Sunday Status Update: January 4, 2014

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

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews 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.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews João: As the first book of the year I’m reading Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, a book I have virtually everyone rave about. I am not enjoying it that much to be honest. A book can’t please its every reader, and I am probably part of the 0.1% that doesn’t enjoy Good Omens, its comedy is just not for my tastes (I tend to enjoy more…bawdy humor).

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews John: Just finished Andromeda’s Fall by William C. Dietz. Good Military Sci-Fi!!  Getting into the The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley, the second book in the CHRONICLES OF THE UNHEWN THRONE.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I’m am furiously preparing for the spring semester which begins Wednesday, but I managed to read Charles StrossThe Atrocity Archives (a fairly short novel) and The Concrete Jungle (a novella), books 1 and 2 of his LAUNDRY FILES (I’ve read a later book in the series, so this still counts as me finishing off series I’ve started). By the time you read this, I’ll also be finished with The Prince of Spring, the concluding volume of Daniel Abraham‘s wonderful LONG PRICE QUARTET. By the way, I read 175 books in 2014. Almost all of these were audiobooks which I can read a lot quicker than print because I read while driving, cooking, doing laundry, etc. And I bet I’m the only reviewer who has managed this week to use the world “laundry” not once, but twice (!), in her Sunday update.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I read The Necromancer’s House,  by Christopher Buehlman based on Kate’s review. Kate has never let me down, but I was beginning to think there was a first time for everything as I started this dark urban fantasy novel. Fortunately, it grew on me. Right now I’m into Jo Walton’s alternate history police procedural, Ha’Penny. Apparently it is a sequel, but I’m finding it pretty easy to follow. In other genres, I read The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin. This is a charming little fable about a small-town bookstore, its reclusive owner, an abandoned baby and a stolen manuscript. Wildly implausible from beginning to end, but very sweet. Just don’t call it “realistic fiction.”

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Rachael: As a massive fan of THE MAGICIANS series, I took the Christmas break to read one of Lev Grossman’s earlier novels, Codex. It was interesting to trace the beginnings of the tropes and techniques that come to fruition in THE MAGICIANS. Having also never read any of THE DRESDEN FILES books, I thought it was time to educate myself, and have just begun Storm Front.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Ryan: Happy New Year! The break is over, but I didn’t manage to read a dozen books. Thankfully, I did read and enjoy Terry Pratchett‘s Hogfatherand Andy Weir‘s The Martian. (I also convinced my dad to read Spin by Robert Charles Wilson, and  he is really enjoying it.) I’ve started Banks‘s Hydrogen Sonata, but now that work (marking) is about to start again, I’m not sure I’ll find time for such a lengthy read. When I first started reading, I mostly read 900 page epic fantasies. Now if a book has more than 400 pages, I probably spend more time planning to read it than reading it. I might have to resolve to read longer works… in 2016.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: I thought I’d get a lot more read this week than I actually did; mostly I finished or continued reading books I started last week, like The Just City by Jo Walton (which I’m still thinking about) and Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older. I’m also reading House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter, which paints a lovely picture of New Orleans in the course of a romantic urban fantasy; dabbling in Sibilant Fricatives by Adam Roberts, a collection of well-written and well-thought-out reviews; and exploring the last two issues of Crossed Genres, a magazine that’s new to me.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: I was on the road a lot over the past week, but I’m nonetheless fairly pleased with how much reading I got done. At least, I managed to complete Terry Pratchett‘s Mort, and also reread Brandon Sanderson‘s The Way of Kings. I also dabbled in Henry Rider Haggard‘s King Solomon’s Mines, but I’m afraid it didn’t hold my attention very well. Perhaps I’ll go back to it now that I’m no longer traveling.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill:This week I read:

Inked: A disappointing YA by Erik Smith that fell apart halfway through and never recovered.

Citizen: An American Lyric: A hard hitting collection of poems/prose poems by Claudia Rankine that detail the day-to-day indignities and assaults of “casual” racism. I highly, highly recommend it.

Humans 3.0: The Upgrading of the Species by Peter Nowak: A decent, interesting look at the impact of technology on what it means to be human, though I wished for some more skepticism in several places.

Two books connected by theme/content and separated by several years: U and I by Nicholson Baker (a look at his reader/writer “relationship” with John Updike) and B & Me by J. C. Hallman (a look at his reader relationship with Baker)

 


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TIM SCHEIDLER, who’s been with us since June 2011, holds a Master’s Degree in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin. Tim enjoys many authors, but particularly loves J.R.R. Tolkien, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and Susanna Clarke. When he’s not reading, Tim enjoys traveling, playing music, writing in any shape or form, and pretending he’s an athlete.

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3 comments

  1. Joao,the thing I noticed about Good Omens when I reread it a few years ago is that it is dated. And the humor is not, generally, bawdy, so it wouldn’t be too surprising if it didn’t hit with you.

  2. Rachael, the DRESDEN FILES gets better and better as it goes on (unlike the vast majority of urban fantasy series).

    Tim, I’m also reading King Solomon’s Mines with my husband. We started it in November on a long car ride and haven’t finished it yet. Fairly entertaining, but very dated of course.

    Ryan, Hydrogen Sonata has been downloaded to my phone for a month now. I’ve been meaning to get to it soon.

    • Hmm, maybe some day I’ll give Dresden another shot. I read the first two and while I thought they were OK, I wasn’t impressed enough to continue.

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