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 17, 2019

Looking for something to read? Here's what we're looking at...

Marion: I read Robin Sloan’s delightful Sourdough this week. Kat reviewed it here, but I may add a few comments. The book was even more fun for me because I’ve been to some of the locations used, like the Ferry Terminal’s farmers market or the island of Alameda. I loved the “Lois Club,” and it’s pretty clear that one particular character was inspired by Alice Waters of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse fame. I also finished another dark, atmospheric and weird  Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 10, 2019

Plenty of fun new books on the docket this week!

Bill: This week I read two solid middle-of-the-road fantasies: Gates of Stone by Angus Macallan and Early Riser by Jasper Fforde.  On audio I finally finished Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Our Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky, which I’m putting on my best of 2018 list retroactively — so good I bought the Kindle version in addition to the Audible version so I can reread it and take/save notes.

Brad: This week I read The Last Day in Vietnam by Will Eisner and an excellent crime comic collection called Murder Book by Ed Brisson. I also reread E... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 3, 2019

Plenty more fun books this week. Take a peek!

Bill: This week I read Jenn Lyons’ solid The Ruin of Kings, Ian Cameron Esslemont’s satisfactorily concluding Malazan prequel book Kellanved’s Reach, and Gareth Hinds’ excellent graphic story version of The Iliad.

Jana: This week I got to the halfway mark in S.A. Cha Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 27, 2019

More good books this week!

Bill: This week I read Guy Gavriel Kay’s newest, A Brightness Long Ago, which was a typical Kay novel — graceful writing, moving moments, thoughtful elegies on memory and history. Man’s a master craftsperson. That arrival put on hold for a night my reading of the Binti omnibus by Nnedi Okorafor, which I’m just about done with. Which was fine with me as I’m mostly befuddled by the acclaim; clearly I’m the outlier on this one.  In media, my family and I had a great night out at the Rochester Philharmonic playing the live score during a filming of The Empire Strikes Back. This week’s The Gifted had me ra... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 20, 2019

We have a few recommendations for reads to carry you through the winter. Take a look!

Bill: This week I read Kellanved’s Reach by Ian Cameron Esslemont, Turned On: Science, Sex, and Robots by Kate Devlin, and In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire. The first a solid but somewhat flat entry in an otherwise enjoyable series, the last so much better than my first WAYWARD CHILDREN attempt it has convinced me to try the others, and the middle one more informative and less titillating than some may hope for. In genre, my son and I are sticking with The Gifted, but it really starting to feel like its spinning its wheels and recycling stories. ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 13, 2019

We're reading lots of cool new books this week! Take a look!

Bill: This week I read Winter of the Witch, the excellent concluding volume of Katherine Arden’s quite good WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY and Robert Jackson Bennett’s sharply satirical Vigilance, which I had some issues with, as apparently did Marion. Stay tuned as we’ll hash those out in an upcoming dual review. I don’t’ usually highlight my children’s book reading here, but I’m making an exception for When the Whales Walked and other incredible evolutionary journeys, by Dougal Dixon and illustrated by Hannah Bailey, which is a fantastic piece of non-fiction wonderfully illustrated and highly recommended for children of just about any age as a read-aloud or read-on-their-own. In... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 6, 2019

Welcome to 2019! These are the books we're reading to start off the year.

This week I finished just one (very long) book, Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Labyrinth of the Spirits, review to come. In genre, my son and I watched Ready, Player One which seemed over-long, overly enamored of pop references, and overly predictable.

Brad: This week I've mainly been reading comics, though I've read some bestsellers: Harari's Sapiens and Macy's Dopesick. In comics I've continued my reading within the Hellboy universe, particularly the Witchfinder and Lobster Johnson stories. I've also read some superhero books: I read Marini's Batman: The Dark Prince Charming, which was quite good, and I was very impressed with S... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 30, 2018

Happy New Year's from FanLit!

Bill: This week, amongst enjoying a horde of family and a warehouse of food, I read and fully enjoyed S.A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass and its sequel The Kingdom of Copper.  I also read J.Y. Yang’s The Black Tides of Heavenwhich I thought fine enough even if it left me a bit confused on the effusive praise, though I’ll continue on with The Red Threads of Fortune. I’m currently reading my Christmas present of The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón though that may take some time as its 800+ pages and I’m also frantically trying to finish a portal story, a short play, and a full play by some too-near deadlines.  I’ll take one out of three of those happily. 

Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 23, 2018

Christmas is just about here, but that’s no reason to stop reading!

Marion: Reading published works hasn’t made it much to the top of my list this week, but I did finally get to start re-reading Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed. I was worried that maybe it hadn’t aged well since the 1980s but the power dynamic is still believable… and Butler dragged me into the story from the first paragraph.

Sandy: Moi? I am just about finished with The Sapphire Goddess: The Fantasie... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 16, 2018

We're halfway through December, with plenty of books on the docket!

Bill: The past two weeks I’ve read
Breach by W. L. Goodwater, an OK Cold War fantasy (think Le Carre with magic)
The Echo Room by Parker Peevyhouse, a disappointing YA that didn’t live up to its opening
Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec  Nevala-Lee: an engaging pop culture history of early sci-fi
Never Home Alone by Rob Dunn, an absolutely fascinating look at the life we share our homes with
Dispatches from Planet 3 by Marcia Bartusiak, a nicely concise look at big topics in astrophysics
In media, my son and I are well into season two of The X-Files... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 2, 2018

As we start December, it's time for more reading!

Jana: This week I read Sarah Beth Durst's upcoming YA novel Fire & Heist, which is chock-a-block with wyverns, nerdy references, and more than one well-written heist; then I read J. Barton Mitchell's The Razor, which has some neat ideas and a prison planet that I hope will be further explored in subsequent books. Reviews in progress. I also read Sarah Andersen's Herding Cats, a collection of her funny and insightful comic strips, along with the graphic novel My Boyfri... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 25, 2018

As November draws to a close, we're reading some fun books!

Bill: This week, like so many others, was involved in travel and family. I did manage to finish the OK but overall disappointing Once Upon a River by Dianne Setterfield.

Marion: I read Alexandra Rowland’s A Conspiracy of Truths last week, and enjoyed it. Right now, I’m reading Mansfield Park, the one Jane Austen book I haven’t read before. Austen was an astute observer of human behavior and had lots of insight into her society and its mores, but I’m not enjoying it as much as I did Pride and Prejudice or some of the others.

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading a book that I have long wanted to get my hands on,  Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 18, 2018

We're reading a lot of new books this week!

Bill: This week I read Lavie Tidhar’s excellent Unholy Land, which will probably be going on my Best of 2018 list, and Marcia Bartuskiak’s Dispatches from Planet 3, a highly readable series of short but informative essays on astronomy and astrophysics. On audio I’m still enthralled by Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Our Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky, which will definitely be on that Best of list. And in media, the whole family quite enjoyed The Incredibles II the other night (Jack-Jack the runaway scene-stealer), my son and I continue to mostly happily wend our way through season one of the old X-Files (it has a few down episodes), and we’re hit and miss on season two of The Gifted Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 11, 2018

We read a few more fun books this week!


Bill: This week I finally finished Seth Dickinson’s The Monster Baru Cormorant, a novel I admired more than enjoyed.  I also read How to Love the Universe: A Scientist’s Odes to the Hidden Beauty Behind the Visible World by Stefan Klein, a nicely written overview of a dozen or so major concepts of modern physics. On audio, I continue to be captivated by Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Our Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky, a truly excellent (so far) work of non-fiction that examines why we do what we do, from the milliseconds prior to our behavior to hereditary factors that may predispose us to certain behaviors.

Kat: I read Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 4, 2018

We've read plenty of fun books this week!

Bill: I’ve been busy with grading and writing, so haven’t read much the past two weeks (which as my family will attest, puts me in a bad mood). I am, however, slowly making my way through The Monster Baru Cormorantby Seth Dickinson(stimulating but not yet grabbing me). I’m also listening to the utterly fascinating Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Our Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky. Because I can grade with the TV on, I’ve done more viewing than reading, including binging in a night all of Daredevilseason 3 which I thought absolutely fantastic even with a few misstep episodes. My son and I tried Supernatural but stopped with a solid “meh” after the first six.  We’re now working our way through season one of The X-Fil... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 28, 2018

As Halloween approaches, we've been reading plenty of seasonal (and a few less-than-seasonal) new books!

Marion: I read An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon. I hope to add my thoughts to the excellent reviews by Bill and Kat. The book is a literary science fiction novel; one of a handful that you can offer to your literary reading friends who can’t find their way into science fiction.

Bill introduced me to  Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 21, 2018

Kat: In an effort to get better quality sleep, I've been forcing myself to get off the computer by 8:00 every night and then spending a few hours listening to audiobooks while working jigsaw puzzles. I'm sleeping better and I'm getting a lot read this way (plus, I listen during my commute to and from work). Since you heard from me last, I've read All Systems Red by Martha WellsDimension of Miracles and Untouched by Human Hands by Robert Sheckley, The Man Who Fell to Earth by  Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 14, 2018

This week, due to an erro ron my end, we have fewer write-ins than usual. I've filled the gaps with an old method pulled out of retirement.

Ayesha: Week 148,345. Still waiting for inevitable Fate to once more sweep my lost love Kallikrates back to me across the winds of time. So, you know, same old. As it rolls back around to harvest time, I remember a night many years ago when a man came to my mountain seeking wisdom. It was a night much like this one, when the reapers were at work with their sickles in the fields, and the days ended early and bloody. He prostrated himself before me and begged to know some secret he might carry back to his village. It was his manhood quest or something. I don't know, I can't remember. I was drunk, you see. I'm often drunk. I've been sitting on this throne for a thousand years. Of course I drink.

So I said, "Uh... what's tomorrow?" He to... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 7, 2018

And so ends the first week of October. Here's what we're reading!

Bill: This week’s genre reading was a bit disappointing as I was the outlier on a pair of books that have received mostly good reviews (including here at Fanlit). The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera honestly just bored me, while The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson had lots to admire idea-wise but never really engaged me with its characters or story. In non-fiction, Putting the Science in Fiction, edited by Dan Koboldt, was a mostly successful collection of blog articles advising writers on improving their use of science in their writing; while Nine Pints, by Rose George, was an often-fascinating look at human blood.  Media-wise, thanks to the family being out of town, I binged all of The Man ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 30, 2018

Another week, more reading!

Jana: This week I made good progress with Julie Kagawa's upcoming Shadow of the Fox, which begins a new YA fantasy series (trilogy?) heavily influenced by Japanese feudal-era culture and mythology. It's scratching my shoujo manga itch in a serious way, and I'm really enjoying it. I also read Waubgeshig Rice's upcoming post-apocalyptic novel Moon of the Crusted Snow, which blends First Nations storytelling and history in a way that I don't see nearly often enough. Reviews coming soon. On deck:  Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 23, 2018

Here we are at the beginning of Autumn, with plenty of new books to read.

Bill: First essays came in so not as much reading this week.  I did complete V.E. Schwab’s Vengeance and finished listening to Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Media-wise, my son and I both enjoyed the film The Endless, even if it overplays its metaphors a bit toward the end.  And we’ve really been enjoying The Travelers, even if we have to overlook some things now and then.

Jana: This week was, sadly, light on reading for me. I read  Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 16, 2018

This week, some great reads for the changing season!

Jana: This week I started reading Legion, which compiles Brandon Sanderson's two previously-published LEGION novellas and a third, previously-unpublished novella which rounds out the trilogy. I'm not a frequent reader of Sanderson's work, but there's a lot to enjoy in these novellas. I'm still making progress with  Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 9, 2018

We're reading some interesting books this week! Take a peek!

Bill: This was an excellent reading week.  Jonathan Auxier’s Sweep: A Story of a Girl and Her Monster was a 5-star MG book, lovely and bittersweet. Meanwhile, Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls was a powerful retelling of The Iliadfrom the perspective of Briseis (the “prize” Agamemnon and Achilles fought over). I’m also continuing to enjoy listening to Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Kat: Since you heard from me two weeks ago I’ve read (and will review soon if I haven’t already): Eight novels in  Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 2, 2018

September rolls in, and it's time for more reading.

Bill: This week I read the last of J.R.R. Tolkien’sthree “Great Tales”: The Fall of Gondolin, an absolutely gorgeous (thanks to a number of illustrations by Alan Lee) edition edited by his son Christopher, who also traces the story’ evolution and adds critical commentary. I also read The Storm Runnerby J.C. Cervantes, the disappointing second book in the “Rick Riordan Presents” MG series.  In genre media, my son and I both watched and enjoyed the first two episodes of Travelerson Netflix, which intrigued us enough to push forward with more (for now at least).

Jana: This week was another hectic one--lik... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 26, 2018

We're reading a lot of fun books this week!

Bill: This week  Glen Cook’sreturn to the Black Company, Port of Shadows, was quite disappointing, though I highly recommend the series. Meanwhile, The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French, had an engaging storyline but was marred for me by problematic language/tone aimed at women.  Outside the genre, David Frye’s book Wallswas an interesting look at, well, walls. Specifically walls meant to keep bad folks out (think Great Wall).

Kat: Since you heard from me two weeks ago I've read (and will review soon if I haven't already): Down and Out ... Read More