Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy Dream Day!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I'd like to keep up this reading diary for myself so I can go back and see what I was reading against what, and when, and if I had any thought. I know I record everything on, and also on goodreads, but it's harder to see what was happening simultaneously, which is a huge part of my reading experience.

I'm concentrating lately on Patricia Briggs and Cybils books, because I'm meeting her in a few weeks so I want to have read everything recently, and the Cybils books because the new list came out and I haven't finished the old. I'm also trying to alternate between a library book and a personal copy, which works out perfectly for those two concentrations but may get more complicated later.

I'm also on another reading team, where we complete small reading challenges for countries around the world. We are currently in the U.K., so I'm reading a book whose title has all the letters in STONEHENGE.

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 and I'm going to sign up. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed, and as I read a few of those (surprisingly few, actually), I check in with either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers for their version.

My pile of books for this week:
Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)The Fog Diver (The Fog Diver, #1)

* Cry Wolf, Patricia Briggs. Part of my complete Briggs re-read for Foolscap. Also, not coincidentally, the next book for my Tuesday book club. I last listened to this book as an audio with my kids, and they like it too.

* The Fog Diver, Joel Ross. A Cybils pick from last year. I liked the word play (it's post-apocalyptic and the kids discuss the legends of the past in a mangled way) and the ensemble cast, as well as the found-family vibe. And the action was good, with dirigibles and sky-pirates and tethered-dives with treasure at the bottom.

Plus the books I talked about last Friday:
When Demons Walk (Sianim, #3)Moon Rising (Wings of Fire, #6)My Family Adventure (Sofia Martinez)Hatchet (Hatchet, #1)Steal the Dragon (Sianim, #2)

(* Books I started this week.)

I started but didn't finish:
Miss Jacobson's Journey (Rothschild Trilogy, #1)Duck the Halls (Meg Langslow, #16)The Dungeoneers (Dungeoneers, #1)Black Butler, Volume 04

Bookmarks moved in several books:

The Sea Without a Shore (Lt. Leary, #10)A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea

The Sea Without a Shore, David Drake. And there's a battle, and we get some fancy flying from Daniel, but Adele and the new ensign must fend for themselves in the big city.

A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, Dina Nayeri. This is my Reading My Library audio. Things came to a screeching halt when the protagonist was caught maybe kissing a boy, which is a big deal in Iran. I was nervous so I only listened to a wee bit at a time. Now she's been hurriedly married to an old rich guy so I guess her life is picking up? Or collapsing in ruins, one or the other.

The next few books I'm not really reading, just dipping into between the books I'm trying to finish so that I can pretend that I'm going to read the books on my bookcases.

A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)KenilworthSammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen (Sammy Keyes, #9)Reading and Learning to ReadThe Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen

A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. Kate betrays the world at the orders of the villain, and then is shocked when the villain behaves villainously. She's not the brightest star in the sky, that one.
Kenilworth, Walter Scott. The wife has shown up at her husband's castle, but he's too busy with the queen to notice her.
Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, Wendelin Van Draanen. Sammy's bad day culminates with her policeman friend doubting her, which is just too much to take.
The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox. What are the fundamental rules of our universe?

Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca. Wrapping up strategies for encouraging reading comprehension. I should write some down because they would work for book club next year.

2017 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015: 76 out of 82. Need to finish these up.
  2. Cybils 2016! 0/ a lot. I haven't even counted. I've read none of them.
  3. Reading My Library: Slowly listening to A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea (the library will want it back next week and I'm barely halfway done) and am partway through a Jo Beverley book.
  4. Where Am I Reading?: 2/51. Starting over!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Completed Challenges from 2016

Wow, January is half over, and I haven't checked in with any of the reading challenges I was on. That's mainly because I didn't finish most of them, but in many of the cases that wasn't really the plan, so it doesn't bother me that much. For my own sense of closure, here's how they ended:

Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards
Well, I didn't quite finish. I was in good shape going into December, and then I didn't read any of them in the last month. So I'm working on finishing them up before I dive into the new ones.  It's mostly the middle grade books that are left, so I should get through them fairly quickly. I think I officially am 7 books short: two of them are graphic novels, four middle grade SF, and one middle grade fiction.

Reading My Library. This is an eternal quest. I'm in the adult fiction section, and also about half way through adult audio. I am not moving that quickly, but then I'm not too worried about it.

          Where Am I Reading 2016? Again, my complete collapse in December left me about 10 books short. I had what I needed, and I didn't feel like reading it. Oh well, I've marked the missing states and I'll try to start with them in 2017.


I was actually doing two diversity challenges, and I finished the kidlit one easily and never forced myself to read a book of poetry so I didn't complete the adult one. I had the most fun where every month I focussed on one aspect and tried to keep track to see how my reading reflected that. I should do that again this year, although I guess not in January :-)

Surprise Me: I kept forgetting to do this one, so I only read about 2/3 of the books picked randomly from my TBR list. I did like the general idea, so maybe I'll try again.

Oops, I completely forgot I was doing this one. Looks like I accidentally got everything but the Pulitzer winner, and I almost did that one (I read a book by a guy who has won the award, but I didn't realize it wasn't with that book until I got it home).


Completed this one last summer.

Shelf Love: Well, I managed to read about 50 books from my shelves, which is good, but I also managed to buy about 22 books that I haven't read yet, so that's not as promising, although I have some good excuses (sometimes my kids steal books and don't give them back for ages!).

Instead of tracking this, which was a bit of a pain, I will keep up the having of shelving books acquired this year on a special, separate shelf, so I can remind myself that I did want to read these things!

I Love Libraries Reading Challenge, library, books, Bea's Book Nook

I think I finished off with 248 books read from my library. I am definitely a library-addict.

Friday, January 13, 2017

What Have I Been Reading?

I'm almost into the third week of the New Year, and I haven't updated this blog-diary with my recent reading. So it's time to fix that. Hopefully next week I'll get back into the Monday "What Are You Reading" swing, but I am feeling the urge to document this now. So far this year has been light on reading -- I went back to Houston and spent a lot of time with family, which was fun, and then came home and was scatter-brained, which also makes reading difficult. But now I'm feeling more relaxed and ready to escape into alternate realities!

First, a formatting experiment: I copied/pasted directly from goodreads -- let's see how it turns out:

When Demons Walk (Sianim, #3)
Moon Rising (Wings of Fire, #6)
My Family Adventure (Sofia Martinez)
Hatchet (Hatchet, #1)
Steal the Dragon (Sianim, #2)
Guts & Glory: The Vikings
Liaden Universe Constellation: Volume III
1824: The Arkansas War (Trail of Glory, #2)

Hmm. The default somehow made the title column about 5 millimeters wide, and it was a pain to check the html to find the spot in the middle of gobblegook to increase it. If anyone reads this, let me know if it looks like I changed the right thing. It's possible my computer is just tired of me and so makes the preview looks nice so I go away.

As you can see, I've read a lot of SF so far this year. I started with 1824, an alternate history about America before the Civil War, where Arkansas is a separate country founded by Native Americans, blacks, and white people who either want land or find policies towards those groups distasteful. (John Brown being an extreme example of the latter.) Sam Houston is a major player, having not suffered an injury a decade ago that changed his career trajectory toward Texas (this is the second book in a series, which I didn't quite realize, so we miss the divergence from our own history). I found it an interesting take on some familiar figures as well as a more palatable version of reality, but it suffers from a lot of repetition and characters telling each other stuff that both they and we already know.

Then I finished up Alpha, a science fiction book about an android struggling toward consciousness and an aging military man trying to adjust to personal and technological upheavals. It has a distinctive feel of Asaro, with earnest robots working their way through their programming and rather emotionally clueless warriors having almost as much difficulty with their feelings.

Then I finally finished up the Liaden short stories, which were fun. I have some problems with some of the tropes and assumptions of Liaden, but with short stories I can easily suspend my issues and just enjoy the vividly imagined cultures and characters.

I'm still working through last year's Cybil's finalists, so I read the Viking history book Guts and Glory: Vikings, which I did not enjoy as much as I expect fifth graders to, because I am stodgy and want to hear about people who aren't men sometimes. I refreshed my palate with an easy chapter book from the same list, and enjoyed the tiny dramas that Sofia enacted in My Family Adventure.  I like kids with enough gumption to build a pinata on their own, and I enjoyed the Spanglish although I suspect mainly because it made me feel smug about knowing most of the Spanish words. And then I went on to read a fantasy Moon Rising. It's ridiculous how long it has taken me to read this category, because it should be one of my favorites. Maybe I'm afraid of disappointment. While it's true that Moon Rising wasn't my favorite, I bet I'd like it more if I had read others in the series; it was fun to have dragon protagonists but I kept getting distracted wondering about anatomy questions that are probably covered in more detail in earlier books. I actually own one of those earlier books, and I'm pushing it up the TBR priority because of the strength of #6.

I reread Hatchet for probably the fourth time to prepare for my elementary book club. Once again I had completely forgotten about Brian's angst over his mother's infidelity and his parent's divorce, although his life in the wild was vivid and gripping. The porcupine that gives him both a leg full of needles and the clue to starting fires, the moose whose insane attack reminds him of the chaos of nature, and the plane that strands him but also has the tools to call for help -- those I remember. Lots of kids, although most hadn't finished the book, so I guess classes have moved on since my children's day -- both of them read it in class, hence my high reread count.

And finally I'm powering through as much Patricia Briggs works as I can finish before February, when she comes to Seattle for Foolscap 2017. These two are early works in the Sianim series, although they don't share characters (one guy from one book is mentioned in the other). They are solid fantasy world stories, which smart and capable women alongside men willing to appreciate that in their companions, and cool magic systems that unfold in different directions. I'll hand them on to the boys to prepare them for the convention as well.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Where Am I Reading 2017?

I'm going to track where I'm reading again, although I admit in advance that I won't beat myself up if I miss a state. I am going to make an effort to read something in the states I missed in 2016, though.

I may try to find a goodreads challenge with other people doing this, just to have company in my insanity.

The US: (states I missed last year are in bold)

Arkansas: 1824: The Arkansas War


Montana: Cry Wolf
New Hampshire:
New Jersey: 

New Mexico: 
New York:
North Carolina:
North Dakota:
Rhode Island: 
South Carolina: 

South Dakota: 

Virginia: Alpha
West Virginia: 

Washington D.C.: 


Continents: 0/7


South America:



Norway: Guts and Glory

North America (non-US) :
Canada: Hatchet

Off Earth: 

Fantasy: When Demons Walk, Steal the Dragon, Moon Rising, Dragon Bones, Dragon Blood



Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Cybils Shortlist Reading Challenge


Happy New Year! The Cybils are Posted! That means it's time to start my first challenge --  my personal Cybils Shortlist Challenge!

I haven't actually finished last year's list yet, due to a reading collapse in December, although I had all the books. I'll finish ticking them off as I work through this years list. Endless optimism from me! I also note that I managed to read exactly zero of the nominees this year, which means that nothing I nominated made the cut.

I'm especially looking forward to the new audio category. I'm not sure if I should read the book that appears in as both an audio and a text choice, though, except that Grace Lin's illustrations definitely enhance the reading. Again, I'm listing the entries in reverse order, to encourage me to start with the longer ones.

Young Adult Speculative Fiction: 

Illuminaeby Amie Kaufman
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Maria Gianferrari

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas)by Zoraida Cordova
Sourcebooks Fire
Nominated by: Cecilia Cackley

Still Life with Tornadoby A.S. King
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publisher/ Author Submission

The Door at the Crossroadsby Zetta Elliott
Rosetta Press
Nominated by: Sheila Ruth

The Keeper of the Mistby Rachel Neumeier
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Charlotte

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity)by Victoria Schwab
Greenwillow Books
Nominated by: Whinkz

When the Moon was Ours: A Novelby Anna-Marie McLemore
Thomas Dunne Books
Nominated by: Kelly Jensen

Young Adult Fiction 

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes Novel)by Brittany Cavallaro
Katherine Tegen Books
Nominated by: Stephanie Burgis

Beastby Brie Spangler
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Kim Baccellia

Runby Kody Keplinger
Scholastic Press
Nominated by: Cecilia Cackley

Salt to the Seaby Ruta Sepetys
Nominated by: Compass Book Ratings

The Serpent Kingby Jeff Zentner
Crown Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Esther Braithwaite

The Weight of Zeroby Karen Fortunati
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: MarisaR

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (2016-01-05)by Marieke Nijkamp
Sourcebooks Fire
Nominated by: Katharine Manning

Young Adult Graphic Novels
Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkeyby Ozge Samanci
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Nominated by: Linda Baie

Faith Volume 1: Hollywood and Vineby Jody Houser
Valiant books
Nominated by: Tiffa

Lucky Pennyby Ananth Hirsh & Yuko Ota
Oni Press
Publisher/ Author Submission

March: Book Threeby John Lewis
Top Shelf Productions
Nominated by: Becky L.

Monstress Volume 1: Awakeningby Marjorie Liu
image comics
Nominated by: Charlotte

Ms. Marvel Vol. 5: Super Famousby G. Willow Wilson
Marvel Books
Nominated by: Sussu Leclerc

Trashedby Derf Backderf
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: Gary Anderson

Middle Grade / Young Adult Non-fiction 

Middle Grade: 
Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded Americaby Gail Jarrow
Calkins Creek Books
Nominated by: Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

Fashion Rebels: Style Icons Who Changed the World through Fashionby Carlyn Cerniglia Beccia
Nominated by: Becky L.

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Storyby Caren Stelson
Carolrhoda Books
Nominated by: Amanda Snow

This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigrationby Linda Barret Osborne
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: VikingAcademy

Young Adult:
Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rightsby Rich Wallace
Calkins Creek Books
Nominated by: Sherry Early

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Centuryby Sarah Miller
Schwartz and Wade Books
Nominated by: Sara Ralph

Middle Grade Fiction 

Full of Beansby Jennifer L. Holm
Random House Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Ghost (Track)by Jason Reynolds
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Abby Johnson

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horseby Joseph Marshall
Nominated by: Sussu Leclerc

Ms. Bixby’s Last Dayby John David Anderson
Walden Pond Press
Nominated by: Brenda

Save Me a Seatby Sarah Weeks
Publisher not defined
Nominated by: Maria Gianferrari

Slackerby Gordon Korman
Nominated by: Amy

Some Kind of Happinessby Claire Legrand
Simon & Schuster
Nominated by: CDwivedi


Bookedby Kwame Alexander
HMH Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Fresh Deliciousby Irene Latham
Nominated by: Linda Baie

Garvey’s Choiceby Nikki Grimes
Nominated by: MissRumphius

Guess Who, Haikuby Deanna Caswell
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: Kortney Garrison

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementaryby Laura Shovan
Wendy Lamb Books
Nominated by: Adrienne Gillespie

When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasonsby Julie Fogliano
Roaring Brook Press
Nominated by: Sara Ralph

Board Books: 

Cityblock (Alphablock)by Christopher Franceschelli
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: Becky L.

Cuauhtemoc: Shapes/Formas (English and Spanish Edition)by Patty Rodriguez
Lil’ Libros
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Dinosaur Dance!by Sandra Boynton
Little Simon
Nominated by: Alysa Stewart

Follow the Yarn: A Book of Colorsby Emily Sper
Jump Press
Nominated by: ediew

LOOK, LOOK AGAINby Agnese Baruzzi
Publisher/ Author Submission

Fiction Picture Books:

A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animalsby Lucy Ruth Cummins
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Sondra Eklund

Ida, Alwaysby Caron Levis
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Jennifer Rumberger

One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Treeby Daniel Bernstrom
Nominated by: Heidi G.

Strictly No Elephantsby Lisa Mantchev
Simon & Schuster
Nominated by: Flowering Minds

The Night Gardenerby Terry and Eric Fan
Simon & Schuster
Nominated by: Betsy

There’s a Bear on My Chairby Ross Collins
Nosy Crow Books
Publisher/ Author Submission

They All Saw a Catby Brendan Wenzel
Chronicle Books
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Elementary / Middle Grade Speculative Fiction

Shadow Magicby Joshua Khan
Nominated by: Sussu Leclerc
The Evil Wizard Smallboneby Delia Sherman
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Lizjonesbooks

The Firefly Codeby Megan Frazer Blakemore
Bloomsbury USA
Nominated by: Sarah Sammis

The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Aliceby Andrew Chilton
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: E.B.
The Memory Thiefby Bryce Moore
Adaptive Books
Nominated by: Kristen

The Voyage to Magical Northby Claire Fayers
Henry Holt
Nominated by: Sheila Ruth

When the Sea Turned to Silverby Grace Lin
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Elementary / Middle Grade Graphic Novels

Bera the One-Headed Trollby Eric Orchard
First Second Books
Nominated by: Sarah Sammis

Compass South (Four Points)by Hope Larson
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Nominated by: Amy

Lowriders to the Center of the Earth (Book 2) (Lowriders in Space)by Cathy Camper
Chronicle Books
Nominated by: Lwad

Mighty Jackby Ben Hatke
First Second Books
Nominated by: Charlotte

Princess Princess Ever Afterby Katie O’Neill
Oni Press
Nominated by: Stormy

The Nameless Cityby Faith Erin Hicks
First Second Books
Nominated by: Compass Book Ratings

The Wolves of CurrumpawFlying Eye Books
Nominated by: Julie Rowan-Zoch

Elementary / Juvenile Non-Fiction:

Elementary Non-Fiction:
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bearby Lindsay Mattick
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: ktmgiorgio

Giant Squidby Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann
Roaring Brook Press
Nominated by: Lackywanna

Plants Can’t Sit Still (Millbrook Picture Books)by Rebecca E. Hirsch
Millbrook Press
Nominated by: Joanne Roberts

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindnessby Donna Janell Bowman
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Nominated by: AYW

Tortuga Squad: Kids Saving Sea Turtles in Costa Ricaby Cathleen Burnham
Crickhollow Books
Nominated by: Patricia Tilton

Juvenile Non-Fiction:
Animal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animalsby Charles Ghigna and Animal Planet
TIME for Kids
Publisher/ Author Submission

Floodwaters and Flames: The 1913 Disaster in Dayton, Ohioby Lois Miner Huey
Millbrook Press
Nominated by: Ami Jones

Masters of Disguise: Amazing Animal Trickstersby Rebecca L. Johnson
Millbrook Press
Nominated by: Gramma

Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. Whiteby Melissa Sweet
Nominated by: Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

The Inventors of LEGO Toys (Awesome Minds)by Erin Hagar
Duo Press Llc
Nominated by: Gary Anderson

The Slowest Book Everby April Pulley Sayre
Boyds Mills Press
Nominated by: Katy Manck

Easy Reader and Early Chapter Books:
Easy Readers:
Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! The Cookie Fiascoby Dan Santat and Mo Willems
Nominated by: Sara Ralph

Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! We Are Growing!by Laurie Keller and Mo Willems
Nominated by: Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

Rabbit and Robot and Ribbitby Cece Bell
Candlewick Press
Publisher/ Author Submission

Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friendsby Tina Kugler
HMH Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: LindsayHM

The Great Antonioby Elise Gravel
Toon Books
Publisher/ Author Submission

The Infamous Ratsos (Ratso Brothers)by Kara LaReau
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Charlotte

Early Chapter Books:
Dory Fantasmagory: Dory Dory Black Sheepby Abby Hanlon
Dial Books
Nominated by: Melissa Fox

Juana and Lucasby Juana Medina
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Cecilia Cackley

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Hordeby Shannon Hale
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Flowering Minds

Weekends with Max and His Dadby Linda Urban
HMH Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Ashley Martin

Audio Books:

Out of Abaton, Book 1 (Library Edition): The Wooden Princeby John Claude Bemis
Oasis Audio
Nominated by: Lauren Snell

Raymie Nightingaleby Kate DiCamillo
Listening Library
Nominated by: Sondra Eklund

The Best Man
by by Richard Peck; narrated by Michael Crouch
Listening Library
Publisher/ Author Submission
When the Sea Turned to Silverby Grace Lin
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Jennie

Completed: 0/a lot