The State of the Reader: 2/24/21

<–The State of the Reader: 2/10/21         The State of the Reader: 3/10/21–>

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

Total: $7.98

Books Finished: 1

Title: The House on Abigail Lane
Author: Kealan Patrick Burke
Date Added: January 9, 2021
Date Started: February 5, 2021

Cover of The House on Abigail Lane by Kealan Patrick BurkeMedia: eBook/Kindle

This was…really good.  Lovecraftian in how it never really answered the questions behind the horror, and only gave you enough to let the potential implications wash over you.  You almost think you’re going to have answers, but then the information you’re given just leads to more questions.  The writing is so solid you believe you’re reading about events that actually happened.  Definitely a five star book and the author now has a new follower.


Currently Reading

Title: Night Fire
Series Title: Night Fire Trilogy
Author: Catherine Coulter
Date Added: February 22, 2021
Date Started: February 23, 2021

Cover of Night Fire by Catherine CoulterMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 19%

Ten years ago me would say “I have no defense for myself for reading this!” Current me couldn’t give a fuck. I’m a mess; this book is messy AF, and there’s a story behind it that might actually be the explanation for my own (paranormal) romance writing paired of course with my love and discovery of Aeriseph fanfic :p

So back when I was in high school my BFF at the time (whom I still talk to on the reg and who’s partially to blame for this revival lol) found a whole bunch of romance novels in the basement of her apartment building, and because poor kids share the wealth, she lent/gave some to me.  At the time we both kind of pretended we were just reading them for the lulz, but we both enjoyed them then and now, even though older me can see the definite issues within (I’ll get to the ones in this particular novel).

I didn’t realize at the time how influential this genre would be to me, and I think a lot of my contrived derision was due to how others would see it, and it took me years to shake the habit of getting ahead of expected mockery by supplying my own.

While rereading this, I’m struck by how much I potentially borrowed for The Broken Rose with the “abused female protagonist,” but I did a way better job with respect to “rescuer/protective male protagonist” and consent.  The male MC in Night Fire doesn’t rape the deuteragonist, but he still uses the immense (and unfair) power granted to him by Regency Era patriarchy to force her into proximity with him, and “show her he’s a good man and not like her abusive, dead husband.”  Yikes. The entitlement y’all, but there are still parts I enjoy, and things like this are always rife for critique and review.

I added this and a few others to reread list if they weren’t there already, and almost bought another one Beneath a Midnight Moon, which is about a wolf shifter lol.  Omg I love it.  Let’s not even get started on the ones featuring indigenous people and white women *headdesk*

Addendum: Turns out I already own Beneath a Midnight Moon.  I just need to find it XD

Title: Crier’s War
Series Title: Crier’s War
Author: Nina Varela
Date Added: January 9, 2021
Date Started: February 16, 2021

Cover of Crier's War by Nina VarelaMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 49%

I’m all in for this one.  Already half-way through.  The intrigue is delicious, and the set up is masterful.  It’s one of those books I have to read a little at a time, because it’s heavy but fucking excellent.  I can absolutely relate to Ayla, the human deuteragonist.  Once you’ve lost everything and you constantly see your people beaten down, of course you lose hope.  You don’t want to let yourself feel anything (if you can help it), because you never want to go through that again.

This book reminds me of a lot of things, but the most relevant recent narrative is probably the show Picard.

Title: The Colour Out of Space
Author: H. P. Lovecraft
Date Added: March 15, 2013
Date Started: February 11, 2021

Cover of The Colour Out of Space by H. P. Lovecraft

The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher had similar vibes to this, and now I’m wondering if Machen and Lovecraft were contemporaries or if the former was inspired by the latter. *googles*  Whoa…turns out Lovecraft was actually influenced by Machen’s work, and it not only helped him develop his Cthulhu Mythos, but led him away from Dunsanian (based on Lord Dunsany) writings.  FFVII also has similar vibes with the “dead earth surrounding” as it does in both Midgar and the Northern Crater, which is more accurate in the latter as it was the site of the original crash/invasion (Midgar being a narrow miss).  This is one of the higher rated Lovecraft stories, and I can see why.  It’s not as plodding as some of his other work.

Title: House of Earth and Blood
Series Title: Crescent City
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: February 7, 2020
Date Started: December 16, 2020

Cover of House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. MaasMedia: Hardback
Progress: 67%

I can’t fucking even with this book.  Hunt has a similar tragic dead mom back story to the protag in my first novel and he’s a bastard, too?  I just fucking can’t lol.  Also none of this is spoiler territory i.e. it doesn’t have any effect on the events of the novel.  I wouldn’t do that.

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: 36%

So a week after I put it on hold I came back to it.  I couldn’t stop thinking about this book, even though doing so often made me ill, but then I considered I could just…skip that part.  Like I didn’t have to read it.  While I’d love to read a recap of the Compilation; I…don’t have to (at least not right now), and I could just move on to the next chapter, which I did.

I actually randomly found the author of this on Patreon while on the page of another person I patronize Crimson Sun who’s doing a series of FFVII Tarot.  They create and draw their own cards, and it’s amazing.  Their Nine of Swords is my favorite Minor Arcana.  It’s heartbreaking and mood AF right now.  You can find it here with a bunch of others.  I’m greatly fond of the Lucrecia card, too, and need to reply to the comment they left in reply to my comment on it hehe.

Oh yeah, what I was saying…so M. J. Gallagher commented on Crimson Sun’s Patreon post and I was like !!!  I replied to him like a dumb ass asking if he was the person who wrote this book (when I could’ve just fucking checked his page, ughhhhh why am I so awkward???).  I’m probably going to see if I can patronize him, though I’m trying to be more frugal with that at least until the hubs finds another job.

Coming back to this reinforces my desire to publish my own book of essays on the massive amount of symbolism, references, and comparisons to other stories in FFVII.  I’m really enjoying this; he’s doing a good job showing how Norse Mythology informed a lot of concepts in the game, and there’s a lot of never thought of before like how the nine reactors in Midgar match up with the nine realms in Yggdrasil (why…why did I just think about the Fourteen Flames of Valyria, the doomed city in Song??  NOTE TAKING TIME.  Look…both narratives are heavily steeped in Norse Mythology so they’re going to have a lot of similarities), which is one of the things I love about volumes like this.  Someone will always find something you’ve missed, vice versa, and we will all be the richer for it.


I took a desperately needed nap after work tonight, so this is late coming out.  I’m irritated with myself because what I want to do after work is play my Fitness Boxing game, but I haven’t had the energy.  There’s always tomorrow to try again I guess.  Now I’m going to read my sad boi fallen angel novel, and yes I know I said the same thing last week lol.  I also said I was considering picking up the Gallagher book again, and I did that, so I’m two for two :p


<–The State of the Reader: 2/10/21         The State of the Reader: 3/10/21–>

7 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 2/24/21

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 2/10/21 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 3/10/21 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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