Monday, March 7, 2016

Marching Marching

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
March is the month where I either need to do my income tax or when I get to smugly remember that I did it early this year and can lie around waiting for my refund. This year is definitely the former. So far I've collected a bunch of papers in a pile on a desk and glanced at them nervously -- does that count as starting? I'd like to have it done by my birthday, because feeling like an actual adult on your birthday is always pleasant, especially as I get close to the big 50. But unless I do more than glance that won't happen.

Maybe I should read books about taxes to spur me on. Any good suggestions? Although because of the Dare I'd have to have them already on my shelves, but that's not impossible. In the meantime, this is my status post about what I've actually been reading

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 the majority of my reading this week.

This week I finished seven books:

Miracle at AugustaOnly a Kiss (The Survivors'...The Book ThiefBecoming Naomi LeónEverything, EverythingBayard Rustin: The Invisible ActivistThe Kentucky Cycle

Miracle at August
, James Patterson & Peter de Jonge. A Library Quest book. A golf book.

Only a Kiss, Mary Balogh. Another Survivor's book. The heroine spent a bit too much time wallowing in her trauma instead of dashing about helping the hero defeat the smugglers. I'd feel guilty about saying that except that these books are written to give pleasure -- they aren't based on actual people. I hope. I also liked how no one really cared about the affair she was having; it wasn't that there was sexual freedom but that there was more important things to gossip about, such as murder.

The Book Thief, 
Markus Zusak. I finally finished it, just in time for Tuesday's book club. Rocks fell (bombs from the sky) and everyone died. Just like the way I liked to end my NaNoWriMo stories as soon as I hit the 50,000 word! I think I would have liked it more as a teen; my adult self was unimpressed with the conceit of Death as an interrupting narrator and the uneven pace. Maybe if the reader was also learning the horrors of the Holocaust it would work, which also ties into being a YA book.

* Becoming Naomi Leon, Pam Munoz Ryan. This was for my elementary school book club, and I almost read the wrong book! Also, I was sure I had read it before so I almost skipped it, but I was completely wrong so I'm glad I decided to be reliable. I asked the kids about having moms be "bad guys" and if different family situations would make that a tough read, and we also had a spirited discussion of bilingualism -- should parents make sure their kids speak all their languages? Some kids had relatives that they had trouble communicating with, like the people in this book. A good book, and a good discussion to go with it.

Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon. Another Cybils YA involving a kid with a strange condition, this one with a horrific mother to go with it. I never connected with the main character, who had a hard life that left her unable to sympathize with other people or realize when she was hurting them. Even at the end she seems to think that money falls free from the sky and that other people's pain is none of her concern. I didn't feel she was really ready for a relationship, so I felt bad for her boyfriend.

* Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist, Jacquiline Houtman, Walter Naegle,  and Michael G. Long. A Cybils YA Nonfiction book that provides a biography of a Civil Rights leader I had never heard of despite his involvement in many iconic events. I'm going to try to get my teens to try it, although the dull cover will fight against that. I did want more of a feeling of where the information came from, especially since one of the authors was Rustin's husband (life partner? before legal marriage). But I really enjoyed learning about this gap in my history education.

* The Kentucky Cycle, Robert Schenkken. A friend from book club suggested this as a Kentucky book. Wow, really rotten people in these plays. It would be grueling to attend this play(s), because there are few good guys and they don't win in the end. In fact, they rarely win in the middle. Knowing that the evil dudes grinding people's face in the dust will probably get grinded themselves in the next cycle doesn't give me hope to carry on. But it's a powerful experience.

* 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 at the library, and managed to read them before my impatient children dragged me away:
Don't Read This Book!I Really Like Slop! (Elephant & Piggie, #24)

Don't Read This Book, Jill Lewis. I love meta picture books, as well as books about books, so this one called to me. It's not amazingly clever, but has a cheerfully loud and bombastic King stomping about threatening dungeons to early readers while chivying his writer to get cracking and to maybe put some interesting characters such as handsome, brave Kings in the book. I would have had a good time reading this aloud to preschoolers, and the illustrations were well done, with lovely details in the background.

I Really Like Slop, Mo Willems. Another Elephant and Piggy book, so you know the score. The best part were the colors Gerald turns after trying Piggy's slop, which started out good and then turned great. Good emotional tone, with Piggy a bit nervous about how far reaching Gerald's disapproval will go -- will he just hate the slop or also scorn the cook?

I started and am still reading five more books, mostly because of library due dates:
Venus on the Half-Shell and OthersKenilworthDumplin'Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3)Not Always a Saint (The Lost Lords, #7)

Venus on the Half-Shell, Philip Jose Farmer. I think I got this when looking for Farmer's Tarzan Alive book; it contains all the stuff he wrote under fictional author's names such as Kilgore Trout. I'm not sure I'll read them all but I'll try a sample.

Kenilworth, Walter Scott. I picked up another classic for my slowly-nibble books. It'll show up below next week. This book has been on my shelves for decades; the fun part is that the pages are falling out so as I read them I toss them in the recycle bin. Tra la la!

Dumplin', Julie Murphy. The last Cybils YA fiction book and then I'll have finished a whole category! I can peek at a winner! And it is set in Texas, so two challenges in one.

Grave Peril, Jim Butcher. This is the new Tuesday night book pick. It's handy for me because I've hesitated to pick up the latest few Dresden books because I've forgotten so much of the beginning. Rereading the third in the series should help with that.

Not Always a Saint, Mary Jo Putney. Another paperback from the library, this one part of Putney's Lost Lords series. I seem to have skipped at least one, so I guess I don't watch the QuickPicks closely enough. It's a good easy book to read away from home if I'm not in the mood for electronics. Two rich people need to get married fairly quickly, and they won't know they are secretly hot for each other -- that's my guess of the plot.

Bookmarks moved in several books:
Under a Graveyard Sky (Black Tide Rising, #1)CruxRadianceThe Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #4)Child of the Ghosts (Ghosts, #1)

Republic, Lindsay Buroker. I'm interested in the assassin's kid. Not Sicarius, the other other assassin.

Hild, Nicola Griffith. Hild is a woman now! And Cian a warrior.

Under a Graveyard Sky, John Ringo. More political maneuvering, I hope to set us up for the next major plot thread (invading the land?).

Crux, Ramez Naam. The genius trapped in the hard drive is due for the chop.

Radiance, Catherynne M. Valente. The library let me renew this, so it's not as big a priority now. Still not hooked. The mosaic writing style hasn't given me anyone to really care about.

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, Julia Quinn. At least the Big Misunderstanding is a deliberate secret that Sir Richard is keeping. Still makes for an awkward conflict, especially since the protagonists are already married.

Child of the Ghosts, Jonathan Moeller. The child has just been accepted into the ghosts, so at least one meaning of the title is explained.

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)Reading and Learning to Read

A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George. I'm not sure I am rooting for the cops, as they seem a bit corrupt.
Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. The importance of compassion in our lives.
Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris. Bad guys attack our heroes, who fight back.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. The sisters start the rescue of their brother. They do not appear to have read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and are unprepared for treachery.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca.  More about how to improve fluency.
2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015: 11 out of 82. Finished Everything Everything, and then Dumplin' will finish off my first category. Also read Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist and wondering if YA Nonfiction will be my favorite category this year.
  2. Reading My Library Finished Miracle at Augusta. I ended up enjoying it after all. Now I'm reading The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy. Still listening to Hild.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 14/50.  Knocked off Georgia. I wondered if I could count Bayard Rustin for Pennsylvania since he was born there, but he got out pretty quick.
  4. TBR Triple Dog Dare. My totals are 28 library books, 7 personal library, 4 e-book. Actually, there are a few library books left.
  5. Full House Challenge: 25/25. I'm done! Rob Roy has been in my TBR bookcase for years.
  6. Library Challenge: I'm at 44 and have moved into the last category.
  7. Diversity Challenge 2016: Kidlit: 9/12. Adult lit: 5/12. 
  8. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  March is supposed to be when this takes off, but I haven't finished the library overflow yet. 9. 
  9. Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 13/20. I don't think I'm approaching this in a very adult manner.
  10. Eclectic Reader Challenge 2016: 2/12. I got the easy ones. This could be hard.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Seven books?

I am so envious. I can barely finish one. :)

Have a great rest of the week.

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