The State of the Reader: 1/16/19

<–The State of the Reader: 1/2/19          The State of the Reader: 1/30/19–>

A 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 Obtained: 0


Books Finished: 2

Title: Calling All Angels
Series Title: Shadow Council Case Files
Author: John G. Hartness
Date Added: November 24, 2018
Date Started: December 20, 2018
Date Finished: January 9, 2019
Reading Duration: 20 days

Calling All AngelsMedia: eBook/Kindle

This was so good.  It’s clear to see that this story is part of a much larger once, as there were characters mentioned and hints dropped about things that had happened before; however, this didn’t take away from the novella, which has it’s own contained plot arc.  I’ll be continuing this series.

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The State of the Reader: 1/2/19

<–The State of the Reader: 12/19/18          The State of the Reader: 1/16/19–>

A 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 Obtained: 8


Books Finished: 2

Title: Angels’ Blood
Series Title: Guild Hunter
Author: Nalini Singh
Date Added: May 11, 2017
Date Started: November 2, 2018
Date Finished: December 27, 2019
Reading Duration: 55 days

Angels' BloodMedia: Paperback (Library)

This book was everything I wanted and more.  It is exactly how I love to see angels portrayed: dangerous, mysterious, and sexy.  There are so many vampire stories out there, and there are so many where vampires are compared to angels, but this one was unique as it made vampires and angels distinct entities, but gave them an integral connection.  I’ve already bought the next book in the series (as noted above), and it’s the next one I plan to read after I finish my current fiction/fantasy.

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The State of the Reader: 12/19/18

<–The State of the Reader: 12/5/18          The State of the Reader: 1/2/19–>

A 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: 1


Books Finished: 2

Title: Muse of Nightmares
Series Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date Added: December 20, 2017
Date Started: October 6, 2018
Date Finished: December 5, 2018

Muse of NightmaresMedia: Hardback

There was one point where I thought the plot was a little slow, but the ending more than made up for it, and it wasn’t so much slow as establishing.  It’s just as amazing as the first book and one of the few duologies I’ve read, though there might be (and god I hope there is) more.

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The State of the Reader: 12/5/18

<–The State of the Reader: 10/24/18          The State of the Reader: 12/19/18–>

A 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: 9


Books DNF: 2

  • A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton (Meredith Gentry) – Somehow or another LKH made silver hair boring.  I didn’t think that was possible, but she did it.  “But his hair was uniquely his own, silver, like metal beaten into hair.”  Are you…fucking…kidding me?  I didn’t even finish the first chapter and I took the rest of her books of my TBR list.  I love her earlier work, but you can tell she now only cares about collecting a check.
  • The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton (Flipped Fairy Tales) – Fuck abusive parents and fuck kindness when you’re being abused.  I know I have a huge issue with blaming the victim in stories like this.  I want to shake them and tell them to not put up with it, even though I know intellectually that that’s not fair.  It’s not the victim’s fault their abusers are trash.  I’m much more cognizant of it in real life, but in stories I hate a particular type of naivete in protagonists.  I think I hate when naivete is unrealistic even for fairy tales.  The MC is actually shocked her drunken, abusive father is willing to sell her to a whorehouse in order to pay his debts and continue to get his fix.  It just bugged me that she wouldn’t expect this from a man who’s done nothing but beat and belittle her since her mother left.  This is a Jack and the Beanstalk retelling, which isn’t one of my favorite stories in the first place, and I’m not invested enough in the character.  The ironic thing is this story is what got me interested in the Flipped Fairy Tale series in the first place.  I added it then realized it was the “second” in the compendium so I read Shadows on Snow first,which was okay.  It’s not like they’re in any order; I think it’s just the order Huchton wrote them.

Books Finished: 5

Title: Alex + Ada: The Complete Collection
Series Title: Alex + Ada
Author: Jonathan Luna
Artist: Sarah Vaugn
Date Added: October 28, 2016
Date Started: June 17, 2018
Date Finished: October 28, 2018
Reading Duration: 133 days

Alex + AdaIt didn’t take me this long to read this entire collection; I just split it up to pad my reading total.  The Complete Collection is made up of three books, but I read the one pictured above.  People rated the second and third higher than the first, and I’m not really sure why.  It’s an excellent series, and even though it doesn’t do anything new, it refines many previously touched on points in fiction involving AI sentience.

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20 Questions Book Tag

Another one from the indomitable Writer Michelle Payne.  I think I can answer 20 book questions 🙂

1. How many books is too many books in a series?

Hm, that’s one of those “it depends” questions.  If the series remains fresh and relevant, keep going, but if the plot lines are going stale and the characters are stalling, I think it’s time to retire it.  I’d say 20+ books is too much with the same characters and setting.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

They’re evil and I love them. Re: Strange the Dreamer.

Strange the Dreamer cover

3. Hard copy or paperback?

I prefer paperback.  They’re easier to carry around and to read.  Hardback usually has an annoying cover that, while aesthetically pleasing, tends to flap around and get in the way.

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Rapid Fire Book Tag

I saw this tag on Getting Through Anxiety’s blog and thought I’d participate in the fun (I’m also trying to catch up on the list of tags I still have unfinished, and this looks like a quick one hehe).  Feel free to participate if you wish!


EBOOKS OR PHYSICAL BOOKS?

Hm.  I adore the feel and smell of the pages, but I can read books on my Kindle on my lunch break at work or anywhere, and I love that convenience.  I know theoretically, I can read a physical book anywhere, too, but the e-reader makes it so much easier.

PAPERBACK OR HARDBACK?

Paperback.  Less expensive.

ONLINE OR IN-STORE BOOK SHOPPING?

In store book shopping.  I love bookstores, and I try to patronize the local Barnes and Noble at least once a month.  If there was an independently owned bookstore in my vicinity, I’d shop there.  I don’t want to see brick and mortar bookstores go away.  Sometimes I just go there to bask in their “bookiness.”

TRILOGIES OR SERIES?

Trilogies.  I don’t hate series.  Hell my favorite (book) story is a series (ASOIAF), but overall, I like it when narratives have a finite and defined ending.

HEROES OR VILLAINS?

Villains of course.

A BOOK YOU WANT EVERYONE TO READ?

This book was paramount to my understanding of symbolism, narrative, and mythology.  It shows the ways all narratives are tied together and is the origin of The Hero’s Journey/Monomyth,

RECOMMEND AN UNDERRATED BOOK.

I’m going by my favorites list on Goodreads and their average rating.

I really can’t believe this book is rated so low (3.73), but I guess YMMV when it comes to angelic lore.  Even though I haven’t read it in years (and reread could potentially change my point of view), it has a Paradise Lost vibe to it insofar as the devil is painted as a sympathetic character, but Ms. Rice does it not only on purpose, but for that purpose (unlike Milton who would’ve never purposely done such a thing).  This book was probably integral in my obsessive sympathy for my favorite Luciferian character.

THE LAST BOOK YOU FINISHED?

Oddly enough, the last book I finished is by the person from whom I got this tag, and I wrote a review for it here!

WEIRDEST THING YOU USED AS A BOOKMARK?

A black feather

USED BOOKS, YES OR NO?

I just bought two used books on Amazon yesterday.  They were $0.01 each.   I paid more for the shipping than for the books themselves.  I have no problem with used books.

TOP THREE FAVORITE GENRES?

Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Magical Realism

BORROW OR BUY?

Buy.  I want my own things.

CHARACTERS OR PLOT?

I tend to like plot driven stories, but you have to have good characters who are going to know what to do when they’re thrown into precarious situations.

LONG OR SHORT BOOK?

There’s nothing more wonderful than a long, fascinating novel, but I’ve been breezing through a lot of shorter works lately, which is helping me reach my 2017 reading goal.  So I prefer long books, but short books are good for practical purposes.  It also depends on how much I’m enjoying the story in question.

LONG OR SHORT CHAPTERS?

Short to medium.  Granted I’m a hypocrite when it comes to chapter length in my own work.

NAME THE FIRST THREE BOOKS YOU THINK OF.

The Last Unicorn, Prospero Lost (it’s sitting right in front of me), and The Raven Boys

BOOKS THAT MAKE YOU LAUGH OR CRY?

Anything by Douglas Adams is hilarious, and I cry during Iza’s death scene in Clan of the Cave Bear every single time I read it.  I’m tearing up right now thinking about it.

OUR WORLD OR FICTIONAL WORLDS?

Fictional.  This world sucks.

AUDIOBOOKS: YES OR NO?

Only if I’ve already read the book.

DO YOU EVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER?

I think we all do every now and then.  I have definitely been drawn to a book based on its cover, which has led me to read the blurb and potentially make a purchase.  Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin is a perfect example of this.  I found it in a used bookstore, had never heard of it or the author, didn’t realize at the time the title is based on a play by Shakespeare, but the cover caught my attention.

BOOK TO MOVIE OR BOOK TO TV ADAPTATION?

Book to TV can generally fit more of the book in (if done properly.  I’m looking at you Game of Thrones).

SERIES OR STANDALONE?

Series if the writing is compelling.  For example, I absolutely love The Raven Cycle series.

 

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Question of the Week: 7/17/16

<–Question of the Week: 7/10/16          Question of the Week: 7/24/16–>

The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same.  Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation.  Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all.  Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!

What’s your favorite/most influential non-fiction book?

Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

The Hero’s Journey is a universal motif found in stories and narratives across genres, media, and the ages.  It’s hard for me to express how influential and magnificent this volume is, but I consistently assert it’s something everyone should read, especially those of us involved or interested in creative projects.  It solidifies many of my ideas about the universality of stories and how there are ties that bind them all together, connected by motifs, tropes, and paradigms that feed off both the zeitgeist and collective unconscious.

This book is one of the best sources of connectivity I’ve ever found. It prompted me make this macro using the hero’s path quote, words that will never cease in their resonance.

“…we have not even to risk the adventure alone;
for the heroes of all time have gone before us;
the labyrinth is thoroughly known;
we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path.
And where we had thought to find an abomination,
we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another:
we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward,
we shall come to the center of our own existence;
and where we had thought to be alone,
we shall be with all the world.”

I can with almost complete certainty say that this is my favorite quote of all time, and Hero has been one of the most influential and useful volumes to me as a writer.  I have plans to read more of his work such as The Power of Myth and Primitive Mythology (though I have some trepidation about what that might entail).


What’s your favorite and/or most influential non-fiction book?  How has it helped you with endeavors (creative or otherwise)?

I look forward to your answers in the comments!

<–Question of the Week: 7/10/16          Question of the Week: 7/24/16–>

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