Monday, July 1, 2019

June Favorites: Good Omens and Good Dragons

In June, Will spent a full 19 days traveling!

Does Will read on vacation, it might occur to you to ask?

Oh, yeah, she reads. This is the kid who can find a book anywhere, from a random, unmanned kiosk near the shave ice stand--

--to what is, indeed, I assure you, the very westernmost bookstore in the United States:

We bought her Good Omens, because she's been longing for it forever but the library's waitlist is ridiculous.
Good Omens happens to be one of Will's favorite books of June. She really likes both Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and they each have another book on her June favorites:

Jane Yolen is another of her favorite authors, so of course she also had to make an appearance in the favorites:

Surprisingly, her other favorite of June was this hard sci-fi novel, very different from the fantasy that she mostly tends to adore:

Here's everything else that Will read in June!

My favorite way to read on a vacation is to find myself a nice, long series, one that will ideally take me all the way through my trip with a single cast of characters. During last year's vacation to Canada, I made my way through the entire Anne of Green Gables and Young Wizards series, and that was with me being the sole driver for over 2,000 miles.

So that's exactly what I did with our family vacation to California and Kauai! I blissfully burned through all the remaining six books of the Temeraire series, even going so far as to BUY one of the ebooks when it became clear that the library's copy wouldn't be available in time--and I rarely buy myself books. Seriously, the last book that I bought for myself was the Laura Ingalls Wilder tell-all autobiography, which my Amazon account helpfully informs me was back in 2014.

Anyway, here are the wonderful, magical, you-should-go-out-and-read-them-all-if-you-haven't-already Temeraire books that I read in June:

I also got sidetracked and read Naomi Novik's stand-along fantasy book, Uprooted, while I was at it.

To prove to you that I rarely buy myself books, we went to a bookshop in California, and while I was poking around I discovered that a journalist had just published a book about the group of Thailand children and their soccer coach who had gotten trapped in a flooded cave last year. Y'all might remember that I'm low-key obsessed with people trapped in caves, and I was OBSESSED with this news story. I followed it diligently, kept updating people who didn't care, studied all the infographics, listened to all the theories, and when everyone was freed I was so happy I cried, because I'd figured there was no way in hell they were going to be able to save those kids.

So this journalist published a book in which he gave a timeline, and interviewed a bunch of people, and walked through all of their decision-making and the timeline of events, and instead of buying the book right then and there, right then and there I logged into my public library's website and put it on reserve so that it would be waiting for me when I got home.

I read it immediately--like, IMMEDIATELY; I didn't even unpack, or possibly even change clothes--and it's just as amazing as I'd hoped it would be. It's also astounding, because every single thing the journalist reports, everything that happens, after every single paragraph he writes, sometimes after every sentence, you think, "Oh, no, this is hopeless. Everybody in that cave is going to die." And it's pretty clear that everyone else involved in the rescue thought so, too, up through the final rescue--I don't want to spoil it too much for you, but they all thought that they'd be lucky if three kids survived the rescue attempt, and yet that was the single best idea they could come up with, by far, so save any of them.

It's terrifying, the more so because it's about kids, but it's okay because it's history and you already know that they all survived. Go read this book, though. It's amazing.

Random YouTube obsession of June include my apparent plan to watch every John Oliver monologue on every conceivable topic:

Will feels the same way about TED-Ed:

Syd's the one who's into watching big-wave surfing videos (summer waves are milder on Hawaii, but she did get in plenty of boogie boarding action!)--

--and Matt, our resident history buff, really likes these histories of various pop culture phenomena:

July is the only summer month that we don't have any overnights planned, and I'm plenty stoked for hot days hanging out in the air-conditioned library, and long nights reading by the backyard bonfire.

I do need to figure out a new book series this month, though, because the kids and I are traveling again in August!

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