Stoffel’s Books of the Moment

I have a problem.

No, I am not referring to the problem wherein I start nearly every entry in this online journal talking about me, me, me.

The problem relates to books. Reading books. Specifically, reading way too many books at once.

I tend to pile on the books I’m currently reading. I have heard of some people having trouble keeping their books straight in their heads if reading more than one, but generally I have not had this come up.

I thought it might be a fun experiment to run through and see if I can catalogue all the books to which I have a current (or recent) attachment.

In no particular order, I am reading (or recently finished reading)…

TITLE: Steelheart (The Reckoners series, book 1)
AUTHOR: Brandon Sanderson
FORMAT: e-book
STATUS: in progress / active
THOUGHTS: I am enjoying Steelheart so far. I only just reached part 2, so things are moving with the story now. I definitely think that Sanderson is a stronger fantasy writer, but the world he’s working here is interesting. I will stay on for the next book in the Reckoners series.

TITLE: Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, book 2)
AUTHOR: Brandon Sanderson
FORMAT: audiobook
STATUS: complete
THOUGHTS: I loved The Way of Kings, and I loved this book. Sanderson is a strong writer and his strength is zintupled writing in the world of The Stormlight Archive. I have this book in hardcover and plan to read its predecessor and this in paper format soon.

TITLE: Cormorant (Miriam Black series, book 1)
AUTHOR: Chuck Wendig
FORMAT: paperback
STATUS: in progress / active
THOUGHTS: Miriam Black is a compelling character and Wendig doesn’t know how to tell a boring story with her around. I think the series has plenty of life left (and only Miriam knows how it will meet its bitter end). (Actually, that’s not true because she cannot see how she will die. So there.)

TITLE: Dinocalypse Now! (Dinocalypse series, book 1)
AUTHOR: Chuck Wendig
FORMAT: audiobook
STATUS: in progress
THOUGHTS: I like this story. Its swashbuckling action mixed with a plot ridiculous enough for pulp makes for just the right mix of fun in the Spirit of the Century universe. I plan to keep up with the series, though I will probably stick to e-book format as the narrator does not really do it for me.

TITLE: Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant
AUTHOR: Veronica Roth
FORMAT: e-book
STATUS: complete
THOUGHTS: I read this as requested by my wife and entered it with a relatively open mind. Strange as it might seem (to me), I enjoyed these books for the most part. If you can get past the kind of ridiculous premise (which turns slightly less ridiculous with what you learn in the third book, but that’s a long time to wait), it is a pretty solid story overall. Still, there is a bit too much sappy romance (largely in book one) for my taste, and I feel like the author didn’t quite capture the male perspective when that came up.

TITLE: The Mallorean series
AUTHOR: David Eddings
FORMAT: audiobook
STATUS: book 1 complete
THOUGHTS: Eddings has a ponderous storytelling voice, which is great for exploring the world he built (as the main characters visit every major highlight in the world during The Belgariad). It can be a bit plodding from time to time, though. I stopped reading Pawn of Prophecy two or three times during the prologue before finally switching over to audiobooks, which helped drag me through it. I like the story, I like the characters, and I plan to finish the series at some point soon.

TITLE: Death Rites (The Dresden Files, book 6)
AUTHOR: Jim Butcher
FORMAT: audiobook
STATUS: hiatus
THOUGHTS: I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the Dresden books more than once and listened to the excellent narration by James Marsters once. (His Dresden sounds just like I imagined it on my paperback readthroughs.) I am slowly working my way forward through the series once again, but sometimes I leave a book like this pending for when I don’t feel like listening to my other books. Great book, though, and worth owning in both audio and physical formats.

TITLE: American Gods
AUTHOR: Neil Gaiman
FORMAT: paperback
STATUS: hiatus
THOUGHTS: I was reading through this, another intriguing world with a plodding pace, up until we moved a couple months ago and then I sort of stopped without realizing it. I won’t say that I love the story so far, at about the halfway point, but I am intrigued by some of the characters. It may take me a while to get back to this, but I would like to finish it before adding too much else to the pile.

TITLE: JLA Vol. 1
AUTHOR: Grant Morrison
FORMAT: e-book
STATUS: slowly-but-surely
THOUGHTS: Comic books have never really been a part of my life. My parents did not buy any for me, so I was, to a large degree, ignorant of their existence growing up. Now that I can spend my own money how I please, it feels like comics are way too expensive to get into now. Buying bundled volumes, especially on sale, lets me at least make an attempt. JLA is not really my ‘style,’ but it is an enjoyable enough comic.

TITLE: Second Contact (Colonization series, book 1)
AUTHOR: Harry Turtledove
FORMAT: audiobook
STATUS: in progress
THOUGHTS: Harry Turtledove’s Worldwar series is a great entry point for anyone wanting to try out some alternate history. World War II was crazy enough without dumping a bunch of highly intelligent, highly dangerous, and highly ignorant aliens on top of the whole conflict. Some of the plots in that series fell flat, but overall it was pretty satisfying. So far, the followup Colonization series seems to be living up to the standards Turtledove set in the previous books. As my wife has already purchased the remaining books in audio format, I will, at some point, finish them all.

TITLE: Geekomancy (Ree Reyes, book 1)
AUTHOR: Michael R. Underwood
FORMAT: e-book
STATUS: in queue
THOUGHTS: I actually read the second book in Mr. Underwood’s world of Geekomancy, Celebromancy, first. The audiobook narrated by the inimitable Mary Robinette Kowal was great, and when I saw this book on a sale, I did not hesitate to pick it up.

TITLE: Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, book 1)
AUTHOR: Jim Butcher
FORMAT: paperback
STATUS: in queue
THOUGHTS: I actually started this… oh, quite a while ago, but with everything that was going on at the time, it did not catch on and I did not make it past the first few pages. I own the entire series, and I want to read them all. It will never replace Jim Butcher’s Dresden series as one of my favorite things ever in the history of ever, but friends tell me that it really picks up after the first half of the first book. Without a doubt, I will read this series.

TITLE: A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, book 2)
AUTHOR: George R. R. Martin
FORMAT: audiobook
STATUS: in queue
THOUGHTS: Though we own the books in paperback, I find that this series is one that I can easier accommodate in audio format. It is a bit ponderous at times. I don’t disdain that, but my mind can occasionally wander. (I am not the reading powerhouse I was when younger.) Reading the books is definitely a different experience from watching the HBO show, but I find value in both. I hope to eventually surpass the progress of the show in my reading. This will be made easier by the way that I tend to be a season behind, due to the necessity of waiting for the show’s release on DVD.

TITLE: The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
AUTHOR: Douglas Adams
FORMAT: e-book
STATUS: hiatus
THOUGHTS: I have read the entire five-book trilogy before and picked it up in digital format because I could. Since then, I read through the first book but then became distracted by life, the universe, and everything. I will, no doubt, go back to this collection as the mood strikes, made easier by the digital convenience.

TITLE: Old Man’s War
AUTHOR: John Scalzi
FORMAT: e-book
STATUS: hiatus
THOUGHTS: I did not make it very far into this book, not for lack of interest but due to changing circumstances in how I read my e-books leading to it being pushed aside (because I had read only a few paragraphs, I sort of forgot). I very much want to read it, and shall, before the end of the year, I expect. I cannot give a good analysis of it at this point, but I will say that Scalzi is every bit of nice that he appears to be.

Well, in summary, that appears to be at least eleven books that are fighting for storage in my RAM. Those are just the ones where I have already started the book, cracked it open without yet completing it. The others are in my brainspace as well, waiting for me to uncover what secrets they hide.

Sometimes it frustrates me to think about just how much there is out in the world that I cannot get around to experiencing. Just talking about books, there is no way I will be able to make a dent in reading all the books I could read.

I suppose it comes down to trying to make good decisions with what I will give my time and mental energy. Most of the time, I will finish a book if I start it, but perhaps that is not the best policy.

That won’t help me here, though, because all of the books I listed I like or at least find some redeeming quality within it.

Please let me know if I am being a horrible person for holding any particular book of these at bay. Also, I am curious if anyone else stacks up the ‘currently reading’ list like I do.

Perhaps you’re all more sane than me.

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