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amanda4242's thread

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1amanda4242
Dec 29, 2016, 2:38pm Top



2drneutron
Dec 29, 2016, 6:19pm Top

Welcome back!

3PaulCranswick
Dec 29, 2016, 7:10pm Top

I think you can safely assume that I will stop by once in a while, Amanda. xx

4amanda4242
Dec 30, 2016, 2:51am Top

>2 drneutron: Thanks! And thank you for all the work you put into my favorite group.

>3 PaulCranswick: I'd be heart-broken if you didn't.

5DianaNL
Dec 30, 2016, 5:45am Top

Happy New Year, Amanda!

6amanda4242
Dec 30, 2016, 1:48pm Top

>5 DianaNL: And to you!

7The_Hibernator
Dec 31, 2016, 8:26am Top

8PaulCranswick
Dec 31, 2016, 9:11am Top



I am part of the group.
I love being part of the group.
I love the friendships bestowed upon my by dint of my membership of this wonderful fellowship.
I love that race and creed and gender and age and sexuality and nationality make absolutely no difference to our being a valued member of the group.

Thank you for also being part of the group.

9FAMeulstee
Dec 31, 2016, 10:28am Top

Happy reading in 2017, Amanda!

11thornton37814
Dec 31, 2016, 10:03pm Top

Checking in here for 2017.

12amanda4242
Dec 31, 2016, 10:29pm Top

13scaifea
Jan 1, 6:27pm Top

Hi, Amanda!

14amanda4242
Jan 1, 11:47pm Top

15amanda4242
Jan 1, 11:52pm Top

1. The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth

A sf dystopian version of Mad Men. The ending isn't great, but the rest of it is very good and depressingly still relevant some sixty years after it was first published.

16amanda4242
Edited: Jan 3, 2:37am Top

2. The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen

One of those modernist novels that just seems hopelessly old-fashioned these days.

17rretzler
Jan 3, 2:02pm Top



Hi, Amanda. Just stopping by to drop a star. The Space Merchants is going on my list - love a good dystopian book!

18amanda4242
Edited: Jan 3, 11:21pm Top

3. Black Robe by Brian Moore

Very impressive tale of the tragic clash of two radically different cultures.

19amanda4242
Jan 3, 11:23pm Top

20PaulCranswick
Jan 4, 8:46am Top

>18 amanda4242: I am pleased that you liked Brian Moore.
I am worried that you hated The House in Paris.

21amanda4242
Edited: Jan 4, 10:46am Top

>20 PaulCranswick: "Hated" is a bit strong in this case; there were some parts that were actually pretty good, but the dialogue inspired a lot of eye-rolling.

22amanda4242
Edited: Jan 5, 3:36am Top

23PaulCranswick
Jan 5, 4:06am Top

>20 PaulCranswick: Amanda I am a bit prone to hyperbole and exaggeration as you may have noticed!

24kidzdoc
Jan 5, 6:57am Top

How did you like Voices from Chernobyl, Amanda? I started reading it last year but didn't get very far into it, and I want to revisit it later this year or next year.

25amanda4242
Jan 5, 4:54pm Top

>23 PaulCranswick: :)

>24 kidzdoc: It was, unsurprisingly, a painful read, but definitely worthwhile.

26amanda4242
Edited: Jan 6, 3:40am Top

5. The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany

Didn't like this as much as the others of his I've read.

27amanda4242
Jan 7, 2:04am Top

6. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

A fantastic novella and one of the best Lovecraft-inspired stories I've read in a very long time.

28kidzdoc
Jan 7, 10:53am Top

I'm glad that you liked The Ballad of Black Tom, Amanda. I bought it last year, and will move it higher on my TBR list.

29amanda4242
Jan 8, 1:45am Top

>28 kidzdoc: It's definitely worth bumping up the list.

30amanda4242
Jan 8, 1:47am Top

7. Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler

Amazing, as have been all my experiences of Butler's works.

31PaulCranswick
Jan 8, 9:43am Top

>27 amanda4242: Book bulleted on a Sunday evening!

32amanda4242
Jan 8, 9:36pm Top

8. The Dragon's Boy by Jane Yolen

Pretty good little book about the education of young Arthur. Perfect for 8-10 year-olds.

33amanda4242
Edited: Jan 9, 2:24am Top

9. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

The title character was very well written, but some of the sci-fi elements weren't fleshed out enough to make much sense. Still, not a bad read.

34amanda4242
Edited: Jan 10, 2:51am Top

10. The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Bartleby the Scrivener as a Korean woman.

35amanda4242
Edited: Jan 11, 2:46am Top

11. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

This is one of those books that is disappointing because it should have been so much better than it is. The world Wilson created is interesting but the first 2/3 of the book just drag on, there are pointless and distracting footnotes, and lines like "every night the brazen sphere dissolves in a molten line, compelling the gaze westward when the sky's dark otherwise" that induce severe eye rolling.

36drneutron
Jan 11, 10:49am Top

Hmm, yeah, eye-rolling indeed.

37amanda4242
Jan 13, 1:17am Top

12. Survivor by Octavia E. Butler

I was surprised to find that my local library had a copy of this long out of print entry in Butler's Patternist series. I was even more surprised to find that, despite the author's dislike of it, it's a really good book. It sits uncomfartably with the rest of the series as it takes place on another planet and barely mentions the psionics that dominate the other books, but it's still a great story.

38amanda4242
Edited: Jan 14, 3:04am Top

13. The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

My parents clearly failed me as I was never read Pooh as a kid.

39PaulCranswick
Jan 14, 3:08am Top

A baker's dozen read already, Amanda. Going at a book a day so far.

Have a great weekend and don't get eye strain!

40amanda4242
Jan 14, 3:50am Top

>39 PaulCranswick: We've had a lot of rain recently so I've had little to do but read...of course, now that the rain has stopped I'll be ignoring all the things I should be doing and reading instead!

Enjoy your weekend.

41PaulCranswick
Jan 14, 4:08am Top

>40 amanda4242: I will go and pray for rain then so I can catch up my own reading a bit!

42drneutron
Jan 14, 10:13am Top

>38 amanda4242: So now that you've experienced the non-Disney Pooh, you might like The Tao of Pooh. It's fun!

43amanda4242
Jan 15, 3:00am Top

>41 PaulCranswick: It's certainly helped reduced the tbr stack.

>42 drneutron: I'm pretty sure I have that one on the shelves somewhere; I'll have to give it read soon.

44amanda4242
Jan 15, 3:01am Top

14. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

I didn't like it when I had to read it in eighth grade and I still don't like it.

45amanda4242
Edited: Jan 16, 2:33am Top

15. Who? by Algis Budrys

Aged very well for a Cold War-era sf novel, although in 2017 the central problem of the book would have been solved in no time with a DNA test.

47amanda4242
Jan 18, 2:19am Top

17. Human Acts by Han Kang

It's not poorly written, but I can't help but think all the people who are praising it are mistaking suffering for profundity.

48amanda4242
Edited: Jan 20, 1:27am Top

18. Doctormania by Cavan Scott

Pretty good Ninth Doctor graphic novel. Nothing to write home about, but it reminded me of how much I liked the first series of the show.

49PaulCranswick
Jan 21, 12:16am Top

>47 amanda4242: mistaking suffering for profundity.

I like that, Amanda.

Have a great weekend.

51amanda4242
Jan 27, 1:27am Top

20. The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler

Beautiful picture book done predominately in shades of blue.

52Titus17
Jan 27, 5:09am Top

This user has been removed as spam.

53PaulCranswick
Feb 1, 12:32am Top

Amanda, the BAC thread is up:

https://www.librarything.com/topic/247719

Thanks for offering to deputise. xx

54amanda4242
Feb 1, 2:40am Top

>53 PaulCranswick: No problem. You have a lot going on this year so do let me know if you need a hand.

55amanda4242
Feb 1, 2:42am Top

21. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

A truly kick-ass novel based on Russian folktales.

56amanda4242
Edited: Feb 2, 2:45am Top

22. A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan

When a book has the word dying in the title I don't expect it to be a laugh riot, but damn that was way more depressing than I expected.

57PaulCranswick
Feb 3, 2:25am Top

>54 amanda4242: Thank you Amanda. xx

58amanda4242
Feb 3, 2:38am Top

23. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett

A collection of some of his earliest works, written in his late teens and early twenties for a newspaper's children section. The stories aren't particularly sophisticated, but they're charming and silly and made me smile. I especially liked the stories of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo, the wildest town in the wildest west of all wests: Wales.

59amanda4242
Edited: Feb 4, 2:43am Top

24. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

A year after her dramatic arrival at university, Binti is struggling to find a place among her peers, is living with PTSD from witnessing the massacre aboard her transport ship, and feels guilty over leaving her home and family. She decides to return home to attempt to heal and reconnect with her family, taking her friend Okwu with her as the first Meduse to visit Earth in peace. While initially glad to see Binti home, it's not long before the recriminations start and dangerous tensions rise over her bringing a Meduse with her.

I found myself enjoying Binti: Home far more than I did its predecessor, which I thought was a little weak in the world-building; in this volume Okorafor does a better job in showing what it is Binti does and what it means to be a "harmonizer." That being said, it is still Binti and her journey of self-discovery that makes me want to read more.

I would give this novella four stars but I have to ding it a bit out of spite for the cliffhanger ending.

60amanda4242
Edited: Feb 5, 2:21am Top

25. Strata by Terry Pratchett

I feel as if I've been given a peak down the other leg of the Trousers of Time into a world where Sir Terry decided Discworld should be science fiction rather than fantasy. Strata is a hodgepodge of various science fiction tropes mixed together with a generous helping of irreverence. Set mainly on a disc world*, the story is basically about a planet builder traveling around this impossible planet trying to figure out how the hell it works. Truth be told, it's not a terribly good book**, but it has so much in it that obviously was recycled into the Discworld series that I can't help but feel a deep affection for it.

*But not theDiscworld

**Although I've read far worse

61amanda4242
Edited: Feb 6, 2:31am Top

26. There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

An excellent reminder that love stories don't have to be about romance or have happy endings.

62bohemima
Feb 6, 1:22pm Top

Hi, Amanda. I saw your post over on the BAC thread and was led to your reviews. I enjoyed them and distributed a few thumbs. I love a succinct, witty review.

63amanda4242
Feb 6, 2:22pm Top

>62 bohemima: Thank you!

66amanda4242
Feb 10, 1:59am Top

29. Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Volume 5 - The Twist by George Mann

Two rollicking good Twelfth Doctor adventures made all the better, imho, for not having Clara in them.

The first story finds the Doctor attending a rock concert on a space station where he meets Hattie, the band's bass player and his companion for the book. Soon the two of them are trying to solve a murder and uncover the hidden secrets of the station. Story two has the Doctor and Hattie trying to help a family with a house that has suddenly become bigger on the inside...

I enjoyed this one much more than I have the previous Twelfth Doctor graphic novels--and not just because it is Clara-free. The first story has the Doctor fighting to protect non-humans from humans, something that isn't seen often enough; the second story, while hardly mind-blowing, is a well told tale with characters who actually do more than sit around and let the Doctor save them. Hattie is an intelligent and thoughtful companion whom I wouldn't mind seeing again. And on top of all that, the art is fantastic.

67PaulCranswick
Feb 10, 1:07pm Top

>60 amanda4242: Next week will see my first attempt at reading Terry Pratchett.

The Discworld books of Terry Pratchett
Are a habit but I've yet to catch it;
Next week is my first try
And I'll know by and by
Where, verily I need to bury the hatchet.

Have a lovely weekend.

69amanda4242
Feb 11, 1:48am Top

30. A Walk in Wolf Wood by Mary Stewart

Younger readers will probably enjoy this more, but it's still a decent read for an adult.

70PaulCranswick
Feb 21, 2:08am Top

Well I am almost finished with my first Discworld book, Amanda and it won't be the last.

71PaulCranswick
Feb 21, 2:10am Top

I am almost through my first Discworld book, Amanda and it won't be the last one.

72amanda4242
Feb 21, 3:16am Top

I'm glad to hear it, especially since the series gets way better.

73PaulCranswick
Feb 21, 3:21am Top

>72 amanda4242: That's good!

75PaulCranswick
Feb 24, 7:43pm Top

>74 amanda4242: Don't know about you, Amanda, but I was a little disappointed with Palin's book. It seemed to lack either the insight or humour I would have expected of him.

Have a great weekend.

76amanda4242
Feb 24, 9:08pm Top

>75 PaulCranswick: I liked it as a companion to the series, but consider on its own it's not the best.

77amanda4242
Feb 25, 2:16am Top

34. A Kind of Loving by Stan Barstow

Too soap opera-ish for my taste.

78amanda4242
Feb 26, 12:03am Top

35. Georgy Girl by Margaret Forster

The cover of my copy declares Georgy Girl "sharp, affectionate and very funny"; clearly these words had different definitions in the 60s than they do now.

79PaulCranswick
Feb 26, 12:06am Top

>77 amanda4242: & >78 amanda4242: That's a quick start to March BAC, Amanda and 0 for 2! Both of them are possibles for me next month and I shall try not to be put off by your splendid put-downs!

80amanda4242
Feb 26, 12:07am Top

>79 PaulCranswick: A Kind of Loving was well-written, but wasn't to my taste; Georgy Girl was dreadful all around.

82amanda4242
Edited: Feb 28, 1:32am Top

37. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré

I'll stick with Bond, thank you very much.

83PaulCranswick
Feb 28, 1:41am Top

>81 amanda4242: & >82 amanda4242: 0 for 4 - wow my picks are going down a bomb!

84amanda4242
Feb 28, 1:47am Top

>83 PaulCranswick: I liked Wide Sargasso Sea when I read it several years ago so there's at least one March book I like.

85amanda4242
Edited: Mar 1, 2:38am Top

86thornton37814
Mar 1, 2:57pm Top

>85 amanda4242: I enjoyed that one a few years back.

87amanda4242
Edited: Mar 2, 1:44am Top

39. The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard

Another March pick I like! Even though the characters and plot seem like an afterthought, the world Ballard created and the richness with which he describes it are enough to make me forgive almost all of the books shortcomings.

88amanda4242
Edited: Mar 2, 2:24am Top

40. How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman

Graphic novel adaptation of one of Gaiman's stories with pretty good art.

91amanda4242
Mar 4, 3:05am Top

92amanda4242
Edited: Mar 6, 1:03pm Top

93amanda4242
Edited: Mar 17, 3:42pm Top

45. The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter

A strange book that's part Gothic novel and part fairy tale. I found the main character annoying at first, but she grew on me and I wound up really enjoying this one.

95amanda4242
Mar 7, 11:25pm Top

47. Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the House of the Night of Dread Desire by Neil Gaiman

A graphic novel adaptation of one of my favorite Gaiman stories. The art is fantastic, with a kind of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari vibe to it.

96amanda4242
Edited: Mar 8, 5:45pm Top

98PaulCranswick
Edited: Mar 13, 11:34pm Top

>93 amanda4242: So I make that 4 duds and 3 goods this month so far, Amanda on the BAC which is much better after a dodgy start.

99amanda4242
Mar 13, 11:54pm Top

>98 PaulCranswick: Not too bad, and I'll probably find a couple more I'll enjoy.

100PaulCranswick
Mar 14, 7:55pm Top

>99 amanda4242: I really ought to go back and check what is the most BAC books you have read in a month is!

101amanda4242
Edited: Mar 14, 9:52pm Top

>100 PaulCranswick: That would be when I read eleven books by Penelope Lively and Kazuo Ishiguro in January 2015.

104amanda4242
Mar 17, 1:56am Top

52. The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks

When I started this book I thought, "Oh god, another one with an unmarried woman getting pregnant", but I soon found myself warming-up to Miss Jane Graham when she informed her doctor that he should confirm a pregnancy before offering an abortion. I was so pleased that Banks didn't have Jane wallow in misery or spend all her time trying to secure a husband; she created a character who has many flaws, but is generally sensible and who learns and grows.

Despite my affection for the main character, I was sadden by the casual racism and homophobia in the book. I found an interview Banks gave in 2000 saying she was embarrassed by that aspect of the book.

In summary, painfully dated in some ways, but still worth reading.

105PaulCranswick
Mar 17, 2:21am Top

>101 amanda4242: Your ability to dredge up such information is impressive, Amanda!

106amanda4242
Mar 17, 3:32pm Top

>105 PaulCranswick: In this case all I did was look at the links at the bottom of the book's Wikipedia page.

107amanda4242
Mar 17, 7:53pm Top

53. The Pumpkin Eater by Penelope Mortimer

Another one for the dislike column.

108alcottacre
Mar 17, 9:39pm Top

>107 amanda4242: I hope your next read is better for you, Amanda!

Happy weekend :)

109amanda4242
Mar 17, 9:45pm Top

>108 alcottacre: Thanks! And welcome back!

110alcottacre
Mar 17, 9:50pm Top

>109 amanda4242: It is good to be back, believe me!

111amanda4242
Edited: Mar 22, 2:31pm Top

54. The Garrick Year by Margaret Drabble

At least no one was pregnant in this one.

112amanda4242
Mar 20, 1:29am Top

55. A Compass Error by Sybille Bedford

An unpleasant book which consists of characters speaking to each other in an affected way, a fifty page info dump about the main character's grandmother and mother, and tedious monologues from a narcissist.

113amanda4242
Edited: Mar 20, 10:15pm Top

114amanda4242
Edited: Mar 22, 2:35am Top

115PaulCranswick
Mar 22, 4:52am Top

16 of your 57 books to date have been B.A.C. books which is mightily impressive. 11 this month so far ties your best ever - a number 12 this month?

116amanda4242
Edited: Mar 25, 11:54am Top

>115 PaulCranswick: I'm actually at 19 for the year since I skipped ahead and read a few by Neil Gaiman, a December author. As for this month, while I've read 11 of this month's titles, I finished a few of them in February so my total BAC reads in March is actually 9. I have a few more March titles on hand so I may yet beat my own record!

117amanda4242
Mar 22, 4:55pm Top

58. The Long March & The Clap Shack by William Styron

For the AAC. Not recommended.

118amanda4242
Mar 22, 11:28pm Top

59. Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen by George Mann and Cavan Scott

Too much packed into too small a space with not very good art.

119PaulCranswick
Mar 25, 11:20am Top

>116 amanda4242: However I muddle up counting them - it is by any stretch of the imagination impressive reading, Amanda.

Have a lovely weekend.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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