The State of the Reader: 5/11/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/4/16          The State of the Reader: 5/18/16–>

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: 5

Change from Last Week: -1


Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
65%

Title: Taggerung
Author: Brian Jacques

TaggerungMedium: Paperback
Progress: 60%

I’m on the third and final part of this reread.  I’ll probably be finished before the end of the week.

Title: Dreamsongs Volume II
Author: George R R Martin

Dreamsongs Volume IIMedium: Paperback
Progress: 40%

I’m still stuck in “Shell Games.”  At least something interesting has happened, and the “hero” has to make a choice.  I can’t wait to be done with this particular story.  I only have 13 pages or so to go.

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%


Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Light of the Fireflies
Author:
Paul Pen
Translator: Simon Bruni

Light of the Fireflies, TheMedium: Kindle
Rating: 3.5

It’s sad that I started and finished this book while I’m still reading two others (Paradise Lost and The Mystical Qabalah) that were started years ago.  I’m planning a review for this one, as well.  It’s…very compelling, but I had issues with the ending that I couldn’t pinpoint or articulate until I found a reviewer with the same woes.  The goal is to have the review/analysis up by this Saturday.  I’m planning a new format for those.


Books Added to Goodreads This Week: 8

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: May 11, 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

This was another of my add ons due to WordPress.  The entire trilogy was reviewed here by The Writing Hufflepuff (who clearly not only writes, but also reads, as all good writer’s should).

“A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.”

It was the “curious photographs” that sold me, because pictures may say a thousand words, but all of them could be lies.

Title: Until the Celebration
Author: Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Date Added: May 11, 2015

Until the Celebration

I’m honestly shocked that I haven’t read this or added it before.  I read the two preceding Green Sky novels Below the Root and And All Between many years ago and enjoyed them immensely.  I knew about the third, but more than likely had other things on my plate at the time.  The series is about a group of almost childlike humans (as evinced by their name, the Kindar) who live in a world of green skies.  By their mythos their ancestors flew there through the stars on wings, leaving behind a dying and violent world.  Windhaven’s description actually reminded me of this and was one of the reasons I picked that up, but though Green Sky isn’t nearly as raw as GRRM makes his worlds, it is not without its discovered darkness literally below the root.  Like most tales of this type there are many things left unsaid that need to be discovered by the young and the brash when the old and stodgy have long settled on their decisions.

I do enjoy how the names of the books form a cohesive idea: “Below the root and all between before the celebration.”

Title: Ombria in Shadow
Author: Patricia McKillip
Date Added: May 10, 2016

Ombria in Shadow

I read or rather half read another of Patricia McKillip’s novels years ago entitled Winter Rose, picking it up for obvious reasons:  I love winter; I love roses; I love the beautiful gothic/romanticism of the image, but…I ran into an interesting conundrum with Ms. McKillip’s work in that it was gorgeously lyrical and flowing, but I had a great deal of trouble getting into the substance of the tale.  This is the fear I have with my own work.  I have been forced to admit that I deal in purple prose and must make attempts to ease the lavender out (hopefully I’m not ironically using it now…).  Her writing is lovely, but many parts were over abundant in lace with no fabric in which to cling.  I want to give her another try though, and I love the double entendre in the title as “ombria” itself refers to shadow.  I wonder if there is a duel shadow in the tale to warrant the title.  As the description states that there is a buried city beneath inhabited by ghosts, I believe I will not be disappointed in this.

Title: Chime
Author: Franny Billingsley
Date Added: May 10, 2016

Chime

I feel as though this was another book added due to WordPress reader browsing, but as I can’t quite recall, I won’t mark this in stone.  Another evil stepmother, but it appears this time Snow White herself is the witch.

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: May 10, 2016

Scorpio Races, The

This is another book I added due to my friend and fellow blogger at The Ink Garden who wrote a review.  I love when someone reads/reviews books I more than likely wouldn’t find on my own as they fall slightly out of my sphere of view, but they’re intriguing enough so I’ll widen my nets (what the hell?  I write about purple prose and now I’m bordering or crossing over into its kingdom??).  I’m also interesting in any reshaping of mythical figures be they gods or creatures, and this tale deals with the elusive and often dangerous kelpies. The main character is also a girl named Puck, which brings to mind the mischievous sprite from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  

I just admitted to another friend today that I’m actually not huge on YA.  I hadn’t realized it before.  I love Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but the former is sensational and the latter is not your typical YA with its (now) trite romance triangles (in fact it’s completely anathema to that though ironically and meta-textually, it is presented as such).  I don’t hate YA, but it’s not my main genre.  It takes a skilled hand to properly delve into deeper territory with it without overwhelming young readers, while still keep older ones interested, and my two examples do that very well.  However, I’m willing to give Scorpio a try.  My husband is a Scorpio so it’s only fair.

Title: Black Unicorn
Author: Tanith Lee
Date Added: May 10, 2016

Black Unicorn

This is another throwback (if you will) as in something I could/should’ve read long ago and probably would’ve gotten around to while I was in high school.  I think I peeked at the blurb once upon that time, but it didn’t strike my fancy then.  Ms. Lee is one of those foundation of women fantasy writers along with Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, and Marion Zimmer Bradley (though the latter has some major controversy around her.  Not getting into that, but I had to mention it at least); so I need to catch up.

The story concerns a girl with no magic in a magical world sought by the eponymous unicorn.  I’m a fan of hidden/unexpected talent stories even if such a paradigm is now considered trite.

Title: In the Forest of Forgetting
Author: Theodora Goss
Date Added: May 10, 2016

In the Forest of Forgetting

I was fortunate enough to have Ms. Goss’s blog revealed to me by another friend, and so I follow her there as well as Goodreads.  I added a lot of books on May 10th and was happy this was one of them.  It’s a collection of short stories, and I’m fairly certain the one entitled “Her Mother’s Ghosts” nudged me towards hitting the “Want to Read” button.

Title: The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time #1)
Author: Robert Jordan

Eye of the World, The*sigh* I read this book before years ago and…wasn’t overly impressed, but the fantasy world LOVES the late Robert Jordan as much as I love GRRM.  The two of are often compared.  My issues with the novel was it seemed to take from LOTR without altering itself enough to not seem too much like LOTR, and I’m aware that this is coming from a woman who writes fanfiction, but fanfiction is supposed to be speculative and transformative based on an established world and/or characters nor am I unaware that all stories feed off the other.

Eye didn’t seem to bring anything new or new enough for my palate, and I much preferred Martin’s subtler take on the flow of cycles.  Now, this was upon reading it over a decade ago.  I manged to get through this installment, but barely stood five pages of the next.  My interest was rekindled by the announcement of a TV adaptation.  Granted the same thing happened for the Sword of Truth series, and I only clung on through Blood of the Fold albeit barely (ugh, I need another post to catalog my issues with not only that novel, but the series as a whole.  Suffice it to say I loved Wizards First Rule, but my fondness descended from there)  I know how popular the Wheel of Time series is, and while that is by no means a measure of value, the people who do like it have merit so it deserves another try.


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: 5/4/16          The State of the Reader: 5/18/16–>

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