Summer is official now, with both boys working at a local pizza shop. Well, technically school goes until Thursday, but seniors aren't allowed to do any work so they are unofficially discouraged from attending. Or so my recently graduated son assures me when I forward him the absence notices.
It means both were home for my Tuesday movie, where we all enjoyed the new Men In Black movie. I liked the buddy cop aspect, and how they didn't really go for the romance, and how we guessed the bad guy but weren't really sure. It was a lot of fun, and Hemsworth took off his shirt, so I was happy.
The local town had a bit of excitement when somebody drew a knife at local bar, stabbed another guest, and then was shot by police. This was around the corner from the pizza place. Usually my son takes the bus home at night, but that night he called for a ride since standing around waiting while the police and emergency workers kept appearing was rather unsettling. I think he heard the shot, so everyone was a bit freaked out.
Family dinner was quiet since one boy was working, one went up to the city to see his sisters, and my niece was off somewhere. My sister cooked for us grown-ups and the nephew made a brief appearance. I guess this is what it will be like all next year, when the three oldest are off at college all the time.
My currently reading has dropped back to 21. I convinced myself that the whole point of the reading challenge was to actually finish things. So I am not going to go for the best score, but for the incentive of finishing books (hopefully books I have on hand!) that meet the criteria. We'll see how that goes this 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 so I'll sign up there. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed at either Teach Mentor Texts or Unleashing Readers so I'll sign up over there, since my Cybils reading included a passel of board books this week.
Family: The Forming Center, Marjorie J. Thompson. A blue book from my shelves for my reading challenge.
Yes, I'm Hot In This, Huda Fahmy. Just a book that looked funny that I wanted to read.
The Heirs of the Body, Carola Dunn. I used that summer reading challenge as an excuse to reread some Daisy Dalrymple. Because I like her.
Yes, I'm Hot In This, Huda Fahmy. A funny collection of comic strips about the frustrations of being an American woman wearing hijab and going about her business. Aggravations come from both the hostile, ignorant (sometimes bigoted) side and the well-meaning but also ignorant friendly side. Fahmy is mostly good natured but also aware than no one's patience is endless, especially one's own.
Family: The Forming Center, Marjorie J. Thompson. This book about the importance of the family as the spiritual foundation of both children and adults is specifically about Christianity, but I read it from a more general perspective as I'm not a practicing Christian. Also, my kids are grown. But I appreciated the discussion of both the practical aspects of centering spirituality in a family setting, and the ways in which that can be strengthened or weakened. And from an outsider viewpoint I found the discussions of how this fits in with Christian theology interesting as well.
The Heirs of the Body, Carola Dunn. I really enjoyed revisiting Daisy, especially as she takes her family home for a reunion with the extended family and some new additions. Lots of kids running around being polite and exuberant, a little bit of excitement with strangers from all over the globe, and Alex playing a very small part in the mystery that Daisy handles over his affectionate condescension. I am sad to think there will not be more of these.
Autonomous, Annalee Newitz. This was a bit grim for my taste, with all the main characters and only a few minor ones having goals I supported. One was trying to clean up after an accidental mass murder (including preventing more deaths from her negligence), two were pursuing a romantic relationship in a very distasteful way involving very creepy consent and agency issues while going on a murder spree themselves. Minor characters were trying to stay alive (and accidentally leading the murder pair to their next victims) and maybe help with the prevention of additional deaths due to the negligence of the solo murderer and the evil corporation she stole from. Mixed in with all this were interesting questions of identity and slavery and responsibility, which I liked. (I mean, obviously slavery=bad, but the questions were about where control and debt and societal rules slid into slavery.)
Becoming, Michelle Obama. What I got from this book is that Michelle Obama is a very smart, capable woman who doesn't really enjoy politics, and finds the willingness of many Republicans to cut off their noses to spite their faces disturbing. She's also a firm believer in family, compromise, and humanity. I enjoyed her description of life in the White House, and her attempts to make it someplace she could raise her family, support her husband, and achieve her goals both of locally making it more accessible to the country and in a wider sense to leave some legacy of her years trapped inside with the President.
A Prince on Paper, Alyssa Cole. I finished the epilogue so I could claim this book for my summer reading challenge this week. The epilogue just had everyone happily living and working together and through in a pregnancy for fun (I'd stodgy enough to think that if you are planning a wedding and babies you should schedule the former first as long as you are planning), but the book as a whole was fun. The characters had to deal with their own issues as the barrier to their HEA, but they did that with maturity and sense, and then had time to deal with the younger brother's immature and childish ways of dealing with an admittedly scary problem -- being the royal heir and gender-queer so that all sorts of new terminology has to be invented.
The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang. Another fun read, with two interesting people dealing with their problems so they could be together. It's her book, so it was OK for him to be perfect beyond belief. I did find the stretch of time where they both love each other but don't want to mention this because REASONS lasted a bit too long, but I just blinked twice and forgave them for the fun dialogue and amusing situations.
Bookmarks Moved In:
Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 48/? Baen's podcast serial. Well, the new viewpoint character sprung up next to one of the existing ones, so that's good.
Cyteen, C.J. Cherryh. Reread. Still creeping through my least favorite part of the reread.
Metal Wolf, Lauren Esker. Kindle read. And the aliens turn on the pseudo-SHIELD agents. As I expected when I identified them as SHIELD-like. Go Hero and Heroine! Save the planet. And her dad.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. I don't read many pages when kids remind me of my awkward younger self.
Envy of Angels, Matt Wallace. Again this was more "bookmarks moved as I carried it around."
The Way Into Darkness, Harry Connolly. More revelations!
Stories of My Life, Katherine Paterson. 4/7 Discs. I'm enjoying the stories of childhood, both in China and back in the American South, as well as the lore of her grandparents and great-grands from both family tales and research into old letters. And I like how she ties this into the various books that she wrote (and that I read).
After the Wedding, Courtney Milan. I like them running around to solve their problems, but when they tie themselves up into emotional knots I cringe a bit. It's very character and period based to have him make decisions about their lives without consulting her, but it's still not pleasant for her or me. And seeing him do that made their first very happy love scene unpleasant for me, because I knew how she'd react when he got around to telling her what was going on.
The Last Unicorn, Peter Beagle. The June Sword and Laser pick. They've wrapped it up but I've been reading slowly. After all, my main memory of it is that is is beautiful and sad. Sad is scary.
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults), Bryan Stevenson. YA Cybils nonfiction. Another book I've been lagging on in case I needed it for my summer reading stuff.
This Is Me, Jamie Lee Curtis. I often like Curtis's books, but this one fell a bit flat for me. It invites kids to define themselves by their favorite portable possessions in the lens of what migrating ancestors chose, but it's a bit too earnest to feel real.
Peek-a-Who, Elsa Mroziewicz. 2018 Cybils board book. Exceptionally vibrant pictures reward the opening of each page of animal noises. The interesting page shape adds to the excitement. This looks a fun book to read with a toddler, and also like it won't survive many readings. Part of the fun!
Shapes, Jacques Duquennoy. 2018 Cybils board book. Very fun book with clear pages that allow the reader to help build the shape, and then add the complications. Should work with a range of toddler ages, either inside a family or as the child grows in sophistication. Also could inspire some creative drawing.
Llamaphones, Janik Coat. 2018 Cybils board book. Elegantly simple book of homophones, each represented by a deadpan llama that only changes the minimum necessary to illustrate the word. A few moving parts add interest. My only quibble is that this is a sophisticated concept for toddlers -- it feels more like a picture book than a board book for me. (This won!)
Why the Face?, Jean Julien. 2018 Cybils board book. Very toddler-appropriate book with a page of an expressive face that opens up to show what the character is reacting to. Stinky? Sad? Each page is a discovery.
Black Bird, Yellow Sun, Steve Light. 2018 Cybils board book. Another toddler-pleasing story of simple characters on bold colors, with the sneaky worm inching along every page. I like the predictable rhythm along with the distinctive pictures.
But First We Nap, David W. Miles. 2018 Cybils board book. Charming book that perfectly captures my dynamic with my two year old as I was newly pregnant with his little brother. The rabbit's energetic attempts at play are met with the sloth's willingness to join in any minute, just after this nap... I'm not sure how much kids appreciate it, but I sure did!
These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.
A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.
Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Wendelin Van Draanen. Sammy has figured it out! She and her grandma rush to the rescue.
Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Alan Burgess.
The Educated Child, William Bennett. Don't worry Bennett, my boys did all the preschool stuff to the MAX. So far so good.
Cookie, Jacqueline Wilson.
Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. Examples of second grade efforts and revisions.
- Cybils 2017. No progress
- Cybils 2018. Board books!
- Reading My Library. Enjoying Stories of My Life, which I think is the last audio CD. Haven't started the next print book.
- KCLS Ten to Try. Still need to read a poetry book and the librarian recommend.
- The Hunt Is On! TWO books! Although I had to get special dispensation because my library and Goodreads disagreed on the page count. Also I forgot that the whole point was to whittle down my TBR stacks, so grabbing a reread from the library kinda defeats the purpose.