Sunday, March 08, 2015

Sunday Summary: 8 March 2015

After spending two weeks attending conferences—first in Las Vegas and then in Seattle—I am finally back home. I don't plan to stay here, though. I have a week's vacation from work and plan to do a little bit of sightseeing right here in Texas.

Where I've been reading

This past week was spent in Seattle, attending the Spring conference of SHARE, a technical organization made up of users of IBM's largest enterprise servers. Friday evening, I flew home to Texas and Saturday was a day of total goofing off. I alternated reading and catching up on missed TV shows.

What I've been reading: Completed this week

Book Cover: Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau Format: eBook
Source: borrowed from Denton Public Library via Overdrive
Completed: 3 March


Graduation Day is the third and final book of The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau. Set in a dystopian future where a series of wars have devastated the world, leaders of the new United Commonwealth have instituted a cruel competition as a means of identifying leadership potential in young students. Survivors of The Testing have their memories wiped and gain admission to The University. But Cia's memories returned. She and her friends are determined that they will be the last to go through The Testing.

First book completed in March's Take Control of Your TBR Pile challenge.

Book Cover: The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi Format: eBook
Source: purchased in August 2008
Completed: 7 March

★★★★☆ One of the first eBooks I bought was The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi. It's the second book set in the universe first introduced in The Old Man's War. I have no explanation for why it has sat unread for over 6 years, but I rectified that this week. As I had expected 'way back when I bought the book, I simply loved the story. Scalzi's use of consciousness transfer has set up an intriguing look at the military and space exploration.

Jared Direc, like all members of the Special Forces, is born in an adult body, but with no real consciousness. An implanted "BrainPal" provides context for all experiences, helping the newly created brain lay down memories and experiences. Jared, however, is unlike other Special Forces in that prior to his awakening (birth?), scientists had attempted to insert the recorded consciousness of a rogue scientist. The attempt failed, so Jared is sent off to training with the other newly born soldiers. Almost a year later, the latent memories start appearing and Jared is faced the challenge of whether he can remain himself or whether he will disappear underneath the personality of the imprinted consciousness.

I will be recording this book as part of both the Take Control of Your TBR Challenge and the 42 Science Fiction Challenge.

What I've been reading: In progress

Book Cover: Peter and the Secret of Rundoon by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson All week long, I was able to listen to at least a half hour of Peter and the Secret of Rundoon in the car as I commuted from my hotel to the location of the SHARE conference. It's the third book in the Peter series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson and the story is getting better and better. There are about 2 and 3/4 hours of listening left, and then I'll probably start right in with the fourth and final book of the series.

Book Cover: The Diva Wore Diamonds by Mark Schweizer On my Kindle, I'm reading The Diva Wore Diamonds, the seventh in Mark Schweizer's Liturgical Mysteries. Hayden Konig, police chief and organist, is actually an aspiring mystery writer. His idol is Raymond Chandler and he purchases Chandler memorabilia as inspiration. In fact, he types out his very bad stories on an Underwood typewriter that once belonged to the famous author. In his everyday life, Konig has to solve zany mysteries as well as conduct choir rehearsals.

This Week on the Blog

I was able to give the blog some more attention this past week. I had a couple of items written in advance and scheduled to be posted.

  1. Review: How to Fly with Broken Wings
  2. Take Control Challenge; starting position
  3. TBR Read-a-Thon
  4. February Wrap-up

Coming Up

Today, hubby and I head out on a mini-vacation. We are planning on driving over to the Big Bend area of Texas. One place we particularly want to visit is the McDonald Observatory. And I'm curious to experience the Marfa Lights, seemingly sourceless lights dancing on the horizon southeast of town.

During the month of March, I will be participating in the Take Control of your TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by Kimba at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. Joining with about 100 other readers, I'll be working to clear out the backlog of TBR books on my Kindle and bookshelves. It's proving hard to stay away from the library and the NetGalley web site, but I really do want to spend time reading from the books already on hand.


And, as usual, I'm linking up with The Sunday Post, hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on the blog, showcase books and things received. Share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead.


  1. John Scalzi has been tempting me too, but for less long, lol ! I wanted to read his "Lock in". Good luck with your TBR pile, have a great week ;)

    1. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Scalzi writes books with a lot of humor -- they're easy to read, but the ideas aren't trivial at all.

      Sometimes when I look at the number of TBR books I own, I'm embarrassed that I acquire them faster than I can read them. But I certainly don't want to arbitrarily get rid of unread books because they do turn out to be so good once I get around to reading them.

  2. I hope you enjoy your vacation, I was wondering do you like Book Challenges? Do you enjoy to support an cause. I am host an event called Reading 4 Autism that launches in April. Sign up are open for the month of March. Here is the link for the sign up for it:, Let people know

    1. Thank you SO MUCH for the information (and invitation) about this reading event. I definitely like reading for causes -- that just adds one more pleasure to the event. Our online group at always makes a charitable contribution at the end of each of our read-a-thons. I'm hopping over there right now to see what's up.

  3. I really like John Scazli and loved Lock In on audio.Good luck with Take Control and all of your travels.

    1. OK -- with two mentions of Lock In, I'm going to have to check that one out.