Monday, August 28, 2017

Then There Were Two

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Kid one has gone off to University. He was a bit nervous on the drive down, although that didn't stop him from falling asleep and snoring as I did all the driving. But as soon as he made a friend or two he was off and running, so I just wandered about during the rest of the events planned for parents. I scarpered off a bit early when our final lunch together lasted about five minutes -- we didn't have anything left to say during the official, 90 minute "final goodbye" scheduled for later in the afternoon. It's neat to see someone you knew as a tiny baby confidently heading off to his college classes.

Then I suddenly realized that summer was almost over and it was time to plan a vacation. I grabbed kid 2 and we jetted off to Texas for our yearly visit with my oldest friend (not counting my family). I gave a brief thought to the worries about Hurricane Harvey, but hey, Austin is far from the coast. So we had a wet but pleasant weekend, although our return trip through Houston had to be rerouted. Sorry Mom!

I'm still doing my summer reading thing of starting a book every day, which will probably mean ending up with a few dozen bookmarks by the end of August, but that's how I like to roll in the breaks between routine. Currently Reading is about 33 books right now.

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 started several kidlit books (and finished one YA),  I'll check in with either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers for their version.

This week I started:

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin OlympicsVinegar GirlThe Seventh BrideOut Of Range (Joe Pickett, #5)Wicked!Raven's Strike (Raven Set, #2)The Pirate Captain's Daughter (Mandrake Company, #5.5)

Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown. Everyone who's read this recommended it, so I'm finally starting my borrowed copy.

Vinegar Girl, Anne Tyler. I saw this on the library QuickPick shelves; it's one of the Shakespeare based novels by well known writers. This one is based on Taming of the Shrew and I'm hoping for greatness and a Maryland setting.

The Seventh Bride, T. Kingfisher. I'm celebrating Ursula Vernon's Hugo win by listening to an older book on audio.

Out of Range, C.J. Box. This is a Reading-My-Library pick, conveniently set in Wyoming. Hey, did anyone else know C.J. Box was a man?

Wicked, Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman. This Australian kidlit book was left behind by visiting friends about six year ago. It migrated from the boys' room to mine and I finally picked it up.

Raven's Strike, Patricia Briggs. I think this will complete my back-list for this author.

Pirate Captain's Daughter, Ruby Lionsdrake. This is my last book from Kindle Unlimited's one month trial. It was fun while it lasted.

Seven books. I'm hitting the book-a-day perfectly! About time, since the summer is almost over.

I finished:

When the Sea Turned to SilverPartner (Echo's Wolf, #2) (Werewolf Marines, #3)Mira's Last Dance (Penric and Desdemona, #5)Mercenary Courage (Mandrake Company, #5)The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the AmazonWhat If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical QuestionsWicked!

When the Sea Turned to Silver, Grace Lin. The next audio book for the 2016 Cybils finalists. The narrator slowly grew on me (at first she didn't seem too excited about the story) and she had a good balance of voices for the characters and emotion in the narration. However, the story itself seems to be about two children who spend the book trying to help the evil overlord destroy the world, which doesn't really seem like a good plan. They mean well, but that wouldn't mean much to the thousands of lives they are comfortable with destroying.

Partner, Lia Silver. It ran a little long for my taste, circling close to the finish before spiraling back out to explore more details of a resolving conflict. But I really like the characters and the respect the author gives them, even with their tendencies to turn into wolves or be superpowered or whatever. I hope this series eventually continues.

Mira's Last Dance, Lois McMaster Bujold. The chronologically final Penric story. I've finished these rereads, so maybe I'll go back and read the novels in this series. The Dance is a fun exploration of the potential of having a demon inside you, as well as the personal problems it includes. What does it mean to be a woman, an adult, a person?

Mercenary Courage, Ruby Lionsdrake. This one centers on the captain and the boss again, pushing at their relationship while also including space mafia dons, poisonous dragons, and a druid-built space station filled with plants. The romantic couple managed to discuss their difficulties while climbing tries, handling bombs, and falling down laundry chutes, so I was happy.

The Lost City of Z, David Grann. I finally finished this book group book, and by the end I was turning pages, interested in how Fawcett managed to set up his final (doomed) expedition that I knew from the first chapters would result in the deaths of all involved. And then we see his mourning family and the doomed rescue operations, paralleled with the author finally managing to poke his own toe in the Amazon, where in the last pages he discovers an amazing new archeological theory that I would have loved to learn more about. Where are your priorities, Grann?

What If?
, Randall Munroe. This was delightful, and now I'm going to dig up the next one, with 1000 words or something. So glad my kid got it as a present.

Wicked, Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman. This was fun and a bit odd. It took me a while to figure out the kids were tweens instead of 8, and they remained much meaner and more petty than my little angels, but the SF and fantasy elements provided twisty plots and the Australian vocabulary made things pleasantly exotic.

Hmm, I started 7 and finished 7. My summer currently-reading pile has reached parity.

Picture books:

Nothing. Clearly I need to spend more time in the library.

Bookmarks moved in:

Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe, #19)Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from SexMerely a MarriageThe Way Into Chaos (The Great Way #1)The Valiant (The Valiant, #1)The Goldfish BoySuperstar

Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Part 13. Aha, they are trading!

Harmful to Minors, Judith Levine. Apparently sex-ed programs in the early 2000's were poorly planned. Also, adolescence is culturally defined.

Merely a Marriage, Jo Beverley. Realizing that if her brother dies heirless she and her mother will be out on the streets, our heroine nags him to wed. He, being a selfish monster, whines, and tells her to get married herself. Somehow this has become a bargain -- he'll marry if she does. She does not realize that this is a lose-lose proposition, since in either case she doesn't get to stay in the home she loves.

The Way Into Chaos, Harry Connolly. Since I had my NOOK app open to read the Penric books, I noticed that I had started Connolly's fantasy series, then gotten distracted by disappearing library books. So I'm getting back into it.

Valiant, Lesley Livingston. Our hero is heading towards Rome, and some girls are going to be mean. I prefer when women affirm and help each other, humph.

The Goldfish Boy, Lisa Thompson. A book with a main character who has OCD. Wow, some of this is actually familiar from people I've known who were diagnosed.

Superstar, Mandy Davis. If the adults in this book react with surprise when this child is diagnosed, I will be deeply disappointed in them.

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)A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)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.

A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

2017 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2016! 16 / a lot. Finished all the audios! I should work on more picture books to see some progress. 
  2. Reading My Library:  I have made real progress on Out of Range, which is also set in Wyoming.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 27/51. I did add another South America book. And several of my Reading My Library books should add states.

1 comment:

kmitcham said...

Your son has _Thing Explainer_? Such a wonderful boy, so kind and sharing...