Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day At Home

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Lots of homework piling up for my high schoolers in these last few weeks of school, so these weekend was planned as a big catch-up. Somehow my proposal of lawn care as a good break from studying is not meeting with universal approval.

I'm doing some reading catch-up as well, with most of my time spent reading the things the library wants back, and then making sure I'm up to date on my book clubs. The Cybils horror stories are not really my cup of tea, but I'm trying to give them a fair chance.

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/UnLeashing Readers which does the same thing for kidlit, since I read a lot of that this week.

This week I finished only three books:

Silver on the Road (The Devil's West, #1)Of Mice and Magic (Hamster Princess, #2)Midnight Crossroad (Midnigh...

Silver on the Road
, Laura Anne Gilman. Our heroine isn't sure whether she's a hapless pawn or a budding adult. Working out which makes for an interesting coming-of-age story with an imaginative world behind it and a diverse mixture of friends and foes, sometimes alternating between the two. I liked the western feel, and also that I decided to place the setting as Nebraska, so it works for my 50 States challenge.

* Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic, Ursula Vernon. Harriett continues with her hobby of rescuing people, even as she misses her invulnerability. A fun mix of magic, silly adults, and child creatures with solid common sense as their strongest weapon.

Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris. I finished rereading my copy of this story. It works better the second time around as I'm not distracting myself playing "where is this character from" instead of enjoying the interactions. I need to see if I bought the second in the series; I'd like to own that one as well.

* 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 two new books:
All the Birds in the SkyThe Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, #1)

All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders. A Sword and Laser pick from several months ago.

The Magpie Lord, K.J. Charles. Last month's Vaginal Fantasy pick, so I'd better get cracking on this. Turns out it's been on my TBR list for a few years, so I feel like I'm getting double credit.

I read some picture books in the library:
But I've Used All My Pocket ChangeYou Can Do It, Bert!Loula Is Leaving for AfricaThe Library Ghost

But I Used All My Pocket Change, Lauren Child. I like the idea of being kind and having it work, but Lola's complete transformation seemed fake. Charlie's infinite kindness pushes the line between compassionate older brother and living doormat, especially since Lola didn't really need her trinket from the zoo. Finally, the idea that it's cheaper to buy a book in a zoo shop than a local store seem unlikely.

You Can Do It, Bert, Ole Konnecke. Simple pictures, non-condescending language and a complex emotional plot make this a great picture book for preschoolers and up. I loved the white space and the expressive pictures, as well as Bert's hesitance and ultimate victory.

Loula Is Leaving For Africa, Anne Villeneuve. The good thing about servants is that they can be parental substitutes if your family is neglectful. It's cute that the girl can run away with the chauffeur but I wondered if he had a family that he never had time to see as he spends his days with the daughter of his employers.

The Library Ghost, Carole Boston Weatherford. Sprightly rhymes tell the story of a haunting librarian with lots of excuses to namecheck literary figures. The illustrations justify all the text, which rounds itself off with a tribute to reference librarians, even the ones who are bad at riddles.

Bookmarks moved in several books:
Under a Graveyard Sky (Black Tide Rising, #1)The Flowers of AdonisLeft for Dead (Ali Reynolds, #7)Crux (Nexus, #2)The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne, #1)Slasher Girls & Monster BoysBreakout (Dred Chronicles, #3)Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

Under a Graveyard Sky, John Ringo. Into the crew sections of the cruise boat. At least these survivors had a chance to stock up on supplies.

The Flowers of Adonis, Rosemary Sutcliff. How far can revenge go?

Left For Dead, J.A. Jance. My audio book for my Reading My Library Quest. I'm really rooting for the cop and his family now.

Crux, Ramez Naam. The good guys (I think they are supposed to be the good guys) are idiots.

The City's Son, Tom Pollock. The big battle against the bad boss did not go well.

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, ed. Genevieve Tucholke. Definitely horror. Ick. Yick. I'm too squeamish for most of these stories, even the ones without bloodshed.

Breakout, Ann Aguirre. Last in the series, and from my own personal shelves. I'm enjoying this, and it's my go-to paperback in my bag. Lots of character attrition, but our heroes are making their final attempt at getting off their prison.

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Jon Meacham. The next Reading My Library book. Through the Revolutionary War with the highs of writing the "Declaration of Independence" and the lows of being governor of a Virginia under attack, and all the way to the ambassadorship to France and the writing of the constitution.

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

A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George. The police question an old man.
Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. How to meditate all over your life.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens.
Kenilworth, Walter Scott.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca.

2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015:  26 out of 82. Still reading the last SF for Young Adults; it's horror short stories and tends to give me nightmares.
  2. Reading My Library:  Left For Dead is on disc 6. Reading Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, which is the last Large Print book.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 25/51. After comparing maps for a long time, I placed Silver on the Road in Nebraska for most of the plot, so I'm still on target in May. Left For Dead is an Arizona book, so I have a start on getting to 30 in June, but things start getting harder now.
  4. Full House Challenge:  7/25 
  5. Library Challenge: I'm at 92. And almost everything I'm reading is a library book.
  6. Diversity Challenge 2016: Kidlit: 10/12. No change. But a waiting Cybils book will fill out the Holocaust spot.  Adult lit: 8/12. No change. I'll keep tracking the economic class of my characters -- Upper (8), middle (8), or lower (8). I seem to read about the rich and the poor.
  7. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  17. I definitely read a book I own this week. Go me!  
  8. Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 16/20. No change. The next ones look hard.
  9. Eclectic Reader Challenge 2016: 10/12. I need a debut author in 2016, and an immigrant experience book. 
  10. Surprise Me Challenge:  I received the May book, and plan to slip it in between Cybils categories. So as soon as I finish the horror stories I'll start it. 
  11. Flash Bingo: Blackout! 
  12. Literary Exploration Challenge: 10/12. I'm stuck on horror. Cybils to the rescue! I'm counting the old science fiction books by black authors as classics.


Kathryn T said...

Oh I avoided the Eclectic Reading challenge this year because of the Man Booker element, however I think the one you chose would be one I could endeavour to read as have wanted to try out Anne Tyler. Laughing at how the lawn care wasn't really a popular option!

Beth said...

I got lucky with that one -- I just picked it from the shelf at the library and when I entered it on goodreads it mentioned the Booker nod, and I said SCORE!

I did notice that the boy with the worst homework load actually got the most work done outside, so maybe I had something.

kmitcham said...

I finished the book club book!

Megan Wille said...

Wow! You have been busy! I love Charlaine Harris :) Haven't read much of hers yet but I love the style. Hope all your many books are good :)

Megan @ Doodles 'n Scribbles