Monday, May 2, 2016


It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
This week I feel into the hole of a little game on my phone (Avenger's Academy) and had little time for anything else. Well, I got Groot, so I win, but never again, I hope. I've even made a deal with my younger son to trade phones if I find myself tempted by their next "special event."

In between frantically tapping on my phone, I read a teensy bit, so here's my report.

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, since I read a little of that as well.

This week I finished five books:

Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess, #1)Havoc (Dred Chronicles, #2)A Spool of Blue ThreadBone GapQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Harriet the Invincible, Ursula Vernon. The men in my Tuesday book club admitted that this was a fun read, and we talked a bit about expectations. One guy said his kids weren't really into fairy tales so he wasn't sure how many jokes they would miss. I talked about my son enjoying a pastiche of Tale of Two Cities without having read the original, but then he's loved everything Sarah Rees Brennan has written so it's not surprising that Tell the Wind and Fire worked for him.

Havoc, by Ann Aguirre. Another fine entry from one of my favorite SF writers. I like how her characters deal with their own imperfections without being boring about it. In this case Dred and Jael have a lot of baggage, but they are willing to work on themselves. And of course, willing to fight through the decaying corridors of a dying space station against the mercenaries and other convicts all conspiring to kill them.

A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler. This was a fascinating weaving of the history and lives of a Baltimore family, which I completely enjoyed until the final revelations about the founding generation, which creeped me out and spoilt some of the enjoyment. It's still a well written story, but no longer one I recommend for a good time. A Reading My Library Quest pick.

Bone Gap, Laura Ruby. The next Cybils finalist on my list. I started out distrusting the magic realism but ended up loving it and how Finn's issues tie in with the theme of knowing oneself and one's family.

* Quiet, Susan Cain. My next book-club-with-friends pick. It's a look at how what it means to be introverted and how to make sure that is a strength and not a liability, both for yourself, your peers and and subordinates, and your children.

* 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 more books:

Ready Player OneYear Of Living DangerouslyWilliam Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #4)Wool (Wool, #1)

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline. Both my kids read this ages ago (last fall?) and tell me I'll like it.

The Year of Living Dangerously, Christopher Koch. This is for my new challenge "Surprise Me" where I randomly pick a book from my goodread's to-read list and try to read it. This was April's book, which I will finish sometime in May. Hey, it's time to pick the May book.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope, Ian Doescher. This is my next Tuesday Book Club/Movie night pick. I only read through the first two acts, as it will take a while for everyone to find the book.

Wool, Hugh Howey. This was recommended to me years ago, so I bought a copy. Time to try to actually read it!

Bookmarks moved in several books. This seems like a more manageable set to me:
Under a Graveyard Sky (Black Tide Rising, #1)CruxBlake: or; The Huts of AmericaSisterlandUnnatural Causes (Adam Dalgliesh, #3)The Flowers of Adonis

Under a Graveyard Sky, John Ringo. Family bonding through zombie massacres. It's quite touching, really.

Crux, Ramez Naam. Things happen.

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. Our hero wanders through all the slave states spreading his secret message.

Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld. My next Reading My Library pick. Still not caring about these characters.

Unnatural Causes, P.D. James. My next audio book for my Reading My Library Quest. Gossip and social nicities help solve the crime.

The Flowers of Adonis, Rosemary Sutcliff. The army has gone off to war, but things will not go well. Lots of foreshadowing from our narrator to tell us that. Also, the Athenian governing council may be controlled by idiots.

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. The trick of Gideon writing to his therapist is a little precious.
Awakening to the Sacred, Lama Surya Das. Prayers for all occasions and temperments.
Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris. Rescuing a friend. Or picking her up after she rescues herself.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. Negotiations with the dwarves is complicated.
Kenilworth, Walter Scott. Our hero's minion is apparently a master alchemist.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca. How to ask questions and teach children to ask questions that improve reading comprehension.

2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015:  22 out of 82. Knocked off another YA Fantasy.
  2. Reading My Library:  Reading Sisterland. Not enjoying it. Finished A Spool of Blue Thread.  About to start Large Print nonfiction. Started disc 5 of 8 of Unnatural Causes.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 22/50.  A Spool of Blue Thread is set in Maryland.  Bone Gap was Illinois, but I already had that.
  4. Full House Challenge: 22/25.   I set up the card again.
  5. Library Challenge: I'm at 77. I do love me a good public library.
  6. Diversity Challenge 2016: Kidlit: 10/12. No change. Adult lit: 8/12. Although there were a lot of side characters who were LGBT in my reading, very few main characters were (in April). In May I'll track the economic class of my characters -- Upper, middle, or lower.
  7. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  15! Halfway through the next goal.
  8. Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 16/20. No change.
  9. Eclectic Reader Challenge 2016: 10/12. The Anne Tyler was a Booker Prize finalist! And Quiet counts as psychology. Boo yah!
  10. Surprise Me Challenge: My April book arrived from the library: The Year of Living Dangerously. Now I just have to read it. I ordered the May book.
  11. Flash Bingo: Seven Bingos!
  12. Literary Exploration Challenge: 10/12. I'm stuck on horror and classics. I'm not sure I'll recognize horror -- how gross is something before it counts?


Marce said...

I have tried reading two books at once and one always gets my attention fully, I couldn't imagine numerous books at the same time and what a great mix.

Elizabeth said...

Very nice week.

You definitely get a lot done in one week.

I can only read one book at a time.

ENJOY your reading week this week.

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My It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?