Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Cybils Time Approaches! Especially Middle Grade SF!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Stop the presses! Read all the books! And then, if they were really good kidlit books (board books up to YA) and published in the last year, nominate them for the CYBILS Awards. Nominations are open from October 1-15 (16-25 for publishes) and everyone is eligible to nominate a book for each category.

Especially be on the look out for amazing Elementary / Middle Grade Speculative Fiction, because I'm one of the judges! I know, crazy! (Frankly I suspect some kind of computer or typing error, but too late! I'm on the team!) So my new plan for this fall is to READ ALL THE BOOKS.

In preparation, I am furiously reading all the books I've checked out of the library and meant to read any second now, such as the rest of the recommendations from my elementary book club and also the stuff I just randomly picked up. Some will have to go back unread as priorities are high! Also I'm reading books that I suspect will be nominated so I have a jump on the game.

My currently reading edged back up to 28. I'll worry about that next year.

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 sign up there. There's also a version that is kidlit focussed at either Teach Mentor Texts or Unleashing Readers and as I read some Cybils poetry books plus the YAs and the extra middle grade books I'll sign in there.

This Week I started:

The Breadwinner (The Breadwinner, #1)Girl Detective (Friday Barnes #1)Encrypted (Forgotten Ages, #1)
Black Butler, Vol. 15The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

The Breadwinner, Deborah Ellis. Recommended by last June's Talbot Hill book club.

Girl Friday, R.A. Spratt. Recommended by last June's Talbot Hill book club.

Encrypted, Lindsay Buroker. Recommended by my sister.

Black Butler 15, Yana Toboso. Working my way through the series.

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge, M.T. Anderson. I was sent a copy to review, and it's time to do that!

Cybils Reading

I picked up a pile of last year's elementary nonfiction but then spend the week crowing over my judge status and didn't read any of them. Oops.

I finished:

The Breadwinner (The Breadwinner, #1)Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories (Wonder #1.5, 1.6, 1.7)Girl Detective (Friday Barnes #1)
Black Butler, Vol. 15The Wonder Engine (Clocktaur War #2)The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

The Breadwinner, Deborah Ellis. Talbot Hill Book Club rec. Quick story of life for a girl in Afghanistan after war and the Taliban crush her family. She and her friend disguise themselves as boys to earn money for their families; discovery means torture and probably death. An age appropriate glimpse into current affairs in another country.

Auggie and Me, R. J. Palacio. Talbot Hill Book Club rec. I really like how seriously Palacio takes the moral lives of these fifth grades; it matches how I understand kids. Even the evil bully gets a fair portrayal. I only remember the outlines of the original book so I wasn't as prejudiced against him and I didn't remember the other kids at all, but I found all three stories rewarding. And an exotic glimpse into rich New Yorker private school kids' lives.

Girl Friday, R.A. Spratt. Talbot Hill Book Club rec. This was a lot of fun! Friday was quirky but relatable as she navigated life from benign neglect to ambitious prep school. And looking up the author tells me it's probably set in Australia. The pace was fun, the plot ridiculous but entertaining, and I hope to pick up the next few.

Black Butler 15, Yana Toboso. You know, I started this series at the recommendation of a previous Talbot Hill book club. There's a theme here. The boarding school setting of this one is fun, because the exoticness of British prep schools is doubly magnified by viewing it through the lens of a Japanese manga writer. The butler is rather oppressed so I hope he gets to beat people up soon so he can have some fun.

The Wonder Engine, T. Kingfisher. A great end -- I especially like the messy romance where she's mad at him for logically ridiculous but emotionally very powerful reasons. And I didn't spot several twists, but my son didn't either so I feel better about it.

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge, M.T. Anderson. I consider this pre-Cybils reading, as with that author I'm sure it will get nominated. It's a political drama told about two small characters from different empires; we get text chapters from one POV and then the visual images sent back from the other, with expository letters from an evil spymaster commenting on them as well. I had a hard time following some of the graphics, but that's because I'm illiterate in pictures. I liked how there was more duplication of information at the start, which was necessary because the imager's perception was distorted by fear and dislike. It was a nifty way to show his progress and also to demonstrate the effects of prejudice on perception. And the ending worked out well.

Bookmarks In:

Son of the Black Sword (Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, #1)Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human CadaversJade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)Stinger
Eye of Truth (Agents of the Crown, #1)Honor Among Thieves (Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion, #2)Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1)Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3)
Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #8)Shadow of Doubt (Robyn Hunter, #5)The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle #6)The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic

Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 9/? Baen's podcast serial. More background on their warrior club.

Stiff, Mary Roach. Audio Reading My Library Quest book. It's a great book for the car since it consists of fairly short bits in easily digested chunks.

Jade City, Fonda Lee. Last month's Sword and Laser pick. Only a few pages this week.

, Nancy Kress. Kress is the next Foolscap GoH. I was easily distracted.

The Eye of Truth, Lindsay Buroker. Oh uh, the family may be complicit.

Honor Among Thieves, James A. Corey. My next Reading My Library book. Pushed ahead a few hapters.

Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer. I forgot I have copies in both ebook and print copies. I find myself compulsively aligning the bookmarks.

Lady Rogue, Teresa Romain. It's fluffy, so I like it as I read it but I'm not seeking it out.

Someplace to Be Flying, Charles D. Lint.

Shadow of Doubt, Norah McClintock.

Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula LeGuin.

The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths and Magic, F.T. Lukens. Cybils YA fantasy book.

Palate Cleansers

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

A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)Sammy Keyes and the Art of DeceptionChange of Heart (Robyn Hunter, #7)The Inn of the Sixth HappinessReading and Learning to Read

A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George. Back to the lapsed violinist.

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

Change of Heart, Norah McClintock.

Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Alan Burgess.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

2018 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils 2017! 53/104-ish. Picked up most of elementary nonfiction. Working on YA.
  2. Reading My Library: Working on the James Corey book and Mary Roach's Stiff.
  3. Where Am I Reading 2018?: 38/51. No new states, but I did get to read in Afghanistan and Australia.


2Shaye ♪♫ said...

What an honor to get to be a judge for Cybils!! That's WELL worth crowing over!! Ooooh, speculative fiction sounds like a fun category, too! I'm going to hop over to the Cybil's Award site to make sure I know the categories and qualifications. I can always spout off my very favorite reads of middle grade novels, since I focus so heavily on that genre. Thank you for the heads-up and have a wonderful reading week, Beth!

Cheriee Weichel said...

I'm a Cybil judge for the graphic novel category so I'm busy reading as many of these published this year as I can get my hands on!