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September 2012 Theme

Reading Through Time

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Jul 2, 2012, 1:56pm Top

Yay! I get to be the one to start us off. Here are my suggestions, but I'm open to more:

Weather or seasons, maybe disaster, but I think we could split the two


Any thoughts?

Jul 2, 2012, 2:05pm Top

Someone recently mentioned that they had added a new theme to the list - Heroes & Vagabonds. I think that one sounds really interesting!

Jul 2, 2012, 4:20pm Top

I like the idea of weather; it seems like it would encompass a lot. And obviously it would include a lot of disasters as well, like hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, etc.

I'm sure I could find something for heroes & vagabonds as well, though.

Jul 2, 2012, 5:55pm Top

I'm fine with either weather/seasons or food. I'm not sure if I have any TBRs to fit heroes & vagabonds, but I could probably come up with something.

Jul 6, 2012, 1:15pm Top

Since I am the one who suggested Heroes and Vagabonds, I would love to do that, but I would also be fine with Weather/Disasters as well.

Jul 6, 2012, 6:32pm Top

Clarification about "seasons." Would that mean that the story has to occur all within a specific season, or that title must include the name of a season, or what?

Jul 6, 2012, 11:23pm Top

I love the Heroes and Vagabonds idea. I am happy to give the other ideas a go too. I understand the weather concept, but like HRO, I would like some clarification of the seasons concept please. I think I have something that fits the food category (if that includes coffee, which is actually a drink now I think about it, so maybe I don't).

I am off to do a tag search now to see what comes up under these themes.

Jul 11, 2012, 12:43pm Top

Regarding the "seasons" question, I would say it could either include a season in the title OR occur during a specific season. In my opinion, part of the fun of this challenge is finding creative ways to fulfill the theme/time period requirements!

Jul 11, 2012, 7:17pm Top

That sounds good as I have already found 3 books that would fit the seasons theme. So I'm thinking that seasons is a great idea.

Jul 11, 2012, 9:35pm Top

My September reading calendar is already looking mighty full, so I'm probably going to sit this one out.

Jul 11, 2012, 9:45pm Top

I like it when we get to be creative with our theme/period reads as well. Seasons sounds like a fun theme.

Jul 20, 2012, 7:25am Top

Just wondering if we need to do a vote here or if we have decided on seasons? I am ready to check out my shelves and the library catalogue.

Jul 20, 2012, 8:14am Top

I've begun to wonder if everyone in this group climbed into a time machine and got lost. :)

Jul 20, 2012, 4:36pm Top

Hi HRO. It has been rather quiet. Quite unusual. I know I have been a bit distracted with sick children, and trying to wade through Wolf Hall. For some reason I decided to read it now and it is taking forever. My Witch book is progressing though. Do you know how to set up the voting? Otherwise I may try to figure it out myself. I think our suggestions have been weather/disasters, seasons, food, heroes and vagabonds.

Jul 20, 2012, 5:40pm Top

I haven't been super active on LT lately, but I am still following along with this group. I'm fine if seasons is the theme, but there hasn't been an official vote, and I don't want to step on anyone's toes.

Jul 20, 2012, 6:19pm Top

I'm with you there Christina. That would definitely not be my intention either. However I get the feeling from this group that everybody is comfortable with anybody putting the suggestions or voting panels forward. I just have no idea how to do it. I am sure there is a help page on LT somewhere that would give instructions though. If nothing pops up soon (please somebody :-) I will investigate and give it a try if everyone is ok with that?

Jul 20, 2012, 11:44pm Top

Vote: Do you want the September theme to be Seasons?

Current tally: Yes 7, No 2, Undecided 1

Jul 20, 2012, 11:45pm Top

Vote: Do you want the September theme to be Weather/Disasters?

Current tally: Yes 1, No 3, Undecided 4

Jul 20, 2012, 11:45pm Top

Vote: Do you want the September theme to be Heroes and Vagabonds

Current tally: Yes 3, No 4, Undecided 3

Jul 20, 2012, 11:47pm Top

Yay! After much trawling through the help pages on LT I found the information I needed to put the vote up. And it was so easy too!

Jul 21, 2012, 2:32pm Top

I have not got a burning desire for any of these topics but I am sure I could find something for each one.

Jul 22, 2012, 8:24am Top

Well done, roro, for figuring out how to do the polls! Now let's see if anyone shows up to vote. :) If "seasons" is chosen as our theme, I'll probably rearrange my reading schedule to participate. Otherwise, I think I'll sit this one out and focus on the mountains of other reading projects that need my attention.

Jul 23, 2012, 5:35am Top

It looks like our theme for September will be seasons. I think this one will be full of variety.

Jul 25, 2012, 7:26pm Top

I hope some more people vote. Where did everyone go? :/

Jul 26, 2012, 12:01am Top

I think only 5 people posted in the wiki last month, so I thought maybe that was it right now. Maybe everybody is super-busy at the moment. If people still want to keep voting go ahead.

Jul 26, 2012, 9:15am Top

I dunno. *shrug* I'm gonna plan for the September theme to be seasons, but we'll see how things go, I guess.

I'm becoming concerned about samantha_kathy. She was always so active and it's been about six weeks since she posted. I would have thought if she was going on holiday or something she would have said something in advance since she's the mod for the quarterly theme. :/

Jul 26, 2012, 5:16pm Top

I messaged her profile page last week as I had noticed the same and was concerned. She messaged me back and said she is extremely busy at the moment and hopefully would be back soon.

Jul 26, 2012, 5:20pm Top

I am planning for seasons too. I have reserved two books at the library. Russian Winter and Season of Light. I will see what I think of them when I get them, not sure yet. Does anybody have any suggestions or recommendations?

Jul 26, 2012, 5:36pm Top

The Winter King - Bernard Cornwell

Jul 26, 2012, 9:45pm Top

I think there are a lot of ways to interpret "seasons." You could do books with a season in the title. Or books that occur within a specific season. Or books in which the weather of a particular season is pivotal to the plot. Or book with titles that have a word that represent a season (snow, sun, leaves, rain, etc.). Or books with a month for a title, using the months in which each season begins - March, June, September, December. Or books with characters named for months or seasons. Or books about a holiday or event, like the Christmas season or the harvest season. Or books with the word "season" in the title. Yeah, the ideas are pretty much endless. :)

PS Glad to hear that samantha_kathy is ok!

Jul 27, 2012, 12:21am Top

I have been MIA from this group since May.... good grief, has it been that long!.... but I did stumble across this thread tonight and voted. Fingers crossed I will make room to join the September theme. Now off the see what I missed in June and July and to see if I have anything that might fit August!

Jul 27, 2012, 12:26am Top

is it going to be seasons for september

Jul 27, 2012, 8:11pm Top

Sorry I've been out of town, but I added my vote today and I voted for seasons.

Jul 28, 2012, 9:32pm Top

I've been out of town without Internet access, too, so I didn't vote. Seasons is fine with me. I'll probably read Sins of a Shaker Summer by Deborah Woodworth, the next up for me in her Shaker historical mystery series.

Jul 30, 2012, 2:55am Top

It looks like it is seasons for September. Thanks for voting everyone. It is almost time to think about October!

Edited: Jul 31, 2012, 11:04am Top

Talk about a realllly broad definition!! -:) Guess I'll throw in one which could fit. I just finished and really enjoyed "Black Diamond" by Martin Walker.

Chief of Police Bruno is the heart of this delightful mystery series set in St. Denis, France. Sunlight and shadow, greed and generosity of spirit abound in this series.

This mystery is tied directly to the harvest and selling of truffles, which peaks in January. The story is actually set just before Christmas with the closing of a local mill and questions about the local truffles market and possible fraud.

Jul 31, 2012, 11:06am Top

Last summer about this time I thought something was wrong with my connection cause no one seemed to be contributing. Therefore, I would have to assume that people do tend to drop off in mid to late summer and then come back online in September.

Aug 1, 2012, 8:47pm Top

Glad to see people making a reappearance. :) I've got some books tentatively planned for September....but I may change my mind. There are so many possibilities with this theme!

Aug 2, 2012, 7:20pm Top

I think for the September Seasons theme I will be reading either The Land of Summer by Charlotte Bingham which is set in 1880's England, or Winter Thunder by Mari Sandoz which I believe takes place in the American west in 1888.

Aug 6, 2012, 8:56am Top

I saw The Land of Summer when I was looking around for titles for this theme but was put off by the low ratings it's received so I'm interested to hear what you think of it DeltaQueen!

Aug 8, 2012, 10:34pm Top

#40 - I have read and enjoyed some previous books by Charlotte Bingham, but there are times when her books lack depth. I have The Land of Summer on my Kindle, so will probably give it a try. Will report back when I complete it.

Edited: Jul 31, 2016, 9:46am Top

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Sep 2, 2012, 10:57pm Top

I finished my first book for this month's theme - The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn. Set in England during and just after WWI, it's rather simple and not especially spectacular; nevertheless, I did very much enjoy it and rated it 4 Stars. My full review is on my thread.

Sep 3, 2012, 1:01am Top

I was thinking of reading that one myself HRO. I will go and check out your review.

Sep 3, 2012, 7:27am Top

I added a September TIOLI challenge that works for this thread, btw. #17

Sep 3, 2012, 10:06am Top

>45 majkia: - Whowha? Please explain. :)

Sep 3, 2012, 10:20am Top

Within the 75 Books Challenge for 2012 Group (http://www.librarything.com/groups/75booksin2012) there is a series of monthly challenges that we give one another to stimulate us to read. Not that most of us need any stimulation! But it helps us to focus our reading and that makes a difference, for me anyway ...


Sep 3, 2012, 12:14pm Top

Thanks for providing that explanation Cathy.

Sep 5, 2012, 9:19pm Top

I think you could go for football season, baseball season, back to school, all of those are seasons too.

Sep 6, 2012, 2:43am Top

>49 cmbohn: Great idea

Edited: Jul 31, 2016, 9:46am Top

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Sep 7, 2012, 12:50pm Top

@ 51 -- I don't have an e-reader, so I can't comment about Kindle vs. hard copy. But I do find it easier to set aside a book if I haven't paid for it. If I've spent money, I feel more of an obligation to stick it out to the end.

Sep 7, 2012, 3:38pm Top

#51 - I seem to be the opposite. Since I prefer ebooks, I'm more likely to put aside a dead tree book, because they are so much less convenient to take with me wherever I go, or to read in bed.

Sep 7, 2012, 6:29pm Top

Interesting. The majority of ebooks that I read are library books and I find that I am more motivated to finish my library books, regardless of whether they are ebooks or paper - probably because at some point they have to be returned to the library! - than the books that I own.

Which reminds me I have a Netgalley ebook I need to get around to reading at some point..... thanks for the reminder!

Sep 7, 2012, 7:01pm Top

It is not very often that I don't finish a book regardless of the format. I usually persist, thinking "surely this is going to get better". Often by the time I have decided that it is not getting any better I am more than half way through and then I think that I may as well finish it.

The books that I am least likely to read are books that have been lent to me that I haven't asked for. These books I can find a chore as I feel obliged to read them even if I really don't want to.

Edited: Jul 31, 2016, 9:46am Top

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Sep 8, 2012, 10:31am Top

In our family we have a '15 minute rule' for watching movies that we are recommending to each other. We must watch 15 minutes and after that time, if we are not enjoying it, we can tell each other and it is ok to stop watching the film.

Somewhere on LT I first read about Nancy Pearl's “Rule of Fifty” to help decide when to stop reading a book.


"People frequently ask me how many pages they should give a book before they give up on it. In response to that question, I came up with my “rule of fifty,” which is based on the shortness of time and the immensity of the world of books. If you’re fifty years of age or younger, give a book fifty pages before you decide to commit to reading it or give it up. If you’re over fifty, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100—the result is the number of pages you should read before making your decision to stay with it or quit. Since that number gets smaller and smaller as we get older and older, our big reward is that when we turn 100, we can judge a book by its cover!"


My problem, is that no matter how terrible the book is, although I may abandon it now, I cannot totally give up on the idea. And most times, months or even years later, I pick it up and really love it.

I am finding that I abandon books less frequently as I get older (I am almost 60). I think I am just getting better at choosing books that I pretty much know that I am going to like. Except for those 1001 group reads. Some of those classic books have been so tedious, but I am gradually returning to them and hope to make progress.

Sep 8, 2012, 12:10pm Top

Samanthy_Kitty, are the books on your kindle ones that you would choose if you were in a bookstore with a gift card to spend? Are they published by established publishers? I've found that I have to look more closely at a book to determine whether or not it's from a vanity press and with e-books there is a lot out there that would not be accepted as publishable by a for-profit publishing house. If the book is only available as an e-book, it may not be worth your time, free or not. Yes, there are exceptions, but I'm not sure it's worth wading through the dreck to find them. Also, self-publishers often forgo silly costs like proofreading and editing, which can make a substantial difference in the end product. I suspect many also just publish their first drafts.

Of course, you can get caught with a paper copy as well. I had an ER book that needed serious work in order to get it into publishable shape. The publishing house had only printed her book, and I suspect the publishing house in question may have lived in the author's computer.

It's easier today to get a book released than it is to seriously rewrite and polish a book. And if an author can't spare the time, I'm disinclined to do so.

Edited: Jul 31, 2016, 9:46am Top

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Sep 11, 2012, 9:48am Top

I'm really glad this month's Seasons theme led me back to Deborah Woodworth's Sister Rose Callahan series set among Shakers in the Depression era. The first three books in the series have seasons in their titles. I had already read the first two, and the third, Sins of a Shaker Summer, was languishing in my TBR stash. I enjoyed my return visit with Sister Rose and her Kentucky Shaker community.

Sep 11, 2012, 10:09am Top

I had a copy of Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom. It's set during WWII in Spain, which fits the bill perfectly. The writing is adequate, the characters have been pulled off of the shelf from the British Stereotypes store (really, I'm not exaggerating, although the lone female character is more of a Mary Sue by way of a Katherine Heigel rom-com), but the history and setting are making it worth reading.

Sep 12, 2012, 1:44am Top

First read: Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation by John Carlin

I'm going with Rugby Season on this one! I had a harder time finishing it that I expected. It was a good story, but I'm glad I switched my pick for book club. I enjoyed this one, but wow, so many names to keep track of! I thought it would be more of a narrative style and not so much a journalistic style. I think I will enjoy the movie more. Very inspirational in parts, but quite a slog to get through in other parts. I'm glad I stuck with it. As always, very impressed by Nelson Mandela and glad to read more about him. We didn't get deep into rugby until the last quarter of the book, which was not what I expected at all. Lots of politics instead.

Sep 13, 2012, 1:06pm Top

I read Winter in Madrid for my book this month. I've posted the review on the book's page. The history part of the book was fascinating.

Sep 15, 2012, 7:24am Top

I have just started my "Seasons" read. It is a bit of a monster at 675 pages but I'm sure I'll get there. I'm reading Monsoon by Wilbur Smith.

Sep 21, 2012, 11:07am Top

I managed to read a book for each of the four seasons this month:

Summer - The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn
Autumn - The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
Winter - A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore
Spring - Cold Spring Harbor by Richard Yates

Reviews for each are over on my thread.

Edited: Jul 31, 2016, 9:46am Top

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Sep 21, 2012, 8:01pm Top

What an achievement! The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet has been on my TBR list for a while but I haven't managed to fit it in yet. I hadn't heard of The Last Summer before. It sounds good. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

Sep 22, 2012, 5:45am Top

Well, with almost 1500 books in my LT catalog it was really rather easy to find titles that worked. :)

Sep 24, 2012, 5:45am Top

I'm very impressed too HRO. I am still wading my way through book number 1 for this month.

Sep 24, 2012, 11:29pm Top

I'm very impressed by HRO's reading books covering all four seasons! I barely got through the one I read, believe me this is one everyone should miss. The Land of Summer by Charlotte Bingham was a huge disappointment especially as I have read this author before and quite enjoyed her work.

Sep 25, 2012, 11:07am Top

Great idea to read one book for each season, HRO! Wish I'd thought of it. :)

I finally managed to read a "seasonal" book, Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. It's a YA novel about a girl who spends the summer at a lake house with her family because her dad has been diagnosed with cancer. Given the subject matter, it's obviously very sad in places, but it's also well-written and touching. I'd recommend it to YA fans.

Edited: Jul 31, 2016, 9:46am Top

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Sep 29, 2012, 6:34am Top

My read for this month's theme was Monsoon by Wilbur Smith. I thought this was a fitting choice, especially once I looked up the definition of Monsoon with Oxford online:

a seasonal prevailing wind in the region of South and South East Asia, blowing from the south-west between May and September and bringing rain (the wet monsoon), or from the north-east between October and April (the dry monsoon)

Anyway, the book was very long, which was by no means a bad thing. It is the story of 4 brothers living in England in the 18th century. The oldest brother is evil and conniving and is left to manage the family estate that he stands to inherit eventually. The younger three brothers set sail with their father to rid the the seas near Africa of the terrible pirate known as Al-Auf. The book is jam packed with adventure on the sea and on land. There are attacks, rescues and tragedies.

I have been a total book-head this afternoon ploughing through the last 100 pages of this novel. I will definitely be keeping this author on my radar for future reads.

Sep 29, 2012, 7:07pm Top

I have to admit that I have made no progress on The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell. I'll keep trying though. I just did not find the time. Reading other stuff though!

Edited: Jul 31, 2016, 9:47am Top

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Oct 11, 2012, 8:58am Top

Almost forgot to list my September reads here:

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
The Richest Season by Maryann Mcfadden

Group: Reading Through Time

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