Sunday Status Update: August 19, 2012

Some read a lot, some read a little…

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill: This week I read Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, a surprisingly original take on dragons, and Hidden Things,  by Doyce Testerman, a noirish fantasy involving a quest to Iowa of all places.  Both were quite enjoyable reads, reviews to come.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Brad: I just finished reading The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney, and I really liked it.  Book Two of the series is cued up to read on my Kindle. I’m also reading an odd mix of additional books:  This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper, Abarat by Clive Barker, Timeriders by Alex Scarrow, and Kraken by China Miéville. The Tropper is excellent.  It’s one of those books that doesn’t sound worth reading at all, so it’s best just to pick it up and start reading because you’ll love the characters, their interactions, the author’s style, and the wonderfully hysterical descriptions of human nature tucked into what should be a terrible basis for a novel. Abarat is on hold because I started it and realized only the original hardbacks (as far as I can tell) have illustrations. So now I’m waiting for my used copy to arrive. Timeriders is fun and light and cost me $.99 on the Kindle, so I’m not complaining. But I think Kraken is going to be a reading experience on a much higher level than Timeriders. I haven’t made it far in yet, but I think things are about to get interesting (and the reviews on this wonderful website I discovered called fantasyliterature.com said it was good, and I hear they are NEVER wrong). I’m also still slowly working my way through Haruki Murakami‘s 1Q84. Finally, I’m reading some really trashy crime fiction that isn’t even bad in the right way. I can read Mickey Spillane with what feels like cool, ironic distance, but these books seem perhaps a bit too sincere in their parody–then the authors throw in some romance as if sexual tension will salvage anything. But, then again, I’m still reading them. One of the books was part of a bargain. The other person promised to read The Last Apprentice if I read this one. Boy, did I lose out on that deal. The other book has a skanky, main character with my name (Brad), and it’s just such a weird and creepy experience to watch Brad do what he’s doing that I can’t stop reading. And of course I’m reading a bunch of comics. Writing this week’s update just made me realize why I find it so hard to finish books: I’ve just got too many going at the same time. Oh well. Happy reading, everyone!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: Well, for the first time in years, I got nothing read this week. I’ve been working on the website and getting myself and my kids ready for school. On Friday I dropped off my oldest son at college (Go Gators!) and this big life change has been on my mind enough that it’s hard to focus on fiction. Nevertheless, I am about half way through C.S. Friedman‘s This Alien Shore, which is quite good. When school starts next week, and I begin commuting again, I’ll have time to finish it and get back to my regular reading schedule.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kelly: I work in academia, and with classes starting this week, things are pretty crazy around here. But I’ve gotten a little reading time in — I finished Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews and am working on a review.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: Things are slowing down a little so I have some more time to read. I finished Fathomless, Jackson Pearce’s YA fantasy based on the story of the little mermaid. This afternoon I started reading The Amazing, The Astounding and the Unknown, by Paul Malmont. I am looking forward to settling down with this book, which I’ve had for several months. This meant putting aside With the Night Mail, Rudyard Kipling’s science fiction adventure about a global government and a dirigible fleet that delivers mail.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Ruth: Most of my reading time was absorbed in Hugh Howey‘s brand new horror novel, I, Zombie.  I don’t normally read horror, but I love Hugh Howey‘s work, and this was absolutely fantastic. I’m also reading Bruce Sterling‘s Hugo award winning novelette (what’s the difference between a novelette and a novella?) Taklamakan. And I’ve started re-reading Lois Lowry‘s award winning GIVER series in preparation for the fourth and concluding book to come out late next month.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week, I actually managed to do a good bit of reading. First I read The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. LeGuin, second book in her EARTHSEA series. It was quite good, if a bit of a simple story. Next was The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe. I liked the premise quite a bit, but I found the plot a little unambitious at points and some of the characters were fairly unlikable. I also read Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer: I felt I owed it to the series to finish it up, even though I’m not a fan of most of the later novels. I actually rather liked this one. It wasn’t anything like as original as the first, of course, but after eight books I didn’t really expect it to be. Finally, I read Jim Butcher‘s Side Jobs, a collection of short stories from his DRESDEN FILES universe. Decent fun, although I think Butcher‘s talents favor the novel form.


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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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6 comments

  1. I’ve been having a wonderful time this week reading deeply ;Graham Joyce‘s Some Kind of Fairy Tale. This is one of those books that gives you a shiver while you’re reading it, immediately making you know that you’re reading a classic in the making. I’ll review it soon.

  2. A novelette can be accessorized with the right shoes and handbag, and a novella cannot.

  3. Novellas are not eligible for flood insurance, but novelettes are.

  4. Novelettes only seat two, while a novella is a midsize.

  5. You never put ketchup on a novella. Only mustard and sauerkraut.

  6. You can devour a novella with relish, though.

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