Monday, June 11, 2018

Not Really Summer Yet

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
With the start of June the weather reverted to norm -- chilly, wet, and dreary. I guess officially it's still spring, so go flowers? At least it makes for better sleep.

It's been fun having Alexander around for fun and movies. He's gotten some nibbles on his summer job search, so his leisure time may be limited soon. Paulos is ready for any remaining exams (most of his classes wrap up around AP time last month, in an example of hideously designed school schedules).

I made Alexander's favorite lasagna for Wednesday dinner and it turned out well. It involves pesto and about a year ago the store changed where the keep the fresh stuff so I'd been substituting canned. But now I've tracked down my favorite supplier. Occasionally I make pesto from scratch but I'm really too lazy for that.

Somehow my currently reading is still at 32, so I guess I should finish some of them. Especially the rereads. Finishing some things is made harder by the library wanting their books back.

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 Text or UnLeashing Readers. My Cybils reading keeps me eligible for that (at least for a few pages) so I'll sign in there as well...

This Week I started:

Night's Master  (Tales from the Flat Earth #1)Prince Joe (Tall, Dark & Dangerous, #1)Ancestral Machines (Humanity's Fire, #4)Yanked! (David Brin's Out of Time)
King and JokerGrunt: The Curious Science of Humans at WarThough Hell Should Bar the Way (Lt. Leary, #12)

Night's Master, Tanith Lee. The May Sword and Laser pick, which I forgot to pick up last month so am reading late.

Prince Joe, Suzanne Brockmann. Leftover that I didn't need for a book team.

Ancestral Machines, Michael Cobley. My next RML book, from the Co- shelf.

Yanked!, Nancy Kress. Kress will be the next Foolscap GoH!

King and Joker, Peter Dickinson. For my book team.

Grunt, Mary Roach. My next audio RML book.

Though Hell Should Bar the Way, David Drake. A new Leary/Mundy, and from a fresh perspective!


I finished:

Prince Joe (Tall, Dark & Dangerous, #1)I'll Be Your Blue Sky
How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It HappensKing and JokerYanked! (David Brin's Out of Time)

Prince Joe, Suzanne Brockmann. Fun with super-fit military guys and royal impersonations, and I only had to wade through slightly tedious misunderstandings.

I'll Be Your Blue Sky, Marisa de los Santos. I found the characters a bit hollow. Dev is spun of pure sugar and I'm not sure he's really a good idea as a partner; living with perfection must be exhausting. And Edith also recedes faster than she can be approached.

How We Learn, Benedict Carey. Finished the first shelf of nonfiction in my Reading My Library quest, audio edition. It was a lightweight discussion of learning techniques and what works, perfect for listening to while driving.

King and Joker, Peter Dickinson. Dickinson is always good for nuanced characters, who sometimes mean well but succumb to temptations towards meanness or gluttony or other vices. They can also rise to greatness when necessary. Louise learns this truth about both herself and her family in the fun setting of being the daughter of the King of England.

Yanked!, Nancy Kress. Somehow I missed this YA series put out by David Brin (?) that started with this story of two teenagers pulled forward in time to save the world through grit and determination. What they learn helps them confront their lives back home, of course. But within the tropes and set pieces are real characters that have individual ways of using their talents. I still can't figure out the cover -- maybe that's one of the mysterious aliens?

Bookmarks moved in:

Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe, #19)Marry in Scandal (Marriage of Convenience, #2)Cold Welcome (Vatta's Peace, #1)
Song of the Current (Song of the Current #1)Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1)New York 2140Wolf Who Rules (Elfhome, #2)

Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Episode 54. Magical torture!

Marry in Scandal, Anne Gracie. OK, they are engaged now. This is not a fast moving, witty romance.

Cold Welcome, Elizabeth Moon. I really like seeing competent people deal methodically with extreme problems, which is a Moon specialty.

Song of the Current, Sarah Tolcser. Ha! I called the first plot twist. I am smarter than a 9th grader.

Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer. There are many interesting pieces in this story. I keep getting distracted.

New York 2140, Kim Stanley Robinson. For my Tuesday bookclub. I thought something exciting happened but maybe not.

Wolf Who Rules, Wen Spencer. Tinker watching The Wizard of Oz is a wonderful scene.


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 Happen
Sammy Keyes and the Art of DeceptionChange of Heart (Robyn Hunter, #7)Reading and Learning to Read

Kenilworth, Sir Walter Scott. Kenilworth is losing his honor through his hesitating fingers.

A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.

The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox. I find myself resisting acquiring any of this knowledge, since I went to such effort to forget it years ago.

Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Wendelin Van Draanen. I like Sammy's willingness to take the artists seriously. And a fight with a nemesis is always pleasant.

Change of Heart
, Norah McClintock.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

2018 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2017! 11/104-ish. Still reading Song of the Current.
  2. Reading My Library: Finished How to Learn and picked up Grunt. Started Ancestral Machines.
  3. Where Am I Reading 2018?: 32/51.  I'll Be Your Blue Sky stayed in Delaware! Prince Joe wandered around so much I couldn't count it anywhere.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Wimpy People

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I'm making a real effort to follow my doctors' instructions, especially after seeing so many of them in the past few weeks (including a call-back mammography -- yuck!). So I've been eating apples and bananas and not drinking soda and thinking about exercising. Hmm, that last one is not exactly what the doctors told me to do. Maybe I'll start using sunscreen more often.

Hopefully all this makes me pass my blood work, which I have to do at the start of next month. I expect it will involve needles and pain. Also my helpful main doctor noticed I was short a chicken pox vaccine, so that's another needle in my future. Staying healthy sure involves a lot of discomfort.

There was a significant culinary milestone. My meal plan called for this potato thing, and my younger son noticed I was doing it all wrong and took over. The result was a tasty potato side dish, which made up for the dull mini-meatloaf (I had substituted turkey for beef and it's not as flavorful). The older boy took over the kale and made it tasty.

On my other cooking night I bailed and took us out to my favorite Mexican restaurant, which everyone prefers to my cooking. I hadn't really admitted how scared I was about my mammography call-back, so I pretended it was to celebrate the college kid's good grades. Really it was because I hate cooking while terrified.

Somehow my currently reading is still at 32, so I guess I should finish some of them. Especially the rereads. Finishing some things is made harder by the library wanting their books back.

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 Text or UnLeashing Readers. My Cybils reading keeps me eligible for that (at least for a few pages) so I'll sign in there as well...

This Week I started:

Black Butler, Vol. 13A Game of Chance (Mackenzie Family, #4)The Pig Goes to Hog HeavenI'll Be Your Blue Sky

Black Butler 13, Yana Toboso. Working my way along.

A Game of Chance, Linda Howard. Finishing my tour of this late 1990's romance series.

The Pig Goes To Hog Heaven, Joseph Caldwell. For my book team. It has a pig on the cover.

I'll Be Your Blue Sky, Maria de los Santos. Recommended by a friend.


I finished:

It Takes Two to Tumble (Seducing the Sedgwicks, #1)Rump: The True Story of RumpelstiltskinCrouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon (Meg Langslow, #4)
Black Butler, Vol. 13The Pig Goes to Hog HeavenA Game of Chance (Mackenzie Family, #4)

It Takes Two to Tumble, Cat Sebastian. I'm not persuaded their solution will work, but these guys tried hard to pull out a HEA despite everything going against them (the law, quitting their careers, various disabilities).

Rump, Liesl Shurtliff. The kids had a lot of fun with this, comparing the original fairy tale to the retelling, looking at how Rump handled the difficulties he found as well as the ones forced upon him. And then I challenged them to guess my son's middle name (I had brought him along as a show and tell), which of course they were unsuccessful at.

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon, Donna Andrews. Goofy and fun. I didn't really care about whodunnit, but I enjoyed seeing Meg navigate life with her family and their shenanigans.

Black Butler 13, Yana Toboso. OK, he dropped the stuff about Elizabeth's true nature, but then went into a long battle sequence with the Grim Reapers. This was very hard for me because I can't tell them apart -- they both wear glasses! Also they are shaped like humans and so were the other people in the battle. I was baffled. Graphic novels are hard. I'm still not sure who won, but I hope to figure it out in the next book.

The Pig Goes To Hog Heaven, Joseph Caldwell. This turned out to be the third in a series, and I don't think the author expected anyone to start here. I kept feeling flat-footed, not because I couldn't figure out what was going on but because I felt I was supposed to care more about the characters, their marriages, their ambitions, but I was too new to them to feel that way.

A Game of Chance, Linda Howard. This tipped a bit over from fun 90's silliness to absurdity. His seduction technique involved kidnapping, death threats, and serving as unwitting bait to an evil terrorist. I didn't buy her willingness to overlook these little picadillios.

Bookmarks moved in:

Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe, #19)Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1)Wolf Who Rules (Elfhome, #2)Cold Welcome (Vatta's Peace, #1)
How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It HappensSong of the Current (Song of the Current #1)New York 2140Marry in Scandal (Marriage of Convenience, #2)
The PowerA Short History of the Girl Next Door

Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Episode 51. Attack on the landing party!

Too Like the Lightning, 
Ada Palmer. I find it easy to accept the boy with magic but am struggling with the logistics of convict-slaves.

Wolf Who Rules, Wen Spencer. I remember feeling upset on how changed Tinker was the first time I read this, so I like rereads when I know there's a reason for it.

Cold Welcome, Elizabeth Moon. Moon does a good job keeping various groups moving with imperfect knowledge of each other's motives and actions.

How We Learn, Benedict Carey. Next in my Reading My Library quest, audio edition. I like the concept of interleaving while learning, because I'm scatterbrained and do that anyway.

Song of the Current, Sarah Tolcser. Wrapped up dad very nicely so the whippersnappers must strike out on their own. Also picked up a possible prophecy.

New York 2140, Kim Stanley Robinson. For my Tuesday bookclub. Penultimate section! The plot does not seem to have started yet.

Marry in Scandal, Anne Gracie. The very long introduction of both characters has not endeared them to me. Maybe I should read some of the end.

The Power, Naomi Alderman. I got this back from the library but didn't make much traction and now the library wants it back again.

The Short History of the Girl Next Door, Jared Reck. The library also wants this back, and I'm not making many pages on 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 Happen
Sammy 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. Everyone is fussed about the child murder twenty years ago, not the current murders.

The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox.

Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Wendelin Van Draanen. Fun at the Renaissance Festival.

Change of Heart
, Norah McClintock.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

2018 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2017! 11/104-ish. Another bad week. I hope I make it through Song of the Current.
  2. Reading My Library: Enjoying How to Learn. Have but didn't really start Ancestral Machines.
  3. Where Am I Reading 2018?: 32/51. I have hopes I'll Be Your Blue Sky might take place in Delaware.