Monday, May 16, 2016

Mother's Day At Last

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Since the kids were away we celebrated Mother's Day this Saturday, and it was a lovely event. The boys made me a delicious breakfast and served it to me in bed. Now that they are teenagers they are good cooks, and it's fun to remember the meals from ten years ago, which often lacked trivialities such as silverware, especially as I dine on gourmet pancakes.

Then we went out for a Mexican lunch followed by a superhero movie. We met up with my brother for that part, so we could all argue Team Tony or Team Cap to our hearts content afterward. (For the record, I'm Team Cap. Oldest son is Team Tony. Youngest son wishes we would remember that's only a movie.)

In the evening we went to a friend's for a game night, which was fun and social. For a while we played Apples to Apples, and I got THREE green cards. Usually I get none, so clearly the Mother's Day angels were looking out for me.

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/UnLeashing Readers which does the same thing for kidlit, since I read mostly that this week.

This week I finished five books:

Lafayette in the Somewhat United StatesAuroraWinter Bees & Other Poems of the ColdHouse ArrestSisterland

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
, Sarah Vowell. My next Reading My Library Quest book. I wasn't as charmed by this one as by Vowell's previous books; I suspect that I knew a little too much about the subject so there wasn't as much interesting new information. I shall seek out her more obscure topics in the future.

Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson. This month's Sword and Laser pick. Now I can go to the next local meet-up! This was solid Robinson, well written and the science felt secure. I liked his choice of characters to focus on, although I thought the ending was a bit weak. It's an interesting take on generation ships, with hard science problems and engineers to grapple with them.

Winter Bees, Joyce Sidman. A Cybils poetry finalist. Sidman delivers a lovely book combining science facts and delicate word pictures.

* House Arrest, K.A. Holt. Another Cybils poetry finalist. Most of the poems seemed like paragraphs with a lot of white space on the side; I'm also grumpy about the "force the kid to write a journal" cliche. It's a searing expose of horrific juvenile justice employees and systems, as well as an indictment of America's medical system, but a rather plodding children's book.

Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld. The previous Reading My Library pick. I didn't like it much.

* 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 started and am still reading books:
Silver on the Road (The Devil's West, #1)Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about EverythingThe City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne, #1)Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

Silver on the Road, Laura Anne Gilman. I've been wanting to read this since Foolscap  or even before, so I'm glad it's the current Vaginal Fantasy pick so I get the chance. So far I like the set-up and what I've seen of the main character.

Living With a Wild God, Barbara Ehrenreich. The next Library Quest book. Not exactly what I was expecting.

The City's Son, Tom Pollock. Our next book for my Tuesday night reading club. A main character is named Beth, just like me!

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, ed. Genevieve Tucholke. The last Cybils YA fantasy book is a collection of horror short stories. I hope I don't get nightmares, but my oldest son has read it and thinks I'll be OK.

I read some picture books in the library:
Meet the DullardsBob and FloTea RexNo!Some Monsters Are Different

Meet the Dullards, Sara Pennypacker. A fun snarky meta book with illustrations that amused me. I liked the long skinny arms highlighting details and the quiet way the kids never rebelled but also never acquiesced.

Bob and Flo, Rebecca Ashdown. Sweet tale of a compassionate penguin. Good for a joy school as an example of meeting problems with compassion for an outcome better for all.

Tea Rex, Molly Idle. Delightful addition to the dinosaur picture book genre. Good for when kids are just old enough to enjoy tension between text and pictures.

No!, Tracey Corderoy. Young rhino learns the danger of a stubborn vocabulary. I especially like the slug, but all the illustrations are engaging. I fully sympathize with the allure of the title word.

Some Monsters are Different, David Milgrim. Pleasant but didn't knock my socks off. It's a sweet "diversity is good / we are all OK the way we are" kind of thing.

Bookmarks moved in several books:
Under a Graveyard Sky (Black Tide Rising, #1)Blake: or; The Huts of AmericaThe Flowers of AdonisReady Player OneLeft for Dead (Ali Reynolds, #7)Crux (Nexus, #2)

Under a Graveyard Sky, John Ringo. Attention is paid to Faith's tender years, and more people are rescued from the cruise ship.

Blake, or the Huts of America, Martin Delaney. This is the first book on Nisi Shawl's Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction. The latest batch of runaway slaves have been captured!

The Flowers of Adonis, Rosemary Sutcliff. Ambition and anger drive many bad decisions.

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline. Our hero wins some, loses some, and has just made a very risky move.

Left For Dead, J.A. Jance. My audio book for my Reading My Library Quest. I think several plot strands will get together on the next disc.

Crux, Ramez Naam. People are captured, people are in trouble, and people make moves. Lots of action in this bit.

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)Midnight Crossroad (Midnigh...The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)KenilworthReading and Learning to Read

A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George.
Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. Times and places for prayer.
Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. Things look up for young Emma, so to balance that her older siblings are in big trouble.
Kenilworth, Walter Scott.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca. Discussions that encourage better reading comprehension. This is stuff I can incorporate into my book club.

2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015:  25 out of 82. Started the last YA Fantasy, and read a few poetry books.
  2. Reading My Library:  Finished Sisterland and Lafayette in the Somewhat United States. Started Living With a Wild God. Left For Dead is on disc 2.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 22/50.  No change. But Left For Dead is an Arizona book.
  4. Full House Challenge: 24/25.   I set up the card again. Only need a memoir to finish it a second time. So Living With a Wild God will finish off the second card.
  5. Library Challenge: I'm at 86. I could retire on all the money I save.
  6. Diversity Challenge 2016: Kidlit: 10/12. No change. But a waiting Cybils book will fill out the Holocaust spot.  Adult lit: 8/12.  My guesses for economic class are very rough -- what if the family is sliding from one into another? But I'll keep tracking the economic class of my characters -- Upper (3), middle (3), or lower (5). I seem to be using myself as my standard for middle.
  7. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  15. All my reading came from the library this week, as usual.
  8. Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 16/20. No change. The next ones look hard.
  9. Eclectic Reader Challenge 2016: 10/12. I need a debut author in 2016, and an immigrant experience book. I don't think Aurora counts for that (spaceship landing on new planet).
  10. Surprise Me Challenge:  I received the May book, and plan to slip it in between Cybils categories.
  11. Flash Bingo: Blackout! 
  12. Literary Exploration Challenge: 10/12. I'm stuck on horror and classics. Cybils to the rescue!

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

That sounds like a lovely Mother's Day celebration! I look forward to having kids who can cook for me. Right now, I do have an eight year old who will help make cookies although I do impart some cooking wisdom from time to time!