The State of the Reader: 1/3/18

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

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.

Books Purchased: 0

Books DNF: 1

Title: The Prophet of Yonwood
Series Title: Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau

Media: Paperback
Percentage Finished: 21%

Not nearly as engaging as the other books.  This prequel wasn’t compelling in the least, and it’s disappointing since the lead up to what caused the existence of Ember could’ve been a rousing tale.  We could’ve found out if there were other underground cities and/or how the rest of humanity survived, but the author choose to focus on prophecy and proselytizing instead of that.  I still have the final Book of Ember to read, which I’m looking forward to, as it involves Lina and Doon’s return.

Books Finished: 3

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

Oh my god this book was so good.  I don’t know how I’m going to review it, since I can’t say much without spoiling, but it took so many familiar tropes, cliches even, and yet they didn’t come off as trite.  While I figured it out about a chapter or two before the reveal, I still covered my face with my hands.  All the pieces just fell together beautifully, and I think it worked because it’s not like the author doesn’t give away an integral part in the very prologue.  I kept going back and forth from there to my current place just to make sure all of the ends matched up.  They did…to tragic effect.  I hope the sequel comes out sooner rather than later sometime this year.

Title: Death Note , Vol. 6: Give-and-Take
Series Title: 
Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Oba
Illustrator: Takeshi Obata
Date Added: December 7, 2017
Date Started: December 21, 2017
Date Finished: December 31, 2017
Reading Duration: 10 days

Media: Paperback (Library)

With the completion of this, I’m officially halfway done with the series.  It’s interesting seeing the two sides of Light.  I really want to pick up the box set of this series at some point.  I’m not rushed on it, since I can borrow all of the volumes from the library.

Books Currently Reading: 3

Title: The Vagrant
Series Title: The Vagrant
Author: Peter Newman
Date Added: March 20, 2017
Date Started: December 30, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 6%

While I love my Kindle and am of course enjoying Death Note, the books I most want to read are piled by my bookshelf.  Ones I’m willing to physically purchase are normally the ones I’m most excited about, and The Vagrant is neither an exception nor has it disappointed so far.  With each subsequent chapter, I only want to know more.  Like a good storyteller, Newman dangles information like life affirming drops.  There is only an idea of who the titular character is and what he’s doing, but never a confirmation from the silent sword-bearer himself.  The true answers to these questions remain to be seen.

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: 66%

The Gentlemen Bastards have grown on me.  I am fully invested now.  The stakes have never been higher and Lynch’s format of alternating between past and present is captivating.  You think you’re going to rush through the past chapter, because you want to know what’s going on now, but then it’s just as interesting to witness the foundation as it is to observe the peak.  Then sometimes a “present” chapter doesn’t even focus on Locke and crew, which just happened at a critically vital moment, but what occurred was so integral to the overall plot that I couldn’t even be mad.  I also can’t emphasize enough how much better it is to just be reading one Kindle.  I can get through one chapter a session, and not just a few sub-chapters.

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: 45%

I’m on a section about Old Ghis and it’s government, politics, and conquests.  You’d think reading about fictional empires would do nothing to teach you about true history, but you would be wrong.  Writers only take what’s there, reconstitute it, and re-present it.  The wise will decipher (or make a passable attempt) at what they meant to impart.

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List

  1. The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – The sequel to Strange the Dreamer.
  2. Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay – Added per a review by Literary Dust.  I love retellings so this was an easy add.
  3. Death Note, Vol. 7: Zero by Tsugumi Oba – Just picked up a copy from the library tonight.
  4. Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray – One of my IRL friends is reading all of the books on Leia now and was gushing about this one.  There’s also a comic/graphic novel set I might check out.
  5. The Trial by Frank Kafka
  6. The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún Vol. 1 by Nagabe – Thanks to Ignited Moth for this addition!
  7. The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn – Kim from By Hook or By Book recommended this one to me directly.  A thriller in the same vein as Hitchcock’s Rear Window; it was hard to pass up.
  8. Goblin Slayer Light Novel Vol. 1 by Kumo Kagyu – I forget how this came to my attention, but I liked the cover, and I liked the blurb.  It’s another graphic novel and those are quick reads.
  9. The Emerald Dragonfly: A Short Story by Shaun Hume – A short story by one of the bloggers I follow.  You can check out his post about it here!

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 556
Difference from Last Week: +6

I need to work on my Best of posts for books (as well as games).  I’d like to get to that (them) no later than next week.  I have another three day weekend coming up, and ideally, I want to have them both completed by then.

You may have noticed I’ve omitted the fanfiction section.  This is not because I’ve stopped reading fanfiction (perish the thought), but more because I’m pretty good at keeping up with the writers in the comments of their works, and while I have no problem talking about fanfiction on my blog, nor do I think it’s less worthy than any other literature, it again boils down to a time thing.  I do have fanfiction reviews planned like everything (with some even long overdue), so it’s not like you won’t see me talk about such works by other writers on this blog, but in my quest to truncate as much as possible, I’ve decided to let the section go.  I hope no one will be too upset 😦

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

25 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 1/3/18

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

  2. I’m currently reading Phasma by Delilah Dawson, which is a look at Captain Phasma before she became Captain in the First Order. I’m also reading Star Wars: Stormtroopers – Beyond the Armor by Ryder Windham and Adam Bray, which is a real world look at the conceptualization, design, and use throughout the films, fiction, and fandom.

    Next up for me is Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz, which my son chose for January’s family book club. It’s evidently about a concentration camp in WWII.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that was mentioned in one of its descriptions! It’s excellent so far. The language is so visceral, but I’m happy that every other character besides the main isn’t just monstrous. Stories like this sometimes fall into that trope where only the MC is to be trusted and everyone else has to either be killed or avoided. They all have their own agendas and ways of staying alive in this brutal, post-apocalyptic world.

      Liked by 1 person

          • I finally tried reading it (Snow Crash) yesterday. It IS a bit hard to get into. The whole mafia pizza thing is mmm, funny. Funny awkward, and then the whole neo-corporatization of the world seems a bit too familiar. I tend to joke to myself that the more people imagine the world to be hyper-cool because of technology is in inverse proportion to the level of trashiness that things actually turn out to be, so a pizza mafia dominated world seems pretty plausible.

            I’m was trying to feel it, the book. It still comes on good recommendation and I get glints of something. Not sure what that is just yet, but it keeps me curious.

            Haven’t looked at any other books he wrote.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I have The Vagrant on my Kindle so I’m glad to hear it’s holding up so far. Also, glad that you’re more invested in The Lies of Locke Lamora. I personally do not like the second book as much as the first but it’s still good. I need to read the third book this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Woo! I’m so happy to see The Girl From the Other Side made your TBR list. I can’t wait to read it very soon, too. 🙂
    I can’t wait to see how Strange the Dreamer ends, and I’m so glad there’s going to be a second book because I’m loving everything about the first one so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m adding Strange the Dreamer to my library list. 🙂

    At the moment I’m about to start Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. I’m finishing up a collection of Japanese folklore, and have a few books about The Doors and Jim Morrison to sift through. Also for Christmas my folks got me Your Beauty Mark by Dita Von Teese – are you a fan of Dita?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Gaming & Blogging Things of 2017 – LightningEllen's Release

  7. Pingback: The Final State of the Reader | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

    • Death Note is amazing, though I’m noticing it slowing down a bit now that I’m on book 8. What was your issue with Locke Lamora? It took me a while to warm up to the characters, and I was wondering why I should relate to a band of thieves whose motivations seemed to be lining their own pockets, though I could be persuaded to see the angle of how much the rich have in comparison to the poor and they’re doing their own play field leveling, but the characters themselves weren’t all that likable until around the middle of the book where you start hating other characters MUCH more.

      The Vagrant is interesting. I’m impressed the author can keep it interesting with an entirely silent main character. That usually only works in video games!


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