The State of the Reader: 12/6/17

<–The State of the Reader: 10/25/17          The State of the Reader: 12/20/17–>

A weekly post updated every other 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.

Do people like reading news/updates in the beginning or end of regular posts?  I think I like the beginning so I immediately know what’s going on, but I’m sure some of you might prefer just reading the weekly, and then dealing with any news.  Well, as mentioned in my End of Hiatus post, I’m not going to be doing this weekly anymore, but rather biweekly.  I’m also cutting down on the number of books I read at once.  Instead of two Kindles, I’ll be reading one and only on on weekdays during my lunch break if I’m at work.  Instead of reading a classic and a non-fiction/reference, I’ll alternate between the two.  Since I just finished reading a classic and I’m already in the midst of a reference, the latter’s reading days will be moved to the former’s.  Once I finish the  non-fiction, I’ll read another classic and so on.  Then I’ll read one physical fiction/fantasy, which could be a book borrowed from the library; however, I’m not necessarily going to read an additional book from the library anymore.  I was going to keep it at three, but graphic novels/manga are really easy to breeze through.  Cutting down from seven books to four is going to help tremendously (it already has), especially considering I have a shit ton of reviews to catch up on.  So that’s my update.  Biweekly SOTR posts and less books at a time.

Books Purchased This Month: 0

Books Finished This Month: 5

Title: The Bonesetter’s Daughter
Author: Amy Tan
Date Added: August 16, 2012
Date Started: October 19, 2017
Date Finished: November 12, 2017
Reading Duration: 24 days

Media: eBook/Kindle

I think I might have read this book before, but forgot I’d finished it, so didn’t include it on my Read shelf.  Regardless, like Amy Tan’s other books, I adored it.  She tends to write about mother-daughter relationships using some of the most eloquent language possible, and I’ve been reading her novels since high school.

I skimmed through the review/comment section since the Goodreads rating is more than a point less than my own, and the biggest complaint seems to center around the main character Ruth.  I connected with Ruth’s sense of duty and her anxiety about not being able to accomplish everything and/or please everyone, while at the same time, she neglected her own needs.  Critiques said she was whiny *rolls eyes*  She was dealing with an overbearing mother who was slipping into or possibly always had a portion of dementia along with balancing work and regular home life.   Sometimes reading comments on novels tells you much more about people in our culture/society much more than the story in question.  Add to the fact there’s some varying degrees of abuse in the story, and I’m pretty appalled (but sadly not surprised) that some reviewers are such assholes.  I’ll be writing my own for this novel (eventually) where I’ll elaborate more.

Title: Death Note, Vol. 3: Hard Run
Series Title: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Obata
Illustrator: Takeshi Obata
Date Added: October 25, 2017
Date Started: November 12, 2017
Date Finished: November 16, 2017
Reading Duration: 4 days

Media: Paperback (Library)

I have this on my review list along with the next one (below), but I’m not sure how or if I will do so.  Maybe I’ll review the entire series as a whole when I finish. That seems to make much more sense.

Title: Death Note, Vol. 4: Love
Series Title: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Obata
Illustrator: Takeshi Obata
Date Added: November 13, 2017
Date Started: November 22, 2017
Date Finished: November 24, 2017
Reading Duration: 2 days

Media: Paperback (Library)

The girl on the cover (whose name I forget now) is annoying as hell, but her presence does serve to show how emotionless Light really is.  Yet, there’s still a decent sized part of me that doesn’t want him to get caught.  This is fighting the part of me that also wants L to succeed, and it creates this gigantic dilemma since both of those things cannot happen.  The end of this installment sort of brings things to an odd stalemate, and I can’t wait to read the next.  I borrowed 5 and 6 from the library.

Title: Gyo
Series Title: Gyo
Author: Junji Ito
Date Added: September 14, 2017
Date Started: November 26, 2017
Date Finished: November 30, 2017
Reading Duration: 4 days

Media: Hardback (Library)

I’m not sure how to rate this one.  It was indisputably fucked up, and I’m still thinking about the final scene even now, but Tadashi was a little bit hard to like in the beginning, though he does redeem himself with his later actions,  The reason behind the horror is still a mystery, but what isn’t is what some people do with it, which is the most disturbing aspect.  I’ll be reviewing this one eventually, too.

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

Media: Paperback

This is my favorite classic of the year, and I’m glad I was reading Kafka while I was writing about Kefka :p  I always thought the names sounded similar, and I had to look up the author while I was working on an essay that included the demented clown.  The themes of each of his stories center around hopelessness, futility, and foolish consistency.  I’m going to have fun reviewing/analyzing this one.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Title: Parellel
Author: Anthony Vicino
Date Added: May 9, 2015
Date Started: November 19, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 59%

I do or did follow the author of this book’s blog.  I added it a long time ago, and I’m trying to read books now in reverse order so I can mark the oldest ones added as “read.”  I highly recommend this.  I wasn’t completely sure in the beginning, but it’s a fantastic sci-fi story so far.

Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora
Series Title: Gentleman Bastard
Author: Scott Lynch
Date Added: October 11, 2012
Date Started: October 26, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 30%

I’m finding it hard to figure out what I feel about Locke and his gang of Gentlemen Bastards.  The setting is brilliant and vibrant among its squalor, the language can be both poetic and crass, and the writing is engaging.  But…I’m wondering why I should sympathize with a band of thieves.  While I’m not entirely opposed to them relieving the filthy rich of their money (because any system that has uber wealthy alongside pitifully poor is unfair), this activity has made them as rich if not richer than the people they’re attempting to rob.  I’m hoping the author goes into more depth with what the grand, master plan is (and I hope there is one), because the world of Camorr is fascinating with an angle similar to A Song of Ice and Fire (GRRM even has a recommendation quote on the cover) in terms of there being some unsettling mysteries of its origin.  The city is clearly built on top of an ancient civilization that was populated by some long gone elder race.  There’s even something called Elderglass that men can neither fathom nor fashion.  I really, really hope Lynch eventually reveals this world’s secrets.

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: 42%

I’m currently on a chapter where Attewell discusses the different types of government and how they’re exemplified in Essos.  One of the Free Cities, I think Volantis (though you could hardly call such a city “free” when it participates in slavery) calls its leaders “archons,” and I’m so happy it reminded me of that term.  Also, as mentioned before, any work that talks about government/governing is ripe for mining since even bad/corrupt examples allow me to ruminate on what I’ll do different for my WIP (though let’s be honest…it’s not like I don’t have plenty of fodder for corruption in real life).

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: 83%

Since it’s been a month between updates, I’ve read quite a bit more and a lot has happened.  This is one of those stories where you (the reader) know what you want to happen, but you have no idea how it’s going to turn out that way.  Also the prologue explicitly describes what’s going to occur soon (I reread parts of it to make sure), and it is not good.

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week

  1. Blood in the Rain 3: Nineteen Stories of Vampire Erotica by Cecelia Duvalle – One of my friends is published in this!  I was checking my Deviant Art notifications one day, and she’d posted an update with this excited information.  Her name is DarkStart016 on DA, but the story is obviously under her author name, Zoe Woodward.  The book is only $3.99, so I’ll probably just end up buying it when I read the sample.
  2. Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis – I read this years ago in high school, and something reminded me of it a few weeks ago.  I couldn’t remember the title for the life of me though, so I wound up googling random things and hoping the search engine would be able to decipher my babble.  The Google knows all!  Even when I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.  This is a retelling of the myth of Eros (also known as Cupid) and Psyche from the point of view of her sister Orual.  It’s quite less heavy-handed with religious overtones (being Classical Mythology based) as opposed to the work Lewis is most known for, The Chronicles of Narnia, though I might change my mind on this once I reread it.
  3. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi – More my attempt to read or reread stories Disney movies are based on.  This would be one of the former.  I’ve never read the original Pinocchio.
  4. HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett – I bought this before I found and registered for a class of the very same, but it’s still not a bad idea to have a book for reference.
  5. Little Nightmares by John Shackleford – Added this after watching a let’s play of the main game and all of the released DLCs (the third is still pending); it’s a prequel to the events of the game, and since I’m going to write a review/analysis, I should probably read it.  Also, maybe this is just me wanting to realize my pipe dreams, but there seem to be more books/compendiums based on video games lately…just sayin’
  6. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks – Recommended to me by Kim of By Hook or By Book, this is a book about assumptions and about how all of the ones you’re going to make are wrong.
  7. Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin – It’s by GRRM yo.  The next in a series of expansive texts on his world of Ice and Fire.
  8. Politics by Aristotle – Professor Attewell was talking about this in Hands, Kings, and City-States, so I added it to my Classics list.
  9. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas – Turns out the next book in the ACOTAR series has a title, so I added it.  It seems to be an “in-betweener,” marked as #3.5, which makes me happy since it’s focused on Feyre and Rhys.  Not that I don’t like them, but their story was pretty much told in the trilogy, and I’d like to see Maas concentrate on other characters if she’s going to continue it lest we have series fatigue.  It seems to be the equivalent of the Christmas episode with events talking place around the Winter Solstice.
  10. You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself by David McRaney – Reviewed here by Cupcakes and Machetes.  I actually know about the memory thing!  So I am that smart 😀  Nah, not really.  Everyone’s memory is mostly fiction, but I do recall reading that every time you remember something, you’re remembering the last time you remembered it, which means I’m remembering the last time I remembered this fact.  So…nobody’s going to be a memory??  Ah wonderful, now I have a sad :\
  11. Total Cat Mojo: Everything You Need to Know to Care for Your Favorite Feline Friend by Jackson Galaxy – I love the author’s show “My Cat from Hell,” which is much less about the cat being from hell and more about the humans not understanding the cat’s needs.  We really think we’re so smart (see the book above), but much of the time it’s really just arrogance in thinking “Well I’m human.  All animals must/should obey me.”  Yeah, okay, good luck with that.  I’d much rather do things to make their environment comfortable and less stressful, because I’d want the same treatment in their position (plus I want a spot on the spaceship when their people come back for them, because no way in hell do I want to spend one minute more than necessary on this godforsaken, human riddled, miserable planet).
  12. Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant – Another recommendation by Kim of By Hook or By Book.  The title reminds me of a lyric from a Heather Dale song “Mordred’s Lullaby.”  “Hush child, the darkness will rise from the deep and carry you down into sleep.”  Soothing huh?  The blurb’s mention of the Mariana Trench immediately invoked memories of SOMA.  I think I’ve recovered enough to delve into that kind of world again…I hope o.O
  13. Mr. Fahrenheit by T. Michael Martin – Recommended by YouTube channel SuperCarlinBrothers on their video “Pixar Theory: Wall-E is a Villain?!” where one of the brothers was discussing the potentially villainous tendencies of the little robot (spoiler: he’s not really a villain, but the argument is that the humans on the Axiom might have been better off not returning to Earth.  I’d actually recommend watching it.  It’s only about 10 minutes long, and they bring up some interesting and philosophical points).  At the end Martin talked about his book, which centers on a group of teenagers who wind up shooting down a UFO.  It sounds like something worth reading, and it’s only $1.99 on Kindle.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 548
Difference from Last Week: +7

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 2

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 40

I love Reyna’s reactions to “human fledglings,” though the reasons many of them are drawn to her is quite oppressive and messed up.  Many humans have elf servants who care for their children.  There’s a disturbing real world parallel to this :\

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

Progress: Chapter 19

I used to ship Locke and Celes (no clue what their ship name is), since I played FFVI when I was a teenager and just went along with the canon ship, but my OTP now is definitely Celes and Setzer.  They just…work better in my opinion.  I feel like I’ve mentioned this before, but Celes and Locke is like Leia and Han, the princess and the rogue.  Celes is a general, not a princess (though Leia does have that title in The Force Awakens.  RIP Carrie Fisher ;_;), but the difference in status remains the same.  Now, I’m not that much of an asshole, so this is not a “she can’t date him because he’s below her;” it’s more involved than that.  Locke is still hung up on Rachael to the point that his life’s goal is to find the Phoenix summon to try to revive her (not even Cloud was that delusional…) whereas Setzer has a lost love, too, in Darill, but one that he’s laid to rest.  He still mourns her, but he’s moved on.  Locke also has that “need to rescue” complex, which was certainly useful to Celes when she was branded a traitor and locked in chains, but just because someone rescues you, it doesn’t mean you own them anything.  I actually like the idea of breaking the Rescue Romance trope in this case, especially considering how Setzer’s involvement subverts it even more since Locke seemingly has to rescue Celes from him, as well.  It would be awesome to have the gambler and the general end up together, forcing Locke to reexamine is M.O when it comes to women and relationships 😉

Fanfictions Added This Week: 0

Fanfictions On Hold: 1

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: 10/25/17          The State of the Reader: 12/20/17–>



15 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 12/6/17

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

  2. I still have no idea how you keep track of so many stories (even scaled back)! I bow to your superior reading skillz 🙂

    I finished a book since your last update post! It’s called Stargirl by Chris Durston (aka Overthinker Y). It was awesome! Lots of video game references and questions about the nature of reality. I’m also awaiting the release of chapter 111 of Fifth Blight. Damn, you’re in for an emotional ride… Oh and I actually care about a love triangle in a story for like the first time ever. Wow! 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    • Notes, notes, and more notes! I keep tabs on what’s going on and what I think about a particular thing otherwise there’s just no way I could keep up and/or catch up with the reviews. Heck, I may throw some of them out anyway once I get to them.

      Is that the one he has online?? I think I have that bookmarked or is it a “physical in hand” book? How did you like it? I already like the title and premise.

      111, omg…I REALLY need to catch up. I’m alternating between Blight and this FFVI fanfiction, but the latter only has one more chapter up. I need to speed read through Athena’s. I might start knocking out two chapters at a time.

      Love triangles are only terrible in terrible situations where they’re shoehorned in! I think when they grow naturally out of character interactions, they’re waaaay less annoying. But authors, especially YA authors feel the need to throw them in there. Seriously though, I don’t remember there being that many love triangles at all when I was in high school. I mean there was drama, but two people can cause that on their own 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yup! Stargirl is the one he has online. I loved it. There are nods to various video games and questions about our reality. All things I enjoy, haha

        I got lost in Athena’s novel and couldn’t put it down until I caught up to her posting schedule. I usually read a new chapter within a day. I love it that much, haha.

        The Goddess of Wisdom’s love triangle is 100% believable, tragic, and makes complete sense in her narrative. You might be one to something… I guess I hate shoehorned love stuff, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think that’s what it is! It’s when it’s just shoehorned in for no good reason except to have a love triangle, and it’s not like that’s constantly going on with teenagers anyway. I mean sure it’s complicated, confusing, and awful, but most YA makes it happen so often it’s unrealistic. I mean I guess technically Northern Lights had a love triangle, too, now that I’m thinking about it lol. That poor boy was in love with Aeris, but she had absolutely no interest in him.

          Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t hate her per se, but ughhhh she’s so damn annoying lol. Like I definitely understand why she feels gratitude towards Kira, but it’s clear that Light has no feelings for her in that way, and she’s just so pushy/insistent about them dating, and I’m just like, “Omg shut up.” I initially thought she was pretty cool, and I do love her aesthetic, but yeah, right now, she’s just irritating. I’m still not even halfway through the series though, so who knows how I’ll feel by the end!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 12/20/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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