Monday, February 13, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? for February 13, 2017


Both of my kids were sick this week, so I didn't read quite as much as I normally do. We went to the library yesterday, so that will probably change this week.

Adult Books

I finished two adult books this week and started two others. I finally got to the end of Coughing in Ink, and it was well worth the time it took for me to absorb everything. This book really spoke to my own negative experiences in academia, and it also helped me to clarify my thinking about the current state of higher education, even though the book was published before I was even a year old.

I also read Killer Chef, one of James Patterson's Book Shots titles, and enjoyed it much more than the romance novel from that series that I read a couple of weeks ago. I like the idea of a detective who also runs a food truck, and I actually thought the mystery was a lot more "cozy" than I normally expect from Patterson.

The books I started were a cozy mystery, Murder of a Sweet Old Lady by Denise Swanson, which has a lot of of good family drama that I'm really enjoying and Lois Lenski: Storycatcher by Bobbie Malone, which I can't really weight in on yet since I've read just 15 pages.

I came home from this weekend's library trip with four adult books: two more Book Shots and two more cozy mysteries. They are:

  • Hidden by James Patterson with James O. Born 
  • The House Husband by James Patterson with Duane Swierczynski
  • Cover Story by Erika Chase
  • State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy

I'm hoping to get to all four before they are due back at the library, even though I have a chapter deadline for my own book coming up in a month.

Children's Books

It was a slow week for reading children's books. I read a ton of picture books, some of which will be reviewed here on the blog in the coming weeks, but I didn't make much progress in the longer books I have going. The only thing I finished was a beginning chapter book, Skunked from the Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet series. It was okay, but nothing I especially feel like raving about.

I'm still reading Roller Skates, and one night, I randomly started reading my ARC of Cloud and Wallfish and found myself becoming really engrossed in that as well, so both of those are on my immediate to-read list. I also need to finish The Fantastic Flying Journey and This Place Has no Atmosphere, which I want to review for Old School Kidlit. Looking ahead, I also have an ARC of Fred Bowen's newest book, which Peachtree Publishers sent me this week along with a couple of unbound picture book galleys. I'm itching for a newer middle grade novel to read, but nothing at the library appealed to me at all. Maybe next time.

Deal Me In

After slacking all week, I finally caught up for this challenge on Saturday. I read three stories:

  • "Old Lady Lloyd" from Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (♥A)
    This story, about an poor, prideful woman whom everyone believes is rich and mean once again reminded me of Flannery O'Connor. Old Lady Lloyd once had a romantic relationship that fell apart, and when that now-dead lover's daughter moves to town, Old Lady Lloyd becomes desperate to be her benefactor, even going so far as to go without food and sell family heirlooms in order to fund the young woman's deepest desires. Old Lady Lloyd takes no credit for her good deeds, but neither does she admit that she needs help - at least not until she falls seriously ill and may die. Unlike the rest of the world, I have yet to read Anne of Green Gables, so these stories are my first introduction to L.M. Montgomery, and I am just so impressed with her characters, the spiritual elements of her stories, and the way she ties up her endings. This story teaches a lesson about humility and love, but it is also just a really appealing story about a very real character in whom we can all see a little something of ourselves.
  • "Slippery Fingers" by Dashiell Hammett (3)
    I've yet to read any of Dashiell Hammett's novels, even though The Thin Man is one of my favorite movies. I liked the mystery in this story, though it bothered me a little bit that it felt like a somewhat dull accounting of the facts of the case without any real character development or description. I enjoyed seeing how the detective work eventually led to a culprit, but the story didn't make me feel anything, which was an odd sensation. I'm curious whether Hammett's writing style is always this spare, or if the longer works feel a bit more immersive.
  • "A Little Missionary Work" from Kinsey & Me by Sue Grafton (5)I was glad to pull another Sue Grafton story so early on just because I love Kinsey and I haven't had time yet to get to V is for Vengeance, which has been sitting on my nightstand since the summer. This story was a lot better than "The Lying Game." It involved a kidnapping, a jailbird friend of Kinsey's, a celebrity couple, and a storage unit, and it has a great twist ending. 
Today I'm linking up with Book Date and Teach Mentor Texts

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