lindapanzo's 2012 reading: part 3
This is a continuation of the topic lindapanzo's 2012 reading: part 2.
This topic was continued by lindapanzo's 2012 reading: last part.
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Here are my categories for 2012's 12 in 12 challenge.
1. Cozy Mysteries--read 10 out of 10--CATEGORY COMPLETED
2. Authors and/or Series New to Me--read 10 out of 10--CATEGORY COMPLETED
3. Classic Mysteries--read 10 out of 10--CATEGORY COMPLETED
4. Food-Related Fiction--read 10 out of 10--CATEGORY COMPLETED
5. Next in the Series--read 10 out of 10--CATEGORY COMPLETED
6. Fiction (but not series mysteries)--read 10 out of 10--CATEGORY COMPLETED
7. Overflow: Fiction--read 5 out of 10
8. Baseball Books--read 8 out of 10
9. Nonfiction--read 10 out of 10--CATEGORY COMPLETED
10. Books Chosen by Friends--read 8 out of 10
11. Sports of All Sorts--read 9 out of 10
12. Overflow: Nonfiction--read 9 out of 10
Overlaps Taken: 10
Incidentally, I am allowing myself 12 overlaps though I won't take an overlap if the categories themselves, by their nature, are overlapping, such as every baseball book is also a sports book.
Welcome!! My first thread was at: http://www.librarything.com/topic/122222
My second thread was at: http://www.librarything.com/topic/133531
Category 1: Cozy Mysteries--read 10 out of 10--CATEGORY COMPLETED
1. Threadbare by Monica Ferris--finished on 12/17/11
2. The Evil That Men Do by Jeanne M. Dams--finished on 2/19/12
3. Dread on Arrival by Claudia Bishop--finished on 5/7/12
4. An East End Murder by Charles Finch--finished on 5/20/12
5. All the Pretty Hearses by Mary Daheim--finished on 7/7/12
6. Death Comes Silently by Carolyn Hart--finished on 8/9/12
7. Shadows of a Down East Summer by Lea Wait--finished on 8/20/12
8. The Corpse of St. James's by Jeanne M. Dams--finished on 9/11/12
9. Due or Die by Jenn McKinlay--finished on 9/13/12
10. Powdered Peril by Jessica Beck--finished on 10/7/12
--Deader Homes and Gardens by Joan Hess
--Death at the Alma Mater by G.M. Malliett
--Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn
--Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy
--The Chocolate Castle Clue by JoAnna Carl
Category 2: Authors/Series New to Me--read 10 out of 10--category completed
1. A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly--finished on 1/11/12
2. The Cleveland Creep by Les Roberts--finished on 1/14/12
3. A Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett--finished on 2/11/12
4. Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington--finished on 5/10/12
5. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters--finished on 6/6/12
6. The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey--finished on 6/16/12
7. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley--finished on 6/21/12
8. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves--finished on 7/26/12
9. Fundraising the Dead by Sheila Connolly--finished on 9/24/12
10. Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth--finished on 10/30/12
--Open Season by Archer Mayor
--Funeral Music by Morag Joss
--Little Shop of Homicide by Denise Swanson
--A Clubbable Woman by Reginald Hill
--Louise's War by Sarah Shaber
--Chicago Lightning by Max Allan Collins (Nathan Heller series)
--Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
--Mallory's Oracle by Carol O'Connell
--Killer Mousse by Melinda Wells
--The Herring Seller's Apprentice by L.C. Tyler
--River of Darkness by Rennie Airth
--Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
--In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff
--The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
--Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein
--The Hunt for Sonya Dufrette by R.T. Raichev
--Second Violin by John Lawton
--The Last Nightingale by Anthony Flacco
--An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson
--A Slice of Murder by Chris Cavender
--Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley
--Billy Boyle by James R. Benn
Category 3: Classic Mysteries--read 10 out of 10--category completed
I think of these as mysteries that were published before I was born (1961), though I'd also include books by authors typically thought of as writing before I was born.
1. The Final Deduction by Rex Stout--finished on 12/16/11
2. Halfway House by Ellery Queen--finished on 1/4/12
3. He Who Whispers by John Dickson Carr--finished on 5/27/12
4. Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer--finished on 6/10/12
5. The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey--finished on 6/25/12
6. The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner--finished on 7/22/12
7. If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout--finished on 8/3/12
8. Murder on Wheels by Stuart Palmer--finished on 8/13/12
9. The Silent Speaker by Rex Stout--finished on 10/27/12
10. Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth--finished on 10/30/12
--The Mystery of the Cape Cod Players by Phoebe Atwood Taylor
--The Mystery of the Cape Cod Tavern by Phoebe Atwood Taylor
--Hag's Nook by John Dickson Carr
--The Plague Court Murders by Carter Dickson
--No Wind of Blame by Georgette Heyer
--Dead Water by Ngaio Marsh
--Murder ala Mode by Patricia Moyes
--Falling Star by Patricia Moyes
--Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles
--The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin
Category 4: Food-Related Fiction--read 10 out of 10--category completed
1. Chocolate Covered Murder by Leslie Meier--finished on 1/18/12
2. Tragic Toppings by Jessica Beck--finished on 1/29/12
3. Town in a Lobster Stew by B.B. Haywood--finished on 2/8/12
4. Killer Crullers by Jessica Beck--finished on 2/26/12
5. Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke--finished on 3/6/12
6. Agony of the Leaves by Laura Childs--finished on 3/13/12
7. Affairs of Steak by Julie Hyzy--finished on 3/21/12
8. Drop Dead Chocolate by Jessica Beck--finished on 5/20/12
9. Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams--finished on 7/13/12
10. A Spoonful of Murder by Connie Archer--finished on 9/21/12
Category 5: Next in the Series--read 10 out of 10--category completed
1. A Burial at Sea by Charles Finch--finished on 12/28/11
2. Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich--finished on 1/2/12
3. Dead Deceiver by Victoria Houston--finished on 2/4/12
4. Dead Tease by Victoria Houston--finished 3/3/12
5. Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton--finished on 6/30/12
6. Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett--finished on 7/21/12
7. 11th Hour by James Patterson--finished on 8/5/12
8. Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb--finished on 8/27/12
9. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny--finished on 9/2/12
10. The Wurst Is Yet to Come by Mary Daheim--finished on 10/11/12
Category 6: Fiction (but not series mysteries)--read 10 out of 10--category completed
1. Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb--3.5 stars--finished on 12/14/11
2. Train Dreams by Denis Johnson--finished on 12/21/11
3. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka--finished on 1/1/12
4. 11/22/63 By Stephen King--finished on 1/7/12
5. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck--finished on 1/13/12
6. Taft 2012: A Novel by Jason Heller (4 stars)--finished on 2/21/12
7. The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck (4.5 stars)--finished on 4/2
8. Calico Joe by John Grisham--finished on 5/4/12 (OVERLAP with baseball)
9. The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault--finished on 9/9/12
10. The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber--finished on 9/16/12
--Tall Pine Polka by Lorna Landvik
--Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
--Summer by Edith Wharton
--Turbulence by Giles Foden
--Waiting for Teddy Williams by Howard Frank Mosher
--Off Keck Road by Mona Simpson
--South of Broad by Pat Conroy
--South of Superior by Ellen Airgood
--Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas
--Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas
--Starting Out in the Evening by Brian Morton
--Lumby's Bounty by Gail Fraser
--An Irish Country Courtship by Patrick Taylor
--The Debt to Pleasure
--The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart
-- All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
--The Big Rock Candy Mountain
--Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland
--Winter by Rosamunde Pilcher
--Quentins by Maave Binchy
--Hoopi Shoopi Donna
--The Twenty-Seventh City by Jonathan Franzen
Category 7: Overflow: Fiction--read 5 out of 10
1. Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews--finished on 3/15/12
2. Sup with the Devil by Barbara Hamilton--finished on 4/6/12
3. Mrs. Malory and a Necessary End by Hazel Holt--finished on 10/21/12
4. A Christmas Garland by Anne Perry--finished on 10/31/12
5. Death in the Devil's Acre by Anne Perry--finished on 11/7/12
Category 8: Baseball Books--read 8 out of 10
1. Said in Stone by Steve Stone--finished on 1/3/11
2. Clark Griffith: The Old Fox of Washington Baseball by Ted Leavengood--finished on 2/7/12
3. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (chosen by Sandy)--finished on 2/17/12 (OVERLAP with Books Chosen by Friends category)
4. The Game: One Man, Nine Innings, a Love Affair with Baseball by Robert Benson--finished on 3/12/12
5. Calico Joe by John Grisham--finished on 5/4/12 (OVERLAP with fiction)
6. Life Behind the Mask: Memoir of a Youth Baseball Umpire by Michael Shafer--finished on 8/21/12
7. Carl Hubbell: A Biography of the Screwball King by Lowell L. Blaisdell--finished on 9/26/12
8. Ozzie's School of Management by Rick Morrissey--finished on 10/25/12
--Wrigley Field's Last World Series
--Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend by James S. Hirsch
--The Last Hero: A Life of Hank Aaron by Howard Bryant
--Echoing Green by Joshua Prager
--The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America's Pastime by Jason Turbow and Michael Duca
--The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn
--Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella
--The Greatest Ballpark Ever by Bob McGee
--Baseball: A Literary Anthology
by Nicholas Dawidoff
--Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee by Allan Barra
--Scoring from Second
--Center Field Shot:A History of Baseball on Television by James R. Walker
--My Turn at Bat by Ted Williams
--Pull Up a Chair by Vin Scully
--The Yankee Years by Joe Torre
--Your Brain on Cubs by Dan Gordon
--The Psychology of Baseball by Mike Stadler
Category 9: Nonfiction--read 10 out of 10--category completed
1. Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, December 1941 by Stanley Weintraub--3.5 stars--finished on 12/13/11
2. General Sherman's Christmas by Stanley Weintraub--finished on 12/19/11
3. The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford--finished on 12/22/11
4. And Hell Followed With It: Life and Death in a Kansas Tornado by Bonar Menninger--finished on 1/16/12
5. Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut by James Marcus (4 stars)--finished on 1/20/12
6. General Sherman's Christmas by Stanley Weintraub--finished on 12/19/11
7. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson (5 stars)--finished on 2/1/12
8. My First Ladies: Twenty-Five Years As the White House Chief Floral Designer by Nancy Clarke (4 stars)--finished on 2/28/12
9. Voyagers of the Titanic by Richard Davenport-Hines (3 stars)--finished on 4/23/12
10. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach (4 stars)--finished on 4/28/12
Civil War Possibles Include:
--This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust
--After the War: The Lives and Images of Major Civil War Figures After the Shooting Stopped by David E. Hardin
--A Short History of Reconstruction by Eric Foner
--Sing Not War by James Marten
--Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard--also fits in NY Times notable books category
--Andrew Johnson: A Biography by Hans Louis Trefousse
--Grant by Jean Edward Smith
--Rutherford B. Hayes by Hans Trefousse
--James A. Garfield by Ira Rutkow
--Chester Alan Arthur by Zachary Karabell
--From Bloody Shirt to Full Dinner Pail: The Transformation of Governance and Politics in the Gilded Age by Charles W. Calhoun
--Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920 by Jackson Lears
--The Proud Tower by Barbara Tuchman
--War by Sebastian Junger
--Good-Bye to All That: An Autobiography by Robert Graves
--Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides
--The Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose
--William Henry Harrison by Gail Collins
--In Motion: The Experience of Travel by Tony Hiss
--Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit
--Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
--Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier
--Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum
--Blue Highways: A Journey Into America by William Least Heat-Moon
--A Sense of Place by Michael Shapiro
--Coast to Coast: A Journey Across 1950s America by Jan Morris
--Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory by Peter Hessler
--Great Plains by Ian Frazier
--Brit at the Ballpark: An Englishman's Baseball Tour of All 50 States by Peter Taylor
--Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg
--Hitler's Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life by Timothy W. Ryback
--Made in America by Claude Fischer
--When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins
--The Light Within: The Extraordinary Friendship of a Doctor and Patient Brought Together by Cancer by Lois M. Ramondetta
--The Great Good Place
--The Narcissism Epidemic
--Eiffel's Tower by Jill Jonnes
--The Courage of Their Convictions by Peter Irons
--Outliers by Malcoln Gladwell
--Country Driving: A Journey Through China From Farm to Factory by Peter Hessler
--The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in its First Age of Terror by Beverly Gage
--Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith by Kathleen Norris
--The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose
--Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent
--Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre
--The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century by Alan Brinkley
--The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Category 10: Books Chosen by Friends--read 8 out of 10
1. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (chosen by Sandy)--finished on 2/17/12 (OVERLAP with Baseball category)
2. Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews (chosen by Cheli)--finished on 3/15/12
3. Sup with the Devil by Barbara Hamilton (chosen by Ivy)--finished on 4/6/12
4. The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey (chosen by LauraBrook)--finished on 6/12/12 (OVERLAP with first in series)
5. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (chosen by Lori)--finished on 7/26/12
6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot--finished on 8/13/12 (OVERLAP with Even more nonfiction category)
7. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson--finished on 9/5/12 (OVERLAP with Even more nonfiction category)
8. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand--finished on 10/20/12
Chosen by Terri (tymfos)
--Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero by David Maraniss
Chosen by Mark (msf59) and Ivy
--Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand--finished
Chosen by Stasia
--Abigail Adams by Woody Holton,
--Sing Not War by James Marten, or
--The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser
Chosen by Lori (thornton37814)
--Raven Black by Ann Cleeves--READ
--Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas
--Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970 by David Browne
Chosen by Laura (LauraBrook)
--The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey--READ
--A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson--READ
--The Ninth: Beethoven & The world in 1824
Chosen by Tina (tututhefirst)
--Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
--The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
--Still Alice by Lisa Genovese
--The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphries
--The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot--READ
Category 11: Sports of All Sorts--read 9 out of 10
1. A Team for America: The Army-Navy Game that Rallied a Nation by Randy Roberts--finished on 12/25/11
2. Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life by Dara Torres--finished on 5/21/12
3. Give It to Steve! by Will Bunch--finished on 5/31/12
4. West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life by Jerry West--finished on 6/13/12
5. Tales from the Chicago Blackhawks Locker Room by Harvey Wittenberg--finished on 6/23/12
6. On Boxing by Joyce Carol Oates--finished on 8/29/12
7. Jacques Plante: The Man Who Changed the Face of Hockey by Todd Denault--finished on 10/4/12
8. How Hockey Saved a Jew from the Holocaust: The Rudi Ball Story by J. Wayne Frye--finished on 11/3/12
9. When Saturday Mattered Most by Mark Beech--finished on 11/4/12
--Wayne Gretzky's Ghost: And Other Tales from a Lifetime in Hockey by Roy MacGregor
--Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton by Jeff Pearlman
--These Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by John Andrew Miller
--Patrick Roy: Winning, Nothing Else Matters by Patrick Roy-own
--Brodeur: Beyond the Crease-own
--Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge
--A Passion to Win by Lou Nanne
--Searching for Bobby Orr
--Raising Stanley: What It Takes to Claim Hockey's Ultimate Prize by Ross Bernstein
--Eddie Shore and that Old-Time Hockey by C. Michael Hiam
--Barilko: Without a Trace by Kevin Shea
--The Greatest Game: The Montreal Canadiens, the Red Army, and the Night That Saved Hockey
--The Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association Paperback
--The China Wall: The Timeless Legend of Johnny Bower
--'67: The Maple Leafs, Their Sensational Victory, and the End of an Empire
Category 12: Overflow: Nonfiction--read 9 out of 10
1. Adventures of a Surgical Resident by Philip B. Dobrin M.D.--finished on 6/17/12
2. Hesitation Kills: A Female Marine Officer's Combat Experience in Iraq by Jane Blair--finished on 7/3/12
3. A Natural Woman: A Memoir by Carole King--finished on 7/18/12
4. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain--finished on 7/30/12
5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot--finished on 8/13/12
6. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson--finished on 9/5/12
7. Rocket Men by Craig Nelson--finished on 10/15/12
8. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand--finished on 10/20/12
9. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck--finished on 11/11/12
After reading 6 mysteries, out of 9 books read, in June, my focus for July will be on nonfiction books, with a few chunky novels and a few mysteries thrown in.
Hehe - Hamish needs a sidekick, the surly bachelor! I've only seen the tv series. Glad to know there's more Hamish out there.
Love that the continuation stars the next thread so no one gets lost. I wanted to start a new thread for the next half of the year, but you need to be at 200 posts so I'm still a few short. Maybe in a couple of days.
15 I kinda liked the sidekick. He's smart but lazy. I hope he's not just a temporary thing, with the budget issues facing Hish's police force.
16 I was trying to be chatty so as to reach 200 posts at midyear, so I could start the new one.
I didn't know about the 200 post thing. That's sort of annoying. I can't load steven's thread on my dial-up, and he's not even at 200!
If the TV show is any indication, the sidekick stayed until the series was cancelled. & in that town's economy, I'm not sure where someone who is smart but lazy could get a paycheck at all, let alone one whittled down by budget cuts. Research assistant to the eccentric Scotts-American who moves back to enjoy all things Scottish?
18 That's interesting. I wonder if the sidekick was something only for the tv show. This is probably at least the 25th book and the first I remember with a sidekick.
I like when the new threads start... it is the only way I get around to reviewing everyone's category lists! ;-) I love how you have been able to keep your overflow's for filling as your get closer to the end of your challenge. I think I might run into a little difficulty there......
Off to go visit Betty's thread to help her move towards the continuation thread.
18: Hey, if that research assistant job is open, I'll totally take it! Sounds lovely! ;)
Hi Linda! Congrats on #3, and on getting to the halfway point! The Hamish series is on my TBR list (my Mom is a fan, though I don't know how up to date she is), along with about a billion other titles. This could be one that Mom foists on me the next time I see her. :0) Hope you're staying cool today! It's currently 97 degrees at my house, hope it's miraculously cooler by you!
Laura, for the first time in awhile, I refused to venture outside for lunch. One days' worth of heat and humidity isn't bad but the cumulative effect is really getting to me. I don't even feel hungry.
I was sitting in the cafeteria, reading my current book, when my good friend from work stopped by to tell me about her two weeks in Turkey (her father is from Turkey). Absolutely fascinating to hear about this Middle Eastern country that has a lot of European elements to it, too.
Hesitation Kills: A Female Marine Officer's Combat Experience in Iraq by Jane Blair
This is an incredible book, the story of Marine 1st Lieutenant Jane Blair and her work during the Iraqi War on the front lines, in a "wing" unit that provided aerial scouting capabilities. She's got an interesting perspective as she first was an enlistee and then went to officer's school. Another interesting tidbit is that, when the war started, she was a newlywed, having just married a fellow Marine lieutenant who was in a nearby artillery unit so, not only was she worried for herself, but also for her close-by husband.
Never have I understood so vividly what it's like to go to war, what the anticipation, terror, nervousness, and everything else is like, mixed in with long stretches of boredom.
Another thing I liked is that Blair is a curious person. She researched Shi'Ites and their religion. During the lull, after hostilities were basically over, she led a group of 50 Marines to basically sightsee Babylon. She's an interesting person.
She also addresses the post-war psychological problems she faced, though I wished she would've delved into this in more detail. She greatly resented military personnel who were in the area but didn't face the front lines of battle or lack for facilities or food, as she and her fellow Marines did. I think she went a month without a shower and was lucky to get one MRE per day (she lost about 15% of her body weight over a fairly short period). She seemed to have a tough time readjusting to life in the U.S. but was pretty mum about that.
Despite this relatively minor problem I had with the book, I thought it was outstanding. It's probably a top 10 book for me this year.
All the Pretty Hearses by Mary Daheim--finished on 7/7/12
I've read all of these Mary Daheim ultra cozy bed and breakfast mysteries featuring B&B owner, Judith, and her cousin, Renie. They are light-hearted and fun, sometimes in a slapstick sort of way. This one was not among the better ones. Okay but tough to keep track all of characters.
Seeing how some are already thinking about 13 in 13, I thought I'd do the same.
Right now, I'm thinking about a 10-book goal for each.
Current thinking regarding categories, always subject to change:
1. Cozy Mysteries
2. Classic Mysteries
3. Next in the Series
4. Food-Related Fiction
5. Fiction (but not series mysteries)
6. Still More Fiction
9. Baseball Books
11. Even More Nonfiction
12. Random Books from My Kindle
13. Kindle Singles
Good categories, Linda. I pretty much have my categories sorted out, and have even begun putting some books aside for next year. One of my main goals next year is to read more books off my own shelves.
I've been putting books to one side and am wavering between two different themes. I had a target to read books off the shelves at home this year, which hasn't gone so well.... Oh well there's always next year!
Yes, good categories. I find thinking up categories easy - it's whittling it down to 13 that it is hard. :)
I like your categories, Linda. Looks like you'll be able to read some TBR and new titles too and not get too far "off" of your categories at the same time. Every year I think "Finally, I've got it figured out", and then halfway through the year, things are all pear-shaped and half of my categories are empty. *sigh* Maybe I'll steal a few of yours and see if that helps me out.
"Westerns" and "music" are the two I'm doubtful about. Ten books in each is probably too much.
No matter how positive I am that I'm going to love my categories, there's always one or two that turn out to be disappointing to me.
Perhaps you can combine those two with something else - Westerns and Easterns (books from/set in China/Japan etc) and Music and Cacophony - Cacophony can be whatever you like - dystopias, experimental, counter-culture etc...
No matter how positive I am that I'm going to love my categories, there's always one or two that turn out to be disappointing to me.
Oh, I know exactly what you mean!
Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams--finished on 7/13/12
As I've been mentioning, I really enjoyed this first in the really cozy Charmed Pie Shoppe series. Ella Mae, while living in NYC with her husband, discovered him in a compromising position with a set of twins. In the elevator. She then hurried home to northern Georgia with not much beyond the clothes on her back and her beloved little dog, Charleston Chew, aka Chewy.
Ella Mae has a loving family consisting of her mother and a gaggle of aunts, all of whom help her in opening her own pie shop. Aromas and tastes are strong to her and she senses them and seems able to pour emotions into her baking, along with the aromas and tastes.
Oh yes, the mystery. This focuses on the local thoroughbred horse industry.
I love the colorful cast of characters Adams has set up here. The mystery wasn't bad though her handling of it was a bit nontraditional for a cozy. There was a bit too much supernatural to suit my tastes, too, but, overall, I throughly enjoyed it.
Be forewarned: I also spent much of the time drooling over the dessert and savory pies and other treats in the book.
Highly recommended to cozy fans.
#35 Not really supernatural but a bit more than is usually present in a typical cozy.
I got to thinking about 10 or whatever number of Westerns might be too much. Got to thinking about what it was about Westerns and realized "it's something I never read."
There are lots of other somethings I never read. Science fiction. Romance. YA. Someone was just telling me about Ridley Pearson I think it is, who has books set at Disney World.
A Natural Woman: A Memoir by Carole King--finished on 7/18/12
I absolutely loved this memoir by singer, Carole King, one of my favorites. Carol Klein grew up in New York City and has lived in both Los Angeles and Idaho. Even without her musical career, she's lived a fascinating life, in both good ways, and in bad, such as her being a battered spouse.
I believe that her Tapestry is the greatest album ever made and I especially loved those parts. Also enjoyed her comments about meeting/working with such people as James Taylor, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, and many others.
An absolutely fascinating book!!
I should think about reading A Natural Woman. We listen to Tapestry a lot.
Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett--finished on 7/21/12
I enjoyed this 6th installment in the Booktown cozy series featuring mystery bookstore owner Tricia Miles. In this one, Tricia's sister, a cookbook bookstore owner, wins a night at a new B&B in town and invites Tricia to join us. While walking the sister's dog, Tricia stumbles upon the dead body of the B&B's owner.
Lots of likeable characters, including a potentially terrific new bookstore employee, and a decent plot (though I did not like the whodunit part here) make this among my favorite cozy series.
Glad to hear you liked the Barrett book. I need to get back to that series.
I saw the Carole King book available as download on one of the library web sites I belong to. I might try that one!
The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner
As a kid, I loved watching Perry Mason on TV and later read some of the books. However, it's been probably 35 years since I last read one so I thought I'd start with the first one, this one.
I enjoyed it but Perry Mason and the series weren't fully formed yet. Some of the regular characters weren't present yet, including Hamilton Berger, the DA, and Lt Tragg. Perry Mason, Della Street, and Paul Drake were in this book but their characters weren't quite what they'd later be.
Even so, I was happy to read a Perry Mason and hope to get to more of these.
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
I thoroughly enjoyed this first in a quartet of police procedurals set in the Shetland Island. Interesting plot and characters I want to read more about.
I intend to read the second one sooner rather than later.
My thanks for Lori for suggesting this one for my "books chosen by friends" category. When Lori offered this one up as one of three options, she said she couldn't believe I hadn't already read it. After reading it, I can't believe that I hadn't already read it. It was terrific.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain--finished on 7/30/12
This is a book about introverts and introversion in various areas, such as the ministry, and how people can deal with this in themselves, their spouses, and their children.
Friends are often surprised that I'm an introvert. I'm quiet, but not shy, and often crave being with people, in large or, preferably small, groups. However, I gain strength from being alone.
So, anyway, this book was for me. I wish it had been available 30 years ago. However, I do have to say that I already do many of the things she suggests.
Interesting book, though.
Wow - you and I are on the same reading wavelength!
>37 - Just started reading A Natural Woman and am really enjoying it.
>39 - Completely agree about the who done it part. There was no way to figure it out on your own which is really annoying.
>45 - Just finished this a couple of weeks ago and had similar thoughts. It was interesting to see that many of the things she suggests are things I already do.
#46 Weird, but kind of fun, that we're reading the same books.
This morning, I started a Rex Stout mystery. I'll probably start a Maeve Binchy novel, too.
Sad that she passed away. I've only read a couple of her books but remember really liking Circle of Friends.
I picked up a Maeve Binchy paperback at the Goodwill Bookstore while I was in Tupelo yesterday. I mostly bought cookbooks, but I did find one book I had on my next in series list that I would need to buy (since my library didn't own).
If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout--finished on 8/3/12
The Nero Wolfe series has long been one of my favorites. As I've said elsewhere, over the past 25 to 30 years, I've read most of these, but in no particular order. I especially love the books, such as this one, that are set in New York City, at the Wolfe brownstone. This one is slightly different in that Archie Goodwin goes to work, for a time, as the secretary to their rich client.
Some might complain that the characters don't change, don't grow. I love this series for the fact that the characters are who they are, for the most part. These books offer a terrific window to New York City of a certain era (this one is from 1957).
With just a handful of Nero Wolfe books yet to read, I think I will make a push to track the rest of these down and read the remaining few. Perhaps I'll then start a re-read of the entire series, in order.
I have wanted to try Rex Stout for some time, and I see a lot of the books are available for the Kindle. Should they be read in order, Linda?
Judy, reading them in order is not at all necessary. I'd pick them up as I became aware of them. With the Internet, I know of all of them so it's easier.
Thanks Linda, I will download a couple of his books and give them a try as soon as my vow not to buy any books for awhile gets broken!
The only Rex Stout I've read is The Black Mountain because it filled my Montenegro slot in the Europe Endless challenge. Since I've watched the A&E TV series several times, I felt like I knew the characters.
My grandmother's maiden name was Stout, and one of my cousins told me that my great-grandfather once told her that our Stouts are related to Rex Stout. It seemed possible since he's from the next county south of where my grandma's family had lived for several generations. I haven't been able to find a connection, though. Rex Stout came from a long line of Quakers and it's easy to trace his line back a couple hundred years. So far I haven't discovered any Quaker ancestry in my Stout line.
11th Hour by James Patterson--finished on 8/5/12
This is the latest installment in the women's murder club series, featuring a cop, a district attorney, a crime reporter, and a medical examiner, in San Francisco. Fast paced. Not bad but not one I'd recommend.
Five years ago today, 8/8/07, I was diagnosed with an early stage cancer.
I had surgery that day and the outlook was good, with about a 90% 5-year survival rate.
Thankful for every day since then.
If my results had not been good, I would not have found LT and met all of you, either.
Oh, I didn't know that Linda, but am certainly happy that things turned out so well for you. I think the day we found LT is a milestone for all of us!
Glad that things turned out well for you Linda, that is truly something to celebrate !
Yes! We're happy to know you! & hope you celebrated with a yummy, healthy dinner and some new books.
Death Comes Silently by Carolyn Hart--finished on 8/9/12
I love the Annie Laurance Darling mystery series featuring sleuth who owns the Death on Demand mystery bookstore. I always love the characters and the charming ambiance. This one did not disappoint. I'd call it very good. Not great but as always, enjoyable.
Thanks for the good wishes.
I'm pretty pooped. My 9-year old nephew was visiting for a few days and we've been really on the go. Whew.
Just saw your note, Linda - kids and grandchild here all last week - pooped is hardly the word!
Congrats on the five year anniversary! We will be be waiting to help you mark the tenth year.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot--finished on 8/13/12
This is the amazing story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman who, when stricken with cervical cancer, had her cancer cells taken from her without her knowledge or consent. Since her death in 1951, these HE-LA cells proved to be incredibly strong and long lasting, aka immortal, and have led to numerous advances in medicine over the years.
This book recounts Henrietta's life story, with a particular emphasis on her medical condition, as well as that of her family, who never really understood what had happened and were totally shut out of any profits arising out of the use of her cells. Also of interest is the challenges the author faced in dealing with Henrietta's family in the writing of this book.
However, the book goes on to address numerous issues in medical ethics. Though the privacy issues raised in this situation have been legally clarified, most people still do not have any legal rights to any tissue taken from them during testing and/or procedures.
Though disjoined at times, this is an amazing book with an incredible story.
Thanks to Tina for recommending it to me for my "Books Chosen by Friends" category.
Me too! I've had The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on my wishlist far too long.
It jumps around a bit and, occasionally, the science goes over my head (science wasn't my best subject) but it's a fairly fast read.
I've had it on my "someday list" for awile.
I really enjoyed that book too. The medical ethics portion was a real eye-opener.
#70 Same here. I had no idea that they store everyone's tissue refuse. Somewhere out there is my gallbladder and my uterine tumor.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is Still on my To Read list for this year...... the fact that we are at the halfway mark for August scares me slightly but hey, the challenge wouldn't be any fun without those 'angst' moments! ;-)
Murder on Wheels by Stuart Palmer
This is the second Hildegarde Withers/Inspector Piper mystery, now back in print again, from 1932.
This clever little mystery involves the murder, by hanging, of a twin brother while in a car on Fifth Avenue in New York City during rush hour. A cabbie saw the victim fly up and out of the car backwards and then the driverless car crashed.
The schoolteacher and the police inspector take their own approaches to solving the case.
It's short (159 pages) and plot-driven. I love this series but can read them only when additional books come back into print.
>70 When I read about HeLa, I found the discussion about the 'property rights' of removed tissue very interesting. As a person who has had cancer surgery, I'm sure you found it doubly so. I thought the last bit of the book was better than the whole biographical section, actually.
I had a lovely visit this afternoon with Terri from Pa (tymfos), her husband, and her son in downtown Chicago, at the tail end of their vacation. After lunch at The Artist's Cafe on Michigan Avenue in the Fine Arts Building, we took a manually-operated elevator up to Selected Works, a used bookstore in the same building. Besides browsing through the books, we also watched the antics of the grey-haired bookstore cat, Hodge.
Though they had quite a few used mysteries by authors I've read, these were ones I'd already read (boo!!). However, I did pick up two hardcovers. First, a book about old-time pro football players. What a Game They Played by Richard Whittingham. My other purchase is a travel narrative around the Great Lakes, called The Third Coast.
So nice, as always, to put a face with an LT name.
#74 I thought that was the most interesting part. After further reflection, I have been thinking of how the family portion was a bit too disjointed for me.
Wish I'd been with you!!! Sounds like you & Terri had a great time, and who can resist a bookstore where you have to go up an antique elevator to get there.
#77 Always lots of fun to meet fellow LTers.
Wish I could meet more.
Speaking of meeting, this Saturday, I am planning to attend the Sara Paretsky event at a nearby library.
Then, to my excitement, I discovered that the official launch of my favorite author's new book will be held in Naperville, IL next Tues (8/28). Just pre-ordered a copy of the book and made dinner plans with my sister and the kids. Louise Penny is the author and her new book is The Beautiful Mystery.
Shadows of a Down East Summer by Lea Wait--finished on 8/20/12
This is the fifth book in Lea Wait's Antique Prints cozy series set in Maine. It's among my favorite series currently being written.
This one blends present-day genealogy and art history issues with those of the past. Maggie, an American Studies professor and antique print dealer, is asked to look at an old family member's diary. This diary was written by a young girl who, with a friend, posed for artist Winslow Homer in Maine. Everyone who possesses this diary seems to be either (a) dying or (2) being attacked.
I love a good mystery that so skillfully blends the past and the present.
This is among my favorite mysteries of the year and is a series I'd highly recommend to cozy fans.
Oh, Linda, that one sounds really appealing! (Oh, no, not another series for me to get into . . .)
Terri, there are only 5 books. I think she writes childrens books so it doesn't seem like a new Antique Prints book comes out every year.
Life Behind the Mask: Memoir of a Youth Baseball Umpire by Michael Schafer--finished on 8/21/12
The author has been a youth baseball umpire for 35 years. He loves the game and is certainly knowledgable and enthusiastic about the game. A reader who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the game will probably love this book. I did.
However, it might be just a bit too rules-oriented for the casual fan and probably not something a non-fan would enjoy. He's got some great stories to tell but, many times, he talks about fairly obscure baseball rules and how they interact.
I enjoyed it a lot but realize that it's probably not for everyone. His writing style is not exactly dazzling, which makes this a somewhat slow read.
Sandy is at left
After our dinner on Thursday night, Sandy and I went to the Cubs game at Wrigley Field yesterday and saw a rare comeback Cubs victory vs the Colorado Rockies. I always like taking someone who's never been there before to Wrigley Field.
Then, we followed up with a tasty dinner at Basilico's in Norridge, IL, an old school, "neighborhood secret" type Italian place. Even after we finished our dinner, they were nice enough to let us sit and chat and just refill our water glasses from time to time.
Kind of funny but, at dinner the first day, it took the entire Chicago Bandits women's pro softball team to get us to budge from our seats. At the second day's dinner, it took them turning off the restaurant lights and closing up for the night to get us to budge. Heh-heh.
What a wonderful two day visit with Sandy!! She's one of the LTers I've long wanted to meet, in person, and I'm excited that I finally got that chance.
Glad to hear you both had such a great time. Thanks for sharing the photo!
Right now, I'm reading the latest J.D. Robb mystery, Celebrity in Death. I'd gotten kind of tired of this series but I'm liking this one. A bit different than the others. They're making a movie based on Nadine's book about Dallas, Peabody, and Roarke and the real characters meet their actor counterparts at a party.
Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb--finished on 8/27/12
I've read all the mystery novels in the long-running Eve Dallas series. All are set in the mid 21st century and these are almost always violent. This one is far less violent than usual. In fact, it's among my favorites, if not the favorite, in the series.
Based on Nadine the reporter's book, Hollywood is filming a vid featuring lookalikes of Eve Dallas, Peabody, Roarke, and all the others. During a gala party, someone is murdered.
Despite the futuristic setting, which seems to be less futuristic all the time, this book feels more like a traditional mystery for much of the time and less like a typical "In Death" book. Loved it. I think this was enough to get me eager for the next book in the series, for a change.
I've been wanting to get caught up with the In Death series for a while now, but it seems as though I can't seem to make a dent in them. I've been collecting them though, so maybe one day....... I was tempted to read them out of order, but I thought better of it.
Not all series need to be read in order, but I've heard from many people that I shouldn't skip around with this series.
Oh and congrats on being 2/3 finished!
I think you could get by not reading the In Death books in order but it is preferable.
Tonight's the long-awaited launch event for the new Louise Penny book. Yay!! Before that, which starts at 7, I'll browse around Anderson's Bookshop, which is said to be the best independent bookshop in Chicagoland. Then, dinner with my sister and the kids.
So excited about the new Louise Penny book. I'm trying to be good and finish a couple of other books first but it's so tempting to dive right in...
#93 I met Louise Penny at her book launch in Naperville, IL (suburban Chicago) last night. What an entertaining, humorous speaker!!
I'll add a copy of my report from my 75er thread over here.
I had a wonderful time at the Louise Penny book launch at North Central College in Naperville, IL last night. This is for her brand new book, The Beautiful Mystery.
She's got a wonderful, self-deprecating sense of humor and kept the large crowded entertained for 75 minutes, including Q/As. For 20 years, she was a journalist for the CBC. Love the Canadian accent. She says she's shy but she also seems a bit flamboyant.
The theater department's auditorium holds about 250 and it was nearly entirely filled. When my number came up (thankfully, #48, so it wasn't too long of a wait), she shook my hand. I thanked her for writing such terrific stories and she thanked me for reading them. Then, I mentioned how much I love reading her facebook posts where I get a real behind-the-scenes sense of what goes on and she started talking about how much she loves doing her blog and her fb page.
Phooey. Louise Penny took a picture of the crowd, which I've shared on my fb page, but I can't get it to work here.
Anyway, I had a tasty dinner with my sister, niece, and nephew. Also browsed around the beautiful Naperville downtown, though I never quite made it to Anderson's Bookshop itself. It was a hot day and I hadn't had lunch and got quite distracted by the Cold Stone Creamery. Their motto ought to be "expensive but worth every penny."
How great for you! I've just started her series this year based on the wonderful reviews she gets here. I need to find a way to fit the second book into my categories for next year (probably"miscellaneous" or "next in a series")
How exciting to meet Louise Penny! It's difficult for me to pick a favorite author because I like so many for different reasons, but if I had to pick one, it would probably be her. I saw the picture from last night's event on her blog. Were you able to find yourself in the photo?
Yes. I was aiming for the second row, behind the woman in the pink shirt but two women climbed over the top of the seats to snatch it away from me. (Who knew we were at a ballgame?)
I'm in the exact middle but kind of far up, next to a rail. I'm waving and holding up my book.
It was fun but it was far, about 90 minutes away, and a late-ish night. Thank goodness for GPS.
I found you in the photo! Maybe some day I can catch her on one of her book tours.
Do you know Terri from Missouri? She's going to the Denver signing so we'll be able to look for her in the picture, too.
On Boxing by Joyce Carol Oates--finished on 8/29/12
It's truly rare for me to pick up and read a book on a subject I truly detest. Boxing is one such subject.
When as distinguished an author as Joyce Carol Oates manages to wax poetic about a subject I detest, it intrigues me, making me wonder if I'm missing something or am just wrong.
This book, a collection of essays, is beautifully written. It gave me great insights into boxers and boxing fans. After reading it, I still detest boxing, but I certainly have a greater understanding of it.
Some of the essays are quite dated. Though there are general essays and plenty of discussion about boxing literature (source for future reading, perhaps), her main essays focus on boxing champions Jack Johnson (who went to prison for having "relations" with a white woman), Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. The Tyson essay focuses on the young, newly annointed champ but no reference to his subsequent legal problems.
Excellent book, full of great insights. I'm glad I read it. I still don't like boxing though.
>100 Linda, I don't know Terri. Let me know if you spot her in the Denver picture!
I was just thinking that it might be fun for participants in a group read to post pictures of themselves reading the same book in our widely scattered locations. I'll have to remember that for my next group read.
That's a nice idea, Carrie.
I'm not that adapt with my new smart phone's camera feature but even I can take a basic photo and save it. Most of the time anyway.
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny--finished on 9/2/12
I absolutely loved the latest Three Pines/Inspector Gamache mystery from Louise Penny, even though Three Pines is nowhere to be found. In this one, Gamache and Beauvoir investigate the murder of the prior/choirmaster at a remote Quebec cloistered monastery whose monks are known for their voices. The monks' recording of Gregorian chants has created some dissension, in this instance, until now, dissension had been measured by raised eyebrows and other subtleties.
As is usual, Louise Penny's writing is beautiful and full of depth. This is a book to be savored, though I wondered throughout whether the good citizens of Three Pines were enjoying their brief respite from crime.
Penny's version of the locked room mystery is an interesting take on the usual kind of locked room puzzles (not only is the monastery locked to outsiders but the location of the murder is not easily accessible even to the monks).
Also, as is usual with Louise Penny books, I loved it but didn't like the ending.
Highly, highly recommended!! If you haven't read a Louise Penny, you owe it to yourself to give her a try. However, while this one is different from her usual, I'd recommend starting with the first one, Still Life.
Hi, Linda - finally beginning to get caught up on my favorite threads after quite a long (for me) hiatus from LT this summer. Thanks for being such a wonderful hostess/ambassador when I was in Chicago - you even managed it so the Cubs won the game on my first ever trip to Wrigley Field! You had told me about all the great books you've been reading, but it is even more impressive in print.
Glad to hear the author visits both were hits - especially Louise Penny. Terri was positively gushing about the event in Denver. I simply MUST get to that series soon.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson--finished on 9/5/12
I really enjoyed this book on hiking the Appalachian Trail by humorist Bill Bryson. Yes, there are funny parts but I actually preferred the hiking commentary. A non-LT friend informs me that he's written similar books about other locals.
In this one, Bryson and a long-ago friend, Katz, start hiking the Appalachian Trail in the spring, starting at the southern end, starting in the coldest cold snap the South had seen.
I enjoyed reading how he went about preparing for this trip, along with the calamaties that befell this duo. One thing I never realized is that there are towns along the way and hikers often take advantage and spend the night in a motel, enjoying civilization.
Beyond his adventure, this book was informative as to the history of the trail. It also gives me lots of ideas for related reading.
Thanks to LauraBrook for suggesting this one for my "Books Chosen by Friends" category.
This was on my list of possible reads for this year and I'm still hoping to get to it. Glad to know it's good and at least it's not a book bullet for me. I took that last year from someone else.
I was just browsing through the discount books available for Kindle and came upon AWOL on the Appalachian Trail. That one involves an author who actually manages to hike through the entire trail. Bryson would probably be a better, or certainly more entertaining, writer.
I have a nephew who plans to hike the Appalachian Trail in a couple of years. He's been reading up on it.
Totally agree with you about The Beautiful Mystery. It was such a good book, though like you, I'm not completely crazy about the ending but am willing to see where she takes us next. It definitely made me want to listen to some Gregorian chants!
Whew! Linda, I'm finally back and all caught up! I'm so happy you had two great meet-ups, envious of your Louise Penny Experience, and glad that you liked the Bryson so much. He's one of my favorites, and was a hoot in person. Congrats on hitting the marker for 2/3 completion!!!!
>111 - ooooH - I love Gregorian chants. I'm only at book 2 in the series so I have a ways to go, but can't wait to see what happens in that book.
The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault--finished on 9/9/12
This is an odd sort of a murder mystery. In the course of their work, two young editors at a dictionary publisher, Billy and Mona, find some odd "citations" that don't relate to a published work but instead to a death and other events in October 1985. The cits are numbered but they find them in varying order so the reader gets pieces of the puzzle out of order.
The portions about their present-day work were mildly interesting to a word nerd such as me. Even the 1985 plot got mildly interesting, at some points. I was bored for the first half of the book, then things perked up for awhile, and then, drifted off.
This is not a book I could recommend, though I understand that some may love it. I was bored, for the most part.
The plot of The Broken Teaglass sounds familiar, & I think it had a less than glowing review that time too. I'd love a good mystery with word geeks, but sounds like this isn't it.
The Corpse of St. James's by Jeanne M. Dams--finished on 9/11/12
The ultra cozy Dorothy Martin series by Jeanne Dams is among my very favorite mystery series. Dorothy is an American expat living in England, married to, Allan, a retired chief constable.
In this 12th and newest installment of the long-running series, Dorothy and Allan are attending an investiture at Buckingham Palace (aka Buck House) for a Scotland Yard inspector friend of theirs who had been severely injured saving a child. After leaving the palace, they stumble upon the dead body of a youngish girl in St. James Park.
Some royalty talk, some art world talk, some London scenes, some countryside scenes.
I just love this series. If you like cozies, I'd highly recommend this series. I'm not nearly as fond of her other series.
Due or Die by Jenn McKinlay--finished on 9/13/12
Now that the Miss Zukas books are no longer being written, this cozy series by Jenn McKinlay is probably my favorite mystery series set in a library.
This time, the husband of the new president of the Library Friends is found dead. Much of the action takes place in, or involves, the library. The sleuth is the library director at a small New England library.
In this one, I love the fact that the action takes place during a blizzard.
Lots of fun and it looks like a new, lovable character has been added(yay!!). This isn't the greatest mystery but I absolutely love the cast of characters and hope this series runs for a long time.
:) The characters always make the series. & I'm sure a New England blizzard can add a few cozy problems.
I was just saying over in Cheli's thread that I'm planning my books for next year to start going through some of the series I've been acquiring from reviews of cozies here.
The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber--finished on 9/16/12
A woman whose husband recently died in Afghanistan opens a B&B in Cedar Cove, in Washington State. Her first two guests are troubled souls. One young woman has been harboring guilt for many years, as the driver of a car that crashed, causing the death of her best friend. The other, a young man, never got along with stepfather but that stepfather is now on his deathbed.
This is a feel-good story and first in a new series by Macomber. I read one or two of the early Cedar Cove books but, after reading this very enjoyable book, I may need to go back and read that entire series, too.
Finished my second category!! I'm very close to finishing 5 others. Not so close on the rest but two of them are overflow categories.
I've read the 1st Cedar Cove and have a bunch of others on the TBR. I might have to get back to that series.
I think I can finish by the end of the year, Laura, but by November? Probably not.
A Spoonful of Murder by Connie Archer--finished on 9/21/12
I enjoyed this first in the new Soup Lovers cozy mystery series. The sleuth, Lucky Jamieson, is the new owner (after her parents died in an accident) of a soup restaurant called By the Spoonful, in Snowflake, Vermont. The accused is the soup chef at the restaurant.
It's got all the usual cozy elements but includes a nice set of characters. I'd recommend this to people who like cozies. I look forward to further installments in this series. In the meantime, I think I'm having some chicken matzoball soup for dinner.
A third category finished!! Probably my favorite category of all: Food-related fiction.
Linda - you've found another series that I just have to try. How can I resist a town named Snowflake that's in New England? For food of any sort to be on the menu is an added bonus!
Fundraising the Dead by Sheila Connolly
I enjoyed this cozy based at a history museum in Philadelphia, featuring a sleuth, Nell Pratt, who's the museum's chief fundraiser.
I loved the behind-the-scenes at the museum information in the book. I liked the characters and hope this series continues. The plot was ok but the background and the characters more than made up for it. I'd recommend this one to people who like cozies.
At less than 3/4 of the way through the year, I'm now 3/4 of the way through my 12 in 12 Challenge. To my surprise, I may actually finish this by the end of the year.
I've got 3 categories that are laggards. Baseball books, books chosen by friends, and sports books. I intend to spend some time trying to focus on these during the next few weeks.
The small gaps in mysteries and the two overflow categories should almost take care of themselves.
Thirty books left to go!!
Lori, the soup mystery is probably my favorite new mystery of the year.
I really liked the museum mystery but loved the soup mystery.
Hi Linda: Thanks for the reminder regarding Sheila Connelly, I did want to try the first one since it is set in Philly.
Looks like you're making good progress on your challenge. For some reason I always have that one stubborn category at the end, ususally it's the 1001 list or biographies or something like that.
Congrats, Linda -- looks like you're well on your way to completing this challenge!
Linda, congrats! I've got a couple of lagging categories myself, but I'm making an effort to fill those in a little more (Books Chosen by LTers and chosen by friends). Beautiful day, isn't it?
It is nice out, Laura.
I'm hoping to crank out a few of my baseball-related ER books. I'll probably do overlaps for several of the "books chosen by friends" too.
Linda - Have you read any of Connolly's apple orchard mysteries? If so, how does the museum series compare to it?
No Lori, I haven't read any of the apple orchard ones. I think I've got the first one around here someplace.
Yes, congrats!!! Especially good to be on track when you know you set an ambitious goal for yourself.
Great progress on your challenge, Linda!
Despite trying not to add books to my lists, I nevertheless added 4 new series to try (Peter Lovesey, Lea Wait, Jeanne Dams & Debbie Macomber). Interesting comments on the classic mysteries. I pretty much left them behind years ago in favor of contemporary mysteries, but you've gotten me curious about them again.
The meet-ups with Sandy and Terri sound wonderful! And meeting Louise Penny, too! I think she's the only mystery writer (though she's more than just that) that I'm willing to buy in hardback -- my copy of the latest book should be here by the end of the week.
It was a thrill to meet Louise Penny, that's for sure, Ivy.
Next week, a friend and I are going to that same bookstore for another signing. I'll be meeting (and getting a signed copy) of baseball manager Tony La Russa's new book. I hope he gives a talk. He's an interesting guy. How many other baseball managers are also law school grads?
Carl Hubbell: A Biography of the Screwball King by Lowell L. Blaisdell--finished on 9/26/12
I love a good baseball biography. However, this biography of 1930s era New York Giants screwball pitcher, Carl Hubbell, is not a good baseball biography.
The author has certainly tracked down a substantial amount of information about this Oklahoma-born pitcher. However, his writing style is awkward and his words often flowery. I felt as though someone gave the author a thesaurus and he managed to find words that were close, but not exactly right.
The excessive verbiage made this book tough to get through. For instance, why not just say that Hubbell married his girlfriend? Instead, Hubbell and his "inamorata"..."decided to venture upon matrimony."
Typically, I'll read a baseball biography in several days or, certainly, in less than a week. It took me over four months to slog through this relatively short volume. If I didn't "have" to read it as an overdue ER book, I would have put it aside awhile ago. Not recommended.
Jacques Plante: The Man Who Changed the Face of Hockey by Todd Denault--finished on 10/4/12
Although he was one of hockey's all-time greatest goalies during his lengthy playing career, which lasted from the mid 1940s to the mid 1970s, Jacques Plante is probably best known as the goalie to wear, then popularize, the goalie mask. Before Plante donned a mask during a regular season NHL game in November of 1959, goalies played the game barefaced. Until Plante, goalies tended to stay in their creases while Plante revolutionized the concept of the wandering goalie.
This excellent biography is more than just a fascinating look at Plante's life, his hockey career, his most-ever 7 Vezina Trophies and his 6 Stanley Cup wins, it's an insightful look at hockey in its golden era. All of the NHL greats are here. I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down. Highly recommended for sports fans.
Linda, I will add that one to my list! I met Plante once (short and he wouldn't remember - just one of the many -, in the 60's, he was my favorite hockey player. It's good to hear that it is a good read.
Powdered Peril by Jessica Beck
This is the latest in what is quickly becoming a top-of-my list cozy favorite series, the Jessica Beck donut shop series featuring donut store owner Suzanne Hart. In this one, very little of the action actually takes place at the donut shop. The focus is on Suzanne's bff, Claire, but all of the usual characters I like so much are here. Love this series!!
I anticipate taking 3 more overlaps, which leaves me with 24 books left to read to complete my challenge. For now, here's what I expect to read to complete my 12 in 12 challenge this year. Of course, this is always subject to change:
1. Unbroken (will count for two categories)-COMPLETED
2. Clemente (will count for two categories)
3. Bootlegger's Daughter (will count for two categories)
4. Thinking Small
6. Ozzie's School of Management--COMPLETED
7. Being Santa Claus
8. Postcards from the Dead
9. The Silent Speaker--READING
10. Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth (counts for two categories)--COMPLETED
11. Rocket Men--COMPLETED
12. The Rise of the National Basketball Association
13. When the Garden Was Eden
14. When Saturday Mattered Most
15. A Christmas Garland
16. The Wurst Is Yet to Come--COMPLETED
17. Delusion in Death
18. Stoner by John Williams
19. Mrs Malory and a Necessary End--COMPLETED
20. Eleven Pipers Piping
21. A Small Hill to Die On
Love the overlaps and 24 books left to compete the challenge sounds do-able! Hope you are having an enjoyable weekend Linda.
I thought that 24 to read is do-able, too. Only 10 nonfiction left to go and I don't think any of them are exceptionally long. I'd hoped to finish by 12/12 but that's probably a bit iffy. Once I finish, I may start on 13 in 13 soon thereafter.
The Wurst Is Yet to Come by Mary Daheim--finished on 10/11/12
This is the latest in Daheim's long, long-running cozy B&B series. I used to love this series. Now like is a better description. I liked, but did not love, this one.
It's set at Oktoberfest in Little Bavaria so B&B owner, Judity, and her cousin Renie are, once more, away from the inn for nearly the entire book.
I had a hard time keeping all the characters straight but loved the colorful atmosphere at the Oktoberfest as well as the historical elements.
Recommended, but not strongly so. If you like this series, you'll probably like this one.
Linda, have you heard about Forty Thousand to One (no touchstone, not in any libraries, except mine which I just entered) by Ben Petrick -- the baseball player who was diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 22? I just learned yesterday that he'd written a book, and I may be reading my first ever baseball book (except for Shoeless Joe). He's a local hero, probably the best athlete ever to come from here, a year or 2 older than my older daughter & his sister was a grade-school friend of my younger daughter.
Here are some links, Linda (I still have them pulled up from investigating this morning):
Oh, that sounds like an amazing story. Wow. Darn, and I already used the Sony Reader discount coupon they sent me for this weekend!
Rocket Men by Craig Nelson--finished on 10/15/12
This is an terrific, informative book about Apollo 11. Included is information about the mission itself, but also the first astronauts to walk on the moon in 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, as well as the one who didn't walk on the moon, Michael Collins, as well as NASA and its origins, and other related space travel information.
I got chills when I read the speech that Nixon would've given had they not been able to get Armstrong and Aldrin back from the lunar surface.
Absolutely fascinating though the diversion into the history of rocket science was too long, I thought.
The author does a great job on the Apollo 11 mission itself, including the practices for it, and the aftermath.
I found the discussion of "what it all means" especially fascinating. Also of special interest was the look at the post Apollo 11 careers of the three astronauts. When you've been to the moon, the rest of your life can never compare.
A fascinating book that I would highly recommend.
I read this along with VictoriaPL and, as always, that makes the reading more enjoyable!!
Aw, thank you! I haven't finished it yet so I only skimmed. I'll be back to discuss...
#155 The only other "space book" I have is Martian Summer. Maybe early next year? If you're interested and haven't read that one yet, that is.
I should've added, too, that the part about Apollo 1 was interesting. I knew that three astronauts died but I wasn't that aware of the details.
So many fascinating details. You know how, when you go to a get-together and you're taking pictures, sometimes you forget to take a picture of a particular person. No one noticed til later that there aren't really any good pictures of Neil Armstrong on the moon. Oops. There's the one he took where you can see his reflection and several at a distance, but that's it.
Next up. Now that I've finished both my mystery book and my nonfiction book, I'll start one of each.
This a.m., I started Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, the book Mark chose for me. Not sure which mystery but something cozy. Either the new Hazel Holt or maybe that newest Laura Childs scrapbooking mystery I just got from the library.
Unbroken was one of my favorite books this year. Such an amazing story!
With a bit of creative fiddling around, I added two overlaps so I'm down to 20 books left to finish the challenge.
I had allowed myself 12 overlaps (for 12), and I'll probably end up using 11 of them.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
This is an incredible book about an incredible story of survival. Louie Zamperini was a track star who participated in the 1936 Olympics, meeting Hitler after his race. During World War 2, he was an airplane bombardier whose plane crashed into the ocean. Three surviving crew members, including Louie, managed to get onto a raft and were adrift, with almost no food and water, for over a month and a half, until they ran aground on a tiny Pacific island and were captured by the Japanese. Physical and mental torture and slave labor faced the survivors.
Beyond on the gripping story, I learned so much about the war and those involved.
This is an unforgettable story. Most likely, my favorite book of the year. Most highly recommended!!
Thanks to Mark and Ivy for choosing this book for me for my "books chosen by friends" category.
Linda - I need to get to that one as soon as I read Seabiscuit first.
It just amazed me how creative the prisoners were in figuring out ways to keep sane and survive. Wonderful book!
Mrs. Malory and a Necessary End by Hazel Holt
This is about the coziest of all cozy series I read. I've enjoyed this village cozy series for many years, including this latest one featuring Sheila Malory, who volunteers at a charity resale shop.
For me, lots of comfortable long-running characters but this is one is probably too cozy for most people.
#161 Love her writing. Mark mentioned that she's got ailments or illnesses or some such and doesn't write very fast.
#162 I was amazed, too. Physical strength is one thing but the mental toughness that these guys showed was incredible.
>160 Glad you enjoyed Unbroken so much, Linda! I chose it from your list because it was one that I really wanted to read, especially after loving Seabiscuit, but I haven't read it yet! A friend of my daughter promised to loan it to me, in return for my loan of a couple of books she wanted to read, but I still haven't gotten it (or the other books back). I think I'll have to give up and get my own copy -- she'll probably get around to it a some point, but her older child just turned 2 and her baby was born last spring, and she works part-time as well, so I don't think getting books to me is very high on her task list.
Ozzie's School of Management by Rick Morrissey--finished on 10/25/12
This is a lively, somewhat entertaining look at long-time Chicago White Sox player and manager, Ozzie Guillen, written by a Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist. Of course, Ozzie, being the colorful, out-of-control person he is, eventually wore out his welcome in Chicago and, when the Sox refused to give him a contract extension, left the team shortly before the end of the 2011 season, to manage the Marlins for 2012. However, he was fired just this week, after only one year on a four-year contract.
As a Cubs fan, I don't like Ozzie but I gained a greater appreciation for both him and his management style, in terms of his baseball knowledge and his handling of ballplayers, particularly as to how he is different from other managers. He is known for causing a fuss to take the attention off of his slumping players.
This book starts out well, full of promise, but sort of fizzles out towards the end. It could've been quite a bit shorter, I think.
If you're a Sox fan or a true baseball fan, you might enjoy this. It's not bad. I've seen better baseball books but I've certainly read worse.
12 in 12: Current Status of Books Left to Read
Carrying on. Here's what I plan to read to finish
1. Clemente (will count for two categories)
2. Bootlegger's Daughter (will count for two categories)
3. A Small Hill to Die On
4. Thinking Small
6. Gone West
7. Travels with Charley--Reading
8. Death in the Devil's Acre by Anne Perry--COMPLETED
9. The Silent Speaker--COMPLETED
10. Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth (counts for two categories)--COMPLETED
11. Delusion in Death
12. The Rise of the National Basketball Association
13. When Saturday Mattered Most--COMPLETED
14. How Hockey Saved a Jew from the Holocaust--COMPLETED
15. A Christmas Garland--COMPLETED
16. Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore
Hi Linda! The final 16 look very do-able, and you've been reading so many good ones lately to boot! I've written down a few cozy series for my Mom, who seems to be catching up on all of her current ones too. I should do the same, write up a "to read to finish" post, as I'm fairly close. However, I do have the one you picked for me, Middlesex, and the behemoth that is Gone With The Wind in there so while the list may be short I'm a bit nervous about tackling them in the next 2 months. Hope you're having a quiet Sunday evening!
The Silent Speaker by Rex Stout--finished on 10/27/12
I love these Nero Wolfe mysteries and this ranks as among my favorites in the series.
Set shortly after World War 2, the head of a federal government agency is murdered shortly before he is to give a speech at the Waldorf Astoria. Then, while investigating and all concerned are asked to come to the brownstone, one of the concerned parties is murdered on Wolfe's doorstep.
Though a bit dated, this is Wolfe at his finest, with the usual great cast of characters.
Hi Laura, down to 15 now.
I chose Middlesex? Hmmmm, I'll have to take a look at that one. Not sure why I would've picked it as I've never read it and know nothing about it.
Busy weekend but now I'm settled in watching the World Series. Perhaps I'll grab a new book off the shelves now, instead of after the ballgame.
Good to see you again.
ETA: Oh wait, now I remember. I think I chose a location for you, on your bookshelves, not the book itself.
Yep, it was just a number on a shelf, nothing intentional. So what I'm getting from this is that if I don't adore it, you won't be heartbroken? ;)
I'll throw my 2 cents worth in here and say that although the subject matter may be disturbing, I found the writing excellent. Oh wait - I just went to look at it and it's not the book I thought it was. Unless the link is the wrong one?
I don't know anything about it. Whatever it is, I hope you like it.
I've started the first Miss Silver cozy. Seems to be a younger Miss Marple. It's from around 1928. Grey Mask is the name. Pretty good so far.
Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth--finished on 10/30/12
I absolutely loved this first Miss Silver book from 1929. She's sort of a younger Miss Marple type.
This book is filled with criminal conspiracy. Great plot.
Miss Silver seems to be someone who is consulted from time to time, not necessarily a main character. In future books, I wonder if other characters are involved and also whether Miss Silver plays a bigger role.
Eager to read more of these!!
Fourteen books left to go by my reckoning, Ivy. I think I can do it. Finishing by 12/12 might be out of the question...or not. Finishing by the end of the year is certainly do-able.
Wow, classic mysteries! & looks like you've got this challenge all under control. You go!
A Christmas Garland by Anne Perry--finished on 10/31/12
For a change (I'd gotten a bit tired of these), I actually loved this year's annual Christmas novella from Anne Perry. She typically takes a minor character from one of her series and writes a non-traditional type of Christmas story around them.
This year, she takes a minor character from one of the Pitt novels, albeit a character I'm not familiar with yet) and goes back to his early days as a young lieutenant in India after a siege. A prisoner escapes and, as a result, nearly an entire British patrol, almost the entire patrol is killed. The lieutenant is ordered to take on the thankless task of defending the unit's popular medical orderly who is accused of murder for freeing the prisoner. That orderly is said to be the only one who was not working with anyone else at the time the crime was committed. Things seem impossible but the pressure mounts to get the trial over with before Christmas so that justice can be done and the unit can enjoy its Christmas holiday.
Absolutely loved this one. It's the 10th annual Christmas novella from Perry but each is, in effect, a standalone. For anyone who enjoys a good, quick story, I'd highly recommend this one.
#178 Good to know. Does Miss Silver play a greater role in the later ones? In this first one, she is just consulted occasionally but she's in only a small number of scenes.
#179 Thanks. I'm feeling more confident of finishing. The last few years, I've finished around Thanksgiving. This year, probably a bit later but I should finish.
It's been a while since I read a Miss Silver book but I think she often shows up after the problem is well established. However she's the one who always solves the puzzle!
How Hockey Saved a Jew from the Holocaust: The Rudi Ball Story by J. Wayne Frye--finished on 11/3/12
This long Kindle single (100+ pages) covered a fascinating topic. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about hockey history but I'd never heard about Rudi Ball, the greatest hockey player in Germany in the 1930s, and a Jew.
When the 1936 Winter Olympics hockey team was chosen in Germany, not surprisingly, Rudi Ball, Germany's greatest player, was not chosen because he was Jewish. However, in a rare occurrence of Germans standing up to Hitler, the rest of the team unanimously refused to play unless he was chosen. Germany relented but then Rudi Ball refused to play unless his entire family was allowed to leave Germany. Again, Germany relented and the family left for South Africa and Ball played for Germany in the 1936 Olympics. He played spectacularly and even Hitler gave him a standing ovation.
This is an interesting look at a little known chapter in hockey--and Nazi--history. I learned quite a bit, such as the fact that Germany did not completely repay the onerous World War 1 reparations it was forced to pay--and which many believe helped lead Hitler to power--until just recently. 2010 to be exact. I never knew that.
Despite the interesting topic, the flowery, almost amateurish writing really detracted from this book. I realize that Kindle singles are not full-blown books. However, this one reads like a high school term paper. If you think the subject sounds interesting, hold your nose to the writing style and read it.
Not a hockey fan by any means, but that's a very interesting story. And as much as I really need to know.
When Saturday Mattered Most by Mark Beech--finished on 11/4/12
This terrific book is a look at the undefeated Army (West Point) football team of 1958, the last time that Army really contended for the national championship.
The focus is on legendary coach Red Blaik and how he brought the Army team back after the cheating scandal of the early 1950's decimated the football team.
Interesting information about their "Lonesome End" approach on offense, whereby the flanker was lined up way, way out there, opening up room for their running game.
Very much recommended for sports fans.
#184 Betty, what I related is probably all you need to know. It's an interesting chapter in hockey and history but not that much information is available.
The other interesting thing, which I neglected to mention, is that, unlike today, where hockey players are on the ice for a minute, go all out, and then are replaced with another player, back then, players played virtually the entire game. Their conditioning must've been superb.
>183 Really interesting, Linda! What happened to him after the Olympics?
In agreeing to play in the Olympics, he got his family out, to South Africa. After the Olympics, he continued to play hockey in Germany. After the war ended, he moved to South Africa and became a businessman. Not much is known about his life there.
I'm actually surprised that Germany didn't renege on their agreement, and that he made it through the war.
#189 I would've thought so, too, Ivy, but apparently he was so well known at his time.
There must not be a lot of information out there. I can't believe that no one's ever done a full scale biography of him.
Death in the Devil's Acre by Anne Perry--finished on 11/7/12
This is the 7th in the long-running Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mystery series. I think there are 27 so far.
I like to read these but tend to read only one or two per year. Thomas is a policemen in Victorian England, when policemen were expected to enter homes through the servant's entrance. He's married to the well-born Charlotte.
This book focuses on the seamy underbelly of London. Men of various occupations are being murdered and castrated in an area known for its vice, particularly its houses of prostitution.
I thought that Charlotte would have little role in this one but, as it appears that some of the women are well-born, Charlotte and her sister, Lady Emily, do some investigating on their own.
Once again, highly recommended!!
In fact, I'm wondering to myself right now why I read only one or two of these per year. Why not more?
You only read that many per year so you can enjoy all the other series too!
Ten books to go to finish the challenge Here's my current plan to finish:
1. Clemente (will count for two categories)
2. Bootlegger's Daughter (will count for two categories)
3. A Small Hill to Die On
4. Thinking Small
6. A Deadly Cliche by Ellery Adams
7. Travels with Charley--COMPLETED
8. Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb
9. The Rise of the National Basketball Association
10. Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore
If I finish by mid-December, perhaps I'd spend a week or two reading holiday-themed books. Then maybe move on to the 2013 category challenge.
I'd thought about starting the 2013 challenge on 12/13, but now I'm thinking about starting right after Christmas.
I do enjoy reading holiday-themed books.
Congratulations on being so close to the finish! Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore was a fun book - hope you enjoy it.
#196 Glad to hear it. I was going to read Stoner but Mark said that's a sad book and, right now, I don't want sad.
Linda, I hope you like Bootlegger's Daughter. That's one series that I am current with. I couldn't stop reading them!
I've really gotten out of the habit of carrying a book with me but, when I remember to bring the Clemente bio, I am reading it. I'll probably focus on it, now that I've finished my John Steinbeck book.
I vaguely remember seeing Clemente play but I find that I didn't know as much about him as I thought.
Terri, thanks for suggesting this one for my "books chosen by friends" category.
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck--finished on 11/11/12
I absolutely loved this unconventional travelogue by John Steinbeck as he travelled the U.S. in the fall of 1960, with his dog, a large poodle named Charley. This trip was just a few months before I was born and it was fascinating to me to see what the U.S. was like at that point.
Interestingly, some things never change, though I guess we wouldn't be surprised by that. Even back then, people were griping about big stores, like supermarts, putting the "little guys" out of business.
I was especially interested in his comments as he travelled through the Midwest. He stayed at the old Ambassador East Hotel in Chicago, which was a rare treat as most of the time, he and Charley lived in his trailer, Rocinante. He thought Wisconsin was beautiful.
Though he opines about current events, the bulk of the book focuses on his trip, how he and Charley were doing, and to some extent, his surroundings, including his encounter with virulent racism in New Orleans.
I loved this book and did not want it to end!!
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