The State of the Reader: 6/21/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/14/17          The State of the Reader: 6/28/17–>

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. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey: Kept – I’ve only read one book that involved Mercedes Lackey, and it was a collaboration with Piers Anthony, If I Pay Thee Not in GoldThis held my interest enough to give it a try.
  2. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: Kept (RWTR) – This is currently one of the many books with giveaway contests on Goodreads.  I doubt I’ll win, but I’d buy I plan to buy it eventually anyway.  It’s so beautifully written with such a dark premise.
  3. Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene: Passed – This comes off as overly religious and preachy.  I love religious symbolism, but this book seems like it’s going to have some judgmental moral at the end of it as to why the town is shrouded in darkness, and I just have no interest.
  4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu: Kept (RWTR) – I saw this book in Target a few months ago, but didn’t make the purchase because I wasn’t sure.  I regret not doing so.  The beginning is haunting as the main character Adelina overhears her father literally sell her to a merchant in order to pay off his debts, because no other man would want her due to the ravages of the “blood fever.”
  5. The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Green: Passed – The beginning is very confusing and jumbled.  I’m guessing the author wants to introduce the premise of what it feels like to “jump” into the minds of other species, but that’s already enough of an odd concept that obfuscating it even more makes the narrative damn near impossible to follow.  I was hoping for something akin to how GRRM describes warging in ASOIAF, but the beginning of this book is unfortunately a convoluted mess.  The blurb sounds really interesting, and I hate to pass on it, but it really lost me at the start.
  6. The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer: Kept (RWTR) – I’m surprised by this one.  I thought I was going to pass on it and didn’t consider it would wind up on my really-want-to-read list, but the way the people of this fantastic version of Venice are subjugating and abusing mythical creatures such as mermaids and stone lions calls for a great reckoning.
  7. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson: Kept (RWTR) – This book was fascinating from the start.  Set in the Gold Rush Era, the main character is a girl who can sense gold, yet her family is still struggling.  Her father has some kind of ailment, and her parents don’t seem as overjoyed with her ability as you’d think.  I’m guessing because if anyone knows about it, they’d try to exploit her, and this seems to be the catalyst of the story.
  8. A Thread in the Tangle by Sabrina Flynn: Kept – I think if I hadn’t added the last two books to my really-want-to-read list I would’ve added this one, too.  Sometimes I reconsider and do that later, if a story stays with me, because this one is introduces some fantastic dynamics.  The one character (who appears to be more than human) is clearly not afraid of the emperor, and he seems to care far more about the monarch’s daughter than her father does (what is the title for an emperor’s daughter anyway?  I guess you could still use princess), seeing as the emperor is threatening to lock a four year old in the dungeon until she can be sold.  WTF.
  9. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: Kept (RWTR) – This book is a dream to someone who loves both magical realism and angels.  The main character may not be one for true, but having the wings of a bird is close enough for me.  The  language is lush and beautiful, and this is firmly on my to-buy-next shelf.  I could’ve purchased it on Kindle, but this is one of the novels I want to own a physical copy of.

Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
Author: David Eagleman
Date Added: May 7, 2017
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $16.00
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: Tigana
Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
Date Added: February 9, 2016
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $22.00
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: The Art of War
Author: Sun Tzu
Translator: M. A. Lionel Giles
Date Added: June 17, 2017
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

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

Title: The Golden Bough
Author: Sir James George Frazer
Date Added: February 21, 2012
Date Purchased: June 20, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $9.36
Retailer: Amazon

Title: Illumine
Series Title: Illumine
Author: Alivia Anders
Date Added: June 21, 2017
Date Purchased: June 21, 2017

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

Total: $48.35
Average Price: $9.67


Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: Saga, Volume 5
Series Title: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Date Added: June 6, 2017
Date Started: June 12, 2017
Date Finished: June 15,, 2017
Reading Duration: 3 day

Another day, another Saga completed.  I’m not sure how I’m going to read any other graphic novels after I finish this one, because I’m constantly going to compare and find them wanting.

Title: Half a King
Series Title: Shattered Sea
Author: Joe Abercrombie
Date Added: July 14, 2015
Date Started: May 27, 2017
Date Finished: June 18, 2017
Reading Duration: 22 days

This book took me through a tumult of feelings.  I bought it as soon as I read the sample, because I loved the way the author uses language.  Its beauty lies in its simplicity despite the harsh and unforgiving world it describes.  However, I started to lose interest when Yarvi was crowned and half considered relegating this to the DNF pile.  Then something huge happens, and it completely alters the entire narrative, as it changes the new king’s life.  You think you know how much betrayal is in the story, but you’re mistaken, nor are some characters all they seem at first glance.  The reluctant king learns this the hard way, but he’s not the one to take the most brutal lesson.

I added the second book to my TBR list, but I’m not going to read it as soon as I thought.  Yarvi doesn’t appear to be the main focus, so I might find another Joe Abercrombie book to read next instead.

Okay, I just looked at his other series The First Law, and while it sounds interesting (plus I can see similar paradigms between it and Shattered Sea), it’s not really grabbing me, so I’ll keep Half the World on my TBR list for now, though I’m not sure when I’ll get to it.


DNF/Unfinished Books This Week: 1

Title: The Golden Bough
Author: Sir James George Frazer
Date Added: February 21, 2012
Date Started: June 6, 2017
Date DNF: June 20, 2017
Reading Duration: 14 days

Media: Kindle
Final Progress: 5%

I messaged one of my friends today, someone whom I thought had read this years ago, since she’s very interested and involved in comparative religion and mythology.  I wanted to know if I was alone in struggling through the volume.  Well, she allayed my fears about that.  This is a massive compendium that compares not only traditionally well known mythologies, but more obscure ones.  The examples are seemingly endless, and it’s more akin to reading an encyclopedia. For this reason, I decided to declare it DNF; however, I purchased a physical copy from Amazon today, because I want to have it as a reference.  The author himself published an abridged copy, and that’s the one I went with under my friend’s recommendation.


Books Currently Reading: 6

Title: Elijah Dart: Angel of Death
Author: Jonathan L. Ferrara
Date Added: November 2, 2015
Date Started: June 19, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 18%

This is by the same author who wrote The Ghost of Buxton Manor, and this novel has the same sweet charm. There are some minor editing issues with it, so I’m wondering if this might have been an earlier work before Buxton.  It’s definitely shorter than it at less than 200 pages.

Title: Saga, Volume 6
Series Title: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Date Added: June 11, 2017
Date Started: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 83%

If I’d remembered that this was also on the schedule to read, I probably would’ve added the 6th Saga to my finished list, but I got home late and only read a few chapters of the other two books.  I may still finish it tonight since I only have one chapter left…but the 7th hasn’t arrived in the mail yet :\

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: May 26, 2017
Date Started: June 12, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 40%

There are a number of names thrown into these books that could be potential references to other works.  For example Stryga is probably from “strega,” the Italian word for “witch,” and Koschei, who also features in the Russian fairy tale “The Death of Koschei the Deathless,” means “skeleton” or “bone.”  I like clever and well researched references.

Title: Talon
Series Title: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Date Added: May 24, 2016
Date Started: June 10, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 43%

I am so into this book now.  I’m not fond of either institute: St. George or Talon, and I’m hoping Ember finds out what’s going on with the latter.  I have some idea how this is going to end based on the title of the second book (though I of course avoided reading the blurb), both with her and Garrett.

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: 79%

I almost couldn’t stop reading this tonight, and I may very well pick it back up because holy shit.  It has a huge Hunger Games motif to it among other things.  I have absolutely no idea how this is going to end nor what the next book could possibly be about.  Obviously, the Trials will be resolved, but I don’t know if the Commandant will be vanquished, nor if the Emperor will arrive.  I don’t know if either Elias or Helene is going to win them nor what the hell is going to happen with Laia and her brother.  Don’t even ask me how the romantic angles are going to be resolved.  It’s extremely well done.  The entire novel is, so I’m not expecting anything cheesy or cheap.

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: 56%

To be honest this book is a bit boring.  I think I’d prefer the Prose Edda much more over this.  Thankfully, the poems are pretty short so it doesn’t take me long to read any of them.


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 on this.  I still haven’t had time to check my Gmail, where I have a notification that she’s posted other things.  That email is so neglected…I pretty much only manage to listen to the YouTube sub updates and that’s because I do that at work :\

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

Out of all of them, it’s Renya who manages to obtain a token from the Chantry…the Dahlish elf who has her own gods/religion.  It kind of makes sense though since everyone else was too busy bickering about it, and Renya had less to lose in refusal.


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 6

Title: The Art of War
Author: Sun Tzu
Translator: M. A. Lionel Giles
Date Added: June 17, 2017

I saw this in the bookstore today and the last time I went, but didn’t purchase it there, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t.  While I might end up spending the $5 for it at some point, I just bought it on Kindle for even cheaper.  I figure if I’m going to continue to write about generals, I should have some kind of idea of military strategy.  Not that I’m planning a coup anytime soon.  It’s all for writing *wink wink*

Title: Dead Until Dark
Series Title: Sookie Stackhouse
Author: Charlaine Harris
Date Added: June 17, 2017

I thought I’d added the first book in this series when I threw Club Dead on my TBR list, but a good friend (Defy the Majority) kindly pointed out that Club Dead is actually the third book so now the seemingly casual vampire dating makes perfect sense lol.  It’s established prior, sooooo I may have spoiled this book and the next by reading that blurb, but oh well.

Title: Half the World
Series Title: Shattered Sea
Author: Joe Abercrombie
Date Added: June 17, 2017

Another book I need to add without looking at the blurb.  I’m almost finished the first book, and it’s become so good that I want to continue the series.  The writing is both beautiful, yet not overly verbose.  The loveliness lies in simplicity, and the terseness of the text is fitting for Shattered Seas’ harsh world.

Note: I wrote the above before I finished Half a King.

Title: Throne of Glass
Series Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 17, 2017

I went on an “add books from authors I’m currently reading” or “series I want to continue” binge.  For the former, my rule is I only have one book at a time on my TBR list, and since I’m in the midst of Maas’s Wings and Ruin, I can add the first book in her next series.  I believe the main character is an assassin, which is a paradigm I’ve always loved.

Title: Rogue
Series Title: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Date Added: June 18, 2017

I can tell from the title what this is obviously going to be about, but oh well.  I’m not surprised in the least the story is going to go in this direction since when the truth is revealed, there’s no going back.  There are still plenty of things in the first book, Talon, that could go in either direction, though I definitely have some predictions.  I have a feeling I’m looking at another YA paranormal romance.

Title: Illumine
Series Title: Illumine
Author: Alivia Anders
Date Added: June 21, 2017

I’ve been trying to find and purchase another of the author’s novels A Shard of Ice, but it can’t be located anywhere.  Yes, even on Amazon.  I think it might be out of print, though I’m unsure why.  It was apparently published in October 2014, so I have no idea why it’s out of print  I wonder if she had some issue with Amazon…I hope not.

So while looking for the above I came across this book free on Kindle.  The premise seems interesting, and hell, it was free.  I’m hoping the other book becomes available soon.  There’s even a question on Goodreads asking if it exists.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 469
Change from Last Week: +1


Books Added to Reread List This Week: 0


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: 6/14/17          The State of the Reader: 6/28/17–>

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14 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 6/21/17

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 6/14/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. I bought Ember in the ashes the other day after reading about it on here and got so addicted to it, I couldn’t put it down and finished it really quickly, it’s been so long since I’ve been so hooked on a book like that. I read Tigana a while ago as well and that’s very good, it had an interesting sort of way of making you see the villain with a different pov than usual

    Liked by 1 person

    • I literally have to force myself to put it down, because most chapters end in a cliffhanger. I’m almost done it and might try to finish this weekend since I’ll have more time.

      I fell i love with the beginning of TIgana and knew I’d have to own the book, and you telling me that it makes you see the villain from a different POV makes e want to read it anymore. I love stories like that.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I wedged Tigana into my reading order, though I can’t remember where lol. I keep pushing back the next book I’m planning to read because I keep finding other books I really want to read.

          I already have the second book of Ember, and I know I’m going to read that next as soon as I finish the first.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t been able to read another comic series since I finished Saga. I don’t think anything else can compare to that masterpiece :). You sold me on An Ember in the Ashes with “Hunger Games motif”. There are no love triangles… right??

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I’m afraid of! I have a Zelda manga and Locke and Key sitting in my to read pile. I’m hoping they’ll hold my attention. I have read another graphic novel before, Watchmen, which is fantastic, but Saga just overrides everything I could ever expect from the genre.

      I wouldn’t say there are love triangles. So the story switches between the two main characters Laia and Elias every chapter, and it’s told in the present first person, which is really interesting. They definitely interact more and more as the story goes on, and they have an interest in each other, but also interests in other people. I wouldn’t call it a love triangle per se, and the motif is DEFINITELY more about survival. It’s like Hunger Games with centurions.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved Walk on Earth a Stranger. Western + fantasy = yes please!
    I’m about to start Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. It’s my Goodreads group’s fantasy BoTM so I spoiled myself and bought a first edition copy as it’s about to go to it’s second edition. Plus, the author offered to do a Q&A with the group when we’re finished.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 6/28/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  6. Thanks for the shout-out and glad I could help you out!! 🙂 You are so making me want to read Saga… it might be awhile before I start, though, because I just started the Claymore manga and there are like 27 volumes of it…

    Liked by 1 person

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