Monday, June 13, 2016

Battle of the Ages! I Mean, Battle of the Aged

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Bi-annual battle was held outside my house this weekend, and as usual, I'm very sore. In other words, we got the team from to come out with their swords and javelins and shields and (my favorite) bows and arrows, and I invited anyone who would stand still to listen to me long enough to get invited, and we ended up with about 25 people running around. I like a target-rich environment. And, in a crowning moment of glory, I shot my older son in the head with an arrow. Since he was probably the most dangerous player on the field, this was a very good thing for my team and a moment I will cherish forever.

So now I'm hobbling about and wondering what those odd twinges in my knee mean and acknowledging that I seem to be growing older. But it was completely worth it!

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.

This week I finished four books:

Left for Dead (Ali Reynolds, #7)Spilling ClarenceA Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)Night Shift (Midnight, Texas, #3)

Left For Dead, J.A. Jance. My audio book for my Reading My Library Quest. This was a story from the middle of a series about Ali Reynolds, so I never knew whether casual references to backstory were a reminder of a novel I didn't read or just information from the author. But I enjoyed the characters and the tension, and I appreciate the choice of villain (the grandmother!).

Spilling Clarence, Anne Ursu. This was the book on my TBR list that chose as my May surprise. Ursu's language is beautiful and her characters sharp and distinct. The plot wasn't really the focus, and I kept giggling that it was a science fiction book. But really it was a meditation on memory and its costs and benefits in terms of both joy and grief.

A Darker Shade of Magic
, V.E. Schwab. Another catch-up book -- this is the Sword and Laser pick from April that was very popular and the library didn't find it for me until last week. The characters didn't really grab me, but the setting was interesting and the plot moved quickly.

* Night Shift, Charlaine Harris. The library brought this to me and I put it on top. I like the feel of Harris's prose and the reality of her characters even as they exhibit strange characteristics and participate in strange activities. 

* 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 looked at some picture books:
The New Small PersonSector 7House Held Up by TreesFlutter and Hum / Aleteo y Zumbido: Animal Poems / Poemas de Animales

The New Small Person, Lauren Child. Elmore has negligent parents and difficulty adjusting to a new sibling but things work out OK. I would hesitate to use it to prepare new siblings since the emphasis is on how long it takes Elmore to stop hating his annoying little brother. But the pictures are a delight so you can just read it to enjoy Child's art.

Sector 7, David Wiesner. Great wordless fun, as always with Wiesner.

House Held Up By Trees, Ted Kooser. Very quiet with lovely pictures. A good fit for a snuggle with an intellectual child.

Flutter and Hum, Julie Paschkis. A Cybils poetry finalist.

I started and am still reading five new books:
Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen (Sammy Keyes, #9)Flight BehaviorWHISPER OF MAGICThe Sea Without a Shore (Lt. Leary, #10)National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry: More than 200 Poems With Photographs That Float, Zoom, and Bloom!

Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, Wendelin Van Draanen. I'll add this to the books I read to celebrate reading other books; it's a reread but all the Sammy Keyes have blurred together for me so I'll enjoy inching my way through it again.

Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver. This book has been on my TBR list for ages, so I was glad to see it on the next shelf of audio books for my Reading My Library Quest.

A Whisper of Magic, Patricia Rice. I WON this book because I am a lucky duck.

The Sea With a Shore, David Drake. This is the current book being serialized on the Baen Free Radio hour, so every week we'll listen to a 10-30 minute audio excerpt. My son is slightly scandalized that this is not the first Leary/Mundy book but instead firmly in the middle of the series, but he is willing to try it. I read the paper version ages ago but all these blur together.

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry, ed. J. Patrick Lewis. A Cybils poetry finalist. A selection of poems accompanied by brilliant nature photography. So far I'm enjoying it.

Bookmarks moved in several books:

The Flowers of AdonisBlake: or; The Huts of AmericaThe Way Into Chaos (The Great Way #1)The Spider's War (The Dagge...Windswept (Windswept, #1)Wool (Wool, #1)

The Flowers of Adonis, Rosemary Sutcliff. Wow, the little slave girl sure made a night of good lovin' pay off in a big way.

Blake: The Huts of America, Martin Delaney. The paper copy has the missing back half of this story; for some reason the master plan has our guy helping a slave ship bring a cargo to Cuba? And then there's a big party.

The Way into Chaos, Harry Connolly. Argh, I think I'm going to have to stop reading this until I finish The Spider's War. Genres are too close.

The Spider's War, Daniel Abraham. This is my next Reading My Library book. Honestly, I picked it because I thought it was the start of a new series, and this is an author I've heard great things about. I like the complexities of the banking system, and how they goal is to end war, not to end this war. I really want to go back and read his earlier stuff now.

Windswept, Adam Rakunas. This was the book the very kind author gave me at Norwescon. Labor union recruitment seems very different on this planet than for the teacher's union.

Wool, Hugh Howey. OK, so the story takes place inside the silo, not with the guy in the first chapter getting out. Resetting expectations.

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)KenilworthReading and Learning to Read

A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George. A suspect makes himself suspicious.
Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. The power of silence. Apparently you aren't supposed to read while under a vow of silence, or make meaningful eye contact. I'd probably be terrible at it.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. The family reunites!
Kenilworth, Walter Scott.
Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, Wendelin Van Draanen.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca. How to help kids read more sophisticated works.

2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015:  28 out of 82. Finished the other book so I'm back to working on poetry.
  2. Reading My Library:  Finished Left For Dead and started Flight Behavior for the audio books, still reading The Spider's War in fiction.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 27/51. Got Arizona and Minnesota. Now things get tough.
  4. Full House Challenge:  19/25. 3rd Time lucky!
  5. Library Challenge: I'm at 102. I named the new category General Fiction.
  6. Diversity Challenge 2016: Kidlit: 10/12. No change. But a waiting Cybils book will fill out the Holocaust spot.  Adult lit: 9/12.  In June I'm looking at the mental status of my characters. So far one main character and two supporting ones have a mental disorder,  and one supporting character is on the autistic spectrum.
  7. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  17. Spilling Clarence was mine, but I ordered it to read it.
  8. Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 16/20. No change. The next ones look hard.
  9. Eclectic Reader Challenge 2016: 10/12. No change. I need a debut author in 2016, and an immigrant experience book. 
  10. Surprise Me Challenge:  I finished the May book, and I have the June one waiting. 
  11. Flash Bingo: Summer time! New bingo card! No bingos yet!
  12. Literary Exploration Challenge: 12/12. Now I'll work on the 36 challenge -- 25/36

1 comment:

Kathryn T said...

Sounds like you had a fun time, even if there were a few twinges.