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.)

Bill: This past week I read Ta-Nehisis Coates’ The Water Dancer, James W. Loewen’s Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong, and several books of poetry: The probable world by Lawrence Raab, Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis, and Elegy for a broken machine by Patrick Phillips (the last so good I bought it immediately after finishing it). In audio I’m listening to Thick and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom and in video, I watched the first three episodes of See on AppleTV+, which had its issues but I quite enjoyed (though I absolutely loved — really loved! — episode one of Dickinson).

Kat: I’m continuing on with Vivian Shaw’s DR GRETA HELSING series because the audiobooks were already on my phone. I read the second book, Dreadful Company and have started on the third, Grave Importance. These have the feel of a cozy mystery series. It’s crucial to love the characters in a cozy mystery. Shaw’s characters are growing on me, but probably not enough to continue with the series after I finish this third book.

Kelly: I’ve started The Spectral City by Leanna Renee Hieber to get ready for the upcoming sequel, A Sanctuary of Spirits. I’m also still reading Liz Flanagan’s Legends of the Sky and feeling a little bogged down, despite liking the dragons and the political aspect. It could be because the characters are kind of stuck at this point of the story and don’t have a lot of agency, but it could also just be because I’m busy and tired.

Marion: I spent the first half of the week glued to the internet and my phone, and mostly read evacuation updates and power outage information. Currently, I am home, with light, water and warmth. While I was evacuated I read an old history-mystery by Candace Robb called The Mystery of St. Leonard’s. As we get back into our routine I am reading Season of the Witch, which is not genre (although it sounds like it) but a loving history of twentieth century San Francisco, written by David Talbot, who founded Salon. The book is not deep, but Talbot’s style is casual and fluid, and I’m enjoying it.

Sandy: Moi? During my recent (and long-overdue first) trip to London, I had the pleasure of visiting many bookstores there, old and new. I loved the used-book stores on Charing Cross Road, as well as the newish Forbidden Planet (not at all connected with the one here in NYC, and SO much better than ours), Foyles (an enormous independent bookstore) and, of course, the Waterstones on Piccadilly, the largest bookstore in Europe. At that last I happened to pick up a book called The Moon Terror, by A.G. Birch, which is the book that I am currently reading. This short novel originally appeared in two of the earliest issues of Weird Tales magazine, in 1923, as a two-part serial, and I am enjoying it immensely, un-PC as it might be today. I hope to be able to share my thoughts on this one with you all shortly….

Terry: I spent this week reading the MURDERBOT series by Martha Wells, after having read All Systems Red last week:  Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol and Exit Strategy. Now I’m looking forward to the full-length MURDERBOT novel coming next year, Network Effect. I’m on to Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma, which is beautifully written so far, and promises a good story.


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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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