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KatieKrug's 75 in 2012 - Here We Go Again! Part IV

This is a continuation of the topic KatieKrug's 75 in 2012 - Here We Go Again! Part III.

This topic was continued by KatieKrug's 75 in 2012 - Here We Go Again! Part V.

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: Aug 17, 2012, 6:26pm Top

I took this photo in a park in Buenos Aires in March 2010. It reminds me of childhood summers, lying on the shady ground and staring up through the tree branches...

LINK to my introduction post.
LINK to my 12 in 12 challenge thread.

Currently Reading

Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger (audio)
Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Edited: Aug 17, 2012, 6:30pm Top

1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
2. Property by Valerie Martin
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
4. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
5. Amagansett by Mark Mills

6. The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder and the Search for Truth in the Arab World by Joseph Braude
7. The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen
8. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
9. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
10. When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
11. The Body by Stephen King
12. The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck
13. Palladian by Elizabeth Taylor
14. A Compendium of Skirts by Phyllis Moore
15. Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff

16. You Can't Stop Me by Max Allan Collins
17. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
18. Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum
19. A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor
20. Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice
21. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
22. 1222 by Anne Holt
23. The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai
24. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
25. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Edited: Aug 17, 2012, 6:30pm Top

26. Blacklands by Belinda Bauer
27. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
28. A Wreath of Roses by Elizabeth Taylor
29. The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck
30. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
31. Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon
32. Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
33. Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

34. The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
35. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley
36. World War Z by Max Brooks
37. Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
38. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
39. Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman
40. Bent Road by Lori Roy
41. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

42. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
43. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
44. Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster by Tom Shroder
45. The Admiral's Bride by Suzanne Brockmann
46. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
47. Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
48. 703: How I Lost More Than a Quarter Ton and Gained a Life by Nancy Makin
49. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Edited: Aug 17, 2012, 6:31pm Top

50. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
51. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
52. Alys, Always by Harriet Lane
53. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
54. The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
55. The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst

56. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
57. Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen
58. Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan

Jul 1, 2012, 11:12am Top

One more....

Edited: Jul 1, 2012, 11:16am Top

I think I reserved one too many spaces :)

Jul 1, 2012, 11:14am Top

I'm first! I love "new thread" day. And I love the picture you've posted, Katie. Those trees could be the ones in my front and side yards. Great shade, but lots of work picking up fallen branches after a storm. I'll be back when you get everything set up.

Edited: Jul 1, 2012, 11:21am Top

Congrats on the new thread! I started Gone Girl and she ensnared me immediately. Guess what I'm going to be doing today? Hmmmmmmmmm?

Jul 1, 2012, 11:26am Top

Hi Donna and Mark - two of my "oldest" (and by that, I mean long-standing) LT friends!

Donna - I wouldn't mind some nice shady trees in my backyard - it gets full sun almost all day and is so bad, I don't even like to go into the pool!

Mark - I'm so glad you are liking GG. It's quite a ride!

Jul 1, 2012, 11:30am Top

Nice new thread, Katie! Love the photo up top!

Jul 1, 2012, 12:04pm Top

Love the photo Katie. My Dad's always told me that I was fascinated by tree branches as a baby - I would love to lie in my pram and stare up at them.

Jul 1, 2012, 12:05pm Top

Checking in to IV.

Jul 1, 2012, 6:45pm Top

Hiya, Mamie - welcome!

Heather - I'm told I did something similar as a baby. Now I love the shifting shadows they make on the ground.

Dan - your presence is noted and appreciated!

Jul 1, 2012, 11:12pm Top

Hi Katie - I love the trees which looke like they've been pencilled in - great effect.
Congrats on your new thread. Any travel plans for KL?

Jul 2, 2012, 6:46am Top

Hi Katie - Lovely photo! And I see you're reading Mark Twain. Something I'm quite embarrassed about is that I've never read Mark Twain or Jane Austen. Perhaps next year.

Jul 2, 2012, 9:38am Top

Hi Paul, thanks for stopping by. I was supposed to go to KL in October, either before or after a week in Perth, but I may just be in Perth that trip. We are having some staff issues in our KL office, so a lot depends on timing of hiring new people, but for now, I'm just booking Dallas-Perth and I have to change it to include another stop, I will. But you'll be the first to know if I'm headed to KL :)

Hi Kerri - no embarrassment allowed! There are so many "classic" authors I haven't gotten to, it doesn't even bear thinking about!

Jul 2, 2012, 2:39pm Top

Because I am off from work and avoiding doing the things I should be doing, I've composed the following list of potential reads for July, arranged by TIOLI challenge. I could fit all of them into one or more of my 12 in 12 categories, but have noted when a book fits a category that is nearly empty and thus a priority.

I like making lists; I do not like selecting books to read from lists once they are made, so this is really just an exercise in procrastination... especially since I usually only read/listen to 6-8 books a month!

1. Colored Cover
*The Bone People by Keri Hulme (12 in 12)
*The Ballad and the Source by Rosamond Lehmann

2. Full Name as Title
Eve Green by Susan Fletcher
*Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (12 in 12)

3. Set in Middle East
*Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa (Israel / Palestinian Territory)
*Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour (Iran)
*Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt)
Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt)
Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea (Saudi Arabia)
The Sand Fish by Maha Gargash (U.A.E.)

any of these would fit my 12 in 12 category of foreign setting

4. Title that Suggests Sharing
*Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (12 in 12)
The Borrowers by Mary Norton (12 in 12)

5. Title or Author with a Q
Consequences by Penelope Lively (12 in 12)
The Jukebox Queen of Malta by Nicholas Rinaldi (12 in 12)
Jumping the Queue by Mary Wesley (12 in 12)
Washington Square by Henry James (12 in 12)
The Children’s War by Monique Charlesworth (12 in 12)
Away by Jane Urquhart (12 in 12)

6. ”Boy” or “Man” in Title or Author’s Name
*Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamond Lehmann
The Last Policeman by Ben Winter (ER)
An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer (library)

7. More than 300 pages with Multiple Word Title
*East of Eden by John Steinbeck (12 in 12)
*The Road Home by Rose Tremain

8. Author’s Initials = Common Abbreviation
*The Siege by Helen Dunmore (12 in 12)

9. Deckle Edges
*The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje

10. Author’s Last Name = Common First Name
*Angel by Elizabeth Taylor
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (currently reading)
Alys, Always by Harriet Lane

11. Olympic Ring Color in Title
*Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie (12 in 12)
A Red Herring without Mustard by Alan Bradley

12. A Western
The Jump-Off Creek by Molly Gloss
The Ballad of Dingus Magee by David Markson

13. Planet’s Name in the Title
The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard
The Good Earth by Pearl Buck (12 in 12)
The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen (12 in 12)

14. Title Beginning with B
*The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood
*Brick Lane by Monica Ali
*The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

15. Cover Picturing Something Wind-Carried(able)
*Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
*The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller (Library)

16. Author Shares a Name with Me
What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn (first name)
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (12 in 12) (middle name)

17. “Girl” or “Woman” in Title or Author’s Name
*Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
A Girl in Winter by Philip Larkin (12 in 12)
Not That Sort of Girl by Mary Wesley (12 in 12)
Sapphira and the Slave Girl by Willa Cather (12 in 12)
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies (12 in 12)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (12 in 12)

18. Author’s Last Name = Place Name
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (Twain, California) (currently listening)

19. Trying to Complete Author’s Canon
The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O’Nan

* shared or group read

Jul 2, 2012, 5:42pm Top

ooh, that's a fun list. I have an unread copy of The Bone People around here somewhere. I would suggest drop-kicking Brick Lane, except that some people actually like it...well, I guess a lot of people do.

Jul 2, 2012, 6:01pm Top

Hi Katie! I've given up on lists for a bit, even the TBR one and just went nuts while browsing in the library. But your lists are super impressive.

Jul 2, 2012, 6:36pm Top

Dan - I actually read The Bone People in high school and think most of it went over my head, so I want to try it again. Brick Lane is one of those books that will probably never get near the top of my TBR tower but it pops up everywhere. Your less than enthusiastic comments reinforce my own feelings of "meh" about getting to it.

Thanks, Micky! I've gone a couple of months trying not to plan so I thought I'd have a little list fun today :)

Jul 2, 2012, 8:57pm Top

Hi Katie! Great new thread, love the pic!

Jul 2, 2012, 10:23pm Top

Thanks, Chelle!

Jul 2, 2012, 10:49pm Top

Hi Katie, that tree at the top reminds me of childhood spent actually climbing trees(what was my mother thinking?). We all did it and had such fun.

I'm tempted to join you in Mornings in Jenin which has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while now especially since I'm planning to read The Bone People but after reading the first few pages this afternoon I set it aside. (Didn't understand a word). I think I'll dig out the Albulhawa book out just in case. That's a mighty ambitious list BTW.

Jul 3, 2012, 1:02am Top

That's a very impressive list for July reading, Katie. I see a few that I am tempted to join you in, maybe if I get my own list completed. I thought we had some excellent challenges this month in the TIOLI's.

Jul 3, 2012, 8:29am Top

#17 Avoiding the things you should be doing and writing reading lists is exactly what I do with time off work - love the list!

Jul 3, 2012, 9:31am Top

>17 katiekrug:: Wow, Katie, that list could keep me busy for the rest of the year! I too like making lists much more than choosing books from them. My 12 in 12 Challenge is sadly languishing. I'm a completist so I will drag myself over there and try to plug in a few holes. Good luck with your July reading.

Jul 3, 2012, 9:49am Top

Hi Bonnie - I think there is some law banning tree climbing now. Far, far too dangerous ;-) I've had Mornings in Jenin on the shelves for a while, too. I keep meaning to read it, but it keeps getting bumped.

Judy - I thought the challenges this month and last were very good. I like a mix of really narrow, specific ones, and others that I can slot almost anything into!

Thanks, Heather! I am determined to get some stuff done today. I keep hearing my iPhone buzz with work emails and I have been studiously ignoring it since I am on vacation, but I really should at least wade through the in-box and try to weed out what I can or work on Thursday will be a nightmare.

Donna, It would definitely keep me busy for the rest of the year, too. Good thing I'll probably end up getting to so few of them!

Jul 3, 2012, 9:58am Top

Nice new thread with a great picture of trees up top! I also admire your list! My daily to-do list I usually follow, but otherwise I tend to just like making them. For instance, TBR lists are useless for me and I actually grow to resent them after awhile. Reading is much more spontaneous for me. But no matter how you read, it is FUN! Enjoy.

Jul 3, 2012, 10:24am Top

Hi Kim - Nice to see you! I make these lists and then usually end up ignoring them :)

Jul 3, 2012, 11:42am Top

Nice list! There are several in there that I would like to get to also. I always have more books on my list than I could possibly get to because deciding which one to chose is half the fun, right?

Jul 3, 2012, 12:25pm Top

Absolutely, Mamie!


I could really get used to this not going to work thing. I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast (coffee and yogurt with fresh strawberries and FiberOne sprinkled on it) while catching up on the overnight LT posts, did a nice 2 mile or so walk around the neighborhood (just me and the geriatric set!), prepped and started dinner (white bean and kielbasa stew in the slow cooker), and am now ready for a shower, a solid hour or so of reading, and then laundry and some work emails and more reading.

I think having two incomes is over-rated ;-)

Jul 3, 2012, 12:48pm Top

I think having two incomes is over-rated I completely agree!! Enjoy your time off!

Jul 4, 2012, 10:02am Top

Did you read The Bone People in a high school English class? If so, your high school was much cooler than mine!

Jul 4, 2012, 10:21am Top

Kerri - It was actually one of the selections for summer reading between my junior and senior years. We had 2-3 books that were required reading over the summer, and then we had to choose 2-3 more from a long list of optional reads that was put together by the entire faculty and some students. I used to eagerly await the list to see what was on it (long-standing nerd here!).

That year, I was asked to be one of the students to contribute a book and lead a discussion in the fall. I chose The Dork of Cork by Chet Raymo, and the head of the English Dept. liked it so much, she decided the entire school would read it in English in the fall. The author even came and did a reading and Q&A and it was really awesome. Sadly, I lost my signed copy of TDoC but was able to get my hands on a replacement (unsigned, obviously) last year. I'm planning to re-read it in the fall.

More than you wanted to know - sorry!

Jul 4, 2012, 10:30am Top

#34 - That's wonderful! I actually don't even recall that we had summer reading lists. I'm sure the public library had something, but it wasn't coordinated with the schools. It was the late 80s/early 90s.

And I had never heard of The Dork of Cork, but it sounds like another for the wishlist.

Jul 4, 2012, 10:38am Top

Katie - Just stopping in to wish you a happy 4th of July! Hope it is a fun and relaxing one. Love your story about The Dork of Cork - have never heard of it, so I'm off to check it out now.

Jul 4, 2012, 12:50pm Top

Kerri and Mamie - I hope you both enojy the book, if you manage to find it. It wasn't wildly popular, though it was made into the movie "Frankie Starlight" with Gabriel Byrne and Matt Dillon. Unfortunately, the film isn't very good.

I had summer reading every year from 5th to 12th grade (late 80s to mid-90s) and it was always a mix of required and optional. I'm now trying to remember books I discovered that way... other than The Bone People, the one that really sticks out is The World According to Garp by John Irving, which I read between freshman and sophomore years, I think. (Fun fact: in the film, the scenes at the school where Garp grew up and then went to teach were filmed at my high school!).

Jul 4, 2012, 6:03pm Top

Hope everyone is having a great Fourth of July (or just a great Wednesday for our friends in other countries)!

I've done some yard work, gone to the grocery store to get impromptu cookout fixings, gone to Target to get pool floats, and then spent the rest of the afternoon here:

and here:

It's a balmy 97 in Dallas but with little humidity. The hubs is now firing up the grill while I enjoy a pre-dinner snack of orzo salad with grilled shrimp and feta and a glass of wine. Life is good. Back to the office grind tomorrow, but I refuse to think about that right now!

Jul 5, 2012, 12:02am Top

It looks and sounds like you are having a lovely, relaxing 4th of July, Katie. Sorry it's back to the grind tomorrow.

Jul 6, 2012, 10:02am Top

had no idea that bone people was a difficult read...I was expecting something along the lines of compassionate anthropology...which sounds obnoxious when I put it that way...

Loved your stories about reading high school. I don't even recall a summer reading list, but my 10th grade English teacher offered extra-credit for reading 1000 pages of selected book over a quarter. I read my 4000 in the first quarter, and stopped. It was my first time reading so much, and by choice. (Books I read include The Once and Future King, The Count of Monte Cristo, 1984, Logan's Run...hmm, what else??...Anthem, Catcher in the Rye...unfortunately I didn't keep a list.)

Jul 6, 2012, 11:55am Top

Happy belated Fourth of July Katie! Looks like you are definitely kicking back and enjoying some good solid doing nothing but reading time. :)
I'm super excited to keep up with your reading for the rest of the year!

Jul 6, 2012, 12:26pm Top

Dan - it didn't sound obnoxious at all. I am going into my (eventual) re-read with no expectations, since I don't remember any of it anyway :) So of those books you listed, I have read exactly zero. Oh, dear.

Valerie! You are back! We missed you but totally understand about real life. Love the picture of you and the Monkey on your thread - he's gotten so big!

Jul 6, 2012, 1:00pm Top

Now I want to sit by the pool and read! That looks so relaxing!

Jul 6, 2012, 1:06pm Top

#42 - I wouldn't have either if it wasn't for that teacher. The only one I really have an interest in rereading is 1984...well, maybe.

Jul 6, 2012, 2:41pm Top

Come on over, Mamie :) I'll even share my wine...

Dan, I have The Once and Future King and 1984 on my shelves. I'm interested in reading both. My husband probably has a copy of Logan's Run floating around somewhere. Catcher in the Rye is one of those books I refuse to read, mostly because I have a contrarian streak and if people tell me I HAVE to read something, I refuse to do it.

Jul 6, 2012, 2:45pm Top

Love the poolside pictures! Heavenly way to spend the Fourth!

Jul 6, 2012, 3:46pm Top

So, when does my invitation to move in & spend summer beside your pool arrive??? :-)

I have finally succumbed and started to read Gone Girl this morning...

Jul 6, 2012, 3:59pm Top

Suz, It's a standing invitation! No formality here. I'm sure your cats will get along with ours and the dog is very well-behaved :)

Ooh, hope you like Gone Girl and can't wait to get your take on it!

Jul 7, 2012, 9:23am Top

Great photos! I'm glad you were able to accomplish some relaxing!

Jul 7, 2012, 10:56am Top

Ha-ha, Kerri - I like that: "accomplishing some relaxing"!

Jul 7, 2012, 12:04pm Top

Wine by the pool presumably with a good book - just what the Doctor ordered. Have a lovely weekend.

Jul 7, 2012, 2:28pm Top

Thanks, Paul - you too!

Jul 7, 2012, 3:14pm Top

OK, wow, just hit the halfway mark in Gone Girl and the first big reveal! (As opposed to all the little ones...) I'm completely hooked, now.

Jul 7, 2012, 4:59pm Top

>53 Chatterbox:: oh yeah, I think I know what part you mean, the first time you question everything you've just read.

Jul 7, 2012, 5:50pm Top

Gone Girl is definitely making its way around the threads. I was originally only go to borrow this from the library but it's sounding like such a buy worthy book! I'm torn.

Jul 7, 2012, 5:57pm Top

Well, not technically the first time, because Flynn is so adept at dropping these teeny tiny bombshells in there in a "oh by the way" manner... Great skill with the POV and first person narratives...

Jul 7, 2012, 6:04pm Top

Valerie - I would buy it if the library wait list is too long. Otherwise, it's a fine library choice IMO. I got it from the library...

Suz - Oh, just you wait... :)

Jul 7, 2012, 6:05pm Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)

I have a blog and I'd get glad if you
could visit it. It is necessary to divulge
my work since I want to turn into a big
book space for all.


Thanks! :)

Jul 7, 2012, 6:10pm Top

I'm already using my imagination, which has come up with the most bizarre plot twists -- some apparently quite absurd. At least, I think they're absurd...

Jul 7, 2012, 6:15pm Top

Valerie- My humble opinion on Gone Girl. BUY IT! It's one that will make the rounds.

Oh, hi Katie!

Jul 7, 2012, 6:40pm Top

I did the same thing, Suz. None of what I thought might happen occurred...

Mark - quit hi-jacking my thread and giving contrary advice to Valerie ;-) I only said it was a good library book because I think so much of its awesomeness has to do with the surprises and twists and I can't see enjoying a re-read as much....


At the risk of people pelting me with rotten fruit, I can report that the weather here in Dallas has turned overcast and stormy and the temp has dropped into the mid-80s!! What a treat!

Jul 7, 2012, 9:23pm Top

Enjoy your time off Katie!
Wine and pool side is a great start :)
OK, Gone Girl I will read and I have purposefully avoided any talk about it. All I know is what the LT description says so therefore I'm hoping for a whammy of a book because of all the buzz about it :)
Her Sharp Objects was a 4 star read for me

Jul 7, 2012, 10:23pm Top

Thanks, Kara... Time off is all over, sadly. GG is right up your alley, I think. I have her other two books on the TBR shelves - must squeeze them in somewhere!

Jul 7, 2012, 10:27pm Top

Hi Katie- Sorry for the hi-jack! It's my nature! Hey, at least we both loved it!

Jul 7, 2012, 10:57pm Top

Ha-ha, Mark, no apology necessary :)

Jul 8, 2012, 1:05am Top

Hallelujah - I finished A Game of Thrones! Excellent read and I will definitely read the others in the series, but dear God, do I need a break from dragons and heads on spikes and double-crosses and incest and murder and chain mail and....

Jul 8, 2012, 3:53pm Top

I have yet to brace myself to start that series...such chunksters! I do want to watch the HBO series at some point so I will have to bite the bullet and start those books sooner than later.

Jul 8, 2012, 6:19pm Top

Valerie, I was a bit dismayed to realize that GoT was the shortest of the five! But, boy, do they suck you in! I was missing the characters today and almost started the second in the series, but decided to stick with giving myself a break from all the intrigue.

Edited: Jul 8, 2012, 8:23pm Top

The Best of the First Half of 2012:

Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard - Fascinating account of the brief Presidency and assassination of President James Garfield.

When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson - I heart Jackson Brodie.

The Body by Stephen King - Excellent, evocative coming of age story.

Extraordinary, Ordinary People by Condoleezza Rice - Compelling memoir of a historic period and lovingly told account of a proud family.

The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck - Lesser known but powerfully wrought story of a man struggling to live up to his own expectations.

Blacklands by Belinda Bauer - Creepy psychological thriller pitting a young boy against an imprisoned pedophile.

A Wreath of Roses by Elizabeth Taylor - All of the Taylor novels I've read so far this year have been very good, but this tense domestic drama is my favorite.

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths - Best series debut I've read in a while - smart and full of fascinating references and the audio reader is superb.

Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman - Special to me because of my love for Cape Cod but a delightful series of linked short stories with a tad of magical realism.

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson - powerful novella of the American West and the Everyman who shaped and survived it.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Intricate and complex dual narrative of a marriage gone bad. Ingenious!

Jul 8, 2012, 9:27pm Top

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Completed 7 July 2012
4.5 stars

My husband rarely nags me about anything (in contrast to my near constant nagging of him about this or that ;-) ) but he really, really, REALLY wanted me to read this book. If it had been a mite shorter, I would have caved sooner, but given its 800+ pages, I was reluctant to take it on. I needn't have worried, as this epic reads so quickly and is so well-paced that it just sucks you in and carries you away.

I know, I know, you don't read fantasy. You shudder at the very idea of genre fiction. Seriously? Get over yourself and pick it up. It reads like very well done historical fiction. Someone smarter than me could pick out the parallels to medieval history, as well as the War of the Roses (Suz, where are you?). Yes, there are references to fantastical things, but, at least in this volume, they are almost incidental to the story. Central to the story are betrayal, honor, intrigue, double-crosses, valor, murder, sex, chain mail, and battle axes. The multiple and alternating points of view move the story along well and provide a full and complex portrait of a fascinating world.

I am now a fan and will try to ignore my smug husband's "told you so" smirk :)

Jul 8, 2012, 9:51pm Top

Katie- Glad you loved GOT! Good review. I especially like: "Get over yourself and pick it up." I'm a big fan of the LOTR's books but this was one that opened my eyes to fantasy. the good news: the next 2 are just as good if not better.
I also liked your best of the year, so far, list! Some strong titles. Go Gone Girl!

ETA- I heard somewhere, you don't like Nebraska??

Jul 8, 2012, 10:10pm Top

Ha-ha, Mark, you are going to get me in trouble with any Cornhuskers here on LT. It was just an example. And, hey, I was a mere child playing that game ;-)

Jul 8, 2012, 10:20pm Top

I know, I know, you don't read fantasy. You shudder at the very idea of genre fiction.

Well, I got here at the right time Katie. You described me to a T. And you've convinced me to give it a try. "Well done historical fiction" might have done it.

Jul 8, 2012, 10:23pm Top

I hope you like it, Bonnie! And if you don't, you know where to find me :)

Jul 8, 2012, 10:36pm Top

Hi Katie! I love your July list, your pool pictures, and your "best of the year so far".

I'm still resisting GoT, although you make me think I would really like it. Now that I've watched the first season of DVDs I feel even less urgency about picking it up. However, watching the series inspired my husband to reread the series from start to finish.

Jul 8, 2012, 10:37pm Top

I'm here... sigh. And I'm going to have to succumb. Dunno yet whether it will be Kindle or library. It feels like a chunkster to carry around.

Jul 8, 2012, 10:43pm Top

Anne - Part of the reason I read it was so I could watch the HBO series with my husband. I gave him the first season on DVD for his birthday in March; I think we are finally going to start it next weekend.

Suz - I'd do it on Kindle. My husband has the first four in a boxed set of mass market paperbacks and that's how I read the first, but it was a hassle and I ended up breaking the spine which he may or may not forgive me for. I will probably read the rest on my Kindle, though I hate to spend the money for books I already have in my possession.

Jul 9, 2012, 6:29am Top

A very nice review of GOT, Katie - I NEED to get to that one. I bought it on Kindle last summer when Amazon had it for $2.99, but have not gotten around to reading it yet. Um...not this month as my plate is already full but soon. Hope you had a great weekend!

Jul 9, 2012, 6:35am Top

Katie- I was impressed with both seasons of HBO's GOT. You should enjoy them.

Jul 9, 2012, 6:48am Top

Hmmm ... so that's what all the fuss is about. Hmmm ....

Jul 9, 2012, 7:17am Top

Katie - loved the "in your face" review of GOT. Like Suz I think I'll cave and take it off the shelves soon. Mention of parallels to the War of the Roses is just too much to ignore.

Jul 9, 2012, 12:46pm Top

Hi Katie: Great pictures. It sounds like your 4th was great. It sounds like it was hot everywhere. Having a pool or ocean to jump into helps. Your July plans are ... ambitious :) I've had my eye on Consequences, A Road Home and The Bone People for a while. But, like you, I like making lists more than following them.

I loved The Once and Future King; it's still one of my all-time favorites.

Nice review of GoT. I'll have to rethink this one -- another door stopper. It won't be soon, though. Right now I'm in the middle of Our Mutual Friend.

Jul 9, 2012, 5:05pm Top

Nope, I still refuse. :P

Jul 9, 2012, 8:05pm Top

Mamie, That's a great deal for the Kindle edition. And so much easier on the wrists!

Mark, I am super excited to start on Season 1. I just checked and Season 2 has not yet been released on DVD.

Come on, Laura, come on..... :)

Paul - I think you would enjoy GoT!

Welcome back, Beth! We missed you around here! Good luck with OMF. It was on my list of potential reads, but there is no way I am getting to it this month.

Ok, Micky, I'll give you a pass on it. But it is kind of Shakespearean... What if I said it was a complex mash-up of Shakespeare and Jane Austen (I'd be lying, but maybe that would pique your interest?) ;-)

Jul 9, 2012, 9:00pm Top

Thanks Katie: I spent today doing laundry, unpacking, and catching up on LT. So, what are you picking up next?

Jul 9, 2012, 9:14pm Top

I'm reading Alys, Always by Harriet Lane. It's a weird story of a woman inserting herself into the life of a family whose wife/mother has died in a car accident. not sure what I think of it yet.

And I am greatly enjoying Tom Sawyer on audio.

Jul 10, 2012, 2:34pm Top

>84 katiekrug: If it were actually those things... maybe. ;) I have issues with epic fantasy. I find that I like the first and maybe the second book, but that by the third one it's all bogged down in world-building or I've lost track of the huge cast of characters. And then I get bored and ditch it. So I'm just going to pass on the whole process. :)

Jul 10, 2012, 4:50pm Top

Fair enough, Micky. This is my first experience with epic fantasy... we'll see how long I continue to find the story engrossing :)

Jul 11, 2012, 6:53pm Top

#70 - Great review! We just started watching the TV program (2 episodes so far) and now I'm hooked. I may read it one of these days or maybe get it in audiobook format. So there goes the theory that I just don't like anything vaguely medieval, involving dragons (well so far just dragon eggs, really).

Jul 11, 2012, 9:49pm Top

Yay, Kerri! I am pretty excited to start the series on DVD - good to hear it's so compelling!

Jul 11, 2012, 10:05pm Top

I finished the delightful Adventures of Tom Sawyer on audio this morning on the drive to work. I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did so that was a pleasant surprise. I've been planning to re-read Huck Finn for a while now but htink I may do it on audio instead, especially if the library has it narrated by Grover Gardner. He did an awesome job with TS.

Driving home tonight I started the 3rd Flavia de Luce mystery - A Red Herring Without Mustard. Another instance of a great narrator making for a great listening experience!

In print, the intriguing Alys, Always is moving along well. I'm not sure where it's going, but so far it's one of those books full of tension and subtle creepiness that just continues to build... we'll see what develops...

Jul 11, 2012, 10:32pm Top

Katie - I think I am going to cave on the audio book front. So many of you have such positive experiences that I will have to join the club.

Jul 11, 2012, 11:37pm Top

You know, maybe I should try the classics on audio instead. Might make the experience even more enjoyable? Although what do I do with all the books just sitting on my shelves. Oh, the guilt! :)

I need to get my hands on the other 2 Flavia de Luce books as well.

Jul 12, 2012, 7:52am Top

Katie: It sounds like you're on a roll with good reads. I imagine TS would be fun to listen to. I'll be interested to hear your final thoughts on Alys Always.

Jul 12, 2012, 5:07pm Top

I'm always so impressed with everyone who can do audiobooks. I just don't have the attention span for them. I usually end up doing something else while I listen to stuff (usually things that involve reading) so it doesn't really work well. But I'm glad you enjoyed your latest, Katie!

Jul 12, 2012, 8:45pm Top

Visitors! Sorry for neglecting my own thread - work's been crazy (what else is new - I need to stop whining!).

Paul - I do audio books when I am picking up around the house and driving. You have Erni and Amin. Not sure when you would do audio books :) I'm glad I have the option but it's in 3rd place after real books and my Kindle...

Valerie - I find audios work best for me when there is not an intricate plot to follow or I already know the outline of the plot so most classics work pretty well because I am at least passingly familiar with them. You might give it a try - can you get audios from your library so you don't spend any money on the experiment?

Beth - stay tuned - should be finished tonight...

Micky - I can only do them in certain situations. I certainly can't just sit and listen, but htey are good for driving (but only my regular commute where I can zone out), cleaning, and walking.

Jul 13, 2012, 8:54am Top

I too listen to audiobooks almost exclusively when I am walking or on the bus. Sometimes I can listen to them when I am doing dishes or something similarly uninteresting, but I absolutely have to listen with headphones so that I am forced to pay attention.

Jul 13, 2012, 9:12am Top

Nora makes a good point - I have to have headphones, too, or else my mind wanders a lot more frequently.

Jul 13, 2012, 9:44am Top

I think listening to audiobooks is a learned skill. You have to work at paying attention, but the more you practice the skill, the more adept you become. I still have to work at it, but it is so worthwhile when you find a narrator that brings the book to new heights. The Flavia books are a perfect example of where the narrator really adds to the experience - she is so fabulous.

Jul 13, 2012, 10:08am Top

Agreed, Mamie!

Jul 13, 2012, 10:08am Top

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Completed 11 July 2012
4.5 stars

An unexpected delight! Thanks to very deft narration, this story really came alive for me and had me chuckling frequently. Tom is an orphan who lives with his Aunt Polly and is constantly getting into scrapes, as any self-respecting little boy does. His interactions with Huck Finn are especially hilarious as the boys debate such things as the likely places to find buried treasure and the best way to cure warts. There is an edge of darkness in the book which changed it from a simple tale of an impish boy into a real and evocative coming of age story.

I don't think I would have liked it as much had I not picked it up on audio - it's the kind of story that screams for a read-aloud.

Jul 13, 2012, 10:09am Top

Alys, Always by Harriet Lane
Completed 12 July 2012
4.5 stars

"I briefly heard her voice and knew it, knew almost everything about her that mattered. The ease and comfort and significance of her life." (page 190)

I almost gave this book 5 stars because I found it so compelling, but I removed half a star out of some sense of spite for the main character, not wanting to give her the satisfaction of starring in a 5-star read. I know that makes no sense, but you might understand my thinking a little better if you read this book.

Frances Thorpe is an average 30-something single woman in London, working in a low-level position in a failing newspaper. Through a strange twist of fate, her life becomes entwined with that of the Kyte family, whose patriarch is a famous author. She slowly insinuates herself into the life of the family. The tone of the book is tense and slightly creepy and the pay-off to the reader is almost anti-climactic at first. I closed it thinking, "Is that all? That's not so bad." But as I thought about it and went back and re-read some passages, I saw the manipulative genius of Frances. And the lingering feelings of unease I had were hard to pin down. Frances is not an evil character in the traditional sense; she really doesn't do anything terribly wrong. She's loathsome and sad and brilliant and awful, and you feel for her. But at the end of the day, one wonders whether the fragile construct of a life she has built for herself can survive given that it is not really her own...

Jul 13, 2012, 10:30am Top

That sounds like a very interesting book. And I LOVE your reason for not giving it 5 stars - you go, girl!!

Jul 13, 2012, 10:48am Top

Hi Katie - Great reviews. Alys, Always sounds interesting. On to the list it goes. Have a nice weekend. I hope work slows down for you.

Jul 13, 2012, 10:54am Top

Katie - I was going to give you a thumb, but you didn't post your review. You should post it because there are no reviews for it at all. Unless you don't want to give the main character the satisfaction of having a favorable review posted!!

Jul 13, 2012, 11:29am Top

Thanks, Mamie and Beth!

Mamie - I always forget to post reviews. I'll post this one since there aren't any :)

Jul 13, 2012, 4:11pm Top

Oooh....Alys Always sounds like a fantastic read. Duly added to my wishlist. I'd wave my fist at you Katie for adding another book to my mountain, but truth be told, I don't mind one bit. ;)

Jul 13, 2012, 5:12pm Top

Hi Katie, another thumb from me for your great review of Alys Always, this is definitely going on my wishlist.

Jul 13, 2012, 5:17pm Top

Thank you, Valerie and Judy.

Valerie - LT is the wrong place to hang out for anyone who doesn't want to get hit by book bullets ;-)

Jul 13, 2012, 6:27pm Top

Katie: You're a trend setter. Review of Alys, Always in the NYT review today.

Jul 13, 2012, 9:21pm Top

Wow, Katie, you've been churning out the books this summer. Your last read intrigues me, especially the reason for not giving the full 5 stars.

I hope you get some pool time in this weekend. It looks like a wonderful place to sit and read.

Jul 14, 2012, 10:22am Top

Thanks for the heads-up, Beth. I just went and read it. The last paragraph kind of ruined it for me - I think he missed the point of the book in his eagerness to make a point about authors and celebrity.

Hi Donna! It's so nice to "see" you. I hope I get some pool time, too!

Jul 14, 2012, 8:39pm Top

Ran a bunch of errands today and snuck in a quick stop to a used bookstore:

Doc by Mary Doria Russell
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Coal Run by Tawni O'Dell
Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
The Dead of Winter by Rennie Airth
Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury

Except for Doc ($7) and Farewell Summer ($5), they were all $1 each!

Also, word to the wise - BookCloseouts.com is having a 50% off sale through, I think, the 18th. I ordered a bunch of books (list to come when they arrive) and none were over $2. The shipping is a little pricey but still...

The hubby and I stopped at a great Mexican place on the way home and enjoyed some adult beverages and pork and cheese pupusas. Home now but leaving shortly to meet my cousin and his wife to see Ted which I hope is as funny as I've heard it is.

Life is good!

Jul 15, 2012, 7:41am Top

Hi Katie - Nice haul. I love the Franklin and Airth series. Great minds... I just ordered some from BookCloseouts too. I'll be anxious to hear about "Ted." A friend and I saw "Moonrise Kingdom," which is original. I liked it but I know Wes Anderson is not everybody's cup of tea.

Jul 15, 2012, 8:24am Top

Alys, Always does sound wonderful! It sort of sounds a little like Morvern Callar, which I haven't read, but I've seen the film.

And nice batch of books - what bargains!

Jul 15, 2012, 9:03am Top

Katie - have you read the earlier Rennie Airth series books? It is one series that is a bit hard to track down here - should I bother?

Jul 15, 2012, 11:25am Top

Beth, I definitely want to see "Moonrise Kingdom" but I'll have to find someone other than my husband to go with. As you say, Wes Anderson doesn't work for everyone...

"Ted" was hilarious in a very crude, politically incorrect way, which doesn't bother me but some people could have trouble with. I hadn't realized it was from the creator of "Family Guy" the TV show.

Kerri, I've never heard of Morvern Callar - I'll have to check it out. I def. think you would like Alys, Always.

Paul - I read the first in the series sometime in the early 00s, and really liked it. I am planning to re-read it, and get the 2nd one, because the one I picked up yesterday is the 3rd in the series...

Jul 15, 2012, 11:30am Top

Nice book haul, Katie! Farewell Summer was worth the $5! I want to get to Doc and Mistress of the Art of Death, too. I also have Lady Chatterly's Lover around here somewhere. I guess that means I need to check out the other two that you purchased to see what they are about. Hope you have a great Sunday!

Jul 15, 2012, 11:31am Top

>117 katiekrug:: I loved Moonrise Kingdom, Katie. I hope you get to see it. I think it's my favorite Wes Anderson film.

Jul 15, 2012, 12:10pm Top

Hi Mamie! Happy Sunday to you!

Laura - another endorsement for MK! My husband is leaving Tuesday for 5 days in Austin so maybe I'll treat myself to a movie one evening...

Jul 15, 2012, 2:13pm Top

*Covers her eyes* I didn't just read a 50% sale with bookcloseouts. I refuse to admit I read that. :)

Jul 15, 2012, 4:10pm Top

Oh, but you did, Valerie, you did!

Jul 16, 2012, 9:16pm Top

Great book haul, Katie! I enjoyed Doc and Mistress of the Art of Death; hope you like them, too.

Jul 16, 2012, 10:23pm Top

Thanks, Terri!

Jul 17, 2012, 7:50pm Top

Okay, I'm abandoning a book... So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman was a big disappointment. I bought it new, in hardcover! last year after hearing/reading some rave reviews. Unfortunately, this debut was just too fragmented to keep me interested and the writing too (to use Suz's term) "self conscious" to really engage me. I skimmed parts and read some spoilers so I know the author had an important point to make but she came across as trying really hard to be A Writer. I hate that. I also kind of hated the portrayal of a rural community in upstate New York (I grew up in a rural community in upstate New York)... So onward... I've read a few pages in The Year of the Gadfly and it is better, but I have a love/hate relationship with books about precocious teens and books about boarding schools, so I'm reserving judgment. I don't think I've ever abandoned two books in a row... ;-)

Jul 17, 2012, 8:03pm Top

Bummer about the bad read. Don't go and make it a habit, Katie. ;) I'm expecting an awesome read next time around!

Jul 17, 2012, 8:30pm Top

Oh dear, how frustrating! Hope your next book is a winner Katie!

Jul 17, 2012, 9:04pm Top

Katie- Congrats on the book haul. Some fine titles. Doc is a Must Own!

Jul 17, 2012, 9:33pm Top

I have caved. Bought GoT. Is it really THAT long? Well, that should keep me busy for a while!

Jul 17, 2012, 10:01pm Top

I don't intend to, Valerie!

Laura, It's not so bad since I have finally given myself permission to abandon books - a lot less wasted time that way!

Thanks, Mark. It is a mint condition paperback - I totally lucked out!

Kim, It reads SO quickly - I think you'll be surprised how fast you move through it.


A bit lonely here - the hubs left this evening for a conference in Austin, so I am on my own until Sunday. I have my trusty pooch, Louis, for company at least, if not protection. In typical lab fashion, he would probably lick an intruder to death :-P

Jul 17, 2012, 10:03pm Top

Katie: Look on the bright side -- more time for reading. Sorry about the bad read -- your description was perfect; I know exactly what you meant. Good luck with the next one.

Jul 17, 2012, 10:25pm Top

Oooh, you're in for a chilling treat with #2 in the Rennie Airth series! All three are fab, IMO, although if I had to pick one, it would be #2. Hmm, mebbe time for me to re-read? I've re-read the first two but not the third. I just hoping he's still writing -- lotsa years in between books here, Mr. Airth...

Jasper would lick an intruder to death, Tigger would say, "oh, are you burgling the joint? HOw fascinating. Can I watch? What can I do to help?" and Mollycat and Cassie would just hide. Sigh.

Jul 17, 2012, 10:32pm Top

Thanks, Beth! Yes, more time for reading, though I find myself oddly reluctant to pick up a book - I'm probably afraid of being disappointed again!

Suz, I am going to have to go back and read the first Airth book; luckily, it's available at the library. In addition to Louis, we have two cats - Molly, who is too fat to be of much use in a burglary other than to waddle slowly and menacingly toward the intruder; and Lisa who is terrified of her own shadow and spends most of her days hiding under the bed...

Jul 18, 2012, 8:11pm Top

Crazy day today - the a/c was out at work (In Texas. In July.) but they kept telling us it would be back on soon, so we stuck it out until about noon. It was 92F in my area when I left. So I came home and did work for a few hours and then took a swim. I am pleasantly tired - the good kind that comes from physical exertion and being good to oneself. I made roasted broccoli and tilapia for dinner and think I'll now curl up on the couch with Food Network and my book.

The End.

Jul 18, 2012, 8:51pm Top

Katie - I can only find the 2nd and 3rd Airth books here - so as I am I cannot start the series out of synch until I find the 1st.
Hahaha on the guard cats for you and Suz - our three cats (Cinders probably excepted) dislike me so much they would probably come to the aid of the intruders.

Jul 18, 2012, 10:32pm Top

Hmmm, I think I might be just in time for the Book Closeouts sale. Thanks Katie (I think);-)

Jul 19, 2012, 12:10am Top

Katie--Good luck with the AC tomorrow. I love how you ended your post...

The End. (!)

Jul 19, 2012, 8:43am Top

No a/c in Texas in July? That is crazy! You lasted longer than I would have - but your swim and dinner and evening sound just perfect. Hope it was fabulous!

Jul 19, 2012, 9:46am Top

My pleasure, Bonnie!

Kim, we have a/c! And I figured a random sotry about my day needed an appropriately random ending. With my husband out of town, I find I am talking to LT and the dog a lot more :)

Mamie - It was great. So relaxing and I slept like a baby last night - right through my usual morning walk :)

Jul 19, 2012, 10:15am Top

Glad you have AC. And you know if you need someone to talk to you while the hubster is gone, we are here for you! Can't speak for the dog, but I suspect the same. ; )

Jul 19, 2012, 10:34am Top

Glad we are providing some company while the hubby is gone. :)

BTW, I checked bookcloseout after dealing with the denial that I indeed did saw what you posted...and I'll be somewhat relieved to say that I didn't find anything that perked my interest! I saw a book or too, but it wasn't worth it unless I could walk away with a bagful or two. ;)

Jul 19, 2012, 11:37am Top

Thanks, Kim! I hope I didn't make it sound like I'm just using y'all!

Valerie - Good for you! It is important to get a bunch of books to justify the shipping costs and there's no point in buying books you might possibly find somewhat interesting....

Jul 19, 2012, 11:44am Top

Quite the contrary! I enjoy your company immensely. : )

Jul 19, 2012, 11:53am Top

The prices were kind of ridiculous though! 1.99 for so many of the books so the shipping cost balances it all out. I did find there were a tonne of non-fiction books, and dummy books, but the fiction was rather sparse.... So I am a bit sad I didn't make a killing!

Jul 19, 2012, 12:27pm Top

Hope your a/c works well today! I have no idea how hot texas gets but I can't imagine it being too cool right now. At least you got a nice swim in instead of working :)

Jul 20, 2012, 9:19am Top

Thanks, Kim :)

Valerie - At least you know there will always be more sales!

Hey Chelle - Our temp will be around 100F for the rest of the summer. That's normal. Last year, we had a horrendous summer with temps above 110 for something like 40 days straight! It was miserable. But at least the a/c didn't go out!

Jul 20, 2012, 9:20pm Top

What the heck?!?! I think I am going to give up on The Year of the Gadfly, which will be two books in a row I've abandoned. I hope I'm not going into a reading funk!

This one, though, just is not holding my interest. I started an ER book this morning - The Last Policeman - and it looks much more promising. Fingers crossed...

In other news, I love quiet Friday nights. I'm enjoying a glass of wine, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" on Food Network (one of my favorite shows!), and catching up on LT. I'm treating myself to a yummy breakfast tomorrow - Crossroads Diner in Dallas makes homemade corned beef hash that is to die for. Yes, I am already looking forward to it :) However, I'll go on my morning walk beforehand so I can enjoy breakfast guilt-free!

Jul 20, 2012, 10:11pm Top

Katie: It sounds like you've planned a lovely start to your weekend. Good luck with the next book.

Jul 20, 2012, 10:57pm Top

LOVE Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. We watch that show all the time and everytime we travel to the States, the hubby always checks to see if we can hit up any of the places featured on the show! I hope you have a great weekend, Katie! :)

Jul 20, 2012, 11:08pm Top

Thanks, Beth! The way things are going, I am going to need some luck to get a good book going!

Valerie - I had a mini-marathon of Triple D. They aired about six episodes back to back. I do the same as your hubby when I travel and was excited to have a place in San Antonio, TX featured (it was a LAtin America street food place) since I'll be there in a few months. Definitely going to try to stop in!

Jul 20, 2012, 11:42pm Top

I love that show, too! Perhaps say "set aside" instead of abandoned - it sounds more hopeful and almost protective, as if you were doing the book a favor. That's what I'm going to use from now on.

Jul 21, 2012, 10:11am Top

Morning, Mamie! (Mark hasn't trademarked that, yet, has he?) "Set aside" is better. I will reserve abandoned for the kind of book that is just God-awful and that I want to fling across the room :)


I've decided against going out for breakfast today - I'll be traveling most of this coming week which means it'll be a struggle to eat well and get some exercise in, so I should probably forgo the hash and pancakes :-) HOWEVER, I will be treating myself to a little visit to Lucky Dog Books which is a new incarnation of a great used bookstore I used to go to. They had to move locations, and actually ended up splitting into 3 different stores, so I'm eager to see what it's like now. Plus, I have a Groupon ($15 for $30 worth of books!) :-)

Jul 21, 2012, 11:21am Top

Great plan Katie. I'll expect to see your list of purchases later .

Jul 21, 2012, 11:31am Top

Katie - I am prepared to be awe struck as you cut a swathe through a favourite bookstore. Have a lovely weekend.

Jul 21, 2012, 12:19pm Top

OOoh...can we expect to see a list of your newest additions later today?

Jul 21, 2012, 2:01pm Top

Hi Katie - My husband loves "Triple D" and also that sandwich competition show!

Groupon for a bookstore! I can't wait to see your list. Yay!

Jul 21, 2012, 3:58pm Top

Hello Beth, Paul, Valerie and Kerri - thanks for stopping by.

I had a lovely visit to the bookstore. It's a labyrinth of little rooms filled to the brim with books. I stayed in the "Literature" section and was quite successful:

Three by Flannery O'Connor - two short novels and a story collection (inspired by Mark's recent reading of some O'Connor short stories)
Records of Shelley, Byron, and the Author by Edward John Trelawny (mostly bought because it's a NYRB I don't have)
Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr (I forget who suggested this one...)
Crabwalk by Gunter Grass (ditto)
The Silence in the Garden by William Trevor (because I love him)

The rest of the list are all Virago Modern Classics which are often difficult to find down here:
The Ladies of Lyndon by Margaret Kennedy
Harriet Hume by Rebecca West
Beyond the Glass by Antonia White
Strangers by Antonia White
The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins
Solstice by Joyce Carol Oates
The Devastating Boys by Elizabeth Taylor
The Chronicles of Carlingford: The Rector and The Doctor's Family by Mrs. Oliphant

Jul 21, 2012, 6:13pm Top

Nice haul, Katie. So, how is the present book holding up? I hope you don't have to quit another one.

Edited: Jul 21, 2012, 6:20pm Top

I, too, am on the brink of a reading funk. I guess it depends on how mad I get at the book/author whether I will say "set aside" or "abondoned." ; ) Nice haul at the new bookstore.

Jul 21, 2012, 6:50pm Top

It's not too bad, Beth, though not super engaging (as evidenced by the fact that I have not felt compelled to pick it up today...). It's an ER book - The Last Policeman, a mystery set in the last 6 months before a giant asteroid is due to hit Earth. Sounds weird, but it kind of works...

Thanks, Kim. Funks are the worst, aren't they?

Jul 21, 2012, 7:46pm Top

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
Completed 21 July 2012
3.5 stars

I don't think I could get through these books if it were not for the fantastic Jane Entwhistle narrating the audios. She perfectly captures the many moods - cranky, insulted, excited, sad, etc. - of an 11 year old girl. This third entry in the Flavia de Luce series confirms my belief that the mystery is intended to be secondary (in fact, the resolution happens so quickly and perfectly that I think I missed it in the last 10 minutes or so of the audio; I'm not actually sure whodunnit!). I'm certainly not reading these for the mysteries; what Bradley does so well and what keeps me reading is the evocation of post-war England and the coming of age of a young girl with a mother she never knew and a largely absent father and two tormenting sisters. Flavia's discovery of the dark places of the world and her growing understanding of human frailties and complexities is what is worth reading here. There is one more in the series to go. I hope Mr. Bradley is intending to write more - as long as Ms. Entwhistle is intending to keep reading 'em!

Jul 21, 2012, 10:22pm Top

Yay for the book haul! I'm assuming you got to use your groupon for it? If so, that's a double yay from me for saving money!
I have yet to read the other 2 books in the Flavia series, in fact they aren't even on my shelves yet, so it may be awhile yet till I get a chance to read them.

Jul 21, 2012, 11:49pm Top

13 additions in this case lucky for you Katie an I am in the strange position of reporting that I don't own any of them - even the William Trevor who is among my very favourite of writers.

Edited: Jul 22, 2012, 8:22am Top

Katie, that's a lot of new books for someone who has abandoned two recent books! Bonnie is a big fan of Stones for Ibarra. I keep meaning to reread it as I only have a vague memory of it.

Maybe you can blame the heat for the possible Book Funk. My newly transplanted Texas family is impressed with the Missouri heat. It makes them feel right at home!

Jul 22, 2012, 8:22am Top

*waving* at Katie

Jul 22, 2012, 8:34am Top

Hi Katie - I hope you pick up something you like soon. Book funks are terrible. Otherwise I hope you're enjoying your weekend at home. Sounds like you've got more travels coming up.

Jul 22, 2012, 9:54am Top

Paul, I'll admit to alittle surprise that you don't own any of these in your thousands! I'll be sure to report on any worth looking out for.

Thanks, Donna - I think it was Bonnie who first drew my attention to SfI now that you mention it. I like to blame the heat for everything, so your theory works for me!

Hiya, Stasia! *waving right back*

You and me both, Beth :-) I think part of the problem is having a lot on my mind between work and some family stuff. Getting out of town might be just what I need.


So my sweet husband surprised me last night by coming home early which was really nice because I was kind of over re-living my single days :) Also, since I'm going out of town this week, it's nice to have a little extra time together so we aren't like two ships passing in the night.

Tuesday I head to Louisville (I've never been to Kentucky before so I get to cross another state off the list - I have an unofficial goal of visiting all 50) for the annual conference of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives. Don't be jealous.

Jul 22, 2012, 9:56am Top

Ack! I missed Valerie's post above! Sorry, Valerie :)

Yes, I did use my Groupon which took about half off the total, so yay!

Jul 22, 2012, 11:29am Top

Hi Katie - Nice that you are married again :) With all your traveling, I imagine you are pretty close to 50 states. The conference sounds like a barrel of laughs.

Jul 22, 2012, 12:58pm Top

No offense taken Katie! We both know how crazy LT can be. ;)
Aww, I love when hubbies surprises involve coming home early. Even when my husband comes home half an hour early from work makes me a happy camper!

Jul 22, 2012, 1:29pm Top

Hi Katie. Just stopping by to do a long overdue catch-up. Your review of Alys, Always intrigued me so I've added that one to my wishlist although I'll probably wait for the paperback. Sorry to hear yoy had two dud books recently.

I love your VMC haul - I also picked up a Virago edition of Harriet Hume recently.

Jul 22, 2012, 5:28pm Top

Beth - I should count up the states - I think I'm now somewhere around 35-40, though it depends if a layover in an airport or driving through on the way to somewhere else counts... I'm presenting at the conference which adds a whole other level of "blah" to it (and a side order of stress).

Valerie - I'm the same way. If he gets home before I expect, it always seems like such a nice treat :)

Hi Heather! It's great to see you over here. I confess to lurking on your thread - it's starred and I follow it, but never have much worth adding :-)

Jul 22, 2012, 5:56pm Top

Hi Katie - Just attempting to keep up. Nice haul of books!

Jul 23, 2012, 7:07am Top

Thanks, Mamie!

Jul 25, 2012, 10:51pm Top

#157 - Hi Katie - Great book haul, particularly the Viragos. I'm trying to collect them myself, but haven't had a lot of luck, although I did find one on my last used book store trip - a little green one. Yay!

Jul 26, 2012, 9:58pm Top

Kerri - I love collecting the Viragos, though I am ashamed to admit I have read precious few! Maybe I will make it one of my informal categories next year...


Wrapping up my time in Louisville; it's been busy, as evidenced by my lack of LT time. I have made some great contacts and learned a lot so it's been a beneficial few days. Home tomorrow - hope to catch up on threads over the weekend!

And can I just tell you guys about my awesome dinner tonight?

English pea soup
Veal loin on the bone with lobster mac and cheese
Dark chocolate s'mores with banana curry coulis (sounds weird but was awesome) and mango soda
Fantastic New Zealand sauvignon blanc that I wish I could remember the name of

And then, they brought out the "candy cart" with all sorts of homemade goodies - free of charge. I had two peanut butter cups :)

My colleagues here in Louisville with me may have to roll me onto the plane tomorrow morning :-)

To top it off, our waiter was fantastic and it turns out he is studying geology and hoping to go into the upstream exploration field, so we gave him our cards and made him swear he would get in touch so we could hook him up with some industry contacts. He was so excited and grateful - just so sweet. It was kismet!

Jul 26, 2012, 10:09pm Top

Hi Katie - Glad your time in Louisville went well. I am full just reading about your meal. Missed you here this week.

Jul 26, 2012, 11:07pm Top

Katie, my husband was in Louisville yesterday. Did you see him? He was driving through on his way home from Cincinnati. Actually, he was in L'ville on Monday as well on the first leg of his trip. He doesn't waste time...he would have been a blur if you did see him!

Jul 27, 2012, 7:44am Top

Thanks, Beth. I thought I might go into LT withdrawal...

LOL, Donna! He sure doesn't waste time!

Jul 27, 2012, 7:50am Top

Stopping by and waving hi.

Jul 28, 2012, 10:15am Top

Just buzzing by to try and catch up . . . hopelessly behind, though.

Nice book haul!

Jul 29, 2012, 11:18am Top

#176 - I only have two so far and only one is a little green one, so I'm sure you're ahead of me!

Glad to hear your trip was successful. Have a lovely Sunday!

Jul 29, 2012, 3:25pm Top

Hi Linda - Lovely to see you over here!

Terri - I'm behind myself, so no worries :)

Kerri - I have been having some luck finding VMCs lately, but I don't know how many I have. I've been thinking about shelving them all together but then I run into OCD issues of the different variations (green, black, new ones, etc)....

Jul 29, 2012, 8:22pm Top

Katie - You didn't mention any - ahem- book purchases from your trip? So, I guess you were not able to go to any bookstores and have gone for more than a week with no new acquisitions?

Jul 29, 2012, 8:54pm Top

LOL Beth! I did not acquire any books on my trip - more's the pity...

Jul 29, 2012, 9:07pm Top

NO books? But I'm living vicariously!

Jul 30, 2012, 11:57am Top

Sorry, Mamie!

Jul 31, 2012, 8:24pm Top

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
Completed 27 July 2012
4 stars

"The conscientious detective is obliged to examine the question of motive in a new light, to place it within the matrix of our present unusual circumstance. The end of the world changes everything, from a law-enforcement perspective." (page 115)

The Last Policeman is a crime novel, a police procedural following a young detective in Concord, New Hampshire, working his first suspicious death. It's dark and humorous and well-paced and has a special twist of its own. In six months, a giant asteroid is going to slam into Earth and will cause global devastation. So what's the point of solving crimes? Everyone is going to die anyway....

Ben H. Winters has taken this unique premise and built a strong novel with intriguing characters around it. I loved the macabre humor sprinkled throughout, from the quote above to this one:

"In the lobby of the main branch of the Concord Public Library is a neat display of classics, the greatest hits of the Western canon arranged in a tidy pyramid...No one has felt it necessary to provide a title for the display, although the theme is clearly things to read before you die."(page 265)

In addition to the murder, Detective Palace is troubled by other disturbing things from his conspiracy-theorist sister to his disappearing brother-in-law to the implications of a disintegrating society. There is plenty enough here for a sequel to this first book in a proposed trilogy.

Other bits I liked:

"He's weeping, his face dissolving in his hands. It's exhausting. People hiding behind the asteroid, like it's an excuse for poor conduct, for miserable and desperate and selfish behavior, everybody ducking in its comet-tail like children in mommy's skirts." (page 253)

"There's a bank of spherical lights over the main doors, and all were lit the last time I was here, and now two are out, and that's just it. The world is decaying bit by bit, every piece degrading at its own erratic rate, everything trembling and crumbling in advance, the terror of the coming devastation a devastation of its own, and each minor degradation has its consequences." (page 268)

Edited: Jul 31, 2012, 10:00pm Top

The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst
Completed 31 July 2012
3 stars

Perfectly serviceable contemporary romance which I picked up for free for my Kindle. Sometimes I like to relive the days of reading nothing but crap.

Jul 31, 2012, 11:36pm Top

The Last Policeman definitely looks worthy of a place on my wishlist. Nice review, Katie!

Jul 31, 2012, 11:39pm Top

Hi Katie - Great review. I'll add it to my list; I've never heard of this book before. It sounds great.

Aug 1, 2012, 10:26am Top

Thanks very much, Julia!

Beth - I won it as an ER a few months ago. I think it has been released now.

Aug 1, 2012, 12:23pm Top

Katie - Crap has its place.:)

Aug 1, 2012, 2:02pm Top

Hi Katie! I'm playing catch up right now with the spare time I have in between wedding stuff. Haha, I like how you put it in your last review. For some, there is a time and a place for crap. :) Book snobs, we are not..teehee!

Aug 2, 2012, 3:44pm Top

Hi Beth and Valerie! Thanks for stopping by my stagnant thread. I hope to be caught up and more engaged over the weekend!

In other news, the a/c at my office is still not working right. It's 107F outside right now and we have these big windows with the sun pouring in. I may have to leave soon and go nap work from home....

Aug 2, 2012, 8:46pm Top

There are few things worse than being in Texas in the summer with no a/c!

Aug 3, 2012, 12:33am Top

Oh no! I hope you were able to leave work early and head home. Extreme heat always brings on the migraines for me...no fun!

Aug 3, 2012, 9:47am Top

It's truly ridiculous, Carrie! It's better this morning but I can't tell if that's only because it's only about 90 out right now :-P

I did leave a little early, Valerie, and will again today, though for a different reason - big library book sale starts today!!!

Aug 3, 2012, 9:48am Top

Katie - Stay cool :) We'll hear all about your book sale purchases later, right? Have fun.

Aug 3, 2012, 11:13pm Top

#188 - Hi Katie! This one sounds good. I think I'll throw it on the wishlist. I could use a little humor in my police procedurals, as I've been listening to a lot of grim Scandicrime lately.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Aug 4, 2012, 12:02am Top

Oh, I eagerly anticipate the haul that you will be bringing home. Jealous...just a tad. :)

Edited: Aug 4, 2012, 11:02am Top

Of course, Beth!

Kerri - I think you'll like it!

Ask and ye shall receive, Valerie...

Aug 4, 2012, 11:01am Top

I got the books below for a grand total of $40. Not too shabby!

I Think of You by Ahdaf Soueif – She is the author of The Map of Love which I loved; this is a collection of stories.
Vanished by Mary McGarry Morris – A random pick; I have a couple of books by this author which I have not yet read (big surprise).
The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn – Non-fiction about the author’s search to understand what happened to his family during World War II; seen good reviews of it here on LT.
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene – A random pick; beautiful, mint condition Penguin edition.
A Likeness in Stone by J. Wallis Martin – British suspense novel.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn – To add to my collection of unread Russian literature…
The Burying Place by Brian Freeman – Suspense novel set in rural Minnesota.
The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart – Not sure how to classify this one – that sort of mid-century Gothicky romantic/suspense, I think; recommended by Suz/Chatterbox.
Sorry by Gail Jones – Australian novel about a girl growing up in the Outback during World War II; a Europa Edition.
Red Pottage by Mary Cholmondeley – A pretty green VMC edition; I already own this but thought this one might be in better condition than the one I have; duplicate copy available to anyone who wants it!
Irish Fairy Tales – Just because…

Random Hardcovers:
Accordion Crimes by Annie Proulx – I love novels that follow a single object or place over time through the lives of different people.
Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell – A memoir about the author’s friendship with fellow writer Caroline Knapp; this has been on my wish list for a while thanks to glowing reviews here on LT.
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro – To add to my collection of unread books by Ishiguro…
by George by Wesley Stace – I loved his novel Misfortune and have his other book sitting around here somewhere to be read.
Shadow Baby by Alison McGhee – Coming of age of a young girl trying to learn what happened to the missing members of her family.
The Time of the Hunter’s Moon by Victoria Holt – A sentimental favorite; I inhaled Holt’s books as a 10-11 year old and this was my favorite of them all.
A Room with a View, Howard’s End, and The Celestial Omnibus & The Eternal Moment by E.M. Forster – Beautiful editions that I couldn’t resist:

Hardcovers of Favorites (I am slowly trying to collect hardcover editions of my favorite books):
The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey – Beautiful novel about mothers and daughters which made me cry the first time I read it; I don’t want to re-read it, lest it not have the same impact.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon – I initially resisted reading this but am so glad I did. Wonderful.
A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe – Compulsively readable.
Empire Falls by Richard Russo – I’m a Russo fan of long-standing from before he was famous, but this Pulitzer winner finally gave him the recognition he deserves.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – First (and only) read in 5th grade but still a sentimental favorite.

Aug 4, 2012, 11:20am Top

Great haul, Katie. The Forster books are beautiful -- and good, too. I want to read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay soon. I love all the other Chabon I've read, and I have friends who say this is their favorite book.

Aug 4, 2012, 1:21pm Top

Hi Beth - The only Forsters I've read are A Room with a View and A Passage to India, both of which I loved. Kavalier &Clay is amazing. The only other Chabon I've read is Gentlemen of the Road, which I liked but it can't compare to K&C.

Aug 4, 2012, 7:32pm Top

Katie- Sorry I have been neglecting your thread. I always enjoy your book choices too! I liked your review of The Last Policeman, it looks like a title I would get into.
Sadly, I have not read Forster. Shameful, I know. I LOVED the film version of Howard's End. Does that count?

Aug 4, 2012, 8:00pm Top

Ooh, another great book haul, Katie. I got a chuckle out of the new additions to collections of unread Russians and Ishiguro!

Aug 5, 2012, 12:42am Top

Hey Mark - No worries about any "neglecting"! I've been pretty absent the last week or so, thanks to work and being obsessed with the Olympics. I predict you would really REALLY like The Last Policeman! I saw the film of Howards End but I don't really remember it. The film of A Room with a View, though, is one of my absolute favorites!

Thanks for visiting, Donna! I just got all caught up on your thread. Unread books is the story of my life.....


I'm not getting a lot of reading done, as I am an Olympics junkie and will watch anything and everything. I did finish the audio of When You Reach Me, a YA title that didn't work on every level for me and which suffered from a terrible reader. I've moved on to listening to Last Night at the Lobster which I read - and loved - last year. So far, the audio is pretty good. In "real" books, I'm reading Murphy's Law, a historical mystery set in turn of the century New York among the Irish immigrant community. I've also read the first story in Battleborn, a book I received as an ER. I plan to dip into it throughout the month.

Aug 5, 2012, 2:21am Top

Twenty four books and what a collection - back to normal in Katie's World!
Reminds me that I haven't bought anything during fasting month and have not even been near a shopping mall or bookshop. That really is fasting!

Aug 5, 2012, 7:18am Top

Katie - What Olympic sport do you like best? I confess, I can only watch so much - although I do love tennis, so I get an extra dose of Wimbledon this year. Have you found homes for all of your new books yet?

Aug 5, 2012, 11:49am Top

Hope you are enjoying watching the olympics! I am also a junkie, which is weird as I don't have an athletic bone in my body!

Aug 5, 2012, 12:14pm Top

Katie - Thanks for sharing your haul with us! I absolutely love how you added a remark about each one. I, too, have a very nice collection of unread Russian authors!! I have The Amazing Cavalier and Clay around somewhere, but am thinking it is not where I will ever find it before the move, so I will have to put that one at the top of the list once we are settled further south.

We are enjoying the Olympics also - like you, I can and will watch almost any event.

Loved your review of The Last Policeman and have added it to the immense WL.

Aug 5, 2012, 2:41pm Top

Paul - I see from your thread your book fast has ended. Congrats!

Beth - I really will watch anything but I am partial to swimming and the equestrian events. I have enjoyed the brief glimpses of some of the less popular sports I've seen like the shooting competitions, fencing, etc. And I just spent the morning with the men's tennis final which was fun. New books are still sitting on the couch beside me - I have some shifting to do :)

Chelle - I don't think athletic ability is required to be a sports junkie. I played a lot of sports growing up but was never stellar at any of them and now I do practically nothing but I still like to watch!

Mamie - Kavalier & Clay will wait - but not too long! I think you'll like it.

Aug 5, 2012, 6:06pm Top

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Completed 2 August 2012
3 stars

Miranda is growing up in New York City in the 70s, the only child of a working single mother. There is tension with her mom, with her best friend, the typical drama and angst of growing up. And then she begins to receive anonymous notes from someone who seems to know a lot about her. Who is sending her the notes? Are they related to the strange homeless man on the corner? The reason her best friend no longer wants to hang out with her? Her mother's appearance on "The $20,000 Pyramid"?

My reading of this YA novel might have suffered from my unfamiliarity with Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time which features heavily in the story. The writing wasn't terrible and the story was interesting enough but it just didn't all hang together well for me. Also, the reader of the audio was terrible - I almost gave up on it a couple of times but persevered because it was short. I may have liked it better had I read it in print and not gone the audio route.

Aug 5, 2012, 6:13pm Top

Katie - I think that a knowledge of A Wrinkle in Time does really help with the enjoyment of the story. My daughter Birdy and I loved When You Reach Me - but we also both love AWiT. We read the print version, and I do think that the narrator can make or break an audiobook experience. I always have trouble with audiobooks where time sequence is important - I think this one would be hard on audiobook.

Aug 5, 2012, 8:09pm Top

Hi Katie - I was so happy for Andy Murray; he did an awesome job, winning the gold medal. The swimming is exciting. I am not a good judge of the diving and gymnastics -- all the routines look great to me.

Sorry When You Reach Me didn't work for you. Good luck with your next book.

Aug 5, 2012, 9:25pm Top

Thanks for those comments, Mamie! I don't think I feel compelled to try it again in print. All in all, it was an okay way to spend some driving time.

Beth - I was definitely rooting for Murray (as I was during the Wimbledon final) so it was a great win. I felt a little bad for Federer - he's a classy guy and an amazing player - not sure why he couldn't get it together...

Aug 5, 2012, 9:32pm Top

No, I didn't mean that you should try it again in print, I meant that I might have enjoyed it more because it was in print.

Aug 5, 2012, 9:42pm Top

I know. I was just thinking "out loud" as it were :)

Aug 7, 2012, 9:23pm Top

I don't do this as a rule but would appreciate good/healing thoughts/prayers sent toward Boston for my friend, Esther, who is in the hospital with a broken nose, second degree burns, and I don't know what else. She was hit by a guy who ran a red light and pulled her two daughters (7 and 3) from the burning car. She should be fine but things are complicated by a genetic disorder that causes a suppressed immune system and led her to have a bone marrow transplant a few years ago. Scary stuff.


Aug 7, 2012, 9:50pm Top

Hi Katie - I hope your friend and daughters are fine. I came across a fender bender as I was walking home yesterday. The cars were in the middle of the intersection waiting for the police. Other cars were going around them, and as I was standing there, I was amazed at how fast the other drivers were going and how many of them were talking on their cells. So much inattentive driving going on... Anyway, good luck to your friend.

Aug 8, 2012, 7:03am Top

Katie, I'll keep your friend and her daughters in my prayers as they recover from this terrible experience. I'll say a prayer for you, too, since I'm sure it's difficult for you to be so far away from a friend in need.

Aug 8, 2012, 8:06am Top

Oh my goodness Katie, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Hope her recovery is as uneventful as possible. And the kids ... oh my, how scary. Are they OK?

Aug 8, 2012, 10:22am Top

Thanks, Beth, Carrie and Laura! The girls are fine and were home last night. Esther is doing pretty well, too, and should be released soon. She's gone through so much and it sometimes seems like she can't catch a break but she's always maintained her wonderfully wicked sense of humor and a sense of perspective and gratitude that is humbling.

Aug 8, 2012, 5:53pm Top

Sending my thoughts and prayers, Katie. How very scary that must have been for them. SO glad that the girls are fine - at least Esther doesn't have to be worried about them and can concentrate on her own recovery.

Aug 8, 2012, 9:51pm Top

#220: Prayers going up for Esther, Katie! Please keep us updated.

Aug 9, 2012, 12:52am Top

I'll add my prayers to those of the others for your friend Esther, Katie. Sounds very scary.

Aug 9, 2012, 9:42am Top

Mamie, Stasia and Bonnie - Thanks so very much! Esther is doing well and will continue recovering at home, so that's great news :)

Aug 9, 2012, 2:10pm Top

What a terrible thing for your friend to have gone through. Thank heaven she was able to get her children out safely. Count me in as sending a prayer both of thanks for the family's safety and a hope for a speedy recovery.

Aug 9, 2012, 6:36pm Top

Thank you, Judy. Y'all are the best!

Aug 9, 2012, 6:37pm Top

Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen
Completed 9 August 2012
3.5 stars

A pleasant historical mystery set in turn-of-the-century New York. Molly Murphy flees Ireland, takes passage to America posing as another woman, and gets involved in a murder investigation. This is not ground-breaking fiction but the characters and setting are engaging, and I am a sucker for Irish immigrant stories.

This is the first in a series. Of course. Because I don't have enough to read and keep up with.

Edited: Aug 9, 2012, 9:42pm Top

Still watching the Olympics, still not reading much. I read another story in Battleborn and am just not sure about this collection. I feel like at least in the first two, the author is kind of showing off, and it's really unappealing. I'll try a few more stories...

I picked up some good potential reads at the library yesterday:

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton
Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan
The New Republic by Lionel Shriver

I leave Saturday evening for a conference - here in Dallas :) I booked a hotel downtown due to early morning meetings and late night parties. Probably won't get much reading done... sigh...

Aug 9, 2012, 11:53pm Top

Hi Katie - Have fun at the conference. I've heard good things about The Lifeboat. I'm not familiar with the others.

Aug 10, 2012, 6:10am Top

Hi Katie - so sorry to hear about your friend's accident. I hope everything is ok.

I never get much reading done at conferences either. It always seems like a good opportunity, but never really works out.

Aug 10, 2012, 6:55am Top

Hi Katie- Good library haul! I really enjoyed the Lifeboat and the Duncan is high on my WL. Sorry Battleborn isn't working better. It sounds really good. Have a great weekend.

Aug 10, 2012, 9:29am Top

Hi Beth - The Lifeboat certainly has an intriguing premise. And it's not very long :)

Thanks, Kerri - Things are improving for Esther and her family so we are all very relieved. If I could hole up in my hotel room at night, I might get some reading done, though even when that rare opportunity presents itself, I usually end up trying to catch up on work...

Hiya Mark! I wasn't sure I wanted to read the Duncan but I figured I'd give it a try. I've now read one more story in Battleborn and am still not engaging with it. Hmmm...

Aug 10, 2012, 10:02am Top

I have The Lifeboat and The Last Werewolf in the stack - is Talulla Rising a sequel to that?

Aug 10, 2012, 10:28am Top

Sure is, Mamie!

Aug 10, 2012, 10:35am Top

So I have all those great books from the library (not to mention almost 2000 unread books in my library) and what do I pick up? Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand which I borrowed from a colleague almost a year ago (gulp). It's pulled me in immediately, and I'm glad I'm finally getting around to it!

Aug 11, 2012, 2:13am Top

Sending my belated prayers for your friend, Katie. What a scary situation! Hopefully everyone is on the road to recovery.

I've been an Olympic junkie as well by association since the hubby is glued to the TV for the last week or so. Will be a bit relieved when we go back to a regular routine and earlier bedtimes. :)

Aug 11, 2012, 4:02am Top

Katie - Postive vibes sent to your friend Esther - wishing the both of you the very best of weekends under the circumstances.

Aug 11, 2012, 8:49am Top

Hi Valerie - Esther is doing much better. All this positive energy must have helped! I am getting a little Olympic-ed out myself, which is good because I'll be missing the last two days due to a conference.

Thanks, Paul, appreciate it! Enjoy your weekend, too (or what's left of it).

Aug 11, 2012, 10:05am Top

Sorry to hear about Esther's accident; glad she is doing better, and I'm saying a prayer now that she continues to recover well.

What a marvelous book haul! Have a great weekend.

Aug 11, 2012, 9:43pm Top

Hi Terri - Good to see you!

Aug 11, 2012, 10:18pm Top

Hi Katie- Unbroken is outstanding! Enjoy!

Aug 11, 2012, 10:46pm Top

Thanks, Mark. I'm really enjoying it!

Aug 12, 2012, 2:39am Top

Checking in to see if there is an Esther update. Glad to see she is doing much better.

Aug 13, 2012, 8:30pm Top

Thanks, Stasia. She is doing remarkably well :)

Aug 13, 2012, 8:32pm Top

Quick check-in from the gorgeous Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas. Conference is good, networking is good, margaritas are copious, and the few pages of Unbroken I've managed to read are awesome!

Aug 13, 2012, 9:49pm Top

Hope you have a productive conference and are able to squeeze in a little time for some reading! :)

Aug 14, 2012, 11:04am Top

"Margaritas are copious"...sounds like a good conference, Katie, and you didn't have to travel far either. I thought Unbroken was a remarkable book. I'm glad your friend Esther continues to do well. Life is scary sometimes.

Aug 14, 2012, 11:59am Top

I like the idea of copious margaritas too!

Aug 15, 2012, 8:09pm Top

Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan
Completed 15 August 2012
4 stars

I read this novella last year and liked it very much. It certainly stands up to a re-visit, though this time I listened to the audio book read by Jonathan Davis, which was quite good. It's beautifully sad and heart-breaking but so real and true, from the emotion and themes of the book to the minor details that O'Nan gets spot-on. A quick read with high return.

Aug 15, 2012, 8:13pm Top

Hi Valerie, Donna and Laura! The conference ended yesterday (as did the margaritas) so it was back to work today. Ugh.

Aug 15, 2012, 8:17pm Top

What?! I missed the margaritas? Drat!

Last Night at the Lobster sounds like a yes. So, yes, I'm adding it to my WL.

Aug 15, 2012, 8:24pm Top

I'll send you some, Mamie! On the rocks, no salt?

Aug 15, 2012, 8:28pm Top

Sounds good, thanks Katie!

Aug 17, 2012, 2:28pm Top

Katie - I picked up Emily, Alone, remembering that you are an O'Nan fan. Have a great weekend. No new books lately?

Aug 17, 2012, 2:44pm Top

Hiya Beth! I do love O'Nan. I haven't read Emily, Alone yet. It's a follow-up to Wish You Were Here (which I also haven't read) but I understand it can be read on its own.

No new acquisitions lately :( I am actually trying to exercise a bit of restraint. We are probably going to have to move my dad from NY down here to Dallas which will require some unexpected expenditures. My book "allowance" will likely shrink (some day I will be brave enough to share with LT about my book allowance....)

I've also been feeling a bit guilty about the almost 2000 unread books I own.

All that being said, however, I notice BookCloseouts.com is having a sale on mysteries/thrillers...

Aug 17, 2012, 2:48pm Top

Restraint? *droops shoulders, hangs head and shuffles back out*

Aug 17, 2012, 2:59pm Top

Come back, Mamie! I'll go buy books right now! I promise!

Aug 17, 2012, 3:08pm Top

OK, that's the Katie that I know! I am secretly thinking that our book budgets (and I use this term very loosely to refer to money spent on books, not to imply that there is any kind of limit to this fund) would probably just about match up.

Aug 17, 2012, 3:15pm Top

Katie - I hope your dad's move goes well. Good luck. I have 850 unread books right now (not all of my books are cataloged but I am pretending they are), and I have decided I can't buy any more until I read down my list a bit.

I'm not going to look at BookCloseouts, I'm not going to look at BookCloseouts....

Aug 17, 2012, 3:48pm Top

#259 "I've also been feeling a bit guilty about the almost 2000 unread books I own." One of the things I love about LT is that I can always find someone whose TBR mountain is even larger than mine!

Hope your Dad's move goes smoothly.

Aug 17, 2012, 3:52pm Top

Hi Katie- Last Night at the Lobster is another one, I've been meaning to get to. I really enjoyed Emily, Alone but I did not read Wish You Were Here. I also recently listened to the Odds, which I liked.

Aug 17, 2012, 5:53pm Top

Mamie - At least we are doing our part to support the economy. I have a small part of my pay check directed into an account separate from our main joint account (the hubs is aware of this) and that is my "fun fund". It mostly buys books, but also shoes and bags :)

Beth - All of my books are cataloged and it is somewhat dismaying at times. So did you go to BookCloseouts? I did.....

Heather, I'm very glad to be of service ;-) I take comfort in knowing that Paul's TBR is bigger than mine!

Mark, O'Nan is so great. I have all of his books now and look forward to making my way through them.

And thanks to all of you for your good wishes about my dad. The move isn't happening imminently. He is going to come down for a visit in September so we can talk through everything. It's stressful and frustrating but of course I want to help as much as I can. Lots of conflicting emotions are tied up in the whole thing. But such is life.

Aug 17, 2012, 5:55pm Top

Katie - I didn't -- at least not yet. Did you order something? Fess up. Good luck with your dad's visit.

Aug 17, 2012, 6:12pm Top

I did order a few books, Beth. There were some good ones amid a lot of "meh" books and I had fun browsing. I think the most I paid for any one book was $2.49. My total, with shipping, was just under $45.

So much for that restraint...

Aug 17, 2012, 6:17pm Top

I don't know why but bookcloseout.com always sounds so good to me but then when I get there, I can never find anything. I think it's similar to my shopping mentality in real life. I can't stand it when a store is disorganized even if everything is dirt cheap! Maybe it's because I don't like browsing through hundreds of things to find something I like and for some reason I feel the same way about their site, even though I know you can filter and narrow down your search. I just feel like I had a therapy session typing all that out..haha! :)

Aug 17, 2012, 6:17pm Top

*Does happy dance*

Aug 17, 2012, 6:24pm Top

Valerie - The site is terrible in terms of organization and the selection is spotty. I only go there when there is a good sale and I have the time and patience to weed through it because you can find some hidden gems.

Go, Mamie, go, Mamie, go!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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