Sunday Status Update: October 20, 2019

Jana: This week I’m still reading (and enjoying) Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth, book two of THE BOOK OF DUST trilogy. I like what Pullman is doing here, with his “a precious resource the world is dependent upon is in dwindling supply” allegory, and I continue to be intrigued by the friction between Lyra and Pan. I also read Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Just War, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Cary Nord; the storyline revolves around Ares making an unexpected decision and the choices Diana must make in response, and I’m eager to know what’s going to happen next.

Kat: Three novellas this week is all I had time for, but they were all excellent! Rogue Protocol and Exit Strategy are the third and fourth diaries of Martha Wells’ Murderbot. I love Murderbot! The October Man is a novella in Ben Aaronovitch’s RIVERS OF LONDON / PETER GRANT series. It features a spin-off character, so it wasn’t necessary to have read the previous novels (I haven’t read them). I loved the setting of this story — one of Germany’s wine regions. I recommend all three of these novellas.

Kelly: Hi everybody! I just crawled out from under a giant pile of school. (Yay midterms. Such yay.) I’m currently reading The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (Magic wine!) and Legends of the Sky by Liz Flanagan (Middle-grade court intrigue with dragons!). For class I’m reading Isabel Allende’s House of the Spirits.

Marion: I read Broken Homes, the fourth RIVERS OF LONDON novel by Ben Aaronovitch. I liked it a lot more than Ray did, and I hope to post a short review explaining why. I started The Future of an Alternate Timeline by Annalee Newitz. The premise is original and fascinating; the characters haven’t grabbed me yet.

Ray: Like Jana, I have also started Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth, and I am also in complete agreement that it is already much better than La Belle Sauvage. It’s a little bit strange to read about a grown up Lyra that goes for pints in the pub and has flings with Gyptians, but it is so exciting to be back in her world.

Tadiana: Last week I read Adrian Tchaikovsky’s novella Made Things (review pending), a magical fantasy with living 6-inch-tall puppets. Tchaikovsky continues to amaze me with his versatility. For a blast from the past, in the nonfiction category, I reread the original Cheaper by the Dozen and the sequel, Belles on their Toes, a pair of affectionate memoirs about the Gilbreth clan in the early 1900’s. I’m still working my way through Garth Nix’s new Three Musketeers-inspired fantasy, Angel Mage (apparently I am easily distracted by other books), and I’m also halfway through Semiosis by Sue Burke.

Terry: A busy week prevented me from doing much reading, which makes me itchy all over.  I’m just about finished with John Scalzi’s sixth OLD MAN’S WAR novel, The End of All Things, and it isn’t anything like I thought it would be — it’s a series of novellas and novelettes and short stories in a fix-up, rather than a true novel. I’m not enjoying it any the less for that. I also finally read All Systems Red by Martha Wells, and now very much want to dive in the other MURDERBOT books.


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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. I really liked the Murderbot novellas!

  2. I think the third Murderbot novella was my favorite. But I don’t remember the second one all that well now. Maybe I should reread them all….

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