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JBD1's 2nd-Quarter Thread

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: Jun 28, 2012, 7:53am Top

Figured a new thread was in order!

First Quarter Thread

44. The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry (review)
45. Stylized by Mark Garvey (review)
46. Midnight in Peking by Paul French (review)
47. Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (review)
48. Portland (Then and Now) by John Moon (review)
49. The Dark Defile by Diana Preston (review)
50. The Yard by Alex Grecian (review)
51. Masters of the Planet by Ian Tattersall (review)
52. The Civil War of 1812 by Alan Taylor (review)
53. Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr (review)
54. The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall (review)
55. The Book Lover by Maryann McFadden (review)
56. Bibliomania by Gustave Flaubert (review)
57. The Divorce of Henry VIII by Catherine Fletcher (review)
58. The Reverse of the Medal by Patrick O'Brian (review)
59. Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall (review)
60. The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe (review)
61. Afterlives of the Saints by Colin Dickey (review)
62. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (review)
63. The Lifespan of a Fact by John D'Agata and Jim Fingal (review)
64. The Watchers by Jon Steele (review)
65. Socrates: A Man For Our Times by Paul Johnson (review)
66. Boiling Mad by Kate Zernike (review)
67. The Worlds of Giordano Bruno by Alan W. Powers (review)
68. God's Jury by Cullen Murphy (review)
69. The Passage of Power by Robert Caro (review)
70. Bring Me One of Everything by Leslie Hall Pinder (review)
71. The Kings' Mistresses by Elizabeth C. Goldsmith (review)
72. Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews (review)
73. Prophet's Prey by Sam Brower (review)
74. Verdi's Shakespeare by Garry Wills (review)
75. The Sovereignties of Invention by Matthew Battles (review)
76. Rather Outspoken by Dan Rather (review)
77. This Very Tree by Josephine Young Case (review)
78. Indigo by Catherine McKinley (review)
79. America's Other Audubon by Joy Kiser (review)
80. Mission to Paris by Alan Furst (review)
81. The Day the World Discovered the Sun by Mark Anderson (review)
82. Art and Anatomy in Renaissance Italy by Domenico Laurenza (review)
83. Chasing Venus by Andrea Wulf (review)
84. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (review)
85. Unaccountable by Marty Makary (review)
86. Unbored by Elizabeth Foy Larsen and Joshua Glenn (review)
87. The Letter of Marque by Patrick O'Brian (review)
88. Pyg by Russell Potter (review)
89. The Infects by Sean Beaudoin (review)

Apr 3, 2012, 7:02am Top

First up for April was The Manuel of Detection, which I described in my review as a "fever dream of a book." I enjoyed it, but wow was it odd.

Still reading Clarissa for the group-read too, although like the others I'm hoping the logjam breaks soon!

Apr 3, 2012, 8:33am Top

*lurking my way through* "Hi!"

Apr 6, 2012, 8:00am Top

Any chance that you could change thread continuation to be available at 100 messages? Tim seemed receptive (http://www.librarything.com/topic/126131#3042590) and then... nothing. A bunch of people dis-continued to new threads in April because they hadn't hit 200.

Apr 6, 2012, 8:03am Top

>4 qebo: - I'll check with him.

Apr 6, 2012, 10:35am Top

I'd actually like it to be available only to the creator at 100, and to anyone at 200.

Apr 6, 2012, 10:00pm Top

Sorry....but I'd prefer to have control over MY OWN threads....I'd not be happy if anybody could come in and decide to start a new thread for me. I wouldn't dream of doing it for anyone else. If my thread is too long for you, then perhaps there are other threads of more interest. Sorry to sound crabby, but comeon....keep your hands off my threads.

Apr 6, 2012, 10:14pm Top

I think it might be a good suggestion for threads that are general in interest, not people's specific threads which are about their reading, etc. Sometimes a general thread can go on and on just because no one particularly feels ownership of moving on to the next chapter.

Apr 7, 2012, 6:43am Top

If someone wants to start an RSI about this, that's fine. I'd rather us not have the conversation in this thread, just so I don't get totally confused about where the discussion is happening. :-)

Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 8:41am Top

Just checking in to see how you are managing amongst the wild and wooly 75er's! :) It's a lot of fun! I just checked on your Group Read of Clarissa - 1500 pages! Wow- that's some chunkster!

Apr 7, 2012, 8:58am Top

>10 vancouverdeb: - Yeah! I rather like the way it's working though: it's set up as dated letters which start in January and span a full year, so it works well as a year-long project, only reading that day's letters (some are doing it differently, but most of us are doing it this way ... makes it much more manageable).

Good fun :-)

Apr 7, 2012, 9:20am Top

9: Sorry for setting this off. I appended to the existing thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/126131#3333733.

Apr 20, 2012, 8:04am Top

Bit of a recap post for this month so far: it's been a thoroughly enjoyable reading month, although things have been coming in fast and furious and I've been just trying to keep up (ha). Around this time of year I'm working on reading books for the summer SOTT interviews, which is what some of these will be.

And I've finally gotten a chance to start reading in what I'd intended (again, ha!) to be one of my reading themes for this year, the War of 1812. Alan Taylor (whose books I tend to really like) spoke at the Maine Historical Society last night about his The Civil War of 1812, so I made sure to read through that before the talk, and I definitely recommend it. My other non-fiction reads this month Stylized, Midnight in Peking, The Dark Defile, and Masters of the Planet have also been quite good, in different ways.

I also enjoyed The Yard, which will have a SOTT interview about in May, and Prague Fatale was good although I felt a bit lost since I haven't read the earlier books in the series.

Now I've moved onto The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall, which I'm really enjoying so far ... along with that I'm hoping to be able to dig into The Divorce of Henry VIII by Catherine Fletcher before the end of the month.

And, of course, Clarissa continues ...

Apr 20, 2012, 7:49pm Top

Good to hear The Dark Defile is good. It plopped onto the wishlist when I saw it at the library.

Apr 20, 2012, 7:52pm Top

>14 drneutron: - I enjoyed it; I wish she'd been able to bring in a bit more of the Afghan perspective, but even what she's got makes for fascinating reading.

Apr 20, 2012, 8:12pm Top

The Civil War of 1812 is on my TBR list. I've been intending to read more about the War of 1812 for a couple of years but I keep getting distracted by other subjects.

Apr 30, 2012, 6:16pm Top

Stats for April (since I don't think I'm going to finish another one tonight):

Books read: 16

Non-fiction books read: 8 (50%)
Fiction books read: 8 (50%)
Total page count of books read: 4,539

Books by male authors read: 12 (75%)
Books by female authors read: 4 (25%)

Books by living authors: 14 (87%)
Books by dead authors: 2 (12%)

Publication Years
2012 - 9 (56%)
2010 - 2 (12%)
2009 - 2 (12%)
1987 - 1 (6%)
1986 - 1 (6%)
1837 - 1 (6%)

Hardcover: 9 (56%)
Paper: 5 (31%)
ARC: 2 (12%)

Apr 30, 2012, 6:43pm Top

Please let me know if you like Blue Asylum..I have it on loan from the library and should get to it soon. It looks great.

Apr 30, 2012, 7:08pm Top

>18 lilkim714: - I did like it! I read it straight through one afternoon.

May 11, 2012, 6:55am Top

Just realized I'd been updating but not actually posting about my May reads, so here's a bit of that. Links to my reviews are in the first post above.

The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe - Howe's second novel (after The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane; I liked this one a bit better than the first, actually. There are a few slow spots, but overall I thought it was a good read.

Afterlives of the Saints by Colin Dickey - Some really interesting musings on different saints and how their "stories" have been used, re-used, and mis-used over time. Lots of connecting lines of imagery in art and literature between the original stories and their later incarnations.

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley - I'd gotten some good feedback on this from friends, and it's definitely worth reading if you like the whole "supernatural secret service" genre. A really impressive opening chapter, too, and I would anticipate sequels.

The Lifespan of a Fact - I'm waiting to review this until I've had a chance to read a bit more of the backstory, but overall a really fascinating and infuriating book. More later on this one.

The Watchers by Jon Steele - Another in the "angels walk among us" line, like Angelology. This one has some really interesting characters, which I liked. And the story, while a bit rushed at the end, held my attention well.

Now I've moved on the task of reading things from my "read but don't keep" shelf - books that I've been meaning to read but which probably I won't feel the need to keep permanently.

Socrates: A Man for Our Times by Paul Johnson - Interesting enough, but without any citations or justification for many of his conclusions, overall I wasn't really impressed.

Boiling Mad by Kate Zernike - A (now a bit dated) look at the origins and development of the Tea Party; Zernike does a good job of noting the deep-rooted contradictions within the "movement" and how the whole idea came to mean very different things to different people.

And today the new Robert Caro book arrives, so I'll likely immerse myself in that for the forseeable future, which I'm very much looking forward to.

May 11, 2012, 8:56am Top

I've dipped into the Caro book and am loving it, but finding holding the bigness of it to be a challenge. I am hoping to make some significant progress in it this coming weekend.

May 31, 2012, 4:38pm Top

Okay, a sumup post for the second half of May, which turned into quite a month for reading. Not all the books are mentioned here.

The Passage of Power (review) was as delicious as I hoped it would be. Caro continues to tell LBJ's story in a really riveting way.

Some other interesting non-fiction reads: The Kings' Mistresses, on a pair of notable 17th-century sisters (review); Prophet's Prey, on the FLDS church (review) Verdi's Shakespeare, basically comparing Verdi and Shakespeare in some neat ways (review); America's Other Audubon, which reprints the illustrations from a rare book on the nests and eggs of Ohio birds and tells the book's story (review). Dan Rather's new memoir Rather Outspoken (review) also was neat to read; we're doing an author interview with him this summer - it felt more than a little strange to be writing interview questions for Dan Rather ...

I also finally posted my review of The Lifespan of a Fact.

Fiction: Mission to Paris by Alan Furst (review) and Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews (review) were surprisingly similar books. Both were good light reads.

The Sovereignties of Invention by Matthew Battles (review) is a collection of Borgesian short stories, most having to do with libraries/technology/&c. Good stuff.

And This Very Tree by Josephine Young Case (review) I very much enjoyed, probably because it hit home for me in many ways. One of my favorites for the year so far, definitely.

Clarissa continues, slowly (though I've now read ahead through 10 July so that I don't have to take the book with me on my upcoming travels. June and July will likely be fairly low-level book-months; I've currently got several hundred pages of reading to do for my Rare Book School course this summer, and I'll be traveling and otherwise very busy through early July. But of course I'll take a few books with me, and since one of the stops will be BEA next week, I'm sure I'll find (more than) a few things there to add to my suitcase!

Monthly stats coming shortly.

May 31, 2012, 4:42pm Top

Stats for May:

Books read: 21

Non-fiction books read: 13 (62%)
Fiction books read: 8 (38%)

Total page count of books read: 6,134

Books by male authors read: 14 (64%) (one had two male co-authors)
Books by female authors read: 8 (36%)

Books by living authors: 20 (95%)
Books by dead authors: 1 (5%)

Publication Years
2012 - 14 (67%)
2011 - 4 (19%)
2010 - 2 (10%)
1969 - 1 (5%)

Hardcover: 12 (57%)
ARC: 6 (29%)
Paper: 3 (14%)

May 31, 2012, 4:53pm Top

I enjoyed your review of the Caro book and gave it my thumbs up. I need to get back to picking it up... it sits by my bed and unfortunately I've been falling to sleep too quickly to accomplish much reading at night. I think I need a new tactic for getting some of this book read! Perhaps I'll set up a reading station at the dining room table and set myself down for a certain amount of time, daily! I love the politics of it all.

May 31, 2012, 6:14pm Top

>24 maggie1944: - Thanks! I actually ended up having a hard time putting it down, but ended up spending most of a weekend with it in the end. I never have very good luck trying to read "serious" books before bed (I tend to reserve that time for lighter stuff, since my brain kind of zones out by that point :-), so I often have a couple books going at once: one for my early-morning reading, after work, and weekend time, and then something to read before bed/while eating lunch/traveling/&c. But it always varies, too ...

With "big" books, I often try to focus on small chunks - a chapter or a section of a chapter at a time, and then if I get there and feel like continuing, I'll focus on the next small chunk, &c. That gives me an "out" if I need one, heh.

May 31, 2012, 6:19pm Top

Great suggestions!

May 31, 2012, 10:33pm Top

I also enjoyed (and thumbed) your review of The Passage of Power. I received it last week, and I'll probably read it this summer.

Jul 3, 2012, 6:39pm Top

Stats for June (a low month, since I've been away and very busy!):

Books read: 9

Non-fiction books read: 5 (55%)
Fiction books read: 4 (45%)

Total page count of books read: 2,770

Books by male authors read: 7 (70%) (one had male and female co-authors)
Books by female authors read: 3 (30%)

Books by living authors: 8 (89%)
Books by dead authors: 1 (11%)

Publication Years
2012 - 7 (78%)
2011 - 1 (11%)
1988 - 1 (11%)

Hardcover: 4 (45%)
ARC: 3 (33%)
Paper: 2 (22%)

Quarterly stats coming eventually :-)

Some really good books in June, though. Pyg was excellent (watch for an interview with the author shortly!) and Shadow of Night I also very much enjoyed. The two on the Transit of Venus were both good, too.

Edited: Dec 31, 2012, 12:51pm Top

Stats for the Quarter

Books read: 46

Non-fiction books read: 26 (57%)
Fiction books read: 20 (43%)

Total page count of books read: 13,443

Books by male authors read: 33 (69%)*
Books by female authors read: 15 (31%)

Books by living authors: 42 (91%)
Books by dead authors: 4 (9%)

Publication Years
2012 - 30 (65%)
2011 - 5 (11%)
2010 - 4 (9%)
2009 - 2 (4%)
1988 - 1 (2%)
1987 - 1 (2%)
1986 - 1 (2%)
1961 - 1 (2%)
1837 - 1 (2%)

Hardcover: 25 (54%)
ARC: 11 (24%)
Paper: 10 (22%)

*(one had two male co-authors; one had male and female co-authors)

Stats for the Half-Year

Books read: 89

Non-fiction books read: 47 (53%)
Fiction books read: 42 (47%)

Total page count of books read: 27,649

Books by male authors read: 56 (60%)*
Books by female authors read: 38 (40%)

Books by living authors: 81 (91%)
Books by dead authors: 8 (9%)

Publication Years
2012 - 48 (46%)
2011 - 20 (22%)
2009 - 5 (6%)
2010 - 4 (4%)
2007 - 2 (2%)
2006 - 1 (1%)
2001 - 1 (1%)
1997 - 1 (1%)
1992 - 1 (1%)
1988 - 1 (1%)
1987 - 1 (1%)
1986 - 1 (1%)
1978 - 1 (1%)
1961 - 1 (1%)
1837 - 1 (1%)

Hardcover: 41 (46%)
Paper: 25.5 (28%)
ARC: 23 (26%)
eBook: .5 (1%)

*(three had male and female co-editors; one had two male co-authors; one had male and female co-authors)

Third Quarter Thread

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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