Monday, September 23, 2019
Life, Like Garage Doors, Goes Up and Down. Wait ---
Another week of reading and also getting just enough done to keep the roof over my head. Ah, this must be what retirement is supposed to be like.
I continued to visit a friend's house to play with her cats. The cats actually seem a bit bored with me, but I guess it's good for them. It did give me a chance to listen to my audio book while feeling charitable towards animals, because I no longer have a CD player in my house. So I needed to drive around in my car anyway.
Tuesday book club was celebrating Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by watching the BBC show together while skyping. It's a good way to feel double nerdy. We'll probably finish that up this week and then go back to gaming. It was well timed as Eve is having problems with macs and that's what most of us use. It was fun to snark at the TV show with friends. And then I actually remembered our neighborhood recycling event so I dragged a bunch of old appliances and batteries out the door.
I had another six-monthly boob exam, at which I graduated back to standard exams! Well, technically I'm not graduated but my next exam is at the same time my standard one would be scheduled, so if I pass at the one they will officially stop looking suspiciously at the grey blobs in the ultrasound. That's a huge relief. I celebrated by calling the garage door people. They came out and fixed my door and my sister's door, which had both stopped opening. Hers is still merrily going up and down but mine only worked for two days. They come back again today. I should have gone for the option of a handle on mine!
Family dinner was pleasant. My sister made a delicious soup with bacon on top and also provided dessert breads which went really well with the fresh strawberries my brother brought. I contributed the pleasure of my company, and also unloaded a bunch of stuff that my responsible sister-in-law will mail out to the college niblings. My son is turning 21, so his pile was significant. I have an irrational fear of post offices, so I really appreciate my sister-in-law enabling me like this.
My currently reading shelf is a more reasonable 18, with five books I'm just kidding myself about. This includes six I only touch in between other books, one from my shelves, a serial audio from Baen, an audio CD for the car, a KINDLE app book, a Foolscap GoH book, and two book club pick, one for last month's meeting and another I'm reading on time.
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 YAs book and the Cybils nonfiction to qualify me.
Liaden Universe Constellation IV, Sharon Miller and Steve Lee. I like the Liaden books.
The Grief Keeper, Allesandra Villasante. I think this is for the Torches and Pitchforks book club.
Bad Boys of Fashion, Jennifer Croll. A nonfiction book aimed at fashion conscious teens, I guess.
Locked Up For Freedom, Heather E. Schwartz. A 2017 Cybils Junior High nonfiction finalist.
Isaac the Alchemist, Mary Losure. Another 2017 Cybils JH nonfiction finalist.
Mary's Monster, Lita Judge. 2018 Cybils poetry book. I loved this book on its own -- I thought it was a powerful evocation of a lonely, creative girl making a disaster of her life, with the words and pictures blending together to show how the book Frankenstein grew out of her experience. But it didn't really seem like poetry to me, and I was unsure of how historical it was, although the afterward was very reassuring on that point.
Hither Page, Cat Sebastian. I enjoyed reading this, although as a romance it was rather understated. The main character was the village, and how the community worked to calm the demons awoken by war. The two men who were falling in love were severely damaged by the work they had done in WWII, and their regard for each other echoed the care the others in the village also took. Yes, there was violence even in this home, but there was more compassion and concern.
All the Little Liars, Charlaine Harris. Well, credibility is dropping (her little brother is kidnapped AGAIN?) but suspense and characterization is still high. In fact I drove around in circles to finish the last disk, since the car is the only place I can play a CD. I liked watching Roe and Robin build their marriage, and how the various members of their family help or weaken that, and how they interact with teenagers and children in the community, and how Roe's pregnancy affects how they view these youth.
Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Alan Burgess. I enjoyed this, especially as I had watched the movie in the middle. The movie skips all the middle except for a bit of the love story, which it shoves into the beginning, but in book form her work in the war was fascinating as she helps the wounded and even spies a bit on the Japanese until they put a huge bounty on her head and she runs to safety, bringing along one hundred orphans.
Bad Boys of Fashion, Jennifer Croll. An interesting march through history, starting with King Louis IV and moving through to the present day, looking at how powerful men used clothes and a revolutionary attitude towards fashion to construct their lives and images. Fashion is seen as a way to define oneself and take power over destiny for an individual, and a way to shape trends and see effects ripple out through a society. The pace was pleasing -- a long chapters followed by a shorter focus and then a one page highlight, so she had time for a variety of fashionistos.
Locked Up For Freedom, Heather E. Schwartz. A 2017 Cybils Junior High nonfiction finalist. This children's history book looks at a specific incident where dozens of young African-American girls (11-17) were imprisoned in terrible conditions for nonviolently protesting in Americus, Georgia in 1963. The author interviewed the women to discuss their memories and also used photos taken by a white man employed by the SNCC to document events. It's a concise look at how young people risked so much in pursuit of freedom, although I felt the effect was a bit blurred by the wide focus on the entire group.
Isaac the Alchemist, Mary Losure. Another 2017 Cybils JH nonfiction finalist. This interesting biography of Newton draws heavily his private journals from his childhood and other primary documents. I liked how it exposed some of the process of writing history, showing how the author used those documents to draw conclusion about who he was but making clear what was speculation. The idea of how the world was different but who people are still people was reinforced by sidebars explaining different concepts or vocabulary.
Liaden Universe Constellation IV, Sharon Miller and Steve Lee. I liked the Liaden stories, especially the ones on Surebleak. The story of Villy, "Friend of a Friend," whose friendship with Quin brings him to unsavory attention, was my favorite. Other stories went back to Liad to give backstories of people now on Surebleak also worked for me. The later ones, with only remote connections to Liads, left me rather uninterested.
Bookmarks Moved In:
Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 60/? Baen's podcast serial. Still inching along, although I'm a few podcasts behind. Aurora Teagarden has been taking up all my listening time.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. OK, I obviously can't read this in a normal manner so I'm moving it into the palate cleanser section below.
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan. 3/10 discs. Male narrator not very engaging so far.
Book Lust, Nancy Pearl. Into the B's.
One Good Dragon Deserves Another, Rachel Aaron. This is fun but I keep reading the disappearing library books.
I Am Princess X, Cherie Priest. I don't trust the boy so it's hard to engage. I'm waiting for his inevitable betrayal.
The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang. Last month's Sword and Laser pick. I'm out of the school and into the war part. Ew.
After the feast, a famine! None.
These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.
A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.
The Educated Child, William Bennett.
Cookie, Jacqueline Wilson. Mum can't cook. Dad's birthday plans excite her class.
Give All to Love, Patricia Veryan.
Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. How to encourage pleasure reading.