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Joanne (coppers) Tries Again - 2017 #1

This topic was continued by Joanne (coppers) Tries Again - 2017 #2.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Jan 4, 3:22pm Top

Daniels and Fisher Clock Tower, Denver, New Year's Eve

Hi all, I'm Joanne, and back again trying to read 75 books. This is my 8th attempt. I've only reached that goal, maybe twice, three times, tops. Now if the challenge was to buy 75 books in a year....

I'm not very good at this whole setting up a new thread thing and as much as I'd love to be clever and entertaining, it's just not going to happen. :)

Here's to the end of 2016 and the beginning of the great unknown 2017. I'm wishing everyone the best, with lots of good reads and good friends. Welcome to all!

Edited: Jan 2, 9:37pm Top

My two girls:


Edited: Jan 6, 1:38pm Top

Here are my favorite books read in 2016, in the order I read them (for the most part). Rather than looking at my ratings, I just considered how I currently feel about the book - 12 months or just a few weeks after finishing.

1. Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe and The Last Great Dance on Earth both by Sandra Gulland – these are the second and third books in a historical fiction trilogy about Josephine Bonapart. I loved all three books as one.
2. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – we should all read this book.
3. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier – probably the one book in 2016 that I look back on, and sigh, and say I truly loved.
4. Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift – thoroughly unexpected and memorable.
5. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell– Fabulous YA
6. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – it’s on most everybody’s best of list for good reason
7. The Last Policeman, Countdown City, and World of Trouble by Ben Winters – taken as a whole, a fun end of the world trilogy
8. News of the World by Paulette Jiles – I would have loved to have traveled along with these two

Edited: Mar 29, 9:58pm Top

January 2017
1. Old Filth by Jane Gardam 4.5 stars OTS #1
2. The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins
3. March: Book Two by John Lewis (GN) 4.25 stars
4. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick OTS #2
5. The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri 3.75 stars
6. Vision: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King (GN)
7. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (GN)

February 2017
8. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Mara OTS#3 5 stars
9. The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam OTS #4
10. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (audio) 4.25 stars
11. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (GN) 4.25 stars
12. March: Book Three by John Lewis (GN) 4.5 stars
13. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders 5 stars

March 2017
14. Autumn by Ali Smith OTS #5 4.25 stars
15. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie OTS #6 4.5 stars
16. Vision Vol. 2: Little Better Than a Beast by Tom King (GN) 3.5 stars
17. Celine by Peter Heller

Edited: Dec 31, 2016, 2:12pm Top

Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2016, 2:42pm Top

Welcome back!

Dec 31, 2016, 2:46pm Top

Dropping my star, Joanne! And I think you're clever and entertaining. Just saying...

Dec 31, 2016, 3:36pm Top

Happy reading in 2017, Joanne!

Dec 31, 2016, 4:12pm Top

I wish you from my heart health, happiness, satisfaction and much exciting read in 2017. May all your wishes come true.

from my hometown Zürich, Switzerland

Dec 31, 2016, 7:35pm Top

>6 drneutron: Thanks Jim! And thanks for keeping us all so well organized!

>7 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Well, I'm a little quiet.... :) Happy New Year!

>8 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita! The same to you!

>9 Ameise1: Happy New Year, Barbara! Beautiful photo of your fair city! I'm off to see the fireworks in Denver tonight. (The early, 9pm show. Let's not get too crazy!!)

Dec 31, 2016, 7:55pm 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.

Dec 31, 2016, 10:02pm Top

Happy new year, Joanne!

Jan 1, 6:23am Top

Happy New Year, Joanne!

Jan 1, 8:14am Top

Happy New Year, Joanne! I hope you have a safe year and one filled with books and bookish friends!

Jan 1, 8:40am Top

Hi Joanne! I love that Neil Gaiman quote. I can't wait to see what fine books you read in 2017.

Jan 1, 9:47am Top

>5 coppers: I love this!!

Hope you have a great 2017!

Jan 1, 10:04am Top

Starred you! Happy New Year

Jan 1, 10:26am Top

Happy New Year, Joanne.

Jan 1, 10:51am Top

Happy New Year, Joanne! I love your simple thread style, because it lets your wonderful reviews and personality shine. Here's to a bookful 2017.

Jan 1, 7:56pm Top

Hi Joanne. Happy New Year! Dropping off a star, I'll be back soon. :)

Jan 1, 8:05pm Top

Happy new year, Joanne! I have you starred.

Jan 1, 10:06pm Top

Hi, Joanne! Happy new year!

Jan 2, 8:58pm Top

>11 PaulCranswick: How lovely, Paul! You are making everyone a little teary eyed, I think! Happy This Will Be a Better New Year!

>12 katiekrug: Happy New Year, Katie!

>13 DianaNL: Happy New Year, Diana!

>14 msf59: Wishing you the same, Mark! Happy New Year!

>15 porch_reader: Same here, Amy! Wishing you many good books!

>16 ChelleBearss: Happy New Year, Chelle!

>17 cal8769: Happy New Year, Carrie!

>18 BLBera: Happy New Year, Beth!

>19 rosalita: I don't know, Julia...but Happy New Year! :)

>20 nittnut: Happy New Year, Jenn!

>21 tymfos: Happy New Year, Terri!

>22 scaifea: Hi Amber, Happy New Year!

Thank you for your visits, everyone! A reminder that I really need to visit some threads!

Jan 2, 9:05pm Top

Happy New Year to you, Joanne! I LOVE both Ogden Nash and Neil Gaiman -- great choices to begin your new thread in a new year! I wish you much, much happiness in 2017!

Jan 2, 9:39pm Top

>24 AMQS: Happy New Year to you and your family, Anne! Wishing you all the best!

Jan 2, 9:54pm Top

1. Old Filth by Jane Gardam 4.5 stars OTS #1

What a great book to start off the new year! I loved how Gardam dropped and resumed threads and offered hints as to what was to come in this story of a raj orphan turned barrister. Lots of memorable characters and I'm so happy it's the first of a trilogy!

Jan 2, 9:56pm Top

LOVE Old Filth and the whole trilogy! Oh, wow, you have some great reading ahead of you! I have the whole series if you need a book.

Jan 2, 10:01pm Top

>27 AMQS: I think I have you to thank for this one, Anne! So thank you! Lucky me, I found the other two at a library sale, but thank you. I'm really looking forward to learning more about Betty.

Jan 2, 10:18pm Top

>26 coppers: - It's always nice to start off the year with a good one! I have Old Filth on my TBR shelf, and after reading your comments, I can tell that I need to get to it soon.

Jan 3, 3:43am Top

>26 coppers: I loved that one, too. You're off to a good reading year, Joanne.

Edited: Jan 3, 10:44am Top

Happy new year, coppers!

Jan 3, 9:50pm Top

>29 porch_reader: I think you're going to love it, Amy! It reminded me of Stoner for some reason.

>30 Ameise1: I don't know why I waited so long to get to it, Barbara.

>31 bluesalamanders: And Happy New Year to you, as well! Happy reading!

Jan 3, 11:29pm Top

Well, here you are, Joanne! Last time I looked at the threadbook, you hadn't started one yet. Glad I looked again.

Happy New Year and happy reading in 2017!

Edited: Jan 4, 12:37am Top

>33 Storeetllr: Not half as glad as I am - happy you found me, Mary! Every year I debate whether or not to start a thread and every year (so far) I have. I'm afraid I'd be lost without it and my LT friends.

Sorry about our upcoming weather.....I know you hate it. :( Stay safe and warm and dry!

Jan 4, 3:17pm Top

Thanks, Jo. I hadn't realized snow was forecast and now I must go out in it to get milk and salad fixings. :( You stay safe too!

Jan 4, 7:59pm Top

>34 coppers: >35 Storeetllr: - I was just hearing about the Colorado snow from my husband's sister. She's 24 (20 years younger than we are) and lives in Fort Collins. She went to the store to stock up and said that it was such a zoo that she just left again! I hope that both of you are safe and snug!

Jan 4, 9:04pm Top

Happy New Year, Joanne!

I loved Old Filth, too. Great way to start the year.

>5 coppers: Yes! I hope to apply all of what Mr. Gaiman says.

Jan 4, 9:33pm Top

>36 porch_reader: Thanks! I got to the store and back in a light snowfall, nothing even sticking to the roads. Got my milk and three full bags of other stuff, so I'm good for the rest of the week, at least. :)

Jan 4, 10:12pm Top

I'm another fan of Old Filth, Joanne. What a great start to your year of reading.

Jan 4, 11:30pm Top

>35 Storeetllr: It sure is winter out there...

>36 porch_reader: I tend to keep an eye on the weather in Ft Collins because my son lives there, too (wouldn't it be a coincidence if they knew each other). I think they are getting a bit more snow than we are. It's a nice little town - you all should come out and visit her!

>37 jnwelch: Hi Joe! Happy New Year to you! Always good to start the year on a good note!

>38 Storeetllr: I brought my laptop home from work, just in case. Such forethought on my part generally means less snow. :)

>39 BLBera: And I have a few other of Jane Gardam's books on the shelves. Have you read any others besides this trilogy, Beth?

Jan 5, 2:01am Top

Another fan of Gardam here Joanne. Love your topper pictures too. Belatedly wishing you a lovely year of reading.

Jan 5, 9:41am Top

Morning, Joanne! You are reminding me that I have Old Filth on the shelves, and I need to get to it.

Jan 5, 2:28pm Top

Last night's snowfall wasn't as bad as I thought! If only we don't get more today. Did you stay home today or brave the snowy streets?

Jan 5, 6:11pm Top

>40 coppers: I've read a few, Joanne, and loved all of them. I have a few unread ones on my shelves as well.

Jan 6, 12:40am Top

>41 charl08: She apparently has a lot of fans! I have much to look forward to! Wishing you a happy year of good books, Charlotte!

>42 Crazymamie: You'll like it when you get to it, Mamie. It sat on my shelf for a long while, too!

>43 Storeetllr: No, not bad at all, although the roads were pretty snowy. We had a ridiculous "late start" today. 9 am. So I left the house at 9:30 and there was very little traffic. Brrr...cold though!

>44 BLBera: For years, whenever I'd see a book of hers at a used book sale, I'd buy it. I'm glad I finally read one since I seem to be collecting them! :)

Jan 6, 1:39pm Top

>3 coppers: I added a list of my favorite reads for 2106 if anyone's interested.

Jan 6, 1:49pm Top

>46 coppers: Always interested in best reads, Joanne.

I have reserved a copy of the Dutch translation of We Should All Be Feminists at the library. I thought Eleanor and Park was very good too! I did like, not love All the Light We Cannot See.

Jan 6, 4:31pm Top

Oh I found your thread! Happy Reading!

Jan 6, 4:41pm Top

>3 coppers: So glad you enjoyed The Last Policeman trilogy! I've got News of the World on my TBR already and think I need to check out We Should All Be Feminists and Jamaica Inn.

Jan 6, 5:36pm Top

>3 coppers: - I got The Last Policeman for Christmas, so I'm glad it made the list. And I completely agree that We Should All Be Feminists should be required reading.

Jan 7, 11:30am Top

>47 FAMeulstee: Good morning, Anita, I love how varied we all can be in our reading likes and dislikes!

>48 mdoris: Hi Mary! Glad you found me!

>49 Storeetllr: Morning Mary! You really need to pick up a copy of We Should All Be Feminists!

>50 porch_reader: Hi Amy, The Last Policeman is a good one - I hope you like the series as much as I did!

Jan 7, 11:41am Top

Hi Joanne!
You are still #1 on my "Members with your books" so I need to pay close attention to your reading. (Not that I am stalking you!) I see you liked News of the World by Paulette Giles. I really liked Enemy Women by her several years back and this will act as a nudge for me to get "News..."

Your girls are beautiful. Happy New Year!

Jan 7, 12:31pm Top

I agree We Should All Be Feminists should be required reading for all. It is also a lovely size and shape and could fit into back pockets and purses to be at the ready at all times!

Jan 7, 8:32pm Top

Great list of best books, Joanne. I have read and loved many on your list.

>52 -Cee-: I loved Enemy Women as well, perhaps my favorite Jiles.

Jan 7, 8:49pm Top

Just dropping by to say hello. We've had 10 inches of snow and we are pretty much house bound for the next few days. People from around here are predicting the kids won't be back at school before Wednesday. Crazy. I had stocked up on food a few days ago, but I heard from friends that the stores were out of bread and milk last night.

Jan 7, 9:26pm Top

>55 nittnut: Welcome to the South. A friend of mine likes to tease that people dine on milk sandwiches when snow comes. I think they usually purchase eggs though too, so I really think they're eating French toast. Jeff's church in the Raleigh area cancelled services tomorrow, but the pastor will be doing a Facebook Live service.

Jan 7, 11:09pm Top

I love your lists of favorites, Joanne. I am still thinking about The Last Policeman series. I've read three by Jiles and News of the World is my favorite. It was a close contender for my Top Ten List. We finally got out first snow this week. I was beginning to feel left out! I thought for sure I had posted here. A belated Happy New Year and an early Happy Birthday. I remember that it is sometime in January!

Jan 8, 10:25am Top

>3 coppers: Jamaica Inn is a classic isn't it?

Have a great weekend, Joanne.

Jan 9, 1:13am Top

>52 -Cee-: Cee! It's so nice to see you! Truly. Happy New Year to you! I have Enemy Women on the shelf (for years!). Maybe this year I'll finally get to it. Glad to hear that I'm still #1.

>53 mdoris: Yes! It's such a small little book - perfect to pick up and read at a moment's notice!

>54 BLBera: And you keep adding to my list, Beth... :)

>55 nittnut: Stay safe in all that snow, Jenn! I saw the pictures of the storm on the news. Our storm last week fizzled out (at least here in the southern burbs). We only got a few inches.

>56 thornton37814: Worse than snow are the ice storms...

>57 Donna828: Hi Donna, Happy New Year to you! Glad you got to join in on the snow fun, finally! Yeh....another birthday is rolling around - Friday the 13th, ha! Thanks for the early good wishes!

>58 PaulCranswick: It is, Paul. My mother was a big du Maurier fan and she gave me Rebecca to read when I was a teenager and I read My Cousin Rachel in my 20s. I don't know why I waited so long to read Jamaica Inn!

Jan 9, 6:15am Top

Just popping in to say hello, and put you on my radar

Jan 9, 11:58am Top

>59 coppers: It's only fair...

Jan 9, 11:59pm Top

>60 mckait: Hi Kath! So good to see you! Thanks for dropping by.

>61 BLBera: Well, yeah... we're all good like that... :)

Jan 10, 12:26am Top

2. The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins

The always entertaining Billy Collins' latest collection of poems.

Jan 10, 5:38pm Top

I didn't know Collins had a new collection out. I'll have to look for it. He's one of the few poets I really enjoy.

Jan 10, 8:01pm Top

I spent the first week of the new year visiting old friends in Pennsylvania and then returned to the real world of work. I got my own thread going but didn't get around to say Happy New Year! One of my goals is to add more poetry to my reading diet so maybe I'll start with Billy Collins.

Jan 10, 8:02pm Top

I'm glad that you started a thread this year, Joanne. You know, I can't remember if I read Rebecca in my teen / early twenties, and I realized I am not sure whether I read Wuthering Heights either. I think I did, but I might have to get a hold of a copy of each to remember. I read a lot of Jane Austen in those years, but I can't quite remember about Rebecca or Wuthering Heights.

Edited: Jan 10, 8:22pm Top

Hi, Joanne! I finally knocked out my mini-review of News of the World and I hope my warbling, inspires a few more people to pick it up. Did you know that the character Britt Johnson, the ex-slave that gives the Captain the girl, is featured in Jiles earlier book, The Color of Lightning? Cool, huh? Fortunately, I have it on shelf.

I have been meaning to request, The Rain in Portugal. Thanks for the reminder. You should drop by the poetry thread on the 75 and leave a comment or a poem.

Jan 10, 8:25pm Top

Hey, I am now friends with Chris, on G.R. I am so impressed he is tackling Infinite Jest. Funny, Joe and I had plans to read it this month but I am getting gun-shy. Maybe Chris, will give me the nudge I need.

Lastly, I am on the 3rd episode of The Crown. I like it.

Jan 10, 11:48pm Top

I just started Rebecca on audio -- a reread for me, though I actually read it the first time. Now I need to read Jamaica Inn, too!

Jan 11, 10:02pm Top

>64 RebaRelishesReading: I don't read a lot of poetry, Reba, but I really do enjoy Collins. Also Mary Oliver.

>65 witchyrichy: Hi Karen, I highly recommend him!

>66 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah, Me Too! I loved both Rebecca and Wuthering Heights. I have a soft spot for gothic mystery/romances, I guess. When I read WH (years ago), I wasn't sure if I had read it or not. Turns out I hadn't but I had seen the movie several times (WPIX used to run it late on Christmas night, and I'd stay up and watch it and just cry.....). Heathcliff is very different in the book, though, as I remember. Don't tell anyone but the only Austin I've read is Lady Susan...I plan on changing that this year.

>67 msf59: I did not know that, Mark! I kept expecting his character to reappear more than he did. He seemed so well fleshed out - now I know why. I'm sure your warbling will attract many new readers!

>68 msf59: I saw that! Chris had planned to read IJ last summer with some friends but they didn't get to it. Two of them are reading it now (apparently it works best with a support group). He starts back to work this week so it may take him a while! Yay for The Crown! I'm looking forward to Victoria starting this weekend on PBS.

>69 AMQS: I plan on reading Rebecca again sometime. I'll be interested in how you like it on audio, Anne! I love rereading via audio, especially since I listen while I drive and so I'm not always listening completely.

Jan 11, 10:07pm Top

Oh I thoroughly enjoyed Mothering Sunday as well last year--picked it up on a whim from the library and found it so engaging. The concept of the main character being a writer should have felt tired, yet Swift made it feel so fresh!

Jan 12, 11:44pm Top

Hi Emily! That's pretty much what I did - I knew very little about Mothering Sunday when I started it. I wonder if that made a difference, no real expectations. I should pick up another of his books one of these days.

Jan 13, 12:38pm Top

>70 coppers: I am also a Mary Oliver fan. Have you read her new collection? For my foray into poetry, I started with Donald Hall since he was on my shelf. I have a recent anthology and am reading it along with his Essays After Eighty.

Jan 13, 2:23pm Top

Happy Birthday, Jo! Hope you have a wonderful birthday weekend!

Speaking of snow, SO happy that yesterday's threatened snowfall fizzled and we only got a light dusting. Cold is one thing; snow is a whole other thing!

Can't wait until we all get together next month!

Jan 13, 2:58pm Top

A birthday? Many happy returns, Joanne.

Jan 13, 3:43pm Top

Birthday! Hope it's a happy one, Joanne, and that the coming year is great for you.

Jan 13, 3:53pm Top

Happy birthday, Joanne! I hope you're doing something especially splendid to celebrate.

Jan 13, 5:21pm Top

It's your birthday, Joanne? May it be filled with happy!

Jan 13, 6:38pm Top

Happy, happy birthday celebration and wishes come true!

Imagine a cake with candles here >

(I forget how to do pictures at the moment.)

Jan 13, 7:00pm Top

Happy Birthday! I hope you have some fun plans. :)

Edited: Jan 13, 7:06pm Top

^How about that face? Have a great day, my friend!

Jan 13, 8:24pm Top

Happy Birthday!!

Jan 13, 10:17pm Top

Happy birthday!

Jan 14, 7:37pm Top

Belated happy birthday! I hope you had a great one.

Jan 15, 1:04am Top

>73 witchyrichy: I haven't yet, Karen!

>74 Storeetllr: Thanks Mary! Had a great day yesterday and a lazy day today. I'd rather have one big snowfall than this inch here and there... So chilly and damp today. :(

>75 BLBera: Thank you Beth!

>76 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba!

>77 rosalita: Thanks Julia!

>78 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie!

>79 -Cee-: Beautiful cake, Cee - thank you! :)

>80 nittnut: Thanks Jenn! Dinner out, cake, games, and family! Works for me. :)

>81 msf59: Aww! Thanks Mark.

>82 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle!

>83 drneutron: Thank you, Jim!

>84 tymfos: Thanks Terri!

Jan 15, 1:16am Top

3. March: Book Two by John Lewis

I can't imagine a better format for John Lewis' story of the civil rights marches of the 60s. As a GN, the illustrations are as powerful as the words. Looking forward to Book 3. 4.5 stars

Edited: Jan 15, 1:40am Top

4. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick

After watching two seasons of the Netflix series, I really wanted to know what the heck was going on and where the story was going. Not surprising, I guess, the TV series veers wildly from the source material (other than a few main characters and the basic premise). The book was ok. There's not much action, though, and I kept waiting for more, a resolution, at least. But it was thought provoking and oddly relevant. 3.25 stars

My current reads are The Potter's Field, a Montalbano mystery, and Vision: Little Worse Than a Man, a Marvel GN. Between the GN and the PKD, I'm stepping a bit out of my comfort zone this month.

Jan 15, 9:19am Top

>3 coppers: I took your advice, Joanne, "we should all read this book" and I am glad I did read We should all be feminists.

Jan 15, 12:01pm Top

Hi Joanne - We were reading March:Book Two at the same time. I just finished it yesterday - how powerful. Amazing that DJT can say Lewis is all talk and no action. I had the same reaction you did. I can't wait to get to Book Three.

I also read The Man in the High Castle, thinking it would help with the series. You're right; it bears little resemblance to the book. I am still only halfway through the first series. I found if I watched right before bed, I had trouble sleeping, they were so intense. I need to get back to it while it is still available for free.

Jan 15, 8:43pm Top

>88 FAMeulstee: I'm so glad you liked it, Anita! :)

>89 BLBera: I'm waiting my turn for the library copy of Book Three. I love how sales of all of Lewis' books rose so much after trump's obnoxious tweets. There were aspects of High Castle that I really liked and then it would just fizzle out. I can't help but think that it could have been a really good book in another writer's hands, but then, a lot of people seem to love it as it is. The TV program can get a little infuriating at times, too, but I'm looking forward to the next season.

Edited: Jan 16, 8:40pm Top

How I felt today:

I'm not very good at posting links. This NYT interview with President Obama, about the importance of literature and books, is worth a read:


eta: Oh good, it worked for me!

Jan 16, 11:43pm Top

Happy, happy birthday, Joanne! Love that interview so much.

We got quite a bit more than a light dusting -- I think we ended up with about six inches here when it was all done snowing! Heavy, wet stuff -- spring snow!

Jan 17, 12:11am Top

Hi Anne - Thank you!!

Same here, the overnight snow last night was only an inch or two, but by noon, there was about 6. It was heavy and wet enough that John got the snow blower out! I was glad we had the day off (first time in ages that I had a MLK holiday). It is almost spring, isn't it?? :)

Jan 17, 2:28am Top

>91 coppers: That's such a lovely account of reading by Obama.

Glad to read Lewis's books have received a sales bump from Trump's obnoxious tweets. Those books need to be widely read.

Jan 17, 7:59am Top

>91 coppers: Lovely image of the Little Polar bear surrounded by books, Joanne. I would love to hide there ;-)

Jan 17, 9:49am Top

>93 coppers: It is almost spring, isn't it?? :)

I keep telling myself that every day is one day closer to spring, Joanne! One of the local TV stations tweets the sunrise/sunset times every day, and notes whether the hours of daylight is longer or shorter than the day before. I have been enjoying seeing that for a few weeks now each day has been a minute or more longer than the day before. Progress!

Jan 17, 11:02am Top

>91 coppers: That's the same way I feel! We don't have enough snow to require hibernating but I want to anyway!

Jan 17, 6:32pm Top

>86 coppers: >89 BLBera: I read March, Book One and March, Book Two yesterday. Powerful format for a powerful story and so timely.

Jan 17, 6:46pm Top

Hi, Joanne! I am halfway through The Crown. What a terrific series. I also started Victoria last night. Dueling Queens.

We are also enjoying Rectify. Have you ever watched it?

Jan 19, 12:35am Top

>94 charl08: I was happy to hear his sales were up, too. An unintended consequence!

>95 FAMeulstee: Some days, Anita, some days! :)

>96 rosalita: I'm the same way, Julia. Every day when I leave work, the sky is a little brighter over the western mountains. Another month and I'll be able to go for a quick walk when I get home. Yes, progress!

>97 ChelleBearss: Plenty cold enough though, I'll bet!

>98 witchyrichy: Absolutely! It's certainly a plus, too, that maybe more kids will read it in a GN format.

>99 msf59: We loved The Crown and Victoria is great, too! Also recently watched Elizabeth I so we're really going hard on the royalty lately. I had to look up Rectify - it looks interesting, I'll have to give it a try. Did you ever watch Stranger Things? Lots of fun!

Jan 21, 4:11am Top

Happy weekend, Joanne. Yeh for londer daylight days even though the progress is slowly.

Jan 21, 5:51am Top

Sorry I missed your birthday, Joanne - the last few days have been simply hectic for me and I was unable to get around the threads as I normally like to. Please accept my very belated salutations.

Thank you for the wonderful post on Obama and books. I don't think we'll see his like for a while in the White House. Not sure about his political legacy but a great man IMHO.

Jan 21, 10:33am Top

Happy belated birthday, coppers :)

Jan 21, 10:43pm Top

>101 Ameise1: Yes, very slow, Barbara, but we'll be complaining about the heat before very long! :)

>102 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! Please don't apologize!

>103 bluesalamanders: Thank you, Blue!

Jan 24, 6:15pm Top

>91 coppers: Thanks for sharing the link. It's sad to know President Obama is gone but at least now he has more time to read!

Jan 24, 9:34pm Top

It would be really cool if he'd join us!

Jan 24, 10:07pm Top

>105 witchyrichy: That's one way of looking at it, Karen!

>106 drneutron: It would, Jim! But wow, how unintentionally intimidating that would be...

Jan 24, 10:14pm Top

5. The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri 3.75 stars

Another entertaining adventure with Insp Montalbano and crew as a bag with body parts is found in a field and Mimi, forever the womanizer, is acting strangely.

Edited: Jan 24, 10:15pm Top

I think Mr. Obama would be right at home here!

>93 coppers: Glad you had MLK Day off -- any chance for Presidents' Day?

Jan 24, 10:20pm Top

6. Vision: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King 4 stars

Not only is this a GN, but it’s a superhero GN, and so totally out of the realm of my normal reading habits. Here we have Vision (he’s an Avenger), with his manufactured family, attempting to live a normal life in the suburbs. He wants to be human, to assimilate, and live the American Dream. Instead he faces discrimination, fear, and prejudice. Sure it’s a superhero comic but I’d say it’s more of a dark commentary on humanity. The illustrations are great, the story well told, and I’m waiting for the next one.

Jan 25, 11:26am Top

>108 coppers: Camilleri is always a good choice.

Jan 25, 2:45pm Top

>110 coppers: Oh! That looks really good! (Guess the "March" GNs have opened a new world to you, huh?)

Jan 26, 12:31am Top

>111 Ameise1: Yes, absolutely, Barbara! I'm always happy to go back and spend some time with Salvo.

>112 Storeetllr: It was interesting, Mary! Actually Chris recently read it and gave it 5 stars. Our reading tastes don't always line up so I like to branch out and try things he recommends when I can. He's still waiting for me to read House of Leaves, but it's quite a bit longer. :)

Current reads are Fun Home (another GN!) and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.

Jan 26, 8:24am Top

>113 coppers: Not only is it longer, it's, well, unusual in structure! Took some time for me to finish it.

Jan 26, 3:09pm Top

>110 coppers: Good review of Vision Little Worse Than a Man, Joanne. I've been wondering about that one. Adding it to the WL. And kudos to you for trying something different.

Jan 27, 10:12pm Top

>114 drneutron: I know, Jim, it's so bizarre! I guess it's not the size so much as the seemingly ridiculousness of the structure. I need to read it to discover why it is so.

>115 jnwelch: Thanks Joe, I'd be interested in your opinion since I really have nothing to compare it to. I guess the closest to it that I've tried to read is Watchmen. I got about 3/4 of the way through that one.

Jan 28, 3:07am Top

Happy weekend, Joanne.

Jan 28, 8:13am Top

Stopping in to catch up with you, Joanne. Hoping your weekend is full of fabulous!

Jan 28, 10:33am Top

>110 coppers: Just added the King GN to my TBR list. I've been exploring GNs myself and finding them a fascinating genre as words and images combine to create the narrative. The ones I read in January were all black and white...it looks like Vision: Little Worse Than a Man is in color so wondering how that will make a difference.

Have a great weekend!

Jan 28, 11:08am Top

>116 coppers: Yeah, I made it through Watchmen, but I'm not a fan either.

Edited: Jan 28, 7:01pm Top

>117 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara - same to you!

>118 Crazymamie: God to see you, Mamie! Happy weekend to you!

>119 witchyrichy: Hi Karen, The illustrations in Vision are gorgeous!

>120 jnwelch: Yeah, too much superheroing going on in Watchmen for my taste, Joe. It is squarely in the background in Vision.

Edited: Jan 28, 7:05pm Top

Belated Happy New Year! >2 coppers: What a wonderful photo of two darling pets.

The March books are on my tbr pile. I found many excellent Civil Rights books today at a local library sale. I still haven't exhausted this topic.

All good wishes for a magical 2017 filled with wonderful books and magical moments.

Jan 29, 10:57am Top

Hi Joanne. You remind me that I've only listened to the first of the Montalbano books. I must get back to the most interesting Inspector. Right now I'm listening to Maisie Dobbs which is about all I can handle with being in charge of 3 kiddos for the next ten days. I am mainly the cook and chauffeur. Leftovers on the menu today and a stay-at-home day. I think I can handle it!

Jan 29, 8:37pm Top

Hi Joanne! Flying through, trying to get caught up!

Jan 30, 12:11am Top

>122 Whisper1: Hello Linda, What a beautiful picture! You'll like the March GNs when you get to them. I hope you are well today!

>123 Donna828: Hi Donna! I still need to try the Maisie Dobbs series. Have fun with the grands! 10 days...you're going to need a vacation!

>124 katiekrug: Hi Katie, Thanks for soaring by!

Feb 2, 10:36pm Top

7. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

A darkly humorous and acutely straightforward graphic memoir that is both well drawn and honest. Not always an easy read, but worthwhile.

Look at me, two graphic novels in a row!

I'm still reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (and love it) and listening to Being Mortal (finally).

Feb 3, 8:26am Top

>126 coppers: Is the author the Alison Bechdel who came up with the Bechdel test for movies/books/etc?

ETA: Quick Wikipedia search says yup. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test

Feb 3, 9:11am Top

Good work with the graphic novels. I am usually a little suspicious of them, but no reason really, I've liked the ones I've read. Hope your weekend is good!

Feb 3, 2:08pm Top

>126 coppers: Nice choice! The stage show based on it is terrific, too, if you ever get a chance to see it.

>127 drneutron: Yes

Feb 3, 4:38pm Top

Glad to hear you're liking A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. It remains a favorite of mine.

Feb 3, 5:09pm Top

I loved both the Bechdels I read, Joanne. Have a great weekend.

Feb 3, 11:08pm Top

>127 drneutron: I had initially wondered about that too, Jim!

>128 nittnut: I'm not usually a big fan of the format either, Jenn, but memoirs seem to work for me. I just picked up March: Book Three from the library.

>129 jnwelch: It was actually on stage here recently, Joe. It was the commercials for it that finally prompted me to read it!

>130 katiekrug: I'm nearly finished with it, Katie. And it's breaking my heart.

>131 BLBera: First one I've read, Beth. Enjoy your weekend!

Feb 6, 10:03pm Top

8. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Mara 5 stars

Wow, what a book! I loved this interwoven story of villagers in war torn Chechnya and a Russian doctor working in deplorable conditions and searching for her sister. I don't feel like I'm giving anything away (considering the circumstances) by saying that I felt like crying over the fate of some of the characters. What is family, who should be trusted, what motivates people to do good or bad, understanding what motivates the people around us - these were all constant questions. It wasn't always an easy read but it was an engrossing one. If anyone knows someone who needs help feeling empathy for refugees or others suffering through the after effects of war and violence, give them this.

Feb 6, 10:10pm Top

If anyone knows someone who needs help feeling empathy for refugees or others suffering through the after effects of war and violence, give them this. . Would it do any good? Sorry -- too much social media has made me cranky:( . I bought this book for my mom a few years ago after superlative reviews here, but I don't know that she's read it. I think she might be afraid -- as I think I am -- that it will be too devastating to read. Your review gives me hope. About my reading prospects. Feeling kind of hopeless about other things.

Hope you're having a great week, Joanne.

Feb 6, 10:11pm Top

Joanne, I am finally stopping by and leaving a star on your thread. I love the photos of Skye and Boomer (of course).

I'm glad you loved A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. It's one of my all-time favorites, I think.

And I'm a big fan of Fun Home and Alison Bechdel's comic strip from back in the 1980s and 1990s. Are You My Mother? was less compelling for me.

Feb 6, 10:22pm Top

5 stars for A Constellation! Yah. It is such a great book. His next book was excellent too.

I am glad you also enjoyed Fun-Home. It remains one of my favorite GNs.

Hope all is well, Joanne.

Feb 6, 10:40pm Top

>134 AMQS: Oh Anne, I know! You can lead a horse to water and all that. I think someone should read it to 45. Some of the left side of my family had an online "discussion" with some on the right over the weekend. It was truly bizarre. How and why did these election "winners" get so angry?

I had put off reading it because there is a young character (8 yrs old) that seemed spotlighted in some reviews. I hate it when children in books act and talk and think more like adults so I kept putting it aside. Actually, that young character was used more to drive the action in the story than anything else.

It was devastating, but well worth it. Hugs to you!

>135 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! Good to see you. Constellation will, at least, be a 2017 favorite! I'll probably pick up Are You My Mother at some point, but I don't think I'm in any rush.

>136 msf59: It was fabulous Mark! I love getting lost in a book and feeling so attached to the characters. That's what reading is all about to me!!

Feb 7, 9:23am Top

>133 coppers: Thanks for the review, Joanne, I have added it to mount TBR.

Feb 7, 5:54pm Top

>133 coppers: Great review, Joanne; it was a wonderful novel.

Edited: Feb 7, 7:50pm Top

Oh, my, not sure I'm quite up to Constellation yet.

>137 coppers: It is bizarre. Do you suppose it's because they realize they messed up majorly (sorry, channeling my inner preteen) but, human nature being what it is, they need to defend the indefensible but can't so go on the offensive and resort to rude anger?

Bechdel is one of my favorites. I loved all her GNs, but Essential Dykes - a collection of her comic strips which, together, make up a full memoir - is probably my favorite.

Feb 8, 1:19am Top

>138 FAMeulstee: I hope you like it as much as I did, Anita!

>139 BLBera: I'm not surprised that you liked it too, Beth!

>140 Storeetllr: I don't know, Mary, but probably. They sure didn't like have facts tossed at them. Essential Dykes sounds interesting. Constellation really allowed me to get my head into another space (not necessarily a good place, to be sure, just another space).

Current reads are The Man in the Wooden Hat, March Book Three, and the audio of Being Mortal. I also have an egalley of Peter Heller's new one, Celine that I really want to get to!

Edited: Feb 14, 10:14pm Top

9. The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam

A fine companion piece to Old Filth. Here we get Betty's point of view and her secrets. I loved this one, too! 4.5 stars

Feb 15, 3:25pm Top

Hi Joanne - You make me want to reread these books. Are you going to read the last one now?

Feb 15, 9:13pm Top

>143 BLBera: Absolutely, Beth! I have it waiting on the shelf (along with a few other Jane Gardam books I'm looking forward to)!

I just logged into FB tonight and discovered that Canadian Stuart McLean, of Vinyl Cafe fame, has died. I knew he was diagnosed with cancer a while back, but still, I am shocked and saddened and am in tears. He will be sorely missed by many.

Feb 16, 6:26pm Top

I also loved The Man in the Wooden Hat and I need to get to the third, Last Friends. I have owned it for a couple of years now!

Feb 17, 4:58pm Top

Hi Ellen, I'm probably going to read Last Friends next month. I enjoyed the first two so much - I don't want to wait!

Feb 18, 9:11am Top

Stopping by to say Happy Saturday! As always, you've been doing some great reading.

Edited: Feb 18, 11:10am Top

Hi Joanne,
Loved both Constellation and Being Mortal! I keep wondering what it is like to listen to a good audiobook. Someday I hope to get more adventurous.

I still need to get to Old Filth. Why do I always forget about that book? I bought it when everyone was raving about it... but I forget now what it is about. I should go read the reviews.

Hugs to your girls ;-)

edited to add that I am sorry to hear about Stuart McLean.

Feb 18, 3:00pm Top

>133 coppers: I'm way behind here, but all the enthusiasm for A Constellation of Vital Phenomena means I've added it to the wishlist. Great to hear about an author I've missed altogether.

Feb 18, 3:46pm Top

Oh, I loved the Old Filth books. Isn't it nice to have such a treat to look forward to?

Feb 20, 12:02am Top

>147 witchyrichy: Hi Karen!

>148 -Cee-: Hi Cee! I also bought Old Filth back when everyone was raving about it and then let it sit...it's one of those quiet books that'll warm your heart. You'll like it, I'm sure, whenever you get to it!

>149 charl08: Hi Charlotte! Constellation will be one of my favorites for the year, I'm sure!

>150 AMQS: Hi Anne! Yes, absolutely! One of the great joys of reading! :)

Feb 20, 7:07am Top

>133 coppers: I've managed to escape this one despite all the warbling all over the 75ers, but can see I'm going to have to read it after all if my LT doppelgänger gives it 5 stars! You have never steered me wrong, Jo.

Feb 20, 8:38am Top

Hi, Joanne! Hope you had a nice weekend. It has been beautiful in Chicagoland. Can't complain. Yah, for The Man in the Wooden Hat. I also loved that one and NEED to get to the final book.

I hope to finish IJ tomorrow. Whew! I have enjoyed trading thoughts with Chris on it.

Edited: Feb 20, 9:48pm Top

>152 rosalita: It's funny how that can happen, everyone loves a book and somehow time goes by and you wind up reading it years after it was hot or, worse yet, never getting to it. That's the problem with too many good books and not enough time. I think you'd love it, Julia!

>153 msf59: Hi Mark, I can't complain about the weather here, either. Mid 60s and sunny. But it's been terribly dry and there are brush fires tonight just north of us. And here it is, only February. Yay for nearly finishing IJ! I'm enjoying reading your back and forth with Chris on GR. How did the footnotes work on audio, anyway? Did you have a hard copy too? Hope you had a good holiday today!

Edited: Feb 20, 10:05pm Top

10. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (audio) 4.25 stars

Here's one everyone seemed to be reading a year or two ago but I felt pretty squeamish about it so I skipped it. It was good though, and as much as I don't want to think about end of life care, it is, well probably, inevitable. The audio was great - still not a book that I could probably sit and read, but it kept me engaged during my commute and was certainly thought provoking.

Feb 20, 10:05pm Top

11. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier GN 4.25 stars

Look at me! Another graphic novel - I think I've read more GNs this year then...ever (if I don't count the Archie comics of my youth). This is a middle grade book with some fantasy mixed in with some serious themes. I liked it more than I thought I would and thought it was sweet.

Feb 22, 6:04pm Top

12. March: Book Three by John Lewis GN 4.5 stars

The final volume of John Lewis' story of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. That all this was going on during my lifetime always seems so unbelievable to me. Should be required reading.

Feb 22, 8:25pm Top

>157 coppers: Amen, Joanne. I loved those books.

Feb 22, 8:54pm Top

Ditto, Joanne. "Should be required reading." Agreed.

Edited: Feb 22, 10:20pm Top

>158 BLBera: >159 jnwelch: Hi Beth and Joe, I hope there are a lot of teachers who are adding it to their required reading lists!

Feb 23, 1:41pm Top

Hi, Jo, and welcome back to February in Colorado! Snow! Woo-hoo! (I don't usually get excited when I need to go out in the snow, but having just bought a set of all-weather tires which I've been longing to try out in, well, weather, I'm welcoming this snowfall. I'm hopeful it will be here and gone in a day or two, and also that you aren't too inconvenienced by it.)

Feb 23, 9:17pm Top

Oh my goodness, Mary, it was a skating rink out there tonight! There were so many cars stuck and/or sliding on any incline, it took me well over an hour to get home (6.5 miles/18 mins). No salt or any sand trucks on the road - it's not like this was a surprise! Hope you aren't out and about!

I'm taking off tomorrow so I don't have to deal with it. I have one last personal day to use or lose before next Thursday (my last day!).

Feb 23, 9:47pm Top

Hooray for Being Mortal & Ghosts & March! I am also a big fan of all 3. Good reading, Joanne.

Feb 23, 9:58pm Top

They were all good books, Mark!

Want to know what I'm reading now? Lincoln in the Bardo and Celine! I'm loving the Saunders!

Feb 24, 2:16am Top

Sorry to hear about the bad road conditions at your place, Joanne. When it happens here I never go by car. Luckily we've got a wonderful public transportation.

Hoorey for a day off. Enjoy it.

Feb 24, 2:50pm Top

I was out and about yesterday afternoon, right in the middle of the storm! It was amazing to drive around on the icy roads on my new all-season tires! Sorry your commute was so bad.

Next Thursday's your last day?!? We need to go out and celebrate!

Feb 25, 12:39am Top

>165 Ameise1: Hi Barbara, The bad roads never last very long. Thank goodness! My office is directly across the street from a light rail station which is convenient for those who live near another station, but alas, that's not me. :( I hope you have a good weekend!

>166 Storeetllr: Anytime Mary! Good tires make such a difference - congrats on a smart purchase! We still have snowy March to get through. And maybe April. And maybe May. If you're still in the state. :(

Feb 25, 9:17am Top

>155 coppers: Being Mortal is on my list too - has to be dealt with at some point.

>162 coppers: My newly licensed 18 year old was out in that. He texted me while waiting for his windshield to defrost after work. I couldn't go to bed until he texted that he was home OK. He said it was pretty nerve wracking to drive in that. Thursday is your last day?? Wow! Exciting!

Feb 25, 11:30pm Top

>157 coppers: I will definitely look out for the books by Lewis, Joanne. We didn't really have quite the same experiences in the United kingdom but some of the issues are universal ones aren't they?

Have a lovely weekend.

Feb 26, 5:41pm Top

Thanks for sending the bad weather our way, Joanne.

Edited: Feb 26, 5:51pm Top

>168 nittnut: We never stop worrying, do we, Jenn...Glad he was safe. And yes, last day of work for me is Thursday (my department moved to CT last summer). It's weird and yet awesome.

>169 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, Standing up and fighting for what's right is certainly universal. It was a shameful period of US history and I guess the U.K. has had its share, but Lewis' story was scarily recent. And certainly something to be mindful of today.

>170 BLBera: Oh yeah, sorry about that, Beth, but it couldn't be helped... Beautiful today, and seasonal, and 60s are in the forecast, so there's something to look forward to! :)

Feb 27, 8:32pm Top

We've moved right on into summer, it seems...it is supposed to be 80 degrees on Wednesday! I worry that a cold snap will kill off all the fruit trees. Sorry about your tough winter travel! Snow like that would shut us down here in the South.

Mar 1, 12:29am Top

Hi Karen, Oh my! We actually hit 80 one day in Feb. It's snowy and cold again today but should be in the 60s by the weekend. Typical spring!

Mar 1, 1:19pm Top

Hi Joanne, congrats on retirement. Will this mean more traveling for you...or more time to read. It looks like we will be out your way the last week end in March. I hope you will be around for a meet up.

How is Celine? I am first on the library reserve list. Two copies are on order but sometimes that can be a slow process.

Mar 1, 9:58pm Top

Thanks Donna! I hope both, and I don't see why not! :)

Celine is...good, so far. Frankly, it hasn't quite grabbed me yet, but I'm only about 25% in. I also read Lincoln in the Bardo, which I loved, after I started it, so that was a bit of a distraction.

I'm looking forward to seeing you when you're here!!

Mar 1, 10:11pm Top

Tomorrow is the big day! Woohoo!

Mar 1, 10:20pm Top

13. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Soon after the Civil War began, President Lincoln's young son, Willie, was taken seriously ill and tragically died. The night of the burial, the distraught President visited his son in his burial crypt. From this historically accurate moment, Saunders' cemetery ghosts begin to tell their own stories. They witness Lincoln's raw grief and love and attempt to help young Willie leave their land of limbo and cross over to the other side.

The action takes place in one night and is told in various voices in a stream of consciousness style. That style may turn off some readers, but for the adventurous reader, it's a marvelous treat that's both wildly imaginative and heartbreaking. Can an author known for his short stories write longer fiction? In this case, a resounding yes. I can't wait to listen to the multi-voiced audio version. 5 stars

Mar 1, 10:22pm Top

Hi, Joanne. I can't wait to read Lincoln in the Bardo. I have it on audio, so maybe I'll try to bookhorn it in.

Looking forward to your take on Celine. I am a big fan of his last 2

I finally finished up The Crown. WOW. What a terrific series. I can't wait to see Season 2. This fall?

Mar 1, 10:23pm Top

>177 coppers: Good review!! Have you read any of his short fiction?

Edited: Mar 1, 10:44pm Top

>178 msf59: It was so good, Mark! I'm glad I read it before listening to it because I think it'd be confusing otherwise. I'm easily confused sometimes with audio books so you should be fine. :)

Celine is suffering in comparison. I'll get back to it though. I loved Heller's first two, too. I need to give her more of a chance.

Wasn't The Crown fabulous!? I'm so looking forward to more. I'm liking Victoria just as much and PBS has some other interesting series starting this spring. Yay for good TV! Oh, and Big Little Lies on HBO is excellent, so far. Lots of fun.

>179 msf59: I LOVED Civilwarland in Bad Decline. I wanted to read Tenth of December before Lincoln in the Bardo but the library came through pretty fast with the new release and books on my shelf tend to be patient.

Mar 2, 6:45am Top

>177 coppers: I've got that one on my list - it looks so good. I'm so glad to see that you loved it!

Mar 2, 5:26pm Top

>177 coppers: The Lincoln book sounds good. Nice review, Joanne!

Mar 2, 10:15pm Top

Hi Amber and Julia! It was so good and thoroughly unconventional. I'm anxious to see what others here think of it.

Mar 2, 11:40pm Top

Joanne, are you really retired? Congratulations! Wow -- so exciting!

Mar 3, 12:27am Top

Hi Anne, Yes! As of 2pm this afternoon. We'll see how long it lasts but I really don't anticipate doing anything full-time anymore.

So far, so good. 🙂

(My department moved back East and the opportunity to be packaged out was a bit irresistible.)

Edited: Mar 3, 4:11am Top

Happy Friday and congrats on your retirement, Joanne. Enjoy life.

Mar 3, 6:54am Top

O, wow, I missed the retirement business! Congrats!!

Mar 3, 9:53am Top

Good for you! Have fun.

Mar 3, 11:43am Top

Congratulations, Joanne. Enjoy! Retirement really is worth waiting for :)

Mar 3, 7:46pm Top

I do wish it was retirement time for me! Congratulations and enjoy!

Mar 4, 11:27am Top

Congratulations on retirement, Joanne.

You got me with Lincoln in the Bardo - off to reserve it immediately. Wonderful comments.

Mar 4, 1:34pm Top

Hello, Joanne!

Mar 4, 11:55pm Top

Thank you Barbara, Amber, Carrie, Reba, Lori, and Beth! It's a little unnerving, frankly, but I'll get used to it!!

>191 BLBera: Oh good! It's definitely different, but absolutely worthwhile!

>192 alcottacre: Stasia! Hello stranger! Congrats on finishing school!!

Edited: Mar 5, 2:30am Top

>126 coppers: I thoroughly approve of all the books mentioned in this post. I want to read the two that aren't Being Mortal, but only cos I've already read that!

>185 coppers: woohoo! Let the party begin! Congrats!

eta: party not part!! oops.

Edited: Mar 5, 7:55am Top

I am thoroughly envious of your retired status. Alas, I have a good 10-15 years before I can consider such a thing for myself. In the meantime, I will live vicariously through you and the other retired LTers around these parts!

Mar 5, 9:13am Top

Happy Sunday, and Happy Retirement!

Mar 5, 10:59am Top

Congrats, Joanne! I imagine it's a big adjustment, but not an unhappy one!

Mar 5, 8:40pm Top

>194 Ireadthereforeiam: Lol, thanks Megan! They were all great reads!

>195 rosalita: I'm afraid my days are pretty dull, Julia, whether I'm working or not. I'm anticipating a cleaner house, for instance. Maybe we should both live vicariously through another retiree.... 🙂

>196 lunacat: Thanks Jenny!

>197 katiekrug: Thanks Katie, and yes on both of those!

Mar 6, 12:21am Top

Oh, Joanne, I am just so happy thinking about you retired! I predict you will be busy in retirement. But... if you ever want anything to do, you are more than welcome in my library!

Mar 6, 11:02am Top

Happy retirement! Are you enjoying the downtime so far?

Mar 6, 9:21pm Top

>199 AMQS: I'll keep that offer in mind, Anne, thanks! 🙂

>200 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle, So far, yes!

Mar 7, 12:55am Top

Congrats on retirement. Hope you are enjoying some lovely free time reading.

Mar 7, 10:48am Top

Adding my congratulations on retirement, Joanne. I can recommend it highly. :-)

Mar 8, 11:27am Top

>202 charl08: Thanks Charlotte! I need to step up on my reading - it seems to have slowed, oddly enough.

>203 jnwelch: Thanks Joe! Yeah, I think I'm going to like it! :)

Mar 8, 12:30pm Top

All caught up here, Joanne, just in time to wish you happy in your retirement. Congrats! And you got me with Lincoln in the Bardo - onto the list it goes.

Mar 8, 7:59pm Top

Hi Mamie! Thanks! And I hope you like it when you get to it.

Mar 8, 8:05pm Top

Wow! I missed some big news! Congrats, Joanne on your retirement. I am very happy for you and a little jealous. I could retire any time but I am going to try and hang in there a few more years. I want to at least pay off our house.

All that said, I do like my job, as long as the weather doesn't kill me.

Mar 8, 8:15pm Top

14. Autumn by Ali Smith 4.25 stars

My first Ali Smith book and it was a lot of fun. A non-linear story about a young woman and her near lifelong friendship with an elderly man. The story moves back and forth in time, with the Brexit vote as the backdrop of the current day storyline. I'm glad I thought to look up both Pauline Boty and Christine Keeler before I finished the book as it added to my enjoyment.

Here's an example of Pauline Boty's work. She was a 1960s British Pop artist. This one is entitled Sunflower Woman and was described in the book. I thought it'd be apropos for Intl Women's Day.

Mar 9, 2:16am Top

Thanks for sharing Boty's art. I knew about Keeler before reading group but had never heard of her before reading: I have no idea how representive that is. I'm looking forward to the next three books and very tempted to buy the beautiful hardback edition, as I read the library copy.

Mar 10, 12:03am Top

Hi Charlotte, I really liked the soft cover version I read, which was from a U.K. publsher. I hope to get the matching versions of the next three.

Mar 11, 12:05pm Top

Happy weekend, Joanne.

Mar 11, 6:56pm Top

Hi Barbara! Weekend greeting to you, too!

My book this week is Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie. I've only read her essay, We Should All Be Feminists, and I'm loving her fiction.

Mar 11, 8:59pm Top

>212 coppers: One of my favourite novels, Joanne - maybe even my favourite novel written in this century!

Have a good weekend. xx

Mar 12, 12:39pm Top

Joanne, like Paul, I think very highly of Adichie's Yellow Sun. I may ha e to give Ali Smith another chance. I wasn't crazy about The Accidental but now I can't remember why. Others here seem to be big fans of her work so I may have just been in a picky mood when I read her other book.

I'm excited about our upcoming meetup. Would lunch at Sahara on Saturday, March 25 work for you?

Mar 12, 10:17pm Top

>213 PaulCranswick: That's high praise, indeed, Paul! Have you read any of her others?

>214 Donna828: I wouldn't say that Ali Smith would be everyone's cup of tea, Donna, much like George Saunders. 3/25 would be great, as would Sahara!! I've got it on my calendar.

Edited: Mar 12, 10:22pm Top

Happy Sunday, Joanne! Hope you are having a great weekend. I am so glad you loved Autumn. I really want to track that one down.

I have never read Adichie and want to read Half of a Yellow Sun. I have Americanah saved on audio. I think I will start with that one first.

Mar 13, 12:20am Top

Hi Mark, Hope you had a great weekend! I just realized I'm reading two authors in a row that I haven't really read before. And both seem very different from each other. But I think you'll like them both!

Mar 13, 2:50am Top

>208 coppers: you know, I have never read anything from Ali Smith. It's a crime I tell you- a crime! I have a couple stockpiled, so may get to them this century ;)

Edited: Mar 20, 6:22pm Top

>218 Ireadthereforeiam: Hi Megan! More the problem of too many good books to get to!

Mar 20, 6:18pm Top

I'm so glad you loved the Ali Smith, Joanne. It was my first Smith as well.

I love Adichie -- Americanah is my favorite, but they are all good.

Mar 20, 6:22pm Top

>208 coppers: Into the BlackHole it goes!

Congratulations on retirement, Joanne!

Mar 20, 9:07pm Top

Hi! How is the life of a Lady of Leisure? I hear it has been a little warm? I am sure there will be a nice big snow storm in April to make up the difference. :)

Mar 20, 10:41pm Top

>220 BLBera: Hi Beth, Americanah is definitely on my list!

>221 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia!

>222 nittnut: Hi Jenn, So far, so good. Warm? Typical temps for June...Oh, wait... I'm honestly hoping for some sort of precipitation and wouldn't mind a big snowfall!

Edited: Mar 22, 11:06pm Top

15. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 4.5 stars

This is the second book I've read within a very short period of time, that tells the story of people - in this case, two sisters, their partners, and a houseboy - caught up in the ravages of war.

I knew little of the short, bloody life of Biafra in the 1960s. As a young child at the time, I still remember hearing of the starving children of Biafra, but never knew why exactly they had no food. Well, now I know. Adichie tells the personal stories with a dramatic backdrop that makes for a page-turner of a book.

And knowing little of the history of Biafra, I was happy to discover the source of the book's title at about page 200 - the rising sun on the Biafran flag.

Mar 22, 10:04pm Top

Good review of Yellow Sun, Joanne. I really need to read Adichie. Next month...I hope.

Mar 22, 10:34pm Top

Hi Mark! She's just your cuppa!

Mar 23, 5:36am Top

>224 coppers: Nice review, Joanne - I have that one in the stacks. Happy Thursday to you!

Mar 23, 6:45am Top

Morning, Joanne!

Mar 24, 12:39am Top

>227 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! It's a good one!

>228 scaifea: Evening, Amber!

16. Vision Vol. 2: Little Better Than a Beast by Tom King GN

Read not for the Avenger angle but rather the poignant family story of assimilation and sacrifice. 3.5 stars

Mar 25, 6:51pm Top

Delurking Joanne because I just realised that I hadn't responded to your post >215 coppers: above.

I have all her work but the only other book I have so far read is a collection of her short stories.

Have a lovely weekend.

Mar 25, 7:31pm Top

Enjoyed our meetup so much! It was great seeing you and all the gang again. It had been a long time!

Mar 25, 9:12pm Top

>224 coppers: I get to dodge that BB since I have already read it :)

Mar 26, 12:20am Top

>230 PaulCranswick: Happy weekend to you too, Paul! I think I'll try The Accidental next. It looks like something I'd like.

>231 Storeetllr: It was great to see you, too, Mary! It's a wonderful little group! We didn't even need the book store - just some great food and good company.

>232 alcottacre: Yay for good books already read! I hope you liked it at least as much as I did, Stasia.

Edited: Mar 26, 4:43am Top

>224 coppers: I pick up copies of this second hand as I have the idea that it might be good for a class talking about history and fiction. I love this cover, hadn't see it before.

Mar 26, 6:15am Top

Happy Sunday, Joanne.

Mar 26, 7:47am Top

I LOVED Lincoln in the Bardo! The audio was amazing, but I want revisit it, in print, at some point. It is quite an achievement. What a smart, talented guy.

Happy Sunday, Joanne. Hope you are still enjoying some fine weather.

Mar 26, 2:45pm Top

I picked up a copy of Lincoln in the Bardo during my recent travels. Have you seen the New York Time Virtual Reality app? They have a Lincoln in the Bardo version. Very eerie!

Mostly stopping by to wish you a wonderful week!

Mar 26, 9:37pm Top

Great comments on the Adichie, Joanne. Chinua Achebe has a memoir from the Biafra War that is really good, too. I think I read it around the time I read this one, and it really helped me appreciate both books more.

Mar 27, 2:35am Top

>224 coppers: I think I rated this book the same! It was a great read, imo.

Mar 27, 9:51pm Top

>234 charl08: Hi Charlotte, Isn't that a great cover!? My son picked it up for me for my birthday and I think at least half the reason he chose it was for the cover.

>235 Ameise1: Hello Barbara! I hope you have a great week!

>236 msf59: Yay for Lincoln in the Bardo!! Did you see that Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally (sp?) have bought the movie rights?

>237 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! I have not seen that app but it sounds very interesting! Not to mention, eerie.

>238 BLBera: I will have to add that to the list, Beth. I spent a lot of time looking up the conflict while I was reading the book. Such a sad time.

>239 Ireadthereforeiam: It was a fabulous book, Megan!

Edited: Mar 31, 12:09pm Top

17. Celine by Peter Heller 3.5 stars

Peter Heller tries his hand at a mystery/detective novel and is moderately successful. I felt the character of Celine was a bit overdrawn and unrealistic and her backstory, although interesting, interrupted the forward movement of the narrative. The beginning was slow, but once the action moved westward, to Montana and Yellowstone, Heller's fine descriptive writing soon overcame any character issues. A good book, but not up to the same quality as The Dog Stars or The Painter.

My thanks to Edelweiss for providing a free galley for review.

Mar 30, 3:26pm Top

I picked this one up at the library a few days ago, Joanne. As an "older" woman like Celine, I just might like this one better than you did!

Our meetup was so much fun. I'm already starting to look forward to the next one. I will be in Denver around June 18 for a week or so. Just saying....

Mar 30, 5:50pm Top

>242 Donna828: Oh good, Donna, I'm already looking forward to your next visit!

Also, oh good! that you have a copy of Celine to read. I'm anxious to see what you think. Most of the reviews I saw were good so I really feel like an outlier/crank about it. And not to bicker about it, but I'm not that much younger than you! 🙂

Mar 30, 7:07pm Top

>242 Donna828:, >243 coppers: I think I will have recovered from the move sufficiently by June 18 to make the trek up from Pueblo for a meetup. Maybe. I hope.

Mar 31, 11:45am Top

>244 Storeetllr: Oh good, good, good!! And, hopefully by then, no worry of a random snowstorm! 🙂

Mar 31, 11:52am Top

>242 Donna828: OMG We're going to be in Denver from June 15-17 and I've been hoping there could be a meet-up. Maybe I'll finally get to meet you since we've missed a couple of times in Springfield. Would love to see the Denver group again too.

Mar 31, 11:57am Top

>241 coppers: I enjoy Peter Heller's books, so I will probably try Celine at some point.

Mar 31, 6:34pm Top

>246 RebaRelishesReading: Excellent, Reba! I hope this all works out!!

>247 alcottacre: Hi Stasia, It's certainly worth a read!

This topic was continued by Joanne (coppers) Tries Again - 2017 #2.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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