It's been a pleasant week as the season turns to fall, with cooler temperatures and rainy days that my lawn really appreciates. I had a fun reading week, with four book clubs. There were two at the elementary school to set up this year's 4th and 5th grade clubs, one Tuesday Movie/Book club, and the library's Across the Aisles, where we read controversial books about matters we disagree with and yet manage to be polite to each other.
My college going son had a birthday and seemed pleased with the packages that arrived, mostly bearing chocolate and sugar. It's still strange not to have him at home.
Friday was my turn to cook, and I produced two chicken & pasta dishes so the family could decide on a favorite. The vote was tied. And then I amazed myself by also bringing out a blueberry pound cake, which I brought along to my baby brother's birthday party the next day. That was a fun social time with laughter, cards, and some whiskey. He's growing up so fast! (He's 46.)
By the way, CYBIL nominations are open. Did you see any great kids books (picture books through YA) this year? Head on over! I rushed to add my suggestions, although I don't read much new stuff nowadays. I miss the new picture books section at the library; now they move acquisitions directly into the general shelves. I check the dates of the ones I love, but usually they are a few months too old to nominate.
I continued finishing more books than I started. Currently Reading is down to 22 books already, and my goal is to get back to 20 (the size of my Goodreads page). That's about where I like to be.
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 with all the pictures books I read I'll check in with either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers for their version.
This week I started:
The Mother of All Questions, Rebecca Solnit. Pithy, often humorous essays about how women navigate the modern world. Since I agree with most of what she says, I find her clever :-)
Silent in the Grave, Deanna Raybourn. A recommended mystery with a widowed protagonist, who is obviously going to end up (probably in the next book) with the mysterious detective who has a shady past and SECRETS.
Sleep Like a Baby, Charlaine Harris. A new Aurora Teagarden!
Unusually, I managed to finish everything I started!
Merely a Marriage, Jo Beverley. It ended with an implausible scandal, and even more unlikely elopement, and an inexplicable tryst before the HEA with marriage and an epilogue baby. Not my favorite Beverley.
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, Lawrence Wright. The club had fun, although we ended up disagreeing on whether Scientology was a cult that should be banned. But we disagreed politely and had a good conversation about religion and government and where controls were needed.
The Murder of Mary Russell, Laurie R. King. Since the plot of this hangs on some of the smartest people in the country being unable to use a telephone, I found in unpersuasive.
The Mother of All Questions, Rebecca Solnit. It's easy to read fast when you agree with the author.
Sleep Like a Baby, Charlaine Harris. Aurora is still sharp and practical, as well as head over heels for her new baby. Not even the flu stops her from solving things. I like how some ends are left open -- is the cat deaf? Was their solution just? Will they get a dog? I read it in one sitting.
Silent in the Grave, Deanna Raybourn. I liked Lady Gray's voice, although she apparently is a terrible judge of people.
The Late Scholar, Jill Paton Walsh (audio). This is astonishly fast for an audio book for me, but I had an incentive to finish up all mysteries and so I abandoned podcasts and listened to this whenever the car was in motion. The English accents and unsuspensful plot helped -- I knew Lord Peter would figure everything out, so I just relaxed and listened to him do it.
The Way Into Chaos, Harry Connolly. OK, the book has left everyone in a terrible position, and the world at large also seems to be basically doomed. Don't be afraid to go dark, Connolly! Actually, it's not "grimdark" because many of the characters do work hard at doing the right thing, which I think that genre rejects? But so far it's not really working out for them.
Princess Penelopea Hates Peas, Susan Sweet. ** spoiler alert ** She ends up liking them. I was rooting for her especially during the mattress stuffing (best place to hide a few bushels of yucky vegetables!) but then the final pages took a hard didactic turn and in fact the last few pages are an instruction on how to cure a picky eater. Bleh.
Nana In the City, Lauren Castillo. I liked the pictures, the concept and the message. It sums up my feelings about the city perfectly--a good place to visit but too intimidating to live there.
I Will Chomp You, Jory John. Meta and violence -- my favorite things in a picture book. The text talks directly to the reader with very obvious cues for motion. My kids would have chomped this up with glee.
The Slowest Book Ever, April Sayre. I don't know why I'm always surprised when I adore a Cybils finalist; it's more common than not. Not just a collection of random facts about slow things, this book also inspires with a deep love of science, curiosity, and intelligence, and its confidence that children share these interests.
Giant Squid, Candace Fleming. Another Cybils finalist, although in a younger nonfiction category. Obviously any book with giant squid is awesome, but this one also have lyrical descriptions and a clear delivery both of what is known and what is unknown about these amazing creatures.
Tortuga Squad, Cathleen Burnham. Another Cybils nonfiction picture book, using photographs and a clear narrative to talk about conservation and turtles.
Bookmarks moved in:
Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Part 14-17. Everyone is back on the ship. I didn't get far, what with mainlining my audio book.
Harmful to Minors, Judith Levine. Currently we are looking at sex education, or rather its absence. Since America finds it hard to believe that anyone under 18 should even KNOW about sex, educating kids about how it works is discouraged. This is plainly stupid.
The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown. The dust that makes the Dust Bowl has started blowing. Germany excuses itself from the Treaty of Versailles. Things are going to get worse before they get better.
Captive Prince, C.S. Pacat. The captor prince has delivered on his promises.
Unbound, Jim Hines. OK, time to bring some strands together.
Hostage, Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown. We spend more time with the hostage. Although he seems more of a captive, since there is no intention of releasing him. Maybe someone else is the hostage?
Someplace to Be Fying, Charles de Lint. Back to our main city, where I have forgotten all about the murder again. Time for a flashback!
Virtues of War, Bennett Coles. Happily we move to a strategy session. Manly officers want action!
Legend, Marie Lu. It's hard to lose one's mom.
Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone. I'm supposed to finish this by Tuesday, so I'd better get tracking. Luckily my brother gave me some spoilers, so I can feel clever picking up all the foreshadowing and stuff.
The Giant Pumpkin Suite, Melanie Hill. Oh man, I suspect our character is about to learn so tough lessons. There's been some major foreshadowing going on, which I hope is accidental.
These I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.
Kenilworth, Sir Walter Scott.
The Emerald Atlas, John Stephens.
A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.
The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox.
Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.
2017 Challenge Progress: