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: January 25, 2015

Today, Shallan from THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE. Mild spoilers.

Shallan: So I've been stuck in company with Kaladin, Brightlord Kholin's Captain of the Guard. I didn't think much of him at first, but now that I'm getting to see beneath the grim exterior, I find myself admiring him. He's been hurt before but he's healing, and he's tall and muscular and -- I admit, handsome in a rugged sort of way. Also they say he's a peerless spearman. And a brilliant commander. From what he's told me himself, he has the undying loyalty of his men, and he came from nothing to shake the fate of kingdoms. It's remarkable! And I would never have known, had a series of improbable events not forced us to seek shelter together, huddled in intimately close confines where we have no alternative but to bare our souls and...

... wait just one moment here. Am I in a novel? Storms, I'm... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 18, 2015

This week, Legolas returns.

Legolas: Journal Entry 3448968: Lots has happened since my last entry. First off, we left Lothlorien, which depresses me to a significant extent because I'd kind of gotten used to having regular baths again. And, more importantly, to no longer having to hold my breath when Gimli was upwind. Anyway, then a lot of other stuff happened involving some sort of Super-Orc race Saruman's apparently been breeding (trying so very hard not to think about how Saruman apparently breeds orcs now). Merry and Pippin got kidnapped, Sam and Frodo evidently went up in a puff of cowardice (why exactly is this group so Hobbit-heavy again?), and Boromir fell in battle. Aragorn and I did most of a pretty decent funeral dirge for him, but then Gimli completely left us hanging on his verse. After all his boasting about dwarves and their misty mountains bold or cold or whatever. And h... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 11, 2015

Supergirl again this week.

Supergirl: Saw Lex Luthor at the movies the other day. At least, I was coming out of the movies at the same time he was going into the connected mall, and we met by the doors and just kind of stared at each other. I was in civilian wear, but he definitely knew me. It was crazy awkward. What do you say in that situation? Well, I mean, I know what I said. I got flustered and blurted "cold one, huh?"  So naturally he looked at me like I'd sprouted antlers until I got so embarrassed I sort of crumpled up and blew away like tumbleweed. But what should I have said? Anyone? Hero/villain banter for the casual encounter? Uggghhh, why do these things never happen to Wonder Woman?

Brad: I've been reading manga lately, and I've found two works I recommend: Tezuka's Phoenix Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 4, 2014

This week, another entry from the favorite (and only) sheriff of Fabletown, Bigby Wolf.

Bigby: One of the three little pigs came by to crash at my apartment again. Should've sent his curly tail straight back to the Farm, but damn if he didn't look too pathetic to waste time on. So I let him sleep on the air mattress. At least that was the plan. Couldn't get the damned thing inflated, and the walking side of ham had the stones to tell me I'd gone soft. Well, piggy, how about you try chain-smoking cigarettes for a few years without it affecting your huff and your puff? Yeah. Didn't think so.

João: As the first book of the year I'm reading Neil Gaiman and Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 28, 2014

This week, a Mr. Kringle.

Kris: Ugh. So many cookies. So much milk. Bloated like you would not believe.

João: Is there any book that evokes that traditional Christmas feeling more than a K.J. Parker book, I ask? Which author, more than any other, is able to get across that idea that people are, in general, nice to one another, that almost everyone is kindhearted, and that the world is, in a sense, benevolent and inspiring? What, you don't get that from Parker's books? Weird. I am in wholehearted agreement with the tagline in Kat's review of Sharpsthis definitely is a K.J. Parker book, and a very fine one at that. Since this year is about to end, I was thinking about what books I want to have read by this time next y... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 21, 2014

The Hogfather! What's that? Why yes, I've read Hogfather. Yes, even though I'm not a Pratchett fan per se. Everyone likes Hogfather, it turns out. Even a Discworld-Grinch like me.

HogfatherHo. Ho. Ho.

João: Starting this weekend I will have a bit more control on how I spend my time, now that classes are over for the semester and finals are only in January. I'll probably spend this two week holiday season reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Prisoner of Heaven, which, just as his previous books, is pretty great, and will move on to K.J. Parker's Sharps, Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 14, 2014

This week, Drizzt. This actually happens, by the way. I'm going to say Siege of Darkness... ? It's hard to remember what happened in which book after a while.

Drizzt: This week, a most troubling event took place. I was sitting in my chamber in Mithral Hall contemplating the tremendously original names in my universe (as one does), when Catti-Brie entered. Long have I cherished some romantic regard for the fair daughter of Bruenor Battlehammer, and I admit myself that I was tempted from my solitary ruminations by the promise of light conversation and (I blush as I write it) perhaps even hand-holding with the attractive young woman bursting into my bedchamber in the middle of the night. Alas! For scarce had I parted my lips to speak the words of chaste love when she forced me back onto the bed in a most shamefully lascivious manner.  Ah, friends, you may well comprehend my bafflement,... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 7, 2014

This week, Tasslehoff Burrfoot. I have strong feelings about Tasslehoff Burrfoot. Of which variety, I remain silent (though it may be obvious).

Tasslehoff: Hey! I'm Tasslehoff Burrfoot! Half of all fantasy readers adore me and dream of one day writing a character half as charming and hilarious! The other half of them completely despise me and fantasize about throttling me with my own oversized topknot! Wherever I go, contention follows! Am I the Puckish shining light that elevates Dragonlance, or am I the aggravating exemplar of all the series' failings? You decide!

Brad: This week, I mainly graded papers, but I found time to listen to some of the essays in Batman and Philosophy, as well as most of Asimov's Foundation, which I've never read. I also read some comics... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 30, 2014

This week, grab bag of quick superhero jokes.

Supergirl: Well, it was the Justice League Thanksgiving party this week. Everything went off about as expected. The Flash ate everything in sight, supposedly to "keep up his calorie intake" and not at all because he's a big greedy pig. Batman sat around looking even more depressed than usual and wouldn't be thankful for anything. Superman made cutting up a dead bird into a much bigger deal than it had to be. And he wore an apron. It was... horrible. Then Wonder Woman got tipsy and started reminding us all (yet again) about how she's the god of war now. You'd think getting promoted from princess to goddess would be pretty interesting, but she doesn't seem to have any new powers or anything, so maybe it's a desk job... ?  Rao only knows. Or Zeus. Or... you know, whatever.

Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 23, 2014

This week, Frodo Baggins returns.

Frodo: Well, I had no time for reading this week. Unfortunately, I had to pursue litigation against some Gondorian author who thought he could write some kind of fictionalized biography of my life while changing everything worthy about it. His name is Terrydel Brooksana or something like that. Honestly, I don't know where he got the cheek to write Gandalf as some black-bearded wrestler type, and of course he had to make Sam and myself into Men. Wrote out Merry and Pippin completely. And Tom Bombadil! He wrote out Tom completely, and that's... that's... well, actually, that might have been a good idea.

Brad: This week I read a good number of current monthly comics, including the just-released trade collection of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, a fantastic new series from I... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 16, 2014

Today, Kvothe... er, or not.

Kote: Bloody hell, Chronicler just keeps lapping up this BS I'm feeding him. Of course I'm not Kvothe the Arcane, but hey, sucker born every day. Getting a little concerned about Bast, though. Sometimes I think he's just playing along, but other times he gives me the weirdest looks, like he's buying it or somehow thinks I am Kvothe, or... I'm probably just imagining things.

João: This was a particularly good week for me. I read the first two volumes of SAGA and am waiting for my girlfriend to finish reading the third volume so I can borrow it from her. I don’t know what to think of them to be honest. I like them, but I don’t read enough graphic novels to think I can pass any critical judgment on it beyond my own enjoyment of it. I also finished ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 9, 2014

Character update on break until next week. Drizzt told me in no uncertain terms that if I mocked his swords' names one more time, he was going to give me an up close and personal look at them.

Kat: I cheated. I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that I was going to stick with all the old series I’ve started and not be tempted away by anything new. But I fell. For Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart. I guess I was kind of bored — same old same old every day, you know — and I got tempted. I thought maybe that it’d be edgy, new, exciting, titillating... And you know what? It wasn’t worth it. It totally wasn’t. I can’t believe I abandoned my moral code for that. Now I have guilt. And shame, ‘cause everybody knows.... sigh.... But now I’m back on the wagon and determined to remain fait... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 2, 2014

This week, big thanks to Marion for securing an update from Bigby Wolf himself.

Bigby: Big B Wolf, Sheriff, Fabletown. Daily Report: I hope Deputy Mayor White is pleased with herself, running me around on this “community policing” gig. Two hours in the basement explaining to the mice -- again -- that tying a bell around the cat’s neck is technically assault; plus those rodents in the front row waving that Farley Mowat book and chanting, “Wolf Eats Mice!”  It’s funny that those mice don’t want to talk about who nibbled off the Gingerbread Man’s feet during his last yoga session. Give me a break.

John: I am finishing up Drawn Blades by Kelly McCullough and I need to write the review for... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 26, 2014

This week, Denna from the Kingkiller Chronicle.

Denna: No time for reading things this week. Kvothe somehow managed to get attacked by pirates, so Tehlu only knows where he'll pop up next. Had to squeeze the patron for a few coins (not literally, ugh. I get such an odd feeling of looming evil and incipient tragedy whenever I get near him for some funny reason) to scrounge enough money to take ship. I swear, Kvothe had better be appreciating all of this.

Brad: I read a few good comic books this week, but I'm going to mention only one, so you'll remember it. Better yet, just go buy it. It's an incredible YA fantasy comic book: Two young girls, fleeing princesses, on the run from murderous relatives and accompanied by an Aslan-like creature made of fire. One, a hesitant-young lady in a dress; the other, her... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 19, 2014

This week, Red Sonja addresses the question on everyone's mind.

Red Sonja: In point of fact, yes. It does chafe. And it's freezing cold in any weather, and blazing hot in sunlight. It's awful. You can all stop asking me about it now. Also about why I keep wearing it. It's a laugh, isn't it? It's an impression. And it distracts feeble-minded men. Sometimes. And, and, it's a talking point, right? It makes me better-known. All publicity is good publicity, especially for a mercenary. It's all... it's...

... I'm terribly lonely.

Bill: Grading lightened up this week (for another 12 hours or so), this was a good period of time for quantity of reading, if a mixed one for quality. In order of preference:
Harvest by Jim Crace, a Man Booker Short-listed novel (my most reliable literary pr... Read More

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