The State of the Reader: 5/3/17

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

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

Samples Read This Week: 11

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

Passed: 2
Kept: 9

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The State of the Reader: 4/26/17

<–The State of the Reader: 4/19/17          The State of the Reader: 5/3/17–>

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

Samples Read This Week: 8

  1. (Almost) Average Anthology: Tales of Adventure, Loss, and Oddity by Jason Nugent: Passed – The writing comes off as very amateurish.  According to the blurb, the author pulled together the work he had posted on his blog, which I find very admirable; unfortunately, in execution, it reads more like a first draft or an outline, at least the first story did.
  2. Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson: Kept – I nearly teetered to the other side of the fence with this one.  There was a lot of heavy jargon in the beginning, and quite a few pages of literally listing the cast of characters.  I think the story would’ve started out much stronger if the author had begun with the first chapter, which is the reason I decided to keep it on my list.
  3. The Diamond Tree by Michael Matson: Kept (Purchased) – It’s geared towards ages 6-12 and reads like a fairy tale.  I can see myself breezing through this book.
  4. The Enchanted by Rene Denfield: Passed – It didn’t grip me for all its stream of consciousness writing.  I found it to be quite tedious if I’m being honest.  It comes with high accolades, but I don’t think it’s for me.
  5. The Glade by Harmony Kent: Kept – I was very close to putting this on my really-want-to-read list, but I’m trying to save that for books that I must have immediately, and while this was really interesting and set up a mystery with numerous plot coupons to cash in, it’s not on my must have radar.  It’s really hard for a non-fantasy book to wind up on there.
  6. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay: Kept (RWTR) – The prologue nearly brought me to tears; it was so beautifully written.  I’m a sucker for any stories that invoke the concept of memory, and the beginning of this book focused on a prince and a sculptor who were thrust into a battle they know they will not win.  It begins with the sculptor contemplating the stars on this last night and him expressing his regret that he never had the chance to sculpt his prince’s sons.  What struck me was how Mr. Kay conveyed what type of ruler this prince was in such a short amount of time.  Both of his teenage sons as well as the sculptor’s one were on the banks of that river with their fathers knowing they would all die in the morning.  He was neither a ruler who shirked his own duty nor did hide his sons away while asking his people to sacrifice their own.  Things like that are never forgotten.
  7. The Empty One by Matthew Stanley: Kept (Purchased) – I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this book written in verse, but it works…it strangely works, and it even rhymes.  Since it fulfilled my “under $2” rule, I bought it after I read enough of the sample.
  8. The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey: Kept (RWTR/Purchased) – The first chapter of the sample made me a bit irritated, because it was the typical “princess has to marry a prince,” which the thirteen year old Caityn did not want to do, and to be honest, her mother was kind of gaslighting her.  I mean, I get it.  It’s what princesses are supposed to do, but I’m happy she stood her ground for as long as she did.  Then it turns out she’s quite excited to marry the prince who is a really awesome dude, and Caity and her brother have this amazing bantering, sibling relationship that reminds me of the one I have with my older brother.  Also, both the princess and the (brother) prince, while royalty, were exposed to charitable works their entire lives.  Caityn taught at a school and comforted orphans and widows, and Prince Adair (the brother) talked about a punishment where he had to serve in the scullery for a week.  I loved that.  Even though they were royalty, their parents taught them that there are consequences for misbehaving and instilled in them the idea that to rule is really to serve.  I can think of quite a few politicians who severely need that lesson.

Passed: 2
Kept: 6


Books Purchased This Week: 6

Title: The Diamond Tree
Author: Michael Matson
Date Added: January 26, 2016
Date Purchased: April 22, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

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