The State of the Reader: 5/3/17

<–The State of the Reader: 4/26/17          The State of the Reader: 5/10/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week: 11

  1. The Whispers of the Fallen by J. D. Netto: Kept – It’s a book about fallen angels and the first chapter had the image of one wing on it.  Hells yes, I’m going to keep this.  I didn’t put it on my really-want-to-read list only because the writing is a little “below” the type I like, but I’m very curious about what happens.
  2. The Reviled by Cynthia A. Morgan: Passed – Sometimes in reading samples and stories of other authors, you learn what not to do with your own.  This book has a prologue that not only introduces the concepts around the book, but also talks about what the narrative is supposed to be a metaphor for.  Now if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know I love a good metaphor, and I also love if/when a writer/creator confirms if one is true, but it’s lessened if the author tells you what it is beforehand.  Give your readers some credit and let them figure it out for themselves.  I will always favor Death of the Author over Word of God, considering authors may not even realize the concepts they’re paralleling in their work.  Also notwithstanding, the writing wasn’t the kind I favor either.
  3. The Silver Bough by Lisa Tuttle: Kept (RWTR) – I’m not surprised I kept this one nor am I shocked it found its way (or remained) on my really-want-to-read list.  Ms. Tuttle is the co-author of Windhaven, which she wrote with George R. R. Martin, and though I did have some trouble getting into the story, that was more due to pacing and not the writing style.  The pacing issue was more than likely due to the novel being made up of short stories and novellas pieced together.  This sample was instantly engaging, speaking of which, there’s a mysteriously broken one the MC is going to investigate.  Additionally, she’s just recently lost her best friend to a car accident.  The author wouldn’t bring something like that up if it wasn’t going to factor in later.
  4. Krim Du Shaw by Talia Haven: Kept (Purchased) – Since this is a short story, the sample paralleled that length and was only one page long.  It’s about horses, and the book is only $0.99, so I figured why not?
  5. Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon: Passed – Ugh.  I’m kind of annoyed I didn’t like this book, because I’ve seen Sherrilyn Kenyon in the fantasy section for years, and her novels look so interesting, but the sample instantly turned me off in both the prologue and first chapter.  The main female character wakes up handcuffed to a strange man.  Okay.  I’m fine with this so far.  They’ve both been abducted.  How are they going to get out of this situation?  She realizes he’s still alive and shakes him until he comes to.  He immediately flips her over on her back and presses himself against her.  Um, what?  Then she gets turned on by this?  Um what the fuck?  You’ve been kidnapped, handcuffed to some strange guy, and now he’s in the ravishing position over you, and this is cool?  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t judge your kink.  If that’s your fantasy, please go right ahead, but the thing about fantasies is you’re generally in control of the situation.  It just seemed unrealistic and more in line with those romance novels of old where shit like that always happened, and the woman was perfectly okay with it.  Then the next chapter did nothing but talk about how great this guy was.  He was apparently a god or he had godlike abilities *rolls eyes*  Again, one of the lessons I try to learn from books I either don’t like or have major issues with is what not to do with my own characters.
  6. Pretty Things by Christine Haggerty: Kept – Retold fairy tales are my bread and butter especially since I’ve written a retold fairy tale, and I use them for inspiration in all of my works.  This didn’t find its way onto my RWTR list because I’m trying to cut down on that.  Actually…I think I’m going to attempt to whittle it down to 100 books if not less.  If I haven’t read a sample of a book yet, I’m definitely removing it from there.
  7. Astarte Rising by Greg Thomas: Kept – I really don’t recall too much about this sample, but I didn’t hate it; it has a fairly high Goodreads rating, so I figure I might as well keep it.
  8. Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson: Kept – I’m fairly certain the female reporter is a vampire or a werewolf.  Since she’s out during the day (at least I think she is), I’m leaning towards werewolf, though why she’s carrying around a kitten is anyone’s guess.
  9. The Night Manager by John le Carré; Kept – I’m really glad I liked this book.  It was introduced to me through the BBC series staring Tom Hiddleston, my favorite actor ♥♥♥  So reading it, I envision Tom as Jonathan Pine, which is the part he played.  I never finished the BBC series, but I’m hoping to before I get to the book.
  10. Purity by Jonathan Franzen: Kept – The writing in this is so compelling, and the mysteries/plot coupons the author presents are almost too delicious to bear.
  11. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson: Kept – So far I like the prologues (there have been two so far, one to the series as a whole, one for the novel at hand), but that’s how I felt about Mistborn, too.  I feel like this novel is more showing, less telling though, and his writing seems more on point.  I believe Mistborn was his first series, so it would make sense that Stormlight would have a more refined tone.

Passed: 2
Kept: 9

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Windhaven by George R. R. Martin & Lisa Tuttle

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin & Lisa Tuttle
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Windhaven

Pages: 368
Publication Date: 1975
Media Type: Paperback

“Among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, romantic figures who cross treacherous oceans, braving shifting winds and sudden storms, to bring news, gossip, songs, and stories to a waiting populace. Maris of Amberly, a fisherman’s daughter, wants nothing more than to soar on the currents high above Windhaven. So she challenges tradition, demanding that flyers be chosen by merit rather than inheritance. But even after winning that bitter battle, Maris finds that her troubles are only beginning. Now a revolution threatens to destroy the world she fought so hard to join—and force her to make the ultimate sacrifice.”

This is yet another one of my so-called “VII books,” as in I read it because of its thematic similarities to FFVII.  I’m always so afraid I’m boring people when I talk about that, especially people who aren’t gamers and/or who aren’t into RPGs/Final Fantasy.  I know a great deal of this is my anxiety speaking, because I have a past full of being shut down and shut up when I wax passionately about anything.  I mean, this is my blog, and I can talk about what I want, and people who don’t like that don’t have to follow, but…the anxiety is still there.

Anyway…I was reading the second volume of Dreamsongs (which I’ve also reviewed here), one of the forward parts by GRRM.  He mentioned the three novellas that make up Windhaven.  One of them was entitled “One-Wing,” so I immediately bought the book.  This is a…pretty important motif in FFVII, and Windhaven predates that by nearly twenty years.  Nor is the name only significant to the the title.  There is one individual and then a group of people who become known as “one wings,” and there’s even a violent, disturbing scene involving the concept, too (something I, myself, have had nightmares about).

The book is actually an amalgamation of three novellas: “Storms,” “One-Wing,” and “Fallen.”  A great deal of time passes in between them, though they do follow chronologically.  The basis of the story reminded me a bit of Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s Green Sky Trilogy where fantastic tales are told about “sky sailors” flying to this world.  In Windhaven, they crash landed long, long ago and were unable to fix their damaged ship(s).  Some of the people wanted to keep trying, but others realized it was a futile effort and wished to scrap the machines for the precious metal they bore.  For on this world full of high winds and tumultuous oceans, humans would have the ability to soar on the currents between scattered islands.

The “scrappers” won, but not without war and bloodshed.  They cut apart the ships to fashion wings, and on that day the flyers were born.  Because of the lack of base resources, it’s not possible to make more metal for wings, only the supporting structures around them, but the material was nigh indestructible, and the story implies that its been around for thousands and thousands of years.

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The State of the Reader: 6/29/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/22/16          The State of the Reader: 7/6/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Content Warning: Some discussions of rape as it pertains to narratives.


Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

Windhaven

Review will be forthcoming.  Oddly enough the action and interest dipped and lifted like a flyer in a series of eddies.  I wonder if that was done purposely or if it was just a happy accident of the wind.

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostI’ll be honest with you.  I didn’t finish the volume; I looked up the last two Books on the internet and read the summary there.  I’m glad I did.  I didn’t miss much excitement.  I also didn’t find the direct reference I was looking for (the internet lied to me) about God taking one of Satan’s wings as punishment for rebelling (which if you’ve been paying any sort of attention would particularly interest a fangirl such as me), but I believe it may be something that readers/scholars could’ve interpreted from either the first or sixth book.  I’m unsure, but regardless, Milton’s epic poem was still highly influential in the narrative of FFVII and my second favorite story ASOIAF. 

I think I”m going to do the review for this differently though.  Instead of posting a written one, I’m going to attempt to do  a video one since I have an abundance of notes for this epic and could just talk/rant about it on camera.  I don’t have the equipment for such right now, but the desire to do this might spur this process on.


Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 63%

Went up one percentage!  Go me!!  I’m still plugging away at this volume.  Maybe I’ll finish it this year; it would be a decade long accomplishment.  After this I want to find a good translation of the Sepher Yetzirah, so if any of you have any recommendations on that, I’d love to hear them.

Title: The Rape of Lucrece
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: December 11, 2015
Date Started: June 25, 2016

Rape of Lucrece, The

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 32%

It’s going to be interest noting the progress for this once since I’m reading it from another book I didn’t technically add, The Sonnets and Narrative Poems: The Complete Nondramatic Poetry.  There are many compendium books for great and classical authors so you must either choose adding their works one by one or as part of a particular volume.  I decided to add Shakespeare’s works one at a time, which may inflate my finished “book” count, but I’m not overly worried about it.  While A Midsummer Night’s Dream may not be a novel, I’d still count it as a finished book (Note: I’ve already read Midsummer…should probably make sure that’s on my read list).

It is exceedingly difficult to read a poem about rape, while editing a story about the same 😦  I actually haven’t read any more of this since starting my edit of The Broken Rose.  It’s…just too much.  Once I get far enough in my edit where rape is no longer directly forefront, I think I can pick this back up.  I’m very happy I started reading it though.  This is another one of my so-called “VII  books” (books/stories I read because of FFVII), as the game makes a pretty important reference to Lucretia, though it’s ironically and tragically only discovered during a side quest.  I also think ASOIAF is playing with and subverting the main motif the poem.  I may post a meta on tumblr about this.  I was quite excited about the revelation.

Title: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Date Added: October 30, 2014
Date Started: June 25, 2016

Untitled-14

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Sometimes you find a book where the title itself speaks poetry.  Thus is The Slow Regard of Silent Things.  The moniker alone evokes both potential horror and poignant poetry.  Sometime that both has time for silence and slow regard must be long lived in deed.  It puts me in the mind of Lovecraftian horror, as if something dark and horrible is watching, watching, always watching and waiting for what we do not know.

I just realized something else this picture reminds me of: the first time you see the Emerald Weapon in FFVII.  I’m not going to bother to put a link/picture, since I haven’t been able to find a screenshot of that particular moment, but the first time I played and saw it, it terrified me.  You’re in a cave and you just see this great, slivered eye open, look at your characters, then close again.  It’s…unsettling to say the least.

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The State of the Reader: 6/15/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/8/16          The State of the Reader: 6/22/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3

Change from Last Week: 0


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 51%

I finished the second part of this and am finally on the third.  I’m hoping I…fly through it.  The “One-Wing” section did pick up a bit, and the “The Fall” part appears to have similar stakes to the first section.  It’s a nice bookend.

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
74%

Finished Book IX and am almost finished Book X.  Still waiting/hoping for the part where God takes one of Satan’s wings.  The internet better not have lied to me.  The current part is sooooo boring.  Adam is bitching about his lot after the fall and blaming Eve (of course) paired with more Christian rhetoric about why the man rules over the woman and how she’s going to bear her children in pain *vomit*

You know…it’s funny.  When I was around eight, I decided I was never going to have children because of the pain associated with childbirth.  Then I found out that they can alleviate it through modern medicine (…kind of), and this was one of the first times I experienced religious uncertainty.  If I could have a baby and not be in pain, I’d want in on that, but God had totally decreed in the Bible that women were supposed to be in pain so it had to be wrong to not feel any during labor.  It bothered me and caused no end of anxiety even at a young age.  Now that I’m older I do eventually want to have children if circumstances permit.  I’m also wiser in knowing it’s not going to be entirely painless.  I’m also utterly skeeved out by the process, ugh, but I still want the result.

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%

No progress on this one.  I’ll probably get back to it once the other two are done and the WIP is finished.  I feel as though I said the same thing last week.  Huh.

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The State of the Reader: 6/8/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/1/16          The State of the Reader: 6/15/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3

Change from Last Week: 0


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 31%

I’m on the fence about whether or not I’m going to continue with this one.  The only thing really keeping me is the fact that there’s a character literally called “One-Wing,” and he’s the protagonist’s nemesis.  The stakes just dipped so much lower after the first part.  I’m hoping something exciting happens soon.  They are in the midst of a long flight, which leaves room for excitement aka disaster.

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
67%

No progress on this one, and I’m so close to finishing.  This is actually the book I want to be reading for that and other reasons, but since it’s also one I’m taking extensive notes on during, it’s not just a pick up and read type of deal.

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%

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The State of the Reader: 6/1/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/25/16          The State of the Reader: 6/8/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3

Change from Last Week: -1


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
67%

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The State of the Reader: 5/25/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/18/16          The State of the Reader: 6/1/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Change from Last Week: 0


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
67%

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The State of the Reader: 5/18/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/11/16          The State of the Reader: 5/25/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Change from Last Week: -1


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
67%

I finished up Book IX last night. Only two more books to go before I write an extensive review/analysis.  This might take several months mind you, but finishing this will also fulfill one of my self-imposed prerequisites for numerous essays.

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The State of the Reader: 5/11/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/4/16          The State of the Reader: 5/18/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 5

Change from Last Week: -1


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
65%

Title: Taggerung
Author: Brian Jacques

TaggerungMedium: Paperback
Progress: 60%

I’m on the third and final part of this reread.  I’ll probably be finished before the end of the week.

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The State of the Reader: 5/4/16

The State of the Reader: 5/11/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 6

Change from Last Week: +1


Title: The Light of the Fireflies
Author:
Paul Pen
Translator: Simon Bruni

Light of the Fireflies, TheMedium: Kindle
Progress: 13%

This is the newest edition to my reading repertoire and why my count has risen to six.  My BFF texted me about this book with a comment about how she believed she’d finally found her reading niche in “creepy as fuck.”  I looked it up and was instantly intrigued by the “what’s really going on” paradigm.  I love a good mystery and an eerie, potentially human experiment centered one always lifts my ears.  There are no names given to add to the almost inhuman and definitely inhumane atmosphere of this tale concerning a family locked away and/or hidden underground.  Besides “the boy” whom we follow as the protagonist, his other family members have been severely burned by an unknown cause.  When his sister gives birth, everyone begins acting strangely (especially considering there are only two possible fathers…her own and her and the boy’s older brother *shudders*), and the boy clings to the hope brought by fireflies that wander into their basement making him want to escape to find more of that light.

The chapters are fairly short, and I breeze through about three every night.  I’ve even taking time out from working on The Broken Rose to read this.  It is extremely hard to put down and is only around 340 pages.

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

I’ll be honest; I haven’t picked up this book in a while.  It started out really strong with such high stakes, but once I got to the middle portion titled “One-Wing” (which you’d think would completely capture my attention), my interest fell off.  The potential loses won’t be nearly as devastating to our protagonist Maris, and the conflict is more of a rivalry than anything else.  I do intend to finish it, but (like most things and my eternal excuse) writing has taken more of a priority than reading.

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