Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Weekend Shenanigans

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I got distracted by a Goodreads reading team and read a few quick picks to gain some points for them. And I continued starting all the Cybils so I feel like I'm making progress.

I went over to Vashon Island to visit my brother and his wife, and scored some excellent gingerbread. Yum! I must remember to go there more often.

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 but it's too late to sign up, although I'll check some of the posts. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed at either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers.

This Week I started:
Between the World and MeDiscount Armageddon (InCryptid, #1)Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically MindedPotions and Pastries (A Magical Bakery Mystery, #7)
Game ChangeMrs. Pollifax on Safari (Mrs. Pollifax, #5)Full of BeansLondon Rain (Josephine Tey #6)The Body in the Library (Miss Marple #3)

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates. For my Across-the-Aisles book club.

Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire. I approach this with more enthusiasm because now I've met McGuire and heard her discuss cryptids and biology.

Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded, Sage Blackwood. A Cybil for this year.

Potions and Pastries, Bailey Cates. My next Reading My Library book

Game Change, Joseph Monninger. Recommended by a friend.

Mrs. Pollifax on Safari, Dorothy Gilman. Reread because I've acquired the book.

this is where it ends, Marieke Nijkamp. Cybils YA.

Full of Beans, Jennifer Holm. Cybils middle grade.

London Rain, Nicola Upson. Audio Reading My Library book.

The Body in the Library, Agatha Christie. Reread.

I finished:
Fashion Rebels: Style Icons Who Changed the World through FashionBetween the World and MeShadow Magic  (Shadow Magic, #1)The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1)
Mrs. Pollifax on Safari (Mrs. Pollifax, #5)Discount Armageddon (InCryptid, #1)BookedThe Body in the Library (Miss Marple #3)

Fashion Rebels, Carlyn Beccia. Cybils nonfiction. Individual short chapters on various influential people were often interesting, but the overall idea that fashion changes the world wasn't really sustained. If I hadn't scored as an Ellen Degeneres (comfort over looks) on the style guide I probably would have appreciated the how-to and fashion idea pages more.

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates. For my Across-the-Aisles book club. Sadly, this was probably the last meeting, but at least we went out on a powerful book. The sense of helplessness felt by Coates was viscerally portrayed. If he really expected his son to read this, that boy is highly literate.

Shadow Magic, Joshua Khan. Cybils middle grade fantasy. Fast moving, well defined characters, sharply defined setting -- this book hits all the right notes. There's a bit under the hood in terms of questioning world views and expectations, but not so much to make it seem stodgy. I thought some hints of romance were shoved in, but that's probably me being oversensitive. Fun read.

The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion. A Reading My Library audio. I enjoyed Don's voice and perspective, although I felt he wasn't always consistent about what he knew and what he claimed to understand. It was usually worth it for the sake of the story, though.

Mrs. Pollifax on Safari
, Dorothy Gilman. Reread because I've acquired the book. As a reread, I could ignore the plot (I vaguely remembered bits of it, enough to know who didn't do it) and appreciated the language more. So far these hold up to a second round.

Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire. I enjoyed this, although the protagonist was painfully young and enthusiastic about so many things. I felt very old. I will look out for others in this world.

Booked, Kwame Alexander. Cybils poetry. A boy writes poems about his eighth grade year, in which his parents split up, he tries to get a girlfriend, and he misses a soccer tournament. The poems pushed me to a remove from the boy, since they didn't seem like the kind of thing he'd write himself. My aversion to verse novels continues to stand between me and these books.

The Body in the Library, Agatha Christie. Reread. Miss Marple has seen it all, and recognizes when she sees it again. It's fun to watch her take apart all the condescending young things, and it's fun to watch Christie playing with detective novel tropes.

Bookmarks moved in:

Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe, #19)BeastThe Voyage to Magical North (The Accidental Pirates, #1)When the Sea Turned to Silver


Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Episode 37. I like this narrator more on 1.5 speed, which is a bit unusual But this is a rather slow moving story, so speeding things up keeps me listening better.

Beast, Bria Spangler. I hadn't realized Beast meant that stuff about talking to (and listening for) his dead father so literally. Even without looking at him I forget how young he really is sometimes.

Voyage to Magical North, 
Claire Fayers. Cybils middle grade.These kids need to start working together.

When the Sea Turned to Silver, Grace Lin. Cybils middle grade. It's fun reading the book when I listened to the audio last year. Grace Lin's illustrations are well worth the double dipping.

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. So far I feel like everyone in this book is kind of bad; I don't want to start to like anyone but it isn't hard to avoid.

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. I started the next one. Also read a board book, but it was the wrong one.
  2. Cybils 2016!  88/107-ish. Getting closer, slowly.
  3. Reading My Library: Finished The Rosie Project, started London Rain so I'm in the Us for audio. Started Potions and Pastries.
  4. Where Am I Reading 2018?: 12/51. No new states, but I did hit Africa and Australia, so that's good.

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.