The State of the Reader: 4/7/21

<–The State of the Reader: 3/24/21         The State of the Reader: 4/21/21–>

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: 1


Books Finished: 3

Title: Night Fire
Series Title: Night Fire Trilogy
Author: Catherine Coulter
Date Added: February 22, 2021
Date Started: February 23, 2021
Date Finished: March 26, 2021

Cover of Night Fire by Catherine CoulterMedia: eBook/Kindle

Rereading something you haven’t read in years is similar to rereading old writing in that you realize how much you’ve grown as a person.  Anything I wrote ten plus years ago is full of cringe (even if some parts might still be salvageable…at least that’s what I hope for The Serpent’s Tale lol).  That’s what reading this was like.  When I did so in high school I loved certain parts of it, but now that I’m more aware of problematic tropes, they greatly lesson my ardor.  This is one of those novels where I learn what not to do (especially in a hurt/comfort motif) by reading it.  It was also written in the late 80’s, which had a wildly different ethos for romance.  It’s grown up as much as I have in that time.

Title: Iron Heart
Series Title: Crier’s War
Author: Nina Varela
Date Added: March 3, 2021
Date Started: March 8, 2021
Date Finished: March 29, 2021

Cover of Iron Heart by Nina VarelaMedia: eBook/Kindle

Speaking of romance growing up, this is a perfect example.  While there were some predictable aspects and some rumblings of a love triangle, the messages it imparts more than override any foibles.  It’s both casually queer yet at the same time absolutely makes a metaphorical statement about how attraction is negatively viewed between the Kinds, which is both relevant to LGBTQ+ folks and POC.  Varela did a great job aligning this world to issues in our own, and the alchemy motifs are a really nice touch (she literally uses the word materia in that regard and yeah I need to research alchemy; that’s my next reference book).

Title: Norse Myths That Inspired Final Fantasy VII
Author: M. J. Gallagher
Date Added: October 26, 2020
Date Started: December 8, 2020
Date Finished: April 6, 2021

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

Speaking of materia (and no I didn’t do this for all three of my finished books on purpose; it just happened), I finished this up just last night.  I have a ton of notes for my research, which I’m really happy about.  I liked the way he structured each chapter by introducing the Norse concept then demonstrating how it fit with FFVII.  He also included footnotes many of which I took notes from, as well.   I feel like this volume is a little more surface level than I was hoping.  It’s excellent for people who aren’t as familiar with Norse Mythology or comparative mythology in general.  It won’t overwhelm them, and it’s a good jumping off point for more in-depth research.  The author really wasn’t one for speculation, theorizing, or comparing beyond the scope of Norse Mythology.  I’d like to think peoples’ interests might be piqued enough to do more digging of their own; at least read The Poetic Edda by Snorri Sturluson (as I intend to), though I’d also recommend Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces for a more comparative mythology angle (let’s be real, I’ll always recommend Hero.  If you want to do anything with regards to research in literature, read Campbell).

I learned I still have a lot to learn about the Compilation aka play or watch the rest of it.  I believe Squeenix is releasing a narrative based mobile game soon that will go through the entire thing, though of course I want to play or watch the originals, too.


Currently Reading

Title: The Library at Mount Char
Author: Scott Hawkins
Date Added: August 10, 2016
Date Started: March 31, 2021

Cover of The Library at Mount Char by Scott HawkinsMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 13%

Holy god this book is fucking crazy in dark and fascinating ways I’ve never seen before.  The main character Carolyn was kidnapped (?) by what can only be considered an elder god she and her “siblings” call Father.  He made them learn all sorts of things for example Carolyn knows every language in the universe.  Conversely, another of her siblings Michael spends so much time with animals he forgets how to speak.  Then another is killed numerous times, buried, rots, and then is brought back by one of them.  It’s…a lot darker than I’m describing it.  Anyway Father is missing and they’re trying to figure out if the Duke, this world eating entity, is going to make good on that.  I literally never know what’s going to happen in this book and I love it.

Title: Agents of Dreamland
Series: Tinfoil Dossier
Author: Caitlín R. Kiernan
Date Added: October 31, 2020
Date Started: March 30, 2021

Cover of Agents of Dreamland by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Tinfoil Dossier)Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 64%

Really strong The Last of Us Vibes from this insofar as a fungal infection goes way too far.  Throw in the fact the infection is from an alien meteor and I’m getting more vibes for something even more dear, and I’m not talking about The Colour Out of Space.

Title: The Oedipus Trilogy
Series: The Theban Plays
Author: Sophocles
Date Added: July 25, 2020
Date Started: March 18, 2021

Cover of The Oedipus Trilogy by Sophocles

Media: Paperback
Progress: 11%

Almost on page 12 and more notes!  Teiresias shows up like the boss he is and immediately wants to leave because he knows exactly what’s going on.  He laments the burden of being so wise when Oedipus asks him for counsel, and when he refuses to give it until goaded, the king doesn’t believe him since he thinks his responses are out of anger and spite.  It’s really no wonder why this work is still studied to this day, even though I think people focus more on the pop culture “Oedipal issues,” as opposed to the deeper and sadder paradigm of being completely fucked by fate.

Title: A Sky Beyond the Storm
Series: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Date Added: November 1, 2020
Date Started: March 17, 2021

Cover of A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa TahirMedia: Hardback
Progress: 11%

I’m getting more into this though I may still read a summary of the previous three books.


I gave up on Carnival Row lol.  The new season of Solar Opposites just dropped and it’s just as good as the first.  I am obsessed with the wall plot.  It’s so good.  I think I just have one more episode left.  I’m also catching up on Bob’s Burgers and still watching Archer.  I hope I can find another live action series to fall into.  I may rewatch Russian Doll like I’ve been wanting to.

Ugh, weeks where I finish and start new novels are so time consuming to update lol.  It takes a lot longer because I have to grab the links for the new ones.  Ah well.


<–The State of the Reader: 3/24/21         The State of the Reader: 4/21/21–>

5 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 4/7/21

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 3/24/21 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. Pingback: The State of the Writer: 4/18/21 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  3. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 4/21/21 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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