Monday, July 24, 2017

Reading and Socializing

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Somehow I keep seeing people, despite my ambition to be a hermit. I saw Spiderman:Homecoming twice (once with my nephew, once with my brother) and enjoyed it both times, mainly because even the movie kinda noticed that Tony Stark is an awful man who should not be allowed near children. So I could relax into the fun school high jinks of Peter Parker and his friends.

Then I went out to a MiniFoolscap, which was fun although once again our inability to publicize made for a tiny turnout. At least we all liked the food, and I'm always game to go to a library.

I also slid into the last few minutes of a library Summer Reading Party, and now I want to go for more. People sitting around on a nice day and reading? The perfect amount of socialization for me!

I'm still doing my summer reading thing of starting a book every day, which will probably mean ending up with a few dozen bookmarks by the end of August, but that's how I like to roll in the breaks between routine. Currently Reading is about 22 books right now.

The Book Date does a weekly roundup of what people are reading, want to read, or 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 I finished a picture book, a Newbery winner, two YA mysteries and several SF books that feature teenagers, I'll check in with either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers for their version.

This week I started:

Remnants of Trust (Central Corps, #2)What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical QuestionsThe Valiant (The Valiant, #1)Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #2)The Sunbird (The Lion Hunters, #3)Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen KellerA Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)

Remnants of Trust, Elizabeth Bonesteel. Part of my Reading My Library Quest, last shelf of this column.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, Randall Munroe. I've been meaning to read this since my son got it for Christmas last year. Or maybe the year before that.

The Valiant, Lesley Livingston. This was last month's Vaginal Fantasy alt read, and the main pick looks absolutely awful. But this starts off with the ruination of the protagonists life (her family betrays her, she reacts foolishly, and I suspect gets taken by slavers) so I'll just poke at it until the fun parts start happening.

Labyrinth Lost, Zoraida Cordova. The next Cybils finalists. Man, I am so far behind.

Strawberry Shortcake Murder, Joanne Fluke. I saw this mentioned so I ordered it. And it's set in Minnesota! Hooray!

The Sunbird, Elizabeth Wein. I suspect I will like this a lot and that horrible things will happen.

Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, Sarah Miller. A book from the depths of my TBR list.

A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers. I enjoyed her first book, so I grabbed the next. Now I feel clever because it's one of this year's Hugo finalists.

I finished:
Brotherhood in Death (In Death, #42)A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #2)Black Butler, Vol. 8 (Black Butler, #8)

Brotherhood in Death, J.D. Robb. After I remembered that I had leapfrogged this book and read the next one the relationship signals made a lot more sense as prelude to what happens as opposed to retreating from it. It had rather gruesome murders but that was alleviated by having all the victims be really bad people (which probably shouldn't help, but does). A fun read that leaves me wanting more Robb.

A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers. This second book was even better, because in addition to engaging characters and setting, it had an underpinning of the meaning of life, of sapience and humanity, along with meditations on friendship and parenthood. Very satisfying.

Strawberry Shortcake Murder, Joanne Fluke. A cosy murder mystery set in a small town in Minnesota. There are bunch of books in this serious, and on book two people are already starting to notice the protagonist's unsettling habit of finding dead bodies. She's smart and a good cook, with an active social life that hasn't settled on a single person yet, and with a rich availability of side kicks, including her sisters and work mates. I will keep an eye out for more. It was also slightly nostalgic, with VCR programming featuring among the difficulties for our heroes.

Black Butler 8, Yana Toboso. This was a low point for me, because I frequently had great troubling knowing what was going on -- everyone is starting to look alike and I'm frankly awful at deciphering fight scenes. What I did understand appalled me. This is all me -- no one else had any problems and I'm notoriously bad at images, and the backward-to-me manga style does not help. I'll try a few more to see if I start liking them again.

Hmm, I started 8 and finished 4. This is why my currently-reading bedside pile is dangerously tall by the end of the summer.

Picture books:

None. Another sad week.

Bookmarks moved in:

Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe, #19)The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy DogStrange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Part 9. I'm starting to feel very sorry for Padi, since the authors seem to have Plans for her.

The Inquisitor's Tale (7-8/8), Adam Gidwitz. The most dull narrator seems to be the finisher, so I guess I'm stuck with him. At least I can amuse myself my remembering my own trip to Mont-Saint-Michel, in between listening to horrific tales of slaughter which I'm apparently supposed to either be cheering or unmoved by.

Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor. A copy of the ebook came in just as the library called the hardback home, so I'm leisurely finishing this. We are now deep in the teen age romance, which is not as interesting as the strange setting and powers to me, so I'm not racing along.

These I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.

The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does HappenKenilworthSammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen (Sammy Keyes, #9)The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)Reading and Learning to Read

The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox.

Kenilworth, Sir Walter Scott.

Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, Wendelin Van Draanen.

The Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. Fast moving action with clever uses of magic books -- this is the fun part.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. Different levels of comfort with vocabulary.

2017 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2016! 7 / a lot. Almost done listening to  The Inquisitor's Tale. I started Labyrinth Lost. I also have a pile of picture books so that will move fast.
  2. Reading My Library:  Two are in progress! Oops, I'm supposed to read them one at a time.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 26/51. Stumbled across a Minnesota so I'm over half-way. Actively looking for Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware and Georgia.

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