Well, it's been another week of being homebound. This is pretty much my ideal life so I have no complaints.
The older son commenced his spring break, so he no longer had to wake up to log into class. Younger son ended spring break so he had to stagger down the hall to log into class. My wifi has slowed to a crawl -- apparently the ether is saturated or something. I blame the rain.
It rained a little, so lawn care was done poorly. And the garbage people stood me up, leaving my poor bins lonely and full at the curb. I harassed them via email and then managed to hear the trucks lumbering around again later in the week so I rushed out and got my garbage removed. This is high excitement for Shelter At Home folks.
I kid! There was also a furnace inspection. I told the boys to sleep in (HA!) and let the guy in at 8 AM. In order to observe social distancing, I immediately left on a donut run. It was Saturday, so Krispy Kremes was offering a 2nd dozen to share with your neighbor if you bought the first. I arrived home with my donuts and bribes in time to tell the furnace guy to sign off for me and then waved goodbye. Whew.
And on Sunday the taller son and I went to give blood. I assumed I'd fail the iron test but my healthy eating has paid off and I was able to donate. Even better, my son's donation was delayed because of the distancing requirements, which meant I finished first! I mean, it's not a race but I won!
Stay safe, everyone!
My currently reading is back to 18, including books I'll get back to any day now. Really. Audio stuff is going really slowly.
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 read a lot of kidlit this week, both CYBILS and free range.
From Beowulf to Virginia Woolf, Robert Manson Myers. I randomly choose a book from my unread bookcases and got this. (NI means No Image)
Ink Knows No Boundaries, Patrice Vecchione. Cybils 2019 poetry book.
Beverly, Right Here, Kate DiCamillo. I need to review this ARC, although I'm very late. Cybils happened.
Two Truths and a Lie: Forces of Nature, Ammi Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson. I got hooked on this series during a previous Cybils year so I ordered this up from the library.
The Dragon With a Chocolate Heart, Stephanie Burgess. 2017 Cybils middle grade fiction.
From Beowulf to Virginia Woolf, Robert Manson Myers. This would be a good bathroom book for a literary house. It's very collegiate and full of puns and literary allusions to make the author and the reader feel smug about their knowledge without feeling like they are putting on airs. It's fairly short but a long riff on the same joke so I don't really recommend reading it cover to cover, although it doesn't take long. (NI means No Image)
Shout, Laurie Halse Anderson. 2019 Cybils poetry. A lot of this is the grainy underside of Speak, where you can see the artists marks and how pieces came together. But it's more than that -- it's a memoir of being born as a writer, of how pain and adventure and loss and love came together with education and hard work, and it's also a strident call to recognize trauma and to stop pretending that kids aren't getting hurt, that rape and abuse don't happen if adult refuse to see them. I didn't latch onto any individual poems, but it definitely read as poetry, not prose.
The Light Brigade, Kameron Hurley. For Sword and Laser book club, both online and local (remote this month!). Book Club is this coming Thursday, so fairly good timing. I liked the time travel motif, and grew to appreciate the main character and her stolid way of approaching things (mostly hit it with a stick or a higher caliber weapon). My understanding of the ending seems to be off-kilter, which will be interesting to talk about -- mine is rather pessimistic. I also like the title, which has three obvious shades of meaning and probably more if I think for a second. Definitely not a light hearted read.
American Dreamer, Adriana Herrera. For my Cloudy book club, which will be remote this month. This didn't really click with me. The characters seemed very perfect, except when that would be inconvenient for the plot. So they'd be incredibly self-aware and gentle with each other, almost ticking off boxes on "consent" forms and "be an ally" checklists. But there had to be a final chapter silly snafu before they got their HEA, so they suddenly had a tiff. It's probably mostly that I don't really like modern romances; the obstacles to love are hard to prop up but authors (and maybe other readers) still require them. And the sex didn't work for me (I kept tripping on the many "baby" and "babe" endearments). But it was competently written and had an interesting set-up and lots of good food talk.
Refugee, Alan Gratz. 2017 Cybils book. Wow, this was impressive. Three kids, very distinct, with three very different families. Three different time periods -- Germany before WWII, Cuba in the 90's, and Syria recently. All must flee their homes for an uncertain future, all must rely on the equally uncertain compassion of strangers. Sometimes they find it, sometimes they don't. The small connections between the families serve as a reminder that all people are interconnected, and that the truest kind of debt is the one that you pay forward.
Beverly, Right Here, Kate DiCamillo. This is the third story about the three friends, although Raymie and Louisiana barely appear. Beverly needs to get away from her uncaring family, and luckily falls in with some of DiCamillo's trademark quirky characters. Their compassion and concern help Beverly find her balance again.
Two Truths and a Lie: Forces of Nature, Ammi Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson. The conceit of these books is that each chapter contains three essays on a related subject -- weather, earth, physics, whatever. One is a fabrication and the reader is challenged to figure out which. I'm much too lazy to do any research but usually I have enough science knowledge to get it. This book caught me out a few times though!
Bookmarks Moved (Or Languished) In:
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan. 4/10 discs. I made a few emergency runs to get emergency supplies (donuts) and donate blood, so I made a little bit of progress.
Tropic of Serpents, Marie Brennan. The library called this home. I will try to get it back, probably after I finish Jonathan Strange. They are a bit too close together to read simultaneously.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke. OK, exercising apparently is not happening, but the donut run gave me two chapters!
Uncompromising Honor, David Weber. Baen Free Radio Hour's serial. No time for podcasts.
Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir. It's hasn't really gotten momentum yet. Gideon does a lot of dull whining.
Picture Books / Short Stories:
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.
Give All to Love, Patricia Veryan.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. Burn one bridge, work on another.
Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.
- Cybils 2017. Refugee finishes off Middle Grade Fiction, and Dragon With a Chocolate Heart starts Speculative Fiction. (Well, I read one on my own so this is number two.)
- Cybils 2018. Nothing. I've got some YA Graphic Novels lined up.
- Cybils 2019. Finished Shout. Started Ink Knows No Boundaries, another poetry book.
- Reading My Library. Nothing. It's patiently waiting on my shelf.
- Ten to Try. I've got 7/10 already! I'd love to meet Laurie Halse Anderson.
- Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge. 14/24. American Dreamer is a debut novel. Refugee gives two points -- it's both about a refugee and a middle grade book not set in the US.
- Where Am I Reading: 12/51 states, nothing new. I counted Cuba for Refugee since it features in 2/3 of the book, and Brazil for The Light Brigade since it's always on Dietz's mind as her homeland. So 10 countries across 4 continents.