Monday, June 20, 2016

One Scuba

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I spent the weekend shuttling my son between the classroom and the beach for his scuba class, with the end result that he is now PADI certified and eligible to dive on our cruise this summer. Meanwhile my other son toiled away on the computer at home to finish up all his assignments, including two that should have been done months ago but due to a variety of circumstances, of which the one I look most beady-eyed upon is the complete disorganization of his teacher, were not complete.

I hope the kid learned an important lesson that if your teacher says not to worry that you have showed up in the middle of the assignment that is a third of your grade, it does not mean that you should not worry. It means you should not panic but should keep hounding the teacher until there is a way for you to do the assignment. And that a teacher who says "I'm sure we will find a way for you to pass" is not being as reassuring as he thinks he is.

Anyway, I spent a lot of the week parked in various parks or parking lots and reading books, and then found a comfortable coffee shop with WIFI so I could cyberspy on the working son and help nudge him along. The scuba class lasted the full 9-5 both days, so I was glad I had a large pile of books. I did sneak off for a lunch date with working son so we could argue about the CYBILS YA speculative fiction finalists since we had both finished reading our way through the short list. We liked them all except for one, which of course turned out to be the winner. Humph! We would have picked Bone Gap.

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 picture books and Cybils books.

This week I finished seven books. Well, one was a short story, another was a manga, and one was the second half of a book I had read previously so it's not really as much as it sounds:

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry: More than 200 Poems With Photographs That Float, Zoom, and Bloom!Blake: or; The Huts of AmericaFirst Frost (Waverley Family, #2)A Case of Spirits (A Charm of Magpies, #2.5)Twin Spica, Volume 9Only Beloved (The Survivors' Club, #7)

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry, ed. J. Patrick Lewis. A Cybils poetry finalist. A selection of poems accompanied by brilliant nature photography. I really liked it, both the selections and the pictures.

Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. This didn't have any deep truths, but the slow way I read meant that I had many reminders of the importance of staying balanced and maintaining a spiritual center to my life. So I'm glad I read it.

Blake: The Huts of America
, Martin Delaney. OK, now I see why it's science fiction. Many people from different versions of Christianity come together, and someone logically explains why the differences don't matter, and they all nod and come to an agreement. Anyway, I finished the second half, which has them all set to start the general rebellion. I'm sad that the rest wasn't written.

* First Frost, Sarah Addison Allen. A Reading My Library Quest book. The library wouldn't let me renew it, so I read it in a day, and then they let me renew it after all! But I enjoyed the combination of magic and contemporary writing, with characters fitting themselves into their families and their lives in ways that fit or seemed awkward until settling.

* A Case of Spirits (Charm of Magpies 2.5), K.J. Charles. This short story follows the Vaginal Fantasy pick of a few months ago that I liked.

* Twin Spica 9, Kou Yaginuma. I'm still enjoying this manga about kids at astronaut training school. Right now we are looking at a teacher infuriated by the greed that caused the disaster a generation ago, an old friend who is crumbling under loneliness and pressure, and the secrets of an older friend that seem in danger of coming out into the light.

* Only Beloved, Mary Balogh. The last Survivor's Club book (I think), featuring two people in their forties, which I always like in my romances. The action subplot was silly but I liked the story of two sensible people building a marriage together, learning to communicate and support each other. It helped that they had the support of his vast fortune and army of servants, of course.

* 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 while waiting for my kid at the libary:
FloatHow the Library (Not the Prince) Saved RapunzelWaiting for High Tide

Float, Daniel Miyares. Lovely wordless book with a strong plot, gentle emotional core and a delicately perfect balance of colors.

How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel, Wendy Meddeur. Fun and library positive but I felt the ending message about the prince was misplaced. Rapunzel here never cared about the prince anymore than she cared about food. She only cares about (library) books. The moral is talking back to events in canon that don't happen in this story. I prefer the message conveyed by the story to the same message explicitly and didactically explained.

Waiting For High Tide, Nikki McClure. Wordy and black and white. I am not sure who the audience is although I liked it. Do 8-10 year olds read picture books? I think there is a stigma, which is a shame because books like this are often wonderful.

I started and am still reading three new books:

Updraft (Bone Universe, #1)Paper HeartsMagic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)

Updraft, Fran Wilde. The June Sword and Laser pick. I'm frustrated at not knowing the rules of the society, because our viewpoint character seems to have limited comprehension of it. She has no idea which rules are important, which are guidelines, which are matters of life or death, or which are more etiquette based. So it's hard to judge what's going on, or when she is making a mistake.

Paper Hearts, Meg Wiviott. A Cybils poetry finalist. Powerful book about friendship during the Holocaust.

Magic Shifts, Ilona Andrews. This Reading my Library Quest book got pulled up the list because I wanted something fast to read while waiting for scuba to happen. It hit the spot perfectly.

Bookmarks moved in several books:

The Flowers of AdonisThe Spider's War (The Dagge...Windswept (Windswept, #1)Wool (Wool, #1)Flight BehaviorWHISPER OF MAGICThe Sea Without a Shore (Lt. Leary, #10)

The Flowers of Adonis, Rosemary Sutcliff. More daring do from our hero, who just talked himself into capturing a city. Athens is on the rise again on the roller coaster of war.

The Spider's War, Daniel Abraham. This is my next Reading My Library book. Some people are being cured of their magical delusions -- but are they still responsible for what they did under the influence? And is it to late to save them, or the world?

Windswept, Adam Rakunas. This was the book the very kind author gave me at Norwescon. The struggle for headcount is real.

Wool, Hugh Howey. They are recruiting a new sheriff from deep down, but I suspect IT will not approve. Beware angering the computer department, O Best Beloved!

Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver. Reading My Library Quest. I just noticed that Kingsolver herself is reading it! I am starting to like Delarobia (sp?), the main character.

A Whisper of Magic, Patricia Rice. The different ways the two main characters think about their similar magic gift is interesting, but I'd prefer it if they'd talk to each other about it instead of storming around in disagreement.

The Sea Without 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. So far we've been introduced to the main characters and a few side ones, and my kid is a little confused about who are the important ones. He's suspicious because this isn't the first in the series.

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 Read

A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens.
Kenilworth, Walter Scott. The alchemist lackey checks on the fair lady.
Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, Wendelin Van Draanen.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca. Exercises to show kids that they understand what they see in a story or article.

2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015:  30 out of 82. Two more poetry books, one short and one long.
  2. Reading My Library:  Put down The Spider's War temporarily to finish First Frost since the library was calling it home. Then snuck Magic Shifts into my book bag to have some easy reading in a parking lot. But I managed to read a little in The Spider's War as well. I'm on disc 3 of many of Flight Behavior.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 28/51.  Picked up North Caroline. Still need South Carolina.
  4. Full House Challenge:  19/25. I'm being very particular about what I consider "Book Club Worthy."
  5. Library Challenge: I'm at 108. 
  6. Diversity Challenge 2016: Kidlit: 11/12. Paper Hearts is my Holocaust spot.  Adult lit: I have to say that LGBT poetry seems like something I'm unlikely to read by accident. 9/12.  In June I'm looking at the mental status of my characters. So far two main character and four supporting ones have a mental disorder,  and one supporting character is on the autistic spectrum. 
  7. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  18. Cleared out a musty old book.
  8. Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 17/20. Would I notice if I read a Pulitzer winner?
  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 have the June one waiting as soon as I finish poetry. There is a chance I'll start it in June. 
  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:

Yvonne said...

Enjoy all those books. You're doing great with your reading challenges. Have a great week!