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Streamsong's 75 (and beyond!) Part 2

This is a continuation of the topic Streamsong's 75 (and beyond!).

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: Dec 30, 2012, 1:59pm Top

Welcome to my second thread--started mid-July just to prove how eclectic I am.......

I read a wide variety of books, split about evenly between fiction and non-fiction. I'm taking part in the 2012 BOMBS challenge and hope to get through many of the books that I added to LT in 2006 that are still unread. I'm also hoping the TIOLI challenge will help me look at MT TBR in an entirely different way (although so far it's also making me really really really want to run out and buy new books for the shared reads). To further my new reads, I've joined Morphy's fantasy group reads and am a longstanding member of a RL book club.

Right now I'm swimming in a sea of started-but-not-completed books (eek my profile says I have 16 books in progress--most non-fiction). I have several LTER books, several group and and several tutored reads --and I keep wanting to pick up something new.

The books I'm actively reading right now include:
Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization by Brian Griffith LTER
Dreams of Joy - Lisa See audiobook in the car

several books of short stories for a short story challenge:
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Best of Montana's Short Fiction edited by William Kittredge
Snows of Kilamanjaro by Ernest Hemingway

and some I have been reading for months but still plan to finish:
Elegant Universe by Brian Greene - lurking on tutored thread
Quotable Book Lover by Ben Jacobs - from MT TBR
Religion Explained by Pascal Boyer started in group read
Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels started in group read
Shakespeare's Sonnets lurking on the tutored thread
Awakening the Buddha Within been working on this one for 6 months or so
Toxic Criticism
Various People's Bible Commentaries - trying to work my way through the Bible

Happy reading everyone!

To get myself to dig deeper into the stacks of the unread oldies on the shelf, I'm not only a member of the BOMBS (Books Off My Book Shelves) group but I added an additional BOMBS point challenge for myself based on how long the poor book has remained unread on my mountain:

Here's how it works:

1. BOMBS entered into LT in 2006 --6 points
2. BOMBS entered into LT in 2007--5 points
3. BOMBS entered into LT in 2008--4 points
4. BOMBS entered into LT in 2009--3 points
5. BOMBS entered into LT in 2010--2 points
6. BOMBS entered into LT in 2011 --1 point
7. BOMBS not previously entered into LT but which have been around the house pre-2011 (most of these are pre-2006)--1 point

As of mid-August I have met my goal of reading 30 books acquired in 2011 or before--BOMBS-- but have only 88/150 points toward my goal so I'm continuing tunnelling in the bottom of the stacks. By the end of the year, I would like to have 50 total read from MT TBR and meet my goal of 150 points by reading the oldest ones on the mountain.

Edited: Oct 17, 2012, 12:55pm Top

READ IN 2012--From the first thread


1. Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by H. H. Dalai Lama
2. Journey of Crazy Horse by Joseph M Marshall III--audiobook
3. Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
4. Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind
5. A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel - audiobook
6. Uncompromised: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of an Arab American Patriot in the CIA by Nada Prady


7. Joshua by Adolph L. Harstad
8. Fighting Angel by Pearl S. Buck
9. The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean - audiobook
10. Across the Nightingale Floor by Gillian Rubinstein
11. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde audiobook
12. Ape House by Sara Gruen
13. Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
14. Isaiah 1-39 (People's Bible Commentary) by John A. Braun
15. Romans (People's Bible Commentary) by Armin J Panning
16. Genesis of Science by James Hannam


17. Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf - audiobook
18. Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart
19. Grayson by Lynn Cox - audiobook
20. Judges, Ruth (People's Bible Commentary by John C Lawrenz
21. Riding Shotgun by Rita Mae Brown
22. Matthew People's Bible Commentary by G Jerome Albrecht
23. Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot by Bart Ehrman - audiobook
24. Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi


25. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
26. Hot Zone by Richard Preston
27. Labrador Pact by Matt Haig - audiobook
28. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
29. Isaiah 2 by John A. Braun
30. Little Red Guard by Wenguang Huang
31. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
32. Genesis People's Bible Commentary by John C Jeske
33. Forfeit by Dick Francis
34. The Wars by Timothy Findley
35. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See - audiobook


36. Jingo by Terry Pratchett
37. Tea With the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy
38. Child of Silence by Abigail Padgett
39. 1 Corinthians People's Bible Commentary by Carleton Toppe
40. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - audiobook
41. The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
42. The Great World Religions: Islam by John Esposito - audiobook
43. Lust Killer by Ann Rule
44. Islam: A Short History by Karen Armstrong
45. Bindweed by Janis Harrison

46. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
47. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez - audiobook
48. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
49. Mark (People's Bible Commentary) by Harold E Wicke
50. Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill - audiobook



From my first thread:
51. Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel
52. Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
53. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

And July on this thread:

54. God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith by Ilya Kaminsky
55. Crazy Horse and the Real Reason for the Battle of the Little Big Horn by A. Ross Ehanamani
56. 150 Pounds Gone Forever by Diane Carbonell
57. Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
58. The Way West by A. B. Guthrie, Jr.
59. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach - audiobook
60. Beauty by Robin McKinley
61. Daybreak by Belva Plain

Jul 15, 2012, 10:40am Top

Woo hoo, a new thread. Congrats!

Edited: Dec 28, 2012, 10:42am Top


62. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
63. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
64. Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer - audiobook
65. Second Corinthians (People's Bible Commentary) by David J Valleskey
66. Thirty Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill
67. Samuel by John R Mittelstaedt
68. The Hanging Tree by Dorothy M. Johnson
69. Job by Rudolph E. Honsey
70. The Time and the Place by Naguib Mahfouz


71. Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst
72. Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy - audiobook
73. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
74. Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh
75. Blind Your Ponies by Stanley G West
76. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards - audiobook
77. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


78. Peony in Love by Lisa See - audiobook
79. Strawgirl by Abigail Padgett
80. Unbridled Spirits: Short Fiction about Women in the Old West edited by Judy Alter
81. Exodus (People's Bible Commentary) by Ernst H. Wendland
82. The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig
83. Jeremiah Lamentations People's Bible Commentary by David M. Gosdeck
84. January First by Michael Schofield
85. Great World Religions: Judaism The Teaching Company - Isaiah M Gafni
86. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
87. Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell
88. She Went a Whaling: The Journal of Martha Smith Brewer Brown, 1847-1849 by Martha Smith Brewer Brown

89. Ill Wind by Nevada Barr (acq 2007)
90. Persepolis II by Marjane Satrapi - (library 2012)
91. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - (library 2012)
92. Galatians Ephesians by Armin J. Panning (acqd pre 2006)
93. Psalms I by John F. Brug (acqd pre 2006 - reread)
94. When Food is Love by Geneen Roth (purchased 2012--reread?)
95. Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang - (library 2012)
96. Children of God by Mary Doria Russell - (library 2012)
97. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson - audiobook - (library 2012)
98. Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (purchased lib sale 2011)

99. When Christmas Comes by Debbie Macomber TIOLI #8 (acq 2012)
100. Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon TIOLI #6 (acq 2011)
101. The Woman Who Could Not Forget by Ying-Ying Chang TIOLI #10 (library 2012)
102. Pontoon by Garrison Keillor audiobook TIOLI #8 (acq 2012)
103. Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas TIOLI #1 (acq 2012 library & online)

Edited: Dec 26, 2012, 9:34am Top

Borrowing a version of this idea from someone else's thread:

SUMMARY of Books read in 2012

103- Books Read
45 - Books Read from the towering MT TBR (owned 2011 or before)
26 - Books from library or borrowed
83 - Total number of books acquired this year (not necessarily read, but total number newly owned by me): bought, gifts, trade, followed me home, ER (everything but library and online) as of 12/17/2012

46 - Fiction
51- Non-Fiction
4 - Books of Short Stories
1- graphic non-fiction
2 - Other (plays, poetry,)

76 - Dead Tree Books
21 - Audiobooks
1- online (haven't made the plunge into ebooks yet)
1 - online audio

57 - Male Authors
46- Female Authors
1 - Anthology of male and female authors

64 - Authors that are new to me
31 - Authors I have previously enjoyed
8 - Rereads
1 - anthology - some new some old

Nationality of Author:
70 - USA
1 - Canada
15 - England
1 - Egypt
2 - France
1 - Germany
1- India
1- Iran
2 - Ireland
1- Israeli
1 - Italy
2 - New Zealand
1 - Tibet
1 - Wales

Birthplace or residence of Author if different from nationality:

2 - China
1- Dominican Republic
1- France
1 - Germany
2 - Iran
1 - Japan
1 - Lebanon
4- Southeast Asia
1- USA

Book Originally Published in:
1 - Arabic
95 - English
3 - French
1 - German
1 - Italian
2 -? (Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World; Inheritance of Loss)


Of the books I've read this year:
17 - cataloged into LT 2006 or before
5 - cataloged into LT 2007
11 - cataloged into LT 2008
__ cataloged into LT 2009
__ cataloged into LT 2010
17 - cataloged into LT 2011
4 - acquired previously but uncataloged until 2012 (have lots of these!)
51 - acquired 2012 (including those from library)

Edited: Jul 15, 2012, 11:17am Top

Hey Karen--welcome--

Sorry I don't have everything unpacked yet. (pokes a box to see if it has cheese or cookies or better yet, the reviews for the last book or two.....)

Jul 15, 2012, 11:24am Top

54. A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith edited by Ilya Kaminsky

Received through Library Things Early Reviewer program.

This is an anthology of essays by nineteen contemporary poets examining the ways spirituality fuels their writing and their lives.

The editors interviewed the poets in person or through email and then removed the question and answer format to create a single voice for each chapter. Each section has a short biography of the poet and lists his or her works, followed by the essay and a poem.

With this variety of voices, there are many expressions of God: Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Paganism, Native American and even atheism. Many have experienced several spiritual paths in their lives and are no longer practicing the religion of their childhood. For some, their God is the vital force in their life. For others, any focused expression such as is found in a kiss or in the creation of a poem is holy and a moment of prayer.

The essays are lovely and lyrical and the prose often turns poetic. Most are centered on the writing of the poems; that moment of creation when energy is pinpoint sharp and revelation occurs.

Its thoughtful prose makes this a volume that I will return to. One reading will not suffice in absorbing what the authors want to say. Happily this book’s format invites dipping in and out and savoring. It’s also a wonderful introduction to the poets in the volume and I will pursue the work of several of them.

--July TIOLI # 8. Read a book where the author's initials form a commonly used abbreviation or initialism (IK chatspeak for I know)

Edited: Jul 22, 2012, 11:29am Top

55. Crazy Horse and the Real Reason for the Battle of the Big Horn by A. Ross Ehanamani

I had picked up this book several years ago (2008) and after loving the audiobook of Joseph M Marshall III's Journey of Crazy Horse in January, expected to love this one, too.

Unfortunately this one was a disappointment.

The first part of the book is a distillation from other published sources of the events (well documented with footnotes and bibliography) taking place leading up to the battle. The battle itself is very detailed with many maps. Besides the published accounts, some of this is from oral Lakota history; other is information from Ehanamani's spirit guides which he received during trances.

He then goes into what he feels are the real reasons that the battle took place--most revolving around the white man's lust for gold in the Black Hills (true and well documented). Unfortunately, he wanders into the creation of the Federal Reserve System some 40 years later as the root cause of the Indian's current problems including alcoholism and poverty on the reservation. He refers to 'a small library' of books on the Federal Reserve System conspiracy but none of these are included in the bibliography. There may be something here, but this section comes off as hysterical conspiracy theory with nothing to back it up.

He then offers two astrological natal charts for Crazy Horse and the Battle itself, showing how honorable and inevitable the whole thing was. Ah c'mon. This author is a PhD - so where are the controls for this bit of research-- two charts from thousands of participants in a battle is not convincing evidence of anything. And again--no references for astrology in the bibliography.

This book badly needed an editor; it illustrates many of the problems with self-published books.

I feel like I'm being generous giving this one a two star rating; part of this is for the good bibliography on the Indian wars.

--Books Off My Book Shelf (BOMBS challenge)- acquired 2008
--July TIOLI #15. Read a book with a picture of something that can be carried by the wind on its cover (storm clouds with lightning)

Jul 15, 2012, 1:04pm Top

A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith edited by Ilya Kaminsky sounds like an excellent book. Nice review!

Edited: Jul 15, 2012, 1:44pm Top

Janet, love your new thread! Also, I think it was mainly YOU that got me to try Letters of a Woman Homesteader, which I thoroughly enjoyed! Thank you.

Partly because of that read, I have been reading a lot more 'pioneer' books, of which my most favorite was/is Follow the River.

Edited: Jul 22, 2012, 11:34am Top

Thanks, Karen. Yes, it was one I really enjoyed. I love the ET books--often they are ones that fit into my interests, but are not necessarily one that I would buy at first glance.

Hey, Lor. I think we talked about Follow the River before you got a copy of it, too. Didn't you acquire a copy of Pioneer Preacher? That one was an unexpected treat. It was almost misnamed as it is not so much about her father the preacher --although he's definitely a part of the story--, but about the author's pioneer girlhood--very Laura Ingals Wilder-esque.

Edited: Jul 22, 2012, 11:46am Top

56. 150 Pounds Gone Forever by Diane Carbonell

Received through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer Program.

Diane Carbonell struggled with her weight for years and tried numerous diet programs including joining Weight Watchers an amazing 82 times.

Diane Carbonell lost 150 pounds—an astounding total of half her body weight.

She has kept the weight off for 12 years through several pregnancies.

Most amazing of all was that she did this by designing her own program. No gimmicks. No points calculated in mysterious manner through a top secret equation. No prepackaged food or prepackaged advice.

It’s a very simple program and one that we have all heard before. She limited her fat and calories, did not eat more than one portion of anything at a given time and committed to exercising every day.

It’s not revolutionary, but it’s simplicity and her heartfelt commonsense advice is very appealing and motivational. The entire book is interactive with questions to personalize the plan and make it fit into your own headspace. Her style is easy and quite readable.

The appendices have charts, food diaries, exercise programs, fat percentages, healthy snacks and other helpful information. She also has a website and blog www.fittothefinish/blog to keep motivation high.

Not new. Not revolutionary. But an inspirational simple program that would fit into everyone’s budget and that obviously worked for her.

--LTER program
--July TIOLI read 8. Read a book where the author's initials form a commonly used abbreviation or initial (D.C. Direct Current)

Jul 22, 2012, 12:03pm Top

So in the 16 (!!) books that my profile page says I have ongoing, the ones I'm mostly reading right now are:

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. This one is for the real life book club on Thursday. I'm finding it a bit of a downer as characters are struggling to make lives for themselves. Sometimes I think I should avoid Booker award winners--although Wolf Hall made me think I should give them another chance.

The Elegant Universe by Briane Green. I have no background in either quantum physics or relativity, but this book makes me think of the White Queen believing six impossible things before breakfast. Very readable and definitely the most fun of the books I'm reading now. I'm lurking on the tutored read.

I still have two LTER books to read and am working on A Galaxy of Immortal Women, a look at Chinese goddesses and women in Chinese mythology and legends.

I am sooooo ready to pick up a nice mystery!

Jul 22, 2012, 2:05pm Top

(11) I've not yet gotten a copy of Pioneer Preacher: I'm trying to limit my book purchases right now. :(

Jul 30, 2012, 10:46am Top

My computer insisted on early retirement last week. DD is working on getting a new computer up and running for me--in the meantime I'm using her old laptop which is a challenge. But it looks like she willl be taking off to Yellowstone before it gets done completely. :-( OK-- it is part of her job; she's helping escort some students from China.

So I've gotten behind here on LT--both enjoying all the threads and in keeping up with my own thread. I just updated my July reads and statistics in messages 3 & 4.

Jul 30, 2012, 7:35pm Top

That's funny. My "old" computer is thinking about retirement, too, I think we used to say that was being a "short timer". Any way, I'm going to start in a few minutes getting my new Macbook Air up and running, so I, too, may be falling behind a little bit on LT.

Hope you enjoy the new computer!!

Aug 1, 2012, 12:51am Top

57.The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

This Booker prize winning novel was the recent choice of my RL book club.

Set in India in the 1980's in a region of India overrun by Nepali freedom fighting rebels, this is a hard look at the consequences of colonialism on a society.

We meet a cast of characters each struggliing to find their place in modern Indian society, despising others not like themselves and in turn despised by others. There are many parallel story lines with characters cutting across all class lines as they make this fight.

This is a beautifully written story. The descriptions of India and this period of history are wonderful. The characters are fascinating and multi dimensional.

unfortunately, it's also very depressing as characters humiliate and are humiliated and leave their humanity and empathy behind.

3.5 stars

--RL book club
--TIOLI challenge #7. Read a book with more than 300 pages with multiple word titles
--copy borrowed 2012

Edited: Oct 3, 2012, 9:31am Top

58. The Way West by A. B. Guthrie, Jr

This is Guthrie's Pulitzer Prize winning novel of a wagon train to Oregon.

Former mountain man Dick Summers agrees to lead a wagon train of immigrants. The isolation of the train as well as the dangerous trip, lasting many months, becomes a microcosm of life as the train meets unexpected death, personal rivalries, betrayals and joy.

I'm not sure I've previously read the book, but the movie is iconic--with Kirk Douglas and Sally Field in starring roles.

As a side note, Bud Guthrie used to come in and hang out at a bookstore I worked at in the mid-70's when I was about 19. I was totally star struck. He was the first author of note that I met, and as such, will always hold a special place.

4 stars.

--TIOLI #12. Read a Western
--Books Off My Book Shelves (BOMBS) challenge book #28. Cataloged into Library Thing 2006

Aug 1, 2012, 8:11am Top

I've been reading The Quotable Book Lover in an attempt to get it off MT TBR.

Here are a couple of my favorites so far:

"I read a book that impresses me, I have to take myself firmly in hand before I mix with other people, otherwise they would think my mind rather queer." --Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had reallly happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ectasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer." --Ernest Hemingway Esquire December 1934

Aug 1, 2012, 8:33am Top

And now moving on from the Old West to outer space:

59. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach - audiobook

If you've read others of Mary Roach's works, you'll know the format this one follows: funny moments mixed with 'ooooh, ick!'; laughing out loud and the feeling at the end that you really have learned something about the subject.

This is a fun look at the space program from its earliest history to the present day and anticipating manned trips to Mars. This covers all those mundane matters you may have wondered about including crowded conditions, bad space food, lack of exercise, human bodily functions (she spends a LOT of time on these issues but they make for some of the funnniest and some of the grossest stories), psychological stress, boredom, getting along (or not) with your fellow astronauts.

Some of the more interesting stories included research done by volunteers on the ground. What happens to your body if you stay in bed three months? What happens if you can't change socks or underwear for months on end? How would sex in space compare to underwater sex (did you know that dolphins have prehensile penises?)

Great audiobook for the commute to work! 4 stars

--TIOLI 13. Read a book with a planet's name in the title
--Borrowed from library; cataloged into LT 2012

Aug 1, 2012, 6:04pm Top

(17) Have you tackled "The Raj Quartet"? The first book in the series of four is The Jewel in the Crown, also the title of the BBC series that was based upon The Raj Quartet.

It's a fantastic series, deep, and thought-provoking.

Aug 1, 2012, 6:07pm Top

(18) I looked up The Way West and discovered that it is book 2 in a series. The first one is The Big Sky.

Now you've done it, I've added more to my TBR.....grr...

Edited: Aug 6, 2012, 12:43pm Top

fuzzi: Always more books. Always, always, always. Beside you added the Raj Quartet to mine!

And from the Old West to a bit of fantasy:

60. Beauty by Robin McKinley

This is a sweet retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast. It's very, very similar to the Disney musical movie version although I believe this book came out several years before the movie. Neverthless, I found myself humming all the Disney songs in all the appropriate place. DD was about 5 when the Disney version was released in theaters and we must have watched it four hundred and leventy-seven times.

So, I was a little disappointed that there was 'nothing new' here. This one probably appeals more to people who don't have the big screen version memorized backwards and forwards.

About 20 years after writing this, the author wrote another version called Rose Daughter which I am reading now. This second version seems so far to be less cannonical.

3.5 stars.

--read (end of July) for August Morphy's Magical Monthly Challenge
-- Borrowed from the library 2012
-- July TIOLI challenge #14 Read a Book Whose Title Starts With 'B' as July 10th is "National Don't Step on a Bee Day"
--Juvenile/ Young adult fantasy, fairy tales retold

Aug 3, 2012, 9:45am Top

Yay! New Gateway computer up and running. It took a return trip to Best Buy 60 miles away to return a defective monitor, but they were awesome about it!

I still don't have my Office programs downloaded, so I must spend my time posting on LT instead of balancing my checkbook with Exel.

Aug 4, 2012, 8:12am Top

I know the disruption a new computer can create! I am so far behind reading LT threads that I even contemplated giving up! But here I am, very early Saturday morning, faithfully working my way through a gazillion comments! I will be done soon, and then life can continue!

Hope your adjustment to the new Gateway is not as time consuming....

Aug 4, 2012, 8:43am Top

Hi Karen;

The systems are pretty much the same; it's just that by having DD do it, it's taking more time than if I had just forked out the $$ and had the store set things up.

I tried to get into the GD chat last night, but the chatroom didn't like my Java script and I was too brain fried to think about it. Maybe next week?

Good luck with your new Mac--Mac users are a really loyal bunch so I know you'll love it!

Aug 4, 2012, 8:52am Top

Oh, I hope you can make it next week! I'm liking the Macbook Air most of the time, but there are still things I am getting used to, or thinking about, maybe hating....


The track pad requires that I push it a little but hard to "select" where the cursor has gone. It is a little bit hard on my arthritic fingers and so I'm going to ask the Apple people if there is a work around. My right hand index finger is so tired.

Aug 4, 2012, 8:59am Top

That sounds nasty. Hope they can figure out a way to make it more comfortable for you to use! More and more of my bits and pieces are needing work arounds, too.

Aug 4, 2012, 9:04am Top

One solution is to read more, and be on the computer less!

I just finished catching up, with some judicious editing of what/who I read. Whew. I'm off to do Words with Friends for a few minutes and then I'm back to bed with a book in hand, and intention to get a little more sleep.

Aug 4, 2012, 9:06am Top

Good idea-- you must have gotten up in the wee small hours.

Aug 4, 2012, 10:04am Top

One more for July:

61. Daybreak by Belva Plain

I don't think I have read anything by Belva Plain before, but my mother enjoys her and she had passed this on to me several years ago. I listed it in the August TIOLI 5: Read a book that was recommended to you by one of your parents, or is a favorite of one of your parents. But as I had a day in bed Monday feeling under the weather, I picked up this book and finished it, making it a July book.

This is a story of two babies switched at birth. One is the son of a prominent Jewish family. The other family is equally prominent but has ties to the KKK and neo-Nazi organizations. The switch is discovered when the Jewish family loses their son to cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease not found in their family.

I found the characters a bit unbelievable and the plot leaned heavily on coincidence with the problem being solved by the death of one of the major players. Nevertheless there was something about the writing that kept me turning the pages. There was a twist at the end that I didn't see coming.

Not a bad beach or staying-in-bed-under-the-covers chick lit read. 3 stars.

--July TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book where the author's initials form a commonly used abbreviation or initialism or acronym (BP/blood pressure)
-- cataloged into MT TBR in 2008; Books Off My Shelf Challenge (BOMBS) book # 29

Aug 4, 2012, 11:42am Top

I did go back to bed, and even lifted the elderly Nicky dog up to share a snuggle. The three (me, Nicky, and Greta Garbo, of course) of us were all cozy and dozing when what should I hear but the clatter and clang of the Recycling Truck! We have had a strike by the truck drivers of the garbage, recycling, and yard waste pick-up since late July. Normally we would get pick up on Wed. but the strike was not settled until after Wed. Why am I hearing the truck on Saturday, morning, early, before people get up????

After much dashing about and getting dressed quickly and putting out both mine and my neighbor's recycling.... the truck arrived. In the meantime, I'd picked up the newspaper and was reading it in the early morning sunshine (sweet!) and I read the article which explained that people who missed pick up on Wednesday would get pick up on Saturday.

All I can say is I hope people watched the news, or read the paper! I am going to call the Niece, as I know she did not.

Aug 4, 2012, 3:28pm Top

streamsong wrote: I still don't have my Office programs downloaded, so I must spend my time posting on LT instead of balancing my checkbook with Exel.

Oh, that's just terrible! What you must be suffering...

Aug 4, 2012, 4:05pm Top

Oh, fuzzi, it's a horrible burden!

So I went to the Farmer's market and the library this morning instead; I also dropped off my recycling so Karen would be happy with me. :-)

I picked up two Montana books on the library sale shelf as I thought DDad in the nursing home might be interested in reading them with me. They are both out of print, and the one I paid $3 for is actually worth about $60.00. Guess I should donate that one back to the library for the silent auction table at their yearly sale. I love book scouting.

I wish I had enough time to go back to selling rare books on the net, but without the exDH, I have more to do already than I can handle and I just don't have time for it. I'm lucky to get the lawn mown.

Which is what I'm going to do now.

Of course with a couple of good finds a month, I could get my lawn mown by someone else.........

Aug 4, 2012, 4:28pm Top

I went outside and mowed some of the yard. I'm resting, now, because the heat makes me physically ill, and I'm close to it...

Aug 4, 2012, 5:57pm Top

My lawn needs it too, but I'll not do that today. Too hot. Finished a book! 35 of 75! Now I'm going to go pick out another one to read.

Aug 6, 2012, 11:38pm Top

I loved Packing for Mars. I learned a lot from this book.

Aug 7, 2012, 9:24am Top

I'd seen great reviews on it here on LT, but Morphy's review of the audiobook pushed it over the top for me and I reserved it at the library. I see Morphy's following it up with another book or two of space memoirs mentioned in PFM. I may have to do the same, if I can get them on audio.

Edited: Aug 12, 2012, 11:02am Top

62. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinely

Twenty years after writing her landmark book, Beauty, Robin McKinley once more addressed the fairy tale in this totally separate retelling.

I read Beauty for this months reading of Morphy's Mighty Monthly Magical Reads. When several people commented on this totally different retelling, I decided to read this one, too.

The characters in this version are even more fleshed out, more fully realized than in the first version. There is much more depth to Beauty and her sisters, the Beast and even the townspeople. The castle is even more magical than the one in Beauty and more secretive. Again, there is a wonderful animal character, a cat named Fourpaws.

The first part of the book is pretty similar, but the climax and ending are completely different. We don't learn the story of the ensorcellment (see, even my vocabulary grew a bit while reading this book) until the end and it's a much darker, more complicated story complete with a very sad simulacrum who gave up her human life because she wanted the Beast to love her. And at the end, there is a wonderful, terrible choice for Beauty. Would I have made the choice she did? No. Drat--I'd love to discuss it, but unless we get into spoilers for this book, I guess I'll leave it at that.

The original Beauty is lightness and happy endings as smooth as silk. This version is more gritty, more nobbley with a more complicated ending and bit to muse on after it is over. In some ways I think this version holds truer to the old Grimm's fariy tales which always had a dark side and were not merely tales to amuse children.

I gave Beauty 3.5 stars and this one 4.

--Read as a sequel to Morphy's Mighty Magical Monthly Read.
--August TIOLI 7. Read a book someone recommended to you in the last month
--borrowed from library; cataloged into LT 2012

Aug 19, 2012, 8:51am Top

It was fun getting caught up with you this morning, Janet. Congrats on the new computer. I retired my 9-year-old HP a few weeks ago and bought a MacBook Pro. Kind of pricey but I decided to wait another year to get a new car. My kids think that is hilarious! I let my computer pro DD set mine up, too. She even added my mass of pictures by year!

Wow, that was a good find at your library book sale. I love treasure hunting, too, but I am in the dark about rare books. I just get excited when I fine one on my list.

Aug 20, 2012, 7:08pm Top

Hi Donna-- Thanks for stopping by. Book scouting is just plain fun. You win some and you lose some. And either way you end up with some interesting books. I love going through the second hand places for my personal reading, too. Only, I'm trying to limit that a bit and let MT TBR settle down to size a bit.

Edited: Aug 21, 2012, 10:19am Top

63. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

We meet our narrator, Kathy H, as a young teenager at a special boarding school for human clones created for the sole purpose of organ donation. All the clones know their purpose in life--all know they will give organs several times until they are 'completed' -- used up to the point that life is no longer viable and consciousness is gone. Gruesomely enough, these donors are then kept on life support while odds and ends continue to be harvested from them.

Most of the donor clones never question their fate. They drift toward their future completions, never questioning, never seeing that alternatives may exist. When Kathy and her beloved Tommy search for a mysterious deferal, their hopes are ambiguous at best.

The reader is left with many questions that the donors and the society that knows they exist don't ask. Why did they? Why didn't they? Why do we?

--TIOLI August #1: Read a book by a new-to-you author chosen from a list of author names generated at “Literature-Map" (Matched read)
--BOMBS challenge--Yay! this is BOMB 30 out of a goal of reading 30 books cataloged into LT before 2011. This part of the MT TBR challenge is met!
----cataloged into LT 2011 = 1 BOMB point
--new to me author, although I have previously enjoyed the move Remains of the Day (never read the book)

Aug 20, 2012, 8:29pm Top

64. Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer is a physician and humanitarian who has worked both in Rwanda after the genoicide and in Haiti before and after the earthquake.

Haiti has been marked by severe poverty, caused in part by colonialism, slavery, unequal trade agreements and even the largesse of nations wanting to help.

In January 2010, it's capital city suffered a devastating earthquake. Both government and UN offices were destroyed and workers killed, leaving a lack of coordinated disaster relief efforts. As aid poured in from dozens of countries, hundreds of NGO's and thousands of individuals, airports were jammed and necessities such as food, water, shelter and medicine failed to reach the victims. Tens of thousand died of injuries that could have been treatable, and of diseases such as cholera. Amazingly, thousands died of tetanus within the first few weeks as doctors treated patients without vaccines, antibiotics , muscle relaxants or narcotics to ease the excruciating tetanic seizures.

We're also reminded that a million people still live in temporary shelters and governments throughout the world are not coming through with the promised funds to help rebuild this shattered country. "Haitians are resilient", said one person about the disaster. "But resilience should not mean that in the rainy season they have water running between their feet in the makeshift tents."

I found this audiobook devastating and educational. I will look for more by and about Paul Farmer's aid efforts, as well as being inspired to search out my own small way of helping the poorest nation in our hemisphere.

--audiobook borrowed from library
--TIOLI #13. Read a book where the first letter of the title words can be rearranged to make a single word (HEAT)

Aug 20, 2012, 8:43pm Top

So after those two, I was in desperate need of something lighter and leaped to Dr Siri and Thirty Three Teeth before continuing on to my other reading committments.

I'm also really enjoying various short stories for one of the TIOLI challenges. I'm working on 1-2 short stories a day by a variety of authors although most of the works are from Naguib Mahfouz' book The Time and the Place for the Middle Eastern group read and two books of pioneer stories, The Hanging Tree and Unbridled Spirits.

Mostly, however, I'm enjoying my week off with my daughter until she goes back to college the end of this week. We are having lovely mother-daughter bonding time replacing fence posts. Although due to the huge amount of forest fire smoke in the air, we aren't getting a lot of that project done.

Aug 20, 2012, 8:50pm Top

Blowing some cooling air in your direction. Sorry about the smoke. I know that can be hard to cope with, especially if you physical work which needs doing.

Aug 20, 2012, 8:56pm Top

Thanks, Karen! Unfortunately since the fires are in the Washington, Oregon area, with the cooler weather, comes more smoke. We sure could use a good soak-y rain.

Aug 20, 2012, 10:37pm Top

We have not had any rain for a while, either, so I can't send any right now. I will do a little rain dancing tomorrow!

Aug 20, 2012, 11:06pm Top

Glad you enjoyed Rose Daughter--it was interesting how 20 years later, McKinley is no longer willing to buy into the "happily ever after" tropes, wasn't it? Have you read Lackey's The Fire Rose, probably her best fairy tale retelling?

Edited: Aug 21, 2012, 1:43am Top

Karen, are you smoke free? I'm thinking perhaps the fires are west of you.

Roni--thanks for stopping in! I've read several Mercedes Lackey books at my daughter's recommendation, but not that one. Sounds very interesting--not sure if I can manage a 3rd B&tB right now, but I've definitely put it on my spreadsheet of books to keep in mind--and I'll run right over to the group read to see if anyone else has read it!

ETA--I still wasn't happy with the ending of Rose Daughter.

****Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers***
My feeling was that the Beast was not happy being a Beast (although he had learned to make the best of it) and I would not have wanted to choose to trap him as a Beast forever. There had to be a third choice in there somewhere. I'm a firm believer that if two choices exist, others do, too.

Aug 21, 2012, 8:37am Top

>49 streamsong: - nope. I am just a short ways east of I-5 at Everett. It takes me 40 minutes to drive to Seattle. No fires around here to speak of... all in Eastern Washington, the big one near Cle Elm is just east of the summit at Snoqualmie. Very sad to see so many people harmed.

We are having cool, clear, and comfortable weather.

Aug 21, 2012, 1:31pm Top

Haiti After the Earthquake looks interesting. Checking my public library to see if they have it. If not, it will go on my ILL list.

Aug 22, 2012, 4:28pm Top

Thanks for sending the cooler weather and rain, Karen. We had a few brief episodes of pouring rain as well as spectacular lightning storm last night. I'm not sure if all the smoke in the sky just illuminated the lightning differently, or if the strikes were actually different because of the smoke, but the streaks of lightning went sideways through the sky (parallel to the ground).

Thanks for stopping by, thornton 37814. I noticed in the reviews for Haiti After the Earthquake several people mentioned a biography about author Paul Farmer called Mountains Beyond Mountains. That one also sounds interesting to me.

Edited: Aug 22, 2012, 4:49pm Top

65. No picture available for the edition I have. Second Corinthians (People's Bible Commentary) by David J. Valleskey

Here is my explanation for my Bible reading copied from my previous thread:

"This year I've taken the challenge to read my Bible completely through in a year. It's something I've never done. I've started to do it several times but gotten bogged down in the lists and begats of the Old Testament and petered out. But when a group here at LT committed to doing it, I found the following scheme which really appeals to me: http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html

The Bible is divided up into groups of books: Epistles/Law/History/Psalms/Poetry/Prophecy/Gospel. Each day you read from a different section. So far this is keeping me from bogging down.

And to make it more complicated, I decided to read a commentary series I have (People's Bible Commentary from Concordia Publishing) along with the daily reading. This series is a bit over 40 books. A good number of these are unread; some have been read several times, some partially read and discarded. If I'm successful, it will get a large number of books off MT TBR (although there are several I will have to buy to fill in the series)."

I've sort of petered out with this project. Reading the commentaries has broadened my understanding, but slowed my reading speed. I'm way off pace, as I'm just beginning the readings for week 21. In addition, this commentary series (published by the Lutheran Concordia Publishing House) is a bit more literal than my faith which makes it somewhat less inspirational for me. I am also relying on a Teaching Company series on Paul by Luke Timothy Johnson to get me through the Pauline letters.

I'll be finishing II Samuel and Job very soon, with Jeremiah finished shortly afterwards. Hopefully the change in considering several new books will spur me back to my study. I'll keep picking away at it and even if not done this year, I'll eventually get the project done.

--Book from MT TBR; This is book # 31/30 of my BOMBS challenge.
--Added into LT 2006 = 6 points for my BOMBS point challenge.

Edited: Aug 22, 2012, 7:00pm Top

66. Thirty Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill

This is the second of the Dr Siri Paiboun mystery series, set in Laos in the 1970's, soon after the take over by the Communist regime. As before, seventy plus year old Siri as the National Coroner --and possibly only Coroner left in Laos -- solves several mysterious deaths (this time involving puppets, the former King and wild beasts roaming the city) with the help the help of a thousand year old shamanic spirit reincarnated in Siri.

Good mysteries, great characters written with wit, and an interesting look into Laotian culture at a time when westerners no longer had access to the country. Fun and light. I'll be continuing with this series.

4 stars

--TIOLI August #4: Read a book where the Title either begins with the same letter as the one above or ends with the same letter, alternating (shared read)
--library book - entered into LT catalog 2012

Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 10:20am Top

I've gotten way behind on my book reviews, although I'm keeping up with the lists, statistics and tickers at the top of my thread.

Here is my August reading:

62. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley - (library)
63. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - (MT TBR)
64. Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer - audiobook - (library)
65. Second Corinthians (People's Bible Commentary) by David J Valleskey- (MT TBR)
66. Thirty Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill - (library)

and the reviewless ones from the last part of August:

67. Samuel by John R Mittelstaedt - (MT TBR)
68. The Hanging Tree by Dorothy M. Johnson - (MT TBR)
69. Job by Rudolph E. Honsey - (owned--reread)
70. The Time and the Place by Naguib Mahfouz - (sort of MT TBR--DD used for a class)

To get myself to dig deeper into the stacks of the oldies on the shelf, I created a BOMBS point challenge for myself:

Sep 2, 2012, 10:34am Top

I really enjoyed the short story challenge in the August TIOLI!

I read 41 short stories including two books in their entirety --The Hanging Tree, a book of classic western fiction by Montana author Dorothy M Johnson and The Time and the Place by Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz.

In addition, I read two of the original Sherlock short stories, as well as stories by Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, Mari Sandoz, O. Henry, Jack London, and some recently published by Montana authors. I think I counted 12 different authors in all.

I don't think of myself as a short story enthusiast, but I will try to get at least the book that was my next highest number of stories read, Unbridled Spirits: Short Fiction About Women in the Old West by Judy Alter in September.

I have soooooo many books partially read right now. I would like to get several of them finished up this month.

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

71. Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst

This was a choice for the RL book club.

Author Alan Furst has invented a niche--that of the historical spy novel. This one, which focuses on Greece as it is being invaded by Italy and Germany during WWll is number 11 of his 'Night Soldiers' series.

Costa Zannis is a police detective in Salonika, Greece in the early 1940's at the time when Hitler and Mussolini are invading the Balkans.

Zannis is drawn into an underground system helping Jewish refugees and political figures flee. He does this brilliantly. Beautiful women fall at his feet in love with him.

As I said in a previous post, the historical facts are wonderful; I learned a lot about a theater of WWll I was unfamaliar with. The book is well-enough crafted and fast paced, but seems to me to be standard spy stuff. Nice little twist at the end.

3.5 stars

--Read for Library Brown Bag Book Club
--September sequels and series
--cataloged into LT 2012

Sep 3, 2012, 10:48am Top

I am a big fan of Alan Furst and his historical novels.

Sep 3, 2012, 11:31am Top

Hi Karen--thanks for stopping by.

While I didn't enjoy it enough to immediately look for others in the series, I did enjoy the historical aspects enough to pick up more in the series as I find them at sales, etc. My understanding is that while a few characters have cameo appearances in other books, they are pretty much stand alone volumes. Is that how you see it? Do you have any favorites I should especially look for?

Speaking of sequels, I hope to finally read Twisting the Rope this month for the September series and sequels thread. I've ordered a copy from Amazon.

Sep 3, 2012, 11:39am Top

Looks very interesting. I just can not add one more book to my piles, and piles, of TBR books.

Sep 3, 2012, 10:02pm Top

I think that your reason is a perfectly good one for not liking the ending. Had the Beast been perfectly content, the resolution stands up, but if HE is not, then messing with the ending just to flout convention is pointless.

I'm also enjoying the Dr. Siris--I have the fourth here from the library to read for September Series and Sequels.

I hope you enjoy Twisting the Rope--it is not the perfect little gem that I find Tea with the Black Dragon, but still an interesting story.

Sep 5, 2012, 9:30pm Top

Catching up on your thread, good job!

As far as your commentary reading, would you be interested in trying some Warren Wiersbe? I have some of his works on the shelves and would be happy to share!

Sep 5, 2012, 10:07pm Top

Janet, I have been ignoring the TIOLI short story challenge. I have to be in a certain mood (or traveling) in order to enjoy short stories. They just seem so...short...almost to the point of being incomplete. I like them better if they are connected in some way so I can read them like a novel...but that's just me. ;-)

I do want to encourage you to read Mountains Beyond Mountains. Tracy Kidder is a talented nonfiction writer who does his research and stays out of the way when he tells the story. He did a wonderful job on the Haiti book.

Sep 8, 2012, 10:26am Top

Hey Karen--boy do I understand about the tbr piles!

And I seem to be in a bit of a reading funk, which is not helping the piles, as they keep growing. I think four weeks of forest fire smoke is getting to me. My eyes are constantly a bit sore and I have a bit of a headache all the time, too--and it just seems to be more tiring to do things. Not to mention the decreased light levels all day long, but especially in the mornings and evenings.

Thanks for stopping by, Roni! Twisting the Rope has not yet arrived in my mail box. That's OK since I really want to get done with an ER book I've been picking at for months, as well as a couple other books I have started. I am feeling a bit pressured by 4 ILL books sitting here, too. Ack--it's just too easy to request ILL books online!

fuzzi, thanks for you gracious offer. I have most of the commentaries in the People's Bible Commentaries series I'm reading. I think there are 44 books and I have about 40 of them. I may check with you when I get to one of my 'holes' and see if you have a spare for that book. These commentaries are 10-15 pages for Biblical chapter. Fascinating, but not fast. :-) At the beginning of the year when I started this, I thought about getting all those TBR's quickly off my shelf. Heehee.

Hi Donaa--nice to see you visit. I don't think of myself as a short story reader either. I think the randomness of the stories I read last month was part of the key. This month I am trying to finish up a book of short stories that I started last month and am not enjoying it as much as the previous random approach.

Sep 8, 2012, 5:37pm Top

Janet, look up Warren Wiersbe and see his commentaries: they're not huge, at all. They have titles like Be Loyal, Be Free, Be Joyful, etc. and each one is about one book of the Bible.

The offer stands, just let me know. :)

Sep 8, 2012, 7:47pm Top

Like fuzzi, I have read most of the Wiersbe commentaries. They are extremely readable.

Sep 8, 2012, 7:50pm Top

I am way behind on threads, Janet. Sorry to have missed yours for so long!

Sep 9, 2012, 11:37am Top

Lor and Lori thanks for stopping by and for the recommendations for Warren Wiersbe. I looked at his series of commentaries and will check into them more as I hit a few of my holes in the commentary series I am reading.

Stacia --good to see you. I know you're busy with your classes! I'm also way behind on threads.

I believe we have clouds on the other side of the smoke today. It's much darker and a bit of a storm is forecast. Some rain would be lovely! I'm afraid the fires in Idaho's wilderness won't be out until the snow falls, but some rain here in the valley would wash the air for a bit and be a blessing!

Sep 9, 2012, 1:11pm Top

Well, dear friend, the cooler weather has arrived over Seattle. Perhaps it will be coming your way, with maybe some clouds with some, maybe, rain.....

Sep 9, 2012, 11:15pm Top

72. Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy

I read this with some of the other 75'ers in honor of Maeve Binchy's passing.

This is chick lit. It is sweet and gentle with not much high drama except as it occurs in the hearts of wonderful characters. Bad things happen to good people--but better things are in store for them. Bad things happen to bad people, or sometimes, their hearts thaw a bit.

Only the second book by Binchy that I've read, I was pleased to see characters from the previous book, Night of Rain and Stars make appearances.

3.5 stars

--audiobook --unabridged--11 hours!
--librarybook cataloged into LT in 2012
--started as part of August TIOLI challenge, but didn't finish it in time for it count.

Edited: Sep 14, 2012, 1:29pm Top

Scariness: After about a month of living in smoke from wildfires in the Idaho wilderness, our own little lightning fire on the mountain just west of town blew up Monday from 300 to 3000 acres. On Monday the town had burned pine needles, pine cones and bark raining down all day long. Air quality is rated very unhealthy. The fire is within just a couple miles of town.

They've called for a lot more evacuations today as it's supposed to be 'extreme fire weather' today--hot, windy, dry.

Incident map: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3227/

Good news: No homes lost so far. I should be safe. I'm just a couple miles due East of the fire but there is a river (very low) and a highway between it and me.

Sep 14, 2012, 12:43pm Top

Goodness! Hope everything gets better soon!

Sep 14, 2012, 5:42pm Top

How're YOU doing, with all those particles in the air? I'd have bronchitis for sure!

Sep 14, 2012, 6:11pm Top

Hi! I apparently lost your thread at some point. I'm WAAAAAAY behind and I don't know how that happened! Quick comments though. I, too, recently read Beauty and Rose Daughter and I was amused at how similar the beginnings were and how different the endings were. I think I enjoyed Beauty better while reading it because I read it first. But I found the ending of Rose Daughter much more satisfying. I loved Fire Rose as well, by the way.

Sep 14, 2012, 10:29pm Top

I know all about wildfires, here in San Diego County. We hit 105 today and have several fires going as well--fire season is definitely here! Here's best wishes for your continued safety and prayers that they are able to contain the fire quickly.

Edited: Sep 15, 2012, 12:11pm Top

Thanks for stopping by Jim, Lor, Rachel and Roni! And thanks for the good thoughts about the fire. The predicted winds did not appear yesterday--in part because the smoke is so thick that a temperature inversion occurred.

It's so dark outside that it seems like a huge storm should break any minute and lights are needed indoors all day long. The Health Department bounces the air quality ratings between 'very unhealthy' and 'hazardous'.

These are the sort of fires that will take (as the FS people say) a snow event in the mountains to put out. There isn't so much as a single cloud predicted in the next week so we may be looking at the middle of October/beginning of November.

Photo from KPAX news:

Sep 15, 2012, 11:57am Top

73. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams

This is a satiric romp where impossible things happen: a couch gets stuck in a place it could never have been to begin with, a Cambridge don does unexplainable magic tricks during a banquet in homor of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a horse shows up in an upper floor bathroom with an electric monk who has been designed to believe the unbelievable.

“Sherlock Holmes observed that once you have eliminated the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.” - Dirk Gently (also known as Svlad Cjelli).

I've never been able to get through the Hitchhiker series. I love Adams' individual thoughts. Bits of this story like the electric monk really make me smile, but sometimes I feel I'm in the middle of a whirlwind of ideas and have trouble fitting all the pieces together.

And that's the beauty of a group read. This was the September selection for Morphidae's monthly fantasy read. I had about 70 pages to go and was beginning to flounder. But after her post, I read to the Wikipedia article and things went 'click'. I loved the rest of the novel.

I didn't know that Adams had written a couple of Doctor Who episodes. I've added City of Death to my Netflix queue. (They don't have the serial Shada--at least not on DVD). Some of the tricks in this book seemed hackneyed to me--the anomaly of phones in a time machine working--yup, I knew that the TARDIS always worked that way. Now I'm wondering if Adams invented that and the current Who is giving a nod in his direction, or if that bit has always been part of the TARDIS cannon and Adams was giving a nod toward Who. Anyone know?

It's fascinating to think that this is the ground breaking beginning of a style and ideas that seem over used now. Guess that's why this is in the 1001 Books.

Although I borrowed a copy of this from the library, I guess I'll need to get my own copy of this one. 4 stars.

This book was part of:
--Morphy's Magical Monthly Read
--September TIOLI
--1001 Books to Read Before You Die
--borrowed from library--cataloged into LT 2012

Sep 15, 2012, 12:45pm Top

From Maggie1944's thread:

It's international book week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence as your status. Don't mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your status.

My status: "But she had found a way".

I like that :-)

Edited: Sep 22, 2012, 12:08pm Top

74. Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh

A bumbling but well meaning family of British ex-pats runs a thermal hot spings/mud bath resort in New Zealand. Besides the family, there are several semi-permanent guests and they are joined by a well known actor and his small entourage.

This was a contemporary novel in 1943 when it was published. The plot revolves around a possible spy sending Morse code messages causing ships carrying needed war supples to be blown up soon after leaving the harbor. Or perhaps the code flashes involve a plot to steal Maori artifacts since the signalling occurs on a mountain sacred to the Maori that is off-limits to non-Maori.

Eventually there is a murder--or perhaps not since the boiling mud pots don't easily give up their dead.

Roderick Alleyn of Scotland Yard sorts it all out in a classic all-suspects-in-the-room-type reveal. It kept me guessing and I did not have it solved.

Living close to Yellowstone, I enjoyed the setting in a geyser basin on the other side of the world.

I was uncomfortable with the casual racism aimed at the Maori who are depicted as superstitious children (even the ones, who the ex-pats say, are good servants and take Communion regularly). Some of extremes by the ex-pat British were perhaps there to illustrate the snobbery; but even the most empathetic whites had little regard for the Maori.

Ngaio Marsh is one of many classic mystery writers that I haven't read and so I picked this one up at a library sale in 2008.

The style is quite different. Over half the book occurs before the possible murder happens. This makes the beginning rather slow, but leads to much more character development. The reader becomes part of a group of people who all know each other and try to determine the guilty party within the group rather than the more contemporary meme of having the murder occur right away and a detective who knows no one sort through evidence.

This is book number 11 of a series of 32. The first book of the series was published in 1934--the last in 1982. Think of the history that occurred while this series was being written! It would be fun to read more in the series and see how plots and Inspector Roderick Alleyn changed over this almost 50 year interval.

3.5 stars. A good, solid mystery with somewhat dated writing (not to mention one character who insisted on speaking 40's New Zealand slang). I would pick up others in the series if they come my way, but will not actively seek them out.

--September series and sequels
--Livied on MT TBR since 2008--BOMBS challenge #34

Sep 27, 2012, 12:40am Top

Hang in there....only one more book and you've accomplished the goal of 75 books this year!

Sep 28, 2012, 9:26am Top

Hi Karen--thanks for stopping by! Actually, I'm there with the 75--but I haven't gotten my last few reviews on my thread.

Arrrgh--It is the annual library book sale this week. You pile your treasures up and it is $1 an inch--which makes most books cost about a dollar. I spent $26 including 5 audiobooks. Saturday is bag day when you can fill up a bag for $2. (Must be strong, must not go back!!!!!)

Must learn how to speed read!

Sep 28, 2012, 1:51pm Top

The book sale here is usually not very good. Someone told me that the reason for that is that they allow the book dealers to go in before the public. That's just not right.

Sep 28, 2012, 2:45pm Top

You're right, that's just not fair.

At this sale, volunteers are allowed to choose one book before the doors open to anyone.

When the sale opens there are dealers lined up--lots of pushing and elbows when the door opens. There are some bookdealers who are incredibly obnoxious in their scramble to be first. When the ex and I were book-scouting we saw a lot of that. Of course there are nice polite dealers, too, at sales, but they tend to get mistaken for 'real people' so the worst of the worst give all dealers a bad name.

This year I went on the first night, but a couple hours after the doors opened and picked up books and series that I wanted to read. The dealers were pretty much done so the aisles weren't crowded--just friendly people commenting to each other about the authors they were looking for. I saw one 'dealer pile' with two floor-to-ceiling stacks of boxes --maybe 20 boxes total. Large pile as this is a very small town library.

Sep 28, 2012, 5:13pm Top

I would think that the public, aka taxpayers, would be given the same opportunities as the dealers.

Sep 28, 2012, 5:36pm Top

I imagine the library administration is attempting to supplement their budgets as much as possible and by giving the dealers first go they get the dealers to come to the sale, in large numbers evidently. If they had no preferential treatment perhaps they would not be willing to spend their time for unpredictable returns.

Sep 28, 2012, 7:02pm Top

It's just a shame they can't be let in at just the same time as everyone else. There are better book sales elsewhere anyway. I think the great used bookstores in our area that use trade do damage to library book sale donations anyway. I know I take mine for trade value!

Sep 29, 2012, 10:48am Top

Yes, trade value is wonderful. Having a credit at a bookstore makes me feel rich. :-)

I use PBS and Bookmooch, but sometimes getting things packed and mailed is a hassle (not to mention expensive if you are shipping a lot plus you are earning credits for more books which isn't the best way for me to cut down numbers).

I really like the idea of sending books to betterworldbooks.com but haven't actually sent any to them yet.

Edited: Sep 29, 2012, 11:40am Top

75. Blind Your Ponies by Stanley G West

Willow Creek Montana is a small town that can just barely put together a high school basketball team of five boys. Even though the team hasn't won for years and has 93 straight losses, it's the basketball team that makes the townspeople come together during the dark winter nights.

But this year could be different.

There's an uncoordinated 6'11 Norwegian exchange student who has never played basketball and another boy escaping the wreckage of his parents' marriage who comes to town to live with his one armed hippy grandmother. They join the team--the kid who wants to ride bulls in rodeos to escape his drunken father and those who have played their whole high school career without a single win.

The characters and the town itself have detailed interesting back stories including the coach and English teacher Sam Pickett; his assistant coach, Diane; the three legged tomcat that becomes the team mascot, and the bicycle built for two left on the steps of the local cafe thirty years ago.

Packed into a decrepit bus dubbed Rozinante after Don Quixote's nag, the team sets off to tilt at windmills once more.

This was the 2011 book chosen for the One Book Montana statewide read sponsored by Humanities Montana and the choice for my book club in September.

Author Stanley G West self-published this book. His story of the success of this book is much like the story he tells here. He sold this book store to store from the back of his car and when he had sold 40,000 copies, he overcame the impossible and Algoinquin finally picked it up. West has since published other books and had one made into a made-for-TV movie.

This is a great feel good book about dealing with adversity and overcoming impossible odds. The characters are very well done--they are people I have known living in small town Montana. West really captures the small town atmosphere and spirit.


I think an editor could have taken this from being a regional sensation to a really good book. At 600 pages, it's very wordy. There are play by play descriptions of a dozen or so basketball games which all but the most dedicated basketball fans will find themselves skimming.

3.8 stars

--September Library Brown Bag Read (RL book club)
--September TIOLI challenge #13: Read a Book About a Sport Played in Summer (including summer Olympic sports)
--cataloged into LT 2012

Edited: Sep 29, 2012, 3:12pm Top

76. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

Due to a blizzard, Dr. David Henry delivers his pregnant wife with only the aid of his nurse. A healthy little boy is followed by a daughter with Down Syndrome. Because of his own unhealed childhood wounds with a sister with Down Syndrome, Dr. Henry gives the baby to his nurse to take to a home for mentally challenged individuals. He tells his wife that the baby girl was dead at birth. The nurse decides to keep and raise the little girl as her own. A secret this large changes them all.

By the over 11,000 copies here on LT, you can tell this book made a big splash when it came out several years ago. Nevertheless, I didn't find much meat here.

3 stars

--Books Off My Book Shelves (BOMBS) challenge #36. I purchased a copy in 2011 but listened to a library copy of the audiobook.
--September TIOLI #12. Read a book that has been on your TBR pile for at least six months--with a buddy who has also had the book on their TBR pile for at least six months!

Sep 29, 2012, 3:34pm Top

I felt the same way about The Memory Keeper's Daughter. So many bad choices and what was it all for?

Sep 29, 2012, 3:42pm Top

Blind Your Ponies sounds interesting...thanks for the review. :)

Sep 29, 2012, 4:52pm Top

I agree Blind Your Ponies sounds like a book someoe like me, who love Ivan Doig's work, might like it very much. It is going to the WL right now.

Sep 30, 2012, 10:28am Top

Rachel--yes, totally. In the last few chapters, great changes happen to the characters (divorce, death, loss of a girlfriend, revelation of the daughter) and yet they don't seem to affect the characters in any deep way. And I expected the 16 yo pregnant girl who shows up in the middle of the book to be a catalyst...... only she wasn't and she eventually wandered off, too. It was an interesting premise, but nothing that wasn't forgetable after I finished it.

Lor and Karen--Blind Your Ponies is a good, fun read. I loved the characters, although the ending is pretty predictable. At the book club, I said it reminded me of a s'more. There's chocolate inside, but I would have preferred less of the marshmallow fluffy wordiness.

Edited: Sep 30, 2012, 10:52am Top

77. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

I decided to read this after Rachel mentioned she had read The Complete Persepolis.

It was my first foray into graphic novels/memoirs (other than the stray manga or two my kids thought I should read). Loved it! It's author Marjane Satrapi's memoir of childhood in Iran during the Revolution. She was a direct descendant of the Shah of Persia (regime prior to Shaw of Iran) and had a politically active extended family. The drawings and story line had more subtlety and than I expected. A quick read--yes, but one I won't forget.

I've been debating whether to order Persepolis II through my library (it's the only other in the series available through my library system), or just ordering myself a copy of the omnibus as a present.

4.5 stars

--Reading Globally--Middle East challenge
--September Series and sequels challenge
--book from library; entered into LT catalog 2012 (IOW notabomb)

Edited: Sep 30, 2012, 7:32pm Top

I liked the first half of the omnibus a lot better than the second half. I would recommend reading it from the library just in case. You may love it as much as the first volume, I don't know!

Edited: Oct 3, 2012, 9:30am Top

Thanks for the comment, Rachel. I read a sizable part of #2 online at Amazon and think I agree.

Here's the summary of what I read in September. I think the forest fire smoke (a continuous month of unhealthy, very unhealthy and hazardous air quality; photo in post 76) left me reading much less and much fluffier. I also finished **most** of a book of short stories. It's not fun to read with the constant headaches and eye irritation of the smoke. Although the fires are nowhere close to being out or contained, the smoke is much less the last few days.


71. Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst
72. Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy - audiobook
73. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
74. Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh
75. Blind Your Ponies by Stanley G West
76. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards - audiobook
77. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Oct 3, 2012, 9:33am Top

And my summary through the first 3 quarters:

SUMMARY of Books read through September 30th--3 quarters of the way through

78 - Books Read
36 - Books Read from the towering MT TBR (owned 2011 or before)
20 - Books from library or borrowed
66 - Total number of books acquired this year (not necessarily read, but total number newly owned by me): bought, gifts, trade, followed me home, ER (everything but library and online) as of 10/02/2012

39 - Fiction
34- Non-Fiction
2 - Books of Short Stories
1- graphic non-fiction
2 - Other (plays, poetry,)

59 - Dead Tree Books
18 - Audiobooks
1- online (haven't made the plunge into ebooks yet)

45 - Male Authors
33 -Female Authors

51 - Authors that are new to me
22 - Authors I have previously enjoyed
5 - Rereads

Nationality of Author:
49 - USA
1 - Canada
14 - England
1 - Egypt
1 - France
1 - Germany
1- India
1- Iran
2 - Ireland
2 - New Zealand
1 - Tibet

Birthplace or residence of Author if different from nationality:

2 - China
1- Dominican Republic
1- France
1 - Germany
1 - Japan
1 - Lebanon
4- Southeast Asia
1- USA

Book Originally Published in:
1 - Arabic
72 - English
2 - French
1 - German
2 -? (Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World; Inheritance of Loss)


Of the books I've read this year:
14 - cataloged into LT 2006 or before
3 - cataloged into LT 2007
7 - cataloged into LT 2008
__ cataloged into LT 2009
__ cataloged into LT 2010
16 - cataloged into LT 2011
3 - acquired previously but uncataloged until 2012 (have lots of these!)
36 - acquired 2012 (including those from library)

Oct 3, 2012, 4:17pm Top

Great job, streamsong. And good stats, too!

Oct 3, 2012, 6:24pm Top

omg, I completely missed your hitting book #75! Congratulations on breezing past the 75 book mark!

Edited: Oct 3, 2012, 10:58pm Top

Hi Karen and Roni and thanks for stopping by and the congrats. I am on target to complete 100 books this year, which ismy ultimate goal.

That, and getting some more off MT TBR.

Oct 3, 2012, 11:13pm Top

78. Peony in Love by Lisa See

Finished my first (accidental) book with a Halloween theme. I had no idea this was a ghost-y story--although definitely not creepy.

Peony is a 17th century 16 year old Chinese girl who dies of lovesickness after inadvertantly meeting her fiance during a peformance of the Chinese opera, The Peony Pavillion. Because of a slip up by her family, she travels the afterlife as a hungry ghost affecting the lives of family and acquaintances.

I really enjoyed this trip through the Chinese afterlife. I also enjoyed learning a bit about the 15th century classic opera, The Peony Pavillion. I did a bit of research on it and now have a two hour version of it on my Netflix list. (The original is some 18 hours long and was performed over several days).

4 stars for an interesting Chinese historical novel.

--A light Chinese read that I may or may not mention on the Reading Globally-China quarterly read thread. Lisa See is an ex-pat descendant who grew up in the American Chinese culture and has won several awards for her novels. I listened to her novel Shanghai Girls earlier this year.
--Oct TIOLI # 4. Read a book about China and neighbouring countries
--purchased from the recent Library sale so added to LT in 2012

Oct 4, 2012, 7:03am Top

Hello streamsong,
very good reviews up there, I definately will complete to read The Memory Keeper's Daughter - most of my friends thought it was a beautiful book, but your review shed's a different light on it. So, I am even more curious now :)

Oct 4, 2012, 9:04pm Top

I totally missed your 75 book achievement! Congratulations. :)

Edited: Oct 6, 2012, 11:16am Top

Hi Bianca--Thanks for stopping by. I'll be interested to hear what you have to say about the Memory Keeper's Daughter when you read it, but there's absolutely no hurry. I hate to say too much because of spoilers but to me it seemed a bit of a morality play. So possible spoiler below:
Make a good but hard choice and though life is tough, her life is good and filled with love. Make a bad choice and run from it, build walls, keep running,and he and his family suffer. Twenty-five years pass and the guy doesn't learn a thing.

Hey Lor--thanks for dropping by and the congratulations. I'll try to get to 100 books this year. I think you're already at that number, (or very close), right?

Oct 6, 2012, 11:40am Top

Congrats on passing the 75 book mark!

Oct 7, 2012, 11:42am Top

Thank you tymfos, and thanks for stopping by.

Oct 7, 2012, 12:09pm Top

79. Strawgirl by Abigail Padgett

This is the second in the Bo Bradley mystery series.

Bo Bradley is a worker with the Child Protective Services. As such, the mysteries revolve around child abuse and death--a very hard topic to read about. However Bo Bradley is also bipolar. And, in my experience, she gives a pretty realistic view of this disorder. There is also at least one strong Native American character in the two books I have read so far.

In Strawgirl Bo Bradley investigates a case of child abuse and murder. She must weave her way through the media onslaught which is decrying the murder as Satanic activity. She must also protect the dead child's sister both from the predator, and from the CPS bureaucracy which sometimes seems more focused on following rules than the mental health of the child.

There was an odd bit of deja vu when Bo Bradley hides from the bad guy in a cave until help arrives. This scenario also occurred in the first book in the series.

Nevertheless, even with its faults, I saw myself in Bo's loved ones who are annoyingly hypervigilant about scanning her for symptoms of mania. I will continue to read this series for its depiction of bipolar and its portrayal of a strong protragonist dealing successfully with mental illness.

3.5 stars

--I had hoped to read this as part of the September's series and sequels reads but just got to it now.
--library book entered in LT 2012 (notabomb from MT TBR)

Oct 7, 2012, 4:56pm Top


Oct 8, 2012, 9:21am Top

Thank you, Jim and thanks for stopping by.

Edited: Oct 8, 2012, 9:59am Top

80. Unbridled Spirits: Short Fiction About Women in the Old West edited by Judy Alter

In the introduction to this book, Judy Alter writes that her purpose was to pull together stories of women on the American western frontier that did not conform to the western stereotypes of women--ie the sweet school marm, the soiled dove with the heart of gold, etc. In fact some of these stories do echo those stereotypes,but others are unique. We meet Native American women and Californio washer women; farm wives, prostitutes and misplaced gentry. Some of the stories sentimental and romantic, some tragic showing the harsh realities of the old west.

The first section begins with several selections from three classic women western writers, including a short non-fiction essay by each: Mary Hallock Foote, Willa Cather, and Dorothy M Johnson. The second section has stories by other women western writers; the third section is stories of women by men authors. The male authors are icons in the field: O Henry, Owen Wister (author of The Virginian), Jack London, 1800's Sioux physician and author Charles Eastman, Jack Schaeffer (author of Shane), Elmore Kelton who turned from writing westerns to thrillers after the explosion of what he considered poorly written westerns and more.

Although I have enjoyed pioneer memoirs and fiction, I have never considered myself an affecionado of westerns. Many of these shorts were my first encounter with iconic author's works. I came away impressed, both by the authors and this collection.

while I do think it was logical to start this collection with Mary Hallock Foote's stories as she is the earliest of the three notable women highlighted, her stories were the weakest. Written in the flowery prose from the late 1800's-early 1900's, a browser picking up this book and sampling the first few stories could well set the book back down. I know that's what would have happened to me. As it was, I read these in random order in a short story challenge and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

4 stars

--various TIOLI short story challenges
--been living on MT TBR since a Library sale in 2008; BOMBS challenge

Oct 8, 2012, 10:07am Top

This user has been removed as spam.

Edited: Oct 8, 2012, 10:31am Top

Please help me bomb the above spammer!!!!!!!!!--message 111

Oct 8, 2012, 10:13am Top


Oct 8, 2012, 10:39am Top

Thanks calm and anyone else helping out!

The books I'm currently actively reading:

Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig LTER
Great World Religions: Judaism The Teaching Company - Isaiah M Gafni - audiobook in the car
A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization by Brian Griffith LTER
Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell MT TBR since 2008

I'm suprising myself by how much I'm enjoying Gothic Tales, the first work I've read by Elizabeth Gaskell. The gentle Victorian scare is a long way from modern horror which makes it great Halloween reading for me. For example, in 'The Grey Woman', a bride is taken to a remote castle where she finds her new husband is the leader of a band of outlaws and murderers.

Oct 8, 2012, 3:15pm Top


Oct 8, 2012, 3:47pm Top

Thank you, Roni! It's gone. Hopefully that user will be gone very soon, too!

Oct 8, 2012, 7:31pm Top

(110) Looks interesting...

...fwiw, Louis L'Amour's westerns are not filled with stereotypical women (whores and fainting dolls), but strong and capable ones who handle what life hands them, including some who have Native American and other 'minority' heritage. If you ever want to read one, my favorite is Conagher. Give it a try. :)

Oct 8, 2012, 10:04pm Top

What's up with these spamers? Do they randomly choose threads?

Creepy, down right creepy!

Oct 9, 2012, 9:08am Top

Hi fuzzi--Louis L'Amour was my ex's favorite author so I've read a few of his books. I have his Education of a Wandering Man and I'll probably get to that one day.

Beats me with the spammers. In this case, I think they hit several of us who had just posted and then disappeared into the sunrise.

Edited: Oct 20, 2012, 1:41pm Top

81. Exodus People's Bible Commentary by Ernst H Wendland

The second book of the Bible; the second book of Law. I read this commentary as part of the project I started in January to read through the entire Christian Bible with commentaries.

As I've said in earlier posts, the schema I'm using has the Bible books divided up into Law, History, Pslams, Poetry, Prophecy, Gospels and Epistles rotating through all the catagories a few chapters at a time. For me this is a good way to keep on reading and not being bogged down in the mind numbing bits.

I'm finding the People's Bible Commentary from Concordia Publishing House (Lutheran) to be readable and thorough, although some passages are taken much more literally than I believe. These commentaries do not follow my rotating schema, but fit with it nicely.

I'm nearing the halfway mark on this project.

I believe I have read this book before (can't tell you the number of times I've started in Genesis determined to slog my way through from front to back and, uh, given up somewhere in the middle). So I am not counting this commentary in my BOMBS challenge from MT TBR.

I'm trying to live a quote I read in Jon Acuff's blog 'Stuff Chrisitians Like', in which he said that in order to finish projects, one has to learn to be excellent at the middles. The excitement at the beginning and end take care of themselves--most people drop out in the middle.

Edited: Oct 20, 2012, 1:21pm Top

82. The Bartender’s Tale by Ivan Doig LT ER

Given to relatives to be raised when he was just a baby, Rusty was reclaimed by his father, Tom Harry, just before he started school. Tom, who first appeared as a bartender in Doig’s book, Bucking the Sun, takes him to the tiny Montana town of Gros Ventre where Tom spends most of his waking hours as the owner and proprietor of the Medicine Lodge Bar. There Rusty and his father form a loving if unconventional family. Rusty grows up in the back room of the bar, making balsa wood airplane models on a desk next to a hidden air vent which allows him to hear the outpourings of the patrons as they unload to the hard listening bar tender.

But in the summer of 1960 in Rusty’s 12th year, changes arrive. A feisty new girl, Zoe, arrives in town and becomes Rusty’s best friend and co-conspirator in adventure. Del appears with the intention of recording the oral history of the 1930’s construction of the Fort Peck Dam and needs Tom to help unlock the stories from the New Deal boomtowns that sprang up along the reservoir’s banks. Then a taxi dancer (pay for dances by the minute, just like a taxi) from those days appears at the Medicine Lodge presenting Tom with a previously unheard of daughter.

Although I found the first half of this book somewhat slow, the second half picks up quite a bit as changes come to Rusty. It’s a wonderful coming-of-age story as Rusty finds out that his father and the adult world are more complex than childhood experiences allow and that even in small town life stories go deep.

As always, Doig’s characters pop into life in three dimensions with Doig’s rich prose as Doig tells a tale that you’ll remember.

4.0 stars

Oct 20, 2012, 3:17pm Top

I'm trying to live a quote I read in Jon Acuff's blog 'Stuff Chrisitians Like', in which he said that in order to finish projects, one has to learn to be excellent at the middles. The excitement at the beginning and end take care of themselves--most people drop out in the middle.

Oh, I like that. So true!

Oct 23, 2012, 4:54am Top

Just stopping by to wish you a good reading week. *wave*

Oct 24, 2012, 8:49am Top

Hi Lor; Hey Bianca--good to see you both. Thanks for stopping by. **waves back**.

I'm currently reading The Prince by Machiavelli for my book club tomorrow. I remember having to read it in high school and thoroughly disliking it. Well, we read excerpts. On nasty mimeographed pages (anyone remember those?)

It's an interesting read here in the middle of the political season, but not one I'd choose for myself. Luckily, it's short. I didn't start it until Sunday and book club is tomorrow. I was really on the fence about reading it and then decided I liked my book club enough to do so--so now I'm having to gulp it down.

Our book club will be making our choices for next year's reading very soon. I plan on suggesting Garden of Evening Mists since it's gotten good reviews here on LT and should make some interesting discussion. I also will suggest Timothy Egan's new book Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher the biography of photographer Edward Curtis which would be a regional interest book here in the northwest corner of Montana.

Edited: Nov 12, 2012, 9:55am Top

83. Jeremiah Lamentations by David M Gosdeck The next in the series of Bible commentaries I am reading falling within the books of prophecy. Jeremiah foretold the fall Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple built by Solomon unless the people repented and turned to the Lord. They didn't. Hence the short book of Lamentations also combined in this volume.

Due to my rotation of daily reading, I'll be finishing a couple more of these commentaries very soon. This is due more to coincidence of having several books end about the same time, than of my reading more.

--Book 38 for the year off MT TBR. Cataloged into LT in 2006 (I've probably had this series for 20 years, with most of them unread).
--6 points on my read-the-old-ones-on the mountain challenge for a total of 125 out of a goal of 150. I honestly don't think I'll quite make it to 150 points.

Edited: Nov 12, 2012, 9:55am Top

84. January First by Michael Schofield

LT Early Reviewer book.

January was a beautiful, precocious baby apparently born with a genius IQ. As a toddler, she startled adults with her adult speech patterns and understanding of adult concepts—including coming up with the abstract idea of negative numbers as a two year old. Her father dreamed that one day she would win a Nobel prize.

But from the very first, there were indications that all was not well. She was hyperstimulated as an infant and almost never slept. She seemed to watch and see things that weren’t in the room. She started talking about a world called Calilini and good and evil beings.

At first her parents believed this was part of her boundless imagination; her genius. As Jani’s behavior became rage-filled and violent, her parents began their efforts to help their beloved daughter.

But finding treatment was not an easy task. The search for help became long and challenging. Psychologists and psychiatrists were puzzled at such severe symptoms in one so young and help in the form of the proper medication took years of experimental juggling and balancing. Mental hospitals often had indifferent or overworked staff; one hospital accused Michael Schofield of sexually abusing his daughter when he showered her after finding her lying in urine. Getting into the most experienced hospital proved impossible until the police had to escort the six year old from her classroom due to her violent, uncontrollable behavior. As if this wasn’t enough, their insurance company fought to keep her from getting inpatient care.

You may have seen this little girl’s story on one of several interview shows. This book differs because Michael Schofield has truly opened his heart and soul to us so we can better understand the experience of a mentally ill child. We feel the parent’s confusion and despair as they see their daughter and their own lives disappear day by day. Michael Schofield’s emotions are raw. You may disagree or be disturbed by some of his actions, but without his willingness to speak about mistakes and missteps, we would miss the totality of the experience of parenting a severely mentally ill child and family members pushed to their own brink of endurance.

Today, Jani’s schizophrenia is somewhat controlled by medicine. It’s not the sort of illness that will ever go away—the best hope is to keep it in check enough so that Jani, her little brother and her parents can have some moments of normal—those precious bits of happiness that can be snatched in even the worst of the tumult.

--October TIOLI #7. Read a book with a title starting with these letters (in rolling order): J*A*S*P*E*R -

Oct 24, 2012, 9:14am Top

Wow, Steamsong, that is an amazing story. I am not sure I've the courage to read the book as it seems to be so sad, and tragic. And because it is not fiction, there is no expected "happily ever after". Sigh.

Edited: Nov 12, 2012, 9:56am Top

85. Great World Religions: Judaism The Teaching Company (The Great Courses) by Prof. Isaiah M Gafni - audiobook

I really enjoy most of the Teaching Company's courses. This one on the Great Religions of the World is one I picked up at a book sale several years ago--unfortunately on cassette tapes, which make it harder for me to finish listening to this series.

The teacher, Isaiah M Gafni is an historian of Judaism in the Second Temple and Talmudic periods. He is the Sol Rosenbloom Chair of Jewish History at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

He is also very engaging and, although I have little knowledge about Judaism, I thought this is a good introduction to a complicated subject. As with all the Teaching Company/Great Courses works, there is an amazing bibliography of other books to read. I hope to pursue more reading on this subject.

4 stars

--Book 39 for the year off MT TBR.
--Although I have had this set for several years, I didn't add it to my LT catalog until this year so I only give myself one point in my reading oldies off the shelf challenge for a total of 125/150.

Oct 24, 2012, 9:23am Top

Hi Karen--yes, January First is an amazing story. It was hard to put down--so I read it quite quickly. I learned a lot about childhood schizophrenia. And the experiences rang very true for me as I have dealt with mental illness in my own family.

Oct 24, 2012, 12:23pm Top

Janet, has your book club read Follow the River?

That, I think, is my most favorite read so far this year...

Oct 25, 2012, 12:21am Top

Janet, just de-lurking to say a belated congrats on reaching 75!!

I noticed you read The Memory Keeper's Daughter earlier this year and wasn't blown away by it. I, on the other hand, loved it! I was totally caught up in the story and writing that by the end of it, I don't think I noticed the issue about character growth. The different perspective that each person has on any given book is probably one of my favourite reasons for being a part of this community. :)

Oct 25, 2012, 7:30am Top

Another de-lurker, just to say, well done on getting roughly half way through your project to read the whole bible and accompany it with commentary reading. I've got lots of un-read commentaries on my shelves too, I really should push myself to do something similar. I do find it hard to find the right combination in a commentary of helpful background and scholarly info with a devotional element which is not too literalist.

And I agree with that quote about being excellent at middles, back in post 120 - I'm very bad at finishing projects so I must be bad at the middles...

Oct 25, 2012, 10:13am Top

Hi Lor--Yes, I enjoyed that book, too--I take credit as one of the people that recommended it to you! I think it's probably not quite right for this club--they look for more recent literary stuff, a few classics and some Northwest authors. I'll still keep recommending it to people, though.

Thank you, Jolerie. It's interesting which books people like, isn't it? I'll follow someone's thread and agree with them on several titles and then be blown away on how much we differ on the next. I agree it's a great part of LT.

Thanks for stopping by, gennyt. Your words sum up my experiences very well. The People's Bible commentaries on my shelf have been there since the early 90's with only a few of them read. But then, lots of things seem to be accumulating on my shelves, otherwise known as MT TBR. I need to read faster. Or accumulate slower.

Oct 26, 2012, 7:58am Top

(133) Read faster is my goal, but it's not happening...

...accumulate slower is not going to happen, either!

It's too bad that club is limiting itself to recent literary 'stuff', there is so much more out there than what's been published in the last five years or so.

And thank you, again, for the recommendation. I've also recommended Follow the River to so many people, so continue to pass it on!

Edited: Nov 12, 2012, 9:56am Top

Hey Lor--I guess one of the reasons that I chose this particular book club and also, some of the group reads on LT, is to inspire me to read outside of my comfort zone. The October selection for the RL book club, The Prince is a great example. I wouldn't have picked it up on my own since I hated it in high school, but I really enjoyed it and it made for a lively discussion.

....and with that....

86. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

“Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.”
― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

Written in the early 1500's, The Prince is often said to be one of earliest books on political philosophy. In this treatise, he advises men how to take and keep power. Machiavelli 's advice is known to be ruthless--one of the most popular Machiavellian quotes is 'the end justifies the means' or 'the mean-ness' as the commentator wrote.

Truly fascinating how his advice can apply to the world today -not just in the current political arena, but in areas such as the use of mercenaries. He states that they may cause great shame to the one that hires them, because their loyalty is not to the hirer. This brought forth a great discussion on the US current use of military contractors.

4 stars

--October Library Brown Bag Book Club
--TIOLI #20 Read a book with one or more politicians as major character(s)/figure(s)
--purchased 2012

Oct 27, 2012, 3:38pm Top

Oh that is interesting to find out where that phrase "the end justifies the means" comes from or even the term, that's so Machiavellian!

Oct 28, 2012, 6:35am Top

Hi janet, enjoyed your review on The Prince very much - gone already onto my wishlist :). I wish you a great weekend.

Edited: Nov 12, 2012, 9:56am Top

87. Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell

I chose to read this 19th century collection of short stories in honor of Halloween.

These are quite different from modern horror tales. Some have supernatural elements such as curses, ghosts and doppelgangers. Others are more an exploration of the twisted side of human nature-- a son gone bad, the twisted frenzy of the Salem witch trials.

I found them enjoyable--they won't keep you up at night, but will give you a bit to ponder.

3.5 stars

--Halloween read
--short stories included in Oct TIOLI # 21
--Books Off My Shelves (BOMBS) challenge. Bomb #40 for the year. Cataloged into my collection in 2008 = 4 BOMB points for a total of 125/150)

Edited: Nov 12, 2012, 9:57am Top

88. She Went a Whaling: The Journal of Martha Smith Brewer Brown, 1847-1849 by Martha Smith Brown

Another book written in the mid 1800's. I've enjoyed journals by pioneer women written in this same time period, but this was a lifestyle I wasn't aware of.

There are almost 450 women documented as being aboard whaling and sailing ships of this time. Most, like Martha Brewer Brown accompanied their husbands--(although at least 4 went aboard disguised as men).

Martha's husband, Edwin, was a captain of a whaling ship out of New York. The ships left on two year voyages, heading south around Africa's Cape of Good Hope and continued whaling as they passed south of Australia. They eventually made it to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) about 7 months after the start of the trip. There the captains left their by-now-pregnant wives to have their babies while they continued their whaling trips to the Sea of Japan and the North Sea.

Six or seven months later, they'd return to Hawaii, pick up wives and infants and head back to Boston alomg the southern tip of South America and Cape Horn.

This is a fascinating story of an interesting life--but unfortunately Martha wasn't terribly descriptive in her experiences. Her journal is limited mostly to spiritual matters, longing for the toddler she left back in New England, and while on the Sandwich Islands, longing for her absent husband.

3 stars.

OCT TIOLI #19. Read a Diary or Journal
Book # 41 for the Books Off My Shelves (BOMBs) challenge. Acquired 2008.

Oct 30, 2012, 1:01pm Top

Hi Janet. I came over to find your thread because I noticed we were sharing lots of Elizabeth Gaskell stories in this month's TIOLI challenge - glad you enjoyed them :-)

Oct 31, 2012, 8:46am Top

Hello Heather--thanks for stopping by. How did you like the Gaskell stories? Did you have a favorite? This was my first read by that author and I guess I'll have to add her name to Planet TBR.

Isn't it nice to know that we'll never run out of book ideas while we're here on LT?

Edited: Nov 10, 2012, 9:40pm Top

Hi Janet. Just getting caught up on your thread. Have you ever read A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West: The Reminiscenes of Mary Hallock Foote? She's the real life person who was the basis for the main character in Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose. I have Foote's book but other than dipping into it haven't read it yet.

MHF was an Easterner who moved West in the 1870s with her husband and fell in love with the land and the people. There was alot of controversy when her memoirs were published because Stegner apparently copied sections of them in Angle of Repose without crediting Foote.

Nov 4, 2012, 12:26pm Top

Thanks for your comments, Pat. A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West sounds like a memoir I might well like as it's a favorite genre of mine. When I read Unbridled Spirits, I thought Foote's writing, especially the non-fiction essay was a bit Victorian overwritten overly-flowery. How did you find the parts of her memoir that you've dipped into?

Stegner's book also sounds fascinating. I haven't read anything by him. Of course, if I read his, I'll need to read Foote's book first or at the same time or ........ AAAAAARG!!

Anyway, I put them both on my spreadsheet of books to look for. Since I also added the graphic non-fiction titles from your thread, I now have five in a row that you've recommended. Pat, you're killing my resolve to get MT TBR under control. Ain't LT grand?

Nov 4, 2012, 12:41pm Top

#141 I think my favourites were Lois the Witch, The Poor Clare and The Grey Woman. So far, of her novels I've read Cranford and North and South and enjoyed both hugely. I'd like to read more of her novels next year.

"Isn't it nice to know that we'll never run out of book ideas while we're here on LT?" Yep, that's definitely not going to be a problem!

Edited: Nov 12, 2012, 9:57am Top

89. Ill Wind by Nevada Barr

This is the third book in the mystery series featuring Anna Pigeon, a National Park Ranger. Each mystery is set in a different National Park--and since the US national parks are so many and varied the best part of this series is the insider's description of the various locations. The Park Service should PAY Nevada Barr for writing these things.

In this book, Anna has taken up law enforcement duty at Mesa Verde--the huge cliff dwellings of the Anasazi who inexplicably vanished. The spirits of the old ones seem restless. Eventually a murdered man is found in a ceremonial kiva.

The mystery is decent. The writing is decent. The settings are fascinating. Not a bad mystery series, at all, just not my favorite at this time.

3 stars

--Nov TIOLI # 12 Read a book where the author's name contains the name of a U.S. state or state capital
--Books Off My Shelf (BOMBS) challenge #42
--Added to MT TBR in 2007 = catagory 2 --5 BOMB points for a total of 134/150

Edited: Nov 7, 2012, 11:15am Top

Pat (@ 142) - As one who LOVED Angle of Repose, I appreciated hearing about what the basis was. Had to add A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West to my wishlist.

Nov 9, 2012, 9:21am Top

Hi Heather--I missed your earlier comment. I really liked Lois the Witch. There really wasn't much supernatural to it although there was a curse thrown in at the beginning. For anyone who hasn't read it, it was the story of a young girl without family, who was caught up in circumstances, accused of being a witch in Salem and executed. It really brought to life how jealousy and fantasy can cause true evil.

I also liked Gaskell's aside that while the story was hard to imagine, one had to remember the stress of living in the uncivilized fear- ridden colony of Massachusetts in the late 1600's. At the time she wrote that in England in the 1800's, my state, Montana, was still a frontier territory living in fear. Montana became a state in 1889 with Indian wars still in progress. The Battle of the Little Big Horn (Custer's Last Stand) was in 1876. Darn, we're new!

Thanks for stopping by, Cindy. That's two recomendations for Angle of Repose. I'll definitely have to look for that one.

Nov 9, 2012, 12:31pm Top

We are new. That is so true, and should remind us all to be humble. It seems too easy to forget.

Nov 9, 2012, 3:14pm Top

Hello janet, just stopping by to do some catching up. Wish you a lovely weekend!

Nov 10, 2012, 12:26pm Top

Also just stopping in to say hi!

Nov 12, 2012, 9:16am Top

Hello, Bianca! Nice to see you!

And hello Roni! Good to see you, too!

Edited: Nov 12, 2012, 9:57am Top

90. Persepolis II by Marjane Satrapi

This is the interesting continuation of Marjane Satrapi's coming of age.

In September, I read Persepolis where Marjane tells of her childhood growing up amidst revolution in Iran. That was my first forray into graphical non-fiction and I really enjoyed it.

In this book, Marjane begins her story by recounting her time in Austria, where, in 1984 at the age of 14, her parents sent her to escape the war and revolution in her native country.

Although initially living with a famiy friend, that arrangement ended because of turmoil in her host family. She then stayed in a vairiety of boarding houses and eventually spent three months living on the street. She suffered from having no one in the country who loved her at this critical time in her life. She was dealing with culture shock from being immersed in the liberal west after growing up in strict Iran, as well as having to learn German. She experimented with boyfriends, sex and drugs.

Eventually she returned to Iran to find the reigning regime to be more fundamentalist than when she left; she found that she was no longer the child that left but was relating to her country and her family in new, adult ways. She struggled with finding her place in the new country as did many of her friends. Her parents counselled that they felt it would take several generations for the country to settle into routine life in its new regime and that she must live her life to the fullest. And so, after studying at an Iranian University and a brief marriage, Marjane emigrated to France to once more start a new life.

Fascinating. It was a great memoir, and I enjoyed the quick graphic novel read. I work in a lab with many international post docs. I have wondered why the 'best and the brightest' of the international post docs from non-western countries tend to stay in the west to pursue their careers instead of returning to their country where they could make a difference in their county's development. This gave me a bit of insight into their decisions to stay.

4 stars

--TIOLI # 19 Read a book from the library

Nov 12, 2012, 11:03am Top

I also enjoyed reading this memoir; and I hope she has found comfort and "home" in the west. I noted that this book was not as charming as her first, but then her life was not that charming.

Nov 13, 2012, 6:16am Top

Glad you enjoyed Persepolis! :)

Nov 14, 2012, 1:38pm Top

Hi Karen and Rachel. I think what made Persepolis II cringeworthy were the choices that she made when she was in Austria on her own. I kept imagining my own daughter at that age and how she would have coped in solitary exile. She must be one strong lady! Karen, I also hope she has found her home. I know she has written other graphic novels.

I'm trying to rewatch the movie. I had watched it several years ago and only rated it as a 3/5 on Netflix. I thought perhaps I would enjoy it more now that I have read the book. Somehow, it's still not working for me. I'll finish watching it later today.

Edited: Nov 14, 2012, 4:58pm Top

91. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

The year is 2019 when a listening telescope picks up an alien radio transmission of astonishingly beautiful singing. While the UN debates, things fall into place quickly for a Jesuit expedition of linguists and scholars anxious to meet God's other children.

The timeline bounces back and forth between the time the singing is first heard and an expedition launched and a timeline starting in 2060 when the single surviving priest returns, physically and emotionally crippled.

The last paragraph of the prologue:

"The Jesuit scientists went to learn, not to proselytize. They went so that they might come to know and love God's other children. They went for the reason Jesuits have always gone to the farthest frontiers of human exploration. They went ad majorem Dei gloriam: for the greater glory of God.

They meant no harm.

I was afraid this would turn into a 'religion poisons everything' novel. Instead, I was amazed by what it did turn into. Part science fiction, part spiritual journey, it was the first book in a long time that I was anxious to start the sequel as soon as I had finished.

4.4 stars

--Read as part of the Barnesandnoble.com Literature by Women group
--November TIOLI # 10 Read a book with a LT Average Rating of 4.00 to 4.50 (4.24)
--library copy cataloged into my LT books 2012

Nov 14, 2012, 2:34pm Top

Janet, The Sparrow looks interesting! Thanks for the BB. I'll add this one to my WL. :)

Nov 14, 2012, 4:44pm Top

#156 A compelling review for a book I've had on my wishlist for a long time now! Perhaps next year I'll get to it.

Nov 15, 2012, 3:37am Top

Janet thank you for the great review on The Sparrow, a book which has been on my wishlist for some time, so maybe now it's time to aquire it.

Nov 15, 2012, 4:52am Top

Always good to see someone else loving The Sparrow. I feel a re-read coming on soon for me.

Nov 15, 2012, 7:54am Top

I've had The Sparrow sitting on my TBR pile for years. I really SHOULD pick it up.

Edited: Nov 15, 2012, 10:12am Top

Thanks for stopping by--it's great to know that other people have also enjoyed this book or are planning to read it.

The author, Mary Doria Russell, is very interesting. She has a PhD in cultural anthropology--which she says is the perfect degree for a writer. Her own spiritual path led her from Catholicism to the less involved God of Judaism. Both of these aspects really informed the novel she wrote.

This might make an interesting discussion in the science, religion and history group read if people are ready for a break from non-fiction.

I've seen good reviews of her latest book, Doc here on LT, but I didn't feel motivated enough by the subject to pick it up. I know it's a completely different genre, but after reading The Sparrow and Children of God (which I'm currently reading), I've also added Doc to the ever-growing spreadsheet.

ETA--according to the author's page her undergrad degree was cultural anthropology and her PhD was in biological anthropology.

Nov 16, 2012, 3:33am Top

Hi Janet, great to see that you are going to join in with The Rape of Nanking so we can give each other moral support, if we should crumble.

I am curious on your thoughts on Children of God another book which has been on my wishlist for some time.

Edited: Nov 16, 2012, 10:40am Top

Hi Bianca-- I've just started Children of God, but I'm enjoying it so far. In the first few chapters, there has been a plausible explanation for why things happened to Emilio as well as a major plot twist. (The LT reviews have spoilers for this, but my lips are sealed).

I think you're very brave to try Rape of Nanking when you've been in a reading slump.

Nov 16, 2012, 9:46am Top

Hi, Streamsong. I am squeezing a little reading of threads in before I fall over and fall back to sleep. I woke at 4 am this morning and thought I would be good on the threads for a bit, but truth be told: I am sleepy and think I'll go back to sleep. Vacations are so tiring!

The big news from me is that my wonderful camera stopped putting pictures on the card. I don't know what is wrong, and I am in grief. I really do not think I can afford nearly $1000 on a new camera right now. I'll need to do one of those save your money, honey campaigns and keep all the change in the piggy, too.

I hope your reading continues to give you good books to read.

Nov 16, 2012, 10:01am Top

Hi Karen: Ack, Ack, Ack on the camera! I've been enjoying your pics on your threads. You've really been inspiring me to pick my camera back up.

As long as I'm on LT, I'll have many, many more good books to read. Getting them read is something else.

Small happy to share with any scientific types visiting my thread. I am second author on a paper published in PNAS this week.

Nov 16, 2012, 5:46pm Top

Congrats on the authorship!

Good news on the camera is that a camera store guy said "yes, it can be repaired by a service center." I'll wait until I get home to Seattle and find someone, I expect.

Nov 16, 2012, 5:53pm Top

Can you take pictures with your phone, Karen?

Or maybe the other person would let you take pictures, and you could email them to yourself?

Nov 16, 2012, 9:58pm Top

Of course I can take small pictures with the phone, and some relatively nice pictures with the small, point and shoot which I purchased at Costco. I bought it so I would have something to take onto beaches without risking my big, expensive camera with the sand and wind. So, now I'm down to the point and shoot.

I do feel a bit better that the big camera can be fixed but I do miss using it. I do feel as if I've lost my best friend. But I will muddle through.

BTW, I do not worry that I'll never be back to Hawaii. There are good deals on air fares from time to time, and I do have a vacation club with some units here on Kaua'i. It is not the last time I'll have a chance to take fun pictures.

Thank you so much for thinking up ways to give me an assist.

I am sure my travel mates and I will find ways to share photographs after we've returned States side.

Nov 17, 2012, 7:20am Top

Hi Janet, I congratulated you already on Rachel's thread for publishing an article. May I ask what stands PNAS for and what is the topic of your article?

Finally *jump in air* my reading slump is receeding, so hopefully I will emotionally fit for The Rape of Nanking next week. I have to say I am slightly apprehensive about the book, but then I thought it is still part of our world history and therefore important. Sometimes I feel as apprehensive if I read stories about the Holocaust as well and that is the history of my own country.

I wish you a great and relaxing weekend *wave*

Nov 17, 2012, 9:08am Top

PNAS = Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

On the surface, it's about developing a cell-free media to grow Chlamydia, but it has some game-changers about Chlamydia metabolism in it.

Thanks for the congratulations and the interest Karen and Bianca!

Bianca, yeah I know that feeling. I read the first few pages last night. She mentions the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the US coersion of Japan in the mid 1800's. I have a feeling that US anti-Chinese racism played a large part in the silence about the massacre.

Karen, I'm glad your camera is fixable--that must be a relief. How awesome that you see more trips to Hawaii in your future!

Thanks for stopping by, Lor.

I mostly have the upcoming week off. DD will be home for a few days and DS will come for Thanksgiving dinner. He has a part time job is as a salesman in a store in a mall, so we won't see much of him between now and Christmas.

We'll get Dad out of the nursing home for Thanksgiving Day to enjoy some family time. That one will require some good luck. Last time we brought him home, he was not having a good day and it was stressful for everyone.

Edited: Nov 17, 2012, 4:30pm Top

I keep telling myself no more books.

But when I went by the library to pick up a copy of The Rape of Nanking, I took a quick peak at the FOL shelf.

And for $1 I came home with this little gem from 1966:

The Sinister Garden: A Guide to the Most Common Poisonous Plants

Mmmm ... I need it so I know which ornamentals to keep the horses away from, right??

But mostly I just liked the creep factor of it. :-)

Nov 17, 2012, 5:52pm Top

That actually looks like an interesting book!

Nov 18, 2012, 7:07am Top

Hi Janet, The Sinister Garden I .... need .... as well. I love books like that.

Thank you for your explanation *big smile*. The article sounds very interesting!

I will start The Rape of Nanking tomorrow, once I finished World War Z tonight.

I wish you a lovely remaining Sunday!

Nov 18, 2012, 6:03pm Top

I hope Thanksgiving with your dad is stressfree.

Nov 19, 2012, 7:26pm Top

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed The Sparrow, and to read how your expectations were overturned. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I read it - my father who is not religious but is a great sci-fi fan recommended it to me, which he rarely does with sci-fi but I think he thought I'd like this one because of the religious dimension. I too had to go straight out and get the second book...

Adding my good wishes for a stress-free Thanksgiving with your dad - hope he will be having a good day this year.

Nov 21, 2012, 5:13pm Top

Hi Janet, I have set up the first thread for the December Group Read:

A Tale of Two Cities

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Nov 22, 2012, 3:45am Top

Hi Janet, wish you a lovely Thanksgiving with your family!

Nov 22, 2012, 10:51am Top

Janet, best wishes for a fine Thanksgiving Day!

Nov 22, 2012, 12:58pm Top

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Janet!

Nov 22, 2012, 7:41pm Top

Happy Thanksgiving Janet!

Nov 22, 2012, 11:00pm Top

Happy Thanksgiving, Janet!

Nov 23, 2012, 2:24pm Top

My turn!

Happy Thanksgiving, Janet!

And congratulations for achieving two out of three goals this year, so far...


Nov 25, 2012, 3:22pm Top

Thanks for stopping by and leaving good wishes, Lor, Bianca, Linda, Genny. DeltaQueen (I'll be starting TOTC soon, I promise!), Pat & Roni.

Thanksgiving went well. Dad had a good day. He was in NY just after WWII ended and got to see many of the jazz greats in person; since then he's always loved jazz. So, after dinner, I cleaned up, and DD entertained him and Mom with youtube videoclips of Billie Hoiday, Louis Armstrong, Ethel Waters .... mmmm, think I heard Patsy Cline and Elivis in there, too. He was exhaused when he went back to the nursing home. Mom was, too. I think both stayed in bed most of the next day.

DS came from neighboring city a bit before dinner, but had to leave quickly afterwards as he had to be at a 4am meeting the next day before his store opened for Black Friday. He was not scheduled to work until noon but it was an all-hands-on-deck meeting from 4am to 5am. I can't even imagine if that is legal.

Lovely, of course, to have DD home for a few days. She had actually just read Rape of Nanking for a class in Chinese/Japanese relations so had lots of interesting comments when she saw me reading it. She's back at school, but will return in 3 weeks after the semester has ended for the break.

Nov 25, 2012, 4:32pm Top

Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving, Janet. I must admit all this Black Friday craziness escapes me but then I have no young children to buy Christmas gifts for. I'll be interested to hear what you think of The Rape of Nanking. I'm not sure I have the stomach for that book but I am curious about it.

Nov 26, 2012, 4:28am Top

Hi Janet, glad to hear that you had such a relaxing Thanksgiving and that everything went well with your dad *smile*.

I also would like to thank you for your kind words pertaining my sister's recovery. Thank you!

However, I am progressing very well with The Rape of Nanking and also a lot of the descriptions are horrifieng at the same time I found it increasingly interesting in regards to the politics of the Japanese.

Wish you a great week!

Nov 26, 2012, 9:35am Top

I'm about half-way through The Rape of Nanking right now. It's difficult going, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to finish it now. :)

Nov 26, 2012, 10:13am Top

Hi Janet, I'm delurking to say that a reread of The Sparrow may start off my new year of reading. I loved that book for some reason. It's not my usual fare but it intrigued me very much. I expect to get even more out of a second reading and then I will jump right into Children of God which I haven't read yet.

I'm glad you are getting some support for reading The Rape of Nanking, the most powerful book I've read this year by far.

I can relate to the tiredness of your parents after Thanksgiving. Today is the first day I've felt like myself! My grandkids left on Saturday...and I have done nothing except sleep, read, and watch the Wallander series on PBS.

Dec 1, 2012, 1:12pm Top

Hi Pat, Bianca, Rachel and Donna--thanks for stopping by.

I've been neglecting my thread--especially my book reviews and books read, although I'm keeping up with my list of books read, tickers and stats. For some reason, my motivation to review has sadly one.

I did finish the Rape of Nanking and I've ordered The Woman Who Could Not Forget from the IL loan.

Dec 1, 2012, 2:29pm Top

I finished The Rape of Nanking now, too. I'm interested to know what you think of The Woman Who Could Not Forget.

Dec 1, 2012, 2:36pm Top

Hi Rachel--well, since it looks like there is only one copy of TWWCNF in the western Montana library system, we'll see how long it takes to arrive. And I **think** it's at a high school library...or maybe the high school and public library are combined? It's in a very small town.

I spent some time reading the one star reviews on Amazon for the Rape of Nanking; it was interesting to see what the objections were. They didn't convince me ....... but it's always instructive to read the other side ...

Dec 1, 2012, 2:52pm Top

I haven't spent any time reading "the other side" but I had the feeling while reading The Rape of Nanking that she was perhaps too emotionally involved in the issue to give a completely fair account. Not that I'm denying the events of course! It's just something to keep in mind when you're reading her book, is all. :)

Dec 2, 2012, 4:14am Top

Wow, you two are finished already 8), I am only at 40% so far, but I do agree with you Rachel. I feel that she was emotionally too strong involved.
I definately will try to finish it soon and I am curious on your thoughts on the book.

Wish you a lovely weekend Janet :)

Dec 2, 2012, 10:58am Top

Yes, the emotional element was strongly criticized in the reviews.

The other major criticism seemed to be in her estimates of the numbers killed. There were a few, of course, who quoted a Japanese diary that said "No civilians were killed." But most seemed to accept figures in the 50,000 dead range instead of her 300,000. Either number is staggeringly hard for me to believe.

Dec 3, 2012, 11:42pm Top

HI Janet, I am almost (almost hehe) finished with the book. Currently, I experience quite mixed feelings. I am appaled by the atrocities described in the book - and I definately do believe them - but there have been also some parts in the book which sort of annoyed me. Hm, I will finish the book and than I have to ponder on some of the stuff.
I haven't read any reviews yet and will wait until I have finished :).
Wish you a great week!

Dec 24, 2012, 10:55pm Top

Dec 25, 2012, 12:08am Top

Glitterfy.com - Christmas Glitter Graphics

I want to wish you a glorious celebration of that time of year when we all try to unite around a desire for Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward All. Merry Christmas, Janet!

Dec 25, 2012, 9:12am Top

Hello Janet, finished with The Rape of Nanking and thought it was an interesting book. However, some parts in the book either puzzled me or sort of annoyed me. Review still to come.

I hope you will have a great and magical Christmas with your family!

Dec 25, 2012, 2:15pm Top

Just dropping by (and delurking) with some Christmas cheer from me and the Moomins (another great LT find). We're expecting snow today. Hope you're having a white Christmas too!

Edited: Dec 29, 2012, 5:25pm Top

Thank you Bianca, Leah, Roni, and Pat for stopping by with the lovely Christmas wishes.

I'm still in the middle of a family crises with my 86yo father's health and have sadly been negecting my own and my friends' threads. The nursing home Dad is in had a Norovirus (Norwalk) outbreak about a week after Thanksgiving with 50 patients and staff affected. They were completely quarantined, not letting family members in. During that time, Dad apparently aspirated, got pneumonia, and had a very bad heart attack. His doctors wanted to send him to hospice--but he chose to go back to the nursing home. We've had out of state family visiting & calling regularly and my 85 yo mother needing a lot of extra help. My daughter will be home from college until the end of January and I am very thankful for her presence and her help!

I'm just going to list the books I've read since my last review.


92. Galatians Ephesians by Armin J. Panning (acqd pre 2006)
93. Psalms I by John F. Brug (acqd pre 2006 - reread)
94. When Food is Love by Geneen Roth (purchased 2012--reread?)
95.Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang - (library 2012)
96. Children of God by Mary Doria Russell - (library 2012)
97. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson - audiobook - (library 2012)
98. Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (purchased lib sale 2011)

99. When Christmas Comes by Debbie Macomber TIOLI #8 (acq 2012)
100. Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon TIOLI #6 (acq 2011)
101. The Woman Who Could Not Forget by Ying-Ying Chang TIOLI #10 (library 2012)
102. Pontoon by Garrison Keillor audiobook TIOLI #8 (acq 2012)
103. Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas TIOLI #1 (acq 2012 library & online)

The books I'm actively reading right now include:
Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization by Brian Griffith LTER
Dreams of Joy - Lisa See audiobook in the car

Dec 29, 2012, 1:28pm Top

Wow, Janet, that's alot to deal with. I hope your Dad feels better soon.

Something similar happened at the place my MiL lives last winter. Luckily she never got the virus but she did have to spend a week or more in her room. They brought all her meals to her while they were under quarantine.

I will be thinking of you and sending healing and calming thoughts your way.

Take care.

Dec 29, 2012, 5:12pm Top

((((((((Janet & family))))))))

Dec 29, 2012, 7:44pm Top

Hello and Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2012, 9:57am Top

Thanks, Pat, Lor and Linda.

Dec 31, 2012, 8:10am Top


Dec 31, 2012, 1:11pm Top

Hope you have a Happy New Year, Janet!

Dec 31, 2012, 4:30pm Top

Janet, I wish for you that you have all that you wish to have, do all that you wish to do, and that you can be all that you wish to be in 2013. Happy New Year.

Dec 31, 2012, 4:44pm Top

Here's to a great new year ahead, Janet! I know that just the fact of having elderly parents means a lot of cares, but hope that all will be well and settle down soon.

Jan 1, 2013, 3:56am Top

Happy New Year Janet!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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