Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oops -- Forgot It Was Monday

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
My tax year resolution is to keep this status post up to date, so I can see what I was reading and what things I was reading against each other. It's the first week of this resolution, and already I forgot. So, a day late, here is my reading for the week..

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 I read a couple of kidlit books, I'll check in with either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers for their version.

My completed books for this week:
The Enemy (Jack Reacher, #8)Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure (An Aunt Dimity Mystery #21)A Week in the WoodsSummer in Orcus

The Enemy, Lee Child. This book was a surprising amount of fun, and those of us in book club who bothered to read it were quite pleased. I did object to the end, where Reacher sacrifices himself to protect the reputation of a marine who was a poor innocent who had the misfortune to be gay. Apparently the small detail that the man also casually beat up women wasn't worth remembering, despite the fact that the thing that tripped Reacher up was that he didn't hesitate to beat up the guy who he had *thought* beat up the woman. When he realizes it was someone in the army, well, then she probably had it coming. But besides that, we felt lucky that we had accidently skipped to the chronological first book (#8 in the series) where the author had a firmer grasp on narrative and character.

* Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure, Nancy Atherton. I was just wishing for a book without conflict this week, and then I picked up the latest Aunt Dimity and it fit the bill perfectly. This was was sunny and pleasant all the way through. The children were cute and convenient, strangers were quirky and accommodating, and everything came up roses all the time. The closest thing to gloom was that the characters would occasionally muse that something not perfect might happen, but then of course the imperfections never appeared and life continued along harmoniously. Also, our heroine Lori probably has the most important Anglo-Saxon archeological find of this century in her backyard, but she doesn't tell anyone because she likes a quiet life.

* A Week in the Woods, Andrew Clements. I've read this before, but not for probably over ten years. I vaguely remember Mark, the rich kid who is lonely in his new town, but on this rereading I was much more interested in the teacher who misjudges him, and even more so in the rarely mentioned mom who is concentrating on her career while Mark is home with the housekeeper and her spouse, and who compensates for her absence by being a bit overprotective. I was very interested in my changing reactions; the kids in my book club were mostly interested in the question of whether teachers are expected to be fair.

Summer in Orcus, T. Kingfisher. Ursula Vernon has been publishing this serially (I'm a Patreon) and finished at the end of last year, but she had got ahead of me because I was enjoying savoring it. It's a kidlit portal fantasy with a girl who is brave and determined but utterly without super powers, and yet she still manages to do a lot and to acquire many good and loyal friends. It's a great weaving of myths and fairy tale stories and tropes with a solid emotional core.

(* Books I started this week.)

I started but didn't finish:
The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)Written in Red (The Others, #1)

The Falconer, Elizabeth May. This is the current Vaginal Fantasy pick, and I'm finding it a bit of a slog. An emotional teen has dedicated her life to killing fairies after the murder of her mother; we see her behaving badly at a ball as she continually sneaks off to kill stuff. I'm afraid she's coming off more as a psychopath than a righteous vigilante; I know she thinks all fairies are evil and deserve to die in a fire but I have no reason to believe her. Hints of steampunk inventions all about would be more fun if I didn't have a slight distaste for that genre.

Written in Red, Anne Bishop. The alt Vaginal Fantasy book. Obviously I ordered and obtained both of these almost simultaneously because they are both coming due this month. I'm slow starting the Bishop because I wasn't too enthusiastic about her earlier works, and I find the "American Indians don't exist" premise a bit off-putting. But I'll give it a try.

Bookmarks moved in several books:

The Sea Without a Shore (Lt. Leary, #10)By JoveThe Stolen Mackenzie Bride (MacKenzies & McBrides, #8)The Span of Empire (Jao #3)Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Boy, Snow, BirdRaven's Shadow (Raven, #1)Out of Abaton, Book 1: The Wooden Prince

The Sea Without a Shore, David Drake. We only got a few more minutes in, but things are looking good for their client in terms of life-expectancy.

By Jove, Marissa Doyle. The men are rather annoying, but if they are supposed to be Greek or Roman deities, I guess that makes sense. It's a bit slow moving for a romance, actually.

The Stolen MacKenzie Bride, Jennifer Ashley. This is my next text Reading-My-Library quest book, and I'm really not enjoying it. Still. He's still annoying and I don't want her near him, and reading from the back they are all going to be idiots for Prince Charles.

The Span of Empire, Eric Flint & David Carrico. So far it's delivering what I expect, although we're still in the process of delineating the main characters and info-dumping back story. They have managed to annoy the crazy-evil aliens, so that's a good start in the plot direction.

Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo. They are close to the actual heist location, but keep pausing to get some more angsty background about the horrors these children march through on their way to their current personalities. I can only take a few childhood horrors before needing to switch to something else, but it's a good book.

Boy, Snow, Bird Helen Oyeyemi. My reading-my-library audio. I appreciate the independence and individuality of the main character, although I'm not sure about the Arturo fellow she keeps seeing.

Raven's Shadow, Patricia Briggs. This is an earlier work, before she went into urban fantasy. I like it, but I own it so I tend to read the things that are due to the library. However, the characters just figured out a major plot point, so I expect they will start getting stuff done, encouraging me to read on.

The Wooden Prince (Out of Abaton #1), John Claude Bemis. This is a Cybils audio finalist, but I couldn't read it for a long time because first the library called it home, and then I switched cars with my sister and couldn't plug my phone into the audio system. But my car came home to me and I took a road trip to Oregon, so I've almost completed this retelling of Pinocchio with steampunk alchemists and magical fairies serving their immortal lord. It's fun to have the extra sound effects and music to the story; it feels more like a performance.

2017 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015: 81 out of 82. Need to finish these up. I own the last one, so it keeps getting pushed behind due library books. Focus! (No change from last week)
  2. Cybils 2016! 2/ a lot. Very close to finishing my first audio, which will bring me up to THREE!
  3. Reading My Library: Still on disc 1 of Boy Snow Bird. I still don't like the Ashley romance from the paper section of the library.
  4. Where Am I Reading?: 13/51. Andrew Clements clearly set his book in New Hampshire -- thanks, Mr Author!

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