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: May 10, 2020

Marion: I’ve been mostly reading works in manuscript. I read the first Anna Pigeon mystery, The Track of the Cat, by Nevada Barr. These mysteries, set in various US National Parks, are beloved by many. To my great surprise, I wasn’t one of them. I’m keeping on with Sarah Pinsker’s A Song for A New Day, which is excellent but benefits in a weird way from current events, because she imagined a similar situation so precisely.

Bill: This week I finished grading student papers and so was finally able to read.  In genre, I finished Nevertell by Katharine Orton, a YA novel set in Stalinist Ru... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 3, 2020

Kat: Exam week, so I only got one book read: Providence by Max Barry. I didn’t like this as well as I hoped I would. Review coming soon.

Bill: Finals week so like Kat, not a lot of reading. I did finish Kingdom of Liars, a solid if at times problematic debut by Nick Martell. Outside of genre I continue my reread with my son (his first read) of Tony Hillerman's enjoyable Navajo mysteries, completing The Dark Wind.

Marion: I fi... Read More

Sunday Status Updates: April 26, 2020

Kat: I’ve read several books since my last update and I hope to get them reviewed soon. Here they are in the order I read them. A Blight of Blackwings by Kevin Hearne. The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu. The Last Human by Zack Jordan. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 19, 2020

Kat: I tried the first two novels in Charles E. Gannon’s CAINE RIORDAN series, Fire with Fire and Trial by Fire. I agree with Marion that they are too long and marred by a hero who is too good to be true. Fran Wilde’s Riverland, a finalist for... Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 5, 2020

Jana: This week has been...well, you get the news, you know what it’s been like. Distracting, to say the least. I’m reading through Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor’s latest WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE novel, The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home; it’s delightful and dark and very, very tense, so I’ve been taking my time with this one rather than just devouring it all at once.

Kat: Like Jana said, the news is distracting. Plus, I’m working from home and my teenage daughter is also home from school, so that’s distracting, too… But I did g... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 22, 2020

Kat: Well, I’m teaching online only until the end of August, and all other campus meetings have been cancelled, as well as three family trips and multiple concerts and other events. So, that should give me a lot more time for reading in the next few months. This past week I read three novels. A Heart of Blood and Ashes, by Milla Vane, was simply dreadful. It’s getting a DNF from me. The other two novels were by Frank Chadwick: How Dark the World Becomes, and its sequel, Come the Revolution. These were entertaining. Reviews of all these are coming soon.

Marion: I finished Premee Mohammad’s gothic horror nov... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 15, 2020

Bill:  This week I read Val Hall: The Even Years by Alma Alexander, The Book of Samson by David Maine, Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renki and Big History by Paul Singh.

Marion: I read Genevieve Cogman’s sixth INVISIBLE LIBRARY novel, The Secret Chapter, which is, to some extent, a heist novel. I liked it. I am finishing up Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 8, 2020

Jana: This week I finished A.K. Larkwood’s The Unspoken Name, which was a lot of fun, and read Carrie Vaughn’s The Immortal Conquistador, a novella exploring the backstory of Rick, from her KITTY NORVILLE urban-fantasy series. I haven’t read any of the other books in that series, and that might have to change, now.

Bill: This week I read Anthropocene Rag by Alex Irvine (enjoyable but didn’t match its potential), Monster 1959 by David Maine (fun parts but bit of a disappointment), ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 1, 2020

Marion: I finished Coyote Songs by Gabino Iglesias, a pulpy, blood-soaked surrealist novel. I flinched a lot from the violence as the short book rotates through literary fiction, magic and horror, but I loved the language. Iglesias channels his political anger very well in what is, largely, a political novel. Next up, Sanditon by Jane Austen -- her original 60-page fragment, not the adaptation.

Bill: This week I read Leigh Bardugo’s The Crooked Kingdom, Duncan Hamilton’s Servant of the Crown Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 23, 2020

Jana: I’m still reading through A.K. Larkwood’s The Unspoken Name, and really enjoying it. I like what Larkwood’s doing with the characters and world-building, and the way she plays with fantasy-genre expectations without throwing everything out the window. My hope is to finish it next week, and then to get a review in the hopper shortly afterward.

Bill: This week I read in order of preference: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Queen of Raiders by Sarah Kozloff, Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy, and Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 16, 2020

Kelly: I recently reread King Lear for one of my classes, so I decided it was a good time to get around to Tessa Gratton’s The Queens of Innis Lear, which fleshes out the story with a hearty dose of character development and a hefty scoop of muddy, bloody earth magic. It’s long, but thoroughly atmospheric and engrossing.

Bill: Over the past two weeks I read:
The Lost Future of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley, a disappointing sequel
The Last Day
by Andrew Hunter Murray, a... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 9, 2020

Marion: At this writing, I’ve almost finished Kira Jane Buxton’s novel Hollow Kingdom, about a tame crow and a bloodhound who try to save humanity after a strange zombie apocalypse sweeps Seattle, Washington. The crow, named S.T, is our narrator. I took a break to read Cocaine Blues, one of Kerry Greenwood’s sprightly 1920s Austrailian murder mysteries featuring Phryne Fisher. Next up, Mazes of Power by Juliete Wade. I’m really eager to start that one!

Sandy: Moi? I am currently still suffering with the after effects of a concussion from around six weeks back, and that has effectively cut my reading ti... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 2, 2020

Jana: This week I read Charlaine Harris’ second GUNNIE ROSE novel, A Longer Fall, and Sarah Gailey’s latest novella, Upright Women Wanted. Tadiana and I will be reviewing A Longer Fall together, and I should have a review for Upright Women Wanted put together quite soon. Next up for me is A.K. Larkwood’s The Unspoken Name, because “orc priestess wh... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 26, 2020

Marion: I mostly read work in manuscript this week, but I did finish Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth. I’m shocked at how deeply and thoroughly the book disappointed me.


Bill: This week I read Animal Mineral Radical, a collection of essays by BK Loren; Washington Black, an excellent novel by Esi Edugyan; and Medieval Bodies: Life and Death in the Middle Ages by Jack Hartnell.

Terry: I finished Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 19, 2020

Jana: This week I started reading An Easy Death, the first book in Charlaine HarrisGUNNIE ROSE Weird West/alternate-history series, so that I’ll know what’s happening when I read A Longer Fall, the second (and just-published) instalment. For fun, I’m doing a re-read of the various Anne McCaffrey PERN books in my personal library, but the order I’m reading them in will be chronological determined by in-book events, so I’m beginning with Dragonsdawn Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 12, 2020

Jana: This week I managed to read Seanan McGuire’s Come Tumbling Down, the latest in her WAYWARD CHILDREN series (and the first instalment I’ve read), and Literary Yarns: Crochet Projects Inspired by Classic Books, by Cindy Wang. I enjoyed Come Tumbling Down quite a bit, and it’s given me the boost I needed to seek out the preceding four books in the series so that I can better appreciate who/what the characters and overarching world are. Literary Yarns has a lot of fun-looking projects in it, like making a tiny Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 5, 2019

Kat: Ugh, I’m still getting caught up after the holidays and getting ready for the spring 2020 semester, which starts tomorrow. Therefore, I read nothing this week. Well, no fiction, that is. I actually read a lot of academic journal articles about the effects of caffeine on the brain (all good!) and the effects of mothers’ drug abuse on their offspring (all bad!). Also several articles about neuroethics. I expect to be caught up and to have some time for fiction this week.

Bill: This week I finished Ken Liu’s newest collection, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, which didn’t match his earlier one but still had some... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 29, 2019

Jana: This week, with much gratitude to the Santaman, I received and have been leafing through Unicorns, Dragons, and More Fantasy Amigurumi, collating several fantasy-creature patterns from contributors to, and Star Wars Crochet, by Lucy Collin, which promises to teach me how to make a teeny Master Yoda and some weird teenagers no one’s ever heard of (a moisture farmer and a space princess?? I dunno).

Bill: This week thanks to being on vacation I read:
Lent  by Jo Walton
Exhalation by Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 15, 2019

Jana: This week I’ve been trying to catch up on a few books in my meagre free time -- Charles Soule’s Anyone, Keith Ammann’s The Monsters Know What They’re Doing, and Seanan McGuire’s Laughter at the Academy. I’ve made good progress in all of them, but just haven’t had the tim... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 8, 2019

Kat: Three books this week. Robin McKinley’s The Outlaws of Sherwood is a pleasant take on the Robin Hood legend. I like what she did with Maid Marion. That was my first McKinley novel. I re-read Catherine Asaro’s Undercity so I’d be prepared for the sequel, The Bronze Skies, which I’ll pick up next. I read one horror story: A Warning by Anonymous (a senior Trump offi... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 1, 2019

Jana: This week I dug my way out of a hefty snowfall and made snow forts for me and my pup to play in, cooked a few pans of lasagne, and finished crocheting a blanket. I also began reading Charles Soule’s Anyone, a near-future novel in which people can body-hop for all kinds of reasons (and which, naturally, has zero terrible unintended consequences, yep-yep-yep) and continued working with Ray on our review of Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth.

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Sunday Status Update: November 24, 2019

Kat: Because I’m so busy at work right now, I am really behind in my reviews and will try to catch up soon. This week I read two books that are very different from each other but have something in common; they are both odd mash-ups that weirdly work. Lisa Goldstein’s Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon is a King Arthur retelling that features famous English poets and playwrights as well as faeries. K. Eason’s How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse (first book in the THORNE CHRONICLES) is a spunky princess space opera. I look forward to telling you about them.

... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 17, 2019

Jana: This week Ray and I have been working on a collaborative review of Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth; we agree on some things, cheerfully disagree on others, and overall I feel confident in saying that we both have strong feelings that we’re looking forward to sharing with everyone. (Yes, I am being vague.) I’m also still enjoying Keith Ammann’s The Monsters Know What They’re Doing, which is definitely a reference manual rather than a book meant to be read cover-to-cover in one sitting, but it fulfills its function very well and I’m learning quite a lot from it.

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Sunday Status Update: November 10, 2019

Kat: One book this week, but a good one: Tade Thompson’s The Rosewater Redemption. This is the finale of his WORMWOOD trilogy. It’s creative, smart, and entertaining. The audiobooks of this series, narrated by Bayo Gbadamosi, are fabulous. I am likely to read this trilogy again someday. Tade Thompson is on my “must-read” list.

This week I read Jenn Lyons The Name of All Things, several more essays in Philip Pullman’s Daemon Voices Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 3, 2019

Jana: The last couple of weeks haven’t been heavy on reading-time for me, as auto mechanics’ shops aren’t ideal spaces for quiet contemplation, but I have made more progress on Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth. The story has taken a turn, and not one that I consider for the better, along with some disquieting revelations and changes that I’m not sure are necessary. I’ve also been paging through Keith Ammann’s The Monsters Know What They’re Doing: Combat Tactics for Dungeon Masters, which has been fun and educational, and has been prompting a lot of discussions in my house regarding DM tactics, undead hordes, and just how many dice sets a person really needs. (The answer: ALL OF THEM.)

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