Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday! What Have I Been Reading?

I went to a favorite convention this weekend -- Foolscap 2015. It's a place for lovers of books and art, and I've converted my children into fans, so it's a family event now. I've acquired a new list of things I should be reading and I got to meet Ursula Vernon, author of many things, including the Dragonbreath series and several addictive podcasts.

I'm still reading far too many books (currently I have bookmarks in 27) but I have hopes to bring this down by April.

As usual at this time of year, I'm concentrating my reading on my library pile, choosing what to read by the due dates involved. This explains why I started some new things rather than continue to work down the books I'm already in the middle of. I've managed to avoid checking out new books though; I'm distracting myself by getting some CDs to listen to while folding laundry instead. This way I don't notice that I only have 26 books out from my library, and probably at least six of them are for the kids, not for me.

So, what did I spend my time on this week? Again I kept a diary, and noted when I started or finished something.

Monday: Reading and Learning to Read,  Across the Universe (started), NERDS, Out of the Easy, Ardeur: 14 Writers on the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series (started)
Tuesday: Ardeur (completed),  NERDS, 
Wednesday: Reading and Learning to ReadAcross the UniverseLost Enchantment
Thursday: Across the Universe (complete), The October Country, Reading and Learning to Read
Friday: Escape (started),
Saturday: Escape, Out of the Easy, Gabi: A Girl in Pieces (started)
Sunday: Gabi: A Girl in Pieces, Escape

So I started four books, and finished two.  My reading tower grew higher. Oops.

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)Most of what I read this week was coming of age stories. The YA books make this explicit; in Across the Universe there is a little awakening as well as various unfolding of truths to mark the two teenagers' growth in maturity. They are forced to more their viewpoint outward, to encompass their entire world, small as is. Cloning and suppressing drugs also focus attention on identity, a key value for emerging adolescents.

Out of the EasyGabi, a Girl in PiecesMy first Cybils of the year, Gabi: A Girl in Pieces also traces the last year of Gabi's high school career, in America formally the last year of adolescence before adulthood is granted (albeit provisionally if you move on to the grey space college). Although the book avoids a sense of checking issues of a list, Gabi gets to confront many of the burning issues of modern times -- drug addiction, teen pregnancy, coming out, date rape, first dates, slut shaming, birth control and abortion (Gabi doesn't personally run through this check list, but her friends and family provide a wider range of experiences for her). I am hoping my kids' senior year is less eventful. The last Cybils of last year also shows a girl trying for college, although the situation of Out of the Easy's protagonist seems even more constrained and hopeless.

The Escape (The Survivors' Club #3)Ardeur: 14 Writers on the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter SeriesMy more cheerful reads were Escape, a romance that I am confident will end in a HEA, and Ardeur, a collection of 14 essays on Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake books with introductions by her. I always enjoy literary essays on pop culture (maybe I should become a high school English teacher!) and I enjoy Mary Balogh's characters and setting as I relax into that genre's guarantee of everything working out for my favorite people.

I'm off to sign up to see what everyone else is reading lately at bookjourney's and Teach Mentor Texts lists.

2015 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2014: 1/81. Got two from the library, but they aren't due yet. Only a few pages left of Gabi
  2. Where Am I Reading?: 10/51. So far so good!
  3. Award Winning Book Challenge: I got nothing.
  4. Alphabetically Inclined: E I J X Y Z still missing. And since library books don't count, this isn't moving much.
  5. TBR Challenge: 2 books, 14 library books.
  6. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled.
  7. Reading My Library: Library temporarily closed, so on hiatus.

2014 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2013: 76/77.  One more to go! I'm on it: Out of the Easy


Cheriee Weichel said...

Isn't it a sad state of affairs when our reading life is dictated by when whatever book is due at the library. I just recently suspended all my holds so I could finish up the ones I had and hopefully, get to some of these books that don't have a return date!

Beth said...

Well, I did pick them all, so clearly I thought I wanted to read them. I just need a smaller library bag so I only bring home one weeks worth of reading each week, instead of a month worth every Wednesday!

My book fast should help a bit, and then I can read whatever I am hungriest for.

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

It's the first time I'm hearing of Gabi - will definitely try to hunt down the book when I visit the library this weekend.