Status Update

Every Sunday Tim compiles a report about what we read the week before. For most of the books we mention, you can expect a review soon.

Sunday Status Update: November 22, 2020

Marion: It was not a good week for reading because I had writing to accomplish, but on Wednesday I started Hilary Mandel’s The Mirror and the Light, the third book about Thomas Cromwell.


 

Bill:This was an eclectic week of reading, which included:

Brian Naslund’s quite good (and often laugh-out-loud funny) Sorcery of A Queen  (review soon to come)
Virginia Postrel’s interesting The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World
Rick Barot’s excellent poetry collection The Galleons
Kristina Moriconi’s lovely Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 15, 2020

Kat: I’ve been distracted by the news, as usual, plus my work, but I did manage to read a couple of books in the last two weeks. K.J. Parker’s How to Rule and Empire and Get Away With It was a sequel of sorts to his (better) Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City. After the U.S. election I read Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, which was enlightening. Basically, research shows that (1) liberals are more “ Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 8, 2020

Marion: I finished the wonderful Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, and how I’m browsing the Nov/Dec issue of F&SF Magazine. Effective with the spring, 2021 issue that magazine will have a new editor, Sheree Renee Thomas, as C.C. Finlay retires. I’m curious about what changes that will bring.


Bill: This week in between student papers and election-watching I read two DC comics reference books by Robert Greenberger:  Batman:  100 Greatest Moments and Flash:  100 Gre... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 1, 2020

Jana: This week I read The Penguin Book of Witches, and thought it was a really excellent resource, though I wish that Katherine Howe had been able to provide more historical context and present-minded commentary on the various “eyewitness accounts” and historical documents. I also started reading Meet Me In the Future, Kameron Hurley’s 2019 collection of short stories, and I’m re-reading Sofiya Pasternack’s Anya and the Dragon in preparation for its soon-to-be-published sequel, Any... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 25, 2020

Jana: This week involved a lot of cold-weather prep at my house, so I didn’t get a lot of time to sit in front of my keyboard, unfortunately. But I did get a little farther into The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan, and am still enjoying myself, and I made the very questionable choice of reading through T. Kingfisher’s The Twisted Ones in installments before bed. It’s a great book! Just, you know, not so great to lie awake thinking about in the dark.


Bill: This week I read the good if jargony Att... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 18, 2020

Jana: This week was a fairly productive one for me, so I’m pleased. I finished V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, got a few reviews taken care of, and began reading Alix E. Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches alongside The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 11, 2020

Jana: This week I finished Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education, and I’m so excited to see what happens in the next book! I’m about halfway through V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, which is a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing story. And next up is Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 4, 2020

Jana: This week I began reading Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education, and to no one’s surprise (including my own) I love it, love everything she’s doing with her extraordinarily deadly magical school and our anti-heroine El Higgins. I also started reading V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and am delighted by how the narrative is unfolding. For my “read one story a day” exercise, I opened up the Ellen Datlow-edited Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, and am looking forward to all kinds of spooky tales throughout October.

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Sunday Status Update: September 27, 2020

Jana: This week I read Juliet Marillier’s The Harp of Kings, a mostly-engaging fantasy set at some vague distant point in Ireland’s druid-filled past. I also finished Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe’s anthology The Mythic Dream, and I would say 95% of the stories were absolutely amazing, while the other 5% were extremely good. Not a bad ratio, all things considered! This week I’ll be reading Naomi Novik’s latest novel, A Deadly Education, and Daniel Pinkwater’s novella Adventures ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 20, 2020

Jana: This week I started The Mythic Dream, an anthology of classic myths retold by contemporary authors, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe. Thus far, each of the stories is wonderful, and I’ve only read about a third of them! I also read R.B. Lemberg’s first BIRDVERSE novella, The Four Profound Weaves, which is beautifully written, and I’m very much looking forward to reading more stories set in this universe. Next up is Juliet Marillier’s The Harp of Kings, the first book in her WARRIOR BARDS series.
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Sunday Status Update: September 13, 2020

Jana: This week I read Kit Rocha’s Deal With the Devil, a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy about mercenary librarians and super-soldiers that has some well-written fight scenes. I’m nearly finished with Jonathan Strahan’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1: The Saga Anthology of Science Fiction 2020, and I started reading Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea, which is lovely and dream-like.

... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 6, 2020

Jana: This week, while still working my way through Jonathan Strahan’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1: The Saga Anthology of Science Fiction 2020, I also read Marie Brennan’s Driftwood and Kit Rocha’s Deal With the Devil; I enjoyed Brennan’s novella (no surprise there) and thought Rocha’s post-apocalyptic bands of mercenaries traveling around the wilds of northern Georgia and southern Tennessee had some interesting spins on both urban fantasy and romance tropes.

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Sunday Status Update: August 30, 2020

Jana: This week I’m still reading Jonathan Strathan’s upcoming The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1: The Saga Anthology of Science Fiction 2020. My speed is one story per day, so that they stay distinct in my memory. I’m also reading Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country and really enjoying it; Ruff has a deft hand with the blend of meta-fiction, horror, humor, and social commentary at play.

Kat: You haven't heard from me in a month because I've been so busy working on... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 23, 2020

Jana: This week I’m reading Kate Elliott’s latest novel, Unconquerable Sun, the first book in THE SUN CHRONICLES, a trilogy most frequently described as “gender-flipped Alexander the Great in space.” I’m also reading Jonathan Strathan’s upcoming The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1: The Saga Anthology of Science Fiction 2020; since most of the stories in this collection are new to me, I’m discovering some interesting gems.

Kelly: I read The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi this week. I loved their 2019 YA novel, Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 16, 2020

Jana: This week I’m reading Stephen Graham Jones’ The Only Good Indians; it’s well-written and fast-paced, which I appreciate in a horror novel, and it’s set in Montana’s elk country, so for once (huzzah?) I’m on somewhat-familiar ground for the terrible things that are happening. Not that my imagination-software is buggy, but it’s really neat to read a horror story that involves people, activities, and locations I actually have some experience with.

 

Kelly: I’m in the home stretch of Andrea Hairston’s Master ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 9, 2020

Jana: This week was chockablock with non-FanLit responsibilities, so I had much less time for getting reviews wrapped up than I wanted (harrumph). I was able to squeeze in a few reading hours for Tamsyn Muir’s Harrow the Ninth, though, and it was incredibly difficult to pull myself away each time.

Kelly: So, Tamsyn Muir’s Harrow the Ninth came out this week, a... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 2, 2020

Jana: This week I read Nancy Kress’ recent novella, Sea Change, which packs a lot of story, social commentary, and very-near-future environmental concerns in an economical package. I also began reading Tamsyn Muir’s Harrow the Ninth, realized that I wanted to read the last few chapters of Gideon the Ninth in order to be sure that I remembered who was locked i... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 26, 2020

Jana: This week I finished Katherine Addison’s The Angel of the Crows (which got better as it went along, thankfully). I also read Kathleen Jennings’ Flyaway, a very strange and hauntingly written novella set in Australia; I’m still not quite sure what I think of it. I’m mid-way through Colin Dickey’s The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained, and I’m enjoying the ways in which Dickey examines humanity’s desire to experience wonder in ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 19, 2020

Jana: This week I read Zen Cho’s novella The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, and it was lovely, of course. I’m currently reading Katherine Addison’s The Angel of the Crows, and as much as I’m enjoying Addison’s world-building and descriptive talents, I have to agree with Bill and Tadian... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 12, 2020

Jana: This week I read Raquel Vasquez-Gilliland’s debut novel, Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything, which was beautifully written and contained some extremely searing commentary on America’s treatment of immigrants. I also read Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Relentless Moon, which was so engrossing that I actually forgot to move for a few hours while I read (an oversight I do not recommend).


Bill: This week I read Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 5, 2020

Jana: This week I read The Menace from Farside, a novella published in 2019 as the latest instalment in Ian McDonald’s LUNA universe, which was enjoyable, but it’s been long enough since I read the actual trilogy of novels that I kept distracting myself by wondering how the events in the novella affected or were affected by the preceding books. My fault, not McDonald’s. Also, I started reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Fated Sky Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 28, 2020

Jana: This week I read Lina Rather’s Sisters of the Vast Black, a novella with lots of interesting characters and concepts, and a little more hand-waving than I’d prefer when it comes to hard details like timeline and spatial relations. I’m also reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars, which I’m really enjoying despite my constant story-induced anxiety. Kowal’s writing is evocative and compelling, to say the least.

Bill: This week I read Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 21, 2020

Jana: This week I read Nghi Vo’s novella The Empress of Salt and Fortune, which I loved, and Shea Ernshaw’s Winterwood, which I was much cooler on. (Though the winter setting helped ward off the spring-transitioning-to-summer heat I hate so much.) Next up, Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 14, 2020

Jana: This week I read Finna, a very slight novella (I’d call it a novelette) by Nino Cipri about love, queerness, anxiety, wormholes, and big-box capitalism. I wish it had been a longer read, but I can’t figure out where I wish Cipri had expanded it. I also read Bethany C. Morrow’s A Song Below Water, and discovered that Kelly and I had the same reactions to it, which was fun (and unsurprising).


Bill: This week I read When Jackals Storm the Walls Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 7, 2020

Jana: This week I read Sarah Beth Durst’s latest MG novel, Catalyst, which was so much fun and a perfect antidote for everything I’ve been feeling over the last few weeks. I also read Martha Wells’ latest entry in the MURDERBOT DIARIES series, Network Effect, which I absolutely enjoyed (and forced my hand on picking up a copy of the first book in the series, Read More