The State of the Reader: 2/24/21

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

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 2

Total: $7.98

Books Finished: 1

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

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

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


Currently Reading

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

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

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

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The State of the Reader: 2/10/21

<–The State of the Reader: 1/27/21         The State of the Reader: 2/24/21–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 2

Total: $6.98

Books Finished: 3

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

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

I didn’t love this.  I didn’t hate it obviously, but I didn’t love it.  It was an interesting collection of stories about “misbehaving” women, which is why I’m sad I didn’t love it, because that’s my aesthetic.  I might change my mind about it once I have the time to think about the stories more, but that’s my initial perspective (and also why I don’t often rate books as soon as I finish them).

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The State of the Reader: 1/27/21

<–The State of the Reader: 1/13/21         The State of the Reader: 2/10/21–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 3

Total: $4.98

Books Finished: 0


On Hold

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

Cover of Norse Myths That Inspired Final Fantasy VII by M. J. GallagherMedia: Paperback
Progress: 15%

I don’t know when I’ll be able to come back to this.  Just thinking about picking it back up triggers my gag reflex because of where I had to stop.  I’ve started reading an online translation of “The Maiden Who Travels the Planet” as a  non-fiction/reference/research replacement.  Not sure if I’m going to count it toward my book challenge total, but I probably will since it is on Goodreads.  I’ll probably read On the Way to a Smile and The Kids Are Alright next since I have physical copies of them both.

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The State of the Reader: 1/13/21

<–The State of the Reader: 12/30/20         The State of the Reader: 1/27/21–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 11

Total: $133.14

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The State of the Reader: 12/30/20

<–The State of the Reader: 12/16/20         The State of the Reader: 1/13/21–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 1


Books Finished: 1

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

Cover of As You Like It by William ShakespeareMedia: eBook/Kindle

I only had like one page left to read of this and finished it last session.  It is such a comedy in both the Shakespeare and “there are only seven types of plot” sense i.e. everyone gets married.  Oh and “rags to riches,” too, as the usurper duke finds Jesus, sees the error of his ways, and gives the old duke back his position.  There was a review on Goodreads that literally summed it up thus.   I still need to look up my own summary to make sure I didn’t miss anything, but this was one of Shakespeare’s easier plays to follow (despite the convoluted irony of Rosalind pretending to be Ganymede pretending to Rosalind, which frankly was hilarious), so I’m just doing that as a formality.

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The State of the Reader: 8/12/20

<–The State of the Reader: 7/29/20         The State of the Reader: 8/26/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 1


Currently Reading

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

Cover of The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen KellerMedia: Paperback
Progress: 20%

This is one of those story’s you’ll enjoy if you love winding, whimsical writing with a heavy heaping of eloquence.  If that’s not your bag, you’d probably consider this too purple for your tastes, which is fine.  I don’t like how “purple prose” is used as a pejorative since it’s really just a stylistic taste.  If you like it, you like it; if you don’t, you don’t.

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The State of the Reader: 6/6/18

<–The State of the Reader: 5/23/18          The State of the Reader: 6/20/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 4


Books Finished: 1

Title: Parasol Protectorate
Series Title: Souless
Author: Gail Carriger
Date Added: October 26, 2016
Date Started: April 26, 2018
Date Finished: June 1, 2018

SoullessMedia: Paperback (Library)

This was delightful even if it was a little predictable.  The ending is extremely satisfactory and the dry, witty humor helps curb some of the cliches.  I will definitely be continuing this series.

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Top 20 Books of 2017

I set my Goodreads challenge to complete 15 books, and I read 73.  There’s something to be said for underestimation.  I low-balled it because last year, I put 20 on my challenge, but only finished 19; however, I discovered that by putting books on my schedule/to-do list, I could complete them like a fiend.  At some points I was reading eight at a time, but I mostly stuck with my favorite number: seven.  That…was too much though, and while I love to read, I also want to have enough time to do other things.  So I cut down to four, which might still sound like a lot, but one is a Kindle that I read on my lunch break; one is a fiction/fantasy; one varies between a classic or a non-fiction/reference (before I was reading one of each); and the last is a graphic novel/manga, which are easy to breeze through.  Compare this to two Kindles, one fiction/fantasy, one classic, one non-fiction/reference, one graphic novel/manga, and one library book. I’m currently borrowing Death Note from the library for my manga, and I’ll borrow fictions/fantasies from there, too.


Total Books Read: 73

  1. Tuf Voyaging by George R. R. Martin
  2. In the House of the Wyrm by George R. R. Martin
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  5. Rest in Piece by B. W. Ginsburg
  6. The Missing Orchid by Fia Black
  7. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  8. The Quantum Door by Jonathan Ballagh
  9. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
  10. The Illustrated A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  11. Descendants by Rae Else
  12. The Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton
  13. Riddled With Senses by Petra Jacob
  14. The Quantum Ghost by Jonathan Ballagh
  15. Radiance by Grace Draven
  16. Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K, Vaughn
  17. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  18. Eidolon by Grace Draven
  19. A Father’s Protection by K. J. Hawkins
  20. Saga: Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn
  21. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia (edited) by Patrick Thorpe
  22. Saga: Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn
  23. Silent Child by Sarah K. Denzil
  24.  A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  25. Saga: Volume 4 by Brian K, Vaughn
  26. Saga: Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughn
  27. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
  28. Saga: Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughn
  29. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  30. Talon by Julie Kagawa
  31. Saga: Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughn
  32. Stone & Iris by Jonathan Ballagh
  33. Gaslight Hades by Grace Draven
  34. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  35. Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
  36. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Volume 1 by Katie Cook
  37. Poetic Edda: The Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes by Anonymous
  38. Never Never: Part One by Colleen Hoover
  39. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
  40. Never Never: Part Two by Colleen Hoover
  41. Never Never: Part Three by Colleen Hoover
  42. The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess by Akira Himekawa
  43. Goldie Vance Volume 1 by Hope Larson
  44. Shadows on Snow by Starla Huchton
  45. Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodora Goss
  46. Monstress #1: Awakening
  47. An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel
  48. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  49. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
  50. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
  51. Dweller by Jeff Strand
  52. Abstract Clarity by B. W. Ginsburg
  53. Chobits, Vol. 1 by CLAMP
  54. The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare
  55. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  56. Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom by Tsugumi Ohba
  57. Master of Crows by Grace Draven
  58. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
  59. The Diamond Tree by Michael Matson
  60. Promethea, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore
  61. Blink Once by Cylin Busby
  62. Death Note, Vol. 2: Confluence by Tsugumi Ohba
  63. The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
  64. The Daemoniac by Kat Ross
  65. The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
  66. Death Note, Vol. 3: Hard Run by Tsugumi Ohba
  67. Death Note, Vol 4: Love by Tsugumi Ohba
  68. Gyo by Junji Ito
  69. The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka
  70. Parallel by Anthony Vicino
  71. Death Note, Vol. 5: Whiteout
  72. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  73. Death Note, Vol 7: Give-and-Take by Tsugumi Ohba
Total Fiction/Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 46 (63%)
Total Classic: 3 (4%)
Total Non-Fiction/Reference: 4 (5%)
Total Graphic Novels/Manga: 20 (27%)

I was going to do this whole shebang with “Most Read Author,” “Favorite New Author,” “Favorite Series,” and all this other stuff, but I decided on just doing a Top 20 with that number as an increase from the original 10.  I marked around 14 books as potential Tops and figured I could find six more.

20. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

The cover of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David EaglemanOne of the best parts of reading this book was the perfect timing when I read it: in the midst of watching a Let’s Play of SOMA, which I’ve spoken of at great length (even though the review/essay is still to come).  Incognito explores the intricacies of conscious, subconscious, and unconscious processes and how the latter two form the foundation of the first.  It’s written in such a way that psychological novices can still follow with relatable analogies and examples, but the volume is not without some major issues, which I started noticing around Chapter 4 with Eagleman’s views on beauty/attractiveness that spiraled unfortunately towards racism (yes…really).  He also didn’t fully explore the reasons behind why we have unconscious biases, which never just come out of a vacuum.  While the author has a flair for piquing interest in subjects that could easily come off as tedious, his essentialism and (seemingly) unwillingness to take environmental influences into account raises my brows (and hackles) a bit (e.g. his insistence that having a Y chromosome essentially makes one more violent without considering this propensity could be due to how those perceived as having a Y chromosome are treated from [often before] birth is only one of many).  While I enjoyed the book for what information it imparted, especially for those unfamiliar with psychology, the fore mentioned (and other) issues prompt me to insist it be read with a discerning eye and copious grains of salt.

19. Dweller by Jeff Strand

The cover of Dweller by Jeff StrandThis novel was like a more fucked up version of Harry and the Hendersons, if the Hendersons were a once brutally bullied loner and Harry was a man eating abomination.  I really wanted to know where the monster came from.  Was he some government experiment gone wrong?  A throwback from an early time?  A creature from an alien dimension?  Everything about him just breeds more questions, but his relationship with Toby is both poignant and disturbing.  A lot of fucked up things happen in this book.  I was initially unsure about Strand’s writing style, but it grew on me as did Toby’s character.  It made sense why the author wrote it in this way: it perfectly reflected the MC’s mental state.  This is one of those books that has the perfect ending, as in there’s no other way it could’ve ended for these characters that would’ve been as satisfactory.

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The State of the Writer: 9/24/17

<–The State of the Writer: 9/17/17          The State of the Writer: 10/1/17–>

A weekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include (but not be limited to) any and all work(s) in progress (WIPs) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, and reviews.  Additionally, this post will showcase what writing projects I’ve completed in the past week as a sort of weekly roundup, as I’ve seen other cooler bloggers do.

Finished This Week: 1

Project: Book Review
Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author:
Sarah J. Maas
Date Posted: September 21, 2017

I’ll hopefully be adding audio to this an my other book reviews soon.  I have one recorded for Gaslight Hades, but I need to edit it.  I’ll obviously have to figure out a schedule for doing this as well, but I will say the recording process is enjoyable.


Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 260,329
Prior Word Count: 260,062
Word Difference: +267
Status: Editing/Planning Revision
Progress: First edit of Chapter 11

The above picture has pretty much been me for the past week, sipping coffee, taking notes…thinking, which is always a dangerous thing.  Even though I write fantasy, I’m actually quite a bit of a realist, which isn’t really that anathema.  Fantasy worlds are only fantasy to us; they’re quite real to their inhabitants, and one of the things that’s always made Final Fantasy VII stand out is how closely it aligns to our own world.  With taking place in an analogue for New York City, focusing on our abuse of the Earth/Planet, delving into bioethics and warfare, and the subtext of man’s hubris to name a paltry few.

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

A Court of Thorns and Roses

<–ACOTAR #2

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: May 26, 2017
Date Started: June 12, 2017
Date Finished: July 15, 2017
Reading Duration: 33 days
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Pages: 699
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Media: Hardback


Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


Note: Spoilers have been tagged, but apparently the background isn’t completely black, because you can still kind of see the words, but probably not enough to make them out unless you put forth a concerted effort.  My blog update/upgrade is still a work in progress, so I apologize for any inconvenience.

The finale to Maas’s whirlwind fae, paranormal romance is both satisfying and complete, so I was quite surprised to see not only a fourth, but up to a sixth book in the series planned, at least by what Goodreads says.  My hope is that these volumes will focus on other characters and wrap up some loose ends.  It would be a shame to sully Feyre and Rhys’s wonderful OTP status with series fatigue, but if the later books explored other relationships and showed how humans and fae learned how to coexist that would be perfect.  The power couple could obviously be involved in such happenings, but they shouldn’t be the only focus.

Feyre’s gambit in the Spring Court is deliciously vengeful, but Maas is like Martin insofar as actions have consequences, which come to fruition later, and while I don’t want to say all is well at the end, I will proclaim the plot comes full circle.  Tamlin acts like the guy who pressures girls to sleep with him, and then when they no longer have any interest, turns into the jaded, abusive, slut-shaming ex who’s terrifyingly possessive.

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