Monday, March 14, 2016

I Got Older and Happy Pi Day!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
My birthday happened! I got wonderful presents! (I'm actually writing this in advance, but I'm assuming I will remember to drive P to the store to buy the presents I direct, so I'm confident it will happen.) And it did!

I got other presents from my sister, niblings, brother and bil, especially a new printer so that my kids don't keep showing up at their door to print homework. Thanks Andy! Also for my favorite candy, which I believe my niece was able to identify. The boys made me a cake, which was heroic as they then went off to their dad's and so didn't get to consume it.

Book club was a lot of fun, with cake and fun talk about books and what makes books fun, and what other books we want to read, and who has moved, sold a house, bought a new place, met a boyfriend, trained a boss, or had a birthday. We had it at my house, but I didn't even have to host. So, a perfect day.

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, which is again the majority of my reading this week.

This week I finished seven books:

Venus on the Half-Shell and OthersDumplin'The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #4)RadianceDragons Beware! (Chronicles of Claudette #2)Give Me Wings: How a Choir of Former Slaves Took on the WorldSpies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement

Venus on the Half-Shell, Philip Jose Farmer. More stories Farmer wrote as other people, mostly during periods of writer's block. Mostly fun, in a sexist old timey SF way. The title story did feel like faded Vonnegut -- it was written as Kilgore Trout, the writer featured in several Vonnegut books.

Dumplin'Julie Murphy. The last Cybils YA finalist. I liked the voice of the protagonist, wobbling realistically between confidence and self-hatred, but thought the side characters were a bit underdrawn.

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, Julia Quinn. Another Library Quest book. I am powering on!

Radiance, Catherynne M. Valente. I did end up enjoying this kaleidoscope of a book, so it's worth powering through the beginning to give the book some traction. It's a good introduction to the love of film, something that I don't share. I liked how the mystery threaded the plot together but wasn't really important in terms of what the book was about. The whole drug addiction thing put me off a bit, because I am a prude. Thanks to The Sword and Laser for getting me to read this, although they read it back in January.

* Dragons Beware!, Jorge Aguirre. A Cybils younger graphic novel that is also our Family Book Club pick for this month. It was fun, with bright colors and bright personalities as well as some character growth, mostly from the younger brother who learns to combine magic and cooking.

* Give Me Wings, Kathy Lowinger.  A Cybils YA nonfiction pick. Interesting story of the Jubilee choir that built Fisk University after the Civil War through fund raising, mostly focused on Ella the conductor and her path from slavery through poverty to Fisk and then to running the choir and traveling the US and the world.

* The Spies of Mississippi, Rick Bowers. A history of the awful secret police antics of Mississippi during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s. This is aimed at younger readers, so it doesn't do much analysis, but it still told me a lot I didn't know. It tied in well with last year's Cybils book about the murders of the Freedom Summer boys.

* 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 found two picture books :
I Will Take a Nap! (Elephant & Piggie, #23)The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

I Will Take a Nap, Mo Willems. Cute and accessible, but I was hoping for more of a Inception vibe.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, Julia Sarcone-Roach. I assumed from the title that this was going to be an attempt to throw blame, but the artwork was so lovely and committed and narration completely committed to the tale of the bear's trip to the city and back, so I would have accepted it as is. The final pages with the dog and the crumbs took the book up another notch.

I started and am still reading  more books:

AirtightPaper TownsBlake: or; The Huts of AmericaMost Dangerous: Daniel Ells...

Airtight, David Rosenfelt. My next Library Quest book. I like the conflict between the cop and the brother.

Paper Towns, John Green. We were going to pick this for book club, but now we probably won't since everyone interested in reading it talked about it before we started the book club proper. But I got it from the library so I'm going to finish it.

Blake, or the Huts of America, Martin Delaney. This is the first book on Nisi Shawl's Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction. It's a bit old fashioned, as it was written partly in dialogue with Uncle Tom's Cabin, so we'll see how far I get.

Most Dangerous, Steve Sheinkin. The next Cybils finalist, this time in YA Nonfiction, covers Daniel Ellsburg and the release of the Pentagon papers, something that before I knew only through an informational box in a high school textbook. So far he's still working patriotically inside the Pentagon.

Bookmarks moved in several books:
Under a Graveyard Sky (Black Tide Rising, #1)CruxChild of the Ghosts (Ghosts, #1)Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3)Not Always a Saint (The Lost Lords, #7)

Republic, Lindsay Buroker. Sespian fights battles with his crush. Surest way to her heart!

Hild, Nicola Griffith. Hild starts to build her own household. At first I wasn't sure I liked the narrator, but by now I've completely fallen in love with the voice.

Under a Graveyard Sky, John Ringo. Faith talks a bit of shop. Baen has been giving us much smaller audio snippits lately -- the next one is about six minutes long, I think.

Crux, Ramez Naam. Drug abuse is bad.

Child of the Ghosts, Jonathan Moeller. The evil guy is real evil.

Grave Peril, Jim Butcher. Dresden fights the good fight, especially to protect pretty women. I just noticed that I overread by a few chapters, so I'll stop until next Tuesday club.

Not Always a Saint
, Mary Jo Putney. Our protagonists are now engaged. A bit accidentally, so they will have a long rational discussion about whether their mutual passion is enough to launch a marriage.

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.

A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)Midnight Crossroad (Midnigh...The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)KenilworthReading and Learning to Read

A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George. Gideon works on remembering his sister.
Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. Details on how to meditate. I probably should try this.
Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. The brother who turned to the dark side apologized and is forgiven. Edmund could have learned from him.
Kenilworth, Walter Scott. The loser nephew meets up with his old crony. The fair maiden argues with her would-be rescuer. The pages are falling out, so I've embraced this and recycle it as I read it.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca. How to measure fluency in budding readers.
2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015: 14 out of 82. Knocked off YA fiction, working on YA nonfiction. I like my strategy of rating as I go.
  2. Reading My Library:  Started Airtight. Still listening to Hild.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 18/50.  Added Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and Kentucky.
  4. TBR Triple Dog Dare. My totals are 31 library books, 7 personal library, 4 e-book. I think there are 4 eligible library books left.
  5. Full House Challenge: 24/25. I'm not done! I mistyped "2016" as "2015"; mainly because of the Triple Dog Dare I have not read a book from this year yet. Curses.
  6. Library Challenge: I'm at 52. I have invented a new category. 
  7. Diversity Challenge 2016: Kidlit: 10/12. Missing autism book & Holocaust book (I decided Book Thief didn't count).  Adult lit: 5/12. (no change)
  8. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  Still 9. Not reading much from my own shelves.
  9. Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 15/20. I awarded myself music and art.
  10. Eclectic Reader Challenge 2016: 4/12. Radiance is sorta steam punk, right?
  11. Surprise Me Challenge: I can't read any of them yet because of the dare. Humph.


kmitcham said...

I lost track of the week and finished the Dresden. Ooops.

Beth said...

No spoilers! Don't tell me if he survives the fight with the vampires.

Elizabeth said...

It looks like you had a marvelous week of reading.

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

Blodeuedd said...

Happy Birthday!!