Tuesday, August 20, 2019
College Exodus Hits Home!
College started for my younger son this week, so another bird has flown the nest. I guess it's time to clean out his room!
I had a fun movie day with Linda on Tuesday, using my nifty Universal Pass to see The Art of Racing in the Rain. It was extra fun because my mom had recommended it (so I pooh-poohed it -- just because I'm fifty plus doesn't mean I can't be a brat) so I got to call her and tell her she was right. Moms always like to hear that.
Midweek I had to miss a local library book club so I could take my son to college a few hundred miles away. It's funny how little he figures he'll need compared to his cousin; his stuff didn't even fill up my trunk so we brought his cousin some of the stuff she left behind. He unpacked in about fifteen minutes after we arrived and then we grabbed his cousin and her roommate and took them out to dinner. The next morning I met them for ice cream and then drove back home. I guess I was more emotional than I thought because I forgot to fuel up and had to ask my phone to find me a gas station in the middle of nowhere (hey, I had at least 20 miles to spare! no worries!).
I was enjoying plowing my way through the library's audio collection of Aurora Teagarden mysteries while driving, which was fortunate because I then zoomed up to the north of Seattle for a Mystery Dinner (which we would have solved if the Evil Schoolteacher hadn't fibbed!). Then I zoomed home again without traffic, which meant I was happy to pick up the remaining boy from work so I could hear a few more chapters.
One more book club event on Saturday -- it was our special Summer meeting which has delicious grilled pizza's by our delightful Spouse of a Member, and then our Judge the Cybils meeting where I bring all the picture book finalists for us to read on the spot. Then we argue until we either have a consensus or give up hope of reaching before I climatically look up what the real judges decided and we either applaud or groan. This year we applauded.
My super nice brother had a few extra hours before family dinner (made by my super nice sister), so he called and proposed mounting my TV on the wall so I could finally move the table. And then he found all the tools in my super nice BIL's garage area and did all the magic with instruction reading and stud-finding and hole drilling, and now I feel all special when I put on my Netflix.
My currently reading is back up to 23 (well, really 18 active books). I made the mistake of starting a bunch of book right before my latest Book Team event started, so none of those count towards my team's achievements and I'm scrambling to find books that do.
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 and I've got picture books and a kids book to qualify me.
The Valley of Shadows, John Ringo & Mike Massa. The next Black Tide Rising book; it also works for my new book team.
Three Bedroom, One Corpse, Charlaine Harris. I am officially on an Aurora Teagarden audio book tear.
The Julius House, Charlaine Harris. I really like Aurora with Martin.
Tales From Earthsea, Ursula LeGuin. Another book for the book team, from my shelves.
Gooney Bird Greene, Lois Lowry. I forget where I saw this but it was short enough to request immediately from the library.
The Valley of Shadows, John Ringo & Mike Massa. After an very slow start (the first hundred or so pages were mostly exposition, which I didn't even need as I've read the rest of the series) the authors finally get down to individuals dealing with actual zombies. Some rise to greatness! Others go real dark. And others plan to do one or the other but get eaten by zombies before making their move. There's still a bit of a madonna/whore thing going on with women characters.
Real Murders, Charlaine Harris. This was supposed to be for my drive but I only left myself the last few minutes. I like the voice of Aurora Teagarden -- the rhythms are southern but it's not a huge accent and her deceptively forceful personality shines through.
Three Bedroom, One Corpse, Charlaine Harris. Having just watched the movie for book two, I skipped to book three while my son napped. This is the one where she meets Martin, and I really like her relationship with him. And her willingness to rescue him when he needs it.
Gooney Bird Greene, Lois Lowry. Great book about stories and second graders, and how context means everything when listening.
Banker, Dick Francis.Well, completed is a strong word. It turns out that I remember it pretty well, so I read the first third and then merrily skipped through all my favorite parts. It's a bit of a romance for repressed men, but he gets his HEA.
Tales From Earthsea, Ursula LeGuin.
Bookmarks Moved In:
Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 56/? Baen's podcast serial.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. Still inching along.
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan. 2/10 discs. I moved about two tracks.
Book Lust, Nancy Pearl. My rule is that I pause after this book entices me to add something to my TBR list. It's organized alphabetically by topic. I'm still in the A's.
Past Tense, Lee Child. The two plots are very close to colliding.
The Emperor's Blades, Brian Staveley. Now I'm officially behind.
Founding Martyr, Christian di Spigna. He's a man now. That's what happens when you graduate.
One Good Dragon Deserves Another, Rachel Aaron. I hope the sister is on his side!
I Am Princess X, Cherie Priest. Missing/dead kids are a hard read for me.
Nightchaser, Amanda Bouchet. The library Romance Club pick. I missed the meeting and I'm only about a third in. I hope he doesn't kidnap her; I hate it when that happens.
The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester. The protagonist is doing stuff, but I'm not sure if I want him to succeed.
My book club read and judged last year's CYBILS picture book finalists.
We Don't Eat Our Classmates, Ryan Higgins. I was charmed by this book, with its lighthearted take on a kid learning to be civilized. It's hard when you are a T-rex! This started out controversial (rated either very high or very low) but we talked around some of the doubters.
Alma And How She Got Her Name, Juana Martinez-Neale. A bit pastel for me, but with a charming main character. Liked but not loved by most.
The Day You Begin, Jacqueline Woodson. Bright colors, great message, fun details. Liked but seen as a book adults would like more than kids. A good gift for a teacher.
The Rabbit Listened, Cori Doerrfeld. Lovely contained pictures show the emotional voyage of the kid. We quibbled over the secondary characters. Early top pick of several members.
The Rough Patch, Brian Lies. I loved the pictures, although I strongly resist dead-dog stories. But the metaphor of the rough garden and then the healing pumpkin charmed me. High on the list for most of us.
The Day War Came, Nicola Davies. Beautiful book showing at a child's level the effect of war on children and communities, and how those who live in safety can help. But we thought it was more a book for adults to share with kids than that kids would love on their own.
Julian Is a Mermaid, Jessica Love. This book also started out either at the top or the bottom of people's lists, although after discussion it moved upward in the doubter's piles. The simple story of acceptance in a New York family and the extravagant illustrations accompanying the boy's imagination won over most of the club.
I also started the Poetry books, which means picture books:
Can I Touch Your Hair, Irene Latham & Charles Waters. Two kids trade poems back and forth, both in unique voices and both authentically elementary school sounding. They discuss routine likes and problems, and directly address how race influences both of these. It's a fun book that would work well as a shared read.
In the Past, David Elliott. I liked the poems, but the dinosaurs really stole the show. The timeline along the bottom was a great anchor, and the large size of the book was perfect for a bedtime book or a classroom event.
H Is For Haiku, Sydell Rosenberg. A love letter to New York City, with child sized illustrations that often extend the images instead of just reflecting the words.
These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.
A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George. Rotten cops are rotten.
Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Alan Burgess.
The Educated Child, William Bennett.
Cookie, Jacqueline Wilson. Beauty's schoolmates are mostly mean.
Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. Reading is awesome.