Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wild Weekend: Foursome

No time for computers this weekend -- it started off with Foolscap, a book-centered SF fan convention that I dragged my kids along to.  The neat thing (well, one of them) about my wonderful children is that they are not only eager to go to this convention with me, they are even willing to go to the panels.  I enjoy Foolscap for the people; it's a bunch of smart and interesting people who tend to read the same kind of books as me, so discussions of books leave me with with long lists of things I want to read, and discussions of anything tend to be animated and wide-ranging.   Everyone tends to punctuate conversations with mentions of books that deal with whatever sort of thing we are referencing, so more book lists!

The kids tolerate or enjoy the discussions, although they loved the Game Show (about books) and other interactive events (chocolate fountain!).  P wore the Funny Hat he won at last year's masquade; if anyone saw the Kid With the Beanie, he's mine.  X got to be a contestant at the Game Show this year, which would have been the highlight of his weekend if things for him hadn't just kept getting better.  Saturday X's cold kept him home so it was just P and me; highlights included discovering that P likes Thai food, stretching our artistic chops to the limits in Iron Crafting, and learning more about how to look at computer art in the docent guide through the art show.  Oh, and picking up more books from both the book sale and the book swap, and letting my kid laugh at me at the Real-Life Achievements panel. It was very hard to be a Good Parent and head out at 10 PM with my ten-year-old, just when the YA book discussion started sparking out good stuff.

Sunday Foolscap had to go on without us because we had major family milestones to celebrate.  My baby brother is turning 40 just as my oldest turns 13, so clearly the day before Talk Like a Pirate Day called for a Boffer Party.  Just to make it super special, we secretly flew in Gramma and two cousins and surprised the birthday guys with the special guests.  A great time ensued.  Let me know if you want an invitation to our next one.

On Monday and Tuesday I hung out with my mom most of the day, while finishing up the library books that absolutely positively had to go back that day.  The five books that I read at some point on this weekend without blogging:
  • I Now Pronounce You Someone ElseErin McCahon.  Story of a high school senior who almost gets married before college.  I found it a bit didactic -- the flags highlighting "this girl isn't really all that mature" and "now she realizes what she will miss" waved a little too brightly, and her come-to-her-senses moment was over-dramatic and selfish.  But the characterization was solid, and I really enjoyed the dynamics of her immediate family, even if her too-good-to-be-true godfather was conveniently oblivious whenever the plot demanded it.  This Cybils YA Fiction finalist was good enough to be uncomfortable to read -- I can't imagine my kids being ready for marriage in that short a time.
  • Eye of the Wolf, Daniel Pennac.  This French children's book plays with a magical realism feel that somehow left me cold.  Maybe I just don't get French sensibilites, but I disliked the attempt at a wolfish point of view and found the child more annoying than precious.  Humph.  
  • Buffy, Ballads, and Bad Guys Who Sing: Music in the Worlds of Joss Whedon, ed. by Kendra Preston Leonard.  I'm enjoying the return to reading literary analysis, especially since I'm doing it through the nontraditonal method of reading deep Buffy analysis.  I now remember what diegetic music is.
  • Wench: A Novel (P.S.), by Dolen Perkins-Valdez (NOOK).  I liked the complexity of the main character, a woman who loves and hates the man who owns her and who fathered her children.  This is a heart breaking story of the twisted nature of slavery.
  • Ninth WardJewell Parker Rhodes.  It was hard to judge this book fairly, since it wasn't the book I wanted.  The ghost part of the story weakened the more interesting depiction of a young girl facing difficult times bravely, both the dangerous world of New Orleans as the floods of Hurricane Katrina start rising, and the emotion troubles of growing up too quickly when her caretaker falters.   I wish I could have offered my sons this Cybils Science Fiction and Fantasy (Middle Grade) finalist so I could get their take on Lanesha's journey, but the library called it home.

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