AnneDC's 75 in 2012--Part 4
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I am sick to death of my thread and need a few more posts before I can start a new one, so I'm refreshing this one with a different picture.
Helen in her fabulous new hat
A new month and a new thread!
And a poem, an old favorite:
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
All Aunt Hagar's Children - Edward P. Jones
Travels With Charley - John Steinbeck
The Price of Inequality - Joseph Stiglitz (audio)
Not actively reading but will return to soon:
The Balkan Trilogy - Olivia Manning
Mornings in Jenin - Susan Abulhawa (Kindle)
Books Read in 2012
127. The Shape of Water - Andrea Camilieri (L)
128. There but for the - Ali Smith (L)
129. The Warden - Anthony Trollope (audio)
130. Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835 - Jefferson Morley (L)
131. Broken Harbor - Tana French (audio)
132. Haroun and the Sea of Stories - Salman Rushdie (aloud) (L)
133. Thirty-Three Teeth - Colin Cotterill (L)
134. Don't Look Back - Karin Fossum (Kindle)
134. Go Tell it on the Mountain - James Baldwin (L)
135. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
136. Changeless - Gail Carriger (audio)
137. Moon Tiger - Penelope Lively
138. All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
139. The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng
140. Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope (audio)
141. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
142. Blameless - Gail Carriger (audio)
143. Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotson (aloud)
144. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (audio)
145. Native Guard - Natasha Tretheway
146. Passing - Nella Larsen
147. The Lonely Londoners - Sam Selvon
148. Scenes from Village Life - Amos Oz
149. Possession - A.S. Byatt
150. Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools - Steven Brill
(plus over 30 short stories scattered among different books)
151. Popular Hits of the Showa Era - Ryu Murakami
152. Scandal - Shusaku Endo
153. Silence of the Grave - Arnaldur Indridason
154. Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 - Tony Judt (audio)
155. The Hobbit - J. R.R. Tolkien (aloud)
156. The Giver - Lois Lowry
157. The Party and Other Stories - Anton Chekhov
158. Spring Snow - Yukio Mishima (audio)
159. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
160. The Headmaster's Wager - Vincent Lam
161. The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck (audio)
162. Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
163. End This Depression Now - Paul Krugman
164. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Grace Lin (aloud)
165. This is How You Lose Her - Junot Diaz
166. The Hare With Amber Eyes - Edmund de Waal (audio)
167. Binocular Vision - Edith Pearlman
168. The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell (audio)
169. The Garlic Ballads - Mo Yan
170. The Incredible Journey - Sheila Burnford (aloud)
171. The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan
172. Disco for the Departed - Colin Cotterill
173. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (audio)
174. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers - Xiaolu Guo
175. NW - Zadie Smith
176. Chess Story - Stefan Zweig
177. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - Frederick Douglass
178. The Treasure of Green Knowe - L.M. Boston (aloud)
179. Annie John - Jamaica Kincaid
180. When I Was a Child I Read Books - Marilynne Robinson
Books Read in 2012
1. The True Deceiver - Tove Jansson (OMB)
2. If on a winter's night a traveler - Italo Calvino (OMB)
3. Silence - Shusaku Endo (L)
4. Snow - Orhan Pamuk (audio) (L)
5. Fall On Your Knees - Ann-Marie MacDonald (L)
6. A Spell of Winter - Helen Dunmore (OMB)
7. Inside Out and Back Again - Thanhha La (OMB)
8. The Quiet American - Graham Greene (audio) (OMB)
9. Lassie Come-Home - Eric Knight (aloud) (L)
10. In the Bleak Midwinter - Julia Spencer-Fleming (L)
11. Kokoro - Natsume Soseki (L)
12. In the Woods - Tana French (audio) (L)
13. Dragonsong - Anne McCaffrey (L)
14. Still Life - Louise Penny (audio)
15. On Canaan's Side - Sebastian Barry (L)
16. Train Dreams - Denis Johnson (OMB)
17. Cannery Row - John Steinbeck (e-book)
18. Property - Valerie Martin (L)
19. A Fountain Filled With Blood - Julia Spencer-Fleming (e-book)
20. The Warmth of Other Suns - Isabel Wilkerson (OMB)
21. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern (OMB)
22. The Fire Next Time - James Baldwin (OMB)
23. The Arabian Nights (aloud) (OMB)
24. February - Lisa Moore (L)
25. Bleak House - Charles Dickens (audio/paper) (R) (OMB)
26. Wise Blood - Flannery O'Connor (audio) (L)
27. The Likeness - Tana French (audio) (L)
28. Deep River - Shusaku Endo (L)
29. Comet in Moominland - Tove Jansson (aloud) (OMB)
30. Gregor the Overlander - Suzanne Collins (audio)
31. Capital and Its Discontents - Sasha Lilley (e-book)
32. Aloft - Chang-Rae Lee (audio)
33. Beloved - Toni Morrison (R) (OMB)
34. The Lorax - Dr. Suess (aloud) (R) (OMB)
35. The Secret in the Old Clock - Carolyn Keene (R) (L)
36. Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear (audio)
37. Dynamics of Faith - Paul Tillich (new)
38. Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde (L)
39. God's Philosophers - James Hannam (new)
40. Doomsday Book - Connie Willis (audio)
41. The Bridge on the Drina - Ivo Andric (L)
42. Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh (aloud) (OMB)
43. The Sea and Poison - Shusaku Endo (L)
44. All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque (audio) (OMB)
45. Every Man in This Village is a Liar - Megan Stack (L)
46. The Best American Short Stories 2011 - Geraldine Brooks, ed. (Kindle)
47. Good Owners, Great Dogs - Brian Kilcommons (new)
48. Eugene Onegin - Alexander Pushkin (OMB)
49. A Study in Scarlet - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (OMB)
50. A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal 1830-1832 - Joan Blos (OMB)
51. The New Being - Paul Tillich (new)
52. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsberg (R) (aloud) (OMB)
53. Lord of Misrule - Jaimy Gordon (audio) (L)
54. Foreign Bodies - Cynthia Ozick (L)
55. Gillespie and I - Jane Harris (new)
56. The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller (Kindle)
57. A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny (L)
58. Painter of Silence - Georgina Harding (Kindle)
59. The Mouse and the Motorcycle - Beverly Cleary (audio)
60. Half Blood Blues - Esi Edugyan (L)
61. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling (aloud) (OMB)
62. The Translation of the Bones - Francesca Kay (L)
63. The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro - Antonio Tabucci (L)
64. Austenland - Shannon Hale
65. The Girls of Slender Means - Muriel Spark (L)
66. The Magician's Elephant - Kate di Camillo (aloud) (OMB)
67. The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
68. The Sign of the Four - Arthur Conan Doyle (OMB)
69. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! - Richard Feynman (OMB)
70. The Driver's Seat - Muriel Spark (L)
71. The Forgotten Waltz - Anne Enright (L)
72. Started Early, Took My Dog - Kate Atkinson (L)
73. The Rest is Noise - Alex Ross (audio)
74. The Souls of Black Folk - W.E. B. Dubois (Kindle)
75. Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak (OMB)
76. Sovereign - C. J. Sansom (OMB)
77. The Only Problem - Muriel Spark (L)
78. The Wainscott Weasel - Tor Seidel (aloud) (OMB)
79. The Tale of Tom Kitten - Beatrix Potter (OMB)
80. The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny (L)
81. Death and the Penguin - Andrey Kurkov (new)
82. State of Wonder - Ann Patchett (OMB)
83. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (Kindle/audio)
84. A Severed Head - Iris Murdoch (new)
85. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Joan Aiken (aloud) (OMB)
86. The Last Temptation of Christ - Nikos Kazantzakis (L)
87. Democracy Matters - Cornel West (OMB)
88. The Boxcar Children - Gertrude Chandler Warner (aloud) (R) (OMB)
89. How it All Began - Penelope Lively (L)
90. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (audio) (OMB)
91. The Great Fortune - Olivia Manning
92. A Hero of Our Time - Mikhail Lermontov
93. The Crossing Places - Elly Griffiths (Kindle)
94. The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport - Laura Lee Hope (aloud)
95. Bring Up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel
96. The Beginner's Goodbye - Anne Tyler (L)
97. Speak, Memory - Vladimir Nabokov (audio)
98. I Am a Cat - Natsume Soseki (L)
99. Mudbound - Hillary Jordan (audio)
100. Complications - Atul Gawande
101. The Woman in the Dunes - Kobo Abe
102. Soulless - Gail Carriger (audio)
103. Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys
104. S.: A Novel About the Balkans - Slavenka Drakulic (L)
105. Kangaroo Notebook - Kobo Abe (L)
106. Black Hearts in Battersea - Joan Aiken (aloud)
107. The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore - Laura Lee Hope
108. Color Me English - Caryl Phillips (L)
109. A Rule Against Murder - Louise Penny (L)
110. River of Smoke - Amitav Ghosh (OMB)
111. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (audio)
112. The Coroner's Lunch - Colin Cotterill (L)
113. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake - Anna Quindlen (L)
114. Nightbirds on Nantucket - Joan Aiken (aloud)
115. Old Filth - Jane Gardam (audio)
116. Jane Fairfax - Joan Aiken (L)
117. The Box Man - Kobo Abe
118. Faithful Place - Tana French (audio)
119. Our Mutual Friend - Charles Dickens (OMB)
120. The Children of Green Knowe - L. M. Boston (aloud)
121. The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America - Timothy Egan (audio)
122. Palace Walk - Naguib Mahfouz
123. The Cat's Table - Michael Ondaatje
124. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Harriet Jacobs
125. A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. LeGuin
126. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Anne Tyler
*OMB=Off My Bookshelf
New Books Acquired in 2012
1. The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears - Dinaw Mengestu ✔
2. Through Black Spruce - Joseph Boyden
3. God's Philosophers - James Hannam ✔
4. Dynamics of Faith - Paul Tillich (for class) ✔
5. The New Being - Paul Tillich (for class) ✔
6. Good Owners, Great Dogs - Brian Kilcommons ✔
7. The Grief of Others - Leah Hager Cohen
8. Afterimage - Helen Humphreys
9. Brixton Beach - Roma Tearne
10. The Beet Queen - Louise Erdrich ✔
11. Astonishing Splashes of Colour - Clair Morrall
12. Black Water Rising - Attica Locke
13. Burger's Daughter - Nadine Gordimer ✔
14. Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black - Nadine Gordimer
15. The Brutal Telling - Louise Penny
16. Blackberry Wine - Joanne Harris
17. The Book of Lies - Mary Horlock
18. An Atlas of Impossible Longing - Anuradha Roy
19. Beyond Black - Hilary Mantel
20. On the Floor - Aifric Campbell
21. Gillespie and I - Jane Harris ✔
22. The Memory Chalet - Tony Judt
23. Death and the Penguin - Andrey Kurkov ✔
24. Behind the Beautiful Forevers - Katherine Boo
25. The Way the Crow Flies - Ann-Marie MacDonald
26. The Balkan Trilogy - Olivia Manning
27. Conquered City - Victor Serge
28. Chess Story - Stefan Zweig ✔
29. Slynx -Tatyana Tolstaya
30. Envy - Yuri Olesha
31. Netherland -Joseph O'Neill
32. New Grub Street - George Gissing
33. A Hero of Our Time - Mikhail Lermontov ✔
34. Popular Hits of the Showa Era - Ryu Murakami ✔
35. Audition - Ryu Murakami
36. Twenty-Five Books that Shaped America - Thomas Foster
37. The End of the Affair - Graham Greene
38. The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene
39. The Woman in the Dunes - Kobo Abe ✔
40. The Box Man - Kobo Abe ✔
41. The Ark Sakura - Kobo Abe
42. In the Miso Soup - Ryu Murakami
43. An Equal Stillness - Francesca Kay
44. A Severed Head - Iris Murdoch ✔
45. The Lonely Londoners - Sam Selvon ✔
46. Broken April - Ismail Kadare
47. Silence in the Garden - William Trevor
48. The Bigamist's Daughter - Alice McDermott
49. End This Depression Now - Paul Krugman ✔
50. Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf ✔
51. The Snows of Kilimanjaro - Ernest Hemingway
52. In Praise of the Stepmother - Mario Vargas Llosa
53. The Yates Reader - William Butler Yeats
54. City of the Mind - Penelope Lively
55. Not the End of the World - Kate Atkinson
56. A Golden Age - Tahmima Aman
57. The Good Muslim - Tahmima Aman
58. Lyrics Alley - Leila Aboulela
59. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle - Monique Roffey
60. The Wife - Meg Wolitzer
61. White Ghost Girls - Alice Greenway
62. Salvage the Bones - Jesmyn Ward
63. The Emperor of all Maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee
64. Moth Smoke - Mohsin Hamid
65. Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them - Donovan Hohn
66. The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times - Arlie Hochschild
67. In the Night Kitchen - Maurice Sendak ✔
68. When the Emperor Was Divine - Julie Otsuka
69. Bring Up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel ✔
70. The Mayor of Casterbridge - Thomas Hardy ✔
71. Molly Fox's Birthday - Deirdre Madden
72. Ten Thousand Saints - Eleanor Henderson
73. The Line - Olga Grushin
74. Emily Alone - Stewart O'Nan
75. Trapeze - Simon Mawer
76. Man Gone Down - Michael Thomas
77. Pure - Andrew Miller
78. Capital - John Lanchester
79. The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It - Timothy Noah
80. Troubles - J. G. Farrell
81. July's People - Nadine Gordimer ✔
82. Heat Wave - Penelope Lively
83. Quicksand - Junichiro Tanizaki
84. Brown Girl, Brownstones - Paule Marshall
85. Cane - Jean Toomer
86. The Lifetime Reading Plan - Clifton Fadiman
87. The Zookeeper's Wife - Diane Ackerman
88. The Great War and Modern Memory - Paul Fussell
89. An Episode of Sparrows - Rumor Godden
90. The Finn Family Moomintroll - Tove Jansson
91. Complications - Atul Gawande ✔
92. Native Guard – Natasha Tretheway ✔
93. Frost in May – Antonia White
94. The New York Stories of Edith Wharton
95. A Month in the Country – J. L. Carr
96. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
97. Matterhorn - Karl Marlantes
98. Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age - Kenzaburo Oe
99. Too Much Happiness - Alice Munro
100.The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
101. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
102. Binocular Vision - Edith Pearlman ✔
103. Katherine - Anya Seton
104. Tree of Smoke - Denis Johnson
105. Green Darkness – Anya Seton ✔
106. Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ✔
107. Fall on Your Knees - Ann-Marie MacDonald ✔
108. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers ✔
109. A Peoples History of the United States - Howard Zinn (
110. Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin
111. King Leopold’s Ghost - Adam Hochschild ✔
112. We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with our Families - Philip Gourevitch
113. Mary Queen of Scots - Antonia Fraser
114. River of Doubt - Candice Millard
115. Testament of Youth - Vera Brittain
116. Narcopolis - Jeet Thayil
117. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
118. Everything Flows - Vasiliy Grossman
119. The Night Watch – Sarah Waters
120. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry -
121. All Aunt Hagar's Children - Edward P. Jones
122. American Salvage - Bonnie Jo Campbell
123. Collected Novellas - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
124. Season of Migration to the North - Tayeb Salih
125. Runaway Horses - Yukio Mishima
126. The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng✔
127. Selected Poems - William Carlos Williams
128. College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be - Andrew Delbanco
129. Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools - Steven Brill ✔
130. The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost
131. What's the Matter with White People? Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was - Joan Walsh
132. The Dream of the Celt - Mario Vargas Llosa
133. When I Was a Child I Read Books - Marilynne Robinson✔
134. This is How You Lose Her - Junot Diaz ✔
135. The Round House - Louise Erdrich
Books off my Shelves (in my possession before 2012)
1. The True Deceiver - Tove Jansson
2. If on a winter's night a traveler - Italo Calvino
3. A Spell of Winter - Helen Dunmore
4. Inside Out and Back Again - Thanhha La
5. Train Dreams - Denis Johnson
6. The Warmth of Other Suns - Isabel Wilkerson
7. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
8. Bleak House - Charles Dickens (audio/paper) (R)
9. Aloft - Chang-Rae Lee (audio)
10. Beloved - Toni Morrison (R)
11. All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque (audio/paper)
12. Eugene Onegin - Alexander Pushkin (R)
13. A Study in Scarlet - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
14. The Sign of the Four - Arthur Conan Doyle
15. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! - Richard Feynman
16. Sovereign - C.J. Sansom
17. State of Wonder - Ann Patchett
18. Democracy Matters - Cornel West
19. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
20. River of Smoke - Amitav Ghosh
21. Our Mutual Friend - Charles Dickens
22. All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
23. Passing - Nella Larsen
24. Possession - A.S. Byatt
25. The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
26. The Party and Other Stories - Anton Chekhov
27. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
28. The Hare With Amber Eyes - Edmund de Waal
29. Crime and Punishmnent
30. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
Books read off the kids' shelves
The Arabian Nights
Comet in Moominland - Tove Jansson
The Lorax - Dr. Suess (R)
Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh
A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal 1830-1832 - Joan Blos
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsberg (R)
The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
The Magician's Elephant - Kate di Camillo
Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak (R)
The Fire Next Time - James Baldwin
The Quiet American - Graham Greene
The Tale of Tom Kitten - Beatrix Potter
The Wainscott Weasel -
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Joan Aiken
The Boxcar Children - Gertrude Warner Chandler
The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport - Laura Lee Hope
Nightbirds on Nantucket - Joan Aiken
The Children of Green Knowe - L. M. Boston
Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotsen
Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
The Treasure of Green Knowe
Books bought 2012 for other family members
Austenland - Shannon Hale ✔
Between Shades of Grey - Ruta Sepetys ✔
Black Hearts in Battersea - Joan Aiken ✔
My 12 in 12 categories:
1. Next in Line (series) (12/12) COMPLETE
2. The Envelope, Please (prize-winning books) (5/12)
3. Oranges Are the Only Fruit (Orange Prize for Literature, long and shortlists) (6/12)
4. Bright Young Things (2011 and 2012 publications) (12/12) COMPLETE
5. Author, Author (Japanese author theme reads) (5/12)
6. London Calling (books about or set in London) (7/12)
7. From Russia With Love (books about or set in Russia) (3/12)
8. I Have a Dream (African-American literature) (5/12)
9. It’s About Time (neglected classics, classic re-reads, or 1001 books you should have read by now) (8/12)
10. The Meaning of Life (religion and philosophy) (5/12)
11. That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It (memoir) (3/12)
12. Just the Facts, Ma’am (non-fiction. Maybe at least one or two should have to do with science?) (8/12)
Besides the 75 and 12 in 12, I also am participating this year in Reading Globally, Author Theme Reads (Japanese authors), Orange January/July, and the Booker Prize group. This has some influence on what I plan to read (although maybe not on what I end up reading!)
Nobel Authors Challenge
Authors I have read:
2010 - Mario Vargas Llosa: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The War of the End of the World
2006 - Orhan Pamuk: Snow
2001 - V.S. Naipaul: A House for Mr. Biswas, A Bend in the River
1998 - José Saramago: The Elephant’s Journey
1996 - Wislawa Szymborska: Poem: A Contribution to Statistics
1995 - Seamus Heaney: Human Chain
1993 - Toni Morrison: Beloved, Sula, Paradise, A Mercy, Song of Solomon, Jazz, The Bluest Eye
1991 - Nadine Gordimer: Burgher’s Daughter, My Son’s Story, July’s People
1988 - Naguib Mahfouz: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street
1983 - William Golding: Lord of the Flies
1982 - Gabriel García Márquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, The General in His Labyrinth
1970 - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: One Day in
the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The First Circle
1969 - Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot
1965 - Mikhail Sholokhov: And Quiet Flows the Don
1964 - Jean-Paul Sartre: No Exit
1962 - John Steinbeck: Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row
1961 - Ivo Andric: The Bridge on the Drina
1958 - Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago
1957 - Albert Camus: The Stranger, The Plague
1954 - Ernest Hemingway: The Old Man and the
Sea, The Sun Also Rises, A Moveable Feast
1952 - François Mauriac: Therese Desqueyroux
1948 - Thomas Stearns Eliot: The Wasteland, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
1938 - Pearl Buck: The Good Earth
1936 - Eugene O'Neill: A Long Day’s Journey Into Night; Ah, Wilderness
1929 - Thomas Mann: Death in Venice
1928 - Sigrid Undset: Kristin Lavransdatter
1925 - George Bernard Shaw: Pygmalion, The Importance of Being Ernest
1923 - William Butler Yeats: Lake Isle at Innisfree
1907 - Rudyard Kipling – The Jungle Book
My favorite novels of the century, so far (2011 and 2012 books excluded)
The Top Ten (not in order)
1. Atonement - Ian McEwan
2. Small Island - Andrea Levy
3. The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid
4. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
6. Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
7. The Memory of Love - Aminatta Forna
8. White Teeth - Zadie Smith
9. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese
10. The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears - Dinaw Mengestu
The Next Ten (also not in order)
1. Burnt Shadows - Khamila Shamsie
2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
3. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
4. Let the Great World Spin - Colum McCann
5. The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery
6. Visitation - Jenny Erpenbeck
7. Sea of Poppies - Amitav Ghosh
8. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet - David Mitchell
9. The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obreht
10. The Plague of Doves - Louise Erdrich
And Some More:
Bel Canto – Ann Patchett
The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver
A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan
Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Marisha Pessl
The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
The Imperfectionists - Tom Rathman
Case Histories - Kate Atkinson
Lord of Misrule - Jaimy Gordon
The Book Thief - Marcus Zukas
The Life of Pi -Yann Martel
The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
The Shipping News - Annie Proulx
Snow Falling on Cedars - David Guterson
A Thousand Acres - Jane Smiley
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
At Weddings and Wakes - Alice McDermott
The Stone Diaries - Carol Shields
The Hours - Michael Cunningham
Pereira Declares - Antonio Tabucchi
Fall on Your Knees - Ann-Marie MacDonald
Paradise - Toni Morrison
The Remains of the Day (1989)- Kazuo Ishiguro
Love in the Time of Cholera (1985)- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Breathing Lessons (1988) - Anne Tyler
The House of the Spirits (1982) - Isabel Allende
Love Medicine (1984)- Louise Erdrich
A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989)- John Irving
Beloved (1987)- Toni Morrison
The Bean Trees (1988) - Barbara Kingsolver
The Joy Luck Club (1989)- Amy Tan
The Name of the Rose (1980) - Umberto Eco
*Midnight's Children (1981) - Salman Rushdie
*The War of the End of the World (1984) - Mario Vargas Llosa
(*read recently; others probably read in the 80s)
Anne, Love your new thread photo. Hope you are having a great time . . .
Hi Anne - Beautiful photo. I hope you're having a great vacation. You have done some great reading this year. I love new threads; they're a great way to review the reading people have been doing. I'll be anxious to hear what you think of McCarthy; my son really liked him, but I thought maybe it was a guy thing.
Yay for a new thread filled with great reads. I think this is the year of lists. Every thread I go to seems to be bursting with lists. It's definitely fun to see what everyone is keeping track of. :)
oooh, you stole my August poem!!! LOL....
That's a big fave of mine too -- have you heard it set to music? I think Bryn Terfel has recorded it. Beautiful.
I am also a fan of John Masefield, Anne - congrats on your latest thread. Will have to track down the poem set to music as reccomended by Suz.
Here's a version, for Anne, Paul & anyone else interested:
Thomas Allen, another great baritone.
Hi Anne! Lovely new thread, and I'm thrilled to see you might read Go Tell it on the Mountain this month!
Have a great weekend!
Well--I'm back from vacation and have not had much time for LT, (except to set up my new thread and to keep checking the TIOLI thread and compulsively add short story titles). Time to catch up!
I've not had as much time for reading, either, since over the course of the past week I've seen just about every relative I have--mom and stepdad, dad and stepmom, sister and brother-in-law and nephews, stepsister niece and nephew, aunt and uncle, a cousin on her 50th birthday, another stepsister and her newly opened clothing store, brother and his brand new fiancee (yay!). All in all a wonderful trip.
Now I am gearing up for a going-away party for my college-bound daughter so I probably still won't have much reading or LT time until the weekend.
Thanks for stopping by all!
Hi Brenda--thanks, yes, we had a great time.
Beth, I am ambivalent about McCarthy. I think he is a beautiful writer but often his stories leave me cold or worse. I had to bail on Blood Meridian because it was just too bleak for the beach, but I will pick it up again eventually. I suspect there may well be a gender divide around his work. I think I feel about him the way I feel about Hemingway.
Thanks Peggy--I had such fun with my lists that I had to gather them all up and reprint them in one place.
Yes, Valerie, I think you were away when the great list frenzy broke out. It has simmered down a little but the lists live on!
Sorry, Suzanne for stealing your thunder! That is one of the first poems I remember loving, and I always think of it when I'm near the ocean. Thank you for the song link--I had not heard it set to music. What a lovely version!
Paul, great minds think alike?
Welcome, Rosalind! The Poisonwood Bible is one of my all-time favorites. I've only read Rushdie's Midnight's Children and the fantasy novels he wrote for his children, but I quite enjoy his writing and his way with words.
Hi Kerri--in fact, I'm reading Go Tell it on the Mountain now--but I've only just started it.
And loose ends from my old thread--
Linda, I did read the whole William Trevor story collection. It took a few months, and it occurred to me that I could have started with a smaller collection, but I thought they were wonderful. One of my top reads of 2011.
And, Peggy, yes--I'm off and running--er, walking--with The Warden. I have an audio version and so I have literally been reading it on walks while I was on vacation.
Before I left town my neighbor hosted a book swap party and I exchanged three duplicate books for an armload of books that needed homes.
I don't have to add them to my List of Shame because they were free, but I'll be adding them to my library so here's the free book haul, something of a random assortment:
The Iliad - Homer
Sidetracked - Henning Mankell
The Dream Place of the Arabs: A Generation's Odyssey - Fouad Ajami
All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
The Piano Tuner - Daniel Mason
1688: A Global History - John Willis
Regency Buck - Georgette Heyer
Balancing Change and Tradition in Global Education Reform - Iris Rotberg
The Upside of Down - Thomas Homer-Dizon
And now that I've listed them I can put them away.
Anne - Once again you have great book haul karma. Are you reading anything now, or are you going to wait until you get your daughter off to school?
Anne, I want to live in your neighborhood. That's a good haul of eclectic books. My group at church is going to do a book exchange in September. I kind of cringe when I imagine the books that will be there. But, they probably won't like my books either. Maybe I'll skip that meeting!
Loved the picture and poem. A favorite of mine as well. I think I must have memorized it in school back in the dark ages. Hope your daughter gets off to school without too much anxiety. Oh, I know she'll be fine. I was thinking about you. ;-)
Hello Anne! Yes, lucky you on the book haul - though I suspect I would rather have been on the receiving end of your cast-offs! Lovely summery photo to look at on one of this winter's bleakest coldest days (wind right off the polar ice-caps!)
Hi Anne, I lost track of your thread for a bit. Love your opening photo and "Sea Fever." Hope you are enjoying The Warden and look forward to your thoughts on The Balkan Trilogy.
#17 - Hi Anne! That's a pretty awesome pile for a neighborhood book swap!
A bookswap party sounds super fun and a great way to get rid of duplicate books or books you don't want to read again! :)
Am waving hi - sounds like you had a great holiday and I'm glad you're onto The Warden and hope you become a fan too! (I've just started Dr Thorne. I'm not even 1% into it yet.)
What a lovely thread - beautiful photo, favourite poem and interesting lists. I've read about half the ones you mention from the 80s and 90s, and would probably put those same ones on my list also, if I ever get round to making one.
And I too hope you are getting on well with The Warden - I do love that series and it's great to see other people getting into it.
The only unifying theme I can see in that list of bookswapped books is "Books Chosen by Anne"!!
That said, do make time for the Fouad Ajami tome. I found it to be fascinating reading, although it's been several years since I picked it up. I know I still have it around here. Somewhere...
A busy week with little reading and no LT! But I finished one audiobook (The Warden) and am nearly done with a second (Broken Harbor) after a seven hour drive to drop off my son at water polo camp and a day or two spent in the kitchen cleaning and cooking for Kate's farewell party. (which is over and went very well)
My neighbors who hosted the book swap party are in the process of downsizing--I think they are planning to rent out a room in their house so some books have to go. So they had lots (as in, hundreds) of super-serious academic and policy books that they were trying to get people to take, whereas the books people brought to exchange were more recent book group selections and bestsellers. It made for a nice mix. The only rule was you had to take more than you brought. Which was not a problem!
>18 Beth, I'm planning to/trying to read, but have been short on time. Still, I do have a few books in progress and some library books expiring so I'm trying to get to a few before we go (this coming Friday!).
>19 Donna, I'm sure I am going to be a mess. But, what can I do--you can't stop the future. (We've been trying but it doesn't work. Kate thinks she should be able to press "pause" and give herself more time.) She will be fine although she's a little nervous right now--and being really nice to us, which is a bonus. Plus, I get to console myself with a visit (or several) to Powells.
>20 Hi Prue! I only cast off books that I've ended up with extra copies of--I am a confirmed book hoarder and hate to let any of them slip through my fingers. When they
>21 A Stasia wave! I will have to swing by and wave back.
>22 Hi Nancy! My thread hasn't been too active lately so I doubt you've missed much. I enjoyed The Warden and am just waiting for my next Audible credit to arrive so I can download the next one.
>23 Hi Kerri--yep, an awesome pile, plus I was doing a favor for friends by taking books away.
>24 Valerie, it was a lot of fun and actually led to real live conversations about books!
>26 Hi Cushla. It was a wonderful holiday although it already feels like it never happened. I finished up The Warden and really enjoyed it. I don't know why I've never read any Trollope but I will be carrying on.
>27 Hello Genny. The photo is from the south shore of Nantucket Island, very close to my parents' cottage. The water is deceptively turquoisey, however--ordinarily it tends to various shades of grey or dark blue. Yes, I've polished off The Warden and am looking forward to getting on with the rest of the series.
>28 Yes, Suz, that would be the unifying theme alright! (I could have chosen even more except my husband was watching.) No promises on when I'll get to the Ajami tome (your word) but I appreciate the endorsement. Good to know I didn't lug home a clunker.
That is a mighty fine haul Anne and I will say that I read All the King's Men a couple of years ago And absolutely loved it---5 stars!
Ahhhh the angst of getting ready for that first year going away to school---I remember it well from both my own time and both of my children. I'm going to bet she makes a nice adjustment and loves it.
Hi Anne -- just here catching up on your nice new thread. I love the photo and the poem up top. Hope you're having a great week!
Hi Bonnie. I read All the Kings Men years ago and loved it, but don't have a copy of my own so I grabbed it.
Angst is the word. I'm pretty sure she'll adjust splendidly. And we will too--eventually. It sure will change our family dynamic having one less teen around.
Hi Anne. I'm having a busy week, trying to pack my daughter up for college and finding someone to take care of the dog. I'm looking forward to some solid reading time on the plane to Portland Friday.
Anne, will you be visiting Powell's? If you are, I will tell you in advance how jealous I am since it has been on my bucket list to visit that place and so far no luck!
Stopping by to say hi! Oh... I'm so glad that we have a great university right here in Vancouver! No dreadful partings so far!!! My youngest finished university in May and is working f/t in his field of study. Our eldest son is 27 and lives about a mile away from us. Best wishes on your parting! I find it odd to think that both of our sons are now out of school and working f/t ! How old must I be!
A great excuse to purchase books from Powells!! :)
Hi Anne - Have a safe trip. Enjoy Powell's -- maybe it will help take your mind off the parting.
Hi Anne, I hope your trip goes well. I expect this is rather a bittersweet time for you, successfully launching your daughter but I am sure missing her already. Yes, some solice in book shopping sounds in order.
Anne, Thinking of you as you get Kate settled. . . Hope all goes well.
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Hi Anne - Best wished for the trip and getting Kate settled. Portland (Oregon) is one of my favorite places - my niece lives there, so I've visited a few times. Please buy lots at Powell's and remember that they'll ship stuff home for you. : )
Anne, have the best of trips to Portland with your daughter. Enjoy Powell's. Standing by for the haul!
Lovely mixed bag of recent buys Anne I'm sure you'll have fun with them. Thanks also to Suz for the musical entertainment and enlightenment.
Greetings Valerie, Deb, Beth, Judy, Brenda, Kerri, Nancy, and Paul, and thank you for stoping by even though I haven't been here.
Well I'm back from a wonderful and bittersweet week in Portland, having gotten Kate more or less settled into college. The house seems surprisingly quiet and empty, even though of the three kids you could hardly call Kate the noisy one.
I will be posting some photos and of course some book purchases. Just as soon as I finish Gone Girl.
Although a lot of our week was spent at IKEA, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target and Staples getting dorm furnishings and school supplies, and loading and unloading the rental car, we did get to have some fun in Portland and even take a road trip to Seattle to visit family. Some scenery:
From Council Crest Park in Portland, about the halfway point of a 5 mile family hike (it should have been 4 miles but my husband took us off course for at least a half mile)
This is Snoqualmie Falls, outside Seattle, where we went for the day to visit my sister-in-law.
At Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood
Beautiful photos! I'm so glad you got her settled in okay. How strange to have her so far away, and I can perfectly understand how your week was both wonderful and bittersweet. Good luck to her, and welcome back to you!
Helen at Voodoo Doughnuts with a doughnut as big as her head (for the record, mine is the small one)
In the Portland Rose Garden (with the Anne Boleyn Rose below, which made me think of Bring Up the Bodies)
Popcorn crawfish at Jake's Famous Crawfish
Wow you must have had a fabulous time judging by these pictures Anne! Bittersweet indeed. My daughter was in Portland for work in July and brought home some Voodoo doughnuts. Even a day old they tasted mighty good.
What great picture and it looks like a wonderful holiday! Oh Anne, I'd have such trouble if my kids had to live away from for university or college.
Powells Bookstore looks wonderful!! I can't wait to read about your buying binge!
I've got Gone Girl in my TBR pile - sometime soon I will get to it.
Welcome back, Anne. Great pictures. I'm anxious to hear about your book purchases. How is Kate?
Those are some lovely pictures of your bittersweet time in Portland, Anne. Best of luck with the transition. I wish that there was a pause button for life sometimes. I hope you like Gone Girl as much as I did. It's a good escape book.
I am just catching up, Anne, as I somehow lost your thread when you moved to #4. Great lists of reading and purchases starting things off!
Great photos, Anne! I love Portland and Powell's (I could spend a week in that store!), but realize it was a tough trip too. Take care!
Great pictures and sounds like a great trip, even though you ended up leaving your daughter there. I'm jealous--I've always wanted to visit Powell's.
Hi Bonnie. We didn't bring home any doughnuts (we ate them all) but we all did bring back books.
Yes, Deb, we did have a very nice holiday. It's interesting, there are many excellent colleges and universities in the Washington DC area, but Kate from the very beginning wanted no part of anything nearby--she's been viewing college as a time to experience somewhere else, and we've been sympathetic to that goal. She didn't, however, expect to end up on the West coast. I read Gone Girl on the plane home--it was the perfect book to get me home.
Hi Beth. Book report coming soon. (Umm--it involves a lot of typing). Kate is doing well. She's made friends and started classes, and although she called once this week to say she was homesick, all in all she seems pretty happy to be in college. And the rest of us are coping too. The family seems surprisingly small now.
Hi Linda. I have not been around threads too much myself last month so I've lost a few threads myself. A couple more lists are on the way.
Kerri, I think we made the most of what could have been a tough transition. Everybody had a fun time in Portland and we were there just long enough to help Kate settle in but not long enough to be annoying. I could spend a week in Powell's and still keep on finding books to buy. Thanks for the reminder up above that they ship--I put that to good use.
Thanks, Roni. It kind of feels like we forgot something. I remember when our youngest was born I found I had to be very conscious about counting to make sure I had all three--it was a very different mental process for me than keeping track of two. Now we're back to two, and I keep getting this panicked feeling that I've left someone somewhere. I guess that will pass!
I've been meaning to post this for a while but here it finally is. Of course, I have a hard time committing to, say, Five Best Reads.
Favorite books of the year (first half)
Top Ten Fiction:
Silence - Shusako Endo
Fall On Your Knees - Ann-Marie MacDonald
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
In the Woods and The Likeness - Tana French
Lord of Misrule - Jaimy Gordon
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller
Painter of Silence - Georgina Harding
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
How it All Began - Penelope Lively
Bring Up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel
The next ten:
The True Deceiver - Tove Jansson
Mudbound - Hilary Jordan
The Bridge on the Drina - Ivo Andric
All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
The Quiet American - Graham Greene
Train Dreams - Denis Johnson
Deep River - Shusaku Endo
Gillespie and I - Jane Harris
The Translation of the Bones - Francesca Kay
Sovereign - C.J. Sansom
The Warmth of Other Suns - Isabel Wilkerson
The Fire Next Time - James Baldwin
Every Man in This Village is a Liar - Megan Stack
The Souls of Black Folk - W. E. B. Dubois
Complications - Atul Gawande
Children/YA (new to me)
Black Hearts in Battersea - Joan Aiken
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
The Magician's Elephant - Kate DiCamillo
Inside Out and Back Again - Thanhha Lai
Comet in Moominland - Tove Jansson
Gregor the Overlander - Suzanne Colling
Dragonsong - Anne McCaffrey
Beloved - Toni Morrison
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
The Lorax - Dr. Suess
The Sneetches and Other Stories - Dr. Suess
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsberg
Lassie Come-home - Eric Knight
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Joan Aiken
And now, the Powell's list:
Native Guard – Natasha Tretheway
Frost in May – Antonia White
The New York Stories of Edith Wharton
A Month in the Country – J. L. Carr
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
Matterhorn - Karl Marlantes
Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age - Kenzaburo Oe
Too Much Happiness - Alice Munro
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Binocular Vision - Edith Pearlman
Katherine - Anya Seton
Tree of Smoke - Denis Johnson
Replacing favorite library books or books I no longer own:
Green Darkness – Anya Seton
Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Fall on Your Knees - Ann-Marie MacDonald
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
And book shipment #2 (which just arrived):
(I finally ventured out of the fiction section)
A Peoples History of the United States - Howard Zinn (I used to have this but it vanished)
Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin
King Leopold’s Ghost - Adam Hochschild (Already read but a keeper, and on sale)
We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with our Families - Philip Gourevitch
Mary Queen of Scots - Antonia Fraser
River of Doubt - Candice Millard
Testament of Youth - Vera Brittain
Narcopolis - Jeet Thayil
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Everything Flows - Vasiliy Grossman
The Night Watch – Sarah Waters
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry -
All Aunt Hagar's Children - Edward P. Jones
American Salvage - Bonnie Jo Campbell
Collected Novellas - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Season of Migration to the North - Tayeb Salih
Runaway Horses - Yukio Mishima
Hi Anne- Wow! What a fantastic book haul! You are going to be busy. Isn't Powell's wonderful? I finally had an opportunity to visit that mega-store a couple years ago. Amazing.
And thanks for posting those photos! Loved 'em all!
Thanks for sharing your haul from Powell's, Anne. I like hearing about others' purchaes almost as much as making my own :)
Glad your daughter is settling in well at college. That's an incredible number of books you've bought!
Great list of favorites from the first half of the year. I can never narrow it down to just 5. And judging from your Powell's haul, there should be some more good reads in the second half of the year.
Hi Mark! Yes, Powell's is amazing. I especially love that it had a branch at the Portland airport. It is so nice when an airport has a good bookstore.
Hi Katie--I don't think I've been by your thread lately so I will have to stop by and see what you've been reading/buying lately. I do love to see other peoples book hauls. (Maybe because it makes me feel a little less extreme in my tendencies. I don't know what I was thinking with that "read more than you buy" business earlier in the year. I've thrown in the towel.)
Rhian, it is an incredible number (I didn't even list the books I bought for the kids or my husband's modest 4). Now I have to figure out where I can possibly put them all. I may need to reorganize.
Hi Amy! Nice to see you here. In fact even the idea of being forced to narrow it down to five makes me break out in a cold sweat. It looks like I settled for a top 40 by resourceful use of categories.
September Reading Possibilities
I didn't do particularly well on my August plans--it seems I mostly read crime novels and thrillers, as well as isolated short stories, but there's always September.
Books In Progress:
✔The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng
✔Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
✔All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
✔Possession - A.S. Byatt
✔Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope (audio)
✔Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotson (aloud)
Mornings in Jenin - Susan Abulhawa
The Balkan Trilogy - Olivia Manning
Others to choose from:
Palace of Desire and Sugar Street - Naguib Mahfouz
✔The Lonely Londoners - Sam Selvon READING
✔Passing - Nella Larsen
Popular Hits of the Showa Era - Ryu Murakami
Notes on a Scandal - Zoe Heller
Scandal - Shusaku Endo
The Man in the Wooden Hat - Jane Gardam
Septembers of Shiraz - Dalia Sofer
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ - Philip Pullman
Forest Born - Shannon Hale
Revelation - C.J. Sansom
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
Narcopolis - Jeet Thayil
✔Scenes from Village Life - Amos Oz
✔Blameless - Gail Carriger (audio)
Faceless Killers - Henning Mankell
When I left for Portland, my youngest decided that not just the one library book I had assigned her to return, but the whole stack of library books I had just cajoled the staff to let me renew one more time, should go back to the library. Poof--a whole bunch of "must read now" guilt gone. She was trying to be helpful, and I think she succeeded.
Also I plan to keep reading scattered short stories, courtesy of Luci's ongoing TIOLI challenge. I haven't been listing them on my own thread but I probably should or I'll forget what I've read.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Postwar by Tony Judt
Class Warfare by Steven Brill
Native Guard by Natasha Tretheway
Anne - I have to get to Powells - we both did 34 books over the weekend but I had to trawl four stores whilst you got em all in one! Great reading lists as always - you are one of the few people who could put up a list like that and actually have a chance of pulling it off.
Wow, looks like Powell's was a fruitful and productive outing! Jealous I am since I've been wanting to visit that bookstore since I first found out about it, but have never gotten the chance to travel to that part of the world!
I read Heart of Darkness last month and will be interested to see what you feel about it. :)
You've got some good choices there for September, Anne. I do love the Cairo Trilogy, but I spread them out. Some people like to read them all at once.
What do you think of Journey to the River Sea? We read it aloud a year or so ago. It wasn't my favorite Eva Ibbotson, but both girls count it as one of their favorites, and that's what it's all about, isn't it?
You're reminding me Anne that I want to try to add some short stories to Lucy's challenge so I'll head over there next. What a haul from Powell's! The Balkan Trilogy?? Weren't we reading that together months ago;-) Oh well, I thought I'd get to Mornings in Jenin last month too. Maybe this month but my interests seem to have been diverted.
I am SO far behind, but I scanned all the news and new books!!! You make me feel so good!!!! I agree with your best of the best in almost every case and now feel a great need to check out Silence and How It All Began.
What do you hear from Kate?
Great pictures! Somehow I had pictured Powell's (as I do The Strand) with constant banners and fireworks of the "Here it is at last!" variety. It looks like a place that just anybody could walk into.
My only piece of advice (and I'm sure that several somebodies will disagree vehemently) is that you could put The Septembers of Shiraz at the bottom of your list and not feel devastated if you don't get to it.
Anne, it sounds like you visited all the best places in Portland - what could be better than doughnuts and books! Your book haul from Powell's is truly amazing. I must put Portland on my travelling agenda.
Hello to all my lovely visitors and sorry for neglecting you.
Yes, Paul, you must get to Powell's although I would say that you seem perfectly capable of buying prodigious quantities of books even without a bookstore the size of a city block.
Hi Valerie--Powell's is a booklover's dream and Portland is wonderful as well, so I do recommend finding an excuse to get out that way. (It's been 22 years since I last ventured into the Pacific Northwest but I now have a reason.) I just finished up Heart of Darkness today. It was a reread for me, but I'm still puzzling over it, and I'm kind of missing the experience of discussing it in a college class which is how I read it before.
Anne, we are reading Journey to the River Sea as a read-aloud and loving it. I have resisted--with difficulty--the temptation to read through to the end. I read the Cairo Trilogy a long time ago, and I read them straight through then, but now I seem to be spacing them out.
Hi Bonnie! Yes, we were reading The Balkan Trilogy together, but you finished it and I only completed the first volume. I think something really pressing came up like Bring Up the Bodies and I haven't been able to get back to it. But I plan to at least get to the second volume this month. I am also stalled on Mornings in Jenin--maybe because it's on my Kindle and I haven't had good Kindle-reading opportunities lately. I was enjoying it though. I've gone completely crazy on the short story challenge--it seems every time I look at it I add another. The trouble is I can add stories fater than I can read.
Peggy, Silence and How it all Began--couldn't be more different, I don't think, but I really enjoyed both. Kate seems to be adjusting well and we hear from her quite a lot, so that's good. Most of her problems seem to be of the annoying roommate variety and not of the academic meltdown variety, and she's only called once to report being homesick. Thanks for the advice on Septembers of Shiraz--I always like it when I get help with prioritizing.
Hi Judy. Yes, Portland has doughnuts and books, but also local beer, great food, an eclectic downtown and mountains. And it didn't even rain while we were there!
I'm currently juggling far too many books and therefore not making a lot of progress on any of them. I seem to be gravitating towards audiobooks, short stories, and non-fiction rather than the 20 or so books I thought about reading this month.
I just came back from our brand new renovated library, which has been closed for the last three years and just reopened Wednesday. It is gorgeous and seems huge compared to the interim branch we've been using. So of course I had to check out a stack of books.
Anne - Wow! What great lists. How It All Began is one of my favorites for the year, too, and others that I haven't read are on my wish list. They'll move up a few steps. It is fun to hear about others' purchases. I know what you mean about the "read more than you buy" plan -- mine fell by the wayside in Feb.
So, what did you check out of the library? I've had a few reserves come in -- just when I am getting busy with school. And all at once. Do they plan it?
>70 You're not alone. I feel the same way about The Septembers of Shiraz...it's not bad, but I wouldn't recommend anyone put it at the top of their priority lists.
Looking forward to your thoughts on HoD. I finished it a couple of months ago and was under impressed by it. Brand new library sounds pretty awesome. Going it without any books would be a crime so good thing your arms were loaded. ;)
I am with you on the book juggling and have decided to stop that and do one a a time in future.
Have a lovely weekend and I'll spend mine dreaming of Powells.
Stopping by to say hi! What a great book haul from Powells! Ohhh - like many others I am so jealous! I am so glad that Kate is adapting well to college and dorm life. That must be a huge weight off your shoulders!
Hi Anne! What an amazing Powell's book haul! I'll be there in January, as I have a conference in Seattle and I'm going to take the train to Portland afterwards to visit my nice and her husband.
We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with our Families is fantastic - I read it last year. I was also recently thinking how I'd like to finally read A People's History of the United States. I've read other Zinn, but never that one.
More than two weeks away - trust that everything is fine with you Anne?
She was last spotted reading during the Readathon, says one endangered species on LT about another!
Thanks Paul and Cushla for reviving my thread. It had dropped so far down the thread list that even I had trouble finding it.
No, things are fine here, I just haven't managed to find much time for LT in September--too much else happening, but nothing disastrous. I have kept up with the TIOLI challenge, however, and did manage to join in the last Readathon. I've probably missed two or three Paul threads in the meantime. Well, October is a new month.
>74 Beth, that library haul back in September included The Septembers of Shiraz, The stolen lake, The orphan master's son, The headmaster's wager,Disco for the departed, and The terra-cotta dog--not a single one of which I've managed to read yet, but that's okay, because I can renew them twice. This month I actually managed to read three books that I had on my shelves before the year started, and to do that I guess I had to intentionally defer some library reads. I guess it's one or the other.
>75 Hi Rachel--nice to see you. Another lukewarm report on Septembers of Shiraz. Well, I didn't read in September, and if I don't get to it in October back to the library it will go.
>76 Valerie, I enjoyed Heart of Darkness more when I read it for a college literature class years ago. I feel like I was able to unlock different things from the text in a classroom setting. I still appreciate it upon rereading, but it lost something. And it's always been a book I appreciate rather than enjoy.
>77 Paul, I am powerless when it comes to the multiple books thing. I just can't stop myself from reading more than one at a time--sometimes for good reason, like because one is an audiobook or a short story collection that I don't intend to read straight through. But sometimes it's because a book is dragging on and I want something more entertaining (in which case I'll finish the new book and several more before I get around to finishing the original one), or because I'm reading a fat book and I don't want to take it on the bus or to swim practice or guitar lessons.
>78 Deb--it's good to have Kate settled, though she is struggling with a combination of homesickness and more existential questions about "the meaning of life". I think perfectly normal and well within the bounds of a major life transition, but it is hard to have her so far away--and the time zone is not our friend! Today is her birthday--18!
>79 Kerri--I hope you have a wonderful time in Portland/Powells, though it's still a few months away, and that you save lots of room in your luggage. I've read excerpts of the Zinn book, but have always wanted to sit down and read through the whole book.
And what better way to resurrect my thread than with a list of possible planned reads for October?
Here is a list, in no particular order. I've bolded the ones I'm most likely to get to.
The Terracotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
Narcopolis: A Novel by Jeet Thayil
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
✔The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam
War Trash by Ha Jin
The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan (read in November)
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo (read in November)
Unless by Carol Shields
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
✔Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 by Tony Judt (listening)
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
✔End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman
✔Popular Hits of the Showa Era: A Novel by Ryū Murakami (completed)
✔Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
✔Scandal by Shūsaku Endō (reading)
The Girl I Left Behind by Shūsaku Endō
✔Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
✔The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien (reading)
The Siege by Helen Dunmore
Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller
Dead souls by Nikolai Gogol
✔Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason
The Submission by Amy Waldman
✔1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (reading)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
✔The Giver by Lois Lowry
Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill (read in November)
The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer
Chess Story by Stefan Zweig (read in November)
The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Dessen
A Writer's Diary - Virginia Woolf
It's nice to see you back on here (and to be back - I have hardly been keeping up with my own thread the last few months).
I like the look of your October list! (As usual.) I started Postwar in hard copy last weekend for all of half an hour and was enjoying it but I'm trying hard to finish Truman, which is another whopper of a book. I hope to get to Postwar quite soon though.
I read Notes on a Scandal way before my LT days, and remember finding it very creepy. Am keen to see how you find the Hobbit, because I started reading the kids LOTR on the Kindle the other night (long story about a LOTR modelling and strategy game that Fletcher is getting really into) and they liked it, but Tim reckons we need to read the Hobbit first. I tried reading it when I was a kid but wasn't into fantasy at all.
Hi Anne, what a great list you have for October reads. My intentions are to read whatever the library sends me. I feel like I've won the library lottery as all my reserved books are coming so close together. I even had to freeze a couple.
Three years is a long time for a renovation. I hope your "new" library is worth the wait.
Hi Anne- That is a mighty mighty October reading list. Wow! Some outstanding books on that list too! Good luck. I'm looking forward to following your progress.
Cushla, I am really loving Postwar. It's long, and I wouldn't want to read it simultaneously with Truman.
I've read The Hobbit before, but probably not since I was a child. Which surprises me a little because I've read the Lord of the Rings trilogy many many times as an adult (I used to reread the entire series every time a new Peter Jackson movie came out), and I love it, but I've never gone back and reread The Hobbit. I don't think you need to read The Hobbit first for the purposes of story--they really do stand alone. Usually you read The Hobbit first because it's more suitable for younger ages, so it's a natural progression to start with he Hobbit and then move on, often not right away. (I liked The Hobbit but hated LOTR as a child--way too dark for me. But my sister just finished reading the whole series to her 6 and 8 year old boys, and they adored them.) If I was discovering Tolkien as an adult, I don't think I would start with The Hobbit.
Donna, you just gave me the idea of posting photos of our brand new/old library. So here they are:
What a fabulous library Anne. Looks to me like it was well worth the wait especially when I compare it to my own somewhat small library. Looks like you have another ambitious list for September. I'm hoping to get to Man Without a Face at some point in time also and Virginia Woolf's diary has been on my list for a very long time.
Big cheers for the new library! :)
Now that is a list for October, but if anything, Anne, you are one of the few people here who can actually pull off an impressive list like that! Happy October readings!
Beautiful library, Anne. Definitely worth three years of inconvenience. Thanks for sharing pictures with us.
Great pictures of the new library, Anne. I bet you have thousands of happy hours there ahead of you!
Edited to add: thanks for the background on LOTR and The Hobbit. Great to hear your sister's good experience with reading LOTR to kids the same age as mine - I will leave the Hobbit for now.
Hi Mark--I missed you back there while I was searching the web for library photos.
Hi Linda and Bonnie and Valerie and Donna and Cushla. I love the new library and I find it very exciting that DC is choosing to invest so much money in our libraries right now--it seems like a major statement that libraries are of enduring public value. This one is a Carnegie Library that was originally built in 1925--it is a beautiful historic building but it had gotten very shabby. They did a good job preserving the old while making it airy and functional and modern.
The inconvenience of having it closed was pretty minor. First of all, we moved to London for a year right after the library closed, so we didn't miss it. By the time we came back there was a temporary branch, which, although it was small and lacking in amenities, was around the corner from my house and in a spot I had to pass every day whether taking kids to school, catching the bus, or picking up milk. The smallness of it made it very easy to browse the entire collection, and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the number of books in the new library. Non-fiction now has an entire floor instead of one section of one shelf!
Yes, my October reading plans are a little over the top. I can usually manage 15 books which is the number I bolded. But I really really want to read all the rest, too. Sometimes, it's enough just to write them down!
Besides the Hobbit, which Helen and I are reading together so that we can see the movie when it comes out in December, I am listening to and loving Tony Judt's Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. I've really liked other things I've read by Judt and this comprehensive tome is no exception (I have the actual tome checked out of the library as a companion to the audiobook--sometimes it works better for me that way.) The book is basically chronological, but he also takes things country by country (and manages to cover just about all the countries), while also managing to cover ideology, politics, economic issues, popular culture, etc. without losing any coherency of narrative. I'm up to the 80's now so well into events that I actually remember.
I've also restarted my read of 1Q84 for Mark's group read. I started this in January, getting only four chapters in before I had to set it aside (for reasons that had more to do with its length than my interest), and it's amazing how vividly I remember those first chapters. No rereading necessary!
Plus I'm dabbling in short stories. In doing so I stumbled upon this line from Chekhov, which to me just about sums up marriage, at least on certain days:
"My goodness!" thought Sofya Petrovna. "I love and respect him, but...why does he munch so repulsively?"
Hi Anne - The Judt book sounds great. I know what you mean about combining audio with a real copy; I do that with my ebooks. I read mostly on my eReader when I'm at the gym -- I get through things a lot faster if I also have a paper copy at home.
I love the quote -- it does seem apt.
How's this for an attention-getting first line?
He knew at once it was a human bone, when he took it from the baby who was sitting on the floor chewing it.
(Silence of the Grave - Arnaldur Indridason)
Hi Beth. I worry with audio non-fiction, especially, that I'm missing out on maps and photos and charts. Plus, I don't always catch names and places when I'm listening.
I remember that great opening line! I loved the 2nd book. I thought it was better than the first. Enjoy! Have you been by the Group Read thread, lately?
Hi Mark! I can barely remember the first one, it seems, though I read and enjoyed it. It's starting to come back to me though as I get further along in this one.
I've been mainly lurking in the Group Read (and I'm trying heroically to keep up with you--I thought I was on pace but you've zoomed ahead.). I just popped over this morning with a thought.
And now for some reviews, or at least mini-reviews, from September.
138. All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy 4.0
This was a reread, and I read it specifically because it was my son’s summer reading book for English and I thought it might be nice to read it together. (Wrong.)
I read this a long time ago and I was curious whether my reaction to it would change. In fact it was almost exactly as I’d remembered it. McCarthy does such an amazing job of evoking a setting and landscape, and also conjuring up the melancholy of changing times and a disappearing way of life. I admire his writing, but for some reason I never really warm to the story he’s telling.
139. The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng 4.8
This could end up being a 5 star read when I go back over the year and make sense of my ratings. Beautifully written and haunting, with many layers of meaning, it would be well worth a reread (just the kind of book the Booker judges said they were looking for). This is definitely a worthy candidate for the Booker short list, and I’d love to see it win, though I haven’t read very many from the list yet.
140. Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope (audio) 4.0
The second in the series, I’ve just discovered Trollope and am thoroughly enjoying the Chronicles of Barchester. Trollope creates memorable characters, especially the distasteful ones, and the high intrigue of church politics is very engaging. His wry humor is wonderful. I found Eleanor Bold's intentness on being misunderstood and misunderstanding to strain credulity, but I can understand the need for a plot device from time to time.
141. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad 4.0
A lot of other books conspired to get me to reread this one. After finishing Moby Dick, I was interested in the parallels between Kurtz and Ahab. King Leopold’s Ghost is a nonfiction account of the Belgian Congo and has a chapter on Joseph Conrad and his own experience there. State of Wonder is supposed to be loosely patterned on Conrad's book (loose here being the operative word as Conrad's narrative is tight and Patchett's loose and sprawling). And I am gearing up to read The Dream of the Celt.
Dark and disturbing, HoD is quite short and therefore compressed, which is one of its strengths. I remember spending a lot of time with this as a college student and coming to some very interesting insights about its message. Sadly, I can’t recall what they were. I still admire Conrad's elegant structure, the journey motif that operates on multiple levels, and the resounding theme of darkness and evil that lies beneath the surface of civilization, maybe at the core of human nature. At the center of everything lies “the horror.”
142. Blameless - Gail Carriger (audio) 3.9
I never know what to say about these –very clever or very silly? Regardless, I find them very entertaining (and a great antidote to, say, Heart of Darkness). Part quirky adventure story, part romance, part comedy of manners, part steampunk alternate history with supernatural elements--in this installment our soulless heroine ventures to Italy to learn more about her kind, and faces threats from many directions. As always, the central question: which is worse, mortal danger or appearing in public improperly attired? I'm always amused by the invented facts Carriger tosses in--like the fact that the anti-supernatural Italians invented pesto to counter vampires (garlic) and werewolves (basil).
143. Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotson (aloud) 4.0
This was a read-aloud with my daughter, and we both enjoyed the story of Maia, an orphan girl who goes from a boarding school in London to live with distant relatives on a rubber plantation in the Amazon. Whereas Maia approaches the move with a sense of curiousity and adventure, the appalling Carter family tries to live in a bubble where there are no insects, no local food, and no contact with the natives. Thank goodness for the governess—Miss Minton, a mysterious character with a love of books and a secret past of her own. I’ve seen this compared to A Little Princess and I think that if you loved Sara Crewe you will also love Maia. Although it’s hard to think who wouldn’t love Maia.
Hey, while I wasn't paying attention I completed my second set of 75!
It's interesting how some books stay up there on my "currently reading" spot seemingly forever, while some (like Silence of the Grave ) are there so briefly it's barely worth posting them.
I am hoping to go to hear Louise Erdrich talk tonight and pick up a copy of her new book The Round House. If I can get enough done here between now and then. (I feel like I'm in internal dialogue with Cinderella's stepmother: "IF you get all your WORK done and IF you can find something suitable to wear.")
Anne - Well done on making 2x75 - you're exactly twice as fast as me this year!
Congratulations on a great new/old library - how I miss those things here.
Congratulations also on some great recent reading - Indridason is one of my favourite Scandis at the moment too.
Anne - What a great list of recent reading. The Eng book sounds like one I want to read soon. I have The Round House waiting for me at the library; I'm anxious to get to it. I think you should go to see Erdrich -- how often do you get the chance? And you'll tell us all about it, right?
I think the Carriger series very clever AND very silly, all at once. And I am planning to get to the Barchester books next year, really I am!
Hi Anne - I always love your mini-reviews. The Garden of Evening Mists is on my TBR list, so hopefully I'll get to that sooner, rather than later. And I've always been interested in Trollope, but haven't read him yet, so perhaps I'll try the Chronicles of Barchester series.
Hi, Anne! Congratulations on reading more than twice as many books as I have! *sigh* for me *Yippee!* for you
Oh dear - is October the month I'm meant to read Barchester Towers? I hope not because I'm booked already.
I have put Garden of Evening Mists on my Kindle and can't wait to dive in. I really should finish something else first. Maybe I should leave this friendly place and read some!
Wow, 75x2 is beyond impressive! Congrats on reading so many books and just based upon the last batch reviews, quite a number of them were great reads. :)
Does that mean there's a GR of Tale of Two Cities? I'd be interested in that>
I'm with Peggy, Anne. Congratulations on reading twice as many books as I have. LOL.
>100 Hi, Paul. I may be reading twice as fast as you are but your posting rate--and I'm thinking of your impressive number of threads but also your ability to get around and visit so many threads--puts me to shame. No libraries in KL? But I know there are bookstores! I had a long gap between Jar City and Silence of the Grave but I have a feeling I'll be seeking out the next one before long.
>101 Well, Beth, in fact I did go hear Erdrich. And I didn't finish what I was supposed to finish, I ordered a pizza for the kids and decided my grant report could wait until the next day. And now I have a shiny new signed copy of The Round House. Notes to follow.
>102 Roni, I guess it's true that there's no real contradiction there, and the cleverness/silliness is what makes those books entertaining.
>103 Thanks, Kerri. I hope you enjoy The Garden of Evening Mists when you get to it. And Trollope. lyzard did a tutored read of The Warden a few months back (August?) that really enhanced my introduction to Trollope. I will go looking for the link and insert it later.
>104 Peggy (and Valerie and Bonnie)--I guess somebody has to stake out the middle ground between 75 and Suzanne (who I believe is working on her 4th set of 75 by now).
>105 Thanks, Valerie. Yes, I seem to get a high percentage of good reads--mostly 4's. I don't know if that means I'm good at choosing or bad at rating but, a 4 star book is a 4 star book--worth the investment.
>106 Liz, I was too impatient to wait around until December for Barchester Towers, but I may look in on the thread anyway just to see what I missed.
>107 Bonnie It does surprise me that I'm reading faster than you because you provide so many excellent book suggestions it seems you must be way ahead of me.
I haven't been around here much, again, because a) work b) my girl came home from college this weekend c) the dog was neutered this week and is quite miserable in his cone and d) horribly disgusting infestation of pantry moths.
I'm about halfway through the 1Q84 tome which is really zipping along now, and I just completed another doorstopper, Tony Judt's excellent history of postwar Europe.
I'll try to get some October reviews up in the next couple of days.
Hi Anne, I am woefully behind here. But as you have admitted to an absence as well, I forgive myself :)
Great going on persevering with not one but 2 doorstoppers this month. They can be intimidating, but if they are good books its fantastic as they are with you for that much longer.
Anne - hahaha my computer woes has slowed down my posting activity by an alarming rate these last five days or so. Only one post on my thread this morning is evidence that one's thread soon starts to flounder if its host goes missing and fails to get round the threads!
Hi Anne - It sounds like you have a lot going on. Enjoy your visit and good luck with the dog and the moths. Happy reading in your spare time :)
I'm so sorry real life is so darn hectic right now. Hopefully things will slow down a tad.
Anne- I finished 1Q84 today! Yah! I'm glad it's done but I really enjoyed the long strange trip!
Sounds like you had your hands full the past little while, Anne!
I hope you enjoy the time with your daughter while she is back and extra cuddles for the fur-kid as he recovers from the procedure. :)
Hi Megan! Nice to see you. I'll confess to mostly lurking on your thread, though I haven't posted in a while. I didn't really mean to read two huge doorstoppers in one month, it just happened--but both have been great (so far).
Beth--unfortunately the moths will probably be around longer than Kate, but we're having a good time. Sometimes busy is good busy! ANd the puppy dog is feeling a little more chipper.
Hi Linda and thank you for dropping in. Hectic is a part of life I guess and I really can't complain. (I will complain about those darn moths though!)
Congratulations Mark! I see the group read thread is awfully quiet--are you holding your thoughts until some of us catch up? I'm making good progress--My goal was to read Book 1 by the 10th, Book 2 by the 20th, and Book 3 by the end of the month, and I'll probably finish Book 2 tonight (so ahead of schedule).
Valerie, yes, busy. It is nice to have Kate back--it does feel like she never left, except that she has no school and is really on vacation at home, which is different. ANd she's on West Coast time, so she stays up until all hours and sleeps till noon (well, like any teenager with no place to go). Albus seems to be recovering just fine.
So I just finished The Giver for the Banned Book challenge. Great book--my daughter recommended it to me years ago and I've finally gotten around to it. I cannot understand why this book was banned!
The Giver was fantastic, wasn't it? She just published a new book in the "quartet." There's a 3 month waiting list for it at my library!
>119 Rachel, I recall that Lois Lowry was at the National Book Festival last month promoting a new book (though I didn't get to hear her), but I wasn't aware it was related. I actually read Gathering Blue a few years ago, without realizing that it was related to other books. Very powerful reads.
Louise Erdrich author talk
First of all, the room was packed. I am never sure whether my favorite authors are "popular" or not but it was standing room only. Curiously (to me), some of the people I talked to had never read any of Erdrich's work. I don't know what to make of that--it would never occur to me to go to a book talk by an unknown author--I can barely manage to get to ones I like.
For most of the time, she read two long selections from her new book, which I am now anxious to start. Then she took questions. Points that stuck in my head:
She writes all of her stories in longhand, and only transfers them to the computer when they are finished, for editing and revision. This led into a discussion about Catholic schools and the lost art of penmanship.
In response to a question about how she transitioned from writing poetry to writing fiction--Erdrich said she had wanted to write longer narratives but felt she lacked the self-discipline and attention span. To address this she used to tie herself to her chair with a long scarf so that when she got the urge to get up she would be restrained. (Apparently it worked--I wonder if I should try that? Unfortunately I have plenty of challenges to my attention span even if I remain in my chair.)
Interestingly, she describes herself as an agoraphobic who doesn't get out much, and prefers to be home. She really has to steel herself up for a book tour. She seemed terribly poised and confident to me for all that, so good for her.
She had some interesting comments about her creative process--how characters and narrators sort of arrive and start talking to her. The current book took shape around the narrator and his reactions to events.
I also should confess some recent book splurges. I say confess, because for the most part these are shiny new just-released hardbacks.
National Book Festival
The Dream of the Celt - Mario Vargas Llosa
This is How You Lose Her - Junot Diaz
When I Was a Child I Read Books - Marilynne Robinson
The Round House - Louise Erdrich
GIFT from my daughter so it doesn't actually count
The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling
I love to hear authors talk about their processes. Thanks for sharing your experience at the Louise Erdrich talk.
A thank you from me too! Erdrich is one I'd go out of my way to hear!
I am so jealous of you Anne! Louise Erdrich!! Ties herself to a chair huh? So interesting.
Anne, thank you for sharing your evening with Louise with us. She is one of my favorite authors. I have The Round House in my hot little hands as of yesterday. Guess what I'll be doing this week end? After my work is done, of course. Lol. On another book note, we felt the same way about Garden of the Evening Mists. Such a lovely book.
So glad you are having some Kate time. When does she go back to school?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Louise Erdrich talk, Anne. I am not at all surprised that people who have not read her books would attend her talks. It's a great way to be introduced to a new author. I would guess that about half of the NYS Writers Institute events I attend involve authors whose books I have not yet read. Some I do read afterwards and some I don't. Since the talks are free, I will go to hear just about anyone who sounds interesting!
Anne - wishing you a lovely weekend. I read The Antelope Wife last year by Erdrich and was a bit perplexed by it in truth, but I'm sure she is fascinating.
Anne - Thanks for sharing the Erdrich talk. I have The Round House from the library, so I am going to go start reading. It sounds like a few of us will be reading it soon.
Anne, I read The Giver earlier this year as well and thought it was great! For such a small book, it certainly packs a big punch. I have 2 of the other books in the quartet sitting on my shelves but heard they aren't as powerful as the first book. I think that's okay as long as I go into it not comparing it to The Giver.
Brenda and Peggy and Bonnie and Megan and Donna and Linda and Paul and Beth I'm glad you got something out of my very brief Erdrich notes.
Megan, too late I know, but I'm not sure Tracks is the best Erdrich novel to start with. I actually liked it when I read it, but I read it almost like folklore or family history, sort of a backstory to The Beet Queen and Love Medicine which I had already read. I loved The Blue Jay's Dance! I read it shortly after my daughter was born, probably while I was pregnant with my son, and I've never forgotten it.
Donna, I have to defer starting on The Round House until next month but I am looking forward to it. We had a wonderful visit with Kate. She was home for almost a week and in some ways it was like she never left, except that we all appreciate each other a lot more! She was sad to leave, but she's very happy to be back at school too.
Linda, it makes so much sense that people attend author talks when they haven't read the author--and clearly that's why authors go on book tours in the first place, to promote their work to new audiences, since hardcore fans will probably read their latest books anyway. I guess what's surprising is that it surprised me! I think I'm just so focused on my hyper-busy schedule where it's practically impossible to sneak out for a free book talk, even though our local bookstore has them practically every evening, that it would never occur to me to attend unless I had a particular reason. Someday....when no one is asking what's for dinner
Paul, I can't say that I've read The Antelope Wife though I think I do own it. Perplexed, huh? I've read much early Erdrich and recent Erdrich but there are many books in the middle that I've missed (although I've been a reader all my life, it seems I didn't read much between 1996 and 2001 or so).
Beth, I'm planning on reading The Round House in November since I have too many books on the go to add anything else in October.
Valerie, I agree The Giver was great. I'm always impressed when a book can be both short and powerful. As I think I mentioned I read Gathering Blue, which maybe is one of the ones on your shelf, without realizing it was related, and I thought it was very good--I'd recommend it. Similar themes, and maybe it's just as well that I had nothing to compare it to. Now I'm curious about whether it depicts the very same society and if so whether it would have the same degree of suspense if you'd already read The Giver.
My reading plans for October were all over the map, but I seem to be solidly mired in Asia at the moment and may just stay there for the rest of the month.
I finally finished the big doorstopper 1Q84--my first experience with Murakami, which I really liked though I'm glad I don't have to lug that big book around any more. I also finished the audiobook of Spring Snow for Japanese author theme read, which I liked less. I've been playing catch-up on the Japanese authors challenge and 1Q84 ended up being my third book this month set in Tokyo. And I think I could make a case that the Murakami was the most straightforward.
I'm also in the middle of The Headmaster's Wager (Vietnam), and three books set in China: I'm reading The Garlic Ballads on my Kindle; we chose Where the Mountain Meets the Moon as our next read-aloud, in keeping with the theme; and I figured, why not reread The Good Earth since I last read it when I was 13 or 14 and I have it as an audiobook?
If I have time for more books I will be reading The Hundred Secret Senses, an Amy Tan novel I somehow missed; or revisiting Dr. Siri in Laos with Disco for the Departed.
Hi Anne, hope everything is well in your neck of the woods. The news has been showing all sorts of videos from Sandy and it looks like the storm hasn't quite finished its devastation yet...
Hi Anne! I'm catching up here. I hope the pantry moths issue has been successfully resolved.
Thank you for pointing out the tutored read of The Warden. I'll look for that. I hope to get to more pre-20th century reading next year. I usually read a good amount of 19th century literature, but this year, it looks like I've read none, which is amazing.
Nice of you to spend your October visiting Asia - I'm here permanently and don't get to sample the local lit anywhere near as much. Have a lovely week Anne.
>133 Hi Mary, nice to see you. We've had two days of rain and wind and no school and general shutdown, but nothing dramatic compared to, say, New York. I am also lucky in that I live in a part of the city that rarely loses power in storms, so although a lot of the area is without power, we're enjoying our cabin fever in relative comfort. Except for some miserable dog-walking. I hope the storm is not too bad up by you.
>134 Kerri, it seems like I am perpetually catching up. Funny you should mention moths. I wish I could the problem has been resolved, but unfortunately it goes on and on. The first thing I do every morning is vacuum newly hatched moths off the kitchen ceiling. I've disposed of every possible source of infestation and have gone over every item in the cupboard at least three times in recent weeks and so I can't figure out where they are coming from. At least I feel like every moth I kill interrupts countless future generations. If only I could get the dog to hunt moths.
>135 Hi Paul. Living there, fiction about Asia probably doesn't have the exotic quality it has for me. Still, I'm frequently appalled by my lack of historical knowledge, so effectively highlighted by fiction.
I'm having trouble coming up with a list of planned reads for November because I'm feeling a little pressured by the impending end of the year. (this is very silly, I know) So I will just list the various books that are jockeying for position, and why. I'm not even going to think about TIOLI yet.
New books I'm really eager to get to:
The Round House - Louise Erdrich
The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling
✔NW - Zadie Smith
When I Was A Child I Read Books - Marilynne Robinson (reading)
China Theme for Reading Globally
✔The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan
Wild Swans - Jung Chang
✔A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers - Xiaolu Guo
War Trash - Ha Jin
✔Disco for the Departed - Colin Cotterill
The Terracotta Dog - Andrea Camillieri
Wild Swans - june Chang
✔The Hundred Secret Senses
The Orphanmaster's Son - Adam Johnson (returned)
The Man Without a Face - Masha Dessen
12 in 12 Categories (here is where the pressure really kicks in)
I have finished with 5 of my categories: Series, Brand New Books, Prize Winners, Classics, Japanese Authors and have one or two books to go in 3 other categories: Orange-nominated books, Nonfiction, Books set in London
But I am seriously behind in a couple of my categories, and it may even be hopeless. Still, I plan to focus on Memoirs and Biography, and Russia, in November and December.
✔The Hare With Amber Eyes
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (this could go in African-American literature, but memoir/biography is in worse shape)
When I Was A Child I Read Books - Marilynne Robinson
The Man Without a Face (this could go in Russia, but see above )
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating - Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Travels with Charley - John Steinbeck (reading)
Night - Elie Wiesel
Out of Africa - Isak Dinesen
Charles Dickens - Clair Tomalin
Catherine the Great - Robert Massie
Dead Souls - Nikolai Gogol
The Siege - Helen Dunmore
Fathers and Sons - Ivan Turgenev
The following books help complete other categories, live on my shelves, and match a November TIOLI category.
Home - Marilynne Robinson
✔The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ - Phillip Pullman
The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie
✔Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Cane - Jean Toomer
Brown Girl, Brownstones - Paule Marshall
What Was She Thinking - Zoe Heller
City of the Mind - Penelope Lively
Hi Anne- Congrats on finishing 1Q84! You did it! I hope you came away a fan. I like your planned November reads. I would like to get to most of those too!
I see you are starting the 2nd Dr. Siri! I love that series!
I'm glad you came through the storm well, Anne. If you find something that works for pantry moths, let me know. I have continual reinfestations. The traps work for a short while.
Mark--yep, definitely came away a fan. Dr. Siri will fit in well with my current (and partly inadvertent) Asia fixation so all the better.
Oh, Roni, I wish I had the answer to pantry moths. I keep trying to eliminate them at the source, but now I'm hoping that if I can just eradicate any trace of a living moth they won't be able to reproduce. But they are very sneaky. I've used those traps before--but I never have the feeling that they're getting them all.
Brenda I'm listening to an audiobook of The Hare With Amber Eyes right now and I'm loving it. And it's a good thing too because I have an aunt who has been badgering me to read it for a while and every time I talk to her she is disappointed that I haven't gotten to it. So at Christmas I will be able to report that it's as good as she said.
Valerie I think your month's reading plans may be more impressive, to be honest.
Anne, you remind me that I need to update my 12-in-12 thread. I was gung-ho on it early in the year, but have let things slide recently. I think next year I will stick to one group...and it will be the 75 Book Challenge. This is a full-time job!
I'll be curious to see how you like the Marilynne Robinson book. I love the title and also that particular essay, but had to give up on reading most of the book because I didn't want to think that hard. I may get back to it someday.
Anne, I'm glad that cabin fever has been the biggest result of your Sandy involvement. You are so organized that I am respectful. I've spent my LT time this morning looking at your projected reading for November and being a bit disappointed with what I've lined up. Hmmm. I guess that isn't quite the truth, and I have mine sitting here waiting, so I'll remain satisfied. I do hope that you manage to work in The Sparrow and the Frederick Douglass though.
Hi Anne, I am just passing through. What interesting reading you've been doing lately! We are reading The Hobbit aloud, and it is the first time for al of us. We LOVE it, and I can't believe I waited until my 40s to read Tolkein. We were inspired by the upcoming movie, and because Callia will travel to New Zealand this spring.
>143 Hi, Donna. I've been pretty good about updating my 12 in 12 challenge (basically the book lists that I set up at the beginning of the year), but it seems I never post on the thread itself. I barely have time to chat it one group let alone several! But I do like keeping track of my lists over there.
I've only read the first essay in the Marilynne Robinson book (Freedom of Thought) but I really liked it and I think I will like the collection. I know what you mean about thinking too hard. But I think I'm in the mood for that. Maybe.
>144 Peggy, I'm possibly organized (at least where book lists are concerned, but you should see my desk), but sadly lacking in self-discipline or decision making ability. I really wish I could just tell myself "here are 5 books I'd really like to read this month and here are 5 more that I'd like to read if I finish those" but I'm lately so overwhelmed by all the books I have sitting around that I sometimes don't even know where to start. So a list of 30 seems like a good place! I'm likely to get to The Sparrow, since I have it in an audio format and I'm always looking for the next audiobook for my driving time, and Frederick Douglass is on my Kindle (and it relatively short if I'm not mistaken). Now I will go and see what you are reading in November.
>145 Hi Anne! I'm glad you're enjoying The Hobbit. We read it in anticipation of the movie too. I have a complicated history with Tolkien. I read The Hobbit and LOTR when I was young and while I liked The Hobbit well enough, I actively disliked the LOTR trilogy and never picked the books up again until a year or two before the first movie came out, when my husband and sister talked me into trying again. And I loved them! I mean, really loved them to the point where if someone forced me to create a desert island book list, Lord of the Rings would definitely be there. I'm planning to reread them again next year after we see The Hobbit movie, because I'm sure I will feel compelled to.
How amazing that Callia will get to go to New Zealand! As if it wasn't appealing enough, the movies definitely make you want to see New Zealand.
These are my tentative categories for my 2013 category challenge. I'm not going anywhere near the 2013 group yet, because I still have a lot of work to do on my 2012 categories and I don't need to start messing around with a new thread until at least December, but I thought I'd post them here for now.
1. Ireland (Irish authors, Irish settings, non-fiction about Ireland)
2. Japanese authors (authors that weren't covered by this year's Author Theme Read plus books I've acquired for that challenge that I didn't get to)
3. Prize winners (Orange and Booker long lists, and literary awards of all types)
4. New (published in 2012 or 2013)
5. American presidents
7. 19th century novels
8. Nobel authors
9. Favorite authors (favorite authors, or a second book by an author whose first book I loved)
10. Fantasy (Lord of the Rings reread, plus that Game of Thrones series I've been ignoring for so long, plus miscellaneious children's lit)
11.Philosophy and Religion (This was a category this year, but I ended up mostly reading novels, so for 2013 I'd like to get to non-fiction)
12. Short Stories/Poetry
13. To Be Determined: saving room to incorporate something from Reading Globally; if nothing appeals, this might be Scandicrime
Hi Anne, your November/December reads are tempting me to throw in the towel and read what you're reading! I own The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, The Hare with Amber Eyes, Travels with Charley, Out of Africa, and Fathers and Sons and The Man Without a Face is readily available at the library. I guess I could just follow in your footsteps and be very happy:)
Hi Anne- I really like a lot of your 2013 categories. I'm keeping AWAY from that group. My reading goals for this year evaporated with my course work, and next year will be even worse - perhaps I will read some Russian books in 20 years!! I haven't done a category challenge on LT but every year I get tempted.
Hi Anne, your categories for 2013 look good. Hope you are keeping well and glad to see that you doing ok after Sandy.
Hi Anne - I've enjoyed catching up here. You always have such tempting lists! I am still vacillating about doing a category challenge next year but I probably won't be able to resist :)
If you get to the Game of Throne series next year, I hope you like it. I've just finished the second one and enjoyed it very much.
>131 I read The Blue Jays Dance shortly after Wilbur was born. It was so so good to read my own experiences of being a new mum. She must have struggled to get away long enough to even write a few sentences.
>137 that is a comprehensive and ambitious reading list! Good luck with some great looking books there.
Only 2 months to go til the end of the year! Lets get reading :)
Anne, I'll be keeping an eye in your Japanese category as I've got one as well and I'm not quite sure as to what to choose at the moment.
>148 Roni I'm not entirely sure whether my Nov/Dec reading lists or the 2013 categories seems ambitious, but I will concede that both probably are.
>149 Go right ahead, Bonnie! More shared reads. I can 100% recommend The Hare With Amber Eyes, which I've just finished. Probably a 5 star read. I hope my next book is as good.
>150 Cushla, I find that I really love to read in categories and it's one of the things that drew me to LT in the first place. I was sort of reading in rudimentary categories before I joined--trying to alternate new fiction (my staple) with classics, non-fiction, and YA lit. The 10 in 10 category challenge really appealed to me! So although I don't spend much time over in the category challenge group, I can't resist setting up my categories each year. My challenge is sticking to the appropriate number since I can think of at least 5 other areas I'd like to focus on that didn't make the list.
>151 Thanks Lori. It was a relief to not experience the worst of the storm. It's nice to see you. I will have to poke around and see what you are reading.
>152 Hi Katie! Aw, you should do the category challenge again; why not? I don't think I'll ever be able to resist it--I have so much fun coming up with categories and related book lists. Reading them all is another matter, however.
>153 Megan, some of Erdrich's reflections on new motherhood stuck with me for years and years. I must have been in a reading mood right then (or had time to read while breastfeeding, perhaps), because I remember also reading Anne LaMott's Operating Instructions at about the same time, also an account of new motherhood.
I'm pretty excited about my crazy book list. I would have to read all the time to get through it, which unfortunately is not an option.
>154 Rhian, I noticed you had a Japanese category and it will be interesting to compare notes. When I finally get around to creating a thread for the category challenge I am ready to go with booklists for most of my categories (incorporating many many Off-the-Shelf titles). Talk about a lack of spontaneity!
Ooh, I've seen The Hare with Amber Eyes so often at the bookstore. I picked it up several times and read the description, but never seem to get to the cashier with it. You're positive thoughts is now making me think twice about it. The dangers of LT.... :)
Valerie, Go back, get it and put it on the top of your pile . . . It's that good!
Great categories for your 13 in 13 Anne. We ought to have a few shared reads there with any luck although you'll read them so much faster than me! Have a lovely weekend.
Anne, just wanted to wish you a great Thanksgiving. I'm sure you are reading up a storm as usual. :)
Wow, it looks like I haven't been here at all this month!!
Thanks everyone for keeping my thread alive.
And Paul, Roni, Kerri, Peggy, Brenda, Rhian, Anne, Judy, Nora, Valerie, and Cushla --many thanks for the Thanksgiving good wishes. We had a lovely holiday visiting family, and had Kate home from college, if only for a few days. Unfortunately my husband had to head home early because our dog did not adjust well to staying with the neighbors. And I suppose "did not adjust well" is putting it mildly.
>156 and 157 Valerie, I agree with Brenda on The Hare With Amber Eyes--you should get it.
>158 Paul I am pretty excited about my 2013 categories. And, to tell the truth, feeling a little oppressed by my 2012 challenge. I suspect my reading rate may fall off markedly in 2013, since I am starting a new job next week after spending the past year or so consulting largely on my own schedule.
I am off to visit some threads and will come back here in a bit (I think) to post a November reading summary and a December reading plan. If I do one post per book it might be enough to boost me over the magic 200 threshold, because I really feel like starting a new thread for December. This one was started in August and it leaves a little to be desired in terms of the season. I'm pretty to put up the Christmas decorations!
Hi Anne - Delurking to help increase your post count!
Where did Helen get that amazing hat? Was it in DC? I'm currently in DC for a conference and want one. Now!
Love the hat! I'm sporadically catching up with threads, you'd crossed my mind as one to look for, and there you are bouncing to the top of the star list.
Stopping by to say hi! Great pictures on your thread! Interesting books and mini reviews! There is no way I could confine myself to 13 categories! Good for you! I am a creature of the moment, when it comes to reading , and I can get on bender with books from one country or reading potential prize books!
Happy December 1st!
Anne - I'll do my part for the thread. I'm anxious to see what you've been reading -- I usually pick up a few for my list. Happy December. Congratulations on the new job?
Hi Anne. Hope the new job is something challenging (that will still leave you a bit of reading time!)
Anne, I'll help boost your thread count, too. I'll put up a new festive thread tomorrow.
Adding my $.02 . . .
- Love Helen's hat
- Congrats and good luck with the new job
- Eager to see the new thread. : )
Hat.... what hat??? *scrolls up thread to find picture of hat*
That is one cool hat!
Fly by visit to wish you a happy Sunday, Anne and to help with moving the thread to the continuation thingee!
>171 Hi Katie! Thanks for stopping in and adding to the post count. No, Helen did not get her hat around here--we spent Thanksgiving with my sister's family on Nantucket Island, where my other sister has just opened a clothing shop this year--so it came from there.
How long is your conference in DC?
>172-175 :) Hi Katherine--very nice to see you and thank you for entering into the spirit of increasing the post count with such enthusiasm. It's nice to know that fellow LTers appreciate these little dilemmas. I am slowly making my way through threads and hope to get to yours soon too.
>176 Deb, nice to see you back! I guess you've been away from LT long enough that there's actually something to catch up with on my thread, since it's been pretty quiet around here in November. I love the category challenge and it really fits how I like to read--I'm a big planner. I like it more and more as the number of categories go up, because it becomes less limiting. The hard thing for me is deciding which categories NOT to include. I am thinking that I might like to read fewer books per category--like 5--and read them all at once (as you put it, a bender) instead of spreading them throughout the year. We'll see
>177 Hi Beth. I need to do a recap for both November AND October. I know I read some amazing books the past few months. Thanks for the congratulations--and it is congratulations, because it's a good opportunity that more or less fell into my lap while I was trying to decide what to do.
Before my husband's job took us to London a couple of years ago, I was working as the Executive Director of the charter school I helped to found. That was an amazing job but an all-consuming one, and I didn't want to go back to a job that would take over my life again. I also didn't really want an operational job where I had to worry about everything from fire drills to copy machine contracts to fundraising, I thought I wanted to do something more big picture, in a policy or research role. The new job is with a small non-profit advocacy group that assists charter schools in DC and it combines both policy and research--plus it starts out part-time, so I can wind up my various consulting projects, and won't be full-time until next fall. I think I'd have to say it's my dream job!
>178 Hi Cushla. Thanks and see above. I should be able to squeeze in some reading time going forward, but my rate over the past two years was definitely an aberration.
>179 Hi Donna. I will be on the lookout for your new festive thread.
>180 (20 to go) Thanks Brenda. Helen's adores her hat, wouldn't leave the store without it, and says it expresses her personality (I can't disagree). Other 9-year-olds seem to think it's kind of weird, but adults almost invariably seem to want to snatch it off her head and keep it. And Helen seems unbothered by both reactions.
>181 Hi Lori! You posted while I was writing, it seems, but thanks for the visit. I know I could just start a new thread the old way, but I do love the continuation feature and don't want to lose anybody. Plus it's an incentive to get something up here about actual books.
Anne - It does sound like a dream job. Good luck. From reading your posts, I know you have great ideas and are passionate about education; certainly we need people like you.
I'm looking forward to seeing your recaps; I always get ideas for my list -- not sure if that is good or bad.:)
November book wrap-up:
5 star reads:
4.5 star reads
4.0 star reads
3.5 star reads (I didn't read anything this month that I didn't enjoy)
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Grace Lin (aloud) 5.0
This is How You Lose Her - Junot Diaz 4.5
The Hare With Amber Eyes - Edmund de Waal (audio) 5.0
Binocular Vision - Edith Pearlman 4.5
The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell (audio) 4.2
The Garlic Ballads - Mo Yan 3.8
The Incredible Journey - Sheila Burnford (aloud) 4.0
The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan 3.5
Disco for the Departed - Colin Cotterill 3.8
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (audio) 5.0
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers - Xiaolu Guo 3.8
NW - Zadie Smith 4.3
Chess Story - Stefan Zweig 4.5
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - Frederick Douglass 4.5
The Treasure of Green Knowe - L.M. Boston (aloud) 4.0
Annie John - Jamaica Kincaid 4.0
When I Was a Child I Read Books - Marilynne Robinson 4.0
Off The Shelf (meaning I had it before 2012 started): 5
Brand New Books: 4 (plus 1 new audiobook and 1 new ebook*)
*Does not include one free ebook
Real books: 11 (including 3 read aloud)
Fiction: 14 (including 3 children's books)
Short stories/Essays: 3
By date of publication:
2012: 3 books
2000-2011: 5 books
19th century: 2
Male authors: 7/Female authors: 10
Author Nationality: US 7; UK 4; China 2; Canada 1; Russia 1; Austria 1; Autigua 1; Dominican Republic 1
Orange Prize: 2
1001 Books: 3 Chess Story, Annie John, Crime and Punishment (plus 2 from children's list)
Nobel Authors: Mo Yan
Translated books: 3 (Chinese, Russian, German)
Settings: China 3, US 3 (NJ, San Fran, Maryland), England 3 (including 2 set in London), Canada, Laos, Russia, Antigua
Hi Anne, well I don't mind adding to the total and admiring your November reads. Three five star reads in one month is incredible. Hmmm I own The Hare with the Amber Eyes and Crime and Punishment so I could start with those. But Where the Mountain Meets the Moon seems to be calling my name. Off to see if the library has it...
I am kind of obsessed right now with winding up my 12 in 12 categories, which is partially spoiling my reading fun, and I may propose a rule change to myself that would allow me either to call certain categories completed or declare them open indefinitely. (Biography and Memoir, Russia, Religion and Philosophy, and African-American literature are my uncompleted categories, and I might just allow myself to double-count books in more than one category. Then my religion and philosophy category would be done, and books like the Putin biography and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings would count in more than one place.) (Or, I may abolish the time frame and declare that all of these lists are ongoing ones which I will continue to add to forever as books fit. That strategy actually fits well with my purpose in creating my categories in the first place.) You may be asking yourself why this matters at all. I know, I am asking myself that question continually. I also could be having this conversation with myself on my thread in the other group, but for some reason I never post over there.
The good news: I only have three books checked out of the library at the moment, and I am not going to get any more until next year. I think this may be an all-time low since I returned to Washington and started using the library again. So, very little pressure to read overdue books.
December Reading Plans
Finish current reads:
All Aunt Hagar's Children
Travels With Charley
The Price of Inequality
Resume and Finish:
The Balkan Trilogy
Reading Globally China
Wild Swans (Also Memoir and Biography)
Author Theme Reads Japan
Maybe one more Endo, but I'm not in the mood to start Runaway Horses, the sequel to Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima, so I may leave that one until next year.
#1: Tag challenge
The Satanic Verses (Religion and Philosophy)
Night (Memoir and Biography)
A Child's Christmas in Wales - Dylan Thomas
Envy - Yuri Olesha (Russia)
The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin - Masha Dessen(Russia, Memoir and Biography)
#4 Short Work
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
#5 Been Meaning to Read All Year
The Balkan Trilogy - Olivia Manning
The Line - Olga Grushin (Russia)
The Siege - Helen Dunmore (Russia)
The Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison (African-American Literature)
War Trash - Ha Jin
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou (African-American literature, Memoir and Biography)
The Memory Chalet - Tony Judt (Memoir and Biography)
Home - Marilynne Robinson (Religion and Philosophy)
The Terracotta Dog - Andrea Camillieri
#7 Letters of the Alphabet
The Price of Inequality - Joseph Stiglitz
Wild Swans - June Chang (Memoir and Biography)
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating - Elisabeth Tove Bailey (Memoir and Biography)
#12 old TIOLI challenges
All Aunt Hagar's Children - Edward P. Jones (African-American Literature)
The Round House - Louise Erdrich
Mornings in Jenin
Travels With Charley - John Steinbeck (Memoir and Biography)
#13 Green Dragon lists
The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
#14 literary biography
Charles Dickens: A Life - Claire Tomalin (Memoir and Biography)
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern - Stephen Greenblatt
#17 Read aloud to someone else
The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper
How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Dr. Suess
Anne - What a great month November was for you. Your December reading list is ... ambitious. Good luck.
Hmm, Nantucket huh? We usually spend some time on the Cape each summer so I may have to ferry over there to get that hat!
I'm in DC until Wednesday morning.
Adding to your message count! I loved Where the Mountain Meets the Moon too.
October Reading (see how behind I am!)
5 star reads
4.5 star reads
4 star reads
3.5 star reads
Popular Hits of the Showa Era - Ryu Murakami 3.8
Scandal - Shusaku Endo 3.5
Silence of the Grave - Arnaldur Indridason 4.0
Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 - Tony Judt (audio) 5.0
The Hobbit - J. R.R. Tolkien (aloud) 4.5
The Giver - Lois Lowry 5.0
The Party and Other Stories - Anton Chekhov 3.5
Spring Snow - Yukio Mishima (audio) 3.5
1Q84 - Haruki Murakami 4.5
The Headmaster's Wager - Vincent Lam 4.5
The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck (audio) 5.0
Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman 3.5
End This Depression Now - Paul Krugman 4.5
An unusual shortage of 4 star reads, since I find I typically rate almost everything a 4.
Wow - what an amazing October list Anne. And 5 for Postwar...I have it here but no idea when I'm going to get a chance to read it.
I've read The Draining Lake and really liked it (the 2nd in Indridason's series) but have mostly been reading my Italian crime series since we came home instead.
Hi Brenda. I've started the wild snail book and so far I'm quite enjoying it. It looks like a relatively short one, whereas Wild Swans is quite a tome.
Beth, yes, November was really a great reading month. And my reading plans are always on the ambitious side. I'll be happy if I get to half my plans.
Katie next time you're in town it would be fun to arrange a bookstore meet up (because I know you don't spend nearly enough time in bookstores). If you really really want the hat, I'm sure could put you in touch with the proprietress (it is a winter hat, after all).
Thanks for the visit Roni! I will get to 200.
Just stopped by to catch up and to help with the posting count. You've read some amazing books over the last couple of months, it's quite impressive when you group the month's reading by the covers.
I love how you post the covers of your book summaries in their rating groups. Very organize, concise and of course the eye candy is always a plus. Looks like you've been doing some great readings, but I've come to expect that from you now, Anne. ;)
I am such a book cover art junkie..... I just love your October summary!
Hi Anne! I'm just catching up on all the great reading you've been doing. I really hope to get to The Line this month as well. I loved her first novel.
And congrats on the new position!
>194 Cushla, I sometimes think my rating system for non-fiction is even more arbitrary that my ratings for fiction, so I can't really say why I enjoyed Postwar so much, but I know I found it consistently interesting as well as informative (and given the length of the tome, "consistently" is a big deal), and I loved the way Judt was able to get into great detail about reasonably small countries without ever losing a sense of the big picture.
>196 Hi Judy and thanks for the post! Somehow seeing the covers is much more satisfying than making a list (as much as I enjoy lists.)
>197 And Valerie. I actually just thought of grouping the books by ratings this month. It does seem like a very concise way of indicating which books I like best.
>198 Thanks Lori! Aside from the graphic impact, it is a lot easier to post covers than to write something about the books :/
>199 Hi Kerri and thanks (I've been at work a total of 4 days so far). I am reading The Line right now and really liking it. And I'm hoping it ends well because right now it is very sad.
>200 ******Yay! Thanks Roni! I haven't even had time to think about a new thread this week but now that I have a few spare minutes I am just thrilled to see that little continuation thingy pop up!
And with that...
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