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Member: GCPLreader

Collectionsbest books of 2013 (11), mad for historical fiction (39), favorite nonfiction (5), favorite audiobooks (20), best books of 2012 (25), best books of 2011 (33), best books of 2010 (31), Your library (983), Wishlist (8), Currently reading (1), Favorites (74), All collections (984)

Reviews117 reviews

Tagshistorical fiction (221), 2010 (202), 2011 (146), 2012 (129), 2013 (112), 2014 (102), audio (85), dystopia (52), reread (51), nonfiction (48) — see all tags

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Recommendations45 recommendations

About me
I'm a 49 year old elementary school math specials teacher. I have always been an avid reader. I don't buy many books--I use my online search to hold books at my local library and every 2-3 weeks I go and restock! I read mostly literary fiction, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, dystopia, and the classics.

I've read every book cataloged here and since I can't keep them, I save favorite quotes and sometimes videos as a remembrance of the great impact these books have had upon my life. (Since switching to a Kindle for book entries in 2013 I've had to cut way back on reviews and quotes and comments.)

Mr. Chipping from 'Mr. Chips': I thought I heard you saying it was a pity... pity I never had any children. But you're wrong. I have. Thousands of them. Thousands of them... and all boys. (and girls!)

My Library at LibraryThing

About my libraryMy ratings are meant as reminders for myself of how I "took" to the books and in no way do I wish to slander the writing of an author. We like what we like...
1 star -- godawful
1 1/2 stars -- waste of time
2 stars -- disappointing
2 1/2 stars -- meh
3 stars -- pretty good
3 1/2 stars -- engaging
4 stars -- loved it
4 1/2 stars -- wow
5 stars -- perfection

To pretty things up- here are some of my favorite book covers from my virtual library:

Random Member
Random Work
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Groups1001 Books to read before you die, 40-Something Library Thingers, Booker Prize, Girlybooks, Historical Fiction, Non-Fiction Challenge / Journal, The Prizes

Favorite authorsMargaret Atwood, T.C. Boyle, Geraldine Brooks, Willa Cather, Jim Crace, Michael Cunningham, E. M. Forster, Thomas Hardy, Kazuo Ishiguro, Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, Ian McEwan, Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, Joyce Carol Oates, Stewart O'Nan, Lionel Shriver, Ali Smith, John Steinbeck, Leo Tolstoy, Anne Tyler, Marianne Wiggins, Virginia Woolf (Shared favorites)


Favorite librariesGwinnett County Public Library - Grayson Branch

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameJenny


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/GCPLreader (profile)
/catalog/GCPLreader (library)

Member sinceMay 2, 2009

Currently readingMoby Dick by Herman Melville

Leave a comment


I did remove the spoiler from "We Need..Kevin" - usually I write for my own reminders of what the book was about and forget that others may actually read those reviews.
Thanks Jenny for your response. We have many books in common and I also like the way you have portrayed your books through interesting quotes and tag comments.
Thank you for adding me to your list of interesting libraries. An honour!

Best wishes

Hi! How did "Fingerpost" go? I don't check in as often as I should but I wondered if you'd ever finished it and what you thought.
Hi Jenny,

I just wanted to say thank you for recommending Songs for the Butcher's Daughter. I just finished reading it, and it was just wonderful. Feel free to recommend more books to me at any time!

I tried to "friend" you and it said we are already friends! So there!
Hi Jenny!

Yeah, the Featured Author thing was a total surprise! I guess LT has a random algorithm to select authors daily. BTW, your suggestion about Goodreads paid off. They've been very receptive and Selene was selected as a Featured Author monthly read in the Historical Fictionistas group. Yay!

As to Agora, I very much enjoyed the movie, although I felt it was a bit uneven and served a more political purpose than was needful. I wrote a series of "reel vs. real" posts on the events and characters from the movie on my blog shortly after it came out. Those posts are still my highest hitters by far even a year+ later. If you're interested, the posts start here:

Hope all is well with you!

Good morning, Jenny.
Absolutely game for a go at Metamorphoses. Let me know when you want to start, so I can find my copy.

Hi Jenny- I don't get the title either! His playing was rarely mentioned. I know he also liked Bill Evans, but so what? Curious!
Jenny- Thanks, that was a perfect explanation, but it is one I did not want to be true. How horribly sad. Henry wasn't perfect, like all of us, but no one deserves that amount of deep sorrow. That is to brutal to read! I will recommend this book but with warnings!

Wow, what an interesting library!

Just saw your meme over in Donna's thread and of course had to look you up. I'm looking forward to browsing through your books and reviews.
Hi - Thanks for your nice comment. Just finished the second Dark Tower book. It was certainly different to the first in feel, and was rather good! Review to come soon...
Great! I hope you like it! :)
Hi Jenny!

Aha! Thanks for pointing that out about the intermissions! I think I'm going to have to read the book again. My initial strategy was to read it on the bus to and from work because I thought if I read it at home I'd just gobble up the pages and miss things, but evidently I spread out the book so much that I missed things. :P And yes I also thought the wonders of the toothbrush were hilarious. "Hey, let's brush our teeth together!"

Have you read True Grit, by Charles Portis? The dialogue has a similar feel and it also has elements of dark humour. That and The Sisters Brothers are probably going to end up on my list of favourites for this year. :)

Hi Jenny,
In response to question as to why I didn't like Housekeeping:

The whole book felt like the summary of this family's lives and never seemed to dip far enough into any pivotal moments. The language was gorgeous and entertaining for someone who enjoys a well-put-together sentence but I felt no tie to the girls, every character just felt too indifferent to warrant a story about them. Perhaps I'll give it another shot someday, but for now it just wasn't doing it for me.
Hi Jenny,

I did it! I finally read Kings of the Earth. I liked it but not quite as much as I liked Finn. Anyway, I had a post-it note in my book journal to let you know when I read the Clinch book. Many months later, I got the deed done! I'm looking forward to more of his books.

I'll pay you a long overdue visit over on Club Read. It's like a 3-ring circus on the 75-Book Challenge. With so much talk and stuff going on, it seems I don't leave "home" much anymore. ;-)

I have not been on this site much recently, and I only just noticed that you wrote to me in late December. Sorry for not responding ealier. I read your reviews of Censoring an Iranian Love Story and The Windup Girl. I'm glad you liked them (mostly). I'll look through your list and pick up some ideas.
I just came here today to add a few reviews of my recent reads.
I've been reading alot of mystery/detective recently. Most of them are not that well written, but they can really pull you in if the suspense is crafted well. I defintely got hooked by the Millenium trilogy (Stieg Larsson). I found all three of them hard to put down.
If you enjoy movies you should watch Cairo Time. I just watched the DVD. It's excellently done. And with Cairo being in the news, it has that added dimension.
Anne Tyler 'chick lit'! I am horrified. She proves that every life has a story and every story has some sense of heroism about it. She's has a Pulitzer and a couple of short listed Pulitzers to her credit, so I snort at the idea of her being 'chick lit'. Pah!

I first read John Fowles' The Magus when I was a teenager - and it completely changed the way I viewed books. But 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' is a wonderful introduction to his work. (I am fearful that The Magus may seem dated now...or that it isn't as wonderful as my teen-aged mind believed).

Graham Swift has several awards to his name - I think that he won a Booker. Anyway they are poignant and his characters are beautifully drawn.

I will be interested to know your thoughts!
Helo again - wanted to add that Anne tyler is my litmus test - I recently bought all of her back catalogue and I ration them to myself. You are so right - such a comfort. Her books are like old friends within a few pages. Wonder if you have read any Graham Swift novels? You might like him, if you haven't. Waterland is a good place to start. I was hovering over The Housekeeper and the Professor - thanks to you, I am definitely putting it on the BD list. Just finished My Antonia - so evocative - could smell the wide open prairie. Again, really, really enjoyed your reviews!
I love your library - and I really enjoyed your comments on what you have read - agreed with so many as well. And I got a few more titles to add to my Book Depository Wishlist (not sure I should thank you for that, though - it's already way too long).
Jenny, I'm curious about where you primarily posting last year. I noticed that Mark and Donna were following you, but I don't remember seeing you in the 75-Book group. How did we miss each other? Look forward to chatting with you in Club Read. Bonnie
Your blog inspired me to at least list the books I read. I enjoy reading book reviews, articles, etc. by others
Hi Jenny- Please, there was no offense taken! I was just curious. I love talking books and that's all that matters. I always enjoy your comments! I took a look at your favorite books of '09. I also loved "The Known World". More people should be talking about that one. I was also crazy about "Revolutionary Road". Great stuff! Have a great weekend!

Hi Jenny.

Thanks for commenting on my review and I'm glad you appreciated it. I didn't think anyone actually read them, plus I thought my opinion might strike some as a bit controversial.

Anyway, I'm going to check out your library now. Take care.

Jenny- You always are reading some excellent books! I've all-ready had "Under This Unbroken Sky: A Novel" on my WL. I may have to bump it up, due to your 5 star rating. Have you considered joining the 75 Book Challenge Club? We would love to have you over there! Think about it! Take care!

Hi Jenny,
Thanks for the welcome. I hope you find some books on my list that interest you. This is a great site! Ellen

Nice review on Kings of the Earth. I have it reserved at the library. I was a little "afraid" to read it after the graphic violence in Finn by Jon Clinch. He's a great writer so I was going to force myself to read this one. Now I'm looking forward to it. Thanks!

Thanks for the tip! :)
Sorry about that. I'm more of a Goodreads user, but I had to create a LibraryThing profile for a class in my MLIS program to become a librarian. So I exported a CSV file from Goodreads and imported it here, and all the reviews came out without a lick of formatting to them. Imagine my surprise. At any event, I'm afraid I'll probably let my use of this site lapse since I really do prefer the layout and style of Goodreads to LT, and going through to update dozens and dozens of reviews just makes me tired to think about.

That said, I have even more control of how the book reviews are set up at my blogger page, but since I've been so shellacked with graduate school that I haven't really had the time to write up anything of late. But, I have over 100 reviews in my archives, so feel free to peruse.

Thanks Jenny for taking the time to comment on my review of the "Thirteenth Tale" much appreciated ...glad I am not the only one with this opinion.

Hi Jenny!

Thanks for your recommendation of Songs for the Btucher's Daughter. It looks intriguing. I added it to my wishlist.

I'd be hard for me to listen to _anyone_ read that one.
Hi Jenny! I got your question about Roth. I agree that American Pastoral is a wonderful book and one of Roth's very best. If you liked that book, you might want to go back and read the Nathan Zuckerman books in order. That would mean starting with The Ghost Writer, which is the story of Zuckerman as a young writer just making a name for himself and is the book that really hooked me on Roth in the first place. After that comes Zuckerman Unbound and The Anatomy Lesson (those three can be found published separately or together as Zuckerman Bound) and then The Counterlife, which is a brilliant investigation of the act of writing itself, as well as a well-told story.

Or, you could go back to the original scene of the crime, Portnoy's Complaint. That's the comedy (hilarious, in my view) of a young man dealing with his sexual obsession as well as his obsession with his domineering Jewish mother. Within this, the book is knowing, bawdy, very funny and actually quite affectionate toward its characters.

The real tour de force for Roth, in my opinion, among his more recent books is Sabbath's Theater. That book is very hard to read, though, because the lead character, Mickey Sabbath, is extremely unlikeable and an extreme male chauvinist pig, extreme in this regard even for Roth, which is saying a lot.

Also, if you are a baseball fan, The Great American Novel is a lot of fun.

I hope that all helps! Have fun exploring the crazy, neurotic but often brilliant world of Roth. I'm happy to answer any other questions or discuss any of the books after you've read them.

All the best!
If you like pioneer struggles... have you read [Follow The River] by James Alexander Thom? Yikes! There was a struggle! A pioneer woman in Virginia is captured by Indians, escapes and tries to find her way back home. Supposedly a true story, but unbelievable! Everyone I have given that book to has loved it. Claudia
If it's any help, I loved both the movie AND the book.
Wow! Love the way you set up your library... I added you to my interesting libraries so I can come back to browse when I have more time. Great comments. Heaven must be where you finally have the time (eternity) to read all the books you want!

Jenny, thanks for your kind comment. Music and Silence is one of my favorites. I also loved Tremain's Restoration; have you read it?
Thanks, Jenny. I will give it a try :)
Thanks, Jenny! I see you also gave The Blind Assassin 3 stars.
I shall.
Hi again,
I just went and looked it up. Secrets of Eden, and it IS available on, so I think i will order it this month. Thanks for the tip!
Hi Jenny,

I didn't realize that he had a new book out. What is the title? I think I have read all his others. I listened to the Double Bind. For that reason I liked it.
Sometimes it can enrich a book to listen to the way it is narrated, and occassionaly, just the opposite. I like to "listen" at the time of year when I can walk my dogs, do exercize at home, or other boring houehold tasks. That way, I can always be READING!

CJ Sansom's 'Revelation' was a revelation - if you'll pardon the pun. I couldn't put it down. I've ordered everything else he's written - and am checking the post box impatiently. I've overdosed on run-of-the-mill murder mysteries over the past few days - nothing special, although I did enjoy the latest Elvis Cole novel. I'm about to head off to bed with AS Byatt's 'The Children's Book'. Then I'll start on Kate Elliott's 'Crown of Stars' series - that should keep me busy for awhile.
Thanks for your eagle eye, Jenny. You are absolutely right! The Battle of Azincourt was, of course, in 1415 - and the British were led by the young Henry V - not Henry VIII. I must have been having a nanna moment when I wrote that review. I had a very historical Christmas, reading Azincourt, Wolf Hall and Revelation by CJ Sansom - all set in the Tudor period. In fact, I meant that final comment to refer to Revelation, which is set in 1543 - about 15 years after the end of Wolf Hall. Cromwell is dead; his friend Cranmer has taken up the role of Archbishop as foreshadowed at the end of Wolf Hall; and Henry VIII is pressuring the recently widowed Lady Catherine Parr to become his sixth wife. The protaganist, Thomas Shardlake, is a most intriguing character - and I'll definitely be tracking down more by this author.
Thank you for the reccommendation of 'Coal Black Horse'. You suggestioned showed up within minutes of my registration. I appreciate the welcome to LibraryThings. I hope to see you around.

Thanks so much for your comments on my review of Last Light Over Carolina. It really would be a nice book to read during the summer.

I see that you've rated The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. Was it a quick read? What did you think?
Hello Jenny,,

Thanks for dropping by. I envy you having the summer off!

We are having scorching weather here too, in sunny England.

I am going to read some historical fiction over the summer.

Currently reading The Captive of Kensington by Jean Plaidy. It is about the young Victoria. Enjoying it so far.

~ TT
Jenny, thanks for your comment. It does amaze me these people that would leave book out of their 'library' just because they do not own the book?! I do buy some books from Goodwill, I could never afford to buy all my books, thank goodness for the library. I'm going to add you to my interesting libraries, as I see we have many in common. Some are not yet added to my list as they were read a long time ago, others are ones I mean to read. I used to keep track on a excel spreadsheet for the past few years, this is much better. Enjoy the site, and be prepared for your wishlist to grow!
Hi Jenny,

Thanks for writing me. I'm glad you liked my review for "Mercy." I would like to be friends. I am still learning my way around on LibraryThing. I have a blog, It's hard trying to keep book reviews going on my blog and here too.

Since you're a teacher, I hope you have a really great summer.
Herman Hesse's most popular book was probably "Siddhartha". It is basically the story of the beginning of buddhism. But i would start with Steppenwolfe, which is probably his most interesting novel. Let me know if yo like it. Another author you might like if you haven't read her books is Susan Vreeland. She wrote a book called Forest Lover which was very good.
Dear Jenny (I kept wanting to say, "Poor Jenny" - a great old Everly Bros song from my childhood), Glad you enjoyed my review of Olive Kitteredge. I had to go back to see what I wrote. Does your memory get shorter as you age? But you're right, of course. The best fiction forces us to take a closer look at ourselves. That is its magic and its curse. It's funny, because for over fifty years I read almost exclusively fiction, but now that I've been writing my own memoirs I read mostly other people's memoirs and "real" stories. Sometimes though fiction seems more real than non-fiction. My best to you, Tim
Welcome to LT. I write comments to help me remember what I have read. Loved The Help. Hope you enjoy it.
The historicalfictiononline BOTM for June is The Time of Singing by Elizabeth Chadwick. She is an active member of the board, and there are a few other authors that regularly contribute as well. My username on there is Amanda (so much thought put into that one!).
Welcome to LibraryThing, and thanks for adding my library to your interesting libraries list! If you like historical fiction, come and take a look at Its a great discussion board of which I have been a member for quite a while, and through there, my book shelves keep getting added to at a remarkable rate!
Hi Jenny - Thanks for finding my library to be an interesting one! We seem to share a lot of books and many of my favorites. I see you like Margaret Atwood. My favorite of hers is The Handmaid's Tale. I reread it every few years. Welcome to LT - it's a great site and a lot of fun.
cool website thanks for the invite, I am currently reading Angels and Demons
Hi Jenny, Welcome to LT, and thank you for adding me to your interesting library list. I like the way you have "tagged" your books. As I read down your list of books, it is like getting a mini-review of each book you have read. It looks like we have similar reading tastes. I really have to get on the ball and read World Without End. I think I've been afraid that it wouldn't measure up to Pillars of the Earth. ~Donna~
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