Monday, June 6, 2016

Meetings Meeting Meetings

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I ended up chairing the local PTSA meeting this week, which meant I missed my other meeting and that I will probably be the PTA President next year. Oops. That was not my intention -- I just wanted to make sure things went quickly so we got out on time. I plan to make my sister cleverly do all the work, while I take the credit. I will thank her graciously for her support so that people think I'm being kind.

I also cleverly managed things so that dinner was ready just as we had to leave for the meeting. Oh well, my son said the Thai meatballs were good and he enjoyed having them for lunch, and I got to snack on the mint & spinach frittata leftovers for the next few days.

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 many of the books I was reading last week:

Breakout (Dred Chronicles, #3)The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne, #1)Under a Graveyard Sky (Black Tide Rising, #1)Slasher Girls & Monster BoysThomas Jefferson: The Art of PowerCrux (Nexus, #2)All the Birds in the SkyThe Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, #1)Skim

Breakout, Ann Aguirre. The final in the trilogy. I remain a big Ann Aguirre fan, enough that I might follow her into her foray into Young Adults, which is older than Young Adult, being for early twenties rather than late teens. I think. Anyway, in Breakout Aguirre has fun with a roller coaster -- they are safe -- nope, well maybe now, NOPE AGAIN, how about -- OOPs, and then warm fuzzies and pillows for everyone at the end.

The City's Son, Tom Pollock. Finished this for my Tuesday book club. I liked the ending a lot, even if a lot of it was explanations after the big exciting final, final battle. I'm not sure I'm going on to the rest of the series; I'll ask the expert at book club tomorrow.

Under a Graveyard Sky, John Ringo. We made it to the end of this audio book. It's an interesting way to hear a story -- my kids and I are listening to the sections at the end of the Baen weekly podcast, so we get 10-30 minutes every Monday (or Wednesday, depending on our schedule). Also, we have no way to tell how much longer it will be, which makes guessing the structure fun. Xan and I enjoyed it enough to request the next book from the library, and we're about to start Baen's next offering, David Drake's The Sea With a Shore.

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, ed. Genevieve Tucholke. The final Cybils YA speculative fiction book for my reading pleasure. Very powerful and creepy and out of my comfort zone.

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Jon Meacham. The next Reading My Library book.

Crux, Ramez Naam. Naam is really good at murky situation with dubiously ethically paths. I appreciate the way he combines an exciting plot with a variety of protagonists in various shades of gray -- very few people are all bad, even the bad guys have understandable (sometimes laudable!) goals and motives, and the "good" guys even notice sometimes when they are taking moral shortcuts. It's still a bit grim for my personal taste, so I'm going to wait a little bit before getting to the next book.

All the Birds in the Sky
, Charlie Jane Anders. A Sword and Laser pick from several months ago. I liked the combination of science nerd and witch, as well as Anders way of showing the characters doing something and then realizing what that meant, either in terms of plot or in terms of motivation. It didn't always work, but often showed the way people figure out why they are doing something by doing it.

The Magpie Lord, K.J. Charles. Last month's Vaginal Fantasy pick, so now I can listen to last month's video, which is good as tomorrow their next one comes out. It's a competent Victorian magical romance, with tension, family history keeping true love apart, and a good balance of strengths between the protagonists. The sex isn't bad either.

* Skim, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. A graphic novel about a girl who is struggling with friendships as her school finds itself fascinated with the suicide of a popular boy. I was very creeped out by the English teacher, who I think made the right choice in running away.

* 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  new books:

Spilling ClarenceDeath Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes, #1)The Spider's War (The Dagge...A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)Windswept (Windswept, #1)

Spilling Clarence, Anne Ursu. This was the book on my TBR list that chose as my May surprise.

Death Cloud (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins), Andrew Lane. I started this thinking it was my Friday book clubs next book, but it's not -- it's the July book. Maybe I shouldn't read it this early, and maybe I'd better start the actual book...

The Spider's War, Daniel Abraham. This is my next Reading My Library book. Honestly, I picked it because I thought it was the start of a new series, and this is an author I've heard great things about. Only apparently for the last series he decided to write five books instead of his usual four, and this is the last. So I hope I can enjoy it without the previous four!

A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwab. Another catch-up book -- this is the Sword and Laser pick from April that was very popular and the library didn't find it for me until last week.

Windswept, Adam Rakunas. This was the book the very kind author gave me at Norwescon. Since I was on a book fast, I gave it to my brother to read, and when he finished it he gave it back so I can read it. So far I see that the main character is a labor union official, which is cool, especially since she is on a different planet with interesting laws to figure out.

Bookmarks moved in several books:
The Flowers of AdonisLeft for Dead (Ali Reynolds, #7)Blake: or; The Huts of AmericaThe Way Into Chaos (The Great Way #1)

The Flowers of Adonis, Rosemary Sutcliff. How far can revenge go? Things look a bit better for Athens, but they are still on shaky ground.

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. And the villain has made some more mistakes so maybe the police will figure out what I knew several discs ago, but then I had the author telling me extra stuff.

Blake: The Huts of America, Martin Delaney. The paper copy has the missing back half of this story; our hero makes it to Cuba and rescues his wife, revealing his privileged back story, and then sets off on his mission again by signing onto a ship.

The Way into Chaos, Harry Connolly. This is one of my favorite authors, so I buy his books and then don't get to read them because the library doesn't care when I finish them. But I remembered I had this so I'm reading it, dangnabbit. He's really good at hopeless conflicts.

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. General mindfulness is something I value, but some of the examples are silly (which is I guess a way of saying they wouldn't work for me).
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. A big battle, and the three siblings find each other again.
Kenilworth, Walter Scott. Leicaster is not coming out looking good.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca. I'm fascinated by the discussion of how people learn how to understand a written narrative. It's breaking a process into atoms that I had always thought of as a unit.

2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015:  27 out of 82. Finished last speculative fiction for Young Adults; taking a short break to read a Surprise Me book.
  2. Reading My Library:  Left For Dead is on disc 9. Finished Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, which was the last Large Print book, and started fiction with The Spider's War.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 25/51. So I need five more in June. I'm reading an Arizona, I think also a Minnesota, and then I got nothing. Things get real here, folks.
  4. Full House Challenge:  10/25. 3rd Time lucky!
  5. Library Challenge: I'm at 98. I'll need a name for my next category soon.
  6. Diversity Challenge 2016: Kidlit: 10/12. No change. But a waiting Cybils book will fill out the Holocaust spot.  Adult lit: 9/12. Skim filled in a spot. In June I'm looking at the mental status of my characters -- anyone on the spectrum? Anyone with a diagnosed disease? To make it easier for me I'll count side characters as well.
  7. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  17. I definitely read a book I own this week, but I bought it this year so it didn't count...
  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 started the May book, and I ordered the June one from the library. 
  11. Flash Bingo: Summer time! New bingo card! 
  12. Literary Exploration Challenge: 12/12. Now I'll work on the 36 challenge -- 25/36


Lindsey said...

I like to think that I've gotten pretty comfortable with the cooking part of being an adult. But timing dinner is still tricky!

You read so many books this week. I hope you get some great ones this week!

Elizabeth said...

What a great week for you.

Great challenges too.

Have a wonderful reading week.

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

Nise' said...

Your reading has been exceptional!

Cheriee Weichel said...

I really enjoyed Skim, but I like anything those girls put together. Congratulations on finishing so many books and good luck with these next ones.

Ms. Yingling said...

Andrew Lane is great! I keep reading even though I wish all series stopped at five books! Question this week: Have you ever done the 48 Hour Book Challenge? Interested for next year? I'm working on some plans:

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

Ooh lala. A whole lot of reading here as per usual. Always great to catch up on what you are reading.