Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sunday Post #15

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  It's "a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog."

Reading This Week:

Well, on the one hand, I've only read a handful of books this week, counting the one I read last Sunday after I got this post up.

On the other hand, I have five books listed as "Currently Reading," and I am actually making some progress on each and every one of them.  

I've been reading Neil Gaiman's essays in The View from the Cheap Seats one at a time with my breakfast.  I get a little reading in, and because it's not fiction, or any other extended narrative, I don't keep reading and wind up late to work.  It's a best-seller at my library, so I could only check it out for two weeks, but just now when I returned my copy, I was able to find another copy on the shelves, so I'll be leaving with that one.  

I got a good start on Leviathan by listening to the CD in the car during my commute.  I'm not 100% convinced I'm going to finish it.  It's good, but Steampunk has never been my genre.  Unless it's Phillip Pullman, I'm reading it mostly because it's in my classroom library, on the advice of a kid I taught last year.  My concern is that it's both lengthy and presumes a certain amount of world history understanding and/or willingness to not know what the hell is going on until you get acquainted with the world, which means my students are unlikely to pick it up.  

I found out about this app called Serial Reader from Lori's post at The Broke and the Bookish, and signed up to have chapters of The Jungle Book and A Study in Scarlet delivered to my phone daily.  Someone smarter than me--I suspect either AJ at Read All the Things! or Lory at Emerald City Book Review--pointed out that Gaiman's The Graveyard Book has deliberate parallels to The Jungle Book, and it made me want to re-read both of them.  And despite being a long-time fan of 19th century fiction AND mysteries, I have never read any Holmes.

Finally, I am also trying to get through more of my Chris Crutcher so I can push him on students.  (Well not HIM so much as his books.)  I grabbed Stotan! off my shelf and have been reading it in bits and pieces so far.

Enough about books I haven't finished yet.  The books I read were:

Which looks fairly impressive until you realize that's three graphic novels, a novella in verse, a book I listened to most of on CD, and only one "traditional" book.  

I liked them all, with various degrees of reservation.  I've linked to my Goodreads reviews if you want more.  I strongly suspect The Serpent King will stay with me a long time, and it kind of breaks my heart that Ghosts is culturally problematic, because its portrayal of family life is (as always with Raina's books) beautiful.  I also know it's going to be incredibly popular in my classroom, and am no more willing to keep it off my shelves because of cultural appropriation than I am to keep Eleanor & Park off my shelves because it has the c-word in the first chapter.  

Blogging this week:

A very respectable five posts went up this week.  I'm trying this thing where I spend Saturday afternoon at the library getting a bunch of posts written and scheduled for the upcoming week.  For those of you with blogging calendars and 30+ posts pre-written, this may be shocking, but for me it's the height of organization.  

For the Top Ten link-up this week, I wrote about ten satisfying read-aloud experiences that I've had.  I checked in quickly to announce that I'm going to be a round 2 judge for MG/YA Nonfiction in this year's CYBILS.  I also had Serious Thoughts--about communicating with authors at author events and online, and about the various ways writers can and do respond to the notion of #ownvoices in light of accusations of cultural appropriation and racism.

Oh, and the random photo dump I've taken to doing lately, even though I am so #notabookstagrammer.  

Life this week:

Pretty decent, thanks for asking!

Highlights include:
  • Buying extra donuts when I was getting donuts for my advisory class on Friday, and walking around before school giving surprise donuts to my colleagues.
  • A student bringing in her mom's Babysitter Club collection from the 1980s/90s.  Like, 40 yellowing paperbacks.  I am both horrified and delighted with this.
  • Similarly, my sister gave me my adult niece's collection of books from middle school, and she had no fewer than 18 Dianne Wynne Jones novels.  
  • A half hour power outage in the morning FREAKING MY STUDENTS THE FREAK OUT despite the fact that we were in a room with bright window light, writing in notebooks and reading books.  In other words, despite the fact that it had zero effect on their lives.  
  • Making waffles for dinner last night, supplemented by the bacon, strawberries, and whipped cream my husband decided to go pick up when I told him what I was going to make
OH MY GOD the guy sitting next to me at the computers in the library just asked me if my daughter is my grandchild.  Maybe I need to start wearing makeup in public or something.  So, that was more of a low-light.  


  1. I’ll have to check out your random photo dump. Also, I LOLed at the end of this post. I worked as a babysitter when I was a teenager, and people would ask me if the kid was my son. I would always be like, “Um . . . no . . . I’m only 9 years older than him . . .”

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. If my child and I both procreated at 18, then yes, my daughter could be my granddaughter. But that's not exactly common these days, right? Of course, my dad used to get the same thing with me--my parents were 35 and 36 when I was born, but he didn't age as gracefully as my mom.

  2. Serial Readers is new to me but I like the sound of it, I'll have to check it out. And is there anything better than a complete set, or even just a large number, of older books, like that Babysitters Club set? I love to see them all together like that. :)

    1. It's a pretty full collection for sure! I'd be happier if I thought my students would actually read them, but they look their age, and it's going to be a hard sell.

  3. I finished The Serpent King this week as well! It started slow, but once it gets going, it is hard to put down!

    1. I agree--at first I was all, "This is fine, but what's all the fuss about?" but then by the end I was so wildly invested and emotional about the whole thing.

  4. LOL, if my pre scheduled posts fall below 20 I begin to panic, but a week in advance is awesome. I know many who are reading a book for a post tomorrow! I love finding the connection between books. I often have multiple books going, especially if they are different genres and I always have an audio. Have a fantastic week, I am off to check out that app!

    1. I take a pretty cavalier approach, for sure. I have enough "have-tos" between my job and my family, so blogging is a "get-to" and I just won't put that much pressure on myself over it, or it will stop being fun.

  5. It's funny how freaked out students get by something so mundane. A couple of years ago my school had a power-outage for, like, 3 hours and teaching became baby-sitting very quickly (despite them being teenagers). I'm definitely intrigued by Ghosts. I think I might snag it from the book fair when it rolls through next week. Happy reading!

  6. That's a very good way to do it--read an essay at breakfast so you aren't late for work. I've been listening to an audiobook in the morning on my phone as I get ready and with my drive to work, it gives me a good half hour or so of listening time. We'll see how long it lasts. I generally like to listen to the news in the car, but lately I just haven't been in the mood.

    You sound like me. I'm usually prepping posts on Fridays for the the upcoming week. I wish I had a full schedule already ready to go a month in advance. That would be so nice!

    A few years ago, a man who works in my office asked if my daughter was my granddaughter. My coworkers haven't let him live that down. LOL

    I hope you have a great rest of the week, Wendy!


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