Monday, July 8, 2013

But I Repeat Myself

These status reports aren't as important this summer, as I'm also keeping a list for the book-a-day summer attempt. But I'm also doing challenges and stuff, so since all my blogging is really talking to myself, I guess I don't care if I repeat myself a few times.

I'll go sign in at Book Journey's round-up of what people have read, are reading, and will read. I'm also heading for  Teach Mentor Texts. This is a catch-up post -- last week I forgot to post (AGAIN), so I'm incorporating those books into this week.

This week I read:
  • Hide and Seek, Kate Messner. Kidlit. Turns out this is the second in a series, but other than a thinness to characterization this didn't slow things down. And, to my delight, the book decamped for Costa Rica after a few pages.
  • A Bone to Pick, Charlaine Harris. I am zipping through all the Aurora Teagarden books. I think this might be my favorite Harris series.
  • Nick and Tessla's High-Voltage Danger Lab, Bob Pflugfelder. Kidlit. This was a present from LibraryThing Early Reviewer, and it's a fun kids adventure with the bonus of tips to creating some nifty inventions that I can see my kids actually doing.
  • Real Murders, Charlaine Harris. Aurora Teagarden's first book.
  • Shakespeare's Landlord, Charlaine Harris. Lily Bard's first book. Darker than the Teagarden books, since Lily's backstory is so much grimmer than Aurora's.
  • Flanagan's Smart Home,  Barbara Flanagan. Self-Help? Advice on simplifying and enriching your home.
  • Succubus On Top, Richelle Mead. I think I prefer my fluffy urban fantasies to have heroes as protagonists, so I'll probably stop reading these. Georgina does too much bad stuff.
  • The Dreamer, Pam Munoz Ryan. Kidlit. Magic realism biography of a great poet; I grabbed this for my Reading My Library quest and it was delicious.
  • Planesrunner, Ian McDonald. YA. A Cybils SF finalist that I avoided because I hated the cover, but was pleasantly surprised to find I liked the book. I've passed it along to my high schooler.
Last week I read:
  • The Ascension, Michael Carroll. YA. Book two, which takes places about five minutes after book one, which meant that all the stuff I had forgotten mattered. The pacing didn't work for me, but I enjoyed it enough to order up the third book from the library.
  • Four Corners: A Journey Into the Heart of Papua New Guinea, Kira Salek. A memoir of a young girl's solo adventuring into wild and foreign places that aroused all my parental instincts -- she didn't seem at all prepared for what she found. I didn't trust her judgement of places or people, which meant that I got bored by her conclusions based on those judgements.
  • The Fire Lord's Lover, Kathrynne Kennedy. A Vaginal Fantasy pick from May; the language grated on my but I ended up liking the characters more than the first hundred pages predicted I would.
  • The Mirage, Matt Ruff. I've finally read on of Ruff's books, which confirmed that I'd probably like them all. 
  • The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Guardian, Jack Campbell. Some interesting twists at the end (well, I think it's the end) of Black Jack's return. 
  • The Worst-Case Scenario: Deadly Seas, David Borgenicht. Kidlit. Other than the dreadful final reveal, it was a fun read (I survived!). Has the usual problems with ridiculous choices, of course.
  • Last Scene Alive, Charlaine Harris. 2nd to last Aurora Teagarden book. I can't find the next one!
What am I currently reading?  I have my basic bag of library book, my own book, book club book, and NOOK. And then I have the other books that I'm pushing through so I always have something I can finish, or right now, the books I have to turn in before I head out on vacation. And I have the six books that I'm reading deliberately slowly, so they turn up every week.
  • The Wake of the Lorelei Lee, L.A. Meyer (audio). We're making good progress, what with pirate attacks and violence and stuff moving the action along. 
  • Poison Princess, Kresley Cole. YA For the Vaginal Fantasy book club, although I'm behind -- this is the alt pick for May, so I still haven't watched the end of that episode. My son read this first and recommended this to me, although I'm having consent issues with the first half.
  • Lord of the Fading Lands, C. L. Wilson. (NOOK). Again for the Vaginal Fantasy book club; I'm only a little behind, as this is the alt pick for the June episode.
  • Shine, Lauren Myracle. YA From the Best of the Best teen list. I also have the audio for Chime, the book that confused the presenters of some award so that they accidentally called the author of Shine when Chime won. Or maybe it was the other way around.
  • The Frog Who Croaked, Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Kidlit. I WON this by reading a lot back in the 48 Hour Reading Challenge. I'm so EXCITED.
  • Zoobiquity, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz & Kathryn Bowers. Interesting popular science book about the relationship between animal and human health and what vets and doctors could learn from each other. This must be finished by Thursday.
  • National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry, ed. J. Patrick Lewis. Stunning photographs accompany the often cute poems. I keep it on my bedside table and read a few each night, since poetry satiates me quickly. It's from the Cybils finalists.
  • Keep Me Forever, Rosemary Laurey. The main couple have met, although she doesn't know he's a werewolf and I'm not sure he understands about her being a vampire.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Prairie Years, Carl Sandburg. He's back to work after being in Congress.
  • The Why's of a Philosophical Scrivener, Martin Gardner. Confronting the reality of evil.
  • Senrid, Sherwood Smith. YA Senrid is making his move to get his kingdom back.
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. Mr Pickwick is arrested (again?).
  • A Parent's Guide to Developmental Delays, Laurie Lecomer. The bits on vestibular and proprioceptive delays are very familiar to me.
What will I read next? Well, the library wants Banner of the Damned back, so that's a priority. I got Sidekicked as a present, so that's high on my list (unless a kid steals it first). The Four Corners of the Sky is the next book on my official TBR list. My book club will pick something next Friday (without me!) or I have The Lost Prince waiting on my NOOK.

2013 Challenges:
  1. Cybils: 41/74.  Working through poetry. I'll have to pick up the pace on chapter books.
  2. Where Am I Reading?: 29/51. No change. I can't believe how many North Carolina books I've read -- can't someone move south one state?
  3. Crazy Quilt Colors: 5/9. Need patterns, yellow, green, and brown. I absentmindedly picked up a blue book at the library, but I already have one of those.
  4. Reading My Library: The Dreamer was a very pleasant read.
  5. Best of the Best 2012: 57/25. I forgot that I can count the ones I read too early now that the timed portion of the challenge is done.
  6. Summer Reading Goal: So far so good. I'm building up a bit of a reserve for my vacation.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Stocking Up at the Library

Renton LibraryWe are preparing for a long journey, which for me means a trip to the library. Audio books are a great solace to me when trapped in small moving containers, especially when I am operating those containers. It was fun to bring along A and some friends, especially when one friend managed to unlock her library book after some mishaps involving lost and late books.

I picked up five six holds (an extra one showed up between when I picked up my holds and when I checked them out, so I scooted across and grabbed it too), one impulse pick, and several spare audio books:
Image of itemImage of itemImage of itemImage of itemImage of itemImage of itemMidnight Blue-Light Special (Incryptid Series #2)
  • Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs, J. Patrick Lewis & Jane Yolen. Cybils poetry book.
  • Chime, Franny Billingsley. I think this is a Best of the Best selection. Audio book.
  • One More Theory About Happiness, Paul Guest. The next book on my official TBR list.
  • Stronger, Michael Carroll. 3rd book in Superhuman series, officially for X but I'll probably read it too. The books seem to be closely linked so it's better to read them close together.
  • Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White, Lila Weaver. A Cybils YA graphic novel.
  • Boy Princess 1, Kim Seyoung. A manga I heard mentioned somewhere.
  • Midnight Blue-Light Special, Seanan McGuire. I grabbed this from the hot-pick section, because I think I need a Blue book for a challenge. Also, I keep hoping to like McGuire's books but I can't get into her other series. I'll see if book 2 of this one grabs me.
Image of itemI crept back up to 43 things out on my library cards, but more of those are CDs which aren't a huge time commitment, since I just play them while doing chores. It includes one audio CD which has gone missing, so I'm hoping that floats to the top real soon. This means I get to buy a book, which I did from
Real Murders, by Charlaine Harris

I'll go share my Library Loot at the event co-hosted by Claire from the Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader, where all the library addicts compare their treasures. And I think I'll sign up at Tynga's Stacking the Shelves, which asks for all the books acquired, which this week is just the library stuff plus one.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fireworks and Summer

Susie and Sophie want
good views of the fireworks
Another wonderful week of summer, with the boys enjoying their rowing camp, and tolerating the astronomy & story writing seminar that I signed them up for. Fourth of July was fun -- it's the first time in ages that I've been home for it (I miss you, Ellen!) so I don't really have any traditions. Since it fell on a Thursday, it was my turn to cook, so I dragged X out shopping with me and made some fun salads (sardine pasta & roasted potato). Then I served hot dogs and corn on the cob so as to satisfy patriotic requirements, with French croissants and ice cream for dessert. We ate outside as a picnic, which was much cooler than usual, since I was in Washington instead of Texas.

The city here bans all fireworks, so at 10pm I volunteered to take A & N to see the show over the lake, and I forced P to accompany us. We spread our blanket and chairs on the beach and enjoyed a nice display, close enough to see well but far enough away that no painfully loud music assaulted us. I offered to sing patriotic songs to the kids, but they all demurred. 

I'm still hitting my book a day, although counting the picture books seems like cheating. And so far they are almost all library books, because that's what I'm drowning in.

June 21: Lord Peter Views the Body, Dorothy Sayers (audio), library
June 22: Mrs. Harkness and the Panda, Alicia Potter, (PB), library
June 23:  Smells Like Dog, Suzanne Selfors, (kidlit), library
June 24: Eggs 1 2 3 Who Will the Babies Be, Janet Halfman,
June 25: Looking at Lincoln, Maira Kalman,
June 26: Blue Jasmine, Kashmira Sheth
June 27:The Worst Case Scenario: Deadly Seas, David Borgenicht & Alexander Lurie
June 28: The Guardian (The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier), Jack Campbell

June 29: Last Scene Alive, Charlaine Harris, (mystery), reread
June 30: Dead Over Heels, Charlaine Harris, (mystery), reread
July 1: Mirage, Matt Ruff(SF), library
July 2: Fire Lord's Lover,  Kathryn Kennedy (SF, Romance), library
July 3: The Giant Ball of String, Arthur Geisert (PB), library
July 4: Four Corners, Kira Salek, (memoir), library