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Streamsong Shiny Second thread in 2013

This is a continuation of the topic Streamsong Shiny new thread in 2013.

This topic was continued by Streamsong Shiny Third thread in 2013.

75 Books Challenge for 2013

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May 12, 2013, 9:27am Top

Welcome to my late spring and summer thread from the heart of the Bitterroot Valley.

Photo of Bitterroot flowers published in one of the local newspapers, The Bitterroot Star. Dried Bitterroot flower roots were an important food source for local tribes. This valley was a gathering place as Indian women dug the roots in late May and early June.

And yes--they are bitter. I've only tried them once, stewed in huckleberry juice. Their incredible bitterness made them almost inedible to my way of thinking.

Edited: Oct 5, 2013, 9:32am Top

I read a wide variety of books, split about evenly between fiction and non-fiction and spanning an eclectic mix of about any topic imaginable.

Right now I'm swimming in a sea of started-but-not-completed books.I have several LTER books, several groups--and I keep wanting to pick up something new.

The books I'm actively reading right now include:
Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ROOT! Oct TIOLI #13. Read a book by an author that is on the Top 75 Authors list
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman October Spooky/Creepy reads; Oct TIOLI #2. Read a book from the library of an LT Author audiobook
Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie Reading for Missoula Festival of the Book
How to Survive the Loss of Love by Peter McWilliams
On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus (Book DVD-R): A Look Inside a Classic by Art Spiegelman
Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality - Manjit Kumar

--Various People's Bible Commentaries - trying to work my way through the Bible

Put Aside but still working on

- Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin March RL book group. (Purchased 2013)
-One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
-Meditations by Marcus Aurelius --real life book club read (acqd 2013)
-Quotable Book Lover by Ben Jacobs - from MT TBR (acqd 2006)


44 Scotland Street
Lotus Eaters
Mortality October TIOLI #1. Read a book whose title’s first word has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 letters
My Friend Dahmer

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

and some I have been reading for months but still plan to finish:
Elegant Universe by Brian Greene - lurking on tutored thread
Religion Explained by Pascal Boyer started in group read
Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels started in group read
Shakespeare's Sonnets lurking on the tutored thread
Awakening the Buddha Within been working on this one for 6 months or so
Toxic Criticism

I'm hoping to read 100 books this year:


I'm hoping to keep my reading ahead of the number of books I acquire this year (not counting library books):


One of my challlenge is that 50 of the books I read will be books that I owned before 1/1/2013:

Besides keeping track of raw numbers, I'm trying to read older books on the shelves so I give myself points for these already-owned books depending on how old they are Goal: 160 points

Here's how it works:

1. ROOTS entered into LT in 2006 --7 points
2. ROOTS entered into LT in 2007--6 points
3. ROOTS entered into LT in 2008--5 points
4. ROOTS entered into LT in 2009--4 points
5. ROOTS entered into LT in 2010--3 points
6 .ROOTS entered into LT in 2011 --2 point
7. ROOTS entered into LT in 2012-- 1 point
8. ROOTS not previously entered into LT but which have been around the house pre-2013 (many of these are pre-2006)--1 point


Edited: Aug 22, 2013, 9:18am Top



1. Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens 4.0/5; (acq'd 2012 ROOT) (France, England)
2. Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle 4.0/5 (Reread- owned since 1970's)
3. Dreams of Joy by Lisa See 4.0/5 (library audiobook) (China)
4. Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley purchased 2013 (Kenya)
5. The Last Unicorn graphic novel -Peter S Beagle and Peter S Gillis - library


6. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson audiobook (acq'd 2012 Yay! a ROOT) (Australia)
7. Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Ann Lamott (acq'd 2013)
8. Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen (library)
9. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie (acq'd 2012 another ROOT) (Washington State)
10. A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization by Brian Griffith (LTER 2012 ROOT!) (China)


11. - Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin (purchased 2013) (Location: Washington State)
12. - Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter (Barnes&Noble.com Literature by Women--library) (Locations: Germany, Mexico.
13. - Jhereg by Steven Brust - (Feb group read; library)
14. - Adventures of a One-Breasted Woman by Susan Cummings (LTER 2012; ROOT-Yay!)
15. - Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe by William Rosen audio book (ROOT 2012) (Locations: Constantinople & Byzantium= Istanbul Turkey)
16. - Phillipians Colossians Philemon - Harlyn J Kuschel (ROOT pre 2006= 7 ROOT points--Yay!)
17. - State of Wonder - Ann Patchett -audiobook- Literature by women (library) 2.5/5 (Location: Minnesota, Brazil)
18. - Comeback - Dick Francis (ROOT acqd 2006 = 7 ROOT points Double Yay!) 3.8/5 (Locations: Florida, England)
19. - The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson - (library) 3.8/5 (Location: London England)
20. - Luke The People's Bible Commentary by Victor H. Prange (Yay! Another pre-2006 ROOT! = 7 points!) Reread?

Edited: Oct 5, 2013, 9:38am Top


21. - A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman (library but liked it so well I purchased my own copy) (Location: Sri Lanka--Sri Lankan author)
22. Kings People's Bible Commentary by Arno J. Wolfgramm (Planet TBR pre 2006 = ROOT 7 points. Yay!)
23. - Wild Women: Crusaders, Curmudgeons, and Completely Corsetless Ladies in the Otherwise Virtuous Victorian Era by Autumn Stephens Book 11 from Planet TBR--acquired in 2007 = 6 ROOT points
24. Ezekiel People's Bible Commentary by Kieth Bernard Kuschel - (Planet TBR #12/50; pre 2006 =7 ROOT =47/160 points.)
25. - The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - library (Locations: Cornwall, England, & Australia)
26. - Morning at the Burned House by Margaret Atwood (library) Atwood April
27. - West of Here by Jonathan Evison- audiobook - library (Location: Washington State)


28. - Warming the Stone Child by Clarissa Pinkola Estes - ROOT #13/50 audiobook - acq'd 2009 =4 points Total: 44/160; May TIOLI #18
29. Leviticus People's Bible Commentary by Mark J Lenz - ROOT #14/50 acq'd pre-2006 = 7 points. Total: 51/160
30. - Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain - audiobook - library May TIOLI #12 Read something for the fun of it
31. - Vicious: Men and Wolves in America by Jon T. Coleman (library, rec by class on wolves) TIOLI 5. Read a book that you should have already read;
32. - Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines (acquired 2013 for Bellingham Booktopia) May TIOLI # 9 Read a book in a series in rolling order up to the fifth book . Location: California)
33. - Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple audiobook from library. May TIOLI #12 (Location: Washington State, Antarctica)
34. - Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng - RL Book Club May; TIOLI # 3. Read a book that's in the top 10% of your TBR pile by average rating; purchased April 2013 (Location: Malaysia)
35. - Stag's Leap: Poems : Poems by Sharon Olds - library TIOLI #11. Read a book or play that was nominated for or has won a Pulitzer Prize
36. - Twisting the Rope by R. A. MacAvoy. ROOT! #15/50. Purchased 2012 - 1 ROOT point =52/160. TIOLI # 9 Read a book in a series in rolling order up to the fifth book (Location: Washington State)
37. - The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe library; TIOLI #8. Read a book with "life" or "death" in the title; audiobook.

38. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker - - Bellingham Booktopia author; purchased 2013; May TIOLI #12. Read a book where at least two words in the title start with the same letter (purchased 2013). Burma (Myanmar)
39. The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley - - Booktopia author; June TIOLI #16: Read a book that has the letters D, O & N in the title; purchased 2013. North Carolina, Florida.
40. Please Look After Mom - Kyung-sook Shin; B & N Lit by Women; JuneTIOLI 6. Read a book where a title word or author name starts with B,D,G,J,P,R,U. Korea.
41. A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean audiobook read by Ivan Doig ROOT # 16/50--1 point; June TIOLI #4. Read a book which you have a personal connection to. Montana, Idaho.
42. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi - audiobook - library; JuneTIOLI 6. Read a book where a title word or author name starts with B,D,G,J,P,R,U. Thailand.

43. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver - - June RL Bookclub; July TIOLI #22. For Better or Worse: Read a book about Man interacting with Nature; purchased Bellingham Booktopia 2013. Tennessee.
44. The Third Son by Julie Wu - - LTER. TIOLI #7. Read a TBR that has been on a previous TIOLI in 2012-13 and still isn't finished. Taiwan, South Dakota.
45. Darkness Visible by William Styron - - TIOLI # 15. Read a book where one of the main characters has a condition classified in the newly published DSM-5 - ROOT! challenge #17/50; book was previously owned but only added to LT catalog this year= 1 ROOT point for a total of 54/160
46. 1,2 Thessalonians (The People's Bible Commentary) by David P Kuske - purchased 2013 - July TIOLI #16. Read a book with less than 300 pages. Greece.
47. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford audiobook; library; TIOLI #13: Read a book from the Most Popular by TIOLI Challenge List. Washington State.
48. The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson TIOLI # 27-- person's name in the first line; library. Wyoming.
49. The Kitchen House - by Kathleen Grisson Real Life July Book Club; purchased 2013; July TIOLI # --bird in the title (hen). Virginia.
50. Great World Religions: Hinduism - The Teaching Company - Prof. Mark W. Muesse - audiobook in car; ROOTS! challenge. India.
51. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks - group read; TIOLI 14. Read a book by an author who has passed away in 2013 in tribute to him/her; library. UK/Scotland.
52. The Etiquette of Illness by Susan P. Halpern - - library - TIOLI # 8 -Women in health care
53. The Soul of All Creatures by Vint Verga - LTER; TIOLI #7. Read a TBR that has been on a previous TIOLI in 2012-13 and still isn't finished
54. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman - audiobook - #16. Read a book with less than 300 pages.

August Books Read

55. Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis - - August TIOLI #9 Read a book about a woman head of church or state or one aspiring to be so ; library.
56. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - - TIOLI #11. Read a book whose theme involves expatriates, culture clash or similar dislocations; Reading Globally- 3rd quarter Francophone literature - audiobook - library (Republic of Congo)
57. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman - - group read on the GD; TIOLI #15: Read a book with murder in its heart. Library. (Location: Poland)
58. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman - - group read on the GD; TIOLI #15: Read a book with murder in its heart. Library. (Location: Poland)
59. Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid - Bill Bryson - - August TIOLI #8. Read a book by an author with a name that is also a verb; ROOT! #19 - added 2012 = 1 ROOT point; audiobook.
60. Hamlet - William Shakespeare - Arkangel Shakespeare Production - audiobook in the car. August TIOLI #15--Read a book with murder in it's heart (shared read); ROOT! #20; cataloged LT 2013 = 1 point - total 57 (location: Denmark)
61. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - - TIOLI # 15 Read a book with murder at its Heart; RL Library Brown Bag Book Club; purchased 2013 (Location: Missouri)

September Books Read
62. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith - September TIOLI #13: Serendipity Challenge: Read a book containing one element (author, location, theme, etc.) from previously listed book. Library. (Locations, Russia, New York)
63. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery - September TIOLI #12. Read a book first published before 1950 ; ROOT! # 21/50; not added to my library until this year = 1 point; total 58/160
64. Daniel (People's Bible Commentary) by John C. Jeske - ROOT! # 22/50; added to my LT library in 2006 = 7 points; total 65/160
65. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron - audiobook in the car; ; September TIOLI #5. Read a book with "Library" in the title or with "Thing" in the title -shared read; library
66. Montana by Gwen Florio - Library Thing Early Reviewer. September TIOLI #9 - Read a book by an LT Author
67. Wool by Hugh Howey; September TIOLI #14: Read a book with a fabric or fibre in the title (shared read)
68. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith - September Series & Sequels. TIOLI #10 - Read a book that you have had since 2012 or earlier that either starts a series or continues a series - ROOT! # 23/50; added to my library 2012= 1 point; total 59/160
69. The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli RL Book Club. Sept TIOLI #Challenge #13: Serendipity Challenge: Read a book containing one element (author, location, theme, etc.) from previously listed book.


70. Mortality by Christopher Hitchens Oct TIOLI #1. Read a book whose title’s first word has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 letters in rolling order. Audiobook. Library.
71. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderfer October Spooky/Creepy Reads. October TIOLI # , Graphic novel. Library.

Edited: Oct 5, 2013, 9:50am Top

SUMMARY of Books read in 2013

**** - 71 -TOTAL BOOKS READ SO FAR IN 2013 ****

23 - Books Read from the towering MT TBR (owned prior to Jan 1, 2013); ROOTS challenge
2 - Rereads from my shelves
28 - Books from library or borrowed
18 - Books acquired 2013

50 - Dead Tree Books
10 - Audiobooks
2 - combination of dead tree and audio

39- Fiction
-- 5 - classics/1001
-- 18 - general fiction
-- 8 - fantasy/sf/sff
-- 1 - fictionalized memoir
-- 5 - mystery/suspense
--1 - novella
-- 1 - Young Adult
-- 3 -Biography
-- 7 -Christianity
-- 6- Memoir
-- 4 - Religion (not Christian, or not exclusively Christian)
-- 4 - Science/ Natural Science
-- 1 - Travel
-- 3 - Psychology/ self help
2 -Books of Short Stories or essays
1 -graphic novel
3- graphic non-fiction
2 - poetry
1 - plays
0 - Other

46- Male Authors
25 - Female Authors

43 - Authors that are new to me
23- Authors I have previously enjoyed
3 - Rereads
Multiple books read in 2013 by same author:
--Bill Bryson (2)
-- Art Spiegelman (2)
--Peter S Beagle (2)

Nationality of Author:
1 - Australia
2- Canada
8 - England
1 - Korea
1 - German
1 - Malaysia
2 - Scotland
54 - USA

Birthplace or residence of Author if different from nationality:

1 --Britain
1 --Kenya
1- Poland
1- South Africa
1 --Sri Lanka

Language Book Originally Published in:
68 - -English
1 - German
1- Korean
? Garden of Evening Mists

Of the books I've read this year:
8 - cataloged into LT 2006 or before (includes 1 reread)
1 - cataloged into LT 2007
- cataloged into LT 2008
1 - cataloged into LT 2009
- cataloged into LT 2010
- cataloged into LT 2011
10 -cataloged into LT 2012
3 - acquired previously but uncataloged until 2013 (have lots of these!)
19 - acquired 2013
29- borrowed from library

I've been enjoying others' maps of places they've visited by reading.
Locations in bold have been added to the map


January: England, France, China, Kenya
February: Australia, China (Spillover lots!)
March: Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, England x 2
April: Sri Lanka, Australia
May: Antarctica, Malaysia
June: Burma/Myanmar, Korea, Thailand
July: US, UK (Scotland), Greece, India, Taiwan
August: Poland, Belgian Congo, Denmark,
September: Russia, Canada, Viet Nam

visited 67 states (29.7%)
Create your own visited map of The World or website vertaling duits?


January: x
February: Washington State
March: Washington State, Minnesota, Florida
April: Washington State,
May: New York, California, Washington State
June: North Carolina, Florida, Montana, Idaho
July: Washington, Wyoming, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia
August: Iowa, Missouri
September: Iowa, Montana
October: Ohio

visited 14 states (28%)

Edited: Sep 27, 2013, 11:04am Top

BOOKS ACQUIRED 2013 (✔ = Read)

>**61 ** - Total Books Acquired -- Everything that has followed me home except library books
**17** - Number of books acquired this year that I have finished reading
**5** - Number of books acquired this year that I am currently reading
**2** - Books previously read that I acquired for my library

✔ 1. Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley January book club selection
2.***Reading*** Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (March book club selection)
3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
4. Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott pure whim, had read a good review on LT
5. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander III --pure whim
6. ***Reading*** Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (February book club selection)
7. Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin Morphy's Feb group read
8. Mottled Lizard by Elspeth Huxley
9. Spirit Tailings: Ghost Tales from Virginia City, Butte and Helena by Ellen Baumler - FOL salesrack
10. The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins--group read here on LT
11. Photo History From Yellowstone Park by Bill and Doris Whithorn - FOL salesrack
12. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson- FOL salesrack
13.Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles - Fitzpatrick, John S FOL salesrack
14. 1 & 2 Thessalonians People's Bible Commentary by David P Kuske (fill in a hole--next to be read)
15. Understanding Arguments by Robert J Fogelin - (Coursera class)
16. The Third Son by Julie Wu - LTER book
17.Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines Booktopia 2013
18. - Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker Booktopia 2013
19. Teaching at the Top of the World - Marilyn Forrester - library sale rack
20. The Long Farewell - Michael Innes- library sale rack
21. Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party - Alexander mcCall Smith - library sale rack
22. Fima - Amos Oz - library sale rack
23. Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving - Jonathan Evison - Booktopia 2013
24. Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin Because there it was on the FOL sale rack LOL
25. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls and there it was-- a pristine copy at Goodwill; More LOL
✔26. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn on the FOL shelf and the August book club selection (so you see I didn't add anything to Planet TBR with this one as I have planned on reading it since December when we voted on books. Just being thrifty, y'know)
27. ***Reading***Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez--didn't think the one from the library would make it in time for my book club
✔ 28. A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman --enjoyed the library copy so much I purchased one to take to Booktopia for signing
✔29. The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley -- Bellingham Booktopia
30. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng -- May RL Book Club
31. The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones FOL shelf 5/20
32. On Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman Booktopia 5/21 (pre-ordered)
33. The Soul of All Living Creatures by Vint Virga LTER 5/21
34. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - read previously, wanted a copy for my library. Booktopia gift certificate.
35. Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. - read previously, wanted a copy for my library. Booktopia gift certificate.
36. Tinkers by Paul Harding --booktopia book exchange
37. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver - June Library Brown Bag Book Club. Booktopia gift certificate.
38. The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch. Highly rec'd by Booktopia participant. Booktopia gift certificate.
39. My Life in France by Julia Child. FOL book shelf
40. Eat This Not That by David Zinczenko. FOL bookshelf
41. Eat This Not That 2010 by David Zinczenko. FOL Bookshelf
42. Glacier Lake Missoula and It's Humongous Floods by David ALT. FOL bookshelf 7/1/2013.
43. Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire at the Gates of Tassajara by Colleen Morton Busch FOL bookshelf 7/5/2013.
44. Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies by Ella E Clark - FOL bookshelf 7/5/2013.
45. Slow Cooking for Dummies (The plan is to scan this one quickly and hand it on to my DD or DS). FOL bookshelf 7/5/2013.
46. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom Library Brown Bag Book Club July
47. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson FOL bookshelf; 7/21/2013
48. Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye by A. S. Byatt FOL shelf 7/25/2013
49. Fire on the Rim - Stephen J. Pyne - Darby FOL 7/27/2013
50. Ghost Stories of the Old West - Dan Asfar - Darby FOL 7/27/2013
51. A Bride Goes West - Helena Huntington Smith from Mom's library 7/2013
52. Montana - Gwen Florio - LT ER rec'd August
54. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke audiobook FOL rack 8/29
55. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova audiobook FOL rack 8/29
56. Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard audiobook FOL rack 8/29
57. ***Reading***The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli 9/1 - Sept Book Club
58. ***Reading*** Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie 9/1
59. The Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman 9/1
60. Yoga XXL - Ingrid Kollak 9/11/2013 LTER (August batch)
61. Abu Ghraib After the Scandal by Salvatore Anthony Esposito, Jr - 9/11/2013 LTER (March batch)
62. Night Elie Wiesel 0/24 FOL sale audiobook
63. Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer 9/24 FOL sale audiobook
64. Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston 9/24 FOL sale audiobook
65. My Dear Cassandra: Selections from the Letters of Jane Austen (The illustrated letters) - 9/24 FOL
66. Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion by Jack Zipes - 9/24 FOL
67. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott - 9/24 FOL
68. Lamb The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore - 9/24 FOL
69. Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris - 9/24 FOL
70. Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver - 9/24 FOL
71. Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo - 9/24 FOL
72. The Magruder Murders by Julia Conway West - 9/24 FOL

Edited: May 27, 2013, 12:07pm Top

May's Reading Plan

✔-- -- Warming the Stone Child by Clara Pinkola Estes - audiobook - ROOTS acquired 2008
✔---- -- - Diaries of Adam and Eve> by Mark Twain audiobook - (library)
✔ -- - Vicious: Wolves and Men in America by Jon T. Coleman (Library— overdue: cannot check out again)
--Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis Morphy's monthly read (library)
--✔-- -- Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng Book Club --purchased 2013
--✔-- -- Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple B & N Lit by Women group; audiobook from library
--The Third Son by Julie Wu LTER

Books in Progress That I May Not Get Back to This Month

Team oF Rivals –March for Brown Bag Book Club (purchased 2013)
One Hundred Years of Solitude April Brown Bag Book Club: (purchased 2013)
Meditations of Marcus Aurelius February Brown Bag Book Club: (purchased 2013)
Quotable Book Lover ROOTS Challenge

Books for the Bellingham Booktopia June 7th

✔ in April ---- West of Here by Jonathan Evison (audiobook—library)
✔ in April ---- A Disobedient GirlRu Freeman (originally from library but bought a copy for myself because I liked it so well (4.5)
- Ex-Heroes - Peter Clines - purchased 2013; May TIOLI rolling series; Mayhem in May (2.5)
--Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman - (preordered not received)
--Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving - TIOLI-- participles? (purchased 2013)
--The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley (purchased 2013) May Mars Myths and Make Believe; TIOLI fantasy
--The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker- TIOLI particple

Various People’s Bible Commentaries:

✔ -- Law: Leviticus People's Bible Commentary by Mark J Lenz ROOTS acquired pre 2006

I obviously won't get all of these done!

Other Random additions as the month progresses:

***Listening*** -The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe - audiobook in the car
***Reading*** - Twisting the Rope by R. A. MacAvoy purchased 2012 ROOT Yay!

Edited: Jun 1, 2013, 10:14am Top

28. Warming the Stone Child by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Catagory: Non-fiction, psychology, fairy tales. Audiobook.
Reasons for Reading: May TIOLI #18. Read a book about children in peril; ROOT #13/50; acq'd 2009 =4 ROOT points. Total: 44/160.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote Women Who Run With the Wolves. Here she examines the topic of orphaned and abandoned chidren in fairy tales such as Germany's Red Cap (a version of Little Red Riding Hood) and the Innuit tale of The Stone Child. In fairy tales, these children often become resourceful and brave, and as such can be a beacon to the abandoned child in all of us.

One of the strong points of this presentation is that this is read by the author who is passionate about her subject. She was a joy to listen to.

However, this is a very short audiobook-- at approximately an hour and a half long, it would qualify more as an essay than a book. I was left feeling that this was only the tip of a very large iceberg that could have been explored in much more depth.

May 12, 2013, 10:49am Top

29. Leviticus People's Bible Commentary by Mark J Lenz

Catagory Non-fiction, Bible Study, New Testament -
Reasons for reading Personal challenge to read through the books of the Bible with a set of Bible commentarie published through Concordia--The People's Bible Commentaries which I have owned for many years, but had only read a few.

ROOT #14/50; acq'd pre-2006 = 7 points. Total: 51/160

I'm reading through the Bible using a sort of complicated scheme, rotating through the various catagories of Bible Books as shown here: http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html . I started this in January 2012, and am currently on week 32 according to the chart.

Edited: May 12, 2013, 10:58am Top

30. The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain

Audiobook (library)
Catagory: Fiction, classic, humor
Reasons for Reading: I was impressed by the great reviews by several people here on LT who have been recently reading this.

These were originally published as two separate short stories. The first, The Diary of Adam was a commercial story written with Twain using himself as the model for Adam: lazy, tending to prefer his own company. The Diary of Eve was published after Twain's wife's death and was modeled on her. She is the epitomy of sweetness and gentleness.

Integrated together, they make a very funny story of the Biblical account and a touching portrait of Twain's marriage and loss of a child.

May 12, 2013, 12:02pm Top

Happy New Thread, Janet! Your reading for May seems to be going well. What do you think of Where'd You Go, Bernadette? ?

May 12, 2013, 12:39pm Top

Wow, your second thread looks real nice and organized, Janet!

May 12, 2013, 12:55pm Top

I am with some trepidation adding your thread to those I try to read daily. It is already a few too many but I thought I'd like to catch up with you before we all have our meet up in Bellingham. I am excited.

May 12, 2013, 2:45pm Top

Whoooo, very impressive organization at the top!

May 12, 2013, 4:51pm Top

Happy New Thread!

May 12, 2013, 6:45pm Top

Janet, your new thread is looking good! I'm glad you are liking Bernadette on audio. I mentioned on my thread that it would make a good beach read. I also think it would be a good car read if you can keep the e-mails and letters straight. There were some funny parts that had me laughing, but I kind of lost interest as it went on. Your April Atwood book is one I haven't heard of. I'll have to check it out. Enjoy spring in Montana!

May 12, 2013, 10:30pm Top

Hi and thanks for stopping Susan, Connie, Karen, Ronnie, Leah & Donna! How fun to see you all!

Karen--trepidation? I'm also looking forward to Bellingham. DD will be with me. She is graduating on Saturday--voted top student in two different departments... Chinese and Asian studies.

organization--well, I know the lists are primarily for me. They keep things all together for my own reference. All the way through my first thread, I thought about how I would organize my second.

Donna-- Mornings in the Burned House is the second book of Atwood's poetry I've read. I'll be reading more. Hope you enjoy it!

I'm enjoying Where'd You Go Bernadette? as an audio. The reader, Kathleen Wilhoite, is amazing. It's like listening to a radio play. Someone told me they enjoyed her acting on ER--I never got into that series, but I'll be looking out for more of her audiobooks.

May 12, 2013, 11:02pm Top

31. Vicious: Wolves and Men in America by Jon T. Coleman

Catagory Nonfiction, natural history
Reasons for reading:
--Recommended by instructor of an adult ed class I took on wolves last winter (see previous thread). The valley I live in has become very successfully colonized by the reintroduced wolves and has a greater density of wolves per acre than Yellowstone National Park.
--TIOLI #5 Read a book that you should have already read (overdue library book)

In the first few pages of this book, we learn that non-rabid wolves have never killed a human in the lower 48 states. Humans, however, have tortured wolves into near extinction in their quest to remove wolves. Even naturalist John James Audubon described scenes of horrific torture of this predator.

The author's premise is that settlers were exceptionally cruel in removing wolves as an outlash against their hard positions in a new environment that often did not live up to their rosy expectations and had far more hardships than anticipated.

While I learned a lot from his position, I believe he missed the importance of livestock to its owners. He also undervalues the hunting culture in both pioneer days and in current times. I am not a hunter, but I belive that his negative remarks on hunting also show a lack of understanding of this aspect of the puzzle. He refers to hunters multiple times as slaughtering 'furry animals'. He refers to the poacher of a reintroduced wolf as a having "a stockpile of masculine totems -- guns, skins, and antlers -- that helped a small man feel big".

Unfortunately the author is not a naturalist and his book, while having some intresting information, is not the balanced look at wolf populations that I hoped it would be.

May 13, 2013, 9:35am Top

Oh, Janet, that is too bad. I do know that hunters, and livestock ranchers, have a vital point of view to be considered while managing wildlife. The mythology of wolves being a danger to humans goes back to European stories, too, I think.

The tricky piece is somehow crafting a balanced ecology where the wolves can play their important role without causing too much damage to the ecology of humans living in the same environment.

The trepidation has to do with one more thread to try to keep up. I'll be ok, I'm sure.

May 24, 2013, 3:17pm Top

Once more, way behind on stuff, but I wanted to post that I've added a thread to the Meetup Group about Bellingham. I'm looking forward to meeting the LT'ers who plan on going!


May 24, 2013, 4:27pm Top

Thank you!

May 25, 2013, 10:46am Top

32. Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines
Fiction, SFF/ Zombies
Reasons for Reading
--Peter Clines is an author at the upcoming Bellingham Booktopia
--TIOLI May challenge
--Purchased 2013

Due to a laboratory accident (natch!) people start showing up with super-human powers. Soon after that zombies also appear and civilization falls. This is the story of one group of super-heroes and humans holed up in a former film studio in LA and surrounded by hordes of hungry zombies. Some of the superheroes have fallen and are now zombies with superpowers.

This is far out of my normal reading zone, but I'm not one to turn up my nose at guilty-pleasures genres. I'll try about anything and I thought it would be fun to hear the author speak at the upcoming Booktopia in Bellingham, Washington. I was impressed by the reviews of a several people here on LT.

What did I find out about zombie novels? That page after page after page after page of killing zombies by sticking pikes through their skulls is repetitive and boring. Why didn't the superheroes use their powers more to clean up the mess? The Mighty Dragon could have incinerated them with his fiery breath. Zzzap the human star could kill them by flying through their heads, but found it gross and begged off, leaving his friends and all human civilization to endlessly poke pikes through skulls and be killed themselves which apparently is much more acceptable to Zzzap.

But then we got to the scientific reasons of why this all happened. I read the virus explanations and thought to myself "OK, this guy is not a virologist". But not many people are--although surely Clines could have found an avid grad student to read what he wrote and give him some feedback. Still, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and suspend all disbelief even if he had virus pretending to be leukocytes (sort of like grains of rice pretending to be football fields).

But then we come to the scenario with the fatal blood transfusion that started the zombie outbreak. The whole thing was stupidly impossible. RH reactions don't work that way. Hepatitis wouldn't show up for months. And Clines, instead of checking his facts, used one of the laziest, most stupid explanations I have ever come across in a published work:

" Two horrible, freak mistakes that both fell on one person. As someone in the medical profession, I know this and I understand why they could've been so baffled. Hell, anyone who watches House knows why they were baffled."

And so Mr. Clines lost me. Zombies, maybe. Zombies and superheroes--intriguing. Mindless superheroes who don't use their powers, meh. Complete lack of fact-checking. Double meh. Believing that said lack of fact-checking can be waved away with a stupid remark--3 strikes.

May 25, 2013, 1:16pm Top

OK, now I know one of the sessions I can skip and go walk Benny instead. Thanks. Sounds like a colossal waste of time.

Jun 1, 2013, 10:12am Top

Hi Karen--Haven't gotten back to my thread for oh so long. I gave one of the lower rating to Peter Clines that he has on LT so it may just be I'm not the right audience ;-) I may go listen to him just to hear what he has to say (and sit quietly in the back and behave myself--alas, not easy).

Or I may go spend my Booktopia gift certificate during that slot. I am making up lists of books to look for.

Edited: Jun 1, 2013, 11:22am Top

33. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple audiobook from library. May TIOLI #12
Catagory: Contemporary Fiction
Reasons for Reading now:
Barnes and Noble Literature by Women May Read
May TIOLI # 12--Read a book for the fun of it
audiobook from library

Bernadette and her husband, Elgin, are the consummate Seattle yuppies. Elgie is a team leader at Microsoft--consumed by his work and unplugged with his family. Bernadette is a prize-winning architect of world reknown who has become somewhat agoraphobic and has found unique ways to deal with her life including a virtual personal assistant in India who works for 75 cents an hour. They live with their teen age daughter, Bea, a strong independent, funny genius in a crumbling old house which Bernadette has planned for years to redesign and repair.

Add in the most politically correct school in the universe ("Galer Street School is a place where compassion, academics, and global connectitude join together to create civic-minded citizens of a sustainable and diverse planet") and a neighbor intent on feuding and you have the setting for this quirky unpredictable novel.

When Bernadette finds it all too much and suddenly disappears (during a misguided intervention to get her into a mental hospital), daughter Bea takes up the thread to try to discover where her mother has gone-- a feat not achieved by police, FBI, husband and private investigators.

The novel is told through a paper trail of emails, school memos, FBI and police reports, notes from the emergency room (after said neighbor insists Bernadette intentionally ran over her foot) and of course letters and mysterious packages.

I found this book Laugh Out Loud funny and the ending touching. Not great literature, but lots of fun!

The experience was absolutely enhanced by the audiobook reader, Kathleen Wilhoite, whose performance made this seem more like listening to a radio play than to an audiobook. 5 stars and 2 thumbs up for Kathleen Wilhoite! If you're travelling this summer and want a book to make the miles fly by, this one is it.

And here's a lovely author interview from the New York Times Book Update:


Jun 1, 2013, 11:25am Top

Sounds delightful. Good for you. I finished reading On Sal Mal Lane and am very excited to be able to tell the author what an excellent writing job I found the book to be.

Only a week away!

Jun 1, 2013, 4:12pm Top

Hi Karen--I haven't gotten to On Sal Mal Lane, yet, but I am really looking forward to it. I read Ru Freeman's first book, A Disobedient Girl in March and it is one of my favorites so far of 2013. I want to read at least one book for the authors' sessions I'm attending, so I will (sadly) put OSML and Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving to the end of my list. I listened to Evison's West of Here in April.

We're leaving Wednesday, so departure is very close for us! Things are falling into place, but there are some major chores left (hay guy needs to deliver a load --12-14 tons-- of hay). DD has talked to the UW grad school people on the phone and will rent a car to go see them on Friday --while I'm at the Friday sessions.

This morning was car day. The car was making the occasional noise when I started it, so I took it to battery-and-tire wonderful place this morning. The battery and charge were good, but I bought two new tires instead. Then off to get the oil changed. At this rate I will be out of spending money before I get out the driveway. But at least while the car was being worked on, I read almost half of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats.

Edited: Jun 1, 2013, 6:26pm Top

34. Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Catagory Contemporary Fiction
Why I read it now;
- RL Book Club May selection;
- TIOLI # 3. Read a book that's in the top 10% of your TBR pile by average rating
- purchased April 2013

At the end of her career and facing imminent memory loss, Yun Ling Teoh, a Malaysian judge, returns to the quiet villa where she had lived after being released from a Japanese POW camp. She was the only one of the prisoners who survived.

As her murdered sister had loved Japanese gardens and used their memory to keep camp life bearable while the sisters endured the unimaginable, Yun Ling Teoh planned to have such a garden made to honor her sister's memory. She found Aritomo, a man who had been a gardener for the Emperor of Japan. He had refused the comission, but instead took her as his apprentice.

Here is a wonderful video of Tan speaking about The Garden of Evening Mists:


Forgetting versus memory.
Pain versus guilt. Neither can ever have complete resolution in real life.

I have only given a handful of 5 star ratings.

This book is 5 stars.

Jun 1, 2013, 6:07pm Top

I felt the same way about Garden of Evening Mists.

Jun 1, 2013, 7:52pm Top

Oh, dang, I guess I'll have to put it on the WL, and I have no idea when that might be...

I have all my fiction now in one bookcase. I need to take a photograph.

Looking forward to seeing you. I'll probably it Bellingham early on Friday.

Jun 2, 2013, 4:16pm Top

35. - Stag's Leap: Poems by Sharon Olds
-- TIOLI #11. Read a book or play that was nominated for or has won a Pulitzer Prize
--library (but this is another one I'll buy a copy for myself)

Thirty year marriage. Husband left for another woman.

OMG this is my story.

So when I read the description for this book, the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry, I had to reserve it from the library.

It's a life shattering event and she tells it honestly and openly, and from my point of view, very realistically. She says things I've never been able to articulate; emotions I've never admitted out loud.

From the title poem, Stag's Leap (a favorite wine she and her husband shared) is this bit often quoted in reviews:

When anyone escapes, my heart
leaps up. Even when it’s I who am escaped from,
I am half on the side of the leaver.

One of my favorite of the poems is 'Last Look' which I don't seem to be able to edit into a neat excerpt. The last phrase however, is that she feels blessed
'not to have
lost someone who could have loved me for life.'

Like all poetry that really touches you, it's hard to say "Oh, yes, I finished that book in May." Snatches come back at odd times and odd situations and there is a subtle shift in outlook from that point onward. I know I'll revisit bits many times. Although I'd recommend this book to anyone who has loved completely and lost, I feel she sang to my heart. This is definitely one that I'll have to purchase my own copy--the library copy just won't do.

4 stars

Jun 2, 2013, 6:24pm Top

It is so lovely when someone's poetry goes to your heart, and to the "heart of the matter", too.

Jun 4, 2013, 12:59am Top

What a great review!

Edited: Jun 5, 2013, 8:59am Top

Thanks for stopping by, Karen and Roni.

Off to Bellingham Booktopia this morning. Yay! I'm excited.

4 authors read, although some of them are older books:

West of Here by Jonathan Evison (3.5 stars)
A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman definitely a favorite for 2013 (4.5 stars)
Ex-heroes by Peter Clines meh. (2.5)
Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker-- (3.8 = 4 stars)

I'm currently reading The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley. There's a chance I'll get this one done before I go to the author talk.

And two I'll have to read later this month (but at least I've read another book by these authors):
On Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman
Revised Fundamental of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

Long drive today, but we should arrive this evening (Wednesday). Tomorrow is a short whale watching/ island tour . Friday DD drives back down to UW to look at grad programs while I go to Booktopia.

Looking forward to meeting Karen and Ellen.

Jun 5, 2013, 8:49am Top

I hope you like Adam Hope, I think it is the best of the three books I read in prep for Booktopia. See you Friday.

Jun 7, 2013, 8:16pm Top

Janet, you liked Art of Hearing Heartbeats better than I did and you've generally done a lot more reading in prep for this event! I enjoyed The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving although I agree with Karen that about halfway through I was not yet impressed.

See you in less than an hour!

Jun 7, 2013, 11:42pm Top

Glad to see you here at Booktopia, and I hope you are having as much fun as I am having! I almost could jump up and down like the enthusiastic Benny does.

Jun 9, 2013, 4:22pm Top

Ooh, fun weekend! Can't wait to hear all about it.

Jun 9, 2013, 4:32pm Top

Hi Janet, just catching up (finally). I can't wait to hear about your LT/Booktopia weekend. It was so nice to see your picture on the meetup thread. I just ordered a copy of A Disobedient Girl. It was only $6.00 for a new copy on Amazon and I was forced to buy it since my library doesn't have a copy.

Jun 9, 2013, 6:08pm Top

I also bought a copy of A Disobedient Girl because I was so impressed with Ru Freeman.

Jun 10, 2013, 10:04am Top

Janet, it was great to "meet" you in person (on the Booktopia thread). That sounded like an awesome week end meeting authors and other LTers! I guess you are either still traveling or in recovery mode!

Jun 12, 2013, 9:41am Top

Karen, Ellen and P, it was wonderful to meet you all at Booktopia.

I agree--Ru Freeman was a delight! How awesome is it that she will Skype with bookclubs! I've been following the blog on her website since I read A Disobedient Girl.

I also really enjoyed the author of The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, Rhonda Riley. What an original mind she has! I was chatting with her after the author session and she was talking about her planned sequel which will require her to travel to Indian, Nepal and China for research. She shared with me a twist that she said she hadn't shared with anyone else--not a spoiler but a major plot point.

Edited: Jun 12, 2013, 11:12am Top

36. Twisting the Rope by R. A. MacAvoy
: SFF cum mystery
Reasons for Reading Now
-SFF in May
- ROOT! #15/50. Purchased 2012 - 1 ROOT point =52/160.
- TIOLI # 9 Read a book in a series in rolling order up to the fifth book

In this sequel to Tea With the Black Dragon 50-something protagonist Martha MacNamara is touring the country with her Celtic band. Also present is her lover, Mayland Long, who happens to be a dragon in human form.

One of the band members is found murdered. A second thread revolves around a bit of the supernatural and a severely disabled child as well as Martha's 3 year old grandchild.

I loved the first in the series--I loved a mid-life protagonist who found love and kicked butt as well as the other-worldness dragon as human of Mayland Long. This one didn't come together quite so well for me. The characters were less charming than I remembered, the plot only average.

I did however love the Celtic story of 'Twisting the Rope'. (I'll let you google it if you're interested) as well as the Irish tune by that name: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s45IiDVps5Q

And the cover is amazing, although I doubt you can see the detail in the cover I posted.

3.5 stars Img src=http://static.librarything.com/pics/ss7.gif>

(still reviewing May books)

Jun 12, 2013, 11:10am Top

37. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (audiobook from library)
Non-fiction, memoir, books in books
Reasons for reading now:
- great reviews from people I respect here on LT
- May TIOLI#8. Read a book with "life" or "death" in the title
- audiobook from library

Will Schwalbe's mother, Mary Anne, was a pretty amazing woman. A working mother, loving grandmother, feminist and activist, she was the head of admissions for Ivy League Universities and then moved on to worldwide relief work, particularly in Afghanistan.

She and her son had always recommended books for each other, but when Mary Anne was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the two began sharing books during Mary Anne's long chemo sessions.

This worked on several levels for me: it was not only the story of independant, feminist Mary Anne, but also of the amazing books she and her son shared. (List of books mentioned here: http://img1.imagesbn.com/pimages/books/pdf/scwhalbe-book-list.pdf )

And of course, it was the story of his mother's final illness. Sad, but not over-sentimentalized, Mary Anne and her family knew from the start that pancreatic cancer could only be slowed, not cured. She stayed amazingly determined to travel, to complete a library for Afghanistan, and to enjoy her family and her books until the very final segment of her life.

4 stars.

Jun 12, 2013, 12:37pm Top

I have Twisting of the Rope on one of my ereaders. I really enjoyed Tea with the Black Dragon and will probably read this one, too, even though you don't praise it very much. And I think our book group is scheduled to read The End of Your Life Book Club. Fun that we are on the same track, more or less.

I enjoyed meeting you! And Cait, too.

Jun 13, 2013, 10:31am Top

I enjoyed meeting you too, Karen.

I hope I'll make it out to Seattle again. It's hard for me to get away because of the place and my elderly parents, but I so need to do it more often. And of course, I think you need to visit Glacier Park--I think you would have a ball with your photography there. Even its air seems photogenic.

Edited: Jun 15, 2013, 12:42pm Top

38. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Contemporary Fiction
How it fits into my reading:
--this book was featured at the recent Bellingham Booktopia that I attended.
-- June TIOLI #12. Read a book where at least two words in the title start with the same letter
--purchased 2013

This book is both a mystery and a love story. Julia's father had mysteriously disappeared four years previously. He left behind his wife, daughter, and a life as a successful New York lawyer. When Julia's mother shows her an old love letter from an unknown woman in Burma, Julia takes up the search and traces him there. She meets with a man named U Ba who gradually tells her the story of Tin Win, a blind orphan and Mi Mi, a crippled girl whom he carries everywhere on his back.

There is just a bit of magical realism in the story--Tin Win's hearing is so acute he can hear the heartbeats of not only his beloved (even separated by time and distance) and the people around him, but baby birds still inside their eggs.

The Burmese setting and culture was well-realized. Sendker had lived and traveled in the area for many years and did additional research before he finished the book. He did a great job portraying the other-ness of a culture and their thought. I enjoyed the Burmese folk/fairy tale at the heart of the story.

The writing flows easily and I read it quickly. In some ways it was a sweet love story, but perhaps I have grown too cynical for love stories. I disliked the way Tin Win abandoned his clinically depressed wife and his daughter without a word; in general I hated the way the wife's depression and the wife in whole were portrayed.

3.5 stars

Author Jan-Phillip Sendker was an engaging speaker. He worked for ten years to get this book published in the US (where he is working as a German correspondant) after it was published in Germany. The sequel has been released in Germany and is scheduled for release in the US.

Jun 13, 2013, 1:35pm Top

I agree with you that Twisting the Rope, while a perfectly acceptable story, did not capture my heart in the same way that Tea With the Black Dragon did.

Jun 13, 2013, 4:59pm Top

Janet, I just had to share with you that I blew the lid off caution, and bought 7 books to celebrate my having been on Library Thing for 6 years. One for each year, and one to grow though one more.

Check out my thread and you can see what I hauled home.

Edited: Jun 15, 2013, 12:39pm Top

Thanks for stopping by, Roni and Karen!

Happy Thingaversary, Karen! I'm wishing you many, many more in years to come.

My books purchased for the year (38) is staying slightly behind the number I've read (39). The Booktopia gift certificate didn't help my stats any! But I did choose two that I had read and wanted copies in my library so they would not add to Planet TBR.

Books acquired during Booktopia:

-- Tinkers by Paul Harding --Booktopia book exchange --signed copy of Pulitzer Prize winner

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - read previously, wanted a copy for my library. Booktopia gift certificate.
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot - read previously, wanted a copy for my library. Booktopia gift certificate.
-- Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver - June Library RL Book Club. Booktopia gift certificate.
-- The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch. Northwest author highly rec'd by Booktopia participant. Booktopia gift certificate.

Edited: Jun 15, 2013, 11:45am Top

39. The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley

Contemporary Fiction/
How it fits into my reading:
--this book was featured at the recent Bellingham Booktopia that I attended.
-- June TIOLI #16. Read a book that has the letters D, O & N in the title;
--purchased 2013

Soon after the close of WWII, 17 year old Evelyn Roe was the primary caretaker of her deceased aunt's farm. She loved the land and farming and was pleased to help her struggling family. Checking for damage after a torrential downpour, she finds a human form buried in mud. She assumes it to be a soldier who was horribly burned in the war as its face is a formless mask. She takes him in, cleans him up and is astonished as it changes first into her perfect twin and then into her perfect man whom she names Adam Hope.

It's also amazingly fresh. The author takes many interesting twists and turns, few of which I was able to anticipate. Cynical me, when I read the first chapters about the being struggling to learn about its humanity, I couldn't help but be reminded of fish fingers and custard. I was very pleased, therefore, when the story then took its own unique turns and became something else entirely: a skillfully written story of love and family, friends and relationships and that moment when you wonder, "Who is this person that I have been married to all these years?"

4 stars.

I really enjoyed meeting author Rhonda Riley at the recent Bellingham Booktopia. The sequel she has sketched out in her head sounds just as unexpected as this first volume and I hope it comes to fruition.

Jun 15, 2013, 1:15pm Top

Yes, I thought Ms Riley to be quite charming also and enjoyed hearing the process through which this, her first novel, came to fruition. I join in hoping a sequel, or at least a second novel, will arrive! Let's be sure to let each other know if we hear of it.

Hope things are manageable at home, and that Cait is able to find just the right school for herself.

I'm spending the weekend doing household chores which have been neglected, but of course a little library thing first.

Jun 15, 2013, 11:42pm Top

Okay, both you and Karen are convincing me that simply owning Adam Hope is not enough. I need to actually read it!

Jun 16, 2013, 8:43am Top

I still have another of the Booktopia books on Planet TBR-- The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. I'm not sure I'll get to it this month. I liked Evison a lot in person but was neutral about his book West of Here. Where has June gone?

I was off work last week as my brother and family were here. Back to work on Monday and Cait starts moving to her new apartment and job.

I thought the independant living aparments were really nice. Unfortunately, Mom did not.

Jun 16, 2013, 9:01am Top

Well, looking at my own experience, I don't really like the apartments, either, but rather the whole facility and the care they will provide me like vacuuming and cleaning once a week, laundry service, meals, some entertainment, some outings, etc. As for the apartments: small! not mine. Can't dream of remodeling, not my appliances that I can replace if I hate them, not much storage, only windows on one wall, bla bla bla

Be patient with her. Perhaps the staff will be able to help her feel more at home, and more relaxed because there is less to worry about. Maybe? Also, I think when there are her pictures on the walls, and her things filling the space she may relax more, too.

I am thinking good mojo in her direction that the transition is not too sad and depressing.

Jun 22, 2013, 10:27am Top

Mom's move has been put off for a bit. Her hip has become extremely painful. I'm not exactly sure what's going on. The radiologist called it a mass during her MRI--I googled it and wondered if it was a hip cyst--not uncommon with RA. She's scheduled this week to have fluid withdrawn from the joint and more testing. Hopefully removing fluid will make it less painful.

I hear you on the IL apartments. We looked at two in the building and they were, as you said, small, windows on one wall etc. On the other hand, they were very clean and in good repair; they get fresh paint and carpet as needed between residents. We could paint to add some color, add a ceiling fan, other small modifications, etc. Meals twice a day, bus service from the center three days a week, carports if Mom wanted to keep her car; she knows several of the residents that live there, and they have various activities that Mom might enjoy.

We'll just have to see what happens with her hip.

DD will be back to move the last load of her stuff to her new apartment today. She begins her real world job on Monday. I think one of her first assignments is to chaperone a SE Asian delegation through the delights of western Montana--white water rafting, pow-wow, Yellowstone & Glacier Parks, hiking etc. She helped with these activities last summer as part of her internship at the Center where she is working.

Jun 22, 2013, 10:54am Top

40. Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin

Contemporary Fiction/ translated from Korean
How it fits into my reading:
-- June TIOLI TIOLI 6. Read a book where a title word or author name starts with B,D,G,J,P,R,U
--purchased 2013 from the FOL sale shelf; B & N Lit by women.

A hardworking but illiterate, elderly mother is lost in a busy Seoul subway terminal. The book is told from the point of view of a son and a daughter who have grown up and moved to the city, her husband and from the woman herself. Several of the chapters are told from an unusual second person point of view.

Definitely a tear-jerker and over-sentimentalized. Mom is completely self-sacrificing and treated like furniture by her family. Her husband is completely self-involved and unaware. He somehow doesn't realize that her extreme headaches make her pass out (he thinks she's sleeping) or that the fact that she can't remember her way around her home is unusual. At an earlier point in the marriage, he brings home another woman to live with him. Although this is Mom's only of rebellion, she also waits patiently for her husband to return setting out food for him every night, until after several months he returns home where she welcomes him profusely, never saying a word of reproach.

The family finds out that Mom has a secret life helping orphans.

The redeeming factor is the look at Korean society--both the new, young, city life where young professionals travel internationally and the traditional ways of illiterate villagers and farmers.

It's also a nice picture of humanity wide dilemmas. Children who were the center of their parents's lives grow up and move on to their own lives.

It's one of those books that I am glad to have read because of the hype, but won't be finding a permanent home on my shelves.

3.5 stars.

Jun 22, 2013, 10:54am Top

Oh, the job for DD sounds quite delightful! Good luck to her with this big launch!

I think your mother's story is reinforcing my intent to deal with this issue now rather than later when the health issues make it a more difficult transition. I hope they are able to find what is bothering your mother's hip and give her some relief. Unrelenting pain is a very wearing experience. Needs to be gone. But not if meds make me stupid, that's kind of my attitude.

I am holding you and your family in my heart, Janet.

I met with the financial planner and he will put me in contact with a local gerontologist who will be able to help me with the decision about retirement communities. I am glad for the referral. He also will help me figure out the money pieces of the puzzle. I'm glad I was able to find him. Works for fee only, no selling me securities, etc.

Busy busy

Edited: Jun 22, 2013, 10:58am Top

I'm about halfway through an LTER book called The Third Son by Julie Wu and then it's on to Flight Behavior for the RL bookclub at the end of this week. I need to read fast!

Jun 22, 2013, 11:05am Top

Hi Karen--Happy Saturday!

Yup, Mom's got the worst of all worlds right now. Bad pain and the pain meds make her dopey, but don't do much for the pain. DS has suggested a medical marijuana card much to 86yo Mom's horror.

Sounds like your planner is ideal. Mom saw a lawyer who does similar things, but Mom didn't like either the lawyer or the advice about selling her home (the lawyer thought it a good idea for Mom to downsize) and has refused to go back.

Jun 22, 2013, 3:18pm Top

Look for a gerontologist, not an expensive lawyer, or fancy financial planner. She needs to talk with someone who is sensitive to her need to still have control over her life and affairs, and who can gently lead her, or come up with ways for her to think of the good ideas. It might be the pastor of her church, if she is church going. This is a terrible transition because it is confronting the inescapable truth that Death looms in the foreseeable future! Dang! Don't like to think about that. Also, for me, it is about "this may be the last time I pull up stakes and move." If this is the wrong move, I may have to suck it up and cope.

My heart is touched by your work with your mom. I know it is difficult. And there is no "hope she'll grow out of it" as we can do with kids.

*hugs to you all*

Jun 23, 2013, 1:48am Top

I hope you enjoy Flight Behavior as much as I did.

Jun 23, 2013, 10:58am Top

Unfortunately, Karen, in small town Montana such services don't exist. They don't even exist in the closest of Montana's small cities, which is Missoula.

Ellen, it's good to hear you enjoyed Flight Behavior. I think I'll have to put aside The Third Son today so I can have a chance of completing FB before Thursday's book club.

Jun 23, 2013, 11:17am Top

Ah, Janet, there is a niche someone needs to find. Maybe I can find something on line..... I'll go look. What an interesting search.

Jul 2, 2013, 8:56am Top

Mom's hip problems turned into more than a RA flare. There's some sort of mass within the hip joint. They tried to aspirate it yesterday and sent bits off for testing. The best news would be if it is a hip cyst--which can be caused by RA. She's got both a home health aid and a home health RN working with her now. It's a big weight off my shoulders that she is getting help.

Edited: Jul 2, 2013, 10:18am Top

June was a very low reading month for me. I'm on track to get 75 done, but not on track for 100 or to get 50 done from my purchased- before-2013 stacks.

38. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker - - Bellingham Booktopia; purchased 2013; May TIOLI #12. Read a book where at least two words in the title start with the same letter (purchased 2013)
39. The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley - - Booktopia author; June TIOLI #16: Read a book that has the letters D, O & N in the title; purchased 2013
40. Please Look After Mom - Kyung-sook Shin; B & N Lit by Women; JuneTIOLI 6. Read a book where a title word or author name starts with B,D,G,J,P,R,U
41. A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean audiobook read by Ivan Doig ROOT # 15--1 point; June TIOLI #4. Read a book which you have a personal connection to
42. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi - audiobook - library; JuneTIOLI 6. Read a book where a title word or author name starts with B,D,G,J,P,R,U

As of end of June:
42 books read (16 borrowed from library)
41 books acquired 2013
16 read from Planet TBR acquired before 2013

Jul 2, 2013, 9:05am Top

Janet, I'm wondering if you wrote reviews for the books you just read.

I hope the best possible news for your mom, that it is something easily treated and that she'll experience relief.

As soon as possible, please, universe.

Jul 2, 2013, 9:52am Top

Hi Karen--it's nice to see you.

I haven't gotten reviews done for A River Runs Through It and The Windup Girl.

Besides everything else, DD Cait got a concussion on Saturday. She's still having headaches and dizziness and off work from her new job. Good thing that they know her as she interned there last year. There's a Southeast Asian conference there this week and she is supposed to be helping with the entertainment--river rafting, ropes course and climbing, various social events. She is majorly bummed as you can guess.

Edited: Jul 2, 2013, 10:02am Top

Books I acquired in June (Just because I didn't read a lot is no reason not to acquire more!)

(Previously Read) 34. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - read previously, wanted a copy for my library. Booktopia gift certificate.
(Previously Read) 35. Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. - read previously, wanted a copy for my library. Booktopia gift certificate.
36. Tinkers by Paul Harding --Booktopia Yankee Book Swap. Signed, numbered edition. :-)
37. ***Reading***Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver - June Library Brown Bag Book Club. Booktopia gift certificate.
38. The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch. Highly rec'd by Booktopia participant. Booktopia gift certificate.
39. My Life in France by Julia Child. FOL book shelf
40. Eat This Not That by David Zinczenko. FOL bookshelf
41. Eat This Not That 2010 by David Zinczenko. FOL Bookshelf

Edited: Jul 2, 2013, 10:14am Top

And I'm starting out my July reads continuing with several I started in June:

--Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford - audiobook - library
--Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver-- RL book club (June selection. Sigh). purchased Bellingham Booktopia gift certificate
--The Third Son by Julie Wu - LTER
--The Etiquette of Illness by Susan P. Halpern
--Various People's Bible Commentaries - trying to work my way through the Bible (didn't get very far with this, either, in June)

Edited: Jul 7, 2013, 2:40pm Top

41. A River Runs Through It by- Norman Maclean-- audiobook read by Ivan Doig
Category Contemporary Literature
Why I chose to Read it Now
--June TIOLI #4. Read a book which you have a personal connection to
--Book off Planet TBR for ROOTS challenge. #16/50. Recorded into LT 2012 = 1 ROOT point for a total of 53 (goal 160).

Thus is a lovely lyrical story of brothers growing up in western Montana, connected to each other and their father by the river and their love of fly fishing. It's a story of trying to save someone you love who is going down a dangerous path; of loving and being family and accepting your own limitations in the light of another's all-too-human bad decisions.

Opening paragraph: "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing. We lived at the junction of a great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman."

In many ways this story parallels my own growing up in the city the river runs through and my father's attempts to ground his own life with a rod and line and the solitude of creeks and forest.

Author Norman Maclean was often in the little book store where I worked in the 70's--although that became less frequent after this book came out.

This audiobook version is read by Montana and Northwest writer Ivan Doig. I honestly can't imagine a better reader for this story. I have read this book many times over the years, but couldn't resist picking up this edition with this reader. All my expectations were met.

But.... I was disappointed to discover that this recording is only the first one of the three novellas in the book A River Runs Through It. I miss the other two.

for the story and the writing.
for Ivan Doig's reading.
for the disappointment of finding this is only the first of the three novellas in the book A River Runs Through It.

Jul 3, 2013, 12:13pm Top

This is one of the books, and movies, I remember for years after having first found them. Wonderful description of growing up in what is now a "begone era". Much to our sadness, and loss.

I think everyone would enjoy this book.

Jul 4, 2013, 9:36am Top

You know, here in small town Montana, that era doesn't really seem all that bygone. Kids learn to fish (and hunt) from their fathers and sometimes mothers. There are lots of guides and outfitters in the era and a weekly newspaper column about how to match whatever bug is hatching in the river now.

But then the joke I've always heard, is that when a plane enters Montana airspace, the stewardess announces that "We are now entering Montana. Please turn your watch back thirty years."

Edited: Jul 4, 2013, 10:16am Top

42. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Speculative Fiction
Why I chose to Read it Now
--This seems to be a favorite here on LT; I chose it to listen with my daughter on our trip to the Washington coast. I enjoyed it. She didn't.
--June TIOLI #6. Read a book where a title word or author name starts with B,D,G,J,P,R,U
--audiobook from the library

This takes place in the not too distant future. The global economic expansion is over--indeed it turned into a sudden contraction. This was partly due to environmental factors such as global warming and the exhaustion of fossil fuels. It was also due to massive plagues among humans, animals and plant species due to genetic modifications which left them without resistance as bacteria and viruses naturally evolved. Food sources dried up, starvation and war set in. Food and calories became wealth and the source of power. The setting of this book is Thailand, which had the foresight to save a seedbank of species that weren't genetically engineered and so survived better than many of its neighbors.

Among the engineered beings are the New People, the Windups, who move with a herky jerky clock spring action. The women have been genetically engineered into the most beautiful in the world; their skin so fine they don't have pores so they suffer and die from heat. But they are popular as prostitutes--they have no souls, so who cares if you break them a little bit--or even a lot.

Main baddie Anderson, a calorie man who works for a company trying to wrest control of the Thai's heritage seeds is stereotyped as the amoral Ugly American cum Greedy Corporation Lackey.

There are several pretty graphic rape scenes.

Nevertheless, I found the story interesting and the world (steampunkish in some of its technology blended with the ultra modern generipping themes) intriguing. And like other books of this genre, it raises many questions about where science is going.

Recommended especially for people who enjoyed Never Let Me Go.

On a personal level, one of the plagues seems to be a variant of Psittacosis, one of the Chlamydial focuses of my research group. After years, and years of frustration, in the last few months the key to genetic alteration of Chlamydia has been unlocked.

4 stars.

(DD, who is a fantasy fan, couldn't be bothered to finish it).

Edited: Jul 4, 2013, 10:29am Top

First half of the year Statistics
--42 books read; stats broken down in post 5

Best fiction
- Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
- A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman

Best Nonfiction
- Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen

Both Poetry Books I read were outstanding
- Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood
-Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds

Also outstanding was the only book of short stories I read
-The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

Edited: Jul 7, 2013, 12:26pm Top

43. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Contemporary Fiction
How it Fits Into My Reading Life:
-- June RL book club selection
-- July TIOLI #22. For Better or Worse: Read a book about Man interacting with Nature
-- purchased Bellingham Booktopia 2013

Dellarobia Turnbow is a frustrated mother of two young kids in a poor rural corner of Tennessee. She longs for something more than her shotgun marriage ten years ago to an uncomplicated, good man and living in a house on her in-laws property.

But then a miracle occurs on the mountain. A migration flight of Monarch butterflies has been displaced from their usual Mexican wintering grounds and fills the trees with their brilliance. They become the focus of scientific study since it is uncertain they will survive their chosen wintering ground, and Dellarobia is befriended by the scientific team. As she works with team members, her life and choices come more clearly into focus.

This is a lovely novel about choosing to go or choosing to stay; about community and family and belonging versus stretching your wings and facing the unknown; about brilliance inexplicably appearing in mundane circumstances. It's set against a well researched background of climate change and global warming. We care about Dellarobia. We care about the butterflies.

Jul 13, 2013, 10:51am Top

And now for a rather late LibraryThing Early Reviewer book:

44. The Third Son by Julie Wu
Contemporary Fiction
How It Fits Into My Reading Life:
--LibraryThing ER book
-- June TIOLI #7. Read a TBR that has been on a previous TIOLI in 2012-13 and still isn't finished.

First sons ensured the continuation of the family name.
Second sons were an important backup.
Third sons weren’t much honored by their family.

Saburo is a third son. In addition he was the scapegoat of his family, abused physically, verbally and emotionally.

This historical novel begins with the closing of WWll in Japanese occupied Formosa. During a bombing by American forces, Saburo met and saved Yoshiko, a girl his age, and has a quick glimpse of what a loving family should be. This memory is one he held dear, helping him to endure.

Instead of being crushed by his abusers, Saburo became a determinedly independent thinker which helped him in his goals of escaping his tyrannical family and government and finding his way to his own rewarding career, love and family.

This is an engaging historical story. The book started out strongly with details about life on Formosa during the turbulent years when Chiang Kai Shek and the Nationalist Chinese government came to power. As a US reader, I had learned the story of Chaing Kai Shek’s goodness in school history classes. I had no idea of the terror he brought to Taiwanese citizens. The story then continues to the United States and beginnings of the space age in the Sputnik area of the 50’s and 60’s and the excitement of scientitic communities during this time.

Somehow, though. I never quite connected emotionally with the story once we were past Saburo’s childhood. Part of this was due to the author’s tendency to tell about situations through letters and summation paragraphs, rather than letting events unfold through the characters. The story itself, though, also had a curious emotional flatness . It was rather like reading a family journal that skips from main event to main event within a life, without having the reader become personally invested in the story.

Jul 13, 2013, 11:27am Top

One more review:

45. Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron
non-fiction memoir, psychology (depression)
How It Fits Into My Reading Life:
--July TIOLI #15. Read a book where one of the main characters has a condition classified in the newly published DSM-5
--ROOTS Challenge. Yay! Book #17/50 off my shelves; added to my LT catalog this year but had acquired several years previously= 1 ROOT point for a total of 54/160

This is a short book or long essay written by author William Styron about his clinical depression. Although not diagnosed until he had a major episode when he was in his 60's, some of his major works, Sophie's Choice and The Confessions of Nat Turner showed his familiarity with the disease.

In this essay he attempts to give voice to what a depression sufferer feels; all too often non-sufferers believe their own mild blues resemble clinical depression. It's definitely not a self-help book--but a description of his own suffering.

"I was feeling in my mind a sensation close to, but indescribably different from, actual pain. This leads me to touch again on the elusive nature of such distress. That the word 'indescribable' should present itself is not fortuitous, since it has to be emphasized that if the pain were really describable most of the countless sufferers from this ancient affliction would have been able to confidently depict for their friends and loved ones (even their physicians) some of the actual dimensions of their torment, and perhaps elicit a comprehension that has been generally lacking; such incomprehension has usually been due not to a failure of sympathy, but to the basic inability of healthy people to imagine a form of torment so alien to everyday experience. For myself, the pain is most closely connected to drowning or suffocation-- but even those images are off the mark." (p. 17)

It's one I'll keep in my library because of his vivid description.

Edited: Jul 14, 2013, 12:15pm Top

46. 1,2 Thessalonians (The People's Bible Commentary) by David P Kuske
Non-fiction, Christianity
How it fits into my Reading
--Started reading through the Bible in January 2012 with this set of Commentaries published by Concordia Publishing House. Many of them are in my tbr stack, although this one was not--I purchased it earlier this year to fill in a hole in the series.
--July TIOLI #16. Read a book with less than 300 pages. (123 pages including a few maps at the end of the book)

I've done almost no reading in this challenge since I finished the commentary on Leviticus in May --see post 9 for the sequence I'm reading these.

I've once more taken up the task--15 minutes each morning to ground myself.

But, although I had some reservations about the conservative theology expressed in some of the other commentaries in this series, this is the first that has really disturbed me.

In 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, Paul gives a warning about the anti-Christ. Although Christians over the years have identified various leaders as the anti-Christ, author David Kuske firmly identifies him as the Catholic Pope. Almost 20 of the 123 total pages are devoted to this subject.

Ah, c'mon.

Edited: Jul 16, 2013, 9:05am Top

Darkness Visible is one of those classic books on depression that I haven't read. But to be honest, I'd rather read about how to help deal with depression than about how it feels. I'm all too familiar with it!

Edited: Jul 16, 2013, 9:24am Top

Me, too, Morphy.

But this was interesting because it validated some of the feelings of alone-ness that I've had when I'm depressed as well as my confusion when other people just don't comprehend what is going on-- or give well-meaning, heartfelt, yet impossible advice on how I should fix it.

ETA: Thanks for stopping by!

Jul 16, 2013, 10:10am Top

The most important thing for me to do is... anything. Just do SOMETHING. To not get caught up in the narrow world of not wanting to move/feel/exist. If I can get *something* done, even if it's a little thing that takes 5 minutes, it gets me out of that "full stop" mode.

Jul 16, 2013, 10:42am Top

I really agree with that. I'm a big fan of flylady ( www.flylady.net ) and her program of cleaning and organizing in 2, 5 and 15 minute increments. When I've been really depressed, I set my timer for 5 minutes and force myself to do. Small accomplishments really help.

Jul 16, 2013, 11:55am Top

I am a big fan of The Timer when I'm caught up in a "don't wanna" mood. I can do anything if it is only for 5 minutes.

Jul 16, 2013, 12:56pm Top

Because once you get yourself moving, it's easier to keep moving. It's that... I'm a slug and don't want to move that's so hard to get out of.

Jul 16, 2013, 9:59pm Top

I'm glad you liked Flight Behavior.

I perhaps liked Darkness Visible more than you did when I read it a few years back, but that may be attributable to my profession. :-)

Jul 20, 2013, 10:06am Top

Hi Ellen--Thanks for stopping by!

A three or three-and-a-half star rating is for me, a good solid (but unexciting) read. I'd recommend it to someone interested in the subject but not so much to get someone interested if it was not their genre of choice. Nothing wrong with Darkness Visible--it just missed some intangible that would get me excited about the book.

Having said that, I think your profession is very interesting! I missed taking any classes in the subject and enjoy the insights I get from reading a bit here and there. My son is a dual major with psychology as one of them. Very interesting indeed!

Edited: Jul 20, 2013, 10:33am Top

47. -- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
How it fits into my Reading
--July TIOLI #13. Read a book from the Most Popular by TIOLI Challenge List
--audiobook (in the car)

In the 1980's the belongings of thirty plus Japanese families who had been taken to internment camps during WWII were found in the basement of the Panama Hotel.

Henry was a despised Chinese during 1942, attending an all white school on a scholarship. His best friend became Keiko, a US citizen of Japanese parents and the only other non-white child. Henry's parents, like other Chinese of the time, despised the Japanese for their attacks on China. Against this background of racism and prejudice, Henry and Keiko form a lifelong bond with each other and with Sheldon, a black musician in Seattle's early jazz community. The bonds are tested to the limit when Keiko's family is taken to a Japanese internment camp along with Seattle's other Japanese citizens.

This book really brought home the inherent unfairness of the Japanese internment camps and of the lives that were disrupted.

According to an author's afterword, the Panama Hotel is a real place. Someday when I'm in Seattle, I'd like to visit its exhibit of the Japanese belongings left behind.

Jul 20, 2013, 10:35am Top

I know the existence of that hotel is interesting to me, too, and unfortunately I've not taken the step to go see it. Must do that.

Jul 20, 2013, 10:51am Top

48.--The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson
Fiction, mystery
How it fits into my reading
-- TIOLI # 27-- person's name in the first line

This is the first of a series of mysteries (now 20 books long) featuring Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire. As author Craig Johnson was recently in Missoula for a reading and booksigning, and I had seen good reviews of this series here on LT, I decided to give it a whirl.

A young Native American girl with Fetal Alcohol Sydrome is brutally raped by four boys who get off very lightly by the court. Two years later, the boys bodies are being found, one by one.

I enjoyed this story of small town Wyoming (although I wasn't very impressed by the sheriff's blizzard survival skills--honestly makes me wonder a bit about the author). I also enjoyed the Native American aspects of the story. I had the 'what' but not the 'who' of the mystery figured out.

It's a series I'll probably continue, but there are so many books on Planet TBR that it will be a while before I return to it. I missed the author's talk, but would be very curious to hear him speak next time he's in the area.

3.7 stars

Jul 20, 2013, 10:52am Top

The above book also made me wonder why I'm not reading more mysteries. I almost always enjoy them, but just never seem to 'get to them'.

New resolution:
-read more mysteries (shear enjoyment)

of course that goes along with:
--read more classics
--read more current fiction
--read more literary fiction
--read more translated fiction
--read more graphic novels
--keep exploring non-fiction
--keep exploring SF/F

which comes down to:

--now I know why Planet TBR has 400 books on it!

Jul 20, 2013, 11:35am Top

Hi Karen. I'd like to explore Seattle's Chinatown and Chinese/Oriental market. There's just too much to do in Seattle when I do make it over there for a short trip. Have you read The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet?

Jul 20, 2013, 1:10pm Top

Yes, I enjoyed it but sometimes the author irritated me by adding little details from Seattle which were just unnecessary other than prove he knew the city. He is from Portland, I think. Funny, that. But it is a good tale and makes its point very poignantly.

I too would love to explore the hotel if it really still allows people to see these belongings supposedly still there.

Jul 20, 2013, 1:33pm Top

I found The Windup Girl interesting, although I didn't love it, but I found your postscript fascinating!

Jul 21, 2013, 11:22am Top

34,42: Oh, Bellingham! I saw the meetup photos and had a wave of nostalgia; I lived there for a year in the 1980s.

You’re getting around, bookwise. I was unaware of the Mark Twain, and it’s intriguing. I read The Windup Girl a couple years ago, was drawn in by the megadonts in the early scenes, put off by the graphic violence. Interesting your inside take on the Psittacosis. I have a microbiologist niece whose PhD focus is on HPV, so I get occasional glimpses of the effort involved. Glad to see your positive review of Flight Behavior. I’ve downloaded it for the Nook because of the butterflies. Re depression, recently some link somewhere I don’t recall led to this: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html .

Jul 22, 2013, 8:16am Top

Hi Roni--I had chosen the Windup Girl to listen to as my DD and I traveled to the Washington coast for Booktopia. She's a fantasy fan, but in our 8 hours of travel, we listened to about 4 hours and discussed it for about an equal amount of time. we would listen a few minutes and then she would turn it off and hotly discuss it. She felt it was very light on plot, relying instead on world building; a world which she delighted in pointing out its internal inconsistences. She also felt that even the characters that weren't written intentionally misogynistic and cliched were misogynistic and clichéd. It was definitely the most intense book conversation I have ever had.

Jul 22, 2013, 8:27am Top

Sounds like you had a delightful time (or at least engaging) with your daughter! Was your ride home quieter? :D

Jul 22, 2013, 8:28am Top

That is interesting. I think the book must get some credit for stimulating such an intense conversation....

Edited: Jul 23, 2013, 8:55am Top

Hi Katherine!--Bellingham was beautiful. I'd like to spend a lot more time by the ocean than I have.

(Edited because I spelled your name wrong---my apologies! My fingers do odd things when I do some quick posts in the morning before work).

Great link on the explanation of depression. I think it really hit the nail on the head.

I definitely need to read more Kingsolver. The only other one I've read of hers is The Poisonwood Bible, although I have a copy of The Bean Trees on Planet TBR.

I'm currently finishing The Kitchen House for the real life book club. Not a fan. in my mind, I've dubbed it 'soap opera with slaves'.

Jul 22, 2013, 8:42am Top

Hi Morphy and Karen-- Well, it's a very long audio, so I really wanted to listen to it on the way home. And we did, and she politely tried to contain herself. But about a month later, I was with her when she hit her head hard enough to be concussed for a week. One of the symptoms of concussion can be intense irritability and argumentation. And you guessed it--back we went to The Windup Girl.

It's a book I won't forget for a long, long time. :-)

Jul 22, 2013, 10:36am Top

I hope Cait is feeling better!

Edited: Jul 23, 2013, 9:23am Top

Thanks for asking. Yes, Cait's OK.

It worried me that she had symptoms for a week, but her docs kept a close eye on her. Unfortunately, it was her first week at her new job (she was moving into her new apartment). She had done an internship for this boss so the boss knew her and was very gracious. Cait, however, was bummed because part of her first week's activities were to be escorting a conference group from Southeast Asia around to various fun activities --rope course, pow-wow and so she missed out. She was recovered enough the next week to go rafting with them.

Dad's was moved from the nursing home to the hospital yesterday. Yesterday, he was pretty unresponsive. After 24 hours of fluids and IV antibiotics, he is communicating and eating a bit.

Mom has finally put the deposit down for the retirement community. She is on a waiting list and there is no way of knowing when she might get in. I have fingers and toes crossed that it will be before winter!

Jul 23, 2013, 9:16am Top

Waiting Lists are a version of hell, I think. At least for this move, they are. I'm very crazy about not knowing when I might be allowed to occupy the little space I'm hoping to get.


Janet, hugs to you and your daughter and your mother. I'm glad your Dad is a bit more communicative. What a hard time, all around, and I hope all are given grace and this sad time is made easier by the love you all share.

Edited: Jul 27, 2013, 11:12am Top

Thanks for all your good thoughts, Karen.

This week I finished reading the group read of The Wasp Factory. I also finished listening to an audiobook from Planet TBR, Great World Religions: Hinduism and finished reading the book for my book club, The Kitchen House. I'll get short reviews of these done soon.

Before July ends, I want to finish an ER book The Soul of All Living Creatures - (I can't imagine a book more opposite to the Wasp Factory).

I also need to finish a library book that was mentioned in The End of Your Life Book Club called The Etiquette of Illness.

And finally, I've started listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane for my audiobook in the car. Neil Gaiman rocks as a reader! Hope this one doesn't get too macabre--TWF filled my macabre bucket for a good long time to come.

I'm taking up a challenge in the GD to not acquire any new books in August with the exception that I've requested the Maus books from the library for Morphy's group read. I have 385 books listed in Planet TBR--I think I can find something to read for a month without acquiring more! The RL book club will be reading Gone Girl this month which is already residing on the planet.

This week I picked up two from the FOL bookshelf for a total of 48 books acquired so far this year:

47. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
48. Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye by A. S. Byatt

Jul 27, 2013, 1:29pm Top

I am doing the August challenge of not buying more books, too. Good luck to us all.

I finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane and macabre would not be a word I would use to describe it. It definitely has fantasy, or magical realism, in it. There is evil but truly I think it is a kid's book and the evil is not so terribly evil, really. I would not worry, Janet, just enjoy it! I am glad Neil Gaiman is a good reader as his book deserves a good voice!

Edited: Jul 28, 2013, 12:04pm Top

Ah, good, Karen! I had just gotten to the place where 'bright red' is a vole missing his head and I had this terrible "Oh no! Not again!" moment.

Edited to add: In the intro I think Gaiman called it a fairy tale for adults.

Edited: Jul 28, 2013, 12:45pm Top

49. --The Kitchen House -by Kathleen Grissom
Fiction, historical fiction
How it fits into my reading
--Real Life July Book Club;
--July TIOLI #7. Read a book whose title includes the name of a bird (hen)
--purchased 2013

In the late 1700's an Irish girl, seven year old Lavinia, is orphaned when both parents die on the voyage to America. She is sold to a plantation owner to work as an indentured servant. There she is raised in the kitchen house by the family of slaves who are the houseworkers on the plantation.

The black family is wise and wonderful and loving.

The white family who are the owners? Well we've got an absentee father, a mother who copes with her disappointments with laudanum (opium) addiction, insanity, rape, incest, mental illness, sexual abuse by a pedophile tutor, and a brutal and ignorant overseer.

We also have a protagonist who isn't very bright. She is given an opportunity to move in with her master's cousin in order to be ready to serve her mentally ill mistress and also to go to school. She forgets what a nasty brutal, no good drunkard the son of the family was during the time she was growing up and marries him. On discovering he is still a nasty, brutal, no good drunkard under the influence of the evil overseer, she takes a page out of her former mistress's book and also becomes addicted to laudanum.

Although it really drives home the inhumanity of the slavery system, in my head I dubbed this one 'soap opera with slaves'.

Jul 28, 2013, 1:23pm Top

Oh, how disappointing to have such a sad, and not very bright, protagonist. Seems like the author could have given her a little better chance at making a happier life.

Edited: Aug 20, 2013, 9:28am Top

I've been enjoying others' maps of places they've visited by reading. Here are mine, starting May 1st: (I'll update backwards to the first of the year as I have time.)

Locations in bold have been added to the map


May: Antarctica, Malaysia
June: Burma/Myanmar, Korea, Thailand
July: US, UK (Scotland), Greece, India, Taiwan
August: Poland, Belgian Congo, Denmark
(Russia, Canada)

visited 23 states (10.2%)
Create your own visited map of The World or jurisdische vertaling duits?


May: New York, California, Washington State
June: North Carolina, Florida, Montana, Idaho
July: Washington, Wyoming, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia
August: Iowa

visited 12 states (24%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Jul 30, 2013, 8:57am Top

You can delete the last part of the line that's the advertisement - the part after "or". It bugs me how they stick advertising everywhere nowadays!

Jul 30, 2013, 10:00am Top

Morphy, I'm having trouble with the stupid maps. Can I update info or do I really have to start from scratch each time? Maybe something is messed up and I just need to start over?

Jul 30, 2013, 12:23pm Top

Unfortunately I haven't figured out a way to save the maps. I do look at the code while I'm doing it so can quickly click on each area again. It's a bit of a pain.

Jul 31, 2013, 6:21pm Top

Oh my, I did not realize that the Walt Longmire series now has twenty entries! I think I've only read the first two. I must see what the next one is; it's a series I would like to continue reading.

Aug 3, 2013, 11:18am Top

Well, phooey on the maps. I'll start making a list and then go from there. They sound fun but they may be more time than I'm willing to expend.

Hi Ellen--thanks for stopping by. It's hard to imagine how hard it is to keep a series fresh after just a few, much less twenty books. I never read a series straight through as I tend to get burned out on them pretty quickly, but if I see more of these, I will pick them up.

I've just won an LTER book called Montana by Gwen Florio whose premise sounds a bit like the Longmire series. Big city girl, small Montana town, Blackfeet reservation. But since it the setting was Montana, I'll give it a whirl.

Edited: Aug 3, 2013, 11:43am Top

50. Great World Religions: Hinduism - The Teaching Company DVDs (The Great Courses) - Prof. Mark W. Muesse
Nonfiction, religion
How it fits into my reading:
--audiobook in car;
--ROOTS! challenge--Reading off my own shelves. ROOT # 18/ Goal 50 (catalogued into LT 2012 but owned for several years previously = 1 ROOT point for a total of 55 points with a goal of 160.

I enjoy the Teaching Company's courses, and like the others in this series of Great Religions, I learned a lot. Hinduism is extremely polymorphic, and as Buddhism probably was an outgrowth of Hinduism, it shares many similar beliefs, yet is also very unique.

As the lecturer says frequently during the course, anything I have learned is probably an oversimplification of the reality--yet it's a great foundation on which to build.

4 stars

Edited: Aug 4, 2013, 1:04pm Top

51. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Fiction, classics, 1001 Books to Read Before you Die
How it fits into my reading:
- 75'er's group read;
-1001 Books to Read Before You Die
- TIOLI 14. Read a book by an author who has passed away in 2013 in tribute to him/her;
- library audiobook
- UK/Scotland.

This book is everything you've heard about it. It's horrifying and fascinating and polarizing; it breaks you apart and puts your world view together slightly differently than it was before.

Frank is a 16 year old boy who lives on an small island in Scotland. He is one of the most psychologically tortured protagonists I have met. In turn, he tortures a variety of small animals and has killed two cousins and a younger brother. But no matter. He won't murder again; he's over that now. It was just a stage.

He protects his island with sacrifice poles festooned with the skulls of small animals he has killed. He predicts the future with wasps who chose their own death by torture. He communicates telepathically using the skull of a dog who ripped off his genitals when he was a toddler.

Frank has reason to fear; his older brother, whom he loves and admires, has escaped from the mental institution where he was incarcerated after a series of burning dogs alive. Frank's father, who seems at least a bit eccentric, also has the most terrible secret of them all.

In the closing scene, I felt quite sad for Frank.

But I wouldn't invite him home for supper.

Brilliant, unforgettable, not for the squeamish (I usually count myself in that number and don't know if I would have finished without the encouragement of the group read).

Aug 3, 2013, 9:42pm Top

We will be getting rid of some of the Teaching Companys cassettes soon from the library. (We're getting rid of all audio and video cassettes with a handful of exceptions.) It's kind of a shame, but no one wants to play those formats any more. I can't really say that I blame them. In fact, we just had a set donated. I told the donor that we are getting rid of cassettes and videos. She still thought students might find it helpful for research, but we're going to be putting them in the booksale, and I seriously doubt anyone will purchase them. Then they'll end up in recycling.

Edited: Aug 4, 2013, 1:42pm Top

Lori, yes, they've gone the way of 8-tracks, haven't they?

If you look at the completed sales on eBay, you'll see that the Teaching Company cassettes do still sell there for about $10 a course. It's a fraction of what the CD's go for, of course, but if you have a volunteer who eBays it's a way of keeping the casettes out of landfills (there's actually nothing to recycle, is there?) as well as earning a small amount for the library. The X and I used to bookscout and sell on eBay. ETA: if I ever get done listening to all the Great Religions modules, I will probably list them on eBay. 5 modules x $10-$15 ea will make it worthwhile for me to do so, even if they are cassettes.

Alternately, I wonder if they might find a home with a senior center or retirement community. Kids might not be interested, but some older people still have their cassette and VHS players. My dad is now in a nursing home, but up until a year or so ago, he enjoyed combing through piles of cassettes looking for unusual jazz recordings.

Aug 4, 2013, 1:00pm Top

52. The Etiquette of Illness by Susan P. Halpern
Non-Fiction, psychology, communication
How it fits into my reading: I was intrigued by this book after it was mentioned in The End of Your Life Book Club; July TIOLI # 8 -Women in health care; library

This book was mentioned in The End of Your Life Book Club and I was highly intrigued. As friends and family get older and struggle more with health issues, I often am at a loss with what to say. Shall I ask how they are doing? Is it rude? Would they be offended if I don't ask?

I've seen my mom crumple many times when well-meaning acquaintances ask about my dad who will never be coming home from the nursing home.

I've been on the receiving end, too when I had breast cancer: everything from someone saying exactly the right thing after I was told my surgery was botched to other people telling me how many people they knew that had died horrible, painful deaths from what I had.

So what do you say?

I found this short book written by a lymphoma survivor and counselor to be quite interesting, and the advice sound. Of course there were chapters that didn't relate to my situation (talking to young children about illness, how a doctor should talk to a patient) but many others were spot on.

I've shared this one with my mom to see if it helps her out, too.

4 stars

Edited: Aug 8, 2013, 9:02am Top

53. The Soul of All Creatures by Vint Virga
non-fiction, animals, psychology
How It Fits Into My Reading: -
--Library Thing Early Reviewer.
--TIOLI #7 Read a TBR that has been on a previous TIOLI in 2012-13 and still isn't finished

Souls of All Living Creatures—Vint Virga, LTER submitted 08/08/2013

Author Vint Virga is a veterinarian and an animal behaviorist. In this short (220 page) book, he attempts to show how animals' responses to situations can model healthy ways for humans to relate to their environment. He does this with chapters relating how animals live in the present moment, forgive and adapt (or don't adapt) to new situations and with concepts such as mindfulness. His stories of working with zoo animals such as designing enrichments for clouded leopards are quite interesting.

What didn't quite work for me was his anthropomorphism and 'reverse anthropomorphism' for want of a better word. Do cats honestly forgive a grumpy sibling? Do they have the same concept of forgiveness that we do? I'm also not convinced that animals live only in the present moment. It's certainly true that a happy dog lives intensely in the now, but, as with the example of the depressed clouded leopard, they do yearn and pine for something missing. I've also seen abused animals react with fear years after the abusive event.

Scattered throughout are several Buddhist and eastern tales. Most of these are very well known, and for me, at least, slowed down the narrative and made it seem less fresh. A case in point would be the four page rendition of the very well known story of the blind men and the elephant. It was well told, but the well-worn tale did nothing to enliven the author’s work or the point he was trying to make.

There are some interesting stories here, but overall it felt a bit shapeless. I think there’s promise in Dr Virga’s storytelling about his fascinating work and I would pick up a second book by this author.

Aug 4, 2013, 11:32pm Top

Janet, I'm glad you also liked The Wasp Factory. It seems that we may be somewhat in the minority.

Aug 6, 2013, 8:48am Top

Maybe I should get that book on The Etiquette of Illness. My SIL has been battling lymphoma for seven years now and it seems like I keep putting my foot wrong.

Aug 8, 2013, 9:31am Top

Hi Ellen. I'm not sure I 'liked' it. Fascinated, horrified, unforgettable, thought it was a worthwhile read--yes to all. Somehow 'liked' doesn't seem the right word to sum it all up. I'll definitely read more by Banks, though.

Hi Morphy: When I listened to The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, he said that the only thing he really remembered about this book was the suggestion that you ask the person if they want to talk about their condition--because some days they just don't want to talk about it and some days they need to. Somewhere I read that most people only take away one idea from a self help book. If that's true, this is not a bad thought to take away from this book, even if you don't read the whole thing.

Edited: Aug 10, 2013, 2:27pm Top

And the last of my July reads:

54. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
How It Fits Into My Reading
-- Matched Read July TIOLI #16. Read a book with less than 300 pages.

I read the reviews here on LT, and felt it would be a great palate cleanser after a couple of my heavier reads such as The Wasp Factory.

A light, magical coming of age tale about a boy who discovers there is much more in life than what appears on the surface. Ancient evil is unleashed after a suicide occurs at a small pond. But our narrator discovers that the pond is really an ocean and the family of women farmers living next to it are much more than they seem.

Neil Gaiman read the audio of this book and he was fantastic! He really made this come to a life in a totally magical way. Gaiman's stories are a bit hit or miss for me--but my next Gaiman will definitely be chosen by whether I can find an audio of him reading his work.

This was a library copy, but I'd enjoy having a copy in my collection.

Aug 10, 2013, 10:08am Top

Still on track with the GD book challenge to buy no new books or make any library requests for the month of August. 10 days in! Wowza!

I do need to pick up pick up Maus II from the library today as part of Morphy's read, but since I requested it in July, I don't count it as falling off the wagon.

I finished three library books this week: Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis, the audiobook of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and Maus I by Art Spiegelman. I'll work on short reviews of them.

I've started Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality for a group read and I've also startedGorky Park.

There was a huge storm here last night--, wind, hail, about an inch of rain within an hour and lots of lightning.

There was a fire southwest of me. I have no idea what sort of structure it was (house? barn?). The flames were 30-50 feet high during a rain so intense one could drown by looking upward. The horses were going absolutely nuts -- several firetrucks turned around in my driveway with their lights and sirens going. After 30 minutes or so, half the firetrucks took off to the north with lights and sirens so there must have been another strike elsewhere, too.

I imagine in the days to come, we'll see fires in the forest, too, from that one.

Aug 10, 2013, 3:00pm Top

55. Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
Fiction, myths retold, religion
How It Fits Into My Reading Now:
--a group read several months ago that I did not get to
-- August TIOLI #9. Read a book about a woman head of church or state or one aspiring to be so
--library book (long overdue!)

This is a retelling of the story of the Greek myth of Psyche. In the classical tale, Psyche was sacrificed by being left to die on a mountain. Instead of dying, however, she was taken and loved by the god, Cupid, who forbade her to see his face. Psyche was persuaded by her jealous sisters to see her lover's face by lighting a lantern while he slept.

In this retelling, the narrator is Psyche's older sister, Orual. Instead of jealousy, Orual's motivation for persuading Psyche to light her lamp and see her lover is Orual's love and concern that Psyche is being taken advantage of by a monster or criminal as well as her own desire that her beloved Psyche return to her.

The first part of the book ends when Orual completes writing her story, which she calls her complaint to the gods for their unfairness and ends by saying that the gods have no answer.

The second, much shorter section shows Orual, a powerful, but aging queen, as she begins to see her actions in the light of their impact on others. This continues with a series of visions she has before her death; in these visions she confronts guides and god. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from this last section:

“When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you’ll not talk about joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?” (p294)

”Only this I know. This age of ours will one day be past. And the Divine Nature can change the past. Nothing is yet in its true form.” P 305

“I ended my first book with the words 'no answer'. I know now, Lord why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice? Only words, words, to be led out to battle against other words. Long did I hate you, long did I fear you….” P 308

Lots for me to think about here. I'll probably buy a copy of this and be revisitng it.

Aug 10, 2013, 4:44pm Top

Fires in the forest! That sounds quit ominous! I hope the fires stay away.

Edited: Aug 12, 2013, 9:34am Top

Hi Connie - Thanks for stopping by.

The town I live in is in a valley and isn't at much risk for the forest fires. But the smoke from surrounding area gets trapped here. Last year was very bad. 2 out of 10 people that work in the lab I work in had to leave the area.

Here's the photo I posted on last year's thread of the smoke we had in 2012 (taken by KPAX)

The picture was taken in September 2012.

Today is our first 'smoke day'. It appears overcast but the light is a funny orange color due to the sun shining through the smoke.

Better news--I just read that Sherman Alexie is coming to the Montana Festival of the Book in Missoula in mid-October. I've never heard him read/speak so I'll plan on that one.

Edited: Aug 12, 2013, 9:17am Top

OK--something odd happened in the above post. I can see my post in its entirety in the 'edit box', but part of it is missing in the above post and I can't resize the pic.

Aug 11, 2013, 3:19pm Top

I don't think it is very healthy to live and/or work in such a smoke. I hope this year will be beter, but you are having the first 'smoke day' now, so I fear the worst.

Aug 11, 2013, 4:29pm Top

Gosh the smoke looks like it is hard to tolerate. I hope the fires get put down soon, and that the smoke will blow away. Please take good care of yourself!

Aug 12, 2013, 6:29am Top

Nice review of Till We Have Faces!

Aug 13, 2013, 8:59am Top

Glad you liked Till We Have Faces more than I did!

Aug 13, 2013, 9:36am Top

Connie and Karen--Yup, that smoke is downright unhealthy. I sincerely hope it doesn't happen again this year. We've had a few small storms blow through so the smoke isn't bad so far. Thanks for stopping by and your good wishes!

Thanks, Doc! Those quotes were so lovely, how could I miss? Have you read any C. S. Lewis?

Hi Morphy! I know you felt it was heavy-handed and in some ways it was, very much so. But I enjoyed that Lewis gave me several new twists to think about. Examining things from a different perspective is exactly what I love about Library Thing.

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!

Edited: Aug 13, 2013, 1:49pm Top

56. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Fiction, Classics, 1001 Books to read before you die; audiobook
How It Fits Into My Reading Now
-Reading Globally 3rd quarter Francophone literature
- audiobook - library
- (location: Republic of Congo)

Charles Marlow, an English seaman with a taste for adventure, heads to an uncharted region that shows as a blank white space on the map of Africa. Having landed a job working for a trading company as captain of a small steamer, he follows the Congo River in search of a European ivory trader named Kurtz who is rumored to be ill or perhaps dead. He finds the jungle and its people completely other to the world he has previously known.

When he at last finds Kurtz, he discovers that Kurtz has been to the very heart of darkness and his illness reaches much deeper than his physical body.

Conrad's writing is beautiful. In this case, I think I was somewhat hindered from appreciating his mastery because I listened to the audiobook, read by David Case. This was read in a nasal British voice (almost the stereotypical, much parodied British accent) which sometimes obscured the story itself.

Finally, like many Europeans of the time, Marlow (and Conrad?) believed the Africans to be lower on the evolutionary scale --scarcely human.

Chinua Achebe wrote a fascinating essay on the racism depicted in this story:


I'm never comfortable rating a classic--I can only rate my enjoyment of it. In this case I give it

Or, one could always read the Book-A-Minute version:


Aug 13, 2013, 11:34am Top

I've only read one book by C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, which consists of his troubled and occasionally disturbing written thoughts after his wife died; I didn't like it. The only other book of his I have is Mere Christianity, but I'm in no hurry to read it.

Aug 14, 2013, 9:18am Top

Hi Darryl--I always feel that I **should** like C.S. Lewis more than I do. I have the Learning Company lectures on his books--but that became a chore, and I put it aside. I tell myself someday I'll get back to it. I really enjoyed Donna sharing what she learned in the C.S. Lewis class she took last year.

Aug 18, 2013, 1:47am Top

Good reviews! I think I would like to read Till We Have Faces. I've not read anything by C.S. Lewis yet.

I do hope fire season is not too terrible for you there in Montana.

Aug 18, 2013, 9:45am Top

Hi Ellen and thanks for stopping in and the good wishes.

DD and I went on a 6 hour trip yesterday to pick up a new family member--an 8yo golden retriever rescue who may be the sweetest dog in the universe.

We went through a **LOT** of smoke. About an hour east of Missoula, the smoke was as thick as fog and there was burned over area up to and across the interstate median. We didn't see any active fire (or much of anything else for that matter due to the smoke LOL) , but there were Highway Patrol on both ends of the area and throughout and people were forbidden to stop as they drove through. We hit bad smoke again at the top of Lost Trail Pass.

The smoke here in the Bitterroot isn't nearly as bad after what we passed through on yesterday's trip. Hope we are able to avoid all that, but it's a long way to the end of fire season (snowfall in October in the high country).

Aug 18, 2013, 9:47am Top

57. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
58. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman

memoir, graphic novel
How It Fits Into My Reading Now:
-- Green Dragon Group Read

Art Spiegelman's father, Vladik, recounts his story as a Jew in Poland during WWII. Maus I ends with his entrance into Auschwitz. In Maus II, he tells of his time there, the chaos at the end of the war, and his freedom.

The book is told as tape recorded conversations between Art and his father; a pair that as Art says, are disappointed in each other and are estranged. Art had never heard most of his father’s stories before starting this work.

This treatment of the Jewish experience during WWII is gut punching. We all know about the camps and the body piles and the living human skeletons found when the camps were liberated. Comics and graphics boil a story down to its essence. In this case, I found the essence totally haunting.

In 1992, the two volume set became the only graphic novel ever to win a Pulitzer Prize.

I’m continuing on with reading MetaMaus, Art Spiegelman’s story of the creation of Maus.

Aug 18, 2013, 11:03am Top

Yeah Maus is beautiful and terrible. I've yet to read MetaMaus so I hope it's good.

Aug 19, 2013, 9:11am Top

'Beautiful and terrible.' That's a perfect way of summing it up, Leah. Thanks for your comment!

Edited: Aug 19, 2013, 9:50am Top

59. Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid - Bill Bryson -

: humorous memoir
How It Fits Into My Reading Now:
-- ROOT! Challenge-- (making Planet TBR slightly smaller) #19L Goal 59> - added 2012 = 1 ROOT point: Goal 160;
-- August TIOLI #8. Read a book by an author with a name that is also a verb;

This is a humorous account of Bill Bryson's childhood in the 50's and 60's in Des Moines, Iowa. Red Hot candies, nuclear testing as a spectator sport, waiting eagerly for the next issue of superhero comics, lining up outside a neighbor's house to watch your favorite program through the window on his color TV, flat top hair cuts from which you could have launched an airplane, confident predictions that mail would someday be delivered by guided missiles-- (What if they miss?!)

I also grew up in the 60's in a small town and recognized and laughed out loud at many of the moments. Nothing very deep, but a moving and funny portrait of a nation on the brink of becoming something else.

I wonder if memoirs of the above sort work best if you're contemporaries with the writer? I can read Bryson's book and think --Oh, yeah, that's right and get a warm fuzzy.

My parents would remember more of the actual world events, but not a kids' eye view.

My kids would probably just shake their heads and be confirmed in their belief that their parents grew up weird.

Edited: Aug 19, 2013, 5:02pm Top

The books I'm actively reading right now include:
Hamlet - William Shakespeare - Arkangel Shakespeare Production - audiobook in the car
--A long, long time ago my brother finished listening to the Learniing Company series on Shakespeare and passed it and all the associated plays on to me. The time has come to try to finish this up with the amazing-to-me idea of listening to the plays on audiobooks instead of reading them (I never seem to want to pick them up and read) ...... Hamlet is pretty familiar to me, but several other people are reading it this month, so I'll join them. My goal will be one a month. :-)

MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus by Art Spiegelman
--how the Maus books came to be
Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality - Manjit Kumar

--Various People's Bible Commentaries - trying to work my way through the Bible

Aug 20, 2013, 12:08pm Top

What do you think of Gorky Park so far?

Aug 21, 2013, 9:31am Top

Hi Morphy--I borrowed both the DVD and the book from the library. Since I was so far behind in my reading, I took a page out of Bianca's son's advice and watched the movie before reading the book, so I could lurk on the group read.

Good stuff: so far the book is following the movie closely. Bad stuff: since this is a mystery I know whodunit.

Like others on the group thread, I think it's fun to see Moscow at the height of the cold war. But so far it hasn't grabbed me so thoroughly that I pick it up and read every spare second.

On Thursday, I have to set this aside to start Gone Girl for my RL book club.

Edited: Aug 28, 2013, 11:39pm Top

60. Hamlet by William Shakespeare; Arkangel Production audiobook + No Fear Shakespeare edition

: Plays, classics
How It Fits Into My Reading Now:
-- as I said in the above post: --A long, long time ago my brother finished listening to the Learniing Company series on Shakespeare and passed it and all the associated plays (in book form) on to me. The time has come to try to finish this up with the amazing-to-me idea of listening to the plays on audiobooks. My goal will be one a month. :-)
--August TIOLI #15--Read a book with murder in its heart
-- ROOT! Challenge-- (making Planet TBR slightly smaller) Root #20 (Goal:50); Book not added when acquired--added 2013 = 1 ROOT point = 57 (Goal:160)

The audiobook was beautifully read/acted. But the stage directions were not read. This made the final dual scene impossible to follow unless you knew the story and knew the poisoned swords were switched. If other audio productions are also treated this way, it will be impossible for me to follow the ones I'm not familiar with; this idea of finishing up by listening to the audios may not work. I may look to Netflix video productions instead.

It's been quite a few years since I read this. So many great speeches and well known lines. I enjoyed revisiting it.

Edited: Aug 30, 2013, 9:06am Top

61. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Fiction, mystery
How It Fits Into My Reading Now:
--Real Life Book Club
--August TIOLI #15 Read a Book with Murder in Its Heart
--purchased 2013

Nick and Amy appear to have the perfect marriage and charmed lives: both young, exceptionally beautiful up-and coming writers in New York City. Amy's parents have written a wildly popular series about her childhood and teenage years, called Amazing Amy which has left them financially well off and Amy with a generous trust fund.

But then the internet makes magazines sales plunge; the Amazing Amy series is dropped from the publishers backlist leaving Amy's parents in debt and having to borrow from the trust fund. Nick and Amy are downsized from their jobs. They lose their apartment and return to Nick's boyhood home in Missouri where Nick buys a bar with the last of Amy's money and Amy plays haus frau.

On the morning of their fifth anniversary, Amy goes missing. There appears to be a staged crime scene in their living room and a hastily cleaned up blood trail in the kitchen. Amy herself has left clues in the form of her yearly anniversary treasure hunt; Nick maintains his innocence but is caught in a web of his own lies.

Nothing is quite what it seems--what is real, what is staged? Who are the victims and who the murderer? The press has no doubt and screams for Nick's blood.

This is a well written, crisp story about a sociopath and an almost equally twisted spouse. I found it hard to put down--the author had me thoroughly hooked into the tale with twists and turns all the way to the last page.

Aug 30, 2013, 10:15am Top

I know! The books by Gillian get to you that way!

Aug 30, 2013, 10:18am Top

I'll have to keep an eye out for her others!

Aug 30, 2013, 10:35am Top

150: I thought Gone Girl was good, but Dark Places was better. I haven't read Sharp Objects, and probably won't; the description creeps me out too much.

Edited: Aug 30, 2013, 2:37pm Top

I've read those three books by Gillian this year, and you don't need to be afraid. The creep stuff is not that creepy ;-))

Sep 1, 2013, 11:01am Top

Katherine and Connie-- Thanks for your comments! I'll definintely look for more by her.

On Friday nights, I stop at my 86yo Mom's house and give her an injection for her RA. This time we decided to drive up Lolo Canyon, the site of a large forest fire with many evacuations last week. We planned to eat dinner at a small restaurant at Lolo Hot Springs, about ten miles beyond the fire. Wow--that was a truly awe-inspiring site. The narrow canyon must have acted like a chimney for the flames and jumped the highway in several places. We saw nothing left but the chimneys of a few houses that burned; everything else was gone. In some places, it appeared to have burned so hot that not only was there nothing left of trees and houses, the very soil was charred.

The amazing thing was that only a handful of houses were destroyed when the fire obviously came within twenty yards or so of a hundred homes.The firefighters did an absolutely awesome job!

Edited: Sep 1, 2013, 11:11am Top

Oh, I remember driving through Lolo Canyon when I was a kid. These huge fires are hard to see.

Have you seen the book about the early 1900s fire in Idaho... shoot I need to go look in my library and grab the name. I'll be back.

ETA: The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan.

It is very interesting and tells how an early, huge forest fire, gave Roosevelt the political power to build the Forest Service. I recommend it highly.

Edited: Sep 20, 2013, 2:54pm Top

August Books Read

55. Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis - - August TIOLI #9 Read a book about a woman head of church or state or one aspiring to be so ; library.
56. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - - TIOLI #11. Read a book whose theme involves expatriates, culture clash or similar dislocations; Reading Globally- 3rd quarter Francophone literature - audiobook - library (Republic of Congo)
57. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman - - group read on the GD; TIOLI #15: Read a book with murder in its heart. Library. (Location: Poland)
58. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman - - group read on the GD; TIOLI #15: Read a book with murder in its heart. Library. (Location: Poland)
59. Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid - Bill Bryson - - August TIOLI #8. Read a book by an author with a name that is also a verb; ROOT! #19 - added 2012 = 1 ROOT point; audiobook.
60. Hamlet - William Shakespeare - Arkangel Shakespeare Production - audiobook in the car. August TIOLI #15--Read a book with murder in it's heart (shared read); ROOT! #20; cataloged LT 2013 = 1 point - total 57 (location: Denmark)
61. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - - TIOLI # 15 Read a book with murder at its Heart; RL Library Brown Bag Book Club; purchased 2013 (Location: Missouri)

Plan for September

(some of these are very close and I should be done very soon!)
Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery audiobook in the car finished 9/3
MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus by Art Spiegelman
- Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith finished 9/2/2013
Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality - Manjit Kumar- group read here on the 75'ers

Also Read:
Montana - Gwen Florio - LTER
The Lotus Eaters - Tatjana Soli - RL book club
?? Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen reread for an online group celebrating this being its 200th year since P & P's publication
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World - next audiobook in the car
**Reading** Wool by Hugh Howey

and also for September series and sequels:
From Planet TBR: (I have 40 books that would count as SS&S on Planet TBR!!!!!!!!!)
**Listening** 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Bridal Wreath by Sigrid Undset
The Mottled Lizard by Elspeth Huxley (sequel to her memoir)

as well as various people's Bible Commentaries as I try to work my way through the entire Bible:
Daniel (People's Bible Commentary) by John C Jeske - 9/7/2013

and if I get attacked by a nice used copy of a Dr Siri, well ......

Sigh. That's probably twice as many as I'll actually get read, but we shall see.

Added 09/02: Yay! I got to do a check mark. One down! I honestly have too many books going right now, which means I don't get any finished!

Books I didn't plan on reading:
**Reading** Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie
**Reading** How to Survive the Loss of Love by Peter McWilliams
**Reading** On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Edited: Sep 1, 2013, 11:31am Top

Hi Karen--Great to see you! Yes, I've read that one by Egan, as well as a classic out of print book, The Big Blowup by Betty Spencer Goodwin. Pat recently mentioned a fiction book --I think it was Train Dreams-- that also spoke of the big fires. The x DH was a wilderness ranger headquartered out of a cabin called Elk Summit in Idaho that was built out of timber killed in the 1910 fires.

I never remember the bad forest fire smoke as a kid in the 60's and 70's; starting with the mid 1980's, it's becoming common. (I took pictures of it in 1987 because I had never seen it before!). I think it's our own indicator of the climate change.

Sep 1, 2013, 11:05pm Top

I think the forest and range fires have a complicated causality including "forest management" which was wrong headed, use of forests and range lands for grazing perhaps too much (?), and climate changes. Sad. Our wild lands are so precious and I feel sad that kids today may not have the opportunity to experience them in their original wildness; but, perhaps they'll have some experiences which are just as awesome.

I do love reading history of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Sep 2, 2013, 2:57pm Top

Hi Janet, it's been too long since I stopped by here. I love your reading plan for September, especially that you're open to an attack by a used Dr. Siri book. I am lucky enough to have the first one, but I know I'll immediately want to read more of them from what I've heard on LT. I'll have to check to see if I can get them from the library.

Waaay upthread, I loved your review of A River Runs Through It. The personal connection to the author is so cool...and I also like that it was read by another favorite author, Ivan Doig. I must get to more of his books soon. I've recently finished the McCaskill Trilogy and liked it very much. He has some beautiful descriptions of your part of the country. I hope to get there someday.

Sep 3, 2013, 9:20am Top

I'll be interested in what you think of MetaMaus. I like reading about the "origins" of things.

Edited: Sep 5, 2013, 9:02am Top

Hi Karen--It is a complicated picture, isn't it? But I think climate change is one factor.

I wonder what the smoke is doing to the world-wide environmental picture. That much carbon in the air can't be good.

Hi Donna--Thanks for stopping by. Doig was the perfect reader for a A River Runs Through It. I've only read a small handful of Doig's books. I have to be in the right mood for them. So many books, so little time! It would be cool if you could make it this direction; we do have lovely scenery.

Hi Morphy--MetaMaus is fascinating. It's written in a question and answer format so it's easy to dip in and out. However, it's almost too long for me. It's answering far more questions than I had! I saw your explanations for how to update the maps on another thread. Thanks for figuring it out! I'm still having trouble doing the world map, but perhaps this weekend I'll have time to work on it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sep 5, 2013, 10:35am Top

The problem with the world map is that it adds too many extra |'s. There should be just one | in between every two letter code. It only does this for the world map. If you delete the extra |'s you should be fine.

Sep 7, 2013, 3:00pm Top

62. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
Fiction, mystery/thriller
How It Fits Into My Reading Now:
--I had planned to read this for Mophy's book challenge, but got behind and just read it now
-- September TIOLI #13: Serendipity Challenge: Read a book containing one element (author, location, theme, etc.) from previously listed book.
--September series and sequels
--Library. (Locations, Russia, New York)

Set in Russia at the height of the cold war, this is the first in a series featuring Police Inspector Arkady Renko of the Moscow police.

Three bodies are discovered in Moscow's Gorky Park under the snow. Their faces and fingertips have been removed to frustrate identification. It falls to Renko to discover who they are and, naturally, the identity of their killer.

From the beginning of the case, the Russian KGB is more interested than they should be; eventually the American FBI also is involved.

It was a bit slow in the beginning, but by the end I was thoroughly caught up in the plot.

Nevertheless, I found the writing a bit dated and sometimes stereotypical. It was published in the 1980's at a time when the Bechdel test hadn't come to consciousness for films, much less books. Renko became involved with the female protagonist, Irina, on the basis that she was young, pretty and would sleep with him, ala James Bond and his female leads. Other times, the story reminded me of the old Spy vs Spy cartoon with spies lurking behind every bush.

Still, I enjoyed the Moscow setting and the new look at an old storyline from the Soviet viewpoint. I also enjoyed the mystery and the details of the Russian fur trade, about which I knew nothing. In the end, I liked Arkady Renko in the same way I sometimes enjoy the completely sexist James Bond - seeing the shortcomings, but enjoying the story anyway. The next time I am in the mood for an action/adventure read, I may pick up the sequel to see how Arkady fared on his return to Moscow.

3.7 stars

Sep 7, 2013, 3:42pm Top

I read this book a long, long time ago when I was enjoying a good many cold war spy stories. In the end, I grew tired of spies. Except, now I'm enjoying a slightly different take on spies. Alan Furst's books are mostly about ordinary people being caught up in the need to spy for the benefit of all they love. Interesting. You may enjoy them, too.

Sep 7, 2013, 4:01pm Top

Hi Karen--My book club read Spies of the Balkans last year, the only one of the series I've read. You're right, I enjoyed it and should look for more once Planet TBR shrinks a bit.

Sep 7, 2013, 6:45pm Top

Hi Streamsong, I'd love to know what you think if Wool after you've read it. A friend gave it to me for my birthday. But, of course, I have been so busy doing other things (like photography and research for my upcoming blog) that I haven't actually read it yet.

Sep 7, 2013, 6:58pm Top

63. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery
: Fiction, YA Classic
How It Fits Into My Reading Now:
- audiobook in the car after finding a paper copy deep in a cupboard
- September TIOLI # 12. Read a book first published before 1950
- Reread -last read 20 or 30 years ago :-)
- ROOT! challenge. Book #21/50. Category 8 - ROOTS not previously entered into LT but which have been around the house pre-2013 (many of these are pre-2006)-- 1 ROOT point =57/160

There is certainly not much to say about this series that others have not said before. Anne is the spunky orphan delivered by mistake to Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert who wanted a boy to help with the work. Instead they got a highly inventive, imaginative girl who has captured readers for over a hundred years.

I quite enjoyed the forward by Margaret Atwood. She points out that Marilla was also an orphan, raised by her grandparents. She says that when adversity arrives, Marilla became the person we all fear to become - emotionally rigid and shut down. Anne, on the other hand is the person we all want to be--coming through the fire with an open heart and soul. She also points out that Marilla is the only one to show emotional growth during the book.

4 stars

Sep 7, 2013, 7:03pm Top

Hello, Auntie! The library has informed me that they are holding a copy of Wool for me so I'll be picking it up soon.

It's a large print copy, which makes me think about this review that I just read here on LT for a different book that I am currently reading:

"The only drawback is that I, by chance, got the large print copy of this book from the public library, where I had this title on hold. This particular edition, 464 pages long, felt long-winded at times for a book about one cat. I think that if I'd had the regular print book, I probably wouldn't feel that way."

So the question is, will a large print copy of Wool make this novel feel overlong?

Sep 7, 2013, 7:04pm Top

I also loved the descriptions in these books.

Edited: Sep 8, 2013, 1:38am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Sep 11, 2013, 8:36am Top

64. Daniel (People's Bible Commentary) by John C. Jeske

Non-fiction, Christianity, OT Bible
How It Fits Into My Reading Now
-This is part of my personal challenge to read through the Bible using the plan mentioned in message 9. In addition, I'm doing this by reading the corresponding People's Bible Commentaries which have sat unread on my shelf for, mmmm, oh, probably a couple decades.
- ROOT! # 22/50; added to my LT library in 2006 = 7 points; total 65/160

Sep 8, 2013, 9:22am Top

>168 maggie1944:. Karen-- think we crossposted. Are you saying you liked the descriptions in Furst's books, or the Anne of Green Gables series?

Sep 8, 2013, 9:37am Top

While I own Anne of Green Gables, I haven't read it. I recently purchased a number of the classics in a 4 3.4 X 6 size for me grand daughter. I will try to read this soon.

I hope all is well with you!!!! Sorry to be so late in visiting.

Sep 8, 2013, 11:45am Top

Whoops. I like the descriptions in Anne of Green Gables and the rest of the series. I like the stories and characters in the Furst books.

Have a great Sunday!

Sep 11, 2013, 8:54am Top

Hi Linda--reading with a child is one of the great privileges of life. Enjoy!

Karen--the descriptions are fun. I'm not sure how many of the series I've actually read. I don't think I've ready of Montgomery's other series at all.

My father who has been in a nursing home for almost two years is taking a decided turn for the worse. This means that my relationship with my mother, always difficult, is becoming close to impossible. She is very stressed out, but the stuff she says is absolutely cruel. It's hard to avoid her and support her at the same time.

Edited: Sep 12, 2013, 8:50am Top

65. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

Non-fiction, memoir
How It Fits Into My Reading Now
- audiobook in the car
- September TIOLI #5. Read a book with "Library" in the title or with "Thing" in the title
- library - picked up on a whim

On the coldest day of the year, librarians in Spencer, Iowa heard an animal inside their book drop box. Investigation revealed a tiny half-starved kitten.

Nursed back to health, he soon became the library cat, overseeing library patrons and activites and making new friends for the library in this struggling farm town.

His story was picked up my news services around the world, He became a celebrity phenomenon with news crews arriving as far away as from Japan and visitors from around the US.

It's a heartwarming bit of fluff (sorry, couldn't resist!), but very repetitive and feels like listening to an overly indulgent grandparent rave about their offspring.

It's also very hard to decide what reading audience this story was aimed towards as author Myron reminisces about her cat's life.
Cat lovers? Perhaps, but Myron is so absolutely charmed by Dewey that it's hard to believe she ever had another cat. She mistakes traits common to all cats, as being specific to clever Dewey.

Children? No, her struggles with breast cancer and the town economy would rule them out.

In addition, I listened to the audio version and for the first time I was annoyed by a reader overacting the book. Suzanne Toren's reading was definitely meant for a younger crowd.

(Breathlessly) " And **then** Dewey JUMPED!!!!! down from the shelf **carrying** his yarn! "

I love cats. I love books. I have never met a library cat, although I think bookstore cats are very cool.

I can't think of anyone to whom I'd recommend this.

2.5 stars

Sep 11, 2013, 9:13am Top

Lots of patience and strenght, Streamsong, with both your father and mother.

Sep 11, 2013, 9:21am Top

Janet, I know what you mean about how hard it is to deal with cruel comments. Is she just blowing off some steam or is she being cruel to you? or to your father?

I came to understand that when my mother started in on me I needed to protect myself and I would state that it was unacceptable and I would leave, or hang up. Not easy to do when there is another person involved, and especially if you are in a position of wanting to protect your father. *hugs* to you. Remember we are always here to hear your side of the stories.

Sep 11, 2013, 10:14am Top

Thanks for the good thoughts.

No, not cruel to my Dad although very controlling.

Dumb little stuff and bigger stuff. Dad would like to have an occasional glass of beer or wine which is OK with his doctor--in fact he could have it kept in the medicine room and ask for a glass a day if he wanted that much. Personally I think he wants the experience--the memory of sitting out in the backyard doing a family barbeque with a beer in hand, or a quiet glass of wine after dinner. Mom, who was raised in a very strict religious denomination, said she wouldn't purchase either one because she doesn't want anyone to see her buying it. So I said I'd buy it. But she doesn't want that, either. I've taken a glass of wine into Dad twice in the last couple weeks. My name is mud.

Same thing with having Dad come home under hospice 24 hour care for the last few days when it gets to that. Dad would like that. He doesn't want to die in the nursing home. Mom is against it and doesn't want him dying in their house. Fair enough if she couldn't live with the memories. I told her that if Dad wanted to, he could come to my house under hospice care; although it's not home, it's not the nursing home either. Nope, she has power of attorney and won't allow that. I said OK--but when the time comes, I hope the NH would move Dad to a larger room. He's in a very small room with only place for one person to sit at a time; a double room without a roommate woud give more room for family to be there. That made her mad, too.

Now her ulcer is bleeding and she says it's all my fault. Sigh.

Edited: Sep 11, 2013, 10:35am Top

That kind of things are so frustrating and exhausting. Whatever you do, you do it wrong. There is no way you can do anything right. Big hug for you.

Sep 11, 2013, 10:32am Top

Exactly, Connie. Thanks for understanding.

Sep 11, 2013, 1:01pm Top

Here are a couple more ideas. Consider and throw away or not, your choice: Agree with your Mom as much as you can. Overwhelm her with yes. She is looking for disagreements to feel she has power in a situation where she is ultimately powerless. Give her as much power as you can figure out how to give her; and then, don't expect her to change. How's that for advice which does not guarantee you'll feel better?

I am sorry this is so hard for you.

Sep 11, 2013, 4:11pm Top

How horribly frustrating. I can't imagine being in such a situation - wanting to help and feeling helpless. My thoughts are with you. *hugs*

Sep 12, 2013, 8:56am Top

Karen, it's not a bad idea and I will try harder. If my Dad was mentally out of it and not asking for specific things, it would definitely be easier to do.

It's complicated by the fact that there are a lot of other concerns with Mom, who is 86, and these are also bringing a great deal of tension (and anger on her part) to our relationship.

Thanks for stopping by, Morphy. Yes, it's very frustrating and I'm sad for all three of us.

Sep 12, 2013, 10:06am Top

It's such a shame that your time together has to end with frustration and pain on all parts. Just try and hang on to better times.

Sep 12, 2013, 4:41pm Top

streamsong, I'm so sorry to read about the things you're going through. My thoughts are with you as you go through this difficult time. I'd love to be the subversive and take your dad beer, sadly I'm too far away.

Sep 15, 2013, 11:15am Top

Thanks again for the support and thanks for stopping by, Connie.

Auntie, it would be lovely to have the role of family subversive handed off, but alas! (not sure if I've ever really used that word before), I think Dad more wants the experience more than the actual alcohol. In fact none of what I've brought in so far 'tastes right' to Dad. If anyone has a suggestion for a sweet red wine I could try, I'd love to have you share. Dad has no appetite for food--none of it tastes good either, so I think something's gone wrong with his sense of taste, but I will keep trying.

I finished reading my ER book Montana by Gwen Florio. It was a first book by a local author and not a bad mystery at all. Review to follow.

I've started reading Wool as well as still trying to finish up MetaMaus and Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality.

In the car, I'm listening to 44 Scotland Street but am thinking about giving it up. The only other books I've read by Alexander McCall Smith are some of the Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Smith wrote this series as an experiment to see if he could keep readers' interest with a novel published as a serial. As he says in the prequel, in order to keep readers' attention, each portion of the serial must have Something Happen and end with the feeling that Something More May Happen. It's an interesting experiment, but makes for a bit jerky telling and so far the subject matter isn't grabbing me.

Sep 15, 2013, 1:28pm Top

Janet, I definitely have noticed my sense of taste is much degraded, whether because of age, or because of some previously poor choices (alcohol and smoking), I don't know. So, I'm liking tastes that are a bit stronger. I like balsamic vinegar. as well as strong sweets. I don't know what this means regarding wine, as I don't drink any longer but when you are shopping for something look for distinctive and strong flavors, I would think.

Good luck!

I am struggling with the Elimination Diet I am trying but I am committed to it as I think it will make me feel much much better. Food has such a huge influence in how I feel. I have lost a few pounds...

Sep 22, 2013, 2:55pm Top

66. Montana by Gwen Florio

: fiction, mystery,
How It Fits Into My Reading Now:
- Library Thing Early Reviewers book
- September TIOLI # 9: Read a book by an LT Author
- Acquired 2013

Lola Wicks was a risk-taking journalist covering the war in Afghanistan before her newspaper shut down their overseas bureaus. While contemplating her next move within the choices of mundane stateside positions, she decides to take a vacation at her best (and only) friend's secluded cabin in Montana before attempting to return to Afghanistan as a freelancer.

Montana isn't what Lola anticpated. On arrival, no one meets her at the airport. She makes her way to her friend's place outside of town where she finds her murdered on the slope outside the cabin. When told by the sheriff that she has to stay in the county as a material witness, Lola decides that the fastest way to return her life as a war correspondent is to find the murderer.

The mystery was decent, but straightforward; I would have enjoyed a bit more complexity and less predictability.

Protagonist Lola definitely meets anyone's definition of a strong woman. Arrogant, judgemental and unlikeable at the beginning of the novel, I wouldn't have cared if she had rolled off a cliff. By the end, she had grown a bit. I also appreciated the presence of other strong women characters.

Florio nailed much of the Montana setting with the scenery, the feel of the state's inhabitants, the Blackfeet nation and the sleuthing trip into Canada. There were many authentic details, not surprising as author Florio's life as correspondent moving to Montana parallels that of her protagonist's. A few of the details, however, are just wrong enough to give a reader familiar with the area a bit of vertigo. Even in Montana, I doubt a murder victim's body would be released by the coroner quick enough for the victim to be buried within forty eight hours of her death. I also found the behavior of the forest fire tested my credulity as it leaped two miles in a matter of hours with little official reaction. Most unbelievable was Spot the wonder horse's amazing calm while being ridden into the fire area.

Recommended to those who like mysteries with a western setting and women protagonists outside of the 'cozy mystery' genre. Rumor has it that this first novel of Florio's is the beginning of a series. I may well read the next.

Edited: Oct 1, 2013, 10:03am Top

67. Wool by Hugh Howey (Omnibus parts 1-5)

: fiction, sff, dystopia
How It Fits Into My Reading Now:
- September Series and Sequels
- September TIOLI #14. Read a book with a fabric or fibre in the title (shared read)

In this dystopian future, survivors of a world-killing event several hundred years in the past live in a 144 story underground silo. It's a completely self-contained universe complete with an oil well and mine entrances on the bottom level, sustainable agricultural and democratic elections.

But how democratic? Any questioning of the silo's rules means that the questioner is sent outside to clean the cameras which give inhabitants a view of the outside world. Even with the most advanced suits possible, the cleaner expires from the poisonous atmosphere within minutes.

This is a wonderful story--the action made it hard to put down. And like many in the SFF gender, it questioned deeper issues; in this case the rules of society and who controls the information which controls the society. (I always suspected those guys were up to no good! - which is as much as I can say without being spoiler-ish).

This is also a very interesting modern publishing phenomena. The five parts of this book were self-published as ebooks by the author -- and they took off into one amazing adventure for all concerned.

I'll definitely go on with this series.

Edited: Sep 30, 2013, 11:40pm Top

My father passed away Friday September 26, age 87.

Photo from their 60th wedding anniversary. Dad was hospitalized with a broken hip. He was not able to live at home again.

I'll see you in the morning, Dad.

Sep 30, 2013, 11:37pm Top

68. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith - September Series & Sequels. TIOLI #10 - Read a book that you have had since 2012 or earlier that either starts a series or continues a series - ROOT! # 23/50; added to my library 2012= 1 point; total 59/160

Sep 30, 2013, 11:40pm Top

69. The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli RL Book Club
Purchased 2013

Oct 1, 2013, 2:38am Top

Streamsong, I'm sorry for you loss. I hope you were able to be subversive one more time and give him the beer he so desired.

Oct 1, 2013, 9:05am Top

I'm very sorry to hear about your father's death, streamsong. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Edited: Oct 1, 2013, 9:42am Top

Thank you, AuntieClio. Due to Karen's excellent advice up thread a bit, I purchased a bottle of very inexpensive sweet red wine and that was what appealed to him . We enjoyed it several times.

Thank you, Darryl. I know you're starting to worry about your parent's health, too.

The memorial service is tomorrow. I'll be reading the opening paragraph from A River Runs Through It:

"In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father .... was a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ's disciples being fisherman, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite was a dry-fly fisherman."

Oct 1, 2013, 10:11am Top

Janet, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a parent is a huge life event, and I know you are glad you were able to spend some very special time with him at the last. I am glad the advice about strong tasting wine resulted in a few glasses you were able to share. A very sweet memory.

Oct 1, 2013, 1:35pm Top

I'm very sorry to hear that your dad passed away. My sincere condolences for you and your family. And hurray for the sweet red wine.

Oct 1, 2013, 9:08pm Top

Janet, I'm so sorry to hear about your father passing away. That was a lovely photo you posted of your parents. I hope the memorial service helps you process this loss.

Oct 1, 2013, 10:52pm Top

I'm sorry. Glad for the success of the red wine though.

Oct 1, 2013, 10:56pm Top

Janet, my sincere sympathies for the loss of your father! I'm so sorry--those dad-sized holes in our lives are ginormous.

Oct 2, 2013, 9:43am Top

I'm so sorry for the loss of your father. What grace that you were allowed to have some special times with him, wine and all, before he passed. *hugs*

Oct 3, 2013, 9:20am Top

Thank you, Karen, Connie, Pat and Morphie.

The service yesterday was really beautiful.

It's been a frantic couple of weeks.

And I'm furloughed.

Which although may be a problem financially if it goes on too long, at least gives me some time to help Mom sort things out.

Oct 3, 2013, 1:20pm Top

Furloughed sounds not good! That is a thing you don't need now. But when it gives you time to help your mom....

Do you have to go out and do some jobhunting?

Edited: Oct 4, 2013, 1:07am Top

Furloughed--well, the U. S. President and the Congress are in a stand-off showdown until one side or the other gives in. In the meantime, there is no funding for any non-essential government agency. I'm a researcher at a National Insititute of Health Lab. No money for us.

We are a very secure, high level lab and they actually lock out employees who would be willing to work on their projects without pay. The lab has a federal police force, a bunch of contractor guards and a few bomb-sniffing dogs with everything secured by very serious fences; no one can get in to work except for a few 'essential' workers- guards, animal caretakers, a few department heads.

Perhaps we'll get paid (they did that after the fact when it last happened 15 or so years ago), perhaps not--people who were 'sequestered' for 3 or 4 days in June did not get paid after the fact.

If it the whole silly thing goes on long enough, I may start selling out of print books on eBay - which the ex and I did as a sideline.

I'll have my job back when it all gets settled.

Oct 3, 2013, 4:16pm Top

Streamsong, big frowns. That stinks about your job.

Oct 3, 2013, 7:31pm Top

Hi Janet- Finally stumbled my way over here. I have no idea, why it took so long, I absolutely love your book selections. My kind of book-reader!
I have the 2nd Wool book, waiting in the wings. I've also had the Lotus Eaters on shelf for ages. I NEED several hours added to my day. Is that possible?
Love the photo of your folks! Happy anniversary!

Oct 4, 2013, 1:06am Top

Yes, my parents looked very happy in the photo, didn't they?

Thanks for stopping by, Mark. I was also intrigued by the similar books in your thread. The Lotus-Eaters was definitely a four star read for me. I'll get it reviewed eventually.

Oct 4, 2013, 7:26am Top

I admire the fact, that you can juggle so many books. I keep it simple. One print, one audio and one GN. That is my recipe and it keeps my little brain from turning to scrabbled eggs.
Have a great weekend.

Oct 4, 2013, 8:50am Top

--> 204: I thought it might have to do something with the situation in the US. Very strange thing for a Dutch person. But I'm happy you still have the job when things settle down and a solution is found.

Oct 4, 2013, 4:21pm Top

Janet, when I was teaching and some unexpected event resulted on being "sent home" I almost always appreciated the "free time" more than the lost money. But that is a relative balancing scale. Depends on how much money is lost. Depends on how much free time is available.

I'm thinking there will be a chance for you to some how recoup the money but it may not be without more work time.

I am glad for you that you and your Mom will have sometime together to try to sort things out. It is a challenging job and one which will bring tears and laughter, I expect. Good luck with that project, and remember there are hugs and warm thoughts waiting here for you whenever you want them!


Oct 5, 2013, 9:36am Top

Hi Mark - Yes, I have more books going than usual right now. I hope to get some of these finished over my furlough-vacation-- Along with yard work and house cleaning).

Hi Connie--Yes, the furlough's are very strange. It's hard to imagine a country doing this to itself. One international blog I read called the furloughs 'America's self-inflicted wound.

Thanks as always, Karen.

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