The State of the Reader: 8/30/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/23/17          The State of the Reader: 9/6/17–>

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. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison: Passed – Urban fantasy has to work really hard to get my attention, and this doesn’t do it. Way too many UF clichés for my taste. I know Kim Harrison is pretty popular and has other books/series, so I’ll try some of her other stuff before writing her off (yes, I suppose that was a writer pun).
  2. The Spirit Within by Sheila Renee Parker: Passed – It didn’t hold my interest despite its Final Fantasy-esque name, though to be fair, that was not a good movie.  It (the novel) is about domestic abuse and withstanding that, which I’m fine with as a narrative, but I don’t think there’s enough of a fantasy element for my tastes..
  3. First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones: Kept – Witty and wonderful writing, and the beginning saw the main character in a situation hilariously dire, awkward, and strange.
  4. Hounded by Kevin Hearne: Kept (RWTR) – 21 centuries old, hot, Irish shapeshifter with a magic/holy sword.  Yes please.
  5. Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: Kept – As grim of an opening as First Grave on the Right was humorous.  The main character Noemi knows she’s going to die in three weeks (20 days), and she wants her death and therefore life to have some purpose.
  6. Planetfall by Emma Newman: Kept – Opening with something I can fully relate to is a good way to start a story, and I was already drawn in by what the blurb itself promised.
  7. Eating Robots: And Other Stories by Stephen Oram: Kept – Kept and purchased for a low price.  It’s a collection of short sci-fi stories recommended by a fellow blogger.
  8. Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede: Kept (RWTR) – This was recommended by none other than Hungrygoriya herself.  It took me a while to get to the sample, but I loved it.  I’ve read a lot of unconventional princess stories, but when done right, they never cease to delight.
  9. Blood Rose by Danielle Rose: Kept – It’s good enough to borrow from the library.  There’s an ancestral war between witches and vampires.  That’s a new one for me.
  10. Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut: Kept – I’m definitely interesting and probably would’ve kept this even without the sample.  It’ll more than likely be put on my library list, which I may actually make on the library’s site.
  11. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury: Kept – Same as Vonnegut above.  I want to get more into science fiction and the science fiction greats.
  12. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley: Kept – Wibbley wobbly timey wimey!  I’m usually pretty good for any story that features well done time travel.

Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: Master of Crows
Series Title: Master of Crows
Author: Grace Draven
Date Added: May 12, 2016
Date Purchased: August 26, 2017

Master of Crows

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $3.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: Eating Robots: And Other Stories
Author: Stephen Oram
Date Added: April 10, 2017
Date Purchased: August 27, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

Total Price: $6.98
Average Price: $3.49

Books DNF This Week: 1

Title: The Metaphysical Detective
Series Title: Riga Hayworth
Author: Kirsten Weiss
Date Added: October 22, 2016
Date Started: August 20, 2017
Date DNF: August 27, 2017
Reading Duration: 7 days

Media: eBook/Kindle
Percentage Read: 20%

The premise is interesting, a widow potentially murdered by her dead husband, but none of the characters really intrigued me, and I’m not interested enough in the mystery to get past that.

Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
Author: David Eagleman
Date Added: May 7, 2017
Date Started: July 2, 2017
Date Finished: August 25, 2017
Reading Duration: 54 days

Media: Paperback

I have so much to say about this book.  On one hand is was a marvelous venture and exploration into the literal stuff that makes us us, but on the other I have fairly egregious critiques.  I’m not even sure how I’m going to rate this.  The information presented and the insights it gave are invaluable, and the amount of notes I have on the subject show that, but I can’t divest them from the biases of the source.  By the time I get around to reviewing this (and it’s at the end of a 20 book list at this point), I’m sure I’ll have had plenty of time to ruminate upon it.  Suffice it to say I do recommend this volume for anyone interested in the mysteries of consciousness, and by some lucky coincidence I happened to read this around the same time I was watching SOMA.

Title: The Archived
Series Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Date Added: July 12, 2016
Date Started: July 11, 2017
Date Finished: August 29, 2017
Reading Duration: 49 days

Media: Hardback/Library

This book was an absolute delight to read in terms of Ms. Schwab’s prose.  I had very little problems with any of the plot (save for some annoyance at one of Mackenzie’s foolish, yet understandable, decisions).  I was surprised that the love triangle produced two likable candidates, though one was obviously a bad choice, and I was playfully irritated at one of the villains, because (for me) it was just too expected.

Books Currently Reading: 7

Title: The City of Ember
Series Title: The Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Date Added: June 28, 2016
Date Started: August 30, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle (Library)
Progress: 8%

What a time to be alive!  I borrowed this from the library through Amazon Kindle.  I have it for 21 days (hopefully I can renew if necessary), and this means I don’t have to make a trip to the library in order to borrow books.  It’s a fantastic resource that will help people who have mobility, transportation, and/or any other issue that makes it difficult for them to be out and about.  This is why I love technology.  It can be a wonderful tool to provide ways and means for the entire population.

So far, I’m really liking this novel.  I just started it right before I left work, and it’s the perfect example of when a prologue is valid.  Ember’s mysterious builders needed the citizens to stay in the city for at least 200 years, but they provided a box on a timer that would open up on the appropriate date with instructions therein.  Each mayor had instructions about the box, and they were supposed to pass it on to their successor, but as things can often go, the information was lost and the box forgotten.  Now Ember is in trouble.  Food is growing scarce and famine is imminent.  The electricity is unstable, and if it goes out, the city will be left in utter darkness.  It’s been 241 years, 41 since the box has been open, and time is running out.

Title: Abstract Clarity
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: June 27, 2017
Date Started: August 28, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 25%

This is a series of short stories by the blogger friend who also wrote Rest in Piece.  I’ve read two stories so far and the premise of each was very interesting.  Because we’re in email communication, I’m probably going to send her one with my critiques before posting anything on Goodreads or Amazon.

Title: Chobits, Vol. 1
Series Title: Chobits
Author: CLAMP
Translator: Shirley Kubo
Date Added: August 27, 2017
Date Started: August 28, 2017

Media: Physical/Paperback
Progress: 17%

So far I haven’t gotten beyond what I saw with the anime yet, but I do remember how messed up this story was haha.  Where Chi’s “on” switch is located is quite…interesting *headdesk*  This was clearly written for a particular demographic, but I’m not giving up hope yet :p

Title: Popular Tales from Norse Mythology
Author: George Webbe Dasent
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: August 27, 2017

Media: Physical/Paperback
Progress: 5%

As much as I love Norse Mythology, the writing in this is really dry.  It’s less of a story and more of a stating of information.  I’ve only read “The Story of Gram” so far, but I’m hoping the next ones are more prosaic, else this might end up in my DNF pile.  If it does, I’ll just pick up The Prose Edda, and call it a day.

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Series Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date Added: April 18, 2016
Date Started: August 26, 2017

Media: Physical/Hardback
Progress: 11%

I can’t imagine a world where this book isn’t going to receive five stars.  I love when authors hide cleverness in simplicity, and the title does just that.  Double entendres are one of my loves (I use them myself all the time), and I’m happy I figured out the one in the title before it was blatantly revealed in the text.  It’s both describing the Dreamer as “strange” in a poetic way, and it’s also giving the main character’s name and title/description as (Lazlo) Strange, the Dreamer.  It’s so simple, but so clever.  Also, I thought I’d already picked my Book of the Year for 2017, but I may have been wrong.  I love everything about this novel, and the more I read, the more I adore it.

Title: Dweller
Author: Jeff Strand
Date Added: February 13, 2017
Date Started: August 23, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Percentage: 73%

I actually was close to declaring this DNF, because the writing seemed a bit too juvenile for me, but I realize it perfectly fit the character, and it “grew” as he did.  This is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read.  We’ve all heard of monster stories, but stories where the protagonist not only befriends, but is best friends with the monster is something new to me.  Some really fucked up stuff happens in this book, yet you can’t help but sympathize with Toby and understand how in his loneliness he found a friend in the creature he named Owen.

I thought I figured out how this novel would end, but I now have no idea, and I love that: when an author makes you constantly reassess where you think a story is going.  I’m about three-quarters done, and the stakes could not be higher.

Title: The Winter’s Tale
Author: William Shakespeare
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: August 14, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 55%

I haven’t reached the problematic part of this play yet (problematic in that it doesn’t fit into Shakespeare’s four categories of comedy, tragedy, history, or romance).  I’m quite invested in the story and am happy I’m adept enough at Shakespearean English to have little trouble comprehending it.

Books Removed from Goodreads TBR List This Week: 1

Title: Magicians of the God: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilizations
Author: Graham Hancock
Date Added: August 22, 2017
Date Removed: August 24, 2017

Yes, this is a new section.  I’ve removed quite a few books from my TBR list that I haven’t mentioned, and I figured I ought to.  After talking with my mythology/theology/symbology expert friend, she more than agreed with my trepidation and misgivings about this volume and told me it wasn’t worth my time even for the symbolism aspect.  She’d heard of the author who was, as I’d put it, a “History Channel aliens” type.  This conversation cropped up, because I specifically asked her for recommended reading on Venusian symbolism and wound up disclosing this addition.  She’s the one who gave me the recommendations on the first two books added to my TBR list below.  So though I removed one; I added two.  No luck in clearing or even cutting down my list I suppose.

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 6

Title: Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths
Author: Charlene Spretnak
Date Added: August 24, 2017
Recommended By: Other

What the hell is this “other” recommendation, you ask?  Well, this and the book below it were suggested to me by an old, high school friend who doesn’t have a blog.  I didn’t want to put “N/A,” because that wouldn’t be true, but I guess I don’t see the point in putting a name if there’s no blog or site to link it to.

Title: Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood: A Treasury of Goddess and Heroine Lore from Around the World
Author: Merlin Stone
Illustrator: Cynthia Stone
Date Added: August 24, 2017
Recommended By: Other

I keep meaning to renew my Barnes and Noble membership card; its only $25 to do so, but I keep forgetting.  I desperately need to do another book run, because I have no graphic novels and I’m running out of (interesting) references to read.  Another recommendation by my erudite friend.  The knowledge of the ancients shall be mine mwahahaha.

Title: The Sun Is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Date Added: August 25, 2017
Recommended By: N/A

I swore I already had this on my list.  One of my blogger friends posted about it, and I commented such on their page, but then when I looked to verify, I found I inadvertently spoke falsehood.  Since I don’t recall whose page I last saw it on, I can’t add a proper “Recommended By,” and, well, since it wasn’t technically recommended to me by them, but rather reminded to me by them, it wouldn’t be quite accurate anyway, would it?

A fate and the universe story.  I’m looking forward to seeing what all the hubbub is about.

Title: Unraveling Oliver
Author: Liz Nugent
Date Added: August 26, 2017
Recommended By: By Hook or By Book

Dark and psychological with a 5 star review from someone I trust is all that’s needed for me to add a novel.  The first line (or the line Kim used) still stays with me “I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”  It’s terrifying and dangerous to plunge into the heart of darkness, because what you may find may shatter the light rather than be illuminated by it.

Title: Chobits, Vol. 1
Series Title: Chobits
Author: CLAMP
Date Added: August 27, 2017
Recommended By: N/A

This was a lapse on my part.  I’ve owned this book for years, but I must have missed it when I went through my bookshelf.  This is pretty perfect though, as I needed a graphic novel to read.  I’ve only seen parts of the anime, so it’ll be nice to find out the rest or at least more of the story.

Title: Ubik
Author: Philip K. Dick
Date Added: August 29, 2017
Recommended By: Professional Moron

More existential horror for TSN!  I must be a glutton for punishment or perhaps I’m just willing to suffer for my art, which (still) seems to be the fashion.  Since I want to write cosmic and existential horror, it’s crucial I read it.  This is considered one of the 100 greatest novels since 1923.  Let’s see if it holds up to the test of (almost) a century.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 489
Change from Last Week: -2

Books Added to Reread List This Week: 1

Title: The Name of the Wind
Series Title: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Author: Patrick Rothfus
Date Added: August 28, 2017

Not only have I read this before, but I’ve reviewed it, too.  Damn my supervisor/coworker for reminding me about it lol.  He came back from vacation and around Monday at 4:00 or so asked me if I’d read this and why the hell hadn’t the author finished the third yet.  That started a conversation about Rothfuss and Martin, because they both published their last book in 2011, and nary a publishing peep has been heard from them since.  I said I should reread this, because it’s almost as epic of a series as ASOIAF.

Total Books on Goodreads To Reread List: 69
Change from Last Week: +1

Fanfictions Finished This Week: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I Will Call You Home: A Recounting of the Fifth Blight
Fandom: Dragon Age/Dragon Age: Origins
Pairing: Leliana & Various
Author: AthenaTseta
Date Started: March 16, 2017

Progress: Chapter 30

I have this scheduled to read on Mondays, but I don’t think I got to it before I played Mario Kart with one of my Twitter friends.  I think I need to change the day I read it or add another day of the week (if possible).  I still have a lot of chapters to get through.  Maybe I’ll be able to catch up on vacation.

Fanfictions On Hold: 2

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Fandom: Final Fantasy VI
Pairing: Celes Chere & Setzer Gabbiani
Author: runicmagitek
Date Started: June 19, 2016

Last Update: February 18, 2017
Latest Chapter: Chapter 18

Title: The Broken Orrery
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Pairing: Sephiroth & Aeris
Author: CymbelinesHalo
Date Started:  April 1, 2015

Last Update: August 1, 2016
Latest Chapter: Chapter 39

Fanfictions Added to TBR List This Week: 0

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: 8/23/17          The State of the Reader: 9/6/17–>











The State of the Writer: 8/27/17

<–The State of the Writer: 8/20/17          The State of the Writer: 9/3/17–>

A weekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them.  This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.

Project: Story
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 263,770
Prior Word Count: 266,548
Word Difference: -2778
Status: Editing
Progress: First edit of Chapter 11

After a bit of preliminary work, I started the first edit…today…right before posting this.  I got about two or three paragraphs edited.  This chapter is a bit different from others prior since I initially went through each paragraph, marking whether or not each was significant (adds new information, gives a new insight et al), and in some of the significant cases, color coding it further with what that particular paragraph was about.  I was going to try to put everything into order when I realized this is a letter chapter, as in Aeris is writing a letter to herself, so there’s going to be a lot of stream of consciousness.  Randomness is not only acceptable it’s expected.  But because a narrative is supposed to lead the reader to a particular place, it can’t be entirely haphazard, so it really has to be more “organized confusion.”  I hope I’m able to pull that off.

Quote: *They* hurt me, but it wasn’t my fault.  It was wrong and now I’m safe.

Project: Book Reviews
Title: Various
Status: Upcoming

I’ve been a reading machine lately, and finished five more books since last update, which means I have five more reviews.

  1. Monstress #1 – Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda
  2. An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel
  3. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  4. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
  5. The Metaphysical Detective by Kirsten Weiss (DNF)

I was going to reread Monstress, but I decided not to even though I have no other graphic novels on my list (which I’m hoping to remedy soon).  I declared The Metaphysical Detective DNF this morning.  I just didn’t have any interest in reading anymore.  It’s a shame because I think it’s an interesting premise, but I couldn’t really relate to any of the characters.

Project: Game Review
Title: SOMA
Developer:  Frictional Games
Let’s Player: ChristopherOdd
Prior Word Count: 2397
Word Count: 3118
Word Difference: +721
Status: Drafting

I found a great resource for plot summary, and it was right under my nose:  the SOMA Wiki.  Not the main plot page, but the pages for each Site.  There’s an explanation for what happened in the past and for what happens during the events of the game (there’s some serious wibley wobbly timey wimey shenanigans going on, wow…), and it even has the order you visit the sites, so I no longer have to jump between Wikis and Mr. Odd’s LP to cobble a summary together.

I haven’t had time to work on it today, and I’m not sure if I will, but I’ll certainly finish it during my vacation in September.

Project: Game Reviews
Title: Various
Status: Upcoming

No additional ones to add this week, but I’m going to change the order.  I have the Mass Effect Series before The Last of Us, but I think I’m going to review TLOU first, because it’s much more controversial or it’s controversial for (arguably) more moral reasons, and that’s better fodder to write about.  I’m hoping to get to both of them during my vacation.

What are you currently working on?  Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else?  Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?

<–The State of the Writer: 8/20/17          The State of the Writer: 9/3/17–>



The State of the Reader: 8/23/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/16/17          The State of the Reader: 8/30/17–>

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. Traitor’s Blades by Sebastian de Castell: Kept – This wasn’t a hard sell for me at all given the series is called Greatcoats, and I love greatcoats in general (nothing beats a Badass Longcoat).  It was also an easy sell since it was also really cheap.
  2. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry: Kept – I had no idea The Giver was the first book of a quartet.  This is a definite must-read.
  3. Hunted by Meagan Spooner: Kept – More revamped fairy tales. This time it’s Beauty and the Beast.
  4. Santa Took Them by William Malmborg: Passed – I’m pissed about this pass.  Maybe this was the author’s intention, but I hated all of the characters introduced in the first chapter.  The dad was a douche.  The mom was annoying.  The kids were irritating, but them I gave a pass, because they were just normal kids.  I guess it’s more I hated how they were written, and there was a really bad pussy joke (not as bad as the Game of Thrones one, but still pretty awful).  Anyway, this is about murders that took place on Christmas Eve 2005, and the sole survivor is released from a mental institution ten years later when they start again.
  5. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund: Kept – This is one of those books I added because I loved the title, and it doesn’t seem as if the text is going to disappoint.  Starting off as a series of letters exchanged between a boy and a girl, its foundation seems to be young love, heartbreaking rejecting and re-reconnection through adventure.
  6. In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker: Kept (RWTR) – I would’ve bought this if it wasn’t over my $2.99 insta-limit.  Intertwining the concepts of time travel and immortality with a sense of greed and a lack of bio (or really any) ethics is one clear way to get me interesting in a novel.
  7. A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer: Kept – In my grand tradition of reading subverted stories (like the Flipped Fairy Tales), this novel takes place in a world where male children are rare and therefore coveted.  The main character, the oldest male with around 28 sisters, only has one use: to be sold off to marriage for to the highest bidder.  It’s a painfully common trope for girls, and it doesn’t make it any better when the tables are turned, because Jerin’s world has always been this way.  I wasn’t quite certain about it initially, but it was interesting enough to go on my library shelf.
  8. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff: Kept (RWTR) – Holy fantastic opening line.  It’s brutal, raw, and reminds me of ASOIAF.
  9. Bull by David Elliott: Passed – Disappointing to say the least.  I love retold stories, especially fairy tales and myths, but I didn’t like the style of this.

Books Purchased This Week: 3

Title: Traitor’s Blade
Series Title: Greatcoats
Author: Sebastian de Castell
Date Added: March 5, 2017
Date Purchased: August 17, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 7/5/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/28/17          The State of the Reader: 7/12/17–>

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

  1. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins: Kept – I had this on my RWTR list, but I bumped it off of that.  It’s interesting, but I’m not chaffing at the bit to read it.  I put it on my library shelf though, so I’m sure I’ll get to it soon due to that marvelous resource.
  2. In the Eyes of Madness by Michael Pang: Passed – I can’t get into the writing style, and the poor editing job doesn’t help.  I also read a review that said it was heavy handed in religion.  Since the sample showed the main character seeming to be exasperated with the concept, this is probably going to be a “come to Jesus” type of novel where he realizes the error of his ways in being a Doubting Thomas, and stories like that just don’t interest me.  3 Gates of the Dead is by one of my very devout Catholic author friends where the main character has the Doubting Thomas mien, but by the end of the book, he still has his doubts and is trying to come to terms with everything.  He’s not completely throwing away his belief in God, but doubts don’t just disappear, and it makes the MC more human and relatable.  The premise of In the Eyes of Madness seems like something that would really draw my interest since I believe it starts off with the MC having some issue with his mother, and then he doesn’t know what’s real anymore before horror ensues (I’m probably simplifying it too much, but you get the gist of why this would pique my interest), but I have to pass.
  3. King’s Folly by Jill Williamson: Kept – I have a great fondness for main characters in command, control, or a leadership position who don’t abuse their power and authority.  I don’t recall the captain’s name, but when an earthquake strikes right before he pulls his ship into port, his actions and the way his men react to him clearly show he’s worthy of their respect.  While he doesn’t go down with his ship, he is the last to leave after making sure everyone else escaped.  He also notes that many of his men can’t swim.  The fact that he knows this means he cares enough to find out,; therefore, I care enough to read more.
  4. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan: Kept – I really thought I wasn’t going to like this because on the surface it seems a bit too Harry Potter like (especially with the first sentence mentioning “half bloods”), but there’s a distinctive difference in style and mien.  While both this and J. K. Rowling’s series have a young, white male protagonist with special powers, the source of magic and the reason humans can wield it is never fully outlined in HP’s world.  It appears to just be genetic with no particular progenitor.  Percy is the son of Poseidon, which means this book/series is going to utilize, at least on the surface, classical mythology.
  5. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey: Kept – It’s hard for me to turn my back on winter tales.  I’m quite obsessed with that season.  What also drew me to this were the wife’s depressive thoughts and suicide ideation.
  6. Mirror Image by Michael Scott: Passed – It’s a mystery, horror thriller about an evil mirror, but it just didn’t grab me.
  7. Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone: Kept – A dead god and a young woman who was thrown out of her hidden school to crash to earth in a heap.  Sounds like there’s some Paradise Lost influence going on with this, and I’m all about that.
  8. Curse of the Thirteenth Fey by Jane Yolen: Kept (RWTR) – I missed downloading this one when I was going through my list.  It’s from 2013 and I’m downloading ones from 2016.  I’m glad I noticed it as I was going through a new batch of book samples.  I’ve read Jane Yolen before.  Her Briar Rose is one of the most haunting fairy tale reworkings I’ve ever read.
  9. The Last Wish by Andrej Sapokowski: Kept – This is the book The Witcher game series is based on.  I was going to say game devs love people with white hair, but it’s not just them.  We could blame Michael Moorcock for this but it’s one of those tropes that’s older than dirt or as old as religion.
  10. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs: Kept (RWTR) – Holy shit, this one surprised me.  I expected to give it a pass, because it’s urban fantasy and takes place in modern times, and this is exactly what I said in my latest State of the Gamer post about not discounting genres/formats.  I like Mercy.  I like that she’s a female mechanic and no one seems to give her shit for that.  I’m actually hyped to read this book.
  11. Never Never by Colleen Hoover: Kept (RWTR)/Purchased – I had to force myself to stop reading this sample.  I’ve read, seen, and played many stories about amnesia.  It’s a trope so common it’s become trite, but this take on it is utterly new.  Bounced between two points of view, both characters lose all memory of who they are including their names while they’re in the middle of their school day.  It would be like you’re just going about your business, and all of a sudden all memory of your past just vanishes.  You have to pretend you know people whose faces you don’t recognize (you don’t even know your own), because how would someone that’s known you your entire life react if you said you didn’t remember them?  They’d think you were mocking or making a joke.  When I saw how much the book was on Amazon, it was an easy purchase.

Books Purchased This Week: 4

Title: The Daemoniac
Series Title: A Dominion Mystery
Author: Kat Ross
Date Added: October 13, 2016
Date Purchased: July 3, 2017

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

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 10/26/16

<–The State of the Reader: 10/19/16      The State of the Reader: 11/2/16–>

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 Currently Reading: 4

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 24%

I can’t stress enough how well written this book is.  While it may take me until this time next year to finish it, I’m enjoying every moment of it.

Title: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 7, 2015
Date Started: February 8, 2015

Media: Hardback
Progress: 79%

I’m now on the section about the Free Cities, all “Daughters of Valyria” save for Braavos, which is decidedly not, since it was formed by former Valyrian slaves.  There was a very interesting part about a religious sect known as the Boashi’i, followers of the Blind God Boash.  An essential part of their doctrine was an extreme abnegation of self where a follower would put aside even their own names, speaking of themselves as only “a man” or “a woman” as opposed to “I,” “me,” or “mine.”  Though the cult of the Blind God died out over a thousand years ago, this mode of speech remained (ironically) among the noble classes of Lorath (another one of the nine Free Cities), and it’s how a mysterious character named Jaqen H’ghar (who initially claims to be Lorathi when Arya first meets him) speaks.  Given that he’s a follower of the Many Faced God and given that those followers also eschew their identities, this is not too odd of a coincidence.

Title: Magonia
Series Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Date Added: January 31, 2016
Date Started: October 1, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 25%

I’m totally into this book now. Something major has happened and the point of view has switched.  This answers the question why each chapter had “Aza” next to the number until I reached the current one, which now has “Jason.”  The parallels with The Fault in Our Stars are either lessened or the story has deviated away enough from that where I don’t mind.

Title: The Ghost of Buxton Manor
Author: Jonathon L. Ferrara
Date Added: August 16, 2016
Date Started: October 17, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 17%

This story is frankly both sad and adorable.  You really feel for poor Rupert dying (sorry…) for human contact and how he’s drawn inexplicably to Aaron.

Fanfictions Finished: 0

In Progress Fanfictions Read: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani
Current Chapter: 14

It was quite an exciting chapter this time around, and it just sat in my inbox for weeks until I could finally read it.  I’m also ecstatic that my friend is doing better ♥♥♥

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 0

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0

Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: Elric of Melniboné
Series Title: Elric
Author: Michael Moorcock
Date Added: October 21

I watch too many Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire theorists on YouTube, and today I was catching up with one of my favorites (despite some disagreement) Preston Jacobs.  He does several series about the books/show, one of which showcases the difference between book and show.  There have been many an insight garnered from this series and its theorists, not the least of which have been revelations of my own…not necessarily just towards ASOIAF. 

Martin has many influences, and in this video, Preston speaks of Michael Moorcock’s Elric series.  I think he’s mentioned him before in regards to GRRM’s obsession with white hair.  Now, I could say a great deal about this, and have in other places, but even if Martin borrowed the idea from Moorcock, it’s legitimately far older, present in Jude-Christian leanings.

Either way, I was intrigued by it and welcome the chance to read classic fantasy that serves as a foundation for what we experience today.

Title: The Metaphysical Detective
Series Title: Riga Hayworth
Author: Kirsten Weiss
Date Added: October 22, 2016

Can murder be committed from beyond the grave?  This novel I randomly found while scrolling through Goodreads asks that question, and I’m intrigued enough to want an answer.  I was also sold on the fact that Riga explores the power of archetypes through the lens of Greek mythology and tarot.  Two things which I’m quite passionate about.

Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 523
Change from Last Week: +2

Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0

Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: The Clockwork Scarab
Series Title: Stoker and Holmes
Author: Colleen Gleason
Date Added: August 1, 2016
Date Purchased: October 21, 2016
Media Type: Kindle
Price: $1.99

I bought this after receiving a message from Cupcakes and Machetes on Goodreads that it was only $1.99 on Kindle.  Hell yes!  Even if I hate it, I only spent $1.99.  I waste waaaaaaaaaay more money on other things.

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Purchased: October 24 2016
Media Type: Kindle
Price: $5.99

I had no idea I’d added this book so long ago.  In an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff (and remove said chaff from my TBR list), I downloaded around 25 samples on my Kindle, and this was one of them.  I have some experience with the author due to her ShiverWhile I didn’t finish it, it’s not an Unfinished and remains on my TBR list.  The book in question is even more intriguing.  The writing is so tantalizing and lush, and I wanted more from the sample I read.  It was only $5.99, which I consider pretty cheap for a book I’m bound to enjoy.

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: 10/19/16      The State of the Reader: 11/2/16–>