State of the Book Basket – July 2016

Summertime! We have hit a momentous milestone in our reading lives: the kids are now good enough readers to put the books in a bookstand and read during breakfast. I’ve always done this, but the interruptions are slightly less when I’m not the only one reading. Here’s what we’re reading:

My daughter, now six and three quarters, as she likes to say, is moving back and forth between picture books (Secret Tree Fort by Brianne Farley and Cecil the Pet Glacier by Matthea Harvey from the library, as well as ones we own) and chapter books (Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke, and Sofia Martinez: Singing Superstar by Jacqueline Jules.) She’ll read some Magic Tree House, a picture book, and then back to a chapter book.

She just decided that she needed to read a graphic memoir I just finished herself – Something New by Lucy Knisley, her story of planning her wedding. It’s quite dense for a rising second-grader, but she seems to be motivated! I’m reading her Good Luck, Anna Hibiscus, as well as Cupcake Cousins by Kate Hannigan, depending on what she feels like. That last is the perfect level for read-aloud: interesting to her but just advanced enough that she isn’t tempted to read ahead on her own. We’re listening to both Charlotte’s Web and Pie by Sarah Weeks in the car.

My son, age eleven, has finally found a print series he wants to read all the way through! It’s Hikaru No Go by Yumi Hotta, about the ancient strategy game of Go, which my love learned as a child from his older brother. My boy was (last I checked) on volume 10 of 23. He’s also looking at some Greek mythology books and asked if he could read Something New, too. I’m reading him my childhood summer favorite The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit. It’s not really surprising that there are some uncomfortable moments in this book, first published in 1903. I’m just surprised that I didn’t notice the awfulness of the (mercifully brief) blackface scene until reading it aloud, at which point we had to halt for a conversation to discuss why it’s so inappropriate. Also not free of sexism, though that’s a good deal less obvious here than in, say, Peter Pan. He’s listening to Mister Monday by Garth Nix on his iPod, and we’re listening to The BFG by Roald Dahl in the car. (Somehow I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory repeatedly as a child, The Great Glass Elevator once or twice, and no other Roald Dahl until now.) There’s also some sexism here, but at least readily apparent and easy to discuss.

My love recently purchased Velveteen vs. the Seasons by Seanan McGuire and read it in record time. I think he’s now gone back to re-read Velveteen vs. the Junior Super Patriots. We are both (separately) listening to Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. This has won so many awards and is loved by many of my favorite book bloggers as well. We are still trying to figure out what’s going on enough to know if we’ll love it or not.

I have my usual long queue of mostly library books. I’m reading Vitamin N by Richard Louv in hard copy (looking especially for ideas to get the Brownie troop more nature experiences) and Black Dog Short Stories by Rachel Neumeier (purchased) on my ereader. I’ve got The Dinosaur Hunters by Patrick Samphire (a review copy!) up next on my ereader, and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanha Lai, Grayling’s Song by Karen Cushman, Unidentified Suburban Object by Mike Jung, The Game of Silence by Lousie Erdrich, the Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski, and Poison is Not Polite by Robin Stevens in line in print. My love would also like me to read the complete Justice League: New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke, which I am absolutely planning to do as soon as there aren’t so many library books checked out. As soon as I finish Ancillary Justice, I also have a Great Course on CD, Medieval Heroines in History and Legend Part 1 by Bonnie Wheeler.

What are you reading?

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About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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2 Responses to State of the Book Basket – July 2016

  1. Wow. That’s a lot of books!

    I think Ancillary Justice would be difficult as an audio book. I’m curious as to how the narrator handles the different bodies that are all the same character. It’s a complicated narration, but when it comes together at the end it’s amazingly powerful.

    • Katy K. says:

      It is a lot, isn’t it? I’m despairing a little about getting all the library books read before they’re due… The narrator of Ancillary Justice doesn’t try to do different voices or accents for Breq and does voices but not accents for other characters. The basic tone sounds like an automated voice, but with more depth – it does take some getting used to.

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