Monday, March 19, 2018

A Sugar Rush of Celebration

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
After my birthday (and the leftover cake), my house became a sugar storage site. There were the Girl Scout cookies that I bought, and that were given me. (The peanut butter ones are the best. Thin Mints are overrated.) There was the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough left by my book club. There was Pi Day, which I celebrated by making homemade brownies in a Pi pan. And did I mention the giant chocolate bars that were my other birthday present? Never have I missed my sweet-toothed college boy so much. Sadly, I expect to finish eating almost all these goodies by the time he arrives for spring break next weekend.

I went alone to give blood, because my Paulos had switched weekends to spend time with me on my birthday. I figured it would go fast because I've been failing the iron test since Christmas, but to my shock I passed. So I spent most of the weekend napping and rebuilding my supply, which takes more effort now that I am old. And I skipped the cookies to snack on raisons in the donor-room, since even I tire of sweets at some point.

The movie this week was Wrinkle In Time. A good time was had by Linda, Nicky and me, especially me because I had also liked the book and I thought the movie mostly did a good job of capturing the spirit of it. Occasionally it dragged a bit, but mostly that was to give people a chance to admire the special effects.

I finished another Cybils from last year, so only two to go. Currently Reading has dipped below thirty, which is obviously a good thing. And I've joined another book team, so I hope that helps with my piles of unread books.

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 so I'll join in there. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed at either Teach Mentor Text or UnLeashing Readers. All my Cybils reading keeps me very eligible for that.

This Week I started:

A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us HumanAll By Myself, AloneShadow of Doubt (Robyn Hunt...Black Butler, Vol. 11 (Black Butler, #11)

A Dog in the Cave, Kay Frydenborg. 2017 Cybils nonfiction.

All By Myself, Alone, Mary Higgins Clark. Reading My Library Quest pick.

Shadow of a Doubt, Norah McClintock. From my shelves.

Black Butler XI, Yana Toboso. Working my way through the series.

I finished:

The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1)The Evil Wizard SmallboneAdulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, #2)A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us Human

The Collapsing Empire, John Scalzi. This start of a series read very much as the start of a series, in which the main character was the world building. Scalzi's easy style of clear information and smart, snarky characters made the pages turn, but since the impersonal world is really the protagonist there wasn't as much heart in the story as usual from him. But it was fun to read and I'll probably pick up the next ones to see what happens to the universe, and maybe I'll start caring more about what happens to the people inside it.

The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Delia Sherman. Cybils middle grade. Nick, the main character, had a good development from abused runaway to heroically "evil" wizard, and the side character Diana, child scientist and possible selkie kept an interesting perspective from Smallbone's town. I really wish the off-hand contempt for "Romance" books hadn't pushed in an unnecessary dose of girls=stupid just when I was congratulating myself that NOT ALL MALE CHILD PROTAGONISTS. I did like that the author didn't bother to redeem the bullying cousin or indeed most of the bad guys.

Adulthood Rites, Octavia Butler. I've had this in my bag for ages but been distracted by all the library due dates falling on me. A leisurely morning in the library prompted by a car battery failure accompanied by a GPS mapping glitch game me the time to finish my reread. Butler has ordinarily awful humans and amazingly compassionate alien hybrids; it's a bit uncomfortable that I find the human cruelty completely believable while I struggle to accept the more non-violent responses. And now I can't find the final book in the series, which is annoying me!

A Dog in the Cave, Kay Frydenborg. 2017 Cybils nonfiction. I found the topic fascinating -- how interaction with dogs may have changed humanity on a genetic and social level. The discussion of time lines, archeological evidence, genetic drift, brain scan evidence for the social development of infants and dogs, all were interesting and I wanted to learn more. I was pulled back by wondering how footprints were so obviously gendered -- the first image is Frydenborg vividly picturing a boy and his dog wandering a cave as evidenced by the thousands of year old footprints they left behind. Why a boy?

Bookmarks moved in:

Alliance of Equals (Liaden Universe, #19)London Rain (Josephine Tey #6)Game Change
Arabella and the Battle of Venus (Adventures of Arabella Ashby #2)The Weight of Zero

Alliance of Equals, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Episode 39. There are a lot of bad guys looking for good AIs.

London Rain, Nicola Upson. RML audio book. Still finding it dull and I keep finding excuses not to listen. Heard some good postcasts on the way, at least.

Game Change, Joseph Manniger. Small town life through the eyes of a newly promoted football quarterback.

Arabella and the Battle of Venus, David Levine. I continue to hope for more space battles, as Arabella's love life is not what I'm interested in.

Weight of Zero, Karen Fortunati. Cybils YA. The protagonist seems very selfish to me, and I can't tell how much of this is because she's a teenager, how much is because she's mentally ill, and how much is she's just not that decent a person.

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 HappenSammy Keyes and the Art of DeceptionChange of Heart (Robyn Hunter, #7)Reading and Learning to Read

Kenilworth, Sir Walter Scott.

A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.

The Quantum Universe, Brian Cox.

Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Wendelin Van Draanen.

Change of Heart
, Norah McClintock.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

2018 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2017! 7/104-ish.  Finished the nonfiction and ordered up some more.
  2. Cybils 2016!  103/106. Finished the middle grade SF. I need to read the last YA and the last board book, which I may just have to buy.
  3. Reading My Library: Working on London Rain which I'm disliking for the non-mysterious mystery. Started All By Myself, ALONE.
  4. Where Am I Reading 2018?: 24/51. Added South Dakota and Montana!

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