The State of the Reader: 4/12/17

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

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: 12

  1. Order of Seven by Beth Teliho: Kept – I was kind of hoping the twin main characters would be similar in skin tone to the African tribe they’d been found with, but I can’t deny I’m curious about the mystery behind that.  I’d initially had this book on my really-want-to-read list, but finishing the sample bumped it down a bit.  Not that I’m not still interesting, but there are other books that seem more intriguing (I know…you’d think a book about the order of “seven” would be number one on the pile, but it doesn’t always work like that).
  2. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor: Kept (RWTR) – This is another book with a focus on the African continent, and I’m more interesting in it than the one above.  The main/titular character is the first of the Himba people to ever be offered a place at the most prestigious galactic university, and she leaves home secretly against the wishes of her family.  The sample did an excellent job of showing how Binti was a stranger in a strange land even on the transport to space.  I felt for her for so many reasons.
  3. The Dragon Tempest: Tales of Fantasy and Adventure by Dragon Knight Chronicles: Passed – It didn’t grab me, and there were too many cliched tropes without any subversions to shake them up.  The language was also really simplistic, which can be brilliant in the hands of a seasoned writer, but seems juvenile to the unadept.
  4. A Father’s Protection by by K. J. Hawkins: Kept (Purchased) – I really, really hate when the sample isn’t long enough to get past any forewords, acknowledgments et al.  There were only three pages in this sample, which mean I didn’t even get to read a word of the story.  Then I realized it was only $0.99, so I bought it.  Even if I hate it, it’s only $0.99.  Not that I think it’s going to be the greatest story I’ve ever read, but I’d hate to miss something I might enjoy.
  5. Clairvoyance Chronicles – Volume One: Natacha Guyot: Passed – Same issue as two above.  The writing is very simplistic without the promise of something much deeper lying beneath.  It seems almost like it’s mid-grade or YA, but since I just reviewed one of those (The Quantum Door) where the writing style was geared towards that age group, but still accessible to the older crowd, I’m a bit less inclined to just accept that as a reason.  It’s also possible that English is not the writer’s first language, which a quick click on her name proved true.  She’s French, and I’m wondering if the book was originally written in that language then translated into English, which is why it loses its finesse.
  6. Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty: Kept (RWTR) – I knew this was going to fall on the kept/really-want-to-read list, but I still wanted to test the sample out anyway.  It seems just as good as the first book, which I reviewed here.
  7. Sorrow’s Heart by G. S. Scott: Kept (RWTR) – I just marked this as a really-want-to-read.  I couldn’t stop thinking about how fucked up it is.  Children kept naked in cages by a cruel master who does experiments on them so heinous, many end up dead.  The first sample chapter ends with the main character’s brother one of the bodies on the pile.  I have to find out what happens.
  8. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison: Kept (RWTR) – The language in this is lush and poetic like all of Ms, Morrison’s work.  It pulls you in with magical magnetism and sumptuous metaphor just begging to be unraveled.
  9. Through the Portal by Riley J. Dennis: Kept (RWTR/Purchased) – Riley is one of my favorite YouTubers, and when I found out she’d written a book, I immediately added it to my Goodreads list.  I was even happier to find out it was fantasy, which is my favorite genre.  Within just the first few pages, Ms. Dennis makes you feel sympathy for the characters, and you want to know more about their lives which seem to only contain each other for comfort.
  10. The Grimm Chronicles by Isabella Fontaine: Passed – I didn’t like the voice.  The author used too many emphases aka italics, which is making me wary of how often I use them, and colloquialisms.
  11. A Pale View of the Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro: Kept (RWTR) – In contrast to the book above, I absolutely loved the voice in this.  It spreads out before you with so much mystery between the words.  The author reveals not only plot coupons but promised revelations to come.
  12. Elijah Dart: Angel of Death by Jonathan L. Ferrara: Kept (RWTR/Purchased) – JLF’s charming writing style again does not disappoint with this story.  Elijah is immediately endearing (and immediately in peril).  There’s even a reference to Rupert Davies (the main character from The Ghost of Buxton Manor)!
  • Kept – 9
    • RTWR – 7
  • Passed – 3

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 4/5/17

<–The State of the Reader: 3/29/17          The State of the Reader: 4/12/17–>

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: 7

  1. The Vagrant by Peter Newman: Kept (RWTR) – All of the yes to this story.  I’m more than likely going to pick it up this week.  I love the gritty minimalism of it, and the fact that the titular character has neither a name nor says nary a word (or at least hasn’t yet).  The world is so decaying and decrepit with so much more to it being revealed in drips and drops (without the info dump that so many people hate, but I don’t mind).  You can tell the Vagrant is a total bad ass even though he hasn’t really done anything yet, and I can’t wait to see what happens when he does.
  2. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon: Kept (RWTR) – I just realized that this and the above book could be considered urban fantasy, so I don’t hate the (sub) genre after all 🙂  This story takes place in a dystopian version of London where clairvoyants are considered treasonous just by nature of their existence, and the main character is (arguably) the city’s strongest one of them all.  She’s used by her boss to spy on people (which really puts me in the mind of Stranger Things), but (according to the blurb so no spoilers), she’s kidnapped one rainy day by a member of a powerful, otherworldly race with unknown motives.  I just realized that I’m extremely interested in this, and it’s not only urban fantasy but also young adult, since the main character is 19.
  3. Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight: Passed – It didn’t grab me.  I thought it was going to have a similar mien to Silent Child, but it read more like a typical mystery with a reporter main character.  It just really isn’t my genre.
  4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Kept – There really wasn’t any doubt that I was going to keep this, but I wanted to read a sample anyway to see if it would go on the really-want-to-read list.  It didn’t catch me that hard, but I didn’t get to the part where Claire walked into the past yet.  I’m still on the setup.
  5. Going Bovine by Libba Bray: Kept (RWTR) – Okay, so this book was hilarious from the start, and once again shows that I will like anything in any genre so long as it’s well written. It’s YA, first person, the latter which I’m not opposed to.  It’s just the matter of liking the person who’s telling it, and I like Cameron very much.  His very first anecdote is about how he nearly died on the It’s a Small World ride in Disney World, and the premise of the book is that he contracts some disease that I’m assuming turns him slowly into a cow (if the title is any indication).  It seems brilliant and utterly irreverent.
  6. Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse by Jack Flacco: Passed – I’m just not in the mood for an apocalyptic zombie story.  There’s nothing against the novel.
  7. Uprooted by Naomi Novik: Kept (RWTR) – I almost bought this book today, but stalled because it’s around $12.  Not that I don’t think the author deserves that money, but I’m trying to curb my spending especially on Amazon, which automatically defaults to that credit card.  I’m half debating putting books back on my wish list since I think you’ll receive word of sales on things there.  I have to research it more.  Anyway, everything about this book is amazing.  It’s told like a fairy tale in a very fairy tale way.  Every ten years or so a girl is chosen to live with the elusive magician in his castle/tower, and the main character is certain her beloved best friend is going to be that girl, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about fairy tales, it’s to expect the unexpected.

Books Purchased This Week: 1

Title: Melkorka
Series Title: The Kaelandur Series
Author: Joshua Robertson
Date Added: January 5, 2016
Date Purchased: April 4, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $0.00
Retailer: Amazon

Nothing cheaper than something free!  (Bonus points to whomever guesses where that’s from, and you have to tell me who says it).

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 3/29/17

<–The State of the Reader: 3/22/17          The State of the Reader: 4/5/17–>

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: 7

  1. Akarnae by Lynette Noni: Kept – I was a bit wary at first, because it started off a little too YA for my liking (especially in terms of unfortunately typical adolescent bullying), but the great writing kept me going, and then when the main character stepped through that strange door, I realized I was really interested in what would happen.  It’s also a book a fellow WP blogger/writer, and I always want to support people like that!
  2. Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner: Passed – Though it was touted as a clever, humorous fantasy, it just didn’t hold my interest.  I’m quite disappointed because there’s apparently a paradigm in the story about how the line between villain and hero can be altered in the blink of an eye, and I love things like that.  None of the characters grabbed me though, and while I’m usually a huge fan of assassins, there wasn’t enough background for me to really latch onto.
  3. Fire at Dawn by Ed Ireland: Passed – It just didn’t engage me.  The novel starts out with a character running from orcs, which I’m okay with in terms of borrowing from Tolkien; however, the dialogue seemed almost juvenile, so maybe this was geared more towards a mid-grade/YA audience?  Either way, it wasn’t for me.
  4. Fall from Grace by J. Edward Ritchie: Passed – I’m very picky and particular about my angels, and this book seems to be written for people who know little to nothing about them.  The fact the author italicized that the two main characters were seraphim with six wings (this is literally what he did) led me to this conclusion.  It’s also about a war in heaven where (of course) sides are chosen, and one of the mains is named Satanail.  I’m okay with some predictability, and it’s possible I’m wrong and the other MC Michael is the one who turns to the dark side, but I also wasn’t too keen on the angels’ aesthetic either.  Like I said, I’m picky about my angels, and before that thought can solidify in your head, understand that there are quite a few types that I find acceptable.  Example:

Totally acceptable aesthetic

Picture Source: 2010118 by feimo

  1. If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch: Kept (RWTR) – I’m noticing a pattern as I download and read through samples.  I almost know right from the first page if I’m going to keep it and if it’s going to be in the “really want to read” category.  I also know if I’m going to pass on it.  This book “broke” an accent rule.  A recent writing tip I read stated that you shouldn’t write out accents.  If You Find Me breaks it a little with having the narrator Carey speak in a way where she leaves off her “g’s.”  It makes sense though since she and her sister are living in the woods of Tennessee, and it draws you more into the story rather than out of it.  If I know I’m going to keep a book on my TBR list, I usually stop reading the sample so that I’m not going too far into the novel, but with this I read until the end and wished there was more.  There is something extremely heartbreaking about the plight of Carey and her little sister,, abandoned by their mentally ill, drug addicted mom and more than likely abused by their dad (which is probably why the mom left him ten years ago in the first place).  This is also not my typical fantasy fare, but it may be finding its way onto my Kindle very soon.
  2. The Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov: Kept (Library) – I really hate when samples have long introductions/forewords, and the sample ends before you really get out of those sections.  That’s what happened with this book, so I really didn’t get to read much of the story proper.  I decided to keep it, but put it onto my Library shelf, since I don’t know enough about it to warrant spending money, but for the same reason, I still want to give it a chance.
  3. Frostfire by Amanda Hocking: Kept (RWTR) – I already had this on my really-want-to-read list, and there it shall remain.  I was a little confused what kind of people these were when the main character said that they were allowed “human music and movies,” but the blurb revealed they’re trolls, and I thought it was cool that it seems to take place in a modern era where trolls (and probably other beings) coexist alongside humans.  I also totally called the villain of this story.  He was introduced in the sample and was portrayed as an attractive member of the elite guard that the main character looked up to.  Uh-huh.  I’m not going to give away what happened next, but I was very unsurprised.  This doesn’t diminish me desire to read this book in the slightest though.  I’m too well versed in fantasy tropes to be consistently surprised, and I actually like when I’m right so long as the trope is used well.

Books Purchased This Week: 1

Title: Red Queen
Series: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Date Added: January 6, 2016
Date Purchased: March 24, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $8.79
Retailer: Target


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: January 28, 2017
Date Started: March 19, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 21%

There’s a brilliant commentary on the paradox of not wanting to conform, but also not wanting to fall into the trap of the non-conformist, which is another type of conformity.  It’s something very relevant to the age group Jitty, Hazel, and crew belong to, but the Era of Chaos has just begun.

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: 57%

It happened.  The part in the book where the title is said, and the speaker of it is revealed.  I was not expecting those words to come from that source, and I actually went over my typical one chapter for the day because it ended right when something extremely interesting occurred.  I want to know what “Blue Lily…” has to do with Blue’s character.  Is she the blue lily?  Is Lily going to be her secret middle name?  There’s still nearly half a book left to get through.

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

Media: Kindle
Progress: 90%

The delineation of the typical three acts are quite sharp in this novel.  The first part is when the boys discover the eponymous door; the second is when they go through it; and the third is when they need to return something that came through to our world to the other.  There are obviously other considerations, but it’s a rare few stories that so clearly define their three acts.

Hm, this is making me want to make a post about the three acts in other stories…

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: 47%

I think I’m one (or maybe two) chapters away from finishing the first part of this.  The chapter I’m on now is discussing string theory, and I…kind of get it.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 81%

I officially cannot stand any of the main characters in this section/branch.  All of them are terrible.  There’s Gwydion who helped his brother assault his uncle’s footholder (his uncle, the king) then he tricked the King of Dyved into giving up his swine herd, and when the rival king obviously sought retribution, him and all of his men were killed in what was considered “fair” battle, but really Gwydion just tricked him again.  He has no qualms about using his powers to manipulate people, and he’s supposed to be the king after his uncle Math who is the only decent character in this part.  Then there’s Arianrhod, Gwydion’s sister.  She lied about having relations with men and attempted to be the king’s new footholder (only virgins are allowed to do it…I could say a lot about the concept of virginity, but we’ll let that slide), so when Math tested her, she not only failed, but actually gave birth right then and there (mythology is weird).  That child swam away, but somehow or another, Gwydion got another child from her prematurely and kept it in a box, but when he presented this son to Arianrhod, she utterly rejected her own child.  Oh, and this woman also blamed the footholder for getting her brothers in trouble #fuming  I suppose it’s better that the reprehensible characters were saved for the end since I might have given up reading this had they been the forerunners.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 2

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

No updates for this one.  I still need to check her tumblr.  I really haven’t been on that site except to answer messages from people.

Title: I Will Call You Home: A Recounting of the Fifth Blight
Author: AtheneTseta
Fandom: Dragon Age
Pairing: Leilana/Various

I read two chapters last time I had a chance to do so, but I missed my Monday reading (I think I have this on my planner for Mondays and Thursdays).  They were hard to read due to some terrible things that happened (which means the writing is fantastic).  I abhor religious zealots.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 5

Title: Bull
Author: David Elliott
Date Added: March 23, 2017
Recommended by: By Hook or By Book

Kim and I had a nice discussion about myth retellings in the comments of her review post.  Mary Renault’s The King Must Die and its sequel The Bull from the Sea are probably my favorite ones.  I love the way she writes.  I’ve read The Last of the Wine, too, which is about two Athenian youths who are best friends, and Fire from Heaven, the first in her Alexander the Great series is on my TBR list.  Suffice it to say, I have a fondness for retellings.

With Bull, I love the implied crassness in the title.  Plus I’m a Taurus, so anything concerning bulls always has the opportunity for that parallel.  The novel is also written in verse, which puts me in the mind of Paradise Lost, but David Elliott’s work is much more tongue-in-cheek.  Either way, it’s worth a (sample) read.

Title: The Gathering
Series Title: Darkness Rising
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Date Added: March 23, 2017
Recommended by: By Hook or By Book

Because I passed on Anne Bishop’s Written in Blood last week, Kim decided she was going to recommend some YA books I might enjoy.  I do enjoy some (in fact, I really should stop saying I don’t; I’m just particular when it comes to writing style), but I’m always game for recommendations!  While the main character Maya claims she’s ordinary, save for an odd paw print birthmark on her hip, the cover certainly has a mystical cast to it, an almost James Cameron Avatar vibe to be honest.  That’s more than likely due to the blue that’s supposed to imply night, but the dangling earring in her ear doesn’t help diminish this assessment.

Title: Dead Witch Walking
Series Title: The Hollows
Author: Kim Harrison
Date Added: March 23, 2017
Recommended by: By Hook or By Book

I swore I already had Kim Harrison on my TBR list, but apparently I didn’t.  Her name sounds really familiar, and I think my writer BFF has probably mentioned her a few times.  I know I’ve been in discussions about her writing before.  Anyway…this is the other YA book Kim from By Hook or By Book recommended.  It’s also an urban fantasy so I’m cautiously optimistic.

Title: Waiting for Godot
Author: Samuel Beckett
Date Added: March 24, 2017

I should’ve added this years ago when I randomly read something about how Yuffie’s father (from FFVII) was named after Godot, the absent character.  I think his name sounds close to it (is it Gogo?  Am I thinking of the mimic from FFVI or do they share a name?), but it’s a minor detail I don’t remember (it doesn’t concern Sephiroth, so it probably was replaced by something else).  Either way, it’s a play I should’ve read a long time ago, regardless of its connections with VII.

Title: The Spirit Within
Author: Sheila Renee Parker
Date Added: March 25, 2017

One of my recent follows is the author of this book.  I always try to check out my blog follower’s pages to see if we’ve like minded interests in our posts, and I’m almost guaranteed to follow any author.  Though the book’s title reminds me of the lackluster Final Fantasy movie, it seems anything but.  A tale of dealing with an abusive relationship with a supernatural twist, I’m quite excited to see what unfolds (yes, that was supposed to be a flower pun because of the cover).


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 443
Change from Last Week: +1


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: 3/22/17          The State of the Reader: 4/5/17–>

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The State of the Reader: 3/22/17

<–The State of the Reader: 3/15/17          The State of the Reader: 3/29/17–>

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 Unfinished This Week: 1

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017
Date Unfinished: March 13, 2017
Reading Duration: 30 days

Media: Hardback
Final Progress: 38%; Page 135

Before I talk about the status of this book, I should first explain the “Unfinished” status.  It’s different from “Did Not Finish/DNF.”  I used to call my DNF books “Unfinished” (I know, hella confusing), but I decided to differentiate.  DNF means I have absolutely no interest in finishing the book.  It was either not for me and/or I found the writing not up to par; and it’s likely not a book I’m ever going to pick up again.

Conversely, “Unfinished” consists of books I either didn’t finish for reasons that have less to do with their quality or books I’m setting aside for the time being.  Prospero Lost falls into the latter camp.  It’s not a bad book by any means, but it’s not really holding my attention as hard as something else might right now, and I have so many books to read.  I may come back to it at a later time, but I do intend to write an Unfinished review at some point in the near future..  I need to buy more bookmarks …

So as suggested last week, I’m going to shelf Prospero Lost for the time being and move onto the next book on the fantasy/sci-fi/general fiction shelf.


Samples Read This Week: 7

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: Kept (RWTR) – This book starts off so strong and intriguing and also has one of my favorite elements: mental manipulation/mind control.  The first chapter lures you in with the lovelorn plight of a lonely guard then it utterly blows you away with the unexpected.
  2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: Kept (RWTR) – Holy shit do I really want to read this.  It has FFVII, Hunger Games, and Mistborn all over it.  The elite, ruling class literally has silver blood (Silver…Elite ahhhh!) whereas the lower class has common, red blood.  The main character Mare has a voice similar to Katniss, and she and her people are as downtrodden as Mistborn’s skaa.  While I didn’t finish Sanderson’s series for various reasons, I still loved the idea behind it, the detail, and the world building so books that contain similar themes are of interest to me.
  3. Ratha’s Creature by Clare Bell: Kept – I grew up reading animal based fiction/fantasy (e.g. Watership Down, Tailchaser’s Song, Fantastic Mr. Fox, etc.) and was introduced to this story through an 80s/early 90s cartoon CBS Story Break.  The writing reminds me of what I grew up with, so there’s a definite nostalgia factor involved.
  4. Written in Blood by Anne Bishop: Passed – This book has a 4.30 rating, and I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Bishops Black Jewels Trilogy in high school, but this book just didn’t do much for me.  I’m pretty sure it’s because it’s urban fantasy, and I’m really hard to please in that department.
  5. Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil: Kept (RWTR) – This book throws you right into the fray or should I say flood.  The opening line is gut wrenching, since the catalyst for the story has already happened, and the main character is recounting how everything occurred.
  6. Chime by Frannie Billingsly: Passed – While I loved the fairy tale aspect and the slight subversion with the dead stepmother (as opposed to dead mother), the writing just wasn’t for me.  The main character liked to double back on her sentences and almost seem like she was speaking to the reader, and it was jarring and took me a bit out of the story.  I also found out that this could be considered urban fantasy, so that’s another strike.
  7. Consider Phelbas by Iain Banks: Kept (RWTR) – This is a sci-fi novel written almost poetically.  It has more of a fantasy flare to it, which I really like.  I’m a fan of what I used to call sci-fi/fantasy fusion, which I found is already been named science fantasy.

Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: The Golden Bough
Author: James George Frazer
Date Added: February 21, 2012
Date Purchased: March 17, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $0.00
Retailer: Amazon

There’s nothing cheaper than something free, and this is a book I’ve wanted for years.  I may still pick up a hard copy, because I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do the combination of reference and Kindle (I usually have fantasy/sci-fi/general fiction on there), but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

Title: Silent Child
Author: Sarah A. Denzil
Date Added: March 13, 2017

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


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: January 28, 2017
Date Started: March 19, 2017

Media: Paperback
Progress: 8%

I love the taste of the words.  They’re random, scattered, and deliciously mad, yet they weave the lives before you in such brazen relief.  The narrative doesn’t have just one direction; it has all directions dependent on which way the characters, the carriers of it, decide to go.  It’s equal parts worrisome (to the outside observer and stodgy adult) and equal parts devil may care.

I’ve seen a paltry few shows about British teens (the only one coming to mind right now is The Misfits), and I have to agree with the assessment by Roll Magazine on the back cover that standard portrayals of their American counterparts are tame/genteel in comparison.  I’m looking forward to where Jitty and gang take me.

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: 38%

Speaking of American teens hehe.  Blue and crew are much tamer in comparison to the fore mentioned, but what they’re seeking is more than wild.  This installment seems to be focusing more on Gansey and her, which makes sense since that’s how it all started (plus the title does heavily suggest she’ll be center stage).

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

Media: Kindle
Progress: 71%

I’m really curious what the final act of this novel is going to bring.  The main concern of the first two parts was solved, but then something else happened at the end of second.  The book has been very stingy in showing us what’s really going on.  Why is there a quantum door in the first place?  How is that other world connected with our own?  Why is the nature of that world what it is?  Are there other worlds?  And more questions that would be spoilerific to post here.

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: 45%

The latest chapter was on time travel, which Professor Hawking has some doubts on.  He brought up the question of “If time travel is possible, why hasn’t anyone from the future come back to visit us?”  He went over the idea that it might be highly regulated, but humans will always be what they are, and it’s highly likely that someone would slip through the cracks.  It’s possible that time travelers are among us, and we just don’t know about.  They’re either good at keeping the secret or more likely if they told anyone in this time, they wouldn’t believe them anyway.  Maybe that’s the real paradox.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 76%

I officially like the third section of this compendium the least.  The main character is the least likable and the most dastardly and selfish.  It’s hard to come back from aiding and abetting your brother in such a heinous crime, and even after the siblings were punished (more or less duly), they still showed little remorse for what they put that poor maiden through.  There’s also a creep factor in that Gwydion proposed marriage to his own sister (ugh and ew) to which she wasn’t really disgusted, but rather just said the New Tribes didn’t like it.  Granted, I love ASOIAF so this shouldn’t be too out of sorts for me, but it’s still super icky.  The sister Arianrhod isn’t that much of a treat either.  When she came to the court, she did the whole “it’s the victim’s fault for getting my brothers in trouble” thing, and I wanted to pull out all of her hair.  It’s really interesting how the first two parts had main characters of honor and grace where this part you really can’t sympathize with them, and you hope they get an eternal comeuppance.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 2

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

No update from RM, but I need to hop on tumblr to check out the pics from PAX East she said she’d post 🙂

Title: I Will Call You Home: A Recounting of the Fifth Blight
Author: AtheneTseta
Fandom: Dragon Age
Pairing: Leilana/Various

I read Chapter 2 last night, and oh my god…it’s so well written.  It doesn’t even matter that I haven’t played Dragon Age and I’m not that familiar with the culture of the Dahlish elves.  I could learn about it from Athene’s story.  Words from their language is seamlessly woven in, and even though there’s a glossary at the end of each chapter, it’s really not that hard to figure out the gist of the words.  I  may try to read two chapters a session so I can catch up.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 1

Title: The Vagrant
Series Title: The Vagrant
Author: Peter Newman
Date Added: March 20, 2017

This came up as a recommendation after I bought Silent Child.  The blurb was a bit more elaborate on Amazon.  It mentioned seraph defenders and something else angelic, but even the shorter blurb on GR would’ve been sufficient for me to add.  The nameless protagonist carries a legendary sword and a baby, and that’s too odd of a combination for me to pass this up.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 442
Change from Last Week: -7


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: 3/15/17          The State of the Reader: 3/29/17–>

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The State of the Reader: 3/15/17

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

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.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: Men of Greywater Station
Author: George R. R. Martin
Date Added: March 14, 2017
Date Started: March 14, 2017
Date Finished: March 14, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction

Media: Online
Publication Date: June 1976
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 29

I decided to read this yesterday after listening to Preston Jacobs’s review of another GRRM short story (which is why it was never on my TBR or Currently Reading lists), the name of which I can’t recall now.  Preston’s review of Greywater is right here though for the interested, and the link to the story itself is above (just click “Online”).  It was a quick read at only 29 pages.  There are also links to listen to the audio or read the short on Preston’s review, which is how I was able to do so.

I’m not going to write a review of it since I linked to Preston’s more than serviceable one, but I will say that I correctly guessed what was really going on.  I’m becoming used to the paradigms Martin uses.  Like most authors he falls into a pattern and recycles his own motifs.  I have absolutely no problem with this as a writer who does the same.  I truly believe that GRRM has already “given away” the ending of Song in his prior tales.  It’s just the matter of divining how to put the pieces together.  Martin is an extremely subtle writer, and he requires a bit of intelligence and introspection from his readers.  He’s not just going to give you the answer or lay the meaning bare.  Rather, he’s going to make you dig for it and question it even after you’re certain you know the truth (it reminds me of a certain game I love).

Speaking of which (symbolically), I’m almost certain that one of Dany’s dragons is going to be injured in a way to lose a wing, and I’m saying that because Martin has done this before.  Literally in The Ice Dragon and metaphorically in Windhaven (one of the parts is literally called “One-Wing”).  As mentioned above, Martin recycles motifs, and reading his short stories, you see similar paradigms as the ones in Song;: hive-minded, mind controlling entities, civilizations existing after some great cataclysm, portents from the sky that are actual spaceships/aliens, humans usurping the land from the original inhabitants, etc. (okay…this is not to beat a dead horse, but all of these things are also paradigms in FFVII.in some way.  The civilization after a cataclysm fits if you look at all of the games as on one timeline and remember what happened in FFVI.  That’s all I’m going to say about this for now, since the plans to write those essays are still go).  This is my only original prediction for Song’s seventh season (omg…).  All the other ones I prescribe to were created by righteous others.


Samples Read This Week: 5

  1. Chasing Embers (Ben Garston #1) by James Bennett: Kept – It starts off in a bar and introduces questions, issues, and a potential supernatural bar fight, which is enough to keep me interested.  Nor can I forget that I found this through one of Kim’s (or By Hook or By Book) reviews!
  2. Nemesis (Nemesis #1) by Anna Banks Kept – The main character’s name is Sepora who’s fleeing a father who wants to exploit her special abilities.  Huh.  This was another one I found due to Kim 🙂
  3. The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry: Kept – This was recommended to me a while ago by the lovely writer of The Ink Garden.  The writing is lush and brilliant, and the opening chapter entices you into a world of secrets and intrigue.
  4. The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing) by R. Scott Bakker: Kept/RWTR – Not only did I keep this, I put it on my really-want-to-read bookshelf (RWTR).  The beginning is brutal in showcasing the realities of war, exile, and the diseases and depravities that almost always follow.  Raw and beautiful is one of my favorite styles of writing (it’s what I try to emulate).
  5. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden: Kept/RWTR – Give me stories based on fairy tales any day of the week.  There’s also a Song parallel in the description of the character Frost as a “blue-eyed winter demon,” especially considering he’s the king of winter (common paradigms are common).  It’s odd though.  This is another story based on Vasilisa the Beautiful, the same as Vassa in the Night, which I didn’t finish.  The writing in Bear/Nightingale is so much more lush and atmospheric than Vassa.  Plus it’s not an urban fantasy or YA.

Continue reading

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–>

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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–>

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