Sunday Status Update: March 11, 2012

Bit of a busy week this time around.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Bill: This week I read The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker–started rough but warmed up to it pretty quickly and quite enjoyed it by the end. I also enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery despite some nagging uncertainties about how I viewed one of the voices and the ending. My ten-year-old and I  read another few chapters of The Star Shard by Frederic S. Durbin, which features some lovely detail but remains a slow opening (if you can call it an “opening” at this point).  Finally, I just finished The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene, a pleasantly lucid look at parallel universe theory that only makes my head hurt now and then. Next up is Kristin Cashore‘s Bitterblue, which I am very much looking forward to based on my response to Graceling and Fire.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Greg: I’m about two thirds of the way through The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell, which is turning out to be even more fun than I expected. I’ve also been loading up my Kindle Fire with comics. I’m kinda like a drunk who’s fallen off the wagon. Once I’ve cracked the lid, I just can’t stop. Tomorrow, I plan to see John Carter, although I was never able to read Edgar Rice Burroughs’s books after I grew up. His Tarzan of the Apes was the first unillustrated book I enjoyed as a kid. I also read a smattering of his other stories. It’s nice to see his first creation, a tale that launched a genre, reintroduced to the masses.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews John: I’ve been reading Dragonmound by Richard Knaack, which seems like a nice youth fantasy book so far. That’s a great change. I am also reading A Talent for War by Jack McDevitt (Sci-Fi) and it’s getting good too.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Justin: Oh boy, what a week. I ended last week with a stomach virus that made me contemplate whether being alive was really worth it, and I’m still recovering. I’m technically on vacation. This is not a beach or getaway vacation. This is a renovate my house 12 hours a day for 5 days type of vacation. Did I mention I have a 1500 word paper due? Yeah, and my brain has decided that this week was a great week to run out of ideas…awesome. I did manage to finish Humans by Robert J. Sawyer. I should have my review ready sometime next year. This past Friday a friend of mine lost his father in the tornado that hit Holton, Indiana. When I whine a little too much about my busy schedule, I should remember that I still have my home and my family.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: Last week I read the first two books in M. John Harrison’s VIRICONIUM series: The Pastel City and A Storm of Wings. This is an old science-fantasy saga about a medieval-type civilization living on the ruins of an unknown dead civilization that had advanced technology. I liked these well enough that I’ll be moving on to book 3 after a short break. I’m also gradually working on an excellent story collection: The Best of Kage Baker. I’m about halfway through and I wish it wouldn’t end. Kage Baker was an amazing story teller!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kelly: I’m about halfway through Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers. I’m really enjoying it, though it’s giving me some of the weirdest dreams I’ve had in years. It’s loosely a sequel to The Stress of Her Regard, a book I read some ten years ago and loved. I’ve also just started Chrysanthe by Yves Meynard, and am listening to Juliet Blackwell‘s Secondhand Spirits on audio with great narration by Xe Sands.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I finished Jacqueline Lepore’s  vampire gothic Descent Into Dust, and Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s The Outcast Blade. It is fascinating to watch Grimwood’s demon hero Tycho attempt to become human. I just started The Curve of Time. This was one of my step-mother’s favorite books. Muriel Wylie Blanchet, who was widowed in the late 1920’s, took her children out on a 25-foot boat every summer and cruised the British Columbia coast. She published a number of stories from those trips in short story magazines, and compiled them into a book in the late 1950s. The sense of adventure, and Wylie’s, or “Capi’s” ability to share the wonder of the natural world through her children’s eyes, is absolutely delightful.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Terry: I’m a bit stuck at present, trying to get reading done for my paper (less than two weeks to go! — oh, my, I’m so far behind).  I’m still reading The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard, which is very good and definitely offers some insight on why an author would make Edgar Allan Poe a character in a novel. I must read much more this week!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week I continued working my way steadily through The Dragon Book, and I also picked up Brent Weeks‘s The Black Prism from my local bookstore. Like others this week, however, I’ve found that the other March Madness has set in and I’ve had my nose to the grindstone more often than is really comfortable. Consequently, I’ve gotten fairly little reading done unless it’s for one paper or another. Instead, I’m keeping my inner fantasy lover alive by following the Cage Match over on Suvudu, which is always a good bit of geeky fun.

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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. Justin– that sounds like a terrible week all around! I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s father.

    Kat — I really enjoyed the Virconium books. I look forward to seeing your reviews.

  2. Kat- I’m also anxious to see your review of Vironium. I’ve came close to picking it up several times.

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