Monday, September 17, 2018

Cold!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
So, at the beginning of last year I prepaid for this year's furnace inspection. And then I kept avoiding scheduling it for a host of silly reasons. But summer is over, the nights are getting chilly, so after a few more evasions I let the guy in and apparently my furnace is leaking carbon monoxide all over the place. Oops.

Like, turn it off right now leaking, because it could easily be lethal.

So, I need a new furnace. But apparently the trapdoor to the attic is smaller than any known furnace, so they have to chop into the ceiling. And I need to replace my carbon monoxide detectors which apparently haven't been detecting things for almost then years. So that's this week's plan.

Book club was this Friday, and I did warn them all to dress warmly as in the interest of saving lives I'm not turning the heater on. The book was fun but lightweight (we chose it deliberately for that) so it was mainly a social evening. It was a good excuse to read more Lindsay Buroker, though. Dragon Storm was the book.

My currently reading edged back up to 27. I need to whittle this down very quickly.

The Book Date does a weekly roundup of what people are reading, want to read, or have read each week called It's Monday! What Are You Reading so I'll sign up there. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed at either Teach Mentor Texts or Unleashing Readers and as I read some Cybils poetry books plus the YAs and the extra middle grade books I'll sign in there.

This Week I started:

The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & MagicSaints and MisfitsOne Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem RenaissanceStiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-UpsDragon Storm (Heritage of Power, #1)The Terrible Two (The Terrible Two, #1)Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories (Wonder #1.5, 1.6, 1.7)

The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths and Magic, F.T. Lukens. Cybils YA fantasy book.

Saints and Misfits, S.K. Ali. Cybils YA book.

One Last Word, Nikki Grimes. Cybils poetry book.

Stiff, Mary Roach. My next audio Reading My Library Quest book.

I'm Just No Good At Rhyming, Chris Harris. Cybils poetry book.

Dragon Storm, Lindsay Buroker. For my friends book club.

The Terrible Two, Mac Barnett and Jory John. Recommended by the Talbot Hill Book Club.

Auggie and Me, R. J. Palacio. Recommended by the Talbot Hill Book Club.


Cybils Reading

I finished the poetry finalists, and things only got harder -- these books were all doing completely different things and doing them extremely well. Kudos to both sets of judges for poetry last year -- these were great selections and the judges must have really struggled over them. Or maybe not, because they picked my favorite -- the Shel Silverstein worthy book by Chris Harris. A good Cybils book is one that makes you want to buy extra copies and hand them out to children. A great one makes you want to befriend extra children so you can give away more copies.

I also made some progress on YA, but that's still going slow for me. I think I'll pick up younger grade nonfiction to continue feeling a sense of progress.

I finished:

Ascendant (The Genesis Fleet, #2)Darkness Visible: A Memoir of MadnessThe Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man's Guide to Chivalry
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem RenaissanceI'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-UpsThe Terrible Two (The Terrible Two, #1)Saints and Misfits

Ascendant, Jack Campbell. I enjoyed this a lot, and I thought Campbell did a great job with his wildly separate points of view. The varying personalities and problems kept the book moving along at a good pace and gave several windows into the larger problem. At first I was dubious, but it definitely worked for me.

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, William Styron. My Tuesday night book pick. A very erudite description of suicidal depression, along with the stupid decisions and apparently logical nonsense that starts the illness. This may have been the book for my Tuesday book club, but sadly I went to the PTA meeting and my plan to sneak out after the voting was foiled by the agenda which put the votes at the end. Humph.

The Compleat Gentleman, Brad Minor. My audio RML book. 6-7/7. It felt misogynistic all the way through. If you want to have a book about the best possible man, but you can't tell the difference between men and humans, there's a large gap that should be addressed at some point. Sadly, the only time Minor addresses it is when the chance to make a joke about a transexual comes up (we don't even know if it's about a transman or a transwoman, but clearly the lady is no gentleman). I was happy that the book was only 7 discs long.

One Last Word, Nikki Grimes. Cybils poetry book. This was a lovely celebration of Harlem Renaissance poets, with Grimes writing a Golden Shovel poem for selected poems. Golden Shovels are poems written where the last word in each line comes from the original poem and in Grimes's hands they are evocative reactions to the original. This was a delicious books with many pages worth savoring, from the old poems to the new, and including the carefully chosen illustrations.

I'm Just No Good At Rhyming, Chris Harris. Cybils poetry book. This was an utter delight from the cover to the acknowledgements. Wait, the author/illustrator biographies were after that, and they were great as well. It had humor, it had a love of words and poetry and rhymes, it had tempo, it had it all. Very well done.

The Terrible Two, Mac Barnett and Jory John. Fun story of a trickster who meets his match, but luckily the other boy sees the value of teamwork. My only complain was the indeterminate setting -- it's someplace with a lot of cows, and it stays cold through March, but that leaves a lot of territory.

Saints and Misfits, S.K. Ali. Cybils YA book. A sexual assault on a young girl colors the next few months of her high school year. Her inability to speak out makes many other relationships complicated as the rapist shows up at many social occasions, but life continues -- she has exams, a quiz show, concerns about her Muslim identity, a crush on a cute boy, a death in her building, etc. But everything cycles back to the assault until she deals with it. The voice is engaging; the structure of the back third gets a bit wobbly, but it's a good read with a lot in it.


Bookmarks moved in:

Son of the Black Sword (Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, #1)Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)StingerEye of Truth (Agents of the Crown, #1)
Honor Among Thieves (Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion, #2)The Wonder Engine (Clocktaur War #2)Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1)Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3)
Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #8)Shadow of Doubt (Robyn Hunter, #5)The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle #6)

Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 7-9/? Baen's podcast serial. Asok cannot fear for himself. Distant worry for a friend is about the limit of his emotions.

Jade City, Fonda Lee. Last month's Sword and Laser pick. Can you root for the bad guys if their opponents are like, super-bad?

Stinger
, Nancy Kress. Kress is the next Foolscap GoH. Real life is hard. Science can be a relief.

The Eye of Truth, Lindsay Buroker. They both admit that the other is attractive!

Honor Among Thieves, James A. Corey. My next Reading My Library book. Fall-out from the daring rescue!

The Wonder Engine, T. Kingfisher. I found it! There's a puzzle, but it's hard to solve it while hiding under a blanket. On the other hand, the blanket is saving a life.

Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer. I'm starting to lose track of the mystery. The setting is very interesting and that distracts me.

Lady Rogue, Teresa Romain. It's fluffy, so I like it as I read it but I'm not seeking it out.

Someplace to Be Flying, Charles D. Lint. The animal people are among us.

Shadow of Doubt, Norah McClintock. Still stuck in the boyfriend stuff.

Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula LeGuin. Aliens are incomprehensible.



These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.

A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)Sammy Keyes and the Art of DeceptionChange of Heart (Robyn Hunter, #7)The Inn of the Sixth HappinessReading and Learning to Read

A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.

Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Wendelin Van Draanen.

Change of Heart, Norah McClintock. The best friend is back on side.

Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 
Alan Burgess. Difficult trek through Russia to get to China.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

2018 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2017! 53/104-ish. Finished poetry. Ordered up elementary nonfiction. Working on YA.
  2. Reading My Library: Working on the James Corey book. Finished Compleat Gentleman audio and started Mary Roach's Stiff.
  3. Where Am I Reading 2018?: 38/51. No locations at all this week.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Tired!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Most of this week I felt fairly sad, so not much reading happened. I picked up a few books, but quickly put them down again. Finishing anything seemed impossible.


My currently reading edged back up to 27. I keep starting books to talk myself into reading, and then putting them back down.

The Book Date does a weekly roundup of what people are reading, want to read, or have read each week called It's Monday! What Are You Reading so I'll sign up there. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed at either Teach Mentor Texts or Unleashing Readers and as I read some Cybils poetry books plus Whiskerella I'll sign up there.

This Week I started:

Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3)The Wonder Engine (Clocktaur War #2)Ascendant (The Genesis Fleet, #2)
Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3)Whiskerella (Hamster Princess #5)Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

Rogue Protocol, Martha Wells. The next Murderbot story!

The Wonder Engine, T. Kingfisher. My son let me have it back, as he is off being collegiate now. I promptly put it down somewhere very safe.

Ascendant, Jack Campbell. Sequel to Vangaurd.

Lady Rogue, Teresa Romain. Regency romance across class lines, a trope I find interesting.

Whiskerella, Ursula Vernon. Because nothing looked good to read, so I searched for something that made me want to turn pages.

Darkness Visible, William Styron. My Tuesday night book pick. I think. I may have the weeks wrong.


Cybils Reading

I got through some of the poetry books:

Miguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don QuixoteKeep a Pocket in Your Poem: Classic Poems and Playful ParodiesFresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers' Market

These make me glad not to be a poetry judge, as they are doing very different things and yet are the most similar books in the category as they are all functionally picture books. One is a collection of classic poems and a poet's reaction to them, one a lyrical biography of a foundational author, and one is a charming evocation of a familiar event. They are all good at what they do, and they do it with poetry, but which is the winner? And that's not even considering the other four books, which are also very different and which I'll try to read next week.

I finished:

Vanguard (The Genesis Fleet, #1)Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3)MakoonsWhiskerella (Hamster Princess #5)

Vanguard, Jack Campbell. Campbells prose is still earnest and a bit stodgy, but then so are most of his characters. It's clearly a story by a military person who has a keen understanding and contempt for the bureaucracy that can displace competence in large organizations and for the heroism and cowardice that combat elicits from professionals and volunteers. The romances are more rosy than realistic, but again that can be fun.

Rogue Protocol, Martha Wells. Murderbot wants to pay back the people who freed him, which involves solving another mystery. And interacting with another AI, this one almost childlike in its affection for the humans who own it. Things do not go according to plan, which means many things blow up. This was an attempt to make reading fun again, since not of my bookmarked books looked enticing.

Makoons, Louise Erdrich. Definitely North Dakota. It's a fun story of some boys running around on the north prarie towards the end of the 19th century. It's not as fun as the Laura Ingalls books because boys. I think I skipped two or three books, because my viewpoint character is now the dull mom.

Whiskerella, Ursula Vernon. This was a delight, with Harriet dealing with the stresses of multiple balls by haring off to rescue an older girl with uncomfortable shoes. It unfortunately did end with a bit of a happy-ever-after, but that's what happens when you rescue older teens instead of fun tweens like yourself.

Bookmarks moved in:

The Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man's Guide to ChivalrySon of the Black Sword (Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, #1)Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)StingerEye of Truth (Agents of the Crown, #1)Honor Among Thieves (Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion, #2)


The Compleat Gentleman, Brad Minor. My audio RML book. 6-7/7. The narrator sounds smug, but it's probably not his fault. I particularly liked when the book that has just spent 6 discs talking about the best practice of people and men (the two terms seem to be interchangeable) takes a break to laugh at some silly feminists who seem to think that some men forget that women exist. He then appears to disparage worries about rape culture before returning to extolling that supreme human being: The Compleat Gentleman. Ladies need not apply. They've been forgotten again.

Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 6/? Baen's podcast serial. It's cold on the high mountain, but the view is nice.

Jade City, Fonda Lee. Last month's Sword and Laser pick. More crooks and their attempts at career advancement through murder and mayhem.

Stinger
, Nancy Kress. Kress is the next Foolscap GoH. Real life is hard.

The Eye of Truth, Lindsay Buroker. She keeps arresting him, but then he gets rescued. Or captured. It depends on your viewpoint, I guess.

Honor Among Thieves, James A. Corey. My next Reading My Library book. Time for a daring rescue!


These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.

A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)Sammy Keyes and the Art of DeceptionChange of Heart (Robyn Hunter, #7)The Inn of the Sixth HappinessReading and Learning to Read

A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.

Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Wendelin Van Draanen.

Change of Heart, Norah McClintock.

Inn of the Sixth Happiness, 
Alan Burgess.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

2018 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2017! 49/104-ish. Working my way through poetry.
  2. Reading My Library: Started a James Corey book. Disliking the Gentleman audio but have Mary Roach's Stiff  ready to take the taste out.
  3. Where Am I Reading 2018?: 38/51. Makoons was choosen for its North Dakota location.