The State of the Reader: 8/9/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/2/17          The State of the Reader: 8/16/17–>

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. Dreadnought by April Daniels: Kept (RWTR) – When I come across a book with a transgender main character, it’s going on my really-want-to-read list for the representation alone.  It doesn’t hurt that the first page instantly makes you feel for her.  All she wants to do is buy some damn nail polish.
  2. Doon by Lorie Langdon: Kept – This starts off as your typical YA high school drama (and I’m not saying this to diminish the drama that happens in high school or invalidate any of the very real feelings about the fore mentioned), but it comes off realistically and not trite despite the common subject matter of a girl fighting with her boyfriend over another girl.  If the mundane aspects of the fantasy are presented in such an interesting way, I have high hopes for the more magical ones.
  3. Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff: Kept – It was hard not to think of Redwall Abbey while looking at this, since it takes place in Red Abbey, which is a sanctuary for abused women and girls.  The MC’s peaceful life is upended when the newcomer Jai arrives, and I want to know how.  The book was pretty cheap on Amazon Kindle, so I suppose I’ll find out soon.
  4. Nemesis by Brendan Reichs: Kept – Every year on the main character’s birthday, she’s killed by a mysterious assailant, afterwards waking up still quite alive, but like any person who doesn’t get off on their own murder, she wants the cycle to end.
  5. Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke: Kept – This is the fourth sample I read in one day, and I honestly can’t remember what the hell the book is about.  I remember the cover is pretty and I liked it enough to keep.  Haha, what’s the point of me doing this Sample section if I’m not going to have something to say about the books?  Oh, it’s about parallel realities.  Totally up my alley.
  6. Gilded Cage by Vic James: Kept – It’s interesting enough for the library list.  The magic users are the elite and if you’re not one you have to serve a magical family for ten years as an indentured servant.
  7. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge: Kept – It’s about a tree that grants favors if you tell it lies.  That’s not going to end poorly at all.
  8. The Borrowers by Mary Norton: Kept – I read The Borrowers Afield years ago when I was a child, but it was the second book in the series, which I could tell even then without knowledge of the first.  The Borrowers and their life/situation already seemed well established (or rather in upheaval since they had to leave their cozy home).  I’d like to see how it all begins.
  9. Red Rising by Pierce Brown: Kept (RWTR) – The opening line.  “I would have lived in peace.  But my enemies brought me war.”  Yes.  Hell yes.  The language.  The stakes.  The oppression.  I can tell this is an epic tale worthy of my attention.

Books Purchased This Week: 1

Title: Maresi
Series Title: The Red Abbey Chronicles
Author: Maria Turtschaninoff
Date Added: December 18, 2016
Date Purchased: August 5, 2017

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

Total Price: $2.99
Average Price: $2.99


Books Finished This Week: 1

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
Date Finished: August 5, 2017
Reading Duration: 13 days

Media: Paperback

The beloved game was seamlessly rendered in manga format by the two women duo who make up the pen name “Akira Himekawa” (which I only found out when I went to add the next book in the series).  Though Link doesn’t talk in Twilight Princess (or any other Zelda game), it wasn’t odd in the least to see him with a speaking role here.  In fact it would’ve been stranger had he maintained his silence.

This volume was only the very beginning of the story, barely past the prologue *spoiler* when Link enters the Twilight Realm, is turned into a wolf and meets the impish Midna. *end spoiler*  I’d recommend this to anyone who likes the Zelda series of course and anyone who enjoys manga and/or graphic novels.


Books Currently Reading: 7

Title: Goldie Vance Volume 1
Series Title: Goldie Vance
Author: Hope Larson
Illustrator: Brittney Williams
Recommended By: The Writing Hufflepuff
Date Added: July 19, 2017
Date Started: August 6, 2017

Media: Paperback
Percentage: 50%

I love this graphic novel.  I has the feel of an old school detective mystery, which make sense given it’s 1962 setting.  There are a ton of characters of color, and I’m thinking it’s more of an alternative reality without the racism that was so blatant back then, though the hotel is owned by Mr. Maple, a rich white man.  Goldie used to be friends with his daughter Sugar before they had a falling out, and the sleuth herself is mixed with a white mother who is separated from her father.  I think her parents are on good terms though, owing to her dad’s reaction when she says staying with her mom that night.  Goldie also has an adorable daydream about the girl running the counter at the place her mom works as a mermaid (no seriously).  I can tell this is will be a series I’m going to thoroughly enjoy.

Title: Shadows on Snow
Series Title: Flipped Fairy Tales
Author: Starla Huchton
Date Added: January 12, 2016
Date Started: July 30, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 65%

While this story obviously uses many of Snow White’s tropes, it’s not a perfect parallel and I like that.  Snow doesn’t wind up with one of the seven dwarves, but the narrative is clearly heading towards coupling Leo and Rae, one of the seven sisters whom (besides Raelynn) all have alphabetical names and a particular power (Rae does have the latter):  Adelaide, Belinda, Clarice, Delphine, Erata, and Farah.  Rae is Raelynn Grace, because she was born eleven days after the always accurate midwife predicted (hence the middle name of “Grace’).  I like the gender bend.  I like the unparalleled love interest…and I’m wondering what’s going to stand in for the poisoned apple.

Title: An Unattractive Vampire
Author: Jim McDoniel
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Started: July 27, 2017

Unattractive Vampire, An

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 57%

I think I’ve taken more notes on this book than any. Omfg, is this novel hysterical.  There’s a chapter where Yulric (the titular vampire) is handed a pamphlet about “Proper Vampirism,” and for the most part it’s an absolute load.  They don’t want naturally beautiful people, because they tend to be narcissistic (the nerve!), but because proper vampires have to be beautiful, they either force you to adopt a strict diet/work out routine, have plastic surgery, or more likely both.  What they had to say about fat vampires tells me that I’m going to write a story with one as the main character, and she’s going to be fucking fabulous.  Maybe she’ll have a zombie model girlfriend.  Who knows??  I’m a writer, and I create worlds like a GOD mwahahaha.

*ahem*  Anyway…the only thing I agreed with the pamphlet on was they were open to LGBTQ vampires and both blood sucking and sexual activity had to be consensual.

The most hilarious thing to ever happen though was the argument in the middle fight where Amanda and Yulric are debating with the actors and writers of their favorite vampire show (the ones they’re also fighting) about what should happen on the show.  It was absolutely absurd and wonderful.  Oh, and this line.

Clearly they had forgotten a basic rule—that an eight-year-old will always find a way to hit you in the nuts.

Fantastic.

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: 8%

I wish I could think of more to say about this book.  I’m starting to like it a bit better, but due to the nature of stories within stories, it’s really hard to keep track of what layer of the narrative you’re on.  It was the same issue with The Orphan’s Tales series, which I’m certain takes its cue from this, but I liked Valente’s work more.

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: 51%

One of the advantages of seeing Helene’s point of view is learning how much she underestimates the Scholars.

I’ve never see the Scholars as enemies, exactly.  An enemy is someone you fear.  Someone who might destroy you.  But the Scholars will never destroy the Martials.  They can’t read.  They can’t fight.  They have no steelcraft.  They are a slave class –a lesser class.

Wow.  Just…wow.  So much to unpack here.  I think Helene is going to learn to her rue how wrong she is, and what I love is how this compares to her own life.  In the first book, one of her major weapons was how much the other Masks underestimated her because she’s a woman, and now she’s underestimating an entire group of people. 

“They can’t read.”  Um, yes they can; you just don’t know it.  When you make it illegal for a group of being to be literate, they don’t all of a sudden become illiterate or stop teaching their children; they just hide the ability from you.

“They can’t fight.”  Clearly they can, otherwise they wouldn’t have had to be conquered with (granted superior) weapons.  Yes, the Martials have better weapons, but that doesn’t mean your enemy is helpless.  There’s a growing rebellion still in place.

“They have no steelcraft.”  Again, just because you don’t know about something, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

“They’re a slave class.”  I…could write essays about that sentence.  No group of people is a “slave class” ugh, other people make them into a slave class by enslaving them.  It’s all arbitrary and dependent on who is currently at an advantage.  I like Helene, but she has some hard lessons to learn, and I really hope we see the tide turn by the end of this book.

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

Media: Hardback/Library
Progress: 51%

There’s clearly something shady going on with the Archive, and it’s not just the still unknown antagonist.  There’s some huge secret being hidden from Mackenzie and the rest of the Keepers, some integral truth about what they’re doing and what Keepers have been doing since the Archive began.

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

Media: Paperback
Progress: 57%

I think the author of this book, while insightful, is mired in some common and tired stereotypes.  In Chapter 6 he makes mention of a certain set of genes carried by half the population that cause violent behavior, revealing after some more factoids that those genes are indeed the Y chromosome.  My problem with this is the same one I had in Chapter 5 when he painted all male behavior with the same brush.  This is stereotypical male behavior, which is greatly informed and influenced by the society in which we live.  I understand Eaglman is a neuroscientist not a sociologist or psychologist, but he should have some grounding, knowledge, and ideas about how the culture we’re raised in has major influence over how we act.

While I do think there are some basic settings for the human brain e.g. language acquisition, facial recognition, etc., I believe there’s far more plasticity in terms of what we do and how we function as social creatures.  I have a feeling my assessment of this book is going to be much more of an essay than a review.


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 8

Title: Lock & Mori
Series Title: Lock & Mori
Author: Heather W. Petty
Date Added: August 2, 2017
Recommended By: By Hook or By Book

I made the mistake of adding the second one instead of this one, which is the first.  I also think I downloaded a sample of the second.  Looks like I’ll have to remedy that, too.

Title: Man and His Symbols
Author: C. G. Jung
Date Added: August 4, 2017
Recommended By: N/A

I need to brush up on my Jungian psychology if I’m going to work on the planned essays during my two week vacation.  I’m in the process of making a list of what I want to focus on in that time.  While I more than likely won’t have these books by then (it’s the beginning of September), it’s not like there isn’t an abundance of information on Jungian psych on the internet, but it would be nice to have these in my library for direct reference.

Title: Modern Man in Search of Soul
Author: C. G. Jung
Date Added: August 2, 2017
Recommended By: N/A

See the prior entry above.

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2
Series Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Author: Akira Himekawa
Date Added: August 5, 2017
Recommended By: N/A

It’s supposed to come out in August of this year.  I need to start regularly checking my publication-pending shelf, since I have quite a few books on there.

Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Date Added: August 6, 2017
Recommended By: The Writing Hufflepuff

This book doesn’t just speak, it sings to me.  It’s my literal high school life when crushes were kept secret, because a world of hurt is just around the corner when you’re an anxious, fat girl (and trust me, this was proven to be apt caution more times than I care to count), so I know I’ll be able to relate to Molly.  Then there’s just everything else.  Molly and her twin sister Cassie have two moms, one of them is black; their biological mother is the white one, and their little brother is the son of their black mom.  Cassie is gay and her new girlfriend has a cute hipster boy sidekick who might just be exactly what Molly’s looking for.

Title: The Red Hunter
Author: Lisa Unger
Date Added: August 6, 2017
Recommended By: By Hook or By Book

Not my typical fare, but the two main characters’ (who don’t know each other) separate traumas are so dark and intriguing I’m dying to know how they’re resolved.

Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Series Title: Wayward Childre
Author: Seanan McGuire
Date Added: August 6, 2017
Recommended By: Bookish Muggle

What happens when the children of fantasy worlds lose their way and end up in our mundane reality?  I, personally, would probably die of longing for my life less ordinary despite how dark it might be.

Title: Oryx and Crake
Series Title: MaddAddam
Author: Margaret Atwood
Date Added: August 8, 2017
Recommended By: Comma Hangover

How the hell have I never heard of this??  I read Atwood’s signature piece The Handmaid’s Tale when I was in high school (not for any class just because I wanted to read it), but I didn’t know she’d written a series.

Taking place in the future after a plague has wiped out mankind, the possibly last human, Snowman formerly Jimmy, mourns the loss of Crake, his best friend and someone else named Oryx.  He sets out on a journey with the help of beings called the Children of Crake, which reminds me of ASOIAF’s Children of the Forest, through a wilderness that was once a great city.  There’s something so enticing about stories like this…of the (not so) distant future where humans struggle to find or rather remember our place in the cosmos.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 485
Change from Last Week: +6


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 28

I give Renya infinite credit for not telling every Templar she sees where they can stick it.  I have no patience for ignorance and bigotry, and for god’s sake, she’s a Grey Warden!  She’s trying to save all of their ignorant asses from the darkspawn and the Arch Fiend!  You’d think people could put aside their petty squabbles to focus on the bigger, omnipresent, world destroying issues, but then again that doesn’t happen in A Song of Ice and Fire with the White Walkers/Others, and it doesn’t happen in our world with climate change, which some of us are still arguing about *rolls eyes*  Then again this is paralleled in Song, too since Ned had been saying “Winter is coming” from season/book one, and everyone treated him like Cassandra.


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


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: 8/2/17          The State of the Reader: 8/16/17–>

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25 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 8/9/17

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

        • I didn’t start out with the first Discworld, because a friend mailed me a few of them, so I was out of order from the start hehe. It’s a weird series though with sort of mini series within it, if that makes any sense. I want to start from the beginning and work my way up.

          Give Stardust or Ocean at the End of the Lane a try with Gaiman. If you don’t like them, I’d say you’re just not a Gaiman fan and there’s nothing wrong with that.

          Liked by 1 person

      • This is one of my favorite books. I haven’t read it over 10 years, and now I really really want to. Obviously, everyone has completely different opinions. I’m actually quite interested in your take on the book (after I read it again to familiarize myself with changes and stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I really tried to read it twice, but I just couldn’t get into it. I think I’d just stop at the slower moments and then find something more interesting.

          Actually, were you talking about Good Omens or Neverwhere? I haven’t read Neverwhere yet, but I plan to. I think Coraline is the Gaiman book on my TBR list. I have a rule about only adding one book per author at a time to cut down on the what’s in my backlog. Once I finish it, I add another by that author.

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          • I was talking about Good Omens. And I know people have all kinds of likes loves hates, etc.

            I think there are plans to take GO to the mainstream. I’m not sure what to think about that. I think it might bring out all kinds of people, including those who didn’t like the book (unless they hated it with fiery passion lol). I say that because it’s a good story, and if they did it correctly, the things (like things like the pace, etc.) then I think it could be a hit, since once you get far enough along (and that addresses the pace as well) the actual story is freaking hilarious. A movie might solve some of the issues people may have with the book.

            And I do believe it’s Coraline that is on your list. And definitely, when you get around to reading Neverwhere (and after you read it), avoid the BBC “mini series” … I pulled on my hair trying to not scream at the tv.

            American Gods. This is probably his best work to date. I do recommend reading Anasi Boys before it. But I didn’t do it that way and was fine. I heard they have it on tv? I couldn’t believe i didn’t know it was going to be a show.

            Liked by 1 person

              • Yes, the actual story in GO would play quite well in a movie or series.

                AG was the first book I ever read where I didn’t even go to sleep so that I could continue reading. And yes, I was the same thing with Ananzi Boys.

                Neverwhere is good. It was the first novel I read b Gaimen, and I only read it because I loved the Sandman series of comics. It’s an interesting read, but after reading later works, I found it to be a bit mediocre in comparrison.

                Liked by 1 person

          • Oh! And with GO, two writers are working on it, and with that both authors had to compromise. Oddly, I hate Pratchett’s solo books. The world he made really rubs me the wrong way.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Are you on Goodreads? Friend me if you are or get one! I’m really good at updating it. I don’t know how I’d keep track of all I have to read without it. Also, if you want to know what I have on my Kindle, I have a shelf literally for that hehe. So if anything piques your interest, I can lend it to you 🙂

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  2. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 8/16/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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