Elizabeth: Summer Reading Bingo

When I was a kid, summer meant the end of school and the beginning of warm afternoons spent at the local branch library.  While I kind of missed school (yeah, I was *that* kid), I loved the time I got to spend in the library, a converted house just a few blocks away.

I thought the librarian, Ms. Cook, had the best job ever and was thrilled when I was finally allowed to read books from the grown-up section.  While some kids had to be forced to read, I wasn’t one of them.  Rather than trying to get me to read, my parents were more likely to be telling me to “put down that book and go outside and play.”  When I did go outside, I could often be found nestled up in the tree in the front yard – reading a book, of course.

One of my favorite parts of summer-at-the-library was the annual reading challenge.  It was intended to be a way to encourage non-readers to read but I – being just the slightest bit competitive – loved seeing my reading log filled with gold stars as I read my way through book after book.

Those summer days spent in the library may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean an end to summer reading challenges. Continue reading

Michaeline Recommends: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

A stylish woman sailing on a lake in the mountains.

The future of Sergyar!

Lois McMaster Bujold’s new book, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, was released on February 2, and when I checked just now, it was #11 in Space Operas on the Amazon rankings chart, and #18 in Adventures –> Science Fiction. (find the links here on GJ&RQ’s Amazon page; BTW, the rankings listed didn’t jive with the links) (Don’t put too much trust in these figures; they change hourly, and are sure to be different by the time you read this. At any rate, hooray for book number 17 in the Vorkosigan Saga!)

Studying this release is interesting from several angles. First of all, it’s a great book from the fan perspective (it ties up a lot of loose ends in surprising ways), and it’s also accessible to the first-time reader. (Bujold blogs about it – a long-time concern is that she’s afraid fans are scaring off new readers by saying, “Oh, you really need to read all 15, 16, 17 books in order to really appreciate this one.” Here on her Goodreads blog, she links to proof that it’s not so.)

Second, Continue reading