Sunday Status Update, July 10 2011

In Sunday Status Update, we share what we’ve been reading over the past week. Feel free to share what you’ve been reading in the comments.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill: I am currently reading, slowly, The Ruling Sea. I confess it isn’t grabbing me, though it is competing with the great scenery of Yosemite and Kings Canyon. It probably doesn’t help that I have almost no memory of book one. It is, however, comparing favorably to my first attempted read–book one of the TERRA INCOGNITO series, which I put down and which may become my first (I think) did not finish book among my reviews. Finally, I’m also reading Day Hikes in Zion and Bryce.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Greg: Well I just couldn’t resist Deathlands: A Pilgrimage to Hell after Justin’s review… So I broke down and started it, the only thing is, I’ll have A Dance of Dragons as of 12:00 AM 7/12. When that happens, finished this book or no, I’m starting A Dance of Dragons.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: Yesterday I spent afternoon with John Ottinger (Grasping for the Wind), Tia Nevitt (Debuts & Reviews) and Charlie Allden (Smart Girls Love SciFi) at Ancient City Con in Jacksonville FL. We did a panel about blogging for aspiring writers and had fun talking SFF. As for reading, I loved Leslie Barringer’s old and excellent Gerfalcon. Eventually I’ll read more Barringer, but I’ll have to wait until I find paperbacks of his out-of-print books because the Kindle versions are full of typos. I’m finishing up Fritz Leiber’s Swords in the Mist on audio and Lin Carter’s Under the Green Star on Kindle. This week my daughter and I will read Cherith Baldry’s The Silver Horn and Jon Berkeley’s The Hidden Boy.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kelly: I’m currently reading Dead Iron, Devon Monk’s first foray into steampunk. What’s amazing is how very different it is from her ALLIE BECKSTROM series. If I didn’t know better, I’d never guess it was the same author. Not everyone can write well in two completely distinct styles; Monk can. I’m also enjoying Kirsten Imani Kasai’s Tattoo. The sequel to Ice Song, which I read a few weeks ago, Tattoo is just as beautifully written as its predecessor. Old favorite characters are back, and new facets of the setting and its mythology are being explored.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: After months of getting nowhere, my ISP and I have apparently forced a fix from the sluggish, soulless behemoth AT&T, and for now, at least, my connectivity problems are fixed. I read some back issues of the Economist and now I’m only three weeks behind, and finished The Whisperers by John Connolly. I read John LeCarre’s thriller Our Kind of Traitor—beautiful writing, interesting and believable characters with good suspense, but it collapsed at the end. This evening I finished Miss Pergrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This movie-ready YA fantasy has some great action sequences and good imagery, and the inclusion of old photographs in the book is a nice touch, but it slides into predictability after the first third.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Rebecca: I’m currently juggling three books at the moment: The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley, in which I strive in vain to discover what it is about her writing that just irks me, a short story anthology by Ambrose Pierce (very creepy horror stories) and my comfort-book Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Love that book! Stepping away from fantasy for a moment, up next on my TBR pile is The Girl Who Played With Fire. Having already read the first in the series, it’s time to discover if it lives up to the hype.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Robert: Finally, things are back to normal! Now I just have to get through the summer without letting Zane get too bored ;) Book-wise, I wrote a review for David Chandler’s Den of Thieves, which was entertaining, but ultimately disappointing when compared to other fantasy debuts I’ve read this year. Plus, I felt the novel could have been so much better. Currently, I’m reading another fantasy debut in Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns. Only through about a quarter of the book, but so far I’m intrigued. Once I’m finished with Prince of Thorns, I will turn my attention to The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Stefan: I finished reading The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan, a very hard hard SF novel, and wrote a review for tor.com. I also read The Devil’s Diadem, a historical fantasy set in 12th century England, by Sara Douglass, and Cryoburn, the latest installment in Lois McMaster Bujold’s excellent MILES VORKOSIGAN series. I’m also working my way through all the Hugo-nominated short stories, novelettes and novellas. And right now, I’m overwhelmed with so many excellent ARC’s, including new novels by Brandon Sanderson, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Vernor Vinge and Lev Grossman (just to name a few), that I really don’t know which one to read first. What a great problem to have.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: We’re finally in our new home, but the number of boxes yet to unpack is awfully intimidating. Fortunately, I packed my “read next” books in six huge canvas bags as well as my briefcase, so I’m safe from being foiled by tape and cardboard when I need something to read. I went two full days without reading a word, which is an eternity for me, but yesterday I got back to Sarah Pinborough’s Tower Hill. It’s a creepy little horror novel that would have had me checking under the bed for monsters when I was a bit younger. Still: true horror right now seems to mean packing and unpacking a kitchen, so Pinborough is at a bit of a disadvantage!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week I read a good chunk of Tanith Lee’s Tales from the Flat Earth. I also read a very entertaining young adult retelling of the Arthurian legends called The Squire’s Tale by Gerald Morris. Mostly, however, I spent the week in a case of rabid fanboy excitement, the realization having at last really struck home that A Dance with Dragons, George R. R. Martin’s next book, really is nigh to its release after all these years of fantasizing on my part (not that I’m obsessed…). Anyway, I hit A Game of Thrones again like the proverbial relapsing addict.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Ryan: As for me, I read bell hooks’ Wounds of Passion, a memoir about love and writing, this week. My wife read Wounds of Passion when she was in university and there was a great deal of underlining. I have to admit that it was distracting to borrow her copy. I kept thinking “Why did my wife underline this passage?”

What are you reading this week?


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RYAN SKARDAL, with us since September 2010, is an English teacher who reads widely but always makes time for SFF.

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5 comments

  1. Terry, I wish I could come out there and help you unpack all those books — that would be fun!!

  2. Kat, where did the panel take place? Was it at a convention?

    Marion, I ended up cancelling my subscription to The Economist for that reason – I never had the time to read them! It’s probably the single best international news magazine I’ve ever found, but there’s so much material to read! I now get the digest version on my iPad and just browse a few articles each week.

  3. Stefan, Yes, at Ancient City Con in Jacksonville. Tia, Charlie, and I live in Jacksonville and John lives a couple of hours away. John organized and moderated it. We didn’t have a big turnout (the costume contest judging was happening at the same time and almost everyone there was in costume), but it was fun.

  4. The Economist is a familiar sight in my house. My husband is an economist, so that’s the kind of stuff he reads, plus “Inc”, “Fortune” and “Fast Company.” Almost no fiction — how dull!!
    He agreed to go with me to the convention yesterday, but he came over late, so he texted me to tell me where he was and that he was “the weird-looking one.” :D

  5. Stefan–Dave, my husband,reads it cover to cover. When I get this far behind I ususally browse it. It is the best news weekly out there, I think.

    Terry–I’m glad to hear the move went well. Ryan, my best friend and I once hatched a scheme (we never followed through, unfortunately) where we would buy a book, underline passages completely at random, leave marginalia that cited non-existed sources, then leave the book somewhere. That still sounds pretty darn fun, for exactly the reason you mentioned.

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