Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Joined a Team

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
So I joined an online Reading Team in a Reading Contest for the summer. And my kids disappeared with their dad. So I may have set some expectations that are doomed to disappointment, because I won't keep this up as I disappeared into my room and read a lot of things. On the bright side, many of those things were from my shelves, and so I cleared out some space. Other ones were frantic downloads from the library, because on this team we sometimes have to read very specific things.

So, among other things, I read a book that starts with "Midnight" and ends with "Blue." I read a book with a really long title. I read a children's book. I read a mystery. I read a book that starts with "Fires." I even read a book for my book club!

My pile of books for this week:

All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown (All-of-a-Kind Family, #3)The Spider's War (The Dagger and the Coin, #5)Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal LoveGentleman Jole and the Red Queen (Vorkosigan Saga, #16)The Darling Dahlias and the Eleven O'Clock LadyStarry River of the SkyOnly a Promise (The Survivors' Club, #5)Castle in the Air (Howl's Moving Castle, #2)Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes, #1)Midnight BlueFires of Winter

* All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown, Sidney Taylor. It grates me know how obvious the dad is that he prefers his son to any of his daughters, but I still love this description of a large family in New York right before and during World War I. I enjoy see the peeks into Jewish life explained, especially when they invite their gentile friends so there is an excuse to explain things.

The Spider's War, Daniel Abraham. My Reading My Library book.

Kiss Me Deadly, ed. Trisha Telep This is my June Surprise Me pick, which I'm reading in between Cybils categories. It's a collection of supernatural short stories.

* Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, Lois McMaster Bujold. Almost a reread; I had read the e-ARC when it came out, but this was my chance to read my (SIGNED) official copy. I enjoyed spotting origins of the strands that weave through the book, and seeing how the characters wrestled with the decisions that would shape the next phase of their lives. Not a lot of exterior action, but rich with development.

* The Darling Dahlias and the Eleven O'Clock Lady, Susan Wittig Albert. Another Reading My Library book, which also worked for my Reading Team.

* The Starry River of the Sky, Grace Lin. I've been meaning to read this for years, ever since I bought it for my elementary  now high school aged son, and I'm glad I finally took it off the shelf. Another good combination of children having adventures in between telling stories. It would probably have been a great read-aloud, and is also a good choice for readers developing stamina, as you can pause at either the chapter breaks or around the stories inside the chapters.

* Only a Promise, Mary Balogh. I'm on a Survivor's Club kick. I especially enjoyed this one for the absolutely terrible sex "enjoyed" by the main characters as they struggled to build a marriage based on the promise of never communicating with each other. They complete fail in that, but luckily for the HEA fail of the "never communicate" part rather than the "build a marriage" part.

* Castle in the Air, Diana Wynne Jones. I haven't read this in so long that I didn't recognize all the pieces along the way, even though I knew to look for them. Still a great book. I want to go reread some more Wynne Jones now.

Death Cloud, Andrew Lane. Finished my next book club book, a story about Sherlock Holmes as a teenager. He's gathered a few friends and is getting tutored in the art of observation and deduction. I wonder if all the friends will be killed off by the end of the series as an explanation of why he never introduces Watson to them...

* Midnight Blue, Pauline Fisk. This is a children's portal fantasy that echoes the emotional needs of the character without being overly didactic about it or resolving too many things through the device. It's very English, in a good way, and I enjoyed the cadence of the language and the complexities of even the villains, who were black and white in the children's eyes but I could see layers by reading between the lines. Also has a beautiful cover, which I think is how I got the book.

* Fires of Winter, Roberta Gellis. A historical romance that dragged me through the first years of an English Civil War (the Anarchy one, with Matilda and Stephen) before giving glimpses of the romance. Buying the fugue state of the main female character was a big swallow, but once that went down it was fun reading the different interpretations of the characters. She knew she had been walking in a daze for months with little memory of what happened; they though she had cunningly deceived everyone for months by posing as an almost brainless female while using her hidden clever mind to build vast conspiracies achieving no one can comprehend what. So every time she sneezed all about her (including her husband) would start searching for the deep meaning behind it.

* 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 read a short story:
Shadows Over Innocence (The Emperor's Edge, #0.5)

"Shadows Over Innocence," Lindsay Buroker. This is an early look at Sicarius and the emperor's family, and it was free on the author's web site.

I started and am still reading two more books:

The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does HappenThe Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1)

The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw. Another book I will read inches at a time and finish sometime in the distant future.

The Aeronaut's Windlass, Jim Butcher. This is a Hugo nominee, so I'm trying it out even though I'm still behind on the Harry Dresden series.

Bookmarks moved in several books:

The Flowers of AdonisWindswept (Windswept, #1)Flight BehaviorWHISPER OF MAGICMy Life in the Bush of Ghosts

The Flowers of Adonis, Rosemary Sutcliff. A lot of portends of doom are coming down.

Windswept, Adam Rakunas. This was the book the very kind author gave me at Norwescon. It's in my bag for reading on the go, but I keep not going many places.

Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver. Reading My Library Quest audio book, set in Tennessee. It's looking a lot at class issues.

A Whisper of Magic, Patricia Rice. I think a pregnancy is in the cards.

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Amos Tutuola. The next book in the History of Black Fiction list I'm working through. Not sure what it's about yet.

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)KenilworthSammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen (Sammy Keyes, #9)Reading and Learning to ReadThe Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen

A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George.
Emerald Atlas, John Stephens.
Kenilworth, Walter Scott.
Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, Wendelin Van Draanen.
The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw.
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca.

2016 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2015: 31 out of 82. I'm ready to Middle Grade Fiction.
  2. Reading My Library:  Finished The Spider's War as well as The Darling Dahlias and the Eleven O'Clock Lady. I'm on disc 5 of many of Flight Behavior.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 32/51.  Picked up Alabama and Nevada.
  4. Full House Challenge:  23/25. No change. Still need memoir and family relationship.
  5. Library Challenge: I'm at 124.  I think I get my money's worth.
  6. Diversity Challenge 2016: 11/12. 9/12. Need autistic book. Also poetry. Now tracking physical fitness vs disability.
  7. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  24.  Working on he third level already!
  8. Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 18/20. My fantasy book had a lot of finance in it.
  9. Eclectic Reader Challenge 2016: 10/12. No change. I need a debut author in 2016, and an immigrant experience book. 
  10. Surprise Me Challenge:  Finished Kiss Me Deadly.
  11. Flash Bingo: Summer time! New bingo card! Got  Bingo!
  12. Literary Exploration Challenge: 12/12. Now I'll work on the 36 challenge -- 30/36

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