The State of the Reader: 6/1/16

<–The State of the Reader: 5/25/16          The State of the Reader: 6/8/16–>

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: 3

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:
67%

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%


Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: Dreamsongs Volume II
Author: George R R Martin

Dreamsongs Volume II

Review will be forthcoming.  I’ll try to work on that this weekend and talk about it in my next State of the Writer post.  There were less stories I enjoyed in this volume, but I believe there may have been less overall, and the ones I liked more than made up for the ones I didn’t.


Books Added to Goodreads This Week: 7

Title: Into the Fire
Series Title: Birth of the Phoenix
Author: Ashelyn Drake
Date Added: May 25, 2016

Into the FireAs I added a book about people who are dragon’s last week, this week I add one about people who are really phoenixes.  I love phoenix motifs; there’s something appealing about fiery rebirth even if you may have to brave the flames.

Title: The Willows in Winter
Series Title: Tales of the Willows
Author: William Horwood
Date Added: May 25, 2016

Willows in Winter, The

Something put me in mind of The Wind in the Willows, and I found this homage to that timeless work.  It’s worth a try, and now that I’m thinking about it, I should add Wind to my to-reread list.

Title: The Monster Within
Series Title: The Monster Within
Author: Kelly Hashway
Date Added: May 27, 2016

Monster Within, The

Holy fuck…well I found this just now while putting in the information for the phoenix story above, (I’m starting a new procedure where I update my added books during the lead up so I’m not stuck doing 14 in one go.  That. Was. Exhausting.  This means that this post will be written across several days.  Just wanted to preempt any confusion), and I had to immediately add it.  An even creepier take on the zombie motif where the protagonist’s boyfriend brings her back from the dead, and she’s forced to do vampirish things to survive.  The author (or their agent) nailed the opening line of the blurb for this one.

“The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins.”

I’m not usually into zombie stories.  I stopped reading *spoiler* The Girl With All the Gifts *end spoiler* once that angle was revealed, though I know I’d enjoy the movie Warm Bodies for it’s comedic angle at least.  This story though comes off a bit different, and I’m willing to give it a try.

Title: Ratha’s Creature
Series Title: The Named
Author: Clare Bell
Date Added: May 28, 2016

Ratha's CreatureIf you’re around my age you might remember Saturday Morning Cartoons, and I capitalize that on purpose because it was an institution.  It gave me a reason to get up on the weekend.  One of my favorite shows was CBS Storybreak where they would air a half hour animated adaptation of a child’s book published around that time, and one of them was Ratha’s Creature.  I mentioned before with The Prince of Tides that I’ve always had a strong interest in reading the source of visual media, and half hour cartoons are no exception.  Even though this particular episode wasn’t my favorite, I never forgot about it.  I’ve always liked animal based fiction/fantasy (as seen by my interest in Redwall, Tailchasher’s Song, Watership Down, etc.), and I wanted more background on that story.

Title: The Left Hand of Darkness
Series Title: Hainish Cycle
Author: Ursula K.  Le Guin
Date Added: May 28, 2016

Left Hand of Darkness, TheI almost bought this yesterday (along with Anne Rice’s Angel Time and Brian Sanderson’s Warbreaker) during my excursion to the bookstore, but since I spent around $50 there anyway, I decided to hold off (I did pick up Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, Mallory’s La Morte d’Arthur, which I talked about in my prior SOTR post, and another book that I’ll talk about below) since I have plenty of books on my to-read list, and while this is a staple of sci-fi, it’s a book I consistently picked up and put down without indulging.  Now I feel that it’s piqued my interest enough for a read.  The fact that the world is called Winter and the story deals with gender issues is a big help.

Title:  The Elfstones of Shannara
Series Title: The Original Shannara Trilogy
Author: Terry Brooks
Date Added: May 28, 2016

Elfstones of Shannara, TheI picked this up yesterday during my fore mentioned Barnes and Noble visit, because I figured, “Why not?”  I’ve head friends rave about it, it’s not a TV series, and I’d rather read it before watching, which I sort of did with the Sword of Truth Series, but that’s another story.  As you can see if you can enlarge the cover, it says it’s Book One; however, the internet says The Sword of Shannara holds that honored position.  I thought it might be similar to Sword of Truth in not having the the first book (or any book) having the series name in the title.  Anyway, I felt pretty embarrassed that I muddled this so badly, so I’ll probably just buy The Sword of Shannara on Kindle.  I have quite a few people waiting for me to read this book/series.

Update:  I wound up buying Sword from Amazon.  I don’t know…I’d feel weird having a physical copy of the second but not the first.

Title: The Moorchild
Author: Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Date Added: May 29, 2016

Moorchild, TheI have my dear friend Megan to once more thank for this addition.  She reviewed Mara, Daughter of the Nile on her blog The Ink Garden, and mentioned The Moorchild as one of the author’s other works.  While I didn’t add Mara to my reading list (yet), I was intrigued by this earlier novel.  It seems like something I would’ve read in high school had it been made known to me at the time.


Books Added to To-Reread List: 1

Title: The Wind in the Willows
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Date Added: May 27, 2016

Wind in the Willows, The

The precursor to Redwall and a timeless literary classic, I read this long, long ago and recall a funny instance where I came across the word “ass” in it and was appalled that a book I was reading had a curse word.  My father informed me that that was just a term for a silly person, and later I found out that it was common British vernacular at the time (it may very well still be).

I don’t think this will take very long to reread.  I’m planning a trip to the local Barnes and Nobel and am hoping to pick up some of the classics they keep together.  Hopefully this and La Morte d’Arthur will be among them.

I feel like I’m missing something because I didn’t take three hours to do this.  As mentioned above I bought three books this week, four if I count Sword of Shannara.  I think I’m going to continue finishing up what I’m currently reading before I add another book to the pile.  The next concentration will be Paradise Lost.  Hopefully afterward I’ll be able to get back into Windhaven.  When I’m left with The Mystical Qabalah, I’ll probably start reading Shannara and maybe a classic like The Rape of Lucrece, but I want to keep the number of things I’m reading to a manageable level.


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: 5/25/16          The State of the Reader: 6/8/16–>

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