Monday, February 26, 2018

Break Time Is Lovely, Even With Snow

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I went back to see Black Panther again with another crowd -- still fun the second time through. Snow fell from the sky, curtailing some of our break plans, although since they were more business than fun (college visits) no one minded too much. And the snow has mostly been banished from the ground so I didn't panic too much.

I'm enjoying this brief season of the year when I am as young as my baby sister. Next month I pull ahead again and the wisdom of the ages returns to me.

I can count the remaining Cybils of last year on one hand, which is a huge improvement. Currently Reading is still hovering around 30 but it is on a downward slope.

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 so I'll join in there. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed at either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers. All my Cybils reading keeps me very eligible for that.

This Week I started:

The DispossessedThe PowerSarah's Orphans (Plain and Simple Miracles #3)
Fish in a TreeHome (Binti, #2)Silent in the Sanctuary (Lady Julia Grey, #2)

The Dispossessed, Ursula LeGuin. My Tuesday book club was hazy on which LeGuin to read, so I ended up reading neither. Trying to catch up now.

The Power, Naomi Alderman. For my Feminist book club. Unfortunately my library wants it back a few months before the meeting.

Sarah's Orphans, Vannetta Chapman. My next Reading My Library Quest book. Set in Oklahoma.

Fish in a Tree, Lynda Hunt. For my elementary school book club.

Home, Nnedi Okorafor. 2nd in the Binti series.

Silent in the Sanctuary, Deanna Raybourn. Second in the Lady Grey series.

I finished:
Full of BeansPotions and Pastries (A Magical Bakery Mystery, #7)Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically MindedSome Kind of Happiness
Fish in a TreeThe Goblin's Puzzle: The Adventures of a Boy With No Name and Two Girls Called AliceHome (Binti, #2)The Memory Thief

Full of Beans, Jennifer Holm. Cybils middle grade. I liked the details of life in Florida during the Great Depression, from the keys to the fire alarm boxes to the lure of movie theaters. Of course the boy protagonist had to make his disdain for girls loudly obvious, a common feature of kidlit that for some reason has lately begun to grate on me.

Potions and Pastries, Bailey Cates. The incompetent murderer would have gotten away with it if he had just ignored our main character, as she never came close to figuring out who dunnit. She's nice enough, but definitely not a Sherlock Holmes type.

Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded, Sage Blackwood. 2017 Cybils. Once again Blackwood has a slowly deepening fantasy with many unexpected bursts of insight, where children competently deal with complex situations and flawed adults, along with a few shabby ones.

Some Kind of Happiness, 
Claire Legrand. Cybils middle grade. I really liked some parts of this -- the messy family, the Finley's feelings about and reactions to her parent's divorce, the friendship between the two sets of children. Other parts didn't work as well for me -- the weaving of the imaginative story with the lives of the kids felt forced and I didn't quite buy Finley's understanding of her depression.

Fish in a Tree, 
Lynda Hunt. I'm a sucker for books about a difficult child saved by a dedicated teacher, and this was no exception. The portrayal of a smart kid who masks her dyslexia by pretending to be a clown or disinterested felt realistic, and the small details of life with a father in the army or a brother with similar learning difficulties rang true as well. I'll see what the kids think.

The Goblin's Puzzle, Andrew Chilton. Cybils middle grade. This was a lot of fun, since I think logic puzzles are fun. There are sages and goblins who will split hairs and chop logic, and princesses and slaves who just want to do the right thing. And a dragon.

Home, Nnedi Okorafor. 2nd in the Binti series. I liked this one even better than the first, because of the view of the contrasting cultures at the University, at home with Binti's family, the aggression of the Khourse and Oklu's willingness to meet it, and the Desert People. The beauty and strength of her Himba heritage is shown next to the costs that unity imposes on those who don't confirm to its ideals.

The Memory Thief, Bryce Moore. Cybils middle grade. I liked the themes of memory and identity, and how the loss of memories impacted personality, and I liked Benji's struggle to deal with the situation, especially after his more assertive sister was sidelined. Sometimes I found him too passive though; even the final climactic battle came down to random chance rather than action by the young hero.

Bookmarks moved in:

Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe, #19)London Rain (Josephine Tey #6)The Left Hand of DarknessArabella and the Battle of Venus (Adventures of Arabella Ashby #2)
Game ChangeThe Voyage to Magical North (The Accidental Pirates, #1)The Evil Wizard Smallbone

Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Episode 39. To my surprise, the Korval party is going well. Shan's kid isn't doing as well, and maybe he'll eventually notice.

London Rain, Nicola Upson. RML Audio book. OK, the twist where we are in the murderer's head while the murder is committed makes for an unpleasant book. I'm very concerned that I'm on disc 4 and there are 4 discs left because I don't want that. It's not a mystery anymore, just sticking me in the viewpoint where I don't want to be.

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula LeGuin. For Tuesday book club. Belatedly. I'd forgotten how much this isn't about gender roles, but then a memory surfaces that I thought that the last time I read it as well. What is new is how young Genly seems. I am officially old.

Arabella and the Battle of Venus, David Levine. I'm finding the gender politics in this one uncomfortable. Am I supposed to sympathize with the guy coercing sexual favors from her? Or with her sympathies with him?

Game Change, Joseph Monninger. Very philosophical still

Voyage to Magical North, Claire Fayers. Cybils middle grade. The protagonists wonders what her place is.

The Evil Wizard Smallbone, 
Delia Sherman. Cybils middle grade. We seem to have jumped back to the real world, so I am looking to see what state it happens in.

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

KenilworthA Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does HappenSammy Keyes and the Art of DeceptionChange of Heart (Robyn Hunter, #7)Reading and Learning to Read

Kenilworth, Sir Walter Scott.

A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George. I do not like any of these people.

The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox.

Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Wendelin Van Draanen.

Change of Heart
, Norah McClintock.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

2018 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2017! 6/104-ish. Finished the middle grade fantasy. Have a nonfiction lined up.
  2. Cybils 2016!  101/10-ish. Five left. I need to find the missing board book.
  3. Reading My Library: Working on London Rain which I'm disliking for the mystery. Finished Potions and Pastries and doing well with Sarah's Orphans.
  4. Where Am I Reading 2018?: 18/51. Finished the books in Florida, Maine and Georgia. I've got an Oklahoma cooking and The Power just touched down in Maryland. I'm not getting my hopes up for that one yet.


Ricki Ginsberg at Unleashing Readers said...

I love the way you organize your started, you moved the bookmark in, etc. This feels right to me because I constantly juggle multiple books! :)

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

Been meaning to read The Left Hand of Darkness - I think I'd get to her essays first (the recent ones) before moving onto her fiction novels. :)