Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year Approaches

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I've been to the mountains and back. I've listened to audio books and podcasts and ancient music from my youth while driving through desolate highways. And I've just about finished my 50 States Challenge, which is a good feeling. I also spent most of my Christmas hanging out with family instead of frantically reading, and the books were interesting enough that I often came out of them to talk to people anyway.

We also had a good time going to see the new Star Wars Movie, and going from there to a lunch meeting of the Extended Family Book Club, which was officially about The Martian but we let it slide if people who had skipped the reading wanted to talk Star Wars instead.

I also forgot to post this yesterday, so I'm not really going to sign up anywhere. All the links will be obsolete.

The Book Date is collecting the roundups of what everyone is reading and talking about this week. I'll also look in with Teach Mentor Texts which does the same thing for kidlit, since I read a kid book, although I won't sign in there since there were no kidlit books on my list.

This week I finished three books:

Brothel, Alexa Albert. The book finishes with the closing of the famous Mustang Ranch, although prostitution itself continues legally in Nevada. I'd say this book is persuasive evidence of both the dehumanizing effects of the sex trade, as well as the benefits of legalizing it.

Wormwood, Susan Wittig Albert. The end was rather unsatisfying, with an unexplained (to the public -- us readers know what happened) murder saving the historical Kentucky Shaker community, for a for years at least. In the modern day story line, the bad guy is unmasked and then immediately hit by lightning, saving him from answering pesky questions that might call the innocence of his sister into question. I liked the thematic conclusion of the main character adopting a child, since the questions of building families ran throughout the book, but the actual mystery parts were a bit of a slog.

Angel Among Us, Katy Munger. Alls well that ends well, which is good because Christmas is a lousy time to read about a pregnant woman's murder. But I still found the main character more of a detriment -- he's only an observer, without agency or real direction. Oh well, Delaware down!

And I started a new book:

Jeweled Fire, Sharon Shinn. I really like Shinn's books, which involve realistic characters that usually try to do the right thing, although sometimes they find it hard. It's nice to sometimes read something just for fun, instead of for my challenges.

Bookmarks Moved in books:

Stakeout, Parnell Hall. New Jersey. New Jersey. I'm still not liking this too much. At least he's started accomplishing things, although the book grinds to a halt after each small action so his wife, lawyer, and cop friend can yell about how dumb whatever he just did was.

I Lived on Butterfly Hill, Marjorie Agosin. Still no signs of moving to Maine, which is a bit distracting. The child voice is lyrical, which makes it sound more Spanish as that is how I always imagine Spanish sounding (probably not if I actually understood the language!). Things are looking grim in Chile, though.

The Cobweb, Neil Stevenson & J. Frederick George. I like the Clyde character, and not just because he's hanging out in Iowa. I hope the focuses continues aiming at him.

The Heist, Janet Evanovich &  Lee Goldberg. I need to get in the right mind set for this; I keep cringing for the characters instead of laughing at their situations. It's slowing down my listening.

Laura's Wolf, Lia Silver.  The man and woman are literally holed up in a snowed-in cabin, which makes me giggle. They are still too shy to confess their mutual lust. Maybe if they get one more night when they have to share a bed for warmth, and if no one gets shot.

2015 Challenge Progress:
  1. Reading My Library: Working on a Large Print and the audio book.
  2. Where Am I Reading?: 48/51. Got Nevada, Kentucky, and Delaware. At the end of the New Jersey book, the middle of the Iowa, and the beginning of what I hope will be Maine.
  3. Award Winning Book Challenge: Well, I didn't really review anything, but so far I've got 16 awards.
  4. Book Riot Read Harder: 23/24. I still need an African author. I have one in my bag if I finish the 50 States Challenge.
  5. Alphabetically Inclined:  V X Z still missing. 23/26.
  6. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled. Maybe time to go back?
  7. Cybils 2014: Complete! Looking forward to starting anew in 2016.

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

Podbean only let me post two and a half minutes, so it's gone. Delete away! Good to know that one person listened to the podcast! Better work on one for Monday!