Sunday, August 18, 2019

Bout of Books 26: 19-25 August 2019

Bout of Books

Today, when I opened Facebook, I saw the post I made on 18 August 2014, announcing my TBR list for Bout of Books 11. That was a good reminder that I intend to participate this year in Bout of Books 26 and I still needed to sign up. I'll be posting updates here in the blog, in Facebook, in Instagram, and maybe in Twitter.

For those of you aren't avid readers and haven't participated in read-a-thons, here's an explanation of the Bout of Books read-a-thon:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner at Love Found on the Edge and Kelly Rubidoux Apple at Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 26 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team

If you like to read and talk about what you're reading, join me. You need to sign up by midnight CDT on Tuesday, 20 August.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Not dead ... just away

Yes, there were no posts to this blog in 2016 or 2017. I'm sure that some who followed the blog thought that it had been abandoned. It felt like that to me as well. Rather than enjoying the blogging and the reading, it had become a chore what with the challenges, memes, and the ARC reviews. In 2017, I didn't sign up for any challenges at all, and I didn't participate in any read-a-thons. And now I'm relaxed enough that I'm resurrecting the blog and have plans to post regularly. I'm hoping at least weekly, but I'm not going to be stressed if more time elapses between posts.

So, other than challenges, what's changed? Well, I've bought no books printed on paper in the past two years. And, the only electronic books that I've bought were with gift cards. Of the 182 books that I read in 2017, 156 of them were borrowed—either from the library or from Kindle Unlimited. Most of the books I read were in series. Lots of the books I read were pure fluff—which made the reading of them so relaxing.

Currently Reading

Book Cover: My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier Book Cover: A Clash of Kings by James R. R. Martin Book Cover: To Cache a Killer by Karen Musser Nortman

My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier
A Clash of Kings by James R. R. Martin
To Cache a Killer by Karen Musser Nortman

My Brother Sam is Dead was selected as a Newbery Honor book in 1975. I try to read the Newbery Medal book each year shortly after the awards are announced in the Spring. Then, I read a few of that year's Honor books or Medal and Honor books from previous years. I borrowed My Brother Sam is Dead in electronic format from my local library. Another borrowed book—but this time from Amazon's Kindle Unlimited subscription—is To Cache a Killer. This is the fifth book in Karen Nortman's Camping Can Be Murder series. They're cozy mysteries that I'm thoroughly enjoying.

The last “in progress” book is A Clash of Kings, second in James R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. Having watched all the episodes on television, I decided that I'd read the books to fill in the details that simply get left out when they translate the book to video. And, I'm reading this book with my ears instead of my eyes. I'm listening to the unabridged audiobook. With 33 hours remaining (of the 37.25 hours total length), I figure it will be July or later before I finish it. You see, I only listen to books when I'm driving and I'm alone in the car. So unless I find other times when I can listen, it's going to be a long time until I reach the end of this book.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday Summary: 27 December 2015

Good morning all. I hope your Winter holidays have been fabulous. We celebrated Christmas at my son's house. I cooked a morning brunch of sausages, biscuits, scrambled eggs, ham, and sweet rolls. After breakfast, we sat around to exchange presents. Weeks ago, my daughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I told her I didn't have any particular wishes—just lots of boxes to open. So that's what I got. And every box I opened contained a wrapped gift for someone else. It quickly became a contest to guess whose present might be in my box. But I wasn't left out; my kids know my weakness for books, so I received gift cards to buy books with.

Where I've been reading

Since I had taken the entire week as vacation time, I was at home here in Texas. Well, here in Texas, but not necessarily “at home”. The two five-year-old grandchildren were out of school, so I drove down to my sons' house a couple of days to spend the day with them. It was so warm here in Texas that we went to the park with just t-shirts and jeans. Driving back and forth from my house to where my sons live gave me lots of time to listen to my current audio book, The Guilty by David Baldacci.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (60)

This week's new books are all from the library. I picked up a couple of short books in the hopes that they'd help me complete my objective of reading 200 books in 2015. In fact, I've already read two of the four books which I borrowed.

From the library:

Book Cover: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff I was attracted to the description of Illuminae, written in an unusual style. Instead of the usual narrative, the book is composed of transcripts of interviews, medical reports, e-mails, etc. The setting is a planet which has been attacked by the powers of a large corporation. Two teens—who have just broken up—are among those who have escaped and are fighting for their lives. Ezra is recruited as a fighter pilot and Kady becomes a hacker as the survivors struggle to expose the treachery of the attacking forces and win back their freedom.

I don't remember where I heard about Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Perhaps it was even at the library's website. At any rate, I saw that it was listed as a “coming soon” copy and I put my name on the Holds list. Now I have downloaded it into my Kindle and will be starting it soon—probably tomorrow.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Summary: 20 December 2015

This week I'm combining my Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves. I've been ignoring my online presence—forums, blog, Facebook, even e-mail—for a couple of weeks as I focus on taking care of things at work. Now that I have a couple of weeks of vacation at the end of the year, I hope to be a bit more visible.

With Christmas coming up, I'm lucky to have two grandchildren nearby to share the holiday with. Yesterday, I flew to Las Vegas to pick up grand-daughter Victoria for a two-week visit with her Daddy. Since he had to work yesterday, I had the honor of escorting her to Texas. He'll take her back just in time for school to start up again.

Where I've been reading

A week ago I was returning from New York City. Everything was brightly decorated and I was fortunate that the weather was quite mild. In fact, I kept wishing I had left my coat at home and just taken a light-weight jacket to keep the wind at bay. I read on the plane both directions and then read in my hotel room each evening instead of turning on the television.

This week just past, I was blessed to be at home. I tried to make plenty of time for reading as I really would like to make my goal of 200 books for 2015. I knew it was a stretch goal when I set it, and I'm running out of time!


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Review: Cards of Grief

Book Cover: Cards of Grief by Jane Yolen
Originally published 1984; republished 2012 by Open Road Media
Source: borrowed from the library

Jane Yolen's award-winning story about an alien civilization forever changed by the incursion of human social scientists and a mysterious ancient prophecy

The year is 2132 when members of the Anthropologist's Guild set down on the planet Henderson's IV, or L'Lal'lor as it is known to the native population. Charged with the nonintrusive study of alien cultures, the crew discovers a society containing no love or laughter. It is, instead, centered around death—a world of aristocratic and common folk in which grieving is an art and the cornerstone of life. But the alien civilization stands on the brink of astonishing change, heralded by the discovery of Linni, the Gray Wanderer, a young woman from the countryside whose arrival has been foretold for centuries. And for Anthropologist First Class Aaron Spenser, L'Lal'lor is a place of destructive temptations, seducing him with its mysterious, sad beauty, and leading him into an unthinkable criminal act.

Told from the shifting viewpoints of characters both alien and human, and through records of local lore and transcripts of court martial proceedings, Cards of Grief is a thoughtful, lyrical, and spellbinding tale of first contact. It is a true masterwork of world building from Jane Yolen, a premier crafter of speculative fiction and fantasy.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (58)

After the long list of new books I posted this week, I don't have quite as many to talk about. I did receive a new review book courtesy of the Library Early Reviewers program. And I took a couple of more Mid-grade and Young Adult books from the library hoping that I could read them fairly fast and hit my goal of 200 books for 2015.