Sunday Status Update: November 17, 2019

Jana: This week Ray and I have been working on a collaborative review of Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth; we agree on some things, cheerfully disagree on others, and overall I feel confident in saying that we both have strong feelings that we’re looking forward to sharing with everyone. (Yes, I am being vague.) I’m also still enjoying Keith Ammann’s The Monsters Know What They’re Doing, which is definitely a reference manual rather than a book meant to be read cover-to-cover in one sitting, but it fulfills its function very well and I’m learning quite a lot from it.

Kat: This week I read Mercedes Lackey’s DIANA TREGARDE novels: Burning Water, Children of the Night, and Jinx High. These were published between 1989 and 1991 but have just recently been produced in audiobook format. They are quite a bit different from Lackey’s VALDEMAR novels. I didn’t love these books, but I enjoyed seeing another side of this popular fantasy author.

Marion: I read Laughter at the Academy, a short story collection of Seanan McGuire’s. It’s a window into this prolific writer’s mindset because she chose stories written under the McGuire name (as opposed to Mira Grant) that had meaning for her. I was charmed by several of these offerings. I also finished up a second Shetland mystery by Ann Cleeves, White Nights. She set this one in midsummer, when it never quite gets dark.

Sandy: Moi? Having recently finished one terrific volume in Wordsworth Editions’ Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural series (Aylmer Vance: Ghost-Seer), I am proceeding on to another. The book that I am currently reading is Uncanny Stories (1923), by British author May Sinclair, who combined Modernism, feminism and the then-new Freudian psychology into her spooky tales with unique effect. I hope to be able to report back to you on this volume shortly….

Tadiana: It’s been a few weeks since I reported in on Sunday Status, so here are the literary highlights of my last month: I finally got serious about Angel Mage by Garth Nix and finished it up. It’s an enjoyable Three Musketeers-inspired fantasy with a major element of diversity added in. I also enjoyed Semiosis by Sue Burke … though not as much as Jana did. Cixin Liu’s Supernova Era (published in China in 2003, but just now published in English) was a bit of a letdown after the incredible creativity of The Three-Body Problem. I was excited to get — and immediately read — Seanan McGuire’s latest WAYWARD CHILDREN book, Come Tumbling Down, which will be published in January. It’s a welcome return to the Moors, the deliciously deadly portal world of twins Jack and Jill, where a mad scientist takes on the local vampire lord. For a change of pace, I read a 1928 Agatha Christie-type murder mystery by Patricia Wentworth, Grey Mask, the first of her lengthy series starring the sleuth Miss Silver.

Terry: It was my first week in a new, interesting and challenging job. I thought I’d get a lot of reading done because the job requires me to be away from home right now; I’d read all evening, every evening, I thought! It didn’t work out that way, but I did finish Fallen by Benedict Jacka, which was a step above the last few ALEX VERUS novels, and sets up a whole new dynamic that it will be fun to watch play out over the next few books in the series.

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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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