Sunday Status Update: November 9, 2014

Character update on break until next week. Drizzt told me in no uncertain terms that if I mocked his swords’ names one more time, he was going to give me an up close and personal look at them.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Kat: I cheated. I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that I was going to stick with all the old series I’ve started and not be tempted away by anything new. But I fell. For Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart. I guess I was kind of bored — same old same old every day, you know — and I got tempted. I thought maybe that it’d be edgy, new, exciting, titillating… And you know what? It wasn’t worth it. It totally wasn’t. I can’t believe I abandoned my moral code for that. Now I have guilt. And shame, ‘cause everybody knows…. sigh…. But now I’m back on the wagon and determined to remain faithful from now on. To that end I finished Madeleine L’Engle’s TIME quintet (An Acceptable Time), R.A. MacAvoy’s LENS OF THE WORLD trilogy (King of the Dead and The Belly of the Wolf) and Shannon Hale’s BAYERN BOOKS (Forest Born). Then I read another book in Iain M. BanksCULTURE series, The Player of Games (which was the best book I read this week). Don’t judge me too harshly, my friends.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Marion: I was a tourist on the central California coast most of the week and got very little reading done. I did take about 2,000 photos, though, and I learned a lot about William Randolph Hearst and Hearst Castle. I got to see cute sea otters and elephant seals, which aren’t exactly cute, but impressive.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Ryan: A lot of reading. I read Brandon Sanderson‘s new short story, “Mitosis,” and I’ve been reading Jeanne DuPrau‘s The People of Sparks. At work, we’ve finished The Odyssey, and are about to start reading Lansing‘s Endurance and Krakauer‘s Into Thin Air. I have finished reading Pollan‘s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I still love, and am about to start Michael Lewis‘s Moneyball again. And I’m about halfway through McCarthy‘s The Road. (Feeling optimistic!) Last but not least, I attended a professional development day that revolved around David Shields’ Black Planet: Basketball, Race, and the Rhetoric of American Manhood.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Sandy: I am currently engaged in reading a 400-page book of Robert E. Howard short stories and am really loving it. As far as recent book reviews, I have just plopped a rather longish one concerning the entire 14-book Fu Manchu series, by Sax Rohmer, onto our work page; I have a feeling that it will serve as a one-stop shop for all potential readers of this classic series….

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Skye: There’s a review in progress and books on the nightstand: all is well. I recently finished reading Guy Gavriel Kay’s Sailing to Sarantium, which felt like settling down to catch up with an old friend. I’m a bit of a fan of Kay, and Sailing to Sarantium didn’t disappoint for me! The pile I’m currently reading consists of: Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second installment in Scott Lynch’s GENTLEMEN BASTARD SEQUENCE; Lord of Emperors, the novel following Sailing to Sarantium; Patrick Rothfuss’ novel-everyone-keeps-talking-about The Name of the Wind; and The Weavers of Saramyr from my absolute favourite author Chris Wooding. Many exciting adventures are in store for me!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Terry: I’m still reading It by Stephen King. Hey, it’s a really long book! I’ve read more than 500 pages and I’m still only 37% of the way through it. But man, is it good.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews Tim: This week, I went through several more volumes of Naruto. It’s pretty fun reading so far. I also read Patrick RothfussThe Slow Regard of Silent Things, about which I have some mixed feelings. I’ve generally resisted reviewing THE KINGKILLER CHRONICLE (in large part because it’s one of those works which I feel I either understand very well or am completely misinterpreting, which is always unnerving), but I do sort of want to add my two cents on this latest text, so we’ll see. Finally, I began Ransom Riggs‘ second novel, Hollow City.

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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. Oh, Kat, it can happen to anyone. And the first step to getting help is admitting you have a problem. I’m glad you’re back on the straight and narrow now, because I’ve been loving your reviews.

    • Thanks, Marion. I feel better now. I’m ready to put the past behind and move forward. I have 447 books on my list of books I want to read to finish series I’ve started. (That doesn’t include the books for series I’ve given up on.) My main goal is really to get them reviewed for the site. There are some series that I would ditch if it weren’t that I want to get the books reviewed (e.g. the Estep series that I keep giving 2 stars). My problem is that if I wait too long, I can’t remember the previous books, so I just want to finish the series instead of trying to go back. This past week I finished that MacAvoy series, but I had to re-read book one first because I didn’t remember it. I’d like to avoid that in the future, especially if it wasn’t a book I loved.

  2. Skye, I don’t think I’ve read anything by Chris Wooding.

    • Skye Walker /

      I can gush FOREVER. I absolutely adore everything (characters, setting, plot, atmosphere, pacing…) he puts in his novels. I have a hard time reviewing them, because I really love those books. They get under your skin in a way I don’t know how to explain. Agh. I could go on and on, but by far my favourite things are those plot twists. I never saw them coming, yet they’re perfect for the story. Never out of left field or for shock value, when you get that final piece it’s a real ‘wow’ moment at the creativity of it. Well, for me anyway!

      (I would recommend The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray as a first look at Wooding, if one was interested :p

  3. Matt W /

    I’ve just started God’s War by Kameron Hurley. It’s probably the most inventive and exciting fantasy (science fiction?) I’ve read since Perdido Street Station. I realize, looking over my reading journal, that probably 80% of the stuff I read is written by men, and I’m probably missing out on some really good stuff because of it. I think I’m going to make 2015 #TheYearOfReadingOnlyWomen.

    • That is awesome, Matt! Have you read Robin Hobb? Kage Baker? Lois McMaster Bujold?

      • Yes to Hobb, but only the first Farseer and Liveship trilogies; still need to read The Tawny Man and Rain Wilds books. No, yet, to the other two. I’m setting up a queue; I only read about 50 books a year, so I should have no problem filling it. Chris Moriarty, NK Jemison, Ann Leckie, Steph Swainston, Jo Walton, Catherynne Valente, Karen Lord, Nicola Griffith and some unread Octavia Butler and Ursula Le Guin are currently in the queue, and I’m sure I’ll find many others as I go.

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