The State of the Reader: 5/17/17

<–The State of the Reader: 5/10/17          The State of the Reader: 5/24/17–>

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

  1. Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner: Kept (RWTR) – This is a story in the tradition of Redwall, and initially wasn’t sure if I should think of the rats as anthropomorphic or as more like the rabbits of Watership Down, able to speak in their own language, but still quintessentially rabbits.  Since this book opened with a chase, I couldn’t decide whether to imagine them running as rats do or running as humans do.  I think they might have been running as rats, but they wear clothes and have a hidden city beneath Topside (the world of humanity).  The story seems fascinating.  A fascist dictator has taken over their city, terrorizing frightened citizens, but two brothers Vincent and Victor escaped forced impression in the Kill Army, and they eventually team up with another rebel to take back their city.
  2. The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr.: Passed – I was quite excited for this, but the main character comes off as a chauvinistic ass in rooster form, and the writing isn’t my style.
  3. Talon by Julie Kagawa: Kept/Purchased (RWTR) – Dragons that can take human form, trying to keep out of the sight of St. George with rogue dragons in the world for unknown purpose.  The story drops you right into the lives of twins (which are rare among dragon kind) as they try to adapt to live among humans.
  4. The Monster Within by Kelly Hashway: Kept (RWTR) – Another book that starts out perfectly.  Sam has been dead for four days, but her boyfriend Ethan has figured out a way to call her back from the grave.  The story opens with her clawing her way out of the dirt, but how Ethan did it is still unknown (though he does admit he had help), and Sam is more than just a revived human…she’s not a zombie, not a vampire, but some kind of weird halfway in between that has to feed of of humans to survive.  I’m dying to know where this will take us 😉
  5. Robbed of Sleep by Mercedes Yardley: Passed – I don’t seem to have an affinity for short stories (unless they’re written by GRRM).  There was a brief one page story that was okay, but the second longer one just didn’t do much for me even though I know it could’ve been interesting.  Ah well.
  6. Radiance by Grace Draven: Kept/Purchase (RWTR) – HOLY SHIT THIS BOOK IS AMAZING.  Omg, where do I even begin.  Well, I knew I was going to purchase it not even a chapter in.  So Ildiko is betrothed to marry Brishen, a Kai prince, a humanoid, but not human people.  What the book did was brilliant.  It not only showed the bride’s disgust, fear, and horror at marrying what she considers a monster, but it showed his point of view as well.  To the Kai, humans are just as horrifying, and the way Brishen describes our eyes was just perfect.  The Kai have no iris or pupil, just a blazing yellowy-white orb that’s light sensitive since they’re people of the night.  To them our irises and pupils that contract with the light must be hella creepy, and it really made me think though I’ve obviously thought about eerie eyes before.  Anyway, they wind up meeting by chance just before the wedding, though neither knows whom the other is, and it’s both hilarious and perfect.  They both still find each other odd, but realize their personalities click, though it’s not until the end Brishen finds out her name.  I bought this book immediately, and I can’t wait to read it.  I may have to shuffle some of the order around.
  7.  Lumière by Jacqueline Garlick: Kept – The premise of a world trapped in twilight is interesting.  It reminds me of (the obvious) Twilight Princess and the Dark City, Treno in Final Fantasy IX.  The main character has a fresh, crisp voice with obvious English inflection, and I’m curious about her strange malady.
  8. After the Woods by Kim Savage: Kept (RWTR) – What drew me to this was the insta-action it starts with, and the fact that the catalyst for the story occurs without it being said.  Neither we nor the main character really know what happened, because she’s repressed the memory.  I like that she uses snarky deflection (yes…I can like snarkiness, but it has to be for a purpose and not just for the sake of being snarky), because that’s something I can relate to (I am the deflection queen!).
  9. Ruined by Amy Tintera: Kept (RWTR) – If you’re looking for a book about hatred and vengeance for a worthy reason, look no further than Ruined.  I love the double entendre involved in that titled, because the main character’s lost kingdom is literally called Ruina, and its people are called Ruined.  I want to know why the two allied nations hate them so much, though I think it’s a simple reason of hating/fearing their power.
  10. The Moorchild by Eloise Jarvis McGraw: Kept – Recommended by my studious friend at The Ink Garden, the language in it reminds of the books I loved growing up.  The beginning is a bit winding to the point, but I didn’t mind at all.
  11. The Guardian by Elizabetta Holcomb: Passed – I was teetering on a fine edge with this one.  It didn’t really grab me, but it had really good reviews that praised the characters and the writing.  I didn’t find the latter that compelling; there was a lot of telling instead of showing.  It was only $0.99 on Kindle, which isn’t a lot to spend, but I just couldn’t see myself staying interested in it, so I ultimately decided to pass.
  12. Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams: Passed – It almost feels like blasphemy to pass on this, since it’s by the author of the illustrious and irreverent Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but I think I may just not be in the mood for this kind of parody right now.

Books Purchased This Week: 6

Title: Talon
Series Title:
Julie Kagawa
Date Added:
May 24, 2016
Date Purchased: May 12, 2017


Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $1.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Series Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Author: Akira Himekawa
Date Added: May 12, 2017
Date Purchased: May 12, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $8.99
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: The Prince of Tides
Author: Pat Conroy
Date Added: May 18, 2016

Media: Paperback
Price: $15.30
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Series Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date Added: April 18, 2016
Date Purchased: May 12, 2017

Media: Hardback
Price: $17.09
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: Radiance
Series Title: Wraith Kings
Author: Grace Draven
Date Added: May 12, 2016


Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $3.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: The Shadow Soul
Series Title: A Dance of Dragons
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Date Added: June 15, 2016

Shadow Soul, The

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

Total: $47.36
Average Price: $7.89

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: January 28, 2017
Date Started: March 19, 2017
Date Finished: May 14, 2017
Reading Duration: 56 days

I need to let this marinate before I review, but I’ve already rated it five stars on Goodreads.

Books Currently Reading: 7

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Series Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Date Added: December 30, 2015
Date Started: May 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 12%

Holy shit is this good…as I mentioned when I sampled and bought it, something happened at the end of a chapter that made me immediately not only make sure it was on my really-want-to-read list, but convinced me to buy it so I could read it next.  I had my next physical fiction/fantasy planned (don’t ask me what it was, I don’t remember), but this took precedence, and I don’t regret a second.  There are definite shades of Hunger Games.  The one main character Elias has just as much on his shoulders as the best soldier in his class (yes…I know) as Laia does as one of the people he’s supposed to oppress.  They’re both hiding huge secrets, and I cannot wait for the two of them to get together.

Title: Saga, Volume I
Series Title: Saga
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Date Added: September 28, 2016
Date Started: May 15, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 19%

I had to guesstimate the number of pages to find the percent since this doesn’t have page numbers, which is common for comics/graphic novels.  It’s just as phenomenal as everyone says #livesuptothehype

Title: The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes
Author: Anonymous
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: May 8, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 18%

I thought this was going to be slower than it actually is.  Since it’s written in verse, it flows very nicely.  I have to decide whether or not I’m going to read the Prose Edda at some point afterwards.

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: 40%

The biggest difference between this book and the first one is choice.  Love triangles abound in YA, but there’s absolutely no question whom the main character should choose in this story.  I’m such a vindictive bitch that I hope she fucks the appropriate High Lord in such a way that the other ones knows about it mwahahahaha (I’m terrible).

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

Media: Kindle
Progress: 84%

The author fixed any tremulous footing from the first in this one.  I have absolutely no complaints.  I’d love to see this and even the prior book turned into movies. He paints such a lush, visual picture without coming off as overbearingly verbose.

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:  50%

I’m exactly at the halfway point, and I think the rest of the book is just straight artwork.  The “historia” part stopped at Spirit Tracks (ha), because that was the last game that was out when this was written.  What is the next game after ST?  I think there’s something between that and BOTW.

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: 73%

Holy shit did something huge and tragic just happen.  Because I’m so deep in the Raven woods, I can’t really say anything about it.

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 the author this week.

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

I seem to be down to reading one chapter a week mores the pity, but I’m slowly making progress!

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 7

Title: The Art of Alice: Madness Returns
Author: Dave Marshall
Date Added: May 11, 2017
Recommended by: Ignited Moth

The art of this book is based on the game designed by American McGee whom I believe was the first person to subvert Alice in Wonderland though Lewis’s carol was already a bit subversive especially for its time.  I mean who ever heard of a female hero who wasn’t in distress??  If I’m wrong about AG being the first to do this with the Alice motif, please let me know!

Title: Angels’ Blood
Series Title: Guild Hunter
Author: Nalini Singh
Date Added: May 11, 2017
Recommended by: Cupcakes and Machetes

A vampire hunter hired by an angel?  Sounds interesting enough for an add especially considering I’ve not only written extensively about dark and fallen angels, but I’ve also considered stories that contain both them and vampires.  Since angel’s blood has some pretty amazing properties, it definitely feeds the imagination.

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Series Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Author: Akira Himekawa
Date Added: May 12, 2017

I replaced the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Part 1 with this since I like Twilight Princess better than Ocarina and also they didn’t have Ocarina at B&N.  I need to figure out a schedule for my comics/graphic novels/manga, because I seem to be collecting more of them, but not reading them.  Could I possibly read 7 books at a time??

Title: The Sword in the Stone
Series Title: The Once and Future King
Author: T. H. White
Date Added: May 14, 2017

I’m pretty sure I’ve read this before, but it was so long ago that I don’t mind marking it as TBR and not to be reread, especially since I don’t remember much of it (if I did read it).  It is the novel the Disney movie is (loosely) based on.  Wart wasn’t nearly as mistreated in the book as he was the film, and his relationship with Kay was more of the fraternal fighting type and not the outright bullying.

I recalled this book while finishing the review for The Mabinogion Tetralogy as it’s mentioned in the blurb.

Title: She Walks in Darkness
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: May 14, 2017

Speaking of the late Ms. Walton, since I’ve finished and reviewed something by her, I can add another book as per my rules of only have one novel per author on my TBR list.  I’ve done a decent of sticking by this with only a few exceptions.

Title: A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
Author: Gabriel Márquez Garcí­a
Date Added: May 17, 2017

I heard about this book a long time ago, but forgot it until it popped up in my recommendations due to something else I was looking at.  I know that it’s beautifully written and tragic, and with luck this classic tale won’t be very much on Amazon when I get around to downloading a sample.

Title: Primitive Mythology
Series Title: The Masks of God
Author: Joseph Campbell
Date Added: May 17, 2017

A good friend whom I consider a fount of theological wisdom informed me that Mr. Campbell’s Power of Myth was actually a series of interviews the mythologist did with Bill Moyers, which I could watch rather than read.  This removes a book from my list, and saves me some time, though I’m sure I’ll have to pay just as much attention to the interviews as I would have the book.  Regardless, it gives me leave to add another of the author’s works to my list.  Mr. Campbell was heavily influenced by Jungian psychology (one of my favorite branches) and therefore believed in archetypes and the symbolism of connection.  This is just another reminder that I need to brush up on my Jungian psych (and Gestalt) in addition to rereading Hero.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 462
Change from Last Week: -1

Books Added to Reread List This Week: 1

Series Title: The Lord of the Rings
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Date Added: May 14, 2017

I really thought I already had this on my to be reread list, but apparently I was wrong.  It’s been some years since I’ve read the Trilogy.  Time to remedy 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: 5/10/17          The State of the Reader: 5/24/17–>









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

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

  2. So much awesomeness in one post!! 😀 I am so excited that you’re reading Saga and already loving it. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it (and Strange the Dreamer & An Ember in the Ashes!)
    So geeked to see the Alice: Madness Returns art book make it to your TBR list. 😛 That baby’s a beauty. Definitely my favorite art book I’ve ever purchased.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Saga is amazing. I just finished the first chapter tonight (didn’t know they were divided into them lol), so I’m going to go for a chapter a session. I will say that reading graphic novels ups your finished count pretty easily :p Ember is just plain amazing. I love that YA is becoming more…I don’t know if I want to say edgy, but more in the same vein of Hunger Games, making the younger readers really think about consequences and situations. It’s brutal and I wouldn’t recommend it for really young readers, but I think teenagers can handle it with guidance.

      I remember American McGee fondly so I had to add that art book!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s great to hear!! I’m so glad you’re digging Saga. Yeah, haha, it definitely plumps up your book count for the year when you read a lot of comics. They’re so quick and easy to get through. I just knocked out The Oatmeal’s ‘How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You’ in one sitting tonight. lol
        I agree about the YA thing. 🙂 It’s nice to see the progression in YA stories. I think sometimes people underestimate younger readers so it’s nice to see more and more stories coming out that don’t do that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally understand the need to be in the mood for Dirk Gently, but it is a great book when that mood comes around, both daft and brilliant.

    (thank you very much for reading Riddled, it makes me massively happy that you liked it, I’ll be really interested to read your review 😀 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thin you’re right. I LOVED Hitchhikers, and it has the same vibe as that. I might put it on a “later” list or something like that.

      Ah I was just working on the review for that hehe, in fact it’s what I have in the background as I answer my comments. It may be the best standalone I’ve read this year and in a very long time. I can’t wait to read your next one…whenever you finish it of course lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved Saga so much! I still haven’t read the other volumes yet, but I will make time, someday 🙂

    Speaking of “shades of Hunger Games” – that’s what I’m reading now! I’m just over halfway done (Katniss the badass just made an innocent new ally) and I’m betting this will end up being “the best novel ever!!” to me. I really can’t believe it’s considered YA either. Thanks for the recommendation 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just finished the first chapter of it, and YES I saw you were reading HG! I had a feeling you would like it. Suzanne Collins does PTSD so well, and I’m sure you already took note of how Katniss was doing it for her little sister like a *ahem* certain weather related heroine I’m sure you’ve heard of 😉 I can’t wait for you to finish that, because there’s a bunch of VII similarities with it, too, though knowing the bare minimum of what I do about XIII, I think there’s some similar stuff with that as well. I was shocked it’s YA, too, but given the times we’re currently living in, I think young people need to be prepared :\

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for introducing me to Goodreads too! It’s a great way to keep track of reading progress 🙂

        But yes, Katniss is VERY Lightning, and sort of Ellen, like. I love how the author uses this simplistic first person writing style. There’s no question about what Katniss is feeling, so it’s hard for the reader to misunderstand her “mask of indifference”. If that makes sense, haha. I also love all the very dark humor elements. It’s so depressing and inspiring at the same time (especially when you think about the terrible direction our real world is going). I just hope a stupid love triangle thing doesn’t happen… I have a feeling it will, but I can deal with it, haha. I like it so much I may even try writing a review post for it on my blog when I’m done.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 5/24/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  6. I do hope you’ll go back to Dirk Gently, first for the Holistic Detective Agency and then for Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. I think Adams not only writes some of the most original ideas in the Universe, but proves that King’s rule banning adverbs serves only lesser writers. And Adams’ humor satisfies me better than anything Christopher Moore has written — including Lamb, which I think is his best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Long Dark Teatime was the reason I added it in the first place! I love that title and I’ve been a fan of Adams for a long time.

      I’m sleepy so I think I need clarification. You agree with King’s rule about adverbs or you don’t? I try to limit the number of adverbs I use, but I don’t cut them entirely. I do think they often serve as placeholders for editing. Then you can think of better verb.

      Liked by 1 person

      • To be honest, I don’t have much respect for King’s storytelling or his rules about writing. While I agree we should use modifiers sparingly, I believe there is an art to using them well. I think Douglas Adams is a master of that art. Adverbs may serve some tones of writing better than others, but they are a valid and useful part of the language even if you’ve found the best verb.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m not a fan of absolute rules especially when it comes to writing. I think the adverb rule might work for a particular style but not all styles. I’ve only read one King novel, The Eyes of the Dragon, and I enjoyed it. I have his Dark Tower series on my TBR list, and I want to write horror, so he’s one of the authors I figure I should read along with Koontz and Lovecraft, especially Lovecraft since cosmic horror is what I’m aiming for.

          I agree. I feel the same about filter words e.g. feel, see, think, know, can, etc. There’s a time and place for them.

          Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s why I love the old masters. I much prefer the psychological and cosmic horror to the blood and guts horror, though a decent story might be able to combine those (Alien has that psychological in addition to body horror/blood and guts paradigm). I know Stephen King’s It is considered one of the greatest horrors of the ages, and from what little I know, it’s got that cosmic horror flare to it, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know many, many people think King is a Horror Story God. The first exposure I had to King was Kubrick’s film of The Shining — suspenseful in a horrifying, psychological, paranormal way. I believe Kubrick is a genius, and I loved it. Years later, after King gained the clout to have a say about how his books were made into movies, he let the world know he had “hated” what Kubrick had done to The Shining. He was in charge of re-doing it as a TV mini-series. I watched it. It took him SIX HOURS to tell the story. It moved soooooo sloooowly and lacked any kind of suspense, I felt I had wasted my time.

        The stories I read had a few horrifying moments, but the endings always felt like copouts.

        Then there was Secret Window, which was predictable and boring (3.5 stars on IMDB, 2.5/46% on Rotten Tomatoes).

        My youngest sister loves his books, but I can’t help but think of him as a hack.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I haven’t read anything else by him yet and nothing of his horror so I can’t speak to that, but what does annoy me about him is a lot of his staunch fans are annoyed with some of his latest work. Because he’s a huge name, he can pretty much write anything, and people will buy it. He also doesn’t ever have to sell another book, because he can just make money off royalties et al. THAT irks the hell out of me as a writer especially an unpublished one. I don’t have an issue with people making money off of their craft and being able to make a living, but put some effort into your work! George R R Martin might take years to write anything, but to me that shows he’s putting effort into the story he’s telling. I’d rather wait ten years for one epic than one year for something someone just dashed out. Nor am I coming after people who write quickly. Some writers do, but the complaints I’ve heard about King’s latest are for the lack of effort he seems to put in.


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