Tally Monday- May 30, 2018

Checked Out

  1. Night of the Soul Stealer by Joseph Delaney
  2. Jay’s Journal by “Anonymous”

Bought

  1. A River of Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa
  2. The House by the River by Lena Manta
  3. Still Waters by Viveca Sten
  4. The Great Passage by Shion Miura
  5. Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin
  6. The Grey House by Mariam Petrosyan
  7. The Question of Red by Laksmi Pamuntjak
  8. The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen
  9. Ten Women by Marcela Serrano
  10. Everybody Rise by Stephanie Curtis
  11. The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez

Read

  1. The Complete Essays of Montaigne, vol 1
  2. The Graphic Canon, vol 1
  3. The Curse of the Bane by Joseph Delaney

ReadingThe Secret by Rhonda Byrne, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, Night of the Soul Stealer by Joseph Delaney, Arabian NightsThe Best Loved Poems of the American PeopleChicken Soup for the SoulSimple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, The Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxman, You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld

I have this urge today to just get shit done.  Do you ever get like that?  I have my to-do list written out for the day and I want the sense of accomplishment I get from working steadily and competently.  But it’s not just that.  I want the day to arrange itself so that I can do some reading and watching and listening and coloring.  I want a nice day.  And I am looking forward to it.  Here in Michigan, it is actually spring now and the sunshine and promise of a nice day (which means I can eat in my car while I listen to my audiobook) it enough to just fill me right up.

Confession: I am 100% in on The Secret right now.  I am totally buying it, hook, line, and sinker.  For a lot of reasons!  Because I know that there are things I always tell myself that always come true.  Because the social interactions that were dragging me down just two weeks ago (like, terribly dragging me down) have sparkled like magic for the past week.  Because I FEEL good from implementing it and for the first time in my life I feel like I might be okay with always feeling good.  And listen to me!  I sound downright chipper!  I like it so much that I might even watch the DVD.  Seriously!

April 23 is World Book Day and to celebrate this year Amazon offered 9 books for free for the Kindle.  That’s why my bought list is so long up there.  I downloaded all 9.  It’s true that I may not get to them for a while but I am not one to turn down new books.  It won’t be long before I have more time on my hands for reading and I am just preparing for it.  I bought Everybody Rise and The Book of Unknown Americans at the dollar store, where I also got a copy of Questlove’s book for Hubby.  I had forgotten about their book section until I read a Book Riot article about it this week and I made a point to stop in and check it out.  I was feeling the need and it was fulfilled for $2, plus I got to get Hubby a gift.

LD really likes books.  He likes our books most of all and will flip through one of my big books and make cooing sounds.  Sometimes he’ll pull a random book from his shelf and sit on the floor with it.  Sometimes he’ll bring me a book and I try to make the time to sit down right there and read it to him.  He likes to flip the pages.  Ian is a year and a month old now and the only things he kisses are cat and books.  He’s basically me!  The new thing is that he’s discovered I use bookmarks and he tries to use everything as bookmarks in his books, including remotes, bottles, and other books.

Well, friends, I am looking forward to a productive day and I’m hoping to finish a book or two, as well.  I hope that it’s beautiful where you are and that you get a chance to do something you love!

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The Ghost of Windy Hill by Clyde Robert Bulla

When I was growing up, I used to see this book in the library all of the time.  I loved the cover, dark blue with the silhouette of a creepy house.  I think I may have even owned a copy at one point.  I always wanted to read it but for some reason I never got around to it.  I was thinking about it randomly one day and requested a copy through the library.  Finally, I sat down and read it all in one night.

It’s a simple book, aimed at young readers and not scary at all.

This is the story of a family that is asked to stay at a house in order to prove that it isn’t haunted.  The owner’s wife refuses to live there because she has seen mysterious things.  Windy Hill is a strange place.  There is a boy who cannot walk who begs at the corner and a woman who walks through the woods wearing all white and is very shy.

This was a short, simple story and I really can’t tell you much more without giving it away.  I’m glad that I finally got to read it!

Graphic Friday: The Graphic Canon, vol 1

Hey, hey, hey!  We still do Graphic Friday around here!  I finished one this week and I am psyched to be back on track-kind of.

The Graphic Canon, vol 1 runs from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Dangerous Liasonsi and is comprised of a number of short comics from different artists adapting classics of literature into ye olde sequential art.  On a whole, I loved it, though I am willing to admit that there were some misses for me.  Most of the works were treated with respect but sometimes I felt as if the artists were poking fun at other cultures.  I think that out of all of the comics, I skipped maybe three.  For instance, I had a hard time reading Lysistrata just because the art style jumbled my brain.  But it was also really cool to see Revelations done in comic form.  There were a number of stories that left me awestruck because they were just so well done, things of beauty.

This was a hella big book, 500 pages and large.  If you intend to read it, I would suggest picking your way through it slowly, not carrying it to and from work with you, and not holding it while you read.

A short break, and then I’ll be onto volume 2!

A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

I chose A Mango Shaped Space for the battle this year because it has been on my TBR list forever.  I came across it on a long list of must-read YA books about a decade ago.  Why not kill two birds with one stone?

This was an excellent read.  I read the last 50 pages of it trapped between a napping baby and a napping cat, petting said cat and sobbing.  Cat books, man.  They always get me.

For as long as Mia can remember, she has seen the world differently than other people.  Of course, she didn’t always know that she saw it differently.  In third grade an embarrassing incident having to do with making numbers the right colors clued her in and since then she has been pretending to see the world like everyone else.

Mia has synesthesia, a sensory disorder that makes things like numbers, letters, and sounds have colors.  Her cat Mango gets his name because his meow is mango colored, for instance.  Finally, faced with difficulties at school, Mia tells her parents about her colors and they embark on a journey to discover what is “wrong” with her.  Mia can’t imagine her world without the colors and having a name for her way of seeing opens a whole new world for her.  However, Mia has to learn how to juggle her new world and her old, how to keep her true friends and learn which new ones are real, and be true to herself.

Another great book for the battle this year!  This was well written and easy to read and it’s hard to be a little jealous of Mia’s ability!

Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan

Every year there seems to be a surprise battle book.  This year it was Homeless Bird.  I think this was my favorite of our five books and that says a lot because I liked ALL of them this year.  In fact, this book had to go up against a book about a poetry writing superhero squirrel.

Koly’s parents decide that it is time for her to marry when she is thirteen.  They seek a husband for her and gather a dowry.  When the time for Koly’s wedding comes around it becomes obvious that her parents have been fooled.  The boy she marries is definitely not as old as his parents claim and he is very sick.  Still, Koly feels that she must do the right thing by her family and she marries Raji.  Raji is very sick and Koly learns that his parents need her dowry to take Raji to the Ganges in a last attempt to save him.  However, Raji dies and Koly finds herself as a very young widow with what seems like very little in front of her.

This is a story about a completely different world from my own and Whelan manages to take the daily life of Koly and her struggles and make it vivid in very few pages.  This book sucked me right in and at the end I felt as if I had lived a completely different life.  I liked Koly who is trapped by tradition but still manages to keep going.

I’ve already handed this book to a number of people, so you should go read it.

Tally Monday- April 23, 2018

Checked Out

  1. Salad Love by David Ben
  2. You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld

Bought

None!

Read

  1. The Ghost on Windy Hill by Clyde Robert Bulla
  2. “We Go Together”  by Eric McMillan

Reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, The Complete Essays of Montaigne, vol 1 by Montaigne, The Graphic CanonChicken Soup for the SoulThe Best Loved Poems of the American PeopleSimple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxman

Yes, it felt good to read all of those Battle books and get them out of the way.  Yes, it felt good to finish something.  Yes, it felt good to return books.  BUT, do you know what felt good this week?  Well, it felt good to read comics, even though The Graphic Canon, vol 1 is 500 pages long and taking me forever.  It felt good to play a game.  It felt good to watch X-Files and color.  It felt good to spend time with Hubby.  It felt good to nap with LD.  It felt good to take LD for a couple of walks around the subdivision.  It even felt good to get a little drinky and do logic puzzles.

Basically, I spent my weekend unclenching and I do not regret it.

Now it is Monday and I love Monday because it is the day that I get to start fresh.  And this week I think that I actually want to do stuff that I enjoy, like I did this weekend.  I probably won’t tear through three books but I might do a lot of logic puzzles because I am really enjoying those right now.

My list is inundated with self-help type books currently.  Did you notice?  I LOVE self-help.  I am not even embarrassed!  BUT…  Suddenly I feel like The Secret is everywhere, even though I hadn’t thought about it in years.  I’ve stumbled across people who are teachers of The Secret through strange avenues and I’ve even discovered that one of my guided meditations is The Secret adjacent.  That shit always weirds me out.  Obviously the universe is telling me something, right?  My other self-helpy things are, well, not very helpful right now….  Simple Abundance is begging me to delight in my senses and I DID need that reminder.  Slow down, smell the pickles.  But the whole month of April in Empowered Mama was about building a morning routine and, y’all, I’ve got that in the bag.  I guess I benefited from that too, though, because I started focusing on THREE things instead of 20.

I’m feeling pretty good right now and I am feeling more like myself.  I’m going to ride this wave and not feel bad about it.  Okay?  In the meantime, I hope we all get a chance to read this week, propped up in bed or in the sunshine.  Maybe even in a box with a fox.

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

When I chose the books for battle of the Books this year, I used a complicated system that was meant to ween down our collection.  I chose the book that we had the fewest copies of, a book that had never been used before, and a book that I wanted to read.  This was the book that I wanted to read.  Being a teen librarian means that I have pretty much spent 2.5 years being hounded about the fact that I haven’t read any Riordan yet.

The first 100 pages of this one were iffy.  It felt long and contrived and the characters said the kinds of things that you never hear kids that age say.  Still, I was mostly enjoying it once I got past those things.  I rolled my eyes whenever Piper’s chapters brought up the secret she was keeping, because it felt like Riordan was just trying to drag out the reveal for suspense and it got a little annoying.  I rolled my eyes every time that a character brought up that Percy was missing, which felt like it happened on every page for a while.  Still, I really liked Leo and Piper was growing on my quickly too.

The story here is that Jason wakes up on a bus with amnesia.  His best friend, Leo, and his girlfriend, Piper, are there but Jason doesn’t know them.  Soon, a storm blows up and some crazy wind spirits try to take Jason and his friends but they manage to fight and end up sent to Camp Half-Blood.  There they learn that they are demigods and then they are claimed by their parents.  Except there’s a little catch here.  Jason keeps referring to the gods by their Roman names… You know… Jason?  Rome?  Hint, hint.

Basically, everything was pretty damn obvious in this book but it was a good read.  It was a fun romp.  I will most likely not read any more of the series but I suppose I can see the charm of Riordan.  He writes well enough to be engaging.