The State of the Reader: 3/8/17

<–The State of the Reader: 3/1/17          The State of the Reader: 3/15/17–>

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.

Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2017
Date Finished: March 4, 2017
Reading Duration: 37 days

The second book in the series was a bit slower and just a tad weaker than the first.  This is not to say there weren’t parts that sent a chill down my spine and a thrill through my heart, but Ronan is a tough character to follow.  He does reckless things that are both hard to explain and difficult to understand even knowing his situation.  You feel bad for him, but then you grow exasperated with him due to his acerbic nature and cutting attitude.  He’s of “beg for forgiveness instead of ask for permission” crowd, acts on impulse, and doesn’t seem to care about the fallout.

I’m going to try to review this by next weekend.  That will give it time to marinate in my mind so I can better express my thoughts.

Title: “Beta Reading”
Author: High School Friend/Fellow Author
Date Added: N/A
Date Started: February 14, 2017
Date Finished: March 4, 2017
Reading Duration: 18 days
Media: PDF/Kindle

I finished my friend’s wonderful novel and am now left with an issue.  I have nothing bad to say about it.  You’re probably thinking this is a good thing, but as I said last week, writers thrive on constructive criticism and I don’t have any to give.  Besides some minor typos, there’s nothing I’d change about the narrative.  The only thing I can possibly question is his audience.  I believe this is supposed to be a YA, but there’s some language and one particularly graphic scene.  However, The Dream Thieves is also apparently YA and it has strong language, too.  Regardless what I’m going to say, I’m happy and honored I was able to read this, and I can’t wait to see it on bookshelves.

Update: I sent him my feedback through FB messenger, and he was genuinely delighted.  This is a polished edition of the story, so he was quite happy that I didn’t find any major issues.  He also sent me the companion book to this one, which I’m excited to read so I can get the other side of the story.


Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: March 4, 2017
Date Purchased: March 4, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $5.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora
Series Title: Gentlemen Bastards
Author: Scott Lynch
Date Added: October 11, 2012
Date Purchased: March 7, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $1.99
Retailer: Amazon

I was going through my downloaded-prior bookshelf on GR just to see if anything was on Amazon (Kindle) for cheap.  I almost bought another book that was $2.99, but decided to keep my limit at under $2.00.  There are still some situations where a physical copy is less expensive than Kindle.  In this case though, the price was more than right for a book that’s also on my really-want-to-read shelf.


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: March 4, 2017
Date Started: March 5, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 12%

In karaoke there’s a concept called “sing and bring.”  It entails bringing up the next song you want to sing when you’re name is called to sing the last song you put in.  For some reason, I’m thinking about that as I read and add these books.  In all honesty, I consider this series just one long story.  As I finish the last, I immediately buy and add the next.  I’m hoping this installment delves into Blue’s origins.  We were given drips and drops about it in the first; absolutely no mention of it in the second (since that concerned Ronan), so I’m hoping we discover more about her elusive father with the ridiculous nickname.  I have my own theories about him, but we’ll see if I’m right when I read it.

Title: The Quantum Door
Author: Jonathon Ballagh
Illustrator: Ben J. Adams
Date Added: February 18, 2016
Date Started: March 3, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 20%

This novel reminds me great of Strange Things.  Power outages, parallel universes, strange girls.  The main characters are two brothers, and I’ve found that sometimes if characters are too similar, it can be difficult to keep track, but Brady is the elder and more cautious, while Felix is the adventurous child prodigy.  I’m excited to see where this goes.  The tension just keeps tightening.

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 34%

I’m kind of in a stride with this book.  It doesn’t overly excite me to read it, but I don’t dread when it’s in the rotation, and it’s kind of a “Hm, I wonder what the Prospero siblings are up to now.”  It’s like catching up with friends who have hobbies that aren’t your interest, but you care about them, because they’re their hobbies.  Like The Quantum Door, the author manages to differentiate the siblings so that I don’t have to constantly remind myself who’s who, though so far there have only been two others introduced besides the main character Miranda.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 34%

I have a bit of a confession…I’m starting to lose interest in this book.  I know. I know.  I’ve been talking about studying astrophysics and quantum physics, so how dare I falter a book about the same.  It’s certainly not a slight on Professor Hawking’s writing, but he has such a brilliant mind that I have to concentrate fully in order to absorb all of the information, and for many reasons, my mind tends to wander, and concentration can be a difficult beast to catch.  I do wonder how I would do with this topic in a classroom setting.  I’m going to keep reading especially since I’m almost finished the first part.  What I may do is read that, which I’d count as one book (this version just happens to have both), and then I’d read another reference book in the interim (The Hyrule Historia.  I already know) before returning to read The Universe in a Nutshell.  I’d figure out the logistics on Goodreads later.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 67%

So the king found out what his asshole nephews did, but it was at the end of a chapter.  The poor handmaiden told him, and he not only believed her, but made her his own queen and promised vengeance.  I cannot wait to read the next chapter.  Oh, you have no idea how much I love righteous vengeance (if you’re reading myThe Broken Rose fanfiction, you’ll find out in a later chapter.  Shit.  Gets.  Real).


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

No chapter updates for a while, per her last reply to my comment.  She has to take care of some personal shenanigans (which I totally understand) so like I do to so many of my readers, I shall have to wait.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: Traitor’s Blade
Series Title: Greatcoats
Author: Sebastian de Castell
Date Added: March 5, 2017

There’s a kick ass review of this over on Cupcakes and Machetes’ blog, and it was so, er, explosive (you’ll understand how dirty that joke was if you go to her blog.  I’m a mess…hahaha *gross*) I had to add this book.  Plus the series is called Greatcoats.  I love greatcoats aka long coats aka badass longcoats.

Title: Descendants
Series Title: The Arete Series
Author: Rae Else
Date Added: March 5, 2017

I had the honor of being asked by another author to beta read their work, this one in the form of an eArc.  I downloaded it on my Kindle this evening and am going to try to get to it before release date April 12.  Either way, I’m going to purchase to support the author whose blog (and the post about the book in question) can be found here!

Title: Gathering Blue
Series Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Date Added: March 7. 2017

I had no idea The Giver had a sequel and was a series (I think there are least four books in it).  I read the series opener a long time ago back in high school, and I have not seen the movie.  I liked the book’s ending.  It was ambiguous, bittersweet, and made sense for the type of novel it was.  I heard the movie went a different direction, because people tend to like happy endings.  Since I haven’t seen it, I can’t really judge whether or not this was a good move.

I was going through all of the books I’ve marked as read on Goodreads, and it’s less than 400!  I’ve read many more books than that, but memory is not always kind to the Shameful Narcissist, so while I’m pretty sure I’ve read over a thousand books, fucked if I can remember what they are.  I can envision my high school’s library, and I’m trying to imagine myself walking through the sections I used to haunt in an attempt to recall the books I found and read there.  I’m trying the same thing with my old local library and bookstore.  What I could do is look at the books I’ve read on Amazon and see what the recommendations are in an attempt to jog my memory.  This will have to be another organizational project though.

Either way, I added a bunch of Ms. Lowry’s Anastasia series, which I read ad nauseum as a teenager (if you haven’t read her Autumn Street do it.  It’s a book about racism as seen through the eyes of a child), and that’s when I noticed this unknown series for a book I read years ago.

Title: Hunted
Author: Meagan Spooner
Date Added: March 8, 2017

A Beauty and the Beast retelling that comes with high acclaim, or at least one of my Goodreads’ friends gave it high marks.  It’s average rating is above 4.00, which means quite a few people found it worthy.  I love fairy tale retellings, and I use fairy tales a lot in my own works both fanfiction and original, so finding one is almost always an insta-add.  I like to see how other authors shuffle the well known narrative and tropes around, and I’m obviously not above doing a bit of shuffling myself.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 443
Change from Last Week: +3


A Sample Question

So I download samples to my Kindle and decide what to keep, what to put on my really-want-to-read shelf, and what to put in my passed-based-on-sample shelf.  I don’t include these because I generally don’t talk about books I’ve removed, and anything I put on an additional shelf is already on my TBR list.  I could start including what samples I’ve downloaded if you’d be interested in that.  Since I’d be talking about what either attracts me to or repels me from a book, it could make for some interesting conversation.  Let me know your thoughts down below!


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 3/1/17          The State of the Reader: 3/15/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 3/1/17

<–The State of the Reader: 2/22/17          The State of the Reader: 3/8/17–>

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.

Books Declared DNF This Week: 1

Title: The Clockwork Scarab
Series Title: Stoker and Holmes
Author: Colleen Gleason
Date Added: August 1, 2016
Date Started: February 21, 2017
Date Declared DNF: February 24, 2017
Reading Duration: 3 days

Media: Kindle
Progress: 11%

It seems like a record at only three days to declare DNF, but I started skimming around 7% progress so I knew that was a bad sign.  This is not a bad book though.  It’s well-written and witty with Miss Holmes (the narrator) as a crisp, clever voice.  It just didn’t tickle my fancy, because I’m not really one for Victorian mysteries.  Now it’s possible I may come across one that holds my interest, and I feel if you’re into that sub-genre, you’ll take a great deal of enjoyment from this.  I’m looking at you Ignited Moth and Cupcakes and Machetes since you mentioned it for your book club 🙂  In fact, I’m hoping you decide on it, because I’m curious about the plot; the book just wasn’t my cup of tea ;p

There’s a certain point you reach with either maturity or understanding where you realize that just because you don’t like something, it doesn’t mean it’s not valid or good. I’m learning this from trudging through my extensive reading list (and gaming backlog). Something may not be for me (FPS, urban fantasy, etc.), but it’s a preference issue not a value issue.


Books Purchased This Week: 4

Title: The Golden Apple
Series Title: The Dark Forest
Author: Michelle Diener
Date Added: February 25, 2016
Date Purchased: February 24, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: The Quantum Door
Author: Jonathon Ballagh
Date Added: February 18, 2016
Date Purchased: February 24, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: An Unattractive Vampire
Author: Jim McDoniel
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Purchased: February 24, 2017

Unattractive Vampire, An

Media: Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: The King of Elfland’s Daughter
Author: Lord Dunsany
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Purchased: February 24, 2017

King of Elfland's Daughter, The

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

As you know, my never ending quest is to decrease the number of books on TBR list in any way possible without missing out on something phenomenal to read.  Since I have over 500 items on on, logic dictates that a good percentage of the will not hold my interest until the end; therefore, I should attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff so that what is on my list is what I genuinely want to read.  The best way for me to do this is to either download samples (where available) to gauge my interest in the novel and act accordingly, or to buy really cheap books on my Kindle with prices low enough that I won’t care either way.  I spent a little over $5.00 yesterday for four books, which I consider a good deal.  I almost spent around $30 for seven books (at $0.01 a piece, but shipping costs add up), but decided against that.  I downloaded a few samples, too (you can see them on my sample bookshelf on Goodreads if you’re so interested).  The goal is to download a sample, read it, decide whether I’m passing on it (there’s a shelf for that, too) or keeping it.  I was doing this before with the sample downloads, but I only did one batch of 25.  Eventually, I want to download samples for all the books I can (except for the ones I know I’m going to read), and I really, really need to start utilizing my local library.  I’ll save so much money.


Books Received This Week: 1

img_9808The cover is a bit hard to see, because it’s one of those shiny, library cases.  This is the other $0.01 book I bought a few weeks ago that I received the other day.  Again, I’m going to modify how I post purchased and received books, but I figured since I should tie up this loose end.  Another book the vein of Redwall, Watership Down, and Wind in the Willows.  I grew up loving fantasy stories that featured animals, and I really think reading them helped shaped my perspectives.


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 23%

This remains a fun, little romp.  It’s one of those stories that has a huge background, but gives it out in drips and drops.  Since the main character is over 500 years old, she has a long, rich history and retains a wealth of knowledge.  Right now, it’s mostly a fetch quest that’s hopping from person to person with some random information tidbits thrown in.  I think the author is playing the game of not telling us everything about the characters in terms of powers and abilities.  This can be a hit or miss method.  If you fail to adequately explain how they manage to escape a dire strait with the rules of your story intact, you risk losing the confidence of the audience; however, if you’re careful with your foreshadowing and how you dribble information, it can turn out quite well.  So long as you don’t break the rules of your own fictional universe, though in this story, the rules haven’t been entirely established.  We know magic exists.  We know there are (conditionally) immortal characters, and we know that these fore mentioned characters can bind other entities to their will.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 34%

The chapter I’m on now is much easier to follow than the prior one on black holes.  It’s about the beginning and the end of the universe, and it’s funny that speculation about both is equally valid.  The moments after the singularity known as the Big Bang are still a mystery since the laws of physics as we know them today could not exist.  The end of the universe is also up for speculation.  I like the theory of the “big crunch,” where everything collapses on itself at the end, which might possibly prompt another Big Bang.  The thought of that is comforting(?) and right, and it brings up the question of how many times has it already happened.  What universe are we living in now (though there’s no way we could ever know…)?  Have we done this dance millions of times in eons beyond count?  I often get the feeling that all of this has happened before, and we’re all part of this eternal cosmic dance.  There’s no way of knowing if prior universes were exactly the same (like that episode of Futurama “The Late Philip J. Fry” suggest), but everything would always be made up of the same stuff.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 81%

This book is slower than the first one, but I suppose that’s to be expected for a novel about dreams and dreaming.  I can’t say much about it, because it would give integral plot points away.  I’ve avoided adding the third book Blue Lily, Lily Blue, because I don’t want to read the blurb and be spoiled, but I plan to read it immediately after I finish this.

*******Warning: Discussions about rape below.*******

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 67%

Okay.  I may have to rant about this.  Last week I talked about how the characters in this section weren’t nearly as likable as the characters in the other sections.  While those characters might have done not so smart and even arguably selfish things, they were still respectable people.  Well, in this section, the heir to the throne helps his brother rape his uncle’s maiden foot holder, and I nearly threw the book across the room.  I’m absolutely disgusted by this.  It wasn’t described (not that that makes it better), but she fought him the entire time, which he has the fucking audacity to bitch about.  All his brother says to him is “Well, you’ve had your fun,” and “Your beloved kisses like a bumblebee.”

are-you-fucking-kidding-meI’m not using the meme to take away how vile this was.  I just have no words.  Since these are the “heroes” of the story, I’m not hopeful there will be any comeuppance or at least not enough.  Their uncle (the king) doesn’t know about what happened (yet) so I’m hoping when he does find out what his younger nephew did, there will be hell to pay.

Title: “Beta Reading”
Author: High School Friend/Fellow Author
Date Added: N/A
Date Started: February 14, 2017
Media: PDF/Kindle
Progress: 82%

I was complaining about this on the Book of Faces, but I’m not finding much to critique with this work.  My friend gave it to me to beta read, which means he’s looking for critiques prior to him (re)submitting it to an agent, and I just can’t find anything to give him.  Every character is well written, even the “bad guy” who is a total asshole, but the reasons why are heartbreaking and cyclical.  I’m hoping I find something to “complain” about before I finish hehe.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

Last week I finished and reviewed The Missing Orchid where I talked about the importance of doing BDSM correctly.  In my grand tradition of finding multiple examples of a paradigm at a time, the latest chapter of this fanfiction is also a paragon of that.  I’m not usually one for erotic fanfiction, not that I have anything against it (and I’ve dabbled a bit in erotic RP); it’s just not my thing.  However, this author has made me jump from one ship to another (canon ship to non-canon), and I actually now dislike the original ship I liked, much preferring the one she’s going for!

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: Warm Bodies
Series Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Date Added: February 25, 2017

The story behind my adding this book is kind of hilarious and involves the orange shit stain in the Oval Office.  I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw that Lord Commander Marmalade was bitching on Twitter about this author writing an apocalyptic novel that had to do with him and how it wasn’t very good.  Mr. Marion gave a reply that amounted to “if the shoe fits,” though the dictator in chief hadn’t been his target.  I had no idea he was the author of Warm Bodies, a movie I’ve been wanting to see for a while.  I also have no idea if this is the novel in question, though it is (post) apocalyptic.  I support any artist who pisses that jack ass off, and I also love subversions of tropes.

Update:  Big old nope!  I found out that the author non-maliciously fabricated the conversation between him and Lord Dampnut lol.    I’m still going to read his book though and have already breezed through the sample.  Out of all the ones I’ve downloaded, it’s the most interesting.

Title: The Path of Flames
Series Title: Chronicles of the Black Gate
Author: Phil Tucker
Date Added: February 26, 2017

Look, don’t judge me.  This is partially my Kindle’s fault for recommending it, and…well, you know how I feel about white haired people.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 440
Change from Last Week: -111

The drastic change in the number of books on my list is due to me removing all but one per author (except in a few cases).  I had several for each author on my list prior with some authors I’ve never read before.  I figure I’ll have only one per and add another book by them as I finish it or not depending on how I liked the book.  The exceptions were for authors like GRRM and ones I know personally like Katherine McIntyre.  I also kept multiples if I owned the book physically or on Kindle (e.g. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin since I own both books in The Inheritance Trilogy).

I also made another “download sample” folder so I have one for current items and one for items I downloaded before.  This way I can check to see if I’ve downloaded a sample already.  There’s also a folder for books I’ve rejected and removed from my main list based on the sample downloads.  I grabbed a few samples from Amazon this week, so hopefully I’ll be able to weed some more books out based on that.


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 2/22/17          The State of the Reader: 3/8/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 2/22/17

<–The State of the Reader: 2/15/17          The State of the Reader: 3/1/17–>

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.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017
Date Started: February 8, 2017
Date Finished: February 20, 2017
Reading Duration: 12 days

I was more than satisfied with the ending of this book, and I’m glad to see the author isn’t becoming stagnant with her story lines.  I hope she plans to continue this series, because I have ever intention to keep reading.  I’ll have a review for it up by this weekend.


Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: Hollow City
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: September 25, 2016
Date Purchased: February 18, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $8.79
Retailer: Target

Title: Cinder
Series Title: The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Date Added: January 16, 2016
Date Purchased: February 18, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $7.99
Retailer: Target

This is why I shouldn’t be allowed in a Target without supervision.  I’ve already talked about why I’m interested in Hollow City here, but since I added Cinder before I started doing my weekly SOTR posts, I’ve never actually talked about why it found its why on my TBR list in the first place.  It’s a retelling of Cinderella where the titular character is a cyborg mechanic, reviled by her stepmother (just like the other fairy tale princess) in addition to being a second class citizen.  The story is more complicated by sinister lunar observers waiting to make their move on our planet (Lunarians anyone?), and I’m sure our intrepid, mechanical heroine will have a major role to play in thwarting this.


Books Received This Week: 2

fullsizerender-2I’m still figuring this purchased/received thing out.  Since I purchased these two last week, I put them in last update’s Purchased section, but since they were bought online, I didn’t receive them until this week.  Whereas I bought the two books purchased above from Target yesterday, but I didn’t take a picture of them *organizational issue meltdown*

I think what I’m going to do going forward is to note down the day I purchased something, but I won’t include it in my SOTR until I have the volume in my hot, little hand.  Maybe I’ll rename the section Books Purchased and Received This Week.  Yes.  Yes, I like this very much.  I will perfect my organization mwa ha ha ha.

Anyway, I definitely wanted to show a picture of Riddled With Senses since it’s by someone I know!  Fellow blogger and writer Inkbiotic who has been providing excerpts to her story on her blog (the latest one being here), and from what I’ve read, it’s going to be phenomenal.  I love the taste of the language and am already a big fan of magical realism.  It’ll be the next book in my fantasy, sci-fi, general fiction rotation once I complete Prospero Lost. 

The Dark Portal just arrived today and was recommended to me through Goodreads due to my love of RedwallIt has a section that introduces all of the characters.  I’m really hoping it’s not a “all mice are good/all rats are evil” motif, because Redwall does enough of that.

Update:  *sigh* It does seem to be an “all mice are good/all rats are evil” motif.  Oh well.


Books Currently Reading: 6

Title: The Clockwork Scarab
Series Title: Stoker and Holmes
Author: Colleen Gleason
Date Added: August 1, 2016
Date Started: February 21, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 4%

Since I finished The Missing Orchid, that meant a new Kindle book needed to be picked (FYI: I really need to load more books onto my Kindle).  I initially started reading Dolor and Shadow, but it really didn’t hold my attention.  I’m not going to scrap it from my TBR list just yet, but this retelling/re-gendering of Sherlock Holmes and Bram Stoker seems like it will be a fun read.

So far the two young ladies have met up with Irene Adler (the woman) and are about to be given what I’m assuming is the novel’s main mystery/plot point.  So far it’s been written from Holmes’s point of view, and I like her voice.  It has a crisp, fresh feel to it.  I’m curious to see where it all goes.

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 18%

This book is interesting and fun.  I have a few minor issues with it.  It introduces a lot of ideas at once, and it’s hard to keep them straight, but the characters of Miranda and Mab are a nice “odd couple” (though they’re not an OC by any means), and the author is excellent at leaving cliffhangers at the end of each chapter.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 31%

I finished the chapter on the color of black holes and am now on the one about the origin and fate of the universe.  To be honest, the black hole chapters weren’t all that interesting, but I think I’ll really enjoy the origin chapter.

It seems appropriate that I’m reading this volume at a time when NASA just discovered seven earth sized exoplanets orbiting a dwarf star 40 light years away.  At least one of the planets could be in the “sweet spot” for liquid water, which means it could support life.  It’s pretty freaking exciting.  I suppose seven is a lucky number 😉

Well…it didn’t take my troll brain too long to go off on a horror/horrifying tangent, and now I’m terrified, but it’s still exciting.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 62%

Ms. Stiefvater is doing an excellent job fleshing out the character of Ronan, who took more of a backseat to Gansey in the first novel, but she’s not doing very much to help me decide how I feel about him.  This is a good thing, because I love complex characters.  Ronan does things that are utterly reckless and pointedly stupid, and reasons are not excuses.  I know more about him and his situation than ever before in The Raven Boys, and I’m hoping the more we find out, the more sense some of his terrible choices are going to make.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 66%

I have to say the characters in this final branch are my least favorite of them all.  They swindled a character who was featured in a prior branch out of his swine and are now acting utterly entitled to them by virtue of thievery.  It’s not so much Gwydion and his brother GIlvaethwhy, but rather Gwidion’s men.  Granted Gwidion did initiate the trick, so he must’ve felt justified in doing it.  I’m hoping there’s some grand, godly design to this plan, otherwise the Old Tribes are going to seem like complete asses in this section.

Title: “Beta Reading”
Author: High School Friend/Fellow Author
Date Added: N/A
Date Started: February 14, 2017
Media: PDF/Kindle
Progress: 50%

As mentioned before I can’t say much about this story, but I will say it’s great.  There are a lot of complex issues and emotions going on, and my writer friend is dealing with them so well.  Since we’ve been friends since high school, I know a bit about some of his personal beliefs, and he’s not handling them shallowly in this story.  The “bad guy” is sympathetic (surprise, I like that!) even though he’s a total douche, and this goes back to reasons for horrendous behavior not being excuses.  I feel bad for him, but not so bad I wouldn’t run him over with my SUV.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

You know an author is doing a great job when you want to smack all three of the characters in the love triangle.  Holy lord.  This really speaks to the philosophy of the outside point of view.  When your own emotions aren’t on the line, it’s far easier to be objective.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 3

Title: Raising Stony Mayhall
Author: Daryl Gregory
Date Added: February 18, 2017

When I saw Cupcakes and Machetes’ review of this I knew that name sounded familiar, the author, not the title.  I’ve read AND reviewed Mr. Gregory before.  One of my first reviews actually: The Devil’s Alphabet.  It was a novel of great potential that missed the shift to a higher gear.  It seems that Gregory is a sort of a hit or miss novelist, and according to C and M, Stony is more of a hit.  We started talking about it in her review of another book We Are All Complety Fine found here.

Stony is a different take on zombies, and since I’ve already added a few books from Cupcakes and Machetes about the same thing, I figured why break up a good streak?  Granted I haven’t read them yet, but it’s the potential that counts.

Title: The Children of Húrin
Series Title: Middle-Earth Universe
Authors: J. R. R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien
Date Added: February 22, 2017

I remember finding this book in a Target years ago, but I didn’t buy it for whatever reason (I was probably trying to save money lol what the hell was I thinking?).  I forgot about it until I saw it in my Goodreads newsfeed.  It’s one of the many unreleased Tolkien books that the master of fantasy never revealed before he died.  I think there was some controversy with Peter Jackson wanting to use some of this content for the movies, and the original Tolkien’s son Christopher putting a stop to it, but the younger Tolkien did edit and release a bunch of works, The Children of Húrin being one of them.  Per the blurb, it sounds like it borrows from The Kalevala (shit…I need to add that, too), and since I’m a lover of ancient tales and mythology, I’m cautiously optimistic about this book.

Title: The Kalevala
Authors: Elias Lönnrot & Anonymous,
Translator: Keith Bosley
Date Added: February 22, 2017

I read snippets of stories from this when I was a child.  We had a Mythology Childcraft book (I loved those books.  Would love to find a set of them again), and in it was a story about the Sampo, which was a huge, magical MacGuffin in the Finnish tales.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 551
Change from Last Week: -3

I did some clean up on my list this week.  I try to keep only the next book in a series on my list, and I had all of the Jeff Lindsey Dexters still on it.  Not that I didn’t love the first book (or the first seven seasons up until the disastrous last one that still could’ve been saved if they hadn’t utterly fucked up the finale grrrrr), but I figure it’s easier to just add them one at a time.


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 2/15/17          The State of the Reader: 3/1/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 2/15/17

<–The State of the Reader: 2/8/17          The State of the Reader: 2/22/17–>

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.

DNF This Week: 1

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Date Added: October 15, 2016
Date Started: January 25, 2017
DNF Date: February 8, 2017

Media: Hardback
DNF Progress: 20%

I think the moment I say I’m probably going to declare something DNF is the moment I’ve decided it’s going to happen.  It wasn’t what I expected, which isn’t always a bad thing…but it was in this case because this novel was not only urban fantasy, but young adult, the two (sub) genres I have the most trouble with.

I actually wrote the review for it last weekend, but I need to proofread it before I post.  I manage to go off on a tangent that includes both Shakespeare and FFVII, which considering that I’m a writer and an FFVII fanatic, is not that farfetched.


Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: Dolor and Shadow
Series Title: Tales of the Drui
Author: Angela B. Chrysler
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Dolor and Shadow

Media: Kindle
Price: $2.99

Every time I look at the title of this book, the words “Saevam iram, iram et dolorum…” run through my head like the merciless earworm they are.  Bonus points if you know where those words are from.

Title: Urchin of the Riding Stars
Series Title: The Mistmantle Chronicles
Author: Margaret McAllister
Date Added: May 17, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Urchin of the Riding Stars

Media: Hardcover
Price: $0.01

When I find books on my TBR list for less than $1.00, I’m quick to scoop them up.  This looks like a re-purposed library book; I don’t know yet, since I just ordered it from Amazon this weekend, and it’s going to take a few weeks to get to me.  This one and the one below were recommended due to my love of Redwall (and looking at the covers, it’s plain to see why).  Even if I don’t like either of them, I paid more for the shipping than for the books, and I’ve wasted $5.00 on worse things.

Title: The Dark Portal
Series Title:The Deptford Mice
Author:Robin Jarvis
Date Added:May 13, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Dark Portal, The

Media: Hardcover
Price: $0.01

Title: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Series Title: The Vampire Chronicles
Author: Anne Rice
Date Added: February 13, 2017
Date Purchased: February 12, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.99

This is one of those rare books that I bought before I added, and I had to put all the information into this post while trying not to read the blurb, because I haven’t finished the prior book Prince Lestat.  I started it over a year ago, but I think my designated reading time for it was before jazzercise.  Since I haven’t been there in more than a year, and since I didn’t start scheduling my reading time until after I put it aside, I never got through the novel.  It’s not a DNF though.  I full intend to finish it.

The reason I purchased the sequel was due to a tweet by Anne Rice herself, informing her followers that the book was only $0.99 on Amazon.  Like I said above in regards to Mistmantle and The Deptford Mice, I won’t pass up a buy on any book on my list if it’s under $1.00.  That would just be silly.

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Purchased: February 15, 2017

I made a promise to fellow blogger Inkbiotic that I would purchase her book after receiving my next paycheck, and I’ve gladly kept that vow.  If the samplings she’s so graciously posted on her blog are any indication, I’m going to enjoy this greatly.  It’s magical realism with a same sex relationship.  Yes and yes.


Books Currently Reading: 6

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 10%

Since I declared Vassa in the Night DNF, it was necessary for me to pick another physical book to read the next time Vassa came up in my reading rotation (I’ll have to tell you all about that some time…).  I actually wasn’t entirely set on what to choose next, so I decided to read the first page in a few of the books in my pile and see what caught my fancy.

Prospero Lost was one of those books I judged by its title and cover first (so you see I wasn’t lying in my Rapid Fire Book Tag post), and I judged it well.  I don’t just buy books based on that though (I’ve been burned quite a few times before), but the blurb sparked by interest even more.  An ancient and immortal, magical family in the modern era who own a company that strives to do good in the world.  It was a tidy bit different from most mega-corporations in sci-fi and fantasy (and science fantasy), and since I have writing ideas for something similar, reading this book would also be a good learning experience.  The writing is good, and the plot coupons thus far presented are intriguing.

Then I came to this paragraph:

“I sat at a wrought-iron table next to the fountain, stirring my tea.  My hair, so pale as to appear silver, was piled atop my head in a Grecian style that had gone out of vogue more than a century ago.  My garment, a tea gown with a high lacy collar — the enchanted satin of which matched the emerald of my eyes…”

All I needed.

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017
Date Started: February 8, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 36%

I’m really hoping this case turns out differently from Beth’s others.  She’s investigated missing persons before, but they usually end up dead.  It’s not that every story needs a happy ending, but I really hope this one ends in a happy reunion :\

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 27%

I just finished the chapter about black holes, and the next chapter proclaims that black holes aren’t actually black.  Astrophysics is amazing.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 48%

I’m tearing through this just as quickly as I ripped through the first.  Somehow Ms. Stiefvater managed to make a drug laden, dangerous teenage party with Molotov cocktails in a field seem poetic #talent

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 63%

One of the many things I find interesting about this compendium is how it will return to prior characters that were main ones in another branch and have them be side characters or even antagonists.  Since the fourth branch focuses on Gwydion and his brother Gilvaethwy, it’s from their point of view, and prior characters could be in positions set against them.

It’s also fascinating to note that the Old Tribes don’t really have a sense of fatherhood, but the New Tribes do.  The New have also introduced the idea of marriage, which many of the Old are quite against for good reason.  This fatherhood conundrum is a concept that I’ve read in both fiction/fantasy and historic or rather prehistoric fiction before.  You have to leave your presentism behind and remember that science and technology have not always been on the same level.  Women’s bodies were (and still remain in many cases much to my annoyance) a complete mystery.  No one really understood how conception occurred and sex was seen as merely pleasure or relief.  The connection between it and babies wasn’t a necessary fact, which meant that the idea of fatherhood was tenuous at best.  Even when it was mentioned, many scoffed at it since women aren’t impregnated by each sexual encounter, though Gwydion does note that if a cow is put into a field alone or only with other cows, she remains barren; however, if you add a bull, she’ll become pregnant.  Unfortunately, human pride stymies this comparison due to the idea of special creation (which I think is bunk) and not wanting to be compared to the beasts of the field.  Even in the present, this idea persists, which puts a damper on a great deal of progress and progressive thought.

Title: “Beta Reading”
Author: High School Friend/Fellow Author
Date Added: N/A
Date Started: February 14, 2017
Media: PDF/Kindle
Progress: 10%

What the hell is this? you ask.  Well an author friend of mine from high school whom I keep in touch with through the book of faces honored me the other day by asking me to beta read one of his novels.  I gladly accepted and figured out how to work it into the rotation.  He sent it as a PDF so I’m reading it on my Kindle during my lunch break along with the other two Kindle books.  He asked if I could have it finished by late February/early March, and I don’t think that will be a problem.

Obviously due to it being an unpublished novel, I can’t tell you anything about it or rather I’m erring on the side of discretion.  I’ll post my progress on it, just because it’s better for me to do so, since I’m more likely to make progress on reading, but alas, I shall have to keep details about the book hush hush until it’s published.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

She updated this week! I haven’t had a chance to read the next chapter yet.  I’m hoping this weekend will allow it.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: Komarr
Series Title: Vorkosigan Saga
Author: Lois Bujold McMaster
Date Added: February 13, 2017

I replied to a comment on a body positivity site about bullying, and another commenter replied to me recommending this book.  Though the blurb appears to be in Swedish, Goodreads insists the book is in English, and though it’s the 11th book of the series, I was informed this would be one I’d want to read.  The main character deals with bullying from all sources (family and schoolmates), which is something I grew up with, and like the MC, I was told to “ignore it and it’ll go away,” which is absolute bullshit.  I thanked the purveyor of the comment and added this to my TBR list.

Title: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Series Title: The Vampire Chronicles
Author: Anne Rice
Date Added: February 13, 2017

I talked about this above in the Purchased This Week section.

Title: One
Author: Sarah Crossan
Date Added: February 13, 2017

Thank you to The Writing Hufflepuff for throwing this into my sphere!  Apparently, it will rip my heart out.  I am so not ready D:

It’s about conjoined twin sisters Tippi and Grace who are perfectly happy being two in one, but then something happens that forces them to make the choice they’ve always been avoiding, and I already have a feeling I know what’s going to happen…

Title: Dweller
Author: Jeff Strand
Date Added: February 13, 2017

My Rapid Fire Book Tag (which I’ve already linked above) incited others to join in the fun, which is what such tags are about!  But there is a selfish side to the book tag phenomenon mwa ha ha, and that’s the fact that I find out about more new books to add to my ever growing TBR list.  Wait…this may not be so advantageous after all noooooo.  Hehe, truly, while I’ll never have time to finish them all, I’d hate to miss something I may very well love, and Ignited Moth almost casually mentioned this interesting horror gem (horror gem?  Horror gem?) in the Underrated Book section of the tag.

We’ve all heard stories about monsters in the forest and bogeymen in the woods.  They’re usually the Big Bad of any tale, and initially the main character Toby is terrified when he sees the creature in question, but the next time he encounters it, he’s lonely, unhappy teenager bereft of friends and overburdened with bullies.  The hungry creature provided a solution to both.  I just put this on my “Really Want To Read” list.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 554
Change from Last Week: +3


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 2/8/17          The State of the Reader: 2/22/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 2/8/17

<–The State of the Reader: 2/1/17          The State of the Reader: 2/15/17–>

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.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: Rest in Piece
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: December 12, 2016
Date Started: January 22, 2017
Date Finished: February 6, 2017
Reading Duration: 16 days

I’ll be working on a review for this soon.  I’m still a bit backlogged with them.  I’m in the middle of one for The Raven Boys, which I should’ve finished last weekend.  If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to catch up on Ms. Steifvater’s novel and review Ms. Ginsburg’s this one.


Books Purchased: 1

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.00


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017
Date Started: February 8, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 5%

This is currently available for free on Amazon, so if you’re interested in erotica and/or mystery, I highly recommend it.  I never really considered myself an erotica reader (I’m not against it, and I’ve even dabbled in writing it), but Ms. Black does what I wish other authors would with the subject matter.

This is the third book in her Submissive Beth Series, and I’m already liking what I’ve read.  The lovely author sent me a gratis copy, but I had some trouble sending it to my Kindle.  It was odd because the format was correct, but I kept getting an error message.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 23%

I just started the chapter on black holes and the history of such.  One of the main ideas around black holes is contingent on light being considered both a wave and a particle.  If it’s the latter, that means gravity could have some sort of effect on it, but a large amount of gravity is require in order to have said effect.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 28%

Ugh this book is so freaking good.  There’s no quality loss in the second book, and the author never lets up with the surprises.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 61%

I am finally in the last section, or Fourth Branch, of this book.  There are three sections, and I’m hoping to finish at least one per month, so I can say I read this compendium in less than a year.

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Date Added: October 15, 2016
Date Started: January 25, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 20%

I’m giving this book a few more chapters to capture my interest.  I’m currently on Chapter 4 around page 50.  I think I’ll give it until around page 100 before relegating it to the DNF pile.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

No updates yet, but I’m still on the lookout for them.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017

I was graciously given a copy of this by the lovely author; it’s the third book in the series.  I try to keep at least one indie or new author book in my rotation.  This will be the next one after I finish Rest in Piece.

Note: I know this book is in the Purchased and Currently Reading section, which are the more recently updated.  I update the books I add to my TBR list during the week so as not to be overwhelmed in one day.

Title: The Ripper’s Shadow
Series Title: Victorian Mystery
Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Date Added: February 2, 2017

I’ve admitted before that I’ve never really been particularly interested in Jack the Ripper, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be interested in novels about Jack the Ripper.  Since the entire story isn’t known, writers have a duty to fill in the gaps, and this book comes recommended by Kim of By Hook or By Book who gave it 4.5 stars, so I’m sure it’s worth my time.

Title: Behind Her Eyes
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Date Added: February 3, 2017

The fore mentioned Kim of By Hook or By Book recommended this to me on Goodreads, and initially I didn’t add it, because it didn’t quite strike my fancy, and I have plenty of books on my TBR list to get through already, but then I read her review of it, and I’m dying to know what kind of a twist could throw a (former?) librarian for a loop.

Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author: Oscar Wilde
Date Added: February 8, 2017

A pun led me to add this book to my list.  A friend tagged me in the below meme:

dory-in-gray

Once I finished unashamedly giggling, I realized I didn’t have the Wilde work on my TBR list and went to remedy that.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 551
Change from Last Week: +3


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 2/1/17          The State of the Reader: 2/15/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 1/25/17

<–The State of the Reader: 1/18/17          The State of the Writer: 2/1/17–>

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.

Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: In the House of the Worm
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: June 21, 2013
Date Started: January 17, 2017
Date Finished: January 20, 2017

Media: Kindle

This was a enlightening short story (and I mean that in more than one way) in terms of how ASOIAF is probably going to end.  While finishing shorts feels a bit like cheating in order to up my completed books, I suppose they do still count.  This is another added to my “to-be-reviewed” list.  I still have another Martin novel to review, which I’m hoping to do on Monday.  I really don’t need a review backlog list D:

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016
Date Finished: January 22, 2017

Media: Paperback

This book was disappointing.  Not that the ending didn’t satisfy the plot, but when you don’t care about the romance in a paranormal romance, it takes a lot of the fire out of a story.  I skimmed over the final sex part, because I was that uninterested.  I just didn’t like Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship for reasons I’ll elaborate on in my review.

Another major issue I had with this novel was how it dealt with consent.  I don’t like when characters you’re supposed to like or at least sympathize with purposely take advantage of others.  I know there was supposed to have been a dilemma/lesser of two evils situation presented, but for reasons I’ll go into in the review, I don’t think it was necessary.

A good friend told me the second book is better, and many of the issues I have with the first are brought up, but I think I’m going to hold off on putting it on my list for now.  I’m passing curious, but I still have plenty of other books to read.


Books Currently Reading: 4

Title: Rest in Piece
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: December 12, 2016
Date Started: January 7, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 26%

I started reading this novella length story by fellow writer and blogger B. W. Ginsburg this week.  It concerns a mysterious puzzle and two girls from separate times who are both inexplicably drawn to it.  Reading the blurb reminded me of the plot of The Lake House, but with a more sinister twist (I haven’t seen The Lake House so I’m only assuming it’s more rom-com and less sinister, unless you think rom-coms are sinister…which could be argued), and I’m curious to see where it goes.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 44%

I started the chapter about quantum physics the other day, and I’m taking my time with it.  I usually read this on Tuesdays, but I wasn’t able to .  I’m hoping to get a few pages in tonight, and I can generally read through a chapter in one or two settings.  I’m also scheduled to start another book tonight, keeping up with my pattern of three physical books and two Kindle ones.

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 90%

This is the best book I’ve read in a very long time and I’ve already added the second in the series to my list.  I’ll more than likely start reading it as soon as I finish, which will probably be in the next couple of days.  The magic in this book is low key, but not in the way it’s low key in ASOIAF. In The Raven Boys it’s just waiting to be found, and I love how Ms. Stiefvater refreshes old tropes.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 55%

The loss in this compendium is absolutely brutal.  Welsh Mythology knows how to tug on your heartstrings.  It’s bad enough to lose everyone you love once, but to rebuild your life and have it happen again is just unbearably cruel.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

She’s alive, hooray!  I love receiving email notifications any day, but seeing one from someone I’ve been worried about is such a sigh of relief.  She hasn’t updated her story,  but I know she’s at least doing well enough to answer some comments.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 3

Title: Starlady
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 18, 2017

Another GRRM short story, and this one is quite elusive. It seems that time has shadowed it in obscurity with the only copies to be had in the $20 range.  There are no Kindle versions available, and any prior links online are now defunct.  This throws a bit of a wrench in my quest to read all of Martin’s work, but I’m hoping a lucky break occurs…or I decide to fork over the 20 bones.

Title: Bitch Planet #1
Series Title: Bitch Planet
Author: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Date Added: January 21, 2017

I open up my Goodreads the other day, and what do I see but a book recommendation from Cupcakes and Machetes for a comic about the non-compliant.  In the past few months, I’ve become even more non-compliant, or as much as I can be with my stupid health problems.  I’ve certainly had a lot more to say, nor do I plan on shutting up soon.  So I shall join in the bitchiness by delving into this manual for non-compliant women.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017

The thing about adding the second book of a series when you aren’t finished with the first is the risk of reading a spoiler in the blurb.  I made sure to keep my eyes firmly on the picture, and though I think I recognize the character, it doesn’t really give much away.  I figured it makes sense to add this to my TBR list since the first is so far the best book I’ve read all year.  Even though I did give Tuf Voyaging 5 stars, not all five star ratings are equal.  If I were using a 10 star scale Tuf would probably get 9, but The Raven Boys would earn a perfect 10.  Unless Ms. Stiefvater completely completely blows the ending, the first novel is getting that perfect score.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 546
Change from Last Week: +1


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 1/18/17          The State of the Writer: 2/1/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 1/18/17

<–The State of the Reader: 1/11/17          The State of the Reader: 1/25/17–>

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.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: Tuf Voyaging
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 27, 2016
Date Started: January 5, 2017
Date Finished: January 17, 2017

Media: Kindle

While it may seem impressive that I went from 29% last week to finished this week (if you’re keeping track of such things, which I in no way expect you to), I’d already read two of the stories: “A Beast for Norn” and “Guardians” in Dreamsongs Volume I.  The most interesting offerings in the Tuf anthology definitely center around the stories of S’uthlam.  Martin seems to enjoy playing with the trope of A God Am I, but not in the ways I’ve seen before; however, his methods draw into question the very fundamentals of what godhood is or may very well be.  I’ll be writing a review for this this week, hopefully Friday, where I’ll discuss all of this and more.


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: In the House of the Worm
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: June 21, 2013
Date Started: January 17, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 9%

Finish one GRRM book and start another.  As I was going through the stories in Tuf Voyaging, I was listening to reviews/analyses of them by YouTuber Preston Jacobs.  His insights are pretty good, though he didn’t say everything I would’ve, but conversely he said things I wouldn’t know (I haven’t read Plato’s Republic yet, though it is on my TBR list).  He mentions Worm quite a bit in other reviews (in fact, I’m pretty sure he’s spoiled the story already, but I don’t quite remember, so it’s okay), and I figured I should download it, and read it next.  It’s brief at only 56 pages, so I imagine I should be able to knock it out in a week.  I’m pretty interested for various reasons.  One, Martin tends to write about the same thing over and over again.  His stories have similar themes, and this will give clues/insights to how Song might end, at least thematically.  Two, I’m interested for the story’s sake alone.  It takes place on a world with a dying sun.  The people consider themselves “Children of the Worm” or yaga-la-hai, which sounds a bit like yog-shoggoth (at least in the first syllable), which puts me in the mind of Lovecraft (no, I will not post a picture of a yog-shoggoth.  They’re eldtricthy; it’s dark, and I’m home alone).  I do know that the true nature of the Worm is dark and terrifying, which definitely feeds the Lovecraftian vibe.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 83%

I’m hoping to finish this before next week.  I keep dandling the rating between a 3 and a 3.5, but if I give it a 3.5, I’ll have to round up on Goodreads to a 4, and this is definitely not a 4 in my book.

What’s odd is that it’s a very compelling tale for the sake of getting to the ending.  I want the evil Faerie Queen to go down, that smarmy bitch, and Feyre is a very capable and likable character.  The issue is her main motivation for fighting is her love for Tamlin, and that just wasn’t pulled off believably for me.  I don’t like their relationship, so her whole motivation for enduring suffering is a bit tainted (though of course I understand doing such for the one you love).  I like the intrigue, the faerie court politics, and the stakes, but it’s like one half of the story is silent.

Oddly enough, I’m just as torn on reading the sequel as I am the rating.  The world is interesting, and Maas is certainly setting up some compelling bits for the next part with the High Lord of the Night Court, but again, the relationship dilemma.  I think I’ll finish this one up, and then make my decision.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 34%

I’m trying to plot out my reading of this as if it’s a text book, and honestly, I’m not sure it isn’t.  I might have had to buy this for some obscure class.  Even the price tag on it looks like one you’d find in a student book store.

I finished the chapter that outlined general relativity, which is the macrocosm.  The next part will focus on quantum theory, which is the microcosm, so from the very big to the very small.  I’m too tired to expound upon the fascinating facts this volume explains, but the terms it does so in are simple enough for the average mind to grasp.  Although if you asked me to explain what general relativity was, I’d stare at you slack-jawed.  Einstein had a pretty harsh observation for people who couldn’t explain things simply.  To be blunt, it meant you didn’t understand them well enough.  I am okay admitting that.

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 60%

What continues to fascinate me about this book is how it can burn so slow, yet be such a page turner.  For chapters and chapters, nothing really happened, only the promise of something, and now, the promise is being fulfilled.

Latin.  Speaking.  Trees.

I posted today on Facebook that I really need to teach myself Latin.  While I can always use Google Translate, I would like to have a knowledge base myself.  It is my favorite language to sing in after all.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 51%

After more than six months, I’ve finally read more than half of this.  I’m trying to read 1-2 chapters a session.  I still can’t shake the haunting sadness of the last branch though, when the Children of Llyr were all but extinguished.  That was a part that was worthy to be read aloud.  Now only one remains, Manawyddan who is now wed to Rhiannon mother of Pryderi (Manawyddan is his birth father as well, but the prince believes otherwise), and I think this section is really just their long lingering.  I know from needing to see how many pages the compendium has that the book ends with Gwydion son of Don whose name I recognize as he’s an integral character in The Chronicles of Prydain.  It will be interesting to see how the Mabinogion Gwydion compares to the Chronicles one.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

I’m worried about my friend 😦

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: The Borrowers
Series Title: The Borrowers
Author: Mary Norton
Date Added: January 12, 2017

Years ago, I read The Borrowers Afield as a part of huge haul of books my mother’s employers gave her.  They were constantly doing that: giving her things for me and my brothers along with Christmas presents.  Now that I’m older, I have mixed thoughts about this (nothing scandalous or anything like that), but as a child, the more books the merrier.

I logicked out that there had to have been a prior Borrowers book since in this current one they were afield, but I never had access to it.  The Well-Red Mage reminded me of this series in his review of Studio Ghibli’s The Secret World of Arriety, whom along with her parents Pod and Homily make up the eponymous Borrowers of the book series.  Now I must correct two egregious affronts: not reading the first book and not seeing the Studio Ghibli movie.

Title: Red Rising
Series Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Date Added: January 12, 2017

She wore me down.  I’ve been seeing this book floating around the blogosphere (and general webosphere) for a few months now.  The blurb was interesting, but as I’ve repeated ad naseaum (and will again, sorry!) I have a ton of books on my TBR list, but Cupcakes and Machetes’ review, well, she got me.  It’s obviously an amazing book, and I trust my friends, so it’s another addition to my TBR list.  Also it has one red wing on the cover, so there’s a little bit of tingling in my VII Sense, which is totally superficial…though it is a story about people who work and live below the surface so there’s that.

Title: Lumberjanes, Vol 1: Beware the Kitten Holy
Series Title: Lumberjanes
Authors: Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Waters, and Brooke A. Allen
Date Added: January 13, 2017

With a motto like “Friendship to the Max!” this comes off as a human, more LGBTQ version of My Little Pony, and that along with so many other things makes this another comic/graphic novel I need to read.  I mean holy kittens look at that cover, the diversity is beautiful, and there are lesbian, bi, and trans characters set in a magical summer camp..  I don’t need much more to tell me this is something I should read.  I owe the Writing Hufflepuff a great debt for introducing this to the world through her post!

Title: The Pendragon Protocol
Series Title: The Devices Trilogy
Author: Philip Purser-Hallard
Date Added: January 15, 2017

Despite my lack of official study, I am quite fond of and interested in Arthurian Legend.  I used to own a deck of the Arthurian Tarot, which was beautiful, but didn’t really connect with me.  Either way, a modern day retelling of the legend is refreshing and a necessary deviation from the typical medieval fare.  I was put onto this by a review of the third book by Kim of By Hook and By Book, and conveniently, she had one for this.  It was highly rated, and so I thought it worthy for an add.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 545
Change from Last Week: +4


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 1

  1. In the House of the Worm by George R R Martin – purchased and started this week.

What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 1/11/17          The State of the Reader: 1/25/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 1/11/17

<–The State of the Reader: 1/4/17          The State of the Reader: 1/18/17–>

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.

Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Tuf Voyaging
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 27, 2016
Date Started: January 5, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 29%

Somewhere in my madness, I decided to pick up a fifth book to read.  What happened in actuality is not atypical for how I fall into things.  I don’t even think I was on a site for such, but the written transcript of the FFVII Remake showed up somewhere in my periphery, and while I don’t know it verbatim, I do recall it constitutes something about looking up at a fated star (I’m probably really off in this, and I don’t feel like looking it up (…), because it lends the chance of falling down VII’s many rabbit holes), but there was something about an ominous star, and that reminded me of a story by GRRM called “The Plague Star.”  Internet perusing led me to Tuf Voyaging, a novel I’ve been wanting to read ever since I got a “Taste of Tuf” from Dreamsongs Volume II.  “The Plague Star” suggests some serious implications for ASOIAF insofar as the comet presented in the latter tale may be more than just astral debris as the original meteor in FFVII was.  So while I had every intention of reading more about Haviland Tuf, I was spurred along by that chance noticing of those particular words.

When I bought the Kindle copy and opened it up on a whim, it automatically updated my Goodreads to say I was currently reading it.  I’d set that up and forgotten about it, but since I was well drawn into the the fore mentioned story, I figured what the hell.  I’m currently reading quite a bit of this along with The Raven Boys during my lunch breaks at work, and as you can see I’ve made significant progress in just one week.  I finished “The Plague Star” and am currently on “Loaves and Fishes.”  I’ve noticed that most if not all of Tuf’s tales have some sort of Biblical reference, and in “Plague,” he is the only really likable character.  He’s a consummate cat lover so I’m already endeared.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 70%

I am now entirely convinced that this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which is a nice bait and switch, as I was expecting a retelling of Tamlin owing to the High Lord’s name.  I’m coming down to the final climax of the novel, and something has been revealed that pushes this paradigm even further to the forefront.

I already have an idea what rating I’m going to give this book.  Is that something that normally happens to you?  You realize where a novel is going to fall even before you finish reading it?  Usually about halfway through I’m fairly set on a rating, though factors could still definitely change it.  This book would have to do something pretty miraculous to achieve higher than what I’m set on.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 17%

Absolute time used to be a believed concept, which is fascinating.  It’s been rejected and rightly so, but still fascinating to think about.  Prior physicists also believe that the earth and other bodies must be moving through something called the ether, which is what accounted for certain factors, but this was ultimately rejected as well.

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 35%

What’s amazing about this story is how little has happened and yet how utterly compelling it is.  There’s only the promise of discovery for both readers and characters alike, but that promise as well as the lovely prose are more than enough.  Currently, all of the important people have now met, and I’m actually on the part of their meeting now.  I imagine I’ll be finished this book either next week or soon afterwards.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 49%

I’ve kind of neglected this poor book.  It seems that the nights I skip reading tend to be the nights I’m supposed to read this and/or I only read a page or two.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy it; it’s just that I’m so damn tired all the time.  I’m almost halfway finished…though it’s been nearly six months since I started.  I do think I’ll be finished before the year mark though.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

Still hoping…

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom
Series Title: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Oba
Date Added: January 7, 2017

I just spent about ten minutes trying to figure out who the hell recently reviewed this.  I read it today, but it had to have been posted between 12/31 and 1/3, because my blog sub backlog is gigantic and only growing.  It was one of my frequently read blogger friends, and your review of it made me add it to my TBR list (I also commented the same).

I’d heard of this manga, but had no clue it was about something so interesting as a book that allows you to kill people by writing down their names.  Of course I’m not thinking of what I would do with such a device!  How dare you accuse?!  And of course I’m not thinking of writing down anyone’s name that begins with the letter D.  What do you take me for?  Good day to you sir/madam! *stomps off in huff*

Anyway…I’m throwing more comic books/graphic novels/manga on my TBR list.  It’s nice padding and quicker reads so I may be able to make if not surpass my 15 book goal.  I feel short of my 20 books of 2016 so lowered it.

Title: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
Author: Edwin A. Abbott
Date Added: January 9, 2017

Unless I’m mistaken (and there’s a good chance I am), there was a movie made about this book.  I could also be thinking of the cartoon about the line and the circle, which could very well have been based on/inspired by this as well.  I could also be thinking of another film called The Point that I wanted to see when I was younger, but never was able to catch.

Either way, this is a sci-fi novel about a two-dimensional world where the main character is A. Square, a mathematician, who journeys to other dimensions beyond and less than his own.  It is a near turn of the century satire, published in 1884 (yes, that century, not the most recent one) where women, as thin straight lines, are considered the lowliest shape (not much has changed), and the more sides a man has, the higher his status.  There are some books that stand the test of time.  Even though this one is over a hundred years old, I have a feeling many of the themes will still be valid today.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 541
Change from Last Week: +1


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 3

  1. The Bees by Laline Paul – Exactly what it says on the tin.  It’s about bees and written in such a delightfully intriguing way that I knew I had to obtain it after reading the sample
  2. Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples – Yasss finally!  To hell with that $50 hardback copy I saw at KOP’s comic book story.  I flipped through the first few pages, and it…is…thrilling from the get go.  You are instantly thrown into the story, and it’s no holds barred, not sugar coated.  I love it already.  I’m hoping to shoehorn it into my reading cycle soon.
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia by Various Authors – I was talking to a major Zelda fan this week who gave his approval on this compendium.  The pictures are gorgeous, and it was worth all 30 of my (GC) dollars.

img_9759


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 1/4/17          The State of the Reader: 1/18/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 1/4/17

<–The State of the Reader: 12/28/16          The State of the Reader: 1/11/17–>

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.

Books Currently Reading: 4

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 48%

I’m pretty sure I read a bit of this this week, but not enough to move the percentage needle.  I’m currently at a part where the greatest concern seems to be a false king and a secret paternity.  The prince of the new tribes believes his father to be one man, but he’s actually someone else, and this particular individual (along with the prince) is one of seven survivors of the Welsh’s war with the Irish.  Intriguing much.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 61%

You know it’s bad when the first sex scene between the characters does nothing for you, and their parting doesn’t move your heart one bit.  I don’t feel too bad giving this away, since it’s a general staple of romance narratives.  They fuck and they part, though not necessarily in that order in every narrative.  My biggest issue with this story is how abruptly Feyre and Tamlin fell in love.  It went from her having no interest in him to being head over heels for the High Lord.  There was little to no progression in the feeling, nor was any attraction painting prior to Chapter 18.  The one good thing I can say about this (and it’s kind of selfish but…) is I’m going to be extra diligent about such a paradigm when I reedit my own paranormal romance.  My biggest fear with stories like that is the romance doesn’t seem authentic, and that’s the problem I’m running into here, because there wasn’t adequate build up in the beginning.  I’m more than halfway through and still curious about what’s causing the blight.  The dialogue is at least well written and fairly witty, so there’s that to its credit.

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 10%

I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas from my in-laws, and I absolutely adore it.  I was looking into purchasing one myself, since they’re only around $50, which is more than fair for a tablet.  I don’t see the need to drop $300-$500 on an iPad, when I’m really just paying for the name.  The Fire has 16G of space, and I’ve been using it to read and watch Let’s Plays on YouTube.  I downloaded a few apps as well, and may get one of those games you can play with your cat, because I’m that kind of person.

I prefaced with this because the KF is how I’m reading the above book, and I absolutely love it.  The main character Blue is a non-psychic in a family of female clairvoyants, but she’s always brought to a churchyard every year with her mother as the soon-to-be-dead march past.  She’s apparently an amplifier, even though she can’t see them herself. Well that changes (of course) this year when Maura (Blue’s mom) is replaced by Neeve, Blue’s aunt.  Blue sees a dying boy named Gansey who goes to the rich kid’s school in their town of Henrietta.  She usually stays away from them, but of course now the young woman is drawn into their world.

I’ve always been a fan of Ms. Steifvater’s writing ever since I read the first few chapters of Shiver.  It was a gift for a friend so I was never able to finish it (it, too, is on my extensive list).  The instant I read the sample for this, I knew I’d have to download it, and since I’ve taken to reading a chapter (or more) on my lunch break, I’m certain I’ll finish soon.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 8%

Lately to escape how terrible things are (and going to be) down here on Earth, I’ve been watching/listening to YouTube videos about quantum physics, astrophysics, dark matter, dark energy, the origin of the universe, neutron stars, the end of everything, and the like.  It makes my brain waves flutter especially when I consider eternity and the fact that nothing really matters (but ironically within that everything does).  While I erroneously think I’m smart enough to study such things, I at least know I need a remedial crash course, and Mr. Hawking’s Universe in a Nutshell is a fine beginning.  I actually started reading this book years ago, but like many things, put it to the side, and didn’t pick it back up until now.  It’s written in very rudimentary language for the average person to understand.  It’s a good starting point if you’re curious about life, the universe, and everything.  I’d also recommend reading Douglas Adams’s Live, the Universe, and Everything, as well.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

I’m seriously worried about my friend runicmagitek, and I sincerely hope that she’s just been so busy with the holidays that she hasn’t had time to check her tumblr.  It’s the only way I have of contacting her (especially since AO3 doesn’t have a messaging system).  This is what is a bit sucky and often terrible about online friendships.  If something happens to someone you only have the barest of information about, you’ll never really know.  Not that I’m a stalker or a creeper, but I am a worrier.  Here’s to hoping I hear something soon ;_;

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 6

Title: Dissonance
Series Title: Dissonance
Author: Erica O’Rourke
Date Added: December 30, 2016

This was a lucky find as I was scrolling through my Goodreads.  I’m fascinated by alternate universes and sort of subscribe to the multiverse theory.  I believe it’s a possibility, and there’s been some scientific evidence to support.  Until such a day when we have concrete proof, I shall take these inventive little tales about a heroine who can navigate between these realities, keeping the dimensions in harmony.

Title: Gilded Cage
Series Title: Dark Gifts
Author: Vic James
Date Added: December 30, 2016

The commons serving the elite is nothing new in story or reality.  The only difference in this tale is the elite’s power is magical as well as monetary.  All commoners must serve them for ten years, and the protagonist, Abi, is in servitude to England’s most powerful family.  In true Stockholm Syndrome fashion, she falls for one of the noble-born sons (ah hypergamy).  I’m not averse to stories with well used tropes.  I feel that messages can become more powerful in repeat.

Kim of By Hook or By Book brought up a decent critique about diversity in her review here (which is why I added this in the first place), but I’m hoping that won’t detract too much from the overall message of the story.

Title: The Blackwell Family Secret: The Guardians of Sin
Author: Jonathan L. Ferrara
Date Added: January 1, 2017

After finishing The Ghost of Buxton Manor, I went to Mr. Ferrara’s Goodreads’ page, following him as an author and added his other book.  I also tweeted him my love of his story, followed his (and Aaron’s) YouTube page (I already follow their WordPress), and discovered there’s going to be a sequel to Ghost.  In the interim, I believe I’ll read up on the true history of Rupert Buxton and Michael Davies, while I work on my Ghost review.

The Guardians of Sin appears to be another paranormal adventure involving spirits and secrets, also guardian angels, serpents, and the unleashing of the Seven Deadly Sins, so I’m now even more interested.

Title: The Count of Monte Cristo
Author: Alexander Dumas
Date Added: January 4, 2017

The most memorable reference I have for this book is from the movie V for Vendetta, where the titular character, played by Hugo Weaving, shows it to his “captive” Evey, played by Natalie Portman.  I know it has a happy ending (or at least the movie does), and I know from the blurb it’s about a man falsely imprisoned.  The reason I added it now is because of a comment on Deviant Art about The Broken Rose.  One of my readers was wondering if the story was going to take a Monte Cristo angle to which I (internet) laughed and responded that I’d never read it, but I’d have to add it to my TBR list (huh…the abbreviation for “to be read” and The Broken Rose are exactly the same.  That’s hilarious).  She replied that the novel was a bid stodgy, and I might want to entertain myself with the movie.  I figure I’ll give the book a try though.  I could always use more classics for my list.

Title: The Lie Tree
Author: Frances Hardinge
Date Added: January 4, 2017

A tale of a tree that will give you truth for every lie, and the bigger the lie, the greater the truth.  I’m also interested in the incongruence of a main character named Faith who thirsts for science and secrets, and the secret of the tree is too great for her to resist.  Drawn into the search by her disgraced father’s journals, Faith enters a world of lies, danger, and the truth that can unbind it all.

Title: The Bear and the Nightingale
Author: Katherine Arden
Date Added: January 4, 2017

The book channeled both a Cinderella vibe with the dead mother replaced with a cruel stepmother and ASOIAF with it’s fairy tales about Frost, a blue-eyed winter demon.  It seems to spin itself like a meta-fairy tale.  There’s an even deeper ASOIAF connection as Vasilisa and her siblings’ nursemaid warned them to keep the old rituals and honor the spirits of house, yard, and forest in order to protect their home from evil and keep dark things at bay (e.g. Craster in Song), but the stepmother forbids it.  The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa seems to know that more hinges on the rituals than mere rote.  I’m a sucker for a good fairy tale, and I love stories that mix paradigms with others I already love.  I have a feeling the stepmother may be an agent of Frost or something like that or Frost may not be as terrible as he seems.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: +6
Change from Last Week: 540


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


Books Purchased This Week: 10

I received all of the books I ordered from Amazon in between last week’s post and this week’s.  I believe I usually do the full breakdown, but owing to the fact I have ten books to add, I’m just going to cite the title, author, brief comment, and a link to the SOTR where I included it, if available;  I’ll just link to Goodreads if not.

  1. The Sword of Maiden’s Tears by Rosemary Edghill – I remember exactly why I wanted this one.  Check this description in the blurb:  “He was tall, with long, silvery hair, catlike eyes…” DONE.  That’s all I needed.  Added and bought as soon as I could find it.
  2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab – I recall downloading a sample of this and loving both the language and the story.  Even though I didn’t finish that excerpt, with books I’m sure of, I don’t always have to.  There are three realities, and the protagonist can traverse them all (this sounds similar to the Dissonance added above.  Again, I love stories of the multiverse).
  3. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill – There are just way too many amazing things about this book to adequately put into words, and I haven’t even read it yet.  It twists the story of the wicked witch, the stolen child, and the admirable hero on its head, throwing in magic by moonlight, and the “girl” in question looks brown on the cover.  Yassss.
  4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – Thanks to social media, I already know what the allegory for this is about, and I’m hoping that’s not going to spoil it too much.  I won’t reveal what I know just in case it is, since knowledge given can never be taken back.  Ah, I just read the blurb about the main character’s mother receiving her “treatments,” so it may not be as big of a spoiler as I thought.  The last line of it still twists cold through my heart.  “This monster is something different, something ancient, something wild.  And it wants the truth.” *shivers*
  5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente – I have a hit or miss relationship with Ms. Valente.  Okay, so really on one miss (Palimpsest), and one I’m going to give another chance (In the Cities of Coin and Spice [The Orphan’s Tales #2]).  The title itself intrigues me, and while I was a bit lukewarm on the sample, I still have high hopes.
  6. Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplight – It wasn’t just the silver haired lady on the front cover (though I have to admit that was a draw), but also my love of stories set in modern times with historical, magical undertones.  Because let’s face it, those immortal beings are still going to be around, and how would they fit into our current age?  Also, the title is a clear homage to Milton’s Paradise Lost so there’s that.
  7. Dying of the Light by George R R Martin – Of course my favorite author is going to have a place on this purchased list.  My goal is to read all of his stories (not necessarily this year, but in my lifetime).  Like many of Martin’s stories, this one contains a jilted lover set on a world similar to ours just slightly off kilter.  The oddity in Dying is the perpetual twilight, a trope I’ve seen used in Final Fantasy IX with the city of Treno, and in WOFF as well.  I’m actually in the Eclipsed Region right now.  If there was every a land for me, that would be it.
  8. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna Marie McLemore – Another moon based fairy tale steeped in roses, silver, and magical realism.  There aren’t nearly enough books of that latter ilk.  It’s difficult to do.  To ride that line between fantasy and reality.  Make people believe the wonders are just out of sight.  What a lovelier world this would be if that were only so.
  9. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter – Something about the title of this sparked my interest.  If you couldn’t tell from the moon based stories I have on this list, I’m a bit of a night creature.  If you dig enough to peel off the first layer, it’s easy to see how my two favorite series (Final Fantasy and ASOIAF) are quite a bit moon obsessed, too.  It’s not so much the moon per se as the night it often lights.  I also have this fascination with “night in the city” motifs.  What am I talking about?  I don’t really know how to explain, but as much as I love bucolic settings in fantasy, I do enjoy urban ones if done to my specifications.  I’m not really a fan of urban fantasy, rather I like when urban settings are made fantastic, if you get what I mean.  Magical cities a la mythopoetic New York as seen in Helprin’s Winter’s Tale.  Vassa seems to hum to that same melody invoking Russian folklore and what appears to be a manifestation of Baba Yaga.
  10. Locke & Key, Vol 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez – I need to up my comic book reading game, and there’s no time like the present.  I was actually in a comic book store on New Year’s Day and saw this along with Saga.  I considered picking up Saga, but it was $50 for the first volume!  I guess the Saga will not continue.  I’m not sure how I’m going to fit comics/graphic novels into my reading cycle.  If I’m going to read them alongside my regular four or use them as my fantasy/general fiction.  The latter is sounding more feasible unless the elder gods compel me otherwise…

What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 12/28/16          The State of the Reader: 1/11/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save