Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Foolscap, Books, and Science

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
My Foolscap convention happened. If you haven't met or heard Seanan McGuire speak, you are missing out. She's vibrant, knowledgeable, willing to talk about her writing process, her experience with venomous reptiles, disease vectors, or anything else. She also has a delightful habit of singing as she wanders about convention spaces. She gave me a book!

Also she made the MAD LIB style pages I made for our banquet sound good, so I like her even more. In celebration I brought home a large stack of books and some new games. Maybe I'll take a picture for next week.

I can now almost fit my stack of last year's Cybils books into my library shelf  -- progress! Currently Reading is around hovering around 32 as a result of me starting so many of them.

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 try to sign up for, although I may be too late. 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:

Runaway Ralph (Ralph, #2)Ralph S. Mouse (Ralph S. Mouse, #3)Binti (Binti, #1)When the Sea Turned to Silver
The Weight of ZeroRadioactive!: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the WorldThe Voyage to Magical North (The Accidental Pirates, #1)The Memory Thief

Runaway Ralph, Beverly Cleary. I thought this was my elementary school book pick.

Ralph S. Mouse, Beverly Cleary. This was the actual pick. I hadn't known she'd written a third one!

Binti, Nnedi Okorafor. The Vaginal Fantasy pick.

When the Sea Turned to Silver, Grace Lin. Cybils middle grade.

Weight of Zero, Karen Fortunati. Cybils YA.

Radioactive, Winifred Conkling. Cybils nonfiction.

Voyage to Magical North, Claire Fayers. Cybils middle grade.

The Memory Thief, Bryce Moore. Cybils middle grade.

I finished:

Runaway Ralph (Ralph, #2)Ralph S. Mouse (Ralph S. Mouse, #3)Binti (Binti, #1)
Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)California Bones (Daniel Blackland, #1)Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Runaway Ralph, Beverly Cleary. Ralph goes to camp, learns a little about running away from problems, and I appreciate how much independence kids have when you expect that from them.

Ralph S. Mouse, Beverly Cleary. Lots of kids didn't read the book, so we talked about test anxiety, point of view, and California tax laws and their effect on school funding.

Binti, Nnedi Okorafor. I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but I enjoyed the feeling of dislocation, loyalty, and resentment around a community that demands a lot, as well as the alien communication challenges. And I've ordered the next one up from the library.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones
, Seanan McGuire. OK, now I want to go reread the first book, and then read this one again based on what Seanan said about how her own child-onset OCD influenced the writing of Jack, and I want to read the next one, which she donated to our book-swap table and I snatched up. It's about sisterhood and how it can be deformed by family expectations, and what is core in ourselves and what we owe to each other.

California Bones, Greg Van Eekhout. I didn't like this quite as much as the hosts of Sword and Laser, but it was a fun fantasy heist story with some thought under the hood -- the metaphors of burning through nonrenewable resources and eating your rivals were obvious but not heavy handed. I'm not sure I buy the ending battle, but that's a small quibble.

Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson. Bryan's meditation on his years working for the Equal Justice Initiative, anchored in the story of Walter McMillian, is heartbreaking, infuriating, and frustrating in turns. It's a definite reminder that justice and law in our country are heavily mediated by race and wealth.

Bookmarks moved in:

Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe, #19)The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1)BeastShadow Magic  (Shadow Magic, #1)

Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Episode 34. A short installment this week, with warning bells about Padi's maturation and a major glitch in the rescue of the Admiral.

The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion. My next Reading My Library audio. Same again -- I laugh a lot but also frantically switch over to a podcast to keep things light.

Beast, Bria Spangler. I like Beast, but he's not really putting his best self forward at the moment, so I'm reading slowly.

Shadow Magic
, Joshua Khan. Cybils middle grade fantasy. This book is an odd shape -- a bit wider than usual. It makes me feel fancy while reading it.

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.

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! 4/104-ish. No progress this week, although I have one waiting.
  2. Cybils 2016!  86/107-ish. Made a bit of progress in one, and started a pile.
  3. Reading My Library: Continued The Rosie Project, which has a fun Australian narrator and a light hearted story. Carried around Potions and Pastries without starting it.
  4. Where Am I Reading 2018?: 12/51. Alabama is the home of the Equal Justice Initiative. 

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