Monday, October 12, 2015

Gaming Weekend

This weekend I hosted my book club and then spent the next two days at Geek Girl Con, a friendly commercial convention that celebrates women, girls, and kids who like to dress up, watch stuff, read stuff, write stuff, build stuff, talk about stuff, play games, or blow stuff up (well, do science).

My brother was demoing Steve Jackson Games in the basement, which gave me the social confidence to try out a lot of games, mostly from Playtest Northwest who had a bunch of game designers showing off their creations of tabletop games that played in under an hour. I also listened to several people talk about books, raising geek kids, and privacy/civil rights both online and in schools. And I went in early on Sunday to do science experiments such as Comet creation, boat building, owl pellet dissection, chemical chromatography, UV bracelet building, and secret messages to write at home.

Playtest Northwest amused themselves by giving games away, so I came home with three new boxes of games: . Also, I won CandyStore's Bulk Gummi Killer Sharks - 5lbgummi sharks while doing science. Basically, I won all the things, which was a good way to stay positive while surrounded by people, most of them strangers.

This week I finished four books, giving me a sense that I accomplished something in my life:

Lulu and the BrontosaurusStone MattressHow Eskimos Keep Their Babies WarmRogue Spy

Lulu and the Brontosaurus, Judith Viorst. This book broke my reading slump, so I'm glad I finally went back to read these easy chapter books. I'm requesting another one right now. I like the humor and the pictures, and enjoy the easy way the author moves back and forth across the fourth wall. Recommended for early young readers.

Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood. This is the first book I reading for my Library Quest; I finished the children's section before they rebuilt so I'm starting now in the adult area (Large Print). Atwood has a sharp eye for her characters emotions and self deceptions, and these stories center around aging and creation. A good first book for my Quest.

How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm, Mei-Ling Hopgood. Another mom who is reinventing parenthood from scratch takes a look at how other cultures differ in childrearing practices (relaxed bedtimes, work versus play expectations, etc.). I sometimes found her naiveté annoying -- she grabs a sling without grasping that there is a learning curve for both parent and child, and then whines when the child (previously tied in a stroller most of the time) had no concept of staying close to mom, while mom has no concept of making sure the toddler stays close. It takes a long time for her to notice that most things are integrated into a life, not separate blocks to swap out seamlessly. But I enjoyed the peek into different cultures, conveniently seen from an outsider from my own community.

Rogue Spy, Joanna Bourne. This was my book club pick, and my suggestion. To my delight, most people enjoyed it (my sister went and read the author's other books, a huge complement!) so I didn't feel like an idiot. We had a good time hanging out, talking about this book, other books, lifes, and pizza.

Bookmarks Moved in a few other books:

The High Druid's BladeBreaking PointfpoRunemarksThe October Country

audio: Defender of Shannara: Druids Blade, Terry Brooks. We are starting with a damsel in distress story, starring the main character's idiot little sister. 

Breaking Point (started), C.J. Box. Our hero Joe balances crazy bureaucracy and loyalty to his community as a murder pushes differences to the (wait for it) BREAKING POINT.

Forged In Blood 2, Lindsay Buroker. I need to finish this as I really enjoy reading it but the library books and their due dates lure me away.

Runemarks, Joanne Harris. A perfect book to read at Geek Girl Con, since it stars a young girl making her way among superheroes the old gods.

The October Country, Ray Bradbury. I read this in between all the other books. Luckily it was one of the few cheerful stories about a winged man figuring out a way to fly again.

Bookjourney's "It's Monday" posts are coming back! but don't see this week's yet. I'll also sign in with Teach Mentor Texts since at least one and possibly four of these books could show up in a school library.
2015 Challenge Progress:
  1. Reading My Library: Finished the first Large Print book and started the second. Moving along with the B's in audio books.
  2. Where Am I Reading?: 34/51. Breaking Point will be a Wyoming book, and I've got a Hawaii option on the waiting shelf.
  3. Award Winning Book Challenge: I have apparently stopped reviewing books. But I've ticked off many awards. 
  4. Book Riot Read Harder: 23/24. I love it when two challenges collide -- Stone Mattress was a book of short stories! I still need an African author.
  5. Alphabetically Inclined:  I V X  Z still missing. 22/26
  6. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled. Maybe time to go back?
  7. Cybils 2014: Complete! I bought the last one as the libraries didn't seem to have it. WOOT!


Ms. Yingling said...

Runemarks should be newly popular due to the new Riordan Norse mythology book. I was very interested in this article after reading a book called Winterfrost where they let the baby nap OUTSIDE. Used to be done here, too, but I don't know of anyone who leaves their baby outside to nap now!

Lisa M said...

Lulu and the Brontosaurus is a popular title with my students. They like the other books about Lulu as well.

Cheriee Weichel said...

I love the Lulu books. It's so sad that there will be no more of them.

Myra Garces-Bacsal said...

I was on a Ray Bradbury binge a few years ago and read October Country. It's a collection of stories right? Love the way he writes. Glad to see Margaret Atwood here as well - one of my absolute favourite authors.