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The Age of Orphans: A Novel by Laleh Khadivi

The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks

The Giant, O'Brien: A Novel by Hilary Mantel

The Birth of Venus: A Novel by Sarah Dunant

Things Fall Apart: A Novel by Chinua Achebe

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder: A Novel by Rebecca Wells

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Member: mrstreme

CollectionsOrange July (19), Your library (536), Wishlist (70), Currently reading (2), To read (141), Favorites (49), All collections (752)

Reviews360 reviews

TagsOrange Prize (144), TBR (142), Family Relationships (123), Historical Fiction (116), ARC (70), BM (69), Love Stories (45), PBS (43), Southern Writers (42), World War II Fiction (42) — see all tags

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Recommendations43 recommendations

About meI am an avid reader and book blogger. You can check out my book blog, The Magic Lasso, for information about my book reviews and reading challenges.

I also am the creator of the Orange January/July reading challenges. During these two months, readers from around the world commit to read at least one book that has been nominated for or won the Orange Prize for Fiction. If you love Orange Prize books, please consider joining the Orange January/July LibraryThing group.

Photo: I am very blessed to have two wonderful sons!

About my libraryI love books about women from the South through all time periods, especially the antebellum South. I also love stories that explore family relationships.

Groups75 Books Challenge for 2010, 75 Books Challenge for 2011, 75 Books Challenge for 2012, Booker Prize, Clarissa's Cottage, Girlybooks, Monthly Author Reads, Orange January/July, Patrick White 100th Anniversary Challenge, Reading Globallyshow all groups

Favorite authorsMargaret Atwood, Chris Bohjalian, Geraldine Brooks, Dan Brown, Sarah Dunant, Leif Enger, Robert Hicks, Khaled Hosseini, Sadie Jones, Barbara Kingsolver, Sophie Kinsella, Lori Lansens, Hilary Mantel, Cormac McCarthy, Ian McEwan, Margaret Mitchell, Kate Morton, Ann Patchett, Anna Quindlen, Anne Rice, Mary Doria Russell, Rachel Seiffert, Diane Setterfield, Shel Silverstein, Nicholas Sparks, Kathryn Stockett, Elizabeth Strout, Anne Tyler, Sarah Waters, Markus Zusak (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresAnnie's Book Stop, Barnes & Noble Booksellers - Clearwater, Barnes & Noble Booksellers - Dale Mabry, Book Swap of Carrollwood, Inkwood Books

Favorite librariesCentennial Park Branch Library


Also onBookMooch, Facebook, PaperBackSwap, Twitter

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameJill

LocationTampa, FL

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/mrstreme (profile)
/catalog/mrstreme (library)

Member sinceJan 21, 2007

Currently readingSavage Lands by Clare Clark
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

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What a coincidence! My swap copy of The Giant O'Brien arrived two days ago. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it.
The Lake of the Dead Languages by Carol Goodman is about a girls school, if I am remembering correctly. I really enjoyed this story.
Jill, the book arrived today. THANK YOU!!!!
I'm excited to participate in your World Book Night largess.
Excitement reigns!
I'm in no hurry, but I'm very excited!!!
You're welcome!
Hi Jill

Thank you so much for sending me Scottsboro which arrived yesterday. I love the cover on this edition which isn't available in the UK and am looking forward to including it in this year's Orange reading!

Hi Jill

I've noticed your Orange Predictions on Facebook and I'm interested to know if there is a thread on LT - in the Orange Section or on your thread?

I don't have any predictions, but I can say that I've read
Yvvette Edwards A Cupboard Full of Coats from last years Booker Longlist and I think it's Orange- worthy!:)

I also have read one of the other suggestions - Anita Rau Badami's Tell it to the Trees. She had another book longlisted, The Hero's Walk . I think it a worthy book too!

I'm looking very forward to the new longlist in mid March

OK--that's the address I had. It will be in the mail this afternoon!
Ha! I happened upon them when looking for our end of the summer vacation. I was poking around for vacation sites, found this, and thought I should ask your for yours. Lo and behold, it is the same. Bookmarked some good possibilities.
Can you remind me of the website you used to find your vacation home? Thanks, nancy
Hi Jill,

I have just read your review of The Glass Room by Simon Mawer. Thank you for showing me that I wasn't the only one with serious reservations about it! I agree entirely that the characterisation centred on the character's sex-lives. Which wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't all had the same heterosexual man's sexuality- even the heterosexual women!

Oh well- it's back to the Viragos and Oranges for me ;-)

Hi Jill
Wench arrived safe and sound today - thank you so much. It looks very interesting. And thanks for organising Orange July so well too. Great fun!
Well done with your Scat review Jill!!!
Hi Jill, many thanks for the invitation to join the Orange Group. I signed up and will pick out a couple of Orange books to chat about. I should have saved The Tiger's Wife to read in July, but no worries, I have plenty of others to choose from. See you on the Orange!

Enjoyed your review of Goon Squad. I too found the PowerPoint an interesting feature. I see you also read Let the Great World Spin and Olive Kitteridge. I have just started Cloud Atlas which seems to also fit into these interconnected themes. Keep reviewing; someone is reading.
Hi Jill,

It's a couple of weeks late, but I've set up threads for each of the shortlisted books for this year's Orange Prize, and others are already posting reviews and commenting about the books.

I finished reading "Visitation" by Jenny Erpenbeck early this morning, which made me wonder if you thought it would be a good idea to have a thread for quality works of women's literature that aren't eligible for the Orange Prize; "Visitation", which was translated from the German, is ineligible, as "[t]ranslations of books originally written in other languages are not eligible for the Prize." Or would that add too much confusion? I haven't made any mention of this yet, as I didn't want to detract from discussion of Orange books. Let me know what you think.

Cheers and happy reading,
Hi Jill,

I'm participating in the Best Translated Book Award shortlist group on LT (, which includes topics for each book, to encourage discussions of them as members read them. Do you think it would be a good idea to do the same for this year's crop of Orange Prize shortlisted (and longlisted?) books? I haven't been following the individual threads at all this year (as I'm having a hard enough time keeping up with the Club Readers and 75 Books crew as it is), but I'd be much more likely to follow and participate in threads for the long- and shortlisted books.

Even though I'm planning to finish this year's shortlist by early June I own several books from this year's longlist that I'll read in July and in the second half of the year, namely "Lyrics Alley", "Swamplandia!", "The Swimmer", and "The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives" (and I'll almost certainly pick up "The London Train" when it comes out in the US next month).

Dear Jill,
The Little Stranger just arrived - thanks so much!! It looks great. You did a fantastic job organising Orange January and it was so much fun.

Dear Jill, Bel Canto is here safe and sound, and I'm a very happy camper! I'll surely read it in Orange July if not before. Thank you!!!

I received my Secret Santa books today and just wanted to thank you for the great choices you made. I love Margaret Atwood but didn't have The Robber Bride and What Was Lost looks really good. Thanks so much and happy new year!
Jill, I'm so lazy that I find it easier to ask you than to wade through all the new posts at 75/2011. Are you/have you already posted an Orange January thread there? If so, I will certainly look for it. I loved doing it in July!
Great picture! I think you were almost guaranteed a Merry Christmas - I hope so!
Happy New Year too!
Comment on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
Let's test!
Afterwards was even better. It was one of my top five books that year.
Nice review of The Dark Room, Jill. I read it last year and scored it exactly the same as you did. Have you read Afterwards by Seiffert?
Jill, I thought it would be really clever of the author to have Danny and/or the girlfriend in on it--make him think he's seeing ghosts, move all the stuff around, stink up the suit, etc. Well, she just walked by the ghost without saying anything, so she would have to be in on it. :-)
No problem, Jill. it's not like I'm short on books!

Good luck with your move!

Just wanted to let you know that I'll be involved in an "Author Chat" about my novel, The Quickening, beginning next week (the 19th) and lasting through the following Monday. If you're interested, I welcome your questions and comments. Here's the link:

And if you're a Goodreads user, I've started a Q&A group there that will stay open at least until September. The link is

Hope you're well!

I think that thread is for Orange July.

Can you try again.

I've lost your thread and want to post the following message. Can you please send the link to your thread so that I can let everyone know your accomplishment. Many thanks.

I also posted this message on my thread and the thread of those with hot reviews:

Quick...go to the hot reviews and you will see that of the ten reviews, our group is 10/10. Every hot review this morning is from a member of our 75 challenge group. I'm not sure, but I think this is a first for us.

The hot reviews are

and me

What a hoot!
Just checking to see if you were suppose to receive A Dog's Purpose through the Early Reviewers program? I haven't received my copy yet and am wondering if anyone else has. Thanks
GREAT picture for your profile!

Ian McEwan was the guest on The Charlie Rose Show last night. Good chance PBS will be rerunning it over the weekend. Hope you can catch it!

Ah Jill
You may be 38 but you still look 22! Have a good day on the 19th.

It is a wonderful, well-written review!
Congratulations on your hot review listed on today's home page!
Jill, I took your survey. That second-to-last question had some pretty odd options. Who in God's name would want to read a historical novel featruring Vanna White? ;)

Hey Jill,

Have you read Charms for the Easy Life?
Except for the fact that she bashes Ingris Fletcher (I adored the first in the series and want to read the rest... okay so it's not SERIOUS, but hey!!) I found it thoroughly enjoyable :)

Glad to have you @ 75 books this year.

Hi Jill,

I came home from a trip last night to find the Secret Santa parcel had already arrived. I opened the parcel (it was under the tree for 1 hour - that was the extent of my will power!) and I love the books you picked. I cannot wait to dive into both of them. Thank you so much!!!

Merry Christmas!


P.S. You have a great library!
I notice that you have two boys and don't have Ender's Game in your library. our whole family (boy, girl, husband, self) loved it (and the rest of the collection). I think the kids were around 10-12 when we started them on it. we read them out loud. Also, almost anything by Lois Lowry (but notably The Giver).

for me, my favorites this summer were the Lizard Cage (Orange), Olive Kitteridge (Pulitzer) and The Heart of Horses. I forgot to check if you had read the Lizard Cage. its a riveting story about a political prisoner (singer/songwriter) in a Burmese jail. I would never have imagined having a book about a man in solitary confinement being so riveting! I noted that you loved Olive too. The Heart of Horses is about a young female horse wrangler who leaves home and becomes part of another community. I often like the structure and pace of a book, and this one was one of those. the pace had parallels on many levels.

good luck with santa thing, I've always been surprised by an excellent book from it!
was browsing the santathing notes after signing up and saw that we are fans of the orange. so checked out your library (111 in common with me). Love the reviews! thank you. now to look at your library in more depth!
Yeah...I almost lost my little black book and panicked so I'm working backward to put all my books in here. One away now before i become a lifelong member.
I enjoyed your review on Fugitive Pieces. I just finished it a few nights ago. Not sure how I feel about it. It was written well but then again not well enough to understand at times. Thanks for the review.

If you are interested maybe you would like to join my thread. We need new heads.
Hi Jill. Just popping in again, as I haven't done so in quite a while. Love your pic! :')

Actually, I saw your rating for Affinity & so it prompted me to visit your bookshelf again. There is a movie based on this book, if you're interested. I rented it a few months ago. I didn't think the movie was too bad. I read the book a couple years ago, & of course it's better than the movie, but still not bad.

Enjoy the reading!

P.S. -- How are you liking the Physick Book of Deliverance Dane? I have that on audio, although haven't listened to it yet. I'm anxious to get to that one!
Edward is forever 17, and Bella is 18 when they are married. Though I think they probably pretend Edward is 18 too. She is changed into a vampire a few days before she turns nineteen. Meyer does talk about the bad image that goes along with such early marriage, but only fleetingly. (Of course, I got married a month past 20 and it's been a very happy six years so far, so early marriage isn't automatically bad. It does help that Todd isn't an abusive vampire though! ;P)
Hi Jill, and thanks for your comment! :) Yes, I would not recommend the Twilight books to anyone. I do confess it was somewhat fun to read them and pick out all the nasty bits. It felt like Meyer was just incriminating herself at times, lol. Now I just need wisdom to talk to the younger readers in my life who love these books, and warn them about the dangerous ideas without coming across as too heavyhanded.

Your sons are cute! They look like quite a handful too :)

Hi Jill,

I love reading your reviews. They're so good.

Just found the link to In the Kitchen on Twitter. Have you read any other Ali book? I have one, but I never seem to be in the mood to read it.

I wish we had the ability to do comments on reviews here on LT, but no one seems to want them other than myself and _Zoe_. :(


P.S. I'm just having a great time with Twitter. What a difference from FB!
Just wanted to drop you a note to say that I am really enjoying your reviews!
Thanks for the tip, Jill, but I don't have a Twitter account. I can barely keep up with life on the Internet and have been cutting back due to lack of time. Plus my life here really doesn't require such "connectedness"! But thanks for thinking of me.

All is well here. Hope things are going well with you and your family!


Just saw you added An Abundance of Katherines to your library. My girls both LOVED that book. Hope you do, too!! Apparently the author also has a video blog that's quite humorous.
Sorry was out last night so didnt get on. I have deleted #38.
Oh yea! I'm so glad you like them. It was fun choosing something for you. I thought about some of my 5-star reads, the kind of books I would literally shove into your hands if we met F2F. I perused your library to make sure they weren't there, so I'm really glad you haven't read them!

Happy Early Birthday!!
Hi, Jill--I've given up blogging, although I am posting about my reading in the Club Read 2009 group: .

I don't keep up with blogs much, either, although I have been clicking through to some of your reviews.

I hear you about Mount TBR--it's always one step forward, two steps back for me.

What a cute dog!

Jill--just read you review of [The Lucky One] and that you're sick! I hope it's not serious!

'Lo, Jill -

Just a note to tell you the new ETTA Facebook fan page is up

Here's the link:

Hope you'll join!


'Lo, Jill-

The ETTA website is up and running!

I hope you enjoy it and don't forget to play the song!


Both books were waiting for me this morning when I got to the office. I'm VERY excited to read The Cellist of Sarajevo, I read about it on another blog and have been really wanting to read it. The board book looks great too, I really like how it shows babies of different ethnicities, that is something I am striving for in my baby's library.
Here you go:

and yours?

We actually ended up leaving town earlier than we had planned, so we left before my SantaThing gift arrived. I assume it is waiting for me at my office, and I can't wait to go back and see it on the 5th!
Hi Jill,

I'm so glad you liked the books I picked out for you! In looking at your library I saw a number of books that I'm interested in, so I'm excited about that.

I also saw the photo of your dog on your profile and I want to let you know that we have a basset hound as well...nice coincidence! His name is Henry and he's about 7.5 months old. Right now the snow up here is deeper than he is tall and he loves to run through it.

Anyways, have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the books!

Thank you for the lovely Christmas card Jill! And what a cute profile photo. How is the lovely Emma doing?
Hi, Jill

Back in July you commented on one of my univesity questions. You told me that you wrote a thesis paper on Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", which is something I recently read for school. Not having lived in the US, I've never studied MLK or this text, but I'm so glad I finally read it. I am in utter awe at both his intellect and his writing ability. And his moral position. Wow. That's all I can say. We haven't had the lecture yet, but I've included this in my final essay. Interestingly, we also looked at it in my English class when we did a unit on grace in writing. Our prof thought this an ultimate example. Anyway, I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this, and also what the general message of your thesis was. I don't have to do an undergrad thesis, so I'm not sure exactly what that even means. Any thoughts you have on any of this would be appreciated!

How is your family adjusting to Emma?

Hi Jill!

Glad to hear it arrived safely. That media mail takes a while! Hope you enjoy the book,

Thanks for adding BannedBooksLibrary to your Interesting Libraries, Jill. Happy Reading!
Well, look at that ... there I am! Cool indeed :)


Just picked up Coal Black Horse today!! many, many thanks--and I will let you know, for sure, what I think about it.

Hi Jill,

The books are supposed to be in the mail to me today, so as soon as they get here I will send that one out to you. I'm glad it's going to a good home!

Oooh! Oooh! What joy! I'm not gong to ask you what's in it because I want to be surprised. it will be an early Christmas.

Many, many thanks, Jill!

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