The State of the Reader: 1/31/18

<–The State of the Reader: 1/17/18          The State of the Reader: 2/14/18–>

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: 15

  • Witch Hunt on Crystal Lake by Brittany Batiste – $2.99 @ Amazon
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka – $0.99 @ Amazon
  • The Emerald Dragonfly by Shaun Hume – $0.99 @ Amazon
  • Evolution by Kelly Carrero – $0.00 @ Amazon
  • The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories by Robert W. Chambers – $0.99 @ Amazon
  • Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H. R. Ellis Davidson – $4.49 @ Amazon
  • The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley – $8.50 @ Amazon
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton – $8.69 @ Amazon
  • The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses by Johann Schiebel – $9.95 @ Amazon
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – $11.35 @ Amazon
  • Modern Man in Search of a Soul by C. G. Jung – $8.95 @ Amazon
  • The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller – $10.20 @ Amazon
  • Saga: Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples – $9.35 @ Amazon
  • The Fall of Lilith by Vashti Quiroz Vega – $2.99 @ Amazon
  • Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics by Jim Al-Khalili – $1.99 @ Amazon

Yup, I bought a shit ton of books in the past month or so.  Those Amazon gift cards really came in handy.  I’ve already finished Witch Hunt on Crystal Lakeas the author asked me to a beta reading, but since I like to support fellow authors, bloggers, and friends, I bought it as well.  Obviously, I bought Saga (once I reminded it was out.  Thanks Ignited Moth!), and I’m probably going to read it next before I continue with the Death Note series.  The purchases were a mixture of eBook and physical (the less expensive ones are the eBooks), and I currently have a box of books sitting under my end table.

Books DNF: 4

  • Hands, Kings, & City-States: Analyzing a World of Ice and Fire by Steven Attewell – I loved the real world political comparisons and examinations that Professor Attewell so thoroughly laid out, and I read more than half of this, but I think it would be better served as a reference.  Granted, I did add quite a few other books such as Machiavelli’s The Prince and a few others, so I definitely don’t think reading this was a waste of time.
  • The Battle for Oz by Jeyna Grace – The plot follows who I’m assuming is the Red Queen banished from Wonderland after which she heads to Oz to take over there.  A story following a villain is perfectly fine with me, but there has to be a point of sympathy or empathy for them, otherwise you’re just waiting for them to be defeated.   The main character has no redeeming qualities, and characters like that are nearly impossible to connect with.  My guess is the author was going to eventually switch to Dorothy and Alice, since this is a Wizard of Oz/Alice in Wonderland crossover, which is fine, but if you’re going to spend time with a character, the read should be enjoyable, and this really wasn’t for me.  The queen of Oz was also insipid and childish, and she had no business being a ruler if she’s going to accept some strange woman showing up at her door with a pack of monsters as royalty when she has no credentials.  Fiction/fantasy is of course supposed to suspend your disbelief, but you still expect certain realities to make the story relatable.
  • Through the Portal by Riley J. Dennis – This really wasn’t a terrible story, and I really liked the friendship between the two characters Jem and Oliver.  I think I declared it DNF because I could see exactly where it was going and how it would end and what I should/could have done was just skipped there to see if I was right.  There have been a couple of books where I’ve fallen into that situation, and I don’t dislike them, but they lose a lot of my interest.  I also felt like the people in the other world weren’t all that different from people in ours.  Even they turns of phrase they used were similar to the ones we have here.  This isn’t to say you have to do the whole language barrier thing, but altering their inflections isn’t a terrible idea.  Ms. Dennis is actually one of my favorite YouTubers, which is how I found out about her book.  I’m going to continue watching her YouTube videos, and I’d recommend this book to anyone who’d like a quick and easy read.
  • Melkorka by Joshua Robertson – I started reading and declared this one DNF today.  I wasn’t drawn in, and while I love unlikely heroes, I can also be sort of shallow hehe.  He wasn’t attractive and nothing about him stood out (which I know is why he’s unlikely), but I suppose it is what it is.

Yeah…I’m pretty much of the mind that if a book isn’t holding my attention or interesting me, I’m going to shelve it.  I’m tearing through the ones on my Kindle to-read list.  I’m going backwards from date added and just knocking them out.

Finished: 3

Title: Death Note, Vol. 7: Zero
Series Title: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Oba
Illustrator: Takeshi Obata
Date Added: December 21, 2017
Date Started: January 4, 2018
Date Finished: January 14, 2018
Reading Duration: 10 days

The cover of Death Note: ZeroMedia: Paperback (Library)

To be brief, everything goes back to zero just like the title states.

Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora
Series Title: Gentleman Bastard
Author: Scott Lynch
Date Added: October 11, 2012
Date Started: October 26, 2017
Date Finished: January 19, 2018
Reading Duration: 85 days

Media: eBook/Kindle

I might catch some hell, but I didn’t love it.  I liked it quite a bit, but there were things that bugged me, interestingly enough, they were similar to the things that bothered me in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.  The Gentlemen Bastards did grow on me, and I liked the subtle/not-so-subtle statement Lynch was making about the nobility, class, and generational wealth, especially in terms of how your past can come to reckon with you.  The author did a fantastic job keeping me interested despite the issues I might have had, but I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series.

Title: Death Note, Vol. 8: Target
Series Title: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Oba
Illustrator: Takeshi Obata
Date Added: January 4, 2018
Date Started: January 18, 2018
Date Finished: January 28, 2018
Reading Duration: 10 days

Media: Paperback (Library)

This was the first Death Note I rated less than a five starts (I gave it four).  I just thought the earlier ones had a terse cleverness to them.  They were simpler in terms of the cat and mouse between Light and L, but now the game has grown more complex, and I don’t like all of the players as much.  Especially the dude on the cover.  He annoys the hell out of me.  I’m hoping Kira kills him soon like in the next one.

Currently Reading: 3

Title: All’s Well That Ends Well
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: September 15, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2018

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: ?

I’m reading this as part of my Complete Works of Shakespeare, and there’s just no way to know what percentage of this story in particular I’ve read.  I think I finished the first part of the first act.  It’s okay so far.  The character Helena is in love with this guy Bertram who has no interest in her, so of course she’s going to try everything to get him to love her *eye roll* but then again it is Shakespeare so I can’t pretend to be surprised at such a plot.  The conversation she had with the old lord Lefeu about virginity was…interesting to say the least.

Title: The Diamond of Darkhold
Series Title: The Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Date Added: September 17, 2017
Date Started: January 14, 2018

The cover of The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrauMedia: Paperback
Progress: 44%

Well I found out what “Darkhold” was.  I’m…okay with what’s happening, and this one is worlds better than The Prophet of Yonwood, since it’s about Lina, Doon, and the continuation of the Ember story, but I’m again in a situation where I’m waiting for villains to be vanquished.  Granted, these ones are a bit more sympathetic, as you understand why they’re acting the way they do, but the main one has so many unredeeming qualities that you’re looking forward to their downfall.

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

Media: Paperback
Progress: 46%

My interest in this is starting to wane, but not enough for me to declare it DNF.  I have more of an idea who the Vagrant is, and I’ll say it’s not his lack of speech that’s lessened the appeal.  There are a lot of terms being thrown around about what happened to the world, and it can get a bit confusing keeping track of who the Uncivil and the Usurper et al are.  I do like how every few chapters or so, the narrative will go back to the past in order to show when everything became unscrewed and the horror that then rained down upon the land.  I do want to see what happens when the titular character gets where he’s going with his precious burden(s), though I will be so pissed if it doesn’t happen in this book.

And that’s it.  I’m just going to do books I purchased, books I finished, books I didn’t finish, and books I’m reading.  No more “books I’m going to read,” though I do regret cutting the Fanfiction section.  Maybe when I get my time more under control I put it back in in terms of what I’m currently reading.

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: 1/17/18          The State of the Reader: 2/14/18–>

21 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 1/31/18

  1. Pingback: The “Final” State of the Reader | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. So I haven’t read the Death Note manga, I’ve only watched the show, but if their progression is pretty similar then I definitely agree with you. After L I felt like things went downhill, and that dude on the cover is definitely irritating.
    I’ve heard nothing but good things about Saga but I’m not super familiar with it. What is it about?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah I don’t feel alone then! I was worried I was one of the few that noticed that. L was a great character, and I felt like it was balanced even though I absolutely cannot stand Misa ugh. She annoys the hell out of me. I’ll probably spend a good portion of the review ranting about how much I hate her haha.

      Ahhh, Saga is amazing! I guess the best way to describe it as a Romeo and Juliet type space opera. There’s a planet called Landfall and it’s moon (whose name I forget), and the people who reside on each have always hated each other. The Landfallians have wings adn the people from the moon have horns, so there’s the “war between Heaven and Hell” motif going on right there. Pretty much it’s about Alana and Marko from Landfall and the moon respectively who fall in love, get married, and have a kid who’s considered a halfbreed, and all they want to do is live a normal life, but not only typical relationship problems get in the way, but the fact that both factions want their little family exterminated. I don’t know if I’d take my word that it’s the best graphic novel I’ve ever read, because I haven’t read that many, but it really is fantastic, and each volume just adds more and more to the story. If you check out no other graphic novel this year, that’s the only you’d want to read 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It certainly sounds interesting! I have some family members who are avid comic book readers and love it, not to mention the positive press I have seen here on WordPress as well as in other venues; I’ll definitely have to check it out sometime!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Shakespeare needs to get with the times 😛

    I’m still reading the Goddess of Wisdom’s epic Dragon Age novel, as more chapters are released. I’m totally hooked at this point! I’m also reading Icefall. I think someone recommended that to me recently…. 🙂 I’m intrigued by the plot so far. The author shifts from a couple perspectives as the chapters go. One character is in third person, the other is in first person, along with notes like journals you would find in a video game or something. It really reminds me of Horizon Zero Dawn! I like it a lot so far (21% in).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right? What is this the 1500s???

      I’ve fallen behind with both of the fanfictions I’m reading, ugh. This week has been challenging to say the least.

      Hey! I remember directly recommending that to you 🙂 It seemed right up your alley with the strong, female character and absolutely no silly romances. I didn’t know it would be like HZD, but that really reminds me about how I’ve read books based on how much they remind me of FFVII. I wonder if authors write with that particular thought in mind, drawing inspiration from video games or if it just happens. I know even my original stuff pulls from VII #noshame

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know, right? 😛

        Yes! Thank you. There’s one part where all the silly romance stuff is going on around her and she’s all like “I don’t really care… I’ll have to think about what’s wrong with me later.” I really connected with that and can’t wait to see where the author is going with the overall plot! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Woo! Looking forward to finding out what you think of volume 8 of Saga! 😀
    I really need to finish watching the anime for Death Note. I’m horrible about finishing shows and this is another one I suddenly stopped watching for no reason. You reading the manga is a good reminder for me to get back into it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 2/14/18 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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