The State of the Reader: 12/4/19

<–The State of the Reader: 10/23/19         The State of the Reader: 12/18/19–>

A biweekly 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 Obtained: 7

Books Finished: 1

Title: Vita Nostra
Series: Метаморфозы (Metamorphoses)
Author: Marina & Sergey Dyachenko
Date Added: December 22, 2018
Date Started: September 23, 2019
Date Finished: November 20, 2019

Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey DyachenkoMedia: eBook/Kindle

Most of my notes for this are in my Kindle copy, but this book was fantastic.  It’s described as similar to Harry Potter, but the only similarity is that both books are about going away to school.  While Rowling’s series certainly has its positives (and negatives, mostly due to the author not knowing when to just stop), Vita Nostra is an existential masterpiece that shares more paradigms with time loop narratives than HP, but I hesitate to compare it fully to any of those either.  It really is unique and shows why it’s so important to experience media from different cultures.  I’m sad none of the other books in the series have been translated, and I really hope that happens soon.

Currently Reading

Title: Winterglass
Series: Her Pitiless Command
Author: Benjanun Sriduangkaew
Date Added: March 3, 2019
Date Started: November 21, 2019

Winterglass coverMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 77%

I already love the story of The Snow Queen (Frozen remains my current, favorite, non-Pixar Disney movie), so it seemed only natural I enjoy this retelling of it, but it’s so much better than just a retelling.  Per the cover art, you know the main character Nuawa is a woman of color and then you find out she’s a duelist who survived the coming of the Winter Queen through some kind of unknown sorcery.  Then you meet the queen’s general Lussadh (which I’m assuming is pronounced lu-SAHTH, because that’s how I’d say -dh together) who has a shard of the broken mirror in her heart.  Lussadh’s task is to locate more shard bearers, and the moment she and Nuawa meet, I wanted them to fuck lol.

Now another thing about this novel is how queer it is.  There are numerous pronouns used, not just the binary she/he, and while Lussadh uses she/her, her titles are traditionally masculine, so people call her “my lord,” and before the coming of the Winter Queen, she was a prince and heir to the throne.  There is a lot of intrigue going on with this set up, because though the general is a cool customer, she is haunted by the fact that she’s a traitor to her country in service to the alien Winter Queen.

We also need to talk about the fact that because winter reigns, fire isn’t allowed, so the only way to heat or power things is through ghost energy.  Yeaaaaah, we’re talking power from souls.  That sounds familiar, huh?  Sacrifices are fed to ghost kilns, so I’d say this is another energy through necromancy narrative, and I am HERE FOR IT.

Title: The Dragonbone Chair
Series: Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn
Author: Tad Williams
Date Added: April 24, 2013
Date Started: October 30, 2019

The Dragonbone Chair coverMedia: Paperback
Progress: 5%

I remember downloading a sample of this a year or so ago, but it didn’t really strike me.  Then I watched one of my YouTube subs rave about how it’s similar to ASOIAF and that sparked my interest in it again, so I actually bought a physical copy.  I am getting into it now.  I’m very curious about the Sithi, who are clearly a reference for the Sidhe/Sith, and anything involving them is almost always interesting.  The MC is your typical 80’s/90’s fantasy MC, a clueless,  young, white boy who’s surrounded by far more interesting side characters.  Williams is employing some old legends in this (not just the Sidhe) with the king being Prester John, and I’m sure there will be others if I can make any progress.

Title: Faust
Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: September 1, 2019

Faust by GoetheMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 45%

Making 10% progress is better than none.  It’s not even that this isn’t interesting; it’s more that on the days I have scheduled to read it, I have a ton of other stuff, too, so I push it off to the side.

Title: The Hero With a Thousand Faces
Author: Joseph Campbell
Date Added: April 24, 2014
Date Started: December 3, 2018

The Hero With a Thousand FacesMedia: Hardback
Progress: 79%

I’m so close to finishing this.  I think there are only about 11 pages or so left, because there are a lot of appendices in the back.  I’m sure I’ll complete it before the end of the year *fingers crossed*

I will probably be able to finish three more books before the end of the year, since I’m almost done Hero and Winterglass.  If I get off my ass I can complete Faust, and then if I’m intelligent, I’ll pick a really short story or manga to bang out before 2020.  I thought 20 books would be much easier, but because I was more lenient, I’d skip some days reading whereas with a larger challenge number, I’m more prone to make sure it gets done.  I guess it will be easier when I do my 2019 wrap up early in the year.

<–The State of the Reader: 10/23/19         The State of the Reader: 12/18/19–>

6 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 12/4/19

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 10/23/19 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

    • Me too. I’d rather set it low and exceed it then set it too high and fall short. I *may* actually make it. I just finished reading two more books, started a really short one, and if I get off my ass and actually read Faust when I’m supposed to, I’ll be done it in no time lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG Winterglass sounds AMAZING! And that cover art! ❤ ❤ ❤ You just made me go and add it to my official TBR Mountain. 🙂
    Happy Reading to you for the last stretch of the year. I hope you make your reading goal. I made mine smaller this year and I'm so glad I did. Less stress, and it let me have more free time to get stuff done. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so good! It was a quick read, too. It’s maybe around 150 pages I think? I already bought the second book in the duology, and I’m going to read it after I finish my current Kindle.

      I think I’ll make it. Either I’ll finish Faust or the Kindle I’m currently reading since I seem to be breezing through that. I’m going to keep my challenge at 20 books again. That seems like a good number for me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 12/18/19 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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