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: October 17, 2021

Jana: This week I read A. Deborah Baker’s Along the Saltwise Sea again, and enjoyed it a bit more the second time around. Little bits that were unclear in my ARC made more sense in the finished copy, thankfully, and I hope to have a joint review with Tadiana for you soon. I also read Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth, which unsettled me in all the best ways, and was a perfect companion for a chilly October evening.

Bill: This week was mostly reading papers again. I did finish David Wolk’s All the Marvels, which became much better once I put... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 3, 2021

Jana: This week I read two upcoming novellas: Catherynne M. Valente’s Comfort Me with Apples, which is surprisingly complex despite being quite short, and Along the Saltwise Sea, the second of A. Deborah Baker’s UP-AND-UNDER series, which is full of delightful fun and clever ideas. (And now I’m really excited for Seasonal Fears, the second in Seanan McGuire Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 26, 2021

Kat: Since you heard from me last, two weeks ago, I’ve managed to consume Dread Companion and Night of Masks by Andre Norton (still listening to the audiobooks released this year by Tantor Audio), A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine, and three of R.L. Stine’s ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 19, 2021

Marion: If you’re looking for a spooky “dark carnival” book to head into fall with, I finished Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry, and I recommend it. I liked the complex loyalties of the carnies, the touch of an all-Black carnival working the American south and southwest (with all the mundane danger that implies) and the creepy little stories about the carnival that Henry weaves into the tale. I read two comic book collections: Batwoman: Elegy. I loved the art,and  the backstory about Kate getting kicked out of West Point was good. Overall, though, while Kate mouths words about finding a “way to serve,” the story is all about her, and personal vengeance. I also read Book One of The Old Guard. For ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 12, 2021

Kat: My teenage daughter is in an audiobook phase, so I’m taking advantage of that. This week we read Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale and The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine. I’m so busy at work that I didn’t have time to read anything else.

Bill: This week I read Among Thieves by MJ Kuhn, a mildly entertaining if somewhat rote heist fan... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 5, 2021

Brad: I just read Dead Day by Ryan Parrott, a great comic that transcends the zombie genre. And I read Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, a fantastic novel. I’ve also recently read a bunch of old pulp fiction crime novels, of which my favorite was Dead End by Ed Lacy. I’ve also been reading poetry, and over the past few days I finished reading Selected Poems by Langston Hughes, The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 29, 2021

Kat: I’m still listening to John BellairsLEWIS BARNAVELT books with my daughter. Bellairs died in 1991 and the series has continued under author Brad Strickland. You’d never know there was a change in authorship. This week we read The Vengeance of the Witch-Finder, The Beast Under the Wizard’s Bridge, and The Tower at the End of the World.

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Sunday Status Update: August 22, 2021

Jana: This week I read Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun, which was really enjoyable, and I’m excited to see what direction Roanhorse takes for the first planned sequel, Fevered Star. I’m now reading Shelley Parker-Chan’s debut novel, She Who Became the Sun, described as “Mulan meets The Song of Achilles,” which sounds weirdly perfect for me. It’s got a killer first c... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 15, 2021

Jana: This week I finished Helene Wecker’s The Hidden Palace (hooray!) and became utterly immersed in Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor (even better than I was expecting, and my expectations were high). I’m so excited to get to read Addison’s 2021 stand-alone/follow-up, The Witness for the Dead, and to revisit this lovely and treacherous... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 8, 2021

Kat: I've been on vacation, and the fall semester is about to start in a couple of weeks, so I've been pretty busy. But I did manage to read a couple more Andre Norton titles, Synchronized Sorcery by Juliet Blackwell, and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 1, 2021

Marion: I’m reading Ocean Vuong’s autobiographical novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, and loving every heartbreaking word.

Bill: This week I read two story collections — Dreaming in Quantum and Other Stories by Lynda Clark and The Tangleroot Palace by Marorie Liu, neither of which fully satisfied, and an enjoyable draft of a new novel by an author who shall remain nameless (have to wait for the favorable review it will eventually get).  I’m currently two-thirds of the way through The Kingdoms, by Natasha Pulley, which is sharply written and going in nicely unpredictable directions so far.

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Sunday Status Update: July 25, 2021

Kat: Since you heard from me last, I’m caught up on the novelizations of the FogliosGIRL GENIUS comic (so fun!). I finished two more Andre Norton stories: Star Guard and Star Rangers. I also read Juliet Blackwell’s Synchronized Sorcery Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 18, 2021

Marion:  I have 8 5000-word pieces to read for next month’s Mendocino Coast Writers Conference (I don’t have to read my own) so that’s taken up quite a bit of time. I’m still browsing John Langan’s mammoth story collection Children of the Fang. The eponymous novella is one of my favorites so far. Last night I delved into the poetic and beautiful prose poem/essay collection Ghostways: Two Journeys in Unquiet Places, by Robert McFarlane and Dan Richards, hauntingly illustrated by Stanley Donwood.

Bill: This week I finished my reread of Steven... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 11, 2021

Jana: This week I continued making progress with Helene Wecker’s The Hidden Palace, and was able to immerse myself in Becky Chambers’ novella A Psalm for the Wild-Built, the first volume in her MONK AND ROBOT series. Each book is enjoyable and thought-provoking in completely different ways, and I foresee strong recommendations for both in my future.

Bill: This week I read the basic but interestingly informative Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 4, 2021

Jana: This week has been (like most weeks lately) tremendously busy, so I’m still working my way through Helene Wecker’s The Hidden Palace. I’m liking it quite a lot, and I wish I could just sit down and read for more than 10-15 minutes at a time! My hope is to have a chance to finish it next week, along with some half-completed reviews that I really want to get posted. There just never seem to be enough hours in the day!

Bill: This week I read the best short story collection I’ve read in a number of years — The Rock Eaters by Brenda Peynado (rave review to come). I also continued my reread o... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 27, 2021

Kat: I’m reading Machine by Elizabeth Bear. It’s slow-going so far. I’m more interested in the non-fiction book I’m reading: How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Dr. Michael Greger. It was recommended by two of my kids who are vegans. It’s very informative and full of scientific citations, though I suspect there’s a bit of cherry-picking going on (pun intended). But it’s clear that a whole-food plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat and I’ve been moving that way in the past few months for both health and ethical reasons.

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Sunday Status Update: June 20, 2021

Jana: This week I read Hard Reboot, a fast-paced and fun “giant mecha battlebots” novella by Django Wexler, and Even and Odd, the latest middle-grade novel from Sarah Beth Durst; I really admire how well Durst incorporates real-world struggles into her candy-colored fantasy stories. Reviews forthcoming. Next week will be devoted to The Hidden Palace, the just-released sequel to Helene Wecker Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 13, 2021

Kat: I’m reading some of the Locus finalists including Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn, Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, and Rebecca Roanhorse’s Race to the Sun. I’ve also... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 6, 2021

Marion: I’m currently reading a small-town slasher horror novel called The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry. She does a nice job of setting and time period (1985). I also started dipping into a nonfiction book about the 1930s packhorse librarians in Kentucky, Down Cut Shin Creek. It’s got a bonus--it’s filled with photos of these resilient women!

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading an early novel from one of my favorite authors, sci-fi Grand Master Jack Williamson. It is his 1931 offering entitled The Stone From the Green Star, and I must say that it has really sucked me right in pretty quickly. I hope to be able to share some thoughts about this one with you all very shortly….

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Sunday Status Update: May 30, 2021

Kat: I read two Andre Norton stories this week: The Crossroads of Time and Quest Crosstime. They’ve been released together in a new audio edition by Tantor Audio. Now I’m re-reading (in audio format) some Tolkien with my teenage daughter. While we work on a jigsaw puzzle together, we’ve read The Hobbit and now we’re on to Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 23, 2021

Kat: Since you heard from me last my semester ended, so I now have more time for reading. The Fall of Koli was a totally unexpected ending to M.R. Carey’s RAMPART trilogy. This Virtual Night by C.S. Friedman is a book I’ve been waiting for for years. It was entertaining but not as good as This Alien Shore. Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi is up for awards this season. Terry and I are working on a review of this mem... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 16, 2021

Marion: I’m caught up in S.B. Divya’s SF adventure Machinehood. I’m loving the beautifully realized future world, the action and the dilemmas the characters face. I was all set to recommend it to Kat, but she’s already reviewed it!

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading my third book in a row by San Francisco-born author/poet Stanton A. Coblentz. I had previously enjoyed ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 9, 2021

Kat: Two more Nebula Award finalists this week. These are up for the Andre Norton Award for best Young Adult fiction. A Game of Fox & Squirrels, by Jenn Reese, was a beautifully written and moving fantasy novel about a young girl dealing with the consequences of child abuse in her family. Star Daughter, by Shveta Thakrar, is about a teenager who is half star and, as her powers begin to emerge, must visit her mother’s celestial court. I love the South Asian inspired setting of this one.

Bill: This whole month has been mostly non-stop papers. But I had a lull between drafts and final copies, so I happily reread our very own Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 18, 2021

Jana: This week I started reading Helene Wecker’s The Golem and the Jinni, which is both beautifully written and well-written, so I’m very happy.

Kat: The academic year ends soon, so I’m pretty busy. I managed to read Wraiths of Time by Andre Norton, and I’m currently reading Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 11, 2021

Kat: It’s been a few weeks since I checked in. Since then I’ve read Voorloper and Android at Arms by Andre Norton, Tower of Mud and Straw (Nebula finalist) by Yaroslav Barsukov, A Question of Navigation by Kevin Hearne, a... Read More