Sunday, October 17, 2021

Time For Some NonFiction


It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
OK, everyone should nominate for the CYBILS and do it quickly -- nominations end on Oct 15! NOMINATIONS FOR THE CYBILS ARE OPEN! But only for a few more days. So if you know any good high school memoirs, histories, popular science, etc, through them at me! And also at all the other categories -- nonfiction for elementary and junior high /middle grade, fiction for all ages, speculative fiction, graphic novels, picture books, and board books!

My mom is installed at her new address, and slowly getting to know her neighbors and new environment. There are still a lot of boxes, and she's planning to keep unpacking a few at a time and slowly build herself a home. 

I'm still dropping by most days to help with boxes and to volunteer for any errands she wants. And I'm slowly catching up on my house routine and realizing that I really need to get my sink and toilet fixed as my jury-rigs won't last much longer. I hate home maintenance -- why can't things just last forever!

I am currently reading 27 books, since if I hit a tough bit on a book I'm reading I pick up the next one. I do not anticipate a cascade of completions soon. I'm going to be ready a lot of nonfiction, and picking up the rest as I can.

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" and I'm going to go sign up. Ditto for the children's lit version at either Teach Mentor Texts or Unleashing Readers

Started




NOS4A2Firelight (Amulet, #7)Can We Talk About Consent?: A book about freedom, choices, and agreementRace Against Time: The Untold Story of Scipio Jones and the Battle to Save Twelve Innocent Men


Nos4A2, Joe Hill. Actually I think I started this last week. Maybe before that.

Firelight (Amulet #7), Kazu Kibuishi. Continuing the series. 

Can We Talk About Consent, Justin Hancock. Possible Cybils nominee.

Race Against Time, Sandra Neil Wallace & Rich Wallace. Cybils nominee.



Completed


Can We Talk About Consent?: A book about freedom, choices, and agreementRace Against Time: The Untold Story of Scipio Jones and the Battle to Save Twelve Innocent Men
Paladin's Hope (The Saint of Steel, #3)Firelight (Amulet, #7)NOS4A2



Can We Talk About Consent, Justin Hancock. 2021 Cybils nominee. This is a lovely and illustrated discussion of consent, which loudly practices what it preaches both as demonstration and because the author sincerely believes in the importance of consent. So he always warns before talking about sex, and often stops to remind the reader that they can stop, or skip, or otherwise be in control. I found my hackles raised a bit because of the assumption that this is the right way to handle consent -- explicitly, and that the highest ethical priority is to stop encroachments. Although he does go on to talk about nonverbal forms of consent, there is still the issue that some societies do rely on the responsibility of people to do or hear things, and those societies aren't inherently inferier. I work at this notion because I personally find the consent-first ones more comfortable, so it's a bias of mine I work against. But overall I found the examples and discussion well done and worthwhile, and I'm nominating this.

Race Against Time, Sandra Neil Wallace & Rich Wallace. 2021 Cybils nominee. This is something that I felt I should have known about and actually knew zero about. Scipio Jones was a Black lawyer who managed to save twelve victims of a racist massacre from being executed. Arkansaw law officers and farmers descended on a group of Black labor organizers and their families who were meeting to discuss trying to get better prices for their crops. The white men shot up the building, burned it to destroy the evidence, then went on a week long murder spree and claimed it an effort to put down a "race riot." Hundreds of Black people (men, women, children, babies) were killed, and also a handful of white men, mostly by friendly fire from Klansmen shooting in a circle. Twelve black men were captured and charged with those deaths in a sham trial that lasted a few minutes.

Scipio Jones devoted his life and fortune to saving those men, and this book tells that story and his astonishing success. I'm now left wanting more -- I want more details of his legal maneuvers, more details of the effects of the precedents set, more details on why the NAACP kept hiring white lawyers over him. Do I blame the book for not being longer, or do I applaud it for leaving me with this desire?


Paladin's Hope, T. Kingfisher. Another fun adventure romance, although not my favorite of the series. The paladins' main reason for avoiding romance is situational (they tend to fall into berserker rages and kill everyone around them), which is fair but I also want a particular issue -- fear of commitment or something. This one was shorter and so leaned more on the local dangers. So, it was fun being inside both men's heads, and the banter was great and so was the final bureaucracy-busting scene, but I won't use this one to lure people to the series. Which is fair, since it's the third book!

Firelight (Amulet #7), Kazu Kibuishi. Continuing the series. Although I'm still charmed by the artwork, I found the plot a bit harder to swallow. Usually I'm too busy looking at the art and trying to follow the action (I'm a very bad graphic reader) to pay attention, but this time even I saw the giant signs about where the story was going, and I didn't like that direction. I don't like when characters loudly say what they won't let happen in order to foreshadow what is about to happen. Blah. And even the waiter plot with the brother was underdone. But I'm still moving on with the story!

Nos4A2, Joe Hill. October Sword & Laser Pick. Too horror-y for me by far! Lots of child danger, child harm, and circling of events for tension. I finally read it by skipping to the end and reading it backwards so I would know which kids survived. That is the literary equivalent of watching a movie with your eyes closed, I guess. Very readable text, interesting ideas (in-scape! children bicycles as magic, moving onto a cool motorcycle for the adult). I did agree with some goodreads comments that the final relationship was a bit odd, since having an accessory to the murder of your grandfather as a stepparent is a bit fraught, but I'll see what the in-person book club says.



Bookmarks Moved (Or Languished) In:

Black Leopard, Red WolfThe LuminariesThe Bourne Supremacy (Jason Bourne, #2)The Wine-Dark Sea (Aubrey & Maturin #16)
The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters, #1)Sharks in the Time of SaviorsLast Night at the Telegraph ClubVampire Trinity (Vampire Queen, #6)
Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2)The Conductors (Murder and ...Neogenesis (Liaden Universe, #21)Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians, #1)
The Relentless Moon (Lady Astronaut Universe, #3)Winter Tide (The Innsmouth Legacy, #1)Terra NulliusThe Mountains SingBeowulf: A New TranslationEven If We Break



Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Marlon James. Ancient Sword and Laser pick. Didn't touch it. 

The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton. Didn't touch it.

The Bourne Supremacy, Robert Ludlum. Didn't touch it.

The Wine-Dark Sea, Patrick O'Brien. Didn't touch it. 

Seven Sisters, Lucinda Riley. The library brought it back, but I pushed for another week.

Sharks in the Time of Saviors, Kawai Strong Washburn. Didn't touch it. 

Last Night at the Telegraph Club, Malinda Lo. Didn't touch it.

Vampire Trinity, Joey W. Hill. Didn't touch it. 

Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir. Hugo novel finalist. Made progress!

Conductors, Nicole Glover. My eating companion. I made a bit of progress, now that I'm home and eating at my table. But I think I will be too late -- the library wants it back.

Neogenesis, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. I am very excited that almost all of the characters are now on the same planet.

Deal With the Devil, Kit Rocha. Cloudy book club pick. Didn't touch it. 

The Relentless Moon, Mary Robinette Kowal. Hugo novel finalist. Made progress. 

Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys. From my (digital) shelves. Didn't touch it.

Terra Nullius, Claire G. Coleman. Didn't touch it. 

The Mountains Sing, Nguyen Phan Que Mai. Didn't touch it.

Beowulf: A New Translation, Maria Dahvana Headley. Well, she's the translator. Hugo finalist. I'm enjoying this.

Even If We Break, Marieke Nijkamp. Older Cybils finalist. Reading during laundry.



Picture Books / Short Stories:


None.


Palate Cleansers

These books I'm barely reading; lately I use them bribes to get me to deal with the mail. Hmm. I should get back to that. 


The Educated Child: A Parents Guide from Preschool Through Eighth GradeWool (Wool, #1)Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1)
Dates from HellReading and Learning to Read


The Educated Child, William Bennett. 

Wool, Hugh Howey. I think the good guys are making their move. 

Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho. 
 
Dates From Hell, Kim Harrison & others.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. 

Reading Challenges
  1. Cybils 2020. Working on Even If We Break.
  2. Early Cybils: Picked up the next one.
  3. Hugos 2021: Made minimal progress on last two novels. Finished all the Fancast recommended episodes! Enjoying Beowulf. 
  4. KCLS 10 To Try: 10/10. Complete!
  5. Tacoma Extreme Reading Challenge. 51/55. No change.
  6. Reading My Library. Haven't started the next one. 
  7. Where Am I Reading 2021: 34/51 states. Arkansaw! 19 Countries.

Future Plans

I'm putting this at the end because I suspect it's complete fiction, but I feel I should attempt some structure.

I am reading: 
  • Book I own: So many partially read books! I have no idea. 
  • Library Book: Amulet.  Next: Notes From Underground
  • Ebook I own:   Luminaries. Next: Winter's Tide
  • Library Ebook: Cybils pick.  Next: Cybils pick. 
  • Book Club Book:  Nos4a2  Up Next: 
  • Tuesday Book Club Book: I forget. Next: I need to finish that sailing book.
  • Review Book: The Queer Principles of Kit Webb  Next: Back Home
  • Hugo Book: Ruthless Moon. Next: Harrow the Ninth.
  • Rereading: Steerswoman
  • Meal Companion: Conductors
  • Audio: None  Next: I have a book on CD I'll start listening to if I ever catch up on my podcasts.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

New Neighbor == Mom


It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
OK, everyone should nominate for the CYBILS and do it quickly -- nominations end on Oct 15! NOMINATIONS FOR THE CYBILS ARE OPEN! But only for a few more days. So if you know any good high school memoirs, histories, popular science, etc, through them at me! And also at all the other categories -- nonfiction for elementary and junior high /middle grade, fiction for all ages, speculative fiction, graphic novels, picture books, and board books!

My mom is installed at her new address, and slowly getting to know her neighbors and new environment. There are still a lot of boxes, and she's planning to keep unpacking a few at a time and slowly build herself a home. 

I'm still dropping by most days to help with boxes and to volunteer for any errands she wants. And I'm slowly catching up on my house routine and realizing that I really need to get my sink and toilet fixed as my jury-rigs won't last much longer. I hate home maintenance -- why can't things just last forever!

I am currently reading 27 books, since if I hit a tough bit on a book I'm reading I pick up the next one. I do not anticipate a cascade of completions soon. I'm going to be ready a lot of nonfiction, and picking up the rest as I can.

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" and I'm going to go sign up. Ditto for the children's lit version at either Teach Mentor Texts or Unleashing Readers

Started


To the HiltMeltdown: Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster in FukushimaRat RaceBeowulf: A New Translation
Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We EatLgbtq Rights and ActivismEven If We BreakPaladin's Hope (The Saint of Steel, #3)

To the Hilt, Dick Francis. For my friend's book club. 

Police Defunding and Reform, Olivia Ghafoerkhan. Nonfiction from my local library.

Meltdown, Deirdre Langeland. Middle grade nonfiction from my local library. 

Rat Race, Dick Francis. Because Dick Francis books are like potato chips -- I can't read just one.

Beowulf: A New Translation, Maria Dahvana Headley. Well, she's the translator. Hugo finalist.

Red Madness, Gail Jarrow. Because I am a Jarrow groupie.

LGBTQ Rights and Activism, Stephen Currie. Nonfiction from my local library.

Even If We Break, Marieke Nijkamp. Older Cybils finalist.

Paladin's Hope, T. Kingfisher. I like paladins.



Completed

To the HiltSia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of EverythingMeltdown: Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster in FukushimaIn Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries That Touch the Indian Ocean
Lgbtq Rights and ActivismYou Should See Me in a CrownRat RaceRed Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat


To the Hilt, Dick Francis. For my friend's book club. We are all Dick Francis fans, so this was a reread for us, and we also let the conversation roam over many books. For example, I had confused this title with Proof, so had picked it as sorta food related, but everyone else just counted it as one of our favorites. We enjoyed the details of the laird, and how the family dynamics worked with different people understanding different truths of our character, and when this pleased him and when it hurt him. We liked the idea of discovering how deep one's character goes, although laughed a bit at how Francis always drags in physical pain to do this. And the portrait painting was a very interesting twist.

Police Defunding and Reform, Olivia Ghafoerkhan. Nonfiction from my local library. Overview of why this is a current topic and what is meant by the terms. It's short and clear, with photos to keep the pages interesting. I thought it did a good job but didn't exceed expectations.

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland. 2020 Cybils YA Speculative Fiction finalist. I thoroughly enjoyed this book -- I liked the characters, I appreciated watching them make mistakes and sometimes hurt each other but then recover, apologize, and try to do better. I liked the family relationships, both current and in memory, both the good and the bad. I am astonished at how well the book held together, because it did so much and in so many different directions that it should have been splitting at the seams -- I didn't realize it was science fiction until about a third of the way through. 

Meltdown, Deirdre Langeland. I pushed this out of High School Nonfiction into Middle Grade Nonfiction, because it really seems aimed at 5-8th grade, but then I read it anyway because I wanted to have a sense of what those distinctions are. Wow, I had forgotten so much about the Fukushima disaster -- I remembered the flooding and that it brought down a nuclear power plant, but Langeland brought me into the plant as engineers frantically worked in darkness to try to understand what was happening and brainstorm ideas to prevent disaster. They were only partially successful, but the difference between the actual disaster and the worst case possibilities left me grateful for their unceasing work. I also appreciated the discussion at the end on why nuclear power is not the only dangerous option, since global warming is slower but just as deadly.

In Bibi's Kitchen, Hawa Hassan. I finished this in time for book club! It was another good pick -- we enjoyed the concept and the organization, discussed the different women and what patterns we say, and then shared which recipes we hoped to try. We also all smiled because we had all hoped to make one to bring and then ran out of time. It made for a good discussion! Most people had read the ebook so enjoyed looking through the hardback I had gotten from the library, since the big pictures were a delight.

LGBTQ Rights and Activism, Stephen Currie. I liked the quick look at the big points Currie uses to trace the modern push for rights (Stonewall, Aids, DADT, marriage equality) and thought it was a clear and well documented book. But it didn't elevate itself beyond that. I did like reading it and discussing it with my nibling, who is interested in this topic.

You Should See Me In a Crown, Leah Johnson. 2020 Cybils Young Adult fiction finalist. A sweet story of an amped-up high school experience -- a girl desperately seeking scholarship money throws herself into her school's over-the-top prom court competition, which complicates many things -- her love life, since her new girlfriend is also in the competition and our hero isn't really out, her other friendships, since some buried stresses and secrets somehow also come out, and her family, since they all want to protect each other but that's not always possible. It's a bit exhausting for me, since that wasn't my high school experience (or my kids), and young emotion often makes me want to lie down.

Rat Race, Dick Francis. This was a jump back to a book written in the late 1960s, and it showed some age. The hippie character was even more unlikely, and the woman's tolerance of him even more baffling, because nowadays casual and repeated sexual molestation is more of a red flag to society. But I enjoyed the depression plot, as the character wasn't magically cured but only slowly and with many setbacks started moving forward. And he was beat up with a knife, not with fists, so a completely different pain scene!

Red Madness, Gail Jarrow. I knew almost nothing about pellagra, so I was caught up in the various theories and rather frightening experiments run by the doctors trying to trace the cause. Jarrow does a great job presenting both the context and the facts, so that we see what people knew and understood about disease, and why they made some good and bad predictions. The American South doesn't come out looking good, which resonates a lot today, as they prefer killing off more of their vulnerable citizens than admitting to any mistakes. I am very grateful for enriched wheat products.




Bookmarks Moved (Or Languished) In:

Black Leopard, Red WolfThe LuminariesThe Bourne Supremacy (Jason Bourne, #2)The Wine-Dark Sea (Aubrey & Maturin #16)
The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters, #1)Sharks in the Time of SaviorsLast Night at the Telegraph ClubVampire Trinity (Vampire Queen, #6)
Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2)The Conductors (Murder and ...Neogenesis (Liaden Universe, #21)Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians, #1)
The Relentless Moon (Lady Astronaut Universe, #3)Winter Tide (The Innsmouth Legacy, #1)Terra NulliusThe Mountains Sing



Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Marlon James. Ancient Sword and Laser pick. Didn't touch it. 

The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton. Read a few pages.

The Bourne Supremacy, Robert Ludlum. Didn't touch it.

The Wine-Dark Sea, Patrick O'Brien. Didn't touch it. 

Seven Sisters, Lucinda Riley. The library brought it back, but I pushed for another week.

Sharks in the Time of Saviors, Kawai Strong Washburn. Didn't touch it. 

Last Night at the Telegraph Club, Malinda Lo. Didn't touch it.

Vampire Trinity, Joey W. Hill. Made progress. 

Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir. Hugo novel finalist. Made progress!

Conductors, Nicole Glover. My eating companion. I made a bit of progress, now that I'm home and eating at my table. But I think I will be too late -- the library wants it back.

Neogenesis, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. I am very excited that almost all of the characters are now on the same planet.

Deal With the Devil, Kit Rocha. Cloudy book club pick. Didn't touch it. 

The Relentless Moon, Mary Robinette Kowal. Hugo novel finalist. Made progress. 

Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys. From my (digital) shelves. Made progress.

Terra Nullius, Claire G. Coleman. Didn't finish it for book club, and want to finish the next book on time. 

The Mountains Sing, Nguyen Phan Que Mai. Didn't finish it for book club, and want to finish the next book on time. 



Picture Books / Short Stories:


None.


Palate Cleansers

These books I'm barely reading; lately I use them bribes to get me to deal with the mail. Hmm. I should get back to that. 


The Educated Child: A Parents Guide from Preschool Through Eighth GradeWool (Wool, #1)Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1)
Dates from HellReading and Learning to Read


The Educated Child, William Bennett. 

Wool, Hugh Howey. I think the good guys are making their move. 

Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho. 
 
Dates From Hell, Kim Harrison & others.

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. 

Reading Challenges
  1. Cybils 2020. Finished You Should See Me In a Crown and Sia Martinez. Started Even If We Break.
  2. Early Cybils: Ordered the next one..
  3. Hugos 2021: Made minimal progress on last two novels. Watched a smidge of youtube. Started Beowulf. 
  4. KCLS 10 To Try: 10/10. Complete!
  5. Tacoma Extreme Reading Challenge. 51/55. No change.
  6. Reading My Library. Haven't started the next one. 
  7. Where Am I Reading 2021: 33/51 states. Indiana!  19 Countries.

Future Plans

I'm putting this at the end because I suspect it's complete fiction, but I feel I should attempt some structure.

I am reading: 
  • Book I own: So many partially read books! I have no idea. 
  • Library Book: Amulet.  Next: Notes From Underground
  • Ebook I own:   Luminaries. Next: Winter's Tide
  • Library Ebook: Cybils pick.  Next: Cybils pick. 
  • Book Club Book:  Nos4a2  Up Next: 
  • Tuesday Book Club Book: I forget. Next: I need to finish that sailing book.
  • Review Book: The Queer Principles of Kit Webb  Next: Back Home
  • Hugo Book: Ruthless Moon. Next: Harrow the Ninth.
  • Rereading: Steerswoman
  • Meal Companion: Conductors
  • Audio: None  Next: I have a book on CD I'll start listening to if I ever catch up on my podcasts.