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: 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

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

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