Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Family Reunion

2a
This is a two-week post since I was out of town last Monday. We want to Georgia for my father's memorial, and it was a wonderful time. I reconnected with many of my East Coast relatives, and more importantly we talked and told stories and I know think of my Dad as he was before Parkinson's took so much of him away.

This week has been a resettling into routine, with me hosting my monthly book club on Friday, followed on Saturday with our annual Foam Sword party, which was a lot of fun. A good range of ages, everyone was a good sport, and the heat didn't descend until the afternoon. Even the pizza came on time, so success! Book club was also good, with a lively discussion of the book, plus good friends, and the surprise addition of a delicious cake. So I'm in good mood to start the autumn.

I'm off to sign up to see what everyone else is reading lately at bookjourney's and Teach Mentor Texts lists. Here's what I finished this week and last week:
  • The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Stars: Steadfast, Jack Campbell. I can't recommend the writing style, but I like the characters and am enjoying the plot.
  • Into the Forest, Jean Hegman. This was our Friday night book club pick. No one really enjoyed it, but it made for a good discussion.
  • The Fault in Our Stars, John Green. Now I can go see the movie!
  • Affliction, Laurel K Hamilton. These always make me laugh. Nothing like trying to find a work/life balance between a zombie apocalypse and your twelve or so lovers.
And last week, a lot of which was spent traveling to my father's memorial,  I finished:
  • Whedonistas! A Celebration of the Worlds of Josh Whedon by the Women Who Love Them, Ed. Lynne M. Thomas. I like reading essays.
  • Stories of Your Life and Others, Ted Chiang. For Sword & Laser book club. Very good.
  • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison. Finished is a strong word, as I just go back to the start. This will probably be my phone book for a long time.
  • The Fourteenth Goldfish, Jennifer Holm. Science Fiction for kids!
  • He, She, and It, Marge Piercy. Vaginal Fantasies pick last month. Slow start but strong middle and finish.
  • The 14 Fibs of Gregory K., Greg Pincus. Wow, this kid has a mean family. Cybils.
  • War Brothers: The Graphic Novel, Sharon McKay. Very painful but strong book. Cybils.
What am I currently reading? In good news, I finished more books than I started. I'm still reading a couple of dozen books, though, which is a bit excessive even for me. Most (not quite all) of my currently reading list is now on  GOODREADS.
  • The Silver Metal Lover, Tanith Lee. For last month's Vaginal Fantasies pick.
  • There Is No Dog, Meg Rosoff. YA. So far God is not very impressive.
  • Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean. From my shelves.
  • Nathan Hale's Hazadous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood, Nathan Hale. This will probably be a downer.
  • A Matter for Men, David Gerrold. From my shelves.
  • Ultra, David Carroll.  I like the framing story -- the run, the interview, the memories.
  • Anna of Byzantium, Tracy Barett. p.23. This is the story of a strong woman failing in her dubious goal -- I can tell I will have to read it slowly.
  • Boxers & Saints, Gene Luen Yang. Boys are dumb around girls.
  • Growing Up Brave, Donna Pincus.  How to not have an anxious child.
  • Magic City: Recent Spells, Paula Guran, ed. Soon this will come back to me. p.201
  • Always, Abigail, Nancy J. Cavanaugh. No change. p. 51
  • About That Night, Norah McClintock.  No change. p. 53.
  • Rogue, Michael Z. Williamson. I don't always understand their undercover techniques.
  • Protector, C.J. Cherryh.  No change. p. 67
  • Wildflower, Alecia Whitaker. No change. p. 51 16%
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. No change.
  • Divergent, Veronica Roth. No change.  p.61
  • Yonder Comes the Other End of Time, Suzette Elgin. No change. p.113
  • Shards of Time, Lynn Flewelling. No change. p.35
  • Cathedral of the Wild, Boyd Varty. No change. p.107
  • Tinker, Wen Spencer.  No change. p.310
  • The Golden Leopard, Lynn Kerstan. No change. p. 234.
  • Inkheart, Cornelia Funke. No change. p. 260
  • The Son of Neptune, Rick Riordan. No change. p.256
Reading intermittently, and deliberately slowly. These never change much:
  • The Jury, Stephen Adler.  No change.  p. 36.
  • Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vacca. Top down versus bottom-up reading theories. p.31.
  • Nerds, Michael Buckley. Life is hard for villains. Also, there is a secret department in the school. p.54.
  • Out to Canaan, Jan Karon. The dog gets hurt but doesn't die. p.276.
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. No change. p. 755.
What's up next?  Ideally I would only start two books a week until my currently-pile approaches normal, but I'm still frantically playing catch-up with challenges and a groaning library pile. Every other day will have to do:

Monday: (skip)
Tuesday: A Web of Air (sequel to a book I liked)
Wednesday: (skip)
Thursday:  Codex Born (from my shelves, another sequel)
Friday: (skip)
Saturday:  Imprisoned, Cybils pick
Sunday: (skip)

NOOK books: I've got some more library books waiting, starting with Trial By Desire. Also, I bought Blood and Betrayal last spring and would really like to read it.

2014 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils: 57/77. War Brothers and 14 Fibs are my two for this fortnight. I'm still behind pace.
  2. Where Am I Reading? 32/51. Added one more. Behind pace.
  3. Alphabetically Inclined: 19/26. No change. Still need an E, I, J,  V, X, Y, and Z.
  4. What's In a Name?: 7/7. Still have to review everything. Ha!
  5. Book Bingo: Fifteen boxes into square 2.
  6. Gentle Spectrum Challenge: Got all the colors. Need a punny book.
  7. Small Fry Safari: 8/8. All done! Except for the reviewing...
  8. PoC Speculative Fiction 18/5: Affliction is a rather weak entry, I think, but Anita Blake is proud of her Hispanic heritage.
  9. Big Books: 1. Time's up so I'll have to be content with my singleton pass.
  10. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled.
  11. Reading My Library: Library temporarily closed, so on hiatus.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cybils Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Finalists

Cybils2013Small
This is probably my favorite category, with the imagination and adventure of speculative fiction, but without the angst and romance drama of YA. These kids are here to save the world, or themselves, or their families, and they don't spend a lot of time on their hair or wondering whether their marriage is doomed. There's a nice variety among the selections, some alternate worlds, some set in a different version of this world with magic inserted, and some set in this world and the kids discover some private magic that's all their own.

JinxJinx, Sage Blackwood.  I really enjoyed this story of a boy growing up in an enchanted forest who doesn't know how he is different from other people. To make it more fun, the reader doesn't know if he is different -- we don't know what regular people can do in his forest. I had a great sense of perspective -- what is right and what is wrong is filtered through the people seeing the events, and it can be hard to see through to what needs to be done. Jinx has a interesting habit of underestimating himself, and of being unestimated by both the reader and the other characters. I immediately tracked down the sequel and I can't wait for more from Blackwood.

The Screaming StaircaseLockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase, Jonathan Stroud. My older son is a huge Bartimeus fan, so it wasn't hard to talk him into trying this one with me. We both had fun with it, enough to pick it for our family book club which ensured my younger son read it as well. We liked the alternate history, with the setting hinting at Victorian times but then surprising the reader with more modern technology. Finding ghosts changed things, which makes sense. We also liked the kid-run business, and the different professional relationship among the company. I have the sequel on hold at the library.

RoseRose, Holly Webb. This had more depth and nuance than the cover promised. (My cover was much more pink and young looking. I think my boys would have liked it, especially the plucky underclass servant vs spoiled but less capable snooty apprentice dynamic. Unfortunately, they never picked it. I think looked too juvenile, although the pink didn't help.

Sidekicked
Sidekicked, John David Anderson. I actually won an ARC for this in a 48 Hour Reading Challenge.  The plot was nice and twisty, but I was uncomfortable with the main character. He seemed to feel that his female friend owed him her affections because he was so nice, and he was always trying to be nice so that she would want to date him. Which is actually kind of creepy. I'm probably projecting stuff that was going on elsewhere onto this book a bit, but it left a bit of a bad taste.
The Rithmatist

The Rithmatist, Brandon Sanderson. I liked the chalk adventures and the puzzle about how chalk magicians get chosen. For some reason I've never read anything by Sanderson before but now I want to seek out more of his stuff. I bet my son would have enjoyed this one but he didn't notice it in time and the library called it home.

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man SwampThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Kathi Appelt. Even though this book gave me a state for my state challenge, I couldn't really warm up to the quaint characters and the plot sliding back and forth between the various people and the animals and the creatures of the swamp. It was clear all along that all the pieces would come together and I didn't have a lot of surprises. I tried to get my boys to read this but they didn't bite.

The Water CastleThe Water Castle, Megan Frazer Blakemore. I really like this genre of kids in a regular life dealing with issues and then finding pieces of magic that they can use to help fix things. I wish the magic had come in a bit earlier, although the jumps into historical people helped a bit. I found it a bit too grim for complete enjoyment -- the family situation is dire, the main character's social life is awful, and the family tries to pull together but frequently lets each other down.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Possible Backsliding


I've had some books on hold for months now, since sometimes the library orders them months before they come out. This occasionally results in a surprise dividend of books, such as yesterday when I went to pick up two hold books and came home with a bag full.

And last week (which I think I forgot to post?) I also found a lot of books on my hold shelf. I keep promising myself that I'm bringing my library stack down to manageable proportions, but somehow it hasn't happened yet. At least it occasionally drives me to finish a book.

I also bought a few books, which I'll add in at the bottom, and mostly I'm using as my excuse my oldest son's birthday later this month. I shall regret handing all these books to him when his actual day rolls around and I've got nothing but a stack of receipts to give him.

The Whispering SkullPleasure UnboundMonstrous Affections"The President Has Been Shot!"A Free Man of Color

The Whispering Skull, Jonathan Stroud. We all enjoyed the first of this series.
Pleasure Unbound, Larissa Ione. This is an old Vaginal Fantasy pick that I skipped.
Monstrous Affections. Short stories by authors I like.
The President Has Been Shot, James Swanson. A Cybils pick. I'm stockpiling again.
A Free Man of Color, Barbara Hambly. Recommended by Rachel Manija.

Also, my son requested that I request a few books. I'll probably read the Butler but I still haven't read the first Lynch book, and second son is still reading it.
Red Seas Under Red SkiesBlack Butler

Last week on my way to the airport I picked up:
Waiting for NormalThe New Jim CrowMinion
ImprisonedThe Boy on the Wooden BoxMrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer (Mrs. Pollifax Series #12)Black butler

At least that last book is a DVD, so it doesn't have to fit in my library book shelf, which is looking a bit crowded right now.

Let's Explore Diabetes With OwlsAfter I'm GoneVeronica MarsTrial by Desire

Well, that last one is for my NOOK, so doesn't swell the book shelf much.

I've also acquired a few books. We ransacked a Georgia Barnes & Nobles until they unearthed the copy of Steven Gould's Exo that the computer insisted they had. The mail (courtesy of paperbackswap) brought me a stack of Norah McClintock books. I've been a fan of hers since the Dooley books.

Double checking my library I see that we've recently acquired a bunch of these as ebooks, but I like having physical books to gloat over. McClintock is exotic and Canadian, you know.

And I may have bought Monstrous Affections for my NOOK, just for the Sarah Rees Brennan's complete story of Elliott, Serene, and Luke. As a special bonus, it includes many other fine stories from authors I am sure I will appreciate. Because waiting three days for the library is hard.

badge-4So I still have 47 books out on my library card.  I have to keep my library card under my age or I ban myself from getting new books. And Unmade is hovering just a week away. Looks like I'll make an extra trip to the (outside book drop for the) library as soon as I finish something!

I'll go sign in to Library Loot which is at Silly Little Mischief  this week to see what everyone else is getting.  Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cybils Fiction Picture Books

Cybils2013SmallI have forced all my kids and some relatives into reading the Cybils picture books. Our committee:

Me: Parent, book lover.
X: 15 year old boy, book lover
P: 12 year old boy, book liker. Willing to read picture books with me fairly often. Enjoys reading to his 2 year old sister when she behaves herself.
N: 11 year old boy, emerging reader. Book acceptor.


Sophie's SquashOpen This Little BookMr. Tiger Goes Wild

  • Sophie's SquashPat Miller. I loved this one -- it's my favorite. P & N liked it. X panned it as weird, which amuses me since he carried around a bruised pumpkin as a buddy for several days in his misspent youth.
  • Open This Little Book, Jessie Klausmeier. Fun for me, P, & N. X thought it squandered a great premise on a flimsy story.
  • Mr Tiger Goes Wild, Peter Brown. N's shocked look when the NUDITY happened was priceless. X's third favorite. Appreciated by me & P.
JourneyIf You Want to See A WhaleCount the Monkeys
  • Journey, Aaron Becker. X's clear winner -- "a thinking man's Harold the Purple Crayon". N, P, and I also liked it. This is the one I urge friends to buy -- it's a clear parent's favorite that kids will like.
  • If You Want To See a Whale, Julie Fogliano. X found it dull. P & I liked it, as did N.
  • Count the MonkeysMac Barnett.  N's declared victor ("they are all good, but this is best"). X's second choice, and his first pick as a read-aloud. P also approved of the concept and art.

The Bear's Song

  • The Bear's Song, Benjamin Chaud. Our library eventually processed this one. Everyone liked it, although the illustrations were not as expansive as our favorites. We liked the Where's Waldo aspect but were frustrated a bit at the cub's nondistinctiveness.
And the winner was: Mr Tiger Goes Wild. Well, it was no one's favorite, but everyone liked it. I shall enjoy telling N that the book he considered borderline pornography was the judge's choice.


Monday, September 8, 2014

I Refuse To Admit I Have a Problem

2a
This week marks the start of a new school year, and that makes a huge different in time available and scheduling options. It also means I have stopped opening a new book each day, and I hope eventually to have a currently reading bag that does not make me a hernia risk.

I feel a bit panicked when I look at my pile of library books, book club picks, recently purchased items, and the bookcases full of unread orphans, but slow and steady wins the race, right? As long as I live forever, at any rate.

Again I'm racing ahead of library due dates to focus some of my reading, although eventually I'll also get to those books I really want to read that don't have library bar codes on them. Or maybe I should buy myself new books and shelve them for rereading, and then get them from the library to force myself to read them soon. That's an idea...

I'm off to sign up to see what everyone else is reading lately at bookjourney's and Teach Mentor Texts lists. Every book I finished this week was either a kid's book or about kid's reading, so the latter is very appropriate for me.
  • Reading in the Wild, Donalyn Miller. A book about encouraging people (especially children) to read for pleasure.
  • The Gateway (to Foo), Obert Skye. The books says the title is just The Gateway, but everything on the internet insists I add "to Foo." My elementary book club recommended this, and I liked it, but felt it was a bit reactive -- the only character with initiative was the Big Bad.
  • Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Delectable Essays, ed. Brad Wolfe & Rebecca Stern. Cybils pick. I had a lot of fun with these, but there is no way my boys will read anything with the word "essays" on the cover.
  • Gregor the Overlander, Suzanne Collins. Another book club rec. I thought of it as a warmup for reading Mockingjay, which my son isn't sure I'm ready for due to child injury.
  • Serafina's Promise, Ann E. Burg. Cybils pick. The poetry style annoyed me -- for me, only rarely did the pages appear to be poems rather than prose with a lot of extra line breaks. I liked reading about the event but never really connected with Serafina.
What am I currently reading? In good news, I finished as many books as I started last week. I'm still reading a couple of dozen books, though, which is a bit excessive even for me. Most (not quite all) of my currently reading list is now on  GOODREADS.
  • Into the Forest, Jean Hegland, p.60. Civilization has crumbled, but the sisters have each other.
  • Ultra, David Carroll. p.67. I like the framing story -- the run, the interview, the memories.
  • Anna of Byzantium, Tracy Barett. p.23. This is the story of a strong woman failing in her dubious goal -- I can tell I will have to read it slowly.
  • Boxers & Saints, Gene Luen Yang. Boxers p. 83. Interesting Cybils book so far.
  • Growing Up Brave, Donna Pincus. p. 51. How to not have an anxious child.
  • Magic City: Recent Spells, Paula Guran, ed. The library called it home! I have re-requested it. p.201
  • He, She, and It. Marge Piercy. Lots of androids -- philosophy of, sex lives of, favorite hobbies of (killing things)!. p. 263.
  • Always, Abigail, Nancy J. Cavanaugh. No change. p. 51
  • About That Night, Norah McClintock.  No change. p. 53.
  • Affliction, Laurell K. Hamilton. No change. p.53.
  • Rogue, Michael Z. Williamson.  No change. p. 154.
  • Protector, C.J. Cherryh.  No change. p. 67
  • Wildflower, Alecia Whitaker. No change. p. 51 16%
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. No change.
  • The 14 Fibs of Gregory K, Greg Pincus. p.128. Gregory's lies hurt his friend when she desperately needs his support. Time for guilt.
  • The Fault in Our Stars, John Green. No change. p.64
  • Divergent, Veronica Roth. No change.  p.61
  • Yonder Comes the Other End of Time, Suzette Elgin. No change. p.113
  • Shards of Time, Lynn Flewelling. No change. p.35
  • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison. I trapped myself somewhere with only my NOOK and got to read some more. Delicious.
  • Cathedral of the Wild, Boyd Varty. No change. p.107
  • Tinker, Wen Spencer.  No change. p.310
  • The Golden Leopard, Lynn Kerstan. No change. p. 234.
  • Inkheart, Cornelia Funke. No change. p. 260
  • The Son of Neptune, Rick Riordan. No change. p.256
Reading intermittently, and deliberately slowly. These never change much:
  • The Jury, Stephen Adler.  No change.  p. 36.
  • Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vacca. Top down versus bottom-up reading theories. p.31.
  • Nerds, Michael Buckley. Life is hard for villains. Also, there is a secret department in the school. p.54.
  • Out to Canaan, Jan Karon. Tiny sections means this one goes very slowly. Stress over a possible move. p.260.
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. No change. p. 755.
What's up next?  Clearly I need to lower my total pile of currently-reading books, but I'm feeling sad and lonely about missing my new book each day. I think I need another week of every-other-day to continue the decompresion:

Monday: War Brothers (Cybils)
Tuesday: (skip)
Wednesday: Whedonistas! (from my TBR list)
Thursday:  (skip)
Friday: The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Steadfast (for fun)
Saturday:  (skip)
Sunday: A Matter For Men (from my shelves)

NOOK books: He, She, and It is moving very slowly, but I should finish it and move on to The Fourteenth Goldfish. I will now start sneaking digital books into the skip days.

2014 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils: 55/77. I want to finish two a week until I'm back on track.
  2. Where Am I Reading? 31/51. Things are looking grim. No change. I did pick up a new country! (Haiti)
  3. Alphabetically Inclined: 19/26. No change. Still need an E, I, J,  V, X, Y, and Z.
  4. What's In a Name?: 7/7. Still have to review everything. Ha!
  5. Book Bingo: Fifteen boxes into square 2.
  6. Gentle Spectrum Challenge: Got all the colors. Need a punny book.
  7. Small Fry Safari: 7/8. No change. Still need something precious.
  8. PoC Speculative Fiction 16/5:  I made it to Post-Apocalyptic survivor! I want to get deep into here though, because I'm not confident on some of my entries.
  9. Big Books: 1. Never finishing things makes this hard.
  10. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled.
  11. Reading My Library: Library temporarily closed, so on hiatus.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cybils Early Chapter Book Finalists

www.cybils.comI called to me all the Cybils Early Chapter Book finalists from my excellent library, which has almost everything anyone could want. King County Library System Rocks! And if occasionally I think of something they don't have, they either find it for me somewhere else or else get it for me because I'm special. Just like everyone else.

If I haven't messed them up, the book titles below should be Amazon links that benefit the Cybils, so if anyone wants to buy these books, use that.

 Dragonbreath #9: The Case of the Toxic Mutants, by Ursula Vernon. It was probably the Cybils that introduced me to Vernon's work, and I've been an eager convert ever since.  Even my high schooler still perks up when a new Dragonbreath is out, and in full disclosure, I'll probably get to meet her next year at Foolscap. Anyway, this series entry is still fresh and lively, since Vernon manages to avoid top-heavy recounting of previous stuff and sticks to what's important now -- which is getting Wendell's retainer back before his mother discovers its loss.  Vernon is a master at blending the fantastical with the mundane for hilarious result, and even her stock characters (harum-scarum Danny, nerdy Wendell,  ever-practical Christiana) have plenty of individuality and charm.

Home Sweet Horror (Scary Tales) by James Preller. This is a good, creepy story full of noir and evil consequences, just right for the young elementary crowd. It starts off with a grieving family -- the mom is dead, and the power of loss helps stir up the evil that the children awaken. I especially liked how the bad guys almost won, and did destroy a lot of stuff.

 Kelsey Green, Reading Queen (Franklin School Friends), by Claudia Mills. I admit I approached this book with trepidation -- I worry about reading contests and about mocking people who love them, and I dislike when the purpose of the book is to have the main character Learn a Lesson. Mills managed to keep me happy by deftly dodging both bullets. The problems and benefits of a reward based reading program are illustrated naturally, the evil boy reader is unmasked as a boy who likes reading, and I liked watching Kelsey grow and mature even as she reigns as Reading Queen. Also, I've read most of the books name-checked in the story, which always gives me warm fuzzies. (Bonus points for Kelsey imagining in an over-the-top way the fifth grade reading champ still reading in lines at Disneyland, since I just went there and I did, in fact, read in most of the lines.)

 Lulu and the Dog from the Sea, by Hilary McKay. This is a warm and cosy family story about love, patient parents, and a stray dog. The plot is gentle and reassuring -- there's not much doubt that everything will turn out all right, but the path is fun to explore and the interactions between the characters seem real and comforting.

The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems by Lauren Myracle. Another cosy family story, this time with a young boy dealing with the birth of a new sibling and the resulting diffusion of his mom's attention. It had more of the Learn a Lesson feel, and the penguin problems were so unlikely that they threw me out of the book.

 Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat by Anna Branford. Another cosy family story, with an articulate girl in a loving family who deals with appropriately sized problems -- mismanaging a pet ladybug and helping her older sister with a project. The family is close but still realistic, with the big sister reacting with frustration but coming to scratch in the delicate matter of a dead ladybug. I like these a lot. For added fun, I got to share-read this with my emerging reader, and he seemed to like it although he had a bit of trouble with the British-isms.

I'm going to vote for Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat. My sons both voted for The Case of the Toxic Mutants, and my nephew voted for Violet but that was the only one he read so his vote counts less. I now peek at the winner: Home Sweet Horror. Well, I liked that one too, and probably only didn't vote for it because I have a grudge against books with dead moms.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Incoming!


I managed to check out fewer than seven books this week, but I also have stopped my insane habit of starting a new book every day (today I didn't read anything new! I feel lost and afraid). So I'm probably not actually managing to reduce my library stash. And I'd like to read some of the books from my unread bookcase. And I own a NOOK. So, basically I seem to be planning to live forever.

On the other hand, everyone survived the first week of school, even with all the waking-up early and stuff. We even snuck off to the movies with friends once, and had home-cooked meals, and the SeaHawks won their sporting event. So a good week.

Anyway, on my  trip to the library I got:
TargetThe Silver Metal LoverWhedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love ThemThere Is No DogThe Complete Idiot's Guide to Japanese

Starting at the back, my niece is heading to Japan next month as part of a student-exchange program, so I'll stash this in the car for when I drive her places and maybe we'll learn something. I hope it starts with important stuff, like "please," "thank you" and "I think I'm allergic to that."

Zipping back to the front, I like Mike Shepherd's books, although I also tend to use them as examples of male gaze with female protagonists. I'm a bit concerned about this one, since I didn't think Vicky was a very believable secondary character, but I'm willing to be convinced.

The Silver Metal Lover was last month's Vaginal Fantasy alt pick. Since I've read this month's books I guess I can catch up.

I have a very lackadaisical hobby of reading critical essays about popular culture, which I got into through Buffy the Vampire stuff, of which there is a surprising amount. So reading essays by some of my favorite authors about some of my favorite TV (I'm currently rewatching 3rd season Buffy with my 8th grader -- I find the high school Buffy years an excellent way to cover all sorts of ideas I want my boys to process before they encounter them, from mean teasing to parental pressure to sexual jealousy through vampire slaying). And then I saw the digital Meg Rosoff book while browsing and it kind of fell onto my NOOK.


badge-4So I currently have 46 books out on my library card, so I'm glad I've kept aging, because I need to buy the new Wen Spencer book, and Sarah Rees Brennan has a short story and a novel coming out, and there are some other thing I need to buy as well...

I'll go sign in to Library Loot which is at Silly Little Mischief  this week to see what everyone else is getting.  Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week.