Monday, January 14, 2013

Heading Out of the Holidays

Luckily I didn't make any New Years Resolutions about my blog, because I would have broken them already. This status post is already several weeks late, but I am actually still reading.

The big news this year is that I have a new book bag. Two, actually, one small for elegant evening carrying, and one larger to accommodate the stuff I'm actually reading concurrently. One was a present from my kids' stepmom, and one was a gift from someone in my book club (well, she asked if anyone wanted it, and I threw myself ahead of all the rest). It has Thomas Jefferson's quote "I cannot live without books" which is very true. The small one is a beautiful print of paintings from Madrid.

I finished most of my challenges from last year and I'm setting up for this year's reading. I want to read all the Cybils again, I'm really enjoying my 50 States, although I'll combine that with my countries tracking. And I'll probably do another What's In a Name.

And I'm doing C.B.'s TBR Double Dog Dare, which means I'm restricting new books. This year I'm letting myself buy them but putting all new books is a designated box, because it's not fair to the schools that have scheduled their reading fare's during the Dare. But I'm not reading them! Nothing new! Except that stuff that fits in my zillions of exceptions, of course.

One last event -- I'm doing the Comment Challenge and so far I'm on track with at least five comments a day. (I stop counting then, so I don't roll over. This will make me ineligible for many prizes, but will keep me sane.)

I'll go sign in at Book Journey's round-up of what people have read, are reading, and will read. And since almost all of my reading this week was middle grade, I'll also check in with Teach Mentor Texts, which specializes in books for the non-voting crowd.

This week I read:
  • Toads and Diamonds, Heather Tomlinson (from my online TBR list). YA.
  • Holes, Louis Sachar. A re-read, from my stacks. Kidlit.
  • The Curse of the Wendigo, Rick Yancey. My whole family found this audio book far too gruesome for enjoyment, but I finished it. YA.
  • Using the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics With Gifted and Advanced Learners,  Susan Johnsen. It's nice to see I was doing it right when I was homeschooling.
  • Smart but Scattered, Peg Dawson. I need to reread the parts about how to help your kids when your own executive skills are weak.
  • Ecstasia, Francesca Lia Block. From my stacks, but not to my taste. YA
  • The Prairie Thief, Melissa Wiley. Fun. Kidlit.
  • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie,  Jennifer Ashley. Historical romance with a hero who reads as functioning autistic. NOOK.
Earlier this year I read: 
  • Ways To Live Forever,  Sally Nicholls
  • Princess Academy: Palace of Stone, Shannon Hale
  • Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, Ben Hatke
  • Grave Memory, Kalayna Price
  • The Catholic Church in the Modern World, E.E.Y. Hales
  • The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Incincible, Jack Campbell
  • Sunshine, Robin McKinley
  • Stink the Incredible Shrinking Kid, Megan McDonald
The following books were all read before the New Year:
What am I currently reading? Technically I have 23 books open, but really I'm only trying to read about five. I guess that doesn't make me sound much saner, does it?
  • The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, Trenton Steward. For my family book club.
  • Tears of the Sun, S.M. Stirling. The next one is already out, so I'm behind on these Changes books.
  • Succubus Blues, Richelle Meade. NOOK. Old Vaginal Fantasies book club pick.
  • Killbox, Anne Aguirre. NOOK. The library doesn't own this one, although they have the earlier and later books in the series. So now I own it.
  • Fleas, Flies, and Friars, Nicholas Orme. I've lost this one! It's almost time to confess to the library and pay my fine.
  • The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater. (audio). Still popular, but slow going now that we aren't driving that much.
  • A Parent's Guide to Developmental Delays,  Laurie Lecomer. My sister gave this to me five years ago when I had some concerns. Now I'm starting it. I have some delays of my own.
  • The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, Martin Gardner. Dipper from my nonfiction shelf.
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. Dipper. Now I get all the jokes from Little Women.
  • Senrid, Sherwood Smith. Dipper. From my kidlit shelf.
  • The Borrowers Afield, Mary Norton. Dipper. Winter is coming.
  • War With the Newts, Karel Capek. Dipper. The slow build of menace is a bit slow.
  • The Enemy, Charles Hudson. NOOK. This was almost our December family book club pick, but no longer. I guess I'll finish it anyway, after I get it back from the library. It expired on me.
  • The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt. (NOOK) Another expiration failure.
  • Kushiel's Dart, Jacqueline Carey. Paused.
The list of the books I started but didn't finish is now a leetle bit shorter. The TBR Dare is a good time to attack these:
  • The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode, Eleanor Estes. Was getting dull.
  • Bob, Son of Battle, Alfred Ollivant. I'm not liking the dialect, and I think the guy I hate is supposed to be the hero. Oops.
  • Tricksters, Margaret Mahy. I have no excuse for not finishing this yet.
  • Tessie, Jesse Jackson. The author makes me giggle.
  • Puddleby Adventures, Hugh Lofting. I had too many Dolittle books back-to-back.
  • The Avion My Uncle Flew, Cyrus Fisher. I lost this while reading it, but now I know where it is.
  • The Eye of the Warlock, P.W. Catanese. Mixed-up fairy tale.
  • Redskin and Cowboy, G. A. Henty. Waiting for the boy to run away from home.
2013 Challenges:
  1. TBR Double Dare: Six books down so far. (I don't count library books.)
  2. Cybils: 4/74. I spend so much time reading last years books that I've read very few of this years.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: I have to re-sign up.
  4. Science Book Challenge: Need to re-sign up.
  5. Reading My Library:  Finished two more, by Nelson and Nicholls. Got the next six, some of which fit into the other challenges.
  6. Best of the Best 2012: 36/25. Wendigo is almost done, and several Cybils books pushed this along.
  7. Summer Reading Goal: I finished Ecstacy, and the next one is waiting its turn.


Ms. Yingling said...

Oh, I LOVE The Borrowers. I think I need to make that my recommendation for the day today! (and the Rick Yancey books were SUPER creepy!)

Mrs. Silverstein said...

I don't know how you keep up with all those challenges! Very impressive. I'm struggling just to get my Cybils books in next to the books I need to read for a class I'm teaching! And the books that aren't for either just look more and more tempting every day...

Anonymous said...

I love reading all the different challenges people are undertaking! As for the goals we set up for ourselves, we can only really do our best, right? Blogging and reading should be fun. But it's good to be able to meet goals. Have a great rest of your week!

Sarah Albee said...

Gracious. That is an impressive list! Thanks for some great recommendations.

Audrey (Bibliosaurus Text) said...

Wow, I can never keep track of challenges, so good for you! And too bad you weren't more into The Curse of the Wendigo. I'm a big horror fan, and I think that series is one of the better ones currently out. Still, not for everybody.

Beth said...

I could hear that it was well written, but the grossness overwhelmed things for me. Obviously a horror fan would have a much higher tolerance!

The challenges work out better when the overlap. I can count some of the NF Cybils for the science book one, and if I'm lucky they also give me a lot of different locations for the geographic ones.