Sunday Status Update: November 6, 2011

Once again, time for the Status Update…

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Greg: I’m finally reading The Wise Man’s Fear. I got about two pages in and I already regretted my decision to not to re-read The Name of the Wind first. Rothfuss is an amazing writer; he has a unique prose that is a perfect fit for fantasy. But I think this book is going to be the one that will make me take Kat’s approach to reading the big epics which is: wait until it’s done before even starting it. I just don’t think I can do these “tombstone-sized books with years between installments” anymore. I guess I’ll keep up with the few I’m currently reading, but there are just too many great new authors who are completing a book almost yearly and don’t end a book with an infuriating cliffhanger (or, like Abercrombie, do stand-alones in the same setting). Right now, my reading time is just too limited to bog down my TBR list by re-reading the previous books of a series — sometimes even re-re-reading.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I had a good reading week. As usual, all of it was on audio — these days I just need to be able to do something else while I read, like drive to work, grocery shop, exercise, or clean the house. I read I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, which was awesome. I also enjoyed the audio version of Brandon Sanderson’s The Alloy of Law, which comes out this week. Currently I’m in the middle of Reamde by Neal Stephenson. Like Ryan and Stefan said, it’s fascinating so far!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kelly: Work wiped me out this week, but I distracted myself in the evenings with The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark a.k.a. Carol Goodman. It’s a deliciously addictive Gothic fantasy, and I devoured it. I’m also continuing to read Kelly Meding’s Trance — first in a new superhero-based series — and Lia Habel‘s futuristic steampunk zombie novel Dearly, Departed. Set in a “New Victorian” culture, it reminds me that I keep meaning to read Neal Stephenson‘s The Diamond Age.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Stefan: My reading this week was derailed by some medical concerns, but I still managed to read Scholar by L.E. Modesitt Jr., the start of a new sub-series in his IMAGER PORTFOLIO. I also read Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail, an anthology of mostly non-genre (but also a few science fiction) stories about revolutions, uprisings, social upheaval and so on, due out from PM Press this month. And I’m FINALLY getting around to picking up my ARC of The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson — about time, as the book is due out next week!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: Things have yet to settle down after my return from the World Fantasy Convention; after that wonderful experience, practicing law again feels very drab. I’ve been stealing moments from my work to catch up on writing reviews, revising “to be read” lists, cataloguing books purchased at WFC and the like — anything to do with books that I can do at my computer, so I can fool myself into thinking I’m working. All this means that I’ve done precious little actual reading, I’m afraid. I did finish Mike Shevdon‘s Sixty-One Nails, and I’ve purchased the sequel, The Road to Bedlam, which gives some indication of how I felt about Sixty-One Nails. I’ve also started reading A Darkness Forged in Fire by Chris Evans, which was one of the freebies in the WFC bag (which was just stuffed with good books). It seems like Evans can’t quite make up his mind whether he’s writing something comic or a military fantasy. I’m only 100 pages into it, though, so I’ll keep reading until he — or I — can figure it out.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: As seems to have become the norm, I’ve been fairly busy, but I have had time for a bit of reading in the evenings (or at least I’ve made time where I didn’t have it otherwise). I became interested in reading Diana Wynne Jones‘s Howl’s Moving Castle after watching the film version and was overall fairly pleased with what I found. A review is forthcoming. I also read Charles de Lint‘s The Harp of the Grey Rose, which makes me wish that I had started reading de Lint a long time ago. Finally, I’ve started Empress by Karen Miller, though I haven’t formed much of an opinion on it yet.

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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. @Terry, you muck around a lot with your TBR list too? I’m so particular about mine. I’ve got a list and a whole system in my head. I know I can read about 3 books at a time, and there’s all this juggling to read them in order while keeping from having two similar books going at once, because then I mix up the plots. Like, I was going to start this other steampunk book the other day, but on the first page I saw that there were zombies, so I figured I’d better wait till I was done with Dearly, Departed first and got out an urban fantasy instead.

  2. @Tim, I recently bought Howl’s Moving Castle at an Audible sale and have plans to read it soon with my kids. And, like you, I recently read my first de Lint novel and had the same reaction that you did. At least, when that happens, it is thrilling to think of how much great reading you’ll have in your future! (So many books, so little time…)

  3. Kelly, I’ve made my TBR list into an art form. On Amazon, it’s divided into separate wishlists for each type of book — or genre, if you prefer that terminology — and the SF one is 25 pages long at last count (I hate to think what they’d add up to page-wise if you added them altogether). My physical — well, eletronical, I guess — wishlist that I maintain separately for visits to bookstores has become to long to carry around easily. It burns up time in the maintaining quite easily, especially when I try to make it jive with the Amazon lists (in the sense of containing all the books I’ve listed as “wanted” on Amazon — it actually contains many more titles). And then there’s LibraryThing, which is a whole ‘nother story.

    And I generally do that thing with my reading that you mentioned — trying to read different books from different genres at the same time, and no two books that are too similar back to back.

    We’re obsessive, aren’t we?

  4. Terry and Kelly,
    What I love best about finishing a book is going through the process of deciding what to read next. There are hundreds of books on my TBR list and I organize and reorganize it constantly. I think about things like “Is this book likely to come out on audio?” because if it is, I’ll wait since I do more reading in that format. Or “is this one in an unfinished series?” If so, it may get pushed further down the stack. If it’s an award winner, or an author I haven’t read before, or on our challenge list, it moves up. Sometimes I choose just by the length and my schedule at the time. When I get a box of unexpected ARCs, that throws off the whole thing, but I love it anyway, because then I get to go back and play with my list!

  5. I’m just the same, Kat, especially with the unexpected ARCs and getting to tinker with the list! :D

  6. Gosh, we’re geeks!

  7. Don’t leave me out! I’m the one who thinks metafiction is fun — that has to put me in the company of other geeks, right?

  8. Yes, Terry, you are one of us! :D

  9. Except, of course, for ARCs – which need the review to coincide with the release date – my TBR list should be called a wish list. I get so much more out of a book by just reading it when the mood strikes me. So there’s no use in me even bothering with trying to organize my TBR list because I’m just as likely to read a book that isn’t on it as one that is. (Well that’s not exactly true now, because my TBR list is so big that it includes almost every book I have an interest in.)Just like Jorg in Lawrance’s Prince of Thorns, I have such huge authority issues, that I can’t even follow a schedule I make for myself. :)

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