Monday, June 23, 2014

Giant Catch-Up Post

2aMy last status report was over a month ago, and since then I've traveled to see my grandmother a final time, traveled again for her funeral, thrown another foam sword party, had our Shakespeare Reading Book Club meeting (postponed twice -- see above travel), allowed my now 13 year old niece the privilege of the passenger side front seat, had our year-end party for my elementary book club (We Have Cookies) at which I received about 25 book recommendations that I'm expected to read over the summer break, and WON A PRIZE in MotherReader's 48 Hour Reading Challenge. And then summer vacation started.

So it's been a time of ups and downs. Sometimes I read feverishly, sometimes I read glacially, and sometimes I just played on my computer while my books sulked to the side. But summer is coming in, and I hope to make some progress on my to-read book shelves, especially the kidlit books. So far I'm managing to read a book a day this summer, but posting is still a problem.

What have I read since May 5th? I shall tell bookjourney's crew about it, and, since so much of my reading is kidlit, also link to Teach Mentor Texts:
  • A Home in the Sky (Twicetold Tales), Olivia Snowe. A Reading My Library pick -- I'm finishing up the Children's Library shelves before the big library renovation.
  • The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater. The Great Gatsby crossed with The Secret Country. I got bogged down in the rich-are-different parts though.
  • The Rithmatist, Brandon Sanderson. Very fun Cybils finalist.
  • The Wise Fool, Shahrukh Husain. Another Reading My Library pick. P liked the fables.
  • True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Kathi Appelt. Quirky Cybils pick. A bit too quirky for me.
  • Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin. Alt pick for Vaginal Fantasy. Good mystery and setting.
(The above I read this week, and now we dive into the archives:)
  • Lockwood & Co The Screaming Staircase, Jonathan Stroud. Another Cybils finalist, so popular we picked it for our June family book club.
  • Mrs Pollifax and the Golden Triangle, Dorothy Gilman. Nothing deep, but a fun visit to Thailand.
  • The World Outside, Eva Wiseman.  LibraryThing EarlyReader gift. Interesting story of a Hasidic girl deciding where to spend her future.
  • Standards-Based Report Cards, Thomas R. Guskey. Finally finished the text for my committee work. They canceled the last meeting to work on training teachers into our recommendations.
  • Wood Sprites, Wen Spencer. I bought the ARC from Baen because I'm a huge fan of this writer. Worth it.
  • Phantom Eyes, Scott Tracey. 48 Hour book challenge book. 
  • The Heart of a Woman, Maya Angelou. 48 Hour book challenge book. 
  • Skin Tight, Ava Gray. 48 Hour book challenge book. 
  • The Boy Who Dared, Susan Campbell Bartoletti. 48 Hour book challenge book. 
  • Heart of Steel, Meljean Brook. 48 Hour book challenge book. 
  • Archangel's Legion, Nalini Singh. 48 Hour book challenge book. 
  • The Summer of May, Cecilia Galante. 48 Hour book challenge book. 
  • Demon Eyes, Scott Tracey. 48 Hour book challenge book. 
  • The Lost Hero, Rick Riordan. Sword and Laser Kids pick. Good enough that I'm reading the next one.
  • Jinx's Magic, Sage Blackwood. The Cybils finalist was so good I read the sequel. And now I want the last one.
  • Thankless in Death, J.D. Robb. Standard Eve & Roarke fare, but a bit on the icky side.
  • Skin Game, Ava Gray. Fun SF paranormal romance.
  • Radio Fifth Grade, Gordon Korman. One of my very slow books -- fun and spunky tale of kid shenanigans while dodging homework and running a school radio show.
  • The Candy Shop War, Brandon Mull. Adventure story recommended by my elementary book club, also approved by my high schooler.
  • Child of a Hidden Sea, A.M. Dellamonica. Fun ARC I read through netgallery and recommend to all.
  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha, Dorothy Gilman. A glance at the darker aspects of Mrs. Pollifax's holiday.
  • Rose and the Lost Princess, Holly Webb. Another sequel to a Cybils book -- that's always a good sign.
  • Early Sunday Morning: Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Barry Denenberg. Book club recommendation that also gave me my Hawaii book for this year.
  • Michael Hague's Read-to-Me Book of Fairy Tales, Michael Hague. Reading My Library book that was beautiful and evocative.
  • Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus, R.L. LaFevers. As a parent, I think the main character is neglected. As a child reader, I'd think her independent.
  • What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings, Joyce Sidman. A Cybils poetry book that didn't quite mesh with me.
  • The Dollhouse Murders, Betty Ren Wright. A book club recommendation that really brought back the books of my youth, with all the adults not interested in understanding the kids' motivations but very concerned with their proper behavior.
What am I currently reading?
  • Tinker, Wen Spencer. I'm rereading to see how it works with Wood Sprites.
  • The Golden Leopard, Lynn Kerstan. Library books keep pushing this NOOK book out of the way.
  • Crow, Barbara White. My current NOOK book, about a boy in turn of the century North Carolina.
  • Perdition, Ann Aguirre. Again, library books are muscling forward, but I am enjoying this.
  • Inkheart, Cornelia Funke. Recommended by Talbot Hill Elementary book club.
  • The Human Division, John Scalzi. My emergency read for the plane.
  • The Son of Neptune, Rick Riordan. Following up on this series.
  • Cathedral of the Wild, Boyd Varty. Present from LibraryThing EarlyReaders.
Reading intermittently, and deliberately slowly. These never change much:
  • Out to Canaan, Jan Karon. I read a section at a time, and this book has sections about half a page long.
  • A General Theory of Love, Thomas Lewis. 
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. 
  • How To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, Orson Scott Card. How to live the life of a real writer.
What's up next? Stuff from my Goodreads TBR list, I hope.

2014 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils: 48/77. Finished poetry and Middle Grade Spec Fic. Ordered up Middle Grade Fiction and YA graphic novels.
  2. Where Am I Reading? 28/51. Added Louisiana. Currently reading a North Carolina book.
  3. Alphabetically Inclined: 17/26. Nine more.
  4. What's In a Name?: 5/7. Still need weather and school subject.
  5. Book Bingo: Finished a square! Two boxes into the next one.
  6. Gentle Spectrum Challenge: 8/10, 9/10. Need a cheesy title -- I can't believe it's taking so long!
  7. Small Fry Safari: 7/8. No change. Still need something precious.
  8. PoC Speculative Fiction 6/5: I'm working on Sorcerer!
  9. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  Hmm. I need to get some more of these books.
  10. Reading My Library: Working on it.

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