Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Break

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I am continuing to read for my book team and to enjoy the lack of responsibilities that comes with summer vacation, particularly the part of summer vacation that my kids spend in Europe with their dad. I manage to feed the cats most days, but a lot of the other basic chores have slid a bit. Laundry? Dishes? My TV shows? Never happened.

Also, I'm in denial that the lawn grows if the kids aren't here. Strong, strong denial.

The Book Date does a weekly roundup of what people are reading, want to read, have read each week called It's Monday! What Are You Reading and I'm going to sign up. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed, and as that is a particular interest of mine, I check in with either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers for their version.

My pile of books for this week:

Hotel RubyTo Sail a Darkling Sea (Black Tide Rising, #2)Demigods & Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the KanesThe Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1)Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses, #1)The Time TradersThe Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

* Hotel Ruby, Suzanne Young. A girl deals with her grief over her dead mother and estranged family at a posh hotel, except that things seem a bit odd. A bit too much horror for my squeamish self, and I found the people she met at the hotel annoyingly flat but I enjoyed the well-flagged big reveal. The ending felt satisfying, although I felt bad for the grandmother.

* To Sail a Darkling Sea, John Ringo. Ringo tells a good story, but I really don't want to hang out with him or his friends based on what he seems to think are truths of human nature. I do like how everyone keeps correcting Faith on how to do things, although she is always right even when she is being an idiot. I wish there were a few women worthy of being characters who weren't lovely, but maybe chubby people don't have the right stuff.

* Demigods and Magicians, Rick Riordan. The library wanted it, and my reading team could use it. The short stories would not work without the background of both series, but it was a fun ride to see how the different characters would interact. Since Riordan had (I assumed intentionally) gender-swapped the impulsive/studious characters, the girl Kane got to bond with Percy while Annabeth appreciated Carter's finer points. And fight bad guys, of course.

* The Sword of Summer, Rick Riordan. And now for some Norse myths! I like how he immediately crossed the streams with a cousin in the Greek demigod camp, and then separates them for most of the book. I'm a Loki fan (thanks Joanna Harris!), so I hope he doesn't turn out to be all bad, but even if he does it's still fun. It's definitely a roller coaster of a plot tickets ride (we need X -- must go through Y and Z; X shows us the need for A!).

*Mystic and Rider, Sharon Shinn. I like these stories of the Twelve Houses because they are solidly grounded in character. The party travels about and deals with bad guys, but also develop themselves as real and diverse people. I especially like that some of them make decisions I disagree with but which seem true to their character. Finally, I like the tone of Shinn's books, which value decency and competency.

* The Time Traders, Andre Norton. The Sword and Laser pick for July. It's from the 1950's, although Norton went through it and replaced "Reds" with "Russians" and such for modern sensibilities. I don't think it passes the Bechtel test. Our hero must learn discipline and resolve so he can be a true soldier in the Time Traveling division, as well as make it as a prehistoric warrior type. Luckily he has the inner strength, as well as the chance to wear nifty alien long johns. Fun, short read.

* The Reason I Jump, Naoki Higashida. An autistic boy answers questions about his life, particularly the parts dominated by his autism. I was a bit put off by his habit of speaking for all autistic people (except when he varies from the main stream) but enchanted with his description of how he perceives things and works to make his body his ally instead of his problem.

* 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:

Listen, SlowlyBronze Gods (Apparatus Infernum, #1)Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1)

Listen, Slowly, Tranhha Lai. The next Cybils book, as I start middle grade fiction. I don't really buy the premise, but I'm there for the ride, and I always like a new setting. I hope the main character grows out of her brattiness quickly so she becomes less annoying.

Bronze Gods, A.A. Aguirre. This is not by Ann Aguirre, but by Ann and her husband Andre, which seems like an interesting combination. My copy is signed, which I hadn't noticed, and I don't know which one did it. So far we have a detective team that are just discovering their UST, and a murder case. It seems to be a steampunk/fairy type of world, which could be a fun combination.

Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie. Rereading this for my Tuesday book club, and I'd better get on it because we are supposed to have it finished by Tuesday. I like knowing what to watch out for this time around.

Bookmarks moved in several books:

The Flowers of AdonisFlight BehaviorWHISPER OF MAGICMy Life in the Bush of GhostsThe Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1)

The Flowers of Adonis, Rosemary Sutcliff. The political favors of Athens are a chancy and ruthless weapon, and only continued success placates her.

Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver. Reading My Library Quest audio book, set in Tennessee. I like the interactions between the science interns and the family.

A Whisper of Magic, Patricia Rice. Our heroine kinda accidentally starts an industrial strike while on a tour of a cloth factory. Oops, but maybe good for the people?

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Amos Tutuola. The next book in the History of Black Fiction list I'm working through. The boy is having a lot of magical adventures, but I think I'm starting to get into the rhythm of it.

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. The Cybils books haven't matched well to my team needs.
  2. Reading My Library:  I'm on disc 7 of many of Flight Behavior.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 32/51.  But I've read books in Japan, Finland, and now Viet Nam.
  4. Full House Challenge:  24/25. Picked up a memoir.
  5. Library Challenge: I'm at 126. 
  6. Diversity Challenge 2016: 12/12. 10/12. Got the autistic book. Poetry may be harder. Now tracking physical fitness vs disability. So far my books have included a Deaf character and a quadriplegic. 
  7. Shelf Love Challenge 2016:  25. I hope I get more chances to read my shelves!
  8. Grown-Up Reading Challenge 2016: 18/20. 
  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:  Haven't read the picture book yet.
  11. Flash Bingo: Summer time! New bingo card! Got triple Bingo!
  12. Literary Exploration Challenge: 12/12. Now I'll work on the 36 challenge -- 30/36


Sue Jackson said...

Wow, I am always so impressed by people who can juggle so many books at once! I am a monogamous reader - can only read one at a time (plus I usually have an audio going). Listen, Slowly was wonderful - I listened to it on audio last summer. Hope you enjoy it, too!

If any of your summer reads are 400+ pages you might enjoy joining my Big Book Summer Challenge!

Enjoy your books - and all that glorious time alone! I only had 4 days to myself two weeks ago, but it was lovely :)


2016 Big Book Summer Challenge

Heather Fineisen said...

I really liked Flight Behavior. Hope you enjoy it. Happy Reading!

Jane said...

I follow a lot of teacher's blogs, so I'm being inundated with summer break reading posts, I'm pretty much turning green with envy over here! :) I usually have a couple of books on the go at once - one for my commute, and one to read before bed!