Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

Book Riot’s READ HARDER Challenge and GOODREADS Reading Challenge Update #9

So here is the next installment of my 2018 reading list for both the challenges I have committed to so far.

Book #63 (Goodreads Challenge): Okay. A friend suggested I read Amy Tangerine’s Craft a Life You Love: Infusing Creativity, Fun & Intention into Your Everyday because Ms. Tangerine had some pretty good suggestions and kept the Newage goop to a minimum. While both observations are correct, there really wasn’t anything new and exciting in here. Note: I am probably a good twenty to thirty years older than her target audience, so having a longer perspective may have something to do with my having “seen it all” before now.

That said, the exercises are interesting, and have helped renew my interest in art journaling, so I will give the book that much credit. And Amy’s story is interesting, if not a bit indulgent. Many of us who are trying to make it don’t have parents or a partner in the background to prop us up if we have a fall or a rough spot, and I think that far too many books of this kind overlook that. Ms. Tangerine at least acknowledges the help she got at crucial moments from her parents.

Still, it was a relatively quick, enjoyable read, and I’d say that there are people who could benefit from reading it. That I just didn’t happen to be one of them is no fault of Ms. Tangerine’s, and I wish her all success and hope many of her target audience find this book and buy it.

Book #64 (Goodreads Challenge): Went to a book launch party at Integral Yoga, and the swag was a copy of the book being launched. The book was Suzan Colon’s Yoga Mind: Journey Beyond the Physical, 30 Days to Enhance your Practice and Revolutionize Your Life From the Inside Out. This book tells the story of the year she spent teaching yoga to a friend who had been severely injured in a freak diving accident. It includes actionable practices for the various steps of yoga, including breathing, mantra, and cultivating appropriate attitudes. I would definitely recommend this, just for Francesco’s story. Note: We got to meet Francesco

at the book launch, and he is as amazing as Ms. Colon paints him.

Book #65 (Goodreads Challenge): I swear – I can’t meet friends anywhere without someone handing me a book, or recommending one. At dinner last Friday, my friend Mark (as opposed to my ex, Marc) handed me two books. One was a cozy mystery which I haven’t cracked yet. the other was Joe Shine’s Bobby Sky: Boy Band or Die, a YA book he’d gotten somewhere (I didn’t ask). The premise is a bit odd – a 14-year old kid in juvie is snatched, along with hundreds of others and pretty much turned into a killing machine, then assigned to protect a singer by becoming part of the boy band the kid is in. It was a quick read, and an enjoyable one – far more so than I had hoped. I now want to read its predecessor.

It’s been a while since I posted, so let me catch you all up – I’ve been doing some pretty massive house reorganization, so reading kind of fell away for a bit. I got an armoire, and got rid of an old file cabinet and bookcase, and rearranged the furniture I did keep. So now I have actual storage space for most of the clothing I’m currently using. And I have a desk that can be worked at.

Book #66 (Goodreads Challenge): I mentioned above that I received two books from my friend Mark. I cracked the cozy mystery, Vera Dodge’s Muslin Mystery. It’s the third book in a series of Christian mysteries called the Patchwork Mysteries. It was pretty good, too. The mystery in this story revolves around an old, unfinished quilt, done in a particular technique, with a mysterious message sewn into the backing. Solving the mystery involves digging into the history of the town and its leading lights. It was a pretty quick read, too. I do recommend it, but only if you are not put off by some mild religious stuff.

Books #67-71 (Goodreads Challenge): I also am a subscriber to a website called Serial Box>, that has online serials. I first found out about them from Ellen Kushner, who is co-writing and managing a serial there called Tremontaine. I am also reading a serial there called Bookburners. I’m five episodes into Season 4, and it’s as good as the previous three seasons. This time around, the Bookburners are no longer associated with the Vatican, magic is loose in the world, and it’s not pretty.

Book #72 (Goodreads Challenge): Jill Twiss’ A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, presented by John Oliver of Last Week Tonight is a reworking of a children’s book written by the wife and daughter of Vice President Mike Pence. In this version, Marlon Bundo, a boy bunny, falls in love with another boy bunny, with a decidedly happy ending.

Book #73 (Goodreads Challenge): You all know of my love of Lawrence Block’s writing. Well, John K. Snyder has turned one of Block’s Matt Scudder books into a beautifully done graphic novel. Eight Million Ways to Die is a gem, and if you are a Block fan, you will want this even if you own the original. Snyder captures the plot and characters perfectly.

Book #74 (Goodreads Challenge): Aunty Lee’s Chilled Revenge is the third book in Ovidia Yu’s Aunty Lee series, and is as delightful as the first two books were. I admit to being partial here – books with older ladies as the detective are always enjoyable to me – possibly because I’m female and 65. In this one, a woman in Singapore to settle some legal stuff is murdered, and Aunty Lee takes charge of her sister. There are some interesting plot twists, as always.

Book #75 (Goodreads Challenge): As you know, I sometimes get advance reading copies of books to review. I give these books my best attention, but any and all opinions about them are mine and are not influenced by my receiving them gratis. I recently received such a book, R.S. Ford’s A Demon in Silver (War for the Archons #1), which is the first book in a new fantasy series. Although the back cover blurb notes it as “For the readers of George R.R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie,” it seems to me it would have been more appropriate to note it “For the readers of J.K. Rowling.” This is not to say the book wasn’t enjoyable – it was. But the plot is very similar to the early Harry Potter books, although the main character is a young girl rather than a young boy. Still, it’s well done, and if it appeals to girls in the same way Harry Potter appealed to boys, it’s well worth the effort. I think I would classify it as a YA book, rather than an adult book, though.

And I think that about wraps up this post. Hopefully, the next one won’t be anywhere as delayed.

Happy Reading!

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