The State of the Reader: 7/26/17

<–The State of the Reader: 7/19/17          The State of the Reader: 8/2/17–>

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. The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid: Kept – I’m really on an AI/synthetic kick lately.  This has led me to a conclusion that I should have figured out years ago.  Like most of my revelations, it starts with VII.  I’m pretty sure my favorite genre isn’t fantasy, but rather science fantasy.  I actually really love the fusion of elements from both.  It makes me wish I’d recognized that in Star Wars when I was younger,  but I like it now so it’s okay.  Anyway, I loved this novel’s brutality and incongruence of having a teenage girl be a synthetic killing machine, and the book was really cheap on Amazon, so I bought it on Kindle.
  2. Faller by Will McIntosh: Kept (RWTR) – I really do seem to find myself repeating paradigms.  Like the book I just started reading this week, this is about utter loss of memory, but instead of just two characters, it’s everyone.
  3. The Bird Box by Josh Malerman: Kept – I almost didn’t.  The language seemed a little stilted and tangled, but by the second page, it showed it was worth its salt.
  4. Firstlife by Gena Showalter; Kept – I loved the tongue-in-cheek emails between what I’m assuming is a soldier or officer and his superior who is a general, but the former character opens up the first email with an almost insolent “Duuuuude,” to which the general reminds him that he should call him “Sir.”  The next email is the soldier using the title ad naseaum and still being completely insolent.  It was hilarious.
  5. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs: Kept – This is the book the unfortunate John Carter film was based on.  Apparently, the movie wasn’t terrible; it just had terrible release timing.  I read less than the first page of this book, and I love the language.  The price was too cheap to pass up.
  6. IQ by Joe Ide: Kept (RWTR) – Writers are often admonished for using prologues.  Anyone who doesn’t see the merit in the one for this book can shove it.  I decided to read it based on that alone.  It was chilling and terrifying even as it came off so simply.
  7. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: Kept – I’ve never read (what becomes) a post-apocalyptic story with such lush, prosaic writing.  We’re also introduced to at least two of the characters who survive the event(s) that cause the apocalypse.
  8. Timekeeper by Tara Sim: Kept – My Kindle was dying so I only read the first two pages of the sample, but I’m very interested in what the hell happened to 2:00.  I just disappeared.  Has daylight savings time become sentient?  I suppose I’ll have to read to find out.

Books Purchased This Week: 8

Title: The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Date Added: October 28, 2016
Date Purchased: July 20, 2017

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

Title: Illuminae
Series Title: The Iluminae Files
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Date Added: June 12, 2016
Date Purchased: July 21, 2017

Illuminae

Media: Paperback
Price: $10.39
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: These Broken Stars
Series Title: Starbound
Author: Amie Kaufman
Date Added: May 24, 2015
Date Purchased: July 21, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $7.99
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: Goldie Vance Volume 1
Series Title: Goldie Vance
Author: Hope Larson & Brittney Williams
Date Added: July 19, 2017
Date Purchased: July 22, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $7.74
Retailer: Barnes & Noble (online)

Title: Monstress #1
Author: Marjorie Liu
Date Added: August 1, 2016
Date Purchased: July 22, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $7.59
Retaler: Barnes & Noble (online)

I had to buy this graphic novel and the one above online, because the store didn’t have as good of selection on them as I thought.  They mostly stocked Marvel and DC, which is fine because they’re popular, but I was hoping for these two, the next Locke & Key or Promethea.  I had one last 20% off coupon, which can be used either on the store or online.  These two were pretty much the same price on Amazon, so it was more advantageous to buy them from B&N since I had the coupon.  I also need to renew my membership.  It’s $25 for a year.  It’s not that expensive, but I thought it was a lifetime thing.  Oh well.  Speaking of memberships, I really need to get that Best Buy one #random

Title: Never Never: Part Two
Series Title: Never Never
Author: Colleen Hoover
Date Added: July 23, 2017
Date Purchased: July 23, 2017

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

Title: A Princess of Mars
Series Title: Barsoom
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Date Added: November 3, 2016
Date Purchased: July 23, 2017

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

Title: Abstract Clarity
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: June 27, 2017
Date Purchased: July 25, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $4.50
Retailer: Amazon

This is a book by a fellow blogger and indie author.  It’s a collection of short stories, and her second (I believe) published title.  The first is Rest in Piece, which is a mid-grade, paranormal/supernatural novel that I’ve reviewed here.  It was a fast read with an original idea, and I’d highly recommend you check it out.

Ms. Ginsburg has another blog Getting Through Anxiety, which is exactly what it says on the tin.  While I don’t wish anxiety on anyone, because I know what it’s like to have it, it’s still useful to see how others handle it, offer support and receive it in kind.  Anxiety can manifest in so many different ways, and we all have our methods of dealing with it and navigate the degrees to which it affects us.

Total Price: $44.18
Average Price: $5.52


Books Finished This Week: 4

Title: The Scorpion Rules
Series Title: Prisoners of Peace
Author: Erin Bow
Date Added: April 18, 2016
Date Started: June 29, 2017
Date Finished: July 26, 2017
Reading Duration: 27 days

Media: eBook/Kindle

I had to hold back tears at the end of this.  Granted I’ve also forgotten to take my evening meds for anxiety two days in a row (d’oh…I’m putting it on my day planner so this doesn’t keep happening.  I’m usually okay after one day, but after missing two days, I can start to feel it); however, the close of the story was so poignant and beautiful.  Greta, the main character and narrator, is desperately trying to keep herself from unraveling.  I can’t say much more without spoiling, but I highlighted over 20 passages in this book, some with notes, and it has similar paradigms to Hunger Games; I, Robot; Terminator; and SOMA. 

Title: Never Never
Series Title: Never Never
Authors: Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
Date Added: August 26, 2016
Date Started: July 20, 2017
Date Finished: July 23, 2017
Reading Duration: 3 days

Media: eBook/Kindle

I bought the second book immediately.  The mystery of this is amazing, and there’s a huge gut punch at the end that compounds everything.  I have to know what happens next.  This will be another one in the same vein as The Raven Cycle where I read the entire series straight through.

Title: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Volume 1
Series Title: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic – Graphic Novels
Authors: Katie Cook & Andy Price
Date Added: May 26, 2017
Date Started: July 16, 2017
Date Finished: July 22, 2017
Reading Duration: 6 days

Media: Hardback

If you like the (rebooted) cartoon, you’ll find this enjoyable.  It’s very tongue-in-cheek with a ton of Pinkie Pie awesomeness and breaking the fourth wall.  Seriously, where the hell was she stashing those costumes?

I’ve actually had this book for quite a few years.  My husband bought it for my birthday, but I didn’t get around to reading it until now.  It wasn’t just a regurgitation of the cartoon, but a continuation of the Queen Chrysalis saga.

Title: The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes
Author: Anonymous
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: May 8, 2017
Date Finished: July 22. 2017
Reading Duration: 76 days

Media: Paperback

Even though I wish this had been in a better order, I still can’t deny it’s an epic and beautiful compilation.  I’ll read The Prose Edda and hopefully that will be more cohesive.


Books Currently Reading: 6

Title: Tales from the Arabian Nights
Author: Anonymous
Translator: Richard Francis Burton
Date Added: May 10, 2017
Date Started: July 24, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 1%

Omfg is this book super racist.  I know many classics and older works are, but this is blatant.  I’m curious how it would be translated today, considering Sir Burton was born in 1890, and his own biases and those of that time are bleeding through.  I’m not even halfway finished with the first story, which is the famous “Tale of Scheherazade,” and what I’ve learned is women can’t be trusted (which is the catalyst of the story), because both of the kings’ wives cuckold them with “hideous blackamoors,” which is how these men are always described.  What is a blackamoor, you ask?  Exactly what you’d think *rolls eyes*  I’m going to continue reading (for now), but don’t think I’m going to be quiet about what I find.

Title: Never Never: Part Two
Series Title: Never Never
Author: Colleen Hoover
Date Added: July 23, 2017
Date Started: July 24, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 33%

I don’t know how I stop reading this every day.  It’s a struggle, let me tell you.  While we’re now at a point in series where the reader knows more than the characters, there’s still so much that needs to be revealed.  I can’t really talk about it, because it would spoil the story.  I’ve only looked at the third book (not the blurb), but it’s as highly rated as the first two, which gives me high hopes that she sticks the landing.

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Series Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Author: Akira Himekawa
Date Added: May 12, 2017
Date Started: July 23, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Link actually speaks!  It makes sense that he would, though, since it would be a bit odd if he wasn’t talking and responding to people.  In the game, you can infer that he’s speaking and answering normally, because it’s more of an avatar situation (though Link 100% has a personality seen through his facial expressions) due to immersive interaction.

A book has to do more for immersion than a video game, since you’re more of an outsider looking in without control of someone’s actions.  There are books with non-speaking protagonists (I believe The Vagrant is a recent one), but it takes a certain amount of skill to pull that off, and while the graphic novel medium/genre has more leeway due to illustrations, I don’t fault Mr. Himekawa for giving Link dialogue.

Title: A Torch Against the Night
Series Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Date Added: June 7, 2017
Date Started: July 12, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 32%

I really hope there’s some turning point in this story for the main characters, because right now everything is pretty damn grim.  *spoiler* The bad guys from the first book have won; Elias and Laia are on the run with Helene as Emperor Marcus’s Blood Shrike aka most elite of the elite and head of the elite, so SOLDIER 1st Class why not lol (she does have silver hair), chasing them, but Elias is SOLDIER 1st Class, too.  Marcus is pretty much the worst and most corrupt choice for emperor that could have been picked.  He has neither the ability nor the temperament to be in charge, and this shit sounds way too familiar ugh.  *end spoiler*  Most stories have that point where the main characters are at their lowest.  When everything seems hopeless and time is running out.  This second book seems to be keeping them there for the duration, which is just a continuation of the end of the first, but you have these little flickers of hope.  If they reach their destination, and if they can free Laia’s brother, and if he’s not so broken by torture or dead, and if  then can avoid their pursuers, and there are more big “ifs,” but they’re spoilers.  I love this series, and I’m hoping it’s going to be a drag them through hell so they can Earn Their Happy Ending situation, since that’s something I myself love to do.

Title: The Archived
Series Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Date Added: July 12, 2016
Date Started: July 11, 2017

Media: Hardback/Library
Progress: 28%

What’s odd with this book is not much has happened, yet it’s still so compelling.  Oh Mac has caught and returned a few stray histories, but for the most part the first 100 pages have been exploring what’s going on in her head, what’s happening with her psychologically damaged and grief traumatized family, and how she balances her Keeper duties and keeps up the facade of being a normal teenager for her parents.

Something big did happen at the end of the last chapter I read, and I’m really curious how that’s going to play out.  I think it’s going to be a love interest (this is YA after all), but I’m okay with it.  They’d make a good match.

Title: Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
Author: David Eagleman
Date Added: May 7, 2017
Date Started: July 2, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 42%

So Tales from the Arabian Nights is racist, this book is sexist (and a bit racist, too), and they were written more than 12 centuries apart.  It’s amazing how things really don’t change.  Sorry…I’m wearing the bitter pants today.  This world/humanity is really pissing me off, and reminders of why my hatred for everything is mounting don’t help.  Nothing to see here.  Please move onto the next paragraph.

I’ve always been fascinated by the split brain phenomenon.  While I was reading about it, I remembered a video I’d seen about the same thing.  I’ll have to try to find it when I do my review of this.  I think it’s by It’s Okay To Be Smart.

Nope!  CGP Grey 😀

The more I read and think about this, the more I realize that SOMA is less of an existential revelation and more of a narrative that shows the culmination of ideas I’ve already considered and studied.  This may be why I love it so much, because I love psychology, and I love when stories are psychologically sound.


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 7

Title: Brave Chef Brianna
Series Title: Brave Chef Brianna
Author: Sam Sykes
Date Added: July 21, 2017
Recommended By: The Writing Hufflepuff

A chef with anxiety who sets up shop as the only human in a city of monsters, and the author portrays anxiety correctly?  All of the yes!

Title: We Are the Ants
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Date Added: July 21, 2017

I went to the bookstore on Friday, and I always seem to add books to my list whenever that occurs.  This one is about a character named Henry who’s consistently abducted by aliens.  They eventually tell him the world will end in 144 days unless he pushes a big red button. Henry’s mother is a struggling waitress; his brother, a jobless dropout who knocked someone up; his grandmother is losing her mind to Alzheimer’s, and his boyfriend committed suicide last year (yassss LTBTQ lit).

There’s a Twilight Zone episode that someone was writing about I believe on WP where the main character is visited by a strange man offering a box.  Inside is a red button upon which being pushed will give the man $1000 , but it would kill someone he doesn’t know somewhere in the world.  The man is tormented by the decision, but he eventually pushes it to much anticlimactic effect.  The stranger returns, hands him the thousand dollars and takes away the box.  When asked where he’s taking it, the stranger replies “to someone you don’t know  somewhere in the world,” which implies the initial man could be the next to die.

This story with its big red button seems to have a similar vibe.  While the aliens insist pushing the button will save earth, what might be the cost?

Title: Eon
Series Title: Eon
Author: Alison Goodman
Date Added: July 21, 2017

A girl masquerading as a boy because only boys are allowed to use Dragon Magic.  I guess these people have never heard of Daenerys Targaryen.

Title: Reliquary
Series Title: Pendergast
Author: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Date Added: July 22, 2017
Recommended By: By Hook or By Book

I passed on the first book after reading a sample, but a good friend told me the second one might be better, and I’m always willing to give it a try.

Title: Never Never: Part Two
Series Title: Never Never
Author: Colleen Hoover
Date Added: July 23, 2017

This was a no-brainer add.  The end of the first doesn’t lend itself to waiting.  I may even start reading it tonight (tonight being July 23 when I added this, but I don’t think I did).

Title: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Volume 2
Series Title: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Graphic Novels
Authors: Katie Cook, Heather Nuhfer, & Amy Mebberson
Date Added: July 23, 2017

It makes sense to add this now that I’ve finished the first.  It was fun and cute and witty, and I’m expecting more of the same from the next.

Title: The Swan Riders
Series Title: Prisoners of Peace
Author: Erin Bow
Date Added: July 26, 2017

This is the book after The Scorpion Rules. I added it immediately after finishing the first, and I would’ve bought it, but it was $10.99.  It seems Ms. Bow is employing the popular technique of offering the first book for cheap (around $0.99 or so.  Certainly less than $5) then upping the price on subsequent books in the series.  It’s a good business model: hook them with your first and they’ll spend more on the others.  I’m pretty sure that’s how drug dealers work.  Can one be addicted to books?  I’m going to keep mum on this subject since a very wise blogger is already exploring it in terms of video games, and once that examination is complete, we can extrapolate the results.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 478
Change from Last Week: +3


Books Added to Reread List This Week: 0

Total Books on Goodreads To Reread List: 68
Change from Last Week: 0


Fanfictions Finished This Week: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I Will Call You Home: A Recounting of the Fifth Blight
Fandom: Dragon Age/Dragon Age: Origins
Pairing: Leliana & Various
Author: AthenaTseta
Date Started: March 16, 2017

Progress: Chapter 26

Oh no, Renya!  Some dire straits have found our elf heroine.  I can only hope she’ll be alright D:


Fanfictions On Hold: 2

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Fandom: Final Fantasy VI
Pairing: Celes Chere & Setzer Gabbiani
Author: runicmagitek
Date Started: June 19, 2016

Last Update: February 18, 2017
Latest Chapter: Chapter 18

Title: The Broken Orrery
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Pairing: Sephiroth & Aeris
Author: CymbelinesHalo
Date Started:  April 1, 2015

Last Update: August 1, 2016
Latest Chapter: Chapter 39

Yep, I changed the format of this again.  I figured I’d put the two that haven’t been updated into an “On Hold” section since that makes the most sense.


Fanfictions Added to TBR 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: 7/19/17          The State of the Reader: 8/2/17–>

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20 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 7/26/17

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 7/19/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. I finally finished Providence of Fire last night so hopefully I’ll get to review it sometime this weekend. I’m giving up on my book club book after today (book club meets tonight) as it was informational but HIGHLY boring. Here I thought the origins of white trash would be more interesting…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Station Eleven sounds like it would be something I’d be into reading.

    I actually only read the “samples” section of this post bc my mind can’t take in the whole thing. going to come back (hopefully) tomorrow to read the rest. I really want to see your kindle library lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds really interesting. I might borrow it from the library one of these days.

      No worries! This is my most extensive weekly post, and I have to update it every day otherwise I’m spending 5+ hours on it. Even doing that, I’m still on it for 2-3 hours on Wednesdays so I don’t have anything else planned for that evening.

      I wonder if there’s a way to share your library with friends…I can lend you books. I’m currently doing that with Kat and Amanda. You can also borrow eBooks from the library, which is pretty awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

      • yes, mom and I are trying to figure out how to lend books lol. I like reading books that someone I know give a good rating. Then I can chat with them about the books too!

        Liked by 1 person

        • You can do it through Amazon! If you go to Manage your Devices, you can select lend. I believe for borrowing eBooks at the library, you can just go to your local library’s website. You’re in Montco, right? Pottstown is Montco isn’t it? There’s another site that does the same thing, but I forget what it is.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 8/2/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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