Monday, January 25, 2016

Setting a Rhythm

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I seem to have fallen into a rhythm with my book picks. Of course I don't have the attention span to just read a book until it's done -- I pick things up and put them down, then wander about and pick up something else.  I start of the day with library triage -- are there books that MUST go back soon that I really really want to read? I work on those first (Apprentice to Elves, Bride's Story, Zero to Five). Then I make sure I'm working on my book club selections, with online groups less important than real life ones (Tarzan Alive, Nory Ryan's Song, The Veil). When I tire of that, I move onto a challenge -- Cybils, mostly Infandous, All the Rage). And then I work on my Library Quest book (The Miracle at Speedy Motors). And if I still have reading time after that, I'll read whatever is next on my TBR shelf.

I try to read at least fifty pages in each book before giving myself permission to pick up the next, but if something excruciating happens I can run away.

I'm still rocking the Triple Dog Dare, and I added a Library Appreciation Challenge, although I'm a library addict so it's not really much of a challenge. I think I read two non-library books this week. I also somehow managed to finish a pile of books; I'm not quite sure how that happened.

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.

This week I finished twelve books:
InfandousAn Apprentice to ElvesNory Ryan's Song (Nory Ryan, #1)Waiting for the PartyA Bride's Story, Vol. 5 (A Bride's Story, #5)All the RageZero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science (and What I've Learned So Far)The Miracle at Speedy Motors (No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency #9)Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse

Tarzan Alive,
Philip Jose Farmer. This was for my Tuesday book club. I think only my brother and I enjoyed it, but I know I had a lot of fun reading this straight-faced exploration of the "truth" of the Tarzan literature. Part of the fun was remembering reading it as a teen, and noticing which parts I was too naive to understand back then. I have to remember to show it to my teen, although I don't believe he's read the entire Tarzan series so he doesn't have all the backstory.

Elana K. Arnold. A Cybils YA finalist. I spent the first chapters of this waiting for the inevitable rape flashback, but Arnold surprised me with a different although also traumatic past trauma, and one that the fairy tale format prepared me for. I found the conversation about class and value and families very interesting, as well as the insight into teenage sexuality and how it is abused by society.

An Apprentice to Elves, Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear. Monette and Bear are excellent world builders and character writers, and their collaboration kicks things up another notch. I liked how they incorporated women and aliens into their story while keeping in ground in a gritty Norse culture. And wolf companions are always cool.

* Nory Ryan's Song, Patricia Reilly Giff. This was our Family Book club pick, and I admit it was not a favorite of the boys. Apparently they are not into grim historical fiction, even when sweetened by fine writing. Also, we all thought that the heroine was a dork for dropping the rent money down a wishing well (by "accident"). We had a good discussion, occasionally derailed into a Star Wars review, covering the history, responsibility, and the dangers of a mono culture.

Waiting For the Party, Ann Thwaite. This biography of Francis Hodgson Burnett taught me a lot about the author; I hadn't realized that she wrote so many books, or that so many of them were aimed at the adult audience. I thought I had plumbed her depths by finding The Lost Prince, but she also wrote dozens of adult novels. Unfortunately most of her life was rather dull; she had frequent illnesses, unpleasant marriages, and a lot of squabbles over trivial matters.

The Veil, Chloe Neill. This was Vaginal Fantasy's hiatus book, which I have finally read. Their next book is due to be discussed this week, so clearly I'm behind. It's an easy read, with a likable protagonist who finds herself with unexpected magic powers in a post-magic war New Orleans that has rule any magic illegal. With the help of the cute guy who shows up she must master her magic, come to terms with the lies her beloved father told her, and save the world.

The Prisoner, Lia Silver. Another werewolf marine love story, this time with added evil government scientists and doomed cloned warriors. Once again Silver treats her characters as intelligent adults able to form sentences and notice misconceptions. Although this is the second in the series, reading the first gave away a lot of the ending; I wish I had read them in reverse order. It's also much more the start of a series, so I'm looking forward to getting the next book as soon as this pesky Dare is over.

* A Bride's Story Vol. 5, 
Kaoru Mori. This covers the wedding of the excitable twins (good luck to their grooms!) and then returns to Amir and her young husband.  The artwork is still beautiful, although my face blindness meant it took me a while to figure out when we skipped back to Amir. I eventually noticed there was only one of her. I'm enjoying this historical tale.

All the Rage, Courtney Summers. A Cybils YA finalist. I was afraid Infandous was going to be an abused girl book; this one really was. The characterization was brutally honest, showing the damage that rape, and then a community's denial of that rape, does, not only to the girls who survive, but to all women and people. The plot didn't really convince me, though. My son was very frustrated by how "stupidly" everyone behaved, although he admitted they were coming from some bad places so it was understandable. He prefers justice.

* Zero to Five, Tracy Cutchlow. Somewhere I saw a review for this parenting advice book, describing it's slogan as science for moms. I hoped it would give actual research, but it's more of a cosy "everything will be fine, relax and be a good mom" kind of book. Which is fun for parents of young kids, but I was more interested in the science -- it's too late for my brood, hulking teenagers that they are.

The Miracle at Speedy Motors, Alexander McCall Smith. Library Quest Book!

* Dead But Not Forgotten
, ed. by Charlaine Harris. Short stories by various authors set in Harris's world. Basically Sookie Stackhouse fanfiction. Most of the stories were fun peeks into minor characters, following hints Harris dropped but never got around to filling out. I liked the ones based out of Bon Temps the most.

* Books I started this week. Most books tend last for weeks on my lists, because I have this habit of reading dozens of things at once. But occasionally I keep focus for several days on end.

Since I had no books on hold, and my adherence to the Dare kept me from browsing for more stuff, I looked over some picture books:

As Fast as Words Could FlyBatman's Dark Secret

As Fast As Words Could Fly, Pamela Tuck. Realistic art and paragraphs per page make this a solid historical story, following a young boy's drive to learn to type in order to help the civil rights workers in their endeavors. He faces discrimination at school and at work, but works and perseveres, little knowing that his manual typewriter will seem as bizarre as the dodo to modern readers.

Batman's Dark Secret, Kelley Puckett. Batman remembers his youth as an orphan, afraid of the dark that reminds him of the alley where his parents died. But then he falls into a cave and fights a giant bat, which somehow makes him grow up to be BATMAN. Well, except that the bat is clearly the villain and the symbol of evil, so why does this dumb kid want to emulate that? And the bat is probably just protecting its young -- it's the dumb kid who is stomping around in their lair. And the artwork made Bruce seem like a whiny kid. Maybe it was too much of a whiplash from Tuck's book.

And I started six new books:

Mercenary Instinct (Mandrake Company, #1)Between PlanetsTime and Again (Time, #1)Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)Kat, Incorrigible (Kat, Incorrigible, #1)Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris, #1)

Mercenary Instinct, Ruby Lionsdrake. Lindsay Buroker tried to hide from me by using a Kindle-only pseudonym, but I cannot be defeated so easily.

Between Planets, Robert Heinlein. This is a less intense audio book for when I need more attention on where I'm going. It's from the next shelf in the library.

Time and Again, Jack Finney. This was the Sword and Laser pick for last month. Or maybe the month before that.

Mortal Heart, Robin LaFevers. Another Cybils Finalist. I had to jump all the way down to YA SF to find something the library had on its e-shelves.

Kat, Incorrigible, Stephanie Burgis. This was a LibraryThing Secret Santa pick for me, except the English title was different so they thought it wasn't available. Of course I tracked it down and am reading it first. Also, the library wants it back.

Libriomancer, Jim Hines. I'm rereading this along with my Tuesday book club. We actually wanted to read the Goblin books, where Smudge starts his life, but our libraries failed us. Well, I have the first and my library has the next two, but New Hampshire is not as well stocked. Also, goodreads should hurry up and figure out how to handle rereads. "Read" and "Currently Reading" are not exclusive categories!

Bookmarks moved in four books:

Under a Graveyard Sky (Blac...

Republic, Lindsay Buroker. I have moved this into my bathroom, so I can at least read while brushing my teeth. The president may be under magical attack, Sespian and Sicarus may be under actual attack, and the gang is back together!

Under a Graveyard Sky, John Ringo. Maybe the coast guard can get the navy to talk to them. Also, I'm starting to really enjoy the scenes where Faith is a bad ass.

Crux, Ramaz Naam. I should probably read more than a few pages a week to get a good sense of the action.

Hild, Nicola Griffith. My next audio book in the Library Quest; I choose it because I have a paper copy on my TBR stack. I move the bookmark along to track my progress. It's too interesting -- I've driven to the wrong destination several times because I'm listening to the story and driving on auto pilot -- oh, I'm going up the hill so I must be going home...

The next few books I'm not really reading, just dipping into between the books I'm trying to finish so that I can pretend that I'm going to read the books on my bookcases.

Rob Roy  A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)Midnight Crossroad (Midnigh...Reading and Learning to Read

Rob Roy, Walter Scott. Apparently Rob Roy is to be executed. So much for plot.
A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George. Are the police corrupt?
Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. If you feel it, it is true. Let things go. Let them go!
Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris. Bobo is from the Bard books. I see a Sookie vampire too.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca. The use and misuse of sight words.
2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015: Five out of 82. Finished Infandous and All the Rage. Mortal Heart is on my NOOK. Well, no, my NOOK is BROKEN but I borrowed my son's.
  2. Reading My Library: I'm still on the audio of Hild  and I started the audio of Between Planets as well. Finished The Miracle at Speedy Motors so I'm well into the M's.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 8/50.  Added Louisiana. Twice.
  4. TBR Triple Dog Dare. My totals are 16 library books, 3 personal library, 2 e-book.
  5. Full House Challenge: 18/25. I'm leaping out of the gate! But I think the next categories will be harder.
  6. Library Challenge: I'm at 19 already -- Middle Grades. This is not counting picture books because I don't usually take those out of the library.


Melinda Ott said...

Wow! 12 books in one week? I'm impressed!

Elizabeth said...

Twelve books? Holy Toledo!!

That is amazing.

Your week looks fantastic.

ENJOY this week.

Silver's Reviews
My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

Wow - I am glad to take note of your system in keeping track of books - with that many books, I admire you for being able to prioritize which ones to read first - and that the stories don't get all confused with each other! But it does look like you're having a great deal of fun! Very productive reading week indeed.