Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What I Read Lately

Well, despite my complete silence this summer, I did maintain my book-a-day pace. It was mostly library books, which is a shame. Next year I hope to concentrate on my personal groaning bookcase of not-yet-read material. Also I hope not to let vacations and a demanding reading schedule cancel my blogging, because soon I will have no idea what I read this summer.

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. I'm hoping this inspires me to actually talk about what I've read, instead of just listing it.

This week I read:
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman.
  • My Name Is Mina, David Almond
  • Friends With Boys, Faith Erin Hicks
  • The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, Martin Gardner
  • The Drowned Cities, Paolo Bacigalupi.
  • Assassins in Love, Kris DeLake
  • Enclave, Ann Aguirre
  • The Bestseller Job (A Leverage Novel), Greg Cox
Earlier in September I read
  • One More Theory About Happiness, Paul Guest
  • Liar and Spy, Rebecca Stead
  • Blood Trade, Faith Hunter
  • Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses, Ron Koertge
  • Sometimes a Rogue, Mary Jo Putney
  • How To Fake a Moon Landing, Darryl Cunningham
Back in August I read:
  • Darkroom, Lila Quintero Weaver
  • Boy Princess Vol. 1, Seyoung Kim
  • P.S. Be Eleven, Rita Williams Garcia
  • Intruder (Foreigner 13), C.J. Cherryh
  • The Curiousities, Maggie Stiefvater....
  • The Four Corners of the Sky, Michael Malone
  • Smokescreen, Nancy Hartry
  • Libriomancer, Jim C. Hines
  • The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman
  • Constellation (Liaden Universe Vol 1), Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
  • The Shape of Desire, Sharon Shinn
  • Rapture, J.R. Ward
  • Crucible of Gold, Naomi Novi
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green & David Leviathon
  • Night of the Howling Dogs, Graham Salisbury
  • National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry, J. Patrick Lewis
  • The White Giraffe, Lauren St. John
  • Shine, Lauren Myracle
  • Children of Scarabaeus, Sara Creasy
I also reread a handful of books, but I lost the records, which is why it looks like I'm short on my book-a-day goal. I know I reread all the Harper Collins books, for example, as well as all the Aurora Teagarden series.

And in July I read:
  • Poppy Done to Death, Charlaine Harris
  • Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked, Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  • Husbands, Jane Espenson
  • The Last Dragon, Jane Yolen
  • Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol 2, Patricia Briggs
  • Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol 1, Patricia Briggs
  • Endgame, Ann Aguirre
  • Limits of Power, Elizabeth Moon
  • Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman
  • Banner of the Damned, Sherwood Smith
  • Biggles of the Special Air Police, W.E. Johns
  • The Mountain Valley War, Louis L'Amour
  • The Black Hawk, Joanna Bourne
  • Limbo Lodge, Joan Aiken
  • Ted of the Mounties, Eileen Heming
  • The False Prince, Jennifer A. Nielsen
  • I, Robot, Isaac Asimove
  • Zoobreak, Gordon Korman
  • The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate
  • Lord of the Fading Lands, C.L. Wilson
  • The Wake of the Lorelei Lee, L.A. Meyer
  • Poison Princess, Kresley Cole
  • Dragon Tide, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
  • Zoobiquity, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz
What am I currently reading?  I have my basic bag of library book, my own book, book club book, and NOOK. And I'm trying to cherry pick the easy read books so I can get my library count down to a reasonable number (I'm getting close!) And I have the six books that I'm reading deliberately slowly, so they turn up every week.
  • Chime, Franny Billingsley. Audio YA. I'm not really enjoying this much; I find the main character to be insane, which makes her a dull narrator. Also, she enjoys wallowing in guilt, which I tend to avoid. 
  • Born of Night, Sherrilyn Kenyon. Last month's Vaginal Fantasy alt pick. I'm finding it rather redonkulous but amusing.
  • The Runaway King, Jennifer A. Nielsen. Kidlit. The September Family Book Club book. Postponed until the end of the month so that we can join up with another family, so I'm reading some other books first.
  • Here Lies Bridget, Paige Harbison. YA. NOOK. From the Best of the Best teen list. It starts with the main character getting detention, which does not excite me to go on reading.
  • Conspiracy, Lindsay Burokers. NOOK. Another assassin story.
  • Sidekicked, John David Anderson. Kidlit. Dark tale about children trained as sidekicks. 
  • Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon. Hey, my cousin helped edit this book.
  • Keep Me Forever, Rosemary Laurey. We have thrown a jewel thief into the plot.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Prairie Years, Carl Sandburg. Time to pick a Republican presidential candidate.
  • A General Theory of Love, Thomas Lewis. Just starting this.
  • Senrid, Sherwood Smith. YA. Movers and shakers consider Senrid.
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. A good time in the country.
  • A Parent's Guide to Developmental Delays, Laurie Lecomer. How to get your kid evaluated.
What will I read next? I don't know -- I can't decide anything lately.

2013 Challenges:
  1. Cybils: 49/74.  Working through poetry. I have a deep stack at home now.
  2. Where Am I Reading?: 36/51. I'm four books behind quota. I need Alaska, Delaware, Indiana and Nebraska, to name a few.
  3. Crazy Quilt Colors: 6/9. Need patterns, green, and brown. Does Bronze count as brown?
  4. Reading My LibraryLiar and Spy was good.
  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.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Night Book Club

My book club met tonight, although only about half of us made it. That's why our club is about the perfect size -- not too big when we all show up, but big enough even with low attendance. We picked The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman as the book. It was a good selection in that everyone liked it, although it didn't generate a lot of controversy. Some of us had gone ahead to read other books in the series, which is a sign of popularity -- one purpose of our book club is to find good books, so that's a sign that something worked.

Turns out that one member had recommended this for us several years ago, but for some reason it didn't get picked. Maybe that's why I recognized the title on my New Zealand's friend bookcase, which led to my reading it and suggesting it again when we needed a fast book for our September meeting. The stress of having such a late pick led us to spend the rest of the evening plotting the rest of our year (and trading cooking hints, at which I contributed several imaginative ways to mess up.

In case anyone wants to follow along with us for the rest of the year, here are the picks:

Image of itemOctober (romance) 
The Grand Sophy
Image of itemby Georgette Heyer.  Yes, we have read this before, but we picked it again because it is awesome and the library has many copies. Feel free to enhance your month with additional Heyers if you feel the need.

November (sci fi. Sorta.) 
by Michael Crichton
Image of itemWe wanted to read a Crichton, but this one looked rather long, so we pushed it back a month to give us a running start. Some of us had read this in the distant past and remembered a variety of interesting characters, which sounded good.
December (ya)  
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
by John Green & David Levithan
This is a nice short children's book for our December, written by two fairly famous YA authors. I've already read this -- I brought the audio tape for my summer car trip and then couldn't listen to it with the kids around because of all the swearing. But it's a cute read. 
January (movie) 
Much Ado About Nothing
Joss Whedon (Director)

Possible for later: 
  • Fantasy, YA - Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
  • Mystery - Shop Till You Drop (A Dead-End Job Mystery #1) by Elaine Viets
  • Bring a Friend Non-Fiction - Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon
  • Non-Fiction - Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman
  • YA based in Seattle- Runner by Carl Deuker