Monday, February 8, 2016


It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
This weekend I went to my favorite SF/book convention, Foolscap. It's run by some old time fan who have read just about everything, and it's traditionally been mostly about books and ideas. For the past few years it's run as an Open Programming convention, which means that when on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon people get together with panel ideas, and then pick the ones that seem most interesting.

So I got to hear everyone's recent favorites (Hugo Nomination Ideas) and we got to argue over old classics (Throw It Against the Wall -- which old classics don't hold up) and I got to play book games and I died in a radio play (twice!) and I hung out with my brother and generally had a good time. People I like to talk to should come next year -- it's on Superbowl weekend, and it's near my house.

I bought some books, although I'm not reading them until April. For realzies. I'm still rocking the Triple Dog Dare, long may it reign.

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 only three books:

Cyrano De BergeracThe Tale of DespereauxParallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos

* Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmund Rostond (Hooker translation). I grabbed this off my shelves to complete a Book Bingo I'm doing with my elementary book club. I think I'll try to get my older son to read it; he thinks he has a big nose.

* The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo. I reread this for my elementary book club. I like it, but I amused myself at the book club by challenging the kids to defend it along as many axis as I could. Is it creepy to fall in love at first sight? Was the princess unfair to rats? Was Despereaux's banishment justified?

* Parallax, Alan W. Hirshfeld. Another square for my Book Bingo. I asked my brother-in-law for a recommendation for my Recommended By Teacher square. This is a fun description of the centuries long search to measure the parallax of stars, one that doesn't shy away from explaining the math but also doesn't force me to do it myself. I liked the quick biographies of the many players along the way, and I appreciate that Hirshfeld notices the contributions of the women whose names often didn't appear on the papers the men submitted.

* 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.

I got the librarians to help me find a book with the car on the cover so I could complete my bingo card:

Number One SamThe Yellow CabA Book

Number One Sam, Greg Pizzoli. A simple book about competition and compassion that makes its point but doesn't hammer it too hard.

The Yellow Cab, Marcus Pfeister. Although I was leery due to my hatred of Rainbow Fish, this book seduced me with its beautiful colors and bold pictures. The message didn't make me spit up in my mouth, so instead I can imagine sharing this with kids.

A Book, Mordicai Gerstein. I love meta picture books. Lucky for me, my kids did as well, so I could gratify us all. I loved how the girl wanders through different books and finds her family in the appropriate ones.

I started but didn't finish only two books. That seems responsible:

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin OlympicsLemonade Mouth
Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown. I thought I needed this for my book bingo, but then I realized I had read a different sports book earlier. I want to read this anyway, but I won't stay up all night to finish.

Lemonade Mouth, Michael Peter Hughes. Sadly, I didn't finish this before the library wanted it back. I guess I'll have to get it again before I forget the first half. It takes place in Rhode Island, so I need it.

Bookmarks moved in eight books:

Time and Again (Time, #1)Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)Imperfect Sword (The Lost Stars, #3)Time and Again: Time Was / Times ChangeA Stranger's Gift (Women of Pinecraft, #1)Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

Republic, Lindsay Buroker. Fun burglary with the president's wife.

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.

Time and Again, Jack Finney. He's back in the past.

Mortal Heart, Robin LaFevers. Another Cybils Finalist. She meets up with a pack of bad boys, who all appear to have died.

Imperfect Sword, Jack Campbell. The invasion is in trouble, because it's A TRAP. Also, the spy has been shot.

Time and Again, Nora Roberts. Is it weird if two brothers marry two sisters? It seems strange to me.

A Stranger's Gift, Anna Schmidt. I'm am not at all convinced he's a good match for her. He seems to need a lot more maturity to catch up to her.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Maggie Stiefvater. Somehow I'm starting to really care for these kids. I'm worried about them.

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...The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)Reading and Learning to Read

Rob Roy, Walter Scott.
A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George.
Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das.
Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca.
2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015: 7 out of 82. Mortal Heart is still on my e-reader.
  2. Reading My Library: Still listening to Hild and reading God Help the Child.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 9/50.  The author of Parallax teaches in Massachusetts. Currently reading an Oregon, Florida, and Virginia books.
  4. TBR Triple Dog Dare. My totals are 19 library books, 5 personal library, 3 e-book.
  5. Full House Challenge: 22/25. I'm zooming! I need to figure out what counts as "book club worthy."
  6. Library Challenge: I'm at 24 already -- Young Adult. This is not counting picture books because I usual read those in the library.
  7. Diversity Challenge 2016: Kidlit: 2/12. Adult lit: 4/12. I think those are the low-hanging fruit. This month is Location diversity -- I read in 5 continents, 10 countries, and some outer space locations.
  8. Shelf Love Challenge 2016: The opposite of the Library challenge -- can I read the books on my shelves? So far I've read 5.


Kathryn T said...

Hope you got some good discussion and thoughts with your pushing of the kids over The Tale of Despereaux!

Beth said...

Yes, it was a lively talk, and I think the kids enjoyed defending the book (although I may have convinced a few contrarians).

Jane said...

Your hatred of Rainbow Fish? Now that's something I'd love to read more about! :)

Beth said...

Rainbow Fish, where the message is that if you are different from other people you should tear off pieces of your body until you conform? Yeah, I have issues with that book.