I had an absolutely lovely Christmas. My siblings and I rented a huge house (affectionately nicknamed "The Mansion") in California with beds for everyone (until our Mom weaseled her way in for a night, which put the girls on a couch) and a lovely view and enough rooms to make it possible to disappear when all this togetherness seemed a bit much.
Also, my siblings are lovely people who jump up to get things done when they see a mess. They are excellent people to share a house with. I, sadly, am not, being untidy and oblivious, so I hope the Christmas time was acceptable for everyone. My kids were pleasant and almost always willing to help out, and very graciously accepted the "NO PRESENTS" rule we had. They also ate whatever was put in front of them, which is nice for a parent. I occupied myself by assigning meals to everyone except myself, but the few times I tried to cook I was usually gently shoved aside. Word may have gotten out. But I set a lot of tables!
As a final special occasion, my uncle and aunt seized the opportunity to get married while all the relatives were in town, and I got to perform the ceremony because I'm registered as a minister. I was sworn to secrecy, so no one else knew what was to happen at the "come see our new house" hor d'oeuvres party we were invited to. This was a bit awkward when the car I was in detoured back for a forgotten item ("there's no rush -- it's appetizers! no one cares when we show up"), making me 15 minutes late, but it's not like they could start without me. Everyone was gratifyingly surprised and delighted, and the bride and groom were lovely and charming. And the food was good, too.
I brought about 40 books, including most of my huge pile of unread Cybils books, but didn't read much. Even when I curled up in a chair I'd be distracted by eagles flying overhead or deer shaking their antlers or a spectacular sunset prancing about. Currently Reading is aound 30 as I start all the Cybils books but finish nothing.
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 that I'm going to belatedly sign up for. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed. I'll go look to see what everyone else was reading at either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers.
This Week I started:
Actually, I'm not sure I started anything this week. I think I started a few Cybils books, but not that many and I didn't finish anything new.
Whose Body, Dorothy Sayers. It was fun to hear this rather than read it -- the English narrator gave it a firm sense of place and I could daydream during the more philosophical parts. I may look out for more Lord Peter books for long car trips. A pleasant Reading My Library Quest pick.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, Theodora Goss. Last October's Sword & Laser pick. Apparently many people found the interjection style of story telling annoying, but I liked it and enjoyed the extra perspectives on the admittedly large cast of characters.
I finished 2 non-Cybils books.
To Stay Alive, Skila Brown. (Poetry) This grim narrative of the Donner party never pulled me in. The free verse poems seemed gimmicky, more an excess of carriage returns than a careful selection of words. The format kept me questioning the author's choice of speaking for Mary, choosing whom she felt affection for and whom she was willing to devour to sustain life. Last year there was a graphic novel about the same events that was both more informative and more emotionally satisfying.
We Will Not Be Silent, Russell Freedman. MG Nonfiction. I learned a lot of details of the White Rose movement, and the large size of the book gave plenty of room for both text and photographs.
Run, Kody Keplinger. YA Fiction. I really liked the depiction of the girls' friendship, which didn't hesitate even when one character revealed her bisexuality. The rural background, vision problems, and family drug addictions felt real rather than issues centering a Very Special story.
Bookmarks moved in:
Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Episode 28. Actually, I don't think I remembered to listen to the latest episode. I'd better catch up on the drive home.
Forged In Blood, ed. Michael Z. Williamson. I read a few of the stories, mostly to make sure my brother knew this book existed.
These I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.
Kenilworth, Sir Walter Scott.
A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.
The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox.
Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.
2017 Challenge Progress:
- Cybils 2016! 69/107-ish. Finished another poetry books (only Booked left), worked on nonfiction and YA, and generally despaired.
- Reading My Library: Completed Whose Body, but never picked up one of the print books.
- Where Am I Reading?: 40/51. Kentucky is in. I have a possibility for Tennessee, and another book where people are trying to get to Iowa. I may count that, because Iowa is on their minds a lot.