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DeltaQueen's 2012 Reading - Part 4

This is a continuation of the topic DeltaQueen's 2012 Reading - Part 3.

This topic was continued by DeltaQueen's 2012 Reading - Part 5.

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: May 4, 2012, 1:41am Top

Summer is just around the corner, but here in the Pacific Northwest we are still enjoying Spring. Welcome to the 4th thread of my reading year.

May 4, 2012, 1:42am Top

Edited: May 4, 2012, 1:43am Top

How I Rate Books:

2.0 ★: I must have been dragged, kicking and screaming, to finish this one!

2.5 ★: Below Average but I finished the book for one reason or another.

3.0 ★: Average, a solid read that I finished but can’t promise to remember

3.5 ★: Above Average, there’s room for improvement but I liked this well enough to pick up another book by this author.

4.0 ★: A very good read and I enjoyed my time spent with this story

4.5 ★: An excellent read, a book I will remember and recommend

5.0 ★: Sheer perfection, the right book at the right time for me

In order to give myself a little more flexibility in rating, I am going to be using a decimal system this year, as I find there can be quite a difference between a 3.3 book and a 3.6 book.

I am not a professional reviewer, both my ratings and reviews reflect how a book resonated with me personally.


♫ ♫ = Audio Book

† † = E-Book

Edited: May 4, 2012, 1:45am Top

2012 Books Read


1. The Dead by Charlie Higson - 4.1 ★
2. Nemesis † † by Agatha Christie - 3.6 ★
3. Seven Days In June by Howard Fast - 3.6 ★
4. Iron House† † by John Hart - 4.2 ★
5. The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison - 3.4 ★
6. Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh - 5 ★
7. Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman - 4.3 ★
8. Sweet Tooth Vol 2: In Captivity by Jeff Lemire - 3.6 ★
9. A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambley - 3.3 ★
10. Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah - 3.5 ★
11. Cheyenne Autumn by Mari Sandoz - 4.2 ★
12. Zoo City†† by Lauren Beukes - 3.4 ★
13. Boundary Waters by William Kent Krueger - 4.0 ★
14. Skeletons On The Zahara by Dean King - 4.5 ★
15. The Last Sunrise by Robert Ryan - 4.1 ★
16. The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley - 3.7 ★
17. Dancing With Colonels by Marjorie Havreberg - 3.0 ★


18. White Nights by Ann Cleeves - 4.2 ★
19. Soulless by Gail Carriger - 3.8 ★
20. The Peacock Spring by Rumer Godden - 4.5 ★
21. Great Expectations †† by Charles Dickens - 3.6 ★
22. Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran - 3.8 ★
23. The Sandman Vol 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman - 4.2 ★
24. When the Astors Owned New York by Justin Kaplan - 3.2 ★
25. Unnatural Death by Dorothy Sayers - 3.7 ★
26. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray - 4.0 ★
27. Pale Immortal †† by Anne Frasier - 3.4 ★
28. Where The Buffalo Roam by Michael Zimmer - 3.6 ★
29. The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst - 4.6 ★
30. The UnTied Kingdom†† by Kate Johnson - 3.3 ★
31. Island of Ghosts by Gillian Bradshaw - 4.2 ★
32. Two Corinthians†† by Carola Dunn - 3.5 ★
33. Blankets by Craig Thompson - 5.0 ★

May 4, 2012, 1:46am Top


34. Shadow Valley†† by Stephen Barnes - 4.6 ★
35. Christine Falls by Benjamin Black - 3.2 ★
36. March by Geraldine Brooks - 4.4 ★
37. Remember Me, Irene by Jan Burke - 3.2 ★
38. Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare - 3.4 ★
39. Enclave by Ann Aguirre - 4.2 ★
40. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin - 5.0 ★
41. Countdown by Deborah Wiles - 4.3 ★
42. Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum - 3.7 ★
43. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi - 4.5 ★
44. Down the Long Hills†† by Louis L'Amour - 3.7 ★
45. Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn - 3.3 ★
46. Yesterday's Dead by Pat Bourke - 4.0 ★
47. The Night Following by Morag Joss - 4.8 ★
48. One Under by Graham Hurley - 4.0 ★
49. Jeannie: A Love Story by Derek Tangye - 3.4 ★
50. A Winter Kill by Vicki Delany - 3.0 ★
51. Lazybones by Mark Billingham - 4.0 ★


52. April In Paris by Michael Wallner - 3.6 ★
53. David Copperfield†† by Charles Dickens - 4.3 ★
54. The Running Vixen by Elizabeth Chadwick - 4.0 ★
55. The Dead and the Gone†† by Susan Beth Pfeffer - 4.1 ★
56. All Shall Be Well by Deborah Crombie - 3.7 ★
57. The Moon Is Down♫♫ by John Steinbeck - 5.0 ★
58. Hey Canada by Viviene Bowers - 4.2 ★
59. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry - 4.3 ★
60. Fables Vol 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham - 3.6 ★
61. Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon - 3.7 ★
62. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork - 4.7 ★
63. The Holy Road by Michael Blake - 4.3 ★
64. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance & Survival by John Vaillant - 4.4 ★
65. War For The Oaks by Emma Bull - 4.4 ★

Edited: May 31, 2012, 1:44pm Top


66. Lennox by Craig Russell - 4.2 ★
67. The White Russian by Tom Bradby - 4.5 ★
68. Rose In Bloom†† by Louisa May Alcott - 3.2 ★
69. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths - 4.2 ★
70. Russian Fairy Tales by Aleksandr Afanasev - 3.3 ★
71. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan - 4.5 ★
72. Zoo Station by David Downing - 4.2 ★
73. Blackburn by Bradley Denton - 4.0 ★
74. Warrior Daughter by Janet Paisley - 3.2 ★
75. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen - 5.0 ★
76. Hombre†† by Elmore Leonard - 3.7 ★
77. Blue Skies & Gunfire by K.M. Peyton - 3.4 ★
78. Hatter M: Volume 1: The Looking Glass Wars - 3.3 ★
79. The Goose Girl†† by Shannon Hale - 5.0 ★
80. Dead Man's Footsteps by Peter James - 4.3 ★

Edited: Jun 19, 2012, 11:26pm Top


81. Venice Noir edited by Maxim Jakubowski - 3.7 ★
82. Divergent by Veronica Roth - 5.0 ★
83. Remembrance by Theresa Breslin - 4.1 ★
84. A Sickness in the Family by Denise Mina - 4.2 ★
85. Trust Nobody by June Hampson - 3.8 ★
86. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - 4.5 ★
87. Life ♫♫ by Keith Richards - 5.0 ★
88. The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner - 3.5 ★
89. Fearless: A Novel of Sarah Bowman by Lucia St Clair Robson - 4.2 ★

May 4, 2012, 1:57am Top

I enjoy posting pictures of my corner of the world, this is a picture of the dike along the Fraser River, and one of the walks that I enjoy.

May 4, 2012, 5:39am Top

Hi *waves* Followed you over here, and it looks like I'm the first :D

May 4, 2012, 7:43am Top

Beautiful pictures - I can't even tell if the one at the top is a photo or a painting! Lovely!

May 4, 2012, 7:56am Top

Judy- Love the bluebird and the dike photo is beautiful. Hope you have a lovely weekend away.

May 4, 2012, 8:16am Top

Oooh, pretty pictures! Nice new thread, Judy. Judging from that lovely photo, I bet you really enjoy your walks!

May 4, 2012, 9:16am Top

Judy- Nice new thread! I really love how you have it organized, and I ADORE your rating system and you explanation of it. ( Um, I might steal it...just saying)

The blue bird is stunning- I have only seen one of those once in my life and the color is something you never forget because it is so vivid.

May 4, 2012, 9:30am Top

Great pictures! I hope you are enjoying the start of spring!
I put a bird feeder out weeks ago and no one has touched it. The only birds I am seeing are raven (or crow, I don't know how to tell the difference). I heard a woodpecker recently, but it wasn't close enough to see. No idea where all the pretty birds are hiding but I would love to see some like in picture #1!

May 4, 2012, 11:14am Top

I love taking walks, too, Judy, and that looks like just my kind. Very pretty.

We took a long walk along the river in Ann Arbor, MI where my dad lives a couple of weekends ago and really enjoyed - cardinals, ducks with their ducklings, swans. Last weekend was very different - we walked up Broadway and then Sixth from 12th St. to 53rd St. in NYC - that's a long way! We were bushed but happy when we got back to our hotel.

May 4, 2012, 11:18am Top

Here to lurk :) Happy reading

May 4, 2012, 2:36pm Top

Judy, I'm so glad you enjoy posting pictures of your corner of the world because I love looking at them. What a beautiful place to walk. I hope you feel as good as new tomorrow and have a wonderful time celebrating your husband's birthday.

May 4, 2012, 3:05pm Top

Congratulations on the new thread! Great photos, particularly of the one where you walk. That scenery would certainly motivate me.

I hope you're feeling much better and that the birthday plans for your husband went off / go off without a hitch. Take care!

May 4, 2012, 3:57pm Top

Beatiful pictures. I'm moving.

I hope you're feeling better and can celebrate your husband's birthday as planned.

I can't believe the amount of reading you've done.

May 4, 2012, 8:53pm Top

Judy - congrats on the latest thread - love the photo of the Fraser river - I am also a devotee of long leisurely walks which is another thing my place is not too good for given the climate and wildlife!

Edited: May 7, 2012, 9:11pm Top

We just got back from out long weekend and we had a great time. Did some shopping (Americans really know how to throw a sale!) and spent a couple of leisurely days at the brother-in-law's hobby farm. The weather turned lovely, we sat out on the deck enjoying the green pastures, flowering fruit trees, and surrounding snow capped mountains. On Saturday night we had a great view of the "Super" Moon as it crested over the hills. (It's called the Super Moon as the full moon this month has it's orbit at the closest point that it comes to the earth, so we see an extra large, extra bright moon.)

Thanks to everyone for visting my new thread and keeping it going in my absence! Waves to all.

I do enjoy my walks, and sometimes I love to walk the city streets as well, except I always find my feet get more tired when walking on the cement sidewalks. Joe, I envy you, getting to walk the streets of New York City! And Paul, I doubt I could do much walking in your country due to the heat, but your corner of the world is truly a paradise!

Of course I didn't ignore my reading over the weekend, finishing a couple of books and starting a couple more. I have a lot of catching up to do and will be visiting all your threads over the next couple of days, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone is reading!

Oh, and the bluebird picture at the very top of my thread is just one I found on Google. I believe it is a painting of the Eastern American Bluebird, here in the west we see the Western Bluebird which is blue all over without the reddish orange chest.

May 7, 2012, 9:11pm Top

I wanna move to one of the Gulf Islands. Now. Really. *sigh*

May 7, 2012, 9:16pm Top

#22 - Hi Suzanne, the Gulf Islands are indeed a special place, and thankfully the residents work very hard to keep it from growning too fast or becoming over-populated. No chain outlets to be found there!

May 7, 2012, 9:18pm Top

Judy, so happy that you had a lovely time! Can't wait to see what you've read. Welcome home!

May 7, 2012, 9:19pm Top

66. Lennox by Craig Russell - 4.2 ★
12 in 12 Category: Heard It Thru The Grapevine - recommended by PaulCranswick
May Murder & Mayhem - Book 1
TIOLI #18 - Reversed Word in Title

Glasgow in the 1950’s was a very tough place to be, yet Lennox, ex-Canadian though he may be, appears to be completely comfortable on it’s gritty, smog draped streets. As a slightly shady investigator, he is able to move among both the city’s gangsters and the police, but always as an associate, never as a friend.

When the first, McGahern twin, Tam, is murdered, Lennox had only a casual interest in the story. Then one evening the other twin, Frank, approaches him for help, but, not wanting to get involved, Lennox rebuffs him. There is a confrontation which the police have to break up. Later that night, Frank is also murdered, putting Lennox right in the frame. He realizes that in order to clear himself from suspicion he must search for the real murderer and the reason these two lesser gangsters were snuffed out.

Lennox is a atmospheric, tartan noir that Craig Russell fills with all the right ingredients. Lead by the tough wise-cracking anti-hero, this is a story filled with violence, hard-boiled characters - both male and female, and the dark, brooding presence of Glasgow with it’s working class environment of shipyards and steel mills. Dark, intense and well plotted, Lennox is a great start to this new series.

May 7, 2012, 9:51pm Top

67. The White Russian by Tom Bradby - 4.5 ★
12 in 12 Category: Romeo & Juliet
Reading Through Time Theme: Historical Mystery
May Murder & Mayhem - Book 2
TIOLI #5 - Black or White

Early spring, 1917 are dark days indeed for Russia. The war is going very badly with Russian horse mounted cavalry being pitted against German armoured divisions and machine guns. The people are cold, hungry and bitter. The Tsar is away at the front, and the Tsarina is the most hated woman in Russia. Many people are convinced that she is spying for her birth country of Germany, and it is openly speculated that she and the recently murdered monk Rasputin were lovers.

Sandro Ruzsky, a chief inspector of the St Petersburg police has recently returned from four year exile to Siberia. Called out to a double murder, Ruzsky comes to realize this complex case is rife with politics, terrorism and revolution. Soon he is up against his old nemesis from the Okhrana, the Czarist Secret Police, as the case leads to the Imperial Palace, and the very dressing room of the Tsarina. Also involved on the fringes of the case is Maria Poplova, a beautiful ballerina who is very much part of Ruzsky’s past, and he hoped his future.

With it’s many twists and turns, this book is as much about the last days of a decaying society as it is about tracking a ruthless killer. As events unfold, many characters become much more involved in their own secret intrigues and plans for escape as Tzarist Russia crumbles around them.

Tom Bradby has set The White Russian at a specific time and place in history and has built his story around St. Petersburg on the brink of revolution. An atmospheric and gripping story, he portrays the confusion, menace and helplessness of those days brilliantly.

May 7, 2012, 10:22pm Top

Judy, why don't you visit Linda's thread (Whisper) and let her know about The White Russian? She loves books about this period in Russia, and this sounds good.

Glad you had a good weekend.

May 7, 2012, 10:26pm Top

That's a great idea, Roni! I'm off to do just that.

May 8, 2012, 12:30am Top

Judy, I love love love the picture of the bluebird! And the nice shot of the Fraser River. This time of year, we live in an amazing part of the world, do we not? :-)

My nephew and his gf are heading to Vancouver for this weekend (sadly, it means that the gf can't Abby-sit as we head down to San Francisco for the same weekend) and looking forward to spending some time in Stanley Park.

May 8, 2012, 7:21am Top

Sounds like you had a lovely time, and got some good reading done too!

May 8, 2012, 7:56am Top

Lovely new thread, Judy! You're so fortunate to be able to walk alongside such beautiful scenery. I fear I would be so engrossed in the view I would trip over small animals or children and fall in the river. Glad you enjoyed your get a way!

May 8, 2012, 8:02am Top

Glad to hear it was such a great visit, Judy. What fun to see the Super Moon in such a beautiful locale.

Hmm, the tartan noir sounds good, and I liked Tom Bradby's The Master of Rain. I may have to quit my job to free up more reading time.

May 8, 2012, 11:30am Top

I'm glad to hear your long weekend went so well, Judy. Did your shopping include any books?

May 8, 2012, 12:02pm Top

Darn it, Judy, those BOTH sound good.

May 8, 2012, 1:08pm Top

#29 - Hi Ellen, we are lucky in where we live, of course there is the downside of the rain, but without it we wouldn't be so lush and green. My husband really noticed a difference in his arthritis over the weekend when we were in the dryness of central Washington.

#30 - Hi Amber, I did get some reading done, but when we were sitting outside it was hard to concentrate on reading, it was a lovely warm day, and they live in a quiet, rural valley. It was hard to keep my eyes on the pages, they kept drifting to the scenery.

#31 - LOL, Lynda, but let me tell you, there's been some days that I get so warm walking, I would pay someone to push me in the river!

#32 - Hi Joe, both books were very good, and I am looking forward to more from these two authors. I already have the next Lennox book, and Master of the Rain will most likely be my next Bradby, Shanghai in 1926 sounds intriguing. He also has one called The God of Chaos which is set in Cairo in 1942 which I will get eventually as well.

#33 - I am proud to report, Dejah, that I resisted buying any books. After realizing that I bought 35 books last month (includes Kindle purchases), I am trying to rein in my impulse to acquire books. I did do a little browsing and almost picked up The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, but I was able to remind myself that there's no reason that I can't get it from the library.

#34 - Hi Mamie, grins devilishly, they are good!

Edited: May 8, 2012, 3:40pm Top

Sigh, off to see if library has the Bradby book. I think I tried one of his early works years ago but it didn't click. This period, however...

*trots off to library website*

ETA: I have put the "library book summoning charm" into operation. (in other words, there's a copy in another branch that I slapped a hold on...)

May 8, 2012, 2:08pm Top

Just checking in, Judy. :)

May 8, 2012, 2:18pm Top

Hi Judy: Love your pictures!!

May 8, 2012, 10:49pm Top

Judy - pleased to see that Lennox was well received. Saw your positive review for the Tom Bradby. I will look this one up based on your positive spin.

May 8, 2012, 11:09pm Top

#36 - I hope you and Tom Bradby click better this time, Suzanne.

#37 - Hi Mickey, I am a regular visitor to your thread, just a relatively quiet one! I just found out that we will be heading over to Alberta in August, my husband's family is having a reunion just north of Calgary.

#38 - Hi Linda, I have to get over to your thread and see how your Kindle Fire is working out. I can see that I won't be able to hold off too long on getting one!

#39 - Paul, I have already purchased the next book in the Lennox series!

May 9, 2012, 3:40pm Top

Adding The White Russian to wishlist sounds like a good one thanks for the review Judy!

May 9, 2012, 4:24pm Top

White Russian sounds like a great book. And I love, LOVE, your corner of the world!

May 9, 2012, 4:24pm Top

White Russian sounds like a great book. And I love, LOVE, your corner of the world!

May 10, 2012, 2:14am Top

#41 & 42 - Hi Susie and Cindy, hope you enjoy The White Russian when you get to it.

May 10, 2012, 2:21am Top

68. Rose In Bloom†† by Louisa May Alcott - 3.2 ★
12 in 12 Category: Calendar Girl
TIOLI #4: 75er's User Name is Part of the Title (SouloftheRose)

After spending two years travelling around Europe, Rose, her companion Phoebe and her Uncle Alex come home. Coming out in society, suddenly Rose has many admirers, but feeling unsure as to who really cares for her and who just sees the heiress, she decides that she must make her own way in the world before she can decide on marriage. Deciding to put her money to good use she turns to charitable works.

Of course her seven male cousins are on hand to escort her and Phoebe to dances, parties and social events, and the various aunts have high hopes that Rose will fall in love with one of these cousins. Charlie, or Prince as he is called appears to be the one who has stolen Rose’s heart. Unfortunately Charlie has a weakness for alcohol and would rather spend his time in play than in any serious undertaking. Another of Rose’s cousins, Mac, waits and watches patiently as he too is in love with her.

Rose In Bloom by Louisa May Alcott is overly sentimental and more than a little preachy. I never fully connected to Rose, as I found she never quite reached the depths that is found in the March girls of Little Women, but this story paints a clear picture of the manners and mores of the times, and what was expected of young people of a certain class. This is a book that totally charmed and captivated me when I was young, but reading it with my jaded eyes today, I mostly found it moralistic and rather dated.

May 10, 2012, 3:56pm Top

I have to agree with you, Judy. When I reread Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom a couple of years age, I still enjoyed Eight Cousins but found RiB to be, as you said, overly sentimental and preachy. The only fault I had with Eight Cousins was how elderly the aunts (younger than I now) were perceived!!!

May 10, 2012, 11:26pm Top

Uh, oh. Struck by more book bullets! The last thing I need is yet another series, but Lennox sounds great. and The White Russian appeals to me, too! Great reviews, Judy!

May 10, 2012, 11:47pm Top

#46 - Thanks Roni, I was a little nervous being less than flattering toward such a beloved book. I plan to read the whole Little Women series over the next few years, but I am pretty sure I will still enjoy them. I re-read Little Women in my thirties when I read it with my daughter and I found it to still be the book that I loved when I first discovered it as a child.

#47 - Hi Terri, blame Paul for introducing me to Lennox. The White Russian was very good, probably better at the history than the mystery, but at least it's a stand-alone book.

May 11, 2012, 9:03am Top

A stand-alone book? I didn't know they still made those!

May 11, 2012, 11:04am Top


Edited: May 11, 2012, 2:00pm Top

60. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths - 4.2 ★
12 in 12 Category: Thriller Night
May Murder & Mayhem - Book 3

I was immediately drawn into The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths, making an instant connection with the main character. Ruth is portrayed as a mature woman, invested in her academic career, independent and capable, living in beautiful isolation with her two cats. She has her issues and problems, but she is far from a helpless heroine. With wry humor and intelligence, she faces her weight problem and loneliness in equal measures.

Ruth Galloway, a forensic archaeologist, is approached by the police to assist in the case of a missing young girl. Bones have been found and they need an expert opinion to date them. Even though these turn out to be Iron Age bones, Ruth and DI Nelson have established a connection and he continues to rely on her expertise in this case. He is also haunted by another, older case involving a missing child. Connecting these two cases are anonymous letters that make archaeological, biblical and literary references which resonate with Ruth.

The author has written a absorbing story and her main characters are both interesting and well developed. I felt she didn’t do quite as good a job with her secondary characters, as they seemed a little stereotypic She has placed her story in a unique setting of barren salt marshes, and blended the ancient and modern worlds to make The Crossing Places a creative and well-crafted mystery.

May 11, 2012, 1:04pm Top

#49 - You are so right, Mamie! Stand alone books are few and far between, especially in the mystery category.

# 50 - Waves to Joe.

Edited: May 11, 2012, 3:30pm Top

Hi Judy. Catching up on this thread before I go back to see what I missed on your last thread.

#45 I am going to read Rose in Bloom this month. It made me smile when I saw you'd relisted it as a TIOLI challenge this month - how funny that neither of us managed to read it last month!

ETA: Back to say that I really enjoyed your review of A War for the Oaks, another book I planned to read last month and didn't get round to :-) One day...

May 11, 2012, 6:52pm Top

Hi Judy- You are on a serious killer M & M roll! All these titles sound interesting and I've never heard of any of them.
Are you almost finished with The Last Werewolf?

May 11, 2012, 7:22pm Top

Judy: I am also a Ruth Galloway fan. Add that to archaeology, and I am hooked. Nice review. I'm reading the latest Gail Bowen novel, Kaleidoscope right now and liking it. Have you read any of hers?

May 12, 2012, 12:05am Top

Judy, I'm sorry I've been away from your thread for so long. I feel like I'm apologizing all over everybody's threads here all the time for the same reason! I love the picture you posted in #8 and can see why it's a favourite walk. I'm so closed in here in the city, I dream of radiant expanses of blue skies and quiet roads... maybe I should move over to your corner of the world?

May 12, 2012, 4:48am Top

Add me to the list of Ruth Galloway/Elly Griffiths fans -- I'm so hooked that I order them from the UK rather than wait...

The summoning charm worked, and The White Russian is waiting for me. I know I read Eight Cousins a long time ago, and Rose in Bloom sounds familiar, but I don't have a copy and don't remember a separate book. But hey, it's been decades since I read it -- perhaps when I was 12/13? And preachy/sentimental was a hallmark of that kind of book (even Little Women has it in abundance). My fave series of books when I was a child were the "Chalet School" books, written from the 1920s into the 1960s, I think, and when I look at them now, I kind of wince at the moralizing. But I still have a sentimental attachment to 'em -- and nearly every book of the 60-odd in the series are still in my possession and not even confined to basement boxes.

May 12, 2012, 3:31pm Top

We are having a lovely weekend, and the weather is warm and sunny. The gardens are pretty much prepared for the bedding plants which we will get around to soon. My husband is going to get out and clean up the summer furnature, as I plan to spend Mother's Day mostly sitting outside and reading. Youngest daughter is preparing the dinner, so my day tomorrow is pretty much free.

My Mom is celebrating her 91st birthday on the 21st, so I think I will be heading over to the Island as a foot passenger next weekend. Unfortunately it's the Victoria Day Long Weekend so it will probably be crowded, both on the ferry and on the Island. But 91 is a big milestone, as all her birthdays are, and I don't want to miss it!

May 12, 2012, 3:56pm Top

#53 - Hi Heather, glad to see you over here. Rose In Bloom wasn't quite the book I remember loving as a child, perhaps I was more accepting of the preachiness then. War For the Oaks is a good one!

#54 - It seems just about every book I have been picking up lately is a good fit for M&M, Mark. I am about half way through The Last Werewolf and enjoying it very much. Zoo Station is also holding my attention, but I am still in the early pages of it.

#55 - I haven't read any Gail Bowen as of yet, Beth, but I plan to. I know she is a Canadian author and I believe she sets her mysteries mostly in and around Saskatchewan, which is my husbands home province. Should be an interesting series.

#56 - Hi Ilana, welcome and please don't apologize for tardiness! I am retired and spend far too much time here at LT, but I still have problems getting to all the threads as well. As to moving out here, you would be more than welcome, but my vision of you is as a cosmopolitan city dweller who spends her time sipping cafe au lait at a chic Montreal cafe would have a hard time imagining you out here in the suburbs!

#57 - Suzanne, I hope The White Russian is an enjoyable read for you. Oh how I wish I still had all my childhood books! But with the three of us to maul books, and moving every couple of years (Dad in the Armed Forces), our books gradually disappeared. We had a really lovely copy of The Wizard of Oz that I would love to still have. Not to mention all my Trixie Belden books! :)

May 12, 2012, 6:54pm Top

> 59
I had forgotten Trixie Belden books! I still have some Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames.

May 13, 2012, 11:31am Top

Hey Judy - Happy Mother's Day! Hope you enjoy the relaxing day that you have planned - sounds terrific!

Just in case you check in here today, I thought I'd let you know that the Kindle Dailey Deal is really a great one - twenty different titles of books that were made into films. I have them listed on my thread.

May 13, 2012, 3:00pm Top

Happy Mother's Day everyone. My husband prepared me a lovely breakfast and we are going to the youngest daughter's for dinner tonight. I have a day of reading and relaxation planned.

#61 - Of course, I rushed over to your thread, Mamie, and then to the Kindle Store. I picked up The Day of the Triffids, The Midwich Cuckoos, The Sand Pebbles, Who Goes There?, and The Asphalt Jungle. I believe I have seen all the films made from these books, looking forward to reading them. Thanks for letting me know about the daily deal.

Edited: May 13, 2012, 3:06pm Top

70. Russian Fairy Tales by Aleksandr Afanasev - 3.3 ★
TIOLI #1: Read A Book Translated from a Slavic Language

Russian Fairy Tales by Aleksandr Afanasev is a classic collection of Russian folk tales. Originally published in 1866, this version was translated by Norbert Guterman in 1946. In this book there are over 200 stories and poems that were collected by Afanasev, these tales are a mosaic of Russian folklore running the gamut from tragedy, romance, humor and adventure. Simple tales that you can well imagine being passed from one generation to another on long Russian nights.

It is obvious in the reading that many, if not most, of these tales were meant to teach life lessons. Many of the stories end abruptly with the death of the main character, illustrating the point of the story - not to do, go or eat something that you have been warned off of. Of course some are obviously simple tales meant to evoke laughter and escape. From obscure stories of simpletons, princesses and talking creatures to the more famous tales of Baba Yaga, Jack Frost and the Fire Bird, one can see how these stores became known as oral poetry.

Passed along verbally over the generations, many variations of the same story emerged. Some would add a humorous slant to their version, others added political touches that had meaning to his audience, while the sly, enterprising storyteller often ended his tale thusly, “This is the end of my tale, and I now would not mind having a glass of vodka”.

May 13, 2012, 3:12pm Top

Hah! Smart storyteller! Sounds like a good collection, Judy. And Happy Mother's Day!

May 14, 2012, 9:37am Top

Judy: Happy belated Mother's Day. It sounds like you were planning a wonderful day. The fairy tale collection sounds great -- it would probably be good background for reading Russian writers.

Yes, Gail Bowen's books are set in Regina. She talks a lot about different places; it would be fun to know how accurate her portrayal is.

May 14, 2012, 12:33pm Top

Hi Joe and Beth, thanks for dropping by. I thought the same thing about the Russian fairy tales, it gives the reader a good look at Russian thought processes and language usage. I also thought it was interesting that so many of the stories weren't about the poor man finding the gold or marrying a princess, but with Russian fatalism, they were often about how one couldn't or shouldn't reach above their station in life.

Beth, I am definitely going to try to nudge Gail Bowen up, I don't know Saskatchewan very well as we tend to make flying visits, but it sounds like a fun series.

May 14, 2012, 12:38pm Top

71. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan - 4.5 ★
12 in 12 Category: Monster Mash
TIOLI #12: Hat Trick - ISBN has three identical numbers in a row
May Murder & Mayhem - Book 4

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan is a roller coaster ride of violence, romance, action and adventure. While outlining the protocols, manners and habits of the werewolf, Duncan delivers a story of a 200 year old werewolf, weary of it all and ready to die, until he is given a reason to fight for his survival.

Relying on many of the tried and true myths of werewolf-vampire hostility, wooden stakes, silver bullets, and the lure of the full moon, the author also adds an erotic earthiness that some may find offensive but I felt helped to pull the reader into Jake’s lonely, persecuted life. A killer that isn’t always comfortable in the role that nature has given him, Jake journals his life in a wry and cynical manner and adds touches of philosophical musings on the nature of his existence.

This is a page turner that will have the reader laughing at one moment, being grossed out the next, and at times actually feeling empathy for this strange, angst-ridden creature. Raw, visceral, and erotic, this will not be a book for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it’s original, adult take on the werewolf legend.

May 14, 2012, 12:50pm Top

Judy- Hope you had a nice Mother's Day! Good review of The Last Werewolf. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Like you said, it's not for everyone but if it clicks it's a winner and the new one is coming out soon. Yah!

May 14, 2012, 12:52pm Top

Wait, what? There's a sequel to The Last Werewolf? Tell me more! I really like that book quite a bit last year.

May 14, 2012, 12:53pm Top


May 14, 2012, 2:17pm Top

I'm another fan of The Last Werewolf. I just read a less-than-enthusiastic review of the sequel in Publishers Weekly. I'm hoping that reviewer just missed the boat.

May 14, 2012, 3:22pm Top

The sequel is called Talulla Rising. For anyone who has read the 1st, knows what that means. I think it comes out next month.

Joe- I hope that advance review is Dead Wrong!

May 14, 2012, 3:54pm Top

Judy - Great review of The Last Werewolf! You captured it perfectly. I read it last fall and really enjoyed it. I devoured (no pun intended :) ) it on a flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco - shortest trans-Pacific flight ever!

May 14, 2012, 11:02pm Top

Oh man, you got me again, Judy! Adding The Last Werewolf to my WL. Next time I come to your thread, I should just go straight to the bottom and say hi and get out...before it's too late.

May 14, 2012, 11:51pm Top

#68 - Hi Mark, I had a lovely Mother's Day and spend a good part of it buried in book.

#69 - Hi Julia, a sequel to The Last Werewolf, oof, now I'm taking book bullets on my own thread!

#70 - Welcome, fantaginamaria.

#71 - I certainly hope that review turns out to be in the minority, Joe.

#72 - Definitely adding Talulla Rising to the wishlist.

#73 - I remember when you read it, Katie. Your review followed Mark's and helped to seal the deal for me.

#74 - LT is really kind of a circular thing, I read The Last Werewolf mostly due to Mark, Joe and Katie's reviews, and now I am passing it on to you Mamie. ;)

May 15, 2012, 7:28am Top

Just stopping by with a "hello!"...

May 15, 2012, 7:46am Top

Hi Judy, hope you had a great Mother's Day. Grrrr, why's it taking me so long to get to the Griffith books?! They've got all the ingredients I like in a book, I've got to at least request them from the library. Maybe once they're in the house I'll be more committed to reading her. The Last Werewolf sounds intriguing. Werewolves are my least favorite undead creaturesw but your review really grabs me.

May 15, 2012, 9:59am Top

Thanks for the great review of The Last Werewolf, looks very interesting!

May 15, 2012, 12:37pm Top

Good morning everyone, today looks to be a good day for me. I cooked a big dinner last night so tonight only have to warm up leftovers. My granddaughter is coming over for dinner, and at seven, she always has interesting things to tell me. Last night it was her brother's turn to come to dinner. He cut the lawn and when my husband gave him ten dollars, he tried to return it and told him to save it for his retirement. Both these grandchildren are a delight and the apple of our eyes!

#76 - Hi Amber, I know how much you enjoy your time with Charlie, and I bet you'd agree with me that kids often give you a different and unique way of looking at things.

#77 - Lynda, yes, I think you would really enjoy The Crossing Places, it looks to be the start of a great series.

#78 - Hi Rachel, I loved The Last Werewolf, probably for all the same reasons that many people would hate it. As Mark says above (#68) if it clicks with you then it's a real winner!

Edited: May 22, 2012, 9:44pm Top

72. Zoo Station by David Downing - 4.2 ★
Reading Through Time: Historical Mystery
May Muder & Mayhem - Book 5

In Nazi controlled Germany one spent much of their time keeping their head down and trying not to draw any attention to themselves. In Zoo Station David Downing captures this claustrophobic feeling as he tells the story of Anglo-American journalist John Russell, living and working in Berlin, held there by emotional ties. He has a German girlfriend he doesn’t wish to leave and a half-German son who means the world to him. Being a divorced father means he gets to spend very little time with his son, but if he left or was expelled he would have to leave his son behind.

What then does he do when he stumbles on an enormous story, one that the rest of the world really should see to get a true picture of how far the Nazi regime is willing to go to keep their bloodlines pure. Another journalist has already been killed over this story, and the hunt is on for the letters and documents that would reveal their plans. At the same time John agrees to teach English to a couple of Jewish girls whose parents are trying desperately to get the family, or at least the children out of Germany. When the father is accused of a crime and the mother is refused a Visa, how can a man of conscience not get involved?

David Downing manages to tell a well paced, complex story that draws the reader along, quietly building the tension as the increasingly murderous nature of this regime is revealed. Hindsight is twenty-twenty and we know what is going to eventually happen, but this is a masterful look at a repressed and frightened people under the control of a government that ruled by terror, unfortunately these people looked the other way and did not want to become involved until it was suddenly too late.

May 15, 2012, 1:23pm Top

Judy, I've been seeing Zoo Station pop up all over the threads, but yours is the first review I've actually read to know what it's all about. It sounds right up my wishlist!

May 15, 2012, 1:28pm Top

Yup, me too, Judy. I may make it a travel (plane) book. Good review!

May 15, 2012, 1:36pm Top


Edited: May 15, 2012, 3:42pm Top

Hi Judy. I read The Crossing Places last year and very much enjoyed it. I have Zoo Station on the pile by my bed.... it's overdue at the library and they won't let me renew it and the fines are adding up...... I should just go buy the darn thing since I don't know when I'm going to get around to reading it! (My excuse for buying a book -- so I have it when I want it.)

May 15, 2012, 7:34pm Top

Judy- Good review of Zoo Station. Glad you liked it. I like his laid-back writing style.

"LT is really kind of a circular thing" Amen, sister!

May 16, 2012, 7:09am Top

#79: "...save it for retirement" - ha! How adorable is that?! What a sweetheart!

May 16, 2012, 7:41am Top

Oooh, Judy, very compelling review of Zoo Station! Now I want to read it!

May 16, 2012, 9:38am Top

Zoo Station sounds fascinating! Wishlisted, thumbed, and checked Hot Reviews. And there it is! Along with your Last Werewolf review, by the way! Double Delta on the home page!

May 16, 2012, 10:11am Top

Hi Judy, you make Zoo Station sound too compelling to ignore it any longer. Onto the WL it goes.

I'll be starting The White Mary for your TIOLI Challenge later this week. When I looked back in my Dream Book, I saw that it was Linda(Alaskabookworm) who had recommended it back in 2009. I'd better get hopping on that backlog! ;-)

May 16, 2012, 10:41am Top

Hi Judy. Zoo Station sounds like a winner. Onto the list it goes.

May 16, 2012, 1:27pm Top

Just dashing in for a quick read as I am on my way to the hairdresser's (the elder daughter), then I have to come home and finish laundry, pack and get ready to go to the Island tomorrow. It's my Mother's 91st birthday this weekend and I want to be there. Going as a foot passenger since it is a long weekend and the ferries will be busy. Not taking my car means I have to pack much more carefully than I usually do.

#81, 82, & 83 - Zoo Station is a great read. This is another book I have LT friends to thank for, I've seen lots of praise for this book, but I believe I have both Mark and Ilana for steering me in it's direction.

#84 - Hi Ellen, I know how those library books can pile up! They are the number one reason why I have trouble getting to my own TBR shelves! Don't want to be an enabler, but Zoo Station would be well worth the money sent on it!

85 - Hi Mark, once again a big thanks for being one of the LTer's to introduce me to Zoo Station. I always go to your thread with my pen in hand, ready to make note of what you are currently reading!

#86 - Hi Amber, I bet you have lots of priceless things tucked away in your mind (or written down somewhere) that Charlie has come out with. To quote Art Linkletter, "Kids really do say the darnest things"!

#87 _ Good morning, Teri. I think Zoo Station would be a good fit for you. Of course, here we go again, it's the first in a series!

#88 - Hi Cindy, LOL - it looks like I got bounced off the Hot Reviews by - You! Your review of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes reminds me of my dusty book of Sherlock Holmes which is sitting on my bedside, patiently waiting for me.

#89 - Hi Donna, I am really looking forward to your thoughts on The White Mary. I do remember that it was a book that just missed for me, I could see such great potential, but it just didn't quite click with me.

#90 - Hi Beth, I'm getting repetative, but I think Zoo Station would be well worth your investigating.

Have a great day everyone, hopefully I'll be back later to catch up on everyone's threads.

May 16, 2012, 1:58pm Top

Nope, Judy; both still there. And look - you're rising! Zoo Station's review is #3, now, and Last Werewolf is #9. I think Hot Reviews is pre-set to show the top 5. Switch it to 10! (-with the edit pencil at the right end of the Hot Reviews ribbon-)

May 17, 2012, 7:10am Top

I hope your mother (and you) have a fantastic birthday weekend!

May 19, 2012, 8:43am Top

Thinking of you and your mother this week end, Judy. How lucky you are to have this time with her. Hugs for the birthday girl! Does being a foot passenger mean you can't pack many books? I suppose you'll be too busy celebrating to get much reading done anyway.

May 19, 2012, 8:50am Top

Judy, hope you have a great celebratory weekend with your Mom. Wishing her a very happy 91st birthday - truly incredible!

May 20, 2012, 8:28am Top

Have a great weekend with your mother. Many happy returns!

May 20, 2012, 1:35pm Top

Hi everyone, my weekend is going great, lots of family to catch up with. Getting some reading done, but not a lot. You're right Donna, I didn't want to get weighted down carrying a ton of books, but I still managed to pack three or four. ;) Of course I have managed to pick up a few from family while over here, hope I don't sink the ferry on the way home! Having a casual family dinner tonight and tomorrow will be the actual birthday celebration over at my sisters', then home again on Tuesday.

May 20, 2012, 5:29pm Top

Hope the weather is in your favor and you have a fab time, Judy!!

May 20, 2012, 6:15pm Top

I love the image of you sneaking in a bit of reading while surrounded by family. I guess most of us are known by our families by now.....
"Where's Judy?"
"In the other room. Reading."
"Oh. Of course."

May 22, 2012, 6:45pm Top

73. Blackburn by Bradley Denton - 4.0 ★
May Murder & Mayhem - Book 5
TIOLI #5: Black or White

A short, interesting character study of a serial killer, starting from his disturbed childhood and going on through his killing years as we read how and why he picked his victims. Learning at a young age that people lied about most things, he developed his own code of ethics. Eventually, when someone failed to live up to his code he began to feel that they must be punished. His crimes weren’t elaborate or planned, usually just gut reaction to once again being disappointed in human nature.

We see that this disappointment started young with his parents. His father was a bully and a loser at life who took his temper out on his wife and son. His mother, bullied and beaten, was a coward who allowed her son to take the brunt of her husband’s anger. Eventually, Jimmy has had to suffer one cruelty too many and leaves home. Drifting from job to job and state to state, Jimmy deals out his form of punishment to many, always males. In fact, one of his rules is that he never kills women.

I was absorbed in this read about a boy who never really had a chance. You can’t help but feel sorry for him as he tries to do the “right” thing and live by a moral code, but can’t stand by when he sees others abusing their power and mistreating weaker people or animals. Blackburn is a quick read that most probably simplifies the psychology behind Jimmy’s actions, but nevertheless, I was glued to the pages as I followed Jimmy’s story to it’s conclusion.

May 22, 2012, 6:50pm Top

# 98 & 99 - Hi Suzanne and Ellen. The weather was pretty good, with Monday being a rather rainy day, but plans were for us to be inside most of that day so the rain didn't bother us.

I have to admit that I tend to walk around with a book in my hand most times, I would snatch a paragraph or chapter whenever I could. Luckily I come from a family of readers and there's a few of us who usually have books in hand! Of course, I didn't take my book with me to the dinner yesterday, although there were times I wouldn't have minded slipping away.

May 22, 2012, 10:00pm Top

74. Warrior Daughter by Janet Paisley - 3.2 ★
12 in 12 Category: Go Where You Wanna Go
Reading Thru Time Quarterly: Ancient Worlds
TIOLI #18: Reversed Word in Title

I was expecting to be totally carried away to another time and place by Warrior Woman by Janet Paisley, a book about a legendary woman chieftain who lived on the island of Skye in the first century AD. Unfortunately that didn’t happen with this book. The author painstakingly tells the story of Sgathaich who was known to lead a matriarchal society, and many details of the druidic based religion and seasonal rituals were included. I can’t speak to the authenticity of the author’s historic details, but as so little is known of this time period, the author had to rely on her imagination to tell this story that encompassed the life of this legend, from a young girl to a mature woman.

The story felt more like a sword and sorcery based fantasy, than true historical fiction. I found it lagged a little in the middle, but did pick up and come to a satisfactory conclusion. It simply may have been a case of the wrong book at the wrong time for me, but I never felt like I got to tap into any emotional depth or true human feeling with this story.

There were some very interesting details added, especially the power that these women had. Men were portrayed as little more than servants and playthings, with women making all major decisions, and choosing or discarding their mates at will. Whether these details were in fact, true, I find a little hard to believe, and probably added a little to my being uneasy with this story.

May 23, 2012, 7:13am Top

Glad to have you back, and I hope your mother had a great day!

I think I need to add Blackburn to my wishlist...

May 23, 2012, 10:55am Top

Adding Blackburn to my wishlist!

May 23, 2012, 2:05pm Top

Hi Amber and Carol, I was going to say that I hope you enjoy Blackburn, but with a book about a serial killer, that sounded a bit odd. Let's just say, I hope you find the book as intriguing as I did!

May 23, 2012, 2:10pm Top

I have reached my 75th book - and I couldn't have planned a better one!

75. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen - 5.0 ★
12 in 12 Category: True Colors
Reading Through Time: Historical Mystery
TIOLI #5: Black or White
May Murder & Mayhem - Book 6

In The Devil In The White City, author Erik Larsen cleverly entwines the story of the Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair with that of a serial killer who was going about his grisly business in the Chicago area at the same time. Switching the stories from chapter to chapter, allowing the reader to experience both the mounting excitement as the fair slowly evolved alternately with the horror and dread that this killer was never going to be uncovered made for a masterful read.

While we read of the fair being conceived, the site being chosen, the day to day details of the construction, we are also reading of American history. Many, if not most, of the major personalities of the time are included in these pages. This book brings both a city and a country to vivid life at the closing end of the century in a time that became known as The Gilded Age. Contrasting the brilliant architect whose vision became known as the White City, with the slimily engaging, cunning murderer who lured his victims to their untimely death was a brilliant idea.

This book engages the reader from the first page to the last, unique in vision, informative and entertaining, I highly recommend The Devil in the White City.

May 23, 2012, 2:50pm Top

Thanks again for letting me know about White Russian and thanks to Roni for thinking of me. I love this wonderful group of caring folk!!!!

I recently purchased a copy of The Devil in the White City. Your review is great!

May 23, 2012, 4:12pm Top

Congrats on reaching 75, Judy! And nice review of The Devil in the White City - terrific book. Prescribed reading for folks who live where I do.

May 23, 2012, 8:09pm Top

Your 75th book is a five-star earner and it's in my TBR pile at home. Congrats on reaching 75 and how nice to have it be a terrific read! I'm looking forward to it...eventually.

May 23, 2012, 8:25pm Top

Congratulations on reaching the 75 book mark, Judy!! Way to go!

May 23, 2012, 8:43pm Top

Judy- What a perfect book for 75! Your timing is perfect. And good review too!

May 24, 2012, 12:06am Top

Judy - lovely review! I am reading that right now and think you are spot on with your description. I love how Larson writes nonfiction. And congrats on reaching 75!!

May 24, 2012, 3:38am Top

Dear Guru - well done for passing 75 with less than 5 months on the clock.

May 24, 2012, 7:17am Top

Congratulations on reaching 75!

May 24, 2012, 7:26am Top

So glad that you enjoyed the Larson book - I loved it when I read it a few years ago.

May 24, 2012, 10:23am Top

Congrats on the 75!

May 24, 2012, 12:52pm Top


May 24, 2012, 2:32pm Top

Thanks for all the congratulations everyone. I feel pretty confident now that I will reach my personal goal of 150 books this year.

#107 - Linda, thanks for dropping by. I follow your thread regularly and I know how busy you are right now. Hope you enjoy your time in New Orleans!

#108 - Hi Joe, I bet you and your fellow Chicago residents got a lot more out of The Devil in the White City than I did, not being at all familiar with the locale.

#109 - Hi Ellen, I hope you enjoy your read of The Devil in the White City when you get to it.

#110 & 111 - Waves at Roni and Mark.

#112 - Hi Mamie, I am definitely going to be on the lookout for more by Erik Larsen, particularly In The Garden of the Beasts which I have heard good things of.

#113 - Good morning (or probably evening on your side of the world), Paul.

#114, 115, 116, & 117: Thanks to all, I am glad that my 75th fell on a book that I really loved.

May 24, 2012, 2:36pm Top

Judy: Congrats on reaching 75 and great review of The Devil in the White City; I'll have to move that up to the top of my piles. I hope you had a great time with your mother.

May 24, 2012, 5:31pm Top

wow, good job on reading 75 already! You should be at 150 in no time!

May 24, 2012, 8:33pm Top

I can highly recommend In the Garden of Beasts - I read it last year and it was really good.

May 24, 2012, 10:17pm Top

Just checking in, Judy. I am still hoping to get to The Devil in the White City this month. We'll see.... there's always next month!

May 25, 2012, 1:13am Top

#119 - Hi Beth, I had a great weekend away and it was a joy to see my Mom turn 91. She is amazing, still running her own home, and avid gardener and reader. In fact, The Devil in the White City just may be a book that will interest her.

#120 - Hi Chelle, being retired definitely means having a lot more time for reading.

#121 - Good to hear, Mamie, I will look forward to reading that one.

#122 - Hi Katie, I know, no matter how we plan out our reading, it's sometimes hard to fit everything in. I actually think (fingers crossed) I am going to read every book I planned on this month. Maybe I'll even have some time to squeeze in an extra one!

May 25, 2012, 1:18am Top

76. Hombre†† by Elmore Leonard - 3.7 ★
12 in 12 Category: Home On the Range
TIOLI #12: Hat Trick - ISBN has three consecutive numbers

Hombre by Elmore Leonard is a classic gem of a western tale. This author, known for his thrillers, has also written some of the best westerns around. This is a simple story of a loner who helps the survivors of a stagecoach robbery, but in Leonard’s capable hands a story of prejudice, survival and moral honesty emerges.

Hombre is John Russell, a man who was raised by Apaches but lives in a white world that doesn’t accept him. Told he is not “white” enough to ride in the stagecoach, he is banished to ride upon the roof. After being robbed and left in the desert with no transportation or water, these same people turn to him and expect him to save them.

Once can’t help but picture Paul Newman as Hombre, a role he made famous in the movies. Every time the character’s piercing blue eyes are mentioned, I saw Newman’s face. This is a quick read, but though short in page numbers, there is a powerful story here and one that I really enjoyed.

May 25, 2012, 7:56am Top

Nice review, Judy! I LOVE Elmore Leonard - especially his books about Raylan Givens. I have not tried any of his westerns, but I should - and my husband is a big fan of westerns, so I bet he would love it.

May 25, 2012, 10:01am Top

You know, I have always meant to read something by Elmore Leonard.

May 25, 2012, 1:24pm Top

You know, I was just thinking that same thing. :)

May 25, 2012, 4:25pm Top

#125 - Hi Mamie, I have actually read more of Elmore Leonard's westerns than his thrillers, but I certainly intend to get to those thrillers at some point. Am I right in saying that the TV series "Justified" is based on the Raylan Givens series? I am recording the first season of Justified but haven't watched any of it yet but have it on good authority (Mark) that it's pretty good.

#126 & 127 - He's a pretty good writer, both his thrillers and his westerns are above average, and since Hemingway is his idol, he certainly isn't wordy. Stark prose and great storytelling are what you get with Elmore Leonard.

May 25, 2012, 4:32pm Top

Justified rules! Yes, the show is based on the books. "Stark prose and great storytelling" is a great description, Judy - I would add truly excellent characters, at least in the case of the Raylan Givens books.

May 25, 2012, 8:48pm Top

Judy- I really admire the fact that you read and enjoy westerns! I grew up on a steady diet of them but as an adult I have not read as much. I do love Elmore Leonard and have read many of his crime novels, all top-notch but never any of his westerns.
I also loved the film version of Hombre. Perfect for Newman.
You will love Justified.

May 25, 2012, 9:00pm Top

Judy - here is an echo of Mark - grew up loving westerns on the screen as well as the page. Not read Leonard but have his complete western stories. Love Edson, Johnstone, Gilman, Schaefer and of course L'Amour.

May 25, 2012, 9:11pm Top

Hi Mamie, Mark and Paul, I think it's my love of the western films that lead me into reading westerns. Of course once I read Lonesome Dove I was hooked. There are a lot of bad westerns out there, but if you look, there are some truly great ones as well.

May 25, 2012, 9:17pm Top

My hands-down favorite was Louis L' Amour but I also loved Zane Grey & Max brand too. I'm sure there are others I can't even remember.

And Judy, I agree McMurtry and Cormac McCarthy have wrote some of the best modern westerns ever written.

May 25, 2012, 9:18pm Top

77. Blue Skies & Gunfire by K.M. Peyton - 3.4 ★
12 in 12 Category: Soldier Boy
TIOLI #3: Title & Author's Name have the National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP) initials

Blue Skies & Gunfire by K.M. Peyton is the story of a young, immature girl who is torn between loving two brothers which results in sadness and tragedy for all. Set against the backdrop of WW II in the summer of 1940, sixteen year old Josie is sent to her aunts in the country as the Germans are bombing London prior to their expected invasion. At first not pleased to be sent away, Josie soon meets a posh young man and embarks on a summer romance. When his dashing, older brother, pilot Chris turns up, Josie falls for him completely, breaking the heart of his younger brother.

Of course these three are living in wartime, and war has a way of taking over and controlling the destiny of everyone. This YA story with it’s earnest young love and adolescent yearnings coming up against the hard facts of life was a compelling story. I would have liked to have seen the characters a little more fleshed out, particular the two brothers as their relationship was supposed to be a close one, but had it’s share of secrets and guilt. My other concern was with the ending. I felt the way the author concluded the story left too much uncertainty for the future happiness of these characters.

These concerns aside, I enjoyed this book that contrasted the carefree feelings of adolescents discovering love for the first time with the daily terror people were living at that time with dogfights above them and bombs crashing down around them,

May 26, 2012, 2:34am Top

Did you ever read Peyton's "Flambards" books, Judy? It sounds as if she had a thing about brothers in love with the same woman, and flying, and war!

I had to laugh at you walking around with a book in your hand. I can't even go upstairs to fetch something without taking a book with me. I take my Kindle to go and pick up dinner at a local restaurant. I mean, you just never know... When I was a child, I would walk down the street reading. At one point, I sported matching goose eggs on both temples from walking into lamp posts. Seriously.

May 26, 2012, 5:51am Top

Judy! Hello! Trying to do the rounds, puff puff. I am glad I already have The devil in the White City or I would have had to purchase it, based on your terrific review. Already read several Elmore Leonard books - so dodged that one. How is evwery thing in your life?

May 26, 2012, 8:09pm Top

A (slightly belated) congrats on reaching 75, Judy! I have had Devil in the White City on my TBR list, and should move it up. (Somehow I seem to be saying that about an awful lot of books on the TBR list...)

May 26, 2012, 10:05pm Top

#135 - Oh Suzanne, you don't know how happy I am to hear of other people who walk around carrying their book. I get some strange looks from some and most of my friends just think I am crazy. So far though I have resisted walking and reading, I would probably take myself right off a cliff if I tried that! Re: Peyton's subject matter, I did read a note where she said she had a intense relationship during the war that she was too young to handle. Perhaps with a pilot??

#136 - Hi Prue, I bet you are going crazy trying to catch up! Life is going very well for me right now, enjoying the warm weather, spent most of the afternoon sitting outside (book in hand). Tomorrow hubby and I are going to the nursery to get the final bedding plants, then he'll do the planting while I supervise.

#137 - Hi Mary, I know how difficult it is to get those books moved up. From first hearing about a book, then adding to the wishlist and/or the TBR - sometimes it takes years for a book to get to the top!

May 27, 2012, 5:17am Top

Hello Judy - catching up is so HARD! Gotta put in a plug for the new pAnne Tyler - The Beginner's Goodbye. Short, but bliss!

May 27, 2012, 7:10am Top

Hi Judy, Congrats for reaching 77 books!! I enjoy reading books set in the West so I'll definately be checking out Leonard's. Glad you enjoyed Devil in the White City. Erik Larson is quickly becoming one of my fave authors.
Hope you're enjoying your weekend.

May 27, 2012, 10:19am Top

Good Morning, Judy! Just stopping in to let you know that the Kindle Daily Deal is a a good one if you like Karin Fossum. They have seven of her books for just $1.99 each. I have the list posted on my thread if you are interested.

May 27, 2012, 5:55pm Top

Well, we went out for breakfast this morning followed by a trip to the nursery. Came home and planted most everything. We can now say our garden is officially ready for summer!

#139 - Hi Prue, I've made note of the Anne Tyler!

#140 - Hi Lynda, Eric Larsen is well on his way be being a favorite with me as well. Can't wait to get something else by him.

#141 - Thanks Mamie, I went to the Kindle site but I guess we Canadians don't get this deal, they only had one Fossum at a reduced price and it was number 6 in the series. Mostly the daily deals are passed on to us, but every once in a while they're not.

Edited: May 27, 2012, 9:50pm Top

78. Hatter M: Volume 1: The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor - 3.3 ★
12 in 12 Category: Every Picture Tells A Story
TIOLI #4: 75ers User Name Is In Title (Chatterbox)

Hatter M: Volume 1: The Looking Glass Wars is the first in Frank Beddor’s series that follows the quest of Hatter M to find, rescue and restore the Princess Alyss to her rightful place as the future Queen of Wonderland.

Hatter M is a fresh twist on the works of Lewis Carroll stories of Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Ordered by his Queen to take her daughter Alyss from Wonderland and keep her safe, Bodyguard Hatter M is distraught when Alyss slips from his arms during the transformation and is now lost in our world. It is 1859 and he is faced with battling the forces of Black Imagination while trying to pick up the glow of the Princess. He starts in Paris and moves on to Budapest, although he succeeds in a rescue, it is not Alyss and his search must continue on into other books.

While I found the idea of this book fascinating, the actual book itself seems to have missed the mark slightly. I found that the story jumped around rather abruptly and I had a hard time figuring out exactly what was going on, perhaps because I haven’t read the actual trilogy of books that these graphic novels are based on. The artwork was strangely distorted, but I felt that it fit the style of the story wonderfully. I will probably pick up the next volume at some point as I am now interested in where this story is going.

May 27, 2012, 11:34pm Top

Belated congrats on reaching 75! Have a great week!

May 27, 2012, 11:43pm Top

Bummer about the Fossum books - that hardly seems fair!

May 27, 2012, 11:50pm Top

Congrats on passing the 75 milestone!

May 28, 2012, 1:47am Top

Congratulations on your 75!

May 28, 2012, 7:21pm Top

Congrats Judy!!

The Looking Glass Wars Series is great! If you do audiobooks I highly recommend these in that form! The narrator is fantastic!

May 29, 2012, 5:12pm Top

I've had my head buried in a book for the last day, having totally fallen under the spell of Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl (review follows). Thanks to everyone for dropping by and keeping my thread active.

It's that time of month when I start haunting the TIOLI thread to see when Madeline posts the new challenges. I had a great reading month in May with Murder and Mayhem and a couple of 5 star reads. I have one more book I am hoping to complete for the month and then I'll be ready to tackle June!

Edited: May 29, 2012, 5:23pm Top

79. The Goose Girl†† by Shannon Hale - 5.0 ★
12 in 12 Category: Do You Believe in Magic?
TIOLI #4: 75er User Name is in the Title (BBGirl55)

They say timing is everything, and I feel that this must have been the exact right time for me to read The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. I loved this book that was based on a favorite Grimm Brother’s fairy tale. Taking the original story and adding twists and detail, Shannon Hale has enhanced the original, and by populating it with great characters, vivid descriptions and a juicy plotline she has offered up a book that deserves it’s beloved status.

This is a book that allows you to transport to another world, another time, and get lost in the pages. It is also a tale that has a definite modern outlook toward love and relationships. Yes, it is a romantic princess tale, but with a strong leading character that shapes her world, doesn’t settle and is able to find happiness even when alone. Of course, when she does find her prince, he is just about perfect, being someone who obviously will allow his wife both freedom and her own sense of power.

Written in lyrical, descriptive prose, Hale has build a believable world where these strange and magical happenings actually ring true. An incredibly imaginative and appealing read that has placed Shannon Hale in my must-read-more-of category.

May 29, 2012, 5:19pm Top

Congrats on making it to 75!!

May 29, 2012, 5:25pm Top

Doing a long overdue catch up Judy. Belated congratulations on reading 7579 books so far and well done on managing to squeeze so much murder and mayhem into May :-)

Zoo Station and The Goose Girl are working their way up my 'read soon' list thanks to your reviews.

May 29, 2012, 5:28pm Top

The Goose Girl sounds really good, Judy. I've enjoyed Shannon Hale's Austenland books, and I want to find time to try this one.

May 29, 2012, 5:47pm Top

Loved your review of Goose Girl - we have that book, but I think it is packed in the Pod. So, I guess I will have to wait until after we move to Georgia to read it - bummer.

May 30, 2012, 9:42pm Top

I have been doing my usual running around that occurs this time of the month with the TIOLI Challenges. There are some very interesting ones this month and I am having to restrain myself not to overbook myself as I usually do. So far I am planning on 15 books, 13 of which I have found a challenge that fits.

#151 - Thanks for visiting, Kittenfish.

#152 - Hi Heather, hope you are feeling better. You have some great reads in your future with both Zoo Station and The Goose Girl.

#153 - Hi Joe, I am definitely planning on reading those Austenland books in the future. This month I am going to be reading another one of your recommendations - Divergent. It seems to be a hit with everyone who reads it.

#154 - Hi Mamie, fingers crossed that you and the family will soon be on your way to Georgia. You must be anxious to reunite the whole family under one roof!

May 30, 2012, 10:40pm Top

Congratulations on a 5-star book for your #75. Atta girl!

I've been scrambling around trying to fit my anticipated June reads into TIOLI challenges, too. My husband has learned to stay out of my way as I travel from room to room searching for the right mix. I'm expecting my number to come up on a few books at the library as well so will have to squeeze them in somewhere. Fun times. ;-)

May 31, 2012, 12:34am Top

Hi Donna, thanks for dropping by. I always feel a great feeling of satisfaction once I have planned all my reads for the month. I list my TIOLI plans on my Profile Page in order to keep track.

May 31, 2012, 1:48pm Top

80. Dead Man's Footsteps by Peter James - 4.3 ★
12 in 12 Category: I Will Follow Him
TIOLI #18: Reversed word in the Title
May Murder & Mayhem: Book 7

The fourth in his DS Roy Grace series, Dead Man’s Footsteps by Peter James continues the high standard of the series. Although so far none of the books has matched the high suspense level that the first book delivered, this one comes close. The series is classed as a police procedural, but these have the added bonus of being fast paced with thrilling plots that keep the pages flying by.

Roy Grace is a complex character with a strong work ethic and although he has his problems with one superior, and jealousy is an issue with another, overall he is a well respected member of the Sussex Police. Working and living in Brighton, Roy’s main issues stem from his past and his wife who disappeared without a trace over nine years ago. Although he is trying to move on and develop new relationships, having a missing person case of this nature plays havoc with his personal life.

Dead Man’s Footsteps deals with how Ronnie Wilson, a shady businessman, took advantage of having scheduled a meeting at the World Trade Center in New York on the morning of September 11, 2001. Now, years later, bodies are beginning to surface - one in Brighton and one in Australia - that have connections to Ronnie Wilson. DS Grace and his team are beginning to suspect that perhaps Ronnie survived 9/11. Meanwhile, a young woman is in hiding in Brighton, but her nemesis has found her and now she is fighting for her life. As the tension mounts, the police seem to be moving ever so closer to putting the pieces together and we can see these storylines start to merge.

I felt a little like I was riding a rollercoaster as the book seemed to move faster and faster as we drew to the end. With many a twist and turn this is a genuine thriller and I am already looking forward to the next book in the series.

May 31, 2012, 6:32pm Top

Judy, you got me again. Your thread is so dangerous to me! A very nice review of yet another series that I have never heard of. I added the first in my series to my obese WL. Can't complain too much because you haven't steed me wrong yet.

Finished The Devil in the White City but haven't gotten my review written yet. Like you, I loved it. It held up all the way through, and I really enjoyed all the details.

May 31, 2012, 10:33pm Top

Hi Mamie, the first in the Peter James series was, for me, the best in the series so far. A real edge of your seat thriller!

I think I actually preferred reading about all information about the World's Fair in Devil In the White City, even though the crime part was interesting. I remember both Expo 67 in Montreal which enthralled me, and then here in Vancouver, Expo 86. Both those fairs were well worth mutiple trips to take it all in. I don't think countries can afford to put on World Fairs anymore, I can't recall any in the last few years.

May 31, 2012, 10:39pm Top

I was fascinated by the world's fair details, and would have read an entire book just about that, so I completely agree with you.

Jun 1, 2012, 11:26am Top

Judy: You know I like my mysteries; the Peter James series sounds like one I should try even though I'm trying to stay away from new series...

Jun 1, 2012, 9:46pm Top

Hi Beth, I know all about trying to stay away from new series - it seems I can't!

Jun 1, 2012, 11:55pm Top

Everything seems to be a trilogy or a series today :)

Jun 2, 2012, 6:06am Top

Maybe there should be a challenge one month titled - "read the next book in a series" - but knowing how book mad we all are, this has probably already been done. It would be a great way to prompt me to get on with finishing a series. I have been considering incorporating this as part of my own 75 book challenge in the future.

Jun 2, 2012, 4:30pm Top

#165 - Funny you should say that Roro as last year I hosted a September theme thread called Series and Sequels here on the 75er group and everyone who participated read the next book in whatever series they were following - from fantasy, historical fiction and/or mysteries. I am planning on doing it again this September - I'll let you know when the thread goes up, probably sometime toward the end of August.

Jun 2, 2012, 6:14pm Top

Hi, Judy! I'm just trying to catch up. Congrats on reaching 75, and with such a great book -- one of my all-time-favorite non-fiction reads! The Peter James series sounds really good. I can't remember, must check, I think I put the first in that series on my list when you read another from the series.

Jun 2, 2012, 6:48pm Top

That sounds great Judy. I bet it encourages me to start more series when I hear how good everones reviews are.

Jun 2, 2012, 7:00pm Top

>155 DeltaQueen50: It's a great time to read Divergent, Judy. The next one, Insurgent, is already out, and it's a page turner, too. Looking forward to hearing what you think of Tris and the world she's in.

Jun 2, 2012, 7:07pm Top

I just finished Divergent in almost one sitting. I know this is horrifying, but I liked it a LOT better than The Hunger Games. I'm about to start Insurgent.

Jun 2, 2012, 7:20pm Top

I liked it better than Hunger Games, too, Rachel!

Jun 2, 2012, 7:53pm Top

"I liked it better than Hunger Games" What' choo talkin' about Willis??

Jun 2, 2012, 8:31pm Top

*smiles nervously, elbows Rachel* Um, hi Mark. Fancy meeting you here...We were just talking about how good Hunger Games is.

Jun 2, 2012, 10:19pm Top

Judy - good review of James' Roy Grace book. Not a bad though not my favourite series. Have a lovely weekend.

Jun 2, 2012, 11:30pm Top

ha..ha.. yes Mamie...Hunger Games ! It's the bestest! *glances around for escape route*

Jun 2, 2012, 11:35pm Top

You are reading at a fast clip! Congratulations. I own a copy of Goose Girl. I'm trying to remember if it is a Newbery award winning book.

Jun 3, 2012, 10:44am Top

Judy: I am not familiar with Divergent; I'll look forward to your comments. Will this be another I have to add to my list? It sounds like many people love it.

Jun 3, 2012, 9:56pm Top

First off let me say I am loving Divergent, but is it better than The Hunger Games? I'll have to let that simmer sometime before I decide. (See how diplomatic I can be!)

Welcome to one and all, today we went shopping for a new laptop for hubby, and now I'm jealous of his new toy even though we haven't brought it home yet. The Geeks are getting it set up for him. Did manage some reading time this afternoon. As usual I have overbooked myself and have resorted to reading three books at a time. This doesn't actually allow me to read more books, it just seems like it does.

Paul, there are so many good series out there in the British Crime genre that it's hard to have favorites. I do follow quite a few, some more regularly than others with my newest favorite being Elly Griffith's series featuring Ruth Galloway.

Linda, I don't think The Goose Girl won a Newberry but I do see that her book called The Princess Academy was up for a Newberry but didn't win.

Hi Beth, I think I remember reading on your thread that you are not a big fan of dystopian books, so I hesitate to recommend Divergent to you, but I am finding it an excellent read, with a great storyline and very engaging characters. I'm only halfway through and I know that I will be on the lookout for Insurgent soon.

Jun 3, 2012, 10:01pm Top

81. Venice Noir edited by Maxim Jakubowski - 3.7 ★
12 in 12 Category: Thriller Night
TIOLI #7: Read a book set in a country beginning with "I"

Venice Noir is a collection of stories that have been edited by Maxim Jakubowski,. Validating his opinion that Venice is a city of the world, authors of different nationalities were invited to make contributions to this collection. Authors like Peter James from the UK, Michelle Lovric from Australia, Emily St John Mandel from Canada, as well as various European authors answered his call resulting in an anthology of fourteen stories, each set in a distinct neighbourhood that gives great flavor and authenticity to these stories.

Venice Noir takes a look at the dark, underbelly of Venice, as stories of murder, treachery and passion unwind on the pages evoking a sense of decay and despair and showing a side of this city that is rarely seen.
According to the dictionary, the definition of Noir is crime fiction that features hard boiled characters and bleak sleazy settings. This book comes close at times, in particular stories like Cloudy Water by Matteo Righetto and Little Sister by Francesca Mazzucato are very dark, while others such as Peter James’ Venice Aphrodisiac and Maria Tronca’s Tourists For Supper strike a chord of grotesque humor rather than noir.

Even though these stories varied greatly in quality, I enjoyed this collection set in one of Europe’s premier cities. Dark, atmospheric and extremely readable, I will definitely be on the lookout for more in the Akashic Books Noir series.

Jun 4, 2012, 2:35am Top

Hi Judy,
I have Seattle Noir on my stack; I wonder how all the "Noir" collections compare.

Jun 4, 2012, 9:02am Top

Well, Judy, I might have to change my idea about dystopian fiction. I did love The Hunger Games and I just finished America Pacifica, which is a fine book. I'll have to see if Insurgent is in the library. The Noir book looks good.

Jun 4, 2012, 10:57am Top

It was hard, but I skipped over the delightful conversation and focused on the books, and finally managed to get caught up on your thread. Whew! Belated congratulations on reaching 75 books so early in the year. 150 should be no problem for you.

Jun 4, 2012, 6:53pm Top

Hi Judy, I just finished getting caught up on your thread as well. The Goose Girl sounds like something I'd love and my library has it. Now I just need to wait till a spot opens up on my hold list to get it.

Way back up thread you mentioned enjoying time spent in central Washington. Is there any place specifically you'd recommend visiting? We seem to have similar vacation tastes (Cannon Beach, Tucson). We've made several trips to Seattle, one to Spokane, one to Walla Walla and one to an inn--The Cave B Inn-- near Quincy, all of which we've loved so I'm always eager to hear about more places in Washington to visit.

A big congratulations to reaching 75 books already. You're a super reader!

Jun 5, 2012, 5:52pm Top

# 180 - Hi Ellen, I think it would be quite hard to compare the Noir series by city, each book comprises stories from such different authors, and, each city is very different. I saw one review where the person had read a few of the Noir series but much preferred European ones simply because she thought thoses cities (Paris & Rome) were more atmospheric. I will certainly be trying some more, I like the idea of having a book of short stories on the go, to pick up between other reads.

#181 - Beth, I love a good Dystopian novel, but as with all books the important word there is "good". Divergent is very, very, good. BTW, Insurgent is the second book in the trilogy.

#182 - Hi Sandy, good to see you! I've been feeling a bit overwhemed the last few days. I have to make a hard choice between reading time and LT time, so I am trying to cut back a little on the LT time, but then I seem to get so far behind ...

#183 - Hi Pat, I highly recommend The Goose Girl, and I hope you enjoy it when you get to it. We visit central Washington on a fairly regular basis, mostly because my husband's brother and his wife live on a hobby ranch near Ellensburg. They actually have just sold the place and are in the process of deciding where to move. They are looking at the Arlington, Washington area versus Bend, Oregon. Wherever they settle, I know we'll be regular visitors. We spend a weekend in Walla Walla a couple of years ago and I loved that town, it just seems so far away from everything though!

Edited: Jun 5, 2012, 9:39pm Top

I think it started on Paul's thread, but a lot of us are posting our favorite books of this century, I tried to narrow it down to ten, but even by making three lists - one for fiction, one for YA and one for mysteries/crime, I couldn't seem to narrow it down beyond this:

My Top Books of the Century (so far):


- The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)
- Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes (2010)
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (2003)
- The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani (2007)
- Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue (2002)
- Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (2008)
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2003)
- Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (2009)
- The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (2010)
- Pretty Birds by Scott Simon (2005)
- The Complete Essex County by Jeff Lemire (2009)
- This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson (2005)

There are quite a few that I had to leave off, like World War Z, The Night Circus, Beneath a Marble Sky and some others. I used the publishing date that LT provided, hopefully it's correct. I will be back with my other two lists later.

Jun 5, 2012, 7:43pm Top

Interesting list Judy. I have only read two of those listed- The Kite Runner and The Road. I had to force myself to read The Road as it was for my local book club group. The group was very divided over that one, people seemed to either love it or dislike it, I'm afraid I was in the second group.
A couple more from your list I have borrowed from the library but never got around to reading, so maybe I will look at them again.

Great idea to develop such a list, makes me think about all the good books I have read too. I might pop over to Paul's thread now and see what is on his.

Jun 5, 2012, 9:36pm Top

Hi Roro, I love reading other people's lists, it's amazing how many different books can crop up, while at the same time many of us have a lot of the same books. I know that by reading through these lists, I have added a few titles to my wishlist. Regarding The Road, it's definitely one of those books that divide us - you're right, people either seem to love this one or hate it.

Jun 5, 2012, 9:39pm Top

Now for my Mystery/Crime selections, this was very hard for me as I read a lot of mysteries. Some of my favorite series aren't included here simply as there wasn't that one book that stands out. Again I couldn't quite narrow it down to 10.

Mysteries/Crime Novels

- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsen (2005)
- The Dead of Summer by Camilla Way (2009)
- Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (2004)
- Blacklands by Belinda Bauer (2010)
- A Quiet Belief In Angels by R.J. Ellory (2007)
- The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard (2007)
- Flesh House by Stuart MacBride (2009)
- Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin (2007)
- The Serialist by David Gordon (2012)
- Flesh And Blood by John Harvey (2006)
- Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (2008)

Edited: Jun 6, 2012, 12:21am Top

And now for my YA selections, also hard to narrow down. There is a lot of great YA fiction out there, and of course, I haven't had time to get to all the ones I want to eventually try. But of the ones I have read, these are my choice for top reads.


- Hunger Games (Trilogy) by Suzanne Collins (2008)
- Divergent by Veronica Roth (2011)
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2008)
- Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (2008)
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore (2008)
- The Enemy by Charlie Higson (2009)
- The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (2003)
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (2007)
- Marcelo In the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (2009)
- Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry (2010)
- Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (2003)

And I am sure that Donna will be pleased that I managed to include a couple of Zombie reads in here. :)

Jun 5, 2012, 11:10pm Top

Hi Judy, thank you for your lists. You have inspired me to write my own. :-)

Jun 5, 2012, 11:12pm Top

82. Divergent by Veronica Roth - 5.0 ★
12 in 12 Category: Young At Heart
TIOLI #14: One Title Book Written by a Female Author

Divergent by Veronica Roth is a dystopian story set in Chicago in a future that finds the people divided into factions, and each child, at the age of sixteen takes an aptitude test that helps them decide which faction they should choose to join. Sixteen year old Beatrice knows that she doesn’t belong to the selfless Abnegation faction that she has been raised into, she has always been drawn to the fearless Dauntless faction. But choosing a different faction means turning her back on her family, as in this world faction comes before blood.

From the moment I opened this book I was captured by both the story and setting, but what made this book so superior for me were the characters. Beatrice or “Tris” as she becomes known is a small, skinny, flat-chested girl with a huge heart and courage to spare that I immediately liked. The other main character, Tobias is revealed to us more slowly, yet still comes off as a complete character, with his flaws, secrets and heroism revealed layer by layer.

The first story of a planned trilogy, Divergent sets the scene and tone for what is to follow. With non-stop action, great plot building and interesting moral choices for the characters to make, this story comes alive on the pages. We have the added bonus of a burgeoning love story between Tris and Tobias, which the author handles both lightly and deftly.

Divergent is a YA read that shows these characters taking charge of their lives, making snap decisions that will reverberate through the rest of the trilogy as they learn how to set new rules for this changing world that they live in. I am looking forward to following these characters into their future.

Jun 5, 2012, 11:51pm Top

Judy - I really LOVE your lists. I think I will do the same thing with the same categories just for fun. I am also just so thrilled that you loved Divergent. I read it last year when it first came out and then told everybody I know that reads YA about it because it was so fabulous. I have the second book, Insurgent in my TBR for this month and can't wait to get to it!

Jun 6, 2012, 12:46am Top

I got Mystery of the Art of Death from the library and P snagged it almost immediately. Seems to be enjoying it......

Jun 6, 2012, 2:37am Top

Judy, I'm going to look for some of the books on your lists because you have some on there that I have also read and loved.

Jun 6, 2012, 2:57am Top

Some great lists Judy - I think I'm going to have to sit down and think about my own at some point. I've added This Thing of Darkness to my wishlist - slightly scary title but historical fiction about the voyage of The Beagle sounds really interesting.

#191 I am very firmly waiting until the whole trilogy is published before I start reading that one!

Jun 6, 2012, 7:09am Top

Judy- Great review of Divergent! And 5 stars too! Wow. I plan on getting to Insurgent at the end of the month.

Jun 6, 2012, 7:53am Top

Great review of Divergent! I'm working on Insurgent right now, and it's pretty good so far! As you said, choices that they made reverberate through this story. :)

Also, about The Road--I neither loved it nor hated it. I thought it was over-hyped. It was a good book, but it didn't break any genre boundaries, and it wasn't a particularly new theme or new twist on the post-apocaclypic idea. It had good writing and good characterization and hit that father-son heartstring (which I suppose is why it won the Pulitzer). But I somehow expected something more BECAUSE it won the Pulitzer

Jun 6, 2012, 7:54am Top

188, 189: I am so glad to see the genre lists, Judy. I won't be doing that as most of my reading is mainstream literary fiction. I have "favorited" your Mystery/Crime List for future reference. No zombie books for me but I'm happy that you included them. ;-)

Your compelling description of Divergent reminds me a little of The Giver which I enjoyed very much. Oh, you temptress!

Jun 6, 2012, 8:10am Top

>198 Donna828: That's an interesting comparison. I can see where you get it, though...I should point out that The Giver is for much younger audience than Divergent. Divergent has some violence and teenage hormones in it. :) But it's really, really good! I think it had soul.

Jun 6, 2012, 8:27am Top

I'm intimidated by the thought of trying to name the top 10 books from the 21st century to date simply because I didn't keep track of them for the first few years of it. I used to keep a reading diary that simply listed the title of the book read, but I abandoned that at some point, probably in the 1990s. I should be able to handle the 2010s when that comes up later because of LibraryThing. I've got a record not only of what I read, but also of my impressions of the book. The only books I probably have hand-written reviews or notes for before LT are the ones that I read for YA Lit in library school. I am not sure I can put my hands on those note cards, but I'm sure they are boxed in the garage. The other day I was thinking that students today should be putting their notes on LibraryThing, and I was hoping that the professors for those courses (YA Lit, Kiddie Lit, etc.) are encouraging them to do so.

Jun 6, 2012, 9:46am Top

Great review of Divergent! Thumb up for you :)
Hope you love Insurgent just as much!

Jun 6, 2012, 1:53pm Top

I had to wander over here to see your lists. I like your idea of making different lists by genre. I couldnt stop at 10 either but I just kept going. A YA list is a good idea.

Great review of The Goose Girl! That is one of my daughter's all time favorite books and authors and she got me reading the series too.

Jun 6, 2012, 3:11pm Top

Love the lists, Judy. The one I really overlap with is your YA list. It's good to see the shout-out to The Complete Essex County, which I also thought was exceptional.

Great review of Divergent, too. You identify all the things I liked about it. You're going to have fun with Insurgent when the time comes.

Jun 6, 2012, 7:46pm Top

Hi Judy- I'm glad you are enjoying the Richards memoir. I listened to it too and loved it.

Jun 6, 2012, 9:51pm Top

I have been totally caught up in the audio of Life by Keith Richards today. I put the headphones on about 11:00 am and the next thing I knew it was 4:00 pm. I hadn't stopped for lunch and I was starving! Now it's dinner time here and I'm not hungry because I had lunch so late. I've fed Hubby and I will eat later. I had to force myself not to put the headphones back on and loose myself in the sixties again. I do believe this is the best audio I have experienced yet. Johnny Depp does a fantastic job.

#192 - Thanks for enjoying my lists, Mamie, I can't wait to see yours. I'm going to try and hold off on Insurgent as long as I can so I don't have too long a wait for the third book.

#193 - Hi Ellen, I hope you enjoy Mistress of the Art of Death when you finally get your chance at it.

#194 - I will be popping by, Susan, to check your lists out as well. I love lists - or I should say - My wishlist loves lists!

#195 - Hi Heather, This Thing of Darkness was one of those reads that stayed with me long after, in fact years after now. The author Harry Thompson only wrote the one book of fiction before he died in 2005. He did write biographies of Peter Cook among others.

#196 - Hi Mark, I am awed at the creativity of Divergent, I know it isn't perfect, but the great plot and characters carried the day for me, and allowed me to brush aside the little inconsistencies that I encountered.

#197 - Well Rachel, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on The Road. I loved it's simplicity, the connection between the father and son, and it scared the pants off me - something I love to find in a book. I also loved the sparse prose that fit the world McCarthy was describing.

#198 - Thanks Donna. It's funny that you should mention The Giver as Veronica Roth mentions at the back of the book that The Giver was one of her influences, along with Ender's Game and A Wrinkle In Time.

#200 - I'm a compulsive list maker, Lori. I have book lists that go back to the middle 1970's. Of course, I much prefer today's method of keeping track here on LT, although I am old-fashioned enough to still keep my book diaries updated.

#201 - Waves to Chelle. I think a good portion of 75ers are either reading Divergent or Insurgent right now!

#202 - Hi Anne and welcome to my thread. Please tell your daughter she has excellent taste! I am now on a mission to read every Shannon Hale book I can get my hands on.

#203 - Hi Joe, I've checked out your fiction and non-fiction lists, now I have to come and see your YA lists. I'm not surprised at some overlap here as many of my YA reads originated from your recommendations. I was so pleased when Mark added Essex County to his list, and since that is my favorite graphic so far I added it as well.

#204 - This brings me full circle, back to how much I am enjoying the Richards memoir. So far my June reading has been exceptional!

Jun 6, 2012, 10:37pm Top

Great lists Judy - will respond with my thrillers list too, but have to ponder awhile first. Only read two of your fiction list but almost put The Historian on my list too - throughly enjoyed it myself and couldn't understand its mixed reception - sense of place was brilliant.

Jun 7, 2012, 8:43am Top

Oh, I agree that Cormac MacCarthy is fantastic writer, and the father-son connection was very touching. :)

Have you read The Postman, by David Brin? Brin may not be able to string words together as well as MacCarthy (I haven't read a book by him since I was a teen, so don't know for sure) but this book has really stuck with me as a standard post-apocalyptic setting. The settings for the two books are very similar...That's why I felt The Road didn't break any genre boundaries.

Jun 7, 2012, 5:42pm Top

I loved Keith Richards biography too way more than I expected to! I liked that it was like sitting across the table and him telling the stories of his life with no apologies!

Jun 7, 2012, 10:21pm Top

Another big fan of Keith Richards' memoir, which I also listened to.

Jun 7, 2012, 11:01pm Top

#206 - Hi Paul, I love the fact that although some books are showing up on a lot of lists, there's a lot of new material out there. Looking forward to your list of thrillers.

#207 - If The Postman is not on my wishlist, Rachel, consider it added. I will have to check it out and see how I think it compares to The Road.

#208 & 209 - Hi Susie and Anne, I am still loving this audio! Today I reached the part where the reader changed to Joe Hurley. At first I was a little offput, but now I am totally into how much like the later Keith Richards he sounds like.

Jun 7, 2012, 11:14pm Top

83. Remembrance by Theresa Breslin - 4.1 ★
12 in 12 Category: Soldier Boy
TIOLI #14 - One Word Title by a Female Author

Remembrance by Theresa Breslin is a story that is set against the huge backdrop of World War I, and yet tells the small story of five young people from a tiny Scottish village. Two families, one of the upper class gentry and the other a family of shopkeepers, but the war makes a huge imprint on both.

These five people all have different attitudes toward what is happening both at home and in France, with a couple of the boys eagerly embracing the life of a soldier and one who has no intention of fighting, until conscription forces him to go. The girls, left behind, are experiencing the changes that are evolving in society and in their homes, neither class or gender are as important now as becoming involved and doing their share. They train as nurses and find themselves shipped to France to nurse at the front. What happens to these five over the course of the war, who survives and what they go on to become makes for a thought-provoking story on the loss of innocence and vulnerability.

Both a coming of age and love story, Remembrance captures the heart wrenching feeling of first love, along with the shattering of courage and dreams that the horror of trench warfare brought to this generation. Although a little simplistic in it’s views, nevertheless this is a well written historical fiction novel on the consequences of war.

Jun 8, 2012, 12:44am Top

Owning up to a good week of lurking.

Jun 8, 2012, 8:16am Top

Hi Judy: remembrance sounds wonderful -- I'm going to look for it.

Edited: Jun 8, 2012, 3:58pm Top

#212 - Hi Ellen, sometimes lurking is all we are up for. Please lurk away.

#213 - Hi Beth, I think Remembrance is geared toward the YA audience. My library book wasn't marked as such, but I have seen it listed here on LT as a YA. That would explain why I found it a bit simplistic in it's views. Nevertheless, I found the book quite engaging.

Edited: Jun 9, 2012, 1:22pm Top

84. A Sickness in the Family by Denise Mina - 4.2 ★
12 in 12 Category: Every Picture Tells a Story
TIOLI #5: Title Includes the Name of an Automobile

Denise Mina is one of the leaders of Scotland’s Tartan Noir genre and her stories generally fall to the dark side. In A Sickness in the Family, she continues the tradition. A graphic novel with artwork by Antonio Fuso, this is one from the Vertigo series of crime stories by various authors, which includes one by Ian Rankin. In shades of black, white and grey, this twisted tale slowly reveals the dark undercurrents of one family.

Told in flashback form, the story opens on Christmas Day and all seems normal as the Usher family gathers around the dinner table. Their festive meal is interrupted by the screaming of the couple who live in the downstairs flat. This couple is soon found, both dead, appearing to be a murder-suicide.

Deciding that they need the room, the father opens this house up to include the basement flat. Strange things start to happen and before long they are accusing each other and casting suspicious looks. One by one they start to die. Who is behind the murders? Each one of them has a good reason to want the others dead, or, could this be the house itself that is causing this evil to erupt.

Foreboding and creepy, Denise Mina delivers a story that suits this genre perfectly. The accompanying artwork helps to keep the mood sombre and chilling. If you are interested in a small walk on the dark side, I would recommend A Sickness in the Family.

Jun 9, 2012, 2:02pm Top

Your lists are wonderful. Those you noted in the YA category are particularly appealing to me. I've read some, but not all.

Happy Saturday to you!

Jun 9, 2012, 2:48pm Top

#215 A great review, Judy. I'm tempted by it although I'm not keen on the dark books at the moment. I'd never heard of such a thing as Tartan Noir before - is Ian Rankin a Tartan Noir writer?

Jun 9, 2012, 4:20pm Top

#216 - Hi Linda, I can't believe there are some YA's on my list that you haven't read! (Must be the zombie ones) Hope you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying that beautiful puppy of yours.

#217 - Hi Heather, I would say that Ian Rankin would definitely be included in any list of Tartan Noir authors. In fact, I just checked Wikipedia and apparently James Elroy, author of LA Confidential among other great crimes novels, crowned Ian Rankin as the king of Tartan Noir. It's described as Scottish Literature with dark overtones, cynical and world-weary characters, and usually a personal crisis for the main character appears. Some of the authors that have been labeled Tartan Noir include the above mentioned authors as well as Christopher Brookmyre, Lyn Anderson, Stuart MacBride, Glen Chandler, Alex Gray, and Caro Ramsay. Some of which I have read, and some that I will have to look into.

Jun 9, 2012, 11:07pm Top

Judy -- great lists!

I read one of Denise Mina's books a while back and didn't like it much . . . wonder if I should give her another chance?

I've heard so much about the Keith Richards book, I'm thinking of looking it up.

Jun 11, 2012, 3:55pm Top

I wasn't around much on LT this weekend. We had a lovely family bruch yesterday at a favorite restaurant that overlooks the city of Vancouver. As it's between my husband's birthday and Father's Day, this was all about celebrating him.The girls, the husbands and the grandkids were all there and we had a great time.

I am still listening to Keith Richard's Life, reading Wolf Hall and I managed to finish one other book. I'm going to fit one more in before I turn to the group read of River of Smoke.

#219 - Terri, Denise Mina definitely slants her stories to the dark side. Personally I love her writing, but if you've tried one and not cared for it, I doubt you would find much to like in any of her others.

If you are either a Rolling Stones fan, or lived through that era - I think you would find a lot to interest you in the Richards' memoir. Of course, he's pretty honest so there is also a lot of heroin, cocaine and other drugs mentioned.

Edited: Jun 11, 2012, 4:15pm Top

85. Trust Nobody by June Hampson - 3.8 ★
12 in 12 Category: Calendar Girl - June
TIOLI #8: Title has equal or more letters from the 2nd half of the alphabet

Trust Nobody by June Hamson delves into the lives of the wives, girlfriends and prostitutes of the hard men, the street criminals, and scum of the underworld. Set in Portsmouth in the early 1960’s, the story revolves around Daisy Lane whose husband Kenny is serving two years in prison. She is trying to make ends meet by running a back street café, although she is not totally alone. Her brother-in-law, the vicious yet charming Eddy is there, and she has her live in friends, aging prostitute Vera and sixteen year old Suze, who ran away from her rapist step-father and now helps Daisy in the cafe.

While visiting her husband at the prison, she meets Moira, the attractive wife of a high end London criminal, an assistant to the Kray Twins, and they become friends. Moira, a drug addict, is a very needy person and constantly wants Daisy to come up to London and spend time with her. Being this close to the glamorous yet dangerous life she is shown in London has opened doors for Daisy, but at what price?

This book is the first in a trilogy that tells of Daisy’s struggles to escape her life of poverty, crime and violence. The author, June Hamson, knows of what she writes as she was born and raised in Gosport, a very poor area of Portsmouth, and her story of Daisy’s struggle to steer her own destiny is very much her own which accounts for the believability of the story. I personally enjoyed this gritty tale of the 1960’s and plan on continuing on with the trilogy.

Jun 12, 2012, 9:53pm Top

86. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - 4.5 ★
12 in 12 Category: Romeo & Juliet
12 in 12 Group Read
TIOLI #17: A Prominent Tag on Another 75er's Tag Mirror But Not On Mine

Much has been written of the brilliance of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, a definitive historical novel about the Tudors, and more particularly Thomas Cromwell and the role he played in setting aside a reigning queen and placing a new one on the throne. Of course, as history tells us, once this precedent has been set, there is no reason why it couldn’t happen again.

Mantel manages to breath life in these historical figures and her insightful, detailed research is obvious on each page. This is a novel that opens a new window on a period of time of which much has been previously written and presents this time in a fresh and interesting way. Her portrayal of Thomas Cromwell moves him from the shadows and shows him as a resourceful, intelligent man having to steer through political and personal upheavals that would defeat many. I would compare Thomas Cromwell to the synchronised swimmers of today, calm and placid on the surface while the lower body desperately paddles to stay afloat.

Following Cromwell’s as he advances from Cardinal Woolsey’s aide to the trusted advisor of King Henry, Wolf Hall is a fascinating read and I would recommend this book to all lovers of historical fiction.

Jun 12, 2012, 9:55pm Top

A very nice review, Judy! You beat me - I still have about 150 pages to go.

Jun 12, 2012, 11:58pm Top

Hi Mamie, I got to the last 200 pages and couldn't stop reading!

Jun 13, 2012, 9:00pm Top

You did it. You read Wolf Hall.
Now I need to go do that!

Jun 13, 2012, 11:50pm Top

I have to admit I feel a real sense of accomplishment with both the reading of Wolf Hall at 650 pages and now, Life by Keith Richards, which was over 23 hours on audio.

Jun 13, 2012, 11:55pm Top

87. Life ♫♫ by Keith Richards - 5.0 ★
12 in 12 Category: True Colors
TIOLI #13: An Amusing Tag Line

I grew up in the 1960’s, and a big part of my coming-of-age was the music of the day, in particular the British Invasion music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. At my first boy-girl party I vividly remember dancing to This Will Be The Last Time by the Stones. I can’t think about those years without mentally playing a musical backdrop of rock and roll music.

When Life by Keith Richards came out, I knew that I would be reading this book eventually. Then I started hearing how great the audio to this book was and I decided to go that route. This was a book that I was going to enjoy no matter what. Revisiting my love affair with the Stones and hearing all the back stories of how that music came to be, as well as the day to day life of Keith Richards, a musical icon, was something I was looking forward to. Going the audio route was the best decision I could have made, suddenly this book became an intimate experience between me and Keith. I felt like I was in the same room with him and hearing these words come out of his mouth. The audio is read by Johnny Depp, Joe Hurley and Keith Richards. It is absolutely brilliant. Joe Hurley was an added bonus as he totally caught the essence and spirit of Keith Richards and elevated this book to an entirely new level.

Keith Richards has long been a great interview, he’s lived the life of a rock and roller and is quite willing to talk about it, both the good and the bad. As he tells the story of how the world’s greatest rock and roll band formed and evolved, his honest and blunt words cannot hide the deeply sensitive musician that cares first and foremost for the music. Although at times he sounded a little paranoid about the focus of the world’s establishment on him, I truly believe that was his honest, personal opinion of what went down.

Life is a great read about a musician who, although he didn’t always make the right choices in regards to drugs and hell-raising and perhaps, slants things a little to his way of thinking, makes no apologies and let’s us be the judge in this rambling yet entertaining work.

Jun 14, 2012, 12:24am Top

Great effort on Wolf Hall. That is one I often think about reading but have not got around to yet. I see you have given it a good review and 4.5 stars so that is definitely good encouragement. Being such a big read I think it is one I would have to buy though, rather than borrow from the library.

Jun 14, 2012, 6:37am Top

Judy: Great reviews of both Wolf Hall and Life. Both are high on my "read soon" list. I imagine you're ready for something a little shorter? What's coming up for you?

Jun 14, 2012, 8:55am Top

I need to put Wolf Hall on my wishlist, for sure, after reading that review! And I'm glad to see you liked Life — I thoroughly enjoyed it, even more than I expected to.

Jun 14, 2012, 9:26am Top

What a marvellous series of reviews recently Judy. Wolf Hall is Hist Lit of the highest order and I am looking forward to enjoying Life following your wonderfully encouraging review.

Jun 14, 2012, 9:30am Top

Good review of Wolf Hall! I have 400 pages left in my current book and then I am starting Wolf Hall! And I got a note from the library that Bring up the Bodies is in! So I'll have to read them both in the next 3 weeks as there are holds on the second one.

Jun 14, 2012, 6:26pm Top

Great review of Life, Judy. I had that out from the library, but did not get it read before it was due back. Now, between Lucy and you, I really want to listen to the audio. Our library doesn't have it...maybe the one in Georgia does.

Jun 15, 2012, 1:40pm Top

Great review of Life, and the comments about the audio book. I've picked up the paper copy at various bookstores, but the size always makes me put it down. I read a lot about the Rolling Stones back around 1981 (when I saw them in Seattle), so I wonder if I'm just going to be repeating the same territory. But like you, I know reading this one is inevitable. Thanks for the audiobook suggestion.

Jun 15, 2012, 2:14pm Top

It was so nice to come to my thread this morning and find I have had some visitors!

#228 - Ro, I was lucky in that my brother originally bought Wolf Hall and I got to borrow it. This is a book that I know I would have a hard time listening to in audio. I really needed those written words to follow.

#229 - Hi Beth, you're right. I needed a short & simple read, so I just finished The Red Necklace and YA historical novel set in the French Revolution. It was good, but not outstanding in any way. Now I am starting River of Smoke which I have been looking forward to.

#230 - I know I resisted Wolf Hall for some time, I think the sheer size of it scared me. This month there was both a group read over at the 12 in 12 Challenge and I have also been closely following Ilana and Suzanne's Tutored Thread. It really helped me at the beginning of the book, in setting the period and lining up who was who.

#231 - Paul, I am sure you will enjoy Life, and even though I don't think you do audio, it's worth a try for this book. Imagine sitting in your car, relaxing with Keith Richards/Johnny Depp/Joe Hurley shooting the breeze with you!

#232 - Hi Chelle, boy, you are really going to immerse yourself in the Tudors!

#233 - Mamie, I hope you get your hands on a copy of Life, it's a great read.

#234 - Hi Nickelini, I found this an interesting read even if simply to hear Keith's side of things. The big events like Brian being given the boot and his death, the falling out with Mick, his many arrests and near escapes, and many of the myths and rumors that float around were all discussed.

Jun 15, 2012, 2:19pm Top

88. The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner - 3.5 ★
12 in 12 Category: Young At Heart
Reading Through Time Challenge - French Revolution
TIOLI #17: Prominent Tag on another 75ers Thread But Not On Mine

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner is a story that unfolds against the backdrop of the early days of the French Revolution. The story of two young people who meet on a fateful night, separate for a number of years, and then unite in a time of extreme danger.

Yann Margoza is a performer and he, along with his guardian the dwarf Tetu, and the magician Topolain are brought to the chateau of the Marquis de Villeduval to perform their magic act for his guests. Among the guests is the sinister Count Kalliovski. Like a puppet master, this evil count controls the strings of both people and events that unfold throughout the story. The Marquis has brought his daughter home from school at the request of the Count, although she is being kept practically a prisoner. The Marquis de Villeduval is a weak, greedy man who has mortgaged his estates to the hilt and borrowed money from the Count, he has no interest in his daughter, Sido, considering her flawed. Yann and Sido meet for the first time on this eventful night, and she helps him escape from the Count.

Although published in 2007, The Red Necklace has an old fashioned feel to it, as if it had been written for a previous generation. An adventure story laced with gypsy magic, a budding romance and a more than a few nasty secrets. The story builds to an exciting climax where Yann must save Sido from both the guillotine and the evil clutches of Count Kalliovski.

Jun 16, 2012, 3:39am Top

I just started the audio of Life after so many recommendations here on your thread.

I am not a fan of the Rolling Stones. However, I am about one hour in and I am finding, as you did, that it is like being in Keith's living room listening to him tell stories about his life. Johnny Depp is a fantastic reader. Can't wait to hit the car tomorrow and listen to some more.

Thanks for getting me interested in this.

Jun 16, 2012, 9:58am Top

I've never really been a Stones fan, but I'm tempted to listen to this one, just to swim around in Johnny's voice... Sigh.

Jun 16, 2012, 5:27pm Top

#237 - Hi ccookie, I'm glad you are enjoying Life, I am missing my time spent listening to all three of those men!

#238 - Hi Amber, Johnny Depp does make us women sigh, doesn't he.

Edited: Jun 17, 2012, 7:08pm Top

Judy, yours is the first review of Life that has made me want to read it.

ETA: Went and gave your review a thumb. :-)

Jun 17, 2012, 8:37pm Top

Judy- Good review of the Richards memoir! And I'm so glad you gave kudos to the audio presentation. I'm with you, it was fantastic! And each of the readers was so good, it was nearly seamless.
Hope you had a nice weekend.

Jun 17, 2012, 8:40pm Top

All right, Judy, confess, are you smoking through River of Smoke?

Jun 18, 2012, 5:41pm Top

We are finally getting some sunny weather! It would be nice to see more than one day every other week of sunshine. I see everyone posting about their warm summer weather and I wonder why we here on the pacific coast are missing it.

#240 - Hi Ellen, have you also been experiencing a lot of rain and cold weather in Seattle? Thanks for the thumb, and I think you really will enjoy Life.

#241 - Hi Mark, yep, I am finally an audio convert. I will still pick my audios carefully, but the people here on LT are great at recommending which books make the best audios.

#242 - LOL Mamie, actually just the opposite, I think. I am going quite slowly, just about to start Chapter 6. I am, however, totally loving this book. I also have another excellent read on the go, so I am dividing my time between the two.

Jun 18, 2012, 6:25pm Top

I wonder why we here on the pacific coast are missing it.

Because it's June, of course! It wouldn't be June in Vancouver without complaining about the lousy weather.

Jun 18, 2012, 6:40pm Top

Yes, you could be right about that. It seems the last few years our June weather tends to the chilly and damp. Hopefully we will be rewarded with a lovely late summer and fall to make up for our dreary spring and early summer!

Jun 18, 2012, 11:06pm Top

Judy, if you and other Vancouverites could pm me--we are thinking of coming up there in October and taking a cruise back down to San Diego. I need to know good places to stay and see while there, as well, of course, of bookstores.

Jun 19, 2012, 1:42am Top

#246 - Ronincats, I sent you a long message.

Jun 19, 2012, 2:28am Top

Oh Judy - great reviews! I am beginning to feel a little alone, though - I chucked in Wolf Hall after 100 odd pages as i just found it UNBELIEVABLY boring! (now I shall duck for cover - maybe it wasn't the right time for me....)

Jun 19, 2012, 2:43pm Top

#246 - Hi Roni, I just left a PM adding a few things onto Joyce's list.

#248 - Prue, I have to admit that it took me awhile to adjust to Mantel's writing style, at first I found it a little disconcerting. The book really took off for me around the Page 200 mark, but as much as I ended up liking Wolf Hall, the writing style kept it from being a 5 star read for me. Anyway differing opinions and tastes are what makes LT such an interesting place to hang out.

Edited: Jun 20, 2012, 11:47pm Top

89. Fearless: A Novel of Sarah Bowman by Lucia St Clair Robson - 4.2 ★
12 in 12 Category: Home On the Range
TIOLI #14: One Word Title Written by a Female Author

Fearless: A Novel of Sarah Bowman tells the story of a woman unique for her times. She attaches herself to the US army when her husband joins. Together they embark on the campaign against the Seminole Indians in Florida. After Florida, the army is dispatched to Corpus Christi, Texas in anticipation of the war with Mexico. Unfortunately Sarah loses her husband, but has grown to love the army life. Travelling first as a laundress and then a cook to an officer’s mess she follows the army as they invade Mexico in 1845. Sarah was an extremely tall woman, very attractive and of a magnificent stature so she drew the eyes of men wherever she went. She was a great favorite with General Zachary Taylor and many of the officers, and was nicknamed ’The Great Western” after the largest steamship that was currently afloat. She also drew attention from the newspaper reporters who were attached to the military and many wrote dispatches about Sarah.

This book gives the reader a first hand look at what travelling and living with the army was like in the 1840’s and in particular the women who trailed behind their men. From laundry and cooking, to nursing, and providing comforts of the body, they lived in small tents and were often on their own and totally responsible for their children, their day to day living, and any travelling arrangements they had to make in order to follow their men. They were exposed to all the hardships, danger and deprivations that the soldiers endured.

I have long been a fan of Lucia St. Clair Robson’s books. She often writes about real people, and in taking the bare facts that are known, she weaves a wonderful story. Enriched with great descriptions and interesting characters, she brings these historical moments of time vividly to life. Sarah Bowman was certainly a larger than life character whether she was tending to the wounded or, actually joining in the fighting, and Lucia St Clair Robson is able to breath life into this character and plant her firmly in your memory.

Jun 20, 2012, 8:51am Top

Hi Judy: Great review of the the St. Clair Robson book. It sounds like the best kind of historical novel.

Jun 20, 2012, 11:15pm Top

*cruising through*

Jun 21, 2012, 1:49am Top

Hi Beth and Ellen. Beth, Lucia St Clair Robson has written some great historical fiction.

Looks like it is time for a new thread. Please join me.

This topic was continued by DeltaQueen's 2012 Reading - Part 5.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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