The State of the Reader: 10/18/17

<–The State of the Reader: 10/11/17          The State of the Reader: 10/25/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Instituting some updates/changes to this weekly update.  The way it’s currently done is too time consuming to sustain, so I’ll be removing and altering sections.  In terms of the former, the Sample section has been axed.  It’s redundant insofar as I include those books when I add them.  If I decide not to keep something per sample that will be noted; otherwise, assume if I add it to my TBR section that I’m planning to read it.

Books Purchased This Week: 3

Title: Ubik
Author: Philip K. Dick
Date Added: August 29, 2017
Date Purchased: October 13, 2017

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

Title: Blister
Author: Jeff Strand
Date Added: October 1, 2017
Date Purchased: October 17, 2017

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

This is by the author or Dweller, a fucked up book I still need to review.  Strand seems to have a particular style that I instantly picked up the moment I read the sample for this.  This book should’ve been on last week’s update, but apparently I forgot to add it.  Oh well.

Title: The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol
Author: Nikolai Gogol
Date Added: September 29, 2017
Date Purchased: October 18, 2017
Recommended By: Professional Moron

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

Recommended by PM due to my enjoyment of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, this was a cheap pick that seems imbued with the same absurdist commentary as the fore mentioned.

Total Price: $6.97
Average Price: $2.32

Books DNF This Week: 1

Title: Heartborn
Series Title: Shattered Skies

Author: Terry Maggert
Date Added: July 3, 2017
Date Started: October 9, 2017
Date DNF: October 18, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Percentage Read: 37%

This book had so much potential, but it was all drowned out by the overabundance of exposition and showing.  The author refused to let us see the characters.  The novel switches back and forth between what’s happening to Keiron and Livvy on earth and Keiron’s parents/family in Windhook, and the latter parts are filled with how noble, highborn, and wonderful they are and how they completely understand each other.  Maggert does it so much there’s no room to show any of it.  The messenger and “Blightwing” Cressa is constantly described as young, impressionable, and wide-eyed (if not innocent due to the crime that gave her that notable title), and the extra chapters with her seem wholly unnecessary.  Also, Maggert never describes anyone else’s wings except for Cressa, and I found that odd.  I’m assuming they all have them, and it just seems like such a wasted opportunity for endless expression.   There is so much you could do with wings in terms of color, number, size, shape, type, etc., so I’m shocked she didn’t cash in on this.

Then with Livvy and Keiron, Maggert introduces this other potential love interest Dozer, so I thought there was going to be the dreaded triangle, but she doesn’t go that direction, which is good I suppose, but I’m not sure what his use is.  I’m guessing she was going for him being her friend, but the problem is Dozer and Keiron are nigh on interchangeable in terms of personality.  There’s nothing that stands out about either of them except Keiron (being an angel-like being) is more attractive.

I’m also noticing this trend in fiction to have a sick/terminally ill female MC (The Fault in Our Stars and Magonia) which is okay, I guess?  I don’t know if it’s an excuse to make her weak and dependent, and I’m not saying that I couldn’t read a story like that if done right (I’d be a hypocrite since I’m working on one right now).  It might be a response to the “strong female character” archetype, though the SFC was already a response to women not having agency.  I don’t know.  What do you all think?  I’m fine with both types of characters, because, well, women are people, and people come in all types.  Plus there’s more than one way to be strong.

Either way, I actually feel more bad for this book, because it had such potential.  I think if it hadn’t been about angels, I’d have more of a “fuck it” attitude, but I really wanted to like it.  On a more positive note, it’s spurring me further towards my own original angel story idea (yes another one), which is what often happens when I read a story with a paradigm I like/plan on using that either doesn’t do it the way I would or isn’t effective in some other way.

Books Currently Reading: 6

Title: Death Note, Vol. 2: Confluence
Series Title: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Oba
Date Added: September 23, 2017
Date Started: October 8, 2017

Media: Paperback (Library)
Progress: 91%

I’ve already put in a request for the third book in the series, and I’m hoping it will be available when I go to return this next week.  I can only think the author deliberately made Light a villain protagonist, which you don’t see very often.  Note that “protagonist” and “hero” are not necessarily the same thing (nor is “protagonist” and “hero,” which is even more interesting and delved into here).  I find myself rooting for L and gasping at what Light is willing to do to continue his quest for a “utopian world,” because now he’s killing people who are decidedly not criminals, but then “ends justify the means” thinking was laid as a foundation from the start.

I’ll more than likely watch the anime when I’m finished with the series, and I may just pick up the manga set instead of borrowing from the library piecemeal.  This seems like something I could binge read.

Title: The Daemoniac
Series Title: A Dominion Mystery
Author: Kat Ross
Date Added: October 13, 2016
Date Started: September 28, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 59%

I had no idea how much I’d love this book.  Every character is such an individual and just fantastic.  It can be difficult to write a detective story in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes and not have it seem trite, but with the main character being the sister of the more Sherlockian character who’s only spoken of and never seen (at least not yet), Ross is able to skirt this issue.

She’s also handled the issue of race in the best way possible.  I was initially a little wary, since there are mentions of black servants at one point, but this is New York city in the late 1800s. What Ross does that’s so brilliant is not attempt revisionism, which would lay a false narrative, but rather she has enlightened main characters, and this makes sense for their personalities.  It’s not out of the realm of possibility for a female detective to be ahead of her era due to what she herself has experienced, and she’d surround herself with like minded folks.  It’s not guaranteed, but it’s not unbelievable.

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

Media: Hardback (Library)
Progress: 68%

I’m just waiting for the shoe to drop in this book when the truth is revealed.  There’s a reason only West talks to Olivia.  I think she exists.  I think she’s alive, but I think she’s in a coma and for some reason he’s able to communicate with her.  I don’t know how to explain her moving him around the hospital, but I have a feeling now that something has happened with him, their relationship is going to change.  I hope the ending pays off.

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

Media: Paperback
Progress: 38%

I definitely have some insight on Kafka and what he felt about his place in his family and the world.  It was pretty depressing.  I don’t typically read introductions, but this collection only had a short one with a timeline showing certain events in the author’s life.  Nothing is written in a vacuum, and while writing may not be a clear window into an author’s soul, if one knows how to interpret the creator’s own language and symbolism, so much can be revealed.

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: 30%

I’d love to be a fly on the wall if Attewell and Martin ever had a conversation.  It’s interesting what different people choose to focus on with a work.  I’ve read and watched many theorists who hone on in more magical elements of ASOIAF, but Attewell choose government and politics, one of the most mundane motifs.  While many might not find this appealing, it’s the base and backbone of not only Martin’s epic, but a major component in his message.  The magic and dragons,  white walkers and wargs are merely tools in his arsenal.  ASOIAF is a wholly human story meant to reflect on humanity, as all good stories must.

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: 54%

It’s so hard to talk about this book, because I really can’t say anything without giving plot away.  I’m loath to talk about anything not mentioned in the blurb, and not much is mentioned in the blurb, and I like how this paradigm is made meta in the story.

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 6

Probably where the biggest change is going to take place.  I’m severely reducing the amount of information in this section.  I’ll still have the link to the Goodreads page, but I’m not longer including a picture of the cover.  If the book interests you, more info is only a click away.  Putting all of that information is so time consuming even on a daily basis.

  1. Promethea, Vol 2 by Alan Moore – Since I loved the first one so much, it only makes sense I’d add the second.
  2. Either/Or: A Fragment of Life by Soren Kierkegaard – I’d tell you where I got this idea from, but it’s kind of funny and embarrassing.  I’ll just put the link to the video that gave me the idea.  I decided to watch it for the purpose of hilarity, but it actually made an astounding sort of sense.
  3. Monster by Michael Grant (Gone #7) – Where’s Gone 1-6?  I hear you ask.  It’s weird that I’m starting with 7, right?  Okay…it’s not weird that I’m starting with 7, but even TSN usually starts with the first book of a series.  This was recommended by Kim of By Hook or By Book on Goodreads, and she’s clearly been paying attention to what I like because the blurb talks about alien viruses infecting people and giving them powers, and I am here for it.
  4. Fragments of Perception and Other Stories by C. R. Dudley – Recommended by the author herself, and I can’t wait to read this.  I follow her blog, and her writing is equal parts ethereal, eloquent, and often visceral.  I’m excited to finally have a full volume of her stories in my hand.
  5. Big City by Evan Puschak – Puschak runs a YouTube channel called Nerdwriter1, and I’d encourage you to follow it (link provided).  He’s not only intelligent and insightful in his breakdowns, but his voice is really soothing.  I liked the blurb of his book, so I gave it an add.
  6. Light by M. John Harrison (Empty Space Trilogy #1) – This is a recommendation by the fore mentioned proprietor of Nerdwriter1.  Harrison is mentioned as his favorite writer in his video about the perils of world building.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 541
Difference from Last Week: +6

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 37

I didn’t get a chance to read any more of this.  Like I mentioned in my State of the Writer post, it’s been a rough week :\  Shit…I need to add it back to my to-do list, which was erased when I had to update my phone.   Alright, that’s done at least.

Fanfictions Added This Week: 0

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: 10/11/17          The State of the Reader: 10/25/17–>







12 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 10/18/17

  1. Wahey! Some Gogol in there, I hope you enjoy those. Quirky little short stories, The Nose will likely be in there. A precursor to Kafka’s Metamorphosis. UBIK I reviewed recently on my moronic blog recently. It’s a mind-bender, but some interesting concepts are in there. Enjoy!

    I’m reading Kahil Biran’s the Prophet at the moment… but I also need to look after Moronic Farm in Stardew Valley.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the “strong female character” archetype and usually idolize them, obviously. 🙂 Strength is indeed much more than being physically strong! And I’m not surprised at all that you started with the 7th book of a series, haha.

    I like your new format! Hopefully it’s more manageable for you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 10/25/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  4. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 10/11/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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