Monday, December 18, 2017

Gather Your Forces

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Both my boys are home! This means I barely see either of them as they disappear together all the time, but it still makes me happy. And they show up to eat occasionally.

I spend my reading time poking at my huge pile of unread Cybils books, which doesn't leave much time for actual reading. Currently Reading is creeping back up 33 as I start all the Cybils YA but finish nothing.

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 that I'm going to sign up for. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed that I usually qualify for.  I'll go look to see what everyone else was reading at either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers.

This Week I started:
The Chocolate TouchForged in BloodThe Strange Case of the Alchemist's DaughterAdulthood Rites

The Chocolate Touch
, Patrick Catling. For my elementary school book club.

Forged in Blood, anthology. A new Freehold book.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, Theodora Goss. Last October's Sword & Laser pick.

Adulthood Rites, Octavia Butler. Dawn made me want more Butler.

I finished:

In the Country We Love: My Family DividedDawn (Xenogenesis, #1)The Chocolate Touch

In the Country We Love, Diane Guerrero. For my Reading Across the Aisles book club on Tuesday. Only two people showed up, which was disappointing. We talked about immigration and families for about 30 minutes, then gave up. I thought the book did a good job showing the pain suffered when families are broken up, but I'm not as convinced that the problem isn't parents immigrating illegally rather than laws deporting illegal immigrants.

Dawn, Octavia Butler. I must have liked it because as soon as I finished I picked up the next one.

The Chocolate Touch
, Patrick Catling. For my elementary school book club. A good percentage (but not all) of the kids recognized the King Midas myth the story was based on, and then we had a fun time trying to get them to understand the 1950's, when the book was written. I had to clarify that I did not have a personal memory of WWII, which is always fun.

I finished 3 non-Cybils books.

Cybils Books

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson ElementarySalt to the SeaTo Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner PartyIn the Footsteps of Crazy HorseWe Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
When the Moon Was OursBeastRunMs. Bixby's Last Day

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, Laura Shovan. Completed. Poetry. Finished it, still unpersuaded of the idea of either kids writing these poems happily or kids thinking it mattered that their school was moving. At least the idea of a class size of 18 in a public school made sense -- a big reason the schools were consolidating was the low population.

Salt to the Sea
, Ruta Sepetys. Completed. YA book. Yep, not everyone got a happy ending. And the Nazi guy never redeemed himself, or even found out what was causing his rash. Turns out that World War II was a bad time for just about everybody.

To Stay Alive, Skila Brown. Completed. Poetry. This is the kind of verse novel I avoid, with free verse poems that mostly just feel like sentences with a lot of extra returns typed in. The question this book raises for me is whether it's better to use a real person to put all your own thoughts into, or if you are planning to make stuff up you should go ahead and make somebody up who accompanies the real people. I would have prefered the latter in this case.

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse, Joseph M. Marshall III. Completed. Middle Grade fiction. Even better than I expected, this story of Crazy Horse told through a grandson and grandfather visiting the important places of his life while affirming their love and respect for each other was utterly charming.

We Will Not Be Silent, Russell Freedman. Completed. Middle Grade Nonfiction. The big size gave room for the pictures and text to tell the story in an accessible and informative way. Interesting for an adult and I would have lapped it up as a child during my WWII stage.

When the Moon Was Ours, Anna-Marie McLemore. In progress. It's hard for me to gauge how much danger is real and how much is teenage overreaction, because with all the magic realism going on they might be underestimating things in a Buffy-type situation.

Beast, Brie Spangler. In progress. I hope that a few of these realistic YA or middle grade fictions give me the states I need for my 50 State challenge. Don't know where this is set yet.

Run, Kody Keplinger. In progress. It started in Tennessee. Or Kentucky. One of those.

Ms. Bixby's Last Day, John David Anderson. In progress. Three boys deal with a situation. Didn't this guy write The Dungeoneers? He's got quite a wide repertoire.

(I apparently have decided to start one of the remaining Cybils books every day, although few of them are short enough to finish in one sitting. I am giving up on listing the ones I'm in the middle of now.)

Picture Books

General Relativity for BabiesI Want to Be a Reader!

General Relativity for Babies, Chris Ferrie. This was a bit confusing -- the relationship of volume to mass seemed over simplified. But if it makes some people more willing to read to babies, I'm in!

I Want To Be a Reader, Mark Powers. Meta can never start too young. I approve of this board book.

Bookmarks moved in:

Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe, #19)Giant Pumpkin SuiteRebel (The Change, #3)Whose body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1)

Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Episode 2. Now we see why Tulley gets paid the big bucks. Or should be.

Great Pumpkin Suite, Melanie Hill. The power saw is moving and I cringed away from the page. I moved one paragraph.

Rebel, Sherwood Smith & Rachel Manija Brown. Mira would be tough to have on a dangerous expedition as her curiosity outweighs her common sense by several multiples.

Whose Body, Dorothy Sayers. I'll pull out on my road trip with one disk left -- how frustrating!

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

KenilworthA Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does HappenReading and Learning to Read

Kenilworth, Sir Walter Scott.

A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.

The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

2017 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2016!  64/107-ish. Finished most of the poetry books, worked on nonfiction and YA, and generally despaired.
  2. Reading My Library: Making progress on Whose Body, but book club reading came ahead of working on the next print book.
  3. Where Am I Reading?: 39/51. I would have liked to get a North Dakota and Utah book, but so far nothing. I did pick up South Dakota and have nibbles on Kentucky and Tennessee. Maybe I'll get lucky and one of the CYBILS books will take place in Utah.

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