The State of the Reader: 9/27/17

<–The State of the Reader: 9/20/17          The State of the Reader: 10/4/17–>

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. Ink and Bone by Rachel  Caine: Kept (RWTR) – A world where the Great Library of Alexandria wasn’t destroyed, and the opening chapter/prologue is one letter from some pompous ass who happens to be royal stating that women don’t need to be education and/or only need such education as men decree, and the answer letter from his “inferior” essentially telling him to fuck off and that his daughter will be educated.  I’ve dabbled in the idea of the Library of Alexandria existing, and I have intentions of writing a story where education is freely given to all, so I’m very interested in reading this book.
  2. Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris: Kept – More psychological and depraved thrills!  Things are never what they seem when the veneer is perfect.
  3. Scythe by Neal Shusterman: Kept – When I was in Target I read the first few pages of this book, so I count that as a “downloaded sample,” since I “downloaded” it into my brain.  Regardless, I read a sample, liked it, and added it.  It’s about a world where death only exists through Reapers whose job is integral to keeping the balance.
  4. We Are the Ants by Shaun Hutchinson: Kept (RWTR) – So this book has a gay main character who consistently is abducted by aliens who tell him he can press a button to stop the end of the world in 144 days…but he doesn’t want to do it for reasons that will be explored.
  5. Eon by Alison Goodman: Kept – It’s given away right in the blurb that Eon is really Eona, a girl masquerading as a boy, because only boys are allowed to use dragon magic *huge sigh* I guess no one i this universe has read A Song of Ice and Fire.  I like the eastern influences I see in this book so far.  I hope they continue and are properly conveyed.
  6. Legend of the Guardians by Kathryn Lasky: Kept – I must have missed this one when I was doing my sample downloads, because I added it a long time ago.  This is the book that owl movie Guardians of Ga’hoole was based on.
  7. Reliquary by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: Kept – I passed on the first book in the series The Relic, but was told that this one might be a better fit.  It seems good enough to add to my library list.
  8. The Swan Riders by Erin Bow: Kept – I’m not even sure why I downloaded the sample for this since I loved the first book in the series The Scorpion Rules, so I knew I was going to continue the series.

I finally, finally caught up on all of my samples, meaning I’ve downloaded everything up to what I’ve currently added.  There may be a few I missed, but as of now I’ve either read samples of everything on my TBR list or they’re not books I’m going to or can’t download samples of (non-fiction/reference, graphic novels/manga, pending publication and not available for download),  Bow when I add something, I’m going to try to remember to download the sample as well if applicable.


Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: The Suspenseful Collection: Volume One
Authors: Kim Knight & Didi Oviatt
Date Added: August 18, 2017
Date Purchased: September 24, 2017

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

Title: The Lightning God’s Wife
Series Title: Master of Crows
Author: Grace Draven
Date Added: September 27, 2017
Date Purchased: September 27, 2017

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

Total Price: $1.98
Average Price: $0.99


Books Finished This Week: 3

Title: Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom
Series Title: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Oba
Date Added: January 7, 2017
Date Started: September 11, 2017
Date Finished: September 24, 2017
Reading Duration: 13 days

Media: Paperback (Library)

I’ll just repeat what I said in my last State of the Writer post:

I’m definitely continuing this series.  It’s so…interesting.  I’ve never read a story where the main character is so reprehensible in their righteousness.  Light actually thinks he’s going to become a god of a utopia he’s going to create, and Ryuk, the shinigami’s observational role in it is fascinating.  Light is pretty much just a specimen to him, an interesting one, but a specimen nonetheless, like a really fascinating bug.  The story seems to be a game of cat and mouse between Light and L; less one about rooting for one particular character and more about watching it all play out like Ryuk.  The narrative essentially puts the reader into the same role as the shinigami, and that’s all I’m going to say, because I’m starting to review it right here lol.

Title: Moon Called
Series Title: Mercy Thompson
Author: Patricia Briggs
Date Added: August 23, 2016
Date Started: September 6, 2017
Date Finished: September 27, 2017
Reading Duration: 21 days

Media: eBook/Kindle

This is one of those situations where I like the main character, but can’t stand anyone else (I’ve been in the opposite one, too: love all the other characters and abhor the main).  I hated the werewolves’ misogyny and how both Adam and Samuel treated Mercy like she was their possession.  She certainly fought against it, but I don’t really have much patience for that kind of macho attitude.  Obviously, it’s explained in story that the werewolves are still stuck in a prior century, and since they’re long lived, I can understand them being set in their ways; however, vampires are long lived, too, and they seem to be most matriarchal or at the very least the head of the vampire seethe in the area was female.  It’s also possible that because I know the alpha wolf theory was debunked by its very creator, I might be seeing them as being misogynistic for no discernible reason, though I’m sure when this was written, that was the prevailing belief.

This is one of those novels I’m glad I read, though, if only for what I call its “opposite effect.”  If I don’t like some philosophical aspect of a book, I’ll start to think about different ways for it to manifest, and it gives me my own story ideas.  With this, now I’m thinking of matriarchal werewolves existing in a supernatural world.  It’s just an idea bouncing around my head right now, but I’ll take it!

I’m hearing that the second book is very similar insofar as the issues I had with this one, so while I’m glad I read it and intend to review it, I don’t think I’ll be continuing with the series.

Title: Master of Crows
Series Title: Master of Crows
Author: Grace Draven
Date Added: May 12, 2016
Date Started: August 31, 2017
Date Finished: September 27, 2017
Reading Duration: 27 days

Master of Crows

Media: eBook/Kindle

Out of all of the Grace Draven books I’ve read so far, this one is probably my least favorite, but even still I loved the hell out of this book.  It’s like how you adore ice cream and even though vanilla with caramel may be your third favorite flavor, you’d still eat a pint of it in one sitting.  That’s how I feel about this book.  It’s a bit slower paced than her other two series Wraith Kings and The Bonekeeper Chronicles, but it was worth the payoff.  It created a situation where you know how you wanted it to end, but the barriers to it seemed insurmountable, and you couldn’t see anyway for the characters to even earn their happy ending.  There was one thing I was hoping would occur that didn’t.  It’s kind of minor in terms of the plot, but pretty major in terms of two characters’ happiness, and I’m hoping Draven throws it into the next book.


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Promethea, Vol. 1
Series Title: Promethea
Author: Alan Moore
Date Added: March 8, 2014
Date Started: September 24, 2017
Recommended By: N/A

Media: Paperback (Library)
Progress: 22%

A friend recommended this to me years ago (as you can see from the date I added it) when she found out my interest in the Qabalistic Tree of Life/Holy Sephiroth, because this graphic novel is filled with references to it.  Of course that piqued my interest, but I was also pleasantly surprised by the fact that the main character is a woman of color, as is the original Promethea, which makes sense since she’s Egyptian, and I’m totally here for that.  I’ve also read Watchmen by the same author, which is phenomenal, so I knew I was in for a treat. 

I haven’t quite come across the aspect I’m reading it for yet, but there’s some weird, unknown connection between the Qabalah and the Key of Life (ankh) that I haven’t been able to figure out since they’re two different theologies, but nearly every place I find mention of the Sephiroth, I find an ankh (yes in FFVII, too, look at his the symbol on his belt).  All I can think is “Tree of Life/Key of Life.”  I mean…that’s what I used when I wrote about it in my original novel, but yeah…I guess I’m babbling now, aren’t I?

Title: Blink Once
Author: Cylin Busby
Date Added: July 22, 2016
Date Started: September 15, 2017

Media: Hardback (Library)
Progress: 26%

Besides some stereotypically annoying teenage stuff, this is an interesting novel.  So far, I haven’t figured out what’s really going on; I’m still not sure if Olivia is real or a figment of his imagination, nor do I have any clue why he’s having that scary dream.  There is someone I suspect now though, and I’m really hoping I’m wrong, because it would be a bit trite.

Title: The Metamorphosis and Other Stories
Author: Franz Kafka
Date Added: June 12, 2017
Date Started: September 14, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 17%

On last week’s update post I was pleasantly surprised to find out the Goddess of Wisdom also loved Metamorphosis! I think I have a thing for absurdists and how they’re just so good at using ridiculous situations in order to show that “true reality” is just as ludicrous.  I also need to add Sartre to my reading list if he isn’t there already.

 

Title: Hands, Kings, & City-States: Analyzing a World of Ice and Fire
Author: Steven Attewell
Date Added: May 12, 2016
Date Started: September 5, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Percentage: 18%

Not much to say about this except that it’s an excellent examination of how Martin has used history and his own imagination to create a compelling and believable government for his novels, and Dr. Attewell has done a wonderful job breaking down what the author has presented.  Within less than a month I need to start taking extensive notes for my NaNoWriMo project, and one of the tasks at hand is crafting a believable government system, though I dare say, mine will be a bit different from Martin’s and our own (“our” if you’re a State-side, too lol.  If you’ve across the pond, it’s a bit more like that, but I don’t want to really talk about it until I’ve fleshed things out); therefore reading things like this is good for comparison/contrasting, and the more knowledge the better.

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Series Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date Added: April 18, 2016
Date Started: August 26, 2017

Media: Physical/Hardback
Progress: 38%

“When we become waterlogged, and the cage disintegrates, we will intermingle. When this paper aeroplane leaves the cliff edge, and carves parallel vapour trails in the dark, we will come together.” -Dear Ester

I have a feeling it’s all about to come together, and there is one character who seems destined for villainy, but villainy with just cause.  Can you truly call it “villainy” then?  Ah, I’m too tired for these philosophical questions.


Books Remove from Goodreads TBR List This Week: 1

Title: Everlost
Series Title: Skinjacker
Author: Neal Shusterman
Date Added: July 13, 2016
Date Removed: September 23, 2017

I found another book by the author that I think I’ll enjoy more, and I recall I wasn’t as impressed with this as I hoped.  Keeping with my rule of one book per author (unless I already own the book), I’m going to remove and replace it.


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: Scythe
Series Title: Art of Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman
Date Added: September 21, 2017
Recommended By: N/A

A world without death in theory sounds glorious, but in actuality would turn into a literal living hell.  This is why “scythes” exist in order to keep the population under control.  There’s a balance in all things.

Title: Death Note, Vol. 2: Confluence
Series Title: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Oba
Date Added: September 23, 2017
Recommended By: N/A

I must continue the Light saga.  I don’t know if the library has this on hand, and I need to return the first book by the 26th so I know it wouldn’t get there on time if I had to request it.

Title: Don’t Let Go
Author: Harlan Coben
Date Added: September 25, 2017
Recommended By: By Hook or By Book

I’m always up for a good mystery, and this book comes with the highest marks.  I’ve never read Coben before, so I’m looking forward to delving into his world!

Title: The Lightning God’s Wife
Series Title: Master of Crows
Author: Grace Draven
Date Added: September 27, 2017
Recommended By: N/A

This takes place in the same world as Master of Crows, but it concerns other people.  She has two short stories “in between” the first book and the next, and since they’re short (and only $0.99), I figured I could pad my read-list with them.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 527
Difference from Last Week: +7

I cleared out my Unfinished list either putting the novels there on DNF or Want to Read.  I figured it was time to stop hemming and hawing about it and either shit or get off the pot.  Unfortunately, the books used whatever add date they originally had, and since I don’t remember what all of them were, and I sure as hell don’t remember the dates I added them, so eh, they’re not on here, but more books were added then I’m mentioning.


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 34

If you love a character, you make them suffer.  On this the author and I completely agree >:)


Fanfictions Added This Week: 2

Title: No Safety in Desire
Fandom: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Pairing: Urbosa & Zelda
Author: runicmagitek
Date Added: September 24, 2017

I think my friend may have writer’s block for I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight.  She hasn’t updated that for a while, but she’s putting out other stories.  I’m notoriously terrible at messaging people or remembering to message them when I know I want to.  Anyway…I added this even though I can’t read it until I play BOTW so as not to give anything away.

Title: Fire Walk with Me
Fandom: Final Fantasy VI
Pairing: Terra Branford & Celes Chere
Author: runicmagitek
Date Added: September 24, 2017

Case in point.  She’s adding other fanfics based on FFVI, so I think my poor author friend may be a bit stuck on Darkness/Starlight.  I like the ice and fire mien that I know this one will contain.  Martin doesn’t hold the monopoly on that motif, especially since he admitted to being inspired by the Frost poem.  Plus it’s a popular paradigm in fantasy, and it’s quite prolific in the Final Fantasy Series as a whole.


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


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: 9/20/17          The State of the Reader: 10/4/17–>

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13 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 9/27/17

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 9/20/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. Yeah, Metamorphosis is fabulous. I saw an excellent stage adaptation in London back in 2006 with a Nick Cave soundtrack. Fab! If you like Kafka, Gogol is worth checking out as well, or Akutaga. Way ahead of their time, those two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would love to see this as a play or a movie. I’m surprised one hasn’t been made! But they’d probably completely mess up and miss Kafka’s message, which, if I’m reading it correctly, centers a lot of futility. I’ll have a better pov once I’m done and it marinates for a bit 🙂

      Added Gogol, couldn’t find Akutaga though.

      Like

  3. I started up Half a King this week (which I believe you had on a previous post here). I was a big fan of Abercrombie’s First Law series, so I decided to finally give this a shot. It is very different from First Law which I knew going in as this was described as aimed at a younger audience, but I’m still enjoying it quite a bit. I’ve only read about 60 pages so far, but I’m looking forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m curious about The First Law series. The blog didn’t really wow me, but I’ve heard accolades and acclaims from all angles. I have the second Shattered Sea novel on my TBR list, but I could always check the other series out and see which one I like more. I liked Half a King, though it slows down at one point and I *almost* put it down, then something huge happens.

      Like

  4. Every week, I’m truly amazed by how well you keep track of your reading!

    I’m up to Chapter 28 of the Goddess of Wisdom’s Dragon Age novel now. Amazing is the only word I can use to describe its awesomeness thus far. Oh and I’m catching up to you, haha. “If you love a character, you make them suffer.” The main character in my novel would totally agree with this statement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SO MANY NOTES. Seriously, OneNote is my friend, and I’d be lost without my smartphone that’s much smarter than me. Or at the very least it serves as a second brain :p

      You’re going to overtake me soon! I just finished Chapter35. I read about two chapters a week. Oh yes, the anguish of my characters sustains me mwahahaha.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 10/4/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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