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countrylife's compendium 2013.1

75 Books Challenge for 2013

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Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 1:52pm Top

Had a lovely family gathering with 46 of us
over New Year’s week aboard a cruise ship
in the Caribbean. Along the handrail on the
left side, I’m the fourth one up. Packing light,
I took just one paper book and loaded up my Kindle!

Stingrays at Grand Cayman. (Not my picture.)
The water was just this beautiful.
In port at Cozumel, where the ship was parked,
we could see the sand floor, it was so clear.
Lovely weather, too.


Hello and welcome to any who happen upon my thread. My name is Cindy and I am a middle-aged reader from the midwest part of the States. Married for 32 years, and mother of five – one an E.R. doc, two in college and two in high school – all voracious readers. BC, I was an executive secretary. I've been a member of LT for six years; this is my third year with this group.

My reading taste runs to historical fiction, biographies and memoirs, though between this lively bunch with your great recommendations, and SqueakyChu's TIOLIs, my reading horizons (and Mt. Toobie) have greatly expanded.

Jan 9, 2013, 11:44am Top

About my '75 Books Challenge for 2013' Reading List:

This is my main reading list; anything read for other challenges will be included and tallied up here. Ratings are purely arbitrary, and subject to change. I seldom return to a post to change a rating after further thought has prompted me to do so in my catalog. Discrepancies abound! ! I’m admitting defeat with reviewing, and just aim to list my reads with ratings.

My Current Challenges:
(Because it makes so much sense to have everything listed in one place; and it has worked out well for this to be that place for me.)

Fifty States Fiction:
..........The group. and My thread.

Canadian Fiction/Non-Fiction Reading Challenge:
..........The group. and My thread.

Reading Through Time:
..........The group. and My thread.

Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 11:46am Top

2012 Summation:

Books read: 165
Pages read: 44,939

Top Ten from 2012, in order:
Oblivion’s Altar : A Novel of Courage by David Marion Wilkinson
The Lilac House by Anita Nair
Safe From the Sea by Peter Geye
The Prophet by Michael Koryta
Andy Catlett : Early Travels by Wendell Berry
The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill
Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt
The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantrease
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Jan 9, 2013, 12:18pm Top

My 2012 Book Title Meme:
Using titles from books read last year.

Describe yourself: A Homemade Life
Describe how you feel: All Passion Spent
Describe where you currently live: Blue Asylum
If you could go anywhere, where would you go? : Seventeenth Summer
Your favorite form of transportation: On Little Wings
Your best friend is: Angel Sister
You and your friends are: Anything but Typical
What's the Weather Like: The Dark Winter
You fear: Housekeeping
What is the best advice you have to give: Rules for Old Men Waiting
Thought for the Day: Don’t Ever Get Old
How I would like to die: Next to Love
My Soul's Present Condition: True Believer
And because there ought to be something about food:
Your favorite food is: Pomegranate Soup

Jan 9, 2013, 5:13pm Top

Welcome back!

Edited: Jan 10, 2013, 7:13pm Top

I agree that there should have been something about food. I should go back and find something for that category!

ETA: I actually had a quite boring title that would fit: Italian Food. Or there were the gross ones: One Bad Apple or Black Potatoes.

Jan 10, 2013, 7:43pm Top

That is a beautiful family picture, Cindy! And I agree the meme should have a food question. My answer: Fruit of the Lemon.

Jan 10, 2013, 10:44pm Top

Hi Cindy welcome back, I am placing my star and know I'll enjoy following your reading again this year. Now I have to go and see if I have a "food" book that would fit the meme!

Jan 11, 2013, 7:00am Top

Glad to see you back with us again, Cindy!

I hope you can make Joplin this year. We missed you in 2012.

Jan 16, 2013, 6:13pm Top

I finally found you! It looks like you had a wonderful cruise. Would you believe we came very close to an LT meetup in Cozumel? I spent Christmas with my brother & sister-in-law and her family in Mexico. We flew into Cancun and took the bus to Chetumal. I left right after Christmas, but my brother and SIL stayed a few days longer. After they dropped me off at the airport in Cancun, most of the family spent several days in Cozumel.

I love your meme answers. I'll add my favorite food here: Friendship Bread!

Jan 16, 2013, 7:28pm Top

2: Such organized lists! (Not that I would expect less.)

Edited: Jul 1, 2013, 11:00am Top

January Reads:

1 Castle, J. Robert Lennon (2 stars) - TIOLI #1: no duplicate letters in its title
2 The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society, Darian Gee (3.8) - TIOLI #2: author unknown before you joined LT
3 City of Thieves, David Benioff (4.5) - TIOLI #9: 13 letters in title
4 The Invention of Lefse, Larry Wolwode (3.5) - TIOLI #3: not published by one of the Big Six (Crossway)
5 Two Graves, Douglas Child (3.7) - TIOLI #1: no duplicate letters in title
6 Bury the Lead, David Rosenfelt (4) - TIOLI #7: B in title or author's name
7 A Handbook of American Prayer, Lucius Shepard (0.5) - TIOLI #20: new-to-you method, or new-to-you source
8 The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde (3) - TIOLI #6: Downloaded onto Your eReader at Least 6 Months Ago
9 The Diary, Eileen Goudge (3.3) - TIOLI #1: no duplicate letters in title
10 Sliding on the Snow Stone, Andy Szpuk (4.5) - TIOLI #3: not published by one of the Big Six (Night Publishing)
11 The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss (4) - TIOLI #19: published the year you were born
12 Before the Frost, Henning Mankell (3.5) - TIOLI #7: B in title or author's name
13 The Plains Indian Photographs of Edward S. Curtis, Edward S. Curtis (4) - TIOLI #22: mostly filled with pictures
14 From a Distance, Tamera Alexander (3.9) - TIOLI #9: 13 letters in title

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... The Lovely Bones

Books read: 14
Breakdown: audio books-6, eBooks-3, paper-5
Average rating: 3.44
Pages read: 3,837
Total shared TIOLIS: 2
Favorite book from January: City of Thieves by David Benioff

Feb 6, 2013, 12:52pm Top


Feb 8, 2013, 12:33pm Top

Book #16

Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh

===== My Review: =====

Katherine Marsh impressed me with her Jepp, Who Defied the Stars. Jepp, a dwarf born in the days of court jesters, is taken to the court of the Spanish Infanta in Brussels, for her entertainment pleasure. There, events conspire to eventually land him at Uraniborg, an observatory on an island in Denmark in the days before the telescope. I found it interesting reading about the privileges of courtiers and the humiliations of those who served them, but getting to Uraniborg was really fascinating. How could I not have heard of this place, and the strange man who was its lord? Obsessed with the heavens, Tycho Brahe was an early astronomer, with a team of scholars under his tutelage who took painstaking measurements of the movement of stars. Ms. Marsh weaves a very believable tale surrounding these real places and people, in Jepp (historically, the dwarf, Jeppe). Horoscopes, automatons, traveling, royal courts, espionage, a pet moose, a fake nose, dwarves, life in the 1590s, and overall – fate – figure in this story.

4.5 stars

Here’s some of the history:

Uraniborg, on the island of Hven. “Operated by Tycho Brahe in the late 1500s, Uraniborg was the first building ever designed with astronomical observations as its primary design criteria. The towers and balconies were to serve as instrument platforms, and the rooms in the main building were to house Tycho and his family, visiting astronomers, visiting royalty, and students. The alchemical laboratory was in the basement. The orientation of the building was chosen for maximum coverage of the sky with the instruments. Uraniborg was located in the very middle of large walled an intricate garden–In addition to being decorative, the gardens also supplied herbs for the Tycho’s medicinal chemistry experiments.”

Uraniaborg Castle, 1882 (Hven, Denmark)

Tycho Brahe.
The whole of Hven became a slave to this this idea, although that was several years later, after he'd studied in Germany, gotten into a duel that cost him the bridge of his nose, and established himself as the premier Danish astronomer. (Which was a higher honor than you might think, since court astronomers were also court astrologers, a handy thing for a king to have around.) When Frederik II gave Brahe Hven as a bribe for staying in Denmark, Brahe constructed a fantastic observatory-cum-palace on the island. He called it the Uraniborg, the castle of the heavens. It cost about 1 percent of Denmark's GDP, greater than the greatest percentage of US GDP that's ever been spent on NASA.
These days, the peaceful island of Hven (now spelled Ven, because it belongs to Sweden) shows little trace of Brahe's strange influence. Brahe reputedly terrorized the peasants (the Uraniborg was outfitted with a dungeon), had a pack of illegitimate children with one of his servants, and got up to mischief constantly with a dwarf court jester and a pet moose…

Coudenberg Palace, the royal court of the Spanish Infanta. Brussels.

Katherine Marsh’s page for Jepp, Who Defied the Stars.

Feb 8, 2013, 12:34pm Top

Wow, that's a thorough review!

Feb 8, 2013, 12:51pm Top

Well, the review is short, but the history was so fascinating that I had to share!

Feb 8, 2013, 1:27pm Top

14: You've sold me!

Edited: Jul 1, 2013, 11:01am Top

February Reads:

15 In My Mother's Words, Mary McLeary (2.5 stars) - TIOI #20. author is called "of" somewhere or something
16 Deadly Nightshade, Cynthia Riggs (3.5) - TIOI #4. a common SFF title word in the title (dead, night)
17 Jepp, Who Defied the Stars, Katherine Marsh (4.5) - TIOI #5. title has only 4 of the regular 5 vowels (Y excluded)
18 Mister Pip, Lloyd Jones (3.7) - TIOI #9. author shares their last name with a movie star/entertainer (James Earl Jones)
19 Iron Branch: A Civil War Tale of a Woman In-Between, Kelby Ouchley (3.3) - TIOI #2. book about American History (Civil War)
20 Last Night at the Lobster, Stewart O'Nan (3.7) - TIOI #7. arthropod in the title or the author's name
21 The Help, Kathryn Stockett (4) - TIOI #2. book about American History (civil rights)
22 Hens and Chickens, Jennifer Wixson (1.8) - TIOI #6. Read and review an unread book you received through ER or MG
23 The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller (3) - TIOI #12. tied to the great classical civilizations of ancient Egypt, Greece or Rome
24 Short History of Tractors in Ukraine, Marina Lewycka (3.2) - TIOI #3. school subject in the title
25 The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton (4.5) - TIOI #22: a book mentioned in the LT "Top 5 of 2012" thread
26 Black Duck, Janet Taylor Lisle (3) - TIOI #2. about American History (prohibition)
27 The Dogs of Riga, Henning Mankell (3.6) - TIOI #5. title has only 4 of the regular 5 vowels (Y excluded)
28 Honey in the Horn, H.L. Davis (3.9) - TIOI #2. about American History (westward expansion)

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... Johnny Tremain

Books read: 14
Breakdown: audio books-6, eBooks-4, paper-4
Average rating: 3.4
Pages read: 4,396
Total shared TIOLIS: 3
Favorite book from February: The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton

Edited: Jul 1, 2013, 11:02am Top

March Reads:

29 Artifacts, Mary Anna Evans (4.1) - TIOI #1. character whose first name starts with the two-letter combination "Jo" (Joe Wolf Mantooth)
30 Fun Home : A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel (2.4) - TIOI #11. Read a book because you like its title
31 Lost in the Taiga, Vasily Peskov (3.2) - TIOI #9. a plant or plants on the cover
32 Midnight Never Come, Marie Brennan (3) - TIOI #22. historical novel by a new-to-you author
33 Through Rushing Water, Catherine Richmond (2.5) - TIOI #22. historical novel by a new-to-you author
34 the shape of mercy, Susan Meissner (3.1) - TIOI #25. initial letters can be rearranged into any word which includes the letter O (most)
35 The White Lioness, Henning Mankell (3.7) - TIOI #13. "lion" or "lamb" in the title
36 The Old Buzzard Had it Coming, Donis Casey (3.5) - TIOI #1. character whose first name starts with the two-letter combination "Jo" (John Lee Day)
37 1601, Mark Twain (2) - TIOI #21. by an author who has written in two or more styles or genres (humorous verse, newspaper articles, social criticism novels, historical fiction)

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... The Big Sleep

Books read: 9
Breakdown: audio books-3, eBooks-4, paper-2
Average rating: 3.1
Pages read: 2,814
Total shared TIOLIS: 1
Favorite book from March: Artifacts, Mary Anna Evans

Apr 1, 2013, 8:53pm Top

The Big Sleep remains one of my favorite movies, although a bit different from the book.

Edited: Jul 1, 2013, 11:03am Top

April Reads:

38 Code Blue, Richard Mabry (3) - #1. title is in ABC/123 order (D3)
39 Across Five Aprils, Irene Hunt (3.5) - #14: Green Cover
40 The Book of Old Houses, Sarah Graves (2.5) - #6. New England setting
41 A Death on the Wolf, G. M. Frazier (2.5) - #3. embedded word in the title (flow)
42 A Faraway Island, Annika Thor (3) - #4. two or more people on the cover
43 People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks (5) - 10. both title and author's name contains double letters
44 The Man Who Smiled, Henning Mankell (3.5) - #3. embedded word in the title (limes)
45 The Great Fire, Jim Murphy, (3.5) - #19: orange - cover, in title, or Prize
46 The Cranefly Orchid Murders, Cynthia Riggs (3) - #6. New England setting
47 The Merlot Murders, Ellen Crosby (3) - #3. embedded word in the title (drums)
48 True Deceiver, Tove Jansson (3.7) - #15. Read a Book to Start a Trend (AnneDC's rec)
49 Riversong, Tess Hardwick (2) - #13. 'water' word in the title
50 Bandit's Moon, Sid Fleischman (3) - #3. embedded word in the title (bait)
51 Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin (4.3) - #8. book about religious oppresssion
~ (Abandoned book: Aftermath, Sharon Ervin)

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... The Reader

Books read: 14
Breakdown: audio books-9, eBooks-3, paper-2
Average rating: 3.25
Pages read: 4,058
Total shared TIOLIS: 1
Favorite book from April: Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin

Edited: Jul 1, 2013, 11:04am Top

May Reads:

52 A Northern Light, Jennifer Donnelly (4) - #12: for the Fun of It, Just Cuz You Want To
53 Cape Random, Bernice Morgan (4.5) - #12: for the Fun of It, Just Cuz You Want To
54 Sidetracked, Henning Mankell (3.5) - #9: book in a series in rolling order - Kurt Wallender #5
55 The Vintage Caper, Peter Mayle (3) - #14: letters M, A, and Y in the author's name
56 Mrs. Tuesday's Departure, Suzanne Anderson (2.5) - #19: with an address (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Doctor, etc) in the title
57 The Storm in the Barn, Matt Phelan (2.9) - #18: Read a book about children in peril
58 Mariana, Susanna Kearsley (4) - #6: single word title that is, or contains, a proper name
59 Holly, Jude Deveraux (1) - #7: only five letter words in the title
60 Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks (4) - #3: top 10% of your TBR pile by average rating
61 Miss Fuller, April Bernard (2.5) - #19: with an address (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Doctor, etc) in the title
62 Stress Test, Richard Mabry (3.3) - #14: letters M, A, and Y in the author's name
63 Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery (4.5) - #14: letters M, A, and Y in the author's name
64 Murder on the Rocks, Karen MacInerney (3.5) - #14: letters M, A, and Y in the author's name
65 Life on the Refrigerator Door, Alice Kulpers (3.5) - #8: "life" or "death" in the title
66 Purgatory Ridge, William Kent Krueger (3.5) - #9: book in a series in rolling order - Cork O'Connor #3
67 The Lantern, Deborah Lawrensen (3) - #21: Read a book for May Mars, Myth & Make-Believe
68 From the Four Winds, Haim Sabato (4.5) - #1: Read a book about Israel listed on Stuart Schnee PR's blog
69 Sudden Death, David Rosenfelt (4) - #9: book in a series in rolling order - Andy Carpenter #4
~ (Abandoned book: The Last Secret, Mary McGarry Morris)

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... The Help

Books read: 18
Breakdown: audio books-11, eBooks-2, paper-5
Average rating: 3.43
Pages read: 5,599
Total shared TIOLIS: 4
Favorite book: Cape Random, Bernice Morgan

Jun 7, 2013, 7:57am Top

Cindy> It looks like you should hit 75 in June. Enjoyed your list of books for April and May.

Edited: Jul 1, 2013, 11:04am Top

June Reads:

70 Relics, Mary Anna Evans (4)
-------- #7: female sleuth
71 The Fifth Woman, Henning Mankell (3.5)
-------- #2: faceless person on cover
72 Birds of a Feather, Jacqueline Winspear (4)
-------- #7: female sleuth
73 Disco for the Departed, Colin Cotterell (4)
-------- #12: title with 2 words starting with same letter
74 The Anatomist's Apprentice, Tessa Harris (3.5)
-------- #12: title with 2 words starting with same letter
75 Murder is Binding, Lorna Barrett (3.5)
-------- #6: a title word or author name starts with B,D,G,J,P,R,U
76 The Cemetery Yew, Cynthia Riggs (2)
-------- #7: female sleuth
77 The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, Alan Bradley (3.5)
-------- #7: female sleuth
78 The Best of Me, Nicholas Sparks (3)
-------- #10: everyday household object on the cover (chair)
79 Matilda Bone, Karen Cushman (3)
-------- #16: D, O & N in the title
80 Ordinary Grace, William Kent Krueger (4.5)
-------- #16: D, O & N in the title
81 Sweet Salt Air, Barbara Delinsky (4)
-------- #1: flower mentioned on page 23 (blueberry)
82 The Rose Garden, Susanna Kearsley (4)
-------- #8: fantasy by a woman
83 Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome (3)
-------- #13: book from The End of Your Life Book Club
84 The Peach Keeper, Sarah Addison Allen (3)
-------- #2: faceless person on cover
85 The J.M. Barrie Ladies' Swimming Society, Barbara J. Zitwer (3.5)
-------- #12: title with 2 words starting with same letter

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... I Capture the Castle

Books read: 16
Breakdown: audio books-7, eBooks-2, paper-7
Average rating: 3.5
Pages read: 5,025
Total shared TIOLIS: 2
Favorite book: Ordinary Grace, William Kent Krueger

Aug 14, 2013, 11:03am Top

July Reads:

86 Seven Moments in Time, Todd R. Tystad (3.5) - #16: less than 300 p.
87 The Sisters Montclair, Cathy Holton (3) - #15 : DSM-5 condition (Attenuated psychosis/self-injury)
88 Thirteen Moons, Charles Frazier (4) - #18: set in one of the original 13 United States
89 Lady Liberty : A Biography, Doreen Rappaport (3.5) - #16: less than 300 p.
90 The Shadowy Horses, Susanna Kearsley (3.5) - #26: song lyric
91 The Weird Sisters, Eleanor Brown (3.5) - #5: E.R. request not won
92 Angel's Rest, Emily March (3) - #6 : ARCH in title, author or cover (author)
93 Stag's Leap, Sharon Olds (3) - #1: cover pictures animal from 2013 National Book Festival poster (deer)
94 Dead Center, David Rosenfelt (3) - #26: song lyric (text)
95 The Time Between, Karen White (5) - #18: set in one of the original 13 United States
96 Legend of the Cape May Diamond, Trinka Hakes Noble (4) - #16: less than 300 p.
97 The Butterfly, Patricia Polacco (4) - #12: reason the main character goes on a journey is a child
98 A Bride's Story, Kaoru Mori (3) - #16: less than 300 p.
99 Lisette's Angel, Amy Littlesugar (4) - #16: less than 300 p.
100 Beautiful Day, Elin Hilderbrand (3.5) - #18: set in one of the original 13 United States (MA)
101 One Step Behind, Henning Mankell (4) - #26: song lyric (title)
102 The Story of Beautiful Girl, Rachel Simon (4) - #15 : DSM-5 condition
103 Death Comes to Pemberley, P.D. James (2.5) - #11: sequel not written by the same author as the book it follows
104 The Shadow Patriots, Lucia St. Clair Robson (3.5) - #18: set in one of the original 13 United States
105 The Three-Arched Bridge, Ismail Kadare (3.5) - #6 : ARCH in title, author or cover (title, cover)
106 The Summer Guest, Justin Cronin (4) - #9: recommended on Bookbrowsr.com
107 Flanimals Pop-Up, Ricky Gervais (2) - #16: less than 300 p.

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... Life of Pi

Books read: 18
Breakdown: audio books-7, eBooks-6, paper-9
Average rating: 3.5
Pages read: 5,471
Total shared TIOLIS: 4
Favorite book: The Time Between, Karen White

But a tie for very close second:
The Story of Beautiful Girl and The Summer Guest

Aug 14, 2013, 11:07pm Top

Hi Cindy, just passing through to say hello. You sure are getting lots of reading done!

Sep 2, 2013, 1:14pm Top

August Reads:

108 Bereft, Chris Womersley (3.5) - #6: about World War I
109 Play Dead, David Rosenfelt (4) - #15: murder in its heart
110 Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri (3.5) - #11: expatriates, culture clash
111 Our Only May Amelia, Jennifer L. Holm (3.5) - #13:dedicated to the parents
112 Learning to Swim, Sara J. Henry (4.5) - #13:dedicated to the parents
113 The Map of Lost Memories, Kim Fay (4) - #2: blurry sky on the cover
114 Maui Widow Waltz, Joann Bassett (2) - #7: acquired in the first six months of 2013
115 Wonderstruck, Brian Selznick (4) - #5: title with two sequences of 2 letters or more that follow each other in the alphabet
116 Harvest, Jim Crace (4) - #12: Longlisted for the Booker Prize but not Shortlisted
117 Lavender Vows: A Mini-Novel, Colleen Gleason (2) - #14: punctuation in the title
118 The Lives of Extraordinary Women, Kathleen Krull (3.8) - #9: about a woman head of church or state
119 Rainshadow Road, Lisa Kleypas (4.5) - #19: a Comfort Read
120 Midwife of the Blue Ridge, Christine Blevins (3.2) - #2: blurry sky on the cover
121 The Blessing Way, Tony Hillerman (3.5) - #1: title or subtitle ends in "Y"
122 An Elephant in the Garden, Michael Morpurgo (3.7) - #2: blurry sky on the cover
123 The Last Summer of Reason, Tahar Djaout (4) - #3:by a non-European Francophone author
124 Firewall, Henning Mankell (3.5) - #15: murder in its heart
125 Dead End in Norvelt, Jack Ganos (3.5) - #8: author with a name that is also a verb

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... Anna Karenina

Books read: 18
Breakdown: audio books-6, eBooks-6, paper-6 (Cool - even up!)
Average rating: 3.57
Pages read: 5,353
Total shared TIOLIS: 4
Challenges completed: 14 of 19 (1-3, 5-9, 11-15, 19)
Favorite book: A tie -
Learning to Swim and Rainshadow Road

Sep 2, 2013, 1:48pm Top

Cindy, You are doing quite well with your challenge. I'm not that far ahead of you, and if you keep up last month's rate, you'll surpass me soon.

Sep 2, 2013, 2:31pm Top

Just stopping by to see how you're faring! :)

Sep 19, 2013, 7:10am Top

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Your phone call meant more than words can say!

Sep 20, 2013, 9:36am Top

Cindy> Missing you. Is everything okay?

Sep 24, 2013, 1:07pm Top

All is well, Lori! Just returned from a visit with my mother and three of my sisters. Had a blast playing games on the screened porch. Went to a luau at the American Legion where one of the sisters is currently commander. Lots of visiting ("cackling hens" per hubs) and good times. Now getting ready for the wedding of son #2 next month. I'm just so behind on threads and posting. But at the moment, all is well - especially the weather!

Sep 24, 2013, 1:14pm Top

Linda, I just finished reading your thread and didn't notice an actual update on how things are going with you now. I hope the stress has lessened and that your health can handle what's thrown at you. More and more, I'm liking the idea of an early retirement for you! Yikes! and I missed your birthday! Sounds like it was a nice one.

Sep 24, 2013, 8:17pm Top

Hi Cindy

My birthday was low key and lovely. Thanks for your wishes!

Sep 25, 2013, 10:16pm Top

Glad things are okay!

Oct 1, 2013, 9:51am Top


126 Cleopatra : A Life, Stacy Schiff (4 stars) - #2: historical with 'atypical' setting (ancient Egypt and Rome)
127 The Blush, Elizabeth Taylor (3.5) - #1: apple variety (Maiden's Blush)
128 The Troubled Man, Henning Mankell (4) - #7: ninth or higher in series (Kurt Wallander-10)
129 The Virgin of Small Plains, Nancy Pickard (3.5) - #6: landform (plain)
130 Beowulf: A Verse Translation, Seamus Heaney (4) - #20: written by Seamus Heaney
131 Wild Goose Chase, Terri Thayer (3) - #22: bird word AND double letters in 2 words
132 In the Bleak Midwinter, Julia Spencer Fleming (4) - #13: element from previously listed book
133 Missing May, Cynthia Rylant (3.5) - #1: apple variety (May Queen)
134 The Salt God's Daughter, Ilie Ruby (3) - #9: a book by an LT Author
135 The Stockholm Octavo, Karen Engelmann (3.4) - #2: historical with 'atypical' setting (1790s Sweden)
136 The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder (3) - #2: historical with 'atypical' setting (1714 Peru)
137 The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, Edith Holden (3.5) - #1: apple variety (lady apple)
138 The Tale of Hill Top Farm, Susan Wittig Albert (3.5) - #9: a book by an LT Author
139 The Keeper of Lost Causes, Jussi Adler-Olsen (4) - #17 - a book by a ScandiCrimester
140 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (4) - #19: by/about person mentioned in The book of books KJV
141 Siege of Krishnapur, J. G. Farrell (3) - #16: British Commonwealth Country prior to 1950 setting (India)
142 Flame-colored Taffeta, Rosemary Sutcliff (3.5) - #14: fabric or fibre in the title
143 The Coal Tattoo, Silas House (3.5) - #11: main character related by blood to one in an earlier book
144 Town in a Wild Moose Chase, B.B. Haywood (3) - #10: series book had since 2012 or earlier (match)
~ Abandoned book: Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... Cloud Atlas

Books read: 19
Breakdown: audio books-8, eBooks-5, paper-6
Average rating: 3.52
Pages read: 5,424
Total shared TIOLIS: 6
Favorite book: In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Oct 1, 2013, 11:55am Top

Whew! That's a lotta books...

Oct 2, 2013, 12:52pm Top

I'm impressed with the number you plowed through in September.

Edited: Oct 2, 2013, 1:29pm Top

Some of it was hard plowing, too. The Bridge of San Luis Rey wasn't my cup of tea, and midway through, when I discovered it wasn't based on a true story, it became more of a skimming plow. Same with Siege of Krishnapur. I hadn't realized ahead-of-time that it was a made-up town, just taking incidents from other events of the time and building a story with them. Seemed to me like the author got it right - the action, and the dialogue seemed as if it might be true to the time, as well, but it was just all overkill for me.

But the rest of my reading just took wing as I was listening to the audio versions while working an a scrapbook which my son and his betrothed had requested to have at their wedding reception. October is a busy one for me this year, so my reading list will be much shorter!

eta: Seems like I may have gotten the rec for In the Bleak Midwinter from you, Lori. I really enjoyed that one.

Oct 16, 2013, 7:58pm Top

Just checking in...

Nov 6, 2013, 6:29am Top


145 New Tricks, David Rosenfelt (3.3) - #5: title letters spell Halloween words (trick)
146 Ten Birds, Amann, Jürg (3) - #12: Swiss author
147 In November, Cynthia Rylant (3) - #17: autumn leaf colored cover
148 Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak (3) - #7: from the list Banned Books That Shaped America
149 The return of the dancing master, Henning Mankell (3.7) - #5: title letters spell Halloween words (gruesome)
150 Twisted Tree, Kent Meyers (3.5) - #1: rolling first title word 1-10 letters (7)
151 In Falling Snow, Mary-Rose MacColl (4.3) - #16: set in a U.N. Security Council country
152 Leon and Louise, Alex Capus (3.5) - #12: Swiss author
153 No More Bullies, Frank Perretti (4) - #15: memoir by an author who has written books for children
154 Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand (4.5) - #3: a NY Times bestsellers list number one
155 The ocean at the end of the lane, Neil Gaiman (4) - #2: a book from the library of an LT Author (Karen Harrington)
156 An innocent soldier, Joseph Holub (3.2) - #5: title letters spell Halloween words (lantern)
157 The Haymeadow, Gary Paulson (3.5) - #10: a 'harvest' word in the title or author's name
158 gift from the sea, Anne Morrow-Lindbergh (3.5) - #1: rolling first title word 1-10 letters (4)
159 Dandelions in the Garden, Charlie Courtland (3) - #5: title letters spell Halloween words (headstone)
161 Night, Elie Wiesel (4.5) - #11: a book everyone has read - bar you
160 The Woman in Black, Susan Hill (4) - #6: author has been a judge for the Man Booker
162 The Sweet By and By, Sara Evans (3) - #8: unit of time in the title

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... Into the Arms of Strangers - Stories of the Kindertransport

Books read: 18
Breakdown: audio books-7, eBooks-3, paper-8
Average rating: 3.58
Pages read: 4,384
Total shared TIOLIS: 6
Favorite book:

Unbroken : a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Nov 6, 2013, 12:35pm Top

I've got Unbroken on my TBR list, thanks!

Nov 30, 2013, 5:52pm Top


163 The Lighthouse Road, Peter Geye (4.3) - #13: 'eye' word in the title or author's name
164 Songs of Willow Frost, Jamie Ford (4) - #15: "I am thankful for..."
165 Dog Tags, David Rosenfelt (4) - #20: Title Scramble : (stag god)
166 A Gentleman's Game, Tom Coyne (4) - #5: brightly-colored book
167 A Treacherous Paradise, Henning Mankell (3.2) - #4: 15 letters or more title
168 America the Beautiful, Ben Carson (4) - #18: moustache
169 The Seamstress, Sara Tuvel (4.3) - #17: about a veteran, a conflict, a war etc.
170 The Secret of Everything, Barbara O'Neal (3.5) - #20: Title Scramble : (greenish hefty corvette)
171 Quiet, Susan Cain (4) - #15: "I am thankful for..."
172 The Natural Superiority of the Left-Hander, James Tertius De Kay (2.5) - #4: 15 letters or more title
173 The Book Thief, Markus Zusak (4.5) - #6: a title word or author name starts with straight lines only
174 The Shoe Box, Francine Rivers (3) - #3: holiday theme
175 The Imposter Bride, Nancy Richler (3.5) - #2: indirect reference to a woman
176 The Father Christmas Letters, J.R.R. Tolkien (3) - #14: by one of the Inklings or their associates
177 Riders of the Purple Sage, Zane Grey (2.5) - #4: 15 letters or more title

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... A Gentleman's Game

Books read: 15
Breakdown: audio books-7, eBooks-3, paper-5
Average rating: 3.62
Pages read: 4,545
Total shared TIOLIS: 4
Completed challenges: 11 of 21
Favorite book:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Nov 30, 2013, 5:59pm Top

The Book Thief is different from anything else I've ever read. I liked it too! Do you plan to see the movie?

Dec 1, 2013, 8:19am Top

I didn't know there was going to be a movie! I probably would like to see it; glad I read the book first! How about you?

Dec 1, 2013, 8:50am Top

It's playing in theaters right now. I'd like to see it, but I'll probably end up watching it after it's released on DVD. I'm glad I read the book first too!

Dec 31, 2013, 11:05am Top


178 Matters of Doubt, Warren C. Easley (1.5) - #16: embedded word in the title (mat)
179 Blue Heaven, C.J. Box (4) - #10: blue cover
180 The School of Essential Ingredients, Erica Bauermeister (4.5) - #14: previous TIOLI book not completed
181 The Pyramid, Henning Mankell (3.5) - #3: rolling challenge - author countries
182 The Boy in the Garden, Allen Say (3.5) - #6: of or about folklore
183 Star Over Bethlehem, Agatha Christie (3) - #19: Nativity Scene object or character in title
184 The Affair of the Pink Pearl, Agatha Christie (3) - #18: two words in title starting with same letter
185 One Dog Night, David Rosenfelt (4) - #15: humorous work of fiction
186 Enon, Paul Harding (2.5) - #9: from Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Books of 2013
187 How Huge the Night, Heather Munn (4) - #10: blue cover
188 The Bedford Boys: One American Town's Ultimate D-day Sacrifice , Alex Kershaw (4) - #12: title contains a synonym for "END"
189 The Absent One, Jussi Adler-Olsen (3.5) - #10: blue cover
190 Skeletons at the Feast, Christopher A. Bohjalian (4) - #2: a word in the title/author's name is something you would find on a holiday table
191 Remembering, Wendell Berry (3.7) - #11: "All I want for Christmas is . . ."
192 Century Girl: 100 Years in the Life of Doris Eaton Travis, Last Living Star of the Ziegfeld Follies, Lauren Redniss (3.5) - #12: synonym for "END"
193 The Secret River, Kate Grenville (4.5) - #4: Title or Author's Name Contains the Word Secret(s) or Lie(s)
194 A Week in Winter, Maeve Binchy (3.6) - #8: "winter" in the title or author's name
195 Enchantments, Katherine Harrison (3) - #1: two-word tag; both start with same letter (Russian Revolution)

Based on or connected to a book previously read (by anyone) for TIOLIs.
... Namesake

Books read: 18
Breakdown: audio books-11, eBooks-2, paper-5
Average rating: 3.52
Pages read: 4,802
Total shared TIOLIS: 3
Completed challenges: 15 of 19
Favorite book:
The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

Dec 31, 2013, 11:09am Top

Congratulations on reading so many wonderful books in 2013. May 2014 be a year filled with happiness, health and lots of books...

Dec 31, 2013, 11:36am Top

I will come close to matching you on number of books read in 2013, but I don't think I'll quite catch you. I suspect that I'll have 2 more completions today. One is a Kindle short; the other is a NetGalley book.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2013

756 members

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