We had a light dusting of snow last week, causing schools to close and panic to engulf the city. Well, really just my house, because I am a huge snow-a-phobe and it took me two week to recover from the psychic shock of seeing SNOW on my lawn. And my road.
I also saw a zillion movies during the past fortnight, since I went to the movies with my friend Linda both Tuesdays, and then with my book club, and then with my son, and then with just me, and then with my BIL. So I saw Cats, Dolittle, Little Women, JoJo Rabbit, Just Mercy, and 1917. Good thing I like popcorn. Actually, I always get popcorn if there are going to be tense moments, as it is my emotional support snack. I almost ran out during 1917 which would have made things hard for me.
Little Women was a good discussion movie -- we had people who remembered the book vividly, one woman who hadn't read it at all, and a range in the middle. So we approached it from different angles but all enjoyed it. My sister had the most erudite comment -- she thinks at the end the camera is showing us Louisa Alcott instead of Jo March. I just thought we had gone imaginary right before the rush to the train station. Anyway, a good retelling and a good movie.
Cats and Dolittle were colorful and amusing, if a little too deep in the uncanny valley for me. And the latter had a fart joke that went a bit too long for my liking.
The other three were grimmer stories about war and injustice, but definitely worth seeing.
I went to two other book clubs -- the elementary school one where we discussed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. We had two tables -- one for people who preferred the book, the other for movie-lovers (well, some kids sat at a third table because they were indecisive). We talk about both the wizard school and about the differences between movies and books and what we like about both. And then I went to The River Runs Under It, which is the best name for a book club ever and is held at my local library, which has a river running under it. The book was Gift From the Sea by Anne Lindbergh and I cheated because I read that years ago.
It's time for me to get ready for my local convention, Foolscap, which is a weekend of talking about books and nerdy things and why we like them. If you are near Seattle I recommend it highly!
I managed to drop my currently reading shelf down to 20, giving me the coveted single-page view on goodreads. Of these at least seven are books I'm
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. Ditto for the children's lit version at either Teach Mentor Texts or Unleashing Readers. I've got plenty of kidlit to show off this fortnight.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling. I'm not really going to reread this (I reread it a few months ago), but I'm preparing for my elementary book club. I also rewatched the movie and it's fun to compare and contrast what and how they are different. So I'm skipping around to look at scenes I remember differently or found interesting in the movie.
Grave Sight (Graphic Novel, Vol 2 and 3), Charlaine Harris. Finishing up the graphic version of this book that I reread last year.
Grave Surprise (Graphic Novel), Charlaine Harris. Hey, Hoopla had the next one available! Looks like there aren't any more though.
The Tea Dragon Society, Katie O'Neill. Cybils middle grade graphic novel from 2018.
The Witch Boy, Molly Ostertag. Cybils middle grade graphic novel from 2018.
Cardboard Kingdom, Chad Sell. Cybils middle grade graphic novel from 2018.
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, Dusti Bowling. Cybils middle grade book from 2017.
A Little Light Mischief, Cat Sebastian. Thin novella by an author I like.
Hellbent, Cherie Priest. By the current Foolscap GoH.
Kill the Farm Boy, Delilah Dawson and Kevin Hearne. My next RML book.
The Bromance Book Club, Lyssa Kay Adams. Selection for this month's Cloudy with a Chance of Clit Lit and the Renton Romance Reading Series in a few months.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One, Amanda Lovelace. Poetry for the Torches and Pitchforks book club.
Archangel's War, Nalini Singh. This is either the end of a major resting point for this series, with a big bad battle (that dragged on a bit too long for my taste) and shake ups of the main characters, who deal with a wing issue and shifting alliances among arch angels. It's a fun read for the apocalypse series that doesn't know it's a dystopia -- everyone is very happy with their angelic overlords. I mean protectors. And the competence of the characters is always prized, rewarded, and ample.
Grave Sight (Graphic Novel, Vol 2 and 3), Charlaine Harris. I found these on Hoopla after reading the first one on paper, and I'm startling to learn my way around that site. I like the artists view of these familiar characters and enjoyed seeing what changes they made to turn this into a comic rather than a novel. I'm keeping my image of Harper but I like their Tolliver.
Grave Surprise (Graphic Novel), Charlaine Harris.This one showed up as one book! I'm gettng good at reading on Hoopla. Again, I like seeing a different take on a familiar story using different beats. And I actually found the final confrontation clearer in this version, which is amazing given how bad I am at reading comics.
The Tea Dragon Society, Katie O'Neill. 2018 Cybils graphic novel. I almost put this in the picture book category, but it's sophisticated enough to count as a book. I found it languid but pretty, although I did have to page around a few times to figure out who was who. But quiet, color-appreciating kids should enjoy this luminous story.
The Witch Boy, Molly Ostertag. 2018 Cybils graphic novel. The tropes are familiar (the family assigns roles by sex, but Our Hero rebels!) but the execution is skilled. But I enjoyed watching the boy fight both to love his family and be true to himself, and the family respond both with irritation and affection. I'm not sure what the grandmother has been doing for the past forty years, but who cares about her when the young kids are having assorted crisis?
Cardboard Kingdom, Chad Sell. 2018 Cybils graphic novel. This was popular with my college son, who read it with his inner ten year old. I worried it would be too earnest, but I liked the varied kids and their stories and the feel of imagination and social interaction among kids on a block.
ConCom: Conflict Communication, Rory Miller. I went back and reread from the middle so I could get the full effect, and I liked it. It gives a good paradigm for approaching social conflict, and also guidelines to recognize when conflict has a darker, more violent possibility.
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, Dusti Bowling. Aven has no arms, but she does have amazing parents dedicated to making sure she has a full life. So she has a good support system, which any middle schooler needs when entering a new school system in a new state. She finds her friends among the outcasts before moving more strongly into the school main stream. There's a rather silly mystery sub plot, but the main part is about her growing into her new life. I'm interested in the next book, where she starts high school.
One Good Dragon Deserves Another, Rachel Aaron. I like that Julius's superpower is that he's decent. No dragon would ever expect that, so it makes him unpredictable. Now I want to read the next one.
A Little Light Mischief, Cat Sebastian. I had forgotten which series this spun off from, so I don't know where the hook actual came from. But it was a pleasant story of two women finding love, self-confidence and employment together, and I was willing to accept the abrupt crumbling of the villains before the power of self assertion and a lack of fear. And at the end I recognized the Turners so I felt all included. Cat Sebastian remains a favorite writer.
The Bromance Book Club, Lyssa Kay Adams. Modern romance using the gimmick of a group of men working to help their relationships by studying romance books. The actual book is much better than the fake regency that is their text to help the hero save his marriage after his wife kicks him out. At the end, he realizes that she also has to fix her stuff as well, which is a nice beat so that the hero voice doesn't take too much of the stage over the heroine. The twins are a little too cute, but kids are hard and maybe I just don't know how the rich really do things. I found the character Mack to be abhorrent, although for some reason he is supposed to be a friend (?) and he gets the next book.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One, Amanda Lovelace. Poems about being a girl and struggling to accept oneself and one's body and to reject the judgements of others, even others in authority over or with affection towards us. Most of it sounds like the anguish of the very young, and I am old and jaded. Also the affectation of putting the titles on the bottom seems silly.
Bookmarks Moved (Or Languished) In:
Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia. 78/? Baen's podcast serial. It feels like things are wrapping up.
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan. 4/10 discs. I think the male character is actually someone different than the guy on the first few discs, which explains why I found his reactions so implausible. OK, resetting my expectations.
Book Lust, Nancy Pearl. Zoomed to the "L" sections. And my to-read list is growing...
The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang. Last month's Sword and Laser pick. It's next on my e-reader.
Tropic of Serpents, Marie Brennan. The library called this home.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke. I'm at 2.0 speed but clearly will not finish this before the library wants the audio back. Unless I take a short commute to visit my brother in Utah this seems unlikely. Also it is rather dull.
Masques, Patricia Briggs. Some of it is starting to be familiar. I need new glass though if I'm going to read this size paperback.
Picture Books / Short Stories:
The Perfect Gift, Paula Yoo. 2018 Cybils easy reader. A bit too earnest but a pleasant read.
Fox the Tiger, Corey Tabor. 2018 Cybils easy reader. Gently amusing but I was concerned about the turtle at the end.
Much Too Much Birthday, Jennifer E. Morris. 2018 Cybils easy reader. As a parent, I am hung up on how calmly her parents reacted to the news about forty extra guests minutes before the party.
My Toothbrush Is Missing, Jan Thomas. 2018 Cybils easy reader. Predictable humor that should trigger a precocious reader's funny bone.
I Want to Be a Doctor, Laura Driscoll. 2018 Cybils easy reader. Very educational?
Baby Monkey, Private Eye, Brian Selznick and David Serlin.
These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading. Of course, since I was off having Christmas in Utah, they were untouched.
A Traitor to Memory, Elizabeth George.
The Educated Child, William Bennett. How geography matters.
Cookie, Jacqueline Wilson. There's only so much meanness a family will take from a dad.
Give All to Love, Patricia Veryan.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. She's starting to realize that other people also have feelings and regrets and make mistakes. That's the painful part of growing up.
Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. Experts discuss the goals and reservations about basal readers.
- Cybils 2017. I read one!
- Cybils 2018. Easy readers and many of the graphic novels.
- Cybils 2019. Nothing.
- Reading My Library. I started the next book!.
- Ten to Try. Of course I'm doing this again. Starting out with a bang -- I've got 3/10 already!
- Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge. I'm mostly hoping to get lucky.
- Where Am I Reading: Tracking, not attempting.