Lots of book club reading this week as I had my monthly meeting with friends on Friday with a Seanan McGuire as the lead book. We have another of her books set for February as she is the Guest of Honor at my Foolscap convention and I want to have something to talk about with her. Of course, I read some of her books written as Mira Grant, but that was a while ago.
I also grabbed Paulos and ventured out to Vashon Island for Sunday dinner. since the sister who usually cooks was gallivanting around the country. We hit the local library's board game event and tried out the card game for The Oregon Trail (died once, died twice but the second time we had the destination within sight when we perished), and also a new game from Kevin involving cute pets. Then we tried Thai but it was open yet so we hit The Hardware Store, the one that was a restaurant rather than the one with the useful stuff.
It gets dark so early that it felt very late by then, so we staggered back to the ferry by 7:30. On the way home we planned out the week -- Paulos's dad has left the country on a several week family vacation, so he's with me through the holidays. And Alexander comes home on Saturday! Then we start preparing for the giant family reunion that is Christmas.
I didn't read very effectively this week, although I piled up dozens of unread Cybils books. Currently Reading is creeping back up 30 as I start all the Cybils YA but finish nothing.
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 that I'm going to sign up for. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed that I usually qualify for. I'll go look to see what everyone else was reading at either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers.
This Week I started:
California Bones, Greg von Eekhout. The current Sword & Laser pick.
The Last Neanderthal, Claire Cameron. My next Reading My Library book.
Death By Silver, Melissa Scott. Recommended by Goodreads.
Whose Body, Dorothy Sayers. The next audio for my Reading My Library quest.
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire. For my Friday book club with friends.
In the Country We Love, Diane Guerrero. For my Reading Across the Aisles book club on Tuesday.
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire. Only about half of us read it, but the concept of a home for returned doorway worlds was a fun thing to discuss. I was the only one who has only read this one -- the others had gone on to the next, which sounds interesting. I should read it before I mean Seanan McGuire this February, since she's the GOH at my Foolscap convention.
Death By Silver, Melissa Scott. Recommended by Goodreads. Apparently there's a genre for mystery books with gay protagonists set in a fantasy Victorian England? And so far they are all good. I liked the magic system in this one, and the attention to historical detail which somehow did not clash with the enchantments and spells.
I only finished two books. That's a bit disappointing.
When Green Becomes Tomatoes, Julie Fogliano. Completed. Poetry book that works more like a picture book, following a little girl through the seasons. The title line is evocative, but nothing else really grabbed me. It didn't help that I don't have nostalgia for the seasons the delicate art depict because I grew up in a different climate zone. No snow, and fall never meant much.
Cityblock, Christopher Francischelli. Completed. I discovered why the library has no record of any of the board book finalists -- libraries don't catalog board books because babies destroy them so quickly. So I went hunting and found this one, which has fun pictures and a recurring cat to find on each page as you follow the family through the city. It seems a bit sophisticated for its audience; maybe it's aimed at older toddlers who are still ripping pages but are ready for more literary meat?
Fresh Delicious, Irene Latham. Completed. Another poetry book that I would have read as a picture book about the farmer's market. My boys would probably have noticed it was actually poetry and rejected it, but most kids would enjoy the colorful language and bright pictures.
The Nameless City, Faith Hicks. Completed. My final middle grade graphic novel did not make me turn the pages quickly, but by the end I had enjoyed myself. It builds slowly, centering around a rather weak boy who grows by making a friend who encourages him to work hard, and then having several pay-offs in the action-filled final chapter.
Garvey's Choice, Nikki Grimes. Completed. A novel in poems (tanka) that provide enough structure and rhythm that it gives strength to the words rather than just a lot of extra white space on the page. I found it a bit optimistic in terms of solving just about all the kid's problems, but maybe that's the power of poetry.
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, Laura Shovan. In progress. I'm having problems believing in the conceit -- that these are poems written over the course of a year by kids complaining that their school is being torn down. They don't seem to be the kind of poems kids would write on their own (apparently a poem is the first entry task of the day) and also I can't see kids who are leaving at the end of the year anyway would be so torn up.
Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys. In progress. YA book. These teens are slogging through Germany at the end of WWII and apparently are all going to board a doomed ship. I don't see happy endings for anyone, so my lazy heart doesn't rush along.
To Stay Alive, Skila Brown. In progress. This is the kind of verse novel I avoid, with free verse poems that mostly just feel like sentences with a lot of extra returns typed in. The subject matter doesn't help, as the whole family is trudging towards their death; it feels a bit appropriative to put these poems in a real person's mouth.
When the Moon Was Ours, Anna-Marie McLemore. In progress. This is apparently a magic realism teen book with modern flashes.
Beast, Brie Spangler. In progress. I hope that a few of these realistic YA or middle grade fictions give me the states I need for my 50 State challenge.
(I apparently have decided to start one of the remaining Cybils books every day, although few of them are short enough to finish in one sitting.)
Happy Hippo, Angry Duck, Sandra Boynton. Fun board book I found while rummaging for Cybils choices. I especially emphasize with the duck, but all the animals and their emotions were worth looking at.
What's Wrong, Little Pookie? Sandra Boynton. OK, I'm a fan. I saw the twist coming, but it still worked for me.
Newtonian Physics for Babies, Chris Ferrie. The perfect book for someone who wants to connect with an infant but hates reading baby books. This lets the adult pretend that the baby is learning. I doubt it will grow a genius, but anything that helps awkward parents connect to their kids is good.
Bookmarks moved in:
Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Episode 27. There is hope for the damaged AI, and Tulley is cautiously optimistic.
Great Pumpkin Suite, Melanie Hill. The power saw is moving and I cringed away from the page.
Rebel, Sherwood Smith & Rachel Manija Brown. I need to read at least far enough to know who or why there is a rebel.
Dawn, Octavia Butler. Strangely, one of the things I like most about Butler is she's willing to make her protagonists rather unlikable. Lilith does not embrace the cool aliens and their tech with the enthusiasm I would expect in an SF book; she finds their utter alienness disconcerting and repulsive. And she manages to alien all the people she is tasked with recruiting to the alien's goal of repopulating the ruined Earth (humans had almost finished destroying themselves when the aliens arrived).
These I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.
Kenilworth, Sir Walter Scott.
A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.
The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox.
Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.
2017 Challenge Progress:
- Cybils 2016! 58/107-ish. Finished several poetry books. In fact, finished all the easy stuff and ordered up the rest. I seem to be starting one each day but finishing will be harder.
- Reading My Library: Making progress on Whose Body, but book club reading came ahead of working on the next print book.
- Where Am I Reading?: 38/51. I would have liked to get a North Dakota and Utah book, but so far nothing.