Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Adulting Is Hard For Some

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I'm trying to encourage my kids to think of themselves as adults sharing my home rather than children getting bossed around. This means I try to avoid nagging them, even when that's their preferred method of figuring out what needs to be done. This is a work in progress, and I suspect progress will be slow for a while; I'm still not actually all that good at housekeeping myself. It's a case of the blind leading the blind.

But one kid has decided it might be time to get a driver's license. Alas, the pandemic has other priorities -- appointments at the license office are about 30 days out. Oh well, it will give him more time to practice in local parking lots. 

In exciting news, I may get eaten by a bear! Or, more likely, I will get to hide something that will be eaten by a bear. Our Seattle Zoo had their fundraiser, and although I tend to avoid big events, this one was one line. I went in with four other people to win a close encounter with the zoo's bears, where a zoo keeper shows us around and then we get to help hide their enrichment items.  I'm not sure when we'll be brave enough to put our toes out the door, but maybe the bears will scare all the COVID away. 

I've kept up with my running program and have now managed to run for 35 whole minutes in a row! My poor son has developed all sorts of techniques in an attempt to keep down with me; he'll run backwards for a block, go the wrong way at intersections so he jogs around four corners while I turn right, but he usually manages to stay in ear shot so he can hear me call out the pace and time intervals. 

It was a three book-club week -- the usual Tuesday crowd, where we are all enjoying our foray into classical literature with some Trollope, a Friday remote session of friends, and a Saturday remote Zoom of the Torches and Pitchforks, which paired Speak and Wolfpack and generated some good discussion of feminism for teens and for working adults. I'm currently trying to work through all the Hugo nominated things -- books, short stories of varying lengths, podcasts, fan writers, artists, editors, oh my! There's about a week left to finish everything so I'd better pick up the pace. 

I tried to pick easier food for P to cook this week, so we sat down to Chicken Enchiladas (with a second dish of Veggie ones, which my BIL also went for) and then had pizza on Friday since it was book club. We also had nice salads both days. The salad standards have gone up a lot since I handed over cooking responsibilities. I tended to think of them as a last minute excuse to not cook a vegetable side; if there was more than one ingredient in the bowl I would proudly announce a "Sara Salad," named in honor of my sister-in-law who served tastier mixes. Now our family lexicon also includes "Paulos Salad" which means that there's a dressing as well as multiple ingredients. Yum.

My currently reading exploded a bit (24), but everything is a good read so I'm happy with it. (Three of which I probably won't touch this week so they won't appear on this blog.) The Hugo voting is in a few weeks, so I have to read a lot of stuff, and I'm including things like the Harry Potter read-aloud and the Greek picture book I'm working my way through. 

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. My CYBILs reading makes me eligible this week.


The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 9: Okay (the wicked + the divine #9)Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #2)Spinning SilverThe Tea Dragon Festival (Tea Dragon, #2)
Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1)A Face Like GlassBlack Leopard, Red Wolf

The Wicked and the Divine Vol 9: Okay, Kieron Gillen. A Hugo finalist.

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow, Jessica Townsend. Because I liked the first one.

Spinning Silver, Naomi Novak. For my friendly book club.

The Tea Dragon Festival, Katie O'Neill. Cybils book.

Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho. From my shelves.

A Face Like Glass, Frances Hardinge. Cybils book.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Marlon James. Sword and Laser pick.


The Parker InheritanceThe Tea Dragon Festival (Tea Dragon, #2)The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 9: Okay (the wicked + the divine #9)
Spinning SilverWundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #2)Monstress, Vol. 4: The Chosen

Parker Inheritance, Varian Johnson. 2018 Cybils finalist. This was a great book. After reading it, I bought it and had it delivered to my favorite middle grade reader. It's about a friendship, two families, a puzzle (it name-checks The Westing Game), and history. I liked how the author trusted us with the dark story of the past, and let the characters be flawed, and how the struggles of the different timelines reflected on each other but didn't parallel in obvious ways.  

The Tea Dragon Festival, Katie O'Neill. Cybils 2019 young graphic novel finalist. The Tea Dragon books are charming and lovely, but they aren't really my cup of tea. There's not much plot and most people are really nice, and somehow I can't remember who anyone is! This is especially disheartening since there is such diversity in the book -- no one looks anything like each other. The sign language is a fun touch but I think I need more action. I know kids I'd give this to, but they aren't in my family.

The Wicked and the Divine Vol 9: Okay, Kieron Gillen. A Hugo finalist. My reading packet included the first 8 volumes, but if I'm voting for a prize this year I want the story to grab me on its own. Not unsurprisingly, it didn't really do that. I was able to figure out what was going on, and sometimes able to recognize who was doing what, but there wasn't much energy left to really care. Again, I know people I'd recommend this to, but it's not really for me.

Spinning Silver, Naomi Novak. For my friendly book club. I loved this when I first read it, and I also enjoyed this reread. I like how the women show what it important to them early on, and then watching how the story reflects their ambitions in interesting ways. I like how the different women react to things and act to help themselves, and how decency is rewarded. I should press this into my sons' hands.

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow, 
Jessica Townsend. I really liked the characters and the world building, and how Morrigan keeps trying even though so many of the adults in her life are rotten, from her teachers to the school administrators to the evil overlord threatening the world. Even her guardian means well but is off saving the world so much he isn't much help to her, which she understands but still leaves her vulnerable. But she and her peers do their best, and really, in a kids book it is good for the adults to be rather useless. I did utterly despise the lesson that a sign of loyalty is to give into blackmail -- that seems a rather dubious lesson and that it turned out OK for the kids doesn't make it better. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

The Chosen: Monstress Vol 4, Marjorie Lu. Graphic finalist for 2020 Hugos. I've read the first one and backed away because it was too violent for me. Dipping back into the series three volumes later and still think that the artwork is amazing and the story is great and it's too dark for me. And it's hard to keep up with all the details that I missed in volumes 2-3 but I really don't want to go and look for them. I'm a delicate flower.

Bookmarks Moved (Or Languished) In:

Tender MorselsUncompromising Honor (Honor Harrington, #14)Tooth and ClawStamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of PlantsParable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1)The City in the Middle of the NightThe Ten Thousand Doors of January
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)The Warden  (Chronicles of Barsetshire #1)Middlegame

Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan. 7/10 discs. Interesting things are happening, bear-wise. I miss Ura's POV though. 

Uncompromising Honor, David Weber. Baen Free Radio Hour's serial, part 19. I'm STILL behind on my podcasts because I'm been listening to the Hugo finalists. And Stamped takes a lot of time.

Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton. Walton never forgets how big dragons are. I like the details of the religion.

Stamped From the Beginning, Ibram X Kendi. (Audio) For an online book club. Into part IV! I've made it to W.E.B. Du Bois, and what happened after Reconstruction was abandoned. This is slow going because I've been listening to each chapter twice to get a sense of the organization.

Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer. I'm really enjoying this. The narrator is lovely, and it makes me look around more when I'm outside.

Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler. Reread. This is really good, and eerily prophetic. I hope we don't go all the way down this road.

The City in the Middle of the Night, Charlie Jane Anders. Another Hugo book. I really like the way Anders does dialogue or internal voice and there's an insight and it should feel clumsy but instead is illuminating of character. 

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alex E. Harrow. The protagonist has grown up, so I'm hoping to see more agency soon.

Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling. I'm listening to celebrities read this to me. Stephen Fry is up.

The Warden, Anthony Trollope. For my Tuesday Minecraft club. I had to stop myself at the assigned place; I was enjoying it. I have neglected Trollope for far too long.

Middlegame, Seanan McGuire. Novel finalist for 2020 Hugos. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this and I'm really enjoying it.

Picture Books / Short Stories:
Blood Is Another Word for HungerDo Not Look Back, My LionTen Excerpts From an Annotated Bibliography of the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar IslandAs the Last I May Know

"Blood Is Another Word For Hunger," Rivers Solomon. Lush, tragic, beautiful, and bloody, this is an evocative guided image. Hugo short story finalist

"Do Not Look Back, My Lion," Alix E. Harrow. A quick story of war and patriotism and love and choices. Hugo short story finalist.

"Ten Excerpts From an Annotated Bibliography of of the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island," Nibedita Sen. Clever and fun way to tell a rather complex story sidewise through glances. Hugo short story finalist.

"As the Last I May Know," S.L. Huang. What if politicians had to confront the result of the decisions they make? And Huang knows about the endless commitment children have to justice. Hugo short story finalist. 

"And Now His Lordship Is Laughing," Shiv Ramdas. A grim little fix-it for the Indian famine that the British engineered during World War II. Hugo short story finalist. 

"A Catalog of Storms, Fran Wilde. Another image heavy story about family and community and emotions made real. Hugo short story finalist. 

Hello, Crabby! (A Crabby Book #1)Tiger vs. NightmareΑλφαβητάρι με γλωσσοδέτες

Hello, Crabby!, Jonathan Fenski. 2019 Cybils early reader finalist. This was a fun and encouraging first reader that offers humor on every page as a reward for decoding the text, or even just looking at the pictures. I'm impressed with how expressive Crabby is. 

Tiger Vs. Nightmare, Emily Tetri. 2019 Cybils graphic novel finalist. This was a one-sitting story that I would have been delighted to share with kids. Tiger is a friendly kid who is grateful to the Monster who wards off her nightmares, but she also realizes that part of friendship is returning the favor. So it's a story about loyalty but also about the strength of imagination and of courage. 

Αλφαβητάρι με γλωσσοδέτες, Eugene Trivizas. I haven't actually finished this yet, but I'm working my way through. It has complete sentences!

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 GradeGive All to Love (Sanguinet Saga, #11)Wool (Wool, #1)The Wind Gourd of La'amaomao: The Hawaiian Story of Pāka'a and Kũapāka'a: Personal Attendants of Keawenuia'umi, Ruling Chief of Hawaii and Descendants of La'amaomaoReading and Learning to Read

The Educated Child, William Bennett. 

Give All to Love, Patricia Veryan. 

Wool, Hugh Howey. 

The Wind Gourd of La'amaomao, Moses Nakuima. Don't mess with someone who has La'amaomao's gourd. 

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. How to teach understanding of nonfiction -- looking for structure, seeing what questions it is trying to answer,

Reading Challenges
  1. Cybils 2017. Started A Face Like Glass.
  2. Cybils 2018. Finished The Parker Inheritance.
  3. Cybils 2019.  Read another Early Reader and a elementary graphic novel. 
  4. Reading My Library. They may open up the branch where my Quest is held...
  5. Ten to Try. At 9/10. I now have my KCLS staff recommendation on hold. 
  6. Where Am I Reading: 20/51 states  -- Parker Inheritance is in South Carolina. 18 Countries. I'm declaring Spinning Silver to be in Poland. 
  7. Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge. 20/24. Four left:  6 (play by PoC or queer author), 13 (food book about a new to me cuisine),  23 (literary magazine), and 24 (Indigenous author). 

1 comment:

Aaron said...

I also really enjoyed The Parker Inheritance and Wundersmith. I have to seek out more graphic novels like the ones you have on here. I am a little behind and I think I missed a few including Tiger...

Adulting is really hard, love your strategy of asking for them to act like adults sharing the home. Have a great reading week, and thanks for all the shares.