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: March 22, 2015

This week, Cinderella, because there's a new movie and I like to be all topical.

Cinderella: You know, you have to wonder about my Fairy Godmother. Now I don't want to seem ungrateful, of course -- getting me ready for the ball was ever so kind of her -- but... well, I mightn't have needed her help at all if she'd just put in a few magic sparks a bit earlier on. The dress, the pumpkin coach, the slippers... lovely things all. But could I have found a few, you know, non-makeover uses for incredible cosmic power over the course of my life? Yes. Yes, I probably could've. Just saying. I might have a few non-rodent friends, for example. That'd be nice.

João: Finished Darin Bradley's Chimpanzee, which I enjoyed... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 15, 2015

This week, in honor of Terry Pratchett, we have Death and a quote from Reaper Man

Death: NO ONE IS ACTUALLY DEAD UNTIL THE RIPPLES THEY CAUSE IN THE WORLD DIE AWAY...

Brad: This week I've been reading early, mostly wordless comics by Jason, and they are fantastic. I've also been reading long realistic fiction in graphic novel format: Box Office Poison and Tricked, two excellent works. I also read Brooklyn Dreams, a coming-of-age autobiographical graphic novel. I recommend all of these (and they are available for reasonable prices on Comixology). Finally, I started reading some Elric stories again.

Jana: I finished Deadpool by Danie... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 8, 2015

This week, Legolas again.

Legolas: Journal Entry 3446543: So apparently no one's particularly angry that we let Gollum escape. Dodged an arrow there. On the other hand, though, an ancient artifact of unspeakable evil has been rediscovered, so... win some, lose some? I can't wait to get back to the forest and ride this thing out. Apparently there's going to be some kind of expedition to get into Mordor and drop the thing in an active volcano, but who are they kidding? That's never going to happen. Elrond's been going through all the elves looking for a "volunteer to represent the race," but they're all laughing him off. Even his sons aren't too keen on the prospect. Oh well, Elrond: guess no one's going to join your suicide squad. Sorry. And it's not like you can press-gang anyone, as everyone here has some kind of political clout in Rivendell. It would have to be some bumpkin n... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 1, 2015

Supergirl again. Clearly, I just want to write for the comic book at this point. Call me, DC.

Supergirl: You know, I used to admire Green Arrow. Sort of. The guy gave up his entire fortune because he protests unjust distribution of wealth. That takes some courage. You don't see a certain prominent, pointy-eared superhero giving up his seemingly inexhaustible gazillions (I mean, seriously, he crashes the car like every other week and then he just leaves it there -- I'm pretty sure half the citizens of Gotham are driving refurbished batmobiles at this point). Anyway, point is that Green Arrow seemed like a pretty cool guy. But then I found some old press clippings, and I'm starting to think he's maybe just less cool and more... crazy.

I mean, uhhh....
Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 22, 2015

Character update on break this week, but we still read plenty of fun books.

Brad: I've been re-reading Superman Is Jewish?, an excellent work of literary criticism looking at the Jewish aspects of American comics. It's got a nice, pleasant tone without jargon, and the author makes complex, qualified claims that are reasonable, intelligent, and insightful. Best yet, he makes me want to read or re-read every comic he mentions. The book has excellent chapters on Superman and Batman, Will Eisner, MAD Magazine, Marvel Comics, and so much more. I've listened to it twice on audible, and the narrator really picks up on the tone of the book: I feel like I'm sitting down listening to an older, wiser man tell me about all his favorite comics, pointing out things here and there that I'd never noticed or thought about. I've listened to it twice on audible and read a physical copy o... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 15, 2015

This week, a huge thank-you goes out for Marion for securing an update from Granny Weatherwax of Discworld fame (or infamy).

Granny Weatherwax: Hmmph. Saturday. There’s Magrat, running about lighting red candles, rubbing lavender oil on her wrists, capturing oysters and babbling about the Lady of the Arts of Love. Nanny Ogg is down at the pub, belting out her forty-fifth verse of “There Was a Young Lady from Bad Ass.” That town does not deserve its reputation. But it’s Lovers’-Knot Day, they call it now, just another excuse for weak-minded people to go all blurry-eyed with “love.” I’ll admit, I do get a bit misty when I think back, so long ago, to a certain young wizard… But you know what Saturday is in my calendar? Rotate the Turnips Day. Love’s all well and good, but rotted turnips in icy March? That’s a tragedy

Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 8, 2015

This week, the characters take over. The status update e-mail went out a little late this week, so... yep, time to pad the roster a bit.

Bigby: This week, some sort of magical kerfuffle took place. The Thirteenth Floor bunch seems to think it's a big deal. All universes crashing chaotically into other at the same time. Various versions of reality and thousands of Fables from numerous corners of the cosmos trickling abruptly into dangerously close proximity. Very dramatic. Yep. You know what I call that? A Tuesday.

Frodo: You know, something occurred to me today. Gandalf says that when Bilbo left on my thirty-third birthday, my cousin said and did things that convinced him something "dark and deadly" was at work. Yet we didn't get a move on until now -- that's seventeen years. Good heav... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 1, 2015

This week, an observation from Naruto Uzumaki, a shinobi of the Village Hidden in the Leaves.

Naruto: Have you ever had one of those days that just makes you question everything about your life? I just did. I was at the ramen shop like I would always be if I had the option, and I was talking with somebody who isn't a ninja. It was weird. I don't even know what the term is for someone who isn't a ninja. In fact, it's tough sometimes to remember that there actually is a world out there, sort of... beyond whatever we ninjas are doing. I mean, do we have laws or something? Should I be worried about, like, taxes or whether I have health care? Oh well. Point is, this non-ninja was asking me about what ninjas do, and he finally got around to asking me why we shout out the names of our attacks right before we make them. He said something like "Doesn't that seem like pretty much the stupidest friggin' idea an... Read More

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

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