Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Why Aren't My Xmas Decorations Up?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I finally broke the logjam and began reading again; I only hope it's in time to complete my Cybils pile.

I've been keeping up with my audio reading by driving all over -- lunch with Sheila in Bellevue, book club (the triple!) in northern Seattle, meetings for Foolscap in Queen Anne and then in Everett, and a game party in a different party in Bellevue.

The game party was my favorite, because Trish is an amazing host and she had lots of friend come, some that I've played with before and others new to me. I also hadn't realized how much I'd missed rolling dice until I had the chance to munch some brains in a Zombie Dice session. Thanks, Santa, for those final brains that pushed me over to victory!

My currently reading shelf continues to hover around 22, but really I'm only actively reading about five books.

Cybils Awards
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. Ditto for the children's lit version at either Teach Mentor Texts or Unleashing Readers

Started: 

The Poison EatersBringing Down A President: The Watergate ScandalConCom: Conflict Communication A New Paradigm in Conscious CommunicationThe Great Nijinsky: God of DanceThe (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce

The Poison Eaters, Gail Jarrow. Cybils Nonfiction longlist.

Bringing Down a President, Andrea Balis. Cybils Nonfiction longlist.

ConCom: Conflict Communication, Rory Miller. For my Torches and Pitchforks bookclub.

The Great Nijinsky, Lynn Curlee. Cybils nonfiction longlist.

The (Other) F Word, Angie Manfredi. Cybils nonfiction longlist.


Completed:

The First Dinosaur: How Science Solved the Greatest Mystery on EarthThe Poison EatersBringing Down A President: The Watergate ScandalThe Great Nijinsky: God of Dance

The First Dinosaur, Ian Lendler. Cybils nonfiction. A book about both dinosaurs and science, because it's about how people went from looking at fossils to understanding geologic time and extinction and evolution, which are all needed to develop the idea of animals that no longer exist. Lendler does a good job with both the personalities involved and the slow development of the scientific method and the move away from a biblical explanation of animal taxonomy. The illustrations are colorful and interesting and the page layouts enticing.

The Poison Eaters, Gail Jarrow. Cybils Nonfiction longlist. Jarrow is always a good read. In this book she looks at the history of America's Food and Drug Administration, mainly through a biography of Harvey Wiley, who ferociously investigated food additives and drugs and campaigned for his department to have legal authority to protect consumers from dangerous ones. Jarrow goes into gruesome but mostly lighthearted detail about the dangerous tricks companies played with their food and showed how many deaths resulted before Congress slowly moved into regulation, and ends with the current state and what loopholes still exist.

Bringing Down a President, Andrea Balis. Cybils Nonfiction longlist. An engaging history of Watergate and its aftershocks, told through the voices of the people involved with many (well sourced) quotes and a "Fly On the Wall" giving context and transitions. It actually works very well and gives the page an inviting look. The layout and illustrations are also engaging. The author acknowledges a few times that the book is timely while it is being written but the attention is on Nixon and his men and their times, not ours.

The Great Nijinsky, Lynn Curlee. Cybils nonfiction longlist. I love when a book looks at a topic I know very little about and brings it to my understanding in an interesting way. I knew vaguely about modern ballet and the riots around some show or something, but Curlee gives me the history of the dancer and choreographer, how ballet was taught and the influences worked, and makes me care. It's primarily a biography of Nijinsky, but seeing his life also shows how ballet worked in society and how things were changing in those pre-war days right before movie cameras and societal cracks. It also looks at his mental state (he went mad very young) and how the sudden ending of his career affected his reputation.


Bookmarks Moved In:

Son of the Black Sword (Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, #1)Tender MorselsBook Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason
One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2)The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1)Brave Face
The Tropic of Serpents (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #2)Jonathan Strange & Mr NorrellDead but Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse

Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 70-73/? Baen's podcast serial. The main character has killed a huge pile of people, but even more are still swinging swords and other pointy objects at him.

Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan. 3/10 discs. The two stories have finally met!

Book Lust, Nancy Pearl. Still reading in tiny bursts.

One Good Dragon Deserves Another, Rachel Aaron. Justin is in trouble.

The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang. Last month's Sword and Laser pick. Waiting to recover it.

Brave Face, Shaun Hutchinson. Cybils nonfiction longlist. Unhappy teens are not my favorite subject.

Tropic of Serpents, Marie Brennan. I  am liking the audio better but its not going quickly.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke. I'm now about fifty chapters behind where I should be.

Dead But Not Forgotten, Ed. by Charlaine Harris. I read a story as a reward for finishing a Cybils book.

Picture Books / Short Stories:

None.


Palate Cleansers

These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading. And since I wasn't home, I didn't read them this week.

A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)The Educated Child: A Parents Guide from Preschool Through Eighth GradeCookieGive All to Love (Sanguinet Saga, #11)Tell the Wolves I'm HomeReading and Learning to Read

A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.

The Educated Child, William Bennett.

Cookie, Jacqueline Wilson.

Give All to Love, Patricia Veryan.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

Reading Challenges
  1. Cybils 2017. Nothing.
  2. Cybils 2018.  Nothing.
  3. Reading My Library. Nothing.
  4. KCLS Ten to Try. All done!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving To All! And Into December!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
A good Thanksgiving -- a full table and fun conversation. My mom was in town, and we got my brother and his wife and my BIL's mom, and even a couple of local friends. I even got my sons to do some of the cooking, which is asking a lot as they actually spend the day with their dad. But they came back on Friday for leftovers.

I made pinwheels as appetisers, crockpot pearl onions and a turkey. The boys made a chocolate pudding pie, and an extra pie crust (for the blueberry pie). I bought a ham and a pumpkin pie.

My sister made spinach balls, a cheese plate, soup, broccoli casserole, corn bread stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes (and probably a few other things as well). My BIL made a pecan pie, deviled eggs, and roasted vegetables. There were rolls. Guests brought an apple pie and a green bean casserole.

And then the weekend came, and my friend Trish invited my brother, my mom and me along on her zoo excursion. We got to hang out with keepers and watch them interact with the animals. I fed a rhinoceros and got rhino drool on my hand. I helped acclimate an arctic fox to strangers. I fed a hornbill bird a grape. A burrowing owl flew to my hand and perched there. I hung out with a tree kangaroo. It was amazing!

And then all the college kids drove off and left my house empty until Christmas break.

My currently reading shelf continues to hover around 20, but really I'm only actively reading about five books.

Cybils Awards
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. Ditto for the children's lit version at either Teach Mentor Texts or Unleashing Readers. 

Started: 

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stac...Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhou...Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13)
After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse (Sookie Stackhouse, #13.5)Dead but Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie StackhouseOne Person, No Vote (YA edition): How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally
George Washington's Secret Six: the Spies Who Saved AmericaThe Life HeroicThe First Dinosaur: How Science Solved the Greatest Mystery on Earth


Dead Reckoning, Charlaine Harris. Sookie Stackhouse #11.

Deadlocked, Charlaine Harris. Sookie Stackhouse #12.

Dead Ever After, Charlaine Harris. Sookie Stackhouse #13.

After Dead, Charlaine Harris. Sookie Stackhouse wrap-up book.

Dead But Not Forgotten, Ed. by Charlaine Harris. Other authors jump into Sookie's world.

One Person, No Vote, Carol Anderson, Nancy Holder. Cybils nonfiction.

George Washington's Secret Six, Brian Kilmeade. Cybils nonfiction.

The Life Heroic, Elizabeth Svoboda. Cybils Nonfiction.

The First Dinosaur, Ian Lendler. Cybils nonfiction.


Completed:

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stac...Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhou...Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13)
After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse (Sookie Stackhouse, #13.5)The Sookie Stackhouse Companion (Sookie Stackhouse, #10.5)1919 The Year That Changed America
One Person, No Vote (YA edition): How Not All Voters Are Treated EquallyGeorge Washington's Secret Six: the Spies Who Saved AmericaThe Life Heroic

Sookie Stackhouse 11-13, Charlaine Harris. Whew, I made it! Sookie life gets complicated, and then she unravels a lot of stuff. I appreciate how much she changed and matured while her essentials stayed consistent. And I'm glad that I managed to finish so I can get back to real life.

After Dead, Charlaine Harris. Sookie Stackhouse wrap-up book. This is a list of all the characters and where Harris imagines them ending up. It is also a sign of my completist tendencies, which probably border on actual OCD issues.

Sookie Stackhouse Companion, Charlaine Harris. I'm not sure I ever officially started this, but I definitely finished it. I got it for one of the short stories, and then since I had it I finished it. It's just a hodgepodge of stuff Sookie fans might light -- the short stories, interviews, recipes, trivia games, etc.

1919, Martin Sandler. Cyblis nonfiction longlist. Yay! I finally finished one. This was a gorgeously photographed and well written history of a year, with a good background for each topic and then it would trace the effects of those events through to the modern day. I liked the balance of serious topics (suffrage, racism, prohibition) with quirky ones like the Boston Molasses Flood that actually had an effect on company liability laws.

One Person, No Vote, Carol Anderson, Nancy Holder. Cybils nonfiction. Thanks goodness I managed to make myself read something I'm supposed to be reading! Of course, this was a very depressing read about how consistent America has been in denying votes to non-whites, and how very current and blatant the latest moves are, and how many Americans are enthusiastically embracing any chance of keeping the vote and any political power from people who are different (which apparently means "less worthy"). So people of color, but also poor people and people who decide differently are all to be disenfranchised with patriotic fervor. It's a statement about America when the uplifting chapter is how the Republicans did not succeed in electing a child molestor to the senate because of efforts supporting black turnout.

George Washington's Secret Six, Brian Kilmeade. Cybils nonfiction. The tense story of the spy ring that sent Washington information about New York during the American Revolution, without whom it's possible that the British would have managed to crush the rebellion. It was so secret that even today we don't know the name or fate of one of the members (probably the only woman), but Kilmeade traces the lives and careers of all the others. The biggest weakness is the abundant illustrations, most based on original art or documents that would be fascinating if they weren't so hard to see. Fewer, brighter choices might have been better.

The Life Heroic, Elizabeth Svoboda. Cybils Nonfiction. A book on how to train oneself for heroism, from how to define heroism, and the difference between immediate and deliberate acts (stepping forward in a crisis vs planning to do something amazing), and how to prepare oneself for either or both. It's definitely aimed at the idealistic youth, which I was myself long long ago.


Bookmarks Moved In:

Son of the Black Sword (Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, #1)Tender MorselsBook Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason
One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2)The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1)Brave Face
The Tropic of Serpents (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #2)Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 69/? Baen's podcast serial. I need to go check a physical book to see how far along I am.

Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan. 3/10 discs. Even riches won't make this guy likable.

Book Lust, Nancy Pearl. Still reading in tiny bursts.

One Good Dragon Deserves Another, Rachel Aaron. Justin is in trouble.

The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang. Last month's Sword and Laser pick. Waiting to recover it.

Brave Face, Shaun Hutchinson. Cybils nonfiction longlist. Wow, this kid does not do himself any favors, and the world rarely does either.

Tropic of Serpents, Marie Brennan. I  like the audio better.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke. I'm now about thirty chapter behind where I should be.
Picture Books / Short Stories:


Playing PossumHome Improvement: Undead Ed...Games Creatures PlayMust Love Hellhounds (Guild...

"Playing Possum," Charlaine Harris. Sookie and Hunter face a school shooting.

"If I Had a Hammer," Charlaine Harris. Sookie and Sam solve the mystery in Tara's babies' bedroom.

"In the Blue Hereafter," Charlaine Harris. Sookie meets Manifred!

"Brittlangers", Charlaine Harris. Familiar characters meet Amelia Eirhart.


Palate Cleansers

These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading. And since I wasn't home, I didn't read them this week.

A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)The Educated Child: A Parents Guide from Preschool Through Eighth GradeCookieGive All to Love (Sanguinet Saga, #11)Tell the Wolves I'm HomeReading and Learning to Read

A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.

The Educated Child, William Bennett.

Cookie, Jacqueline Wilson.

Give All to Love, Patricia Veryan.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

Reading Challenges
  1. Cybils 2017. Nothing.
  2. Cybils 2018.  Nothing.
  3. Reading My Library. Nothing.
  4. KCLS Ten to Try. All done!