Monday, September 29, 2014

Birthday Time

This week my oldest son turned 16. The day itself passed almost unnoticed around here, since he spent it with his dad. Also, instead of a birthday party I throw a Foam Sword party and invite anyone who we think might enjoy it, and don't really mention the birthday part since some people have never seen us before. That went off to great success last week.

Also, my usual gift is memberships to things, but he's not really into museums. I"ll have to decide if I want to keep my cards to the Pacific Science Center, but I'm not going to blame it on him if I do. So instead I was going to give him books, and a lot of his favorite authors kindly put out new books this month, but I am greedy and got them all as soon as they hit the shelves so he read them all already. (Unmade, Exo, Monstrous Affections). And I was supposed to make his cake last Thursday, but managed to completely forget so now I'll make it tomorrow (brain permitting).

In spite of my inability to make the day special, I have to agree that he's pretty special himself. He's really turning into a wonderful man -- I look up at him with delight and gratitude. He's responsible. He's hard working. He's handsome. He's funny. He's gentle. And generous. He's smart. He's gosh durned nice to have around the house. And he likes to read my books, which makes me feel less silly about bringing home so many from the library.

I'm off to sign up to see what everyone else is reading lately at bookjourney's and Teach Mentor Texts lists. Here's what I finished this week and last week:
  • The Silver Metal Lover, Tanith Lee. Alt pick from last month's Vaginal Fantasy.
  • Ultra, David Carroll. Cybils middle grade fiction. I think this was the winner, actually.
  • The Golden Leopard, Lynn Kerstan. Cute romance with secret Ninjas lurking about.
  • Growing Up Brave, Donna B. Pincus. How I probably gave my kid an anxiety problem. Oops.
  • There Is No Dog, Meg Rosoff. Odd book with flooding and a very strange supreme being.
  • Boxers & Saints, Gene Luen Yang. Cybils YA graphic novel. Powerful retelling of the Boxer rebellion, in two volumes.
What am I currently reading? Less than I was last week, but still too much. I've got 22 books in my currently-reading sack.  Most (not quite all) of my currently reading list is now on  GOODREADS.
  • A Free Man of Color, Barbara Hambly. NOOK. A solid sense of setting in this historical book set in New Orleans.
  • Imprisoned, Martin W. Sandler. Cybils book about Japanese interment during World War II. I'm discovering things I didn't know -- like that Canada also interned their citizens.
  • Codex Born, Jim C. Hines. Second book in a series where magicians get their power from books, so it's hard to see how it can possibly go wrong. I liked the first one, so I bought this one.
  • A Web of Air, Philip Reeve. Sequel to a Cybils book from last year, and my son says it's pretty good. So far we've had a tidal wave, cyberpunk stage lighting, and a budding Orville Wright, so I'm happy.
  • Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean. From my shelves.
  • Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood, Nathan Hale. This will probably be a downer.
  • A Matter for Men, David Gerrold. From my shelves.
  • Anna of Byzantium, Tracy Barett. No change.
  • Magic City: Recent Spells, Paula Guran, ed. Soon this will come back to me. p.201
  • Always, Abigail, Nancy J. Cavanaugh. No change. 
  • About That Night, Norah McClintock.  No change. 
  • Rogue, Michael Z. Williamson. I don't really pay attention to their techniques, but I like the action.
  • Protector, C.J. Cherryh. Kid with a hangover, Bren with a dinner plan.
  • Wildflower, Alecia Whitaker. No change. p. 51 16%
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. No change.
  • Divergent, Veronica Roth. No change.  
  • Yonder Comes the Other End of Time, Suzette Elgin. No change. 
  • Shards of Time, Lynn Flewelling. No change.
  • Cathedral of the Wild, Boyd Varty. No change. 
  • Tinker, Wen Spencer. I do enjoy this book. Tink is married but hasn't figured it out yet. 
  • Inkheart, Cornelia Funke. No change.
  • The Son of Neptune, Rick Riordan. Percy and his man-purse. Hee hee hee.
Reading intermittently, and deliberately slowly. These never change much:
  • The Jury, Stephen Adler. Now an example of a bad jury. 
  • Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vacca. Skills-based approaches. 
  • Nerds, Michael Buckley. Our hero discovers that the kids he bullied don't like him.
  • Out to Canaan, Jan Karon. The wife doesn't want to hear about a move.
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. Bringing idiots along to a delicate negotiation is not a good idea.
What's up next?  Still starting a book every other day, until I get this library backlog under control. I think I'll have to only start one non-library book a week:

Monday: The Search For WondLa (Sword & Laser Kids October selection)
Tuesday: skip
Wednesday: Unmade (Sarah Rees Brennan's newest). This is mine!
Thursday:  skip
Friday: Template (Cybils YA graphic novel)
Saturday:  skip
Sunday:  Mrs Pollifax and the Lion Killer (I'm working my way through the series)

NOOK books:  I'll probably start  Blood and Betrayal on Tuesday. If I finish A Free Man of Color I'll move on to The Governess Affair. 

2014 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils: 59/77. Finished Middle Grade Fiction and powering through YA Graphic Novels.
  2. Where Am I Reading? 32/51. Things looking grim. My Connecticut book is pushed back a week.
  3. Alphabetically Inclined: 19/26. No change. So many U's!
  4. What's In a Name?: 7/7. Still have to review everything. Ha!
  5. Book Bingo: Fifteen boxes into square 2.
  6. Gentle Spectrum Challenge complete!.
  7. Small Fry Safari: 8/8. All done! Except for the reviewing...
  8. PoC Speculative Fiction 19/5: One more!
  9. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled.
  10. Reading My Library: Library temporarily closed, so on hiatus.

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