I'm not a very organized person at heart, which I guess is very obvious. So I forgot to post my little status last week, and I didn't notice that time was moving on and September was ending. This is despite the fact that there are major birthdays in my family at the end of September, so you think that observing the 30th would be a hint that the next month was almost here.
This matters because I've decided to move my Book Fast from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, so for the last three months I don't request new things, check out impulse books, or buy new books. Or if I do, I hide them until the New Year. So I didn't even notice that my last trip to the library was my last chance to browse! Lucky for me it included a trip to the book sale, though.
The Book Date does a weekly roundup of what people are reading, want to read, or have read each week called It's Monday! What Are You Reading and I'm going to sign up. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed, and as that is a particular interest of mine, I check in with either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers for their version.
My pile of books for this week:
Child of Fire, Harry Connolly. I'm rereading the Twenty Palaces series for my Book Team, and remembering why I like this author so much. His character, Ray, is damaged, intelligent, and brimming with integrity. He might be tempted to steal jewels, but he's very concerned with cruelty and the kind of injustice that leaves burnt smears on playgrounds. The story doesn't shy away from grimness, but I found it a page turner again.
Blood Bound, Patricia Briggs. I also need to reread everything Patricia Briggs has written so I'm reading to meet her when she's GOH at Foolscap. This one looks at her friendship with Stefan, and also develops the low wolf Ben, whose bark is nastier than his bite.
* Game of Cages, Harry Connolly. The second in the series, this one sends Ray out without his boss so that he has to confront the line between right and wrong on his own. How much damage can you deal when you know that defeat means possibly the end of the world? Can you remain human if you must do evil to prevent worse evil? This one gets a horror tag, because there are some horrible things that Ray sees and does.
* Rattle His Bones, Carola Dunn. I'm gobbling up all the extensive collection of Daisy Dalrymple stories my library has to offer. She's a young aristocrat in 1920's Britain who keeps tripping over murders and helping to solve them. The murders are all right, but the fun is the sense of place and the character interactions, especially with the Scotland Yard inspector who falls for her, and his motherless daughter.
* Murder on the Flying Scotsman, Carola Dunn. Another Daisy Dalrymple, where little Belinda runs away to Daisy after a fight with her grandmother, and of course, there's a murder, so her dad shows up right after, rather inclined to blame Daisy for all of it. I spotted the culprit right off, because I'm so clever, but luckily he stayed off page so I could enjoy Belinda, Daisy, Alec, and the others.
The Corsican Caper, Peter Mayle. Reading my Library audio. Rather ho-hum. I find French accents annoying (unlike Italian ones, which are delicious), so the snobbish voices and food names made things drag. The villain was unbelievably stupid, which enabled our dull heroes to defeat him. On the positive side, it was only four disks long!
* The Lion of Rora, Christos Gage, Ruth Fletcher Gage, Jackie Lewis. Cybils YA Graphic Novel finalist. This is a really strong year for this category.
* The Oyster War, Ben Towle. Cybils YA Graphic Novel finalist. Another find entry, although I might have put it in the younger category. Maybe the deaths and kidnappings pushed it up.
* Nice Dragons Finish Last, Rachel Aaron. I STILL haven't read her first series, although my kids tell me it's great. But this was a fun story with dragons and mages big brothers and cultural differences in a fast moving Detroit story, one that was almost stolen by my oldest son but I saved it so I could finish it.
(* Books I started this week.)
Last week I finished:
Falling in Love, Donna Leon. Reading My Library audio. Delicious Italian accents made me wish the characters would cross the street more often so the narrator would keep saying the names of the crossings. The murder itself was silly, and the police seemed almost naive, but the setting and the characters held my interest.
The Countess Conspiracy, Courtney Milan. The romance was an excuse to write about a female scientist in the Victorian age, along with a family that mostly proves even more loyal than understood (except for the sister, but you can't have everything). It's been so long since I read the other books in this series that I've forgotten most of the details of the other characters (although I remembered the awful dresses) but now I'm reminded that there's one more book and I'll probably enjoy it.
The Flag in Exile, David Weber. I reread this for my book team, which needed a "medal on the cover." Weber reminds me a bit of Orson Scott Card in his earnest desire to have me understand every nuance of his character's emotional state, although I'd prefer to learn this more by their actions than by listening to their internal "As you know, Bob" commentary.
The Winter Garden Mystery, Carola Dunn. Thank you, Team Tapirs, for needing a book with a garden tool on it, because I have adored the Daisy Dalrymple series since I found this book. Number two in the series, this shows off her other impoverished aristocrat friends, as well as the detective who is beginning to find her frighteningly attractive, despite the fact that their different backgrounds make them a completely unsuitable couple. Also, she keeps finding dead bodies.
The Case of the Murdered Muckraker, Carola Dunn. Daisy and the detective go on honeymoon in America. All over America, since he's a pilot. So I guess things work out between them.
Guys Read: The Sports Pages, ed. Jon Scziesca. My team needed a trophy on the cover, so I broke all the rules and read this book explicitly not written for me. I liked the nonfiction stories but backed away from most of the fiction ones.
To Davy Jones Down, Carola Dunn. The start of the honeymoon. I like how I'm skipping merrily around the timeline of these Daisy Dalrymples. This one had lots of fun period information about cruise liners, which fits in well with the Agatha Christie I read that also involved a long cruise.
Styx and Stones, Carola Dunn. Daisy is engaged here, and hanging out with her future stepdaughter Belinda, which is always fun. I really like how authentic the small details feel; of course, I have no way to judge how accurate they actually are.
Die Laughing, Carola Dunn. Now they've been married for years, and Daisy gets out of going to the dentist by finding him murdered in his office. Whew, what a relief!
This week I started and am still reading a few more books:
Someplace to Be Flying, Charles De Lint.
Requiem For a Mezzo, Carola Dunn.
Summer Garden Murder, Ann Ripley.
Scotsman of My Dreams, Karen Ranney.
Last Summer, Holly Chamberlain.
Bookmarks moved in several books:
The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu. More talking. Not much happens.
Sea Without a Shore, David Drake. Take off! Our heroes are in a spaceship, and about to land and presumably take over a new planet.
City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett. The love interest is being irrational. I don't think he really understands what is going on here.
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. I admit I haven't made much progress with all the Tapir reading I've been doing.
A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens.
Kenilworth, Walter Scott.
Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, Wendelin Van Draanen.
The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca.
2016 Challenge Progress:
- Cybils 2015: 42 out of 82. About to finish YA Graphic Novels.
- Reading My Library: I finished Falling in Love and The Corsican Caper and started the next audio. The print books are languishing, though.
- Where Am I Reading?: 38/51. I am officially way behind! I am supposed to be just about done at the end of this month. I was delighted to find myself reading a Maryland and a Maine book, only to see that I already had them!
- Full House Challenge: 25/25!
- Library Challenge: I'm at 181. Glad to see this one is still moving.
- Diversity Challenge 2016: 12/12. 11/12. Poetry is the tricky one. In October I'll looking at how man Native Americans appear in my books. So far, none, but then I've been reading a lot of British detective stories.
- Shelf Love Challenge 2016: 41. Time to make my shelves my BFF. I did buy a new book, but then I read it.
- Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 19/20. Still need a Pulitzer.
- Eclectic Reader Challenge 2016: 12/12!
- Surprise Me Challenge: I keep almost reading Positively. I've picked picked up the September book. Now I should worry about the October book.
- Flash Bingo: I still need need a book about books, and an Australian book.
- Literary Exploration Challenge: 12/12. Now I'll work on the 36 challenge -- 33/36