Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring Break Stops and Starts

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I celebrated April's new freedom by reading pretty much what I read anyway -- a book club book, a Cybils book, my Library Quest book, and then one of the new books I've acquired in the past three months. I read at least fifty pages in each before moving on, and if I still have time I read whatever else is lying around. I find I like savoring the books by inching along like this, except when I'm not enjoying it but want to eventually have read it, in which case 50 pages is plenty.

In the meantime my niblings had spring break, with gorgeous spring weather and bright sunshine as they lazed around the neighborhood. Their teacher dad also had break, so he took them up to see the tulips and to visit mom in the city for lunch. I contributed a movie matinee and enjoyed Zootopia tremendously, especially the Gazelle singer and her tiger dancers. And this week is my boys' spring break, so I hope the lovely weather continues (the weatherman assures me it won't). We've planned to catch up on Agents of Shield, try out my new membership to the Seattle Art Museum, and I'm hoping to fit in a college visit or two for the oldest. That last might be a stretch, though, since I'm letting him take the lead here.

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 I read three of this week.

This week I finished only two books:

Tommy: The Gun That Changed AmericaClean Sweep (Innkeeper Chro...

Tommy: The Gun the Changed America, Karen Blumenthal. Another Cybils YA finalist. It wasn't bad, but didn't surprise me with its quality. I learned some new things about gangsters and violence in prohibition and the early thirties, but I wan't convinced that the tommy gun was the major contributing factor. It had some resonances with gun control issues we are dealing with today, and described the beginnings of the gun-protecting NRA, which the author addressed directly at the end.

Clean Sweep, Ilona Andrews. I read this online a while ago, and then got it for my son to enjoy, and now my Friday night book club is reading it. So I rereading it. The fun thing is that several members enjoyed it enough to read the second book, which is ahead of me -- I was reading it when the Andrews took it down to publish, and now I'm waiting for my library to bring it to me. And then I suggested a place when we decided to go out, and everyone liked it, so I felt like a winner twice. It's a fun romp with interesting characters and witty ideas.

* 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 started and am still reading books:
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad

The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemison. This is one of the Sword and Laser picks for this month (they had a vote, which had a tie). I think it's officially the alternate, but it's the one I more interested in reading and also the one the library got to me the quickest. So far the world building and the characterization are both strong.

Symphony for the City of the Dead, M.T. Anderson. The last Cybils YA Nonfiction book. I again started this one figuring I wouldn't like it much or learn much, and again I'm pleasantly surprised. Many of the details of Soviet Russia are new to me, as are some of the specifics of the treaty between Germany and Russia. And if I had recognized Anderson's name I would have expected the strong prose -- this is the guy who wrote the Octavian Nothing books.

Bookmarks moved in several books:
Under a Graveyard Sky (Black Tide Rising, #1)CruxChild of the Ghosts (Ghosts, #1)Blake: or; The Huts of AmericaArchangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8)The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1)SisterlandTell the Wind and Fire

Hild, Nicola Griffith. Cian's wife is no longer a problem. Oops.

Under a Graveyard Sky, John Ringo. Faith fights some zombies. That was a very exciting segment!

Crux, Ramez Naam. The bad guys win some. Well, some guys win some; almost everyone is mostly bad.

Child of the Ghosts, Jonathan Moeller. The evil overlord is about to unleash his master plan.

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. The slaves have a plan for freedom. I'm not sure when the SF elements will show up.

Archangel's Enigma, Nalini Singh.  Only a vow of celibacy separates true love now. Well, that and the one week deadline before she's supposed to return to serve an evil archangel. She should probably mention that at work -- they probably want a few days notice.

The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Laurie R. King. The Tuesday club is enjoying the excuse to watch various Sherlock Holmes movies, and the book isn't that bad either. The Big Bad has just shown up and intimidated our Heroes, and if I remember right they will respond in a useless manner. Maybe someone in the club will explain why their big plan is a good idea, after the road trip.

Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld. My next Reading My Library pick. Not my cup of tea, really.

Tell the Wind and Fire, Sarah Rees Brennan. Since I've read Tale of Two Cities, I suspect the ending will not be happy for everyone. I do like our protagonist.

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. Police work.
Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. The benefits of a meditation community, therapy a in a meditation context, and fasting's role in your life.
Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris. Bobo makes peace with his past.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. The party separates again.
Kenilworth, Walter Scott. The girl is easily led astray.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca. I've made it into a new chapter!

2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015: 18 out of 82. One last YA nonfiction, so I have a heavy hold shelf waiting for me on Thursday.
  2. Reading My Library:  Reading Sisterland. Not enjoying it. Still listening to Hild.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 20/50.  Nothing I'm currently reading can help me.
  4. Full House Challenge: 25/25. DONE! I think I'll set up the card again this week.
  5. Library Challenge: I'm at 64. I do love me a good public library.
  6. Diversity Challenge 2016: Kidlit: 10/12. I need someone on the spectrum and a Holocaust book. Adult lit: 6/12. No change.  Tracking sexuality this month; so far I read mostly books about straight people. One author is a known husband/wife team, so I'm guessing they are straight.
  7. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  10! Finished first level. I am making my list of acquired books to see if I'm keeping up.
  8. Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 16/20. No change.
  9. Eclectic Reader Challenge 2016: 7/12. No change.
  10. Surprise Me Challenge: My April book arrived from the library: The Year of Living Dangerously. Now I just have to read it.
  11. Flash Bingo: Still at one BINGO.
  12. Literary Exploration Challenge: 8/12. I'm counting Clean Sweep as science fiction, as the werewolves and vampires are aliens. On the higher level, I'm at  11/36.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

It looks like you had a good week.

Good job on your challenge. I can't do challenges unless they are simple. :)

ENJOY your weekend of reading.

Silver's Reviews
My It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?