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Member: RidgewayGirl

CollectionsYour library (2,163), To read (1,182), Currently reading (6), On Hiatus (12), Read but unowned (429), Favorites (123), German Language (94), French Language (32), Reference (132), All collections (2,592)

Reviews393 reviews

TagsFiction (1,879), American Author (1,071), TBR OAP (778), Non-Fiction (657), British Author (542), DE (534), USA (376), Read Before LT (321), Historical Novel (296), Mystery (296) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

Recommendations70 recommendations

About meCurrently in Munich, I grew up in Canada (Edmonton and London), went to university in Arizona and have lived since in England (Warwick and Wantage), France (Paris), Germany (Munich) and South Carolina (Greenville).

I'm spending two or three years in Germany, working on my language skills, showing the kids around central Europe and reading the sizable stack of books I brought along.

About my libraryBest Books of 2014 (subject to change (obviously))

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Best Books of 2013

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The Collector by John Fowles
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington
In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century by Geert Mak
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Tenth of December by George Saunders

Best Books of 2012

The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake
The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney
The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Best Books of 2011

The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin.
Doc by Mary Doria Russell.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.
Hark a Vagrant by Kate Beaton.
A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel.

Best Books of 2010

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson.
The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh.
Queenpin by Megan Abbott.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky.
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

Best Books of 2009

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.
Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman.
The Likeness by Tana French.
Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman.
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan.

Groups1010 Category Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 2015 Category Challenge, 999 Challenge, Alphabet Challenges, Booker Prize, Books off the Shelf Challenge, Canadian Fiction/Non-Fiction Reading Challenge, CBC's Canada Reads Fansshow all groups

Favorite authorsMegan Abbott, Kate Atkinson, Jane Austen, Louis de Bernières, Benjamin Black, Michael Dibdin, David Ebershoff, Sebastian Faulks, Ernest Hemingway, Guy Gavriel Kay, Philip Kerr, Marian Keyes, Dennis Lehane, Henning Mankell, Ian McEwan, Denise Mina, David Mitchell, L. M. Montgomery, Thomas Mullen, George Orwell, Dorothy Parker, Tom Perrotta, Ian Rankin, Cornelia Read, Ruth Rendell, David Sedaris, Carol Shields (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstoresBooks to be Red, Edisto Bookstore, Words' Worth

Favorite librariesGreenville County Library System (Ramsey Family Branch)

Favorite lists2014 Tournament of Books

Also onBookMooch

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameAlison Kay Hardtmann

LocationMunich, Germany

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/RidgewayGirl (profile)
/catalog/RidgewayGirl (library)

Member sinceFeb 22, 2008

Currently readingThe Gift of Rain: A Novel by Tan Twan Eng
Schändung by Jussi Adler-Olsen
A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets by James Bowen
Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
Midnight in Europe : a novel by Alan Furst
show all (6)

Leave a comment


Oh, how wonderful for you! I'm still on LT but I don't do Talk much. No time! Citybaby is two! and adorable. His name is Jonah and he is very sweet and funny. Quite mischievous (wonder where he gets that ;-)

I know, I want the follow-up to The Secret Place NOW!. I envy those who will discover this series later. I think TSP is her best since The Likeness.

I'll stay in touch. After all, you are my reading doppelganger. Ha! See what I did there?
Hi! Long time no LT. I just finished The Secret Place, too. I loved your review, so now I don't have to write one.

Note to others: No Spoilers BUT a smidge of information and speculation that you might rather avoid.

So intense, wasn't it, compounded by the fact that investigation took place in one day, in one place. Guess the next book will be about Conway. Really don't want to wait, but, alas, at the mercy of Ms. French we are all.

I hope you're doing really well.
PS If you let me know when you've put it up, I'll add a link on the group page. Rebecca
You beat me to it, Kay! I was thinking of posting a message to you today or tomorrow. As for when to put it up, I think maybe somewhere between the 15th and the 20th, if you're ready. That will give people time to start thinking about what they're going to read without distracting them too much from the current read. Thanks for doing this, and I'm looking forward to reading some of the books on my TBR and discovering others I'm unfamiliar with. Rebecca
Lol 9 people so far, 16 ideas.
Thanks for the reminder - just opened the thread for September. I have been following along on the discussion but haven't posted too much. I'm fairly flexible when it comes to these CATs and assume and am quite okay with the fact that not all of them will work for me. I can usually do two of the three each month and enjoy them quite a bit. I voted on the first round but need to get caught up on the latest posts. Every time I turn around it seems there are 40 more! Such an opinionated bunch we are. :)
Thank you so much.
That's OK: this conversation has THIS atheist quoting Jesus....
THANK you!
thanks for the reminder - I hadn't forgotten, but wasn't sure how early it should go up - I'll work on it this week and get it posted before the weekend

Don't scare me like that!! I'm western Europe in August - Violet has the Polar regions for July.
But thanks for the reminder, I'll need to get working on my intro soon!
We got back home after RVing for three weeks a few days ago. I'm hoping to get to setting up the thread today or tomorrow at the latest. I love Noir so have quite a few of those myself!
Thanks for your compliment on my review! Nice to hear from you - it's been a long time. I always appreciate your reviews too - you are one of the reviewers I stop and read when skimming the list of reviews on any given book.

(also - your cat is cute!)
Thanks for your post. Your comment about a “clear conscience” struck a chord, I have never felt very good about that review of mine. Will try your recommendation.

He has no opinion on dog/human relations as they do not affect him.

Very aristocatish. I confess, I made up that bit about the dog myself in an attempt to be even-handed.
Hello Alison: Just posted reply to your post on the facebook thread. Now I'm chuckling because I've just seen your (and my) reviews close together on “Standing in another man's grave”. Were we reading the same book? :o)

Hi Alison! I know you will likely know the answer to this since you're so fond of the Tana French novels. In which one is there essentially a teenage psychopath who is just barely underage....?

I'm thinking of the four books and their main plots, so can't remember where this fits in. So "In the Woods" (1) is the detective who'd been involved in a case as a victim as a child. I'm thinking it might be this one, because I remember Cassie is involved but not the main character. "The Likeness" (2) is Cassie and the housemates, and I'm fairly sure it's not this one. "Faithful Place" (3) is the detective's long-lost love, and "Broken Harbor" (4) is the domestic situation.

Looking forward to the new book in September!
Not at all - I thought it was a great coincidence you left the message about it the same day it arrived!
You're quite welcome, Kay. I've made many discoveries of great books and new favorite authors that I wouldn't have heard of or considered reading as a result of following these prizes, so I'm glad to share my interest in them with everyone else. I look forward to your comments about The Mussel Feast; I may get a copy when I return to London at the end of the month.

Best wishes,
>I enjoyed Revolutionary Road tremendously. I can see why it could easily be a favorite book. I suspect that it will be one that sticks with me, like some of Cheever's stories. Have you read more Yates? Is it worth hunting down his other books or is Revolutionary Road his pinnacle? And despite a few people telling me it's not good, I'm planning to watch the movie. Despite having read the paperback with the actors on the cover, I didn't picture either Frank or April like DiCaprio or Winslet.

still curious why it only got 4 stars if you liked it so much! i don't give many 5 stars out either, though, so i guess i understand. i actually haven't read anything else by him (and i've read this one twice) but because i liked it so much will definitely seek out (with trepidation) everything else he wrote. i've also never read cheever, but if this reminds you of him then i'll have to make sure i do. i have to echo other people, though - if you liked this book even a little the movie is really so so so awful. it's an actual travesty because it makes an attempt to follow the book's story and trajectory, but i don't think the writer and/or director understood what the book was about at all. winslet and decaprio did what they could with a truly terrible script but seriously, if we weren't with a group of people, both my partner and i would have walked out of this movie, and i've never left a movie in my life.

hard to believe that this was his first book. and hard to imagine that he gets much better (i almost can't see how he could), but i'm going to read them if i can find them. (i've never seen anything else by him, though, even though there are a few.) i read that all of his books were out of print around the time he died, so maybe they haven't gone back into print in full? not sure why he's not better known...
saw your review of revolutionary road. it's one of my all-time favorites. just curious what would have made you like it more...
Hello RidgewayGirl:
Thanks for the heads up.
I will keep in mind
Thank you very much.

Nope, you've got first dibs! The only thing is, this picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, so I can't guarantee that any of them are still there. Though, on glancing at the shelf yesterday it looks to be about the same, so I wouldn't sweat it. I'll let you know when I've got them when I get home from work tonight after 7. It's absolutely no problem shipping them wherever! :)
THanks, Kay. I ended up leaving a message on the group planning thread and LoisB put up a challenge, which I very much appreciated.

THanks for your kind words. I am also glad that he got at least a little time with his grandkids and he got to see my family complete. I know being a grandpa was very important to him.

Take care,
Thank you! I too have stacks of books to choose from - picking will be the issue, rather than anything else. I'll try to have the thread up tonight or, at the latest, sometime this weekend.
Hope you are having a great 6-year Thingaversary!
That's too funny about Goldfinch! I see that Doc was one of your best books of the year. I'm so glad, that one is up next on my list!
Thank you for the reminder. I'm working the weekend so I'll probably post on Monday.
Thanks for the reminder! I actually wrote "Post March GeoCAT thread" on my calendar for Saturday the 15th. :) So I will be ready, never fear!

Thought you may enjoy this since he was the subject of one of your New Year's predictions !
Hi, Kay - I just read your review of Tana French's Broken Harbour, a book I just finished. You say: I'm looking forward to the next book, and I know who I'd like it to be about . . . so, do tell! This was my first French, and now having read her reviews I think I see what she does with characters. I think her next book will be about Richie--he's in the dog house now, but something will happen that will give him the opportunity to pull himself out. I really liked him and when everyone just dumped him near the end, I thought "!!!"

Last year I read Edna O'Brien's In the Forest, and a bunch of LTers told me I had to read In the Woods, so without going back to those posts, I'm guessing you might have been one of those recommenders. If so, thanks! I want to read all of Tana French's now. Cheers, Joyce
I think the Winter Olympics start on Feb 7th or whatever that Friday is.
Hi, thanks for the reminder. I put a bit more info in the wiki and I'll start a separate thread. I have lots of info about Turkey but not much yet about the Holy Land.

I changed one of my 2014 Category Challenge categories to religion so I may actually read a book or two about the Holy Land.

However, the Winter Olympics are on so I may end up reading not much at all next month.
Hi Alison.

I saw you left a comment on my Santa thing recommending The Broken Shore and Forty Words for Sorrow. I've got Peter Temple's Bad Debts in Mt TBR, so will definitely consider Broken shore. I hadn't heard of Giles Blunt before so thanks for bringing a new writer to my attention. It looks interesting.

That is exactly right! I wish I'd said that. Thanks for the kind words!

And I hope you're having fun in Munich! Gut Gesund!
Ha ha! She does indeed look like that, unfortunately I don't :) I love photography and this is a fantastic and mad portrait of a dancer called Helen Tamaris and was taken by Man Ray in 1929.
I'll keep you posted if I make any travel plans. I would love to go back to Berlin and spend some time in the museums. The group I was with last year wasn't big on museums so we did other things instead. Berlin is an easy 2 hours by train from the town where my brother works.

I hope you get to celebrate Thanksgiving today. I was most homesick at Thanksgiving when I lived in England since it was just a regular day there.
Kay - saw your post about your BM account. If there's a book you want , just let me know and I'll mooch it for you. We can settle up points when you get your account back. I've got plenty to float you some and am not mooching much because I have no room for books. Actually we could do it anyway if you want to save points. Betty
Hi, Alison,

Sorry to keep bothering you. I was just looking at the Mystery CAT and was thinking that it would be hard in April to have a CAT TRICK but if western europe and eastern europe were switched, it might we easier. What do you think?
Hi, Alison.
First you are doing a great job on the GEO CAT!
Since you are doing Eastern Europe and I'm doing Western Europe, I wanted to know where we are dividing it up. I looked at several map sites and they have western, northern, eastern, southern. I'm thinking that the Iron curtain could be a good breaking point but would the new nations that were part of Yugoslavia along the Adriatic Sea along with Greece be considered western or just Greece?

What do you think?

I'm really looking forward to this challenge.

I thought of you and Lori at lunchtime today. I'm at an all- day conference at the Knoxville convention center and I walked downtown to eat lunch at the Tupelo Honey Cafe. It was the first opportunity I've had to eat there since it opened. The food was as good as I remembered from Asheville. I didn't have time to go to the Union Avenue bookstore. I needed a longer lunch break!
Thanks. I think I've got my three ideas then. I'm filling in some details and ought to have them to you by the end of this weekend, if not sooner.
One other GEOCAT intended to focus only on fiction? One of my three possibles would tend to go more towards nonfiction.

Thanks for all of your help with this.
When the time comes, do I just present my city/region/country ideas? Or research all of them and present what I've found?

I have no idea how to create a poll.

I'm excited about it, though, and have been daydreaming about this area, as well as possible books set in or about this area.
Hello! I've come up with my 3 possible focus areas for my GeoCAT month. Should I go ahead and post them in the thread, or do you have some sort of organizational plan that I should adhere to? I know the voting will work better if everything is in one place and easy to see, so I thought I'd check!
Yes...stale talking points do get boring.
I would agree that the postings are better. The participants are more respectful I think ? I facilitate two book groups. Both groups started out very large and membership declined until we had smaller core groups. What I found to be true was that those who stayed were comfortable with opinions that differed from their own. Not only were they tolerant, they were respectful of the individuals who didn't necessarily see eye to eye with them. Both groups are now over 17 yrs. old, we are all good friends, our political, religious and personal life styles couldn't differ more than they do.

Kind of get the feeling that many of the people posting today are much like the members of those book groups.
Too many people assume they know everything about someone based on one opinion, generally the more one communicates the more they find a way to understand why the person may have that stance....and in some cases, even be sympathetic. (which contrary to today's attitudes does not mean agreement but merely understanding)

Thanks for the post !
It is so hard for me to give up....horrible habit that ! In this case one wonders if there is much else other than steam to work with. If it gets too easy, I'll get bored ;>)

Admire your cool !
I wasn't a huge fan of either Suite Francaise or Charlotte Gray. Will have to look these others over. Thanks!

And she wasn't either you or me! Unbelieveable!
No problem!!! I am thinking that those last two might not get noticed when people are voing. Perhaps if some of the slots aren't clear-cut decisions and we need to revote on some, they could be included in the re-vote. But if not, its okay, too.
Hi: yes I read Let Me Go over the summer. Let me know if you guys decide to read anything else though.
Yes! Good luck to you too. Are you using the NaNoWriMo website? If so, look me up -- I'm christina_reads over there too. We can do it!!!
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