Sunday Status Update: June 17, 2012

And now…updates!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill: This week I zipped through Daniel Abraham’s The King’s Blood (review to come), read the Edge of Physics by Anil Ananthaswamy (recommended for those interested in the topic), and one other book that is escaping me at the moment. The highlight of this week’s read though was the two-hour-plus read-aloud of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Two Towers with my son, capped by the Shelob’s Lair scene with him running back and forth in excitement in the living room as I read. Can’t wait to see his reaction to the Ride of the Rohirrim and Pelennor Fields!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Greg: I’m finishing up Richard K. Morgan‘s The Cold Commands, the second book in his A LAND FIT FOR HEROES, which is totally awesome. I need to get started on The Mongoliad which I got through Amazon’s Vine program and, as always, I’m reading a truck-load of digital comics. Otherwise it’s drunken debauchery and the on-going pursuit for glory.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I didn’t have much time for reading this week since I had lots of grading to do, but I managed to read Xenocide, the third book in Orson Scott Card’s ENDER WIGGIN series. It was heavy and emotional. I’m now in the middle of In Conquest Born, a space opera by C.S. Friedman. It’s hard to feel connected to her characters, but the world-building and the epic story is impressive.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kelly: Stop the presses — I just wrote a fantasy book review! It’s for Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff‘s The Meri. It feels good to bust out of that reviewer’s block. Next up will likely be a review of Barbara Cohen‘s Unicorns in the Rain, a YA novel from the eighties that I read long ago and recently revisited. Now I’m starting to read Forged in Fire, the third in the BLACK BLADE series by J.A. Pitts.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I finished Glen Duncan‘s I, Lucifer. It has an interesting premise and a vivid narrative voice, but a little overwhelming. I preferred his later book, The Last Werewolf, to this one.

I am currently reading a literary mystery by Vincent McCaffrey called Hound. There is a murder mystery and a hidden room with a cache of secret letters, but the most intriguing part of the book is the main character’s profession — he’s a bookhound, buying and selling used books. The mystery is slow, and much of the dialogue is stilted, but the characters are appealing and McCaffrey is a book collector himself, and his love of books is the strong part of this story.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Ruth: I haven’t been reading much fantasy lately because I’ve been reading what has felt like everything ever written about how to homeschool your child. I have reached the point where anything else I read is just going make me crazy so I’m getting back into reading fantasy again. I’ve been listening to Echoes of Betrayal by Elizabeth Moon on my commute to work. It’s the final book in a trilogy, and I’m hoping that things come to a head quickly. I’m also reading Fall from Grace by Matthew Munson. I’m just a few pages in so I don’t have an opinion yet, but I have high hopes. And I’m finally down to the last few pages of the gorgeous graphic novel The Dark Crystal Creation Myths, Volume 1. I’ve been savoring this a few pages at a time for the last six weeks because it is beautiful written and illustrated.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: I’m still reading everything I was reading last week, but I spent most of the week concentrating on Ellen Datlow‘s Supernatural Noir, which is really an exquisite collection, one story better than the last. I’m on the last story now, John Langans “In Paris, In the Mouth of Kronos.” I’ve also added one other book to the mix, Sheri Holman‘s Witches on the Road Tonight, which has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award for best novel. As I’ve reluctantly decided that I can’t afford to attend Readercon this year, where the Shirley Jackson prizes will be awarded, I’ll have to content myself with gorging on all the good books on the ballot.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week was a bit of a busy one, but I bought and began a book called Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. It has a great conceit–Dracula has married Queen Victoria, setting the stage for various Victorian heroes and villains to interact a la League of Extraordinary Gentlemen–and so far I’m enjoying it, although I’m beginning to have that uncomfortable feeling that creeps awkwardly into the reading experience whenever I realize that the author seems far more enamoured of his protagonist than I am and I start wondering whether I should really let them have the room to themselves for a while.

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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. Bill, I love Shelob’s lair!

  2. Bill /

    One of my favorite parts as well Kat!

    Marion–not sure it’s along the same lines, but if you like the mix of mysteries and used books, there’s a series by John Dunning with a retired detective who opens up a used bookstore and in the tradition of such folks, he becomes a magnet for strange deaths. I read the first two and enjoyed them–think there’s four or five by now, if not more

    Terry–you’ll have to let me know about the Holman book–the Dress Lodger is one of my favorite books and I liked The Mammoth Cheese quite a lot

  3. Marion, I read Hound some time ago, and had about the same reaction you’re having — not the best writing, but it’s about a bookhound, which makes it fun. I’ve got the second book in the series around here somewhere, and I believe a third is forthcoming.

  4. Bill and Terry; I’ve read the first of the John Dunning books and the book-hounding is fascinating! @Terry, in Hound, I am enjoying the historical mystery of the secret room and the letters from the nineteen-teens the most. And I finally (finally!) finished Confessions of a Five Chambered Heart by Caitlin Kiernan and sent off a review.

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