Catzteach’s reading (and other) adventures of 2018
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I’ve started my reading year with Artemis. I’m almost finished with it.
I’ve made a few goals for 2018:
* run 300 miles
* ride 300 miles
* finish 10 quilting projects
* read 80 books
I have two half-marathons already planned and a Cancer fundraiser ride that will be 75 miles so I’m pretty sure I’ll make both those goals. The reading goal, not so sure. I only read 71 books this year. I guess I’ll need to stay of the iPad a bit more in 2018. :)
If it wasn't so far to come, I'd be keeping a welcome for you in May for the Comrades (about 55 miles run) and again in October for the Amashovashova (same route, cycle). I'd hesitate to suggest the Two Oceans -- Cape Town's in the grip of the worst drought in recorded history.
Google tells me it's 305.7 miles from your town to mine! When shall I expect you? :)
>3 hfglen: the cycling one sounds doable. I do wish it was easier (read “cheaper”) to travel.
>4 MrsLee: can I expect one of your amazing meals when I get there? ;)
Finished Artemis last night. It wasn’t as good as The Martian, but it was a good story. I will say the science in some places didn’t need to be quite so detailed. I felt that it bogged the story down a bit. The story itself was different than The Martian. It wasn’t a space disaster book. The main character, Jazz, is a small time smuggler in the city on the moon, Atremis. She is asked to do a big time job from one of her regular customers. She sees her chance to make a ton of money and get into a better place financially. So she goes for it. She then gets in way over her head. The last third or so of the book is her trying to figure out how to get out of the predicament she’s in. She is a strong, intelligent character that has made some dumb life choices, which she freely admits.
So the first book of 2018 was a success.
>7 MrsLee: I had to choose the novel from the touchstone list. It kept bringing up Artemis Fowl books, which I have also read.
Happy New Year, good luck with your goals and may you enjoy your reading in the year ahead.
Happy New Year! Your goals sound very ambitious to me but it sounds like you've got plans in place to achieve them. I hope you find some great books along the way!
Yesterday I finished The Language of Thorns. It was a super quick read. It's a bunch of short stories that are sort of Fairy Tale-ish. I have a hard time with short stories because I can't get into the characters as much. Or maybe the characters aren't developed well enough. Or maybe the stories just weren't all that good. I don't read short stories very often, or ever, so I don't know if it was me or the book, but I was disappointed.
In a dark, dark wood Nora is invited to a hen’s weekend. She is surprised because she hasn’t talked to this friend in 10 years. She is talked into going by a mutual friend who was also invited. During the telling of the weekend’s story, the reader gets glimpses of Nora in the hospital and of something terrible that has happened.
I really enjoyed this book. It was intriguing and kept me thinking. I liked getting little drops of what happened ten years ago that made Nora stop talking to her friend, but not being able to figure out the mystery part of it until the end was refreshing. It was a bit scary, too.
I will definitely read Ware’s newest book Cabin 10.
>14 Peace2: it was really interesting. I like it when I can’t figure out who did what with a mystery. This one kept me on the edge of my seat.
Finished A Closed and Common Orbit this morning. I very much enjoyed this second book of the Wayfarers. The idea of sentient AIs are kinda scary, but I really liked reading about Sidra’s journey of figuring out what and who she was. The background story on Pepper was good, too. She survived so much! I was sad to have this one end.
Tales from the Shadowhunters Academy audio
This book follows the Mortal Instruments series. Simon has lost his memories, but he is no longer a vampire. Because he can’t remember his friends but has heard he helped save their lives, he decides to become a Shadowhunter to become the person his friends remember. He heads off to the Academy. Within Simon’s story we get some other stories of other characters from the Shadowhunter world.
It was well read. I enjoy the world of the Shadowhunters so I enjoyed this book.
*waves* Best of luck meeting all of you goals, catzteach! I'll be along for the ride, at least part of the way. Artemis is on Mount Toobey, here.
*waves back* Nice to see you around the pub! I think you'll like Artemis.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer I liked this book for two reasons: Wonder Woman and Leigh Bardugo. I have been fascinated with WW since I was a kid (thank you Lynda Carter). And I'm a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo's. I stood in line for 2 1/2 hours to meet her and get a book signed. I liked the plot of Diana helping Alia stop the next World War. The only thing I really didn't like was that the book took Diana back to her island and never having got off of it. If I had read this book before the movie, that part of the plot wouldn't have bugged me. It did have a nice twist to the ending. I like that it wasn't predictable in that way. I will seek out the other books in the DC Icons series because I'm a huge superhero fan.
Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant. I have turned into a huge Mira Grant fan. It started with her Newsflesh trilogy, which was a book bullet. They did not disappoint. Then someone in the pub, Tardis maybe?, mentioned her mermaid books. I immediately went into my library's website and put Rolling in the Deep on hold. It's a novella so it's a super quick read. But man! What a read! It was intense. A short rundown of the story: the crew of the Atargatis has been hired to cruise to the Mariana Trench with a tv crew from the Imagine Network. The Network is known for its documentaries. They are not always truthful in their documentaries. They are going out to the Trench to look for mermaids. But once they get there, they find out that mermaids are the beautiful, innocent creatures that the folktales say they are. This book was creepy and intense. I have ordered Into the Drowning Deep and will receive that in the next couple of days. I won't be able to dive into it just yet because I just started A Gentleman in Moscow. That one is going to take me a while to get through.
I would say the only thing I didn't like about Rolling was the name of the ship. It didn't flow real well in my head and I had to shorten it to Gatis.
>21 catzteach: I just started A Gentleman in Moscow. That one is going to take me a while to get through.
In my opinion it is well worth reading slowly. The word, "wallow", comes to mind when I think of the time I read it.
>22 pgmcc: I am definitely taking my time with it, but I also got it from the library so it’s due back in a couple of weeks. I’m really enjoying it!
A post not about reading, but I wanted to post somewhere since The Husband does not yet want it on FB. We bought a new truck today! It will be here on Tuesday. The bummer was I had to trade in my KIA. I loved my KIA. His name was Edward. He was a great car. But The Husband really wanted a truck and he deserves this treat. We did get the color I wanted, so it's not all just his. :) It's a 2018 Cajun Red Chevy Colorado.
So I will inherit the Subaru, which is a nice car. I shall name him Olly.
>25 catzteach: Congratulations! Cajun Red is very evocative. Our GMC vehicles have a lovely red color right now. Perfect for Valentine's day. :)
>25 catzteach: Lots of happiness! One of the archaeologists I went with last week used to have a Subaru Forester until quite recently -- a very comfortable go-anywhere vehicle.
Congrats to both of you, then! I always name my vehicles, but then I forget to call them that. And by default they just become their model name. My Murano's name was Sapphira, but it didn't role off the tongue. I named the RAV4 I got last November Moana. That actually seems to be sticking as it is easier to say than RAV4. LOL
>30 clamairy: I name them using the license plate info. Here in Oregon, our regular plate has 3 numbers and 3 letters. Naming my car helps me remember its license plate. Edward was Edward William Blake. He had EWB for his letters. Olly has a license plate that only has one letter. And it’s a Q. Quentin didn’t fit and I couldn’t think of another Q name. Olly is orange, so the O comes from being orange. :)
We have a Civic named Jaime (the Hybrid) and another Civic named Freckles, so called because we bought it off a friend who parked it under a redwood tree for a while so the name is descriptive of the paint job.
>32 aqeeliz: if you call him Car, then it’d be a name. :)
>33 littlegeek: those trees can really damage cars.
We picked up the truck last night. It took an hour and a half to go through all the bells and whistles! It was overwhelming. We have WiFi capability right now. I suspect we will turn that off in a couple of months. I’ll post a picture of it when I’m on my computer (I’m on the iPad right now).
Despite spending half the evening at the car lot and then having to finish report cards, I finished A Gentleman in Moscow last night. Wow. Just wow.
>35 catzteach: Our dealership has some of those beautiful red vehicles for sale. We've been putting them in the showroom, but people keep buying them! So lovely I want to stroke them (but don't because, fingerprints). Enjoy!
About the instructive phase, isn't it something? I think it's the longest part of the process! One of our guys goes through everything with the customers, and it takes as you say, about an hour and a half! The other guy gives them the important bits, then tells them to call or come back by when they want more. Most people can't absorb and retain all of it anyway.
Speaking of this. OnStar. Am I the only one who cringes about that? I mean, has no one else watched Doctor Who and learned that allowing such a beast in your car is dangerous? We don't subscribe, but I know it's there, waiting. Watching. Listening. *shudder*
Cars are the root of everything that's wrong with this world. Trucks are worse.
I'm not judgemental or anything. :(
>34 catzteach: Congrats on the new truck!
>34 catzteach:, >37 MrsLee: When I bought my new car last year, my sales guy took the “important bits” approach and I was happy with that. I told him I probably wouldn’t remember everything he told me anyway, and that I’d read my manual. Which I did, over the next couple of days, and I learned about all the features and how to operate everything way better than I would have otherwise. But apparently reading a car manual is weird. :) I just wished the electronic version of the manual would let me select my model and options and automatically filter out the dozens of pages that were completely irrelevant to me.
>36 suitable1: right now, nothing. But we have thought about getting an r-pod. It can tow 7500 pounds!
>37 MrsLee: The Husband is reading the manual as we “speak.” Our neighbor sold it to us so we can always go to his house and ask about stuff.
>39 YouKneeK: I’ve read the manual of every car I’ve owned. I want to know how it works and what all the little lights mean.
>40 catzteach:, I don't think cars come with paper manuals anymore? You either have to purchase them or look online. Not cool.
>39 YouKneeK: I also read the manual of my car, and I have an old one without many bells and whistles...
>35 catzteach: Great looking truck. Goid luck with it.
I am glad to be amongst people who as as weird as I am with respect to reading car manuals.
>39 YouKneeK: No problem with the truck manual itself, but most of the sound system manual (including how to reset the clock!) is in Chinese. Yes, the Glenmobile is a "Chinese Cheapie".
>40 catzteach:, >42 zjakkelien:, >43 pgmcc: It’s wonderful to finally know so many fellow car manual readers! :)
>41 MrsLee: My new car came with a paper manual and a CD with a PDF manual, although the PDF manual was a bit longer and went into more detail. To me a paper manual still seems important to have in the glove compartment so it can be referenced in the event of problems or cryptic lights, especially given how few people actually read them until they need something.
>42 zjakkelien: I did the same on my last car, which also didn’t have much in the way of bells and whistles, and I still learned things I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
>44 hfglen: A Chinese manual could be a problem! In my limited experience, resetting a clock usually involves holding down one or more buttons for several seconds until it flashes and/or beeps, then using the same button(s) to change the time. On the other hand, without a manual to guide you, it's possible you could accidentally activate the self destruct... :)
My husband studies the manual in detail. For days. With his latest car he bought some software to turn on features that weren’t part of his option package. Of course that meant getting a cheap android tablet, but that’s all normal when you’re married to an engineer.
>46 majkia: I just press all the buttons until stuff happens :)
I mean, what is the worst that can happen? I might blow up Alderaan, but I was going to do that anyway...
>48 Darth-Heather: I do read the manuals, but first I press buttons. In my newest car, the one with the Beast installed, the first button I pressed was the bright red one. It then announced, "Calling 911." Oops.
>49 MrsLee: heh. I wonder if the emergency services people get a lot of accidental calls like that. :)
I kept pressing a button in my new car that I *thought* was for the all-wheel traction thing, but it turned out that I was actually turning my hazard lights on and off... I probably should read the manual :D
>52 majkia: I’m currently a programmer and I read most manuals. :) If it’s something I’m already pretty knowledgeable about, I’ll play with the whatever-it-is first, then skim the manual later to pick up anything interesting I missed. Otherwise, I read the manual first. I feel like it saves me time in the long run. I can usually absorb stuff like that pretty fast and retain the parts that are relevant to me.
But it’s true that most of my fellow programmers would never dream of reading a manual. None of them are readers, though. In fact, I’m pretty sure some of them don’t even read the code in the programs they’re modifying. :) Not too long ago, I was asked to add new logic surrounding how a certain database field gets populated. I first searched the program for that field to see how/where it was currently being used, and the first thing I saw was the field being initialized to the same value at least three times within the same few lines of the same subroutine. A couple of the lines were right next to each other! Each line was added on a different day. When I looked at the program in more detail, I found it was full of redundant code, ranging from small stuff like that to large chunks of logic that completely invalidated large chunks of logic being done earlier in the program.
>54 suitable1: my (software designer) dad always claimed that RTFM should be our family motto. Apparently I come from a long line of "just push the buttons and see what happens" folks.
I thought I was the only one who read the manuals! The Husband didn’t read the manual for the Subaru when we got it five years ago. This truck has way more bells and whistles, though.
Mrs. Lee, he found the pdf, too. He was looking at it last night on his computer.
Cars are so complicated now and so different, even from the same marque, that I have the quick start guide handy in both of our newer cars. A quick start guide! Omg.
>45 YouKneeK: Yep, I learned that my car had a rear spray-thingy. I thought it didn't have one for a few days...
I did read the manual on our CR-V once. When we were getting ready to use it as our TOAD. The manual said, if you are towing your car for more than four hours, to pull a fuse to stop the battery from discharging. We carefully pulled the fuse. The battery went flat, and the fuse did not do what the manual said it did (run the radio). So, see? I have good reason NOT to RTFM!
Oh, also, the part of the manual about pairing my phone doesn't work either.
>66 YouKneeK: yes, I plan on continuing! I had this one on the Kindle app on my iPad. I’m not sure if I’ll continue it in ebooks or see if my library has the paper books.
>63 MrsLee: that would make this the oil-slick-dispensing button:
>68 Darth-Heather: Yes! I once tried to explain the meanings of the button pictures to the mechanics at our shop. They had some creative ones too. :D
I'm in the middle of Into the Drowning Deep. I think I need to not read it before bed. My dreams were super weird last night. Probably didn't help that all four cats were sleeping on me.
Finished Into the Drowning Deep. It did not disappoint. It wasn’t quite as action packed as the Rolling Deep, but it had time to build the characters a bit more. I have learned that Grant’s books are better for me to listen to rather than read right before I go to sleep. I had some pretty bizarre dreams while reading this one.
The Lying Game Another one by Ruth Ware. I am really liking her books because they aren't predictable. This one has Isa getting a text from an old friend. All it says is "I need you." She drops everything and takes her 6 month old up to her friend's. There are four friends who went to boarding school together. They played a game while there called "the lying game." They got points for telling lies. Well, they also got a reputation. They were mixed up in something that is now coming back to haunt them. They spend the book trying to figure what to do. The only thing that kind of bugged me was that I felt there were times the baby did things that were too old for a 6 month old. For example, she ate some solid food. I can't remember the food, I just remember thinking "How old is this kid?" It didn't bug me enough to take away enjoyment of the book.
I'm now reading another Ruth Ware, The Woman in Cabin 10. This one is for book club. I read the Lying Game because a coworker had checked it out and was turning it back in to our library. I saw it waiting to be picked up on the counter of our mail room. Yes, we can check out and turn in books from my school. It's pretty cool. Makes it easy to get books from the public library. I wouldn't normally read three books from the same author so close together.
The Woman in Cabin 10 yet another Ruth Ware in which I did not predict the ending. I am really enjoying her books! This one has Lo has the main character. She is a reporter for a travel magazine and gets an opportunity to go on a cruise for the very rich. It's the boats maiden voyage and the owner is trying to get rave reviews so he can start the cruise as a business. Her first night there she hears the woman in the cabin next to her scream. She then hears the veranda door open and a big splash. She runs to her own veranda, looks over the rail, and sees a hand going down in the water. She then tries to get people to believe her. It seems there was no one staying in Cabin 10. The characters were interesting and I like the way things unfold. I highly recommend this book!
The End of Oz The fourth book in the Dorothy Must Die series. Amy Gumm has returned to Oz. She has defeated Dorothy (she thinks) and is now going after the Nome King. This was a fun series. It was an interesting story line of Dorothy going to the evil side because of her shoes. It's been an entertaining series. This book is supposed to wrap up the series; however, it ends with a bit of a cliffhanger so there might be more.
It was a good escape from a very stressful week.
Ah, Stephanie Plum, Lula, Morelli, and Ranger. Hardcore Twenty-four was just what I needed after a stressful week. Typical Stephanie: she goes after a bad guy, gets wrapped up in something big, gets in over her head, gets rescued by one (or all) of her men. Fun brain candy.
>79 catzteach: those are fun books, aren't they, always good for a comfort read.
>80 NorthernStar: yes, they are. I haven’t read of Evanovich’s other stuff. I should probably give it a try.
>82 catzteach: Agreed that she writes enjoyable fluff. The names may be different in other series, but except for Lula you'll hardly notice the difference in characters or plot.
George I read this book because it is on the list for Oregon Battle of the Books next year. I was told it has a transgender character and it was recommended the school’s have permission slips to read it. Then I got a phone call from a friend whose friend read it and was appalled that it was being included. It is in the 8-11 year old category and is being marketed for kids.
As far as a story of the struggles a kiddo has for being different, it was pretty good. George/Melissa wants to be Charlotte in the school play. She also has a bully who bugs her. She does have a very supporting best friend (who is a girl). She finally tells her mom that she feels like a girl. Mom and brother are accepting of it. They actually thought she was gay.
There were a few things that would stop me from having this book in my classroom. I felt these things were inappropriate for the age it is marketed to. The three big ones were the references to “dirty magazines” and porn, and the mention of George going onto the Internet, researching, and then erasing the browsing history so Mom doesn’t find out. It also mentions a few other things that could’ve been done a bit more appropriately for 8 year olds.
I’m happy to see a book for kids about the diffulty of being trans. I had books help me through stuff when I was younger and it was nice to know I wasn’t alone and someone understood.
And if this review/book is considered political, let me know and I can revise it.
Curious Minds I listened to this on the way to my mom’s. Riley Moon is a newish employee at a banking firm. She has been assigned to go to a client’s house, Emerson Knight, to appease him and get him to keep his account with the firm. Through various events, they uncover a plot to steal the world’s gold. Emerson was a quirky character and Riley was a strong female lead. It wasn’t as funny as the Stephanie Plum books but it was entertaining. I’ll keep the series in mind when I need a light read.
The Serpent’s Shadow I picked this one up at the library on a whim. I read Lackey when I first got into the fantasy genre way back when. I haven’t read much of her besides the Valdemar series. This is the Elementals series. I’ll continue it even though I felt the middle of the book was a bit slow. I liked Maya, the main character, and her friend, Peter.
The Serpent’s Secret picked this one up at the library last week. On Kiran’s 12th birthday, her parents disappear leaving her a message to “trust the princes.” She learns that she is a princess from another dimension. Her parents aren’t her biological parents. She’s actually the daughter of the moon and the Serpent King. She needs to rescue her adoptive parents from a demon. She makes friends with the princes.
This was a fun read, although at times it felt Kieran was older than 12. I won’t seek out the others but will read them if I come across them.
Lilac Girls set in WWII, this book follows the experiences of three women: Caroline, a NYC socialite who volunteers for a charity that helps orphans in France; Kasia, a Polish teen who gets sent to Ravensbruck when she is discovered working with the Underground; Herta, a German doctor who gets a job at Ravensbruck. This was one of those books that I have to just sit and contemplate when finished. As I was reading, I wondered if it was based on true stories. Indeed it was. Caroline really existed and did many things to help the French and the Rabbits from Ravensbruck. Herta was really the doc who performed heinous experiments on the women at Ravensbruck. And, although Kasia is fictional, her character, and her sister and mom, were based on real people and their experiences the author read about in memoirs.
Every Heart a Doorway my first Seanan McGuire, although I have read Mira Grant quite a bit. This one was a short book and not as intense as the others I’ve read.
Nancy is a teen who has gone to another world. When she returned to her world, she no longer fit in and her parents thought she needed help. They found a boarding school that specializes in troubled teens. So they send her there to be fixed. Little do they know, it’s a school for other Wayward Children: children who have visited other worlds and come back. Nancy is just settling in when the first murder happens.
When the Crickets Stopped Singing Angie is 12 years old in 1939. It’s summertime and she meets her new neighbor. Her neighbor, her best friend, and Angie decide they need to “love thy neighbor” as a summer project. In the meantime, Jefferson Clement moves back to town. The girls realize they need to stay away from him.
From the cover and the jacket’s blurb, I knew Jefferson was going to end up being a predator. He does target one of the girls that Angie and her friend have decided they need to love more. Angie realizes she needs to speak up, but not until an accident happens.
This book takes a horrible subject and tells about it in a very appropriate way for this age group. At the end the author gives a little bit of historical perspective on 1939 and how things were viewed back then.
It’s three months into 2018. Time for a check on my goals.
Goal: to run 300 miles
Progress: I have run 69 miles so far
Goal: to ride 300 miles
Progress: I’ve ridden 4.3
Goal: to read 80 books
Progress: I’ve read 21 books
Goal: finish 10 quilting projects
Progress: I have two ready to bind, so almost but not quite
New goal: be able to do a pull up
Progress: I’m two weeks into a program called Pull Up Queen.
>91 catzteach: Wow, I'm not sure what's more impressive on that list! Good luck with all of it, but especially the pull up. I used to be able to do them, but I'm pretty sure I'd cry like a baby if I tried to now.
>92 clamairy: I've never been able to do a pull up. This program is quite the challenge for me but I'm up for it!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone it’s only taken me 20+ years, but I finally listened to this one. I have a student who inspired me to read it. It was enjoyable. The storyline isn’t new to me, but the characters were fun and it was written very visually. I can see why they made it into a movie, which I guess I should now watch as well.
Yeah, when it first came out, I had just had an encounter in Colombia with a bruja. It was terrifying. So I couldn’t read anything with magic in it for years. Then, when I was finally able to read magic again, there were so many amazing books out there, that I just kept putting Harry off. But one of my students inspired me. I will continue the series. I can relate to Hermione. :)
>94 catzteach: I read the Harry Potter series for the first time myself in late 2015. I look forward to hearing what you think of it as you continue! I thought the first book had a very young feel. I still enjoyed it quite a lot, but was happy when that became less pronounced in the subsequent books.
I had trouble getting through the movies. They weren't bad, but they're sooo long. I think I got a bit bored because I already knew the story, and I tried to watch them shortly after finishing the books. It took me two or three sessions to finish each movie, and I finally stalled out altogether after the 5th and still haven't watched the last two.
>97 YouKneeK: I will probably watch the movies with a friend’s son. He loves them and his excitement will make them even better.
The Magic Art of Tidying this one was mentioned at book club last month. Since I’ve been trying to declutter the house, I decided to read it. It was good. She had some great ways of organizing. I really like the idea of holding something in my hand and seeing if it brings me joy. The chapter about thinning out book collections would make most of us gasp (she used to tear pages out of her books!). I have started to fold my clothes like she suggested and I can get so much more in a drawer and really see what I have!
The Map to Everywhere: Iron Tide Rising
Touchstones not available for this one, probably because it’s fairly new. It’s the fourth in a series for kids. Merrill and her friend, Finn, fight the Master to save the Pirate Stream. Merrill is also hoping to save her sick mom back in her own world. It was a good conclusion to this series. I need to add the books to my classroom library.
Obsidio the third in The Illuminae Files.
I so enjoyed this series! Strong female leads. Bad guys. Good guys. A psychotic AI. Space. Fabulous! Plus, the way it was written was fun: emails, chats, and some visuals. Obsidio was a satisfying ending.
>99 catzteach: I have this waiting on Mount Tbr. Glad you found it a satisfying conclusion to the series.
The Hate U Give Wow, what an intense read. It is the story of a 16 year old girl who witnesses the shooting of her best friend by a police officer. I don't know if I can go into a lot of detail and still follow our politics rule here in the GD, so I'll just say the main character, Starr, was a strong, female lead. She learned a lot about how to use her voice to speak out and be an activist. This was a worthy read.
>98 catzteach: I have that one on the shelf waiting to be read. For some reason I bought it and Banish Clutter Forever: How the toothbrush principle will change your life forever and read BCF first. Some of the ideas in it were sound and some could be adapted to work for me, but I couldn't get behind her concept of books... She seemed to be saying that a bookshelf (as in single shelf rather than bookshelf piece of furniture consisting of several shelves) should be more than sufficient and that the books on it would have been read and kept because they were needed for work or research purposes (as in reference types) and there would be no more than a couple of books in the house waiting to be read... yeah, so, I guess we can say she's not a book lover then!
>98 catzteach: Yeah, one shelf, definitely not! I am going to go through my books, though, because I am definitely running out of room and it's making my house look sloppy. I will offer them up for re-homing to my book club peeps first so they'll be in good hands.
>102 Peace2: I can't even take those people seriously. There is such a disconnect between their values and mine. I do believe in decluttering, and I even believe in only keeping books you love, but that requires many bookcases for me, not a single shelf. Why, my Rex Stout books alone would take up more than one shelf.
It's been a while since I posted. I just haven't had the energy. I've been so tired lately. I haven't slept well in over a month. I went to the doc and had some blood work done. Found out I'm low on testosterone, low on Vitamin D, and my thyroid is wonky. Soooo ... I started testosterone two days ago, will get a vitamin D supplement this weekend, and go see an endocrinologist next month. After just two days of the hormones, I feel so much better! Two good nights' sleep, too. I have energy today! I feel like I could go run that half-marathon I have scheduled next weekend (it got to a point where I was too tired to run 3 miles, let alone 13.) Unfortunately, due to how the hormones are given, I can't run for another couple of days.
With all that said, I am going to spend some time telling you guys about the books I've been reading. At least I've been able to read a few minutes every day. :) Here goes:
Tempests and Slaughter I love Tamora Pierce. I'm going on my notes in my reading log and actually don't remember much of this book. I liked it, but it didn't stick with me. It's about a little boy who goes to a school for mages. It becomes evident very quickly that he is very powerful. Therefore, the Masters take him under their wings and watch out for him. He is befriended by Orzone, a prince, and Varice, another mage student who is loved by everyone. I remember Arram, the boy, getting into sticky situations, but I didn't write a whole lot of details in my journal so I can't remember much. Because I like this author and her other series, I will read the rest of this one when they come out.
A Court of Thorns and Roses A typical YA fantasy. Good, though. Feyre is a girl whose family has lost everything. Now that they are poor, she is the caretaker of the family. She is the one who does the hunting to provide food. One day she kills a wolf. Turns out this wolf is a fairy. Due to a treaty with the fairies after a war, if one kills a fairy, one has to go live with the fairies. Feyre gets taken by a High Lord of fairy and goes to live at his palace. He is cursed. They fall in love. He's hoping she can break the curse. It is very Beauty and the Beast in this way. Things go wrong, of course, and she has to fight her way to save him. I enjoy YA and if I find the next book at the library, I'll read it. Don't know if I'll go out of my way to request it, though.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon This one is a Newberry winner. Luna is given to the witch by her village. They sacrifice a child every so often (I forget out long) to keep the witch happy and keep the village safe. There is a witch, but she doesn't understand why the village leaves one of their babies in the forest to be killed by animals or to starve. So she saves them and takes them to another village where they are adopted and live happy lives. One time, she picks up a baby and feeds her from the moon by accident. She then decides to keep the baby since the baby is now infused with magic. This is the story of the baby growing up with the witch. It also follows a character in the village. He was the one who put Luna in the forest and he deals with the guilt of this all his life. The two stories come together in the end and the real witch is revealed.
Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore A reread because of my book club. I listened to it this time and I think I got more out of it. I enjoyed it just as much this time around as the last time.
Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions A cute book for 8 to 12 year olds. Runt Higgins is an orphan at a school for minions. He thinks he is a werewolf. There is a saboteur at the school. Runt hunts down the saboteur and saves the school.
When We Collided I thought this was going to be a typical YA romance. I don't usually read those, but I had picked this one up a few years ago for free at the librarian's convention I went to. It wasn't the typical YA romance, which was good. Vivi is a 16 year old who is spending the summer in Verona Cove, a small town on the California coast. Her mom decided they needed time away from Seattle due to some things that happened with Vivi. Eventually we find out Vivi is bipolar. The love interest is Jonah. He is a townie. He has his own baggage: his dad died and his mom is deeply depressed and can't get out of bed. Therefore Jonah and his older siblings are taking care of everything, including the three younger siblings. Vivi enters their lives. All is chugging along, but Vivi has stopped taking her pills. Eventually things crash out of control. It's a good book about dealing with a mental illness and grief. It's one of those books that would make someone feel less alone if they are living with these things. I was totally crying by the end of it.
I guess I've been reading a lot despite not feeling like doing anything else. :)
Sorry to hear you have not been well, but I'm glad the problem has been identified and you are getting back to your normal self. I have also just read Tempests and slaughter and The girl who drank the moon and enjoyed both. I agree that Tempests doesn't have a memorable plot; it's more the day-to-day lives of the characters as they study and learn. The girl who drank the moon was lovely, like a fairy tale but with more depth to the characters.
Anyway, I hope you will soon have a little less reading time as you get out and about again!
>106 Sakerfalcon: that’s a great description of Tempest. I almost referred to The Girl as a fairy tale but then didn’t. It enjoyed both books.
I'm happy the hormones are working for you! But now I'm wondering if that's what wrong with me. I already have an estrogen patch (TMI for some of you, I'm sure, but too bad!) but I'm always out of whack energy and sleep wise.
I took a massive book bullet for The Hate U Give and now I'm 49th in line for the eBook.
>108 clamairy: I have a friend who swears by the full hormonal blood-work panel, not the one done yearly by a regular physician. She says the regular ones only pick up on major disruptions, but even small disruptions can make a huge difference to our energy/sleep, etc. I haven't done one (they are a lot of money and not usually covered by insurance), but wonder sometimes if it would make a difference.
I have finished four books in the last couple of weeks. It's the end of the school year so I've been swamped with school stuff. Now that a good chunk of that is wrapping up, I can be on LT more. :)
The Collapsing Empire This one was a book bullet from someone on here. And, boy, am I glad I got hit with it! This was a good book. I did have some trouble in the beginning when all the characters and houses were being introduced, but once my brain figured all that out, I really enjoyed the story, which is: Humanity lives in space. They travel from settlement to settlement using the Flow. They were cut off from Earth long ago. Turns out, the Flow is not going to last forever. As the houses find this out, the treachery gets going. I will definitely be seeking out the others in this series.
Midnighters: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld. I first read Westerfeld with his Uglies series. That one was so good! This one is pretty good so far. Jessica Day moves to Bixby, OK from Chicago. She starts to have weird dreams that seem real. She discovers she is a "midnighter." In Bixby, time stops at midnight. There are only a few people who are awake during this time. Everyone else stops. But there are also darklings awake during the midnight hour. And they are after Jessica. The other midnighters help her get away from them.
Frostfire A typical YA fantasy. Bryn is a troll but they look human. She tracks down her village's changelings. She then brings them back to her village to live with their birth parents. But someone is hunting the changelings. She decides she needs to go after the man hunting the changelings. I will finish this series because I picked up the third one at a conference a few years ago and I just can't read books out of order.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. This is the third book of hers I've read. It's brand new so it has not yet been entered into LT's database. I am loving this author! She keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Ok, so I did guess who Harriet's dad was, but I didn't guess some of the other plot lines. The plot: Harriet, Hal, receives a letter from a lawyer telling her that her Grandmother has died and has left her money. Hal is broke and a loan shark is after her so, even though she knows this isn't her family, she decides to deceive the family and go to the funeral. She is then swept up in the lies and secrets of the family.
Batman: Nightwalker this is the second book in the DC series. Bruce Wayne is 18 and has just come into his fortune. He is just graduating from high school. He is heading to an event when he sees a robbery in progress. He knows the police can’t catch up with the crook in their slow cars so he goes after the guy in his Aston Martin. This gets Bruce in trouble and he gets community service. He is assigned to Arkham Asylum. Where he meets a Nightwalker. From there the events are leading him to his life as Batman. Being a huge superhero fan, I really enjoyed this book. I’m looking forward to reading Catwoman.
Dangerous Minds The second in the Knight and Moon series. They aren't as good as the Stephanie Plum series, but they are still fun. I listened to this one on the way to Mom's. I'll keep seeking them out. They make for a good listen.
I have The collapsing empire on my kindle. I'll have to read it soon because yours is one of a few great reviews I've seen for it recently.
I hope you enjoy the summer break from school!
Still Me: a novel by Jojo Moyes. This is the third in the series Me Before You I loved this series! Louisa Clark is one of my all time favorite characters. She's quirky and a bit unsure of herself. I feel like she's very real. I enjoyed how she grew throughout the series. She faced some challenges and was able to come out the other side in one piece. Highly recommend.
So are you still feeling better with the testosterone bio-identical supplements? Just curious!
PS Happy to see you're reading so much. :o)
Sorry to hear you've not been feeling great, hope things are continuing to improve. Glad to see you've been managing to get some reading time in.
>116 clamairy: I’m still feeling good with the testosterone. I see the endocrinologist tomorrow. We’ll see what he decides I need.
>117 Peace2: >118 stellarexplorer: I’m feeling better than I was. I now have energy so that’s good. :)
Just finished ice kissed. It’s the second in a series. Bryn is trying to find out who is behind the disappearance of a neighbor kingdom’s queen. This one ends on a cliff hanger and sets up the third novel. It’s an enjoyable YA read.
The Storied Life of A J Fickry whoa. I think I would put this right up there with A Gentleman in Moscow. A good character/life story. AJ is a widower in a small town on an island. He owns a bookstore but pretty much isn’t caring about anything. Until Maya comes along. She becomes his reason for living. This one was read by someone on here, but I do not remember who. I highly recommend it. I’m going to have to sit and think about it before I move on to my next read.
>121 Sakerfalcon: glad you liked the empire book.
The Great Alone this was a hard read for me. Not because it was a bad book, but because of the abusive dad. My dad was emotionally and verbally abusive to Mom and us kids. I saw him touch her in a violent way only once, when he grabbed her neck to bring her back into the room when she walked away from him. There were times, though, where they would fight in their room and she would have bruises the next day. He spanked me, sometimes a little too enthusiastically, but he never slapped me or what I would define as hit. My brothers said he hit them. He sure broke enough record albums and coffee cups, though. Anyway, I know what it’s like to walk on eggshells and hope to not set my dad off. Back to the book: I really liked Leni. It was hard when she made some poor choices, but I also understood those choices. Alaska sounds beautiful but harsh. The neighbors were strong characters. And I liked the ending. This was my second Kristin Hannah book. I’ll definitely seek out others.
On a happier note, I finished the first of two scheduled rides this year. 26 miles, 1000 foot elevation gain. A bit challenging but fun! The event was a weekend long series of events. Very fun to be a part of!
Midnighters: Touching Darkness The Midnighters are continuing to search for answers about the Silent Hour and why it's happening. They learn about some humans that are helping the darklings. Long ago, the darklings made a halfling so they could communicate with the humans. The darklings and the humans want to do away with the Midnighters. This has been a good series. I really like Westerfeld and his writing. I have the third one on my TBR pile but will read a book before that just so I don't overdose on one series. :)
The Secret Keeper When Laurel was 16, she witnessed her mom murder a man. Her mom said it was self defense. Even though Laurel didn't think it was, she told the police she saw the whole thing and the man was attacking her mother. 50 years later, her mom is dying. Laurel is driven to figure out the mystery of the man and why her mother killed him. The story goes back and forth from present day to when Laurel's mom, Dorothy, was a young 19/20 something during WWII. Dorothy was friends with Vivien and in love with Jimmy. While reading about those three, I kept wondering how it was all going to culminate with the murder. It did finally all come together in the end. This book was a bit sluggish in the middle. I don't know if it was the story or just my mood. I've read a couple of other Kate Morton's and wasn't able to put them down. This one was not like that. I am glad I finished it, though.
And, since it is June 30, I'll review how I am doing toward my 2018 goals:
* Goal: run 300 miles. Progress: 168 miles. Definitely on my way to meeting this one.
* Goal: ride 300 miles. Progress: 149 miles. I think I'll be able to meet this one.
* Goal: read 80 books. Progress: 49 books so far. Doing well.
* Goal: finish 10 quilting projects. Progress: yeah, not so great. I've only finished one.
Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with my progress.
The Whole-Brain Child I read this one for work. It was pretty good. It gave some good ways to teach kids about how the brain works. I’ll use some of the techniques this fall when I teach growth mindset and mindfulness.
Blue Noon the third Midnighters book. This was an enjoyable series. Not as good as Westerfeld’s Uglies or Leviathan series, but enjoyable. It wraps up well, but there is room for more books if he chooses to. One thing I find funny, in the book, the monsters use the phrase “Winter is coming.” Made me go hmmmm.
Clockwork Angel another Shadowhunter book. Tessa has come to London from New York to live with her brother. She is taken from the train station and kept captive by the Dark Sisters. They force her to learn how to use a power she didn’t know she had: she can shapechange. She is rescued by Will Herondale. She goes to live at the Institute and learns about the Shadowhunter’s world. Another fun read, especially if you like the other series.
Haven’t finished a book but have had two DNFs: Space Opera (no touchstone yet) and The Witcher. I just couldn’t get into Space Opera and The Witcher was confusing and I couldn’t connect with the main character.
And to put a silver lining on a trip to the ER for The Husband last night, I did get over halfway through my current read, All The Crooked Saints. The Husband has been struggling with his blood pressure for the last couple of months. He woke up last night with it sky high (233/103 or something similar) and we decided to go ahead and go in. Everything but his blood pressure turned out ok. We were there for five hours. He’s asleep, I’m on my iPad. Methinks the doc needs to up his meds.
>127 catzteach: Yikes, that's frightening. I'm glad you were able to relax enough to read in the ER. Hope they find the right meds to help him.
Thanks guys. He’s doing better today. The doc upped his meds and gave him a sleeping pill. Part of his problem has been that he wasn’t sleeping.
Finished All the Crooked Saints. The plot: Beatrix lives in 1962 Colorado. She lives in a tiny desert village. Her family has been there for generations. The village is known for performing miracles so pilgrims come to get miracles. The catch: the first miracle manifests in unusual ways. For example, one character grows to 20 feet tall. The pilgrim doesn’t go back to normal until they fix themselves by realizing something or learning a lesson about themselves. The villagers aren’t allowed to help or talk to the pilgrims. But one does. And then he goes into the desert so the village stays safe. Beatrix isn’t about to let him stay in the desert so she attempts to help him.
I liked the book, but it was hard for me to suspend reality at the beginning. Not sure why, I’m usually pretty good about that. It wasn’t the best Stiefvater book I’ve ever read, but it was a good read.
I haven't been on LT a whole lot the last few weeks. I've been wanting to be outside while I can; before school starts back up or before the smoke from fires gets too unhealthy to be out much. I have been reading and doing other things. I'll post a few pics.
Teasing, Tattling, Defiance, and More This one was a professional development book. Good stuff to implement in the classroom.
The Paris Architect 1942 Paris. Lucien is an architect who is approached by a member of the Resistance to build hidey holes for Jews. He doesn't necessarily want to get involved, but the money is good and he likes the challenge. The review on this one were mixed. I enjoyed it.
The Stars are Fire In 1947, Grace is a young mother of two. She is in an unhappy marriage. A fire burns through her village and she loses everything. Her husband is missing. She needs to figure out how to survive. Good premise. Horrible book. I felt like I was reading one of my third grader's writing. The sentences were short and choppy with no variation. The characters were flat. I really didn't care if she figured out how to survive. If it hadn't been a book club book, I wouldn't have finished it.
Final Girls A novella by Mira Grant. Fast paced. Ok read.
A Court of Mist and Fury The second in a series. I am enjoying this series. Although for a YA book, the sex scenes are pretty descriptive. Not something I like in my YA books.
Clockwork Prince Yet another Shadowhunter book. I enjoy the world of Shadowhunters. I think after this group of books, I'll have read all the ones that are out.
Tiny Infinities This one if for 8 to 12 years old. Alice, the main character, is dealing with her dad moving out. She also meets a new neighbor who has autism. She is able to connect with the neighbor and even hears her talk! She has to convince everyone that she did indeed hear the girl talk. This is one of those books that help kids know they aren't alone or helps them empathize with others who have had their parents split up.
That's it for the reading the last few weeks. Now I'll post a few pics. :)
And then there's this guy! I went to the Humane Society to look at a little grey kitten and came home with this guy! They named him Fred. We have named him Skippy after SkippyJon Jones. He's a maniac when he's out of his cage!
He can't even put down his ball when he goes potty!
He thoroughly enjoyed his dinner! And saved some on his nose for later!
>137 catzteach: Oh wow, Skippy is adorable! He looks like he has a lot of personality. :)
Awww, I love the new kitty! And Crater Lake looks spectacular. I've always wanted to go there but not managed it yet. When I do I will go kayaking too!
Looks and sounds as if you are having just about a perfect summer break to restore you for your next year in the classroom! That little kitty looks like a five pound package of personality packed into a tiny bundle.
Skippy is keeping us on our toes, for sure! He’s in a crate for a couple of weeks. We want him to get a bit bigger before he is loose with the big cats. We take him out and let him run around our room.
>142 Sakerfalcon: Crater Lake is awesome! But the kayaking photo is a different lake. I live in an area that has quite a few lakes to kayak. But do get to Crater Lake sometime.
Skippy reminds us all of our Mr Inky Mistoffelees when he was that age. We hope Skippy gives you as much fun as Inky gives us. Truly ours is a past master "at prestidigitation and legerdemain. He'll defy examination, and deceive you again" and so "we all say Oh! was there ever a cat so clever as magical Mister Mistoffelees?" Skippy has precedents to live up to!
>146 hfglen: I get to see Cats this September! Our local theater is putting it on. I have yet to see it, so I'm pretty excited.
We've had some cat drama around here the last few days. On Friday, I noticed our 18 year old cat had blood in her urine. She has kidney disease so this was not good. It was a UTI. We had already decided not to go to the Redwoods for our vacation due to all the smoke. We are getting the smoke here, too, and it is not pleasant. We had decided to go to the Oregon coast instead. But not with Teddi having a UTI. She needs meds and there's no way a stranger would be able to do it. So no vacation for us this year. Then on Saturday Ekho, our 5 year old cat, started coughing. He woke me up three times last night coughing. So I took him in today. I was freaked out all morning because we had a cat die of lung cancer a couple of years ago and he had been coughing. Turns out Ekho has allergic bronchitis! He needs to be on steroids for almost a month. Giving cats meds is not for the weak. I'm glad now that we did not go away. Oh, and his bronchitis was probably caused by the smoke we are getting from all the fires in Oregon and California. So he's not allowed outside any time soon.
The upside of us not leaving is Skippy has been freed from his large dog crate. We are keeping him in there at night or when we are gone, especially for long periods. Witten, the 18 pounder, has been super gentle with Skippy. He has been letting Skippy jump on him and bite him. It's been pretty fun to watch.
Despite all that, I've been able to read. I have finished five books since my last post.
Undertow This book takes place in Coney Island, NY. Lyric is 17 and lives in The Zone. It's been taken over by the Alpha, a race of people who came from the ocean. It's a militarized zone. The land humans are not happy with the Alpha. There is lots of racism and tension. But they all need to get their act together so they can fight the Rusalka, a race of people who forced the Alpha onto the land. I enjoyed this book was but very bummed it is the first of a trilogy. Had I known that, I may not have read it. I don't really need more series I need to finish. But I will finish this one.
A Court of Wings and Ruin This is book 3. I enjoyed this series. There was a teaser at the end about more books in this series. I know there is a 3.1 book out there. I'll seek it out for sure.
Raising a Secure Child This one was a recommendation from my therapist. It was a good book for my personal growth and there were things in it I can use in my classroom, too.
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore This one caught my eye a while ago and then had been recommended quite a bit in a FB group I belong to. It was really good! The plot: Lydia works at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. One night a regular customer, Joey, commits suicide in the bookstore. Lydia and coworker find him. She notices a picture in his pocket. When she looks closer, it's a picture of her on her tenth birthday! She's wondering how this person came to have her picture. She starts to investigate this mystery. She has to revisit a very horrible, tragic night in her life in order to investigate. There was a twist in this one that I didn't see coming despite some foreshadowing (that I realized after I finished the book).
The Wife Between Us This one was recommended on the same FB group page and I'm so glad I listened! It was so good! The book jacket says to not assume anything and, boy, was it right! I'm not going to say anything about the plot because I don't want to accidentally give anything away. I will say there were some very unexpected things. I was guessing till the very end. Good stuff.
And now I'm off to relax for the evening. Hopefully Ekho will not cough and Skippy will sleep till 6 AM.
Sending healing wishes to your kitties and strength to you. Skippy sounds like he is feeling at home already!
>147 catzteach: "Giving cats meds is not for the weak. "
Giving cats meds requires that you know your blood type and the ER phone number before you start. Hope you have a good ambulance team ;-P
>149 hfglen: Luckily I don't have to do it alone. The Husband holds Ekho while I shove, er, put the pill in his mouth. We keep the band-aids handy.
>151 suitable1: One time I was trying to find one of ours to take her to her weekly vet visit, I couldn't find her anywhere, had to cancel the appointment. Then I decided to do a load of laundry. She came shooting from behind the washer! She had hidden behind it! As far as I know, she hasn't been back behind there since.
Summer is over. I have returned to work. I won't have quite as much time to read now. But I have read 68 books so far this year, so there's that.
It's super smoky here tonight. My area is getting smoke from fires in Canada and California, and now there's a fire about 150 miles away that is bringing smoke and ash to my area. I went to put the car in the garage and it's covered in ash. It's awful out there.
I have finished a few books since my last post.
The Vicious Deep Not sure how I stumbled upon two series this summer that had to do with merpeople/water people, but I have. This one is similar to the other one in that the main character finds out he is half merman. He is heir to the Sea King but he has to earn the Trident. Not a bad book. It's a trilogy and I picked up the other two books when I was at the library.
Catwoman: Soulstealer The third in the DC Icon series. I have always loved Catwoman. The book was good. It had a few different things in it, like Selina going to train with the League of Assasins and Batwing being her love interest instead of Batman. I haven't read the comics in a while so I'm not up on Batwing but I liked the character in this book. The next in the series is about Superman.
Record of a Spaceborn Few A third Becky Chambers book. It was good! It focuses on five characters: Kip, a 16 year old who wants to leave the Fleet and see what else is out there; Isabel, an older woman who takes care of the Archives and assures that traditions are upheld; Sawyer, a 23 year old grounder who has come to the ship to see what life is like in space; Eyas, a Caretaker, she takes care of the dead and helps spread the human remains compost to the plants; and Tessa, a mother of two, one of which is scared to be living in space. There lives eventually intertwine. I really love her books.
Joyful Classroom A professional book on ideas of how to get the kids more engaged.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Listened to this one. Enjoyable.
And now I'm off to start Spinning Silver
I hope the new school year gets off to a good start for you. Sorry to hear that you're still dealing with the smoke; I hope the fires don't come any closer to you.
>155 MrsLee: Maybe all the citizens of the west should wash their cars on the same day, a sort of modern rain dance if you will. Think it would work?
>147 catzteach: It's dangerous stopping by these threads .... That's five hits so far and I haven't caught up on everyone's thread yet - it has to be said that you're winning with three hitting the target in a single post!
Hope the cats are on the mend.
>157 Peace2: Three! That's good shooting, there. :)
I have to record this DNF as I read half the book. And then I just couldn't do it. The book is Spinning Silver and I'm really disappointed. I absolutely LOVED Uprooted so to not be able to finish this one...
I just couldn't get into the characters. There were three main characters. Each one was telling her own story, so they were all in first person. The problem is there was nothing to tell me who was "speaking." Yes, I could tell someone else might be starting to tell their story, but the font didn't change and the author didn't label the sections with the character's name. So I had to read a few sentences before I could figure out who was speaking. Very frustrating. And then I just didn't care for the characters. None of them were particularly likable (side note, that looks misspelled, but the computer doesn't like "likeable.") So I gave up on the book.
I didn't want the summer to end with a disappointing book.
>158 catzteach: I’m sorry to read you didn’t like Spinning Silver! Having multiple characters all written from the first-person viewpoint, especially without any kind of indication of who the current character is, would get really confusing!
I too loved Uprooted (and her Temeraire books), so I'll probably still try this one eventually, but it won't be a priority and it will be helpful to be prepared for the POV thing.
I’ve been consumed with school starting so haven’t posted much. I have finished two books.
The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy this is a companion read to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. While Harold is walking to see Queenie, she takes us through their relationship from her perspective. The reader knows Queenie feels guilty for something but does not find out what till almost the end of the book. And there is a bit of a twist at the end as well. If you have read Harold and liked it, I think you’d enjoy this one. I did.
The Savage Blue the second in a series. Tristan and his friends are continuing to hunt down the oracles so they can find all the pieces of the Trident. This will make Tristan the Champion and the Sea King. He finds a not good secret out about one of his crew and is betrayed by another. There is a third book which is currently sitting on my TBR pile.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.