concepts around the book, but also talks about what the narrative is supposed to be a metaphor for.  Now if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know I love a good metaphor, and I also love if/when a writer/creator confirms if one is true, but it’s lessened if the author tells you what it is beforehand.  Give your readers some credit and let them figure it out for themselves.  I will always favor Death of the Author over Word of God, considering authors may not even realize the concepts they’re paralleling in their work.  Also notwithstanding, the writing wasn’t the kind I favor either.
  3. The Silver Bough by Lisa Tuttle: Kept (RWTR) – I’m not surprised I kept this one nor am I shocked it found its way (or remained) on my really-want-to-read list.  Ms. Tuttle is the co-author of Windhaven, which she wrote with George R. R. Martin, and though I did have some trouble getting into the story, that was more due to pacing and not the writing style.  The pacing issue was more than likely due to the novel being made up of short stories and novellas pieced together.  This sample was instantly engaging, speaking of which, there’s a mysteriously broken one the MC is going to investigate.  Additionally, she’s just recently lost her best friend to a car accident.  The author wouldn’t bring something like that up if it wasn’t going to factor in later.
  4. Krim Du Shaw by Talia Haven: Kept (Purchased) – Since this is a short story, the sample paralleled that length and was only one page long.  It’s about horses, and the book is only $0.99, so I figured why not?
  5. Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon: Passed – Ugh.  I’m kind of annoyed I didn’t like this book, because I’ve seen Sherrilyn Kenyon in the fantasy section for years, and her novels look so interesting, but the sample instantly turned me off in both the prologue and first chapter.  The main female character wakes up handcuffed to a strange man.  Okay.  I’m fine with this so far.  They’ve both been abducted.  How are they going to get out of this situation?  She realizes he’s still alive and shakes him until he comes to.  He immediately flips her over on her back and presses himself against her.  Um, what?  Then she gets turned on by this?  Um what the fuck?  You’ve been kidnapped, handcuffed to some strange guy, and now he’s in the ravishing position over you, and this is cool?  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t judge your kink.  If that’s your fantasy, please go right ahead, but the thing about fantasies is you’re generally in control of the situation.  It just seemed unrealistic and more in line with those romance novels of old where shit like that always happened, and the woman was perfectly okay with it.  Then the next chapter did nothing but talk about how great this guy was.  He was apparently a god or he had godlike abilities *rolls eyes*  Again, one of the lessons I try to learn from books I either don’t like or have major issues with is what not to do with my own characters.
  6. Pretty Things by Christine Haggerty: Kept – Retold fairy tales are my bread and butter especially since I’ve written a retold fairy tale, and I use them for inspiration in all of my works.  This didn’t find its way onto my RWTR list because I’m trying to cut down on that.  Actually…I think I’m going to attempt to whittle it down to 100 books if not less.  If I haven’t read a sample of a book yet, I’m definitely removing it from there.
  7. Astarte Rising by Greg Thomas: Kept – I really don’t recall too much about this sample, but I didn’t hate it; it has a fairly high Goodreads rating, so I figure I might as well keep it.
  8. Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson: Kept – I’m fairly certain the female reporter is a vampire or a werewolf.  Since she’s out during the day (at least I think she is), I’m leaning towards werewolf, though why she’s carrying around a kitten is anyone’s guess.
  9. The Night Manager by John le Carré; Kept – I’m really glad I liked this book.  It was introduced to me through the BBC series staring Tom Hiddleston, my favorite actor ♥♥♥  So reading it, I envision Tom as Jonathan Pine, which is the part he played.  I never finished the BBC series, but I’m hoping to before I get to the book.
  10. Purity by Jonathan Franzen: Kept – The writing in this is so compelling, and the mysteries/plot coupons the author presents are almost too delicious to bear.
  11. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson: Kept – So far I like the prologues (there have been two so far, one to the series as a whole, one for the novel at hand), but that’s how I felt about Mistborn, too.  I feel like this novel is more showing, less telling though, and his writing seems more on point.  I believe Mistborn was his first series, so it would make sense that Stormlight would have a more refined tone.

Passed: 2
Kept: 9

Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: Gardens of the Moon
Series Title: The Malazan Book of the Fallen
Author: Steven Erikson
Date Added: February 9, 2016
Date Purchased: April 27, 2017

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

Title: Krim Du Shaw
Author: Talia Haven
Date Added: February 16, 2016
Date Purchased: April 29, 2017

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

Total: $2.98
Average Price: $1.99

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: Descendants
Series Title: The Arete Series
Date Added: March 5, 2017
Date Started: April 1, 2017
Date Finished: April 28, 2017
Reading Duration: 27 days

Review posted.  I had good things and bad things to say.  The premise is an interesting take on a familiar trope about people descended from gods, and I liked what Ms. Else did with that, but I did have some critiques about execution.

Books Currently Reading: 6

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: January 26, 2017
Date Started: May 1, 2017

Media: Hardback (Library)
Progress: 5%

God bless the library.  It’s a severely underused resource, and I should be ashamed.  I’ve lived in this area for seven years, and it took me that long to procure a library card and even a bit longer to borrow my first book.  Mist/Fury is an excellent candidate, too, since I was so unimpressed with the first one, but curious enough to read the second.  The only reason I’m giving it a chance is because I was told that certain issues I had with the first are rectified in this one, so we’ll see.

Right off the bat I’m reminded how much I don’t like Tamlin, and that really sucks when you’re less than meh on one of the main characters in a romance novel.  I skipped the sex scene, since I don’t like him, I don’t want to read about sexy time (I also don’t like the way its written so there’s that, too).  This is going to sound nonsensical, but I don’t like their relationship even though their relationship makes sense.  Like it makes sense that they should be together.  They were a unity of opposites from the get-go, the Faerie High Lord and the girl living on the outskirts of Prythian (the Fae lands) who hated them, but whose name is “Feyre,” which sounds like “faerie.”.  Now she *spoiler* is one of them and *end spoiler* lives among them, but I was really soured on him and therefore their relationship due to that victim blaming bullshit in the first book and the fact she just fell in love with him with no real lead up.

This book isn’t doing much to help so far since they’re both traumatized by what occured in the first book, but they’re not talking about it even though it’s effecting their relationship.  In fact I just finished a chapter where Tamlin’s emissary Lucien encouraged Feyre to do so, and while yeah, I get things that harrowing can be hard to discuss, for fuck’s sake, ignoring it isn’t going to make it better, and since they were both there, it’s something they could bond over.  In the same vein though, Feyre’s PTSD is well shown, so I have to give Ms. Maas that.

Side note: I’m using my Frozen bookmark for this, since it’s a library book and eventually I’ll have to let it go *runs away gleefully*

Title: The Quantum Ghost
Author: Jonathan Ballagh
Date Added: April 14, 2017
Date Started: April 29, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 21%

All of the minor issues I found in the first Quantum book are vanquished in this one.  The author doesn’t waste any time jumping into the action, and it’s immediately interesting and engaging.  I also like how Remi has some unknown illness that keeps her out of school, but Mr. Ballagh doesn’t give away precisely what it is instead only dropping potential clues to leave readers with a mystery, and it may or may not be something we have today, since he specifically states in the beginning that this story takes place in the near future.  Some of the events of Door were mentioned to further ground you in the time period (this takes place afterwards), and it offers up some clues as to what’s going on currently.

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:  40%

I think I’ve finished the “normal” timeline, and the next part is the alternative one.

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: 48%

The build up in this book is so magnificent, and Ms. Stiefvater is utilizing characters she’s never really tapped before.  Minor ones whom Gansey and boy crew have seen around Aglionby.  I was on the edge of my seat reading the last chapter, and each one that follows is just a rising crescendo.

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

Media: Paperback
Progress: 78%

I was right about something happening, but I’m still clueless as to how this is going to end.  It has a “slice of life” feel about it where we’re just getting a glimpse into the lives of these characters at a point in Hazel’s where something unprecedented happens: she finds something to care about.  The major question is will this just get lost in the shuffle of her dire need to escape or will she remember it and use it to really escape?

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 97%

So, so close to the end.  I might try to push and finish this weekend.  I have less than fifty pages left to read.

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 updates.

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

I’m worried about Renya and Alistair right now, but Duncan even more so.  Again, I haven’t played Dragon Age, I’ve only watched a bit, so this is all fairly new to me.  I don’t want this to be a last goodbye 😦

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: Rock and Riot
Author: Chelsey Furedi
Date Added: April 27, 2017
Recommended by: The Writing Hufflepuff

It’s like LGBTQ Grease with less problematic concepts like “Did she put up a fight?”  Also there are different body types and no body shame o.O  I’m so all about this.

Title: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Date Added: May 3, 2017
Recommended by: Cupcakes and Machetes

All the yes to this.  I loved Dr. Tyson’s revival of Carl Sagan’s series Cosmos, though I’m pissed it only had one season (yet Duck Dynasty has what, 12??), and the fact that he’s both a scientific and literal bad ass who doesn’t take shit bumps him pretty high up on my “People to Spare” list.  Even though he’s in the same category to me as Professor Hawking, the way Dr. Tyson explains things might be more accessible to my non-astrophysics mind, so I can’t be mad at CaM for adding another book to my TBR list 😉

Books Added to Reread List This Week: 2

Title: Below the Root
Series Title: Green Sky
Author: Zilpha Keatley Syder
Date Added: May 2, 2017

I added this and the second book in the series (below) because I reached the third book in my sample project.  I didn’t download a sample of the third, since I greatly enjoyed the first two, didn’t know there was a third, and I intend to read it after I reread the others.  I put it on my “library” shelf, since I might as well.  I don’t own the other two, so it either makes sense to buy all three (which I could do since I want to reread them) or just borrow the entire trilogy at once since they’re mid-grade/YA and fairly short.

Title: And All Between
Series: Green Sky
Author: Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Date Added: May 2, 2017

I should probably say something to what this series is about.  The Kindar live in the trees of this planet beneath a beautiful, green sky.  I believe gravity is lower than here on earth so they’re able to use wind currents to glide.  I’m pretty sure I was thinking of this series when I first looked at Windhaven.  Anyway, the Kindar live above in the branches, but they rarely if ever go down to the forest floor, because there are supposedly monsters that live “below the root,” which is where the first book gets its title.  Of course things are never what they seem.

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: 4/26/17          The State of the Reader: 5/10/17–>










32 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 5/3/17

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

  2. AHH! Let it go!!!! (starts singing)

    Ahem. I love the title “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.” It makes the topic seem so much more manageable in same way!

    Unrelated, I was not surprised by your description of the book entitled “Night Pleasures.” Insert huge air quotes as you see appropriate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahaha everyone loves me little pun 😀

      I’m excited to read that one. I’m thinking it might be more accessible to me than Professor Hawking’s work (though that was really good/thorough). I

      Ugh, I don’t like to make fun of another author’s title, but with that content, it’s really hard not to.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That ‘let it go’ comment though. *dying over here*
    That paranormal romance that you previewed, I’ve been seeing it in the fantasy section for years too and wondered about it. Now I’m glad that I’ve avoided it. That just sounds like rape to me. Sure people have different kinks, rape fantasy being one of them apparently, but some guy flips you over and presses his dick to you without any discussion or previous foreplay? Rape. Sexual assault at the least. Either way, not hot. It can go join Fifty Shades on the ‘stupid shit people think is sexy’ shelf.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg I had to. It was too perfect to pass up.

      I’m so pissed off about that. I’ve been seeing that author for years and was really curious about her. It did put me in the mind of FSOG or Twilight, ugh. Like I was cool with them being handcuffed together, since that was probably their kidnapper, but she’s getting turned on by some dude she doesn’t know after she’s been kidnapped? Are you fucking kidding me? You know cause women totally find that kind of shit soooo sexy *rolls eyes so hard she sees another universe* Then the next chapter was describing how perfect and godlike he was, because you know that justifies your behavior #bye

      Liked by 1 person

      • These ‘godlike’ descriptions of men make me want to vomit. I guess putting anyone on a pedestal makes me want to vomit. If you’re looking for a quick fuck, fine. But personally I want substance over godlike looks. I don’t care how hot you are, if you’re a douche, you’re not getting anywhere near this. (Pre-being married obviously lol.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • You know what’s funny, I like certain “godlike” qualities in dudes. I mean my favorite character is Sephiroth and I write about him all the time, but the way I spin it, he’s not an overly arrogant douche canoe lol. Like it’s okay to *know* you’re good looking, strong, and awesome, but you don’t have to be a jackass about it and advertise it in the Sunday news. I like the prettiness AND the substance, and honestly, people become uglier to me if they’re like that, and I have no desire to read about them. It’s one of the reasons I’m still struggling with that Sarah J. Maas book, the sequel to Thorns and Roses. I don’t like the male half of the OTP, but things might have started to get more interesting. Like most YA, there’s a love triangle, and the other dude might be more promising hehe.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. LMAO! The “let it go” thing with the library book. Wow! hahaha I love it! 😛
    That’s awesome that you went and got a library card for your local library. I love libraries. They’re just the best. 😀 Does your library have any cool classes and events they host? It might be worth checking out. C&M and I have done some pretty cool free events at the library by where she lives like a steampunk jewelry-making class, cemetery tours of really old cemeteries with the historical society, and a couple other neat ones. It’s a lot of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought of that the other day and it was too punny and awesome not to share 😀

      I’m mad I wasn’t utilizing the library before! It’s so awesome and will save me a ton of money since I spend so much on books.

      I don’t know! I’m sure they do. I’ll have to look into it. They have movies and games you can borrow/rent, too. I love that you can have them send a book to any library.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it’s so nice that the libraries work together to make sure you can get the book you’re looking for. 🙂
        I always mean to check out the books/games at the library, but I always forget and spend the whole time looking at books and graphic novels. lol

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder why you would be so interested in a book about fallen angels… I think I need to make a really-want-to-read list. I hate most romance novels, but OMG Night Pleasures sounds like the worst one ever! Honestly the only ones I like are your fan fictions (simply because they are amazing), and also anything by Katherine McIntyre since her writing style is so blunt/witty/awesome 🙂

    Oh wow! You’ve been reading The Mabinogion Tetralogy for so long. It must feel awesome to be close to the end.

    I should visit my local free book borrowing building soon. I forget those are still places, haha. I need to find time to pick up any book again soon. I’m thinking Tuf Voyaging will be my next goal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What’s funny is I had no idea that many novels are marketed as romances! Like ones I’d consider just dark fantasy or fantasy were originally marketed as romance. It’s what I’m going to try with my novel once I reedit it, because I’d been putting the genre as dark fantasy, but the romance is a major part of it so I could totally market it like that. When I think romance, I think “heaving bosom books” lol, or I did until I knew that little tidbit. Yep, Northern Lights is totally a paranormal romance. I thought that romance was just that and no other plot, but you can market any book with that paradigm as that genre even if there are other things going on. The more you know!

      It’s been almost a year D: It would be in July. I think it’s my longest read book. I used to finish even really long novels pretty quickly, but adulthood boo.

      I can’t believe I never utilized that resource before, now I’m going to use it all the time especially for books I’m not sure I’d like.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I remember back in high school my best friend at the time found this box of books in the basement of her apartment building, and it was filled with “heaving bosom books” lol. She lent or gave me some, and we both read them. I remember one is called Prisoner of My Desire lol. I still have that one :p

          Liked by 1 person

            • Let me see…there was Prisoner of My Desire that I mentioned. Then there’s Night Magic, which surprisingly wasn’t that bad lol. It was a Phantom of the Opera-esque romance that I actually liked lol. Oh Night Fire haha. The best part is the sexy time descriptions. If a book ever uses the word “tumescence” I just roll with laughter. Sexy time scenes can be hard to write because it’s such a fine line between awesome and cheesy 😀

              Liked by 1 person

              • I’m shocked “Night Magic” wasn’t terrible, lol. I don’t think I could ever write romance… I’d giggle way too much at the “sexy time scenes”, haha.

                Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been thinking about getting the Zelda historia for a while…

    I’m going to have to look into that Tyson astrophysics book as well.

    In the past little bit I wrapped up, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman and A Pail of Air by Fritz Leiber. Now I’m reading The Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry: A History of Misery and Medicine by JP Webster, which is about the mental hospital (now closed and mostly gone) I grew up within walking distance to, and Star Wars: Red Harvest by Joe Schreiber.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Zelda Historia is fantastic! Highly recommend it. I knew about the split in the timeline, but didn’t know the specifics. Granted a lot of this is retconned, but they did a decent job of it!

      I might have to check out The Secret Lives of the Brain if it’s what I’m thinking it is. I majored in psychology, and anything to do with the organ that’s essentially the main computer is fascinating to me.

      There are so many Star Wars books. When you say “Red Harvest” that makes me think of the Family Guy parodies Blue Harvest. Even though they’re technically parodies, Seth McFarlane absolutely adores the trilogy, and you can tell. I’m a big fan of well done parody/satire. I still need to finish watching Clone Wars (the series) and then watch Rebels. I also haven’t seen Rogue One. I’m quite behind alas!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain is a neuroscience book, so it might be right up your alley.

    There are way too many Star Wars books. When Disney bought the franchise from Lucas, they made everything not a movie or tv show a “Legend”, which Red Harvest falls under now but it is one of the few Star Wars horror books so even though it isn’t canon, I’m giving it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Added. I will definitely enjoy that. Physiological Psych was one of my favorite classes in college.

      Yeah…I heard about that. I love what Disney is doing with the series. I mean there’s just no comparison between The Force Awakens and the prequels, but that annoyed me. Clone Wars is one of the best cartoons out there. It makes you like Anakin and see how much of a bad ass he was. Hayden Christiansen is not a good actor, but the writing in the sequels made even Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, and SLJ who ARE good actors look/sound terrible.

      Red Harvest is a Star Wars horror book? You’ve piqued my interest with that now, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Joe Schreiber wrote a pair of Star Wars horror books, Death Troppers and Red Harvest. Death Troopers was kind of a zombie, biological horror tale. I’m not far enough into Red Harvest to get a great feel for it but it involves the Sith during the Old Republic era and has some pretty depraved scenes for a Star Wars book. It’s not high brow literature but Death Troopers was fun enough and Red Harvest seems to be in the same vein.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 5/10/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.