Monday, March 19, 2012

Back From Vacation

I'm back from a wonderfully relaxing vacation weekend up at Lake Chelan.  We had a great vacation condo, beautiful weather, mostly delightful kids, and constant good luck in terms of timing and travel.  I even got my computer back (minutes before we headed out), but not in time to schedule posts on my blog. The only complaint we had was the poor internet access, but maybe that was a blessing in disguise.

I did take some time to finish off a few books, although not nearly as many as I carted along. But part of the joy of vacation for me is having lots of options.  I also packed a suitcase full of board games and the kids delighted me by trying out almost all of them. So I'll sign up for the weekly reading meme at Sheila's Book Journey.  Also, at Teach Mentor Texts they do another roundup that concentrates on children's books, which make up the bulk of my favorite reading.

This week was almost entirely kidlit, mostly from the seventh grade and lower section. I'm terrible at telling where books fall between third and seventh grade, partly because my most prolific reading kid reads all over the place:
  • The Inquisitor's Apprentice, Chris Moriarty. NOOK. Cybils middle grade fantasy, with a little too much stagnant guilt for me.
  • The End of Racism, Dinesh D'Souza. I liked his questions about racism, but found his answers biased and irresponsible.
  • The Magnificent 12: The Trap, Michael Grant. Still funny, and we hope he writes more.
  • Nerd Camp, Elissa Weissman. Cybils finalist, and also our March Family Book Club Pick.  Review will come after our meeting.
  • A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness. Cybils finalist, and very gripping. Not quite what my 7th grader expected from the title, but he finished it and then warned me that it was depressing.
  • Spellbound (Book of Elsewhere #2), Jacqueline West. I got annoyed with Olive's spinelessness this round, but if there's a third book I'll try that too.
  • The Brooklyn Nine, Alan Gratz. I guess fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers are used to misery and unhappy endings, which would make these short stories perfect for them.
  • The Many Faces of George Washington, Carla McClafferty. Entwined history of the new manikins of George Washington with the history they were designed to teach.
I also finished a few picture books, all Cybils finalists:
  • Thunderbirds, Jim Arnosky. Nifty pictures, although the switch between facts and personal details in the text tripped us up a few times.
  • Self Portrait With Seven Fingers, Patrick Lewis & Jane Yolen. More poems, although when reading it with my fifth grader he ignored the text and concentrated on the paintings.
  • The Emma Dilemma, Kristine George.  Actually a book of poems, but we enjoyed it as a picture book about two sisters.
I'm showing eleven books on my currently reading list, which really isn't that bad. I do think I need to read more nonfiction, though.
  • Pursuit of the Screamer, Ansen Dibell. Old fashioned DAW science fiction, slow reading but good.
  • Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead. Too teen for me; I have to read it in short bursts.
  • Libyrinth, Pearl North. January's online book pick, which I forget, then my kid stole, and now I finally can read it.
  • The Knightley Academy, Violet Haberdasher.  A reading-my-library choice that I will definitely pass along to X. Boarding school for knights -- perfect.
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly. A book that I own that is also on my TBR list, and it's even a lot of fun. Home run!
  • Tuesdays At the Castle, Jessica Day George. NOOK.  Cybils middle grade choice, very pleasing so far.
  • Smart But Scattered, Peg Dawson & Richard Guare.  The finish-a-book slot reward slot. I may reread this out loud with my scattered son.
  • The Same Stuff as Stars, Katherine Paterson. Her little brother has disappeared. Life is rough.
  • The First Men In the Moon, H.G. Wells.  News from the scientist left on the moon.
  • Honored Enemy, Raymond Feist & William R Forstchen. United against a worse enemy.
  • The Catholic Church in the Modern World, E.E.Y. Hales.  By modern we mean "before Vatican II."
What will I read next? The Birchbark House is up on my TBR list, Blood Red Road and several other YA Cybils finalists on my shelf, and maybe I'll try for the books I brought but didn't read on vacation.  As soon as I unpack, that is.

  1. Cybils: 48/80.  Very few short books left, in fact.
  2. Global Reading Challenge: 8/21.  I had to invalidate my last European book for being poetry instead of a novel.
  3. What's In a Name?: 5/6. Unchanged.
  4. Where Am I Reading?:  12/50. I only count reviewed books, so no change here.
  5. TBR Double Dare.  14. 
  6. Science Book Challenge: 1.141/3.14159.
  7. Reading My Library: Finished two more. Time to go back for more on Thursday.
  8. Eclectic Challenge: 2/10.  I'm hoping to not count kidlit, so nothing this week.

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