Jolerie's Book Hoarding 2
This is a continuation of the topic Jolerie's Book Hoarding 2.
This topic was continued by Jolerie's Book Hoarding 4.
Join LibraryThing to post.
A view from one of the beaches around Manuel Antonio Park Source: GAdventures
I'm super excited to be back for the second year and hopefully this time will also be able to achieve that magical number of 75!! I love reading books in pretty much all genres. If it has a good story, good characters, you will find my nose in it. I have a
Looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones! :)
Thread 1 - Books: 1-46 (no reviews), Books 47 - 50 (with reviews)
Thread 2 - Books: 51-59
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
5 Stars: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE??
4 Stars: As satisfying as scratching that itch that is just right out of my reach...
3 Stars: Purr...I'm content...
2 Stars: Anxiously eyeing the next book in my pile...
1 Star: Fire fodder...BURN BABY BURN!!
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells
Alice's Adventure in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Behemoth by Scott Westerfield
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Toby Alone by Timothee De Fombelle
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Books Read in 2012:
**Books are OTS unless otherwise indicated
(L) for Public Library Loans
(ER) books received from LT Early Reviewer
1. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai 3.5*
2. (L) Anahita's Woven Riddle by Meghan Nuttall Sayres 3.75*
3. (L) A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray 4*
4. The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie 3.5*
5. (L) Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver 4*
6. (ER) Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas 4*
7. The Rosetta Codex by Richard Paul Russo 3.75*
8. (L) Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George 3.5*
9. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie 4*
10. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J. M. Barrie 3.5*
11. (L) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie 5*
12. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards 5*
13. (L) Across the Universe by Beth Revis 4*
14. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson 3.75*
15. (L) I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore 3.5*
16. (L) Jane by April Linder 2.5*
17. A Book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell 3.75*
18. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 3.75*
19. (L) Chalice by Robin McKinley 4*
20. (ER) The Last Song by Eva Wiseman 3.75*
21. The Scions of Shannara by Terry Brooks 4.5*
22. (L) Factotum by D.M. Cornish 3.75*
23. Transforming Discipleship by Greg Ogden 5*
24. The Princess and the Goblin by George Macdonald 3.5*
25. (L) Eve by Anna Carey 4.5*
26. The Princess and Curdie by George Macdonald 3*
27. (L) Emma Vol. 2 by Kaoru Mori 3.5*
28. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison 4*
29. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter 4*
30. (L) Un Lun Dun by China Mieville 4*
31. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See 5*
32. (L) The Children of the Lost by David Whitley 4*
33. Amaryllis in Blueberry by Christina Meldrum 4.75*
34. (L) The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding 3.5*
35. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman 4*
36. (L) Rebel Angels by Libba Bray 3*
37. The White Mare by Jules Watson 3.75*
38. Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card 3*
39. (L) I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith 2.5*
40. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry 4*
41. (L) When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 3.75*
42. (ER) The Serpent's Bite by Warren Adler 2.5*
43. (L) Stealing Athena by Karen Essex 4*
44. (L) The Selection by Kiera Cass 3*
45. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger 3.75*
46. (L) Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini 4*
47. Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll 3.75*
48. (L) Eona by Alison Goodman 4*
49. The Giver by Lois Lowry 5*
50. (L) Chime by Franny Billingsley 2.75*
51. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 4.75*
52. (L) Once was Lost by Sara Zarr 3.75*
53. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins 4*
54. (L) Wither by Lauren DeStefano 3.5*
55. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff 4.5*
56. (ER) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff 3.75*
57 (L) Haven by Kristi Cook 3*
58. (L) Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool 4*
59. East of Eden by John Steinbeck 3.25*
60. (L) The Lying Game by Sara Shepard 4*
61. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 2.75*
62. (L) Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus 4*
63. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman 4.5*
64. (L) Siren by Tricia Rayburn 3.5*
65. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 4*
66. (L) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld 4.5*
67. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 3.5*
Whoops! Forgot to change the name of the thread. It is one of those days so I guess I repeating Thread number 2. :)
Found your new thread - you're not the only one who's forgotten to change the thread name recently. It's a nuisance that we can't edit thread titles once posted...
Yeah welcome to the "it was so nice repeat it twice club", Valerie. I must admit I did it too. I agree, the ability to edit thread titles would be magnifique!
Good luck finding reading time with little monkey, now a busy 2 year old.
You've got a few minutes (I think ten) to edit the title. You need to click edit on your first post to get the option. A bit late for this thread but it is good to know:)
Woo, that's some photo up top, Valerie! Cool new thread. Any chance you'd make the book covers a little bigger? I'm having trouble reading some of them, like your 2011 fiction best read other than A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Hi Nancy! Always love having you here. :)
Great to see you Calm! Thanks for the tip! Now, hopefully I won't ever have to put it to use.
Hi Genny. It's always so comforting to know that we are not alone in our mistakes..haha. Maybe we should form an exclusive club, along with Lynda so it becomes something we brag about instead of hanging our heads in shame. ;)
Thanks Lynda! He still takes a long afternoon nap so that is when I get a large chunk of my reading done so keeping my fingers crossed that it will stay that way for a bit longer yet.
Thanks Kath. I hope you are having a great day so far.
Thanks for stopping by Paul! I know it's a full time job keeping up to date with your own thread so your presence is always a treat and fully appreciated!
Great to have you, Rachel!
Joe, didn't you see the magnifying glasses I left in the corner of the thread?? Haha, I will try to make those images larger for you to see. I was just thinking that if I make them smaller, people who don't have the luxury of having high speed internet wouldn't have to sit till the next ice age for my thread to load. :)
Love the opening photo! Happy new thread, Valerie! Just making sure to reserve my spot.
Thanks, Valerie! The enlarging was a big help. You've got a point about slowing down the loading time for folks; I'm sure the images on my thread slow it down a lot for some. I've tried to improve the byte load, but I'm not sure how successful I've been.
Thanks Roni! Hopefully one day I can see something that beautiful in person. :)
Your spot is always reserved, Mamie!
No prob Joe. Pictures on threads are always nice, especially all the good food and drinks that are posted on yours. Yum!
Busy, busy day today as we are off to get quotes for the repair of our vehicle as well as probably filing the police report. Joe (hubsters) will be going to a massage therapist later in the afternoon to help with a stiff neck from the accident. What I'm dreading is the phone call to the guy to let him know that we will be going through insurance. Maybe it's all the book reading, or an overactive imagination, but I keep thinking he's going to come after us when he finds out that we want to take the legal route. On top of that, I'm nursing some bruised ribs after slipping on a bath mat while giving Caleb a bath a couple of days ago. Boy is summer ending with a bang for us this year. :)
Credits go to Stasia who got it from Jenny's thread who got it from Nora.
Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
I like trade PB or MM PB because I'm too cheap to pay the big bucks for the hardcovers and my wrists usually hurt from holding them too long and it's nice when they fit in your purse.
Amazon or brick and mortar?
I don't buy from Amazon. Online would be Bookdepository.com. Otherwise most of my books come from Costco.
Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Neither since I'm Canadian Eh?
Bookmark or dogear?
Magnetic bookmark since my son likes to rip out the traditional ones.
Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
So random that even I get lost browsing my shelves.
Keep, throw away, or sell?
I've kept most of my books but the ones I don't plan on rereading usually are donated or just given to other friends who are interested.
Keep dust jacket or toss it?
I tape it down so it doesn't get in the way when I'm reading.
Read with dust jacket or remove it?
Same as above answer.
Short story or novel?
Novels all the way. I rarely read short stories.
Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
No preference for either.
Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
I'm a wizard kind of gal.
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
Always aim to stop at chapter breaks but if I have such a hard time understanding what I'm reading because my eyes crap out on me, then I stop at the next page that ends with a period. Yes, that's another OCD.
"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?
When I was younger it was the latter, but now that I'm older, probably the former.
Buy or Borrow?
I'm a hoarder, so I like to buy my books, but have now decided to not buy any YA books and just get those at my local public library.
New or used?
By default, new, since I only have a handful of used books.
Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?
All of the above. The size of my library is a testament to that fact.
Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
Depends on the type of books. Some books are better with tidy endings and others it makes sense to have a cliffhanger. Sometimes it's better left to the reader's imagination and other times I want to tell them to stop messing around with my head and just give me the answers!
Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading?
With an active toddler roaming the house, I take whatever time I can get!
Stand-alone or series?
Both. Again, my library will be a testament to this fact.
Tough one. Off the top of my head, The Narnia Books by C. S. Lewis, The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper, The Eldarn Sequence by Robert Scott, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I should probably stop here otherwise I could end up spending the whole day looking at all the series I have ongoing...
Favourite children's book?
Anything by Roald Dahl, Charlotte's Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Favourite book of which "nobody" else has heard?
Ted Dekker's, Three! Such a good suspense/thriller book!
Favourite books read last year?
Refer to my 2011 All Star Board at the top of the thread.
Favourite books of all time?
I can never, ever answer this question. It all depends on the genre, but if I had to choose, it would probably be one of my childhood books because they are instrumental in my discovery of my love of reading and books.
Least favorite book you finished last year?
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I don't like the idea of creepy old men thinking it's okay to have a relationship with little girls.
What are you reading right now?
The Lying Games by Sara Shepard and The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A. J. Jacobs.
What are you reading next?
It depends. I have 700+ books to choose from my own library, not to mention all the books available at the public library. I guess we will just have to wait and see. :)
Hi Valerie, nice new thread. So sorry to hear about the car accident but I think you are doing the right thing in filing a police report and going through insurance. This guy lost his licence for a reason and should be taken off the road. You may be ensuring the safety of others by simply doing the right thing.
Happy New 3rd Valerie!
Sorry to hear you and hubby are both smarting from accidents. I missed all the details about the care accident, but I'm glad to know nobody was badly injured.
I too have over 700 books to choose from at home, including all those audiobooks I've been accumulating since last year. We certainly are spoiled for choice eh?
Hi Valerie, great top shot.
Boo on the bruised ribs, they can take a while to come right. Be careful when you sneeze- OUCH!
Checking in on the new thread, Valerie. Like the meme. Although, I have to say you are missing out with the lack of used books. There is an amazing chain of used bookstores in Calgary that I love to visit whenever I'm in town, Fair's Fair, and I'm shocked you don't visit them. :)
Hi Judy. You are absolutely right and that is probably the biggest reason why we are going to file through insurance. The fact that he has since a)bribed us with extra money, and b)asked us to lie on the report that his gf was driving (despite the fact that we have witnesses that would state otherwise), goes to show that this guy really doesn't need to be on the road anytime soon.
Thanks for the kind thoughts, Ilana. We truly are so blessed to be able to have so many choices at our fingertips. Too many books, not enough time isn't really a complaint in these neck of the woods. :)
Thanks Megan. It's already starting to feel better so many not as bad as I originally thought. Just another reason I can tell my husband why I just wasn't built to give our children baths . ;)
Okay, Micky, I totally have to confess that I've never even looked up what used books stores exist in Calgary. When I was working, my benefits covered book spending habits so I never even thought about buying used when I could buy new. And only recently have I convinced myself that the germs found on public library books won't kill me so I definitely had issues with used books. BUT, now that I'm a stay at home mom, I would definitely be in the market for the used book stores in Calgary. Any recommendations??
LOL! I too had the same idea for the longest time: library books = germs. Then I told myself they couldn't be that germy after all, but I would definitely NOT bring them into bed to read. Now... well, I let my three pets sleep on my bed, and they go outside all the time, so really, how much germier could library books BE, right? ;-)
#60 The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
Source: Public Library
Recommend: Yes! For anyone interested in a murder mystery with a dash of the Mean Girls spirit.
Books noted: Harry Potter, The Sun Also Rises, The Cat in the Hat, Twilight, The Collected Poetry of William Carlos Williams, Fahrenheit 451, The Bell Jar
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
Tossed from foster home to foster home, Emma has always longed for that normal family and is utterly in shock when she discovered that she has a long lost sister. The only problem is that this twin sister has been murdered and Emma finds herself thrown into the middle of the charmed life she has always dreamt of. Underneath the perfect family, close circle of girlfriends, and doting boyfriend, Emma finds a sinister secret - someone knows that her sister has been murdered and that very person is now watching over her every move. To solve the mystery of her sister's death, Emma must question everything about her newly acquired life and the truth of it all may hit closer to home that she could have ever imagined.
The Lying Game is a perfect summer read. A quick and suspenseful story, filled with a who dunnit mystery that keeps you wanting to find out what happened. There are a lot of unanswered questions and plenty of areas that could be explained in more depth, but I figure that is why it was not written as a stand alone novel. Not your typical boy meets girl YA fare, but that is what makes it intriguing and worth reading.
Good point Ilana! I actually have been quite impressed with the quality of the books that I've seen at my local library. I haven't yet *fingers crossed* come across anything that would gross me out and it's true that there are plenty of things we touch and come across in our daily lives that are infested with germies. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. ;)
Accident? Ack! See what I miss by just skipping to the end? I am glad you are all OK and I am sorry about stiff necks and bruised ribs. Good luck with the repairs, etc.
I like your lists of books mentioned in the books you are reading. I haven't made lists, but I find I am noticing more when books are mentioned. :)
Thanks Jenn! We are all good with a little rest we are not the worse for wear. Just very thankful since it could have been a lot worse than what did happen. :)
I realized the same thing after awhile and it always feels cool when you actually recognize the books they mention and if you don't, it's fun to look them up and see what they are about!
Hi Valerie, just trying to keep up! Sorry about the car accident and the extra drama surrounding it. But I think you're making the right decision regarding the insurance.
And I am a big fan of used bookstores. I just avoid the icky looking books :-)
Stopping by to say hi! I found your " questionnaire" that you answered to be very interesting! You have done very well with your reading this year.
Very sorry to hear about your car accident - I'm going to go back a page to get the details.
Hope you are keeping well.
Hmm... after reading about the details of the car accident, I think reporting the accident would be best.
Thanks Katie. I think we are making the right choice as well. If anything, it's like Judy said it's probably in the best interest of the public that this guy stays off the road.
Right now the last thing I need is to suddenly discover the world of used books! I would most likely put a irreparable dent in my wallet. :)
Thanks for the kind thoughts Debbie! We have filed the police report and notified our insurance provider so now just have to deal with the car repairs. We need to get those done as we are heading down to the States at the end of the month.
No news is sometimes good news, right Kath? ;)
>26 Fair's Fair is probably the biggie for Calgary. They have several locations, although my personal favourite is the one at 907 9th Ave SE. You know, when you need a used book hit. ;)
Hi Valerie -- nice new thread! I love the picture up top, and I also really enjoyed your review of The Lying Game. Hope you're having a good week, despite the headache of dealing with the accident. So sorry to hear about that :(
Hi, Valerie! Good review of The Lying Game! I have a feeling that's one my mystery buff daughter would particularlly appreciate.
bruised ribs...ouch. I agree with the posts above...You are right in reporting the accident. People like this should not be driving!
Nice review of The Lying Game Valerie especially since it notes a perfect summer read.
Well you know I had to go look that place up, Micky. Looks like my wallet is in trouble. ;)
How do you find the selection there? My previous experiences with used book stores is that they usually carry really, really, old books or books no one has heard of.
Hi Anne! Thanks for visiting my neck of the woods. Yes, such as life as we have to deal with these minor headaches every once in awhile.
Thanks Joe! It's not hardcore mystery since it still falls under the YA umbrella, but yes maybe Becca would be interested in.
Hi Linda. I really have nothing to complain about since it was completely my fault as I was doing a random dance for my son in the bathroom and I guess I was having just a tad too much fun and wasn't careful when I was jumping around. :)
Thanks Bonnie! Light summer reading is what I'm in the mood for, but then I go ahead and follow that up with Heart of Darkness which is not anyone's definition of light reading. Go figure. :)
I read and enjoyed Heart of Darkness a few years ago. My recent read set on the dark continent, A Bend in the River, didn't quite measure up to HoD. In my limited experience, books about Africa have been eye-opening and dreary. I'm always amazed by the corruption of the leaders and the exploitation of the natives.
Valerie, hang in there about doing the right thing in the recent accident. I'm a firm believer in people being held accountable for their actions. The aftermath of any accident stinks. Such a hassle. I hope you get things settled soon.
#61 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Recommend: Mostly likely you've been forced to read this book at some point in your life. Not light reading and would probably be a more enjoyable read in a classroom/academic setting.
Books noted: An Inquiry into some Points of Seamanship (not sure if this a real or fictional book)
They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force - nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to be got. It was robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind - as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness.
Charles Marlow, an Englishman who is contracted as part of a Belgian trading company shares with us a story about his journey down the Congo River, the heart of Africa. This story of darkness is layered on three levels - the darkness of the wilderness found in nature, the darkness found in the European treatment of the natives as they endeavour to take over the world, one colony at a time, and finally, but perhaps most importantly the darkness in each of us and our capacity to be and create evil.
The premise of Heart of Darkness is so promising but the delivery of it was too convoluted and confusing for my personal taste. The language often got in the way of the actual story and if one has to read an Wiki article AFTER reading the book, it goes to show that something was lost in translation. I probably would have enjoyed the book more if I was forced to read in school as it could serve as an excellent resource to dissect, discuss, and expound upon with guidance and help. The only darkness I felt was my own confusion at the end of the book. The only saving grace - at least it was short.
Hi Donna! As you can tell, you probably enjoyed HoD more than I did. I think there are other books out there about Africa's history that I would find more readable. Off the top of my head, when I compare The Book of Negroes (Someone Knows My Name) with Heart of Darkness, hands down I would choose to read the former over the latter. But I can see it's place in English Literature and I think I would have enjoyed it more as a tutored read. :)
>42 Hah! It turns out Becca not only might like The Lying Game, she did like The Lying Game! She's read a lot of Sara Shepherd and recognized this one immediately.
I like your point that The Heart of Darkness might be a better read in school, with guidance and discussion. Like you, I read it long after, and it might've been less "meh" for me if I had read it in school. Certainly the three levels you identify are interesting ones with a lot of promise, as you say.
>42 I find the selection to be pretty good. I usually poke nose in the classic literature section which is always good. They have decent children's and popular fiction sections and the Inglewood location has a fairly large non-fiction section. It's worth checking out for their cookbook section alone. :)
>44 One of my English profs during undergrad was forever referring to Heart of Darkness in a literary theory course that I took so one day I will have to pick it up. Hopefully I like it a little bit more than you did. :)
Joe, I'm very much like you in that I feel obligated to read the classics, whether they are a slog or not. I know that life is short and there should be no guilt in abandoning books, but I just haven't learned that freedom yet. Especially with classics, I feel that I need to give them the full respect they deserve, or else they wouldn't be heralded as classics in the first place. I will read them, but there is no guarantee that I will like them. :)
Micky, I will have to check out hopefully sometime this weekend! I totally know what you mean about your prof referring to HoD. Even in other books that I read, I always seem to come across a reference or two so now I'm glad I've read it and it's done with!
Hi Kath! The blue text is so much fun! That is what causes my bank account to groan in fear and my husband to give me the evil eye. I know they are bad for me, but I just can't seem to resist. ;)
I've tried to read the HoD - good for you! Great review! I know my dad always " loved it" or maybe I should say was proud to get through some literature? I loved The Book of Negroes - one of my favourite reads.
Say - you've had some pretty bad weather your way, according to the news.. all safe and sound there?
Yes! I always feel gratified when I discover someone else who doesn't care for Heart of Darkness. Ugh, what a stinker!
We had a similar situation a few years ago when a teenager backed into our parked car - her father wanted to settle without involving insurance, since she'd already had a handful of accidents (and only had had her license a year or so!), but we felt strongly that she needed to learn a hard life lesson about consequences and responsibility, and that the rules are there for a reason. The father wasn't happy with us, but I still think we did the right thing, and I think you are, too.
Morning Valerie- Love the new thread and what a beautiful photo to kick it off with. I like your mix of classics and current fiction. Sorry the former reads weren't more enjoyable. I loved both of those books.
I enjoyed Graceling. Perfect summer reading.
I am one of those who read Heart of Darkness in school. I loved it. You picked one of my favorite quotes too. For me the language was a big part of the love. I think I just reveled in it and didn't worry too much about storyline. Or maybe it's because we read it after A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and it was all sunshine and lollipops in comparison...
I have yet to read Heart of Darkness - it's in the TBR. I am hoping that I like it better than you did - guess we'll see!! Not planning on getting to it anytime soon. The Lying Game sounds like one my daughter would like, so I will point her in that direction.
Just adding my voice to the others - think you are doing the right thing about the insurance. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and people who don't follow the rules should not be on the road. Like Amber, I think it's important to learn that when you choose an action, you also choose its consequence. He knew that he was not supposed to be on the road and chose to risk it anyway. He's lucky that no one was more seriously injured - and so are you. Would he be so lucky next time?
Hi Deb! We indeed had some crazy weather blow through here the last couple of days. There is this video, which I'm sure you can find on youtube somewhere, of one of the signs on a highway that runs through the city literally doing a bouncy house impersonation. The person videotaping actually caught one of the massive signs falling off the poles and crashing down onto the highway! Luckily no one was driving directly underneath it otherwise it would have been catastrophic. Lots and lots of insurance claims abound as well. :)
That's right Morphy. I think I would have given it an even lower rating if it was any longer. 100 pages is perfectly manageable.
Hi Amber! In the end, I think that is mostly what swayed us to report it. The guy obviously doesn't understand that you can't just bribe or lie your way out of the situation. I still can't get over the fact that he was driving with a suspended license. That's just moronic and inexcusable.
Welcome back, Mark! I'm sure you are enjoying the task of making the rounds and catching up on the bajillion messages left on just your thread alone. ;) I have a love-hate relationship with the Classics, that's for sure. I can actually one think of only one that I really liked versus the handful of others that I'm either ambivalent towards or just down right hate.
Hi Jenn! I actually think I would have enjoyed it much more if I had a chance to read it and study it in school. It just felt like a lot of hard work for me to read the book and I found I really had to concentrate or else I would just have no clue what was happening.
Thanks Mamie. It's nice to be reaffirmed and know that we are making the right choice. I always want to err on the side of grace and give the other person the benefit of the doubt, but in this case, I don't think I could even if I wanted to.
As a Psych major, I'm surprised I never was required to read Heart of Darkness in school. And I've never chosen to read it just for myself. It does sound like one that would go better with a discussion group (and a talented facilitator/instructor!).
#62 Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
Source: Public Library
Recommend: Very much so! A worthy Newbery Honor Award Winner!
Books noted: None
"What should I say?" he said.
"What do you like about her? Terry said.
"I...just like her!"
"Is she pretty?"
"Oh yes!" Manjiro said. "Very beautiful."
"Then compare her to the most beautiful thing you can think of," Terry said.
"Manjiro thought a moment and then wrote down that she was as beautiful as a right whale. He read it to Terry.
Terry screwed up his face. "I'm not sure she would like to be compared to a whale."
Shipwrecked on a deserted island with his friends, Manjiro is faced with certain death when a passing American whaling vessel happened to cross their path and fate would so have it that this Japanese teenager would live to see another day. A world of new possibilities and dreams are presented to Manjiro as Captain Whitfield adopts him as his very own son, but with all the luxuries and privileges Manjiro also faces unending racism and ostracization in the New World. Neither belonging to this foreign world and forbidden to return to his homeland, he must now forge a new way of life, a new way of thinking, and perhaps through it all a new dream to call his very own.
To say that I enjoyed this book would be an understatement. Based loosely on true historical figures and events, Manjiro could very well be the first person of Japanese descent to step upon American soil. His story of courage, honour, and loyalty despite the odds being stacked against him sets up a dramatic and endearing story for the ages. His journey to find home, a place of belonging is a sentiment that we can all relate to at some point in our lives. With a colourful cast of characters, a heartwarming adventure, and descriptive illustrations, Heart of a Samurai is well worth the read. A very enthusiastic recommendation!
Nakahama Manjiro aka John Mung - January 7 1827 - 1898
Captain William Whitfield - the man who would ultimately change the fate and course of Manjiro's life.
Hey Valerie, I'm in the same camp as you and Donna when it comes to HoD. I cringe just thinging about it. Yes, it was thankfully short yet not short enough.
Hi Ellen! Yup, I believe a group of psychologist would have a field day with that book. ;)
Great to see you Lynda! I believe Donna would actually be in the camp that enjoyed HoD. You, Morphy, Amber, and I would form the "meh" club for the book. I didn't hate it. I just didn't care for it. :)
just checking in, and confessing to not catching up completely, your thread has got away from me lately!
How are your ribs now? Improving?
Hi Valerie, why not look at Heart of Darkness this way: it was 110 pages so you probably didn't spend much time on it so no great loss. I might suggest you now read Ann Patchett's State of Wonder which is supposed to be a modern version of HoD and one that I can guarantee you'll probably like a lot more.
Megan, no confession needed since no one is really keeping track. Just join in when you can since I always enjoy your company.
Ribs are good to go. I don't think they were as bad as I initially thought so I'm back to good ol' cherry self. :)
Bonnie, you must be a mind reader of some sort because guess what book I just brought home with me today....State of Wonder, why of course! :)
Nope you are right. It was short and that made it sweet.
Have you tried The Count of Monte Cristo? It's a doorstop, but one of my favorite classics. It has adventure, revenge, thrills, romance...
Hi Valerie! Congrats on getting through Heart of Darkness. I had to read it in school, and Conrad is definitely not one of my favorites.
Have a lovely weekend!
Not sure my recs count, since I liked HoD - but I thoroughly second Morphy's rec of the Count of Monte Cristo. It's one I have read several times and really enjoyed every time.
I just finished State of Wonder. Interesting comparison to HofD. My reaction is yes, and no. I can see the character parallels for sure. I'll be interested to see what you think.
How great to see Heart of a Samurai reviewed, Valerie! I liked that one a lot, too. Nice review of it - thumb from me.
Morphy, it is teetering on Mount TBR as we speak, but I think the sheer size of it has deterred me from reading it all these years. Your recommendation makes me want to bump it up on the priority list.
Thanks, Terri. I don't think Conrad will be on my list of favourite authors either, but I'm glad I read the book, overall. I hope you have a great weekend as well! :)
Jenn, your endorsement of any book is always welcome and appreciated! Now I really should give the book a read. Hopefully sometime next year? My track record with classics is abysmal as one of the few I can remember really enjoying is The Woman in White, which I only read at your encouragement as well. :)
Joe, I thought of you when I was reading HoaS because you were reading Moby Dick and the fact that this book had a lot of whaling drama as well. The only difference is that I much preferred this version over what you are currently slogging through. :)
I started Neverwhere last night and I must say, I am enjoying this one MUCH more than I did, American Gods. The only downside of reading it so late at night is that I end up waking up from a nightmare of being chased down endless maze of corridors with doors everywhere, but none that could be opened! Gaiman definitely did a good job of creating an atmospheric story and I have 100% bought into it!
Happy Friday to everyone! :)
Hi Valerie, glad you are reading Neverwhere it was my first by Neil Gaiman and I thought it was amazing.
Valerie- Like Judy, Neverwhere was also my 1st Gaiman and I loved it. I agree it was better than American Gods but I also liked that one too. The Graveyard Book is still my favorite.
It's been many years but I remember loving HOD and I also loved Moby Dick. I know, I know, what's my problem?? Don't get me started.
Hi Valerie - Just catching up. I'll admit to being a big fan of Heart of Darkness, but I first read it in AP English in high school with a great teacher, so I think that probably helped. State of Wonder is an interesting companion piece - definitely not a full re-telling, IMO, but there are some interesting parallels.
Oh wow, a play production of the book would be very interesting. I've only read a couple chapters of the book and I can't imagine how they would put that into a show. Good luck with the slog, Joe :)
Hi Judy. I think I'm a bit glad it actually wasn't my first Gaiman book otherwise I think I'd be able to enjoy his other books without comparing it with this one.
Hi Mark! I thought American Gods was okay, but I wasn't overly impressed with it. Neverwhere is totally up my alley and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Just biding my time till Caleb goes down for his afternoon nap so I can get back to the book. I NEED to read The Graveyard Book at some point since I have a copy of it on my shelf.
Thanks for catching up Katie. I'd be curious to see what my reaction to it since HoD was a bit of a struggle for me. I think if I had read the book with a great English teacher like you did, my reaction would have been completely different.
The Count of Monte Cristo almost reads like three different books. Warning - the middle third is a bit slower than the first and last thirds. Don't let it bog you down though, keep going! I just remember that it was one of the first classics I read as an adult (in my 40s) rather than as required reading in school and thinking, "So THIS is why everyone thinks classics are so great!"
Valerie - Neverwhere was first shown as a BBC series in the mid-nineties. Though the novel came out about the same time. I think a good stage production would work as I thought it was a very visually descriptive book. Hope you carry on enjoying it:)
Hope you and Monkey are doing well.
Thanks for the heads up Morphy. I will keep that in mind when I decide to read that chunkster. Is there a movie version of the book?
Hi Calm. With London taking front and centre stage of this book, I am not surprised that BBC did a series on it! Wait, was the series based on the books? You know as I was reading it, it often made me think of China Mieville's Un Lun Dun with this a whole alternate London universe vibe going on even though it's completely different stories.
There is a French version of The Count of Monte Cristo with Gerard Depardu in it. I've watched and enjoyed that one. There is also a 2002 version which I've never seen...
I've seen the 2002 version. It's a decent movie but doesn't nearly do the book justice.
There's an old version with Richard Chamberlain in it, too. Also Trevor Howard and Tony Curtis, I think.
I HATED the 2002 version. It was awful. I wish someone (BBC, Masterpiece Theater) would do a 6 hour version.
De lurking to say yes to The Count of Monte Cristo I love that book. It's even better as a reread. The 2002 version of the movie changed some key elements of the book so I wouldn't bother.
Really enjoy your reviews and have added many books to my library wish list based on your recommendations. - Roberta
I remember the Richard Chamberlain version whose Shogun adventures also chime in nicely with your recent reading. Love the french classics - the stories are marvellous. Enjoy your weekend filled with fun and fabulous fiction.
>68 I had Neverwhere on my list of Get-from-the-library-asap List for a while. But then I lost (interest in!) the list so started another. I may just have to start a new one with it on it again :)
Valerie - it was originally a TV series. The script was by Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry. So Neverwhere, the book, is a novelization of that but they were both released about the same time. I saw the TV show when it was first aired in the 90's and did enjoy it but it took me along time to get around to reading the book and they are both very similar. Maybe that is why I caught the visual aspect of the novel as I had the memories of watching it.
Unrulysun - it is a long time since I saw it but I don't think it is worth spending money on if you have read the book but if you can see it I would be interested to know what you think.
I keep wanting to read Neverwhere..and in fact, every time I see it mentioned I think I might have.. but no. ..I have to hunt it down.
Thanks for the info Rachel. I will have to keep that in mind for when I actually finish the books. :)
Thanks Morphy. As per tradition, I will read the book first before I watch the movies but it's good to know that there is something out there. It always nice when you can read the book and watch the movie close together to compare. Usually, the book wins, hands down.
Thanks Mamie. I don't watch a whole lot of movies, so it's no surprise that none of those names rings a a bell for me!
Hi Jenn. Movies are so much like books. We all have our different tastes and that's what makes sharing our likes and dislikes so much fun!
Welcome to the didn't quite like HoD as much club, Kathy ;) I alway am curious to know why people like or dislike certain books because the reasons are always interesting. I really do need to read The Graveyard Book sooner rather than later and especially since it's a small book as well.
Welcome, Roberta! It's always nice to meet new book lovers in this group. :)
I'm happy to have been able to expand your WL since mine has grown exponentially since I've join LT as well!
Thanks, Paul! I hope you have a great weekend as well. I have to go look up who this Richard Chamberlain dude is..hehe
Megan, I'm not even done the book yet and I can tell you this should definitely be on the top of to read book sooner rather than later. I can't seem to find enough spare moments to settle down and read the darn thing!
Oh, that is so interesting, Calm. Mr. Gaiman sure seems like a multi-talented man with books in a number different genre and now I find out he's dabbled in the realms of TV entertainment as well. Very cool!
Kath, hunt it down, and set it as a priority to read the book. :)
What a great start to the weekend. Discovered a new favourite used bookstore to shop at (Thanks Micky!) and came home with a bag full of books. Now just gotta find space for my new babies. Next task on my TO-DO list will be the dreaded weeding of the front and back yard. Everytime we think we've got it under some semblance of control, they come back with a vengeance. Anyone have any tried and true tips/methods on how to get rid of the eyesores?? If weeds were a heathy and viable source of nutrition, I'd have enough to supply to feed an entire village.... :/
Thanks for the sympathy Mamie. My back and my arms are sore, but it's a sore that comes from hard work and effort. I am content. :)
It probably wasn't me, Kath, since I have yet to read my first Cabot book. Now the fun will be hunting through the threads to figure out where you heard actually that from. My instructions for you were to read Moon Over Manifest and Neverwhere. ;)
#63 Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Recommend: Yes! Everyone should experience the strangeness of London Below at least once in their lives.
Books noted: Mansfield Park, Robinson Crusoe, The Masque of the Red Death
The marquis scratched the side of his nose. "Young man," he said, "understand this: there are two Londons. There's London Above - that's where you lived - and then there's London Below - the Underside - inhabited by the people who fell through the cracks in the world. Now you're one of them. Good night."
When Alice fell through the rabbit hole she discovered her Wonderland. When Richard Mayhew fell through his sewer hole, what he discovers is a world that is eerily reminiscent of London from days gone by tainted by a whole lot of strange, and all of it happening underground. Train stations take on a whole new identity, mice are the messengers of the dark, a floating market where all manner of odd and odder folks congregate, and to top it off, Richard finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery where the stakes may cost heaven and earth.
I can't believe this book has been sitting on my shelves for years, just collecting dust. This underground world that Gaiman has conjured is utterly immersive and fantastical in every meaning of the word. The sense that you are in a familiar place, and yet everything is just slightly off enough to make it all magical is brilliant. Often times I lament the fact that there aren't enough stand alone books and too many series, and yet Neverwhere may be my one exception. The characters have such a rich, but unexplored history; London Below and how it came to be is a story left to the imagination, and all these things, I only wish Gaiman had more time to flesh out in detail. If every sewer cover lead to a London Below, filled with it's Marquis de Carabas or a diminutive elfish girl in search of the reason behind her family's murder, I'd dive in head first. Highly recommended.
Great review, Valerie! This was my 1st Gaiman and I was immediately hooked, just like one of those big bass on my thread.
I liked how tight the narrative was to, compared to the sprawling nature of American Gods. Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday.
>87 You're welcome! :D What goodies did you bring home?
>89 That may have been me, Kath. Maybe. I'm a bit of a Meg Cabot fan. :)
My favorite Gaiman is Anansi Boys so I'd recommend that to your attention, Valerie!
And both of your ook recs are on my short stack waiting to be read. Sooner rather than later, I hope.
It has been a mostly lazy day here.. so good, how about for you ?
Thanks Mark! I too am in the same camp that appreciated Neverwhere much more than American Gods. The characters were much more fun and interesting IMO.
Seems like we are all playing the catch up game at some point here in this group. Glad I can contribute to your obese WL, Caro. It's one of my favourite things to do. ;)
I'll have to look up Good Omens to see what it's all about.
Micky, I felt like I stepped into heaven when I walked down the ramp. I kept thinking, how could I have never known about this place! Had a chat with the owner when I was paying for my purchases and he told me that he wasn't a reader!?! I was shocked considering he is surrounded by them all day long!
Came home with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the first 4 books in the Wheel of Time series, and a copy of The Postman. I only wish I walked in with a list of books since there is just so much to look at there!
I have yet to read The Graveyard Book and you should read Neverwhere as soon as you can. :)
Thanks, Joe! I totally wish he was able to explore that world more since the characters were so fascinating but I'll forgive him since he apparently has written some other gooders.
Ooh, that is another one that I have to check out, Roni.
Hi Kath. Lazy days, especially on the weekends are fantastic. I am nursing some intensely sore arms and all this is from just weeding the yard. It only shows just how out of shape I am...but a couple of tylenols later coupled with some light cardio work on my elliptical and I am starting to feel a bit better. :)
>99 Glad I could point you in a good direction. :D Good choice of books too, even without a list. :)
I think my husband was glad I didn't walk in there with a list since I did enough damage without one. The best part was getting 10 dollars in credit for offloading some books from my library that I have no intention of ever reading again. I traded in 3 books and came home with 6. What a deal! :)
Nice review - you sold me. I'm off to find myself a copy of Neverwhere. Thanks, Valerie!
Well I've never read anything by Neil Gaiman but you sure make him sound interesting Valerie. Pondering...
Read American Gods last year and found it brilliant in parts and damn frustrating in others. The genre is not really my bag but the early part of the novel when he is getting released from prison is great stuff.
Rachel, you must remedy that situation as soon as possible. The dust will revolt in due time at the rate that they are collecting. ;) Depending on whether you like to read the "better" book first will dictate if you should read Neverwhere or American Gods first.
Thanks, Mamie. I hope you like it when you get the chance to read it and don't make the same mistake that I committed by letting it sit around for too long. :)
No need to ponder Bonnie. As in Nike's famous logo, JUST DO IT. :)
Paul, I have to wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. After hearing such rave things about Gaiman, I was rather disappointed at my reading of American Gods. I couldn't connect with the main character at all, although some people have argued that is the point of it all, but either way, the book fell rather flat with me, especially now after reading Neverwhere.
Oh, my, you're taking on the Wheel of Time series, Valerie! I've really enjoyed it, but it's now up to, I think, 14 volumes? The good news is Brandon Sanderson is doing an excellent job finishing it off (after Jordan passed away), with the last volume coming out either later this year or early next year.
I've been holding off and holding off since it is such a ridiculously long series. And of course I have my serious doubts about how you can keep the momentum of a story that spans 14 books?? But when I heard that Sanderson is finishing the series and that the last book will be number 14, even if it ends up being 2000 pages (Sanderson's words), I took the plunge. I saw the first 4 books in pretty good condition at the used book stores....and well you know, how could I have resisted!
I'm the same Paul. Both series are sitting on my shelves, taunting me with their sheer girth... :)
I think maybe I like collecting the books, I like the thought of reading the books, but for some reason, putting the thought into action seems like such a hard thing to do....what a shame!
That resonates Valerie - in the last four years I have bought more than 2000 books but read only 500!
>110 I try to keep the collector's instinct down, but it's true that I'll pick up a book and it's often more than a year before I read it, because I'm reading stuff from the public library instead. It's hard to strike a balance.
See, Paul when you say you read 500 books without adding the, bought 2000 books part, it sounds mighty impressive! All a matter of perspective right?? Either way, I'm just jealous you can buy that many books!
Thanks Genny. It was an easier review to write since I enjoyed the book so much.
Micky, we truly are a strange breed. I keep telling my husband that my biggest fear is one day running out of books to read. Of course he stares at my bookshelves, then back at me, and says, "I highly doubt that will ever happen...". He's probably right.
We've recently had a string of home fires around our neighbourhood and the houses are gutted and will have to rebuilt, but luckily no one one is ever hurt. But I got me thinking that if something ever happened to my house, would the insurance cover all the books that I own?? I'm thinking they aren't going to believe me that I have over 700 physical books in my house, so now I'm on a mission to take a photograph of each of my bookshelves as proof..... Paranoid you say? I'll admit it. :)
The Graveyard Book is the only Gaiman I've read and I liked it a lot.
I love that you found a new favorite used bookstore. What a wonderful thing to have in your community!
eta: paranoid schmaranoid. Get out the camera. Books have value!
eta: paranoid schmaranoid. Get out the camera. Books have value
I never thought about getting my books insured! Now I have something else to worry about ;-)
I loved Game of Thrones when I read it earlier this year. I'm saving the second one, trying to stretch the series out a bit. I think my husband has the first several Wheel of Time books... I may have to check them out....
I agree! Document everything! It adds up and for most of us, our books are more important than other things in the house. Of course we'd want to replace them.
Actually, your LT catalog is a good reference also, for showing sheer numbers and to keep track of titles in the event you do ever need to replace anything. I certainly hope you never have to deal with that though! Do you think it's arson?
Hi Ellen! Another person who has read and enjoyed The Graveyard Book. I really, really, need to bump that to the top of the TBR mountain! Yes, I can't believe I didn't know about this wonderful chain of used book stores. I will definitely become a frequent patron of theirs.
Thanks, Kath for affirming and supporting my paranoia. :)
I never thought about it before either, Katie! Although I did this questionnaire one time and did state that the first time I'd grab from my house if it were on fire would be my books. But given how many of them I actually have, I think only a handful would be saved. :(
Okay, Game of Thrones will be priority for next year as I do want to watch the HBO series at some point. Is each season supposed to coincide with each book?
Hi Kathy! I wonder if LT could count as proof of all the books I actually own. That would save me a tonne of work of trying to get a picture of all the books.
No mention of arson or anything, but it is strange that since we've moved into this neighbourhood, there has been at least 1 major fire a year! Don't know if the people are just absent minded or what, but it sure makes me nervous when it's so close to home.
IDK if it would count as proof, but it can't hurt as a backup for the photos I guess. Then again, there are a lot of inventories done simply from a homeowner's memory after a fire, so if they accept that, why not a book list?
A sort of funny story from my college days: the house we were renting had a sudden termite swarm. (I didn't know what was going on at first, only that the air was thick with bugs and I was freaking out.) I panicked and called my friend who had a pickup truck to "help me come save my stuff". What did we save, while braving the swarm of flying bugs?? A truckful of my books. :)
Oh well, if they are going to accept just word of mouth, then I'm adding all the books on my WL as well! :)
See, you tell a story like that here, and well go..ahhh, yes, I TOTALLY understand. My friends, and most of the rest of the world, just think we are bit strange... :)
The only thing that would rival my books would be pictures and such. Things that hold sentimental value. Even if I end up naked on the streets with my books and pictures and my loved ones, I'm content.
Of course Valerie books are not that expensive over here and some were picked up in sales (maybe a quarter of em). Books are also tax deductible here up to RM1000 annually (about $330 p.a.). Since mine have probably cost around $22,000 in that time - I'm not doing it to avoid the tax!
The Canadian government needs to jump on board with the whole tax deductible bit for book buying...as if I really need another reason! :)
Okay, I've always been super impressed with how some people have organized their series readings on their threads and in preparation for September Series and Sequels month, I attempted to put my books in some semblance of order.... It is not as ridiculous as what LT lists, but it's still pretty nuts!
**All lists are subject to changes and updates.
Alan Bradley – (YA) Flavia de Luce Mysteries (1/6) Next: The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag
Anna Carey – (YA) Eve (1/2) Next: Once
Anne Bishop – (F) The Black Jewels Series (3/6) Next: The Invisible Ring
Anne Rice – (F) Vampire Chronicles (4/10) Next: Memnoch the Devil
Arthur C. Clarke – Space Odyssey (2/4) Next: 2061 Odyssey Three
Beth Revis – (YA) Across the Universe (1/3) Next: A Million Suns
David Whitley – (YA) Agora Trilogy (2/3) Next: TBA
Diana Gabaldon – (FN) Outlander (6/7) Next: An Echo in the Bone
Douglas Adams – (SF) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (5/7) Next: The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time
Jack Whyte – (H) Camulod Chronicles (6/9) Next: Uther
Jacqueline Carey – Kushiel’s Legacy (3/9) Next: Kushiel’s Scion
James Dashner – (YA) The Maze Runner (1/3) Next: The Scorch Trials
Jessica Day George – (YA) Princess of the Midnight Ball (1/3) Next: Princess of the Midnight Ball
Jules Watson – (H) The Dalriada Trilogy (1/3) Next: The Dawn Stag
Kaoru Mori – (GN) Emma (2/10) Next: Emma Vol. 3
Kate Mosse – (H) Languedoc Trilogy (1/3) Next: Sepulchre
Kiera Cass – (YA) Selection Trilogy (1/3) Next: TBA
Kristi Cook – (YA) Winterhaven (1/2) Next: Mirage
Kristin Cashore – (YA) Seven Kingdoms Trilogy (2/3) Next: Bitterblue
Lauren DeStefano – (YA) The Chemical Garden Trilogy (1/3) Next: Fever
Libba Bray – (YA) Gemma Doyle (2/3) Next: The Sweet Far Thing
Lois Lowry – (CH) The Giver Quartet (1/4) Next: Gathering Blue
Marion Zimmer Bradley – (F) Avalon Published Order (1/7) Next: The Forest House
Orson Scott Card – (SF) Ender’s Universe (6/10) Next: Shadow Puppets
Patricia C. Wrede – (YA) Frontier Magic (1/3) Next: Across the Great Barrier
Pearl S. Buck – (H) The House of Earth Trilogy (1/3) Next: Sons
Philippa Gregory – (H) The Tudor Court Novels (4/6) Next: The Virgin’s Lover
Pittacus Lore – (YA) The Lorien Legacies (1/3) Next: The Power of Six
Sara Shepard – (YA) The Lying Game (1/3) Next: Never Have I Ever
Scott Westerfeld – (YA) Leviathan (1/3) Next: Behemoth
Stephen Hunt – (F) Jackelian (1/6) Next: The Kingdom Beyond the Waves
Stieg Larsson – (C) The Millennium Trilogy (1/3) Next: The Girl Who Played with Fire
Ted Dekker – (YA) The Lost Books (4/6) Next: Lunatic
Terry Brooks – (F) Shannara Heritage Tetralogy (1/4) Next: The Druid of Shannara
Terry Brooks – (F) The Magic Kingdom of Landover (3/6) Next: The Tangle Box
Tricia Rayburn – (YA) Siren (1/3) Next: Undercurrent
Alison Goodman – (YA) Dragoneye (2/2)
Brenda Rickman Vantrease – (H) The Illuminator (2/2)
Cornelia Funke – (YA) Inkheart Trilogy (3/3)
D. M. Cornish – (YA) Monster Blood Tattoo (3/3)
Francine Rivers – (H) The Mark of the Lion (3/3)
Guy Gavriel Kay – (F) The Fionavar Tapestries (3/3)
Guy Gavriel Kay – (F) The Sarantine Mosaic (2/2)
Jacqueline Carey – (F) The Sundering (2/2)
J. K. Rowling – (YA) Harry Potter (7/7)
J. R. R. Tolkien – (F) The Lord of the Rings (3/3)
Madeleine L’Engle – (YA) The Time Quintet (5/5)
Philip Pullman – (YA) His Dark Materials (3/3)
Philippa Gregory – (H) The Wideacre Trilogy (3/3)
Rand Miller – (F) Myst (3/3)
Rick Riordan – (F) Percy Jackson and the Olympians (5/5)
Robert Scott & Jay Gordon – (F) The Eldarn Sequence (3/3)
Stephanie Meyer – (YA) Twilight Saga (4/4)
Susan Cooper – (YA) The Dark is Rising Sequence (5/5)
Suzanne Collins – (YA) The Hunger Games (3/3)
Ted Dekker – (F) Circle Series (3/3)
Terry Brooks – (F) Original Shannara Trilogy (3/3)
Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins – (FN) Left Behind (13/13)
Series Owned (Partial/Complete) but Unread
Alexandra Adornetto – (YA) Halo (0/3)
Amitav Ghosh – (H) The Ibis Trilogy (0/3)
Ariana Franklin – (H) Mistress of the Art of Death (0/4)
Becca Fitzpatrick – (YA) Hush, Hush Saga (0/4)
Brandon Sanderson – (F) Mistborn (0/4)
Carlos Ruiz Zafon – (H) The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (0/3)
Carol Berg – (F) Bridge of D’Arnath (0/4)
Cassandra Clare – (F) The Mortal Instruments (0/6)
Catherine Banner – (YA) The Last Descendants Trilogy (0/3)
Christopher Paolini – (YA) The Inheritance Cycle (0/4)
Connie Willis – (F) Oxford Time Travel (0/4)
Deborah Harkness (F) All Souls Trilogy (0/3)
Eoin Colfer – (YA) Artemis Fowl (0/8)
George R. R. Martin – (F) A Song of Fire and Ice (0/7)
Hilary Mantel – (H) Wolf Hall Trilogy (0/3)
Indu Sundaresan – (H) Taj Trilogy (0/3)
James Barclay – (F) Legends of the Raven (0/4)
Jeanne DuPrau – (YA) Books of Ember (0/4)
Juliet Marillier – (F) The Sevenwaters Series (0/6)
Ken Follet – (FN) Kingsbridge (0/2)
Kim Stanley Robinson – (SF) Mars Trilogy (0/3)
Lauren Kate – (YA) Fallen Series (0/4)
Lev Grossman – (F) The Magicians (0/2)
Louise Penny – (C) Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (0/8)
Margaret Atwood – (SF) Oryx and Crake (0/2)
Mary Norton – (CH) The Borrowers (0/5)
Michael Scott – (F) The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (0/6)
N.K. Jemisin – (F) Inheritance Trilogy (0/3)
Orson Scott Card – (SF) Homecoming Saga (0/5)
Orson Scott Card – (SF) Pastwatch (0/3)
Peter V. Brett – (F) The Demon Cycle (0/3)
Philippa Gregory – (H) The Cousin’s War Series (0/4)
Robert Jordon – (F) The Wheel of Time (0/14)
Sara Poole - (H) Poisoner Series (0/3)
Steve Augarde – (YA) Touchstone Trilogy (0/3)
Susan Beth Pfeffer – (YA) The Last Survivors (0/3)
Wendy Alec – (FN) The Chronicles of Brothers (0/3)
Series Unowned (WL/Library)
Ally Condie – (YA) Matched (0/3)
Bryan M. Litfin – (F) Chiveis Trilogy (0/3)
Cherie Priest – (F) The Clockwork Century (0/3)
Gail Carriger – (F) Parasol Protectorate (0/5)
Gayle Forman – (YA) If I Stay (0/2)
Guillermo Del Toro – (F) The Strain Trilogy (0/3)
Kami Garcia – (YA) The Castor Chronicles (0/4)
Lauren Oliver – (YA) Delirium (0/3)
Melissa Marr – (YA) Wicked Lovely (0/5)
Patrick Ness – (YA) Chaos Walking (0/3)
Veronica Roth – (YA) Divergent (0/3)
Boy did that feel good to have that all sorted out. :)
>99 thank goodness you provided a list of your new book babies. I was about to
I trust you found somewhere for them?
Great review of Neverwhere, I do want to read it. yes, I do. I will get on to that....sometime this year maybe even. Potentially.
Finding a place for them is never as a big a problem as finding the time to read them. :)
I know....that list is pretty crazy huh? I try to think of it as LOOK, all these books I can choose to read from, instead of, CRAP, look how many series I've started that I haven't finished!
I'm finally getting to you terrific thread. (I am so far behind!)
You did a marvelous job organizing the lists of your series.
WOW! What a list! It must have taken a while to compile. May I steal the idea? It would feel great to have it lined out like that.
Impressive lists, Valerie. I love all the lists that you, Paul, and others create but I simply do not have the patience to do it.
I have been thinking about creating a simple list: the books I own that are to be read. I don't enter books into LT until I start actually reading them, so it would be a fun list to have.
What do your numbers mean, Valerie? I thought it was the book you're on out of books in series, but it doesn't seem to match on Alan Bradley's series, so I'm not sure.
ETA: N/m, I think you just need to change the 6 to a 5. :)
Ummm... I'm already out of list-making patience! lol. I looked at my series link on my books page and figured out you can get a list of series, in order, which books you've read, etc. That's IF (big IF) you've kept your catalogs in order and updated. :)
Thanks for dropping by Terri. I know how daunting the task is trying to catch up after being a few days away. These threads I tell ya!
Feel free to use whatever you like, Kathy. My listing is basically a mish mash of everyone else's idea anyways! Looking forward to seeing your lists when you are done.
I put 6 for the Bradley series since LT and other sites are projecting it to be a 6-book series, but you never know what the author is going to do at the end. :)
Thanks Ellen. I am by no means a major player in the world of lists like our friend, Paul. It did take a lot of time to compile everything and I'm sure mistakes and errors abound since some books are a bit fuzzy when it comes to grouping them into series, but so much fun to look at it once it's done. Another reason I started it was I had so many series from borrowed from the library that I was losing track of which book I was reading from which series, so this way I can prevent some confusion for myself.
I put 6 for the Bradley series since LT and other sites are projecting it to be a 6-book series
Oh, I didn't realize that! I have book 5 on order but still haven't gotten to book 4. Always happy to have a great series go longer. :)
Yeah I used that LT feature as a resource for my compilation, but found it very unreliable as it will often times list the same book more than once under a different series. I ended up using my own excel sheet to cross reference everything to make sure all the information matched up. I could only do bits at a time as it got really repetitive and my toddler could only handle so much time playing by himself. :)
Hi Valerie, funny you should be organizing your books for September Series & Sequels ! The thread is now up and ready for business, and I'm looking forward to seeing you over there.
What did you think of Carey's Sundering series? I read all her Kushiel books but for some reason after a couple of pages, I couldn't get into the Sundering. Should I try again?
Wow, Valerie! It looks like Paul is really rubbed off on you! LOL. Good luck and it'll be good to see you on S & S.
I like your series list; it gives me a few ideas, and I've started a few of them, too.
I'm away from my personal library, but I should get back to it next year; I'm thinking of doing a group read of 'The Wheel of Time' series then, if I can get any interest up. I see you have it listed as not yet read. Would you care to join?
Judy, you read my mind! I was gearing up for September S&S and will drop by to check out the thread later. As you can see, I definitely need to clear some series off my deck before I can begin to think of starting any others...
Morphy, my first reaction was to tell you not to bother since I don't even remember any details of what I read, but then I checked what rating I gave them and I gave them both a 4.5! So there must have been something I liked about them. They are considered her breakout books, so I guess maybe give them another try? I don't think the world building is on par with the Kushiel's books but I think it's more philosophical angle - the nature of good and evil. What I do remember was thinking what an intelligent writer she was....but that is about it.
You are so right, Mark. I have been infected by the Paul bug and now I just can't seem to stop listing things!
Hi Nina! Thanks for dropping by. I would be totally up for a group read of WoT series. Were you thinking something a long the lines of what they did this year with the Steinbeck books? Since they are such monsters books, it would be nice to share the journey with others in the group. :)
I'm afraid I didn't do the Steinbeck thing; was it similar to the Austenathon? It would be nice to re-re-read them along with others, especially after the first 2 or 3.
As I said, I can't get hold of my copies until about halfway through next year. I suppose I could borrow them; but I'd really like to have my beloved books in my hands if we're doing it.
Yup, basically a book a month kind of deal. Or maybe a book every 2 months since some of those books are HUGE! No worries, I don't think I would have room to start any new chunksters this year, as you can already see. I guess it depends if there is enough interest for it as well. :)
#64 Siren by Tricia Rayburn
Source: Public Library
Setting: Maine, USA
Notes: First in series, siblings, mythology, mystery
Books noted: The Odyssey
Ulysses and the Sirens
Justine and Vanessa have always enjoyed spending their summers at the beach house with their family and friends. This year, festivities are cut short when Justine's body washes ashore and the people of Winter Harbour, Maine are shattered from their idyllic home away from home. Shortly thereafter, several more bodies begin to wash up along the coast, all men, all with smiles on their faces. Vanessa, unable to come to terms with her sister's apparent suicide decides to dig a little deeper into the town's past and what she finds is a tradition more sinister than she could have fathomed.
The first half the book started rather slow and I kept wanting them to unfold the mystery a lot faster. The second half of the story picked up rather quickly and the climax was satisfying, but of course lots of loose ends are left since this is the first in a planned trilogy. The connection and explored mythology of sirens was woven nicely into the overall narrative, albeit predictably, as is usually the case with YA books. Overall, I enjoyed it enough to pursue the rest of the series.
I'm thinking about making a deal with you for September S&S.....
Trying to pick a first-in-series to read......
Maybe something by Philippa Gregory?
What's your favorite of the series you've started and/or completed?
Well, how can I turn down a deal like that, Ellen. :)
I will take a look at my series and get back to you on your thread later today. Now I'm off to some elliptical workout since the monkey has gone down for his afternoon nap.
Impressive lists of series, even including the ones not yet started and on your wishlist... I really must get round to listing mine, at least the ongoing ones to start with....
Hi Genny! I'll look forward to seeing what's on your list. :)
So scary to think of each of our lists being so huge, but then it's scarier to think that I haven't even heard of most of the series that are on other people's list!
>146 Putting that one on the mental list of books to consider to add to the actual TBR list. A bit intrigued but not entirely sure I want to try it out.
Very impressed with all your series lists. I actually don't have that many series on the go so I don't think it's a project I'll tackle. Although I've been thinking about adding my DVD collection to my library so that I have a list of them all somewhere.
Serious? Here, let me lighten it up for you, Kath
Micky, if you decide to read the book then you can add it to you nonexistent list of series. ;)
Do you have a very large collection of DVDs?
I am totally ignoring that business with the series. Can't you tell?
OMG ...Valerie .. I was doing well on your thread until I came to your list. Whew! You and Paul both put me to shame. How long did it take you to compile your lists? It's impressive. I thought for 3 seconds what it would take for me to compile lists, and then I started laughing .... I'm not a list person. I'd attempt one for all of 5 mins and then probably get distracted by a bag of potato chips and a book inching out of my TBR Tower and calling out to me, and the list would thereupon be shamelessly abandoned.
Hi Valerie. Really glad you enjoyed Neverwhere. My reading group has picked that for next month's book discussion so I'm looking forward to rereading it. And well done on those series lists! I'm not going to list all the series I haven't started/want to start because it would terrify me!
Wow, Valerie, I"m impressed by your series knowledge!!! What a list! I'm sure I'll have no problem with Series and Sequels September! :)
What's that Paul said - books are tax deductible in Kuala Lumpur! Let's get a petition together here in Canada!
Haha, Jenn, ignore away! I don't think I would have made the lists if it weren't for the September S&S. I just wanted to know what I was getting myself into and it's nice to know which books I'm supposed to read next.
Arigatou gozaimasu, Caro. It took me pretty much an entire day to compile the list, but that doesn't include the several times that I started and stopped. Everytime I started I felt like I was going down the rabbit hole and the task felt too daunting. But once I figured what format I wanted, it was just a matter of reconciling what LT said I was reading versus what my own personal spreadsheets said. Would I do it again? Nope. Once is enough for me. :)
Thanks Heather! I'll be interested to see what your group thinks of the book. A lot of people have said they are scared of what they will find out, but hey, look at it as WOW, all these books that I get to choose from! At least that's what I say to console myself. :)
Hi Deb! No knowledge necessary. Just a lot of patience and clicking back and forth between pages. If I can do it, anyone can!
Valerie- I have 323 series books to date. I'm not sure how accurate that is but I do know it's a LOT! Have Mercy On Us All! Isn't that anther series book title?
>153 It's not a huge collection of DVDs but it's substantial enough. And the librarian in me really wants it listed and organized somewhere. :)
Thanks, Anne! You are yet another person out of so many already who tells me that I MUST read The Graveyard Book. I was planning on reading it next year, but with your endorsement, I may just have to read it before the end of this year!
Not too shabby, Mark. See now that wasn't too scary right? It's always better to confront the truth then to live in denial. ;)
Micky, DVDs is mostly in my husband's realm of control although I do have my random chickflicks and favourite Disney movies interspersed with his Transformers and such. DVDs are sooo cheap now compared to when we actually had time to watch them but couldn't afford to buy them with our part time job salaries..haha!
Is it inappropriate to say that you are enjoying a book that partly deals with subject of women being controlled, confined, and conditioned to being breeding machines? Atwood has a creepy ability to say just enough for the mind to imagine all the horrors she alludes to without having to outright spell it out for you. Sometimes, what the mind is able to conjure is so much more terrifying than any string of words put together. Regardless, I am really, really, quite fascinated with my current read of The Handmaid's Tale.
Valerie - very impressed by your series of series lists. My biggest list would be series owned but not yet started as I am an inverterate magpie. Also reminded me that some books I had overlooked as series like Zafon's for example are missing from my list.
Oh. My. God. Those series lists are downright scary Valerie. I've got a couple series going but I'm not much of a series reader regardless of what my stats page says. I will read the new Louise Penny, The Beautiful Mystery in September but other than that I don't think I'll get any others in. The month filled up fast with other books somehow:)
Hey! Where'd my post go? Into the ether by the looks of it. *grrr*
Never mind, Handmaids Tale looks interesting. Maybe I need to go there too. Just maybe, as I havent had much luck with Atwood.
Sigh. So so SO far behind. Hope everything is going well with you, and I'm glad you liked Neverwhere!
Hi Valerie! I'm also impressed with your series list. I recently looked at my LT series page and was shocked by how many were there, because it doesn't seem like I read that many series, but I guess I do. I tried to do a list of my own, but gave up.
The Handmaid's Tale is great. Although, my sister just yelled at me (in jest) for suggesting it to her (which I don't remember doing, by the way). She wasn't a fan. I'm glad you're "enjoying" it.
>162 I enjoy narratives regardless of medium so I have quite a few DVDs that take up odd spots on bookshelves as well.
>163 I've only read one Atwood (Alias Grace) but I surprisingly loved it. I really should pick up another at some point.
Valerie- I'm so glad you are enjoying The Handmaids Tale. Cool creepy picture too! This was my 1st Atwood and I 5 starred it. I have several of her other books in the stacks but have not got to another one. Sad, I know.
Paul, I obviously learn from the very best. Take a bow my friend. :) Haha! As if you really need to add another series to your crazy list. Thanks for the inspiration!
Bonnie, my jaw dropped to the ground when I first saw the compiled list as well, but now I think if it as a list of opportunities and not a reminder of how behind I really am. ;)
What happened Megan? Did the LT gods mess around with your post? Have you read other Atwood books that you didn't enjoy?
Always glad to have you Amber, whenever you get a chance to pop by. :)
Hi Terri. Yeah, the LT series feature is terribly inaccurate so I couldn't really use that to really gauge how many series I have so I just went for it and did my own listing. Hard work, but fun and worth the effort in the end. I totally can see how THT can be on someone's favourite book list and another's person hate list. I don't think it would appeal to all people, that's for sure.
Hi Micky! I will have to look that one. I have a couple other Atwood books on my TBR mountain so I guess I'm in no hurry to find her other books, but after reading this one, I think I'm in the Atwood fan side of the camp.
Hi Mr. Mark. Wow a 5 star read? I am quite enjoying it. Although right after I posted the little blurb above, Ms. Atwood decided to get quite graphic with her content, but she is still able to give me creepy chills without having to write very much.
Busy, busy, day! Got back from my regular playdate with a good friend of mine who has a 7 month old. I don't know if it's just hanging around another baby so often, or it's the right time, but my time clock is ticking and the strings are being tugged. Maybe it's time for Caleb to have a little sister/brother?? Ahhh...so hard to decide since life just seems to have a rhythm and I would hate to change it all up again!
An hour workout on the elliptical and watching Smallville at the same time while the monkey takes his afternoon nap.
Monkey wakes up and I start making Lemon Herb Chicken and veggies for dinner.
Catching up on LT.....*pant pant*. All in a day's work. :)
An hour on the elliptical? Good for you!
And Lemon Herb Chicken sounds great. I'll be right over! Heh
Plates laid out for you, Ellen. :)
I do about an hour everyday except for one day off. The working out isn't as hard. It's watching what I put into my body that has always been more of the struggle!
My best advice is not to wait too long if you're considering another baby. Your schedule only gets fuller and more rigid as they get older. I wish I'd had another close to my first, but it seems to get harder to add to the routine and easier to talk myself out of it as she gets older.
All caught up here - not sure how I got SO far behind. Love the series lists - so fun!
It's watching what I put into my body that has always been more of the struggle!
Yep. Same here.
My two monkeys are five years apart; by the time I had the second, I had to learn the ropes all over again. But they do keep each other entertained (although, of course, sometimes I have to arbitrate).
Lemon Herb Chicken sounds delicious. Did I miss it? What's on for dinner tonight, and can I come round, too, please? I've given up watching what goes into my body. As long as chocolate's involved, I'll have almost anything.
Another baby? Exciting (as long as it's someone else and not me)!
And as far as diet and exercise go, both are very difficult for me. I hate exercising, on top of having not time at all for it (Charlie doesn't nap anymore), and when it comes to food I have the willpower of, well, a 3 year old, it seems. Sigh.
... and on days I manage to convince myself a salad is satisfying enough, the kids leave half their food on the plate, and I hate to see it go to waste and ...
Five stars from me for The Handmaid's Tale, too, Valerie. What an amazing book it is.
Hi Kathy! Yes, you are right. There is never a "good' time to have a child. We learned that with our first one. There was always a legit reason to wait a couple of months. I definitely want him to have a sibling, so will have to bite the bullet sooner rather than later. Just really, really, want to potty train him before I'm a whale and can't move around as well..haha!
Thanks for catching up Mamie. Yup, lists are fun in limited doses. I think I've met my quota for the year. :)
Big wave to Roni!
Ellen, my biggest problem is discipline. I admire people who can set out a goal and just stick to it no matter what the obstacles and distractions. I need a bit of that kind of mental strength when it comes to food!
Nina, if we were to get pregnant by the end of this year, the kids would be 3.5 years apart which is already a bit bigger than I originally wanted, but no one to blame but myself since I kept finding excuses to wait a bit longer. I can't wait for Caleb to have someone else to keep him company..haha!
See, I'm not so much a sugar or sweets person. But, put a plate of pasta in front of me and be prepared to see some magic. ;)
Haha, eating the leftovers is my husbands domain (both mine and the kids). He can physically afford it since he doesn't seem to gain weight at all *jealous* and plus it grosses me out to eat mashed up grown up food.
Amber, I really don't know how I'll squeeze in the workout time once Caleb drops his naps. I guess maybe waking up earlier in the morning? *groans* Not my idea of fun....
Hi Joe! Just finished THT late last night and now I'm just letting it stew in my head. I really don't know what to make of the ending, but overall, it was a pretty good book!
Cooler weather blew in last night. Cool enough that this morning we had to turn on the heat! Yesterday night we went to the store to spend about $280 dollars in baby items (diapers, wipes, jarred food, and formula) that we plan on donating to a local agency that helps mothers in need. It was a fundraising event that a couple of families in my church decided to organize as part of our summer public service/volunteer event. It was so wonderful to buy SO MANY needed items for people out there who can't even afford basic goods for their kids. I remember looking at Caleb and my husband and thinking just how blessed we are to have the means to provide for family. We did have a lot of people staring at our carts and wondering if we were extreme couponing or if there was a sale they were missing out on!
#65 The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Setting: Republic of Gilead, formerly United States of America
Notes: dystopian, religion, woman, government
Books noted: Hard Times
Now we walk along the same street, in red pairs, and no man shouts obscenities at us, speaks to us, touches us. No one whistles. There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.
The world is not what it used to be. Some say it's for the betterment of humanity and others would disagree, but they don't stick around for too long. Offred, a Handmaid, now on her second assignment has long ago submitted to the new social order. At least she does on the outside. The secret thoughts, the haunting memories, the inability to forget a life a lost, forever keeps her on the knife's edge of rebellion and subversion. Women either obediently play the roles in their designated castes, blue, red, and greens, or they are cast away. Women are to bear offsprings, or they are cast away. Women are to exist in silence, an invisible backdrop, or they are cast away. Some say this new way of life is God's hand of redemption on the world. Others disagree, but they too don't stick around for too long.
Ms. Atwood, you send shivers up my spine and goosebumps sprawling all over my arms in ways few others have. The fictional world of Gilead may be just a story on the page, and yet what makes the story so powerful, so haunting, is just how close to reality the mirror may be reflecting. In some parts of the world, Offred may just be another nameless, faceless women in a crowd of so many others, voiceless, helpless. The Handmaid's Tale is written with a deftness of hand, and will probably be the closest to an enjoyment of poetry that I will ever experience. The story is disjointed, bouncing between the present and the past, between poetic ramblings and narrative prose, but the overall effect only emphasizes Offred's tortured voice - a woman caught between two worlds and belonging to neither. A book that should be read, even if you may not enjoy what it has to say.
Great review, Valerie! I haven't read A Handmaid's Tale yet, but I own it and it's inching closer to the top of the TBR...
The Handmaid's Tale still holds the impressive achievement of being the only 'required reading' that I studied for my GCSE's that I actually enjoyed reading/analysing etc. And the only one I have gone on to read several times afterwards.
It's definitely worth looking into it deeply. Some of the subtle meanings behind names/phrases are fascinating.
Thanks, Joe! I'm definitely glad I read this one.
Hi Katie. So many books waiting for you on top of TBR mountain. I know the feeling. I hope you find it of value when you get around to it. I just can't say enjoy for a book of this kind. :)
Hi Jenny! Definitely lots of little tidbits it feels that she throws out here and there. Like breadcrumbs. It would be nice at some point to re-read the book and note down all the references and word games she plays. But, first got to put a dent on all the other unread books before I can re-read anything otherwise I may have a riot on my hands... :)
Great review, Valerie.
From Ellen who just ate five maple cream cookies......
Great review, Valerie! My girls are 3 years apart, which is just perfect for us:) Happy dreaming/considering!
Hi Valerie, I was too far behind to catch up on all the conversation here, but I did take time to read your reviews, which are always so thoughtfully written and informative. I'm very glad you enjoyed The Handmaid's Tale, even though "enjoyed" is a strange word to use for it, but I do so myself. I've read that book twice and recently got the Folio Society edition from which the illustration you've shown comes from, and I really look forward to my third visit in that strange and scary world.
Loved all the series lists. It does feel great to put them all in order, doesn't it? I too mean to list all the series I've still got waiting in the wings. September might be the right time to start on one or two more because at this point, even though I've got plenty of ongoing ones, it won't make that much of a difference anyway!
Bad Ellen. Actually who am I kidding? You are the one that can run 2 miles. You go ahead eat those maple cream cookies whenever you feel like it! :)
Thanks Mark! I will be hitting up my new favourite used bookstore this weekend and you bet I am going to be scanning the shelves for Atwood's other books. :)
Thanks for the encouragement, Anne. 3 years sounds absolutely perfect to me. Just gotta go for it at some point!
Hi Ilana! I know the threads can be a bit crazy sometimes so it's always nice to have you drop by. If Paul is the King of Lists, I'd consider you the Queen of Lists. Your organization is always an inspiration for me to make sense of all the random piles I have everywhere. :)
Oh, the edition with the pictures must be awesome. I just did some random search on google and figured there must be a book with pictures it since there a couple others that I came across as well. And yes, you are right. Using the word "enjoy" just doesn't seem right!
Oh great review of the The Handmaid's Tale. I found it creepy and it somewhat turned me off. Thumb for your review though and a great picture to go with it. It was a creepy novel!!!Ohh another monkey on the mind? Mine are 5 1/2 year apart , but my ideal was 3 years, but nature did not cooperate! :)
I agree with the sooner rather than later folks on having another baby. Just sayin'. I am not an Atwood fan. I couldn't get through that book, and finally gave up and gave it away.
Hope you're having a good weekend!
Good Morning To You
Thanks for your wonderful review of Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. It is the only newbery award winner from last year that I didn't read and now your comments prompt me to visit the library today to obtain a copy and read it soon.
Great review of The Handmaid's Tale. I am in the camp with those who didn't like it, but your review almost makes me want to read it again.
Just checking in, hoping you're having a good weekend, figure you're still musing about to have or not to have.....
Oh, I'm so far behind here but you've encouraged me to get to Neverwhere before the end of the year. I should re-read The Handmaid's Tale and move on to some other Atwood while I'm at it.
(My kids are 22 months apart (1st and 2nd) and 6 years apart (2nd and 3rd) so we never managed that 3 year spacing. I guess they're an average of three years apart...But both the close together and the far apart had their own merits.)
Terrific review of The Handmaid's Tale Valerie? I read it eons ago but still remember how powerful it was. 3.5 years is what we have between our two and I have to say I always thought that was pretty much perfect, as far as timing goes. Just saying;-)
Whatever gap you end up having between kids will be the perfect one for your family - but it'll have it's downs, too. ;-)
Great review of The Handmaid's Tale Valerie - I've added my thumb.
I agree! You've gotten me interested in reading it. It's been sitting on my TBR pile for a while...I should get around to it!
Hi Deb! I definitely can see how some people really wouldn't like the book, but I've always been fascinated with that kind of story so it was right up my alley.
Haha, you are right. We always have our plans, but sometime nature has a different schedule. My brother and I were 2 years apart and I have lots of great memories growing up with him, but I can't imagine how people do it when the age gap is less than that!
Hi Kath. Not your cup of tea makes it much easier to avoid the blue font. :)
I agree with you on the sooner rather than later, for sure. Now, to actually put that thought into action..hmmm....
Thanks for dropping by Linda! You are amazing and I seriously don't know how you are able to make it around the thread with all the pain that you are going through! I hope you enjoy HoaS when get a chance to read it. :)
Thanks Jenn. Yup, I think the camp is quite divided with this one. People with either like or hate it. One thing for sure is I don't think you can read it and not have a reaction to it.
Haha, Ellen. Musing...yes. I think maybe too much musing? I hope you are having a great weekend!
Hi Anne! It's so great to have you drop the thread. I do hope you have Neverwhere at chance at some point.
Yes, close together or far apart definitely has it's pros and cons. Regardless though, I think we just make whatever we are blessed with work for the whole family. :)
Thanks, Bonnie! 3.5 is perfect?? Well, I better get on it then... ;)
Nina, that is wonderful way of looking at it. I just gotta keep reminding myself that there is no such thing as the "perfect" time, just as there are no "perfect" people, so we do what we gotta do to make things work! :)
Hi Rachel. I've perked your interest? Good, then I've done my job well. :)
A nice sweet baby shower to end the weekend. I think the universe is trying to tell me something! :)
Had a great chat with the hubby last night in bed. Was just talking about how I can never seem to come up with an all time favourite list because I KNOW there are still so many good books out there that I haven't read that I'm sure would easily make my all time list. But really who's to say your list can't change and evolve as time goes by, right? So will be thinking and working at compiling an all time favourite books at some point in the near future....so daunting!
Creating an all time favourites list sounds like great fun, although as you said, rather daunting. Will you have a limit on the number of books allowed on it?
Lists will, by definition, change and evolve. I agree that the idea of such a book list is daunting because (a) I've read so many books I've loved and (b) I know (as you say) that there are many, many more to come --- and too many which I'll simply never get to read. But trying to compile a list of books that have stayed with us over time, probably a fun endeavor.
I just wanted to catch up with you in all things :) Hope life is being kind to you , today :)
#66 Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Source: Public Library
Setting: Britain, Austria-Hungary, Switzerland
Notes: steampunk, WW1, alternate history, illustrations, first in series
Books noted: None
The Archduke and his wife have just been murdered. Their son, Alek, a prince with title, but no power, a royal with no thrown to rule is on the run from a country that has betrayed him.
Deryn, aka Dylan, a girl masquerading as a boy joins the ranks of solders sworn to protect the British empire from enemies, finds herself with no training, but a battle to fight nonetheless.
The world is divided into Beasties and Clankers. It is a war of politics, of government secrets and conspiracies, of animals versus machines. Two unlikely friends, hesitant to trust the other with their secrets, but with the threat of war looming on the horizon, they will have no choice but to forge a tentative alliance.
Steampunk can only be good if you can actually visualize the described foreign world, filled with inventions and creatures that are anything but familiar. Westerfeld has written a steampunk that is both accessible to those who are new to the genre and refreshing for seasoned readers alike. The drawings interspersed throughout the story are absolutely marvellous and they provide a visual commentary that helps those of us who struggle with the strange sights, sounds, and images. Highly recommended for anyone interested in trying out steampunk as well as those who have already fallen in love with the genre.
Jenny, I think I am going to limit myself to 5. I'll have a longlist of all the books I've rated as 5 star and from there, I'll pick my top 5. :)
I imagine it will be a lot of fun Ellen! And I figure that it is about time that I actually have an answer to the question. Especially when people find out just how much I love books and they ask me what are my favourite books and to this point, I've never been able to give a straight answer which is rather embarrassing. :)
Thanks, Kath. Life is nice and quiet which translates to "good" in my world. :)
Nice and quiet sounds just about perfect! Amazing you can achieve this with a little one afoot -- enjoy!
Hi Valerie, I can't pretend to catch up but wanted to say I'm glad The Handmaid's Tale has found another fan. It's one of my all time favorites and, I feel, important.
Greetings Valerie! So.........thinking about more monkey-business, Huh? I sometimes wish that Will had a sibling but it just wasn't in the stars. He, on the other hand, is quite content being an only. But still? What does Caleb think about the possibility of a brother or sister? Kids are sometimes very enlightening.
Excellent lists! I wish I could be that organized but I just don't have it in me. Can you send me some of your skills?
#207 I also love the illustrations to the Leviathan trilogy Valerie - hope you enjoy the rest of the series.
Hmmm, I'm thinking about how to concoct my own top five list now.
Tricky. Perhaps I'll have to have a shortlist and then narrow it down. Weirdly though, I don't think all my favourites would necessarily be 5*. There is so much else involved in a book being a favourite: ease of reading/past experiences of reading it/who introduced you to it/memories it evokes. In my mind, there is a difference between 'best books ever read' and 'favourite books'. I might love a book for being well written, a wonderful plot and good characters, but would it necessarily be one I would want to take with me to a desert island?
Much to ponder. I'm fascinated to watch you come up with yours.
So glad you liked Leviathan, Valerie. That trilogy is one of my best LT discoveries. The other two books are just as good as the first, IMO.
I must get to the sequels to Leviathan soon ... but I say that every time someone mentions it:)
Great write up of The Handmaid's Tale.
Good luck with narrowing down a top five ... something I can never do ... too many good books:)
Hope you and yours are doing well.
Hi Anne! My little guy is pretty cooperative during the day when I need to get stuff done around the house. He will usually just trash the house or play with this toys. I pray for the latter but most of the time it's the former. :)
Thanks for dropping by Joanne. This is a no obligation to catch up kind of thread. Just drop by when you get the chance.
I agree with you that the message found in THT is needed. The delivery is sometimes hard to receive, but the importance of the message is not to be taken lightly.
Hi Lynda! I'd ask him but at the tender age of almost 2, he would just look up at me with his doe eyes and give me a huh whatcha talking about kind of look. :) I see him with other kids, both younger and older than him and can see how much he enjoys the companionship. Now whether he would still want it if he realizes that it takes away from his personal time with dad and mom will be debatable. :)
I have no skills really, but I can send you some of my OCD if you are interested. ;)
Definitely, Kath! That's the great thing about books. No two people will feel exactly the same after reading it. :)
Thanks, Heather. I have a feeling I'm really going to enjoy the series. I have Behemoth checked out from the library already so will probably fit it into my readings for September.
Ahhhhh, Jenny! You just made my task that much harder! Haha, just kidding. You make a great point about best books not necessarily being favourite reads. I think for the sake of creating the list, I'm going to start from the assumption that those two things are one and the same. I think I take all points into consideration when I give a book the 5 star rating. So you will see that I can give a Classic a 5 star and a YA the same exact rating. For me, the rating encompasses my reaction to the book, the quality of writing, and everything else in between. I will not compare books across genres though, which I think is unfair. I know some people will not give 5 stars to like a YA book because truth be told, the writing is no always stellar, but I will give it a 5 star because I compare it to other YA books in the genre and it stands above it's counterparts in the same genre. It would seem highly unfair to compare for example, The Hunger Games with 1984. Both are highly rated in my library but for very different reasons.
Good to know, Katie! It's always a drag when the first book in a series is awesome and the rest of it just downhill.... Kind of like a movie where all the good scenes are in the trailer... :)
Thanks Calm! Your situation with the Westerfeld series is my case with soooo many other books and visiting the threads tends to make the situation all the worse. :)
So glad you liked Leviathan, Valerie. The illustrations are absolutely amazing for that series.
Valerie - Must admit despite admiring your review of the book I hated it when I read it myself. Dystopia is not my bag but I'm not sure it is such a stretch to imagine a world ruled by women in red - Ms. Atwood anticipated SWMBO by 20 years.
"King of Lists"? another name I probably don't deserve but I do enjoy making them - not sure that listomania is quite the thing to promote oneself with!
Hi Micky! The pictures were definitely one of my favourite parts of the books. I was always anticipating what drawings would come up next and it was uncanny how there would be one whenever I read a passage that was particularly hard to envision.
Paul, dystopian to you is liken to crime/mystery for me. I read the first Steig Larsson book and enjoyed it, but it did put a queasiness in my stomach that was rather unpleasant. For me, I love the whole dystopian genre, the speculative nature of it, the what if factor, the imaginings of a world which cause us to shudder because of the possibility it one day becoming our reality - love it!
Thanks, Mark! I have Behemoth on deck for September so there won't be any dragging of feet on my end. :)
You go GIRL! I should consider bookhorning in Behemoth for S & S too! I already have a tight schedule though. We will see.
Do it! Do it! :)
Actually, I want to squeeze in 1Q84 somewhere in September as well to get a head start because there is no way I can finish that monster of a book for October....so we will see.
Loved your Atwood review, Valerie. The Handmaid's Tale was the first Atwood I read and it set me on the path to other Atwood books.
Absolutely find time to squeeze in 1Q84. It's a fantastic book.. it just looks like a big tome but it reads so smoothly you're not going to realize how quickly you're going through it.
Thanks, Caro! I am definitely looking forward to reading some of her other books that I own. Yes, squeezing that book in just sounds too funny since it's such a BIG book to begin with, but I'm excited since it will be my first Haruki Murakami. :)
So this Thursday is Caleb's second birthday! I don't know where all the time has gone. I still remember the 7lbs 8oz, cone headed little alien that I gave birth to like it was yesterday and today he's a running, jumping, and jabbering little toddler who keeps me on my toes all day long.
He was less than a month old in the first picture so still looking like an alien..haha! But to have those moments where he would be content to just lay on me was absolutely heavenly. Now my handsome little man is holding his own smoothies and gulping them down like no tomorrow! Caleb=LOVE. Happy Birthday monkey boy. :)
What cute pictures of Caleb, Valerie! Even though my sons are 27 and 22 years old, I can still remember their births too. My first was a super duper Martian Cone head at birth. I had 36 hours of labour and I tell you, that really created some kind of conehead for him. At least it did not last long! :) My second birth, my son was a full 1 1/2 lbs bigger, but he just had a plain old big head. :)
I can't wait to hear what your all time fav's are. I don't think I could manage to create such a list - maybe I could create a list of most disliked books that I finished! :)
Oh, he is such a handsome little thing! Happy birthday, Caleb!!
Charlie's 4th (!!) is in a couple of weeks, and I need to start thinking about the cake...
He is a beautiful little bo, absolutely beautiful... This is the very best time of your life, and somehow I think that you realize and appreciate that.. You really need to post more pictures for me to awwwwwwwww over! :)
Happy Birthday to Caleb!
Happy Birthday Caleb! He is adorable. I think you need another one. :)
My baby will be 6 in about 6 weeks, and then 6 weeks later I'll have a 14 yr old too. Time goes by fast. I wouldn't venture to say too fast, really, I enjoy every stage, though there was definitely more reward in the baby stage than in the teen stage thus far. :) It's not all bad if you don't mind knowing you're dumber than dirt most days. At least the baby still thinks I know some things.
Happy birthday to Caleb, Valerie! He looks like quite a guy. Nothing better than helping a little guy like Caleb grow up.
Happy birthday to Caleb!
(My eldest was an emergency caesarian after a bit of labour, so he had a weird shaped lump on one side of his head for the first several weeks. My second was straight to C-section, so he came out properly proportioned)
Oh, hooray -- pictures!! He has those darling, irresistible cheeks even as a tiny baby. Happy birthday to him -- and to you! Callia was breech -- her head came to a point at the back, like a cycling time-trial helmet. It's amazing how those little heads will mold.
Thanks for the love everyone! Caleb sends you his biggest and cuddliest hugs! :)
What super pictures, Valerie. You have an adorable son. Caleb looks like a bundle of fun and laughter.
Happy birthday to Caleb!! He's so bright and handsome! Hope you have a great day with him, Valerie. :)
Valerie- I just wanted to let you know, I just reserved the audio/book of Behemoth. I'll pick them up tomorrow. See how much of a pushover I am?
Thanks Caro! He is definitely a lot of fun and a lot of work, but the fun outweighs it all. :)
Hi Kathy! Everyday is an adventure with the little guy!
Mark, be scared. *inserts evil laugh* ;)
>183 great review, and I love that picture too- is it from the book, or inspired by the book, or just a random one? It sounds like a book id like to read. The only others ive read of hers (as you asked in #171) are The Blind Assassin, and Oryx and Crake. I cant say I loved either really.
Your "time flies" scenario of above re: Caleb's rapid aging...it feels very familiar. Time flies when you are busy, just another reason to live in and enjoy the moment. What great gorgeous photos! Cone headed alien! I love it. He doesnt look it to me of course :)
Great pictures of Caleb, and congrats on his birth day anniversary!
Megan, I believe it's drawings found in a special edition of the book. Do you know like her writing style or was it just the story you didn't connect with?
Birthday was spent consoling a grouchy, molar teething, toddler. Such is life. :) At least we can look forward to long weekend down in Montana with some friends!
#67 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Notes: friendship, purpose, secrets, science
Books noted: Sherlock Holmes, Daniel Deronda, War and Peace, The Odyssey, One Thousand and One Nights
Your lives are set out for you. You'll become adults, then before you're old, before you're even middle aged, you'll start to donate your vital organs. That's what each of your was created to do. You're not like the actors you watch on your videos, you're not even like me. You were brought into this world for a purpose, and your futures, all of them, have been decided.
The students at Hailsham are special. They are different, set apart from and for the rest of the country. Through a series of reflections and walks down memory lane, Kathy H. shares her story of growing up in a world that nurtured, sheltered, and prepared her, and her friends, for a future that is completely and utterly predetermined. As they draw nearer to this inevitable course that life has laid for them, questions are asked, doubts are entertained, but at the heart of it all is their intense desire to salvage the time they have left, to seize the moments, to never let go.
I don't really know if there is an adequate way to review my reaction to this book. What Kathy and her friends discover and what they remind us is that the questions in life don't always have answers, and the answers that are given don't always resolve everything. The story is bleak and not very hopeful, but the journey is worth the taking. A reflective and contemplative book that makes us wonder, question, and search for what makes us human. An inadequate review to basically say, this is one you just have to read and experience for yourself.
Loved your review of Never Let Me Go Valerie. I have this audiobook on queue at the library so I'm looking forward to the story.
Wonderful review of Never Let Me Go, Valerie. As I mentioned before, it's been (well) made into a movie starring the lovely Carey Mulligan who, some certain Whovians on this thread will know, also starred in the Dr Who episode "Blink". :)
>248 I think its her topics that throw me, the whole futuristic thing I can find hard to swallow sometimes.
Ive heard the film version of Never Let Me Go is a good one, I have yet to read it, but one day I will. Btw I still love that you note down the books that the book mentions, love it!
Caleb is adorable and I love the two pictures together, Valerie.
I think your review of Never Let Me Go is spot on. It's a book that is hard to describe and one just has to read it.
I'm even more impressed with all the reading you get done, now that I see the energetic and charming face on your "little monkey" who keeps you on your toes all the time! I guess you can read while standing on your toes..... :-)
Thanks Roberta! Will be interested to hear what you think of it. Do you a thread with the groups? If you don't, you will have to come back and let me know what you thought of it!
Kathy, the first thing I did after finishing the book, but popping on the laptop to check out the trailer. Definitely something I want to check out at some point. Looks like it's really well casted!
Megan, it is so interesting to see the types of books that are mentioned in books and the context in which they are mentioned. It's been a lot of fun and I will probably keep it up. :)
Yeah, with Atwood, I think she's been called a sci-fi writer, but she hates that label... I can see why she fits into that category and why she doesn't Futuristic things are right up my alley so I like her quite a bit. :)
Thanks, Ellen! It was a hard book to review without saying stuff that would be spoilers for the plot. I liked the story, but the narrative was a bit hard for me to follow and I didn't like the way Kathy would bring something up, but then she won't explain it until later on. She did that a few times and it really interrupted the flow of the narrative for me.
Haha, I've been a expert at finding snatches of "spare" moments during the day to squeeze in all my reading. Have a great napper also helps and a wonderfully understanding and helpful husband is a bonus!
Nice review of Never Let Me Go, Valerie. I know what you mean about the difficulty of avoiding spoilers. I also understand the need to find snatches of time to read, although I don't have a young kid anymore to blame it on!
I don't have a thread Valerie. I've technically been on here for a few years but just started adding things to my profile and participating in the threads. Yours was the first thread that caught my eye. Then I went over to Joe's cafe and I'm hooked on LT now. Maybe for the new year I will try a thread but I'm still trying to maneuver my way around here. I've picked up many an idea for my library wish list here and at Joe's cafe. So thank you.
Happy Birthday to Caleb!
I was the same Roberta! I joined LT years ago, but didn't really get active until I joined this wonderful group. Lots of great people and lots of great books! You should totally get your own thread so we can all chatter about all the good books I know you will be reading, but have fun scoping out other threads before you strike out on your own. :)
This topic was continued by Jolerie's Book Hoarding 4.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.