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Lori's (thornton37814's) 75+ books for 2012 - thread 3

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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May 18, 2012, 7:56pm Top

86. Uneasy Relations by Aaron Elkins - Gideon Oliver is returning to Gibraltar for a reunion of those who worked on the Gibraltar Woman excavation five years earlier. Journalists have taken remarks intended for pun as truth and have stated that Gideon will be talking about something of greater import to anthropology fraud than Piltdown Man. It's not long before there are a couple of possible attempts on Gideon's life -- or were they just accidents? Two years earlier, one of their colleagues, died in a landslide on the site of their original dig cave. Another member of the group is soon dead. Gideon must convince Gibraltar's chief inspector that a crime has been committed, but it's Gideon's knowledge of forensic anthropology that will solve the case. It took me awhile to become engaged, but once the focus of the book was more on the mystery and less on anthropology with scientific discussions in the mix, I was able to care more about investigation. I have never read earlier installments in the series, and this was the 15th, so it is possible that I might have enjoyed the first part more if I'd had a better knowledge of the main characters. I do think that it works reasonably well as a stand-alone as most of the characters were developed sufficiently in the book. 3 stars.

May 18, 2012, 8:36pm Top

Congrats on the third thread Lori - my word you sure got straight to business with a review as your introductory post! Spent some time in Gibraltar in the 1980s and it does strike me in retrospect as a great setting for a series. So anti-Spanish whilst sitting awkwardly on Iberia's bootheel.

Edited: May 18, 2012, 9:11pm Top

Actually, I don't think the whole series is set there -- just this installment. Of course, there may have been an earlier one there too. I don't really know since I haven't read them. I needed a book for Gibraltar for my Europe Endless Challenge. It was one of my "bonus" settings.

I didn't even think about doing a picture or something! Oh, well, maybe when I get to 4!

May 19, 2012, 5:12am Top

Lori - I have posted this one for you then of the Gibraltar that I remember:

May 19, 2012, 9:12am Top

Thanks, Paul. I don't think I've ever seen a photo of Gibraltar from that angle. Usually it just shows the rock or it shows it where you can see Africa from Gibraltar.

May 22, 2012, 3:56pm Top

87. Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton - I really enjoyed this first installment in the Farmers Market mystery series. The main character is Becca Robins who sells preserves at Bailey's Farmers' Market, somewhere in South Carolina, and in somewhat close proximity to the Smithfield Farmers' Market. One of the newer vendors is found murdered at the market. Becca doesn't want to see her friend and fellow vendor Abner framed for it, but that's what appears to be happening so she sets out to investigate. Becca's been divorced twice, but she is interested in one of her fellow vendors (Ian) who is ten years her junior and in the investigating officer Sam Brion. While Becca definitely got herself in messes in which she should have avoided and Sam's warning to her to quit investigating almost seems useless when he allows her to question people in front of him, it's still an enjoyable read. There's humor interspersed in the narrative at just the right moments. I liked the setting and the characters and plan to continue with the series. 3.5 stars.

May 22, 2012, 8:48pm Top

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler - I topped it off with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

May 22, 2012, 8:50pm Top

One of the things I purchased at the farmers' market today was this giant cabbage.

I made cole slaw at lunch and boiled cabbage at supper, and 3/4 of the cabbage remains!

May 22, 2012, 11:40pm Top

Mmmm, that Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler looks fantastic!

May 23, 2012, 7:35am Top

I agree with Judy - the cobbler looks wonderful!
And so does the cabbage - I *love* boiled cabbage.

May 23, 2012, 7:52am Top

Do you have a Nook?

If so, you may be able to read U.S. government e-books: http://gcn.com/articles/2012/05/22/gpo-ebooks-nook-reader.aspx

May 23, 2012, 10:37am Top

Love the rhubarb cobbler! Would love to HAVE the rhubarb cobbler!

May 25, 2012, 2:47pm Top

88. The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn - This is the story of Daniel Mendelsohn's search for his maternal grandfather's brother, Shmiel Jager. His grandfather had told him stories of the family, but he became interested in learning more. His search led him to many countries and to the ancestral hometown of Bolekhiv, Ukraine on numerous occasions. Gradually through bits and pieces from different individuals who knew Shmiel's family, he is able to piece together the story. I was somewhat disappointed in the story. It's more about the search than it is about the lives of those he was researching. As a genealogist, I would have preferred to read the account of his family as it had been synthesized and pieced together (with footnotes attributing each piece to the proper source and noting discrepancies and how they were resolved). This, however, was not the direction in which the author chose to go. I found that I was constantly trying to remember what he'd learned 100 or 200 pages back that had bearing on what he was learning from his current interviewee. I felt that the book was a lot longer than it needed to be, but much of this may have had to do with my perspective on how the book should have been written. There is a lot of information here, and while I am not as happy about how he chose to present it as some others are, I am happy that he did put his family's story in print. I enjoyed the pieces of commentary on Genesis which were often based on the Jewish commentary that Friedman wrote. 3 stars.

May 25, 2012, 6:40pm Top

you complain that you get books from my thread, I can say the same thing :-)

May 25, 2012, 8:29pm Top

Cheli - I think we're all guilty of that. I've probably added 6 to 10 books to my TBR list from threads here the last couple of days. I'm trying to be good and write on my wish list from whose thread I was "tempted." That way I'll have it for that new 12 in 12 category challenge without having to go back and search.

May 25, 2012, 9:23pm Top

Impressive cabbage Lori! One of the few english boys who managed to get through school dinners and retain a liking for the hardy veg. Lovely with lashings of pepper and well prepared gravy. Your rhubarb cooler looks more enticing than I remember the fruit tasting. More tart than a Mexican bordello. Wakefield my home town was the English centre of Rhubarb production, a claim to fame that I don't recall its Burgermeisters vaunting too loudly! Have a lovely weekend.

May 25, 2012, 11:10pm Top

Thanks, Paul. The rhubarb pairs very nicely with strawberries or raspberries. The tartness offsets some of the sweetness of the berries, acting much as a little bit of lemon juice would do otherwise.

May 25, 2012, 11:12pm Top

89. Blood of the Prodigal by P. L. Gaus - This is a fascinating glance at Ohio's Amish country with far less romanticism of the culture than one finds in most books that are sometimes labeled Amish fiction. Bishop Miller's grandson has gone missing, but the Bishop knows his son has taken them. He reluctantly enlists the aid of an "English" pastor (Troyer) and a professor (Branden) who has a reputation for solving crimes during his summer breaks. While Branden's wife wants him to call on the sheriff to assist, Branden honors his promise to the Bishop for discretion. It isn't long until the sheriff is involved in cases related to the original matter. I enjoyed this first installment, but I felt that some of the characters were not as developed as they needed to be. We know that Branden has been involved in helping the police solve crimes in the past from conversations in the book, but we are never enlightened as to what these are. Most mystery series start with the first involvement of the amateur sleuth instead of leaving it to the reader's imagination to fill the void. I have Amish ancestry with lines who lived in Holmes and Wayne County in the first half of the 19th century (before moving westward). I was quite familiar with area being portrayed, and like some of the characters in the book, I lament the commercialization that continues to take place in the area. I did enjoy the mystery, and I found the local sheriff, the two deputies with whom we became most acquainted, and the professor and his wife quite likeable. I hope to be able to continue with this series. 3.5 stars.

Edited: May 29, 2012, 9:08pm Top

90. Murder Makes Waves by Anne George - Mary Alice and Patricia Ann are sisters living in the Birmingham, Alabama area. They need a break and head with Patricia Ann's daughter Haley and friend Frances to Mary Alice's condo in Destin, Florida. Mary Alice is actually attending a writer's conference. It isn't long until they stumble across the body of a friend on the beach. The discover a second body a bit later. This is a thoroughly Southern mystery. It's as much about the Southern friendships and conversation as it is about the mystery. They don't really put themselves in a lot of dangerous situations and leave most of the investigation to the proper authorities. What nosing about they do is just natural Southern gossip that turns up clues. It was a fun mystery for a change of pace and perfect for a beach read. 3.5 stars.

May 26, 2012, 6:04pm Top

Abandoned book (which I won't count):

Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe - Abandoned read. I read about 40 to 50 pages of this book. I was never given a reason why I should care for the corpse which at this point was ruled as a suicide although her friends thought she would not have committed suicide. I was not given enough information to make me connect to any of the characters, particularly the main character. Life is too short and my TBR pile is too large to waste on books that start this poorly.

May 27, 2012, 5:09pm Top

Hi Lori! Nice cabbage! I hope you're having a lovely holiday weekend.

I enjoyed your review of Blood of the Prodigal. It sounds like an interesting setting for a crime novel. Too bad it fell a little flat.

May 27, 2012, 5:32pm Top

I am hoping that the second one will be better - and that many of the characters will recur. I just somehow felt I had started in the middle of a series when I knew it was the first one. That's a very odd feeling to have!

May 27, 2012, 11:46pm Top

91. One Bad Apple by Sheila Connolly - Meg Corey lost her Boston banking job through a corporate merger and downsizing. She moves to western Massachusetts to renovate an inherited property in Granford so that she and her mother can sell it. She's only been there a few weeks when a body of someone she knew very well ends up in her newly installed septic tank. With herself and the plumber Seth as the chief suspects in a community that does not know her well, she knows that she needs to find the real murderer and clear her name. I loved the characters and setting of this one, and I'm looking forward to future installments. There are recipes in the back, and I intend to try one or two of them. 4 stars.

May 28, 2012, 2:07am Top

Yum - cobbler! Is it wrong to want dessert with ice-cream at 7am?

May 28, 2012, 8:51am Top

Cobbler for breakfast. It's got fruit and bread and the ice cream adds dairy, so I think it would be a nice substitute for fruit yogurt and a piece of toast or fruit waffles with whipped cream.

My nephew and a friend came by Dad's the other day to pick up an old stereo he wanted at 10 a.m. I offered them some cobbler, and my nephew took me up on it. His friend had just eaten and claimed to not want any. I think he just wanted to get back home though because he was headed to the beach later that day on vacation.

May 28, 2012, 12:58pm Top

>15 thornton37814:. I've probably added 6 to 10 books to my TBR list from threads here the last couple of days. I'm trying to be good and write on my wish list from whose thread I was "tempted."

Lori, how do you keep track of that? I used to use tags, but am "tempted" by so many members, that those tags quickly overwhelmed my tag page. Then, I stuck them in comments, but didn't care for that either. Now, I've put them in the "From where?" field, but wish that wasn't limited to just one entry. I'm just wondering what works for other people.

May 28, 2012, 1:41pm Top

My wish list is on Amazon.com, and I use the "comments, quantity, priority" field there. If I were to maintain it on LT, I'd probably put it in private comments. I've also got an indication on my Amazon wish list that shows if my library has it and what the call number is. I transfer the ones that are in my local library into a notebook that I either consult before I go to the library if I know what I want to read or that I take with me to the library if I'm "letting the spirit move." I've thought about putting my wish list on LT since there is a wish list option now, but I'm afraid that I would see that something is in "my library" and not pay attention to the fact that it is on my "wish list" when I see it there if I'm shopping at the used bookstore. I've also thought about starting another library for just wishlisted items, but inevitably I decide that they are just fine on my Amazon wish list. I know that many of the things on that list will eventually be ordered via ILL rather than purchased as well. There are some books that I check out of the library or get via ILL that I decide to purchase for my personal library. Those simply stay on the wish list with a note that I've used them and why I want the personal copy until I do purchase them.

May 29, 2012, 4:55pm Top

Lori, I tag my books that were added because of an LTer with # and their id, then I know exactly who was responsible and who to blame credit.

May 30, 2012, 12:16pm Top

92. Endangered Species by Nevada Barr - Anna is on fire watch (a temporary assignment) at the Cumberland Island National Seashore when a plane goes down. It isn't long until foul play is suspected. In the mean time, Anna's sister, a psychiatrist in New York City, is receiving threats. Anna sends her boyfriend FBI agent Frederick Stanton to investigate. I have read several books in which loggerhead turtles have played a part in the story, and I'm always amazed at the work the volunteers do to help the species survive. I enjoyed the national park setting more than the mystery itself in this one. There are a few amusing scenes as well. It wasn't a bad installment, but it wasn't my favorite either. 3.5 stars.

Now I'm off to see which of the books remaining in my May TBR pile will fit into June TIOLI challenges so that I can choose which book to read next!

May 30, 2012, 3:48pm Top

93. A Body Surrounded by Water by Eric Wright - Charlie Salter is vacationing on Prince Edward Island where several burglaries have taken place. A body is found, and Salter's father-in-law tells Charlie about the purchase of a seal in which he, the deceased, and one other individual had been involved. The deceased had recently been to Toronto to pick up their purchase, but it is not found in his home. Are the burglaries and homicide related? Charlie assists the local Mounties in their investigation. This would a good way to pass two or three hours. The book is relatively short, and the mystery is not very complex. I enjoyed the PEI setting. 3 stars.

May 31, 2012, 2:06pm Top

94. Trophy Hunt by C. J. Box - It all starts with the body of a mutilated bull moose that Joe Pickett, game warden, finds when on an outing with his daughters. Soon cattle are found mutilated in a similar fashion. It isn't long until human corpses are found murdered in a similar fashion. Joe is the representative game warden on the governor's task force which includes local law enforcement and the FBI. It's a quite puzzling and disturbing read for most of the book. The ending wasn't quite as tidy as I would have liked, but I suspect that there are often a few ends that aren't completely wrapped up that the investigating officers would love to see resolved but for which those in charge of budgets do not allow them to continue to investigate. 4 stars.

Jun 1, 2012, 6:56pm Top

#31 - I don't know about this mutilated moose business, but I think I'll have to check out C.J. Box. I keep reading good things about him on LT.

Jun 1, 2012, 11:01pm Top

I really liked the first Joe Pickett book that I read, I especially love the setting and his job. Need to get to book number two soon.

Jun 1, 2012, 11:40pm Top

I've enjoyed all the C. J. Box books that I've read. His books kind of remind me of Nevada Barr, but there's also a difference. I think the outdoorsy setting is what is similar, but you can definitely tell that the writers of the two series are of a different gender.

Jun 2, 2012, 11:07am Top

Taking a break from Operation Bookshelf Reorganization. I'm hot and sweaty, but I'm rediscovering some old friends in the process. I have books sorted all over the den at the moment. It's not a pretty sight. There are some books that will end up in boxes. I really need some more bookshelves. I just wish they'd come pre-assembled!

Jun 2, 2012, 9:20pm Top

95. Classified as Murder by Miranda James - James Delacorte hires librarian Charlie Harris to inventory his rare book collection because he believes members of his family are stealing from him. The work barely begins when Delacorte is found murdered at his own desk. Charlie's son Sean has left his job as an attorney in Texas and assists his dad with the inventory which Chief Deputy Kalesha insists that he complete. She also wants him in the house to make observations on the somewhat nutty family. Diesel the cat plays a big part in the book as well. The characters are endearing, and Athena is a charming town with a very good chief deputy. Time to add book three to my to be read list! 3.5 stars.

Jun 2, 2012, 9:27pm Top

I spent most of the day reorganizing the books in my history and genealogy collection. It's a task I've been wanting to do for about 5 1/2 years, but I finally took the plunge. When I first moved here, some of my friends from church put my books on my bookcases. I had not intended for them to do it because I wanted to do that myself, but I was arranging kitchen cabinets at the time. The enormity of the task always overwhelmed me, and of course, the collection has grown in 5 1/2 years time, making it even more intimidating. I definitely have a sense of accomplishment today. I'm sure that I'll sleep well tonight because I got hot, sweaty, and tired.

In other news, I discovered that I live in the 7th worst city in the U.S. for singles, according to Kiplinger's. What's worse is that two of the other top 10 are in close proximity. I did have to laugh when I saw what they considered to be the population of my city. It was about 100,000 more than the actual population. It's based on the census metropolitan areas so it is actually including all of our county plus two adjacent ones. I have to wonder if all those people in those little towns in those other counties know that they are living in Morristown?

Jun 2, 2012, 10:08pm Top

There is nothing more satisfying than getting your books organized! Congratulations!

Jun 2, 2012, 10:17pm Top

Lori - agree (as usual) with Roni. It is surprising also how sweat inducing the exercise usually is - I have more of an excuse here given the temperature in Malaysia every day. Hope you continue to have a productive weekend in the 7th worst city for singles!

Jun 3, 2012, 10:35am Top

I was googling for the original publication date of Mrs. Mike and discovered that one of the co-authors, Benedict Freedman, died earlier this year. If someone reported it on this thread, I missed it. Here's the NY Times obit: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/books/benedict-freedman-dies-at-92-co-author-o...

Jun 3, 2012, 8:59pm Top

96. Twain's Feast: Searching for America's Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens by Andrew Beahrs - Author Andrew Beahrs scoured Twain's books for food references. He then set out to investigate the foods as they came to be part of the American landscape of eating, how they were in Twain's era, and how they are in today's landscape if they still exist or why they are not as important if they are gone or less significant. He includes recipes from 19th century cookbooks as well. The book had an interesting premise, and the author did a good job in parts of the narrative. In other parts, he droned on a bit too long and failed to keep the reader interested. No numbered or asterisked citations were given but there were end notes with page numbers, a few words from the line, and references. This did not follow any acceptable method of citation. I found it totally unacceptable and lowered my rating by 1/2 star to reflect this major flaw. 2.5 stars.

Jun 3, 2012, 10:34pm Top

I've come across a couple of other books with citations like that. I have no idea what they're supposed to accomplish.

Jun 4, 2012, 7:48am Top

It is annoying. Isn't it? You don't even know that there is a reference until you look in the back. It's totally useless IMHO.

Jun 4, 2012, 8:29am Top

97. Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters - Vicky Bliss and several others head to a German castle to try to locate a missing piece of art dating to the Renaissance. There are all the things you would expect in a castle such as suits of armor, secret passages, and ghosts. It wasn't the most captivating mystery. This book could have used a glossary for the German words in the text that were unexplained. I refused to go track down my German dictionary so I hope I was able to figure out what most of them meant by their context. I have a low tolerance for Occultic themes in books, and there was too much of a presence in this one for me. 2 stars.

Jun 4, 2012, 1:07pm Top

Thanks for posting that obituary. It was a sweet recall of the book, plus a reminder to add The Search for Joyful to my library wishlist.

Jun 4, 2012, 8:28pm Top

I didn't remember anyone posting it earlier when I ran across it. I have The Search for Joyful in a TBR box. I saw it while I was rearranging books Saturday.

Jun 5, 2012, 10:44am Top

98. Termination Dust by Sue Henry - Although Termination Dust is in the Jessie Arnold series, she's a relatively minor character in this installment until the end. Her boyfriend Alex Jensen is assisting Inspector Charles Delafosse of the Royal Mounted Canadian Police in the Yukon Territory with a crime that is crossing the international border. When a body is found at a camp site along the Yukon River, the chief suspect is American so Delafosse invites Alex to remain to assist in the investigation. It's approved by Alex's superiors. Something doesn't quite ring true about the whole investigation. The evidence seems to point to Jim Hampton, the suspect found at the camp site, but there are enough inconsistencies that they keep investigating. Hampton had found a diary from the 1897 Gold Rush, and Hampton and Jensen are both intrigued by it. While the installment got off to a slow start, it picked up pace and kept me wanting to find "whodunit." There were several red herrings to keep the reader second guessing themselves. The diary is printed at the end of the book. 3.5 stars.

Jun 5, 2012, 2:39pm Top

Hi, Lori, you've really been busy with lots of reading!

31, 34. C.J. Box is an author I've been meaning to try. I just found one at the Farmers' Market for 50 cents, and bought it.

Jun 5, 2012, 3:13pm Top

I've long wanted to read those Miranda James mysteries.

I loved the ones that Dean James wrote under the name "Jimmie Ruth Evans" featuring a wise-cracking waitress who lived in a trailer park. He seems to have stopped writing those to switch to the Miranda James books.

I think he wrote the Simon-Kirby Jones series under his own name, too. Somewhere around here, I think I have the first one in that series as well.

Jun 5, 2012, 5:27pm Top

Terri - I hope you enjoy the Box book!

Linda - I think I have the 2nd Jimmie Ruth Evans book, but I haven't read it. I would prefer to read the first one first. I'm glad to know you liked it. I think I was afraid it might be a little "cheesy," but I picked it up cheap sometime.

Jun 6, 2012, 8:01am Top

Congrats on organizing your books - I find it to be an exhausting task, but fun and satisfying too...and dusty, in my case.

I'll have to check out the Jessie Arnold series.

Edited: Jun 7, 2012, 11:59am Top

Kerri - Hope you enjoy the Sue Henry series.

Edited: Jun 23, 2012, 9:58am Top

99. Louisa and the Missing Heiress by Anna Maclean - I'm always hesitant to try series featuring well-known authors such as Jane Austen or their characters involved in detection. In the case of this mystery featuring Louisa May Alcott, it turns out to be a well-founded hesitancy. Maclean's characters were somewhat two-dimensional and they mystery itself was not all that captivating. A friend of Louisa's returns from her honeymoon only to be found dead in the harbor a short time later. When the inquest reveals murder, the husband is the immediate suspect. While the author imitates Alcott's style of writing to some degree, it fails to measure up to Alcott's standard and required a stretch of the imagination to believe they would act in such a manner. I do not plan to continue with the series. 2.5 stars.

Jun 8, 2012, 7:13am Top

100. Death, Bones, and Stately Homes by Valerie S. Malmont - Tori Miracle and her friend Alice-Ann stumble upon some bones in the springhouse for a home that will be on the historic tour for the first time this year. Alice-Ann convinces Tori, against Tori's better judgment, to keep quiet about the bones until the tour is over since the springhouse will be closed to visitors anyway. I have very mixed feelings about this mystery. The characters are developed enough. There were some I liked better than others. I'm just not convinced that the outcome could have happened nor am I convinced that the deputy acting as chief while the chief was out of the country had the intelligence to resolve the murder. He certainly did not display aptitude at anytime in the investigation itself. He kind of reminded me of Barney Fife. There are frequent references to what happened in earlier installments of the series, so it is probably a series that should be read in order, although I did not do so. My biggest criticism of the book, however, has to do with the series labeling as "A Tori Miracle Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery." There are no horse-drawn buggies; there is no lack of power lines; there are no Yoders, Keims, or Schrocks. There are dolls dressed as Amish sitting on a shelf of a hardware store. If that's as Amish as one can get, it's very misleading. I realize that the Pennsylvania Dutch country is overly commercialized now, but one still sees parts of that culture if one knows where to go. If these mysteries are going to call themselves Pennsylvania Dutch, they need to reflect that culture a bit more. 2.5 stars.

Jun 8, 2012, 12:56pm Top

#54 Long ago, I think I started the first one in this series and didn't like it at all and so never went back to it.

I'd be curious to see, if you do go back to the beginning, whether you like it any more than I did.

Jun 9, 2012, 6:41am Top

I doubt that I will go back, Linda. This was an unusual installment in that her boyfriend the police chief is out of town -- at least that's how I gathered it. I am certain that I picked it up when I did (probably at one of those Boys & Girls Book Club box sales) because of its labeling as "Pennsylvania Dutch." It's not that, so there's really no reason for me to pursue it. There are other series that do a better job capturing that cultural aspect.

Jun 9, 2012, 9:16pm Top

I haven't spent a lot of time reading yesterday or today. I've been going up to the Cumberland Gap the last couple of days to the Cumberland Gap Genealogy Jamboree. One of my good genealogy friends was speaking so I went up mostly to hang out. Since I'm leaving for a conference tomorrow, I've been doing laundry and such this evening. I did read a few chapters last night, but I'm too tired to read tonight. I think the heat got to me this afternoon as we were all visiting in town. I don't think I suffered sunburn though.

Jun 11, 2012, 11:04am Top

Hope you have a good conference and don't come home too exhausted.

Jun 11, 2012, 3:15pm Top

Well - Carrie & I already have the first story to tell! We were in our hotel room in between the meeting which ended around 1:30 and our next one at 4:00. Carrie was trying to take a nap because we got in so late last night. I was reading. All of a sudden the fire alarm went off. We are on the top floor so we had to go down the stairs to the outside. They were sanding in the stairwell on our floor, and that apparently set the alarm off. So much for the nap!

Edited: Jun 12, 2012, 9:27pm Top

Palm Beach

Jun 12, 2012, 10:50pm Top

looks like fun!

Jun 13, 2012, 6:27am Top

We had a free evening so most of us ended up at the beach for at least a little while.

Jun 13, 2012, 4:27pm Top

101. Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum - This book opens with what appears to be a case of child abduction. Inspector Sejer is called to investigate. The reader will soon discover, however, that the book is more about what the child saw during the hours she was gone. This book is not quite as tense of an atmosphere as many Scandinavian crime novels, but there are some literary elements in the puzzle, particularly in reflecting on the past of the characters, that will keep readers pondering the book. I enjoyed the mystery, but I did miss the darker atmosphere that I've come to expect in Scandinavian mysteries. 3.5 stars.

Jun 14, 2012, 1:03pm Top

What a beautiful picture! I'm so jealous! My times at the ocean are few and far between.

Jun 14, 2012, 9:53pm Top

Looking forward to the next couple of days as the conference is over, and we are mostly having fun.

Jun 14, 2012, 10:04pm Top

I have had the honor of serving on the review committee for the very first Association of Christian Librarians Book Award for Excellence in Nonfiction over the past year. Tonight we announced the first recipient of the award which will be given biannually. The winner is Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind by Mark A. Noll.

Jun 14, 2012, 10:24pm Top

At the conference today, we worked on processing some books for Haitian libraries. There were several of us who have LibraryThing accounts working on the project, but we failed to get a picture of our flash mob. They only allotted us one hour in the schedule, and most of us had meetings immediately afterwards. We're still trying to get book jackets uploaded. The only scanner the library had was their photocopier which would only scan to PDF. I used Zamzar to convert the PDF files to JPG and then put them into my photo editing software to rotate, crop, etc. They still have several scans to send to us, but we'll hopefully be able to get the rest of the book jackets uploaded and finish tweaking the profiles in the next few days (even though the conference is over). Unfortunately, we had to use Amazon as the source. The only libraries that owned them were not LibraryThing data sources.

Jun 15, 2012, 4:40pm Top

Love the photo of you at Palm Beach. You look marvelously happy!

Jun 16, 2012, 11:04pm Top

102. Open Season by Archer Mayor - When members of a jury that served on a murder case about three years previously in Brattlesboro, Vermont are threatened and even killed, Lt. Joe Gunther informally reopens the case. It's not long before he and others are in danger as well. Who is the mysterious person behind the "ski mask"? Was the person brought to trial for the old murder case framed? It's up to Joe to find out before he meets the same fate as others. While I enjoyed this first installment, I really didn't like some aspects of the case, primarily because some parts were out of my comfort/toleration zone. If I read additional installments, I will want to make sure that those elements are not present in future installments. 3 stars.

Jun 17, 2012, 8:37am Top

Jun 17, 2012, 2:19pm Top

Hi Lori - I love the photos! Also, I had a similar reaction to the last Karin Fossom I read (The Caller). It seemed to lack suspense, because I knew who was doing what at all times. I did enjoy Bad Intentions though.

Jun 17, 2012, 7:30pm Top

I'm very happy to be home now! My cat is too. I don't think he suspects that I played with Hemingway's cat's descendants or the cat that was outside the library where our conference was held. I got to the 40% mark on a book I'm reading before I had to turn off my electronic device on the plane. I doubt I'll finish it tonight, but I'm going to give it a try and see how far I can get with the cat curled up on my lap before bedtime. Going back to work tomorrow won't be much fun after West Palm Beach and Key West.

Jun 17, 2012, 8:41pm Top

Lori - looks like you enjoyed making it as far south as you could in the USA. Great reading as always here, already three figures up.

Jun 18, 2012, 8:23am Top

This is going around Facebook, but it's too good not to share.

Jun 18, 2012, 10:17pm Top

103. Fire and Ice by Dana Stabenow - This series began when the author's favorite editor moved to another publisher. Since her contract did not allow for spin-offs, a new trooper character was invented for this series. Liam Campbell, freshly demoted because he wasn't watching those under him as much as he should have, is sent to a remote Alaskan village. He literally walks off the plane into his first murder investigation. He encounters the former love of his life. Before he's even done with processing that scene, he is called to a shooting. I was not all that pleased with the adultery and romantic scenes. The characters did grow on me over the course of the book. I'll probably eventually get around to the second in the series, but it's not that high of a priority. I prefer the author's Kate Shugak series. 3 stars.

Edited: Jun 18, 2012, 10:34pm Top

104. A Survey of Liechtenstein History by Otto Seger - This short 40 page book gives a brief overview of Liechtenstein's history, primarily focusing on the political history. When other areas are mentioned, they are usually in relation to the political climate. The book had some problems in regards to mixing first (primarily plural) and third persons. It is clearly a book written primarily for Liechtenstein's citizens. It is very basic and lacks citations. I did learn quite a bit about the influences that Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have had upon the Principality of Liechtenstein. 2.5 stars.

Jun 19, 2012, 9:28pm Top

105. The Aland Islands by W. R. Mead and S. H. Jaatinen - Although the modern portion of this book is becoming dated, this is still a good book to read to become acquainted with the Aland Islands which are technically part of Finland but are autonomous. The Islanders speak Swedish for the most part and have ties to both Sweden and Finland. The book gives an overview of the country's geography, geology, climate, plant and animal life, and much more. It also chronicles what has become known as "the Aland question" in political circles. The book is very readable and reminds me of books in "The Land and People" series which was geared towards middle schoolers (and perhaps upper elementary schoolers), although this book was clearly written with an adult audience in mind. 3.5 stars.

Jun 20, 2012, 8:52pm Top

My cat Brumley just had his very own book launching ceremony. He stepped on a book on the coffee table and launched it through the air.

Jun 21, 2012, 7:20am Top

>78 thornton37814: LOL! Did it scare him at all, or was it a purposeful act?

One of my roommates is dogsitting and owns a cat. She has a laser pointer that has kept both entertained, and she always puts the laser on pointing at the same spot, under her TV set. Both animals know what *causes* the laser, we discovered, when one day the cat got up on the table and started pawing on the candle where she sticks the laser when she wasn't using it. The dog started looking under the TV set all ready to pounce when the little red light appeared!

Jun 21, 2012, 8:12am Top

LOL - our animals do keep us entertained, Mary. It really didn't even phase him. I had the book sitting on top of a case of CDs where I'd been burning a track I'd downloaded to sing in church. The book was bigger than the CD case so when he stepped on the part of the book that wasn't directly on top of the case, it just launched. It was pretty funny.

Edited: Jun 22, 2012, 2:50pm Top

106. The Wooden Overcoat by Pamela Branch - The Asterisk Club is a home for murderers who were acquitted. Newly released Benji Cann finds himself living with the artistic couples next door when there is not room for him at the club. When bodies (including Cann's) begin to turn up, both homes find themselves trying to hide the corpses. The emphasis is on comedy rather than mystery. Unfortunately, I don't think I was in the mood for this sort of book at the time I read it, and it didn't work all that well for me. I did recognize that it would be loved by persons who enjoy farces as well as many mystery lovers.

Jun 22, 2012, 1:49pm Top

I enjoyed the church directory and "how to make it snow" stories and on your first thread very much! I'm also impressed that you're able to read the NT in Greek. I had Greek and scored well (A's), but aside from being able to transliterate, recognize roots and occassionally understand some Russian, it's pretty much gone. The adage, "use it or loose it" definitely applies in this case (same for my Hebrew).

I skipped from the first thread to here... hope any more news you shared about your dad was good.

Jun 22, 2012, 2:52pm Top

107. The Expats by Chris Pavone - In this story of espionage, we meet a former CIA agent who quit her job to accompany her husband to Luxembourg for his new job working in the banking industry. They meet some other Americans whom she suspects are not who they claim to be. Using her background, she sets out to investigate what is going on and whom they are following. I'm not a fan of spy stories, but this one kept me turning the pages. 3.5 stars.

Jun 22, 2012, 2:57pm Top

82> Susan - I do still get out the Greek from time to time, but I'm not quite as "fluent" as I once was. I still hate church directory photos. The snow making wasn't very successful this past winter here in Tennessee. I guess I didn't do enough of those things.

Jun 23, 2012, 10:11am Top

LC has released its list of "Books that Shaped America." You'll find the list at: http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/books-that-shaped-america/. The press release is at: http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2012/12-123.html.

Jun 24, 2012, 1:50pm Top

108. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody takes Evelyn Barton-Forbes with her to Egypt after she is rescued by Peabody. Being an excellent judge of character, Peabody recognizes a person of breeding when she sees one. They hang around an archaeological dig with some of Evelyn's suitors. Danger finds its way into their lives, and they must be on guard. I felt the mystery was lacking in this novel which more closely resembles a romantic suspense novel than a mystery that has a definite murder which is being investigated. It is an enjoyable read if you don't expect a murder to solve in your mystery, but it did not leave me wanting to read more of the series. 3 stars.

Jun 24, 2012, 8:34pm Top

I took advantage of the Big Deal at Amazon on Kindle books to purchase some of the Victoria Houston and Mary Logue titles that were being offered.

Jun 25, 2012, 10:37pm Top

109. Death Books a Return by Marion Moore Hill - Librarian Juanita Wills of Wyndham, Oklahoma has undertaken a project to write the town's history. She stumbles across an unsolved race-related murder from 1959 and is determined to investigate it. Using her history as her reason to investigate, she meets up with a lot of people who won't share what they recall about that night. Of course, she encounters a few attempts on her life along the way. Her boyfriend is the local police chief who is very tight-lipped about his investigations. While I enjoyed some of the book, I found quite a bit to be implausible. I found some of the dialogue a bit flat. I had a hard time keeping up with which characters were black and which were white for over half the book even though I knew that the racial aspect was central. If the author had been more descriptive in introducing her characters in this installment, it might have been easier for the reader to distinguish. 2.5 stars.

Jun 26, 2012, 3:24pm Top

We're working on a database cleanup project where script l's didn't come over in the call number field when we migrated to a new database at work. One of the books that had a problem has me wondering about the analogy that must be in the book because of its title. It's called Love and Marriage and Trading Stamps. When I go out into the stacks to check some other problems discovered, I'm going to go take a look at this one just out of curiosity although the problem with the catalog record is cleared up.

Jun 28, 2012, 9:57pm Top

110. Calico Joe by John Grisham - Paul Tracey, the son of Mets pitcher Warren Tracey, wants to look up to his father and be loved by him, but his father is a jerk -- at home and on the baseball field. Paul idolizes the Cubs rookie Joe Castle from Calico Rock, Arkansas. Castle has wowed the baseball world with his performances after being called up from the minors. Then something tragic happens that ends the careers of Castle and Tracey. I'm not the world's biggest baseball fan (although I do watch games on TV and sometimes in person), but I loved this book. I don't know enough baseball history to know how much of Grisham's story is fictional and how much is fact-based, but his author's note makes it clear that both are part of the book. This is a wonderful story about forgiveness. 4 stars.

By the way, this morning I discovered that someone had taken out my mailbox last night. I thought I'd heard some wild driving in my usually quiet neighborhood around 11 p.m. They'd also hit the neighbor's county-supplied garbage can which was in parts on the road. I managed to get the mailbox to stand up although it is quite wobbly, but it worked enough that the letter carrier left mail in it. I've got to find someone with post hole diggers (and probably a pick axe for this rocky soil) to help me install a new one.

Jun 29, 2012, 12:59pm Top

Snagging this from Facebook to share:

Jun 29, 2012, 2:08pm Top

Now that is WAY TOO COOL..If I ever (and don't get excited folks, it ain't gonna happen) got up the energy and inspiration to make something like this, they'd only be displayed under armed guard, because no jury would convict me for killing anyone who tried to wipe out one of these by actually eating it!

Jun 29, 2012, 2:34pm Top

I can't imagine how much time it must have taken to do these!

Jun 29, 2012, 3:58pm Top

Whoa. Very cool! But, yeah, a little too much in the Tedious Work department, I think.

Jun 29, 2012, 6:42pm Top

Wow, I can't imagine actually letting people eat these little works of art!

Jun 29, 2012, 7:26pm Top

#91 - I would just shellac them and call it a day.

Jun 29, 2012, 8:08pm Top

Lori - great cupcakes - I would probably pick up A Tale of Two Cities as a book choice but maybe Dr. Zhivago if I thought on biting I may find Julie Christie inside! Have a great weekend.

Jun 29, 2012, 8:43pm Top

I don't think I could have eaten the books, but I might have been able to eat the cupcake underneath. You are right though, Judy -- they are works of art!

Kerri - Shellac? wow - you are into preservation!

LOL, Paul. It's tough to pick one, and we don't even know which books were in the cupcakes not caught in that photo. We may have to ask the folks at Cupcake Wars on the Food Network how to create those little books.

Jun 30, 2012, 4:02pm Top

111. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - There are some books you devour; there are some books you savor. This one fits the "savor" category. The narrator is Rev. John Ames. The audience is his son. He is reflecting back on his life as he knows it will soon be coming to an end. He's lived all but two years of his life in the small town of Gilead, Iowa. The ministerial life is all he's ever known. His grandfathers and father were all clergymen. It's not a book of action; it's a book of contemplation. Robinson's prose is quite poetic and very deserving of the Pulitzer prize that it won. 4 stars.

Jun 30, 2012, 8:06pm Top

I loved Gilead too, Lori. I really need to read the sequel, which I think is called Home.

Jun 30, 2012, 11:32pm Top

I want to savour this one too soon Lori - you are right there are some books that you really don't want to come to an end.

Jul 1, 2012, 8:03am Top

Yes, Julia. Home is the sequel. I will be adding it to my wish list, but I probably won't get to it this year.

Paul, you really do need to read it. It's style is a bit unusual. It lacks chapters, but there are plenty of white space breaks and occasional line breaks that give you plenty of places to put it down when you need to go do something else for a bit.

Jul 1, 2012, 12:38pm Top

112. How to Sew a Button: and Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew by Erin Bried - When I saw this book mentioned in a library publication, I knew that I wanted to take a look at it at some point. It's really a shortened condensed reference book on doing certain household tasks. Most of it was stuff I learned to do at a young age. The directions are a bit simplistic and occasionally have been updated for the 21st century. The author intersperses humor in the midst of the instructions. I wish I could say that I loved the book, but it was kind of ho-hum for me. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't outstanding. At times, I would have preferred to read the accounts given to her by some of the grandmothers she consulted, particularly the one from Mississippi, whose experiences would have been most similar to my own Mississippi grandmothers. I do, however, think this would be a great thing to thrown into a bridal shower gift package for today's generation. I think I'm probably a little too old to appreciate the book fully, but it is the sort of thing that the younger generation would find useful. 2.5 stars

Jul 1, 2012, 7:33pm Top

113. Snow Angels by James Thompson - The body of a Somali immigrant woman has been found in the snow in northern Finland just before Christmas. It appears to be either a sex crime or a racially motivated one. Inspector Kari Vaara must wade through the evidence to determine the motive and the killer's identity. It's not all that easy as the chief suspect is the man who stole his ex-wife from him. The plural of the title led me to believe that I would be reading about a serial murderer who used the snow angel pattern. Such was not the case (although I do say that with relief). I felt that some the characters lacked depth. Although we got to know Inspector Vaara and the chief suspect quite well, I felt that some of the other key players such as Vaara's ex-wife Heli, Vaara's right-hand man Valtteri, and Peter Eklund, a suspect who was the son of a wealthy man, were underdeveloped. The "f" word was overused, and there was a little more sexual description than I'm comfortable reading in this novel. It's not a bad debut novel, but I do hope that his later installments correct some of the problems of this first in the series. 3 stars.

Jul 2, 2012, 8:55am Top

My niece made the mistake of leaving the lid to her garbage can open against her home in the 105 degree temperature. It spontaneously combusted. They had to move it away from the house to keep the house safe from the fire.

Jul 2, 2012, 9:03pm Top

114. Resistance by Anita Shreve - An American plane is downed near a Belgian Village during World War II. Pilot Ted Brice escapes in the woods with the aid of a small boy. He's taken to the home of Henry and Claire who are members of the resistance. The plan is to hide him there until he can make an escape through France back to England. The danger for those in the village increases when one of the villagers provokes the Germans.This is a Holocaust story and a love story. Having read other books on this period, the ending is a bit predictable. There was a lot that could have been included that was omitted, and the ending seemed a bit rushed. It's a book that a lot of women will enjoy reading. 3.5 stars.

Jul 3, 2012, 12:49am Top

Ok, when you have to start worrying about the garbage spontaneously combusting - that's TOO HOT!!

Jul 3, 2012, 3:49am Top

Enjoying the reviews and pictures, Lori. I can see you also liked Joe Calico.

Your review of Gilead made me even more interested in this book, having heard much good about it. Nice with a novel for contemplation

Jul 3, 2012, 7:18am Top

>105 thornton37814:: Wait, what? How does that happen? I'm confused...

Jul 3, 2012, 8:44am Top

Yikes! That hot sun! It hit me, too! My son and his new bride fit a quick honeymoon in between med school graduation and his residency start date half a country away, with no time to spare, so mom here was left to pick up the pieces with the moving company. After the truck left, I had a car *full* of "cannot pack" stuff to tote home. Fifteen-year old son who was in charge of unloading the car, accidentally left a shoe box in the back window ledge. Said shoe box contained son's backpacking cooking fuel canisters, a tin box of coins, and a supply of printer cartridges. I was surprised that the explosions didn't break the window, with those coins flying through the air. But it did leave quite a colorful mess.

Jul 3, 2012, 9:03am Top

#99 Enjoyed your thoughts on Gilead Lori - that's one I have lined up for Orange July.

#105 Wh-what?! Wow.

Jul 3, 2012, 3:35pm Top

#105 Yikes! That's hot!

Jul 4, 2012, 12:24am Top

That's it, between Lori and Cindy's experiences in the heat, I'm not going to complain about how cool and rainy it's been here!

Jul 4, 2012, 12:41am Top


I love the cartoon/image regarding referring to your local librarian as a dealer. I'm sending this one to my friend/librarian. I'm sure she will get a much needed laugh. Her highly successful children's summer reading program began a few days ago and the computer systems were down. She and the staff had to manually enter all books that were checked out.

Jul 4, 2012, 5:45am Top

#83: Lori, I'm glad you enjoyed The Expats. I read it a few months ago and it certainly was a page-turner.

The exploding garbage is terrifying! I can't imagine heat like you are all having over there. The hottest it's been in London since I've lived here was 37C a few summers ago (I just checked, and that's 98.6F) and I honestly didn't know how I would last the day. It was a weekend so I stayed at home with all the windows open and my feet in a bowl of iced water for long periods, but I was actually glad to get back to work the following day, and air-conditioning.

Jul 4, 2012, 9:56am Top

#105 - Good grief!

Jul 4, 2012, 11:43am Top

Thanks, everyone, for the comments. I probably should explain that she had been shelling purple hull peas and that the hulls in the trash can were what caused it to combust. They are quite thankful they were home and got it away from the house before it caught fire as well. I'll be glad when we get rid of these uppers 90s and 100s in temperature. We need rain very badly. I think they got a little around Gatlinburg early yesterday evening but it completely missed us.

Jul 4, 2012, 11:47am Top

115. Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason - When a skeleton is found outside Reykjavik, Inspector Erlandur begins his investigation even though the full skeleton cannot be exumed for a few days. The archaeologist and a medical student believe that the bone that is first found is probably at least 70 years old so the detective focuses his efforts on the 1930s and 1940s. We are introduced to a horrifying tale of domestic violence and the account of an American base on Iceland. While the Icelandic names make for difficult reading, the story itself is quite absorbing. In the beginning, I had difficulty sorting out the past story and the present story, but as the story moved on, I managed to navigate both lines. My biggest criticism lies in the cursing in the dialogue. I did not feel it was critical in any place and could have been handled without including the bad language as was done in other parts of the story. I wondered if it was present in the original Icelandic or if it was introduced by the translator into the narrative. Stories involving domestic violence are never easy to read, but this one was well-told and worth reading. 3.5 stars.

Jul 4, 2012, 4:54pm Top

Lori, I loved Gilead, too. Definitely one to savor.

Sorry to hear about the spontaneous combustion!


Jul 4, 2012, 6:45pm Top

I'm too distracted this evening to read. There has been a terrible tragedy on the Cherokee Reservoir where several have been electrocuted. One ten year old boy is dead; an eleven year old boy is in critical condition at UT hospital. The others are apparently less critical. The families are members of our church. I'm spending a lot of time in prayer for the families.

Jul 4, 2012, 6:46pm Top

Oh, Lori, I'm so sorry to hear of this! What a tragedy. I will keep the families in my prayers, too.

Jul 5, 2012, 7:01am Top

116. Cooks Overboard by Joanne Pence - In this cross between a cozy mystery and a spy thriller, Angie Amalfi and her boyfriend, who is a police detective, take a cruise on a freighter. from their home in San Francisco with an intended destination of Acapulco. From the moment they set foot on the ship, things don't seem right when a cook attempts to throw himself overboard. Soon she meets other passengers and crew members who are a bit strange. Then to top things off, her boyfriend is not acting like his normal self. She feels someone has been searching their room, but she cannot imagine what she would have that anyone would want. This one was slow to start, but when the action picked up, it held my attention in spite of a tragedy in my church family that was distracting me. 3.5 stars.

Jul 5, 2012, 11:01pm Top

Lori, I saw in the news that another of the boys who was electrocuted died. My sympathies to the families.

Jul 6, 2012, 6:38am Top

Yes. Nate died yesterday evening. It's sad. I didn't sleep much the night before last, but I was so tired that I slept fairly well last night. I've been crying and grieving so much for these two families. Noah's mom's birthday is today.

Jul 7, 2012, 9:17am Top

Lori - I'm so sorry to read about this terrible tragedy. My thoughts are with you and the families. Take care.

Edited: Jul 7, 2012, 12:58pm Top

Lori - I was going to comment on the wonderful array of books you are introducing but it is a little superfluous at the moment considering the terrible news about those poor little boys.

Edited: Jul 7, 2012, 2:04pm Top

That is such heartbreaking news, Lori. My thoughts and prayers are with your church family.

eta: I just saw the picture of Noah and Nate on KnoxNews. Beautiful kids. The story was very nicely written, too.

Jul 7, 2012, 3:18pm Top

Yes - the services for the two will be at our church tomorrow night at 6 p.m. Normally our church holds Sunday evening services at our lake property during the summer months, but this is one occasion where I'm glad they decided to forego the evening service. The entire church needs the time to grieve together. With these record-breaking temperatures, it's too hot to be out at the lake anyway - and the lake would be just a reminder of the loss instead of a celebration of their lives.

Jul 7, 2012, 3:19pm Top

117. Weighed in the Balance by Anne Perry - Oliver Rathbone takes on a slander case which he has little chance of winning. He enlists the aid of William Monk to investigate on his behalf. Monk's evidence shows that the person being accused of the murder is the only one who could not have committed it, and it appears the chief suspect of the murder would be Rathbone's client. It's a novel involving European politics. The pacing on this novel as with most attorney-driven novels was a bit slow for me. It's been awhile since I have read other books in this series, but I'm glad that I had read them. A newcomer to the series starting with this book would have found the main recurring characters undeveloped. It was, however, an intriguing puzzle that kept the reader wondering how the crime was committed and by whom until the final pages. I definitely prefer the author's Thomas & Charlotte Pitt series to the William Monk one. 3 stars.

Jul 8, 2012, 1:25pm Top

Just wanted to update you all. The services for the two young boys who died in the tragic electrocution incident on Cherokee Reservoir will be tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The joint service will be aired on local cable and will be streamed live at http://www.fbcmtn.com/.

Jul 8, 2012, 6:58pm Top

Lori, so sorry to hear of this tragedy. My heart goes out to their families and the community.

Jul 9, 2012, 7:31pm Top

118. Bitter Tide by Ann Stamos - Maggie arrives at Ellis Island where witnesses see her shoot the man with whom she traveled to America. Joseph is the supervisor and has more sympathy toward the girl than some of his superiors, and when the body is not found, he stalls her transfer to prison as long as possible while he investigates the situation. The reader sees the political machinery of New York and the Irish political groups in New York at work as Joseph investigates. It's a well-written mystery, but it's not a typical one in many ways. It's also not quite the novel I would have expected from a subsidiary of Gale's Cengage Learning to produce in support of a unit dealing with immigration. It certainly shows some of the problems at Ellis Island caused by political machinery. 3.5 stars.

Jul 11, 2012, 7:01am Top

119. Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie - Poirot is asked to come quickly to France. It is the postscript that really convinces the esteemed investigator to take on the case. He arrives to find the man who sent the note murdered. Although Giraud, the French detective, seems to be up on the latest in scientific investigation, it is Poirot's psychological studies of the persons involved which leads to the conclusion. This is one with all sorts of twists and turns in the plot. It will keep readers guessing up to the very end. 4 stars.

Jul 12, 2012, 8:25pm Top

120. Sew Deadly by Elizabeth Lynn Casey - Tori Sinclair has just arrived in Sweet Briar, South Carolina from Chicago to be the town's new librarian. She discovers the former librarian doesn't like her because retirement was forced upon her. She finds friendship in the town's sewing circle and in the third grade teacher who brings his class to the library each week. When a young resident of the town turns up dead outside the library, some people begin to suspect Tori. After all, there had never been a murder in Sweet Briar before she moved there. With the local police chief out of town, the officer from the next town over seems to suspect Tori as well. Tori knows that she must find the real murderer so that she doesn't end up behind bars. I loved this small town. It's a great atmosphere with characters that I want to revisit. It's just a shame that Sweet Briar is fictional. I'd love to stop at the antique store, the library, the bakery, and even drop in on the sewing circle (if only for the refreshments). 4 stars.

Jul 13, 2012, 12:02am Top

OOO......a librarian who sews, and who lives in a small town. This one is going onto the find it list. I see that my sister cyderry has it in her library and liked it too, so I'm going to have to borrow it from her.

Jul 13, 2012, 6:51am Top

Definitely, Tina. The setting reminds me of a Mitford (without the church - although perhaps we'll be introduced to that in a later installment because no Southern town is complete without a couple of those).

Jul 13, 2012, 8:24pm Top

Lori....cheli has assured me she has put it aside for me. I can't wait for august!

Jul 14, 2012, 8:35am Top

I'm glad you will be getting to read it, Tina! I've got to add the second one to my library TBR list now that I know I like the series!

Jul 14, 2012, 8:41am Top

121. Living Jesus: Doing What Jesus Says in the Sermon on the Mount by Randy Harris with Greg Taylor - Professor Randy Harris discusses the implementation of the Sermon on the Mount into the life of a Christian. He uses simplistic illustrations to make his point. There is a lot of repetition of points within the chapters. The discussion itself is "dumbed down" as are many books on Christian life. While I found the book to be too shallow, I do think that it might be something college students might enjoy discussing in a Bible study or Sunday School class. The discussion questions and ideas for implementation at the end of each chapter lend itself well to this type of use. I received this copy through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program with the expectation that a review would be written. 2.5 stars.

Jul 14, 2012, 4:51pm Top

122. When Will the Dead Lady Sing? by Patricia Sprinkle - MacLaren Yarborourgh's old boyfriend shows up in town with his son who is running for governor. Joe Riddley's barn is burned down by Tad who runs away. A homeless person is found dead near the water tower. Who would want to kill her and why? Mac has to puzzle this out while being somewhat laid up with an injury. This installment of the series got off to an extremely slow start. I was quite ready to abandon it, but then it began to pick up, first slowly about halfway through the book and then more rapidly in the last third of the book. I really get annoyed by the people in the town, but then there's a Southernness about it that rings true as well. 2.5 stars.

Jul 15, 2012, 12:08am Top

ooh... I'm only up to # 4 on that series... maybe it's just an odd one. I've enjoyed the ones I read.

Jul 15, 2012, 6:55am Top

Cheli - It was just really slow getting started. However, it was so slow getting started that I couldn't give it 3 stars. I think she spent too much time with the characters chatting in the first part of the book. There was just no action to move it along. I was about ready to go pull the other two books in the series to return to my friend when I returned that one. I, of course, changed my mind about returning the other two unread. Once the action picks up, it is fine.

Jul 15, 2012, 10:05am Top

#139: What's the deal with so many books like that being dumbed down? It's annoying and makes it difficult to find good adult Bible study texts.

Jul 15, 2012, 9:52pm Top

I agree, Carly. There are actually a growing number of books discussing that "dumbing down" or "juvenilization" (as one book calls it). I've got one or two on my wish list to read, but I haven't read them. You used to be able to find really good Bible studies that had some depth. I'm sure there are some out there, but I never seem to find them.

Jul 16, 2012, 2:51pm Top

123. Spiced to Death by Peter King - The Gourmet Detective (who is not a detective in the usual sense of the word) has been called by his friend Don Renshaw to help authenticate a shipment of a spice (Ko-Feng) that has been newly rediscovered, having been lost for 500 years. Of course, since no one living really knows much about it, they have to draw on their vast experiences with other spices and chemical reactions to do so. The shipment disappears as soon as it has been authenticaated. Restauranteurs as well as those into medical and other scientific research all want to get their hands on it. Soon there are deaths connected to the spice. The Gourmet Detective works with the New York Police Department to help solve the crime. This installment was very slow-paced. The narrative bogged down in what should have been my favorite part of it -- descriptions of food. Its solution was somewhat similar to a locked room puzzle in some sense, although there is an additional dimension since the murders took place outside of the locked room. 3 stars.

Jul 16, 2012, 11:03pm Top

124. Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn - Daisy Dalrymple goes to Wentwater Court to write an article for a magazine on the country estate. Daisy wants to earn her own way, even though she is of a class where most women would not work. It's not long until the body of a man that no one really likes is found in the ice. It appears to be an accident until Daisy notices an irregularity in one of the photographs she took at the scene. Although it should have been assigned to the local constable, the family is able to use its influence to get an inspector from Scotland Yard involved. He notices a tie-in to a case he's already working. He involves Daisy in the investigation. I found that particular element of the book to be the most far-fetched thing. A Scotland Yard DCI is not going to involve a civilian in a matter, even if she is the one who raised the possibility of its being a homicide. While she might be low on his list of suspects, she had the same opportunity as others to have done the deed, even if she had not known the victim prior to her arrival. Still, the case was entertaining, and I like Daisy and the Chief Inspector. I hope Alec is in future installments of this series. 3.5 stars.

This book had been sitting on my shelf for a long time. I thought I had not read it. When I began reading it, the plot seemed familiar. I am positive I had already read this book, probably in hardcover back when it was first released from the library. I still enjoyed it and don't really regret the re-read.

Jul 17, 2012, 11:11pm Top

125. Quietly in Their Sleep by Donna Leon - The Vice-Questore is out of town, and crime is not very rampant in Venice at the moment. A former nun stops in to speak to Brunetti and voices concerns about what she had seen at the nursing home to which she had been transferred. She is suspicious of deaths of some of the residents. Having nothing more pressing to do, Brunetti begins to investigate. At the same time, his daughter is having difficulties in her religion class, and the problem seems to be with the priest. Then something happens to the former nun which elevates the case. This is probably my least favorite installment (that I've read to date) of the series because of the obvious animosity toward religion the author has. The only "normal" religious person encountered is the former nun who has left her order. Every character seems to carry a chip on his or her shoulder against the church. While the types of crimes committed by the clergy members in this installment should not be condoned, the author has gone a bit too far in her animosity against the church. The mystery itself was well-plotted. 3 stars.

Jul 18, 2012, 12:13am Top

Got this in the TBR - will get there soon!

Jul 18, 2012, 9:53am Top

I noticed it was in your library when I was adding the review. Your sister liked it better than I did. I lowered it 1/2 point because of the way religion was handled throughout the book. However, it was a good read otherwise.

Jul 18, 2012, 2:35pm Top

I'm excited. Wolf Hall was on the shelf when I made it to the library today. When I got it home, I noticed that there is some water damage to the edges of the pages. I hope that I won't run across any that are stuck together!

Jul 19, 2012, 1:50pm Top

Most of you know that I love just about anything having to do with cooking. (That's one reason I often include cookbooks and fiction dealing with food in my reading that you see here.) Well, a friend of mine made a comment to me last night that still has me chuckling. His son had been down to the house of a mutual friend of ours. He had eaten with that friend who had made a pasta dish that had chicken and eggplant in it. My friend said that his son wasn't really one to eat any form of pasta other than the occasional macaroni and cheese and that he would never have imagined his son eating eggplant at all. His son wanted his parents to learn to make that dish because it was so good. As he began describing the dish to his parents, he talked about the "pepto" sauce and how good it was. Now, I know that what he meant was pesto, but I just keep imagining making that dish with a bottle of Pepto Bismol. I just can't even imagine wanting to eat anything with a pink sauce of that color. I'm sure it must have been very soothing to the stomach.

Jul 19, 2012, 10:39pm Top

126. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - This is an excellent work of historical fiction depicting Early Tudor England. Mantel covers all the major players--Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Henry's wives and their families, Thomas Cranmer, and, of course, Thomas Cromwell. Mantel makes that period come to life for readers by updating the language used to words with which contemporary readers are more accustomed to reading. The usage of the pronoun "he" was confusing a bit at first, but it didn't take long to catch on to the fact that it usually referred to Cromwell. I'm motivated to go back and grab my copy of Cavendish's biographies of Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas More to read again in the not too distant future. I'm looking forward to reading Bring Up the Bodies as well. This book is very deserving of the Man Booker Prize that it won. 5 stars.

Jul 19, 2012, 11:04pm Top

Lori - prodigious reading as usual over here. Wolf Hall did deserve its accolades but I still feel her effort on the French revolution A Place of Greater Safety was better still.

Jul 19, 2012, 11:06pm Top

Lori, glad that you enjoyed Wolf Hall more than I.

Jul 20, 2012, 9:50am Top

Paul - I'll have to try her French Revolution novel at some point. I'm pretty sure that our library had more Mantel books on the shelf when I grabbed that one.

Cheli - Your review had me concerned that I might not like it, but it was a compelling read for me. Of course, I've been in the mood for Tudor period settings lately anyway. I guess it just worked better for me.

Jul 20, 2012, 1:04pm Top

127. A Brief Guide on How to Research Your Ancestry by Evette Gardner - This is an overly simplistic guide on researching one's family tree. While some of the advice offered is good, the explanations of how to go about locating those sources do not hold out in every situation. There is no mention of the importance of documenting your sources. The Kindle version that I used does not show any forms that help one extract or organize data. Repositories covered are limited to federal and state libraries and do not discuss the Family History Library, Family History Centers, Allen County Public Library, Clayton Library, etc. that are well-known as excellent repositories, which in some cases, may be more accessible to new researchers and may have as good as or better resources. The heading in the national archives section for the one in Alaska was headed by "Arkansas." The section on DNA testing was too ambiguous to be useful. If you are wanting a beginner's guide, skip this brief guide and pick up Christine Rose and Kay Germain Ingalls' A Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy (currently in its 3rd edition) or George G. Morgan's How to Do Everything Genealogy which is also in its 3rd edition. 1 star.

This was offered free on the Kindle this morning, and I decided to evaluate it. It's just simply too generic, omitting too much.

Jul 21, 2012, 8:32am Top

128. Beach House Memories by Mary Alice Monroe - In the opening scene, Olivia "Lovie" Rutledge lays dying with her daughter Cara by her side in a cottage on the Isle of Palms. She is looking forward to being reunited with Russell Bennett. The reader is then taken back to 1974. Lovie discovers a second set of tickets for her husband's flights around Europe just before she heads to the beach house on the Isle of Palms for the summer. He claims they are for his secretary, but she knows better. She is anxious to get back to her work with the loggerhead turtles that nest on the Isle of Palms. She discovers a notice at the grocery store about a study of the sea turtles being conducted by a man named Russell Bennett. She discovers he's been hired by developers to find what impact the proposed development would have on them. Lovie joins up just to keep an eye on things. She is able to recruit more volunteers than ever before and learns things from Bennett that will help her protect even more of the nests. She also finds love. The novel deals with issues such as marital infidelity, spousal abuse, and much more. I'm not going to say a lot about my reactions to certain plot elements as it would give away too much of the story. If you are looking for a good beach read, this is one to savor. Although I have the first in this trilogy in my to be read pile, I read this one which had just arrived at the library, not realizing that it was part of a trilogy. It works fine as a stand alone novel. I'm going to have to go back and read the first one now, and I will look forward to the third. 4 stars.

Jul 21, 2012, 1:01pm Top

I did a double-take this morning when I went to early vote in our primary elections. There staring up at me from the ballot was "Mark Twain Clemens." He was running for U.S. Senate against the incumbent Bob Corker and several others on the Republican primary ballot.

Jul 22, 2012, 8:36pm Top

I am not sure what my Internet access will be like for the next couple of weeks. I will probably have a lot of catching up to do at some point. I will be taking care of some things related to moving my 90-year-old father in with my brother. Since he's already moved out, his wireless network is gone. When I'm at his old house, I'll be dependent on the municipal wifi which sometimes is so overstretched that you cannot get online. Unless my dad has had Internet installed, my brother only has dial-up so that's not really an option for me. I probably won't be online very much. I will probably have to go to McDonald's or some place that offers wifi once or twice while I'm gone just to take care of a bit of business. I have books and Kindle packed so I'm all set for reading. I may have to catch up on posting reviews when I get back, but I can write them and have them ready to post.

Jul 26, 2012, 11:23am Top

I found some Internet access at the public library in my brother's town so I'm sitting here in the genealogy section. I checked for important e-mail, but the only problem is that they have no power outlets, so I can't stay online for long periods of time. Anyway, I did come and update my TIOLI, and I'll try to catch up on a few threads and catch up on others later.

Edited: Aug 6, 2012, 4:27pm Top

129. Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank - This is the story where the past meets the present. The past involves Dorothy and Dubose Heyward, George Gershwin, and the writing of Porgy & Bess. The present involves newly widowed Cate Cooper whose husband left her almost broke. She moves back to Folly Beach to visit the aunt who reared her and finds true love. There are some parallels in the two stories which are presented in alternating chapters. I enjoyed the present story's presentation more than the manner in which the past was showcased. Although I understand why the author chose that format for the past, it simply didn't work for me. 3.5 stars.

130. The Black Tower by Betsy Byars - Herculean Jones is asked to read a book to one of her mother's clients, Mr. Hunt. His home has a black tower that is sinister. She and her friend "Meat" witness strange things in the house. This is a spooky mystery that will keep upper elementary and lower aged middle schoolers on the edges of their seats. 3.5 stars.

131. Katarina by Kathryn Winter - Katarina, a young girl of Jewish descent in Slovakia, finds herself separated from her family during the Holocaust and World War II. Katarina does not practice the Jewish faith and loves Catholicism which had been taught to her by the family's maid. Most people are afraid to take in a Jewish girl. This story will invite many questions about the Holocaust and its atrocities for middle school aged readers. 3.5 stars.

Edited: Jul 26, 2012, 2:29pm Top

Lori, thanks again for suggesting that Ann Cleeves book, Raven Black. I was pleased to see, on fantastic fiction, that her quartet of books is soon to be a quintet.

Her Dead Water, the fifth book in the Shetland Island series, is due out in January of 2013.

Jul 26, 2012, 2:04pm Top

I may need to try Beach House Memories. I enjoyed the author's Butterfly's Daughter awhile back. My dad is about 12 years younger than yours, and since I'm at his house right now, I'm just glad that at least he does have wifi!

Jul 27, 2012, 10:59am Top

I used Katarina for a unit plan back when I was student teaching. I need to go back and reread it, especially since I've traveled in Slovakia a lot since then, and would definitely get more out of it this time around!

Jul 28, 2012, 10:56pm Top

Linda - I'm excited to hear about the 5th book coming out.

Cindy - I'm typing on my iPhone now. I can't wait until Monday so I can use the library's wifi.

Rachel - you'll have to let us all know how a reading of it after several visits to the country goes.

Jul 28, 2012, 10:59pm Top

PS to Cindy - I've enjoyed all the Mary Alice Monroe books I've read. I just wish that the characters wouldn't be so quick to jump into bed with one another before marriage.

Edited: Aug 6, 2012, 4:28pm Top

132. Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague by Myla Goldberg - Goldberg resided in Prague in 1993 and returned in 2003 for the purpose of writing this book. It takes the reader on a tour of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. In the book, the reader becomes acquainted with the changes that freedom has brought to this city--from toppled statues to escalators. The reader is also exposed to the remnants of the former Communist State through police corruption. My favorite portions of the book were the descriptions of a couple libraries and cemeteries. The work could have been greatly enhanced by the addition of photographs to accompany the narrative. 3 stars.

133. An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor - Barry Laverty takes a position as an assistant to Dr. Fingal O'Reilly in the Irish village of Ballybucklebo. He is shocked by O'Reilly's unorthodox style but comes to understand the doctor's ways. He learns a few lessons about being a doctor and about love as he gets to know the colorful characters who reside in the village. It's a delightful visit to a small village in Northern Ireland. 4 stars.

134. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome - This is a look at the misadventures of three men and their dog on a two week voyage on the Thames in the 19th century. I laughed quite a bit and often pictured the men as the three stooges. A fun romp! 4 stars.

Jul 30, 2012, 12:30pm Top

Oh, I'd like to read Three Men in a Boat sometime, if only to see what Connie Willis was talking about in To Say Nothing of the Dog.

Jul 30, 2012, 10:22pm Top

It's a book that I will definitely keep. There are some great quotes on things like work. It's one that I'll want to have.

Aug 3, 2012, 10:48am Top

135. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver - Marietta Greer leaves her Kentucky home, renames herself Taylor, takes on a Cherokee child in Oklahoma, and finally stops in Tucson, Arizona. There she meets Lou Ann, a woman with a troubled marriage and a small boy. She goes to work at the tire store whose owner often assists undocumented immigrants. It's a well-written story with well-drawn characters. 4 stars.

136. Italian Food by Elizabeth David - This classic work provides an in-depth look at Italian cuisine. The text is interesting, and the recipes often discuss substitutes for difficult to obtain items. This is the type of cookbook that would be consulted frequently because of the basic recipes that can be used in a variety of dishes. The most recent update was done in 1987. It would be interesting to see which cookbooks (and other books) would be added to the bibliographies if it were updated today. There are line drawings, but I would have loved photos of some of the dishes. 4 stars.

137. The Bobbsey Twins, or Merry Days Indoor and Out by Laura Lee Hope - This book was a childhood favorite of my mom who enjoyed it back in the 1920s and 1930s. The story details the adventures and misadventures of the Bobbsey Twins -- Bert and Nan (8 years old) and Freddie and Flossie (4 years old). It harkens back to a much simpler time. Children's literature has progressed a great deal since this book was published, but I found myself enjoying it. There are certain words used (such as "queer") that have entirely different connotations for today's readers. There are times when children are left unsupervised to play outside which would never happen in today's books. It's a dated, but still enjoyable book. 3.5 stars.

Aug 3, 2012, 10:59pm Top

#170 - Hi Lori - The Bean Trees is one I'd like to get to at some point. Perhaps next year. Good to see the 4-star rating.

Aug 4, 2012, 8:35pm Top

Kerri - I was able to pick it up for a dollar or two a couple of years ago, and I finally got around to reading it. I'm really glad that I did.

I'm finally back home where I have decent Internet access. I'm currently reading two books. One is a mystery I downloaded for free on my Kindle some time ago. I'll probably finish it either tonight or tomorrow. I'm reading it pretty quickly although it won't be receiving rave reviews.

The other book is one with which I'm struggling somewhat. It's Kenneth Wishnia's The Fifth Servant. It's well-written, but there are a lot of words from other languages, and not all of them are found in the glossary in the back. (I wish they'd put the translations in footnotes so I would not have to flip back and forth.) I cannot read it very fast. Has anyone here read it? At about page 80, I considered abandoning it since I've already got Czech Republic covered in my Europe Endless Challenge, but I went back and read some of the reviews raving about it, and I really do want to learn more about the Jewish Inquisition. I guess the verdict is still a long way off. I'm just going to read it a little at a time until I get through it unless it starts to really pick up for me. I can read another book at the same time!

Aug 5, 2012, 3:10pm Top

138. Murder Over Easy by Marshall Cook - Monona "Mo" Quinn edits the local paper in a suburb of Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin. She has the reputation of being a real "Nancy Drew." Unfortunately this book was just not believable. I find it difficult to believe that a sheriff in such a large county would be as inept as the one depicted in this novel. The characters weren't very likeable to me, and I found myself not really caring about the novel. Once a true motive for the murder was uncovered, it wasn't difficult to figure out who committed the crime. I can live without reading future installments of this series. ***SPOILER ALERT: There are some coverup elements in this story that are too near the recent scandal involving Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State team for my tastes.*** 1.5 stars.

Aug 5, 2012, 9:18pm Top

While I was in Mississippi, I stopped by the Goodwill Bookstore to see what bargains could be found. Unfortunately, there were not a lot of books on the list I'd taken with me available, but I did pick up a few books, mostly cookbooks, at a bargain.

Hail to the Chef by Julie Hyzy
The Copper Beach by Maeve Binchy
A Taste of Country Cooking by Verona Christian Church, Verona, Mississippi - I confess to picking this one up because I knew some of my cousins attended this church. I haven't found any recipes they contributed although I've seen a few by people I do know.
Potlucks & Picnics compiled by Rolling Holidays Chapter No. 230, Central Mississippi (The drawing of the RV on the cover drew me in!)
Taste of the Town by News Channel 5 (Nashville) - It's got recipes from a variety of Nashville establishments (restaurants, hospital, B&Bs, etc.) as well as the anchors.
Yesterday's Leftovers by Barbara & Cheryl - This is a cross stitch leaflet that I got because it had a map of the U.S. to cross-stitch (the lower 48). I couldn't resist for the bargain price.
Taste of the States: A Food History of America by Hilde Gabriel Lee - I loved the way this went state by state and gave historical information on food as well as recipes. It retailed for $45, and I got it for under $6. A bargain!

Aug 6, 2012, 8:24am Top

139. A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey - A body is found on a beach. Although it is first thought to be a suicide, the inquest finds evidence that it is murder. The body is that of an actress who had been vacationing in the area. The top suspect manages to get away from the police. There are plenty of other suspects as well. Inspector Grant must investigate each lead, including some that are not very promising, but he is finally able to resolve the mystery. The title of the book comes from a legacy that the actress left to her brother in her will. This is a fun and well-plotted mystery. 4 stars.

Aug 6, 2012, 8:40am Top

Have you read any of the Nicola Upson mysteries with Josephine Tey as the lead character, Lori? If so, did you like them? I downloaded one to my Nook the other day but have not had a chance to read it yet.

Aug 6, 2012, 1:44pm Top

Stasia, I have not read any of those. I usually don't enjoy the books with authors as sleuths as much as I do the original series, so I tend to steer clear of them unless I'm highly motivated to read them. I'll wait and see how you like it. Can you see the big grin on my face?

Aug 6, 2012, 1:44pm Top

140. The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia - This historical mystery takes place during the Jewish Inquisition of the 17th century in Prague. A girl is found murdered, and the Jewish shop owner is taken into custody in spite of his innocence. The Jews are given 3 days to prove the man's innocence, and one of the days is a Sabbath, which poses a problem. The "sleuth" is a rabbi-in-training. This is a book that I both loved and hated. The book is well-written, but parts of it are not very readable. The reason for this is the abundance of terms in other languages. Only a few are explained in the text itself. There is a glossary in the back which includes some, but there are terms which are not explained at all. It makes for some very slow reading when one is constantly having to flip to the back of the book to locate the meaning of a term, especially if it is not there and one must search elsewhere for its definition. The historical research done by the author is quite evident to the reader. The acknowledgements in the back of the book not only mention persons but also the sources that were consulted in preparation of the book. I found that the mystery somehow got lost in much of the discussion of the Tanakh and Rabbinical literature (Midrash, Mishnah, etc.) I suspect that this novel will appeal more to those of Jewish faith than those who have little familiarity with the rabbinical literature. Fortunately, I was able to follow some of the discussion based on my knowledge of the Old Testament. It was the rabbinic discussions that sometimes lost me. I enjoyed learning more about the Jewish Inquisition in that part of Europe. It was certainly not humane treatment they received. 3 stars.

Aug 6, 2012, 4:41pm Top

Hi Lori, I love buying cookbooks when I travel, they make great souvenirs. I am also planning on reading Shilling for Candles this month, so I tried not to look at your review, but I did see 4 stars which made me happy.

Aug 6, 2012, 4:52pm Top

Judy - You just can't go wrong with Josephine Tey. At least, that has been my experience so far! I love the cookbooks too. I think I like them a little too much!

Aug 6, 2012, 4:55pm Top

I have officially made the cat mad at me. I pulled a towel out from under him! I had sorted my laundry in the laundry room. The towels were on the floor. He just popped right up on top of them. I actually washed a different load first while ago so I wouldn't have to disturb him, but I couldn't put it off any longer. It was the final load. I'm sure he'll get over it. He's probably getting back at me right now by going upstairs to get in my favorite reading spot.

Aug 7, 2012, 6:53am Top

#177: OK. Hopefully I will like the book, but I am not holding my breath on it.

Aug 8, 2012, 2:50pm Top

141. Death at Dartmoor by Robin Paige - Sir Charles and Lady Kate Sheridan are invited to a seance the home of Sir Edgar and Lady Duncan near Dartmoor prison. Sir Charles has business at the prison anyway to fingerprint the prisoners. He's especially interested in a prisoner there who plead guilty to a charge of which Sir Charles is fairly certain he's innocent and which can be proven with the new fingerprinting method. Also a guest at the seance is Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Three prisoners escape, two are captured; Sir Edgar is murdered. The community immediately assumes the escaped prisoner is guilty. Sir Charles, Doyle, and Lady Kate set out to find the truth of the murder. While I enjoyed the book, I would have preferred that the historical figure of Arthur Conan Doyle have been left out. Paige seems to be somewhat critical of the abilities of Holmes through the voices she gave her characters. The novel seemed a bit longer than it needed to be. 3 stars.

Aug 8, 2012, 2:58pm Top

I needed to return some books this morning to the library. I have all that I can possibly read this month already lined up between a stash of my own TBRs and some borrowed from a friend, so I came up with a way to be able to check out some books without jeopardizing the reading of the others. It might also help me get through the semi-reading slump that I've experienced this past week. (I suspect the slump is as much due to the fact that my summer vacation will soon be over as anything.) I checked out a whole lot of Juvenile books, mostly picture books or books for younger readers. I also found a book of epitaphs that I added to the stack from the adult section. At least I'll have some fun between the bigger books (if that pile will stick around that long). When I got home, the July ER book (Debbie Macomber's The Inn at Rose Harbor) was in the mailbox. I guess that I'll read it next instead of the Maeve Binchy book I had planned to read next, but at least now I know the next two adult books in my lineup!

Aug 8, 2012, 5:36pm Top

142. My Family History by Jane O'Connor; illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser - Fancy Nancy's class has been given an assignment to write about an ancestor and report on it in class. Fancy Nancy learns the value of sticking to the facts instead of embellishing her story with things which she might think are more interesting. I guess the moral of the story is the old proverb: Honestry is the best policy. This simple children's book introduces children to the concept of genealogy and ancestors while introducing and explaining a few vocabulary words. The illustrations are pretty typical of the Fancy Nancy series of books. I like their whimsical nature, but some people might think they are a little frilly. If I were using this book with children who want to learn more about their ancestors, I would make sure that part of the discussion focused on sticking to the facts in genealogical research. 4 stars.

143. Who Do You Think You Are?: Be a Family Tree Detective by Dan Waddell - This book introduces children to some of the first steps to be taken in genealogical research. There are several flaps which children lift to read tips or to pull out activities to be completed as they are reading the book. There is too much information in this book for a child to digest at one sitting. It's a book that will need to be worked out a little at a time. The author used note cards to record family information. I would have preferred to see the child introduced to more conventional forms in a children's version for that information. The note cards are sure to be lost. The author has included some things that probably should have been left for a later age when the child gained a bit more experience. For example, there is information on family coats of arms. They are really not well-explained, but I think the author included it just so the child could make up his own coats of arms in the coloring activity in one of the pockets. The book opened with information about genealogy once being for the rich only and how many bogus genealogies were created. I'm not sure that was the correct place in the book for such information although it was told in a manner in which children can understand the problem. This book is somewhat useful, but it does have problems. I think the strength of the book lies in the encouragement to ask family members for information. I'm not certain that the forms and "memory book" give the child enough space to complete the activities, but it is a place to start. Hopefully children who are interested enough to continue to pursue genealogy will explore additional guides to further their genealogical education. 3 stars.

144. Seven Brave Women by Betsy Hearne; illustrated by Bethanne Andersen - A young girl tells the story of her female ancestors. They did not fight in wars like the men did, but they all had some achievement of which she could be proud. The stories are told in a manner in which a child would enjoy. The biggest problem that I have is with the timeline for the ancestors. For a young girl reading this book in 1997, it is more likely that a female ancestor living in the Revolutionary War era would have been a 5 or 6 great grandmother rather than a 3 great grandmother. It is more likely that the female ancestor living during the War of 1812 would have been a 4 or 5 great grandmother rather than a 2 great grandmother. The 20th century generations are closer to reality in terms of their relationship to the child. Some of the illustrations were better than others in the story. My favorite illustration is probably the one of the Mennonite ancestor crossing the Atlantic with her children. It is perhaps not a very realistic illustration and glamorized the trip, but it was a beautiful one. This is a book that could be used with children to show that although there are fewer records for female ancestors, they still played important roles in the family. If the child is old enough to understand the problems with the timeline, I would discuss that problem with the child. It might be a useful book for discussing how some published trees sometimes leave out a generation or two. 2 stars.

Aug 8, 2012, 6:11pm Top

#175: I bought a couple more Josephine Tey books and am looking forward to reading them. She seems popular on LT; I never would have known about her otherwise.

Aug 8, 2012, 9:55pm Top

#186: I hope you enjoy the Tey books, Carly. My favorite is The Daughter of Time.

Aug 9, 2012, 1:20am Top

Oh, The Bobbsey Twins - that really brings me back!

Aug 9, 2012, 8:16am Top

Joanne - I actually plan to read more of the series. Quite a few of them are available for free download on the Kindle.

Aug 9, 2012, 1:56pm Top

145. The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber - Jo Marie Rose leaves her promising career as a Seattle banker and purchases a bed and breakfast in nearby Cedar Cove with insurance monies left by her late military husband. Her first guest is Josh Weaver, a former resident of Cedar Cove, who left town after being kicked out of the house by his step-father weeks before his high school graduation. A former neighbor has called him and told him his step-father is dying. He wants to recover a few things which had belonged to his mother as well as a few personal items he had been unable to take when he left the house. Her second guest is Abby Kincaid, who has been carrying a load of guilt around since being the driver of the car that killed her best friend during her freshmen year of college on a road just outside Cedar Grove where they had grown up. The occasion of her visit is her brother's wedding. Both had been avoiding Cedar Cove for years. Both guests as well as Jo Marie are in need of healing. It's a lovely story with some budding romances. Readers are certain to shed a tear or two before the end of the book. This is the first in a series of novels to be set at this inn. Apparently readers were not happy that she had concluded her Cedar Cove series. In an opening letter to readers, she explained her reasons for concluding it and expressed hope that this new series set in Cedar Cove would make readers happy. In the advance reader's edition, there are a few spelling errors which appear to be words which spell-check did not catch because they are real words. It is hoped that an editor will have caught and corrected those errors before it went to mass publication. There was a space for a knitting pattern and acknowledgements in the back, but these sections were blank in the advance reader's edition. This review is based on an uncorrected proof received through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program with an expectation that a review would be written. 4 stars.

Aug 9, 2012, 2:48pm Top

146. Homer, the Library Cat by Reeve Lindbergh; illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf - Homer is a cat accustomed to quiet at home where he lives with a quiet lady. One day, he ends up outside and finds noise almost everywhere he goes. He eventually finds his way into a quiet building, the library, where he also finds his owner the quiet lady reading to children. Needless to say, he becomes a library cat. It's a cute rhyming book with illustrations that fit the tone of the book. 4 stars.

147. B Is For Bookworm: A Library Alphabet by Anita Prieto; illustrated by Renee Graef - This is a nicely done alphabet book that features libraries, but I suspect that it is one that will be enjoyed by more adults than children. The author seemed to be stretching a bit when coming up with words for certain letters. For example, the letter "Y" is yellow. Why? Because the academic regalia color for degrees in library science is lemon yellow. I was happy to see genealogy featured in the letter "q" for quest and again in the "Did You Know?" section at the back of the book with a mention of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Each letter has a short rhyme and then a larger narrative section that explains more. Some of the things are certainly things kids would enjoy; some of them are probably trivial in the scope of things. It's the type of book that might be used in a unit on libraries in elementary school. 3 stars.

148. The Library Gingerbread Man by Dotti Enderle; illustrated by Colleen M. Madden - This is a cute tale about the gingerbread man escaping from his book in 398.2 in the library. He encounters various characters such as a word wizard, an origami bird, Olympic runner Jesse Owens, and others who try to stop him and make him get back to his spot in the library. Young readers who love the "Catch me, catch me, if you can . . . " story will enjoy this variation. There are a few problems with the book. The biggest one is probably that the author classifies individual biographies in 920. That is the number for collective biography which includes a wide range of persons from different occupations, but individuals are generally now classified under their subject matter. Many public and school libraries still use the letter "B" to signify biography rather than using Dewey to categorize them. While it's possible that an arctic fox would be in a book about the Arctic regions, it seems that the gingerbread man should have encountered the fox in the zoology section near his encounter with the giraffe. Knock knock jokes are usually classified in 398.7 with "Jokes and Jests" rather than in 818 which is a more literary type of humor, such as one would encounter in the writings of Mark Twain. It's still an enjoyable read that children will love, even if it does have a few Dewey issues. 4 stars.

Aug 11, 2012, 9:50pm Top

I went to our public library's annual book sale today. It's not a very big one, and it is usually not that good, but I did manage to come away with 7 books for a whopping total of $2.25.

I'll start with my sentimental favorite. I had to get it because it is a book that I had around the house growing up. I am pretty sure we sold it in a yard sale at some point, but when I saw this book, I had to have it!

Yes, it was a combined copy of two classics, Black Beauty and The Call of the Wild. I got it for 25 cents.

The only piece of adult fiction that I got was Michael Jecks' Belladonna at Belstone. It promises to be a medieval mystery. I've never heard of this series, and the copy I picked up has a London imprint. I decided to try it. Has anyone read any of these? It was 50 cents.

The rest of my books were cookbooks.

I picked up The Wine and Food Society's Guide to German Cookery for 50 cents. (The touchstone indicates that it must have also been published with a shortened title.)

Then I picked up four books in the Great Chefs series that PBS did. They all begin "Great Chefs of . . . " and then have a city. The four I grabbed were:

New Orleans
New Orleans II
San Francisco

They were 25 cents each.

Not a bad haul for $2.25.

Aug 12, 2012, 2:30am Top

#192: Congratulations on the haul, Lori! That is a well-spent $2.25!

Aug 14, 2012, 2:09am Top

Yay for finding a childhood favorite! I was almost in tears when I found a children's adaptation of Lad, A Dog on the Friends shelf at the library last year. It was the same one I loved and lost as a child and I would have paid many times the $2 sticker price to have it.

Aug 14, 2012, 8:04am Top

I was surprised to see it. There were other people nearby who heard me say, "I had that book when I was a kid." I'd already picked it up, but they remarked that it was there for me! I will say this about it, I liked the Black Beauty side much better than The Call of the Wild side of the book!

Aug 14, 2012, 8:13am Top

Oh my goodness, we also had a set of those books that were one story one way and other one flipped over! In fact, I'm sure we had Black Beauty and The Call of the Wild, although I don't recall reading either of them. It sounds like a good sale.

I'm very pleased to hear there is a new Cedar Cove series coming - I really enjoyed the old one, although the last books did get a bit bogged down in the history of all the characters. It will be good to have some new characters and stories. I read the first Blossom Street one recently, which I got as a freebie from the Harlequin website, I think, but my library doesn't have the second one in either hard copy or as an ebook, so I have just bought a used copy from one of the amazon sellers, my first ever marketplace purchase. It cost me a whole penny (with £2.80 postage) so my expectations aren't high, but I suppose I'll know in a little while. Naturally the library has numbers 3 and 4...

Aug 14, 2012, 8:25am Top

I've read one or two in the Blossom Street series. They aren't bad. We had picked them up at the college library.

I want to see what other books were in the Companion Series. I'm sure we had one more book from that set, but I can't remember what it was. I'm sure I'd remember when I see it.

Aug 14, 2012, 4:24pm Top

I thought I would never get to #149. This one was a chore to read.

149. The Copper Beech by Maeve Binchy - This is the story of the village of Shancarrig in Ireland told through the eyes of villagers and others whose lives crossed the school. Much of the action focuses somewhat on the village school and its beech tree upon which names had been carved over the years. There is a great deal of overlap in the stories as each person's life intersected with someone else's at some point. While I cannot identify a specific problem with the writing, it's a book that just failed to engage me as a reader. It may have been a matter of trying to read it at the wrong point in my life. It may have been the overlap in the stories. It may have been that each story had its own chapter, that the chapters were longer than they are in many books, and that there just weren't enough "breaking points." I really don't know. I did manage to stick with it, although it just took me about four times as long as it should have taken to get through. 2.5 stars.

Aug 14, 2012, 4:35pm Top

And now for the final book of my second 75:

150. Epitaphs to Remember: Remarkable Inscriptions from New England Gravestones by Janet Greene - Janet Greene enlarged on a work by Thomas C. Mann that records samplings of epitaphs from New England gravestones from a variety of periods from Colonial times to the present. I found the older stones to be the most interesting. They frequently recorded causes of death such as a 7 month old child who had been scalded to death from a tea pot. One very tragic stone from the 19th century recorded the tragic deaths of a family where the man killed the entire family and then himself. Epitaphs interest me, and many of these did not disappoint. 3 stars.

Can I make it a triple?

Aug 14, 2012, 5:16pm Top

A couple of Juvenile books from the library:

151. Homeplace by Anne Shelby - This book is a story of one family's experience in one home from older generations to the present. It begins with the 4 great grandparents and gives a young reader an idea of what each family did and continues forward with each generation to the child. It's a great book for explaining family relationships to young readers. While I enjoyed the illustrations, they are probably the biggest problem with the book. In places they are quite busy and probably trying to do too much for the age level which would be reading this. I do, however, think that they can encourage much more discussion about the daily lives of our ancestors with a parent who is willing to read this book aloud and take the time to really discuss the pictures. 3.5 stars.

152. Damsels Not in Distress: The True Story of Women in Medieval Times by Andrea Hopkins - This book offers a nice introduction to European women and the role they played during the Middle Ages. It shows that women had more rights than they had at later periods and often served alongside their husbands. The book addresses women of all classes, women in the home, women rulers and leaders, women who became nuns, and women in business. It is a great introduction to younger readers for this period and offers a bibliography of additional resources for further study. 3.5 stars.

Aug 14, 2012, 6:00pm Top

Lori - congratulations on whizzing past the double 75. I am another sucker for cookbooks and I get away with this by buying numerous cookbooks for SWMBO - I think she actually believes that they are for her!

Noted that you struggled through Maeve Binchy - her books are not my cup of tea really either but your reading is of course timely as she has passed away in the last few weeks.

Aug 14, 2012, 7:11pm Top

I actually read the Binchy for the TIOLI challenge in her memory. That's why I was determined to get through it. I think it would have been abandoned otherwise.

Aug 14, 2012, 7:45pm Top

Congrats on finishing a double challenge, already!!

Edited: Aug 14, 2012, 10:30pm Top

I'll say as a disclaimer that generally speaking I am a big Binchy fan, but at the same time I think I understand your problems with The Copper Beech. I found some of the "substories" more engaging than others and it was frustrating for the viewpoint to switch to someone else when I really just wanted to stick with the one I was reading. If that makes sense? I don't know if that's part of what you were feeling as well, Lori.

Aug 14, 2012, 8:49pm Top

WOW!!!! A 2nd 75! I'm so impressed. Congratulations. I hope this doesn't mean you're dropping off the boards. Your comments are always spot on, and I'm looking forward to some more great reading chats on your thread.

Aug 14, 2012, 9:08pm Top

Julia - I do think that may have been what it was (or at least part of it). It was really hard to pinpoint; however, I did want to continue to read from the current voice on several occasions.

Tina - You are going to have to put up with me awhile longer. I'm going to see if I can do a triple. I made it to 225 last year. I've got some things on the calendar this fall that may slow me down somewhat, but I'm also planning to read several juvenile books that can be used with children who have an interest in genealogy (or with whom you want to foster that interest). I'm trying to put together a workshop on that topic that I can offer to societies and libraries where I speak on genealogical topics. I'm also blogging my reviews on Fridays, but I'm scheduling them there. You'll get them here in LibraryThing first. Those shorter books should help me reach the triple.

Aug 15, 2012, 2:39am Top

Congratulations on reaching 150! Good luck for the triple.

Aug 15, 2012, 9:12pm Top

Congrats on the double 75!

Aug 15, 2012, 10:03pm Top

Thanks, Susan and Lori.

Aug 15, 2012, 10:43pm Top

Congrats on passing the 150 book mark! You are one mean reading machine!

Aug 15, 2012, 11:01pm Top

Congratulations, Lori!

Aug 16, 2012, 7:44pm Top

150 is super impressive, Lori! Thanks for all the recommendations along the way.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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