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Alphaorder's (Nancy) Reading in 2012

Club Read 2012

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1alphaorder
Dec 31, 2011, 1:07pm Top

Looking forward to a new year of reading!

Read 50 books last year and hope for the same this year. http://www.librarything.com/topic/106104

I have so many books in my mount TBR and wish list, and then with new books coming out every day...

In fact, here are some articles/posts to get you thinking about what new books you will want to make sure to read in 2012:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/12/15-books-to-look-forwar...

http://davidabramsbooks.blogspot.com/search/label/Front%20Porch%20Books?m=0

2Milda-TX
Jan 1, 2012, 4:00pm Top

that is sooo not fair to dangle those new books in front of us, here in the first day of our New Year's Resolution To Defeat Our TBR Stacks! :) Happy New Year!

3alphaorder
Edited: Dec 23, 2012, 10:15pm Top

December
75. My Heart is an Idiot
74. My Bookstore
73. Interventions
72. Kayak Morning

November
71. My Ideal Bookshelf
70. Christmas at Eagle Pond
69. Elsewhere
68. A Thousand Mornings
67. Life After Death

October
66. Have You Seen Marie?
65. The End of Your Life Book Club
64. This is How You Lose Her
63. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
62. The Memory of Love by Linda Olsson

September
61. Pelt
60. Read This!
59. Mortality
58. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
57. The Invisible Thread
56. The Waitress Was New
55. Tweet Land of Liberty
54. When it Happens to You
53. Winter Journal

August
52. monkey mind
51. the chaperone
50. girl in the polka dot dress
49. Those we love most
48. The collective
47. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
46. Bowling Avenue

July
45. Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures
44. Gold
43. Of Beetles and Angels
42. The Book of LIfe
41. The Man Who Planted Trees
40. Gone Girl

June
39. Central Park: An Anthology
38. Glaciers
37. Red Bird
36. School of Essential Ingredients
35. Friends Like Us
34. The Arrivals

May
33. Cabin
32. The Unstrung Harp
31. The Next American Revolution
30. A Wedding in Haiti
29. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

April
28. Shelter Me
27. Local
26. The Great Wave
25. Beyond Outrage
24. An Economist Gets Lunch
23. The Power of Habit
22. Unpacking My Library

March
21. Carry the One
20. Through No Fault of My Own
19. Five Bells
18. The Fault in our Stars
17. 30 Lessons for Living
16. The Uninvited Guests
15. Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People
14. The Good Food Revolution

February
13. Contents May have Shifted
12. The Red Book
11. Otherwise
10. An Available Man
9. The Marriage Plot

January
8. Health Care Reform
7. The Networked Nonprofit
6. The fingertips of Duncan Dorfman
5. Sister
4. Orphan Sister
3. Branding for Nonprofits
2. Places I Never Meant to Be
1. Weird Sisters

4alphaorder
Jan 2, 2012, 11:48am Top

1. The Weird Sisters

Not bad for the first read of the year. I noticed that I have recently added four books with the word "sister(s)" in the tile, so I have decided to do a sisters read in early 2012.

A good novel to get lost in - has the academic setting that I enjoy. But not as memorable as I had hoped.

Ah well, at least it is a book off my mount TBR and I don't feel like my time was wasted.

5Milda-TX
Jan 2, 2012, 7:37pm Top

good for you, got one off the stack! I was just thinking about your succession of 'sisters' titles, trying to remember the good 'sisters' book I read last year (ha! 2011 is 'last year'!) because that book was really good and would be fun to recommend to you for your 5th in the string... but... it's called "The Girls". Oops. ;)

6alphaorder
Jan 2, 2012, 8:01pm Top

Ha - I liked The Girls when I read it years ago.

Here are the Sisters books I was talking about:

The Bird Sisters

Sister

The Orphan Sister

The Weird Sisters

Between Sisters

7alphaorder
Jan 2, 2012, 8:02pm Top

Would you please point me to your thread, Milda?

8Milda-TX
Jan 2, 2012, 8:10pm Top

uh-oh, a quiz for me? I think this is it:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/129231

9alphaorder
Jan 6, 2012, 8:47am Top

1. Weird Sisters

A good novel to start my "sisters" reading theme and the new year.

Academic setting, which I always love. And I do love books about family dynamics. But I didn't love it (as in, will not make it on my best-of year-end list) like some others seemed to.

2. Places I Never Meant to Be

So happy that my LT friend Nickelini told me about this book. Not sure how I missed it when it came out, as I was a bookseller.

As the subtitle says, it is a collection of 12 original stories by censored YA writers. The book is edited with an introduction by Judy Blum, and all of the writers have an essay about their thoughts on censorship. The essays were really good and I enjoyed most of the stories.

Going to pass the book along to my mom, a former middle-school librarian. During her days there she used to tell me about some of the "challenges" she was facing, but I don't remember the details. This book could really spur some conversation between us.

And then, when my daughter is a older, I would like her to read it too. She is already an avid read and I think would have some strong feelings about the censorship. I am sure it would bring on a good conversation between us as well.

10alphaorder
Jan 7, 2012, 9:48am Top

This article in the Guardian today has literary highlights for 2012.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/06/literary-events-2012

11alphaorder
Jan 7, 2012, 6:25pm Top

3. Branding for Nonprofits

DK Holland is a highly revered by my boss, show loaned me this book almost 2 years ago!

I thought it was a good read for to start the year - as our firm believes in many of the guidelines that Holland details in her book.

Glad ai read it. And glad I can return it to the bookshelf at work!

12Nickelini
Jan 7, 2012, 7:49pm Top

Interesting piece from the Guardian. Thanks!

13Nickelini
Jan 7, 2012, 8:00pm Top

I'm thrilled you liked Places I Never Meant to Be as much as I did, Nancy! Some of my favourite stories were "Going Sentimental" by Rachel Vail (new to me author), "Ashes" by Susan Beth Pfeffer (another new author--this is the one about the girl with the loser dad. Loved the ambiguous ending), "Baseball Camp" by David Klass (and I'm sooooo bored by anything baseball, but really, good sports stories are never REALLY about the sport, are they!), and "Love & Centipedes" by Paul Zindel (weird story! I remember liking him when I was young).

The reason this book even percolated to the top of Mnt TBR was because my 17 yr old niece, who doesn't have much parental guidance and is struggling in school, asked me for help with the "Labyrinth" story a few months ago. I looked it up on the internet and found out that it was in this book. I really enjoyed pulling that one apart with and giving her some English major tips. She was happy with the work she handed in on it. I'll have to find out how she did--she's pretty quiet and doesn't talk about herself much. But at Christmas she did tell me she loved the book Lullabies for Little Criminals, which I had given her sister. So for us, the torch-bearers of good literature . . . there is hope!

14Nickelini
Jan 8, 2012, 2:39pm Top

In an case, Alina read the first Narnia book, and didn't move onto the others yet. She also tried the first HP and said it wasn't for her. (I own all of them, but only read the first one myself. I am still going to hang onto them.)

I think she read the first one in the Warriors series and liked it well enough.

Right now she is really into graphic novels - all of the Bone and Amelia Rules books. She loved all of the Percy Jackson and received the graphic novel of the first one for Christmas, which she loved.

She also read the complete The Winnie Years by Lauren Myracle this weekend. She is now reading the Emily Windsnap series by Liz Kessler

Has Charolette read The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch or The Doll People series? Alina liked them both.
I will show her the Dunmore books. Thanks for the suggestion.


Copying this over from the other thread . . .

I can't remember how old Nina was when she first tried Narnia, but they didn't work for her then either. She knew all the words, but when Lewis put them together in a sentence, it just made her go "huh?". She tried them quite a few years later and loved them.

I can't remember what Alina has read. She needs her own LT account so I can see! Both my daughters loved Emily Windsnap when they were her age. The same author also writes Phillipa Fisher, which is about a girl with a fairy friend. She also likes books by Michael Morpurgo (sp?). He wrote book that was made into the new movie War Horse, although Charlotte hasn't read that one.

Do hang on the the Harry Potter books--she might get into them when she's older. Nina still reads the whole series once a year.

Has Alina read The Hobbit? My girls both liked that one too. How about No Flying in the House and The Wicked, Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House? Those were two I loved when I was a child and they're still available.

I will keep my eye out for the books you mentioned. Charlotte's always looking for something new.

15alphaorder
Jan 8, 2012, 2:47pm Top

Alina was going to track her reading in 2012, but she decided she would just rather read instead.

Maybe I can start a thread where we just discuss what Charlotte and Alina are reading. Help us both, I think...

She saw the Phillipa Fisher books but was more interested in the mermaid subject than more fairies.

So glad for more recs. I am taking a big box of books to Half Price tomorrow - many of them are Alina's, as she only keeps her favorites - and I told Alina she could have all the $ to buy more books. Plus, I may have told you that her aunt gives her a $5.00 book allowance every week.

Ok, off to start the thread.

16alphaorder
Edited: Jan 22, 2012, 7:33pm Top

4. The Orphan Sister
Continuing on my "Sisters" theme. This novel was told from the point of view of one sister, who happens to be a triplet. The other two of the group were born as identical twins, so sometimes Clementine feels like an orphan, although she isn't one. The big plot point really has nothing to do with the relationship between the sisters, which is really what I was looking for in reading this book. Kept my attention enough for a weekend read, but I will not go out of my way to recommend it.

5. Sister
I don't usually read novels with such a mystery / crime aspect. I liked the style - it is written as a letter from one sister to the other, who has been murdered. It was engaging. But still unsure about the ending/. Would love to discuss with someone who has finished the book.

6. The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman
Got this book for my daughter, but after reading a twitter review from Nancy Pearl, decided to read it myself. Duncan has a special "power": he can read through the fingertips of his left hand, which is really attractive to his school mate who hopes to win the national Scrabble championship. Duncan has always been a nothing. So this could be his chance... As the tournament comes together, Duncan and others face moral dilemmas and learn a lot about what it means to face the thrush. Really liked this book, as would folks who are addicted to WORDS WITH FRIENDS, since the book includes lists of two letter words.

17coppers
Jan 26, 2012, 11:08pm Top

Hi Nancy - I have only just now found your thread but I have it starred now.

It is funny that three of your first six books in the year have sister in the title. I liked The Weird Sisters but I agree that it wasn't really a memorable book or one that will stay with me.

Also "daughter" in a title seems to be hot right now for some reason.

18alphaorder
Jan 30, 2012, 5:57pm Top

7. The Networked Nonprofit

8. Health Care Reform
Heard the author on Wisconsin Public Radio and the book sounded like such a straightforward take on the Affordable Care Act that I had to get it right away.

It did it's job - in comic format, it is very accessible. I didn't learn much new, but it articulated the points better than I have. Don't know how anyone could read this and not see the importance of this program. But then again, it will probably people like me - ones who already believe in it - not those who are against it before learning about it, who will read the book.

19Nickelini
Edited: Jan 30, 2012, 8:21pm Top

But then again, it will probably people like me - ones who already believe in it - not those who are against it before learning about it, who will read the book.

I hear you. Preaching to the choir . . . we all like to read and hear things that back up the viewpoints we already have . . . especially conservatives ;-)

Do you have any right-wing extremist relatives you can pass it along to as an experiment?

20avaland
Feb 1, 2012, 8:10am Top

Nancy, did you read the The Networked Nonprofit yet? I'd be interested in what you have to say about it.

21alphaorder
Feb 1, 2012, 9:31pm Top

9. The Marriage Plot

Bought for one of my holiday vacation reads, but didn't get to it. Maybe because of that, I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected. I am normally a big fan of the academic novel and I remember loving Virgin Suicides. But this fell a little flat for me. Hopefully it was just the timing and the fact that it read it in bits in pieces, because it got lots of great reviews.

Not disappointed I read it. Just ready to move onto something else.

22alphaorder
Feb 9, 2012, 10:04pm Top

10. An Available Man

Just the novel I needed! Loved the writing, the characters and how it moved along.

23alphaorder
Feb 12, 2012, 5:31pm Top

24coppers
Feb 15, 2012, 9:41pm Top

I'm waiting for my turn with An Available Man. From the library, that is. :) I'm glad to see you liked it!

25alphaorder
Feb 16, 2012, 3:20am Top

Could have sent you mine! Unfortunately, it is already out the door!

26alphaorder
Feb 19, 2012, 2:05pm Top

12. The Red Book
Really enjoyed this novel - thoght TK.

27alphaorder
Feb 26, 2012, 11:13am Top

13. Contents May Have Shifted
Was excited to read this "novel" since a number of my friends recommended it.

It wasn't isn't nearly as good as I had hoped. Now I remember why I didn't care so much for her last book that I read: to me, she seems extremely self-absorbed. I thought the unique construction would make it interesting, but rather it is making it too disjointed. I like that she travels to lots of different places, so I will finished it, but won't recommend to anyone else. And she spells Alice Munro's name wrong. Big black check mark in my book.

28alphaorder
Edited: Mar 14, 2012, 4:43am Top

15. Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People

I hosted Susan for this collection back when it was published. Since I have been on a poetry kick, decided to read some local poetry. While reading the collection, I learned that Susan's husband, also a poet and a professor where I went to school, died last Friday. This news certainly changed my reading of the poems, where there was a fair amount of both life and death.

29Nickelini
Mar 9, 2012, 10:26am Top

It's always interesting when you have a personal connection to a book.

30alphaorder
Edited: Mar 14, 2012, 4:43am Top

16. The Uninvited Guests

thoughts later

31alphaorder
Mar 15, 2012, 9:59am Top

17. 30 Lessons for Living

Learned about this book from an inspiring New York Times piece. Lots of good reminders on how to live life to the fullest from wise and older Americans. Loved the personal stories too. A nice read.

32alphaorder
Apr 1, 2012, 10:31am Top

22. Unpacking My Library

Love this beautiful collection of interviews with authors about the their libraries, photos of the bookshelves, and top 10 recommended books. A real treat that I will keep and open again and again.

33alphaorder
Apr 1, 2012, 10:36am Top

Favorite reads from the first three months:

Fiction
Carry the One
An Available Man

YA/Teen Fiction
The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman
The Fault in Our Stars

Poetry
Otherwise

Nonfiction
Unpacking My Library


Most Disappointing Read: Contents May Have Shifted

34janepriceestrada
Apr 1, 2012, 9:50pm Top

32 - I have the version of this with architects' libraries. It was quite wonderful (though dangerous for the wishlist).

35alphaorder
Apr 2, 2012, 8:28am Top

Looking at your profile janepriceestrada, I certainly understand why you have the architects libraries. But knowing that you are such a reader, I think you need to own this one too.

Heading back to your profile to see what YOU are reading...

36alphaorder
Apr 2, 2012, 8:24pm Top

23.The Power of Habit

I can't say enough of this book. In someways reminded me of The Checklist Manifesto, which I also loved. But it has even more life changing ramifications, if you put the science in to practice.

The science is complimented with great narrative.

I think anyone who reads this book can learn something that could have a positive effect on their life.

37dchaikin
Apr 5, 2012, 8:13pm Top

The Power of Habit has come up a few times recently. There was a recent NPR story that talked about it, and it came up on a thread on Roland Barthes about an essay on cleaning advertisements...

38alphaorder
Apr 22, 2012, 11:19am Top

25. Beyond Outrage

I bought the enhanced e-book, which included videos with Robert Reich.

I am a fan of Reich.

39alphaorder
Apr 26, 2012, 9:22pm Top

27. Local

My daughter has been reading and enjoying so many graphic novels, I decided it was time for me to read own. I found this one while searching for my daughter - a great collection about a young woman finding herself by moving city to city.

40alphaorder
Edited: May 9, 2012, 10:21pm Top

29. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

Loved this Anna Quindlen collection. Her wisdom about life coupled with a writing style I love is just fabulous.

41alphaorder
May 27, 2012, 11:04am Top

30. The Next American Revolution

I heard Grace Lee Boggs speak at the BALLE conference this year. At 97, she is an inspiration to us all. She has spent her life as an activist helping to reinvent Detroit. It is amazing to me how engaged she still is, and how insightful her thoughts are. This was a collection of essays about how the old way of doing things will not work in the new century. Kids need to be involved in the solution. We need to be collaborating and cooperating, not competing. Her essay on the future of education was especially enlightening. High recommend this book.

42alphaorder
Jun 10, 2012, 11:44am Top

Early summer reading. Good, but nothing blowing me away.

36. School of Essential Ingredients
35. Friends Like Us
34. The Arrivals
33. The Cabin
32. The Unstrung Harp

43alphaorder
Jun 10, 2012, 11:59am Top

Wow, this time last year I had read only 20 books, and it took me until October 23 to reach my 36th!

44alphaorder
Jun 15, 2012, 8:59am Top

37. Red Bird

Nice little collection of poetry by Mary Oliver to reset me.

Now back to Glaciers, Central Park: An anthology and As Goes Texas....

45dchaikin
Jun 15, 2012, 9:14am Top

I saw As Goes Texas in an airport bookstore recent, and felt a cold shiver down the spine, and then tried to forget that moment. Still, I'm curious what's actually in there.

#43 - cool.

46alphaorder
Jun 15, 2012, 12:30pm Top

dchaikin Not sure why I am putting myself through As Goes Texas..., especially after living in WI during the last year and half. I think it is because I greatly admire Gail Collins.

47alphaorder
Jun 16, 2012, 10:49am Top

38. Glaciers

I loved this little gem of a novel. Easily a favorite read of 2012. I am not even going to tell you what it is about. Just read it.

48alphaorder
Jun 26, 2012, 10:56pm Top

39. Central Park: An Anthology

A nice collection of essays and short stories about Central Park.

49alphaorder
Jul 1, 2012, 7:42pm Top

40. Gone Girl

This book was getting lots of raves for summer reading. I couldn't resist. Glad I didn't.

Won't say much about the plot. Except that it has surprises and is worth it.

Might need to go read some more Gillian Flynn.

50detailmuse
Jul 2, 2012, 3:44pm Top

Found your thread! And it’s proving dangerous to books already in my TBRs.

Onto the wishlist:
Places I Never Meant to Be -- for someday
Glaciers -- for now; it sounds short and perfect.
Local -- verrrry interesting: a collection of linked, graphic-format short stories???
And I might have to make a little suspense marathon with Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep from auntmarge’s thread.

I see The Power of Habit is in stock at my library; it will be my next audiobook.

51alphaorder
Edited: Jul 4, 2012, 12:28pm Top

41. The Man Who Planted Trees

This review from goose114 is spot on, so I am borrowing it word for word:
Giono tells the story of a man who was able to change an area – its landscape and inhabitants through the planting of trees. This is a wonderful short story that has a huge impact. One man was able to find happiness and change his surrounding through a simple action and patience is inspiring. My edition had an afterward that I would recommend people read. It talks more about the author and how this story came about.

52alphaorder
Jul 7, 2012, 2:20pm Top

42. The Book of Life

These engrossing seven stories are filled with flawed but likable characters who make mistakes and hold secrets while trying hard to navigate their lives.

53alphaorder
Jul 8, 2012, 3:25pm Top

43. Of Beetles and Angels

I have held onto this little book for over a decade, and finally decided to read it. I am glad I did. This immigrant story enlightens readers a bit about the history of war in Ethiopia, refugee camps in Sudan and what challenges refugees face when they come to the US. More than that though, it is story of perseverance and love of humanity. And most of all, an inspiration us to give more to those around us.

54alphaorder
Edited: Aug 12, 2012, 6:10pm Top

47. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

This novel was a nice surprise. More to come...

55Nickelini
Aug 12, 2012, 8:05pm Top

Nancy - when The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was published, I read a review in The Globe & Mail that made me very interested in it, but then I forgot about it. Now that it's getting all the Booker attention, I think I must hunt it down. (The Globe & Mail generally calls things pretty accurately, so I should have known).

56alphaorder
Aug 12, 2012, 8:30pm Top

Joyce - I would send you my copy, but I think some folks around here want to read it.

57Nickelini
Aug 12, 2012, 10:32pm Top

That's okay, my TBR pile has grown to just under about a billion books, so I don't need it right away.

58bonniebooks
Edited: Sep 1, 2012, 7:05pm Top

I felt similarly about the books we've read in common, so am interested in what more you're going to say about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. It sounds like a book that I would love.

59alphaorder
Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 8:36am Top

A wrap-up of my vacation reading:

Read 5 books on vacation:
The Collective - love academic novels, and loved Don Lee's Yellow, but this wasn't as good for me. (Even though one of the characters recommends STONER to another.
Those we Love Most - family drama - nice vacation read - nothing special.
Girl in the Polka Dot Dress - was hoping for more, since I had read great reviews.
The Chaperone - I know someone here didn't really like this book, but I did. Good novel about women finding their place in the world.
Monkey Mind - Sort of skimmed this book about man coming to terms with and understanding his anxiety - viewed through a lens laced with humor.

60alphaorder
Sep 2, 2012, 8:49am Top

Bonnie -

I really enjoyed Harold Fry and find myself talking about it more and more as I get away from it. There was one spot in the middle that was slow for me, but other than that, highly recommend!

61alphaorder
Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 4:04pm Top

Although I am a woman who just turned 45, loved Winter Journal! In my opinion, this review of the book by HarvF is spot on.

http://www.bookreporter.com/content/editorial-content-for-winter-journal

We easily turn up on my favs of 2012 list.

62alphaorder
Sep 7, 2012, 6:16pm Top

Breezed through Elinor Lipman's Tweet Land of Liberty while watching the DNC. I have read most of these tweets already, but it was fun to read them together. Kind brought back the days of 19 Republican debates and all of that craziness. Also brought some humor to my long week.

Can't find it in LT and too tired (lazy?) to add it, so here is a link to more info:
http://www.beaconbroadside.com/broadside/tweet-land-of-liberty/

63alphaorder
Edited: Sep 16, 2012, 11:02pm Top

57. An Invisible Thread

A touching story. Glad I read it it, but if I were only reading a limited amount of books, I would choose others first.

64alphaorder
Sep 24, 2012, 9:39am Top

58. Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Loved this novel. It is funny and smart. And different. Just read it.

65Nickelini
Sep 24, 2012, 10:13am Top

#64 - oh good. I will, next year, as it's my book club pick for next June.

66msf59
Sep 30, 2012, 8:08pm Top

Hi Nancy- See, that didn't take long to find you! Both, Where'd You Go, Bernadette & An Invisible Thread sound interesting. I'm not familiar with a lot of your book titles, so I'll have to pay attention.
We are getting read to launch a Group Read of 1Q84. Have you read Murakami?

67alphaorder
Sep 30, 2012, 8:49pm Top

I have not read Murakami, but definitely a favorite of many of my former co-workers. Can you start with 1Q84 or do I need to start with something else?

Definitely recommend Bernadette. Liked the premise of An Invisible Thread, but would have been fine as a long magazine article.

68alphaorder
Sep 30, 2012, 8:51pm Top

One more question, Mark - Have you read Glaciers? I not, add it to your list. A little gem of a novel, esp for literary readers.

69msf59
Edited: Sep 30, 2012, 9:28pm Top

Of course, I have not read 1Q84 but from reading past reviews, I think you can start with this one, without any problem. Keep in mind though, it's a monster-sized book.
Never heard of Glaciers. Do the touchstones work?

Here is the Group Read Thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/142496

70alphaorder
Sep 30, 2012, 9:46pm Top

Here it is: Glaciers

71alphaorder
Sep 30, 2012, 9:47pm Top

Mark -

A THOUSAND pages??? Hmmm... I will need to give that a bit of thought before committing, esp with the work month I have coming up. But thanks for the invite.

72laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Oct 1, 2012, 10:45am Top

Just popping in to say "Hi", and see what you've been reading. And, apparently, (surprise, surprise) to find a book to add to my wishlist. Sounds like Glaciers is a must-read for me.

73alphaorder
Oct 6, 2012, 9:51am Top

62. The Memory of Love by Linda Olsson

I don't want to say too much here, since this book won't be published in the US until March of next year. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from my friend/cousin at Penguin because of my love and hand selling of Astrid & Veronika.

It is always hard to read a new book by an author when you have been overwhelmed by an earlier work. That is definitely true here. This is a beautiful book - I love Linda's writing, but there are some plot points I would love to discuss with someone who has read it. So, when someone does, please let me know! Need to let the book sit with me a bit.

But not too long - Junot Diaz is waiting!

74alphaorder
Oct 16, 2012, 4:12pm Top

63. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Even though this was a novel about books, I didn't like it as much as expected. I am not disappointed I read it, but too much fantasy for me. It does address the question of our time: physical vs. digital.

75alphaorder
Oct 21, 2012, 8:50am Top

64. This is How You Lose Her

Believe it or not, this is my first Diaz. Really enjoyed the connectedness of these stories and the insight into the culture. Liked the book a lot and recommend. But didn't love it as much as some seem to.

76alphaorder
Oct 29, 2012, 9:06am Top

65. The End of Your Life Book Club

While I was reading this book I sent my mom a note telling her to run out and get a copy. I wanted to discuss it with her. My mom (a former librarian) and I (a former bookseller) often talk about books - what better book to talk about than one that features a mother/child book club.

Mary Anne Schwalbe is such an inspiration - she has recently learned that she has cancer, and during the time she left, she and her son Will, author of the book, read books together and discuss them while she is having treatments. But really, the books guide their discussions about life and death. Together they learn so much, as so do we, the readers.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book is Mary Anne's approach to living and that you can do many different things in one lifetime. I am off to learn more about her work with refugees.

Keeping this one on my shelf. Will be a nice one to return to.

77Nickelini
Oct 29, 2012, 10:22am Top

Nancy - what a nice connection. And lucky you, having a librarian mother!

78msf59
Nov 1, 2012, 9:10pm Top

Nancy- I liked your thoughts on The End of Your Life Book Club. i have this one saved on audio. As soon as I make my way through the mammoth-sized TOR, I'll get to it.
I'm just over a 100 pages into Stoner. It's very good. Beautifully written. I just want these folks to cheer up. A gloomy bunch.

79alphaorder
Nov 2, 2012, 8:14am Top

Even though The End of Your Life Book Club is about facing death, I think it will be a nice antidote to the cheerlessness of Stoner. I think I might have gotten William Schwalbe to finally pick up Stoner too. I have been conversing with him via twitter after reading the opening of Book Club, which starts with Crossing to Safety, another of my favorites.

80TadAD
Nov 10, 2012, 6:14pm Top

>76 alphaorder:: That one strikes close to home. My mother (also a librarian, though part-time) and I used to talk about books as she went through cancer. I'm not sure, yet, whether that's "too close for comfort" close to home, or "would be personally appealing" close to home. I think this is one I'll poke at, and think about, and change my mind 50 times before deciding whether or not to try.

81alphaorder
Nov 10, 2012, 9:39pm Top

>80 TadAD: Having not been in your situation Tad, I am hard pressed to make a recommendation. It is a lovely book. Maybe pick up a copy and dip in when you think you are ready? And then if not, put it back up on the shelf until another time.

82alphaorder
Nov 10, 2012, 9:44pm Top

67. Life After Death

I need to sit with this one for a while. I picked up Life After Death after hearing Echols on NPR, maybe on On Point?

I had certainly heard of Damien Echols, although I was still a kid when he and 2 friends were convicted of murdering 3 children in West Memphis.

The description of the justice system is startling and disappointing, but I guess not really shocking.

Life on Death Row is harrowing. Echols's resiliency is amazing. We can all learn something from it.

Well-written and informative, I recommend this memoir.

83alphaorder
Nov 13, 2012, 8:46am Top

68. A Thousand Mornings

What a treat! I was fortunate enough last night to attend a reading by Mary Oliver - something I never expected to do.

It was simply lovely, as are her poems. She read about half the poems in this book, so I only had to read the other half to add it to my list!

I am planning however to keep the book on my bedside table and a read a few poems every morning as my mediation.

84laytonwoman3rd
Nov 13, 2012, 10:56am Top

I have a Mary Oliver book Red Bird on my nightstand too! Sometimes, it's just what I need.

85alphaorder
Nov 23, 2012, 3:49pm Top

70. Christmas at Eagle Pond

A nice, quiet holiday story by Donald Hall. Perfect for Thanksgiving night read.

Donald spent a good part of summers at his grandparents farm. He always wanted to spend Christmas there, but never did, unless you count when he moved there as a adult. So this is his imagined visit. I liked it - it took me back to Christmas's at my grandparents farm - but I won't be going out of my way to recommend it.

86alphaorder
Nov 23, 2012, 3:50pm Top

I usually read about 50 books a year. This year I am at 70. Hope I make it to 75.

87Nickelini
Nov 23, 2012, 7:54pm Top

#86 - Well done! Is it because you're spending more time reading, or because you're reading shorter books, or ??? I haven't spent as much time reading this year as usual, and it shows. I'm currently at 65, and most years I read 80 -90. Won't be making that total unless all the books I read next are picture books.

88alphaorder
Nov 23, 2012, 8:14pm Top

I wonder if getting away from book selling makes reading easier for me somehow. As in I don't think about work so much when I am reading a novel? Also could be that I feel like this is really a good year for new releases. But yes, likely shorter books. Read more poetry this year, that is for sure. No matter what, it has been a great reading year. Seems to be for you too, Joyce - remember- quality (enjoyment etc.) over quantity.

89alphaorder
Dec 4, 2012, 8:52am Top

Decided to review my 2012 reading early this year. I am a big fiction reader, so surprised the so much nonfiction showed up on my beat reads list this year:

Fiction
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Glaciers
The Fault in our Stars

Nonfiction
Winter Journal
The End of Your Life Book Club
The Next American Revolution
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
The Power of Habit

Poetry
A Thousand Mornings

Books about books
My Ideal Bookshelf
Read This!
Unpacking My Library

I am still planning on reading Interventions and Dear Life this year, so they may be added...

90Nickelini
Dec 4, 2012, 10:30am Top

Nina keeps wanting me to read The Fault in Our Stars. I bought a signed copy for her earlier this year and she was so excited.

91detailmuse
Edited: Dec 5, 2012, 9:48am Top

>89 alphaorder: Nice selections, your recap is a good match for my wishlist (Where'd You Go, Bernadette; The Fault in Our Stars; A Thousand Mornings; My Ideal Bookshelf ... probably because I discovered the titles earlier on your thread!) and I've already read four of the others.

92alphaorder
Dec 7, 2012, 9:19am Top

Ok friends - help my pick my holiday break read.

I want to know what you would say was the single best novel you read this year.

Last year I read The Art of Fielding - just so you know what you're up against.

93dchaikin
Dec 7, 2012, 9:35am Top

What, no thread for that yet?

I think it was Moby Dick by Herman Melville...wait, maybe it was The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov...? I do think about Moby Dick more. When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant, which has the benefit of being less than 70 years old, would be third in terms of favorites...not sure about third "best".

94japaul22
Dec 7, 2012, 9:57am Top

Only one??? Ah!!

I'd pick A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel. It's historical fiction about the French Revolution and was excellent.

95Nickelini
Dec 7, 2012, 10:44am Top

I replied on your other thread, but probably the book that stood out most for me this year was Border Songs by Jim Lynch. It's an excellent book on its own, but the personal connections I had to the book made it really special for me.

#94 - I picked up a whole stack of Mantels for practically free this year, and A Place of Greater Safety wasn't among them! Drat!

96StevenTX
Dec 9, 2012, 9:23am Top

Outlaws of the Marsh was my favorite in 2012 (so far), but in the "under 2000 pages long" class it would be The Name of the Rose.

97rebeccanyc
Dec 26, 2012, 11:23am Top

It is almost impossible for me to pick just one; I came up with four for my own list. At the moment, I would say my top novel is a tie between Germinal and White Guard.

A Place of Greater Safety is probably my faorite Mantel.

Group: Club Read 2012

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