Monday, January 11, 2016

Closing A Lot of Books

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
When I set my Goodreads goal for the year, I put it at 365. Not because I'm actually planning to read a book every day (anyway, it's a leap year), but because I've started recording picture books, which inflate my numbers.

Of course, it's also the time of the Book Dare, the Triple Dog Dare to read from my shelves, which means I try to limit my time in the library. So for the next few weeks, I probably won't be reading many picture books. Of course, it doesn't matter, it's a year long goal and it doesn't matter anyway.

But instead I find myself automatically timing books so I finish one each day. I hope I stop this soon because eventually life will get busy and this will stress me out. But until then, enjoy my inflated book completion stats!

It's also the time of year to add more challenges, so I officially signed up for the Triple Dog Dare of not getting new books for a few months. Nothing new until April, although I might buy the new Patricia Briggs and Bujold books just to help their numbers.

The Book Date is collecting the roundups of what everyone is reading and talking about this week. I'll also look in with Teach Mentor Texts which does the same thing for kidlit.

This week I finished eight books:

I Lived on Butterfly Hill, 
Marjorie Agosin. I really enjoyed this story, which not only provided insights into historical events that I only had a vague awareness of, but also gave me delicious language that matured over the length of the book. The translation kept the flavor of the original (or so it seemed), and I liked seeing the world through her imaginative and lyrical voice. I also appreciated her growth from childhood into young womanhood, sometimes accelerated by her travels and returns.

The October Country, Ray Bradbury. This is probably a reread, as it is hard to imagine I missed any Bradbury collections in my teens; I like him a lot. This time around I noticed his stereotyped sex roles more, which was a bit disappointing, but still more prominent is his wild imagination and ability to combine a theme with a fantastical premise, such as the winged man who loses his night vision but figures out that he can disguise himself as a kite to safely fly in daylight to explore loss and recovery.

* Bud, Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis. This was the January pick for my elementary book club. I told them I thought Bud seemed a bit young when he fell for the story of the vampire bat in the shed, and to prove it I tried to convince them there had been a vampire attack in a fourth grade classroom the year before. The book discussion stalled for about ten minutes as I then had to convince some extremely concerned ten year olds that I had made that up and it was safe to return to their classroom. You win that one, Mr Curtis.

Songs of Willow Frost, Jamie Ford. I read this for my Reading My Library Quest.

Laura's Wolf, Lia Silver. This werewolf romance by an author I follow under a different name was a fun read that didn't make me turn my brain off to enjoy it.  It's a slightly new take on werewolves, and the author mentions in the back that she's a PTSD counselor so the struggles the veteran and the bank robbery victim have seemed authentic. I'm going right on to the next book.

* The Truth Commission, Susan Juby. A Cybils YA Fiction finalist. I admit, when I saw this book was set in a posh arty high school, I had flashbacks to I'll Give You the Sun, which was a well written book with horrid people as protagonists. I prefer my protagonists to be people I wouldn't be afraid to sit in a life raft with. But while there are rotters in Juby's books, the main characters aren't among them, and more importantly, support each other in standing up to them. It's not OK when parents don't protect their kids. It's not OK to betray your friends and family. It happens, but what interests me is how decent people deal with it, not how people decide they are good enough while doing it. Juby's characters get that.

* The Eighth Day, Dianne Salerni. I think this was recommended by someone in my Friday book club, because my sister mentioned having read it as well. If so, thanks! It was a fun kidlit about a boy who finds an extra day hidden in the week, accessible only by a few. He isn't sure he wants to join the extra day club, and they aren't sure they want him, so no one tells him anything and his ignorance pulls him into an adventure. I think I'll read the sequels, although I have to wait until April when my new book fast is over.

Dick Francis's Refusal, Felix Francis. A Reading My Library Quest book. Dick Francis's son tries to continue his work.

* Books I started this week. Most books tend last for weeks on my lists, because I have this habit of reading dozens of things at once. But occasionally I keep focus for several days on end.

I read a picture book:

Moomin's Winter Follies, Tove Jannson. This is a comic book version of a Moomin story, which I read in illustrated text back in my youth.

And I started five new books:

The Gospel of Loki, Joanne Harris. My kids recommended this sequel, and I liked her other books and the first Runemarks book.

Dreaming Spies, Laurie King. A Reading My Library Quest book (they are due very soon). Next in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series.

The Veil, Chloe Neill. The winter hiatus Vaginal Fantasy book.

Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. Randomly chosen from my nonfiction shelf.

The Prisoner, Lia Silver. Another Werewolf Marine romance, this time with the best friend of the guy in the previous book.

Hush, Hush, Laura Lippman. Started, abandoned. I like Lippman, and her books are set in useful places, but I just didn't feel like figuring out all the backstory in this book featuring recurring characters. And the premise of parents killing children didn't thrill me. And the library wanted it back so I would have had to read it super quickly, and I knew I didn't want to do that.

Bookmarks moved in several books:

Under a Graveyard Sky (Blac...

The Heist, Janet Evanovich &  Lee Goldberg. Their first big heist for the FBI is getting complicated.

Republic, Lindsay Buroker. This is a pure pleasure read.

Under a Graveyard Sky, John Ringo. This week: beetles for body disposal, and a new yacht.

Crux, Ramaz Naam. I'm on page 100, and it still feels like setup; the story hasn't really gotten started. One person died and the other cracked under torture, so I think it's about to go.

Tarzan Alive, Philip Jose Farmer. I'm not supposed to read too much, because that's how the Tuesday book club rolls. The conceit is fun (it's a scholarly examination of the Tarzan stories, showing what is true and what Burroughs fudged. I liked the analysis of the connection to Sherlock Holmes and Peter Whimsy.).

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.

Rob Roy  Waiting for the PartyA Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)Reading and Learning to Read

Rob Roy, Walter Scott.
Waiting For the Party, Ann Thwaite.
A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George.
Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. This book will join its friends here.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca. The differences in picking the gaps for fill-in-the-blank reading.
2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015: Five out of 82. Working on YA Fiction.
  2. Reading My Library: Finished Songs of Willow Frost and Dick Francis's Refusal. I'm on the last CD of The Heist.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: Chile, England, and Canada. New states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and Washington.
  4. TBR Triple Dog Dare. My totals are 6 library books, 2 personal library, 1 e-book.


Elizabeth said...

Finishing eight books is amazing.

How did you like Songs of Willow Frost?

Dreaming Spies looks good.

ENJOY your reading week....looks like another amazing one.

Silver's Reviews
My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

Beth said...

I liked the language in Songs of Willow Frost, but the painful sections were hard to read. I'm not good with child-harm, and Willow was about the age of my kids when she was raped. Not to mention some of the orphanage scenes.

Library Huntress said...

I'm impressed that you can read multiple books at one time! I can't read more than one at a time, otherwise I get the plots confused and jumbled together, lol.