The State of the Reader: 12/16/20

<–The State of the Reader: 12/2/20         The State of the Reader: 12/30/20–>

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.

Purchased: 2

Books Finished: 3

Title: Gods and Myths of Northern Europe
Author: Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson
Date Added: September 21, 2017
Date Started: May 1, 2020
Date Finished: December 4, 2020

Cover of Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by Hilda Roderick Ellis DavidsonMedia: Paperback

This book was not what I expected.  I thought it would be a retelling and examination of the Norse myths, but it more operated from the position that you had some idea about them.  Not to say I novice couldn’t garner a great deal from this, but it was more of a explanation of historical analysis of how the Norse gods fit in with, informed, shaped and was shaped by Viking culture.  I’d still recommend reading The Poetic Edda and The Prose Edda especially since Ellis refers to Snorri a lot.  I am very glad I read this especially considering the book explicitly about FFVII and Norse mythology I’m reading right now.  I’m still referring back to this as I read that.

Title: Night of the Mannequins
Author: Stephen Graham Jones
Date Added: September 12, 2020
Date Started: November 27, 2020
Date Finished: December 8, 2020

Cover of Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham JonesMedia: eBook/Kindle

I…completely understand why this received a low rating, and honestly it’s a shame.  This could’ve been really good, but the author showed his hand way too early.  He gave the game away way too soon.  By the middle of the story, he has the narrator (who is unreliable) tell us what he’s doing and then doing it.  From that point on, it’s really just watching it happen, and it was honestly painful.  I’m not sure if the author wasn’t able to keep the twist a secret and that’s why he didn’t, but it would’ve made a much better story had he left that for closer to the end while dropping hints.  I always feel bad when a story has potential, but falls flat.

Title: The Luster of Lost of Things
Author: Sophie Chen Keller
Date Added: September 12, 2017
Date Started: July 22, 2020
Date Finished: December 12, 2020

Cover of The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen KellerMedia: Paperback

This book did a lot of things right with regards to disability.  While Keller did show how Walter was bullied and how that effected him, it wasn’t the focal point of the book, but rather an explanatory aspect of why he felt like the bakery was his only safe space and why the search for the book was so important to his growth.  The journey he went on and the interactions he experienced were not only enriching, they broadened his circle, and it was something he brought back with him at the end of his monomyth cycle.

This is a very stream of consciousness, magical realism story with lots of purple prose.  I love this kind of shit, and it took me years to realize that purple prose hate is really just people pushing their preferences onto others and acting like it’s the word of god.  Of course there’s balance in all things, so if that type of writing isn’t your thing, I don’t think this would be the best book for you.  It’s more emotionally oriented as opposed to action oriented with the action serving the emotional impact as opposed to the inverse.  I’m looking to more of Keller’s future work, as this is her first novel.

Books DNF: 1

Title: What the Night Knows
Series Title: What the Night Knows
Author: Dean Koontz
Date Added: November 21, 2014
Date Started: November 28, 2020
Date DNF: December 12, 2020

Cover of What the Night Knows by Dean KoontzMedia: eBook/Kindle (Library)

Like Night of the Mannequins I sort of figured this one out, too, though I wasn’t as dead on with Koontz.  I was really worried he was going to go down a really dark path that I’ll talk about when I do my review, but he dropped enough hints that I got the gist of what was going on and eh?  It’s not that I didn’t like the novel.  I love Koontz’s writing, but this is the second time I’ve figure out what he was up to (first was with Odd Thomas though it took longer).  I wasn’t entirely right about things, but I did guess one character would play a role (why else introduce him?), but if I say too much I’ll give it away, and I’m not going to spoil the story for those who want to read it.

Currently Reading

Title: Medusa’s Daughters
Author: Various
Editor: Theodora Goss
Date Added: December 20, 2019
Date Started: December 14, 2020

Cover of Medusa's Daughters edited by Theodora GossMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 6%

I’ve only read the introduction by Dr. Goss and I already want to add this book to my list of research materials/resources.  This is a compilation of fantasy stories and poems by woman and about women with many emphasizing the false dichotomies we consistently face: Virgin/Whore, Athena/Medusa, the latter of which I never considered (I really need to do more research on Medusa).  She has an essay about the Heroine’s Journey called “Into the Dark Forest” as a sort of response to Campbell’s Hero’s Journey which I have marked to read/reference, and I’m sure there are others on her site I could learn a great deal from.

Title: Norse Myths That Inspired Final Fantasy VII
Author: M. J. Gallagher
Date Added: October 26, 2020
Date Started: December 8, 2020

Cover of Norse Myths That Inspired Final Fantasy VII by M. J. GallagherMedia: Paperback
Progress: 14%

Needless to say I already have a ton of notes for this.  I am so happy I read the Ellis book prior because I can use it to cross reference, but there are things Gallagher has mentioned that I either missed in Ellis’ or she didn’t mention such as how the goddess Hel’s lower half was a corpse, and I’m like…huh, especially since Gallagher has a chapter called “Who the Hel is Jenova,” so I’m intrigued.  So far he’s done a brief history of Final Fantasy in general and the next chapter is a summary of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, which I’m ashamed to say I don’t entirely know as I’ve only played the original, Crisis Core, and the Remake, and I’ve seen Advent and Last Order. I didn’t finish CC or play or watch Before Crisis or Dirge of Cerberus, nor have I read On the Way to a Smile or The Kids Are Alright, though I own the former.  I did read a fan translation of The Investigation Unit Within the Painting, which is in the FFVII World Book, so I have…mixed knowledge I’ll say.  I obviously have to read, play/watch all of these myself with copious notes, but I am happy that there’s a brief summary, and by brief I mean it’s around 30 pages long, but it’s a complicated story, so I wouldn’t expect anything less.

Title: As You Like It
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: March 6, 2018
Date Started: September 3, 2020

Cover of As You Like It by William ShakespeareMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: Act V, Scene III

I think I only have a few more scenes left.

I’m slowly but surely getting Christmas shopping done with some minor setbacks.  I sent my one aunt’s present to the wrong address *facepalm* but Amazon is really good with stuff, so I got my money back and sent another to the right place.  I bought stuff for my sister-in-law, my nephew, and my soon-to-be nephew (she’s due in January).  I still need to get stuff for my dad and my stepmom as well as my BFFs who both either have newborns or will soon.  I wound up getting extra money in my paycheck due to being reimbursed for the vacation days I bought.  Since I didn’t use them (…why would I lol), my company decided to give it back.  I took the vacation I was required to, but I’ll take some extra cash for Christmas.  It’s like a bonus, and now I can buy more presents!

<–The State of the Reader: 12/2/20         The State of the Reader: 12/30/20–>

6 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 12/16/20

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 12/2/20 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

    • I’m really liking it so far. I don’t know Dr. Goss personally, but I kind of know her by proxy? Two of my friends are closer with her, and she’s someone I look up to as “Yes, I’d like to be in this position at some time,” but she’s also someone I would reference in my own stuff. I’ve read a few of her other novels. I think I have a review for Red as Blood and White as Bone. I really, really need to research Medusa way more than I have. I have much better insight now about her, and I’m in the “Medusa did nothing wrong” camp lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This has been the least exciting shopping year for me ever lol. I’m not buying for anyone I’m not seeing, at least right now anyway. Or we’ve agree with said people to go really big next year. Plus, Mr. C&M scored himself a PS5 so he’s only getting small presents on Christmas Day now. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhhh, I’m so jealous! I’ve been trying to find one of those bastards for Mr. TSN, but it’s like a fucking unicorn lol. Game companies always pull this shit. Nintendo did it with the Switch, and I even heard the new Xbox was in short supply. You can only find $1000+ ones from scalpers or get them in February. I’m happy he was able to find one though. I know he’ll enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 12/30/20 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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