The State of the Reader: 5/25/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/18/16          The State of the Reader: 6/1/16–>

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

Change from Last Week: 0


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

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 28%

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
67%

Title: Dreamsongs Volume II
Author: George R R Martin

Dreamsongs Volume IIMedium: Paperback
Progress: 72%

I’m really making progress with this one especially after the latest installment of Game of Thrones, holy God…it’s “The Door” episode.  I won’t say anything else as I don’t want to spoil, but I can definitely see the seeds for it in stories such as “Under Siege” and “Unsound Variations.”  The newly introduced major motif is also prevalent in a popular British TV show that will remain nameless lest I give it away, it’s played for comedic effect in episodes of American Dad! and Family Guy, it’s a huge plot point in FFVIII, and plays a major role in one of the Harry Potter volumes.  The implications of it in the world of Song are enormous.

Either way…I’m currently in the midst of “Unsound Variations.”  I only read this book this week.  I didn’t get a chance to pick up any of the others.  I’ll try to get to some of Paradise Lost in this upcoming week.

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%


Books Finished This Week: 0


Books Added to Goodreads This Week: 15

Title: The Winter King
Series Title:
The Warlord Chronicles
Author:
Bernard Cornwell
Date Added:
May 25, 2016Winter King, The

Title: The Last Kingdom
Series Title:
The Saxon Stories
Author:
Bernard Cornwell
Date Added:
May 25, 2016

Last Kingdom, The

My supervisor just recommended these today while I was talking to him about how I was looking for a comprehensive compendium of Arthurian Legend.  I asked a reputable source, too, for such volumes, but she recommended that I research particular figures separately.  This came about because I discovered a new YouTube theorist Kat Henry whom I had some very good discussions with about Norse Mythology et al.  One of her videos talked about how Bloodraven is the wizard in the tree paradigm, which is something Merlin has embodied.  I commented about a book I read many years ago by Lloyd Alexander literally entitled The Wizard in the Tree, which I believe now is also a play on Merlin, but I’d have to reread…and do more research on Merlin.

I may make a trip to the local Barnes and Noble to see if I can pick up either an Arthurian Legend Compendium or La Morte D’Arthur…which I just added.

Title: La Morte d’Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table
Author:
Thomas Malory
Date Added:
May 25, 2016

Morte dArthur, La

Just added this as I write out this post.  Usually any book so included at this poin is pushed off until next week, but since I was talking about it above, it seems only appropriate.

Title: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
Author:
H. P. Lovecraft
Date Added:
May 25, 2016

DreamQuest of Unknown Kadath, The

I do own the entire works of H.P. Lovecraft and have read “At the Mountains of Madness;” the entire story is linked there.  I downloaded them all for free for my Kindle and managed to barely get through this plodding tale.  Lovecraft may have been brilliant in his ideas, but he’s a marvelously dull writer if “Mountains” is any fair indication of his work.  He’s considered the Father of Horror, and I feel the need to read/study him since I want to write a Cosmic Horror Story, but though his ideas are nightmare fuel, his execution leaves much to be desire.  He’s also a disgusting racist.

Anyway, the same friend who recommended La Morte d’Arthur and character research also pointed me in the direction of this six story collection.  They are apparently his best works.  Despite being a gigantic wuss, I desperately want to write a horror tale.  I already have a title: The Seventh Is the Darkest.  Readers make the best writers, so I must swallow my fear, turn off the lights, and delve in the morass of darkness unknown.

Title: Talon
Series Title:
Talon
Author:
Julie Kagawa
Date Added:
May 24, 2016

Talon

I was browsing Goodreads or adding another book, and a came across a novel simply entitle Soldier.  Of course I had to investigate since it activated my VII Sense.  It was the third volume in a series that shared the same name as the first book.  It’s about dragons hiding in human form since they were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George.  It sounds intriguing, and the idea of shapeshifters is akin to the skinchangers of GRRM’s universe.  Do I have to say I have a Song Sense now, too?  Hm

Title: A Shard of Ice
Series Title:
Black Symphony
Author:
Alivia Anders
Date Added:
May 24, 2016

Shard of Ice, A

The melody motif entwined with this story intrigues me.  My favorite season is also winter and the front cover isn’t a bad lure either.  Sometimes there’s no one specific and/or strong reason I add a book; sometimes enough adds up and I do.

Title: Consider Phlebas
Series Title:
Culture
Author:
Iain Banks
Date Added:
May 24, 2016

Consider Phlebas

This book is not my usual fare.  I’m slowly getting into more sci-fi, but it’s not what I typically read.  I do like sci-fi narratives.  Star Trek: TNG is one of my favorite series and of course I have FFVII, which is a sci-fi/fantasy fusion.  There was an article I read a while back that talked about the lack of true sci-fi games, and at first I was confused because I can tick off Mass Effect, Dead Space, Metroid, among others, but in reality they have more in common with my beloved VII in that they’re more science fantasy, a phrase I’m growing quite fond of. It’s more concise than sci-fi/fantasy fusion, but I’m not quite willing to give my coinage up (if indeed I did coin it, which I can’t claim).  It is true though.  Video games that lean towards the sci-fi end still infuse them with either fantasy (as in Mass Effect) or horror (as in Dead Space.  Actually ME has a comparable horror motif, too).

This book was mentioned here by the Writing Chimp, a blogger I follow, in her post about books that end were they begin.  I was intrigued by what she said and so added it to the ever growing list.

Title: Don’t Turn Around
Series Title:
Detective Jennifer Knight
Author:
Caroline Mitchell
Date Added:
May 24, 2016

Don't Turn Around

This was another one added based on a blogger’s recommendation.  The Book Review Directory reviewed the third installation in the series The Silent Twin, and that piqued my interest enough to give the series a chance.  The reviewed book sounds more interesting than the first, but I can’t in good faith not start at the beginning.

Title: Lumière
Series Title:
The Illumination Paradox
Author:
Jacqueline Garlick
Date Added:
May 23, 2016

Lumiere

Any story that focuses on light must always delve into darkness, and I love the dichotomy.  Another find from The Book Review Directory; the story takes place in a land of eternal twilight.  I immediately thought of Dark City Treno from Final Fantasy IX, which is under the pall of perpetual night.  It also has some amazing ragtime music as its theme.

A city that dwells in endless darkness is a source of glee for little old gothic me.  It may be a paradigm I utilize in some of my later writings.  Be that as it may, Lumière looks like a series starter I would enjoy.

Title: The Guardian
Author: Elizabetta Holcomb
Date Added: May 21, 2016

Guardian, The

I have The Book Review Directory to thank again for this recommendation.  It comes off as a historical fiction, but has a time travel element thrown in.  While there have been tongue-in-cheek stories about modern people going back to earlier times and vice versa, this story seems to play it seriously with the ramifications of such an event.  According to the blurb, it appears to be a rescripting of history to facilitate humanity’s survival from nature’s attack…so my VII Sense is tingling again.  Per the review the heroine is likable and flawed in a way that makes her more accessible and authentic.  That’s always an accomplished feat when an author can pull it off.

Title: The Forest House
Series Title: Avalon
Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Date Added: May 19, 2016

Forest House, The

I need to reread The Mists of Avalon before I read this.  It’s been a decade since I picked that first volume up.  This also goes along with my new Arthurian fervor.

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Date Added: May 19, 2016

1984

I don’t have this under classics, but perhaps I should.  I read Brave New World many, many years ago, but never got to this.   It’s interesting to read dystopian fiction that has passed its “expiration date” if you would, though Orwell’s darker vision of the future is probably not far off where we are now.  I’m sure I’ll be, well, I can’t say pleasantly, surprised.

Title: The Book of the Dun Cow
Series Title: Chauntecleer the Rooster
Author: Walter Wangerin, Jr.
Date Added: May 19, 2016

Book of the Dun Cow, The

This was a recommendation due to Redwall, but unlike that generally bucolic series, this one concerns an eldritch abomination rising from the earth.  The reviews on Goodreads peg it similarly to Redwall insofar as the good/evil motif goes.  I cut my reading teeth (eyes?) on animal centered fiction, so I’m willing to give this a chance.  The ease of downloading samples from Kindle really facilitates this process.

Title: The Prince of Tides
Author: Pat Conroy
Date Added: May 18, 2016

Prince of Tides, The

There was a time when I near fervently searched for any book that a movie had been based on.  As I started this while fairly young, I centered a lot of Disney movies.  I was able to find Bambi, The Jungle Book, and a few others in my school’s library and oh boy were they ever different.  Bambi is bloodier and The Jungle Book is far more serious than the more lighthearted Disney cartoon.  I also read Watership Down, though that is not Disney nor would anyone ever claim that to be a movie for the faint.  As I grew older, I started searching out the books for live action movies, but the above was one I missed.  I actually have no clue what this book is about, because I saw the movie years ago and was too young to really pay attention to it.  I’m pretty much going in fresh.

Title: Young Zaphod Plays It Safe
Series Title: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Date Added: May 18, 2016

Young Zaphod Plays It Safe

Per Goodreads this novella doesn’t appear as a standalone work, but is included in several collections.  It’s the prequel to events in Hitchhiker’s, and I’m curious at what point in his life Zaphod played it safe.  It’s been a while since I’ve read the “trilogy” though, and I may be confusing the Zaphod from the books with the one from the movie.  That was one thing I disliked.  That they made him such a buffoon.  Also his heads were supposed to be side by side not one above the other, but I suppose I’m being nitpicky.


Books Added to To-Reread List: 2


Title: The Witching Hour
Series Title: Lives of the Mayfair Witches
Author: Anne Rice
Date Added: May 25, 2016

Witching Hour, The

I follow Anne Rice on Facebook, and when she mentioned this series, I realized I wanted to give it a reread.  I’ve read the entirety of this and her Vampire Chronicles.  I’m sure they hold up, though I’m curious if I’m still as into her lush writing, though why wouldn’t I be?  Since I tend to be overly verbose myself.

Title: Green Smoke
Author: Rosemary Manning
Date Added: May 19, 2016

Green Smoke

I almost forgot to include this!  I read it years ago.  It was part off a large pile of books my mother’s boss gave to me, because she knew how much I loved to read.  I couldn’t think of the title, but I recalled the dragon’s name is “R Dragon,” and you never find out what the “R” stands for.  He’s a friendly dragon who only puts in his teeth when it’s absolutely necessary, but he’d rather have tea than bite you.  The sweet, British candor of it reminds me of The Wind in the Willows, which is something else I should reread.

Damn…can I have a week where I finish before 9:00??  I still want to write :\


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: 5/18/16          The State of the Reader: 6/1/16–>

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4 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 5/25/16

  1. R Dragon looks great!
    I usually have a few books on the go, but I don’t think I could read more than one piece of fiction at a time, I’d muddle up the characters and switch the plots.
    At the moment I’m only reading The Telltale Brain and trying to get it finished. It’s fascinating stuff, investigating synesthesia and autism, but it’s quite heavy going.
    I think next up I’m going to read I, Legend – my dad just through out a few hundred old sci fi books, and I caught a few of them.
    Happy reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read that book years ago and just started thinking about it for some reason. That’ll happen; I’ll just remember a book from an earlier time. Not always the title or the full title. There’s this one book that I think of on and off that had different colored snows, and I wish I could remember something it, though with the google I should be able to dig it up. Thank goodness for the google.

      The Telltale Brain sounds VERY intense, and I really should stick with just one book at a time. It would make life so much easier. I hope to finish Dreamsongs Volume II this week and write my review of Tagerrung, too *fingers crossed*

      Liked by 1 person

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