Top 20 Books of 2017

I set my Goodreads challenge to complete 15 books, and I read 73.  There’s something to be said for underestimation.  I low-balled it because last year, I put 20 on my challenge, but only finished 19; however, I discovered that by putting books on my schedule/to-do list, I could complete them like a fiend.  At some points I was reading eight at a time, but I mostly stuck with my favorite number: seven.  That…was too much though, and while I love to read, I also want to have enough time to do other things.  So I cut down to four, which might still sound like a lot, but one is a Kindle that I read on my lunch break; one is a fiction/fantasy; one varies between a classic or a non-fiction/reference (before I was reading one of each); and the last is a graphic novel/manga, which are easy to breeze through.  Compare this to two Kindles, one fiction/fantasy, one classic, one non-fiction/reference, one graphic novel/manga, and one library book. I’m currently borrowing Death Note from the library for my manga, and I’ll borrow fictions/fantasies from there, too.


Total Books Read: 73

  1. Tuf Voyaging by George R. R. Martin
  2. In the House of the Wyrm by George R. R. Martin
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  5. Rest in Piece by B. W. Ginsburg
  6. The Missing Orchid by Fia Black
  7. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  8. The Quantum Door by Jonathan Ballagh
  9. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
  10. The Illustrated A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  11. Descendants by Rae Else
  12. The Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton
  13. Riddled With Senses by Petra Jacob
  14. The Quantum Ghost by Jonathan Ballagh
  15. Radiance by Grace Draven
  16. Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K, Vaughn
  17. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  18. Eidolon by Grace Draven
  19. A Father’s Protection by K. J. Hawkins
  20. Saga: Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn
  21. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia (edited) by Patrick Thorpe
  22. Saga: Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn
  23. Silent Child by Sarah K. Denzil
  24.  A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  25. Saga: Volume 4 by Brian K, Vaughn
  26. Saga: Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughn
  27. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
  28. Saga: Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughn
  29. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  30. Talon by Julie Kagawa
  31. Saga: Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughn
  32. Stone & Iris by Jonathan Ballagh
  33. Gaslight Hades by Grace Draven
  34. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  35. Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
  36. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Volume 1 by Katie Cook
  37. Poetic Edda: The Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes by Anonymous
  38. Never Never: Part One by Colleen Hoover
  39. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
  40. Never Never: Part Two by Colleen Hoover
  41. Never Never: Part Three by Colleen Hoover
  42. The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess by Akira Himekawa
  43. Goldie Vance Volume 1 by Hope Larson
  44. Shadows on Snow by Starla Huchton
  45. Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodora Goss
  46. Monstress #1: Awakening
  47. An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel
  48. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  49. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
  50. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
  51. Dweller by Jeff Strand
  52. Abstract Clarity by B. W. Ginsburg
  53. Chobits, Vol. 1 by CLAMP
  54. The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare
  55. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  56. Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom by Tsugumi Ohba
  57. Master of Crows by Grace Draven
  58. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
  59. The Diamond Tree by Michael Matson
  60. Promethea, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore
  61. Blink Once by Cylin Busby
  62. Death Note, Vol. 2: Confluence by Tsugumi Ohba
  63. The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
  64. The Daemoniac by Kat Ross
  65. The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
  66. Death Note, Vol. 3: Hard Run by Tsugumi Ohba
  67. Death Note, Vol 4: Love by Tsugumi Ohba
  68. Gyo by Junji Ito
  69. The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka
  70. Parallel by Anthony Vicino
  71. Death Note, Vol. 5: Whiteout
  72. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  73. Death Note, Vol 7: Give-and-Take by Tsugumi Ohba
Total Fiction/Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 46 (63%)
Total Classic: 3 (4%)
Total Non-Fiction/Reference: 4 (5%)
Total Graphic Novels/Manga: 20 (27%)

I was going to do this whole shebang with “Most Read Author,” “Favorite New Author,” “Favorite Series,” and all this other stuff, but I decided on just doing a Top 20 with that number as an increase from the original 10.  I marked around 14 books as potential Tops and figured I could find six more.

20. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

The cover of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David EaglemanOne of the best parts of reading this book was the perfect timing when I read it: in the midst of watching a Let’s Play of SOMA, which I’ve spoken of at great length (even though the review/essay is still to come).  Incognito explores the intricacies of conscious, subconscious, and unconscious processes and how the latter two form the foundation of the first.  It’s written in such a way that psychological novices can still follow with relatable analogies and examples, but the volume is not without some major issues, which I started noticing around Chapter 4 with Eagleman’s views on beauty/attractiveness that spiraled unfortunately towards racism (yes…really).  He also didn’t fully explore the reasons behind why we have unconscious biases, which never just come out of a vacuum.  While the author has a flair for piquing interest in subjects that could easily come off as tedious, his essentialism and (seemingly) unwillingness to take environmental influences into account raises my brows (and hackles) a bit (e.g. his insistence that having a Y chromosome essentially makes one more violent without considering this propensity could be due to how those perceived as having a Y chromosome are treated from [often before] birth is only one of many).  While I enjoyed the book for what information it imparted, especially for those unfamiliar with psychology, the fore mentioned (and other) issues prompt me to insist it be read with a discerning eye and copious grains of salt.

19. Dweller by Jeff Strand

The cover of Dweller by Jeff StrandThis novel was like a more fucked up version of Harry and the Hendersons, if the Hendersons were a once brutally bullied loner and Harry was a man eating abomination.  I really wanted to know where the monster came from.  Was he some government experiment gone wrong?  A throwback from an early time?  A creature from an alien dimension?  Everything about him just breeds more questions, but his relationship with Toby is both poignant and disturbing.  A lot of fucked up things happen in this book.  I was initially unsure about Strand’s writing style, but it grew on me as did Toby’s character.  It made sense why the author wrote it in this way: it perfectly reflected the MC’s mental state.  This is one of those books that has the perfect ending, as in there’s no other way it could’ve ended for these characters that would’ve been as satisfactory.

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 2/15/17

<–The State of the Reader: 2/8/17          The State of the Reader: 2/22/17–>

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.

DNF This Week: 1

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Date Added: October 15, 2016
Date Started: January 25, 2017
DNF Date: February 8, 2017

Media: Hardback
DNF Progress: 20%

I think the moment I say I’m probably going to declare something DNF is the moment I’ve decided it’s going to happen.  It wasn’t what I expected, which isn’t always a bad thing…but it was in this case because this novel was not only urban fantasy, but young adult, the two (sub) genres I have the most trouble with.

I actually wrote the review for it last weekend, but I need to proofread it before I post.  I manage to go off on a tangent that includes both Shakespeare and FFVII, which considering that I’m a writer and an FFVII fanatic, is not that farfetched.


Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: Dolor and Shadow
Series Title: Tales of the Drui
Author: Angela B. Chrysler
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Dolor and Shadow

Media: Kindle
Price: $2.99

Every time I look at the title of this book, the words “Saevam iram, iram et dolorum…” run through my head like the merciless earworm they are.  Bonus points if you know where those words are from.

Title: Urchin of the Riding Stars
Series Title: The Mistmantle Chronicles
Author: Margaret McAllister
Date Added: May 17, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Urchin of the Riding Stars

Media: Hardcover
Price: $0.01

When I find books on my TBR list for less than $1.00, I’m quick to scoop them up.  This looks like a re-purposed library book; I don’t know yet, since I just ordered it from Amazon this weekend, and it’s going to take a few weeks to get to me.  This one and the one below were recommended due to my love of Redwall (and looking at the covers, it’s plain to see why).  Even if I don’t like either of them, I paid more for the shipping than for the books, and I’ve wasted $5.00 on worse things.

Title: The Dark Portal
Series Title:The Deptford Mice
Author:Robin Jarvis
Date Added:May 13, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Dark Portal, The

Media: Hardcover
Price: $0.01

Title: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Series Title: The Vampire Chronicles
Author: Anne Rice
Date Added: February 13, 2017
Date Purchased: February 12, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.99

This is one of those rare books that I bought before I added, and I had to put all the information into this post while trying not to read the blurb, because I haven’t finished the prior book Prince Lestat.  I started it over a year ago, but I think my designated reading time for it was before jazzercise.  Since I haven’t been there in more than a year, and since I didn’t start scheduling my reading time until after I put it aside, I never got through the novel.  It’s not a DNF though.  I full intend to finish it.

The reason I purchased the sequel was due to a tweet by Anne Rice herself, informing her followers that the book was only $0.99 on Amazon.  Like I said above in regards to Mistmantle and The Deptford Mice, I won’t pass up a buy on any book on my list if it’s under $1.00.  That would just be silly.

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Purchased: February 15, 2017

I made a promise to fellow blogger Inkbiotic that I would purchase her book after receiving my next paycheck, and I’ve gladly kept that vow.  If the samplings she’s so graciously posted on her blog are any indication, I’m going to enjoy this greatly.  It’s magical realism with a same sex relationship.  Yes and yes.


Books Currently Reading: 6

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: 10%

Since I declared Vassa in the Night DNF, it was necessary for me to pick another physical book to read the next time Vassa came up in my reading rotation (I’ll have to tell you all about that some time…).  I actually wasn’t entirely set on what to choose next, so I decided to read the first page in a few of the books in my pile and see what caught my fancy.

Prospero Lost was one of those books I judged by its title and cover first (so you see I wasn’t lying in my Rapid Fire Book Tag post), and I judged it well.  I don’t just buy books based on that though (I’ve been burned quite a few times before), but the blurb sparked by interest even more.  An ancient and immortal, magical family in the modern era who own a company that strives to do good in the world.  It was a tidy bit different from most mega-corporations in sci-fi and fantasy (and science fantasy), and since I have writing ideas for something similar, reading this book would also be a good learning experience.  The writing is good, and the plot coupons thus far presented are intriguing.

Then I came to this paragraph:

“I sat at a wrought-iron table next to the fountain, stirring my tea.  My hair, so pale as to appear silver, was piled atop my head in a Grecian style that had gone out of vogue more than a century ago.  My garment, a tea gown with a high lacy collar — the enchanted satin of which matched the emerald of my eyes…”

All I needed.

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017
Date Started: February 8, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 36%

I’m really hoping this case turns out differently from Beth’s others.  She’s investigated missing persons before, but they usually end up dead.  It’s not that every story needs a happy ending, but I really hope this one ends in a happy reunion :\

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: 27%

I just finished the chapter about black holes, and the next chapter proclaims that black holes aren’t actually black.  Astrophysics is amazing.

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: 48%

I’m tearing through this just as quickly as I ripped through the first.  Somehow Ms. Stiefvater managed to make a drug laden, dangerous teenage party with Molotov cocktails in a field seem poetic #talent

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 63%

One of the many things I find interesting about this compendium is how it will return to prior characters that were main ones in another branch and have them be side characters or even antagonists.  Since the fourth branch focuses on Gwydion and his brother Gilvaethwy, it’s from their point of view, and prior characters could be in positions set against them.

It’s also fascinating to note that the Old Tribes don’t really have a sense of fatherhood, but the New Tribes do.  The New have also introduced the idea of marriage, which many of the Old are quite against for good reason.  This fatherhood conundrum is a concept that I’ve read in both fiction/fantasy and historic or rather prehistoric fiction before.  You have to leave your presentism behind and remember that science and technology have not always been on the same level.  Women’s bodies were (and still remain in many cases much to my annoyance) a complete mystery.  No one really understood how conception occurred and sex was seen as merely pleasure or relief.  The connection between it and babies wasn’t a necessary fact, which meant that the idea of fatherhood was tenuous at best.  Even when it was mentioned, many scoffed at it since women aren’t impregnated by each sexual encounter, though Gwydion does note that if a cow is put into a field alone or only with other cows, she remains barren; however, if you add a bull, she’ll become pregnant.  Unfortunately, human pride stymies this comparison due to the idea of special creation (which I think is bunk) and not wanting to be compared to the beasts of the field.  Even in the present, this idea persists, which puts a damper on a great deal of progress and progressive thought.

Title: “Beta Reading”
Author: High School Friend/Fellow Author
Date Added: N/A
Date Started: February 14, 2017
Media: PDF/Kindle
Progress: 10%

What the hell is this? you ask.  Well an author friend of mine from high school whom I keep in touch with through the book of faces honored me the other day by asking me to beta read one of his novels.  I gladly accepted and figured out how to work it into the rotation.  He sent it as a PDF so I’m reading it on my Kindle during my lunch break along with the other two Kindle books.  He asked if I could have it finished by late February/early March, and I don’t think that will be a problem.

Obviously due to it being an unpublished novel, I can’t tell you anything about it or rather I’m erring on the side of discretion.  I’ll post my progress on it, just because it’s better for me to do so, since I’m more likely to make progress on reading, but alas, I shall have to keep details about the book hush hush until it’s published.


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

She updated this week! I haven’t had a chance to read the next chapter yet.  I’m hoping this weekend will allow it.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: Komarr
Series Title: Vorkosigan Saga
Author: Lois Bujold McMaster
Date Added: February 13, 2017

I replied to a comment on a body positivity site about bullying, and another commenter replied to me recommending this book.  Though the blurb appears to be in Swedish, Goodreads insists the book is in English, and though it’s the 11th book of the series, I was informed this would be one I’d want to read.  The main character deals with bullying from all sources (family and schoolmates), which is something I grew up with, and like the MC, I was told to “ignore it and it’ll go away,” which is absolute bullshit.  I thanked the purveyor of the comment and added this to my TBR list.

Title: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Series Title: The Vampire Chronicles
Author: Anne Rice
Date Added: February 13, 2017

I talked about this above in the Purchased This Week section.

Title: One
Author: Sarah Crossan
Date Added: February 13, 2017

Thank you to The Writing Hufflepuff for throwing this into my sphere!  Apparently, it will rip my heart out.  I am so not ready D:

It’s about conjoined twin sisters Tippi and Grace who are perfectly happy being two in one, but then something happens that forces them to make the choice they’ve always been avoiding, and I already have a feeling I know what’s going to happen…

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

My Rapid Fire Book Tag (which I’ve already linked above) incited others to join in the fun, which is what such tags are about!  But there is a selfish side to the book tag phenomenon mwa ha ha, and that’s the fact that I find out about more new books to add to my ever growing TBR list.  Wait…this may not be so advantageous after all noooooo.  Hehe, truly, while I’ll never have time to finish them all, I’d hate to miss something I may very well love, and Ignited Moth almost casually mentioned this interesting horror gem (horror gem?  Horror gem?) in the Underrated Book section of the tag.

We’ve all heard stories about monsters in the forest and bogeymen in the woods.  They’re usually the Big Bad of any tale, and initially the main character Toby is terrified when he sees the creature in question, but the next time he encounters it, he’s lonely, unhappy teenager bereft of friends and overburdened with bullies.  The hungry creature provided a solution to both.  I just put this on my “Really Want To Read” list.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 554
Change from Last Week: +3


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread 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: 2/8/17          The State of the Reader: 2/22/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Rapid Fire Book Tag

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


EBOOKS OR PHYSICAL BOOKS?

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

PAPERBACK OR HARDBACK?

Paperback.  Less expensive.

ONLINE OR IN-STORE BOOK SHOPPING?

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

TRILOGIES OR SERIES?

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

HEROES OR VILLAINS?

Villains of course.

A BOOK YOU WANT EVERYONE TO READ?

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

RECOMMEND AN UNDERRATED BOOK.

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

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

THE LAST BOOK YOU FINISHED?

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

WEIRDEST THING YOU USED AS A BOOKMARK?

A black feather

USED BOOKS, YES OR NO?

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

TOP THREE FAVORITE GENRES?

Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Magical Realism

BORROW OR BUY?

Buy.  I want my own things.

CHARACTERS OR PLOT?

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

LONG OR SHORT BOOK?

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

LONG OR SHORT CHAPTERS?

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

NAME THE FIRST THREE BOOKS YOU THINK OF.

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

BOOKS THAT MAKE YOU LAUGH OR CRY?

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

OUR WORLD OR FICTIONAL WORLDS?

Fictional.  This world sucks.

AUDIOBOOKS: YES OR NO?

Only if I’ve already read the book.

DO YOU EVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER?

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

BOOK TO MOVIE OR BOOK TO TV ADAPTATION?

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

SERIES OR STANDALONE?

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

 

Save

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #1)

The Raven Cycle

The Dream Thieves (TRC #2)–>

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2017
Date Finished: January 26, 2017
Reading Duration: 25 days
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Young Adult (YA), Romance

Pages: 468
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
Media:
Kindle

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


Until I looked up the genre on Goodreads in order to update it, I never once thought that this book could be considered Young Adult, but it fits all the criteria.  I think it’s because I constantly avow that I’m not a fan of YA (even though three of my favorite stories/series fall into that category), which leads me to believe I don’t like YA that has all the stereotypical foibles of the genre.  The Raven Boys has absolutely none of these.

If you are searching for a poorly used cliche in this magnificent series opener, you will turn up empty handed.  Neither it nor the titular boys are anything what you would expect. In less deft hands, they would come off as snotty and pretentious, but Ms. Stiefvater’s writing makes you interested in them and their issues from the acerbic, snarky Ronan to the determined Gansey on his quest for a sleeping king to Adam quiet in torment and to nearly invisible Noah. It’s written to make you empathize with all of their plights, and their interest in the paranormal for various reasons helps separate them from typical rich boys.

Blue acts as a binding agent for both the them and the clairvoyant women of 300 Fox Way, but thankfully, the author doesn’t just relegate her to the role of plot device.  Blue “makes things louder,” a sort of psychic amplifier for reasons only touched upon in this first part of the series that will hopefully be elaborated upon before the end.

Since The Raven Boys is about more than one thing, it’s hard to talk about the plot, and in truth, it’s more character driven than plot driven.  Gansey’s quest for Glendower is important, but so are the mysteries surrounding the death of Ronan’s father, Adam’s quiet stubbornness, Noah’s shyness, and Blue’s paternity.  Nor do all of these plot coupons jumble up the narrative.  Rather they all fit into the story as naturally as the ley line that runs through Henrietta, inherently entwined and more than likely all interconnected through that source.

5 stars.

The Dream Thieves (TRC #2)–>

The Raven Cycle

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Writer: 2/5/17

<–The State of the Writer: 1/29/17          The State of the Writer: 2/12/17–>

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
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 276,905
Prior Word Count: 276,905
Word Difference: 0
Status: Editing
Progress: 1st edit of Chapter 8

I usually try to integrate my notes for a chapter before I start editing the chapter itself, but in the case of Chapter 8 I’ve decided to go in the opposite direction.  The notes have all been organized by content, and I want to start reading/editing the chapter in order to figure out the best place to add them in.  I may alter my methods for this going forward, since it could be far easier than the search one I was using.  Either way, I’ll give something else a try and can decide which way works best for me.

Chapter 8 starts out with a lot of telling/exposition.  There’s over a page of it.  I think I was having trouble starting it, and when that happens, I’ll fall back on “telling” the story instead of “showing” it.  My first goal is to weed through that chaff and see if there’s anything of value therein before I send it to word heaven.


Project: Essay
Title: Half a Tragedy Is Worse Than Whole
Subject: FFVII Comparative and Meta
Current Word Count: 1436
Prior Word Count: 1436
Word Difference: 0
Status: Drafting
Progress: N/A

greek-tragedy-masks

No progress on this again this week.  My exhaustion has hit peak levels, and I’ve damn near been sleeping my weekends away.  Just today I took a four hour nap after breakfast.  No amount of coffee can stave off my fatigue.  Yesterday a friend came over so I could show her how to make slideshows on Windows Media Maker, and Saturdays are when I work on this essay, so I knew no writing on it would be done then (I can only do so much in one day).  I don’t think I have anything planned for next weekend, so I’m going to try to get back into the tragedy game then.  Those masks are totally judging me.


Project: Book Review
Title: The Raven Boys
Status: In Progress

I did the preliminary set up for this and started writing a bit of it, but I’ve barely cut into the meat.  I think I have it on the schedule to work on tomorrow (Monday).  I’m hoping my words can do it justice.


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: 1/29/17          The State of the Writer: 2/12/17–>

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 2/1/17

<–The State of the Reader: 1/25/17          The State of the Reader: 2/8/17–>

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 Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2017
Date Finished: January 26, 2017
Reading Duration: 25 Days

This is without a doubt the best book I’ve read in a long time, and unless I read something utterly spectacular, The Raven Boys will be the best book I’ve read all year.  I immediately bought the next book The Dream Thieves, and I’ve already delved in.  The subtle magic of the story makes you almost believe such wonder exists in our own mundane world.  I’ll be writing a review for this one.  It’s added to my growing to-be-reviewed list (which I’m trying to do in order finished).


Books Purchased This Week: 1

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Purchased: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $5.99


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: Rest in Piece
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: December 12, 2016
Date Started: January 7, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 67%

In an art mimics art kind of situation, I played a game called Limbo this week, a term that perfectly describes where the people in the puzzle are trapped.  I’m anxious to find out how this occurred and how Louise is going to help them and Catherine escape.

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: 22%

Oh man…well, if this doesn’t prove I’m not smart enough to study astrophysics and quantum physics, I’m not sure what else does.  I’d been dividing the number of pages I’d read by the number of pages I thought this book had ever since I started reading, because the percentages didn’t make sense.  Then yesterday I reached around page 100, but I have more than half of the book left.  Much more.  This makes no sense if the volume only has 200 pages or so.  Well, it turns out that The Illustrated A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell are two separate books put together.  Universe has its own page count so the 200 I was seeing at the end of the volume was actually the 200th page of Universe, not of both *slaps forehead*  I’m actually reading two books in one.  I should figure out a way to count them as such so I receive the proper credit for my efforts.

I just completed a dizzying chapter on elementary particles and the forces of nature.  I think I understood around 40% of it.  I know that protons, neutrons, and electrons are made up of smaller particles called quarks, and I also know that for reasons they explained there is more matter than antimatter (I’m a bit fuzzy on the details though), but that has to do with those fore mentioned forces of nature.  The next chapter is on black holes, and I’m looking forward to how Professor Hawking sheds some light on that subject.

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: 10%

I bought this immediately after I finished the first book in The Raven Cycle Series, because the end of The Raven Boys is such a magnificent cliffhanger.  The main plot of the story is resolved, but the overarching plot remains open and intriguing.  The boys are becoming far more interesting and complex and Ms. Stiefvater already did an excellent job presenting them as three dimensional entities rather than flat, rich snobs.

Ronan Lynch appears to be the prime focus of this entry whereas Blue and Gansey took more center stage in the prior.  Though the author is still utilizing her back and forth method between chapters to include our non-psychic from a psychic family protagonist.  Ronan has a special ability he inherited from his father Niall, and the more we hear about him, the more his cutting and guarded personality makes sense.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 59%

I’m almost to the end of the third branch, and I’m shocked and surprised that something good happened to the current main character.  Sometimes lost things can be found again if one is clever, brave, and determined.

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Date Added: October 15, 2016

Media: Hardback
Progress: 15%

This book is not quite turning out as I expected.  I thought it would have a similar mien to Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale, and even the prologue chapter seemed to have supported that, but as I go along, something is missing.  I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s sadly not as compelling as I hoped it would be.  Currently, Vassa is on her way to the destiny promised by the blurb, so I’m going to continue reading in hopes her encounter with Babs Yagg makes the story more interesting.


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 update from her this week, but I’m happy she’s back/okay and will hopefully be posting again soon 🙂

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week:

Title: Brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley
Date Added: January 26, 2017

The other day I made a Facebook post asking people for their favorite dystopian story of any medium.  Mine is Final Fantasy VII (of course), but I was curious what others would pick.  There was the expected Hunger Games and the less expected Dune (which I haven’t read), 1984, which is currently selling at record rates on Amazon not at all to this Narcissist’s surprise…though another narcissist who doesn’t deserve a capital ‘n’ (nor does he deserve to be in the Capitol) would probably be furious if he even had an inkling to the reason why, and Blade Runner (which is something else I’ve neglected).  Then my one friend mentioned this, and I remembered reading this book in high school.  I don’t recall if it was for a class, and I certainly don’t recall the intricacies of the story other than people are classified as Alphas, Betas, etc., and the main character, though technically classified as an Alpha (I think) isn’t quite up to Alpha standards.  This book is more subtle than 1984 which the friend who recommended insisted would lead to open rebellion because it was such blatant, militaristic control (I’m not entirely sure I agree with that if you consider how people dismiss small, but virulent changes over time, but I’ll make a better judgment call when I reread that).  BNW is dangerous because it employs the use of panem and circenses, which is blatantly referenced in Hunger Games with the nation of Panem, the games themselves serving as “circenses.”  FFVII also uses it or at least did so prior to President Shinra having a gigantic sword shoved through his back *blink* It’s the idea of entertaining the masses with “bread and circuses,” in order to keep them amused and complacent.  A complacent population is less likely to rebel even if the entertainment is the very horror they should be rebelling against.  More than ever, narratives like this are needed to remind us what we must fight against.

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Date Added: January 26, 2017

This was another response from my “favorite dystopian” post.  My husband read this about a year ago.  He recommended it, but I forgot about it until he posted it on my status.  It’s dystopian and cyberpunk…like something else I know (you guys must be sick of how often I refer to it by now), and the only escape the main character has is a virtual reality utopia known as OASIS.

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: January 23, 2017

I was firmly on the side of the fence where this book wasn’t, but two friends, Megan of the Ink Garden and Kim of By Hook or By Book, convinced me that it was worth my time and better than the first.  Apparently, it deals with some of the issues I had with Tamlin, and I’m hoping the political intrigue it promises is enough to override the problems I also had with Rhysand.  I could’ve bought this yesterday when I went to Target, but it was around $15!  That’s a bit too much for a book whose predecessor I didn’t like very much.  I was going to go to Barnes and Nobel today to pick up postcards and possibly a book or two, but I may utilize my library card, which I really should start using.

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

This is another book published by a fellow blogger/writer whose blog Inkbiotic I am pleased to follow (link goes to the latest update about the above book), since it gives me a front row seat to knowing about any of her work 🙂  The story is set in the late 90s (a bittersweet time for this Narcissist) and centers around drugs, cynicism, and magic.  I take (legal) drugs, am a gigantic cynic, and desperately want to believe in magic.  I also love magical realism and wish more authors would venture into those glittering waters.  Per Ms. Jacob’s Goodreads profile, she specializes in gay and lesbian fiction, which is another point for this novel in my book.  It looks like it’s not available on Kindle, so I’ll be going the old paperback route!


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 548
Change from Last Week: +2


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread 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: 1/25/17          The State of the Reader: 2/8/17–>

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Writer: 1/29/17

<–The State of the Writer: 1/19/17          The State of the Writer: 2/5/17–>

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.

*I moved the State of the Writer post to Sundays.  Three State posts during the week was too much.  Saturdays are my essay writing days, so I figured Sunday could host a State post.*

Project: Story
Title:
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 276,905
Prior Word Count: 277,027
Word Difference: -122
Status: Editing
Progress: Organizing Chapter 8 notes

I found my errant “your,” corrected it to “you’re,” and continued along the path of literary righteousness.  I did some minor edits on Chapters 4-6, but didn’t completely reread Chapter 6, since I did a very thorough edit prior. The note sorting has been completed.  The next part is deciding which to keep and figuring out where they go.  That will be the goal for this week.  Hopefully soon I’ll start the actual edit

Quote: This tiny maid who’d been so abused was now dripping in luxury.  She slipped on flat shoes as white as her skirt, adorned in white ribbons as well.  Maybe they’d go out to greet the great sea.  Aeris wasn’t sure due to the rain.  Either way she figured she’d complete her dress since she’d put on everything else.  Gazing down at the two strips of white in her hand, the little maid’s lip trembled hard.  She wished she could remember how to bind her own hair as it cascaded down in chestnut waves, but her fingers just fumbled among the soft strands, leaving her only with tears. 


Project: Essay
Title: Half a Tragedy Is Worse Than Whole
Subject: FFVII Comparative and Meta
Current Word Count: 1436
Prior Word Count: 1436
Word Difference: 0
Status: Drafting
Progress: N/A

tragedy-2

No progress this week.  I have a ton of book reviews to do (and completed one this week).  I’m hoping to work on the essay next Saturday.  I made myself a deal that when I finished it, I’d make my appointment for my next tattoo.  Since I’m planning to get it for my birthday, there’s a (reasonable) deadline to make.


Project: Book Reviews
Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses & The Raven Boys
Status: Planning

I initially had four reviews to do, but I completed Tuf Voyaging yesterday and decided not to do one for In the House of the Worm. I rated it on Goodreads, but while it was interesting, I’ve read and listened to enough reviews that I didn’t feel I had much more to add besides pointing out yaga-la-hai sounds like yog shothoth (at least in the first syllable), and the tunnels they live in are reminiscent of the ones where the Children of the Forest dwell in the north.  There’s a great review by Preston Jacobs here, and there’s another review of Tuf by Vassals of Kingsgrave here for the interested.

I plan on writing the reviews of Throns/Roses and TRB this week.  One of those reviews will be glowing; the other, not so much.


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: 1/19/17          The State of the Writer: 2/5/17–>

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 1/25/17

<–The State of the Reader: 1/18/17          The State of the Writer: 2/1/17–>

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

Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: In the House of the Worm
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: June 21, 2013
Date Started: January 17, 2017
Date Finished: January 20, 2017

Media: Kindle

This was a enlightening short story (and I mean that in more than one way) in terms of how ASOIAF is probably going to end.  While finishing shorts feels a bit like cheating in order to up my completed books, I suppose they do still count.  This is another added to my “to-be-reviewed” list.  I still have another Martin novel to review, which I’m hoping to do on Monday.  I really don’t need a review backlog list D:

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016
Date Finished: January 22, 2017

Media: Paperback

This book was disappointing.  Not that the ending didn’t satisfy the plot, but when you don’t care about the romance in a paranormal romance, it takes a lot of the fire out of a story.  I skimmed over the final sex part, because I was that uninterested.  I just didn’t like Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship for reasons I’ll elaborate on in my review.

Another major issue I had with this novel was how it dealt with consent.  I don’t like when characters you’re supposed to like or at least sympathize with purposely take advantage of others.  I know there was supposed to have been a dilemma/lesser of two evils situation presented, but for reasons I’ll go into in the review, I don’t think it was necessary.

A good friend told me the second book is better, and many of the issues I have with the first are brought up, but I think I’m going to hold off on putting it on my list for now.  I’m passing curious, but I still have plenty of other books to read.


Books Currently Reading: 4

Title: Rest in Piece
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: December 12, 2016
Date Started: January 7, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 26%

I started reading this novella length story by fellow writer and blogger B. W. Ginsburg this week.  It concerns a mysterious puzzle and two girls from separate times who are both inexplicably drawn to it.  Reading the blurb reminded me of the plot of The Lake House, but with a more sinister twist (I haven’t seen The Lake House so I’m only assuming it’s more rom-com and less sinister, unless you think rom-coms are sinister…which could be argued), and I’m curious to see where it goes.

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: 44%

I started the chapter about quantum physics the other day, and I’m taking my time with it.  I usually read this on Tuesdays, but I wasn’t able to .  I’m hoping to get a few pages in tonight, and I can generally read through a chapter in one or two settings.  I’m also scheduled to start another book tonight, keeping up with my pattern of three physical books and two Kindle ones.

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 90%

This is the best book I’ve read in a very long time and I’ve already added the second in the series to my list.  I’ll more than likely start reading it as soon as I finish, which will probably be in the next couple of days.  The magic in this book is low key, but not in the way it’s low key in ASOIAF. In The Raven Boys it’s just waiting to be found, and I love how Ms. Stiefvater refreshes old tropes.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 55%

The loss in this compendium is absolutely brutal.  Welsh Mythology knows how to tug on your heartstrings.  It’s bad enough to lose everyone you love once, but to rebuild your life and have it happen again is just unbearably cruel.


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

She’s alive, hooray!  I love receiving email notifications any day, but seeing one from someone I’ve been worried about is such a sigh of relief.  She hasn’t updated her story,  but I know she’s at least doing well enough to answer some comments.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 3

Title: Starlady
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 18, 2017

Another GRRM short story, and this one is quite elusive. It seems that time has shadowed it in obscurity with the only copies to be had in the $20 range.  There are no Kindle versions available, and any prior links online are now defunct.  This throws a bit of a wrench in my quest to read all of Martin’s work, but I’m hoping a lucky break occurs…or I decide to fork over the 20 bones.

Title: Bitch Planet #1
Series Title: Bitch Planet
Author: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Date Added: January 21, 2017

I open up my Goodreads the other day, and what do I see but a book recommendation from Cupcakes and Machetes for a comic about the non-compliant.  In the past few months, I’ve become even more non-compliant, or as much as I can be with my stupid health problems.  I’ve certainly had a lot more to say, nor do I plan on shutting up soon.  So I shall join in the bitchiness by delving into this manual for non-compliant women.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017

The thing about adding the second book of a series when you aren’t finished with the first is the risk of reading a spoiler in the blurb.  I made sure to keep my eyes firmly on the picture, and though I think I recognize the character, it doesn’t really give much away.  I figured it makes sense to add this to my TBR list since the first is so far the best book I’ve read all year.  Even though I did give Tuf Voyaging 5 stars, not all five star ratings are equal.  If I were using a 10 star scale Tuf would probably get 9, but The Raven Boys would earn a perfect 10.  Unless Ms. Stiefvater completely completely blows the ending, the first novel is getting that perfect score.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 546
Change from Last Week: +1


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


Books Purchased 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: 1/18/17          The State of the Writer: 2/1/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 1/18/17

<–The State of the Reader: 1/11/17          The State of the Reader: 1/25/17–>

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: Tuf Voyaging
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 27, 2016
Date Started: January 5, 2017
Date Finished: January 17, 2017

Media: Kindle

While it may seem impressive that I went from 29% last week to finished this week (if you’re keeping track of such things, which I in no way expect you to), I’d already read two of the stories: “A Beast for Norn” and “Guardians” in Dreamsongs Volume I.  The most interesting offerings in the Tuf anthology definitely center around the stories of S’uthlam.  Martin seems to enjoy playing with the trope of A God Am I, but not in the ways I’ve seen before; however, his methods draw into question the very fundamentals of what godhood is or may very well be.  I’ll be writing a review for this this week, hopefully Friday, where I’ll discuss all of this and more.


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: In the House of the Worm
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: June 21, 2013
Date Started: January 17, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 9%

Finish one GRRM book and start another.  As I was going through the stories in Tuf Voyaging, I was listening to reviews/analyses of them by YouTuber Preston Jacobs.  His insights are pretty good, though he didn’t say everything I would’ve, but conversely he said things I wouldn’t know (I haven’t read Plato’s Republic yet, though it is on my TBR list).  He mentions Worm quite a bit in other reviews (in fact, I’m pretty sure he’s spoiled the story already, but I don’t quite remember, so it’s okay), and I figured I should download it, and read it next.  It’s brief at only 56 pages, so I imagine I should be able to knock it out in a week.  I’m pretty interested for various reasons.  One, Martin tends to write about the same thing over and over again.  His stories have similar themes, and this will give clues/insights to how Song might end, at least thematically.  Two, I’m interested for the story’s sake alone.  It takes place on a world with a dying sun.  The people consider themselves “Children of the Worm” or yaga-la-hai, which sounds a bit like yog-shoggoth (at least in the first syllable), which puts me in the mind of Lovecraft (no, I will not post a picture of a yog-shoggoth.  They’re eldtricthy; it’s dark, and I’m home alone).  I do know that the true nature of the Worm is dark and terrifying, which definitely feeds the Lovecraftian vibe.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 83%

I’m hoping to finish this before next week.  I keep dandling the rating between a 3 and a 3.5, but if I give it a 3.5, I’ll have to round up on Goodreads to a 4, and this is definitely not a 4 in my book.

What’s odd is that it’s a very compelling tale for the sake of getting to the ending.  I want the evil Faerie Queen to go down, that smarmy bitch, and Feyre is a very capable and likable character.  The issue is her main motivation for fighting is her love for Tamlin, and that just wasn’t pulled off believably for me.  I don’t like their relationship, so her whole motivation for enduring suffering is a bit tainted (though of course I understand doing such for the one you love).  I like the intrigue, the faerie court politics, and the stakes, but it’s like one half of the story is silent.

Oddly enough, I’m just as torn on reading the sequel as I am the rating.  The world is interesting, and Maas is certainly setting up some compelling bits for the next part with the High Lord of the Night Court, but again, the relationship dilemma.  I think I’ll finish this one up, and then make my decision.

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’m trying to plot out my reading of this as if it’s a text book, and honestly, I’m not sure it isn’t.  I might have had to buy this for some obscure class.  Even the price tag on it looks like one you’d find in a student book store.

I finished the chapter that outlined general relativity, which is the macrocosm.  The next part will focus on quantum theory, which is the microcosm, so from the very big to the very small.  I’m too tired to expound upon the fascinating facts this volume explains, but the terms it does so in are simple enough for the average mind to grasp.  Although if you asked me to explain what general relativity was, I’d stare at you slack-jawed.  Einstein had a pretty harsh observation for people who couldn’t explain things simply.  To be blunt, it meant you didn’t understand them well enough.  I am okay admitting that.

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 60%

What continues to fascinate me about this book is how it can burn so slow, yet be such a page turner.  For chapters and chapters, nothing really happened, only the promise of something, and now, the promise is being fulfilled.

Latin.  Speaking.  Trees.

I posted today on Facebook that I really need to teach myself Latin.  While I can always use Google Translate, I would like to have a knowledge base myself.  It is my favorite language to sing in after all.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 51%

After more than six months, I’ve finally read more than half of this.  I’m trying to read 1-2 chapters a session.  I still can’t shake the haunting sadness of the last branch though, when the Children of Llyr were all but extinguished.  That was a part that was worthy to be read aloud.  Now only one remains, Manawyddan who is now wed to Rhiannon mother of Pryderi (Manawyddan is his birth father as well, but the prince believes otherwise), and I think this section is really just their long lingering.  I know from needing to see how many pages the compendium has that the book ends with Gwydion son of Don whose name I recognize as he’s an integral character in The Chronicles of Prydain.  It will be interesting to see how the Mabinogion Gwydion compares to the Chronicles one.


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

I’m worried about my friend 😦

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: The Borrowers
Series Title: The Borrowers
Author: Mary Norton
Date Added: January 12, 2017

Years ago, I read The Borrowers Afield as a part of huge haul of books my mother’s employers gave her.  They were constantly doing that: giving her things for me and my brothers along with Christmas presents.  Now that I’m older, I have mixed thoughts about this (nothing scandalous or anything like that), but as a child, the more books the merrier.

I logicked out that there had to have been a prior Borrowers book since in this current one they were afield, but I never had access to it.  The Well-Red Mage reminded me of this series in his review of Studio Ghibli’s The Secret World of Arriety, whom along with her parents Pod and Homily make up the eponymous Borrowers of the book series.  Now I must correct two egregious affronts: not reading the first book and not seeing the Studio Ghibli movie.

Title: Red Rising
Series Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Date Added: January 12, 2017

She wore me down.  I’ve been seeing this book floating around the blogosphere (and general webosphere) for a few months now.  The blurb was interesting, but as I’ve repeated ad naseaum (and will again, sorry!) I have a ton of books on my TBR list, but Cupcakes and Machetes’ review, well, she got me.  It’s obviously an amazing book, and I trust my friends, so it’s another addition to my TBR list.  Also it has one red wing on the cover, so there’s a little bit of tingling in my VII Sense, which is totally superficial…though it is a story about people who work and live below the surface so there’s that.

Title: Lumberjanes, Vol 1: Beware the Kitten Holy
Series Title: Lumberjanes
Authors: Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Waters, and Brooke A. Allen
Date Added: January 13, 2017

With a motto like “Friendship to the Max!” this comes off as a human, more LGBTQ version of My Little Pony, and that along with so many other things makes this another comic/graphic novel I need to read.  I mean holy kittens look at that cover, the diversity is beautiful, and there are lesbian, bi, and trans characters set in a magical summer camp..  I don’t need much more to tell me this is something I should read.  I owe the Writing Hufflepuff a great debt for introducing this to the world through her post!

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

Despite my lack of official study, I am quite fond of and interested in Arthurian Legend.  I used to own a deck of the Arthurian Tarot, which was beautiful, but didn’t really connect with me.  Either way, a modern day retelling of the legend is refreshing and a necessary deviation from the typical medieval fare.  I was put onto this by a review of the third book by Kim of By Hook and By Book, and conveniently, she had one for this.  It was highly rated, and so I thought it worthy for an add.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 545
Change from Last Week: +4


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


Books Purchased This Week: 1

  1. In the House of the Worm by George R R Martin – purchased and started this week.

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: 1/11/17          The State of the Reader: 1/25/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The State of the Reader: 1/11/17

<–The State of the Reader: 1/4/17          The State of the Reader: 1/18/17–>

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 Currently Reading: 5

Title: Tuf Voyaging
Author: George R R Martin
Date Added: January 27, 2016
Date Started: January 5, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 29%

Somewhere in my madness, I decided to pick up a fifth book to read.  What happened in actuality is not atypical for how I fall into things.  I don’t even think I was on a site for such, but the written transcript of the FFVII Remake showed up somewhere in my periphery, and while I don’t know it verbatim, I do recall it constitutes something about looking up at a fated star (I’m probably really off in this, and I don’t feel like looking it up (…), because it lends the chance of falling down VII’s many rabbit holes), but there was something about an ominous star, and that reminded me of a story by GRRM called “The Plague Star.”  Internet perusing led me to Tuf Voyaging, a novel I’ve been wanting to read ever since I got a “Taste of Tuf” from Dreamsongs Volume II.  “The Plague Star” suggests some serious implications for ASOIAF insofar as the comet presented in the latter tale may be more than just astral debris as the original meteor in FFVII was.  So while I had every intention of reading more about Haviland Tuf, I was spurred along by that chance noticing of those particular words.

When I bought the Kindle copy and opened it up on a whim, it automatically updated my Goodreads to say I was currently reading it.  I’d set that up and forgotten about it, but since I was well drawn into the the fore mentioned story, I figured what the hell.  I’m currently reading quite a bit of this along with The Raven Boys during my lunch breaks at work, and as you can see I’ve made significant progress in just one week.  I finished “The Plague Star” and am currently on “Loaves and Fishes.”  I’ve noticed that most if not all of Tuf’s tales have some sort of Biblical reference, and in “Plague,” he is the only really likable character.  He’s a consummate cat lover so I’m already endeared.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 20, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 70%

I am now entirely convinced that this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which is a nice bait and switch, as I was expecting a retelling of Tamlin owing to the High Lord’s name.  I’m coming down to the final climax of the novel, and something has been revealed that pushes this paradigm even further to the forefront.

I already have an idea what rating I’m going to give this book.  Is that something that normally happens to you?  You realize where a novel is going to fall even before you finish reading it?  Usually about halfway through I’m fairly set on a rating, though factors could still definitely change it.  This book would have to do something pretty miraculous to achieve higher than what I’m set on.

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: 17%

Absolute time used to be a believed concept, which is fascinating.  It’s been rejected and rightly so, but still fascinating to think about.  Prior physicists also believe that the earth and other bodies must be moving through something called the ether, which is what accounted for certain factors, but this was ultimately rejected as well.

Title: The Raven Boys
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: April 21, 2015
Date Started: January 1, 2016

Media: Kindle
Progress: 35%

What’s amazing about this story is how little has happened and yet how utterly compelling it is.  There’s only the promise of discovery for both readers and characters alike, but that promise as well as the lovely prose are more than enough.  Currently, all of the important people have now met, and I’m actually on the part of their meeting now.  I imagine I’ll be finished this book either next week or soon afterwards.

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

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 49%

I’ve kind of neglected this poor book.  It seems that the nights I skip reading tend to be the nights I’m supposed to read this and/or I only read a page or two.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy it; it’s just that I’m so damn tired all the time.  I’m almost halfway finished…though it’s been nearly six months since I started.  I do think I’ll be finished before the year mark though.


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

Still hoping…

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 2

Title: Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom
Series Title: Death Note
Author: Tsugumi Oba
Date Added: January 7, 2017

I just spent about ten minutes trying to figure out who the hell recently reviewed this.  I read it today, but it had to have been posted between 12/31 and 1/3, because my blog sub backlog is gigantic and only growing.  It was one of my frequently read blogger friends, and your review of it made me add it to my TBR list (I also commented the same).

I’d heard of this manga, but had no clue it was about something so interesting as a book that allows you to kill people by writing down their names.  Of course I’m not thinking of what I would do with such a device!  How dare you accuse?!  And of course I’m not thinking of writing down anyone’s name that begins with the letter D.  What do you take me for?  Good day to you sir/madam! *stomps off in huff*

Anyway…I’m throwing more comic books/graphic novels/manga on my TBR list.  It’s nice padding and quicker reads so I may be able to make if not surpass my 15 book goal.  I feel short of my 20 books of 2016 so lowered it.

Title: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
Author: Edwin A. Abbott
Date Added: January 9, 2017

Unless I’m mistaken (and there’s a good chance I am), there was a movie made about this book.  I could also be thinking of the cartoon about the line and the circle, which could very well have been based on/inspired by this as well.  I could also be thinking of another film called The Point that I wanted to see when I was younger, but never was able to catch.

Either way, this is a sci-fi novel about a two-dimensional world where the main character is A. Square, a mathematician, who journeys to other dimensions beyond and less than his own.  It is a near turn of the century satire, published in 1884 (yes, that century, not the most recent one) where women, as thin straight lines, are considered the lowliest shape (not much has changed), and the more sides a man has, the higher his status.  There are some books that stand the test of time.  Even though this one is over a hundred years old, I have a feeling many of the themes will still be valid today.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 541
Change from Last Week: +1


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


Books Purchased This Week: 3

  1. The Bees by Laline Paul – Exactly what it says on the tin.  It’s about bees and written in such a delightfully intriguing way that I knew I had to obtain it after reading the sample
  2. Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples – Yasss finally!  To hell with that $50 hardback copy I saw at KOP’s comic book story.  I flipped through the first few pages, and it…is…thrilling from the get go.  You are instantly thrown into the story, and it’s no holds barred, not sugar coated.  I love it already.  I’m hoping to shoehorn it into my reading cycle soon.
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia by Various Authors – I was talking to a major Zelda fan this week who gave his approval on this compendium.  The pictures are gorgeous, and it was worth all 30 of my (GC) dollars.

img_9759


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: 1/4/17          The State of the Reader: 1/18/17–>

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save