The State of the Reader: 8/16/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/9/17          The State of the Reader: 8/23/17–>

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

  1. The Pendragon Protocol by Philip Purser-Hallard: Kept – Arthurian Knights in the modern day with modern technology doing what they do best.  Certain types of urban fantasy are growing on me.  I like the speculation of how classic fantasy characters and tropes would look with modern technology.  It was also inexpensive, so I now have it on Kindle.
  2. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough: Kept – I hoping this psychological thriller is more satisfying than the last one I read.
  3. Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold: Passed – It just didn’t grab me.
  4. One by Sarah Crossan: Kept (RWTR) – I had no idea this was written in free verse lending it a lovely poetic air.  I was already interesting in it for it’s subject matter (conjoined twin sisters), though I have a feeling I’m going to be a bawling mess by the end.
  5. Dweller by Jeff Strand: Kept (RWTR) – Gripping from the very first sentence, and the monster (or monsters) from the blurb are clearly sentient.  At only $2.99 I had to buy it.
  6. Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory: Kept – This has been a week of cheap samples.  I keep reading samples for books that are really inexpensive on Amazon.  This is a zombie story with a twist (of course, since zombie stories are old news now).  The Mayhall family finds the body of a pregnant teenager with a seemingly dead baby, but though the child has no pulse, he appears to be “alive.”  They hide the child from the authorities who will kill him (sounds similar to The Last of Us), keeping his existence a secret until circumstances force the boy, whom they name Stony, to run.  This is the second Daryl Gregory book I’ll have read, the first being The Devil’s Alphabet, which had a great deal of potential, but was ultimately disappointing.  I hope Raising Stony Mayhall doesn’t fall into the same trap.
  7. The Children of Húrin by Christopher Tolkien: Kept – This was one of those books that had too much introduction, so I didn’t actually get to read any of it, but it’s the work of J. R. R. Tolkien edited by his son, so I have high hopes.  I was also able to borrow it on Amazon Prime.  Apparently, you can do that with some books with the limit being ten at a time.

Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: The Pendragon Protocol
Series Title: The Devices Trilogy
Author: Philip Purser-Hallard
Date Added: January 15, 2017
Date Purchased: August 10, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.95
Retailer: Amazon

Continue reading

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–>