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The Mysteries of Udolpho (Penguin Classics) by Ann Radcliffe

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes

Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel (John Macrae Book) by Hilary Mantel

Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood

Caesar: A Novel (Masters of Rome Series) by Colleen Mccullough

Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson

Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn

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Member: jhowell

CollectionsYour library (682)

Reviews682 reviews

Tagsfiction (244), literary fiction (116), classic (61), historical fiction (52), mystery series (44), kindle (42), literary mystery (40), LT early reviewers (36), mystery (31), non-fiction (25) — see all tags

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Recommendations11 recommendations

About me43 yo married female obstetrician with alot of LONG nights and weekends waiting for babies to come -- Alot of reading and waiting! Now new mother to twins which has seriously eroded my reading time!

About my libraryI love fiction -- literary, historical, mystery especially. I like the classics, but I do descend into low brow guilty pleasures like the Outlander series, and Sue Grafton's mysteries.

My library is basically all the books that I can think of that I know I have read or that physically stand in my bookshelf. I have tried to write at least a cursory review (more of an impression, really) of every book (spoiler-free). Since 1/2006 I have been keeping a book journal, so my more recently cataloged books contain my immediate thoughts upon finishing each novel.

For the year 2013 I have read 44 novels (all but one fiction) and the top five in order are:
1. Siege of Krishnapur - J.G. Farrell
2. Ahab's Wife - Sara Jean Naslund
3. Birdsong - Sebastian Falk
4. Trapeze - Simon Mawer
5. Light Between Oceans - M.L. Stedman

Groups1001 Books to read before you die, Atwoodians, Deep South, Early Reviewers, Geeks who love the Classics, Group Reads - Literature, Historical Fiction, I Love Jane Austen, Monthly Author Reads, Outlander: Gabaldon's series about Jamie and Claireshow all groups

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameJen

LocationNorth Carolina

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/jhowell (profile)
/catalog/jhowell (library)

Member sinceDec 21, 2006

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As one who loved Beloved and who likes some of Hemingway and Faulkner, let me recommend to you Hemingway's Garden of Eden and Faulkner's Absalom,Absalom. Hope you will find them fascinating, Bill
Hello Jen, I just read your (very nice) review on Crimson Petal: you say you'd like to know what became of Sugar. Michel Faber actually wrote a sequel, i.e. a volume of stories that pick up different threads of the big book. It's called The Apple. Best wishes, Pingdjip.
Hi Jen, quick update on Cloud Atlas. It clicked for me in the second half when the different stories came to fruition. What a payoff. I went from dislike of the book to awe of Mitchell's brilliance! I was too dumbstruck to write a review. You said everything that I wanted to say in your review so I'll just add "ditto" and thanks.

Hi Jen, I had to thumb your thoughtful and well-written review of Cloud Atlas. I'm halfway through the book and floundering! You gave me the encouragement I need to finish this book. It remains to be seen whether I share your view, but right now I know I am reading something profound indeed. I'm just not sure that I understand it.


If "Trespass" is your introduction to Rose Tremain, I urge you to take up "The Colour" next. I know she won for "The Road Home," but nothing of hers touches the soaring wonder of "The Colour."

I'm on LibraryThing as LukeS, and you can read my review there, or go to my blog:

I enjoyed your perceptive review of "Trespass." Happy reading!
Love your review of Sacred Hunger--can't wait to read it! --Jenny
Just finished reading Faithful Place and agreed entirely with your review. Scanned your other reviews and found we have similar taste in I've friended you to get reading suggestions.
Hi Jen

I concur 100% with your review of 'Eustace Diamonds' - just way too much boring repetition there! And 'Vanity Fair' (which I finished last night) is much more worthwhile; I see now why Trollope and Thackeray were such good friends. If you do decide to give Trollope another chance I recommend NOT choosing 'Can You Forgive Her', 'Vicar of Bullhampton' or 'The Struggles of Brown, Jones and Robinson'. These are my least favourites ATs so far :)


I just read your review of Little Women, and I felt the same way. I wanted to lock Jo in a closet! And Marmee, for that matter.

Like you, I read Little Women in preparation for Geraldine Brooks' March. Please let me know when you finish March. I will be very curious to read your thoughts on Mr. March! =)

Happy Reading!
Jill (aka mrstreme)
Congratulations on finishing the Shelby Foote Civil War book. I know when I read Killer Angels, I patted myself on the back, and I'm sure the trilogy you're attempting is waaaaaaaaay more challenging.
Noticed that you liked The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing my new novel and posting your comments here (as well as on a few other book-related sites). I thought you might like my novel since it's been compared to that novel by a number of reviewers. I could e-mail you the novel in an e-book format if you'd like. Let me know if you're interested. Here's a link to a summary in case you're interested:


Hello j --

Thank you for reading my book, and for your thoughtful review.

I'd be the first to say that it's not for everyone.

MF Bloxam
Mary Renault's always been a favourite. I read her books as a teenager in the 1970s and was so glad to see that they've been re-issued so that more people can enjoy them.
Hi Jen,

I just read your 2-year old post on Reading Resolutons Group site. I too have 18+ years of formal American education (ie, virtually no experience with classic literature). For approximately the same amount of time, I've been correcting that. A favorite reference is The New Lifetime Reading Plan, by Clifton Fadiman.

Best of luck with your reading goals! From what I see on LT, the classics can be wonderful for those of us who didn't have them crammed down our throats during High School.
That is the most popular interpretation I think. I think it's actually a bit annoying that it raises so many questions. Overall I've found Ishiguro's other novels to reveal themselves by the end, so that while you might have a few questions the main storyline at least is settled. I find it personally hard to believe that Etsuko and her friend are the same person. It just makes me wonder where the story comes from - is Etsuko's life in the story the one she had before she "became" Saichiko? I definitely think that Mariko and Keiko are the same girl based on what she says, but it's really hard to reconcile all the other details. At least, I think it is. I really wonder what happened to her husband.

I'd still really recommend The Remains of Day. It's obviously his best work and he irons out all the problems this one has.

On a different note, I'm really glad to see you enjoyed Enduring Love by Ian McEwan. I was disappointed by On Chesil Beach and I happen to have this one in my TBR pile. =)

- Meghan
Hello, I just had to comment on your review of The Lace Reader which you gave a generous 3 stars. I wasn't so generous and gave it 2.5 stars, which is quite low for me, as I tend to read only books that I'm pretty sure I will enjoy. And with all the praise for The Lace Reader, I thought I might like it. However, I found myself shaking my head throughout the ordeal, wondering what I was missing. I'm always glad to see my opinion seconded. :-)

I continue to follow your reading and enjoy your reviews. Keep up the good work. Donna
I added you to my interesting libraries list, because your books and reviews are so interesting. I just finished Angle of Repose, which languished in my unread pile for years. Your review caught my eye, and now that I've read most of your reviews (impressive!) I have added more books to my wish list and reshuffled my read next list just a bit! I smiled as I read your John Irving reviews, he is my favorite author, Owen Meany and Ruth (I remember everything!) are two of my favorite characters, and until the Fourth Hand, I had read all his works and forgiven him most his quirks. I could not finish the Fourth Hand. It grew tiresome. I felt guilty until I read your review.

I'm trying to be increasingly picky about what to read next, which is why I chose Stegner over my book club selections, which tend toward popular, controversial reads. I have yet to read Poisonwood Bible, so I think that will be next.

Anyway, I enjoyed your page, thanks for helping me prioritize the piles!
Hi, Jen

You have been encouraging me in reading Anna Karenina and I plan to do so early in 2009. The copy I own is a bulky, leather bound version in an older--but once considered the most respected--translation by Constance Garrett. I was wondering who the translator of your version is. I plan to buy a paperback edition so I can carry it with me (never without a book!) and you enjoyed your so much I though that might be one to get. I'm really excited about getting started on it--I have wanted to read it for years.

I'm also considering rereading The Brothers Karamazov for the group read in February. It has been many years since I read it but I loved it then. I want to try the new translation everyone is talking about. But Anna comes first--so I may put off Dostoevsky til a later time.
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