Monday, July 3, 2017

School Is Out! Zoo Trip!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Summer vacation has finally started, so we all embraced slothfulness. The boys intend to find summer jobs, so we wandered out a bit so they could apply to various stores. Alexander has started his petsitting career.

My brother invited me to join him on a trip to Northwest Trek where we saw elk and moose and bison from a tram, and a cougar and a lynx and a bobcat in a cage and then wandered about in the woods until I achieved 10K steps just like a normal person. Then I went home and read a book.

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 finished some picture books, an early chapter book, and a middle grade (I think), I'll check in with either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers for their version.

My completed books for this week:
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)Completely Clementine (Clementine, #7)A Man Called OveThe Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning StoriesFirst Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)Book Scavenger (Book Scavenger, #1)

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Becky Chambers. This is last month's Sword and Laser pick, and it lives up to all the hype I heard about it. It's fun, it has heart, and it's a great window on an imaginary universe and the complicated, compassionate people who live there.

* Completely Clementine, Sara Pennypacker. Clementine doesn't really believe she's matured, so she has problems accepting the resounding assurances from all around until the proof is too strong even for her to resist. Also, she gets a new sibling and makes more art.

* A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman. OK, so this was recommend as a light summer read. It was light in the sense that you knew going in that everything would be OK at the end, but the journey was through a man's debilitating depression, including multiple suicide attempts, some of which were averted only by random chance. Light humor such as a man falling and breaking his leg did not cheer me up along the way. It did end well, with some gratuitous extra happy silliness, but I'll know more about what I'm getting into next time.

The Best of Connie Willis, Connie Willis. The downside of reading a collection of Willis is that you really see how much she loves making people run around and not text each other; the good part is that you also see her firm sense of human nature and humor and general good writing. These went down easy, and made me pet the local dog a little extra.

First Grave on the Right, Darynda Jones. The perfect book for the all-night GRADS party I chaperoned. Also next month's book club pick. I had a lot of fun with it; often I'm cranky with paranormals featuring flighty young women, that Charley was smart despite her self-deprecation -- her words and actions didn't always match, but they added up to a consistent, appealing personality.

Book Scavenger, Jennifer Bertman. The last of the 2015 Cybils! This was fun, but I never really got a sense that Emily, the protagonist, liked to read. She liked playing the Scavenger game, but that's a bit different. Anyway, the puzzles were fun and the story was smooth.

* (Book I started and completed this week)

Picture Books (most read in the library while waiting for my kids to rendezvous):

Walter and the No-Need-To-Worry SuitEmily's Blue PeriodRosario's Fig TreeTokyo Digs a GardenThe Seashore BookThe Wolf-Birds

Walter and the No-Need-to Worry Suit, Rachel Bright. Very British, with mixed capitals and cozy villages and hard work for success.

Emily's Blue Period, Cathleen Daly. Child artist deals with parents divorce. Delicately done -- I'm picky about these kinds of books.

Rosario's Fig Tree, Charis Wahl. I loved the illustrations. I hope the gardening facts are true.

Tokyo Digs a Garden, Jon-Erik Lappano. Kinda surreal but fun. The best part is my library sorts picture books by theme and this book is in "science and nature " which in this case are two very opposite things.

The Seashore Book, Charlotte Zolotow (new edition). This mother/son family has Anne of Green Gables strength of imagination and use it to visit the shore.

The Wolf-Birds, Willow Dawson. This book is an excellent example of science and nature and prose and art all coming together.

I started but haven't yet finished:

Dragon in Exile (Liaden Universe, #18)The Woman in Cabin 10A Coalition of Lions (The Lion Hunters, #2)

The Dragon in Exile, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Since I'm listening to the sequel on the Baen Podcast, I thought I'd read this one so I know what I'm supposed to know.

The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware. I'm finding the viewpoint character very frustrating, with her excessive drinking and general non-professional attitudes.

A Coalition of Lions, Elizabeth Wein. I've read other books by her and loved them. Also, for reasons, I need a book set in Africa.

Bookmarks moved in several books:

Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe, #19)The Ghost BrideThe Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy DogEvery Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)The Circle

Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Part 6. Hopefully things will make more sense as I finish the book right before this one.

The Ghost Bride, Yangsze Choo. The current Vaginal Fantasy book. The slowness of the book was not improved by the protagonist entering a coma. At least she can talk to ghosts now.

The Inquisitor's Tale, Adam Gidwitz. Still not crazy about this story; I think I find the mix of historical fiction with modern language and accents discordant. I've moved onto a Scottish narrator, which has not improved my mood. At least the DVDs give me a sense of progress.

Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire. It's a school for kids who are homesick for their secondary fantasy worlds. I don't know if it will be about their making friendships out here or figuring out how to get back home.

The Circle, Dave Egger. I'm finding the viewpoint character annoying. She is spineless and a crowd-follower, and unironically embraces the Circle's Facebook-squared social media philosophy.

These I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.

The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does HappenKenilworthSammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen (Sammy Keyes, #9)The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)Reading and Learning to Read

The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox.

Kenilworth, Sir Walter Scott.

Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, Wendelin Van Draanen.

The Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. The kids are starting to complete their arcs, which is not always healthy for the adults around them.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. A look at what it means to have vocabulary, for reading or speaking or understanding.

2017 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015: Done! I finished! Now I should make a post comparing my winners to the actual winners. We don't tend to match a lot.
  2. Cybils 2016! 7 / a lot. Listening to Inquisitor's Tales.
  3. Reading My Library:  No progress.
  4. Where Am I Reading?: 24/51. First Grave on the Right was in New Mexico. Not too far behind so far.

1 comment:

kmitcham said...

We had such good weather for the zoo, too!