Monday, May 11, 2020

Hooray For Moms!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Another week of staying at home, and I'm getting pretty good at it.

I pushed off cooking to my younger son, and then made his life easier by ordering out twice. A local restaurant that we've been visiting for as long as I've lived in Washington finally opened after a month of closure, so I celebrated with a nice meal. And then on Friday I suddenly realized that it was book club night so that meant PIZZA! He finally got a chance to shine on Saturday and made a tasty pesto lasagna. Any food I don't have to cook is delicious to me, so I was happy.
Minecraft Meeting

I did leave the neighborhood on Saturday, when I accidentally woke up early so drove to Krispy Kreme for two dozen donuts. It was a nice surprise for my oldest who had to wake up at nine for an exam. He has been very nice about going for walks with me so I felt good surprising him. I even wore shorts for a few of those walks -- it's been up in the 80's! Which is apparently not that hot according to my Greek son, but I felt warm.

Mother's Day was very pleasant. The boys delivered my breakfast in bed, complete with napkins, drink, silverware and flowers. So I lounged about and skipped most of my chores.

My currently reading drifted up to 21, but it doesn't feel overwhelming. I do have some library books coming due and some book clubs coming up, so I'd better finish stuff since I'll be starting more soon.

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.


Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2)Spirit HuntersRogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3)On a Sunbeam
Other Words for HomeIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)The Witches Are ComingShip of Ruin (Star Kingdom #2)

Artificial Condition, Martha Wells. Murderbot #2. For my Tuesday book club.

Spirit Hunters, Ellen Oh. Cybils Finalist.

Rogue Protocol, Martha Wells. Murderbot #3. For my Tuesday book club.

On a Sunbeam, Tillie Walden. Cybils finalist.

Other Words For Home, Jasmine Warga. Cybils finalist.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling. For my Friday monthly book club.

The Witches Are Coming, Lindy West. For my feminist book club. I'm not sure when we are meeting.

Ship of Ruin, Lindsay Buroker. She's a fun author.


Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2)Hey, KiddoSpirit HuntersOther Words for Home
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)Shockwave (Star Kingdom #1)Wolfsbane (Sianim, #4; Aralorn, #2)

Artificial Condition, Martha Wells. Murderbot #2. For my Tuesday book club. Technically I was supposed to read all four novellas, but I'm slow. Luckily another member was moving at about my speed. I like this on the read as much as the first time; I like how Murderbot gives AIs the same respect as people as he does humans. Even limited AIs are treated as having a soul, although it would not describe it like that. There's a situation where an AI is controlled by the same kind of governor that Murderbot had removed from itself, and the book club discussed the ethics of removing it, especially as the AI had spoken of its hatred of humans. I like these kinds of questions.

Hey Kiddo, Jarrett J Krosoczka. A Cybils 2018 YA graphic finalist. I was very impressed by the depth of this book. I felt the graphics and text really worked together, especially the background colors that set the emotional tone that the child in the pictures didn't understand yet. This was a great memoir about a complex childhood that Krosoczka only understood in retrospect. The way the colors helped build the effect reminded me a bit of The Best We Could Do.

Spirit Hunters, Ellen Oh. Cybils Finalist. Cybils 2017 middle grade fantasy. I really liked the family dynamics, even as the older sister remained two-dimensional. (And I frown on intensive classes for the SAT.) I did wish our protagonist solved more problems herself instead of being constantly saved, although at least the supporting characters who did the saving were interesting. And I liked how her memory slowly came back, although I had suspected a magical problem but apparently the counselors were right -- it was an emotional block. Fun book and I will look out for the sequel.

Other Words For Home, Jasmine Warga. Cybils 2019 poetry finalist. This was a strong middle grade book about Jude, a Syrian girl whose family sends her and her pregnant mother to relatives in Ohio where she must master English and junior high. It felt more like a book than poetry to me, although occasionally the format worked to heighten her emotional response. Jude was unfailingly compassionate and kind, so much that it made her a bit unbelievable since we were seeing her interior as she effortlessly defeated any inclination to be less than saintly. Also I was distracted by worries about how her family was paying the hospital bill for the birth, because this is America.

Important question: My library challenge has us read a book about current events. Does this qualify?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling. For my Friday monthly book club. This was acclaimed as an excellent pandemic book, because it was light and avoided any heavy topic, either personal or political. Our little band of nerds included people who had never seen any of her shows, but most of us have seen some or all of The Office. I liked her confidence and her belief in family, although reading about her hope for a real partner was a bit sad since she hasn't found that yet. But she does has a kid so she still fulfils her dream of a family. And it was good to see most of the friends (a few couldn't make it) and to have an excuse to order pizza. 

Shockwave, Lindsay Buroker. Speaking of good pandemic books, Buroker writes lighthearted fantasy or science fiction with a nice blend of characters and romance. This one mostly skipped the romance as it set up three sets of people and then made their goals seemingly incompatible. It made for a interesting by-plays and loyalties as they all struggled to survive and as a reading I wanted to root for all of them, even the killer pirate who I suspect has layers. I'm looking forward to the series.

Wolfsbane, Patricia Briggs. Woot! I finally finished my complete reread of all Patricia Brigg's works! I like this earlier Sianam one, especially now that I don't have the misconception that Wolf is hundreds of years older than Aralorn, which I cannot fathom since they mention his age a lot. I liked how Aralorn went back to her family, and Wolf got to see how a real family worked -- with love and teasing and a willingness to forgive. The characters from damaged or damaging families took a while to understand what they were being offered. That was the interesting emotional plot, while the action plot had lots of magic and black arts and wild creatures and stuff.

Bookmarks Moved (Or Languished) In:

Tender MorselsThe Tropic of Serpents (The Memoirs of Lady Trent, #2)Jonathan Strange & Mr NorrellUncompromising Honor (Honor Harrington, #14)
Rediscover CatholicismThe Great AloneWinter Sisters (Mary Sutter, #2)

Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan. 5/10 discs. Still on disc 5, but I made some progress on my donut run. I'm worried about Urda!

Tropic of Serpents, Marie Brennan. The library called this home. I will try to get it back after I finish Jonathan Strange. 

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke. It's annoying how people forget about magic even when arguing about magicians.

Uncompromising Honor, David Weber. Baen Free Radio Hour's serial. I'm ready for episode 12. And Honor is back on screen!

Rediscover Catholicism, Matthew Kelly. Interesting chapters on the Mass and the Bible.

The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah. The main character is too stupid to live. I hate that.

Winter Sisters, Robin Oliveira. The family is trying to protect the girls. The boyfriend is getting confused.

Picture Books / Short Stories:

I working my way through a Greek picture book. Slowly.

Palate Cleansers

These books I'm barely reading; I use them as palate cleansers between books I'm actually reading.

The Educated Child: A Parents Guide from Preschool Through Eighth GradeCookieGive All to Love (Sanguinet Saga, #11)Tell the Wolves I'm HomeWool (Wool, #1)Reading and Learning to Read

The Educated Child, William Bennett.

Cookie, Jacqueline Wilson.

Give All to Love, Patricia Veryan. Uh oh. There may be a SCENE at the ball.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt.

Wool, Hugh Howey.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca.

Reading Challenges
  1. Cybils TBR Challenge: #CybilsReaddown: Count now at 10! 
  2. Cybils 2017. Finished Spirit Hunters. 
  3. Cybils 2018. Finished Hey Kiddo. Started On a Sunbeam. 
  4. Cybils 2019. Read Other Words For Home. That's the last poetry until my library lets us have books again. 
  5. Reading My Library. As soon as I finish Great Alone this is coming off my shelf.
  6. Ten to Try. At 8/10. I now have my KCLS staff recommendation. I want a better musician book. And I'm wondering if Other Words For Home counts as current events.
  7. Where Am I Reading: 15/51 states. 13 Countries. I put Other Words For Home in Ohio rather than Syria. 
  8. Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge. 17/24. Six left:  #2 (retelling by PoC author), 6 (play by PoC or queer author), 13 (food book about a new to me cuisine), 15 (climate change), 17 (sci-fi novella), 23 (literary magazine), and 24 (Indigenous author). I think the Hugos and Book Riot define novella differently, since I've read several novellas but they were all between 121-150 pages, not under 120 pages. 


2Shaye ♪♫ said...

I need to get back to the Murderbot series. Elisabeth lured me into the first book last year, and I can’t believe I haven’t yet picked up the second book. YES on the depth of Hey Kiddo — absolutely fantastic writing! On Jude in Other Words For Home, you make a good point about her saintly disposition. I think I was too lured into the story to question whether she was believable. In hindsight, though, I do agree. This is why book clubs are so great. I need that discussion!! :) Thanks for the shares, Beth!

Aaron said...

I have been thinking about reading the Murderbot series for a while. I don't have it, yet...
You are another person who sells it well. I also really loved Hey Kiddo and Spirit Hunters (haven't got to the sequel but I brought it home from school- unlike Other Words From Home, which I forgot at school). Thanks for all the shares!