Sunday Status Update: January 6, 2019

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

Bill:
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 Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight. I highly recommend it. I also enjoyed all three volumes of the Earth One Superman graphic novels. Cathy Malkasian’s Temperance and Eartha were unusual graphic novels, and I particularly recommend Eartha. I read some good noir by Bendis written in his early years: Jinx and Goldfish. I read an unusual graphic novel called The Motherless Oven, also a book I’d recommend, though my strongest recommendation from this week’s reading goes to When David Lost His Voice, which deals with the loss of a loved one to cancer. Truly a powerful and moving story. I read the two volumes of Four Eyes which I would give 4.5 stars to: It’s about a young boy and a dragon in a world where dragons are raised for illegal fights for gamblers. The Strange Adventures of H. P. Lovecraft was a fun story about Lovecraft and his being caught up in an adventure of horror similar to those in his own fiction. I’m also reading a graphic novel biography of Lovecraft. Finally, I’ve been reading some old Vertigo comics from DC and Starman,which should have been a Vertigo title.

Jana: This week my refrigerator decided to celebrate New Year’s Day by throwing in the towel, which doesn’t at all feel like an inauspicious omen for the year to come and definitely doesn’t have me combing Yelp for local highly-rated haruspices. *nervous laughter* I’ve been continuing to give my brain a little bit of a holiday by reading some comics: Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto’s Black Widow Vol. 2: The Tightly Tangled Web, Gail Simone’s Red Sonja Vol. 3: The Forging of Monsters (illustrated by Walter Geovani and Jenny Frison), and G. Willow Wilson‘s Ms. Marvel Vol. 3: Crushed, with illustrations by Elmo Bondoc and Takeshi Miyazawa. They’re all excellent, and I recommend each of them for their different approaches to storytelling and art. Happy 2019, folks!

Kat: The new semester starts tomorrow, and I’ve been prepping some new classes, so I haven’t had much time to read. Friday night I read Martha Wells‘ Artificial Condition which was great. I’m also catching up on a bunch of reviews that I never got around to writing last year, so expect those to be posted soon. This includes Richard K. Morgan‘s Thin Air, Elizabeth Bonesteel’s CENTRAL CORPS trilogy (The Cold BetweenRemnants of TrustBreach of Containment), and a story collection by Gail Z. Martin called Trifles and Folly.

Marion: I finished one of my best reads of 2018 on New Year’s Eve. It’s nonfiction; Boomtown by Sam Anderson. I’m not a basketball fan, and I’ve never been filled with an urge to visit Oklahoma City, but I was captivated by this book. I read V.E Schwab’s Vicious and now I’m about halfway through the sequel, Vengeful. Vengeful starts off five years after Vicious ends, and there have been some changes to the lives of the people we know. And a new EO named Marcella Riggins has a terrifying power, a definite attitude… and a plan.

Tadiana: It’s been a busy holiday season, but I’ve managed to squeeze some good reading in the cracks! Some of my favorites in the past month: Robert Jackson Bennett‘s fantastic 2014 fantasy City of Stairs (the second and third books are waiting on my Kindle); Watch Hollow, an upcoming middle grade fantasy by Gregory Funaro that I think young readers will really enjoy; S.A. Chakraborty‘s The Kingdom of Copper, an excellent sequel to The City of Brass, which I liked even better than the first book; and Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield (which I enjoyed more than Bill did). Reviews to come! I just finished another of Jane  Yolen‘s short story collections, How to Fracture a Fairy Tale. Now I’m going to pick up The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden again and try to get that read in the next two or three days, so I can do a timely review of it when it releases next week!

Taya: I’ve spent the week nursing sick people and drinking a lot of raw vinegar to try to avoid sickness myself. In spare moment’s I’m still reading Kingdom of Exiles, wishing for a little greater sense of authenticity in my fantasy. Keep well, people.

Tim: This week, I finished up with Tanith Lee‘s Companions on the Road (a collection of two novellas). It was very good, but I ended up enjoying one of the included works more than the other, for reasons I’ll explain in a forthcoming review. Since finishing, I’ve begun (belatedly) reading Naomi Novik‘s Spinning Silver, while listening to Katherine Arden‘s The Bear and the Nightingale. Both have a strong focus on winter and winter gods – perfect for this time of year.


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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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2 comments

  1. April /

    Bill – I’m curious, have you read Ready Player One or just seen the movie? I haven’t seen the movie yet and I’m interested in how well it translated.

    • I didn’t read the book because it seemed like it would be too enamored of its pop references and the story didn’t seem too original to me. So based on my not-reading, the movie seemed quite faithful :)

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