I spent the week enjoying my last week before my older son went back to college. He mowed the lawn. I brought the family down to eat at the pizza place where he worked. He finished up his summer courses. I dragged him off to a last minute movie late the night before we left, where we both took advantage of the deafening RPX sound to whisper jokes back and forth to each other. It's always fun when your kids grow up to be adults you can hang with.
I had a nice surprise when I went to pay my house taxes and realized it was in my reminder paperwork file not because it had to be paid but because I wanted to confirm that I had paid correctly (last year I transposed two numbers and they sent the money back and then complained that I paid late). So I feel like my budget gained a few thousand dollars. Maybe I'll buy one of my kids a computer with the savings!
I also deciding whether to sign up to be a CYBILS judge again this year. It was a great time last year, but all the rest of my reading fell behind (I never did finish reading all the 2017 finalists) and I feel like new blood is important. On the other hand, the CYBILS powers-that-be can make that decision by not accepting my application, right? So now I have to go find some actual blog posts that I wrote...
On Sunday I drove down to Salem to drop my boy off at Willamette. I always stay at the Hampton Inn, and now it feels like a mini-vacation. I like their personal touch, and their dinner recommendation was a big favorite for Alexander and me. And now I've driven home and written this summary!
My currently reading is back up to 22 (well, really 18 active books). I made the mistake of starting a bunch of book right before my latest Book Team event started, so none of those count towards my team's achievements and I'm scrambling to find books that do.
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 I've got picture books and a kids book to qualify me.
Dead Over Heels, Charlaine Harris. Continuing my audio reread of this series.
Magic Triumphs, Ilona Andrews. I bought this a few months ago.
Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds, Brandon Sanderson. For my Tuesday book club. We aren't sure if we are supposed to do the first story or the whole book, because our various libraries don't seem to distinguish.
A Fool and His Honey, Charlaine Harris. Spoiler warning -- this is the sad one.
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, Kelly Jones. Book from my TBR list.
The Julius House, Charlaine Harris. As Roe Teagarden learns some unsavory facts about her husband, she needs an emotional distraction while she decides how to handle things. Nothing like solving a six year old murder case to give yourself the required distance!
Magic Triumphs, Ilona Andrews. Kate deals with an unexpected new Big Bad, a dude so bad that it requires an alliance with her father. This is a good wrap up of the story, just before it gets too sprawling for me to keep track of.
Dead Over Heels, Charlaine Harris. I love Angel. This is the last book where she has a biggish presence, I think.
Past Tense, Lee Child. Reacher finally caught up to the second plot and quickly there were a lot more corpses and a lot fewer problems. It was all a bit anticlimactic, really.
Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds, Brandon Sanderson. The first story was definitely the strongest, so it's a good thing that was the official book club part, but the whole thing was interesting. I liked the combination of nifty idea (the aspects as a form on mental management) with all its complications, a strong character, and a longer goal that pokes up again at the end.
A Fool and His Honey, Charlaine Harris. I ended up finishing this one with the paperback, because the ending is hard on Roe and I really like her. I didn't want to be driving for the sad part. But I still like seeing Aurora and Cindy (spelling?) together.
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, Kelly Jones. A fun epistolary novel for middle grade that follows a girl raising her deceased uncle's magical chickens. A nice twist is that all her letters are to dead people, so there aren't many replies. The letters show both her struggles with the magic and with settling into a new area, with parents who worry about money and how to deal with their new farm, and a neighborhood uncomfortable with her skin color. The blend of reality and magic is seamless, although the villain's motivations are left blurry. I like how the author kept the observations at the level of the child writing the letters but still managed to show a complex situation (even before the magic chickens!) with verve and compassion.
Bookmarks Moved In:
Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 56/? Baen's podcast serial. OK, actually I spent all my listening time on the Aurora Teagardens and I'm falling behind on my podcasts.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. Still inching along.
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan. 2/10 discs. See above about where my listening time is going.
Book Lust, Nancy Pearl. She does make everything sound good.
The Emperor's Blades, Brian Staveley. I am almost convinced that the bad guys are bad. Of course, I'm also still convinced that the "good guys" are bad.
Founding Martyr, Christian di Spigna. Building a career one smallpox infestation at a time. Also, the author is touchingly convinced that Warren didn't marry his first wife for her money.
One Good Dragon Deserves Another, Rachel Aaron. OK, most of the characters are on the board now.
I Am Princess X, Cherie Priest. Tracking down the clues.
Nightchaser, Amanda Bouchet. The library Romance Club pick. Hmm. I'm halfway through and all he's got going for him is that he's sorta hot. I kinda hope she flies away quick.
The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester. This is one of the classic books where I realize that the past was full of people I wouldn't want to hang out with.
Pax and Blue, Lori Richmond. Cute story, but I got stuck on the idea that the pigeon does not actually get saved. I think the kid underestimates its ability to get out of the station.
Little Moon Princess, Y.J. Lee. It's a just-so story about the stars and the night sky, with gentle pictures and a small bird that does most of the action. It would make a nice bedtime story.
These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.
A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George. Rotten cops are even rotten to each other.
Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Alan Burgess.
The Educated Child, William Bennett.
Cookie, Jacqueline Wilson.
Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. Choosing books for a classroom library.