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Canadian Bookworms

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1ccookie
Edited: Sep 3, 2013, 9:57am Top




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My favourite books

Children's Books

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (BLT, Mar 2012)
Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman (BLT)
The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop (BLT)
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff (BLT)
Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer (BLT)
The Little Fat Policeman by Margaret Wise Brown (BLT)
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (BLT)
The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey (BLT)
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (BLT)

Adult Books

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt (BLT)
The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers (BLT)
Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel (BLT and again in 2012)
Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey (BLT)
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (June 2012)
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines (BLT)
Looking for Rachel Wallace by Robert B. Parker (BLT and again in 2011)
Middlesex by Jeffrey Euginedes (BLT)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (BLT and again 2012)
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (BLT)
The Road by Cormack McCarthy (BLT)
The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence (May 2012)
Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman (BLT and again Aug 2012)

Continued on page 2

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Onward we go into 2013!!

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**** Books read so far - 2013 ****



January 2013

1. Baby Animals (Children's book) by Garth Williams (ROOT)
~Baby bear holds his toes~

2. Playmates by Robert B. Parker (ROOT / Kobo)
~ Vince Haller invited me to lunch at the Clarendon Club on Commonwealth Avenue with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Taft University, Haller's alma mater ~

3. The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (Audio / Kobo)
~He wasn't talking. He was looking from the window of the car all the way.~

4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Kobo / Audio)
~ Mae Mobely was born on an early Saturday morning, in August 1960 ~

5. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Kobo)
~If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth~

6. Death: The High Cost of Living by Neil Gaiman (Deanne)
~June. Mad Hetti? We got it for you~

7. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (Kobo / Audio)
~I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror~


Total Books Read for January - 7 (1 children's book)



February 2013

8. Elephant Winter by Kim Echlin (Kobo)
~I am called the Elephant-Keeper, which suits me. My name is Sophie Walker. When I am not at the elephant barns, I live in a crowded house near a tacky commercial tourist farm in southern Ontario. I have a daughter and I take care of the elephants~

9. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy (Kobo / Audio)
~Captain First Rank Marko Ramius of the Soviet Navy was dressed for the Arctic conditions normal to the Northern Fleet submarine base at Polyarny~

10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (Audio)
~Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways~

11. Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes - Neil Gaiman (Deanne)
~June 16, 1916. Wych Cross, England. Wake up sir, we are here~

12. Bicycle Bear by Michaela Muntean (ROOT)
~When you want to send a package,
when you want to send a hug,
when you want to send some flowers,
or an Oriental rug …~

13. Pigs in the House by Steven Kroll (ROOT )
~In their pigpen
Nice and Wide
Three Cute Pigs lived
Side by side~

14. The Midsummer Banquet by John Patience (ROOT )
~In a few days it would be time for the Midsummer Banquet to be held a Trundleberry Manor~

15. Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Stan and Jan Berenstain (ROOT )
~Healthy Food is good for Brother, Sis and Dad ...
How can Mom make them stop eating food that is bad?~

16. I Don't Want to Go by Justine Korman (ROOT )
~Russell Chipmunk didn’t want to go to the family reunion~

17. The Night Before Christmas - Clement Moore (ROOT )
~'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse~

18. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (Audio / Kobo)
~I was sitting outside the Commodore's mansion, waiting for my brother Charlie to come out with news of the job~

Total Books Read for February - 11 (6 children's books)



March 2013

19. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (ROOT )
~I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of be this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while they water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

20. The Cat's Pajamas by Ida Chittum (ROOT)
~The cat’s pajamas started out as a big piece of red cloth with white flowers~

21. My Christmas Treasury by Gale Wiersum (ROOT)
~Don’t Look by Kathryn Jackson
Don’t look in the closets,
Or under the beds,
Or in any mysterious nook
Where things may be hidden –
It’s simply forbidden
When Christmas is coming –
Don’t look~

22. The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear (ROOT)
~The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note~

23. The Jungle Book (Disney The Jungle Book) (Little Golden Book) by R.H. Disney (ROOT)
~Many strange legends are told of the jungles of far-off India~

24. The Country Mouse and the City Mouse by Patricia M. Scarry (ROOT)
~Annie Mouse lived quietly in the country~

25. Life - Keith Richards (Audio)
~ Why did we stop at the 4-Dice Restaurant in Fordyce, Arkansas, for lunch on Independence Day weekend?

26. Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (ROOT)
On the fifteenth of May, in the Jungle of Nool,
In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,
He was splashing … enjoying the jungle’s great joys …
When Horton the elephant heard a small noise~

27. The Queen's Witch by Karen Chance (Kobo)
~ Light from inside the weather-beaten structure leaked out through the shutters, striping the plank of driftwood over the door in flickering bands of gold~

28. Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats by Anne McCaffrey (ROOT)
~How much for that pretty kittycat you got there, young lady?~

29. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Kobo)
~When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow~

30. Beloved by Toni Morrison (Kobo)
~ 124 was spiteful ~

31. Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris (ROOT)
~Me and Holly were laying around in bed around 10 A.M. on a Wednesday morning when the call come (sic) ~

Total Books Read for March - 13 (7 Children's books)



April 2013

32. The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill (AUDIO)
~Tran, Tran and Hok broke through the heavy end-of-wet-season clouds~

33. Miracle in the Rain by Ben Hecht (ROOT)
~Another day was ending in New York~

34. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling (AUDIO)
~ The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it “the Riddle House,” even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there~

Total Books Read for April - 3



May 2013

35. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (KOBO)
~Don’t let appearances fool you~
The taxi's radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast~

36. Thirty-Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill (AUDIO)
~The neon hammer and sickle buzzed and flickered over the nightclub of the Lan Xang Hotel~

37. Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill (AUDIO)
~Dr Siri lay beneath the grimy mesh of the mosquito net watching the lizard's third attempt~

38. Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill (Audio)
~The post office box was eighteen across, twelve down, and it had a loop of wool wound around the door so Dr. Buagaew wouldn't miss it~

39. Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (Audio)
~As there were no longer any records, the Hmong could not even tell when they actually misplaced their history~

40. The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill (Audio)
~By the time the calendar pages had flipped around to 1978, Vientiane, the capital of the People's Democratic Republic of Laos, had become a dour place to live~

Total Books Read for May - 6



June 2013

41. The Crucible by Arthur Miller (Kindle)
~A small upper bedroom in the home of Reverend Samuel Parris, Salem, Massachusetts, in the spring of the year 1692~

42. Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James (Kindle)
~He’s come back. Mommy’s asleep or she’s sick again~

43. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Audio)
~Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity - Good~

44. Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James (Kindle)
~Mommy! Mommy! Mommy is asleep on the floor~

45. Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill (Audio)
~I celebrate the dawn of my seventy-fourth birthday hand-cuffed to a lead pipe~

46. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (Kindle)
~The Whistle Stop Cafe opened up last week, right next door to me at the post office, and owners Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamieson said business has been good ever since~

Total Books Read for June - 6



July 2013

47. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler (ROOT)
~They were supposed to stay at the beach a week, but neither of them had the heart for it and they decided to come back early~

48. The Cat Who Went To Paris by Peter Gethers (ROOT)
~A few weeks ago, I made my first-ever will~

49. Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman (Audio)
~They sat in the chapel and waited~

50. A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George (ROOT)
~It was a solecism of the very worst kind~

51. Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman (Audio)
~On the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement, a holy convocation shall it be unto you, and ye shall fast ... and no manner of work shall ye do on this day ... it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings~

52. Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds
~For a movie star, ultimately there really is no such thing as Hollywood~

53. Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home by Harry Kemelman
~"Now, that's what I call praying, Rabbi," said Harvey Andelman~

54. Animals Say Wacky Things: Forget the Chocolate...I Want Bacon! by James Mayrose

55. Animals Pray Too: Dear God… Twenty-six Caught-on-Camera Prayers for Children (To Inspire and Make Them Smile) by James Mayrose

56. Jimmy the Kid by Donald Westlake
~Dortmunder, wearing black and carrying his canvas bag of burgler tools, walked across the rooftops from the parking garage on the corner~

57. Christine Falls by Benjamin Black
~She was glad it was the evening mailboat she was taking, for she did not think she could face a morning departure~

58. The Naked Face by Sidney Sheldon
~At ten minutes before eleven in the morning, the sky exploded into a carnival of white confetti that instantly blanketed the city~

59. May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Homes
~Do you want my recipe for disaster?~

Total Books Read for July - 13 (2 children's books)



August 2013

60. Gone West by Carola Dunn
~The approach was not inviting.~

61. This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
~"And if it's a boy," said Phyllida cheerfully, "we'll call him Prospero."~

62. I Am Algonquin by Rick Revelle
~I woke up with the stark realization that I was in unrecognizable surroundings~

63. Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
~The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend~

64. The Crystal Towers by Mobashar Qureshi
~"This is not good,” he said, in an English accent~

65. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
~While Pearl Tull was dying, a funny thought occurred to her~

66. Beatha: A Badger's Story by Louise J. Hastings
~On this overcast evening dusk came early to Bilbrook woods, settling over the trees like a soggy blanket.~

67. Losing my Mind: Dark Secrets of a Wounded Healer by David Mirich
~Over the years, I have found that spiritual teachers, philosophers, and particularly psychologists are notoriously resistant to fully disclosing their inner world to others –at least publicly~

68. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
~The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive~

69. A Little Hair of the Dog by Jane McBride
~ I opened the door and we walked into an apparently empty bedroom~

70. The Shekinah Legacy by Gary Lindberg
~Some day you will read this, my Dear, and see more clearly how things came to be~

ongoing - list continued / completed on page 2

2ccookie
Edited: Sep 3, 2013, 8:32am Top



Reading now: list found on page two

3ccookie
Edited: Mar 11, 2013, 3:12pm Top

January reads:

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One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
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Aesop Revisited- Book 1 by Ethan Russell Erway

A short little book with updated versions of Aesop's fables.

I enjoyed the modern updated fables especially the Lion and the Mouse. I chuckled out loud when I read " there was a lion whose lionesses had given him a long list of honey-dos". What I did find not so enjoyable were the comments from Aesop himself. That gimmick wore thin pretty quickly. And I found that some of the stories did not end with a 'moral of the story' and I missed that. It was the inconsistency that bothered me. It felt like a mistake.

Review copy supplied by the author as part of LibraryThing's Member Giveaway Program.

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February reads:

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February by Lisa Moore

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The Alienist by Caleb Carr
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The Gilded Age by Mark Twain
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March reads:



Just finished Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Trying to read some of the classics of English Literature, you know.

First line:
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?'

I found this book intriguing and boring at the same time. I think that I have been contaminated by the movies and television shows so the book seemed too 'plain'. Not enough colour. It is one of the few times that I can say that I enjoyed the movie more than the book; usually it is the other way around.

I did find that the change of topics from chapter to chapter frustrating but when you see that the whole thing is a dream, well, that is how dreams work isn't it? Not much connection between one thing and another, jumping from scene to scene.

If I was going to read this to my children I would choose some kind of a Disney version because I think that the graphics, in this case, add a valuable dimension to the reading experience.

I am glad that I read it but it will never be a re-read, unless I have a grand-child!

4ccookie
Edited: May 10, 2012, 9:59pm Top



Finished Three from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes.

First line:
Hannah had been restless all night.

In this book, Holmes creates an imaginary childhood and youth for Jesus, the Christ with his mother and father Mary and Joseph.

Because this is fiction it allows for some imaginative directions that may or may not make sense to all based on your religions interpretation of Jesus life.
Since these are 'what might have been' I found it easy to suspend any disbelief about what I was reading and relax and just enjoy this for what it was.

I did find it interesting the way that Holmes wound 'bible stories' into this part of Jesus' life, for instance one of his brothers left home stealing his inheritance and returned many years later like the prodigal son.

An enjoyable read. I am ready to pass this book on to someone else now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



First line:
~ "There's something different about Margie," my parents would sometimes say to others as they tried to fathom my behaviour as a child ~

I have just finished Changing My Mind written by Margaret Trudeau, a memoir and a look at her lifetime struggles with depression and mania. And, I gotta say it, I loved it.

OK, it may not be the best written book around but I lived this woman's history. I don't mean I was bi-polar myself but rather that, as a Canadian woman who is just 4 years younger than Margaret, I remember all of the things that she describes in her book. All of the things that the public was privy to, of course. I did not know what went on behind closed doors.

I was in love with Pierre Elliot Trudeau and had a poster of him on the back of my bedroom door. No movie stars for me! Trudeaumania took me over and I was in awe of him and when he married Margaret I was thrilled that he married someone so young and vibrant.

It makes me very sad to think of the difficulties that she had throughout her life. That she did not kill herself in one of her deep depressions is a miracle.

The support that she has received from her family and friends is a testimony to the significance of caring and compassion in the face of immense difficulty. I know it is not easy to support a family member who is mentally ill.

Good for you Margaret, to bare your soul and confess your deepest darkest secrets in order to raise awareness of the devastation of this disease.

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First line:
~ Today there are sixteen ways to conceive a baby ~

Lethal Secrets. This is another book I re-read, having read it the first time in about 1993 or so.

I found it just as compelling now as I did then. A small study but with valid conclusions, that have held up over the past 20 years.

I first read this after reading The Dance of Deception and between the two books and help from the fertility clinic that carried out our DI and the psychiatrist we were seeing for family counseling, made a decision to disclose their biological origins, to my two sons. Although this book makes an argument for disclosure at an older age, the boys were about 13 and 9 and they both took it well, although with different levels of understanding.

I gained a lot of understanding about the damage to relationships that is incurred when such secrets are kept.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is involved with children conceived in this way; parents, donors, children, family members, clinic staff.

Secrecy was almost commanded by our doctors and we did not question it. I believe now that children should know right from the beginning that there is something special about their birth and that families are configured in many different ways. Families would be far healthier in the long run.

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First line:
~ Once upon a time there were three little pigs ~

A wonderful children's book. The illustrations hand painted lantern slides from the original cartoon. I read this book many times to my two sons who are now 24 and 29 and they loved it. What I had never before read were the last few pages that talks about the history and the success of the animated cartoon. It won the Academy Award in 1933 and was seen as a social commentary of the times. The song Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wold became a theme song for hope in the great Depression. Very interesting. Cute book

5ccookie
Edited: Jun 4, 2012, 9:26pm Top



Three Singles to Adventure - done

First line:
In a tiny bar in the back streets of Georgetown four of us sat round a table, sipping rum and ginger beer and pondering a problem.

Thus begins Three Singles to Adventure, an account of Gerald Durrell's animal collecting expedition to British Guiana (now Guyana) in the 1950s.

This was Durrell's second book and the first of his works that I have read. I have many others on my shelves, inherited from my mother who was a great lover of animals.

It is fun to read all of the misadventures as they collect fauna for zoos in Great Britain. A good read!

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First line:
~ Penelope Scott shifted in her straight chair and recrossed her feet ~

I just finished Nurses Three: First Assignment which, I have owned since 1963. I was given it by a friend Sylvia for my 11th birthday. I grew up to be a nurse and it gave me quite a chuckle to re-read this book at age 59. Penny is a new graduate who gets a job as a private duty home nurse for an elderly gentleman who has had a heart attack. The patient has two sons who are both interested in dating Penny and she seems to have no problem with that from a nursing ethics point of view. She also becomes quite personally involved with the patient and his family and his financial situation. I can see that the story would have made nursing seem quite glamorous to me as an 11 year old. Penny also helps a deaf-mute boy learn sign language and get away from his abusive father. Oh, if nursing were only truly like this!

The book is seriously outdated in terms of medical information and, as mentioned before, the lack of nursing ethics but as a 'blast from the past' it was a fun read.

I think I shall move this one off my shelves. I don't think I would want any young person in my life reading this book now.

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First line:
~They're out there ~

I just finished One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest and I am happy to report I enjoyed it. I have wanted to read this book since I saw the movie in 1975 so it has only taken me 37 years to get around to it. Thanks to this group and the focus on Medicine and Illness for this month's theme!

I am a nurse and, in my training in 1970, I spent time in a Psychiatric hospital in St. John New Brunswick. The locked wards with many patients who were severely developmentally delayed and vegetative were a real shock to me as a sheltered, middle class 17 year old.

I saw 'old style' ECT at that time and was appalled at the barbarity of it all. Although, certainly, I did not see it being used as a punishment, as described in this book.

It was interesting to me to read that Ken Kasey had worked as an orderly in a psychiatric facility which has given him a real understanding of the treatment (or lack therof) of the times. The book feels 'real' as if it could have been a non-fiction book rather than a novel.

I couldn't help but compare the book to the movie and the movie is one of my all-time favourites. It won Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Academy Awards that year.

Although I liked the book I would not have it up at the top of my list! Time Magazine has it as one of the top 100 novels from 1923 - 2005.

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What Nurses Know; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I received this book through LT Early Reviewers and was very pleased to see it arrive in a timely manner.

By way of background, I was diagnosed many years ago with Fibromyalgia and CFS and have done a lot of reading and research over the years.

First line:
~ In the mid-1980's, I read an article about groups of people in Lake Tahoe NV, and Lyndonville, NY who were coming down with a flu-like illness that left them extremely fatigued ~

I found this book to be quite simplistic. Having said that, I think it would be a perfect book for someone to start with as they begin their journey after receiving their diagnosis. However for anyone who has been living with it for a time, this is probably a little too basic.

I agree with one of the other reviewers that this would also be an excellent book for family members and friends to help them understand the day to day challenges we face.

I will be sharing this book with others I know who have this diagnosis or know someone who does. It has the potential to be quite useful. It is easy to read and a reader can focus on the specific topics that are of most interest first i.e. the chapters do not have to be read in order. And they are short and to the point.

6Canadian_Down_Under
Mar 26, 2012, 5:56pm Top

I just ordered Margaret Trudeau's book after seeing it here on your thread. I was pretty young when she was married to Pierre Trudeau but I still have memories of her. I also ordered The Essential Trudeau by Pierre Trudeau. What a fascinating man. Both books should make for interesting reading.

7ccookie
Mar 26, 2012, 6:36pm Top

Now that you mention it, I think that I have a book about Pierre somewhere on my shelves that I gave to my mother before she died. I must take a look for it.

8Canadian_Down_Under
Mar 26, 2012, 8:35pm Top

Trudeau was the first prime minister I was aware of as a child. Whatever you thought of him he was a really interesting man. I must admit that I shed a tear or two when I heard he passed away.

9ccookie
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 9:52pm Top

I found the book I was thinking of Trudeau Albums, a coffee table book with lots of pictures -

10ccookie
Edited: Apr 30, 2012, 11:45pm Top



My planned reads:

1. 1984 by George Orwell (completed April 11)
2. Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey (completed April 20)
3. Daisy Miller by Henry James (completed April 8)
4. The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz (completed April 16)
5. The Fourth Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders (completed April 26)
6. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield (completed April 30)
7. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green (completed April 27)
8. Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich (completed April 4)
9. Straight by Dick Francis (completed April 27)

11Canadian_Down_Under
Mar 28, 2012, 4:50am Top

The only one of those I've read was The Fourth Deadly Sin. I enjoyed all of the "Deadly Sin" books very much.

12ccookie
Mar 28, 2012, 6:32am Top

Lawrence Sanders is one of my favourite authors but I have only read his Archie McNally stories. I own all of the 'deadly sin' books and all of the 'commandment books' (inherited from my mother). Perhaps I will find a renewed love of his work.

13ccookie
Edited: May 7, 2012, 2:02pm Top



March reads: Just finished re-reading Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel which I read when it was first published over 30 years ago. I remembered it as being one of my favourites and I was not at all disappointed in the re-read. I am going to start Valley of the Horses immediately with the plan being to read them all in sequence. One and two will be re-reads but the rest will be brand new.

14arcona
Mar 28, 2012, 3:25pm Top

I remember enjoying all the Lawrence Sanders 'deadly sin' and 'commandment' books much more than the McNally one I tried.

15ccookie
Mar 28, 2012, 4:58pm Top

Let's hope I like them too! The McNally ones are quite silly but a good 'beach read'. I have Fibromyalgia and sometimes focus and concentration is an issue so I enjoy having some that don't require an English Degree to understand. lol

16rabbitprincess
Mar 28, 2012, 7:41pm Top

I love the McNally series despite, or perhaps because of, its silliness. I have relatives with that last name so I like to think of Archy as a fictional cousin of sorts. :)

Hope you enjoy the King Arthur book! It's one of my favourites; my copy is battered and dog-eared from endless re-readings.

Happy reading!

17ccookie
Edited: May 7, 2012, 1:59pm Top



Just finished Come Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant.

The Winnipeg Free Press describes this as a "funny and sad and splendid first novel.”. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found Audrey to be a totally believable character. She is devastated by the death of her father, missing her tortise who is home waiting for her return and then 'loses' her uncle too. It is funny, and touching and wonderful. I normally don't care for talking animals but in this case hearing Winnifred's take on her life is really funny. I would recommend it.

18ccookie
Edited: Dec 29, 2012, 4:00pm Top



Last book for March, I think. I just finished Promise of the Wolves which I absolutely loved. It reminded me so much of Clan of the Cave Bear by Auel and I happened to be re-reading this at the same time. Similar scenarios in both books, not belonging, always feeling not good enough, brutal beatings etc etc and then triumph in the end and yet sadness and sorrow permeate both worlds. As mentioned before I usually don't care for talking animals but in this case it worked for me. I raced through this book in the last 10 days or so which is a fast read for me. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the Earth's Children series. You won't be disappointed. Now I have to get the sequel from the library.

19ccookie
Edited: May 10, 2012, 10:38pm Top



I bought myself an MP3 player the other day and just finished listening to Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly. I don't want to say it was bad but, to me, it was baaadd. No character development, not much of anything really. I just didn't care. And I have absolutely loved, I mean, loved, Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Series. Oh, well, can't win them all! Full review found on here: http://www.librarything.com/work/11598024/reviews/84395524

20ccookie
Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 5:33pm Top

Today I added another one to my currently reading pile. Secrets of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst.

After reading Promise of the Wolves last month (for the Reading Through Time Chronological Challenge Category - Pre-history), I just had to start the sequel right away. Loved that first one. I know others didn't care for it but I thought it was wonderful.

21Canadian_Down_Under
Apr 8, 2012, 1:18am Top

>19 ccookie: I tried to read one or two of Janet Evanovich novels. I really couldn't get into them. There must be something about them, though, because she sells a lot of books.

As for using the MP3 player, I have started listening to books when I exercise. I find it much more enjoyable than watching TV.

22ccookie
Apr 8, 2012, 6:47am Top

> 21 I am really enjoying 'listening' to books. Why did I not get one of these things before? Oh well, I have it now! I am finding it hard to fit TV into my schedule now that I am doing a number of LT challenges. hee hee

23Canadian_Down_Under
Apr 8, 2012, 3:55pm Top

I know what you mean. Before LT, I didn't think about what books I was reading or how many. Now, I look at the large books I'm reading (2 at the moment - both over 600 pages) and think I could be reading much shorter books which will look better for my yearly book total.

I, too, am enjoying listening to books. It's a bit strange and I find I have to focus more or my mind wanders a bit, a problem I don't have when I actually read books.

24ccookie
Apr 8, 2012, 4:01pm Top

I also find it easy to get distracted when 'listening' to a book but the rewind button comes in handy!

25ccookie
Edited: May 10, 2012, 9:26pm Top



This weekend I participated in the Easter/Passover/April Readathon from Friday noon to Sunday midnight.

I read from 12 different books as I am wont to do, and managed to complete one book, Daisy Miller. by Henry James. Granted, it is a novella only 48 pages but I didn't think I would make it.

This is an odd little book. Written in 1878 it chronicles a young American girl’s willful yet innocent flirtation with a young Italian. She is outgoing and flirtatious and refuses to change her ways in order to fit into a culture and society to which she does not belong.

I understand that, for its time, it reflected absolutely scandalous behaviour on the part of this young woman and yet for today's time Daisy's behaviour is quite 'normal'.

As a social commentary, it doesn't fit with contemporary situations and yet is a very sad reflection on the concept of arrogance on behalf of those who believe that they are the arbiters of 'good behavoiur'. There are many today who would criticize those that don't fit in instead of applauding them for being such free spirits.

I can't say that this is going to go down in history as a great read but I am glad that I read it.

26ccookie
Edited: May 10, 2012, 9:21pm Top



I just finished listening to 1984 by George Orwell on my brand-new MP3 player that I bought for the sole purpose of 'listening to books'

My son studied this book in high school but somehow I had not ever read it and I can't imagine why!

I found it to be riveting. I was struck by a number of concepts. The horrifying concept of "Big Brother is watching" carried out in the extreme for these Party members who can do nothing that is not observed by the ever-present tele-screens. This is evident today in that we are tracked by governments, credit cards, reward cards, social networks, market researchers, GPS's, cell phones etc. So much of us is known out there in the world.

Also, I was struck by the emphasis on changing history by changing the records of it. There are some who would deny the Holocoust and have written that it did not happen as recorded. North American Aboriginals and Afro-Canadians and Americans would dispute the versions of their cultural history written by white, privileged men.

I was thoroughly involved in Winston's life and cared a great deal about what happened to him. I was shocked and devastated at some of the events that happened in his life.

I can see why this is a book that is read by many of our young people as part of their high school curriculum. It was a great read. I enjoyed this book very much but because of its sad (and terrifying) nature, I don't expect that I would re-read it so 4.5 stars. I would highly recommend it.

27ccookie
Apr 11, 2012, 11:51am Top

Starting to listen to David Copperfield on my MP3... so far so good!

28ccookie
Edited: May 10, 2012, 10:32pm Top



Finished the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz which I read for the '2012 has 12 Months' challenge - the number 'four' in the title.

I found this little book to be a simple and powerful read.

The four agreements: Be impeccable with your word, Don't take anything personally, Don't make assumptions, and Always do your best. These are not new concepts to me but are presented in a new way.

I purchased this book quite a few years ago and never read it. I am wondering, now, what my life might have been like had I read it when I got it. Simple concepts but often hard to put into practice. but, already, these concepts are being applied and making a difference. I am going to re-read it immediately because I think that the more I remember these things the better off I will be

29Canadian_Down_Under
Apr 16, 2012, 11:18pm Top

I'll be interested in your thoughts on David Copperfield. I am in a bit of Dickens kind of mood right now and am reading Great Expectations (actual reading not mp3) and enjoying it very much.

30ccookie
Apr 17, 2012, 6:10am Top

> Canadian_Down_Under
There is a David Copperfield group read going on in the 75 book challenge.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/134518

31Canadian_Down_Under
Apr 19, 2012, 12:55am Top

Thanks. I'll look into that.

32ccookie
Apr 19, 2012, 8:12am Top

I recently went to the Museum of Inuit Art here in Toronto, 207 Queen's Quay West. This is a Canadian hidden treasure. And when I say hidden, I mean it both figuratively and literally. It is at the very back of a building on the waterfront with no sign or anything out by the road/ front of the building. If you have an opportunity, please check it out. Admission is only $3.00

Beautiful, beautiful soapstone and antler carvings, paintings, beadwork etc.

I just received The Way of Inuit Art: Aesthetics and History in and Beyond the Arctic by Emily E. Auger from the public library and am looking forward to learning a bit more about the Inuit culture and their art.

33ehickey
Apr 19, 2012, 10:23am Top

Is the museum part of the Harbourfront Centre? I will be down around there at the weekend. For three bucks, it's got to be worth a visit!

How was "Why dogs are better than cats." I love the title!

34ccookie
Edited: Apr 19, 2012, 3:44pm Top

I have not made any progress in Why dogs are better than cats but what I did read is quite humorous.

The museum is part of Harbourfront. For $3.00 it is amazing. For $20.00 it would be amazing. Take a look at the website:

http://www.miamuseum.ca/

35ccookie
Edited: Oct 1, 2012, 11:10am Top

Got a bunch of books at the church rummage sale last week. Don't know why I am buying more books !!

Blue Diary - Alice Hoffman
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby
The Falls- Joyce Carol Oates
The Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
The Hidden Pierre Elliot Trudeau - Richard Lackenbauer John
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
My Antonia - Willa Cather
Private Pleasures - Lawrence Sanders
The Shipping News - E. Annie Proulx
The Song of the Lark - Willa Cather
The Stone Diaries - Carol Shields
Vagabond - Bernard Cornwell
AND
LooneySpoons for my friend who, just two days before, happened to mention wanting it.

A good haul! 13 books for $11.00 - can't beat that.

36litasbooks
Apr 19, 2012, 6:51pm Top

Wow...very nice haul...I'm jealous ;-)

37ccookie
Apr 19, 2012, 10:53pm Top

Thanks, Lita. They have this rummage sale twice a year and it will definitely become part of my regular spring and fall routine!

38Nickelini
Apr 20, 2012, 1:33am Top

Yep, that's a good haul.

39arcona
Apr 20, 2012, 8:18am Top

If you get a chance to go to the National Gallery in Ottawa, they have an incredible display of Inuit art in their basement level - I wonder why Inuit art is always in such difficult places to find?

40ccookie
Apr 20, 2012, 4:41pm Top

I have been to the National gallery but many years ago. I don't remember seeing the Inuit display but if I ever get to go again I will make sure I check it out.

41ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2012, 4:47pm Top

Discovered the Steinbeckathon and will start The Moon is Down for the April group read.

42ccookie
Edited: May 7, 2012, 2:18pm Top

I am literally slogging through Roger Lancelyn Green's book King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table which I am determined to finish and absolutely hating.

At the same time I was reading Black Horses for the King which I really loved. I just finished it.



Anne McCaffrey does a wonderful job describing the life of 5th century Britain at the time of King Arthur (in this case, Lord Artos, The Comes Britannorum).

This is the story of a young man, Galwyn, who comes into Lord Artos' service as a translator and helps him purchase horses to take back to Britain to train as strong mounts for the armored warriors to fight the Saxons.

Written for young adults, but equally enjoyable for this 59 year old, it depicts Galwyn's training as a farrier and the realistic issues of the early development of horse sandals (horse shoes) to protect the delicate hooves of these Libyan beauties.

I love Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels and found her writing here to be equally captivating. I really wanted to see what happened to this young man and the horses he is responsible for. There is one nasty character in the book, an 'enemy' of Galwyn and I really enjoyed the way that Galwyn deals with him close to the end of the book.

Do not read this looking for knights of the round table or Guinivere and Lancelot. This is about a young man's love of horses his care for them and for the master that he serves. (4 stars)

43Canadian_Down_Under
Apr 20, 2012, 6:57pm Top

I looked at King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table since I have always been fond of the legend of King Arthur. The rating on it is pretty good (3.85) so what is it about it you are not enjoying?

44ccookie
Apr 20, 2012, 7:38pm Top

> Canadian_Down_Under. I am not entirely sure. I think it is partly the old style English. The brevity of the stories bothers me. Each chapter is devoted to one mythological episode such as 'Sir Tristam and the Fair Iseult' or 'Sir Gawain and the Lady Ragnell' and these stories, to my mind, all run together with not enough character development to make me actually care about what happens to each of them. Each one basically involves one Knight killing another Knight, usually by beheading, to save the lady.

I know this is written for children but I can't imagine being able to get through this until much later in life.

I am very interested in reading more about King Arthur and I think I will try The Mists of Avalon next. I have had several people tell me that it is excellent.

Have you any recommendations?

Cathy

45Canadian_Down_Under
Apr 21, 2012, 12:41am Top

Cathy,

The one that comes to mind for me is The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck. I read it years ago and just by coincidence was looking at it on my bookshelf and thinking I should read it again.

As for the other book, I think for the reasons you gave, I will give it a pass. Thanks.

Jan

46ccookie
Apr 21, 2012, 1:32am Top

Thanks, Jan. I have just joined the Steinbeckathon in the 75 Books Challenge for 2012 so will get a taste for Steinbeck. I have loved what I read of his in the past, so I might add it on in July which would also fit for the Reading Through Time Challenge topic of Arthurian Britain.

47ccookie
Apr 21, 2012, 7:40am Top

> Jan
I read the other reviews on LT and it seems that a lot of people really liked King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table found it rich with character development, consistently telling the story. Maybe there is something wrong with me!! If you own the book, maybe you should at least give it a try. When I watch movies with my sons we have a 15 minute rule. We have to watch the first 15 minutes and if anyone is not enjoying it, we are free to do so and we then make another choice. Perhaps we should have a similar rule with books.

I would hate to be responsible for you missing out on a great reading experience.

48Canadian_Down_Under
Apr 21, 2012, 5:51pm Top

Don't worry, Cathy. I don't own the book and if I come across it, I may give it a try. It's funny you mentioned your 15-minute rule for movies. My husband and I have the same rule. We watch for 15 minutes or so and turn it off if we're not enjoying it. I used to finish every book I started even the ones I wasn't enjoying but I decided life is too short for that. Now I have a 50 page rule for books. I think that is enough time to determine if I like the writing.

49ccookie
Edited: May 7, 2012, 2:15pm Top



Finished Secrets of the Wolves.

Didn't find it as gripping as the first installment Promise of the Wolves but will look for the third one.
Full review at:
http://www.librarything.com/work/11175512/reviews

50bucketyell
Apr 23, 2012, 12:34pm Top

Do you ever hit the U of T sales in Sept/Oct? I now live an hour or so away and I still make time to venture to TO to hit those sales.

51ccookie
Apr 23, 2012, 4:31pm Top

> 59 bucketyell - I am unaware of this. Sounds great. How do you find out when they are being held?

52bucketyell
Apr 24, 2012, 8:48pm Top

Usually booksalefinder.com has the listing but I just checked and it still shows last years dates. But, if you go to the individual university college websites, they have 2012 dates:

University College - Oct 12-16, 2012 (this one seems to be favourite because they not only have two large halls filled with stuff but also a couple paperback rooms downstairs with fiction & mysteries)
Trinity College - Oct 18-22, 2012 (good as well but I haven't been in a few years)
Victoria College - Sep 20-24, 2012 (good too and if you go on Sept 24th, there is also Word on the Street which is just outside the door of the college)

There is also St Mikes I believe but I can't find a date for that one. I have never actually been to it so I can't vouch for how large/extensive it is. But I can say, I have been to the others and they are wonderful. Tons of stuff and the prices are great (a trade paperback is usually $2-3). It's all donated stuff over the course of the year so you can find anything and everything.

53ccookie
Apr 24, 2012, 10:39pm Top

> 52 bucketyell

Thanks for the information. I must check it out!

54ccookie
Apr 26, 2012, 4:36pm Top

Started The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark for the 75 Books Challenge Take It or Leave It Challenge #24 to read a book by Muriel Spark. LOVING IT! I read this one a hundred years ago after seeing the movie and loved then and am loving it now. Again, great writing.

Also reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe for the 12 12 Challenge Group read for April. Didn't care for it at first but now that the Christians have arrived and commenced their missionary work I am finding it much more compelling.

Continuing to listen to David Copperfield by Charles Dickens on my MP3 for the 75 Books Challenge for 2012 : David Copperfield Group Read. Sometimes this work is quite tedious and then all of a sudden something wonderful happens. Wordy but enjoyable. Great character development and I love the way things are all interwoven.

55Canadian_Down_Under
Apr 26, 2012, 9:21pm Top

Cathy, I'll definitely be looking into The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I remember seeing the movie many years ago and enjoying it very much.

56ccookie
Edited: May 7, 2012, 2:14pm Top

57ccookie
Edited: May 7, 2012, 1:50pm Top



Finished The Fourth Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders which I read for the 12 12 sub-challenge - 2012 has 12 months - this has the number four in the title -

This book has a beautiful opening line:
~ The November sky over Manhattan was chain mail, raveling into steely rain ~

However, the book did not live up to it's promise. It wasn't a terrible book, just not very exciting and / or suspenseful. I see from other reviews that most people consider this to be the weakest of the five Edward X. Delaney books so I will probably give another one a try.

See full review here:
http://www.librarything.com/work/445440/reviews/77468894

58ccookie
Edited: Nov 6, 2012, 9:51am Top



My planned reads:

1.11/22/63 by Steven King for the 75 books Challenge - May: Murder & Mayhem
~ I have never been what you’d call a crying man ~ Completed May 30

2. Booked for Murder by Tim Myers - for the 2012 has 12 Months (the subchallenge of 12 in 12) - about a stolen emerald AND for the 75 Books Challenge for TIOLI Challenge #10: Read a book with a word in the title suggesting violent death AND for the 75 books Challenge - May: Murder & Mayhem
~ “I know I shouldn’t admit it, but I’ll be glad to see the last of that monstrous emerald,” Elise Danton said as she and her employer, Alex Winston, watched the final group of gawkers pass through the lobby of The Hatteras West Inn on their way to see the Carolina Rhapsody Emerald ~ Completed May 27

3. The Bourne Identity for me AUDIO
~ THE NEW YORK TIMES, FRIDAY, 11 JULY 1975
Front page: Diplomats said to be linked with fugitive terrorist known as Carlos ~ completed June 16

5. God Against the Gods by Allen Drury for the Reading Through Time Quarterly Theme Read - Ancient and Biblical Times ~ abandoned in June

6. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck for the - 75 Books Challenge Steinbeckathon 2012 AND for TIOLI Challenge #4: Username challenge: Read a book derived from a 75er's username (seasonsoflove)
~ To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth ~ Completed June 27

7. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins - for the Reading Through Time challenge - Historical Crime
~ Extracted from a Family Paper - I address these lines—written in India—to my relatives in England ~ ~ Completed July 30

8. Mysteries of Udolpho by Anne Radcliffe for the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die Group Read
~ On the pleasant banks of the Garonne, in the province of Gascony, stood, in the year 1584, the chateau of Monsieur St. Aubert ~ Abandoned May 27

9. Pontius Pilate by Paul Maier for the Reading Through Time Quarterly Theme Read - Ancient and Biblical Times AND TIOLI Challenge #6: Read a fictional book based on a Bible story ~ completed June 30

10. Stone Angel by Margaret Lawrence for the Challenge #4: Challenge #4: Username challenge: Read a book derived from a 75er's username (stephenstone) Completed May 22

11. To the Nines by Janet Evanovich for the 75 Book Challenge - Merry, Merry Fluff of May
~ My name is Stephanie Plum and I was born and raised in the Chambersburg section of Trenton, where the top male activities are scarfing pastries and pork rinds and growing love handles ~ Completed May 29

12. Trudeau Albums for the TIOLI Challenge #9: Read a nonfiction work set during the first 23 years of your life ~ Completed June 23

59ccookie
Edited: Jun 1, 2012, 10:36pm Top



At the end of April I finished The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck and I really loved it.

Short, but powerful!

I read that this was written as propaganda to encourage the occupied countries in Europe to engage in resistance activities against the Germans.

Reading it from my perspective, I found this book to be so much more than that. Steinbeck did a good job of actually humanizing the invaders and allowing the reader to see that the 'bad' guys are pretty much the same as the 'good' guys.

‘Their talk was of friends and relatives who loved them and their longings were for warmth and love, because a man can be a soldier for only so many hours a day and for only so many months in a year, and then he wants to be a man again, wants girls and drinks and music and laughter and ease, and when these are cut off, they become irresistibly desirable. And the men thought always of home.’

His language is beautiful.

I can't wait for more Steinbeck! Onward to the Grapes of Wrath

Full review is at:
http://www.librarything.com/work/2977710/reviews/84897971

60ccookie
Edited: May 7, 2012, 10:39am Top



I managed to finish King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table but I did not enjoy it at all. I literally slogged through most of it.

I think it was partly the old style English. The brevity of the stories bothered me. Each chapter is devoted to one mythological episode such as 'Sir Tristam and the Fair Iseult' or 'Sir Gawain and the Lady Ragnell' and these stories, to my mind, all run together with not enough character development to make me actually care about what happens to any of them. Each one basically involves one Knight killing another Knight, usually by beheading, to save the lady.

I know this is written for children but I can't imagine being able to get through this until much later in life.

There is one thing that I enjoyed about this book and that was the wood-cut illustrations which were, I thought, quite unusual

61ccookie
Edited: May 10, 2012, 10:48pm Top

April read:



Straight by Dick Francis

Didn't love it, but it was enjoyable. Will read another of Dick Francis' novels soon. Have lots on my shelf inherited from my mother.

Full review at:
http://www.librarything.com/work/42955/reviews/84085064

62ccookie
May 9, 2012, 7:35am Top



First line:
~ Although extraordinary valor was displayed by the entire corps of Spartans and Thespaians, yet bravest of all was declared the Spartan Dienekes ~

I finished Gates of Fire by Stephen Pressfield at the end of April.

Pressfield did some pretty heavy research about the Spartans and their warfare tactics. I understand it is pretty accurate.

However, reading this just confirms for me the tragedy of war. I can't imagine the life that these men and their squires lead. I am taken by their discipline and commitment. However, I am saddened as I am any time that I read about war and, what I believe to be, the senseless loss of lives. And so many lives were lost at this battle.

I don't think I would read this again but I did enjoy it. (3.5 stars)

full review can be found here:
http://www.librarything.com/work/3251965/reviews/84034294

63ccookie
Edited: Nov 6, 2012, 9:40am Top



Finished War Horse by Michael Morpurgo at the end of April.

First line:
~ My earliest memories are a confusion of hilly fields and dark, damp stables, and rats that scampered along the beams above my head ~

I loved this book. I don't usually care for books that take an animals point of view but this worked for me. I had a little trouble getting into the style at the beginning but soon got used to it.

I had seen the stage play and also the movie before reading the book and loved all three of them.

Another reviewer mentions "This is a great way to tell about WWI from the point of view of a character who does not choose sides." and I agree with this. In fact Joey works hard for both the Germans and The British.

This non-partisan approach I think is what makes this an excellent read for children but is equally appropriate for adults.

Highly recommended.
4.5 stars

64ccookie
Edited: Jan 15, 2013, 10:25am Top



David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook read by Irishman Tadhg Hynes. He has a great voice with a lovely Irish accent and it was easy to listen to him. The narration captured me right from the beginning.

Charles Dickens certainly has a way with words. To read such detailed descriptions of the lifestyle of the times fascinating. Stories gave me much food for thought.

http://www.librarything.com/work/7489/reviews/84458157

65ccookie
Edited: May 23, 2012, 10:02pm Top



The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

First line:
~ The boys, as they talked to the girls from Marcia Blaine School, stood on the far side of their bicycles holding the handlebars, which established a protective fence of bicycles between the sexes, and the impression that at any moment the boys were likely to be away ~

I started this book in April for the TIOLI challenge #22: ‘One Spark Lights the Month: Read a book by Muriel Spark’ but did not finish it until May 2012 when it, coincidentally fit the TIOLI Challenge #4: Username challenge: Read a book derived from a 75er's username (souloftherose)

This is a portrait of six young women coming of age and falling under the influence of a idolized teacher. And a portrait of the teacher Miss Jean Brodie who unduly and perhaps dangerously influences 'her girls'.

Full review is at:

http://www.librarything.com/work/26164/reviews/85097420

66Canadian_Down_Under
May 23, 2012, 3:37am Top

I have never read a Dick Francis book but, since I love mysteries, I really should give one a try - perhaps not this one since you didn't love it. Perhaps I'll try one of his earlier books.

67ccookie
Edited: May 23, 2012, 7:54am Top

>66 Canadian_Down_Under:
Jan,
Straight wasn't horrible by any means. I am glad I read it and certainly plan to try something else by Dick Francis. If you do try one let me know how you like it/him.
Cathy

68Canadian_Down_Under
May 23, 2012, 8:37pm Top

Thanks, Cathy. I checked out my local library and they have tons of Dick Francis. I'll pick one up the next time I drop in. I'll let you know what I think.

69ccookie
Edited: May 25, 2012, 7:52pm Top



I finished The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence and I loved it

First line:
~ Above the town, on the hill brow, the stone angel used to stand ~

I read this book after my 25 year old son shared with me his reactions to it. I figured anything that touched him in that way was worth reading. He did not lead me astray.

I am a nurse and for many years worked with seniors and their families and am quite familiar with the emotional stress of caregiving and the issues around end of life decisions for medical care and placement in a care facility. And, 5 years ago, my mother died at age 83 after several years of deteriorating health. Reading the life and death of Hagar Shipley brought back many memories. My mother was considerably more likeable than Hagar but they both had a practicality, a stubbornness, a determination that enabled them to live a hard life and survive many difficulties.

I was engaged with Hagar right from the beginning and found the writing to be realistic and beautiful. This woman reflects on her life from childhood, marriage, raising children, the death of one son, her challenging relationship with her remaining son and daughter-in-law and her basically unhappy life. I am impressed with Margaret Laurence's capacity to write realistic dialogue and to get inside the head of a much older woman.

When Hagar takes herself away from the home she shares with her son and daughter-in-law and 'runs away' I want her to succeed, oh my, I want her to succeed but I could see that the story was moving to its inevitable conclusion. Even so, I was surprised.

A wonderful read. I look forward to reading more of Margaret Laurence's works.

70ccookie
Edited: Nov 6, 2012, 9:42am Top



I just finished Booked for Murder by Tim Myers which I read for the 2012 has 12 Months sub-challenge of the 12 12 group - read a book about an emerald (the birthstone for the month of May) AND for the 75 Books Challenge for TIOLI Challenge #10: Read a book with a word in the title suggesting violent death AND for the 75 books Challenge - May: Murder & Mayhem

I would not have picked up this book on my own but someone on LT recommended this series.

It is a short kinda fun read but not really much depth to it although I did like the two protagonists. The answer to the mystery was not revealed until the very end and I didn't find it terribly satisfying. I liked the writing style. I consider this to be a beach read. Light, airy, easy to read, not requiring a lot of focus. I liked it but it wasn't great. (3.5 stars)

71ccookie
May 29, 2012, 11:45am Top



Stephanie is at it again with her wonderful cast of supporting characters. I like Evanovich's light writing style and her ability to get ideas across with few words. And she is FUNNY! Like one of the other reviewers I found something lacking in this one; it seemed I didn't care quite as much. Nevertheless, I laughed and chuckled all the way through especially around the 'vaseline guy' and Grandma Mazur. I love the relationships between Stephanie and Morelli and Stephanie and Ranger and will be sad should the sexual tension between them change. I love that both men recognize that they each care for her and take turns protecting her from the stalker. And, although I felt that the mystery was a little to 'pat' I did find the resolution very intense and suspenseful. All in all, a good read. On to 10 Big Ones. (3.5 stars)

72Canadian_Down_Under
May 29, 2012, 3:49pm Top

Cathy, just a note about the Janet Evanovich book. You said there was something lacking in this one. I don't know about you, but I have yet to find an author whose books I like as much in their later books as much as I like in their early books. For example, My husband and I both tried to read Stephen King's latest book, 11/22/63 but found it unreadable (despite the rave reviews). I remember loving Stephen King's books when I was younger and my husband is currently reading The Stand, one of his earlier books and is enjoying it quite a lot.

I suspect that as an author grows in reputation, less care is taken in the editing stage as publishers rush to get the books out to an eagerly waiting public. I'd rather the author took an extra six months or year to put out a great book rather than quickly put out a book which is a little ordinary.

73ccookie
Edited: Jun 1, 2012, 10:33pm Top

Jan,

I think you could be right about editors not working so hard at obtaining the best quality work before going to print. The Janet Evanovich book I read before this one Love in a Nutshell was really baaaad. But I am still sticking with Stephanie Plum.

I too loved Stephen King's Carrie, Salem's Lot and especially The Shining but haven't read anything since the 70's. Until now.

I am about 3/4 of the way through 11/22/63 and am having a different experience than you and your husband. I am loving it! Can hardly wait to find out what happens in the end!!

Funny how we are all different, isn't it?

74bucketyell
May 29, 2012, 9:55pm Top

Evanovich still makes me laugh but I think I am getting a little bored with the love triangle that never goes anywhere. I love grandma Mazur though! I only read the Plum stuff though. The other stuff is just plain bad.

I am about halfway through 11/22/63 and am enjoying it so far. I read all King's stuff when I was younger but stopped after Geralds Game because it was dumb. This is the first one I have picked up since and it is different. It is certainly not a horror book (at least not so far) so maybe that is it?

72 - I suspect you are right. Some of my favourite authors are ones that I don't even look at anymore. Seriously.. James Patterson 'writes' what, 27 novels a year now? I liked his stuff before but now that everyone and their brother writes for him, I don't even bother.

75ccookie
Edited: Aug 30, 2012, 11:17pm Top



Planned reads for June:

FOR THE TIOLI CHALLENGES:

Challenge #1- Read a book whose third title word has exactly 3 letters

1. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (and)
~ A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hill-side bank and runs deep and green ~ Completed June 12

2. Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats by Bradley Trevor Greive (are)
~ I suggest you sit down and if you've not already done so, cover your dog's ears ~ Completed June 17

Challenge # 4 - Read a book visiting a state or country you've never been to before in a book's setting

3. The Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (Holland)
~ My mother did not tell me they were coming ~ Completed June 24

4. The Pearl by John Steinbeck - This takes place in La Paz, Baja, California on the Gulf of Mexico.
I am reading this for the 12 12 Group Challenge to read a book with the birthstone of the month in the title
~ Kino awakened in the near dark ~ Completed June 25

5. Arthur High King of Britain by Michael Morpurgo - takes place in the Scilly Islands off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain
~ The boy left home at first light, enough food and drink in his rukshack to last him the whole day ~ Completed June 4

6. A God Against the Gods by Allen Drury - takes place in Egypt. I am reading this one for the Reading Through Time Challenge- Quarterly theme read: Ancient and Biblical times
~So do I sign myself, remembering the small, wizened modest man who gave me life, thinking thereby to give him in return a fame of which he never dreamed in all his seixty humble years a s a farmer: Amon-ho-tep, son of Hapu risen very high and destined , as we all declare so stoutly on our tombs and monuments, to live forever and ever . . . ~ abandoned

Challenge #5 - Read a book with a title which contains a brand of automobile (make or model)

7. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
~ Extracted from a Family Paper - I address these lines—written in India—to my relatives in England ~ Completed July 30

Challenge #8 - Read a book with a title that has equal or more letters from the second half of the alphabet than from the first half, initial articles and subtitles excluded

8. The Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt (8/11)
~ The only real happiness in this world comes through a happy marriage ~Completed July 30

9. Pontius Pilate by Paul Maier (5/8)
~A salvo of trumpet blasts echoed across Rome, saluting the sunrise on the first of April, A.D. 26 ~ completed June 30

10. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (7/13)
~ To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth ~ Completed June 27

11. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (9/16) AUDIO
~ THE NEW YORK TIMES, FRIDAY, 11 JULY 1975
Front page: Diplomats said to be linked with fugitive terrorist known as Carlos ~ completed June 16

Challenge #9 - Read a book from a Legacy Library

12. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
~ When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only ~ abandoned, I may pick it up later

Challenge #15 - Read a Book With One of the Words from the Bridal Rhyme in the Title: Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, Sixpence, Shoe

13. Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes
~ Now she sits alone and remembers ~Completed June 30

Challenge #17- Read a book with a prominent tag that appears in bold on another 75-er's tag mirror and doesn't appear at all on your (250-tag) tag mirror

14. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
~ So now get up ~ abandoned

Challenge #21 - Read a book featuring a legal professional
15. Trudeau Albums . I started this last month for the TIOLI Challenge #9: Read a nonfiction work set during the first 23 years of your life and didn't finish it but Trudeau was a lawyer before he was a Prime Minister so it fits here for this month.
~ The story has almost assumed the quality of a hallowed myth ~ Completed June 23

Challenge #23 - Read a book whose title contains the word "of."
16. Robin of Sherwood by Michael Morpurgo ~ There had never been a storm like it ~ Completed June 4

76ccookie
Edited: Nov 6, 2012, 9:47am Top



Back on May 22nd I finished David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook read by Irishman Tadhg Hynes. He has a great voice with a lovely Irish accent and it was easy to listen to him. The narration captured me right from the beginning.

Charles Dickens certainly has a way with words. To read such detailed descriptions of the lifestyle of the times fascinating. Stories gave me much food for thought.

Full review is to be found at:
http://www.librarything.com/work/7489/reviews/84458157
(4.5 stars)

77ccookie
Edited: Jun 3, 2012, 7:12pm Top



On May 30th I finished Stephen King's 11/22/63.

First line: ~ I have never been what you'd call a crying man ~

Loved this book! I have always liked Stephen King's writing style and his storytelling and I think this is one of his best. And I get a kick out of the concept of time travel and how changes in the past might or might not influence the present.

I was in Grade 5, 11 years old when JFK was assassinated. That event changed the world. Stephen King takes us, with the protagonist Jake, who time travels back from 2011 to 1958, on a journey to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from killing the President.

King does a very credible job recreating the events leading up to that day and he fills the book with rich details of life in the late 50's and 60's. This is when I grew up so that was familiar and comfortable. There is a also a sweet love story and Jake ultimately has to face the consequences of all of the things that he does to alter time.

There is violence and murder but it is never gratuitious.And we get a lot of insight into the struggle that Jake has in determining what he needs to do that goes against his morals and values and yet is for what he perceives is the greater good. As Mr. Spock once said to Captain James T. Kirk, 'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few ... or the one."

I found this gripping; many times I could not put it down. I was desperate to know what would happen next.

The only criticism that I have it that, when Jake comes back to the present, King only spends about 40 pages on the changes that have occurred up to 2011as a result of Jake's actions back in 1963. 40 out of 700 pages just did not satisfy me. It felt hurried and incomplete. Although, I suppose that is how it felt to Jake.

I would highly recommend this book. A great read. (4.5 stars)

78ccookie
Edited: Jun 13, 2012, 6:09pm Top



Robin of Sherwood by Michael Morpurgo

First line:
~ There had never been a storm like it ~

This book is apparently written for 9 to 14 year olds but I certainly enjoyed it. This would be a little intense for very young children.

I did not find this quite as fun to read as the other Michael Morpurgo book I just finished, Arthur, High King of Britain, but, nevertheless I give it a 3.5 rating. Michael Foreman's beautiful water colour illustrations enrich the reading experience.

79ccookie
Edited: Jun 4, 2012, 9:41pm Top



Arthur, High King of Britain by Michael Morpurgo

First line:
~ The boy left home at first light, enough food and drink in his rukshack to last him the whole day ~

I liked this one. Like Robin of Sherwood, also by Michael Morpurgo, this book is written for children age 9 to 14. I am trying to read a variety of works about King Arthur and these stories of the Knights of the Round Table and Queen Guinevere were simply and clearly told. It was easy to read and understand unlike another Arthur Book I read by Roger Lancelyn Green that I found tedious and boring. This one I raced through. And Michael Foreman's water colour illustrations are incredibly beautiful. Again this would be a bit intense for very young children.
(4.0 stars)

80ccookie
Edited: Jun 12, 2012, 6:25pm Top

I just finished Of Mice and Men which I was reading for June 2012 TIOLI Challenge #1: Read a book whose third title word has exactly three letters (and) AND I was also reading it for the Steinbeckathon group read.
Loved it! Tragic. Beautiful.
Full review to follow

81ccookie
Edited: Jun 15, 2012, 1:48pm Top

Just finished listening to The Bourne Identity on my MP3 player. I started it in May 'just because' and moved it to this months Challenge #6 - Read a book with a title that has equal or more letters from the second half of the alphabet than from the first half.

It took me a while to get through it as I found listening was difficult and I had to rewind frequently. And, I think this is one of those rare time where I liked the movie more than the book.

I'll post a review soon.

82ccookie
Edited: Jun 30, 2012, 1:38am Top



Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

First Line
~ A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hill-side bank and runs deep and green ~

Tragic. Beautiful.

This book is about unfulfilled dreams. Dreams of independence, Dreams of a better life. Of security. Of self-respect. Acceptance. Fame. Love.

Each character is striving to find something they do not have or to be something that they are not. And each one is powerless over their circumstances.

There is anger, bitterness, jealousy, hate, ignorance, loneliness, prejudice, and inhumanity.

And, yet, there is love, compassion, companionship, kindness.

I am in awe of John Steinbeck.

Profound storytelling in very few words.

5.0 stars

83ccookie
Edited: Jun 18, 2012, 6:43pm Top



The Bourne Identity
by Robert Ludlum

First line:

~ THE NEW YORK TIMES, FRIDAY, 11 JULY 1975
Front page: Diplomats said to be linked with fugitive terrorist known as Carlos ~

If you find that this first line does not capture your attention, you are with me. And I found that the book never really captured my attention either. Perhaps listening to it on my MP3 was a problem because I did not care for the reader's voice (Scott Brick)

Some reviewers talk about how fast paced this 'thriller' is but I actually found it lacking. I was quite bored and really only finished it because I wanted to see how it differed from the movie.

There were, of course, differences but the main difference for me was that I found the movie to be face paced and thrilling and the book was not.

I wasn't fond of the way that Ludlum wrote dialogue, especially between Jason Bourne and Marie.

Having said that, it wasn't a bad book, just not a great one.(3.0 STARS)

84ccookie
Edited: Jun 18, 2012, 6:44pm Top



Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats by Bradley Trevor Greive

First Line:

~ I suggest you sit down and if you've not already done so, cover your dog's ears ~

Thus begins the effort of the author to convince us that dogs are better than cats.

Bradley Trevor Greive is quick to stress that he is simply "prodog, not anticat. And he takes us on a humorous exploration of the qualities that make a dog a dog and a cat a cat.

Serious cat lovers (an I am one of those) should not be offended as we know the truth. Cats are better than dogs.

And dogs are better than cats. (I am also a dog lover.)

This is a wonderful collaboration between New York Times best selling author Bradley Trevor Greive and award-winning photographer Rachael Hale. The photographs are what make the book. Enjoy! (4 stars)

85ccookie
Edited: Aug 25, 2012, 1:04pm Top

I finished:
The Girl With a Pearl Earring
The Pearl
Trudeau Albums
The Grapes of Wrath

I am away and have sporadic access to the internet so will post reviews later in July

edited for punctuation

86ccookie
Jul 9, 2012, 8:40pm Top

I'm baaaacccckkkk!
By the end of June I also finished:
The Old Gringo
Pontius Pilate

Reviews to follow! Sometime in the next week.

87ccookie
Edited: Sep 12, 2012, 6:27pm Top



Planned Reads / Possible reads for July

FOR TIOLI Challenges:

Challenge #3: Read a book set in one of the countries or regions that comprise the traditional Middle East

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (plan again for September)

Challenge #7: Read a book of *more than 300 pages* with *a multiple word title*

East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I am also reading this for the Steinbeckathon group read for July (ongoing -hope to finish by mid-Sept)

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. I started this one in May for the Reading Through Time challenge - Historical Crime; carried it thorough June for the TIOLI Challenge #5 - Read a book with a title which contains a brand of automobile (make or model)and am now moving onto July with it. I actually love it but it is slow going! This is also a 1001 read. (Completed July 30)

The Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt - started this one in June for the TIOLI challenge to read a book with a title that has equal or more letters from the second half of the alphabet than from the first half AND for the Reading Through Time challenge for June- A book about the French Revolution. (Completed July 30)

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Started this in June for the tutored read but am nowhere near finished. (gave up on this one. I am not sure I will pick it up again but I might try. So many people love it)

Challenge #8: Read a book where the author's initials form a commonly used abbreviation or initials or acronym.

The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell. (BC- Before Christ). I am also reading this for the RTT Quarterly Theme Read - Arthurian Britain and the RTT challenge to read a book about witchcraft. (ongoing - I will try again in Sept)

The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo. (RNA - Ribonucleic Acid) I am also reading this for the 12/12 challenge to read a book with the number of the month in the title (seven for July) (never started)

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (DL- Disabled List). Reading this for the 1001 group read (abandoned, tedious, tedious, tedious)

Secret of the Seventh Son by Glenn Cooper (GC- Government of Canada) I am also reading this for the 12/12 challenge to read a book with the number of the month in the title (seven for July) Completed July 31)

Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur by Ruth Nestvold (RN- Registered Nurse) - I am also reading this for the RTT Quarterly Theme Read - Arthurian Britain and the RTT challenge to read a book about witchcraft. (I will try again in mid Sept)

The Witches by Roald Dahl (RD- Research and Development) which I am also reading for the RTT challenge to read a book about witchcraft. (Completed Sept 3)

Challenge #10: Read a book by an author whose surname could also be a first name

The Mists of Avalon by Marian Zimmer Bradley - also for the RTT Quarterly Theme Read - Arthurian Britain and RTT challenge to read a book about witchcraft (ongoing)

Challenge #11: Read a book with a title that includes one or more colors of the olympic rings

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo (ongoing)

Challenge #12: Read a Western

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (never started but will try again later)

Challenge #15: Read a book with a picture of something that can be carried by the wind on its cover

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (never started but will try again later)

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini(never started but will try again later)

Challenge #18: Read a book where the author's Surname is also a Place name

Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong (Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada) also reading for RTT challenge to read a book about witchcraft (Completed July 30)

Life by Keith Richards (Richards, TX) (ongoing)

88ccookie
Edited: Jul 16, 2012, 9:44am Top



Trudeau Albums completed June 23

I started this book in May for the TIOLI Challenge #9: Read a nonfiction work set during the first 23 years of your life and didn't finish it. However, Trudeau was a lawyer before he was a Prime Minister so it fit June's Challenge #21 - Read a book featuring a legal professional

First line:
~ The story has almost assumed the quality of a hallowed myth ~

This is a coffee table picture book that I gave to my mother many years ago and inherited it back from her when she passed away. I finally got it read and really enjoyed looking through it and remembering when. More than pictures, it has essays written by prominent Canadian journalists etc.

Because of my commitment through LT I read every caption and every word in the book whereas in the past I would have just looked at the pictures.

Pierre Eliot Trudeau was my first 'crush'. I had his poster on the back of my bedroom door, not a movie star or a musician. I adored him and I have been a staunch Liberal ever since.

These photos took me through his early years, his rise to political life and prime minister and his post political career.

It was a blast from the past. Great fun to see the history that I lived. (3.5 stars)

89rabbitprincess
Jul 15, 2012, 8:21pm Top

Whoa, that cover looks familiar -- I think my dad's mom had a copy. We've been going through her things since she passed away in November, and I think that book went home with my parents, since they were the ones who originally gave it to her. Glad to hear it brought back so many memories for you!

90ccookie
Edited: Jul 16, 2012, 9:45pm Top



The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chelvalier - completed June 24th, read for June's Challenge # 4 - Read a book visiting a state or country you've never been to before in a book's setting (Holland) and for the 12/12 Challenge to read a book with the birthstone of the month (Pearl)in the title

First line:
~ My mother did not tell me they were coming ~

This book is beautifully written. It kept my attention all the way through. Chevalier's writing flows evenly and easily yet not simply with strong character development.

I was somewhat dissatisfied with the ending. I wasn't unhappy with what happened but I felt it was delivered rapid-fire, short and sweet. I think it did reach an inevitable conclusion.

This was a wonderful imaginary depiction of what might have happened and was most believable. There was also great depiction of the culture of the times.

I would highly recommend this (4.5 stars)

91Canadian_Down_Under
Jul 15, 2012, 9:57pm Top

Cathy, I have been wanting to read The Girl With the Pearl Earring for some time now. I think I will move it up the list a bit and read it in the next month or so.

92ccookie
Jul 15, 2012, 10:32pm Top

I went through it quite quickly for me. Loved every minute of it. I gave it to a friend of mine and she read it in a day on her holiday and loved it also. Let me know what you think.

93ccookie
Jul 16, 2012, 9:33am Top



The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Completed June 25

The Pearl by John Steinbeck was read for June's TIOLI Challenge # 4 - Read a book visiting a state or country you've never been to before in a book's setting (Takes place in La Paz, Baja, California on the Gulf of Mexico). and I was also reading it for the 12 12 Group Challenge to read a book with the birthstone of the month in the title (Pearl)

First line:
~ Kino awakened in the near dark ~

Once again, what can I say about John Steinbeck. Brilliant writer. How could I not have read more of his works up till now? Thank God for Library Thing and the push that Challenges give me. I would not have looked at these books without the Steinbeckathon!

This is a novella, a parable and, to me, reads like a children's fairy tale. And, like many of the tales of the Brothers Grimm, has the requisite good and evil where good triumphs over evil. Or perhaps not triumphs but evil is thwarted. There is recognition that man is basically and intrinsically evil and the evil in not stopped until after much tragedy has occurred. We see that avarice and greed are powerful destructive forces.

I enjoy the lyrical prose that is so like poetry. (4.5 stars)

Onward to East of Eden.


94Canadian_Down_Under
Jul 16, 2012, 6:26pm Top

Cathy, I will let you know what I think of The Girl With the Pearl Earring. I might be reading it next month.

I read The Pearl in high school. It was the first John Steinbeck I ever read and I remember loving the writing.

95ccookie
Edited: Jul 25, 2012, 9:44pm Top



The Grapes of Wrath - completed June 27

First line:
~ To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth ~

I read this for the TIOLI June Challenge #8 - Read a book with a title that has equal or more letters from the second half of the alphabet than from the first half (7/13) AND for the Steinbeckathon group read.

Steinbeck writes of sad things. Poverty, hunger, the downtrodden. Yet, his works are filled with universal truths.

"... one time he went out in the wilderness to find his own soul, an' he foun' he didn' have no soul that was his'n. Says he foun' he jus' got a little piece of a great big soul. Says a wilderness ain't no good, 'cause his little piece of a soul wasn't no good 'less it was with the rest, an' was whole. Funny how I remember. Didn't even think I was listenin'. But I know now a fella ain't no good alone.”

Universal truths ... we are all one and no good alone.

I am, so enjoying Steinbeck! Thanks LT for the Steinbeckathon!

I must say, though, without giving away anything, I had a great deal of difficulty with the ending. It just did not seem to be realistic ...

96ccookie
Edited: Jul 25, 2012, 5:36pm Top



On June 30th I completed The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes for the for the Fun with Fuentes: Group Read of The Old Gringo AND for the TIOLI Challenge #15 - Read a Book With One of the Words from the Bridal Rhyme in the Title: Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, Sixpence, Shoe

First line:
~ Now she sits alone and remembers ~

This was an odd book.

I found the writing lyrical, poetic and, as a result of that, really enjoyed it. It read like a fairy tale a lot of the time. However it was an odd book.

I appreciated the depiction of the culture of the Mexican revolution and the cultural differences of the two Americans in the story. I was thoroughly caught up in the story of Ambrose Bierce and the fact that he was a real person who, virtually disappeared into Mexico and was never heard from again.

I did find some it confusing and so that is why I am not giving it a higher rating. Enjoyed it though! (4.0 stars)

97ccookie
Jul 26, 2012, 10:20pm Top

Have had a very busy July so did not read very many of my planned reads. Hopefully will get a few completed by the end of the month.

98ccookie
Edited: Jul 27, 2012, 5:29pm Top



I finished reading Pontius Pilate by Paul L Maier on June 30 and am finally getting around to reviewing it!

First line:
~ A salvo of trumpet blasts echoed across Rome, saluting the sunrise on the first of April, A.D. 26 ~

Even though this is a novel, I enjoyed it from a biblical and historical perspective.

It was interesting to learn more about Pontius Pilate, his personal life, and why and how he came to be in Israel.

Reading this book got me wondering about what would have happened to Christianity had Jesus not been crucified.

I figure any book that gets me thinking about broader issues is a good one! (3.5 stars)

99ccookie
Edited: Sep 8, 2012, 11:32am Top

I threw in another book for July when I decided to take the Fantasy and Science Fiction course through Coursera. I read Household Stories by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm. Review to follow later.

100ccookie
Edited: Sep 28, 2012, 5:00pm Top



My planned / possible reads for August:

Challenge #1: Read a book by a new-to-you author chosen from a list of author names generated at “Literature-Map"
Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis (from Anne McCaffrey) (Abandoned- Margaret Weis is no Anne McCaffrey)

Challenge #4: Read a book where the Title either begins with the same letter as the one above or ends with the same letter, alternating.
Light in August by William Faulkner - This is also for the 2012 has 12 months challenge (read a book with the month in the title) (ongoing)

Challenge #5: Read a book that was recommended to you by one of your parents, or is/was a favourite of one of your parents
Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman (Re-read completed Aug 9 - Read years ago at my Mother's recommendation. It was on my favourite list and is still)

Challenge #8: Read a book published as a Virago Modern Classic
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte - I am also reading this for the 1001 group read Completed Sept 6

Challenge #10: Read a book with a title that includes an object that changes colors naturally
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - This is also a 75 book challenge group read (Stalled - but will try again in Sept)

Challenge #12: Read a "Scandicrime", a mystery or thriller written by an author from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland or Iceland
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo (Norway) - I started this last month for Challenge #11: Read a book with a title that includes one or more colors of the olympic rings, but did not finish it. (Ongoing)

Challenge #13: Read a book where the first letter of the title words can be rearranged to make a single word
First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough (firm) - I am also reading this for the RTT theme of Ancient Rome - (Stalled - but will try again in Sept)

Challenge #14: Read a book whose title includes one or more of the colors from your country's flag.
The Red Pony by John Steinbeck -This is also the Steinbeckathon group read for August Completed Aug 31

Challenge #16: Read a book with a cover that is boring, uninteresting, uninspiring, or mostly brown
East of Eden by John Steinbeck - I started this last month for the July Steinbeckathon but didn't finish it. It is a llllooongg one, but wonderfully written (ongoing)

Challenge #17: Read a book with an embedded first name in either the title or author's name
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol (Completed Aug 2)
Dracula by Bram Stoker (Ula) (Completed Aug 9)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (Ken) (Completed Aug 17)
The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells (Isla) (Completed Aug 28)
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carrol (Completed Aug 2)
I am reading these for the Fantasy and Science Fiction course I am taking through Coursera.org

Challenge #19: Read a short work such as a short story or an essay with a title which follows an alphabetical sequence

So far, these are the short stories I have added to challenge #19

Country of the Blind, The Star by H. G. Wells - from The Country of the Blind and Other Stories Completed

Annabel Lee; The Bells; The Black Cat; The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar; The Fall of the House of Usher; The Oval Portrait; The Raven; The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe - from The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (Completed)

Dr. Heidegger's Experiment by Nathaniel Hawthorne - from Twice-Told Tales (Completed)

The Artist of the Beautiful; The Birthmark; Rappaccini's Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - from Mosses from an Old Manse (Completed)

A Weekend with the Angels- E. B. White; The Rather Difficult Case of Mr. K*A*P*L*A*N by Leonard Q. Ross - from An Encyclopedia of Modern American Humor (Completed)

101ccookie
Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 8:07am Top

I did it! I found a place to put Dracula by Bram Stoker. There is a fashion designer here in Toronto named Ula - Ula Zukowska www.ula2.com.

Waste time on the internet much!?!?!

102ccookie
Edited: Sep 8, 2012, 11:32am Top

At the end of July I finished reading:
Household Stories of the Brothers Grimm by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm
Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt
Secret of the Seventh Son by Glenn Cooper
Reviews are to come! So far behind!

103ccookie
Edited: Aug 25, 2012, 1:02pm Top

So far for August, completed:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman

Reviews to follow!

104Canadian_Down_Under
Aug 25, 2012, 5:30am Top

Hi Cathy,

I just finished The Girl With the Pearl Earring. I thought it was fantastic and have added to my favourites of the year list.

I hope you enjoyed Dracula. I read it last year and enjoyed it very much. Very atmospheric.

105ccookie
Aug 25, 2012, 7:02am Top

> Jan
Glad you enjoyed it. One of my all time favourites also!

106ccookie
Aug 30, 2012, 6:16pm Top

H.G. Wells - I finished The Island of Dr. Moreau
and will start The Invisible Man later today.

Review to follow; I am so far behind!

107ccookie
Aug 31, 2012, 9:43pm Top

Finished The Red Pony by Steinbeck. Review soon.

108ccookie
Edited: Sep 28, 2012, 4:55pm Top



Planned / possible reads for September:

Challenge #2: A to Z - Read a book whose author first name includes an "a" and last name includes a "z":
The Devil in Pew Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo (did not even start this one)

Challenge #6: Read a series book by an author who has written more books in another series:
The Winter King (Book 1 of 3 in the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell (he has written 23 Sharpe books). Started last month for Challenge #8: Read a book where the author's initials form a commonly used abbreviation or initials or acronym. (BC) I am also reading this for the 2012 Reading Through Time - Themed read - Seasons and for the for the July to September - Chronological RTT Challenge - Arthurian Britain (ongoing)
The Mists of Avalon (Book 1 of 7 of the Avalon Series by Marion Zimmer Bradley (She has written over 25 Darkover books.) I am also reading this one for the July to September - Chronological RTT Challenge - Arthurian Britain (ongoing)

Challenge #7: Read a book about a school(s), or in which a significant part of the action takes place in a school:
Push by Sapphire. I am also reading this for the 2012 has 12 Months (the subchallenge of 12 in 12): the author's name includes the birthstone of the month (Completed Sept 5)

Challenge #8: Read a book with a portrait on the cover:
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. Started last month for Challenge #3: Read a book set in one of the countries or regions that comprise the traditional Middle East (ongoing)
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow - Also reading this for the Coursera Science Fiction course (Completed Sept 30)
The Witches by Roald Dahl (Completed Sept 3)

Challenge #9: Magic 9 - Read a book with 9 words in the title or a word in the title or author name that is 9 letters or longer:
East of Eden by John Steinbeck - started in July for the Steinbeckathon (ongoing)
In Dubious Battle By John Steinbeck - also for the Sept Steinbeckathon (didn't start - I think I'll leave this one for awhile)
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (Completed Sept 30)
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs - also reading for Science Fiction course (Completed Sept 6)
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury - also reading for Science Fiction course (Completed Sept 16)

Challenge #10: Read a book by an author who commonly published using his or her initials:
The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells - also reading for Science Fiction course (Completed Sept2)

Challenge #11: Read a standalone book by an author best known for writing a series, or a series book by an author best known for writing standalone works:
No One Noticed the Cat by Anne McCaffrey (Completed Sept 8)

Challenge # 12: Read a book that has been on your TBR pile for at least six months--with a buddy who has also had the book on their TBR pile for at least six months!
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guinn (Completed Sept 24)

Challenge #14: Read a Book Written During or About the Victorian Era (1837-1901):
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte - started last month for Challenge #8: Read a book published as a Virago Modern Classic AND the 1001 Group Read (Completed Sept 6)

Challenge #18: Read a book that is part of a publisher series:
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - also reading this for my Science Fiction course (Completed Sept 9)

Challenge #20: Read a book from a "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" list: The Red and the Black by Stendhal. I am also going to read this for the 1001 group read (didn't start - I think I'll leave this one for awhile)

Other possibilities:
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo (ongoing)
Light in August by William Faulkner (ongoing)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (ongoing)

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Edited: Sep 3, 2012, 11:41am Top

I just realized that The Invisible Man has been placed in Challenge # 10 so I am moving my read there. (instead of Challenge #14)

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Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 1:37am Top

I added The Left Hand of Darkness to Challenge # 12... not a TBR long enough for me, but I am now the third one to list this so that is allowed.

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Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 1:43am Top

I just realized that I totally missed adding The Martian Chronicles anywhere and it fits Challenge # 9

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Edited: Sep 8, 2012, 11:08pm Top

On Sept 2 I finished The Invisible Man which I was reading for September's TIOLI Challenge #10: Read a book by an author who commonly published using his or her initials AND also reading for my Coursera Science Fiction course

Goodness knows when I will have time to post the review, but I will.

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Sep 3, 2012, 12:39pm Top

After doing some background research on FictFact and some reading I discovered that a few other of my planned reads fit into one of the challenges. Therefore I have added the following:

Mists of Avalon to Challenge #6: Read a series book by an author who has written more books in another series

Push by Sapphire to Challenge #7: Read a book about a school(s), or in which a significant part of the action takes place in a school

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman to Challenge #9: Magic 9 - Read a book with 9 words in the title or a word in the title or author name that is 9 letters or longer. raider girl pointed out to me that Charlotte has 9 letters and, silly me, I was only looking at last names.

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Edited: Sep 8, 2012, 11:06pm Top

I finished two more short works so far this month.

The Witches by Roald Dahl which I started reading in July for the RTT challenge to read a book about witchcraft and finished it for September's TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book with a portrait on the cover

Push by Sapphire which I was reading for September's TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book about a school(s), or in which a significant part of the action takes place in a school

Reviews to follow?

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Sep 6, 2012, 11:10am Top

Starting on my reviews. I think I will wait until I have done a bunch and then post the list and the links.

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Edited: Sep 8, 2012, 11:07pm Top

On Sept 6 I finished Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte which I started reading in August for the TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book published as a Virago Modern Classic AND for the 1001 group read and completed it as part of September's TIOLI Challenge #14: Read a Book Written During or About the Victorian Era (1837-1901)

And I also finished A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs which I was reading for September's TIOLI Challenge #9: Magic 9 - Read a book with 9 words in the title or a word in the title or author name that is 9 letters or longer AND for the Coursera Science Fiction Course

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Edited: Sep 9, 2012, 1:42pm Top



The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

I started reading this book in May for the RTT Theme Read - Historical Crime; carried on into June 2012 for the TIOLI Challenge #5 - Read a book with a title which contains a brand of automobile (make or model) (Moon); finished in July for the TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book of *more than 300 pages* with *a multiple word title*

This crime novel was written in 1868 so the language and style took a little getting used to but I really enjoyed this book, even though it took me 3 months to complete it. It was not because I did not like it but rather it required a lot of focus and that is often a problem for me.

This novel was written in an epistolary style which I found enjoyable. Getting details of the story from several different narrators brought different perspectives and sustained my interest.

This book is considered to be the first detective novel, one of my favourite genres. I loved the way that the solution to the mystery evolved slowly and was not aware of the identity of the perpetrator of the crime until Collins revealed it.

Collins incorporated a lot of humor into this work and I like that also. (5 Stars)

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Sep 9, 2012, 1:44pm Top



Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

This book is the third novel in the "Women of the Otherworld" series and the first one that I read.

I chose it in July for the TIOLI challenge: #18: Read a book where the author's Surname is also a Place name (Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada) and I also read it for the Reading Through Time Challenge to read a book about witchcraft.

When I asked my family if they had any suggestions for a book on witchcraft, my daughter in law recommended this one. She has read all of the series and they came highly recommended; she loves the series.

There is lots of humour and lots of suspense; a good combination in my book.

Although this is the third book in the series it was a fine stand-alone read and I enjoyed it enough to want to really read the others in this series.

It is well written and is a fun romp through witchcraft and romance.

And, bonus, Kelley Armstrong is Canadian; gotta love that! (4.0 stars)

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Sep 9, 2012, 1:48pm Top



Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm - Lucy Crane Translation… by Jakob and Wilhem Grimm

At the end of July I finished reading this book for an on-line course that I am taking through Coursera. (http://coursera.org) Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World is taught by Professor Rabkin at the University of Michigan.

Our first reading was 'Household Stories' which I had never read before. Well, not entirely true. I was familiar with the Disney version of several stories and had read some to my sons when they were young but that was many years ago. They are 29 and 25 now.
And I do remember reading the original story of 'The Frog Prince'.

But to read the whole book was an experience. I read it and thought that the Grimm brothers were trying to scare children into good behavoiur. But a lot of the stories actually reward bad behaviour so my theory did not ring true. However, once I understood that these stories were compiled to show that the German people had a literary history like Greece and Rome, it made more sense.

I have to say that I found many of the stories to be repetitive and boring a lot of the time. And there were times when I wanted to hit the protagonist for being so naive. But many of them were wonderful and I am glad that I read them. I actually own another collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales and I may even pick that up and read some other stories that were not in Household Tales. (3.5 stars)

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Edited: Sep 10, 2012, 1:22am Top



I am going to join in with R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII in September / October. This involves reading 'ghastly and ghostly' books. Any thing considered to be
Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

I won't be able to start until October but I will plan to read The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

I might also read Fledgling: A Novel by Octavia Butler

AND maybe something by Stephen King

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Edited: Sep 22, 2012, 6:32am Top

Finished Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman which I read for my Coursera Science Fiction Course and fit it into TIOLI Challenge #18: Read a book that is part of a publisher series:

Review coming!

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Sep 12, 2012, 6:31pm Top



The Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt

First line:
~ The only real happiness in this world comes through a happy marriage ~

I began to read this book for the June 2012 - Reading Through Time Challenge - Time Period – to read a book taking place during the French Revolution
And it also fit the TIOLI Challenge #8 - Read a book with a title that has equal or more letters from the second half of the alphabet than from the first half, initial articles and subtitles excluded.

I finally finished it at the end of July where it fit into the TIOLI Challenge to read a book of *more than 300 pages* with *a multiple word title*

Amazon’s product description calls this “The unforgettable story of Marie Antoinette, from her pampered childhood in imperial Vienna, to the luxury and splendor of her days as Queen of France, to her tragic end upon the scaffold in the bloodbath of the Revolution . . .’ And it does a very good job of doing just that.

I have read many of Victoria Holt’s novels and also many written by her under her other pen names of Jean Plaidy and Phillipa Carr. I was used to her writing style in Historical Romantic Fiction and this was a little bit different. Telling the story mostly from Marie’s perspective, Holt gives us detailed look at what life might have been like for her and her husband, Louis.

I got the feeling that Holt was attempting to build sympathy for this young Queen who was ill-suited for her role but I really just wanted to ‘smack her one’. Pardon the violent imagery but I am just using it to indicate I was really astonished that someone could be so self-indulgent and self-serving. No wonder they executed her! No, really, it was a very interesting read although I think it could have benefited from an editor that cut out more of the redundant writing. Some things went on and on and on.

All in, all an enjoyable read. I would like to go back and read some of the other books that I have on my shelves. (3.5 stars)

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Sep 12, 2012, 6:51pm Top



Secret of the Seventh Son - Glen Cooper

First line:
~ David Swisher spun the trackball of his Blackberry until he found the e-mail from the CFO of one of his clients ~

I started reading this book in July for the TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book where the author's initials form a commonly used abbreviation or initials or acronym. (GC- Government of Canada) AND for the 12/12 challenge to read a book with the number of the month in the title (seven for July)

I found this to be a fascinating read! I was caught up in the story right from the beginning, got a little confused as we jumped back and forth in time and then it became so interesting in the last quarter that I couldn’t put it down.

The suspense built for me nicely. I did not figure out who the serial killer was until the author revealed it.

I really liked the way the distant past events, the three separate story lines all come together at the end. Unlike others who have reviewed this book here, I found the characters quite believable and enjoyable to follow. I look forward to the sequel. (4 stars)

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Edited: Sep 12, 2012, 7:43pm Top



Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

First line:
~ One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it: — it was the black kitten’s fault entirely ~

I read this in August for the the Fantasy and Science Fiction course I am taking through Coursera.org AND it also fit into the TIOLI Challenge #17: Read a book with an embedded first name in either the title or author's name (Carrol)

I found my reaction to this book pretty much the same as my reaction to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I enjoyed some of it but mostly found it tedious and boring. Just not enough in there for me. Or else I am not seeing what is in there?

I did, however really get a kick out of the Jabberwocky and The Walrus and the Carpenter. They alone are worth the read! (Book 3.0 stars; those poems 4.0 stars)

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Edited: Sep 13, 2012, 10:15pm Top



Dracula by Bram Stoker

FIRST LINE:
~ May 3. Bistritz.-- Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late ~

I read this for my Coursera Science Fiction course and it also fit into August's TIOLI challenge #17: Read a book with an embedded first name in either the title or author's name (Ula)

Why have I not read this before? I think I somehow thought it would be written in the tradition of the Mysteries of Udolpho (lol) and be boring and tedious but it was really quite a good read. Suspenseful. Decidedly creepy. With a nice strong female character which surprised me since it is written by a man. Not that men can’t write strong female characters. But I did not think a man from the late 1890’s would write such a strong female character.

I enjoyed the epistolary style quite a bit. Liked getting different perspectives to the whole situation. And it makes the story seem more factual with all the journal posts, newspaper articles etc.

Count Dracula is in many ways a very sad character. Tragic and alone, in spite of his minions.

I really loved this book. (4.0 stars)

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Edited: Sep 17, 2012, 10:18am Top



Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman

First line:
~ The last major crime in the town of Verity was in 1958, when one of the Platts shot his brother in an argument over a Chevy Nomad they had bought together on time ~

I read this book in August for the TIOLI Challenge #5: Read a book that was recommended to you by one of your parents, or is/was a favourite of one of your parents.

This is one my all time favourite books and I am very glad I was prompted to read it again. I fell in love with it many years ago when my mother recommended it to me and I just re-read it in August and loved it still.

This book is filled with lyrical prose, beautiful descriptions of people and places and things. There is magic in this world she has created. I don’t mean witchcraft but some strange things happen and there is something magical about them. And there is romance and humour and murder and mystery all wrapped up in one nice magical package.

If you want something to bring you joy and happiness on a soft summer’s evening or a sunshiny fall day, pick this up. You won’t be disappointed.

I need to read some more Alice Hoffman, for sure. (5.0 stars)

edited by author to add the following:
I just discovered the term magical realism! That is what Alice Hoffman wrote here. It is magical but it is real. Who knew?

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Edited: Sep 16, 2012, 8:27am Top



Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

First line:
~ I am by birth a Genevese; and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. ~

I completed this book back in August for the TIOLI Challenge #17: Read a book with an embedded first name in either the title or author's name and for the Fantasy and Science Fiction course (Ken)

Once again, she says, why have I not read this book before?

I loved Mary Shelley’s writing style. Just enough detail and she builds the characters and the story skilfully.

No one comes out of this story unscathed.

Dr. Frankenstein attempts to create ‘life’ and creates something he cannot accept. The creature abandoned by his ‘creator’, his ‘father’, is also rejected by everyone he comes in contact with. He lives his life alone, abandoned by society. Every effort he makes to approach humans with kindness and compassion is met with rebuke. In the pain and agony of his frustration he gives vent to his anger, this being the only thing he really knows.

Dr. Frankenstein is equally abandoned by and abandons society.
It is a tragic tale of fathers and sons, of prejudice and anger. Very sad. No one gives him a chance. (4.0 stars)

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Edited: Sep 16, 2012, 9:00am Top



Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells

First line:
~ On February the First 1887, the Lady Vain was lost by collision with a derelict when about the latitude 1 degree S. and longitude 107degrees W. ~

I completed this book on Aug 28th for Fantasy and Science Fiction course I am taking through Coursera.org and it fit into TIOLI Challenge #17: Read a book with an embedded first name in either the title or author's name (Isla)

I actually enjoyed this book very much. Again, with this classic literature, I don’t know why I keep on being surprised that these books are soooo great! I guess that is why they come to be acknowledged as classics. Suspense built very nicely and very well written.

As someone who lives with chronic pain, I found the Doctor’s ideas on pain to be quite frightening. To deliberately create such agony for others is tragic to me. It takes away from our humanness.

And then that gets me thinking about slaughterhouses and, although I like my meat, it gives me a whole new appreciation of the work of Temple Grandin and her development of humane slaughterhouses.

As in Frankenstein and some of the short stories recently read by Hawthorne and Poe, the scientists are trying to improve on ‘life’ and instead succeed in creating something that is ‘perverted’ in a sense. This book clearly points out the hazards of indiscriminate science and makes me grateful for ethics boards etc today. Not that modern man has got it right, yet. We still have had horrors of experimentation including those done during the Holocaust and Project MKUltra by the CIA using hallucinogens on unsuspecting men and women, as late as 1973.

Much to think about in this book. I would highly recommend it. Plus it is not long and thus a quick read. (4.0 stars)

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Edited: Sep 16, 2012, 8:56am Top



The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

First line:
~ The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand ~

I completed this book on Sept 2nd for Fantasy and Science Fiction course I am taking through Coursera.org and it fit into TIOLI Challenge #10: Read a book by an author who commonly published using his or her initials:

I did not enjoy this one as much as The Island of Doctor Moreau which I also just read.

Once again, I am struck, by the dangers of indiscriminate ‘scientific’ experimentation.

This story reminded me of Frankenstein although somewhat different. This time the scientist creates the ‘monster’ in himself and cannot deal with the consequences of his displacement from society.

Frankenstein’s monster is the innocent victim in his story and the invisible man is a victim of his own creativity, no innocence there. The evolution of Frankenstein’s monster comes from his lack of acceptance right from the beginning and no experience at all with healthy relationships or an understanding of how to behave socially.

Griffin’s situation is a devolution from years of experience relating to society and yet, when he runs into difficulty becomes a homicidal maniac. I cannot help but think that he had those tendencies to start with! (3.5 stars)

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Edited: Sep 16, 2012, 9:15am Top



The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

First line:
~ At daybreak Billy Buck emerged from the bunkhouse and stood for a moment on the porch looking up at the sky ~

Competed Aug 31 for the TIOLI Challenge #14: Read a book whose title includes one or more of the colors from your country's flag. AND also the Steinbeckathon group read for August

Once again, wonderfully written. I love Steinbeck.

This one is 4 short stories woven together to tell the story about a young boy growing up on a farm and his first horse.

Sad, beautiful. I have nothing more to say. (3.5 stars)

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Edited: Jan 3, 2013, 12:08pm Top



The Witches by Roald Dahl

First line:
~ I myself had two separate encounters with witches before I was eight years old ~

I started this book in July for the TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book where the author's initials form a commonly used abbreviation or initials or acronym. Roald Dahl (RD- Research and Development) AND for the RTT challenge to read a book about witchcraft. I, then, abandoned it in August and picked up again and finished it in Sept for Challenge #8: Read a book with a portrait on the cover.

My 25 year old son tells me that this book ‘scared the living crap out of him’ when he was around 8 years old because it did not present itself as fantasy but as the real truth about witches. I found it delightful and certainly it was clear to me that this was make-believe. But, then, I am a 60 year old with a lot of life experience.

Fun, the good guys win out, well, sort of! No spoilers here.

Great to read with your children so they really understand that it is fiction. (4.0 stars)

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Sep 18, 2012, 9:51am Top

Oh, Good Lord! I finally finished listening to the Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe which I started for the group read back in May.

What a nice little tidy package ending!

This was perhaps my worst reading experience, EVER. I know, I know, some of you loved it, but not me.

Review will follow later.

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Sep 24, 2012, 10:07am Top

I started listening to the audio book of Robert B. Parker's Lullaby by Ace Atkins - got it from the library - almost done!

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Sep 25, 2012, 9:14pm Top

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Sep 30, 2012, 6:23pm Top

Yesterday I finished Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

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Edited: Jan 7, 2013, 9:18am Top

September reads completed:
The Invisible Man - Sept 2
The Witches - Sept 3
Push - Sept 5
Agnes Grey - Sept 6
A Princess of Mars - Sept 6
No One Noticed the Cat - Sept 8
Herland - Sept 9
The Martian Chronicles - Sept 16
The Mysteries of Udolpho - Sept 18
Robert B. Parker's Lullaby- Sept 20
The Left Hand of Darkness - Sept 24
Little Brother - Sept 29
Bitten - Sept 30

I have posted reviews for The Invisible Man and The Witches but the others still need to be done. Hopefully soon!

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Edited: Jan 15, 2013, 10:31am Top



My 75 Books Take-it-or-leave-it Challenge planned / possible reads for October

1. Read a book found through LT’s Random Tag Generator
Crimson Joy by Robert B. Parker (Spenser series) completed Oct 3
Playmates by Robert B. Parker (Spenser series) completed Jan 6, 2013

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wells - (Biographies) shared read - completed Oct 15

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo (Norwegian author) - shared read reading

3. Read a book first released for publication over 100 yrs ago or in 2012
Villette by Charlotte Bronte (also reading this for the 1001 Group Read) listening to

6. Read a book with a title word that starts with "un"
Get Off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey reading

8. Read a book by a dead author
East of Eden by John Steinbeckstalled
Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck. didn't get started

I started East of Eden in July for the Steinkeckathon and Tortilla Flat is for the October read

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Also for the Halloween Theme and for the RIP challenge Completed Oct 10

9. Read a book about survival, or with a word which indicates survival in its title
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman stalled

10. Read a book published under different titles in different territories
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Canada) (US -Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) by J. K.Rowling didn't start

11. Read a book with a word in the title or author associated with a cemetery
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. This also fits the Halloween group read and the RIP challenge completed Dec 31, 2012

15. Read a book from ALA's Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books 2000-2009
Beloved by Toni Morrison didn't start

16. Read a book that has two or more 4's in it's ISBN
Fifteenby Beverly Cleary. Also reading this for the Reading Through Time Challenge to read a book that takes place in the 50's reading

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler Also for the Halloween theme read and the RIP Challenge reading

Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Also for the RTT Theme read for Medieval Times stalled

17. Read a contemporary book set in the 1970s
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold didn't start

AND
Carrie by Stephen King - for Halloween Theme and RIP (completed Oct 3)

Life by Keith Richards listening to

Marion Bridge by Daniel MacIvor - just because ongoing

Merlin Dreams by Peter Dickinson - for RTT Theme - Middle Ages ongoing

The Tenth Chamber by Glenn Cooper - for 12/12 - Monthly, Halloween and RIP ongoing

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Edited: Jun 23, 2013, 12:32am Top

Finished Crimson Joy by Robert B. Parker and started his Playmates
And also started The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls;
listening to Carrie by Stephen King, read by Sissy Spacek.
Will try to get started on Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers today.
Continuing with the Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

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Oct 3, 2012, 6:36pm Top

almost done Carrie ... spent a lot of time driving around town today!

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Oct 4, 2012, 11:24pm Top

Do or do not; there is no try. I just finished book 75!!

Carrie - done! review to follow.

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Oct 17, 2012, 1:36am Top

Am almost through The Shining by Stephen King.

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Edited: Oct 21, 2012, 8:02am Top

Finished The Shining by Stephen King - a great October read (4.0)

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Also completed The Glass Castle: a Memoir by Jeannette Walls which was a powerful read about triumph over adversity (4.0)

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Edited: Mar 30, 2013, 5:47pm Top

P*********************************

**** Books read - 2012 ****



1. Aesop Revisited by Ethan Russell Erway (LT Giveaway)

2. One for the Money - Janet Evanovich (ROOT)
~There are some men who enter a woman's life and screw it up forever~

Total Books Read for January - 2



3. The Alienist - Caleb Carr (Kobo)
~January 8th, 1919 Theodore is in the ground~

4. February - Lisa Moore (library)
~ Helen watches as the man touches the skate blade to the sharpener ~

5. The Gilded Age - Mark Twain (Kobo)
~ Squire Hawkins sat upon the pyramid of large blocks, called the 'stile', contemplating the morning ~

Total Books Read for February - 3



6. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Kobo)
~ Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictiures or conversation, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?~

. Changing My Mind - Margaret Trudeau (ROOT)
~ "There's something different about Margie," my parents would sometimes say to others as they tried to fathom my behaviour as a child ~

8. Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel (ROOT / Kobo)

~The naked child ran out of the hide-covered lean-to toward the rocky bend in the small river ~

9. Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant (library)
~ The plane is a row of gold circles and a cockpit ~

10. Lethal Secrets: The Shocking Consequences of Donor Insemination- Annette Baran
~ Today there are sixteen ways to conceive a baby ~

11. Nurses Three: First Assignment - Jean Kirby (ROOT)
~ Penelope Scott shifted in her straight chair and recrossed her feet ~

12. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (Kobo)
~They're out there ~

13. Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst (Library)
~ It got cold ~

14.Three from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes (ROOT)
~Hannah had been restless all night~

15. The Three Little Pigs (Disney's Wonderful World of Reading) by Disney Book Club (ROOT)
~ Once upon a time there were three little pigs ~

16.Three Singles to Adventure by Gerald Durrell (ROOT)
~In a tiny bar in the back streets of Georgetown four of us sat round a table, sipping rum and ginger beer and pondering a problem~

17. What Nurses Know ... Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Lorraine Steefel (LT Giveaway) (ROOT)
~ In the mid-1980's, I read an article about groups of people in Lake Tahoe NV, and Lyndonville, NY who were coming down with a flu-like illness that left them extremely fatigued ~

Total Books Read for March - 12



18. 1984 by George Orwell (Audiobook)
~ It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen~

19. Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey (ROOT)
~ 'Galwyn's feeding the fishes again,' the mate called as I emptied the odorous bucket overboard ~

20. Daisy Miller by Henry James (Kobo)
~ At the little town of Vevey, in Switzerland, there is a particularly comfortable hotel ~

21. The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz (ROOT)
~ Thousands of years ago, the Toltec were known throughout southern Mexico as 'women and men of knowledge' ~

22. The Fourth Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders (ROOT)
~ The November sky over Manhattan was chain mail, raveling into steely rain ~

23. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield (Kobo)
~ Although extraordinary valor was displayed by the entire corps of Spartans and Thespaians, yet bravest of all was declared the Spartan Dienekes ~

24. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green (ROOT)
~ After wicked King Vortigern had first invited the Saxons to settle in Britain and help him to fight the Picts and Scots, the land was never long at peace ~

25. Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly (Audiobook)
~ Kate Appleton needed a job ~

26. Straight by Dick Francis (Kobo / (ROOT)
~I inherited my brother's desk, his business, his gadgets, his enemies, his horses and his mistress," Derek says. "I inherited my brother's life, and it nearly killed me~

27. The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck (Kobo)
~ By ten-forty-five it was all over ~

28. Secrets of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst (library)
~ I was not the first wolf to promise to be the guardian of the humans ~

29. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Kobo)
~ Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond ~

30. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (Kobo)
~My earliest memories are a confusion of hilly fields and dark, damp stables, and rats that scampered along the beams above my head~

Total Books Read for April - 13



31. 11/22/63 by Steven King (Kobo)
~ I have never been what you'd call a crying man ~

32. Booked for Murder by Tim Myers (Kobo)
~ “I know I shouldn’t admit it, but I’ll be glad to see the last of that monstrous emerald,” Elise Danton said as she and her employer, Alex Winston, watched the final group of gawkers pass through the lobby of The Hatteras West Inn on their way to see the Carolina Rhapsody Emerald ~

33. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (Audiobook)
~ Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show ~

34. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (library)
~ The boys, as they talked to the girls from Marcia Blaine School, stood on the far side of their bicycles holding the handlebars, which established a protective fence of bicycles between the sexes, and the impression that at any moment the boys were likely to be away ~

35. The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence (Kobo)
~ Above the town, on the hill brow, the stone angel used to stand ~

36. To the Nines by Janet Evanovich (Kobo / (ROOT)
~My name is Stephanie Plum and I was born and raised in the Chambersburg section of Trenton, where the top male activies are scarfing pastries and pork rinds and growing love handles~

Total Books Read for May - 6



37. Arthur, High King of Britain by Michael Morpurgo (Library)
~ The boy left home at first light, enough food and drink in his rukshack to last him the whole day ~

38. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (Audiobook)
~ THE NEW YORK TIMES, FRIDAY, 11 JULY 1975
Front page: Diplomats said to be linked with fugitive terrorist known as Carlos ~

39. The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier (ROOT)
~ My mother did not tell me they were coming ~

40. The Grapes of Wrath - by John Steinbeck (Kobo)
~ To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth ~

41. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (Kobo)
)~ A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hill-side bank and runs deep and green ~

42. The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes (Library)
~ Now she sits alone and remembers ~

43. The Pearl by John Steinbeck (Kobo)
~ Kino awakened in the near dark ~

44. Pontius Pilate by Paul L. Maier (ROOT)
~ A salvo of trumpet blasts echoed across Rome, saluting the sunrise on the first of April, A.D. 26 ~

45. Robin of Sherwood by Michael Morpurgo (Library)
~ There had never been a storm like it ~

46. Trudeau Albums (ROOT)
~ The story has almost assumed the quality of a hallowed myth ~

47.Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats by Bradley Greive (ROOT)
~ I suggest you sit down and if you've not already done so, cover your dog's ears ~

Total Books Read for June - 11



48. Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
~ Todd adjusted his leather power seat and smiled ~

49. Household Stories by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm
~ There was once a woman who lived with her daughter in a beautiful cabbage-garden; and there came a rabbit and ate up all the cabbages ~

50. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
~ Extracted from a Family Paper - I address these lines—written in India—to my relatives in England ~

51. The Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt
~ The only real happiness in this world comes through a happy marriage ~

52. Secret of the Seventh Son - Glen Cooper
~ David Swisher spun the trackball of his Blackberry until he found the e-mail from the CFO of one of his clients ~

Total books read in July: 5



53. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Re-read)
~ Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictiures or conversation, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?' ~

54. Dracula by Bram Stoker
~ May 3. Bistritz.-- Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late ~

55. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
~ I am by birth a Genevese; and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. ~

56. Island of Dr. Moreau by H. H. Wells
~ On February the First 1887, the Lady Vain was lost by collision with a derelict when about the latitude 1 degree S. and longitude 107degrees W. ~

57. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
~ At daybreak Billy Buck emerged from the bunkhouse and stood for a moment on the porch looking up at the sky ~

58. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
~ One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it: — it was the black kitten’s fault entirely ~

59. Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman
~ The last major crime in the town of Verity was in 1958, when one of the Platts shot his brother in an argument over a Chevy Nomad they had bought together on time ~

And the following short stories:

Country of the Blind, The Star by H. G. Wells - from The Country of the Blind and Other Stories

Annabel Lee; The Bells; The Black Cat; The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar; The Fall of the House of Usher; The Oval Portrait; The Raven; The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe - from The Portable Edgar Allan Poe

Dr. Heidegger's Experiment by Nathaniel Hawthorne - from Twice-Told Tales

The Artist of the Beautiful; The Birthmark; Rappaccini's Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - from Mosses from an Old Manse

A Weekend with the Angels- E. B. White; The Rather Difficult Case of Mr. K*A*P*L*A*N by Leonard Q. Ross - from An Encyclopedia of Modern American Humor

Total books read in August: 7


60. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
~ All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut ~

61. Are You My Mother by P. D. Eastman
~ A mother bird sat on her egg ~

62. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
~ I have to ~

63. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
~ This is written from memory, unfortunately ~

64. The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
~ The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand ~

65. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guinn
~ From the Archives of Hain. Transcript of Ansible Document 01-01101-934-2-Gethen: To the Stabile on Ollul: Report from Genly Ai, First Mobile on Gethen/Winter, Hainish Cycle 93, Ekumenical Year 1490-97.
I'll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination ~

66. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
~ I'm a senior at Cesar Chavez high in San Francisco's sunny Mission district, and that makes me one of the most surveilled people in the world ~

67. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
~“It is good to renew one’s wonder,” said the philosopher~

68. The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
~ On the pleasant banks of the Garonne, in the province of Gascony, stood, in the year 1584, the chateau of Monsieur St. Aubert

69. No One Noticed the Cat by Anne McCaffrey
~ When Mangan Tighe, Regent to Prince Jamus the Fifth died, no one noticed the cat in their grief for the passing of this good and learned man ~

70. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
~ In submitting Captain Carter's strange manuscript to you in book form, I believe that a few words relative to this remarkable personality will be of interest ~

71. Push by Sapphire
~ I was left back when I was twelve because I had a baby for my fahver ~

72. Robert B. Parker's Lullaby by Ace Atkins
~ I spotted the girl even before she knocked on my door ~

73. The Witches – Roald Dahl
~ I myself had two separate encounters with witches before I was eight years old ~

Total books read in September: 14 (includes one young children's book)



74. Crimson Joy by Robert. B. Parker
~ Sheridan Street in Jamaica Plain goes uphill from Center Street for about two hundred yards, crests, and heads down toward Chestnut Avenue.~

75. Carrie by Stephen King (Audio)
~ News item from the Westover (Me.) weekly Enterprise, August 19, 1966:
RAIN OF STONES REPORTED
It was reliably reported by several persons that a rain of stones fell from a clear blue sky on Carlin Street in the town of Chamberlain on August 17th. ~

76. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Kobo)
~ I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster ~

77. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (Audio)
~ No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream ~

78. The Shining by Stephen King (Audio)
~ Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick ~

Total books read in October: 5



Total books read in November: 0



79. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J. K. Rowling (Audio)
~Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much~

80. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J. K. Rowling (Audio)
~Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive~

81. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Audio)
~ THERE WAS A HAND IN the darkness, and it held a knife ~

Total books read in December: 3

146ccookie
Edited: Jun 23, 2013, 12:26am Top



Planned to read in January?:

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
~Out of the gravel there are peonies growing~
AlphaCat – M/A; RandomCAT - new to me author; AwardCAT - Orange Prize -nominated 1997); TIOLI #13 - Read a book that has won or was nominated for the Giller Prize (won 1996); my category - Virago Modern Classic Fiction / Classic Fiction - started but still ongoing

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
~If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth~
TIOLI #4 - Read the debut work of an author born in January; RandomCAT - New to me author; my category - books I would never read except for a challenge issued

The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (Audio) Completed Jan 6, 2013
~He wasn't talking~
TIOLI #13 - Read a book that has won or was nominated for the Giller Prize (nominated 2011); ALPHACAT – ‘M’; RandomCAT - new to me author; my category - books by Canadian authors

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James Completed Jan 21, 2013
~I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror~
TIOLI #8 - Read a book that is part of a limited series, such as a trilogy; RandomCAT - new to me author; my category - contemporary fiction

Get Off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey
~ When the Rowan came storming towards the station, its personnel mentally and literally ducked ~
TIOLI #21 - Read a book that you meant to read in 2012; my category - Anne McCaffrey - did not start

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (Audio)
~Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways~
TIOLI #7 - Read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name; my category - contemporary fiction - started but still ongoing

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
~ Mae Mobely was born on an early Saturday morning, in August 1960 ~ completed Jan 14, 2013
AwardCat – Women’s Prize for Fiction (Orange nominated 2010); RandomCAT- new to me author; TIOLI #6 - Read a Book That Has Been Downloaded onto Your Electronic Reader at Least Six Months Ago; my category - prize winners


The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
~In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort~
TIOLI #7 - Read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name; my category - classic fiction - started but still ongoing

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
~Captain First Rank Marko Ramius of the Soviet Navy was dressed for the Arctic conditions normal to the Northern Fleet submarine base at Polyarny~
RTT (Cold War); RandomCAT - new to me author; TIOLI #6 - Read a Book That Has Been Downloaded onto Your Electronic Reader at Least Six Months Ago; my category - RTT Cold War - started but still ongoing

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
~ I am seated in an office surrounded by heads and bodies ~
TIOLI #14 - read a book written by an author with a Three part name; my category - contemporary fiction - started in April 2012 - ongoing -

Life by Keith Richards
~Chapter One - In which I am pulled over by police officers in Arkansas during out 1975 US tour and a standoff ensues~
ongoing

Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper
~When I opened my door at mid-morn and saw the strange boy, I should have known something was wrong~
RandomCAT- new to me, TIOLI #2 - Read a book by an author you hadn't heard of before you joined LibraryThing; my category - RTT - Renaissance - did not start

Palindrome by Stuart Woods
~Miller was wakened from his doze by a puff of hot air, redolent of freshly cut grass and newly disturbed dogshit~
RandomCat - New-to-me author; TIOLI #15 - Read a book you discovered through use of the LibraryThing "If You like..." feature.; my category - TIOLI Challenge - did not start

Playmates by Robert B. Parker (Kobo) Completed Jan 6, 2013
~ Vince Haller invited me to lunch at the Clarendon Club on Commonwealth Avenue with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Taft University, Haller's alma mater ~
TIOLI #7 - Read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name; my category - detective fiction

The Redbreast - Jo Nesbo
~ A grey bird glided in and out of Harry's field of vision ~
TIOLI #7 - Read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name; my category- detective fiction - started in July 2012 - ongoing

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
~I was sitting outside the Commodore's mansion, waiting for my brother Charlie to come out with news of the job~
TIOLI #13 - Read a book that has won or was nominated for the Giller Prize (nominated 2011); RandomCAT - new to me; my category - Canadian authors - did not start

Stories: All New Tales by Neil Gaiman
~Al Sorrantonio and I were discussing anthologies of short stories~
my category - contemporary fiction - started but still ongoing

A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor
~No gulls escorted the trawlers going out of the harbour, at tea-time as they would on the return journey; they sat upon the rocking waters without excitement, perching along the sides of the little boats, slapped up and down by one wake after another~
RandomCat New-to-me author; TIOLI #2 - Read a book by an author you hadn't heard of before you joined LibraryThing; my category - Virago Modern Classics - did not start

Villette by Charlotte Bronte
~ My godmother lived in a handsome house in the clean and ancient town of Bretton. ~
TIOLI # 7 - Read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name; my category - 1001 books - started in Oct 2012 - ongoing

Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur by Ruth Nestvold
~ Once upon a time beyond history, in an age almost beyond imagination, there was a girl as fair as the moon, sitting on a horse and watching a fire ~
TIOLI #12. Read a book that has a wise man or a king as a character, or has the word 'wise' or 'king' in the title or author's name; my category - contemporary fiction - started in 2012 - ongoing

147ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:22am Top



2013 Children's Book # 1 - completed Jan 3

A very small book. A Children's Golden Book.

For the TIOLI challenge number 19, to read a book published in the year you were born, I googled books written in 1952 and found Baby Animals by Garth Williams. This was given to my son on his 2nd birthday in 1989 and I just re-read it. A very cute Golden Book with beautiful illustrations.

Review is here: http://www.librarything.com/work/178992/reviews/92808843

148ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:23am Top



2013 Adult Book # 1 - completed Jan 6
Playmates by Robert B. Parker

I enjoyed it but it certainly is not my favourite of the Spenser books.

Review is here: http://www.librarything.com/work/74072/reviews

(3.5 stars)

149ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:24am Top



2013 Adult Book # 2 completed Jan 16
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje

Later in the day , I finished listening to The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje on my MP3. Boy I love that thing!!

I loved this book! Ondaatje skipped around the topics much like I expect an 11 year old boy on his own, on a sea voyage, would have skipped around the ship. Real characters with real lives peopled the pages and the book was by times outrageously funny and outrageously sad. Beautifully written. A mystery of sorts. A coming of age story. Well done. I would like to read more of his work.



150ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:27am Top



2013 Adult Book # 3 - completed Jan 16
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

First lines:

~MAE MOBLEY was born on a early Sunday morning in August, 1960. A church baby we like to call it. Taking care a white babies, that's what I do, along with all the cooking and the cleaning. I done raised seventeen kids in my lifetime. I know how to get them babies to sleep, stop crying, and go in the toilet bowl before they mamas even get out a bed in the morning~

I completed this book this month for the Jan 2013 Category Challenge 'AwardCat' to read a book nominated for the Women’s Prize for Fiction (Orange long list 2010) and also for the RandomCAT challenge - to read a 'new to me author'.

It also fit the 75'rs TIOLI Challenge #6 - to read a book that tas been downloaded onto your electronic reader at least six months ago. And it fits my own category to read prize winners. I downloaded it back in Sept 2011, right after I saw the movie, which I loved. However, I stalled out and never actually started it. I just now finished it and I wound up listening to it on my MP3.

I read in a blog recently that this is one book where listening to it is better than reading it and I certainly found the audio enjoyable. The delight lies in the producers decision to use different readers for each voice of the book and it works. The listening experience really enriches the 'reading' experience. I loved the book as much as I loved the movie.

Touching, funny, takes place in the late 50's and early 60's and this is when I was growing up. So, when we read about Martin Luther King and his protest marches, about JFK's assassination, about the changes in attitudes toward black Americans (or the lack of them), that is my history.

I loved the characters of Minnie and Abilene and the way that we are so clearly shown that people are people irrespective of the colour of our skin and we all have needs, wants and desires, not so different from everyone else. And there are nasty people and kind people of all races.

I now that there is controversy over the use of a white woman to tell the black woman's story but again, I see that as a real representation of the times. The story would not have been told otherwise.




151ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 9:00pm Top



2013 Adult Book # 5 - Jan 16
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

I completed this book for the January TIOLI Challenge #4 - Read the debut work of an author born in January AND for the 2013 Category Challenge - RandomCAT Challenge - read a new to me author AND for my 2013 Category Challenge - books I would never read except for a challenge issued.

I am 60 years old and did not read this as a teenager. Perhaps I should have. My son, the Masters in English graduate, tells me that he has never read it because it was not required reading for him in school and it 'must' be read when you are young.

As an older adult, I wanted to smack Holden Caulfield! I am sure that it is a testimony to the talents of J. D. Salinger as a writer that he speaks in such a true 'voice' of an angst ridden, rebellious and mentally ill teenager. He is very believable.

I did enjoy the whole stream of consciousness that comprised this book and I am glad I read it.




152ccookie
Edited: Jan 16, 2013, 10:09pm Top

deleted - duplicate post

153Nickelini
Jan 17, 2013, 12:05am Top

I read Catcher in the Rye when I was in my mid-20s and thought I was too old for it too. However, I've heard of many younger readers who didn't like it and thought they weren't old enough to appreciate it. Personally, I thought Holden Caulfield was a huge whiny pain in the neck, and I agree with your smacking comment.

154ccookie
Jan 17, 2013, 4:39pm Top

> 153 LOL
just so we are clear, I am not a violent person and I meant 'smack' in the nicest way possible. Metaphorically speaking not literally!

155Nickelini
Jan 17, 2013, 6:58pm Top

Oh, I knew that. ;-)

156ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:19pm Top



Planned to read in February?:

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
~Out of the gravel there are peonies growing~
started in January ... for the 13/13 AlphaCat (M/A), the RandomCAT (new to me author), AwardCAT (Orange Prize -nominated 1997); also for the 75r's January TIOLI #13 (Read a book that has won or was nominated for the Giller Prize (won 1996). Also, my category - Virago Modern Classic Fiction / Classic Fiction and / or my category Canadian authors - ongoing

Beloved by Toni Morrison
~ 124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. ~
Feb AwardCAT (American Book Award 1988); Feb AlphaCAT (“B”); 1001; 75r's Feb TIOLI #2 (Read a historical-fiction or non-fiction book about American History – Post Civil War Slavery); my category #10 (award winners – Pulitzer) or 1001 - did not start

Elephant Winter by Kim Echlin - completed Feb 7
~I am called the Elephant-Keeper, which suits me~
Feb RandomCAT (read a book with a title, author, or character that brings to mind some of the weather events we typically experience during the month of February); 75r's Feb TIOLI #7 (Read a book with an arthropod in the title or the author's name )- ‘ant’; my category #1 (Canadian author);

Get Off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey
~ When the Rowan came storming towards the station, its personnel mentally and literally ducked ~
planned for Jan 75r's TIOLI #21(Read a book that you meant to read in 2012); Fantasy Feb; Feb 75r's TIOLI #20 (Read a book whose author is called "of" somewhere or something - McCaffrey); my category - Anne McCaffrey / fantasy - did not start

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (Audio)
~Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways~
Started in January for the 75r's TIOLI #7 (Read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name); 75r's Feb TIOLI #5 (Read a book whose title has only 4 of the regular 5 vowels (Y excluded); my category - contemporary fiction or fantasy;

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
~In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort~
started for the January 75r's TIOLI #7 - Read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name; 75r's Feb TIOLI #5 (Read a book whose title has only 4 of the regular 5 vowels (Y excluded); my category - classic fiction - ongoing

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy - completed Feb 7
~Captain First Rank Marko Ramius of the Soviet Navy was dressed for the Arctic conditions normal to the Northern Fleet submarine base at Polyarny~
started in January for the RTT Challenge (read a book set during the Cold War); January RandomCAT (new to me author); 75r's January TIOLI #6 (Read a Book That Has Been Downloaded onto Your Electronic Reader at Least Six Months Ago); 75r's Feb TIOLI #4 (Read a book with a common SFF title word in the title - “red”; my category - RTT;

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
~ I am seated in an office surrounded by heads and bodies ~
started back in April 2012 - planned for the 75r's January TIOLI #14 (read a book written by an author with a three part name); 75r's Feb TIOLI #1(Read a book whose last numbered page includes a "7" - 1079 pages); my category #5 - contemporary fiction or 1001 -ongoing

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
~In 1815, M. Charles-Francois-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of D——. He was an old man of about seventy-five years of age; he had occupied the see of D—— since 1806~
Feb 1001 group read, my category - 1001 - did not start

Life by Keith Richards
~Chapter One - In which I am pulled over by police officers in Arkansas during out 1975 US tour and a standoff ensues~
started in 2012; 75r's Feb TIOLI #24 (Read a book about music or musicians); my category #2 - non-fiction; ongoing

Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper
~When I opened my door at mid-morn and saw the strange boy, I should have known something was wrong~
planned for Jan RandomCAT (new to me); 75r's Jan TIOLI #2 (Read a book by an author you hadn't heard of before you joined LibraryThing); Jan - March RTT Theme - The Renaissance; my category - RTT- did not start

Palindrome by Stuart Woods
~Miller was wakened from his doze by a puff of hot air, redolent of freshly cut grass and newly disturbed dogshit~
planned for Jan RandomCat (New-to-me author); 75r's Jan TIOLI #15 (Read a book you discovered through use of the LibraryThing "If You like..." feature); 75r's Feb TIOLI Challenge # 9 (Read a book whose author shares their last name with a movie star/entertainer – James Woods); my category - TIOLI Challenge - did not start

The Redbreast - Jo Nesbo
~ A grey bird glided in and out of Harry's field of vision ~
sarted in July 2012 and then planned for the 75r's Jan TIOLI #7 (Read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name); 75r's Feb TIOLI #4 (Read a book with a common SFF title word in the title - “red”); my category- detective fiction - ongoing

Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes - Neil Gaiman
~June 16, 1916. Wych Cross, England. Wake up sir, we are here~
planned for January for group Sandman read; Feb AlphaCat “N”; 75r's Feb TIOLI #5 (Read a book whose title has only 4 of the regular 5 vowels (Y excluded); my category #9 TIOLI Challenge

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
~I was sitting outside the Commodore's mansion, waiting for my brother Charlie to come out with news of the job~
planned for 75r's Jan TIOLI #13 - Read a book that has won or was nominated for the Giller Prize (nominated 2011); Jan RandomCAT - new to me;Feb AlphaCAT “B”; 75r's Feb TIOLI #20 (Read a book whose author is called "of" somewhere or something – de); my category - Canadian authors

Stories: All New Tales by Neil Gaiman
~Al Sorrantonio and I were discussing anthologies of short stories~
started in Jan; 75r's Feb TIOLI #5 (Read a book whose title has only 4 of the regular 5 vowels (Y excluded);my category - contemporary fiction - ongoing

Survivor in Death by Nora Roberts / J.D. Robb
~A late-night urge for an orange fizzy saved Nixie's life~
Feb AlphaCAT O(“N”); Feb AwardCAT (Rita Award - Best Romantic Suspense 2006); 75r's Feb TIOLI # 9 (Read a book whose author shares their last name with a movie star/entertainer – Julia Roberts); my category #10 - award winners or category #6 – detective; - did not start

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
~Both moons were high, dimming the light of all but the brightest stars~
Fantasy February; 75r's Feb TIOLI #10 (matched read); my category #4 fantasy or #1 Canadian author - ongoing

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
~When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow~
75r's Feb TIOLI #2 (Read a historical-fiction or non-fiction book about American History – Deep South / racism - ongoing

157ccookie
Edited: Jun 23, 2013, 12:29am Top



2013 Adult Book # 4 - completed end Jan
Death: The High Cost of Living

by Neil Gaiman

First lines:
~June. Mad Hetti? We got it for you~

I finished this book in January. Borrowed it from my Dtr in law to participate in the Sandman group read. She recommended that before I read the Sandman series, I read this one.

My review: I don't get it!

I plan to read Preludes and Nocturnes before I read Death: The Time of Your Life

158ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:30am Top



2013 Adult Book # 6 - completed Jan 21
Fifty Shades of Grey
Review below: post #163



159ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:31am Top



2013 Adult Book # 7 - completed Feb 6
Elephant Winter

First lines:
~I am called the Elephant-Keeper, which suits me. My name is Sophie Walker. When I am not at the elephant barns, I live in a crowded house near a tacky commercial tourist farm in southern Ontario. I have a daughter and I take care of the elephants~

I was looking for a book to meet the February RandomCat Challenge out of the 2013 Category Challenge Group (Read a book with a title, author, or character that brings to mind some of the weather events we typically experience during the month of February) and I found this. It also fit into the 75r's challenge (Read a book with an arthropod in the title or the author's name - ‘ant.) ’The bonus is that it also fit my personal challenge to read books by Canadian authors.

I loved this short book. It is about a young woman who moves back home to care for her mother who is dying from cancer. Their home backs onto a Safari Park and she begins a deeply intimate relationship with the elephants there and their keeper. Kim Echlin is from Ontario and I have been to the African Lion Safari Park that she bases this tale on.

The book is about community and communication and love and loss and death and life and is so beautifully written.

My own mother died on Feb 9th, 2007 and reading this book, at this time of year, was especially poignant as I was reminded of the many, many moments that made the time around her dying a sacred and meaningful experience. I became closer to her than ever before in those final weeks. I loved Echlin’s description of the many, many moments that made Sophie and her mother's death and dying a sacred and meaningful experience, and, yet, at the same time, she does not shy away from exposing the difficulties such experience brings.

And, I loved the depiction of the community and culture of the Asian elephants that teach Sophie so much about life and living.

I was touched and uplifted. I was not aware of Kim Echlin before this and am looking forward to reading more of her work.



160ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:32am Top



2013 Adult Book # 8 - completed Feb 7
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

First lines:
~Captain First Rank Marko Ramius of the Soviet Navy was dressed for the Arctic conditions normal to the Northern Fleet submarine base at Polyarny~

I started this book in January for the RTT Challenge (read a book set during the Cold War); for the January RandomCAT (new to me author); for the 75r's January TIOLI #6 (Read a Book That Has Been Downloaded onto Your Electronic Reader at Least Six Months Ago).

Then, I carried it over into February for the 75r's Feb TIOLI #4 (Read a book with a common SFF title word in the title - “red”)

I don't know how realistic this book is, but it certainly seems to be a realistic depiction of what life might be on a nuclear submarine. The tension of the chase, the espionage, the creativity of how to deal with 'keeping a Russian submarine' that a defector has brought to the American shore was really, really amazing.

Having said all that, I think that I liked the movie better than the book. And it takes a lot for me to say that I liked a movie better. I almost always like the book best.

I have not read anything else by Tom Clancy but perhaps I will pick up another. He really seems to know what he is doing!




161ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:40am Top



2013 Adult Book # 09 completed Feb 19
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

For my review see post #173 below:




162ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:30pm Top



2013 Book Adult # 10 - Completed Feb 21
Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

First lines:
~June 16, 1916. Wych Cross, England. Wake up sir, we are here~

I originally planned to read this volume in January for the group Sandman read but didn't get into it until today. It also fits into the 13/13 Feb AlphaCat challenge to read a book with a word beginning with “N” in the title and the 75r's Feb TIOLI #5 (Read a book whose title has only 4 of the regular 5 vowels (Y excluded). Lastly it is for my own category #9 - books I would never read except for a challenge issued!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, I just finished Preludes and Nocturnes and I repeat my comment after reading Death: the High Cost of Living...I don't get it. I really don't get it!

I don't know who these people are. I don't know what they are doing. It seems to jump all over the place with no connection between characters or stories. The illustrations are awful!

I do love the graphics on the title pages and I have to say that I did like The Sound of Her Wings which seemed like the first part of the book that actually was a story.

I will keep going though, since a lot of you make reference to the fact that it does become clearer as we go along.



163ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:41am Top



2013 Adult Book # 6 - completed Jan 21
Fifty Shades of Grey

First line:
~I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror~

I read this book for January’s 75r’s TIOLI #8: Read a book that is part of a limited series, such as a trilogy and for the 13/13 RandomCAT: read a book by a new to me author. This is also for my own 13/13 category #5: contemporary fiction

SPOILERS AHEAD:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. Did I or did I not like this book?
I did not like this book. It is very badly written. Grammar is poor. Dialogue repetitious and doesn’t ring true. This book screams for an editor.
And yet, I read it. And enjoyed it. And plan to read the next one.
I liked this book because it raised a lot of questions, got me thinking and any book that does that is a good one. It is a compelling read.

The questions that the book raises for me include:
1. Is there something wrong with this lifestyle or is it simply an alternative sexual lifestyle that is perfectly normal and acceptable? The author seems to be trying to make both cases. One, Christian Grey was an abused child and so his sexual predilections are shaped and twisted because of his early experiences. Two, anything that consenting adults do is entirely normal.
2. Would I feel differently about this story I Anastasia was sexually experienced? I Christian taking advantage of her vulnerability. Would I feel differently if she was in her mid thirties, not her early twenties? Does the fact that Christian repeatedly warn her away mean that even he realizes that he should not be even approaching her in the first place,
3. Does it make a difference that Christian is a multi-millionaire? Would I feel differently if he was the ordinary guy down the street who had a special secret room in his basement where he takes young girls to engage in BD/ SM? Would the police feel differently if they ‘raided’ both places?
4. etc. etc. etc.?

I’ll be interested to read the next book in this series and see where it goes from here!


164ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:42am Top



2013 Children's Book # 2 - Completed Feb 24
Bicycle Bear by Michaela Muntean

First line:
~When you want to send a package,
when you want to send a hug,
when you want to send some flowers,
or an Oriental rug …~

This is a very cute children’s Read-Aloud book that I have had since 1985. My children are 30 and 25 so it is time to let some of these kids books go.

Bicycle Bear can deliver anything but has a real dilemma when he is trying to figure out how to deliver a Birthday Moose along with all his other deliveries. The rhyming and the illustrations are charming and I defy anyone to try and keep from laughing at a roller skating moose!

165ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:43am Top



2013 Children's Book # 3 - completed Feb 24
Pigs in the House by Steven Kroll

First line:
~In their pigpen
Nice and Wide
Three Cute Pigs lived
Side by side~

Another very cute children’s Read-Aloud book that I have had since 1985. I will release through free-cycle to allow other children laugh.

These three pigs manage to escape their sty and get into the house. Riotous hi-jinks ensue. The scene with them jumping on the feather bed is pretty sweet!

166ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:44am Top



2013 Children's Book # 4 - Completed Feb 24
The Midsummer Banquet – Tales from Fern Hollow by John Patience

First line:
~In a few days it would be time for the Midsummer Banquet to be held a Trundleberry Manor~

This book has beautiful illustrations of frogs, foxes, badgers, mice, hedgehogs in medieval costumes. I give the book 3.5 stars for the illustrations but the story is kind of weak. Cute though.


167ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:45am Top



2013 Children's Book # 5 - completed Feb 24
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food

First line:
Healthy Food is good for Brother, Sis and Dad ...
How can Mom make them stop eating food that is bad?

Although written in 1985 this book still conveys the basics of healthy eating and exercise. I do not like the fact that there is discussion about the size of the bears but appreciate that the main emphasis is on getting healthy, not on how the bears look. The usual fun illustrations. These bears are like friend of the family.


168ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:45am Top



2013 Children's Book # 6 - Completed Feb 24
I Don’t Want to Go by Justine Korman

First line:
Russell Chipmunk didn’t want to go to the family reunion.

A sweet little golden book about the joys of getting together with family and finding connections that you did not expect. Wonderful odd little illustrations


169ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:46am Top



2013 Children's Book #7 - completed Feb 25
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

First lines:
'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

A classic edition with illustrations by Corinne Malvern. I found these illustrations to be a little dated for today. The words though, are timeless.

This edition still has the reference to Santa's pipe and smoke.

170ccookie
Edited: Jun 23, 2013, 9:50am Top



March Potential Reads

If anyone but me is reading this post you will note that instead of me saying this is my ‘planned reading list’, I am now saying this is my potential reading list. I won’t feel like such a failure at the end of the month when I say “WOW, I managed to complete 6 out of a potential 18 books read” instead of “DAMN, I only managed to complete 6 out of 18 planned reads”!!

These are one's I really hope to get finished this month. Several are children's books and several I am already part way through so I might actually make it!

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
~I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of be this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while they water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
I’m reading this one for 75r’s Challenge # 17 - Read the 7th book along on a bottom shelf (anywhere) (from living room wall units in a row of my favourite children’s books)

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
~Out of the gravel there are peonies growing~
This month this book fits into the 75r’s TIOLI challenge # 22 - Read a historical novel by a new-to-you author. I actually started it in January for the 13/13 AlphaCat (M/A), the RandomCAT (new to me author), AwardCAT (Orange Prize -nominated 1997); also for the 75r's January TIOLI #13 (Read a book that has won or was nominated for the Giller Prize (won 1996). Also, my category - Virago Modern Classic Fiction / Classic Fiction and / or my category Canadian authors (about half way through)

Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris (w)
~Me and Holly were laying around in bed around 10 A.M. on a Wednesday morning when the call come (sic) ~
I’m reading this one for Spring Training Challenge the TIOLI Challenge # 22 - Read a work by an author who has written in two or more styles or genres. Mark Harris has been a journalist, written fiction and screenplays.

Beloved by Toni Morrison
~ 124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. ~
This fits into the TIOLI Challenge # 18 - Read a book which is included in the World Book Night giveaways (in any participating country) I was originally planning to read this in October for the challenge to read a book from ALA's Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books 2000-2009 but I never got to it. Then I planned it again for Feb for the AwardCAT (American Book Award 1988); Feb AlphaCAT (“B”); 1001; 75r's Feb TIOLI #2 (Read a historical-fiction or non-fiction book about American History – Post Civil War Slavery); my category #10 (award winners – Pulitzer) or 1001.

Cat Striking Back by Shirley Rosseau Murphy
~The setting moon laid its path across the sea, brightening the white sand and the little village, picking out the angles of its crowded roofs and glancing off the windows of the shops and cottages; moon glow caressed the shaggy pines and the cypress trees and pooled dark shadows beneath them along the narrow streets~
I chose this book for the the March RandomCat (Choose a book by its cover); it also fits the TIOLI Challenge # 11 - Read a book because you like its title; works for Mystery March; The March AlphaCat “C”; my category – contemporary fiction - (about 1/3 of the way through)

The Cat's Pajamas by Ida Chittum
~The cat’s pajamas started out as a big piece of red cloth with white flowers~
I’m also reading this one for Challenge # 17 - Read the 7th book along on a bottom shelf (anywhere) (7th from the right - from my bedside table waiting to be downsized)

My Christmas Treasury by Gale Wiersum
~Don’t Look by Kathryn Jackson
Don’t look in the closets,
Or under the beds,
Or in any mysterious nook
Where things may be hidden –
It’s simply forbidden
When Christmas is coming –
Don’t look~
I’m also reading this one for Challenge # 17 - Read the 7th book along on a bottom shelf (anywhere) (7th from the left - from my bedside table waiting to be downsized)

Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
~The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day when I met him. Then everything went crazy. – Georgianne, married to an alcoholic~
I started this book (re-read) in Feb and it fits the March AlphaCat challenge “C”; my category #2 - Non-fiction - (about 1/3 of the way through)

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
~It was a solecism of the very worst kind~
I am reading this for 13/13 Groups AwardsCat Challenge – it won the Agatha award in 1988. It also fit the 75rs TIOLI Challenge # 19 - Read a book by an author with a given name of four or more syllables; Mystery March; my category – award winners - (about 1/2 of the way through)

✔ (April)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
~ The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it “the Riddle House,” even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there~
This book fits nicely into the TIOLI Challenge # 4 - Read a book in a series that you have already started; it is also an AlphaCat “O” - (still listening)

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
~In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort~
This book fits Challenge # 3 - Read a book from the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List. I started reading this one for the January 75r's TIOLI #7 - Read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name; carried on into Feb for the 75r's TIOLI #5 (Read a book whose title has only 4 of the regular 5 vowels (Y excluded); my category - classic fiction

Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
On the fifteenth of May, in the Jungle of Nool,
In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,
He was splashing … enjoying the jungle’s great joys …
When Horton the elephant heard a small noise~
This book fits into Challenge # 1 - Read a book which has at least one character whose first name starts with the two-letter combination "Jo" (Jo-Jo Who)

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
~ I am seated in an office surrounded by heads and bodies ~
I am still keeping this on my list because if I take it off I will never finish it. It now fits TIOLI Challenge # 1 - Read a book which has at least one character whose first name starts with the two-letter combination "Jo". (Joelle van Dyne)
Started back in April 2012 - planned for the 75r's January TIOLI #14 (read a book written by an author with a three part name); 75r's Feb TIOLI #1(Read a book whose last numbered page includes a "7" - 1079 pages); my category #5 - contemporary fiction or 1001 - (stalled)


Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
~In 1815, M. Charles-Francois-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of D——. He was an old man of about seventy-five years of age; he had occupied the see of D—— since 1806~
This book that I started last month fits the TIOLI Challenge # 7 - Read a book that is at least partly set where the person above you has lived before (shared read); Feb 1001 group read, my category - 1001

Life by Keith Richards
~Chapter One - In which I am pulled over by police officers in Arkansas during out 1975 US tour and a standoff ensues~
I will be listening to this on audio and it fits the TIOLI Challenge # 1 - Read a book which has at least one character whose first name starts with the two-letter combination "Jo" (Jo Jones, Jo Wood, Joe B. Maudlin, Joe Seabrook, Joe Sorena, Joe Walsh, Joey Page, Joey Spampinato, John Belushi, John Lee Hooker, John Lennon, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, John Michell, John Phillips, John Porter,Johnnie Johnson, Johnnie Taylor, Johnny Depp, Johnny Gunnell, Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste, Josephine Baker,). I started this in 2012; tried to complete it for the 75r's Feb TIOLI #24 (Read a book about music or musicians); my category #2 - non-fiction;

Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper
~When I opened my door at mid-morn and saw the strange boy, I should have known something was wrong~
This is my choice for the RTT Theme read - The Renaissance; it also fits the Feb TIOLI Challenge # 2 - Read a book that has the name of part of a plant in its title or author; I planned to read this in Jan for the Jan AlphaCat and RandomCAT (new to me); 75r's Jan TIOLI #2 (Read a book by an author you hadn't heard of before you joined LibraryThing); my category – RTT; Historical Fiction;

The Queen's Witch by Karen Chance
~ Light from inside the weather-beaten structure leaked out through the shutters, striping the plank of driftwood over the door in flickering bands of gold~
This I will be reading for the RTT Challenge to read something from the Tudor era; also fits Mystery March and TIOLI Challenge #22 - Read a historical novel by a new-to-you author

Sandman:The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman
~There are tales that are told many times~
I’m reading this one for the TIOLI Challenge # 21 - Read a work by an author who has written in two or more styles or genres. (Gaiman writes horror/ graphic novels / children’s This also fits my category #9 TIOLI Challenge; I had planned it for the Feb AlphaCat “N”; Feb TIOLI #5 only four out of 5 vowels - (stalled)

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
~Both moons were high, dimming the light of all but the brightest stars~
I’m continuing this read from Fantasy February; 75r's Feb TIOLI #10 (matched read); Tigana group read; It fits now into the TIOLI Challenge #21 - Read a work by an author who has written in two or more styles or genres ; my category #4 fantasy or #1 Canadian author - (about 3/4 of the way through)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
~When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow~
This fits into TIOLI # 22 ; It was started last month for the 75r's Feb TIOLI #2 (Read a historical-fiction or non-fiction book about American History – Deep South / racism

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Mar 2, 2013, 8:57pm Top

Since Fuzzi has said she will join me in a read of Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats by Anne McCaffrey i have moved it to the top of the TBR pile. I love Anne McCaffrey

It fits into several challenges etc.
The 75'rs March TIOLI Challenge # 16 - Read a book whose cover primarily features Easter Colors - Robin’s egg blue
The 13/13 March AlphaCat - title starts with a "C"
The 13/13 March RandomCat - judging a book by its cover.

172ccookie
Edited: Mar 28, 2013, 8:31pm Top



2013 Children's Book # 8 - completed March 1. 2013
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

First line:
I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

This is one of my all-time favourite reads. I have read it over and over and over again.

This time I read it because one of the 75r's group challenges for this month was to read the 7th book along on a bottom shelf (anywhere). This was the 7th book from the left on the bottom shelf of my living room wall units in a row of my favourite children’s books.

I feel like little Alexander does quite often. I fact, today is one of those days when I would like to move to Australia cause some days are like that.

I love the expression on Alexander's face as he goes through a day where seemingly everything goes wrong. The wonderful message is that, although there are days like that, we can get through them and tomorrow is another day! The message is timeless!

173ccookie
Edited: Mar 30, 2013, 11:59am Top



2013 Adult Book # 9 completed Feb 19
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

Back on Feb 19 I finished listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling and here is my review, such as it is.

First line:
~Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways~

Thus begins a new adventure for Harry, Ron and Hermoine. J.K. Rowling, once again, captures my interest with her creativity and attention to detail. Such a richly complex world she has created. The characters are being developed, the back story is more and more revealed, the creatures are wonderful (I love Hagrid and his love of all living things). There is meanness and kindness, sorrow and joy, laughter and tears.

I started listening to this book on audio in Jan and it fit into the 75r’s group TIOLI challenge #7 - read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name and when I did not finish by the end of Jan I carried it on into Feb where it fit the 75r's Feb TIOLI #5 - Read a book whose title has only 4 of the regular 5 vowels (Y excluded). And it fits my own category to read something just for the fun of it.

I cannot wait to start the next book in this delightful series.

174ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:25pm Top



The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

2013 Adult Book # 11 - completed end Feb, 2013

First line:
~I was sitting outside the Commodore's mansion, waiting for my brother Charlie to come out with news of the job~

I chose to read this book after hearing many LT members saying how much they enjoyed it. So in January, I planned on starting it and it was going to fit into the 75r's TIOLI Challenge #13, to read a book that has won or was nominated for the Giller Prize (nominated 2011). It was also going to fit into the 13/13 RandomCAT challenge, to read a new to me author. However, I never did get to it in January but come Feb I was determined to try again and was successful.

I listened to the book on audio read by John Prudden who had the perfect voice for Eli Sister. The read fit into the 13/13 AlphaCAT “B”, the 75r's TIOLI Challenge #20 to read a book whose author is called "of" somewhere or something – ‘de’ and it fits my own category to read Canadian authors.

The book did not disappoint. I found it outrageously although darkly humorous and found myself laughing out loud quite often. I also found myself shaking my head, sadly and yet still laughing.

The book follows two brothers who are killers for hire in the Gold Rush days and it chronicles their journey west to fulfill a contract. The narrative voice is that of the younger brother. Along the way they meet many odd and wonderful characters and deWitt helps us really see each and every one of them.

The book, to me, reads like a series of short stories although they are strung loosely together around a very light plot. The stories reflect the struggle that Eli has coming to terms with the violent lifestyle that he and his brother lead.

DeWitt won the 2011 Governor General’s Award winner and this book was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, the Giller and the Walter Scott Prize.


175ccookie
Edited: Mar 30, 2013, 5:39pm Top

Other books finished this month:

The Cat's Pajamas by Ida Chittum (Children's book) (ROOT)
My Christmas Treasury by Gale Wiersum (Children's book) (ROOT)
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear (Children's book) (ROOT)
The Jungle Book by R.H. Disney (Children's book) (ROOT)
The Country Mouse and the City Mouse by Patricia M. Scarry (Children's book) (ROOT)
Life - Keith Richards (Audio)
Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (Children's book) (ROOT)
The Queen's Witch by Karen Chance (Kobo)
Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats by Anne McCaffrey (ROOT)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Kobo)
Beloved by Toni Morrison (KOBO)

Reviews to follow.

176ccookie
Mar 31, 2013, 9:55pm Top



The Cat's Pajamas by Ida Chittum

2013 Children's Book # 9 - completed March 3. 2013

First line:
The cat’s pajamas started out as a big piece of red cloth with white flowers

I read this book for the 75r’s TIOLI Challenge # 17, to read the 7th book along on a bottom shelf (anywhere). This was the 7th from the right - from my bedside table waiting to be downsized so after I read it, I passed it on to a free-cycler.

This story about Fred and his attempts to make his cat a pair of pajamas would capture the attention of any 4-8 year old. I know that my two sons enjoyed both reading it themselves and having me read it to them. The illustrations are very cute and since Fred’s cat refuses to wear the pajamas he comes up with a very creative use for the pj’s at the end of the story.

Very cute!



177ccookie
Edited: Mar 31, 2013, 11:54pm Top



My Christmas Treasury by Gale Wiersum

2013 Children's Book # 10 - completed March 5. 2013

First line:
~Don’t Look by Kathryn Jackson
Don’t look in the closets,
Or under the beds,
Or in any mysterious nook
Where things may be hidden –
It’s simply forbidden
When Christmas is coming –
Don’t look~

I read this book for the 75r’s TIOLI Challenge # 17, to read the 7th book along on a bottom shelf (anywhere) (7th from the left - from my bedside table waiting to be downsized)

This is a Little Golden Book collection of Christmas stories and poems. I felt that it was a little non-descript. And the illustrations were quite odd. However, I did enjoy the opening poem that admonishes children not to go looking for their Christmas gifts and hence ruin the surprise.

178ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:25pm Top



Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

2013 Children's Book # 11 - completed March 5. 2013

First line:
~On the fifteenth of May, in the Jungle of Nool,
In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool,
He was splashing … enjoying the jungle’s great joys …
When Horton the elephant heard a small noise~

I read this book for the 75r’s TIOLI Challenge # 1 to read a book which has at least one character whose first name starts with the two-letter combination "Jo" (Jo-Jo Who)

This is one of my favourite Dr. Suess books. The syntax of the rhyme, the creativity of the illustrations, the sentiment of caring for the smallest and the weakest of our society; this is timeless literature. I grew up with this book and I am 60 years old. My children grew up with it and if I have grandchildren, they will grow up with it too! I am not downsizing this one!


179ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:26pm Top



The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

2013 Children's Book # 12 - completed March 5. 2013

First line:
~The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note~

I re-read this book as part of my downsizing and loved it. It is another Little Golden Book that I have had since my children were young and am just now getting to release it for someone else to enjoy.

This edition has beautiful illustrations that complement the story.


180ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:26pm Top



The Jungle Book by R. H. Disney

2013 Children's Book # 13 - completed March 6. 2013

First line:
~Many strange legends are told of the jungles of far-off India~

Once again re-reading as part of my downsizing and loved it. It is another Little Golden Book that I have had since my children were young. Disney got it right with the film on which this little book is based. Reading the book makes me want to check out the movie again. Colourful illustrations, wonderful characterizations. Love it!


181ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:26pm Top



The Country Mouse and the City Mouse
by Patricia M. Scarry

2013 Children's Book # 14 - completed March 6. 2013

First line:
~Annie Mouse lived quietly in the country~

Once again re-reading as part of my downsizing and enjoyed this one also. It is another Little Golden Book that I have had since my children were young. Classic fables, charming illustrations. What more can I say?


182ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:27pm Top



2013 Book # 12 - completed March 21. 2013
Life by Keith Richards

First line:
~Chapter One - In which I am pulled over by police officers in Arkansas during our 1975 US tour and a standoff ensues~

I listened to this on audio. I started it way back in the summer of 2012, tried to complete it for the 75r's Feb TIOLI Challenge #24 (Read a book about music or musicians) and finally finished it this month for the TIOLI Challenge # 1, read a book which has at least one character whose first name starts with the two-letter combination "Jo" (Jo Jones, Jo Wood, Joe B. Maudlin, Joe Seabrook, Joe Sorena, Joe Walsh, Joey Page, Joey Spampinato, John Belushi, John Lee Hooker, John Lennon, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, John Michell, John Phillips, John Porter,Johnnie Johnson, Johnnie Taylor, Johnny Depp, Johnny Gunnell, Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste, Josephine Baker,).

A very interesting book even for me who is not a Rolling Stones fan at all. I found Keith Richards to be a very rude, disrespectful, condescending and altogether unlikeable man. He clearly had a very serious drug problem and hardly seems to recognize it. His neglect of his children is appalling. He continues to speak about being persecuted by the police for nothing and yet admits that he broke the law left right and centre. A brilliant man. Too bad he isn’t a lot nicer.



183ccookie
Edited: Jun 23, 2013, 9:38am Top



April Potential Reads

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Kobo)
~Don’t let appearances fool you~
The taxi's radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast~
I am going to try and read this one but it will definitely take more than this month.
April TIOLI Challenge #1 to read a book whose title is in ABC/123 order (shared read). April 1001 read; April AwardsCat - IMPAC Dublin - 2013 shortlist, my category 1001


Adult Children of Alcoholics (ROOT)
~When is a child not a child?~
I purchased this book awhile ago and will be reading this for the April 2013 TIOLI challenge # 3, to read a book with an embedded word (Child). It fits into my personal challenge, to read 13 non-fiction books this year

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (ROOT)
~Out of the gravel there are peonies growing~
This month this book fits into the 75r’s TIOLI challenge #16 to read a book by Margaret Atwood. I have been trying to get this read for awhile now. Hopefully Atwood April is the month to do it! The book is also shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin award in 1998 so it also fits into the 13/13 AwardsCat. .It was Feb’s challenge # 22, to read a historical novel by a new-to-you author. I actually started it in January for the 13/13 AlphaCat (M/A), the RandomCAT (new to me author), AwardCAT (Orange Prize -nominated 1997); also for the 75r's January TIOLI #13 (Read a book that has won or was nominated for the Giller Prize (won 1996). Also it is a 1001 read; it fits my category - Virago Modern Classic Fiction / Classic Fiction and / or my category Canadian authors

Cat Striking Back by Shirley Rosseau Murphy (ROOT)
~The setting moon laid its path across the sea, brightening the white sand and the little village, picking out the angles of its crowded roofs and glancing off the windows of the shops and cottages; moon glow caressed the shaggy pines and the cypress trees and pooled dark shadows beneath them along the narrow streets~
This fits into challenge #3, to read a book with an embedded word (king). I started it in March for the March RandomCat (Choose a book by its cover); it also fits the TIOLI Challenge # 11 - Read a book because you like its title; works for Mystery March; The March AlphaCat “C”; my catehttp://www.librarything.com/work/38980gory – detective fiction

Co-dependent No More by Melody Beattie (ROOT)
~The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day when I met him. Then everything went crazy. – Georgianne, married to an alcoholic~
This fits April TIOLI challenge #3, to read a book with an embedded word (depend). I started this book (re-read) in Feb and it fits the March AlphaCat challenge “C”; my category #2 - Non-fiction

The Crucible by Arthur Miller (KOBO)
~A small upper bedroom in the home of Reverend Samuel Parris, Salem, Massachusetts, in the spring of the year 1692~
I am reading this one for the Reading Through Time challenge to read a book set in the 17th Century. It happens to have several people on the cover so meets the requirements for the TIOLI Challenge # 4, to read a book with two or more people on the cover

The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill (KOK0)
~Tran, Tran and Hok broke through the heavy end-of-wet-season clouds~
I started listening to this on audio ‘just because’ and it definitely fits the requirements of the TIOLI challenge # 17, to read a book by an Asian American OR set in a Southeast Asian country OR written by a Southeast Asian writer

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (KOBO/ROOT)
~We had been wandering for so long I forgot what it was like to live within walls or sleep through the night~
I have had this book for about a year and TIOLI Challenge #8, read a book about religious oppression has prompted me to look at it again. It is also an April AlphaCat “D” and is a AwardCat since it is on the IMPAC Dublin 2013 longlist

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (KOBO)
~She stands up in the garden where she has been working and looks into the distance~
I will be reading this for the 13/13 AwardsCat challenge. It is both a Dublin IMPAC Award Shortlist nominee (1998) and a Trillium Award Winner (1992). It is also an April AlphaCat, “P”. And it will fit into the TIOLI challenge 3, to read a book with an embedded word (Shine)

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George (ROOT)
~It was a solecism of the very worst kind~
For this month this books fits TIOLI challenge #3, to read a book with an embedded word (deliver) . April AlphaCat “D”. I started it last month for the 13/13 Groups AwardsCat Challenge – it won the Agatha award in 1988. It also fit the 75rs TIOLI Challenge # 19 - Read a book by an author with a given name of four or more syllables; Mystery March; my category – award winners

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling (AUDIO)
~ The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it “the Riddle House,” even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there~
For April this book fits the TIOLI challenge #3, to read a book with an embedded word (Trot). It is also an April AlphaCat “P . It was started in March for the TIOLI Challenge # 4 - Read a book in a series that you have already started; it is also an AlphaCat “O”

Hood by Stephen Lawhead (KOBO)
~Prologue: The pig was young and wary, a yearling boar timidly testing the wind for strange scents as it ventured out into the honey-coloured light of a fast-fading day~
.This one is for the April’s Reading Through Time Challenge to read a book about a Hero or a Vabagond. I guess Robin Hood could be considered to be both depending on your point of view. I also put it into April’s TIOLI Challenge 1. Read a book whose title is in ABC/123 order

In Pursuit of Spenser by Ottto Penzler (ROOT)
~Apart from their affection for dramatic stories with the classic Greek arc of a beginning, middle and end, aficionados of mystery fiction agree upon virtually nothing~
got this one some time ago also and would like to read it and I can make it fit into April’s TIOLI Challenge # 3, to read a book with an embedded word (suit). It is also an April AlphaCat, “P”

Jalna by Mazo de la Roche (KOBO)
Another one I have been wanting to read for a long time and I can make it fit into April’s TIOLI Challenge #9, to read a work with a 4 syllable word on the 13th page. (Disappointing) It is also an April AlphaCat “D”


Miracle in the Rain by Ben Hecht (ROOT)
April TIOLI challenge #13 – water word; April 13/13 Random Cat – Mother Nature

No Country for Old Men by Cormack MacCarthy (KOBO)
~ I sent one boy to the gaschamber at Huntsville~
April 13/13 AwardCat – IMPC Dublin 207 SL ; April TIOLI #3 embedded word (count).

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (CYNTHIA)
~ When I was a kid, I would often dream of flying~
April TIOLI # 3, read a book with an embedded word (Roof). It is also an April AlphaCat “p”.

Sandman:The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman (DEANNE)
~There are tales that are told many times~
April TIOLI # 11. It is also an April AlphaCat “D”. Read a book by an author with the same Zodiac sign as you (Neil Gaiman). I’m planned to read this one for the March TIOLI Challenge # 21 - Read a work by an author who has written in two or more styles or genres. (Gaiman writes horror/ graphic novels / children’s) This also fits my category #9 TIOLI Challenge; I had planned it for the Feb AlphaCat “N”; Feb TIOLI #5 only four out of 5 vowels

Survivor in Death by J. D. Robb (KOBO)
~A late-night urge for an Orange Fizzy saved Nixie's life~
April TIOLI –embedded word (heat); It is also an April AlphaCat “D”.Feb AlphaCAT O(“N”); Feb AwardCAT (Rita Award - Best Romantic Suspense 2006); 75r's Feb TIOLI # 9 (Read a book whose author shares their last name with a movie star/entertainer – Julia Roberts); my category #10 - award winners or category #6 – detective; - did not start

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay (KOBO)
~Both moons were high, dimming the light of all but the brightest stars~
April TIOLI 3 – embedded word – giant;. I’m continuing this read from Fantasy February; 75r's Feb TIOLI #10 (matched read); Tigana group read; It fits now into the TIOLI Challenge #21 - Read a work by an author who has written in two or more styles or genres ; my category #4 fantasy or #1 Canadian author

Villette by Charlotte Bronte (AUDIO)
~My godmother lived in a handsome house in the clean and ancient town of Bretton~
-April TIOLI 10. Read a work in which both the title and the author's name contains double letters; Jan TIOLI # 7 - Read a book with a B somewhere in the title or author's name; my category - 1001 books, Classics, my category #7 – 1001, Feb AlphaCAT “B”

184ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:24pm Top



2013 Book # 13 - completed March 20. 2013
The Queen's Witch by Karen Chance

First line:
Light from inside the weather-beaten structure leaked out through the shutters, striping the plank of driftwood over the door in flickering bands of gold.
This short story has been described as ‘an action packed adventure’ featuring Kit Marlowe, a vampire and his newest ally Gillian, a witch he helped rescue from the clutches of "The Circle".

I did not find this to be action packed at all. In fact I found it quite boring. This is apparently meant to be an adjunct to Chance’s novels and maybe if I had been familiar with those stories it would have made a difference. However, I didn’t enjoy this story enough to bother checking out her other books.


185ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:19pm Top

I finished Bang the Drum Slowly just before the end of the month. Liked it; didn't like it. Catching up on reviews so will post one soon.

186ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:24pm Top

Catching up on my reviews, trying to do one a day. Problem is it cuts into reading time!!



2013 Book # 14 - completed March 27. 2013

Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats
by Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

First line:
"How much for that pretty kittycat you got there, young Lady?"

This book was one of my options for March and since another member offered to join me in a shared read for the 75r’s TIOLI challenge # 16 - Read a book whose cover primarily features Easter Colors (Robin’s egg blue) I moved it up on the TBR list.

I love Anne McCaffrey and enjoyed this easy to read book that I do believe was written for a younger audience.

Although, I must say that it is not my favourite of McCaffrey's works, I did find it to be be a sweet and charming story that introduces us to the telepathic Barque cats.

McCaffrey and Scarborough obviously know cats and anyone who has ever lived with a cat knows that a lot of what they describe is very realistic. I know my cat 'speaks' to me.

This also fit into the 13/13 March AlphaCat challenge – to read a book that has a word starting with a "C" and the 13/13 March RandomCat - judging a book by its cover.


187ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:24pm Top



2013 Book # 15 - Completed March 28, 2013

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

First line:
~When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow~

March 28th I finished To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I started to read this book back in Feb for the 75r's Feb TIOLI #2 - read a historical fiction or non-fiction book about American History and for the Reading Through Time Theme read for Feb – to read a book with a Civil Rights theme. At the same time it was a
75r’s group read for Feb and their theme was Social Justice.

However, I did not finish it and I carried it over into March for challenge # 22 - read an historical fiction novel by a new-to-you author.

This book takes place in the American Deep South in the 1930’s and relates the coming of age of a young girl and her brother being raised by their single parent lawyer father. Harper Lee writes beautifully of the culture of the region and the times and draws us into a story of racism and justice and love. It is unfortunate that Harper never wrote another novel; she has said she only had one book in her.

188ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:23pm Top



2013 Book # 16 - Completed March 29, 2013

Beloved by Toni Morrison

First line:
~ 124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. ~

I was originally planning to read this in October for the challenge to read a book from ALA's Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books 2000-2009 but I never got to it. Then I planned it again for Feb for the AwardCAT (American Book Award 1988); Feb AlphaCAT (“B”); 1001; 75r's Feb TIOLI #2 (Read a historical-fiction or non-fiction book about American History – Post Civil War Slavery). Finally finished it in March for the TIOLI Challenge # 18 - Read a book which is included in the World Book Night giveaways (in any participating country). It is also for my category #10 (award winners – Pulitzer) or 1001.

I did not really get this book. It was an interesting read. I had heard so much about it that I expected to love it and really, I am not even sure I liked it. It has some horrific scenes in it, terrible stories of man’s inhumanity to man. The terrible injustice of slavery. This book also has a supernatural element to it and I just found it weird. I also found Morrison’s writing style difficult. She jumps all over with time and place and I found it difficult at times to follow.

And yet, there was beauty in the writing style also; lyrical prose kept me going at times when the story would have stopped me completely.

Glad I read it but will not be looking at it again.


189ccookie
Edited: Apr 20, 2013, 10:40pm Top



2013 Book # 17 - completed March 31, 2013

Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris

First line:
~Me and Holly were laying around in bed around 10 A.M. on a Wednesday morning when the call come (sic) ~

I read this one for the Spring Training Challenge and for the March TIOLI Challenge # 22 – to read a work by an author who has written in two or more styles or genres. Mark Harris has been a journalist, written fiction and screenplays.

It was also an AlphaCat for the 13/13 group challenge ("D")

I saw the film, with Michael Moriarity and Robert deNiro, many years ago and bought the book at a second hand bookstore, also many years ago but never read it. I was just about to pass it on, without reading it, when I saw the Spring Training Challenge and thought maybe this would be a good chance to give it a try.

I did not enjoy it very much. Well, that is not entirely true. I enjoyed the basic story but I found that there was just too much baseball in it for me.

My father died of Hodgkin’s Disease when I was 16 years old and, I remember being very touched when I saw the movie and was very impressed with Robert deNiro’s performance. For me the book did not have the emotional ‘punch’ that I was expecting.

I guess if you are a real baseball lover, you would get more out of the book, since a lot if it is detailed information about baseball, trades, statistics etc.

I would give this book 3 stars.
liked it, didn't like it...

190ccookie
Edited: Jun 23, 2013, 10:49am Top

I am waaaayyy behind on my threads so here is what I have read since the end of March

April

The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill (AUDIO)
Miracle in the Rain by Ben Hecht (ROOT)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling (AUDIO)

May

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (KOBO)
Thirty-Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill (AUDIO)
Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill (AUDIO)
Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill (AUDIO)
Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (AUDIO)
The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill (AUDIO)

June
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (AUDIO)
The Crucible by Arthur Miller (KOBO)
Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James (Kindle)
Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James (Kindle)

191ccookie
Jun 22, 2013, 11:54pm Top

Just finished Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg ... wonderful!

192ccookie
Jul 2, 2013, 10:39am Top

I just finished The Accidental Tourist and loved it! Am trying to decide whether to keep it one the favourite shelf OR release it for someone else to enjoy ... hmmm...

193ccookie
Jul 3, 2013, 11:03pm Top

Today I finished two books:

The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers
This was a re-read of one of my favourite books, EVER and it is still one of my favourite books, EVER!

Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman
This one I inherited from my mother and am so glad that I read it . Fun, fun, fun and educational too.

194ccookie
Edited: Jul 6, 2013, 11:31pm Top

Today I finished A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George

I started reading this book all the way back in March for:
1. the 13/13 Groups AwardsCat Challenge (it won the Agatha award in 1988)
2. the March 75rs TIOLI Challenge # 19 - Read a book by an author with a given name of four or more syllables
3. for Mystery March
4. My own 13/13 category – award winners. I got about half way through and then stalled.

I then planned to read it in April for the TIOLI Challenge # 3 - Read a book with an embedded word whether scrambled or unscrambled in a single word within the title (Deliver) - no success

May - tried for TIOLI Challenge # 5 - should have read for a previous challenge

June - I skipped this month entirely and finally I picked it up again about 3 days ago and finished it. Loved it!

So for July it was read and completed.
It covered a lot of bases:
1. 13/13 - AlphaCat - 'G' for Great and George
2. RandomCat - Scotland, need I say more
3. AwardCat - Edgar - 1989 - First Novel nominee and ROOT
4. TIOLI Challenge#2 - Read a TBR that has been on a previous TIOLI in 2012-13 and still isn't finished

195ccookie
Jul 10, 2013, 10:46pm Top

After reading Friday the Rabbi Slept Late I moved right on and just finished Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry. Enjoyed it also.

196ccookie
Jul 15, 2013, 10:30am Top

I just finished Debbie: My Life by Debbie Reynolds .

This was a lot of fun to read for someone who loves movie stars and entertainers. What a tough life she lead, with Eddie Fisher leaving her for Elizabeth Taylor and disappearing from her and her children's life almost completely and then her second husband Harry Karl gambling away all of his millions and hers too.

At the end of this book she has married for the third time and seems happy.

I will now read her second book Unsinkable: A Memoir.

I also have the DVD of Wishful Drinking which is daughter Carrie Fisher's one woman show based on her book of the same name, which I was able to see last year, here in Toronto, and was hysterically funny. I will have to watch the show again soon!

197ccookie
Edited: Jul 15, 2013, 10:46am Top

Finished listening to Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home by Harry Kemelman and although I am enjoying the character development, the mystery, and the Judaism pieces, I am getting a little tired of the sexism and racism even though I know it is a reflection of the time it was written. Time to head back to Dr. Siri, I think!

198ccookie
Edited: Jul 20, 2013, 6:03pm Top

199ccookie
Jul 27, 2013, 9:30am Top

Finished Christine Falls by Benjamin Black and The Naked Face by Sidney Sheldon. Both fun reads.

200ccookie
Jul 27, 2013, 8:26pm Top

Well, I finished May We Be Forgiven, by A. M. Homes, this afternoon. WOW! Loved it, loved it, loved it!

It was riveting. I am a slow reader and I read it in just a few days . Could not put it down! Everything else had fallen by the wayside.

Dark, but touching and laugh-out-loud funny! Darkly funny! If you find adultery and murder difficult to read about and can see no humour in these topics, do not read this. But it is handled so well that I feel like I am part of this family.

This topic was continued by ccookie - Progress ... Or Not ... Page 2.

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