Sunday Status Update: January 3, 2021

Kat: I’ve been busy with holidays and planning for the spring semester, but yesterday I managed to read the two most recent PENRIC & DESDEMONA novellas by Lois Mcmaster Bujold: The Orphans of Raspay and The Physicians of Vilnoc.

Bill: Since our last status, I’ve read the following, unfortunately none particularly strong:
A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
The Fictional Man by Al Ewing
“The Only Living Girl on Earth”, a novella by Charles Yu
How to Feel: The Science and Meaning of Touch  by Sushma Subramanian
The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox (DNF)

Marion: I got the Garth Nix fantasy The Left-Handed Booksellers of London for Christmas and finished it the next day. It’s a brisk, fun-filled adventure! Elly Griffiths writes murder mysteries set in Norfolk, with an archeologist amateur sleuth character, and I enjoyed A Room Full of Bones. While it was light on mystery it was heavy on interesting characters and information. Now I’m about one-third of the way through Cat Rambo’s Beasts of Tabat, Book one of the TABAT QUARTET.

Terry: I devoured Ronald Malfi’s Mr. Cables, an 80-page novella that is marvelously creepy. Then for a complete change of pace, I devoured The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, a romance with a twist, that set me up perfectly to enjoy “Bridgerton,” which I’m now watching with great delight. It also persuaded me to go on a Moreno-Garcia kick; I’m presently reading Gods of Jade and Shadow, a beautifully unique fantasy novel.

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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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  1. Just finished reading Flyaway by the multi talented Australian Author Kate Jennings. Traditional fairy tale tropes seamlessly integrated into an Australian landscape that is wonderfully evoked. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. Jane, that sounds wonderful! I just put a library hold on it because of your recommendation.

  3. Kat, there’s an even more recent Pen and Desdemona: Masquerade in Lodi!

  4. Terry,

    I chose Gods of Jade and Shadow as a monthly book club selection last year. It was delightful.

    I was going to post my discussion questions here, but ,oolong back at them I see they are quite long, with lots of context and my own analysis and interpretation embedded in them. They cane be found at . Spoiler alert: We do discuss the book’s ending, and one of my questions includes some information about that ending. So maybe not look at them until you’re finished with the book.

    As a summary, my discussion upstairs were about:

    1. The degree to which this is a Romansbildung for both Casiopea and Hun-Kamé
    2. Binary opposites and liminality
    3. The chaos/order binary opposite and its relationship to free will / fate
    4. Mythmaking/Storytelling/Worldbuilding (and the role myth and story plays in building the actual, non-fictional world of the reader)
    5. The Universal and the Particular
    6. How we might use elements from the book on our role playing (the book club is the Tabletop Roleplayers’ Book Club)

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