Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Welcome Home!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
May is marching on! In book news, I went up to the Sno-Isle libraries to return a book, and the library was open! I had to enter the building to drop off the book, and I could have gone on in to look at the shelves, but I'm paranoid so I'll wait until my vaccination state is higher. Renton is still doing remote pick up, and I'm really enjoying the library grabbags. Someday I do want to get back to my Library Quest, though. 

I also got a book from another library system, since I have a friend in Oregon willing to help me obtain books, and their system had a book I've been looking for. So I felt all accomplished. I also zoomed in for our Foolscap book club, which talked about various kinds of historical fiction in the SF/fantasy world. We found two big categories -- alternate histories and time travel, as well as a bunch of miscellaneous. 

In the kitchen I pulled my socks up and made pizza, starting with a smitten kitchen crust that is low effort but starts the day before, and then did a pasta primavera that generated a lot of leftovers. This was handy because I spent the weekend getting my second COVID vaccine jab and then driving down to pick up Alexander from school. And then driving back up where he started eating my leftovers. Since Sunday was Mother's Day, he met me at his dorm with a giant flower before throwing all his belongings in the backseat and the trunk.  

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


The Lost OrphanThe Consuming Fire (The Interdependency, #2)The Lizzie Borden Ax MurdersAll Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

The Lost Orphan, Stacey Halls. A group read with a reading group.

The Consuming Fire, John Scalzi. For my Tuesday book club. Not coincidentally, it's a Hugo nominee (best series).

The Gardner Museum Heist, Michael Regan. 2020 Cybils nonfiction nominee.

The Lizzie Borden Ax Murders, Carla Mooney. 2020 Cybils nonfiction nominee.

Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells. I think I'll listen to the audios. 


Faithless in Death (In Death, #52)All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)
The Lizzie Borden Ax MurdersEfrén DividedThe Curse of Chalion (World of the Five Gods, #1)Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

Faithless in Death, J.D. Robb. Another fun one, without too much torture. After running around Ireland with Roarke's past, this time we settle back into New York with a recent headline reflecting cult of a charismatic rich guy and his dumber kids and competent yet dismissed daughter. Eve deals with the problem that has been troubling the FBI and other agencies for years, but then she has Peabody and Roarke on her side. And Mavis and Peabody make some good changes/

The Gardner Museum Heist, Michael Regan. 2020 Cybils nonfiction nominee. This was a interesting history of the art theft from a private Boston museum, showing the known facts about the heist, the police/FBI investigation that stalled out, the suspects, the theories, and hope for the future. I was left with questions about the structure of the museum, which was founded by the woman who donated the art and left with rather poorly thought out guidelines, and I want more information on that. Also I want to know who is living in the top floor now. 

The publisher provided me with an ecopy. I'm assuming this was an ARC because the backmatter still had some gaps. 

The Lizzie Borden Ax Murders, Carla Mooney. 2020 Cybils nonfiction nominee. This is another in the series of crime histories from the publisher, and I noticed the title because it's the name of the suspect, not the crime. It also seems to take the position that Lizzie probably did it, and the other crimes in the series are either unknown or not a really a mystery like Kennedy's assassination. This was interesting to me, because the little I've known of this case was more open-ended. Of course, a lot of that is from the fantasy book by Cherie Priest that involved eldritch monsters coming from the sea, so I'm not really an expert. It's a good overview of the subject and I can see it working in a classroom.

The publisher provided me with an ebook copy of this book.

Efron Divided, Ernesto Cisneros. 2020 Cybils finalist. This is a book about a great kid in a tough situation. He's working out a complicated friendship with a boy with a great heart but rather scatterbrained approach to things, he's got two cute but troublesome siblings, and he has a lovely hardworking family, but the working members of it are undocumented immigrants. And one gets deported. This affects the friendship, the siblings, and obviously the family, and how Efron deals with it makes for a great book. There's a lot of Spanish in the language, because Efron is bilingual (his name has an accent over the 2nd e, but I don't know how to do that) which made the reading a bit hard for me. There's a glossary in the back, but it took me a while to realize that "No" at the start of phrases was where they'd be alphabetized. 

Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold. This has held up very well -- it's been over ten years since I read it. I remembered the feel of it, and that matched, but had forgotten plot details like how the curse could be lifted, how long the "is he a child molester" question persisted, and the existence of the little brother. This time I found Caz's reluctance to share information with the royina very frustrating and also condescending, but he eventually gets over himself. And my favorite scenes were still golden -- the one where someone tries to bribe him and his conversations with the saint of the menagerie. And now I will see if I can get the next one on audio. And I hear there is another Penric book on its way. Happy sigh.

Medical Apartheid, Harriet A. Washington. Ouch. This was a great book for Torches and Pitchforks, just exactly what the club is for, and this book flattened us all. We thought we knew what we were in for, but the reality is so much worse. I knew that the medical establishment had residues of racism in it, and slavery and the Tuskegee study were examples, but they weren't so much oddities as part of a long standing and still continuing pattern that Washington catalogs in clear language and references. Yeah, no wonder there is so much vaccine hesitancy in African American communities; there have been vaccine scandals in the past twenty years where kids were experimented on without warning or real reason. And the way that modern medicine has mostly pushed the terrible experimenting into actual Africa is not really a great reassurance that black bodies are safe now. Ouch.

Bookmarks Moved (Or Languished) In:

Uncompromising Honor (Honor Harrington, #14)Black Leopard, Red WolfThe Pleasant Profession of Robert A. HeinleinThe Luminaries
The Bourne Supremacy (Jason Bourne, #2)The Wine-Dark Sea (Aubrey & Maturin #16)An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League, #1)The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters, #1)
High CottonSharks in the Time of SaviorsStars Beyond (Stars Uncharted, #2)
Playing with FireThe Secret Country (The Secret Country, #1)Something That May Shock and Discredit YouAn Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

Uncompromising Honor 63/??, David Weber. Baen Free Radio Hour's serial. I caught up!

Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Marlon James. Ancient Sword and Laser pick. Nothing.

The Pleasant Profession of Robert A Heinlein, Farah Mendelson. Hugo finalist. Nothing.

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.

An Extraordinary Union, Alyssa Cole. Didn't touch it. 

Seven Sisters, Lucinda Riley. Didn't touch it.

High Cotton, Robin Kristie Johnson. A LibraryThing EarlyReaders book. Progress!

Sharks in the Time of Saviors, Kawai Strong Washburn. For the KCLS new author's program. My copy has arrived and I took it out of the box.

Stars Beyond, S.K. Dunstall. About halfway done. I like the action.

Playing With Fire, April Henry. Didn't touch it. 

The Secret Country, Pamela Dean. Listening to a read-aloud.

Something That May Shock and Discredit You, Daniel Mallory Ortbert. Another read-aloud.

An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir. For Cloudy. I put it down whenever the characters get tortured. It's taking a while to finish. I am much more squeamish than I was in my youth.

Picture Books / Short Stories:

Joey Fly, Private Eye in Creepy Crawly CrimeThe Harlem Renaissance

Joey Fly, Private Eye in Creepy Crawly Crime, Aaron Reynolds. 2009 Cybils Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novel finalist. This was pretty fun; I'm not completely sure the gumshoe parody will mean anything to elementary school kids but I enjoyed it. The kids will probably enjoy the assistant more than I did. I felt clever that I figured out the mystery.

The Harlem Renaissance, Duchess Harris. 2020 Cybils nonfiction nominee. Solid school book that gives the setting, the players, the context, and the enduring influence of this bright and creative time.

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)
Under the Eye of the StormDates from HellReading and Learning to Read

The Educated Child, William Bennett. 

Wool, Hugh Howey.

Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho. 

Under the Eye of the Storm, John Hersey. In the eye of the hurricane now. 

Dates From Hell, Kim Harrison & others. 

Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vaca. 

Reading Challenges
  1. Cybils 2020. Finished the middle grade book. Also read a few leftover nominees. 
  2. Early Cybils: Another 2009 graphic novel, which I put into picture books. 
  3. KCLS 10 To Try: 8/10. I did get a recommendation from a librarian, but I'll probably read that with a book club this summer. Epistolary will be hard.
  4. Tacoma Extreme Reading Challenge. 33/55. No luck.
  5. Reading My Library. Hmm. I think Stars Beyond is from a SF grabbag.
  6. Where Am I Reading 2021: 17/51 states. 11 Countries. Two books in Massachusetts!

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: ??. Next: ??
  • Library Book: Playing With Fire. Next: ??
  • Ebook I own: Extraordinary Union  Up Next: Paladin's Strength
  • Library Ebook: Luminaries. Up Next: a cat mystery
  • Book Club Book: Louisiana Longshot. Up Next: Wonder
  • Tuesday Book Club Book: The Consuming Fire. Next: I need to finish The Wind Dark Sea
  • Review Book: High Cotton. Next: Back Home
  • Hugo Book: The Pleasant Profession of Robert A Heinlein. Next: Joanna Russ.
  • Rereading:  Network Effect.
  • Meal Companion: Stars Beyond
  • Audio: Murderbot  Next: Paladin of Souls

1 comment:

Sue Jackson said...

Isn't it exciting to walk back into the library again?? Ours just re-opened, too, though just partially - a few days a week (curbside pickup continuing on the other days) and most of the library is still roped off. They still want you to return via the book drop, but you can go inside to the desk to pick up and they have an amped up new releases section up front, plus a selection of DVDs, audios, etc. I was just happy to walk inside!

I'm always impressed by how you can juggle so many books at once! I like your new Future Plans section - I might try that!


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