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 8, 2022

Kat: I’ve been sick with COVID, so I’ve spent the last few days doing almost nothing but listening to audiobooks. Since you heard from me last a few weeks ago, I’ve read all of these relatively short novels:  Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord, Patternmaster by Octavia Butler, Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 1, 2022

Marion: After A Novel Way to Die by Ali Brandon, a light “bookstore murder mystery” with a cat that solves crimes and leaves its human clues by pulling books off the bookstore shelves (the titles contain clues); I DNF’d a domestic thriller I won’t name. I’m only half-joking when I say that I couldn’t relate to the “woman in danger” MC, who goes into basically a fugue state when she’s writing (she’s on her 5th best-seller when the book opens), and so has turned all her finances over to her attentive, failed-writer husband. What could possibly go wrong? I’ll never know, because I set the book aside when he buys a house with the royalties from her last book. I mean, I measure my royalties success in burritos. Now I’m safely back in the pages in Read More

Sunday Status Update: April 17, 2022

Happy Easter!

Kat: Even though my phone is full of new audiobooks to review, this week I instead read a couple of short older books that have been sitting in my Audible library for years: The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells and The Patternmaster by Octavia Butler.

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Sunday Status Update: April 4, 2022

Marion: David Walton’s global adventure Living Memory doesn’t come out until October, but I really enjoyed the ARC I finished up. Now I’m about halfway through Max Gladstone’s Last Exit. The book is frustrating in a wonderful way–I keep having to stop and re-read, or at least think about, paragraphs because they are so perfect. I keep pausing in awe and going, “Oh, wow. Look what he did.”

Bill: Recent reading includes our own Marion Deeds’ highly enjoyable Co... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 20, 2022

This week, Batman, because of the new movie. I liked it! Maybe not as polished a plot as we've seen before, but deliciously vibey.

Batman: Field report for March: Crime appreciably down during St. Patrick's Day. Lacking any Irish-themed villain, I feel that the rest of my rogues' gallery assumes that the day must be someone else's turf and does not turn up. Very gratifying. I suppose there's always Calendar Man, but no one really seems to care about Calendar Man. Spent most of the night trying to find crime amidst shrieks of drunk college students and blaring Dropkick Murphys songs. Thought I spotted a Riddler crime in process, only to reflect that a group of men in green bowler hats running amok does not necessarily mean anything this month. In the meantime, someone pissed on the Batmobile. Tracked the culprit all of five meters to where he'd passed out on a pile of trash bags. Oh well. April Fool's Day next - th... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 13, 2022

Character update will return next week. :)

Kat: I’ve been reading L.E. Modesitt Jr’s ECOLITAN books: The Ecolitan Operation, The Ecologic Secession, The Ecologic Envoy, and The Ecolitan Enigma. Life is really busy right now and I’m struggling to get any reviews out. I hope things will settle down soon.

Marion: I’m finishing up Kit Maquist’s... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 27, 2022

Supergirl: The other day, I saved an old man who hated superheroes. I was carrying him out of a burning building and not hurrying because there were a lot of us and I couldn't X-ray vision anyone else inside. And this old man piped up all about how he was sorry to say it, but he just couldn't stand superheroes. I thought it was an odd thing to tell the person dangling you three stories up, but sure, whatever, sometimes the primary colors are a lot for me too. So I asked him why, and he went into this whole speech about how things were classier in the good old days, with the colorful gangsters and natural disasters and spontaneous a capella performances. I asked him how we'd stopped that last one, and he went on another grump about how superheroes made it so no one else looked good, so nobody wanted to try a capella or cowboy guitar or whatever.  Apparently we're just too big and dumb and flashy with our muscles and our cap... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 13, 2022

This week, Galadriel.

Galadriel: It is the time in Lothlorien when we honor love. At least, it is that time inasmuch as it is ever any specific time in Lothlorien, as time is something of which we of the wood think little. Seasons change and the world runs by about the eaves of Lorien, yet ever it is our desire to forget that so long has passed from long-ago days. At least, that's what I told Celeborn this week when he mentioned I'd forgotten our anniversary. He got all shirty, as usual, and I had to go on about how I'd lost myself in reminiscences of a long-lost time when I wore a rich hauberk and carried a sword. I waxed quite poetic. Think he might have bought it. Mum's the word.

Bill: The highlight of the past two weeks was t... Read More

Sunday Status Update: February 6, 2022

This week, Ron from Harry Potter.

Ron: You know, it occurred to me this week that the basilisk was moving through the plumbing back in second year. Yet to hear Harry tell it, the basilisk was a bloody great snake big as a house or whatnot. So either the pipes in this school are just enormous or Harry was misremembering. Come to think of it, nobody's ever around for the end of the adventures except Harry, most times, so no one's there to tell him he's seeing things or forgetting stuff. Maybe You-Know-Who never grew out the back of Quirrell's head. Could have been a trick of the light - who's to know? Or maybe there weren't that many Death Eaters in that graveyard - always seemed a bit unlikely that he'd get away against a whole team of them. And maybe it's a little unlikely that Harry single-handedly saves the school every... actually, maybe Harry's just a lying git.
... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 30, 2021

Peter Pan: I like having mothers, but they're always trying to make me grow up. Well, almost always. Sophie's my mother now. She's Wendy's daughter, or daughter's daughter, or daughter's daughter's niece. Or something. Anyway, mothers keep trying to make you grow up and be a man, so I expected Sophie would too, and I told her I wasn't about to grow up and get a beard and work in a bank. But then she kept agreeing with me. "No," she said, "it's actually a really bad time to be a grown-up. The houses are really expensive and the wages are really low and my mom says the American dream is dead." Then she started talking about late stage capitalism, and a lot of other boring stuff. I asked if I could fight late stage capitalism with my sword, but she said no. I could probably fight Jeff Bezos, though. I don't know if she was serious.

Bill: This wee... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 23, 2022

This week, Drizzt Do'Urden of Dungeons and Dragons fame.

Drizzt: I learned some deeply troubling news this week. While attending the annual Brooding Drow with Swords Meeting (can't think why people keep snickering when I use the acronym), I found myself unexpectedly one of the very few dark elf warriors remaining. Why, for many years one could scarcely swing a +2 defending scimitar without hitting at least three somber but noble members of my race. I have often reflected that my own modest example must have inspired others, and it has been a source of no small pride to me. Yet lately, the meeting's hallowed halls ring empty, and this last time the mood was especially subdued. I sought out my old comrade Liriel (veteran of many meetings), and asked her the problem. "Oh, fashions change, Drizzt," she said. "Now they're all being Vex and Percy." I inquired who these personages might be, whereup... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 16, 2022

This week, Red Sonja.

Red Sonja: It is so damn cold. The kind of cold where you can step outside just for a moment and the snot starts freezing in your nose. Limping by on coin from a troll contract a while back, though I had a job convincing the burgomaster that I was me. Like he expected me to walk out of a blizzard in a chain-mail loincloth. Had to drop the rucksack right there in the square and dig the damn thing out before he'd believe me. Should have taken that caravan job with Conan a while back. He's probably snug inside an inn someplace, waiting for the snow to end. Nobody with sense is on the road right now. Even the troll seemed to think it was too damn brisk for this nonsense.

Bill: This week I read the excellent The Age of Ash by Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 9, 2022

This week, I'm reviving a mothballed tradition that helps us out occasionally in lean times - the return of the character update.

Ayesha: Week 149,986. Still waiting eternally in holy Kor for my lost love Kallikrates to be reborn and find his way to me, yadda yadda. One of my priestesses asked me recently why it was that Kallikrates hadn't been reborn yet, and where his spirit was in the meantime. I was forced to admit that spirits don't actually wait in penalty boxes and Kallikrates is reborn someplace. He's just not quite right yet. See, I'm not holding out all this time for Kallikrates as a hound dog. I want my Kallikrates. My priestess pondered this a while and then asked if I'd still like Kallikrates if he was a woman. I said no, because I'm not into girls. She asked if I'd still like him if he was bald, and I said I couldn't fathom Kallikrates being bald. Well, ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 2, 2022

Marion: I finished M. A. Carrick’s The Liar’s Knot, and enjoyed every minute of it. I sent off interview questions to the two writers who comprise that author, and look forward to providing that interview and a giveaway in the near future. I finished up Louise Erdrich’s The Sentence, a nice bit of metafiction about Tookie, who works in a bookstore owned by a writer named Louise. Tookie is haunted by a ghost of Flora, an annoying regular customer, who is now haunting it (she didn’t die there, just really likes the place). The book did not go to any of the places I would have expected a “ghost in a... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 12, 2021

Kat: Today I’ll finish Stars Above, a story collection in Marissa Meyer’s LUNAR CHRONICLES. I’m also reading The Best of Walter Jon Williams, which is impressive. I am quite far behind with my reviews and will try to catch up soon.

Marion: Just starting M.A. Carrick’s Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 5, 2021

Kat: My daughter and I finished Marissa Meyer’s final LUNAR CHRONICLES novel, Winter, and now we’re reading a collection of prequel stories for that series. I finally finished Poul Anderson’s The Boat of a Million Years. I’m not sure what I’m going to read next but I have more than 50 audiobooks loaded onto my phone (most are review copies!), so there are many choices!

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Sunday Status Update: November 28, 2021

Kat: Due to a very busy week, plus Thanksgiving, I have not progressed much since last week. I continue to listen to Marissa Meyer’s LUNAR CHRONICLES with my daughter. We will probably finish the fourth book, Winter, today. I’m also still reading Poul Anderson’s The Boat of a Million Years. As I mentioned last week, it’s long!

Marion: Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 21, 2021

Kat:  I continue to listen to Marissa Meyer’s LUNAR CHRONICLES with my daughter. We finished the third book, Cress, last night. We’ll be starting the fourth one, Winter, today. I’m also reading Poul Anderson’s The Boat of a Million Years. It’s long, so it will probably take me a while.

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Sunday Status Update: November 14, 2021

Jana: This week I’m reading You Feel it Just Below the Ribs, a novel set within the world of Within the Wires, a podcast co-created by Jeffrey Cranor (of Welcome to Night Vale fame) and Janina Matthewson. The novel and podcast are set in an alternate timeline in which the entire world’s economy and societal structure have been re-organized in the wake of a horrible global cataclysm; the podcast is told through “found audio” sources throughout different decades, and the novel is presented as a found journal with heav... Read More

Sunday Status Update: November 7, 2021

Kat: Still listening to Marissa Meyer’s LUNAR CHRONICLES with my daughter and will finish the second book, Scarlett, today. These are fun. For something completely different, I read The Psychedelic Reader: Selected from the Psychedelic Review which was published in 1965 and edited by Timothy Leary. Some of it was boring, some of it was crazy, and some was quite fascinating.

Bill: This week I read Jeanette Winterson’s collection of essays on AI, 12 Bytes, and Andrea Stewart’s... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 31, 2021

Kat: With book five, Last Dragon Standing, I have finished Rachel Aaron’s HEARTSTRIKERS series. My daughter and I enjoyed it. Now we have started Marissa Meyer’s LUNAR CHRONICLES and will finish the first book, Cinder, today. So far, we’re entertained, and we plan to pick up the second book, ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 24, 2021

Kat: Since you heard from me a couple of weeks ago, I’ve read four of the five novels in Rachel Aaron’s HEARTSTRIKERS series: Nice Dragons Finish Last, One Good Dragon Deserves Another, No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished, and A Dragon of a Different Color. Also Andre Norton’s MOONSINGER / MOON MAGIC Read More

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 aside... 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 GOOSEBUMPS Read More