Monday, May 13, 2019
I had a nice and social week. Linda's son Scott was visiting, so he joined us for movie club. We drove out to the theater that serves food for a private showing of Captain Marvel and some tasty lunch. We were early enough to wander by the next door Barnes and Noble. That was the day Patricia Brigg's newest dropped, just sayin'. And then we peeked in the Renton History Museum to appreciate some local history, including the new exhibit on Dungeons and Dragons and Community.
Then I had two book clubs. The library is sponsoring a Romance Club for the summer, so I went to discuss Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole. I even did extra credit reading and read her novella Once Ghosted, Twice Shy which I liked even better (I thought the Duke book was fun but collapsed at the end. We had four people in the room, which is a small club but the books were light so it was fun enough. I'll try to go again next month.
The on Friday my regular book club met. Our chosen book was Serpentine, so I suggested we eat at a restaurant as is usual when we discuss books with sex slaves. I mean, there was some discussion about whether Anita actually had sex slaves, but she definitely has several people who are magically forced to keep her happy. We had a pleasant discussion of the quirks of the plot, the situation, and the writing and everyone had a pleasant time.
And on Mother's Day I woke up to a delicious breakfast in bed prepared by my younger son, which put me in a good mood to drive to Oregon to pick up my older son, who gave me a flower and then we loaded up the car with most of his worldly belongings. I retired to my comfy hotel for an evening of reading and then picked him up after his last exam to drive home.
My currently reading has dipped to one Goodreads page -- 19.. That's five books I have a bookmark in but which really are gathering dust, five books I'm deliberately reading glacially, four print books I'm actively reading (book club pick, library book, unread book I own, reread that I own), and five situational books (my car audio, my podcast serial, my KINDLE app book, my NOOK app book, my IBOOK app book). At this rate, by the end of the year I will only be reading 15 or so books at once.
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 so I'll sign up over there as my I've got several middle grade books and a picture book to my credit.
Storm Cursed, Patricia Briggs.
Bianca: The Brave, Frail, and Delicate Princess, Meg Welch Dendler. Partially-read book left over from my Cybils reading.
The Abode, Patricia Mather Parker. Partially-read book left over from my Cybils reading.
Storm Cursed, Patricia Briggs. Briggs books are a "drop everything and read" because her characters are so delightful to spend time with. In this case Mercy is dealing with small details of having accidentally established an empire, and she (and we) gradually realize that actually there's a big problem here, as her little empire looks very tasty to some big evils. So the big finale is a gathering of many allies but now I really want to go back and reread all the little pieces in the beginning and end. Briggs does a good job of balancing small interactions with the Good vs Evil battles, but the size of the cast is getting a bit unwieldy.
The Tukor's Journey, Jeannine Kellogg. An interesting fantasy that reads like a first novel -- there are many cool ideas but some dropped stories and a distracted focus. But the bonds between the siblings are strong and many of their adventures are told very vividly. There's a bit of dichotomy between the fantasy problems, which are told as real problems with the fantasy creatures and elements, and the problems back with the parents, who are told as parody and whose connection to reality wavers. It's a bit like Harry Potter that way. I'll be happy to have this as a raffle prize at the final Elementary Book Club meeting.
Bianca: The Brave, Frail, and Delicate Princess, Meg Welch Dendler. The author explains that her book is an enhanced version of her prize winning fifth grade picture book. So the plot is rather standard (pampered princess shows real spunk saving kingdom) but the adult has gone back and woven interesting details into the story -- how the princess feels about the pampering and the saving, what she has to do to save the day, the companions she makes along the way. The princess reads as younger than 13 (her stated age) but that is good as I'm giving the book away to someone in 3rd-5th grade next month.
The Abode, Patricia Mather Parker. The dark cover only whispers at the many fun toys within -- pirates! dragons! (yes, a parrot!) abused orphans triumphing! I did wish the story had been streamlined a bit -- more focus on a single main character, less flashbacks to the past. But the grimness of the orphanage and the mysteries of the mist that threatened and then rescued the kids were what propelled me along. Another book for my raffle.
Bookmarks Moved In:
Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 43/? Baen's podcast serial. No, the main characters aren't meeting up. But one guy saw part of the other guy's story, so if they ever do meet they'll have something to talk about. Unfortunately the other guy is making tracks for the other end of the continent.
Cyteen, C.J. Cherryh. Reread. My least favorite part is the beginning, because all these people are awful and Justin and Grant are so young and in such a bad place. Old Ari is not a sympathetic person.
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, Alexie Sherman. 5-9/10 discs. My RML audio pick. He's making the spiral story telling work -- it's not linear but with each go around new aspects are unearthed and confronted.
Metal Wolf, Lauren Esker. Kindle read. The plot thickens.
Becoming, Michelle Obama. I like it more now that she's grown up. And Barack has entered the picture.
Walkaway, Cory Doctorow. For my Tuesday book club. I am not on track to finish by next Tuesday. Oops.
The Way Into Magic, Harry Connolly. The girls had to rescue themselves.
Pines, Blake Crouch. My Reading My Library book. I skipped to the afterward and read that the author wrote this in homage to his favorite TV show, Twin Pines. I hated that show. Uh oh.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. OK, I've been pretending to be reading this book for years. Time to put up or take out the bookmark.
Because, Mo Willems. The book store had misplaced their pile of Storm Cursed (It's on the front octogon. Wait, it's not there? Frantic store employees rushing about before corporate finds out.). So I wandered over and read this so they wouldn't think I was a looming corporate spy. It's a fun meditation on cause and effect and the power of inspiration. I liked the different things, accidental and considered, that resulted in the final effects. And the power of music as shown in pictures was lovely.
These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.
A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George. Gideon's neighbor is annoying, especially when she thinks she's helping. And the agoraphobic wife is hard to read about, since both she and the people around her hold her problem in contempt.
Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Wendelin Van Draanen. Sammy has a teen crisis talking to her male friend who may become a boyfriend, and then an improbably well run play is performed in the gymnasium. But it was so perfect that I will strangle my sense of disbelief and roll with it.
Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Alan Burgess.
The Educated Child, William Bennett. What your kids need to know before kindergarten. I think my boys were on track.
Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. Discussion of the importance of journals and how kids love them. I am having flashbacks to my then-six-year-old's tirades on how how teachers reading his journal entries constituted an unwarranted and abusive invasion of his privacy. My kids were (are) weird.