Library Chicken Update :: 11.7.17

Welcome to the weekly round-up of what the BookNerd is reading and how many points I scored (or lost) in Library Chicken. To recap, you get a point for returning a library book that you’ve read, you lose a point for returning a book unread, and while returning a book past the due date is technically legal, you do lose half a point. If you want to play along, leave your score in the comments!

How is it November already? I mean, I’m more than happy for 2017 to be nearly over with (it hasn’t been great, let’s be honest), but I’m just not sure how we’ve made it this far. Clearly I need to pay more attention to what’s going on in the outside world--OR I could bury my head in my books and continue to ignore the passage of time. Yep, that second option works for me.


The Just City by Jo Walton

This book, about Pallas Athene setting up an experimental community based on Plato’s Republic and populated by people chosen from throughout human history, begins with Athene and Artemis trying to explain the concept of consent to Apollo. I’d recommend it based on that alone, but it just gets better from there. (Wait til you get to the part where Socrates tries to talk to the robots.) It’s first in a trilogy, so I’ll be tackling the sequel next — and I suppose I should finally get around to reading the Republic.
(LC Score: +1)

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

The Scooby Gang accidentally reads from the Necronomicon. There. That’s all I’m going to say. If you don’t run out and IMMEDIATELY get this book, it’s no fault of mine.
(LC Score: +1)


Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball

Elderly people are going missing in a small Japanese town. A young man confesses responsibility, but refuses to speak further, either in explanation or defense. This is a strange and compelling book. I found it both intriguing and irritating and honestly I’m not sure which reaction the author intended.
(LC Score: +1)

One Foot in the Grave by Peter Dickinson

James Pibble mystery #6. This final Inspector Pibble mystery begins with Jimmy (now a widower and stuck in a fancy nursing home for the aged and infirm) contemplating suicide. Fortunately, before he can do anything drastic, he finds a dead body and gets caught up investigating the murder. After the depressing opening I was concerned that this last outing would be grim, but I found the ending to be unexpectedly sweet.
(LC Score: +1)

Wobble to Death by Peter Lovesey

I could tell you that after finishing the Pibble books I needed to start a new mystery series, and this one — set at a Victorian six-day “pedestrian” competition and introducing Sergeant Cribb as our sleuth — seemed like a nice option, but we all know I had to pick it up because there’s no way I could resist that title, right?
(LC Score: +1)

Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall

The (male) Transcendentalists may be obnoxious and annoying at times, but they did hang out with some incredibly brilliant and amazing women. (That I’ve SOMEHOW never heard of. American History, go to your room and think about what you’ve done wrong.) I didn’t quite fall in love with Margaret Fuller the way I have with some others in my recent Alcott-adjacent reading (Elizabeth Peabody, please be my best friend!) but this is a fascinating biography of a talented and unjustly-neglected American.
(LC Score: +1)

Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee

From Concord to Bloomsbury! I’ve read a bit of Virginia Woolf’s fiction (most recently the very charming Orlando) and have been meaning to get back to her (and her motley crew of associates), so I thought this massive biography by Lee would be a good place to start. (If you haven’t noticed, I have a weakness for massive biographies.) As a newbie to all things Woolf, I found it a bit overwhelming — Lee engages not only with her subject, but with all the biographers, commentators, and critics who have written about Woolf over the years. It’s difficult to jump into the middle of that multi-decade conversation, but I enjoyed Lee’s take and am looking forward to reading more about the Bloomsbury (and Bloomsbury-adjacent) folk.
(LC Score: +1)

Yeah, I STILL don’t really want to talk about it: RETURNED UNREAD
(LC Score: -5)

Library Chicken Score for 11/7/17: 2
Running Score: 109 ½


On the to-read/still-reading stack for next week: