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LibraryCin's 2017 Reading Log/Challenges

2017 Category Challenge

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1LibraryCin
Jan 1, 2017, 5:27pm Top

Happy New Year, everyone!

I'm finally starting my thread!

Last year, I only kept track here of challenges here on LT. I might just do them all here this time around, including challenges over at GR, all from Play Book Tag.

2LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 20, 2017, 10:27pm Top



BingoDOG

A satire. Secondhand Souls / Christopher Moore. 3 stars
Set in a country you've never been to. The Pearl That Broke Its Shell / Nadia Hashimi. 4.5 stars
Color in the title. Copper Sun / Sharon M. Draper. 3.5 stars
Set in a place you want to visit. Three Maids for a Crown / Ella March Chase. 4 stars
One-word title. Watermelon / Marian Keyes. 3.5 stars
Author uses initials. Naked in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars
Appeals to the senses. Mindless Eating / Brian Wansink. 3.5 stars
Published in the 1940s-1960s. A Stir of Echoes / Richard Matheson. 4 stars
Made into a movie. Fatal Vision / Joe McGinniss. 4 stars
Collection of short stories. The Dark and Other Love Stories / Deborah Willis. 3.5 stars
Book about books. The World's Strongest Librarian / Josh Hanagarne. 4 stars
Title refers to another literary work. Little Girl Blue / Randy L. Schmidt. 4 stars
Author shares your first and last initials. The Underground Railroad / Colson Whitehead. 2 stars
Owned for more than 5 years. Exquisite Corpse / Mark Nelson, Sarah Hudson Bayliss. 3 stars
Science-related. My Stroke of Insight / Jill Bolte Taylor. 4 stars
Author was born in 1930s. Lives of Girls and Women / Alice Munro. 3 stars
Author abroad. A Man Called Ove / Fredrik Backman. 3 stars
Author born/book published in 1917. Jerry of the Islands / Jack London. 3 stars
Debut work. Until I Say Goodbye / Susan Spencer-Wendel. 3.5 stars
About an animal/animal in title. Scent of the Missing / Susannah Charleson. 4 stars
Place name in title. On the Banks of Plum Creek / Laura Ingalls-Wilder. 4 stars
Set in a beach community/resort. The Shattering / Karen Healey. 3.5 stars
Set in a time before you were born. Death in the Air / Shane Peacock. 3.5 stars
Next book in a series you've started. Palace of Stone / Shannon Hale. 3.25 stars
Read a CAT. Their Eyes Wee Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston. 2.5 stars

3LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 11:14pm Top

1. Play Book Tag
1. A Man Called Ove / Fredrik Backman. 3 stars
2. Watermelon / Marian Keyes. 3.5 stars
3. Scarlet Feather / Maeve Binchy. 3.5 stars
4. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet / David Mitchell. 2.25 stars
5. Tsunami: The Newfoundland Tidal Wave Disaster / Maura Hanrahan. 4 stars
6. Shotgun Lovesongs / Nickolas Butler. 4 stars
7. The Skeleton Tree / Iain Lawrence. 4 stars
8. Catacombs / Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarboroug. 3 stars
9. Eleanor & Park / Rainbow Rowell. 4 stars
10. One Perfect Lie / Lisa Scottline. 4 stars
11. I See Rude People / Amy Alkon. 4 stars
12. The Water is Wide / Pat Conroy. 4 stars
__________________________________________________​
13. Meat / Joseph D'Lacey. 3.5 stars

4LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 10, 2017, 12:54pm Top

2. CAT Challenges
1. Their Eyes Were Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston. 2.5 stars
2. Miracle Cure / Harlan Coben. 3.5 stars
3. Naked in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars
4. The Romanov Sisters / Helen Rappaport. 4 stars
5. Boy, Snow, Bird / Helen Oyeyemi. 3 stars
6. Real Murders / Charlaine Harris. 3 stars
7. Mudbound / Hillary Jordan. 4.5 stars
8. Why New Orleans Matters / Tim Piazza. 3.5 stars
9. A Deadly Yarn / Maggie Sefton. 3 stars
10. Skippy Dies / Paul Murray. 3 stars
11. A World Elsewhere / Wayne Johnston. 3 stars
12. Love Walked In / Marisa de los Santos. 3.5 stars
__________________________________________________​
13. The Hero's Walk / Anita Rau Badami. 3.5 stars
14. The Snow Queen and Other Tales / Hans Christian Anderson. 2.25 stars

5LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 3:52pm Top

3. Mystery Subgenre
1. Death in the Air / Shane Peacock. 3.5 stars
2. Trust Your Eyes / Linwood Barclay. 4 stars
3. A Stolen Life / Jaycee Dugard. 4 stars
4. Murder at the Vicarage / Agatha Christie. 4 stars
5. Faithful Place / Tana French. 4.25 stars
6. Blood Bound / Patricia Briggs. 4 stars
7. The Secret History / Donna Tartt. 3 stars
8. Eye of the Whale / Douglas Carlton Abrams. 4 stars
9. I'd Know You Anywhere / Laura Lippman. 4 stars
10. The Watchman / Robert Crais. 3.5 stars
11. Her Royal Spyness / Rhys Bowen. 3.5 stars
12. Glory in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars
____________________________________________

6LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 3:52pm Top

4. Oh Canada! (Canadian Authors)
1. Bone and Bread / Saleema Nawaz. 3.5 stars
2. February / Lisa Moore. 2.5 stars
3. The Winter Palace / Eva Stachniak. 3.5 stars
4. Birdie / Tracey Lindberg. 2 stars
5. The Mystery of Grace / Charles de Lint. 4 stars
6. Lives of Girls and Women / Alice Munro. 3 stars
7. I'll Be Watching You / Charles de Lint (Samuel Key). 4.5 stars
8. Cool Water / Dianne Warren. 4 stars
9. As Seen on TV / Sarah Mlynowski. 3.75 stars
10. The Dark and Other Short Stories / Deborah Willis. 3.5 stars
11. Station Eleven / Emily St. John Mandel. 3.5 stars
12. The Heart Goes Last / Margaret Atwood. 4 stars
__________________________________________________

7LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 18, 2017, 11:18pm Top

5. Trim the TBR (On TBR 2+ years)
1. On Thin Ice / Richard Ellis. 3.5 stars
2. Living Oprah / Robyn Okrant. 3.5 stars
3. Intensity / Dean Koontz. 5 stars
4. Schooled / Gordon Korman. 4 stars
5. First Test / Tamora Pierce. 3.5 stars
6. Curtains of Blood / Robert Randisi. 3.5 stars
7. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan / Sophie Kinsella. 3.5 stars
8. Dying Inside / Robert Silverberg. 3 stars
9. Wicked Girls / Stephanie Hemphill. 2.5 stars
10. The Good Father / Diane Chamberlain. 5 stars
11. The Manhattan Hunt Club / John Saul. 4 stars
12. The Thistle and the Rose / Jean Plaidy. 4 stars
_________________________________________________
13. The Queen's Mistake / Diane Haeger. 3.5 stars
14. The Guinea Pig Diaries / A.J. Jacobs. 3.5 stars

8LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 3:52pm Top

6. Will it Ever End? (Continuing Series)
1. Palace of Stone / Shannon Hale. 3.25 stars
2. The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle / Christopher Healy. 3.75 stars
3. Still Life With Crows / Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child. 4 stars
4. Secondhand Souls / Christopher Moore. 3 stars
5. Son / Lois Lowry. 4 stars
6. The River / Gary Paulsen. 4 stars
7. Drums of Autumn / Diana Gabaldon. 4 stars
8. The Game of Silence / Louise Erdrich. 3.5 stars
9. Unsouled / Neal Shusterman. 3.5 stars
10. 7th Heaven / James Patterson. 3.25 stars
11. The Girl in the Spider's Web / David Lagercrantz. 2.5 stars
12. Ripley's Game / Patricia Highsmith. 3.5 stars
__________________________________________________​

9LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 3:20pm Top

7. Off the Shelf (Print or E- Books I Own)
1. Three Maids for a Crown / Ella March Chase. 4 stars
2. Little Girl Blue / Randy L. Schmidt. 4 stars
3. On the Banks of Plum Creek / Laura Ingalls Wilder. 4 stars
4. The Snow Child / Eowyn Ivey. 4 stars
5. Catherine de Medici / Leonie Frieda. 3.75 stars
6. The Girl on the Train / Paula Hawkins. 4 stars
7. Fierce Kingdom / Gin Phillips. 4.5 stars
8. Orange is the New Black / Piper Kerman. 4 stars
9. Little Bee / Chris Cleve. 3.5 stars
10. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry / Gabrielle Zevin. 4 stars
11. Plainsong / Nancy Huston. 3 stars
12. Road Trip Rwanda / Will Ferguson. 4 stars
__________________________________________________
13. Welcome Home / Nathan & Jennifer Winograd. 3 stars

10LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 6:54pm Top

8. Audio Books
1. The World's Strongest Librarian / Josh Hanagarne. 4 stars
2. Until I Say Goodbye / Susan Spencer-Wendel. 3.5 stars
3. Copper Sun / Sharon M. Draper. 3.5 stars
4. Someone Else's Love Story / Joshilyn Jackson. 3.5 stars
5. The Underground Railroad / Colson Whitehead. 2 stars
6. Secrets of Eden / Chris Bohjalian. 3.75 stars
7. The Girl on Legare Street / Karen White. 3 stars
8. Telex from Cuba / Rachel Kushner. 2.5 stars
9. The Nobodies Album / Carolyn Parkhurst. 3.5 stars
10. The Ice Limit / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. 2 stars
11. Not My Father's Son / Alan Cumming. 4 stars
12. IT / Stephen King. 4.75 stars
_________________________________________________
13. 703: How I Lost More Than a Quarter Ton and Gained a Life / Nancy Makin. 3 stars
14. The Girls / Emma Cline. 3 stars

11LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 4:08pm Top

9. I'll Travel Virtually (Books Set in Other Countries - not Canada or USA)
1. The Pearl That Broke Its Shell / Nadia Hashimi. 4.5 stars
2. The Nightingale / Kristin Hannah. 4.5 stars
3. The Secret Keeper / Kate Morton. 3.75 stars
4. Maid of the King's Court / Lucy Worsley. 4 stars
5. The Shattering / Karen Healey. 3.5 stars
6. The Perfect Royal Mistress / Diane Haeger. 4 stars
7. Rebel Queen / Michelle Moran. 4 stars
8. The Lady and the Unicorn / Tracy Chevalier. 3.5 stars
9. The Fear / Peter Godwin. 3 stars
10. A House in the Sky / Amanda Lindhout. 4.25 stars
11. City of Thieves / David Benioff. 3 stars
12. The Last Battle / Stephen Harding. 3.5 stars
__________________________________________________​
13, Raven Black / Ann Cleeves. 3.5 stars
14. The Medievalist / Anne-Marie Lacy. 4 stars

12LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 18, 2017, 11:32pm Top

10. Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My! (Animals)
1. Scent of the Missing / Susannah Charleson. 4 stars
2. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves / Karen Joy Fowler. 4 stars
3. Through a Window / Jane Goodall. 4.5 stars
4. A Big Little Life / Dean Koontz. 4 stars
5. Rest in Pieces / Rita Mae Brown. 3.25 stars
6. Let's Pretend This Never Happened / Jenny Lawson. 4 stars
7. Skinny Bitch / Rory Freedman, Kim Barnouin. 3 stars
8. Native Tongue / Carl Hiaasen. 3.75 stars
9. Scarecrow / Alyssa Wong. 3.5 stars
10. Jerry of the Islands / Jack London. 3 stars
11. The Elephant Whisperer / Lawrence Anthony. 4.5 stars
12. H is for Hawk / Helen Macdonald. 3 stars
__________________________________________________​
13. Ranch of Dreams / Cleveland Amory. 4 stars

13LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 23, 2017, 1:45am Top

11. Truth is Stranger than Fiction (Nonfiction)
1. My Stroke of Insight / Jill Bolte Taylor. 4 stars
2. 84, Charing Cross Road / Helene Hanff. 3 stars
3. Voyagers of the Titanic / Richard Davenport-Hines. 3.5 stars
4. They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children / Romeo Dallaire. 3.5 stars
5. Into Thin Air / Jon Krakauer. 5 stars
6. Your Water Footprint / Stephen Leahy. 4 stars
7. Savage Girls and Wild Boys / Michael Newton. 2.5 stars
8. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic / Alison Bechdel. 4 stars
9. Man Vs. Weather / Dennis DiClaudio. 3.5 stars
10. My Story / Elizabeth Smart. 4 stars
11. Hidden Figures / Margot Lee Shetterly. 3.25 stars
12. Born a Crime / Trevor Noah. 4 stars
__________________________________________________​
13. The Fossil Hunter / Shelley Emling. 4 stars

14LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 10:56pm Top

12. KIT Challenges
1. Exquisite Corpse / Mark Nelson, Sarah Hudson Bayliss. 3 stars
2. Locke & Key. Vol. 4. Keys to the Kingdom / Joe Hill. 3.5 stars
3. Mindless Eating / Brian Wansink. 3.5 stars
4. A Stir of Echoes / Richard Matheson. 4 stars
5. Fatal Vision / Joe McGinniss. 4 stars
6. The Truth About Catalogers / Will Manley. 3 stars
7. Hell House / Richard Matheson. 3.5 stars
8. The Sandman. Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes / Neil Gaiman. 3.5 stars
9. The Book of Speculation / Erika Swyler. 3 stars
10. One Good Knight / Mercedes Lackey. 3 stars
11. Victoria's Castles / Paul G. Chamberlain. 3.5 stars
12. The Sleeper and the Spindle / Neil Gaiman. 3.5 stars
__________________________________________________​
13. Once We Were Brothers / Ronald H. Balson. 4 stars

15LibraryCin
Edited: Aug 25, 2017, 10:49pm Top

13. Overflow
1. Irina's Story / Jim Williams. 3 stars
2. Still Life With Bread Crumbs / Anna Quindlen. 3.5 stars
3. Blue Dahlia / Nora Roberts. 3.5 stars
4. The Last Juror / John Grisham. 4 stars

16LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 6:55pm Top

CATWoman:
January: Classics by Women
- Their Eyes Were Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston. 2.5 stars
- 84, Charing Cross Road / Helene Hanff. 3 stars

February: Debut Book
- Until I Say Goodbye / Susan Spencer-Wendel. 3.5 stars
- Watermelon / Marian Keyes. 3.5 stars

March: Genres
- The Winter Palace / Eva Stachniak. 3.5 stars
- Naked in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars
- Copper Sun / Sharon M. Draper. 3.5 stars

April: Biography, Autobiography, Memoir
- The Romanov Sisters / Helen Rappaport. 4 stars
- Catherine de Medici / Leonie Frieda. 3.75 stars

May: Women in the Arts
- The Shattering / Karen Healey. 3.5 stars
- The Perfect Royal Mistress / Diane Haeger. 4 stars

June: Professional Women
- Through a Window / Jane Goodall. 4.5 stars
- Real Murders / Charlaine Harris. 3 stars
- Shopaholic Takes Manhattan / Sophie Kinsella. 3.5 stars

July: Women of Colour
- The Game of Silence / Louise Erdrich. 3.5 stars

August: Nonfiction, Historical Fiction
- Orange is the New Black / Piper Kerman. 4 stars
- The Lady and the Unicorn / Tracy Chevalier. 3.5 stars
- Wicked Girls / Stephanie Hemphill. 2.5 stars

September: Children's Lit/YA/Graphic Novesl
- Eleanor & Park / Rainbow Rowell. 4 stars

October: Regional Reading
- Plainsong / Nancy Huston. 3 stars

November: Feminist and LGBTQ
- Ripley's Game / Patricia Highsmith. 3.5 stars

December: Modern Novel (Post 1960)
- The Hero's Walk / Anita Rau Badami. 3.5 stars
- Raven Black / Ann Cleeves. 3.5 stars
- Glory in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars
- The Medievalist / Anne-Marie Lacy. 4 stars
- The Girls / Emma Cline. 3 stars

17LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 3:32pm Top

AwardsCAT:
January: Costa Award, Best Books
- Bone and Bread / Saleema Nawaz. 3.5 stars

February: Canada Reads, Tournament of Books
- February / Lisa Moore. 2.5 stars

March: Newbery, Caldecott
- On the Banks of Plum Creek / Laura Ingalls Wilder. 4 stars

April: Pulitzer, Dublin
- The Snow Child / Eowyn Ivey. 4 stars

May: Man Booker International, Edgar Awards
- Faithful Place / Tana French. 4.25 stars
- Lives of Girls and Women / Alice Munro. 3 stars

June: PEN, National Book Award
- We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves / Karen Joy Fowler. 4 stars

July: Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction, any Sci-Fi/Fantasy Award
- Dying Inside / Robert Silverberg. 3 stars

August: Stonewall Book Award, Miles Franklin Literary Award
- Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic / Alison Bechdel. 4 stars

September: Man Booker, O. Henry
- Skippy Dies / Paul Murray. 3 stars

October: Giller Prize, Nobel Prize
- A World Elsewhere / Wayne Johnston. 3 stars

November: Local Awards
- Road Trip Rwanda / Will Ferguson. 4 stars

December: International Awards
- Raven Black / Ann Cleeves. 3.5 stars

18LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 11:27pm Top

CultureCAT:
January: Ethics in Science and Technology
- My Stroke of Insight / Jill Bolte Taylor. 4 stars

February: Public Health and Medicine
- Miracle Cure / Harlan Coben. 3.5 stars
- Until I Say Goodbye / Susan Spencer-Wendel. 3.5 stars
- Mindless Eating / Brian Wansink. 3.5 stars

March: Cultural Diversity
- Birdie / Tracey Lindberg. 2 stars

April: Religious Diversity
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet / David Mitchell. 2.25 stars

May: Gender Equality
- First Test / Tamora Pierce. 3.5 stars
- Boy, Snow, Bird / Helen Oyeyemi. 3 stars

June: Environment/Conservation
- Your Water Footprint / Stephen Leahy. 4 stars
- Through a Window / Jane Goodall. 4.5 stars

July: Violence, Crime, Justice
- Mudbound / Hillary Jordan. 4.5 stars

August: Natural Disasters
- Why New Orleans Matters / Tom Piazza. 3.5 stars

September: Journalism and the Arts
- Little Bee / Chris Cleve. 3.5 stars
- The Fear / Peter Godwin. 3 stars
- A House in the Sky / Amanda Lindhout. 4.25 stars

October: Poverty
- A World Elsewhere / Wayne Johnston. 3 stars
- City of Thieves / David Benioff. 3 stars
- Plainsong / Nancy Huston. 3 stars

November: Conflict and War
- The Last Battle / Stephen Harding. 3.5 stars

December: Cultural Flow and Immigration
- The Hero's Walk / Anita Rau Badami. 3.5 stars

19LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 3:20pm Top

RandomCAT:
January: Search and Rescue
- Scent of the Missing / Susannah Charleson. 4 stars

February: Mine, Yours and Ours
- Trust Your Eyes / Linwood Barclay. 4 stars

March: Luck 'o the Irish
- Scarlet Feather / Maeve Binchy. 3.5 stars

April: Love in the Stacks (library books)
- Schooled / Gordon Korman. 4 stars
- Secondhand Souls / Christopher Moore. 3 stars
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet / David Mitchell. 2.25 stars
- They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children / Romeo Dallaire. 3.5 stars
- The Romanov Sisters / Helen Rappaport. 4 stars
- Murder at the Vicarage / Agatha Christie. 4 stars

May: All About Mom
- Boy, Snow, Bird / Helen Oyeyemi. 3 stars
- Lives of Girls and Women / Alice Munro. 3 stars
- Secrets of Eden / Chris Bohjalian. 3.75 stars
- The Perfect Royal Mistress / Diane Haeger. 4 stars

June: Into the Unknown (Beginnings)
- Shotgun Lovesongs / Nickolas Butler. 4 stars
- A Big Little Life / Dean Koontz. 4 stars
- Shopaholic Takes Manhattan / Sophie Kinsella. 3.5 stars

July: Let's Celebrate (Birthdays)
- The Game of Silence / Louise Erdrich. 3.5 stars

August: Animal Kingdom
- Catacombs / Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. 3 stars
- Native Tongue / Carl Hiaasen. 3.75 stars
- Eye of the Whale / Douglas Carlton Abrams. 4 stars

September: Where Did the Time Go?
- Man Vs. Weather / Dennis DiClaudio. 3.5 stars
- A Deadly Yarn / Maggie Sefton. 3 stars
- The Fear / Robert Mugabe. 3 stars
- Jerry of the Islands / Jack London. 3 stars
- My Story / Elizabeth Smart. 4 stars

October: Turn on the Dark
- The Manhattan Hunt Club / John Saul. 4 stars

November: Traffic Jam
- Love Walked In / Marisa de los Santos. 3.5 stars
- Road Trip Rwanda / Will Ferguson. 4 stars

December: One-Day
- The Snow Queen and Other Tales / Hans Christian Anderson. 2.25 stars
- Welcome Home / Nathan and Jennifer Winograd. 3 stars

20LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 3:21pm Top

AlphaKIT:
Year-Long: X, Z
- Their Eyes Were Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston. 2.5 stars
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry / Gabrielle Zevin. 4 stars

January: S, M
- My Stroke of Insight / Jill Bolte Taylor. 4 stars
- Death in the Air / Shane Peacock. 3.5 stars
- Scent of the Missing / Susannah Charleson. 4 stars
- Palace of Stone / Shannon Hale. 3.25 stars
- Bone and Bread / Saleema Nawaz. 3.5 stars
- Exquisite Corpse / Mark Nelson, Sarah Hudson Bayliss. 3 stars

Februray: H, W
- The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle / Christopher Healy. 3.75 stars
- Miracle Cure / Harlan Coben. 3.5 stars
- The Nightingale / Kristine Hannah. 4.5 stars
- Until I Say Goodbye / Susan Spencer-Wendel. 3.5 stars
- Mindless Eating / Brian Wansink. 3.5 stars
- Watermelon / Marian Keyes. 3.5 stars

March: E, K
- The Winter Palace / Eva Stachniak. 3.5 stars
- Intensity / Dean Koontz. 5 stars

April: I, D
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet / David Mitchell. 2.25 stars
- They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children / Romeo Dallaire. 3.5 stars
- The Snow Child / Eowyn Ivey. 4 stars
- Into Thin Air / Jon Krakauer. 5 stars

May: C, T
- The Mystery of Grace / Charles de Lint. 4 stars
- Faithful Place / Tana French. 4.25 stars
- First Test / Tamora Pierce. 3.5 stars
- The Underground Railroad / Colson Whitehead. 2 stars
- Tsunami: The Newfoundland Tidal Wave Disaster / Maura Hanrahan. 4 stars
- Curtains of Blood / Robert Randisi. 3.5 stars
- The Truth About Catalogers / Will Manley. 3 stars
- I'll Be Watching You / Charles de Lint (Samuel Key). 4.5 stars

June: Y, N
- Your Water Footpring / Stephen Leahy. 4 stars
- Shotgun Lovesongs / Nickolas Butler. 4 stars

July: B. G
- Drums of Autumn / Diana Gabaldon. 4 stars
- Blood Bound / Patricia Briggs. 4 stars
- The Sandman. Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes / Neil Gaiman. 3.5 stars
- The Game of Silence / Louise Erdrich. 3.5 stars
- The Girl on Legare Street / Karen White. 3 stars

August: O, F
- Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic / Alison Bechdel. 4 stars
- Orange is the New Black / Piper Kerman. 4 stars
- One Good Knight / Mercedes Lackey. 3 stars

September: U, P
- Unsouled / Neal Shusterman. 3.5 stars
- The Fear / Peter Godwin. 3 stars

October: A, V
- I See Rude People / Amy Alkon. 4 stars
- Not My Father's Son / Alan Cumming. 4 stars
- Victoria's Castles / Paul G. Chamberlain. 3.5 stars

November: L, Q
- The Last Battle / Stephen Harding. 3.5 stars
- Love Walked In / Marisa de los Santos. 3.5 stars
- The Elephant Whisperer / Lawrence Anthony. 4.5 stars
- The Queen's Mistake / Diane Haeger. 3.5 stars

December: J, R
- Meat / Joseph D'Lacey. 3.5 stars
- Once We Were Brothers / Ronald H. Balson. 4 stars
- The Guinea Pig Diaries / A.J. Jacobs. 3.5 stars
- Ranch of Dreams / Cleveland Amory. 4 stars
- Raven Black / Ann Cleeves. 3.5 stars
- Glory in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars
- Welcome Home / Nathan and Jennifer Winograd. 3 stars

21LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 11:16pm Top

HorrorKIT:
January: Stephen King and Family
- Locke & Key. Vol. 4. Keys to the Kingdom / Joe Hill. 3.5 stars

February: Psychological Suspense
- Still Life With Crows / Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child. 4 stars

March: Richard Matheson/Creatures
- A Stir of Echoes / Richard Matheson. 4 stars

April: Daphne du Maurier/Made into a movie
- Fatal Vision / Joe McGinniss. 4 stars

May: J. Sheridan le Fanu/Ghosts
- The Mystery of Grace / Charles de Lint. 4 stars

June: Ann Radcliffe/Gothic
- Hell House / Richard Matheson. 3.5 stars

July: Neil Gaiman/Young Adult/Graphic Novels
- Blood Bound / Patricia Briggs. 4 stars
- The Sandman. Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes / Neil Gaiman. 3.5 stars

August: Flannery O'Connor/Women
- The Book of Speculation / Erika Swyler. 3 stars

September: Poopy Z. Brite, Tananarive Due/Diversity
- Scarecrow / Alyssa Wong. 3.5 stars

October: Joyce Carol Oates/Modern
- The Manhattan Hunt Club / John Saul. 4 stars

November: Edgar Allen Poe/Poetry and Short Stories
- The Sleeper and the Spindle / Neil Gaiman. 3.5 stars

December: Marjorie Bowen/Crime and Mystery
- Meat / Joseph D'Lacey. 3.5 stars

22LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 23, 2017, 1:46am Top

Trim the TBR/Roundtuit

3. The Woman Who Can't Forget / Jill Price
5. Split Estate / Charlotte Bacon
8. Alfred Hitchcock: a Life in Darkness and Light / Patrick McGilligan
9. Leaving Microsoft to Change the World / John Wood
10. The Guinea Pig Diaries / A.J. Jacobs
11. Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange / Amanda Smyth
12. Breaking Out of Bedlam / Leslie Larson
14. Jane Bites Back / Michael Thomas Ford


1. Palace of Stone / Shannon Hale. 3.25 stars
2. On Thin Ice / Richard Ellis. 3.5 stars
3. Living Oprah / Robyn Okrant. 3.5 stars
4. Exquisite Corpse / Mark Nelson, Sarah Hudson Bayliss. 3 stars
5. Voyagers of the Titanic / Richard Davenport-Hines. 3.5 stars
6. February / Lisa Moore. 2.5 stars
7. Intensity / Dean Koontz. 5 stars
8. Scarlet Feather / Maeve Binchy. 3.5 stars
9. Copper Sun / Sharon M. Draper. 3.5 stars
10. The Secret Keeper / Kate Morton. 3.75 stars
11. Schooled / Gordon Korman. 4 stars
12. They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children / Romeo Dallaire. 3.5 stars
13. Fatal Vision / Joe McGinniss. 4 stars
14. Murder at the Vicarage / Agatha Christie. 4 stars
15. Catherine de Medici / Leonie Frieda. 3.75 stars
16. Faithful Place / Tana French. 4.25 stars
17. First Test / Tamora Pierce. 3.5 stars
18. Lives of Girls and Women / Alice Munro. 3 stars
19. Curtains of Blood / Robert Randisi. 3.5 stars
20. The Truth About Catalogers / Will Manley. 3 stars
21. The Perfect Royal Mistress / Diane Haeger. 4 stars
22. I'll Be Watching You / Charles de Lint (Samuel Key) 4.5 stars
23. Your Water Footprint / Stephen Leahy. 4 stars
24. Through a Window / Jane Goodall. 4.5 stars
25. A Big Little Life / Dean Koontz. 4 stars
26. Rest in Pieces / Rita Mae Brown. 3.25 stars
27. The River / Gary Paulsen. 4 stars
28. Skinny Bitch / Rory Freedman, Kim Barnouin. 3 stars
29. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan / Sophie Kinsella. 3.5 stars
30. Savage Girls and Wild Boys / Michael Newton. 2.5 stars
31. Cool Water / Dianne Warren. 4 stars
32. Blood Bound / Patricia Briggs. 4 stars
33. The Game of Silence / Louise Erdrich. 3.5 stars
34. As Seen on TV / Sarah Mlynowski. 3.75 stars
35. Dying Inside / Robert Silverberg. 3 stars
36. Catacombs / Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. 3 stars
37. Orange is the New Black / Piper Kerman. 4 stars
38. Native Tongue / Carl Hiaasen. 3.75 stars
39. Eye of the Whale / Douglas Carlton Abrams. 4 stars
40. The Lady and the Unicorn / Tracy Chevalier. 3.5 stars
41. The Nobodies Album / Carolyn Parkhurst. 3.5 stars
42. Why New Orleans Matters / Tom Piazza. 3.5 stars
43. Wicked Girls / Stephanie Hemphill. 2.5 stars
44. One Good Knight / Mercedes Lackey. 3 stars
45. The Good Father / Diane Chamberlain. 5 stars
46. Man Vs. Weather / Dennis DiClaudio. 3.5 stars
47. A Deadly Yarn / Maggie Sefton. 3 stars
48. The Fear / Peter Godwin. 3 stars
49. My Story / Elizabeth Smart. 4 stars
50. Skippy Dies / Paul Murray. 3 stars
51. I See Rude People / Amy Alkon. 4 stars
52. The Manhattan Hunt Club / John Saul. 4 stars
53. Victoria's Castles / Paul G. Chamberlain. 3.5 stars
54. Plainsong / Nancy Huston. 3 stars
55. IT / Stephen King. 4.75 stars
56. The Water is Wide / Pat Conroy. 4 stars
57. The Thistle and the Rose / Jean Plaidy. 4 stars
58. The Queen's Mistake / Diane Haeger. 3.5 stars
59. Meat / Joseph D'Lacey. 3.5 stars
60. The Guinea Pig Diaries / A.J. Jacobs. 3.5 stars
61. 703: How I Lost More Than a Quarter Ton and Gained a Life / Nancy Makin. 3 stars
62. The Fossil Hunter / Shelley Emling. 4 stars

23LibraryCin
Edited: May 30, 2017, 11:23pm Top

Climbing the PBT Stairs
Stair 1: Nature
1. On Thin Ice / Richard Ellis. 3.5 stars
Stair 2: Russia
1. The Winter Palace / Eva Stachniak. 3.5 stars
2. The Romanov Sisters / Helen Rappaport. 4 stars
Stair 3: Thriller
1. Miracle Cure / Harlan Coben. 3.5 stars
2. Intensity / Dean Koontz. 5 stars
3. I'll Be Watching You / Charles de Line (Samuel Key). 4.5 stars
Stair 4: Series
1. Palace of Stone / Shannon Hale. 3.25 stars
2. Still Life With Crows / Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child. 4 stars
3. Naked in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars
4. On the Banks of Plum Creek / Laura Ingalls Wilder. 4 stars
Stair 5: Canadian
1. Death in the Air / Shane Peacock. 3.5 stars
2. Bone and Bread / Saleema Nawaz. 3.5 stars
3. Trust Your Eyes / Linwood Barclay. 4 stars
4. February / Lisa Moore. 2.5 stars
5. Birdie / Tracey Lindberg. 2 stars

24LibraryCin
Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 4:45pm Top

Hitting the PBT High Notes

2008: Love Walked In / Maria de los Santos. 3.5 stars
2009: PBT Top 100. 84, Charing Cross Road / Helene Hanff. 3 stars
2010: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet / David Mitchell. 2.25 stars
2011: PBT Top 100. Their Eyes Were Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston. 2.5 stars
2012: City of Thieves / David Benioff. 3 stars
2013: Mudbound / Hillary Jordan. 4.5 stars
2014: The Snow Child / Eowyn Ivey. 4 stars
2015: A Man Called Ove / Fredrik Backman. 3 stars
2016: The Nightingale / Kristin Hannah. 4.5 stars

25LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 29, 2017, 11:12pm Top

Travel Across Canada
Continued from 2014+

Alberta: Plainsong / Nancy Huston. 3 stars
British Columbia: Birdie / Tracey Lindberg. 2 stars
- The Dark and Other Love Stories / Deborah Willis. 3.5 stars
- Victoria's Castles / Paul G. Chamberlain. 3.5 stars
Manitoba:
New Brunswick:
Newfoundland:
February / Lisa Moore. 2.5 stars
- Tsunami: The Newfoundland Tidal Wave Disaster / Maura Hanrahan. 4 stars
- A World Elsewhere / Wayne Johnston. 3 stars
Northwest Territories: The River / Gary Paulsen. 4 stars
Nova Scotia:
Nunavut:
Ontario:
Lives of Girls and Women / Alice Munro. 3 stars
Prince Edward Island:
Quebec:
Bone and Bread / Saleema Nawaz. 3.5 stars
Saskatchewan: Cool Water / Dianne Warren. 4 stars
Yukon:

26LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 3:53pm Top

Mystery Monthly Subgenre

January: Young Adult
- Death in the Air / Shane Peacock. 3.5 stars

February: Techno-Thriller
- Trust Your Eyes / Linwood Barclay. 4 stars

March: Child in Peril
- A Stolen Life / Jaycee Dugard. 4 stars

April: Scotland Yard
- Murder at the Vicarage / Agatha Christie. 4 stars

May: Police Procedural
- Faithful Place / Tana French. 4.25 stars

June: Rooting for the Bad Guy
- The Secret History / Donna Tartt. 3 stars

July: Paranormal Mystery
- Blood Bound / Patricia Briggs. 4 stars
- The Girl on Legare Street / Karen White. 3 stars

August: Eco-Thriller
- Native Tongue / Carl Hiaasen. 3.75 stars
- Eye of the Whale / Douglas Carlton Abrams. 4 stars

September: Serial Killers
- I'd Know You Anywhere / Laura Lippman. 4 stars

October: Private Investigators
- The Watchman / Robert Crais. 3.5 stars

November: Aristocratic Detective
- Her Royal Spyness / Rhys Bowen. 3.5 stars

December: Serial Killer
- Glory in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars

27LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 23, 2017, 1:36am Top

Play Book Tag

January: Foreign Literature
- The Pearl That Broke Its Shell / Nadia Hashimi. 4.5 stars

February: quirky
- The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle / Christopher Healy. 3.75 stars
- A Man Called Ove / Fredrik Backman. 3 stars
- Watermelon / Marian Keyes. 3.5 stars

March: Ireland
- Scarlet Feather / Maeve Binchy. 3.5 stars

April: Bestsellers
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet / David Mitchell. 2.25 stars
- Fatal Vision / Joe McGinniss. 4 stars
- The Romanov Sisters / Helen Rappaport. 4 stars
- Into Thin Air / Jon Krakauer. 5 stars

May: 2004
- Tsunami: The Newfoundland Tidal Wave Disaster / Maura Hanrahan. 4 stars

June: Coming of age
- Shotgun Lovesongs / Nickolas Butler. 4 stars
- We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves / Karen Joy Fowler. 4 stars
- The River / Gary Paulsen. 4 stars
- Let's Pretend This Never Happened / Jenny Lawson. 4 stars
- The Skeleton Tree / Iain Lawrence. 4 stars

July: Award Winners
- Cool Water / Dianne Warren. 4 stars
- Mudbound / Hillary Jordan. 4.5 stars

August: Space Opera
- Catacombs / Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. 3 stars

September: American
- Unsouled / Neal Shusterman. 3.5 stars
- Eleanor & Park / Rainbow Rowell. 4 stars
- A Deadly Yarn / Maggie Sefton. 3 stars
- Station Eleven / Emily St. John Mandel. 3.5 stars
- I'd Know You Anywhere / Laura Lippman. 4 stars
- My Story / Elizabeth Smart. 4 stars
- One Perfect Lie / Lisa Scottline. 4 stars

October: Society
- I See Rude People / Amy Alkon. 4 stars
- Hidden Figures / Margot Lee Shetterly. 3.25 stars

November: African American
- Born a Crime / Trevor Noah. 4 stars
- The Water is Wide / Pat Conroy. 4 stars

December: Social Issues
- Meat / Joseph D'Lacey. 3.5 stars
- The Guinea Pig Diaries / A.J. Jacobs. 3.5 stars
- Ranch of Dreams / Cleveland Amory. 4 stars
- 703: How I Lost More Than a Quarter Ton and Gained a Life / Nancy Makin. 3 stars

28LibraryCin
Edited: Jan 2, 2017, 4:12pm Top

Ok, except for coming up with one more category for the 12x12 Challenge (I hope I can come up with one!!), I think that's everything!

ETA: Added in "KIT Challenges". For me, this includes the AlphaKIT and, though it's not an official KIT, it was originally planned to be, and I still call it that, the HorrorKIT. The HorrorKIT is now its own group.

29threadnsong
Jan 2, 2017, 3:48pm Top

What a great Bingo game and what fantastic organization you have for your lists!

30LibraryCin
Jan 2, 2017, 4:10pm Top

Thank you! I think this is the 3rd(?) year I've organized it like this and I like it this way.

Yeah, the BingoDOG is a fun one!

31rabbitprincess
Jan 2, 2017, 5:58pm Top

Welcome back and have fun with your challenges!

32MissWatson
Jan 2, 2017, 6:26pm Top

It's great to see you here again!

33Kristelh
Edited: Jan 3, 2017, 8:03pm Top

dropping off my star, so I can follow.

34mamzel
Jan 2, 2017, 9:51pm Top

>30 LibraryCin: If it works don't fix it? Hope you have another wonderful year!

35sturlington
Edited: Jan 3, 2017, 10:11am Top

Dropping breadcrumbs...

Happy new year!

36LibraryCin
Jan 4, 2017, 11:12pm Top

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell / Nadia Hashimi
4.5 stars

This book tells the stories of two women in Afghanistan. Rahima and Shekiba. Rahima lives in the present-day and after a few years of living as a boy (not uncommon for a family with no sons), she is still only 13(?) when she is “sold” to a warlord as his 4th wife to pay her father’s debts (along with her two slightly older sisters, also sold to the warlords’ family as wives).

Rahima’s hunchbacked aunt has been telling Rahima and her sisters the story of their ancestor, Shekiba, who lived in the early 20th century. Shekiba lost her family to cholera at a young age and wanted to take care of herself, but she wasn’t allowed. As she did not get along with her extended family, they gave her to another family as a housekeeper, but she got into trouble and was sent away from there, as well…

This was really good. I am always more interested in a woman’s point of view in these kinds of books. Of course, there were some horrible things that happened in the book! I was interested in both stories, so switching back and forth didn’t bother me (it was clearly marked at the beginning of each chapter whom we were following). I was a bit appalled at how little seemed to have changed between the two time frames in the book, at least for women. The end was left just a little bit open, so that I’d love to read a sequel. This was the author’s debut novel and I do hope to read her next book, as well.

37DeltaQueen50
Jan 5, 2017, 2:52pm Top

Great to see you back and all organized for another excellent reading year.

38LibraryCin
Jan 7, 2017, 12:01am Top

12x12 Nonfiction, CultureCAT, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG

My Stroke of Insight / Jill Bolte Taylor
4 stars

Jill Bolte Taylor was a single, 37-year old neuroanatomist (brain scientist), when she, herself, suffered a stroke. This book tells her story of the stroke and her 8 year recovery.

The first part of the book explained some of the science of the brain. Have to admit that my mind wandered during parts of this section, but from what I heard, she was making it easy enough to understand. I was listening to the audio, which of course, makes it a bit easier for my mind to wander. The author read the audio herself and did a very good job, but apparently she also does public speaking (she has done a TED Talk about this).

The second part of the book describes the stroke and her recovery. She lost use of the left side of her brain (the analytical part) and actually seemed to enjoy simply using her right brain for a while, not worrying about her ego, feeling compassion and inner peace, etc. Oddly enough, the book was amusing at times even while she was describing her stroke (she was excited to be able to “study” a stroke first-hand!) and in some descriptions of her recovery (“tuna… tuna?… tuna” in different tones of voice as she racked her brain, trying to figure out what tuna was). I was amazed at how child-like she was and how much she needed to re-learn! This was the most interesting part of the book for me.

The last section of the book described the right brain vs the left brain and talked a lot about inner peace and such. Overall, I really liked this book.

39LibraryCin
Jan 8, 2017, 2:25am Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, BingoDOG, AlphaKIT, PBT Stairs, Mystery Subgenre

Death in the Air / Shane Peacock
3.5 stars

In the second book in the series “starring” a 13-year old Sherlock Holmes, Holmes is watching a trapeze performance when one of the performers flies off the bar and lands near Holmes. It appears that someone cut the bar and Holmes is determined to find out who did it. Holmes is also currently homeless and manages to find an apothecary to take him in in return for his help.

I quite enjoyed the mystery in this one, but up until the end, I wasn’t as interested in the secondary characters. However, the last third of the book or so really did pick up for me. I have to admit to not reading much of Conan Doyle’s Holmes, so I’m not sure if these are characters that appear when Holmes is an adult, as well, or not. I would think at least some of them are. If so, the series might be even more appealing to those who enjoy Doyle’s adult Holmes.

40luvamystery65
Jan 9, 2017, 6:16pm Top

Looks like you are ready for a great year of reading!

41LibraryCin
Jan 9, 2017, 8:30pm Top

>40 luvamystery65: Yup! Looking pretty good, so far!

42LibraryCin
Jan 14, 2017, 12:09am Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, BingoDOG

Three Maids for a Crown / Ella March Chase.
4 stars

This novel follows the Grey sisters. The oldest, Lady Jane Grey became Queen of England for 9 days, following Henry VIII’s son, Edward. Henry’s oldest daughter (Jane’s cousin), Mary I, took over and imprisoned and later beheaded Jane. Jane had two younger sisters, Katherine (Kat) and the hunchbacked Mary. Kat married twice for love and Mary was never expected to marry. They were all threats to the throne.

I have read much about Jane, but only one other book (I believe it was nonfiction) about her sisters. I really enjoyed this, but then Jane has fascinated me since high school. The chapters switch perspectives between all three of them. I actually didn’t like Mary in this book, nor did I like Kat all that much. It’s a fictional portrayal, so that may not be, personality-wise, what they were really like, anyway, but the book was still enjoyable, and of course, it’s always a fun way to learn more.

43LibraryCin
Jan 14, 2017, 12:59am Top

12x12 Audio, BingoDOG

The World's Strongest Librarian / Josh Hanagarne
4 stars

Josh Hanagarne grew up to be 6’7” tall and became a librarian. Along the way, he tried many things to get control of his Tourette’s syndrome ticks. He is Mormon and loved to read from an early age. He was about 6 years old when the ticks first appeared, but he wasn’t diagnosed until much later. His father guessed early on that that was what was going on. One thing that Josh tried when he was an adult to help with the ticks was weight training.

I listened to the audio and quite enjoyed this memoir/autobiography. There was plenty of humour in the book and the audio was engaging. I really enjoyed all the book references, most of which I’ve read! Especially loved his “crush” (when he was a child) on Fern from Charlotte’s Web and the mentions of that particular book, as I just reread the book myself! The bits and pieces of Mormonism were interesting, as well. Most (all?) of what I’ve read about that is about the Fundamentalist Mormons (the polygamous Mormons), so it was interesting to read what is similar between the religions.

44lkernagh
Jan 15, 2017, 2:24pm Top

Welcome back and yay for a 4.5 star read to start off your 2017 reading!

45LibraryCin
Jan 15, 2017, 2:53pm Top

Thank you! And it was definitely a good start!

46LibraryCin
Jan 16, 2017, 11:04pm Top

12x12 Animals, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG

Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership With a Search-and-Rescue Dog / Susannah Charleson
4 stars
272 pages

This is primarily the story of Puzzle, but there are also bits and pieces about her handler (and the author). The author has been helping with search-and-rescue of missing humans for a while. She helps with the SAR dogs that are sometimes called out. She eventually decides she would like to be the handler of the one of the dogs, herself, so she finds a golden retriever puppy and trains her. Interspersed with stories of Puzzle’s training, the author shares stories of various searches she has been on.

This was very interesting, I thought. The entire training and certification process was interesting and I also found the search stories interesting: toddlers, elderly, teenagers, also searching after disasters… I do wonder, though, how the trainers can have jobs, but still go running when they are called to help.

47VictoriaPL
Jan 18, 2017, 3:54pm Top

>46 LibraryCin: Interesting! Thanks for the review.

48LisaMorr
Jan 19, 2017, 1:53pm Top

Wow! Lots of great books read already, congrats! I'll take a BB for The Pearl That Broke Its Shell.

49LibraryCin
Jan 19, 2017, 7:14pm Top

>48 LisaMorr: Thank you!

And that particular book was not at all on my radar, but someone chose it for my f2f book club (meeting next week).

50LibraryCin
Jan 20, 2017, 11:31pm Top

12x12 Series, BingoDOG, AlphaKIT, Trim, PBT Stairs

Palace of Stone / Shannon Hale
3.25 stars

In this sequel to The Princess Academy, Miri is called to the palace in the city to help her friend Britta prepare for her wedding to the prince. While there, Miri is allowed to attend school, where she becomes involved with other students who want a revolution, as they feel the nobility should no longer exist. Miri gets caught up in it before she realizes that it may put Britta in danger.

It was ok. I’m giving the story 3 stars, but upping it by ¼ star for the well-done audio. There are multiple cast members for the audio, there are songs that are sung (I was picturing the lyrics to the songs being written out in the book, but they are performed in the audio), and I liked the way letters, thoughts and “quarry-speech” are done for the audio, as well. Despite all this, my mind did still wander somewhat while listening, so I’m attributing that to the story, which is why the slightly lower rating. I rated the first book “good” (3.5 stars) and it appears there is a third book in the series, so I will plan to read it, as well.

51LibraryCin
Jan 20, 2017, 11:52pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, AwardsCAT, AlphaKIT, PBT Stairs, Travel Across Canada

Bone and Bread / Saleema Nawaz
3.5 stars

Beena and Sadhana have an East Indian father and a white mother. They were raised in Montreal, Quebec. Sadhana is two years younger than Beena. Their father died when they were young and their mother when they were teenagers; they are then in the custody of their uncle, who runs the bagel shop (originally owned by their father) downstairs. As they grow up, they each run into teen girl problems (serious ones, not small ones), which I won’t mention, as they aren’t revealed until later in the book (though the blurb does reveal them, as do some tags).

The book is told by Beena in the “present day”, just after Sadhana has died. Sadhana lived alone and was not discovered for a week. Beena has to go clean up the apartment, and brings along her teenage son to help. The book goes back and forth between present day and Beena’s memories of she and her sister growing up.

It started off slow for me, but it did get better. I didn’t always like Beena and the decisions she made, but I could say the same of Sadhana. I don’t have a sister, but it seems that it was likely a good portrayal of sisters. There really was a Canadian flavour to the book, as well, with a look at some of the politics in Quebec.

52LibraryCin
Edited: Jan 22, 2017, 11:59pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, PBT Stairs

On Thin Ice: The Changing World of the Polar Bear / Richard Ellis
3.5 stars

This book is all about polar bears, from the time Europeans first came across them up to their current potential peril due to global warming/climate change.

The history is unfortunate, as humans mostly tended, for a long time, to simply shoot them on site, assuming they were a threat (yes, they can be dangerous, but apparently, they are also very curious, and much of their approaching humans seems more to have been from curiosity than aggression). There was information on their behaviour, which I found particularly interesting. There were chapters on zoos and circuses, and on hunting. The last chapters focused on global warming and how it will affect polar bears and other wildlife in the Arctic; I’ve read enough about this that I’m not surprised by any of it, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating (and sad). There were also plenty of photos, both mixed in with the text and in a separate colour section.

53LibraryCin
Jan 26, 2017, 11:45pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR

Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Live as TV's Most Influential Guru Advises / Robyn Okrant
3.5 stars

Robyn Okrant decided that, in 2008, she would follow every piece of Oprah Winfrey’s advice. Just to see if it could be done and if she would live a better life for it. She watched the show daily, she read O magazine, she read Oprah’s website. And she blogged about it all.

Like Robyn, I once was an occasional Oprah watcher (though not for years), not a huge fan. I just found this an interesting premise and wondered how it would go. I think what surprised me the most was after the year was up (but I’m not giving it away!). I listened to the audio, narrated by Robyn herself and she did well. It kept my attention.

54LibraryCin
Edited: Jan 27, 2017, 12:02am Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, BingoDOG, CATWoman, AlphaKIT, PBT High Notes

Their Eyes Were Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston
2.5 stars

This book follows African-American Janie as she goes through three husbands during the 1920s? 1930s? in Florida.

So, it seemed, to me, like it started off with a bunch of gossipy women. Shortly after, we went back in time to hear about Janie’s life and her three husbands. I wasn’t at all interested in the first husband and I remember nothing of what happened with him. The second husband was slightly more interesting, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out if she was married to “Joe” or “Jody”. It was only at the end of that section that I finally realized that they may have been the same guy. Her third husband, Tea Cake was more interesting, but I zoned out for parts of that section, as well.

I was ready to rate it 2 stars until the surprising ending. That, combined with the slightly more interesting Tea Cake brought up my rating to 2.5 stars. I do know that part of why I “missed” (that is, I wasn’t interested, so wasn’t really paying attention to what I read) much of the book was that the dialogue was written in a dialect that you really have to focus on to figure out. At least, it didn’t come easy to me, and I have a hard time slowing myself down to follow it better, so I missed much of the dialogue, but I know that wasn’t all, as there were other parts that I missed out on, as well.

I know so many people loved this, but sorry, not me.

Oh, and this isn’t this book alone, nor does it reflect this story, but once again, I HATE when publishers put an introduction, preface, foreword, etc of a classic where they pretty much reveal the entire plot!!! I started reading it, but when they started mentioning plot, I skipped the rest and read the book. I then went back and read the intro. Why, why, why do this? Why give it all away before one has even read the story!? Put these comments in an afterword…

55mamzel
Jan 27, 2017, 12:53pm Top

>54 LibraryCin: I'm sorry you didn't love this book. I really did. Yes, the dialogue slowed me down but it was such a short book anyway that it didn't bother me. And I agree about the intro and spoilers. I just read some short stories by Twain which each had comments. I stopped reading them because of the spoilers.

56luvamystery65
Jan 27, 2017, 1:52pm Top

>54 LibraryCin: I loved this book but I get why you don't.

I have stopped reading book blurbs, introductions and even the dust jacket covers. Too much information! The only exceptions I have made were to War and Peace and Moby Dick. I just needed some information to decide if I should tackle those chunksters.

57LibraryCin
Jan 27, 2017, 7:09pm Top

>56 luvamystery65: You've gone all out! I will still read blurbs or dust jacket covers.

Obviously, I've had those issues before with introductions and such, so even when I started reading it for this, I was "watching" for the chapter to start talking about the plot. If it was going to avoid it, I would have happily read through it first, but on that first note where I could "see" it turning to plot discussion, I had already decided I'd skip it and go back and read it afterward.

58LibraryCin
Jan 28, 2017, 6:49pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, CATWoman, PBT High Notes

84, Charing Cross Road / Helene Hanff
3 stars

This is a series of letters sent between the author in New York and a bookseller in England (and some of his staff), from 1949 to 1969.

It was ok, but I didn’t see anything special in this. I didn’t particularly like some of Helen’s interactions (chastising the bookseller for not sending the *exact* thing she wanted). I found the mailing of meat overseas a bit odd. I realize there was a shortage and rations, but still odd. At least it was quick to read.

59LibraryCin
Jan 29, 2017, 7:06pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, Trim, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG

Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder / Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss
3 stars

The “Black Dahlia” murder was the murder of 22-year old Elizabeth Short in LA in 1947. She was found with her body cut in half. The murder has never been solved, but George Hodel was one of the suspects at the time. This book illustrates the similarities between Elizabeth Short’s murdered body and surrealist art. Hodel was apparently connected to the art scene in LA around the time, as well as being a doctor.

I am more interested in the crime itself and not surrealist (weird!!!) art. There were plenty of photos in the book, of both surrealist art and the crime scene. The crime scene photos are pretty graphic, but the authors assure the reader that these are the least bad of the crime scene photos. The photos do show how closely her body does resemble plenty of surrealist art. There was a LOT more information than I ever wanted to know about surrealism and the artists themselves. The bulk of the book was really about the art and the artists and less about the crime. Despite me not really being interested in art history, the book mostly did hold my attention, so it’s an “ok” for me, but I’d really like to find more information on the murder itself where the book actually focuses on that.

60LibraryCin
Feb 3, 2017, 11:44pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Trim

Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worlds They Came From / Richard Davenport-Hines
3.5 stars

The author gives some background information on many of the people who were on the Titanic when she sank; this includes crew and passengers from all three classes.

This one started off slow. There are a lot of people who were mentioned, so I found it difficult to remember who’s who, except the ones I’ve heard of before (mostly some of the 1st class passengers). Of course, once we got to the point when the ship hit the iceberg, then it really picked up for me. So, the second half of the book was much more interesting to me. After people were rescued, there was follow up information on some of them, as well. Overall, it was good.

61-Eva-
Feb 6, 2017, 1:23am Top

Dropping a comment so that I get to follow your thread - happy reading! (I'm a little behind, so apologies for the generic comment - better to come, I hope.) :)

62LibraryCin
Feb 6, 2017, 8:23pm Top

>61 -Eva-: No worries, Eva! Nice to see you here!

63LibraryCin
Edited: Feb 6, 2017, 11:38pm Top

12x12 Series, AlphaKIT, PBT

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle / Christopher Healy
3.75 stars

This is the second book in the “Prince of Leagues” series, where four “Princes Charming” have joined up to be heroes: Prince Gustav (paired with healer Rapunzel), Prince Liam (Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty), Prince Duncan (Snow White) and Prince Frederic (Cinderella/Ella). In this installment, Liam doesn’t want to marry Briar Rose, but she kidnaps him to force him into the marriage. On hearing this, the other princes (and Ella) join to stop the wedding! From there, they all end up on another adventure.

I listened to the audio (again) and Bronson Pinchot is truly amazing! So many different voices for so many different characters! The story itself I’m giving a “good” (3.5 stars) and I’m adding in an extra .25 for the audio. Despite Pinchot’s performance, I did lose focus occasionally, and I am assuming it was the story, not the performance. I did find the story picked up once the princes were together again (there was some intro where they were separate at the start of the book). Overall, though, it was still a lot of fun! I love Duncan and Snow! So funny! Well, it could be the voices Pinchot brings to them that I love… but it’s not just that! But, it helps. I also thought Briar Rose made a really good villain. I did find some of the voices were probably done more for children (the giants, trolls, and more), so I wasn’t as excited about those

64LibraryCin
Feb 7, 2017, 12:10am Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, CultureCAT, AlphaKIT, PBT Stairs

Miracle Cure / Harlan Coben
3.5 stars

Sara is a reporter. She is married to pro-basketball player Michael. Her father is a doctor, researching cancer. Friends of Sara and Michael’s are researching AIDS and, though this has been kept a secret, they think they’ve found a cure. But, some of the cured patients are turning up tortured and murdered! One of the head doctors has committed suicide (though the reader knows at the start that he was also murdered), and there are financial and political concerns for the AIDS clinic.

This was good. This is one of Coben’s earlier novels and my edition has a brief introduction by the author that he realizes it is dated, but he still likes the book. It is dated. It’s early in the fight against AIDS and gay men are more openly mocked. But, it’s still a good story. Not as good as his later books, but still good. At the start, I had a bit of a hard time figuring out some of the characters and where each fit in. But, I think I had who was who figured out by the end. I was surprised at the ending, which almost brought it up to 4 stars, but not quite.

65LibraryCin
Feb 11, 2017, 1:14am Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, BingoDOG

Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter / Randy L. Schmidt
4 stars

This book was not authorized by the family. Any earlier biographies, tv movies, etc, were all authorized by her family and, seemingly, “whitewashed”. The author of this one talks to many, many people who knew Karen - friends, family, other celebrities - to put together her life.

Karen Carpenter was one of the siblings in the musical brother-sister duo, The Carpenters, who became stars in the 1970s. Karen became anorexic and died at 32-years old.

The above was about as much as I knew about Karen Carpenter. The Carpenters were big before I was born and when I was very young. I do remember some of their music from when I was younger, but I particularly remember watching the tv movie that aired in 1989. I was in high school at that time and that may have been when I found out about her anorexia. This book brings to light some of the reasons that she may have developed anorexia: an overprotective mother; a disastrous marriage; though she was the “star” of the Carpenters, she was always second-best in her family, as brother Richard was always her parents’ (or at least her mother’s) favourite, and that was never hidden.

There was a lot of detail about the songs/hits, etc. Maybe a bit too much. At the same time, I had a Carpenters soundtrack running through my head the entire time I was reading it! I even had to youtube their music to listen to some I didn’t know (or some I did know, but didn’t recognize based on the title). And I’m listening to The Carpenters as I write this review.

Overall, though, I thought it was very good. There was a lot I didn’t know about Karen, and it was all very interesting, and no question, very sad.

66LibraryCin
Feb 11, 2017, 7:08pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, High Notes, BingoDOG

A Man Called Ove / Fredrik Backman
3 stars

Ove is a grumpy old man. Well, only 59, but still grumpy. He has lost his wife and new (foreign!) neighbours move in, Parvaneh and Patrick. They have two young daughters and a baby on the way.

Not much really happens. Ove just grumps about everyone (mostly people), while Parvaneh and her daughters always seem to be around. I was listening to the audio and there was a lot of jumping around in time, so I was often lost as to whether we were back in time or present-day (unless Ove’s wife, Sonja, was alive – in that case, it was obvious). It just really didn’t hold my attention all that much. Parts were ok, but it wasn’t anything special for me. There was a small surprise near the end and I briefly thought I might increase my rating, but overall, it wasn’t enough. I did enjoy Parvaneh’s character, though. Not matter how gruff Ove was to her, she just took it all in stride.

67LibraryCin
Feb 12, 2017, 1:43am Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, HorrorKIT

Locke & Key. Vol. 4. Keys to the Kingdom / Joe Hill
3.5 stars

The two older Locke kids are having trouble with their relationships, while the youngest, Bode, continues to explore the keys and his mother wants him to make friends. He does make a friend of Rufus, who lives with Kinsey’s boyfriend, Zack.

It was good. I love the artwork in this series. I have to admit, though, that because I always have such a long gap in between books in the series, it takes me a while when I start reading to remember what had happened previously. Great ending in this one!

68LibraryCin
Feb 14, 2017, 9:54pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, RandomCAT, PBT Stairs, Mystery Subgenre

Trust Your Eyes / Linwood Barclay
4 stars

Ray’s father has died in an accident. He father lived with and took care of Ray’s adult schizophrenic brother, Thomas. Thomas spends all his time online, memorizing city maps/streets – all cities around the world. He thinks he is helping the CIA. When Thomas thinks he sees a murder in one of the windows from the street map/view he is memorizing, he insists Ray go check out what happened. In the meantime, Allison has had an affair with a politician’s wife and is now blackmailing her. It doesn’t take long for this to go horribly wrong.

It took a little while to set this one up, but about 1/3 of the way in, it really got going and with 1/3 of the book left, it cranked up another notch. There were an additional couple of surprises at the very end.

69LibraryCin
Feb 19, 2017, 4:23pm Top

12x12 Travel, AlphaKIT, PBT High Notes

The Nightingale / Kristin Hannah
4.5 stars

Vianne and Isabelle are sisters, but are not close. Vianne is married and has a daughter and lives in rural France, while Isabelle prefers Paris. Vianne’s husband goes to fight in World War II, and Isabelle goes to live with Vianne. The sisters are opposites. Vianne wants to not rock the boat and just wait for Antoine to come home. Isabelle is furious and wants to help stop the Germans, so she gets involved with some underground resistance. In fact, Isabelle is very involved and it is very dangerous. Meanwhile, Vianne’s home is “confiscated” by the Germans when the town is invaded and a German soldier stays with them. This is dangerous for everyone…

The book goes back and forth between 1995 and 1939-1945. I think I’ve only read one other book (that comes to mind, anyway) that is set in France during the war (Sarah’s Key), so between the two books, I am learning more of what happened in occupied France. At first, I found Isabelle’s story more intriguing (we also went back and forth between what was happening with each sister), but as time went on, things were happening on both ends. Despite the length of the book, it was a fast read for me. Very, very well done and very interesting and heartbreaking, at times.

70VictoriaPL
Feb 20, 2017, 9:05am Top

>69 LibraryCin: So glad you enjoyed it. I loved this book.

71LibraryCin
Feb 20, 2017, 11:29pm Top

12x12 Audio, BingoDOG, CATWoman, CultureCAT, AlphaKIT

Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living With Joy / Susan Spencer-Wendel
3.5 stars

The author was in her 40s when she was diagnosed with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease). ALS eats away at muscles until a person can no longer walk, talk, or do pretty much anything for themselves. There is no cure and it is terminal. She was married and had three children. She quit her job as a court reporter, and spent time with her friends and family doing something she loved: travelling. In that time, she also met her biological mother (she was adopted) and found out her biological father had already died, but she went to Greece to meet his family, as well. She simply wanted to enjoy the time she had while she could still do things.

Susan had a great attitude and plenty of determination, as she wrote much of this book on her iPad, hunting and pecking the letters with one thumb. The book wasn’t nearly as sad as I thought it might be, but I’m sure that was due to her attitude. Of course, there were a few times where I teared up, anyway. I did know someone with ALS, though I hadn’t been in contact with her for a few years. I heard that she was also very positive and tried to enjoy life as much as she could for as long as she could, so I imagine she had a similar attitude to Susan. For anyone who likes inspirational stories, this is definitely it.

72-Eva-
Feb 22, 2017, 11:34pm Top

>66 LibraryCin:
Really need to get around to that one - it's been on my to-read list for what feels like forever. :)

73LibraryCin
Feb 22, 2017, 11:56pm Top

>72 -Eva-: You'll probably enjoy it much more than I did. Most people did!

74LibraryCin
Feb 23, 2017, 10:42pm Top

12x12 Series, HorrorKIT, PBT Stairs

Still Life With Crows / Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
4 stars

In this 4th book of the series, FBI Special Agent Pendergast shows up (while on his vacation!) to a small corn-farming community in Kansas to help solve a recent murder. He hires a high school girl, who is often in trouble herself and who just wants to get out of town as soon as she’s done high school, to be his assistant and chauffeur. The local sheriff is surprised that Pendergast thinks the killer is local… in this small town of fewer than 400 people, where everyone knows everyone! Unfortunately, the killings don’t stop at one…

I thought this was really good. I liked the change of location for this book. It was very creepy at times, in amidst all that corn!

75LibraryCin
Feb 25, 2017, 5:54pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT, CultureCAT, BingoDOG

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think / Brian Wansink.
3.5 stars

This book explains why so many of us eat mindlessly, without thinking about how much we are eating, resulting in weight gain. Portion sizes are a big one, including packaging and plate size. But, there are plenty more reasons than that. The author describes plenty of studies that explain this and includes tips on how to cut back.

I thought this was very interesting, though much of it makes sense when you think about it. The nice part of this book is that he has the studies to prove these things. I would love to be able to do some of the things he suggests. I actually wish I owned the book, so I could refer back to it later. I didn’t even go into the book looking for ways to lose weight, just to read some interesting information! I listened to the audio, read by the author, and he did a fine job.

76LibraryCin
Feb 27, 2017, 12:15am Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, BingoDOG, CATWoman, AlphaKIT

Watermelon / Marian Keyes
3.5 stars

The day Claire has her first baby, her husband James tells her he’s been having an affair and he is leaving Claire. Devastated, Claire moves back to Dublin from London to live with her parents and two younger sisters while she tries to figure out where to go from here. Her youngest sister, Helen, is in college and one day brings home a friend, Adam.

Have to admit, I didn’t like Claire all that much, but there were humourous bits to the story and it was still enjoyable, overall. Actually, I’m not sure there were any characters I really liked much. Maybe Adam. Close to the end, it was a bit… odd and took some figuring out (as Claire was also figuring it out!). I did enjoy the book enough to put the next Walsh family book on my tbr.

77mathgirl40
Mar 1, 2017, 10:43pm Top

>68 LibraryCin: Trust Your Eyes isn't my favourite Linwood Barclay book, but I find all his books extremely hard to put down once I start them!

78LibraryCin
Mar 1, 2017, 11:35pm Top

>77 mathgirl40: Yes, I agree about them being hard to put down!

79LibraryCin
Mar 1, 2017, 11:37pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, PBT Stairs, Travel Across Canada, AwardsCAT, Trim

February / Lisa Moore
2.5 stars

In 1982, an oil rig sank off the coast of Newfoundland. This book follows Helen, now a young widow, as her husband, Cal, had been working on the oil rig. Helen is left to care for four children.

It wasn’t a boring story, but the book flipped all over the place in time, mostly between 2008 and other years, looking back. Each section did introduce the year, but it was really all over the place, I thought. I didn’t care about characters, and I didn’t believe the outcome of John’s (John is one of Helen’s children, an adult in 2008) storyline. Also, what is wrong with using quotation marks?

80LibraryCin
Mar 5, 2017, 10:46pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, PBT Stairs, CATWoman, AlphaKIT

The Winter Palace / Eva Stachniak
3.5 stars

This book primarily follows Polish orphan Varvara, who has come to Russian Empress Elizabeth’s court after her father died. She ends up doing some spying for the chancellor, then the Empress herself, before she becomes friends with Prussian princess, Sophie, who would later become Catherine the Great. This follows the time frame from just before Sophie’s arrival to shortly after she becomes Empress of Russia.

I liked it. Not quite as much as I’d hoped I would, but I still enjoyed it. There is a sequel that I will definitely plan to read. I was disappointed, though, that there was no author’s note, which I always appreciate in any historical fiction I read.

81-Eva-
Mar 5, 2017, 11:16pm Top

>76 LibraryCin:
Aargh, I resent that book! Not because of the book, but because it was one of the questions on our pubquiz and I couldn't for the life of me come up with "Keyes!" So irritating. :)

82LibraryCin
Mar 6, 2017, 9:10pm Top

>81 -Eva-: LOL! Oh no!

83LibraryCin
Mar 6, 2017, 9:39pm Top

12x12 Overflow
Technically, I could fit this in elsewhere, but I decided not to, as I read about half of this one in December 2016.

Irina's Story / Jim Williams
3 stars

This book follows Irina’s family throughout the 20th century in Russia. It is told as Irina is an old lady, looking back on her life and telling the stories of her family. Irina herself is a hunchback and never did marry.

It was ok. There were a lot of characters to remember, and it didn’t help that I didn’t manage to read it without setting it aside for other monthly challenges. I found some stories more interesting than others; as usual, the women’s stories are usually more interesting to me. I was less interested when there was too much talk of politics (though, throughout 20th century Russia, there is a good chunk of that, affecting everyone!). I did appreciate the author’s note at the end, as I always do when I read historical fiction.

84LibraryCin
Mar 7, 2017, 10:48pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim, AlphaKIT, PBT Stairs

Intensity / Dean Koontz
5 stars

Laura and Chyna are college students and friends. When Chyna goes with Laura to her parents’ place for a weekend, she is awakened the first night by screams. Someone has broken into the house. Chyna hides, then tries to help Laura and her parents without the guy realizing she is there…

Wow! The book is titled well – it was definitely intense! After a brief set-up to the story, it was just bang, bang, bang, one thing after another! I think the audio helped with that. At first, I wasn’t sure I would like the narrator. She spoke quickly and mostly in a monotone, but after it got going, I think she was the perfect narrator for the story and it really highlighted the “intensity” of the book to do it that way. The story alternated between Chyna’s and the intruder’s (Vess’s) points of view. I was briefly uninterested in Vess’s philosophy, and I didn’t agree with some of Chyna’s decisions, but the rest of the story + the audio still made it 5 stars for me. Ever since I started listening to it, I’ve been trying to recommend it to people, but there are so many who don’t read horror!

85LibraryCin
Mar 10, 2017, 10:03pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, BingoDOG, CATWoman, PBT Stairs

Naked in Death / J.D. Robb
3.5 stars

This is the first in the series. Sharon is a “licensed companion” (i.e. an upscale prostitute) who has been murdered. Her grandfather is a high-ranking conservative politician, who doesn’t want detail of the murder to get out. Eve Dallas is the lieutenant investigating the murder.

I really liked the story, and would have given it 4 stars, if not for the love interest, who I really, really disliked. If he’d been there, but not as a love interest, or not been there at all, or had a completely different personality, I would have liked it better. Oh, there was a big reveal “scene”, but I was slightly lost with the use of familial terms, as somehow I had missed some of those familial connections and how some of them were connected to others, so until the end of the reveal, I wasn’t quite sure who was doing what to whom! The ending was very good, with some edge-of-your-seat moments right up until the end and there was a little twist. I have the next two books in the series, so I will read them, but if this love interest sticks around, I’m not sure if I’ll continue beyond the books I have.

Interesting… with my review written (except for this little extra bit), I’m perusing other reviews. I see I’m in a minority for not liking the love interest. Also (though a few things confused me and this explains it), I seem to have missed that this was set in the future… Even worse, I see that someone (though they seem not to think it’s a spoiler… seems to me it’s a pretty big one), has spoiled the rest of the series for me, and apparently I may not be reading much beyond the next two books, unless something changes

86lkernagh
Mar 12, 2017, 6:07pm Top

>79 LibraryCin: - Sorry to see February didn't capture your attention, but I agree with your statement that the story tended to jump around a bit much. Interestingly, I didn't notice the lack of quotation marks when I read it but than some of my favorite authors seem to think punctuation and such are frivolous extras they don't always remember to include in their stories. Sometimes the lack of punctuation works, sometimes not. ;-0

87LibraryCin
Mar 17, 2017, 10:29pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, RandomCAT, Trim

Scarlet Feather / Maeve Binchy
3.5 stars

Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather are friends and are trying to start a catering business in Dublin. Cathy’s husband, Neil, has young cousins who show up at his rich parents’ place, needing a place to stay, but they rub his parents the wrong way, so Cathy and Neil end up taking them in. Tom’s wife, Marcella, wants desperately to be a model.

There is plenty going on, as this novel follows their lives for one year. There are many characters, and the perspective goes back and forth amongst many of them, but somehow, they are pretty easy to keep straight. I quite like that Binchy often has characters in multiple novels. I enjoyed the book, but problems can be seen coming from a bit of a distance. That is, I don’t think there are really any surprises in the book.

88LibraryCin
Mar 17, 2017, 10:48pm Top

12x12 Audio, BingoDOG, CATWoman, Trim

Copper Sun / Sharon M. Draper
3.5 stars

It is the 18th century. Amari is a 15-year old girl in her village in Africa when the village is attacked by white people and the survivors are chained up and taken away. Amari has a boy she was intending to marry, but obviously that will no longer happen (though he survived the initial attack, as well). To no surprise to the reader, they are shipped to the United States where they become slaves. On the plantation that Amari goes to, she becomes unlikely friends with a white girl around her age - Polly is an indentured servant.

It’s a YA book, so it doesn’t go into as much detail as adult books might, nor is it as complex, but it was still good. I’m still not sure if Fort Mose in Florida is real, though. It’s someplace I hadn’t heard of.

89LibraryCin
Mar 19, 2017, 2:08am Top

12x12 Oh Canada, CultureCAT, PBT Stairs, Travel Across Canada

Birdie / Tracey Lindberg
Touchstone stopped working for this one.
2 stars

Bernice (aka Birdie) is a Cree woman and has recently come to Gibsons, British Columbia, where The Beachcombers was filmed. Bernice has had a crush on the only Indian character, Jesse, since she was younger. The story goes back and forth in time from Bernice in Gibsons to growing up in Alberta.

I just didn’t find this book very interesting, so my mind wandered. The most interesting parts were when she was growing up, but in general, I wasn’t interested and didn’t really care. Even less was I interested in the little bit of poetry(???) at the end of each chapter and the bit of dreaming(???) at the start of each chapter. Those parts, I barely skimmed, if I didn’t skip them altogether.

90LibraryCin
Mar 22, 2017, 11:41pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, BingoDOG, AwardsCAT, PBT Stairs

On the Banks of Plum Creek / Laura Ingalls-Wilder
4 stars

In the 4th Little House book, following Laura Ingalls-Wilder and her family, they have just arrived in Minnesota, where they trade a few of their things with a Norwegian farmer for his land and sod house, built right in to the hill. The girls go to school and church for the first time. The Ingalls family has to deal with drought and grasshoppers on their farm, as well as winter prairie blizzards.

This is where many of the characters from the tv show are from; we meet Nellie Oleson in this book. One of my favourite chapters was their first Christmas tree at the church. These books are so very good at descriptions: the descriptions of the farm, the sky, the weather, the grasshoppers, the blizzards… These books are just really enjoyable!

91LibraryCin
Mar 23, 2017, 12:02am Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, HorrorKIT, BingoDOG

A Stir of Echoes / Richard Matheson
4 stars

It started with a party at a neighbour’s place and one friend who said he’d like to hypnotize someone. Tom said he’d be hypnotized, but later that night, he couldn’t sleep… and there was a “woman” in his house. That is, possibly a ghost? From there, Tom seemed to be able to sense what others were feeling… then he seemed to be able to “see” things happen before they happened… And on and on…

I really liked this. Not only was all this going on with Tom, but Tom has a wife and young son. His wife, in particular, was very upset about the whole thing, so in addition to Tom trying to figure out what was going on with himself, the book also explored how this was affecting their relationship. And there was a surprise ending.

92LisaMorr
Mar 23, 2017, 11:55am Top

>91 LibraryCin: Sounds like a good one!

93LibraryCin
Mar 23, 2017, 1:40pm Top

>92 LisaMorr: I thought so. I think there are some reviews that have it rated slightly lower than I did.

94LibraryCin
Mar 27, 2017, 10:11pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre

A Stolen Life / Jaycee Dugard
4 stars

Jaycee Dugard was only 11-years old in 1991 when she was snatched from the street while she walked to school one morning. She was raped and imprisoned for 18 years before she got out with her two daughters, born to her at ages 14 and 17.

How horrifying! I can’t even imagine. I vaguely remember hearing the name somewhere along the way, but don’t remember hearing what actually happened. (But then (sadly), there seem to have been a number of these, so I may also be confusing some of them). This book is not for the faint of heart, as it does go into detail on the sexual abuse – at least to describe the first time Philip did each of these horrible things to her, though later in the book, it wasn’t mentioned as much... certainly wasn’t described in detail later. And Philip’s wife, Nancy, was a party to all of this, right from helping him the day they kidnapped her!

Jaycee mixes what she remembers from when it was happening with reflections (at the end of many chapters) to describe what she thinks/feels as she looks back, and with journal entries from the time - one journal focusing on one of the many cats that she had while in captivity and one journal that goes through some of the last decade or so of her captivity. Some of the writing was simple – Jaycee only had a grade 5 education before she was kidnapped – but that didn’t detract from my interest to keep reading and find out what happened and how she got out. The end does focus on some of the recovery and reunion with her mom, sister, and aunt after she got out with her daughters.

95LibraryCin
Mar 29, 2017, 10:24pm Top

12x12 Audio

Someone Else's Love Story / Joshilyn Jackson
3.5 stars

Shandi was drugged and almost raped a few years ago and now has a little boy, Natty. William lost his wife and little girl in a car crash exactly one year before he and Shandi are in a convenience store that is held up by Stevie. William takes a bullet to protect Natty and Shandi is head over heels!

I listened to the audio and the narrator was the author. She did a fine job, though I wasn’t crazy about some of the male voices, which were a bit stilted (though that could also have reflected personalities). Some of the story was told looking back, and some continuing on from the hold up. I really didn’t like William, though, nor was I interested in his and/or Bridget’s story. I found Shandi’s story much more interesting (once it got going, after the hold up).

96LisaMorr
Mar 31, 2017, 5:25pm Top

>94 LibraryCin: I remember when it was reported that she had gotten free of her captors and later on seeing her do some talk shows - I was amazed at how calm she seemed. I'll have to read this one.

97LibraryCin
Apr 2, 2017, 1:58am Top

12x12 Travel, Trim the TBR

The Secret Keeper / Kate Morton
3.75 stars

In 1961, Laurel is 16-years old and (from a distance) witnesses her mother put a knife into a stranger and kill him. By 2011, Laurel has become an actress and comes home to be with her mother and family (four sisters and a brother), as her mother is dying. She intends to find out who the man was and the circumstances behind her mother’s actions.

I'd love to give it 4 stars for the great build-up and ending, but it started really slow for me and didn't pick up until about 1/3 of the way in. Once it picked up, though, it just kept building and building to reveal the multitude of secrets (and twists!) behind Laurel’s mother’s past. The book went back and forth in time between Laurel trying to find out what happened and the war, to what was happening. I’m pretty sure, on looking back at this one, I will remember it more as a 4 star book, anyway.

98LibraryCin
Apr 2, 2017, 11:48pm Top

12x12 Trim, RandomCAT, Trim the TBR

Schooled / Gordon Korman
4 stars

Capricorn has been raised on a commune, by his grandmother, Rain. He has no experience in the “real world”, but when Rain is injured and needs time to heal, Cap is taken in by a social worker and has to go to the local middle school. Cap, the new kid, is nothing like anyone’s ever seen before… this weird hippie kid, who doesn’t understand the first thing about middle school or kids his own age. Because of this, he’s an easy target to pick on.

This was really good. Meant for a younger audience, it’s pretty simple and quick to read, but a good story. I have mixed feelings about the end of the book, but overall, I really enjoyed it.

99mamzel
Apr 3, 2017, 12:33pm Top

>98 LibraryCin: Korman also wrote a book called No More Dead Dogs where a student refused to read an assigned book because there was a dog on the cover and everyone knows that means the dog dies. That's so true!

100LibraryCin
Apr 3, 2017, 2:51pm Top

101LibraryCin
Apr 6, 2017, 11:48pm Top

12x12 Series, BingoDOG, RandomCAT

Secondhand Souls / Christopher Moore
3 stars

Charlie Asher used to collect souls. There has been a gap, when many souls that should have been collected, weren’t. Somehow this is all related to the Golden Gate Bridge.

This is the sequel to “A Dirty Job”, which was one of my favourites by Moore. Unfortunately, this one fell quite a bit short for me. I’m rating it ok at 3 stars, which might be a bit generous. It was nice to revisit some characters and I was interested as some events were happening, but I often missed connections on why something was happening (hence the sketchy summary in my first paragraph!). I listened to the audio, and I did think the narrator did a good job – he particularly did well with various accents.

102LibraryCin
Apr 6, 2017, 11:48pm Top

And with >101 LibraryCin:, I finally have my first straight-line Bingo!

103Kristelh
Apr 7, 2017, 3:44pm Top

>102 LibraryCin: congrats on your first straight line Bingo.

104LibraryCin
Apr 7, 2017, 7:41pm Top

>103 Kristelh: Thanks, Kristel!

105clue
Apr 7, 2017, 8:25pm Top

>102 LibraryCin: Congrats, I can't seem to get there!

106LibraryCin
Apr 7, 2017, 8:44pm Top

>105 clue: For as many as I've already read for it, it was taking longer than it maybe should have for me, as well! Good luck to you!

107DeltaQueen50
Apr 7, 2017, 9:54pm Top

Congrats on your first Bingo. It took a lot of books before I saw my first Bingo as well.

108LibraryCin
Apr 8, 2017, 1:18am Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, PBT High Notes, CultureCAT, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet / David Mitchell
2.25 stars

Jacob de Zoet is a Dutch man working in Japan. He meets and falls in love with a doctor’s daughter (??? I think that’s how they are connected). When the doctor dies, the daughter is sent to live in a nunnery, but there is something very wrong at that nunnery.

Ok, so my summary is only a small part of the book. Too small for my liking because it was the only interesting part of the book for me and the reason the book got an extra .25 stars. If it had been even a bit more of the book, I would have raised the rating slightly higher; if it had been the focus of the book, my rating would have been considerably higher. The rest of the book – no idea what happened. It was boring boring boring. I wasn’t even a little bit interested, so I have no idea what it was really about, except I think Jacob was working for the Dutch East India Company. Which reminds me, it was set, mostly in 1799.

109VivienneR
Apr 8, 2017, 2:16pm Top

>108 LibraryCin: I enjoyed your review more than you enjoyed the book :)

110LibraryCin
Apr 8, 2017, 5:44pm Top

>109 VivienneR: Haha! Sometimes that seems to happen when someone doesn't like a book, I've found!

111LibraryCin
Apr 9, 2017, 11:03pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, RandomCAT, Trim, AlphaKIT

They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children / Romeo Dallaire
3.5 stars

Romeo Dallaire was head of UNAMIR, the peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, just before the genocide in 1994. Since then, he has become involved in trying to stop the use of children as soldiers. This book looks at how and why children become soldiers, some as young as 7 or 8 years old, and offers ways to get this stopped. He also talks a lot about the group he has formed to try to stop it; his group is trying to get the military and humanitarian NGOs to work together. He has done a lot of research and has published papers on the topic.

This is terrible. I have read both Dallaire’s Shake Hands With the Devil (which I highly recommend) and Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone (also recommended). There were a few chapters where Dallaire created a fictional boy who became a soldier, then later a fictional peacekeeper who shot a girl soldier; I thought these chapters, in particular, were very powerful. I hadn’t realized how many girl soldiers were also involved, and they have (many sad) issues of their own. Although some of the nonfiction parts of the book weren’t as interesting (in the second half of the book, as Dallaire talks about trying to get agencies to help stop this), I did find myself reading the bibliography at the end for a couple more books to read on the topic. He does repeat himself a bit, but I forgave him that. He is obviously very passionate about what he is trying to do.

112LibraryCin
Apr 12, 2017, 10:17pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, AwardsCAT, AlphaKIT, PBT High Notes

The Snow Child / Eowyn Ivey
4 stars

This is the retelling of a Russian fairy tale. An older couple, Mabel and Jack, have recently moved to Alaska. They never had children, but one evening when they build a snowman (child/girl), she comes to life…

I really liked this. It’s funny that I’m not a big fan of fantasy nor of magical realism, but I like fairy tales. I didn’t know this Russian tale, but I really liked this retelling! I loved some of the snowy/wintery descriptions (though I’m not always a fan of elaborate descriptions, either) – they really were magical – and it was a great story!

113clue
Edited: Apr 12, 2017, 11:07pm Top

>112 LibraryCin: Our thoughts about this book were the same. I'm not drawn to fantasy and I only like a touch of magical realism, like Sarah Addison Allen. Still, I loved this book. I'm currently reading her new book, To The Bright Edge of the World, which is totally different but promises to be as good.

114LibraryCin
Apr 13, 2017, 7:06pm Top

>113 clue: I'm curious to know what you think of that one when you're done!

115threadnsong
Apr 14, 2017, 1:53pm Top

>112 LibraryCin: This sounds like an interesting tale. I like fantasy and fairy tales, and have loved reading the re-envisioning of fairy tales that started in the late 80's. I'll add it to my wish list.

116LibraryCin
Apr 14, 2017, 2:38pm Top

>115 threadnsong: Oh, I bet you'll enjoy it, then!

117LibraryCin
Apr 17, 2017, 10:04pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, HorrorKIT, PBT, BingoDOG, Trim the TBR

Fatal Vision / Joe McGinniss
4 stars

In February of 1970 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Green Beret and physician, Jeffrey MacDonald, survived what he said was a break-in that resulted in the murders of his wife and two little girls, aged 2 and 5 years. It was only after 9 years that Jeffrey himself was finally charged and put on trial (though there was a hearing via the army back in 1970). Unfortunately, there were many errors during the army’s investigation into the murders. Jeffrey’s father-in-law, and early supporter, was later convinced of his guilt (after reading the transcripts of the army hearing) and pushed for years to get MacDonald on trial for the murder of his stepdaughter and grandkids.

I’ve had this book since high school and I don’t believe I ever did read it back then. I’m glad I’ve now finally read it. There were some chapters interspersed, mostly at the start of the book, but also occasionally later on, called “The Voice of Jeffrey MacDonald”. At the start, much of this was recounting his and his wife Colette’s history. I didn’t find these parts nearly as interesting, though I suppose it gives the reader a bit of insight into Jeffrey, himself. Overall, though, it was a fascinating read.

Personal opinion on the case: I have no doubt that he did it. He story just doesn’t hold up for me, not even a little bit. And this is before the physical evidence.

118LibraryCin
Apr 19, 2017, 10:02pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, CATWoman, RandomCAT, PBT Stairs, PBT

The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra / Helen Rappaport
4 stars

This book focuses on the lives of the four Romanov sisters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia – the daughters of the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his wife, Alexandra.

Though the author did try to focus on the four girls, I found that there was a lot of other information, as well, that (at times) overshadowed the girls. I suspect there isn’t as much info out there about the girls, specifically, but the author did find letters and diary entries. Much of the start of the book focused on Nicholas and Alexandra; of course, there was also a good amount of information on their son, Alexei. It did focus a lot on the family, as a whole. And, historical events were also prominent (but there’s no way around that!). I think most of the information about the girls was as they got older, especially the older two, who acted as nurses during WWI before the family was imprisoned. It was very interesting – I did enjoy the book. I listened to the audio – the narrator was good, though I did, on occasion, lose focus.

119LibraryCin
Apr 19, 2017, 10:19pm Top

12x12 Travel

Maid of the King's Court / Lucy Worsley
4 stars

This is a YA book, with a fictional main character, Eliza, who was meant to be a cousin to Henry VIII’s 5th wife, Katherine Howard. Eliza is sent away at 12-years old, after a marriage proposal doesn’t work out, basically to learn to be a courtier. She and her cousin, Katherine, are later sent to Henry VIII’s court to be ladies to Anne of Cleves, Henry’s 4th wife.

I quite enjoyed this story! It was quick to read, and somewhat simple and easy to read, but then it’s YA, so that’s to be expected. I thought it was an interesting take on why Katherine did what she did (though I still didn’t particularly like her!).

120LibraryCin
Apr 23, 2017, 4:31pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, RandomCAT, Trim the TBR

Murder at the Vicarage / Agatha Christie
4 stars

This is the first Miss Marple book. Mr. Protheroe is found murdered at his desk. Very soon after, two different people confess to the murder. Miss Marple lives not far away, so she must have seen or heard something! What could have really happened?

I am always mixed on Agatha Christie’s books. I decided, this time, to try the BBC dramatization instead of the book itself, and I’m certain that made a difference for the higher rating. I think it made it a bit more interesting to me, and I am glad that’s the version I listened to. I do like Miss Marple.

121LibraryCin
Apr 26, 2017, 11:15pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, CATWoman, Trim

Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France / Leonie Frieda
3.75 stars

In the 16th century, Catherine de Medici came to France from Italy to marry the future king of France, Henri II. She loved him, but had to share him with a mistress, the woman he loved, Diane de Poitiers. Over the years, Catherine and Henri had ten children and Catherine outlived all except two of them. Three of her sons became kings of France, and Catherine was always there to help them rule. There were a number of religious wars in France over the years she ruled.

I’ve only read a little bit of fiction about Catherine (this is nonfiction). It was good. Being nonfiction, though, there were dry parts to it, but there were plenty of interesting things going on, as well. It’s funny, from the fiction I read, I remember the rivalry between Catherine and Diane more than anything else, yet she is apparently best remembered for her part in a massacre pitting Protestants against Catholics (which I don’t recall from the fiction at all, though it must have been there!). I did feel particularly bad for her when Henri was alive and she had Diane de Poitiers to contend with, but she did have a ruthless side, particularly when it came to protecting the crown for her sons.

122LibraryCin
Apr 30, 2017, 10:53pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, AlphaKIT, PBT

Into Thin Air / Jon Krakauer
5 stars

In 1996, Jon Krakauer climbed Mount Everest as an assignment for the magazine he worked for, but also as a personal goal, as he had done a lot of mountain climbing when he was younger. He signed on with Rob Hall’s group (Rob was the head guide of their group). Little did they know that in 1996, Everest would claim a number of lives, guides and clients both.

Probably very few people need a summary of this one. In fact, it was a reread for me, as well, first read at least 10 years ago. It was my first mountaineering book and I’ve read many since, including (but not limited to) other versions of the same year on Everest, so the same disaster, but from other points of view. Krakauer is such a great writer, though. I just didn’t want to put the book down! I feel like the start was “slower” (though that’s not to say “slow”!) with some of the history of Everest and explanations of mountaineering terms, etc, but the last bit of the book is just riveting... and heartbreaking.

123VictoriaPL
May 1, 2017, 12:25pm Top

>122 LibraryCin: This one is a favorite of mine. I love mountaineering books and I do keep reading other versions of this same story. There seem to be so many now.

124LibraryCin
May 1, 2017, 8:30pm Top

>123 VictoriaPL: It's funny... though I know the others aren't as good, as I was reading, I'm thinking... maybe I should also reread Left for Dead / Beck Weathers and The Climb / Anatoli Boukreev. I've read them both already, but much closer to the time I read Into Thin Air the first time!

125VictoriaPL
May 1, 2017, 8:52pm Top

>124 LibraryCin: Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season by Nick Heil is also good.

126LibraryCin
May 1, 2017, 8:55pm Top

>125 VictoriaPL: Thank you! Had to double check, but it looks like I've read that one.

Not about 1996, but have you read High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed / Michael Kodas?

127VictoriaPL
May 1, 2017, 9:58pm Top

>126 LibraryCin: I haven't... thanks!

128LibraryCin
Edited: May 1, 2017, 11:32pm Top

>127 VictoriaPL: I think that one made my favourites list the year I read it!

129VictoriaPL
Edited: May 2, 2017, 7:19am Top

>128 LibraryCin: Have you read any of the fiction of John Long, such as The Wall or Angels of Light?

130threadnsong
May 2, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>122 LibraryCin: and >123 VictoriaPL: There was also a movie that came out in 2015 called "Everest". I think much of the interaction between characters and recollections were pulled from Beck Weathers' writings, though Krakauer's descriptions of the weather, the climb, and Rob Hall's death seem to predominate in these areas. It's a doozy of a movie on the big screen, especially seeing the suddenness of the storm come up. It's literally a matter of seconds, and then you're seeing a total wall of white where it was blue-ish sky before.

131LibraryCin
Edited: May 2, 2017, 8:27pm Top

>129 VictoriaPL: No, I haven't. Guess I should look into them?

ETA: Based on the tags, The Wall looks a pretty appealing to me, but then, that one has quite a few more tags to tempt me! :-)

132LibraryCin
May 2, 2017, 8:28pm Top

>130 threadnsong: Wow, that sounds really good!

Every time I read about 1996 on Everest, I also wish I'd seen the IMAX movie, as well.

133VictoriaPL
May 3, 2017, 7:32am Top

>131 LibraryCin: You really should! He's one of my favorite authors. I wish he wrote more.

134LibraryCin
May 3, 2017, 6:53pm Top

>133 VictoriaPL: I've added The Wall to my tbr. We'll see how that one goes before I add more. :-)

135VictoriaPL
May 3, 2017, 8:19pm Top

>134 LibraryCin: let me know what you think!

136LibraryCin
May 3, 2017, 9:12pm Top

>135 VictoriaPL: It could be a while before I get to it. I'd love to try to remember to let you know, but by the time I read it, I may not remember. Hopefully we'll both still be on LT and you'll still be following my threads! :-)

I have hundreds of books on my tbr, and I choose them based on monthly challenges, mostly. I often tend to choose the ones (if I have options) that have been on the tbr longest.

137LibraryCin
May 3, 2017, 11:09pm Top

12x12 Series

Son / Lois Lowry
4 stars

This is the 4th book in Lowry’s The Giver series. Claire has been assigned to be a birth mother. Once she has her first child (or “product”) - at only 14-years old - there are complications and she is reassigned to the fish hatchery. In the meantime, her son has gone to the Nurturing Centre, where he lives up to his first year before he is assigned to a family. But, Claire can’t seem to let go and volunteers there to keep tabs on him. When she learns that there is a problem with her son, her son is taken from the community at the same time as Claire escapes. Now, Claire is focused on finding and reuniting with her son.

I really liked this one. It’s been a few years between reading each of the books, so I had to go back to see what I thought of the others. I thought this one and the first one were the best ones in the series. Books two and three, I rated “ok”, but I really liked this and The Giver. The characters from the first three books come together in this one. I listened to the audio. Funny thing, I also listened to the audio of the third book and wasn’t crazy about that one. I liked this one much better.

138LibraryCin
May 3, 2017, 11:26pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, HorrorKIT, AlphaKIT

The Mystery of Grace / Charles de Lint
4 stars

Grace is of Mexican descent, is a mechanic, and is covered with tattoos. John is a really nice guy, an artist. When John and Grace spend a night together, they seem to be super-connected. Imagine John’s surprise when Grace literally disappears from his bathroom the next morning! I’d like to say more about the book (much more is revealed in the second chapter), but the big reveal is not mentioned in the blurb about the book, so I will keep it to myself (but you can see it based on tags if you look; don’t look if you don’t want to see!).

The chapters were told from alternating points of view. I really liked this. Really good urban fantasy (which de Lint is so good at!). I liked both main characters and I liked Grace’s world and the friendship she made with Conchita. The mythology/superstition was interesting, as well.

139threadnsong
May 4, 2017, 11:17am Top

>138 LibraryCin: I really should add some more de Lint to my bookshelf, especially his more recent writings. Thank you for the reminder.

140LibraryCin
May 4, 2017, 10:01pm Top

>139 threadnsong: I've read some here and there, but often don't know which one to go to next, he has so many!

141LibraryCin
Edited: May 10, 2017, 10:52pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, AlphaKIT, AwardsCAT, Trim the TBR

Faithful Place / Tana French
4.25 stars

When undercover detective Frank was 19, he’d planned to leave his family, and leave Dublin to head to London with his girlfriend, Rosie. When Rosie doesn’t show up at their planned meeting spot, he finds a note and continues on, on his own. 22 years pass, and a frantic phone message from his younger sister, Jackie (the only family member he kept in touch with), brings him back “home” to Faithful Place, and his dysfunctional family to find out exactly what did happen to Rosie.

I really liked this one. It pulled me in right away! I also “enjoyed” the interactions between Frank’s family members (well, enjoyed at first, I suppose; as we learn more about his family, they are not so enjoyable, after all!). Have to admit that I wasn’t shocked by the outcome, though.

142LibraryCin
May 10, 2017, 10:52pm Top

12x12 Travel, BingoDOG, CATWoman

The Shattering / Karen Healey
3.5 stars

In a beautiful, touristy small town in New Zealand, Keri has just lost her older brother to suicide. When an old friend, Janna, comes around and suggests Keri’s brother may actually have been murdered (like Janna’s older brother years before, who was also assumed to have committed suicide), the two meet up with someone from out of town who’s older brother also “committed suicide”. There is an odd pattern here and the three of them are going to find out what’s going on and who actually killed their brothers.

I enjoyed this. It’s YA, so not earth-shattering, but it was enjoyable. Each chapter switches viewpoints between Keri, Janna and their friend Sione, so we get a little bit of everyone’s point of view.

143LibraryCin
May 13, 2017, 8:37pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, CultureCAT, AlphaKIT

First Test / Tamora Pierce
3.5 stars

Keladry is 10-years old and it’s been 10 years since girls have been allowed to apply to be a page, in order to later become a knight. However, no girl has tried for it, until Kel. Unfortunately, the trainer of the pages, Lord Wyldon, doesn’t think girls should be allowed, so he puts her on a 1-year probation; no boy has ever had a probationary period. So, she is not only set apart from the others because she’s a girl, she is also on probation. This doesn’t bode well for how many of the other boys treat her.

I enjoyed this! It’s children’s or YA, so not “deep”, but certainly enjoyable. Kel did seem much more mature than 10-years old, but mostly I just ignored that. It’s less than 200 pages, so also a quick read. I definitely enjoyed it enough to continue the series. I’m happy to see there are only 4 books to this series (though it is also part of a larger “world” with other books focusing on other characters in that world, as well).

144LibraryCin
May 15, 2017, 11:27pm Top

12x12 Audio, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG

The Underground Railroad / Colson Whitehead
2 stars

Cora is a slave and escapes from Georgia using the (in this book, literal) underground railroad.

I listened to the audio and it never did keep my attention. Because it couldn’t hold my attention, I found it difficult to follow, as every time I started paying attention again, there would be a new group of characters (or so it seemed). I assumed each time that Cora had moved on to a different place. Much later on, though, I figured out that the book was also jumping around in time and between Cora and her mother, Mabel (possibly also Cora’s grandmother, but I’m not sure; I know there was some about her grandmother at the start of the book, but that would still have been chronological order). So, ultimately and unfortunately, this just wasn’t for me (at least on audio).

145mathgirl40
May 17, 2017, 10:04pm Top

>138 LibraryCin: I'd read this one years ago and enjoyed it too. I really loved de Lint's first Newford Collection, Dreams Underfoot.

146LibraryCin
May 17, 2017, 11:17pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, RandomCAT, CultureCAT

Boy, Snow, Bird / Helen Oyeyemi
3 stars

I think the book started in the 1930s. Boy is a girl who was raised by her abusive father; her mother wasn’t around. She doesn’t leave until she is 20ish, when she hops on a bus to take her anywhere else. She ends up in a small town and tries her best to fit in. She does marry and inherits a stepdaughter, Snow. Boy later has a daughter of her own named Bird.

This was told mostly by Boy’s point of view, but the middle section is from Bird’s point of view when she’s 13. It was… different. I’m rating it ok, as some parts of it were interesting, but some of it wasn’t. It started off really promising, when Boy was younger, and I probably found that the most interesting part of the book. It wasn’t a long book, so it didn’t take long to read. It was hard keeping track of some of the characters. I skimmed over some of the long paragraphs. At first, I enjoyed the letters between the two sisters, but then they got wordy and talked about things I really didn’t care about… things that I’m not sure really meant anything to the story. Boy made some odd decisions/choices and I didn’t like her much of the time.

147LibraryCin
May 21, 2017, 2:02am Top

12x12 Oh Canada, Travel Across Canada, Trim, RandomCAT, AwardsCAT, BingoDOG

Lives of Girls and Women / Alice Munro
3 stars

Del is a young girl growing up in small town Ontario. This follows her from a girl through high school. It’s set around WWII and a bit after.

There really wasn’t much to this book. I’ve been wanting to try Alice Munro for a while, but am not a fan of short stories, so that pretty much left me with this book. It was ok, but really nothing happened, so for anyone looking for some kind of plot, this won’t provide it.

148LibraryCin
May 22, 2017, 5:35pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, Travel Across Canada, AlphaKIT

Tsunami: The Newfoundland Tidal Wave Disaster / Maura Hanrahan
4 stars

In 1929, Newfoundland was still its own country; it wouldn’t join Canada for another 20 years. In November of that year, under the ocean closeby, there was an earthquake, followed shortly after by a tsunami that hit the small island nation – three successive waves that hit the shores of the Burin Peninsula the worst. Many small fishing communities in that area lost food and fuel that was meant to get them through the upcoming winter, they lost homes, livelihoods, and 27 people’s lives, many women and children. The following day, as communication lines were still down, a blizzard hit the area.

The author describes people and families as they feel the tremor, wonder what’s happened, then relax when it ends... then, as the waves first arrive. Later, she follows one nurse, Nurse Dorothy Cherry, as she travels (with two local men to accompany her) through the blizzard between the small communities to offer help. Later, the word finally gets out to a wider world, and more help arrives in the form of clothes, building supplies, food, coal.

This is a disaster I hadn’t known about. This book is mostly facts, but the author does add in dialogue and even invents some background for some key people when she couldn’t find out enough. There is a note at the end of the book to explain this. Very interesting and heartbreaking, in some cases.

149lkernagh
May 23, 2017, 2:18pm Top

Stopping by to get caught up and making note of the wonderful reading you have been doing.

>148 LibraryCin: - I didn't even know that Newfoundland had a Tsunami back in 1929! Looks like a very interesting read.

150threadnsong
May 23, 2017, 2:36pm Top

>148 LibraryCin: I didn't know this disaster happened, either. What a fascinating research into the past. It reminds me of Isaac's Storm that I had barely any knowledge of even though I spent childhood time in Port Arthur and Galveston.

151LibraryCin
May 23, 2017, 7:24pm Top

>150 threadnsong: Isaac's Storm, I think, remains my favourite by Larson, so far, anyway.

Hope you both like Tsunami: the Newfoundland Tidal Wave Disaster IF you decide to give it a try!

152LibraryCin
May 24, 2017, 10:55pm Top

12x12 Trim, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR

Curtains of Blood / Robert Randisi
3.5 stars

It is1888 in London, England. Three prostitutes have been murdered and they say it’s likely the same guy who has done it. Bram Stoker is running the Lyceum Theatre, and Henry Irving is playing the lead in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They are approached by the police to shut down the show, as it may be encouraging the killer. Bram gets interested in what’s going on and starts doing some research for a book he might like to write. He also becomes obsessed with the killer and may be getting a little too close…

I liked this. Far fetched, but I still found it entertaining. I thought it interesting the way the author weaved in the various author characters into the story (Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde are friends of Stoker’s). To be honest, though, I’m not sure Jack the Ripper needs to be fictionalized; this is one true story that certainly holds its own as true crime.

153LibraryCin
May 26, 2017, 11:33pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT, Trim

The Truth About Catalogers / Will Manley
3 stars

This is a little book of humour, poking fun of library cataloguers – little stories, as well as cartoons.

I am a cataloguer and I suspect this will mostly appeal to cataloguers and maybe to librarians and library staff, in general. Overall, though, it was ok. Some were funny, others not as much. I read it over a couple of days, and maybe my mood made a difference, as I found things funnier in the second half of the book, on the second day I was reading it.

154LibraryCin
May 27, 2017, 12:01am Top

12x12 Audio, RandomCAT

Secrets of Eden / Chris Bohjalian
3.75 stars

Steven is a minister in a small town. ****This may be a , but it’s revealed fairly early on.**** Little do most people know, he’s been having an affair with one of his parishoners, Alice. ****END POSSIBLE **** Alice is married, but her husband is abusive toward her. Alice and her husband have a teenage daughter, Katie. When Katie’s parents are discovered one Monday morning by Alice’s best friend, Ginny, it appears that Alice was murdered by her husband, who then killed himself.

Overall, I thought this story was very good. I listened to the audio, which was done well; there were four different narrators for each of four parts, each part told by someone different. We got points of view from Stephen; Kathleen, a lawyer; Heather, an author who is famous for her books about angels, whose parents also died when she was a teen via a murder-suicide by her father; and Katie. I would have given it 4 stars, except for a quarter star deduction for Heather’s boring angel stuff. I could have done without any of the angel stuff. Heather’s part of the story was the least interesting to me (though not all bad), but add in those angels, and the book lost a ¼ star. I quite enjoyed the rest of the book, though.

155LibraryCin
May 28, 2017, 4:04pm Top

12x12 Travel, CATWoman, RandomCAT, Trim the TBR

The Perfect Royal Mistress / Diane Haeger
4 stars

In the mid-17th century in England, Nell grew up in a brothel. Her single-mother was a prostitute and a drunk, and her sister followed her mother’s footsteps to become a prostitute. Nell wasn’t going to do that, so she started off selling oranges outside a theatre. From there, she moved on to become a famous, well-loved actress, where she managed to catch the eye of King Charles II and she went on to become one of his many mistresses.

I really liked this. I had read one previous fictional account of Nell, but on looking back at my review, I wasn’t crazy about how that one was written, but I found this one very readable. There were parts that focused more on Charles and a bit of the politics of the time that wasn’t as interesting to me, but overall, I quite enjoyed this story. Just an fyi that Nell was a real person.

156clue
May 29, 2017, 9:06pm Top

Good Job on BINGO! I'm behind last year but I do have titles selected for all of the squares, I'm just slow getting to them.

157LibraryCin
May 29, 2017, 9:51pm Top

>156 clue: Thank you! Just two of the tougher ones (for me!) to get to now. The 1930s one took a bit longer for me, as well.

158LibraryCin
May 30, 2017, 11:24pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, Trim, AlphaKIT, PBT Stairs

I'll Be Watching You / Charles de Lint (as Samuel Key)
4.5 stars

Rachel has just gotten out of an abusive relationship, but her husband doesn’t want to let go. She has a job and only a couple of good friends to help her out. Little does she know, she also has an “admirer” (a peeping tom, really) who will come to her “rescue” when she needs it. But, from his perspective, the perfectly beautiful Rachel will need to be “tested” herself.

Ok, I tried to keep that somewhat vague, as the blurb on the book doesn’t say a whole lot, so I didn’t want to give anything away. This is one of the books de Lint wrote as Samuel Key, a pseudonym he took to distinguish his darker works from his fantasy. It was told in the third person, but the reader got to know more about what was going on, as we did follow a few different characters, than the characters knew, themselves. Certainly by the end of the book, it was a page-turner, keeping me on the edge of my seat, wanting to keep reading to know what would happen! I really really liked this one!

159LibraryCin
Jun 4, 2017, 3:00pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, AlphaKIT, CultureCAT, Trim the TBR

Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products / Stephen Leahy
4 stars

The subtitle pretty says what the book is about. The first and last two chapters (the introduction, conclusion and “Water Saving Tips”) are more text, while the rest of the chapters are made up, primarily, of infographics to make it easier to visualize how much water is used on making those everyday products.

This was interesting. I think the graphics really help to understand the measurements a bit better than just a giant number in litres or gallons. The chapters that were all text did get a bit bogged down, so parts were a little bit dry. There was just a lot of information, but I think the book (and particularly, the infographics) helps open our eyes to how dire the situation is and may become. The “Water Saving Tips” at the end does help provide suggestions of things we can all do to help.

160LibraryCin
Jun 4, 2017, 11:41pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT

Shotgun Lovesongs / Nickolas Butler
4 stars

Lee, Kip, Henry, Ronny, and Beth all grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. Henry and Beth got married, had kids, and are running a farm. Lee became a famous musician who misses home. Kip moved to the city and made lots of money, but also wants to come home – he has bought the old mill in town to fix it up and make something out of it. Ronny was a cowboy on the rodeo circuit, but due to some trouble with alcohol, he hasn’t been able to do that for a while, and many people think he’s “simple” now. The book starts off with Kip getting married, so everyone is home for the wedding.

The book changes perspective with each chapter; each chapter is named with the initial of the person whose perspective it is we are following. It also goes back and forth in time from what is happening now to everyone’s memories of what happened before.

I really liked this. I thought it did a good job of portraying small towns. I just wish Beth had had some female friends of her own – mostly she was friends with Henry’s friends, but there wasn’t much in the way of other women friends in her life. I didn’t agree with everyone’s decisions in the book (especially at the end), but overall, I really enjoyed the book.

161LibraryCin
Jun 5, 2017, 11:26pm Top

12x12 Animals, AwardsCAT, PBT

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves / Karen Joy Fowler
4 stars

Rosemary is growing up with her brother, Lowell, and her sister, Fern, before Fern disappears when Rosemary is about 5 years old. Later, Lowell runs away and she doesn’t see him for years. When she does see him, he is on the run from the FBI. There is a lot more going on, particularly with Fern, but I don’t want to spoil it (just don’t look at the tags, though… it’s hard to avoid!)

I would have rated the first half (or 2/3) of the book “good”, at 3.5 stars, but I really liked the end, and wanted to give it 4.5. In the end, I averaged it out to 4 stars. I’d really like to say what I liked about it, but anyone who has read it and who knows me can probably guess. It might be a bit of a spoiler to say. Ugh! Hard to write a review without spoilers on this one! I listened to the audio and it was well done. I rarely lost focus.

162threadnsong
Jun 8, 2017, 10:24am Top

Thank you for the mention of this book. It is a good one to read for those in drought-prone or drought-stricken areas.

What, if anything, does it say about the industry of bottled water? Just curious.

163LibraryCin
Jun 8, 2017, 7:15pm Top

>162 threadnsong: Thinking back, I don't remember a mention of bottled water. But, being infographics, I did go through it quickly, so it's possible, but I'm just not remembering.

Good thought, though!

164LibraryCin
Jun 10, 2017, 2:16am Top

12x12 Animals, CATWoman, CultureCAT, Trim the TBR

Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe / Jane Goodall
4.5 stars

This was originally written in 1990, 30 years after Jane Goodall went to Gombe National Park in Tanzania to study chimpanzees My edition was published in 2010, so there is even extra info with a preface and an afterword written by Jane in 2009. This continues/updates her first book on the chimps of Gombe, In the Shadow of Man.

I read In the Shadow of Man a number of years ago, but I loved revisiting the same chimps and their offspring, and following them later in the their lives! Jane is also an adamant activist/conservationist, so at the end of the book, after all the extra chimp information and updates (which really is the bulk of the book), she writes a little bit about human-raised chimps, chimps used in experiments, chimps losing their habitat, etc. There are a number of photos of the chimps included, as well. Overall, I really really enjoyed reading this!

165LibraryCin
Jun 11, 2017, 12:18am Top

12x12 Animals, RandomCAT, Trim the TBR

A Big Little Life / Dean Koontz
4 stars

Author Dean Koontz and his wife, Gerda, were married a number of years and had no children before they decided to adopt a dog. They brought home a golden retriever who was unable to complete her time as an assist dog due to surgery. In addition to this book being Trixie’s story, there is also philosophy about dogs and humans, and things Dean and Gerda learned from Trixie; there is also inspiration/spirituality in the book.

What a wonderful dog Trixie must have been. She brought so much love and joy to the Koontz’s lives. Koontz is mostly known for his horror novels, but he brings humour to Trixie’s story, as well. There was more of the book that wasn’t focused on Trixie than I expected – it wasn’t very long and much of the Trixie bits were anecdotes of bigger things that happened throughout her life and things that particularly affected Dean and Gerda. I still really enjoyed it.

166LibraryCin
Jun 11, 2017, 5:06pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, CATWoman

Real Murders / Charlaine Harris
3 stars

Aurora (Roe) Teagarden is a librarian in small-town Georgia. She is part of a group of people who call themselves the “Real Murder Club”. This group is interested in discussing real-life historical murder cases. When Roe finds one of the club members, murdered, just before one of their meetings, the entire club is under suspicion, especially since the manner of the murder is similar to one of the historical cases the club has discussed. More murders come later, also in similar fashion to historical murders.

The book was ok, but it wasn’t as interesting to me as the premise made it sound. I listened to the audio and did lose focus at times. I liked Roe and I enjoyed following her personal life. However, I’m not sure if I’ll continue the series or not.

167LibraryCin
Jun 14, 2017, 1:56am Top

12x12 Animals, Trim the TBR

Rest in Pieces / Rita Mae Brown
3.25 stars

“Harry”, the town’s (female) postmistress and a farmer, has a dog, Tucker, and a cat, Mrs. Murphy. The pets talk to each other and other animals in this series (and help solve mysteries). In this one, shortly after an attractive man buys the neighbouring farm to Harry’s, a (non-local) man is found, murdered and in pieces.

It took a long time for this one to get going for me, I wasn’t really interested until about 1/3 of the way in (or maybe a bit further). There was a lot of description going on at the start: of the town, of the people, and their relationships. After the murder was discovered is when it started to pick up for me (though not completely). The end did leave me with enough interest to read the next in the series, though. The animals are cute, but to be honest (and as a bit of a surprise), they aren’t the main draw for me, though they do make the series a unique.

168LibraryCin
Jun 16, 2017, 1:37am Top

12x12 Off the Shelf

The Girl on the Train / Paula Hawkins
4 stars

Rachel is depressed and is an alcoholic. She has been divorced for a while now, but is having trouble letting go of her ex-husband. She rides the train to and from London every day and passes a house where she watches a couple who lives there. She has fantasized a wonderful life for “Jess” and “Jason”, but it’s not long before “Jess” disappears, and Rachel finds that their lives were not so wonderful while she tries to help figure out what happened to “Jess”.

The book is told from three different points of view: Rachel, Megan (aka Jess), and Anna (Rachel’s ex’s new wife).

I really enjoyed this. I got pulled in early on and was kept entertained. It was quick to read, but possibly because I wanted to keep going. I didn’t figure out the end ahead of time. The suspense did ramp up for me at the very end.

169LibraryCin
Jun 16, 2017, 11:46pm Top

12x12 Series, PBT, Trim, Travel Across Canada

The River / Gary Paulsen
4 stars

In the first book, 13-year old Brian survived in the woods by himself for almost 2 months. A couple of years later, he is asked to go back to the woods, along with a psychologist, to show how he survived the first time so those skills can be taught to others. Unfortunately, things go wrong when they get out there, and Brian needs to save not only himself, but the psychologist, as well.

I really enjoyed this. Ok, not a realistic scenario, but the book was still entertaining. I listened to the audio, which was well done. I just wish it had been a little longer – it was over so fast! Despite being short, it is fast-paced (which maybe made it feel shorter, still!).

170LibraryCin
Jun 18, 2017, 4:08pm Top

12x12 Animals, PBT

Let's Pretend This Never Happened / Jenny Lawson
4 stars

Jenny Lawson is a blogger. This book consists of stories of her life. Her family did not have much money as she was growing up in Texas. She has an… unusual… father. She and her sister grew up with lots of animals around, wild and domestic, dead and alive (her father is a taxidermist). She suffers from social anxiety. Her husband’s family has money and is quite different from her own, so she struggles a little bit to fit in with them.

I had no idea who she was, but I saw some good reviews for the book, so I thought I’d give it a try. I found this so funny! I laughed out loud plenty of times, and the one chapter that had me laughing so hard I was crying and it was hard to breathe, and I couldn’t stop for some time, was the one that described the 5 foot tall metal chicken she brought home. In particular, it was her husband’s reaction that got me going. It was the best 15th anniversary ever! Oh, and there are photos to go with the stories, so you know they really happened!

171clue
Jun 18, 2017, 9:06pm Top

> 170 My library has it, on the list it goes.

172LibraryCin
Jun 19, 2017, 12:04am Top

>171 clue: Hope you like it!

173LibraryCin
Jun 19, 2017, 1:12am Top

12x12 Off the Shelf

Fierce Kingdom / Gin Phillips
4.5 stars

This is an ARC, for sale July 11.

Joan and her 4-year old son Lincoln often go to the zoo at the end of the day when it’s not busy there. This day, as they head home from the zoo on their way out, they see a man with a gun near the exit. Those pops Joan heard earlier were gun shots! They hurry back inside to hide…

This drew me in early on and I just kept wanting to read. It is a fast-paced page-turner. It’s told from a few different points of view, but primarily from Joan’s. Have to admit (I don’t have kids), Lincoln was getting on my nerves for a while – just be quiet!!!! Your lives are at stake here! I know, he’s a kid, but still… Even still, I was hooked.

174LibraryCin
Jun 21, 2017, 7:02pm Top

The Skeleton Tree / Iain Lawrence.
4 stars

12-year old Chris is invited to go sailing with his Uncle Jack in Alaska. When Chris arrives, he is introduced to another boy, Frank, around 15-years old, who is also coming. Unfortunately, their boat sinks and they lose Jack. Chris and Frank are stranded somewhere in Alaska, trying to survive.

I really liked this. But, wow, did I hate Frank! What a jerk! I loved Thursday, the smart raven who befriended Chris. I really enjoyed the story, though. I suppose it’s those good stories that make you feel such strong love or hate for the characters, sometimes.

175LibraryCin
Jun 23, 2017, 4:08pm Top

12x12 Animals, Trim the TBR

Skinny Bitch / Rory Freedman, Kim Barnouin
3 stars

This book is written by a couple of vegan woman who are trying to promote a vegan lifestyle.

It was ok. I don’t remember why I added it to my tbr, but maybe I thought it was going to be funny? Not sure. But, what I didn’t like was the insults and swearing. I suppose it was meant to catch your attention/be a gimmick, but I think they should have done without it. (At the end of the book, they do say the title and the way they wrote it was to catch people’s attention.)

On the other hand, I thought there was a lot of good information here. Now, these ladies are trying to convince people to go organic and vegan. I am not vegan. I am not even vegetarian (but I am close). I am “flexitarian” (yes, that’s a word! I eat meat occasionally, but not often at all), so I agree with a lot of what they have to say. Either way, I do think they gave out a lot of good information. There was a difficult section to listen to, describing some of the things that happen at slaughterhouses (I cried). I listened to the audio, but there was a large section at the end of the book that consisted of lists – unfortunately, that doesn’t work well in an audio.

176LibraryCin
Jun 24, 2017, 4:07pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, HorrorKIT

Hell House / Richard Matheson
3.5 stars

It is just before Christmas, 1970. Parapsychologist Lionel, his wife Edith, and two mediums, Ben and Florence, are hired to spend a week in “Hell House”, the “Mount Everest” of haunted houses. Lionel brings with him a machine he’s built to prove that ghosts do not exist. Ben was an amazing medium at only 15 years old and was in Hell House the last time a group of people entered in 1940; he was the only one to come out alive. Florence is clergy in a small town and a “spiritualist”, or “mental medium”, and very much believes that ghosts are there.

It started off a little slow, but it kept building until the end. Overall, I liked it. Just a warning that the women in the house are pretty much terrorized via sexual violence; whereas, for the men, it’s physical violence. It’s unfortunate that sex was used so much in this book against the women, but rarely any other form of scare tactic.

177LibraryCin
Jun 29, 2017, 4:33pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, CATWoman, RandomCAT

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan / Sophie Kinsella
3.5 stars

Becky paid off her debt a while back, but is having trouble keeping it down again. Though she has promised her roommate she’ll be better, it’s really hard sticking to it! Her corporate boyfriend, Luke, is wanting to expand his company to the U.S., so he and Becky plan to go to New York for a couple of weeks to work on that, while Becky does some networking to see if she can also find a job. Things start off looking good, but something goes drastically wrong while there…

I have mixed feelings about Becky. I hated all the lies! Seemingly little white lies, but they build and build and build! Of course, I also don’t like shopping, so I don’t understand how she can’t hold back better on the spending, knowing how much trouble she’s getting into (though she doesn’t seem to be able to understand that, and she certainly can’t seem to face it). At the same time, I did feel badly for her when things went wrong. Whatever my feelings about Becky’s character, I did enjoy the book for light, mild entertainment. Except… mild ewwwww, cousins…. Ewwwwww!

178LibraryCin
Jul 4, 2017, 11:31pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Trim the TBR

Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children / Michael Newton
2.5 stars

The title of this book is misleading. The author doesn’t focus all that much on the “feral” children. He discusses philosophy (what distinguishes human from animal?), linguistics, Greek mythology, wild children in literature (Tarzan, Mowgli), the people who worked with, “saved”, experimented on, etc. the children after they were found.

It could have been a much better book if he’d simply focused on the children, themselves. It was pretty dry, at times. The last story was the most interesting for me: Genie was severely abused by her father (tied up for 13 years with no human contact), and I even happened to be interested in the language acquisition part of it after she got out. Unfortunately, most of the other stories lost my interest pretty quickly once the basics of the child’s story was told and the author moved on to academic issues stemming from that child. The last story and the kids’ stories, themselves are what “pushed” this up the extra ½ star.

179LibraryCin
Jul 4, 2017, 11:53pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, Trim, PBT, Travel Across Canada

Cool Water / Dianne Warren
4 stars

Juliet is a small town (just over 1,000 people) in Southern Saskatchewan, near Swift Current. This book follows some of the town residents (and local farmers) for one day. We meet Lee, who has taken over his “family” farm (we learn early on, that Lester and Astrid were not his biological parents); Norval, the town banker, whose daughter, just out of high school, is pregnant and is getting married… neither she nor her fiance are particularly responsible; Blaine, whose farm has failed and he is having trouble making ends meet for him and his family, including six children; and more.

I really enjoyed this. I grew up in a small town/farming community in Southern Sask, and loved reading about the area, though this town was meant to be (I believe it’s a fictional town) just north of the Trans-Canada highway by the sand dunes, whereas I lived a ways south of the highway. Either way, it’s not fast-paced, but I was drawn in and interested in the characters, anyway. It actually reminded me a bit of Kent Haruf’s books and his small town characters. It does switch between characters quite frequently, but – for the most part – I was able to fairly quickly figure out who was who and whose perspective we were getting each time.

180lkernagh
Jul 7, 2017, 2:07pm Top

>179 LibraryCin: - I love the quiet style of Warren's writing in Cool Water (if calling it "quiet" makes any sense).

181LibraryCin
Jul 7, 2017, 4:01pm Top

>180 lkernagh: Yes, I think it does make sense.

182DeltaQueen50
Jul 8, 2017, 12:00am Top

>179 LibraryCin: Oh I definitely need to read Cool Water especially as it looks like we may be taking a road trip to Saskatchewan in September!

183LibraryCin
Jul 8, 2017, 1:09am Top

>182 DeltaQueen50: I hope you enjoy it! Do you know where you are going?

The book itself is close to the sand hills. There is an area north of the #1 highway near the Alberta border that is the Great Sand Hills. It's pretty cool if you get a chance to head there!

184DeltaQueen50
Edited: Jul 8, 2017, 1:03pm Top

>183 LibraryCin: As we are taking the final marker for my husband's stepfather's grave we will definitely be heading to south Saskatchewan, near LaFleche. Usually we stay at Swift Current and drive in from there as there isn't a lot of places to stay in the area. Not sure when we are going as we have to get our house sold and make our move first. Also my grandson has been talking about maybe coming along and if he does decide to come, I may just bow out and let it become a "boy's" trip. I know you grew up close to that area - are you still nearby?

185LibraryCin
Edited: Jul 8, 2017, 1:45pm Top

>184 DeltaQueen50: Awwwww, yeah. I grew up in Gravelbourg and was just there last weekend! Mom and Dad are still there. It was Dad's 70th birthday and they have a cabin on Thomson Lake (Gaumond Bay, not the park; Gaumond Bay is at the other end of the lake), so we were out there. I try to get home on Canada Day weekend most summers and always want to spend time out at the cabin.

(Anyone else wondering, Gravelbourg is only about a 20 minute drive from Lafleche. Thomson Lake (the park) is only about 5 minutes south of Lafleche.)

ETA: I'm in Calgary now, and probably won't get home again until Christmas.

186DeltaQueen50
Jul 9, 2017, 12:28pm Top

From what I can tell, Gravelbourg is a thriving metropolis compared to Lafleche. Since the hotel burned down a few years ago, there isn't much left in the town. All my husband's relatives have either moved on or have passed away so there isn't much too bring us back. This will probably be the last trip we make to that area. I would love to take a drive up to that lake, it looks lovely and that kind of scenery is hard to find in Southern Saskatchewan, mostly it's a slightly rolling land covered in wheat!

187LibraryCin
Jul 9, 2017, 1:58pm Top

>186 DeltaQueen50: You're right about scenery in Southern Sask.

If you head a bit further south, near Coronach, Big Muddy (and Castle Butte, in particular) are pretty cool!
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/canada/big-muddy-valley-saskatchewan/

Grasslands National Park is further west, near Val Marie:
http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/sk/grasslands

It's not scenery, but Willow Bunch (a bit further south and east of Lafleche) has a museum, featuring the "Willow Bunch Giant"
http://www.thehumanmarvels.com/the-willow-bunch-giant-circus-freak/
(I actually have an ebook about him I'm planning to read.)

If you like exploring ghost towns, there are lots along the #13 highway in the south
http://www.ghosttownpix.com/sask/index.html

St. Victor has petroglyphs. I believe that's a bit west of Lafleche, and maybe a bit south:
http://www.virtualsk.com/current_issue/st_victor_petroglyphs.html
(Near Wood Mountain/Fit Mountain).

I'm going based on memory for lots of this for exact locations! I have been to all these places, but it's been a while!

Thomson Lake is very nice. You will be so close in Lafleche, you could certainly make a stop at the park. I'm not sure if they still have mini-golf, they have a pool, camping, fishing, etc. Oh, d'uh! Golfing, if you golf!
http://thomsonlake.com/
There are some nice photos under "galleries".

And yes, Gravelbourg is larger than Lafleche... I think G'bourg has about 1100 people; Lafleche, have to check... just over 400. However, G'bourg is losing businesses, as well (at least in comparison to when I lived there in the 70s and 80s). There was about 1300 people when I lived there, but there are far fewer young people/families left.

You could even head into G'bourg to see the cathedral:
http://www.gravelbourg.ca/visitors/about-gravelbourg
(There are a couple of motels in G'bourg if you wanted to stay there instead of Swift Current.)

We could take this to a PM if you'd like to discuss more. :-) I guess anyone who isn't interested will just skip over the info!

188LibraryCin
Jul 9, 2017, 2:01pm Top

That #13 highway (ghost towns) would end up leading you to Eastend and the T-Rex Centre. Continuing toward Alberta from there is Cypress Hills and Fort Walsh.

I did a road trip with friends... jeez, must be 20 years ago now! along #13 to do a "ghost town tour". Robsart and Scotsgard were the ones that still had the most buildings standing.

189DeltaQueen50
Jul 9, 2017, 10:59pm Top

>188 LibraryCin: We drove Hwy 13 west from Lafleche a few years ago and I'm telling you I've never seen potholes bigger than the ones along that route. I doubt if I could ever get my husband to take that route again. :) We've also been to the Cypress Hills a couple of times and just love it there, it's amazing how a little elevation can change the scenery so much! Thanks for the ideas, we usually drive in to Sask. do what we need to do and leave to head elsewhere for our vacation but we should try and visit some of these sites while we are there this time as it could well be our last visit.

190LibraryCin
Jul 9, 2017, 11:28pm Top

>189 DeltaQueen50: Oh, yeah. The potholes... You'll not want to drive #43 to get to Gravelbourg (from Swift Current), then, either. I can't vouch for any of the highways to get to any of the other locations, though! Haven't been to any of them in a long time!

191LibraryCin
Jul 9, 2017, 11:28pm Top

12x12 Series, AlphaKIT

Drums of Autumn / Diana Gabaldon
4 stars

Claire and Jamie (and Jamie’s nephew Ian) are travelling from South Carolina, heading north. Jamie has an aunt in North Carolina, so they stop there for a while. Meanwhile, back in the 20th century, Brianna and Roger are becoming better acquainted, but Bree misses her mother. Way more going on in this one, but I don’t want to give too much away.

I really liked this one. It picked up in the 2nd half. One thing that gets tricky with these long books, though (at least for me) is remembering all the characters (some of the characters, I’m sure are being reintroduced from earlier in the series, as well)! Someone will be reintroduced at some point, and it takes me ages (and some kind of hint by the author, usually!) to remember who they are! It’s just that that hint doesn’t always come… or it comes quite some time after the character has reappeared. Have to admit, I was very angry with Jamie for a while. However, this may be my favourite in the series, so far.

192LibraryCin
Jul 14, 2017, 8:45pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, AlphaKIT, HorrorKIT, Mystery Subgenre, Trim the TBR

Blood Bound / Patricia Briggs
4 stars

This is book 2 of the series. Mercedes (Mercy) is a mechanic and a shapeshifter (coyote) who was raised by werewolves, so she knows them and their society well. There are also vampires in the area with whom she is acquainted. She owes Stefan, one of those vampires, a favour, so she accompanies him in her coyote form to see someone. When they arrive, Stefan is put under a spell while they watch a hotel maid murdered; other hotel employees have already been murdered this night. They discover that the guy who brought them there, and who did the murdering is a sorcerer-vampire, and Mercy is warned away while the vampires and werewolves try to hunt him down to destroy him before he murders more.

I really liked this one. It especially picked up in the second half when Mercy (of course!) had to get more involved again. There was a particularly tense (i.e. scary!) scene, at one point (at least for me it was!). There are a lot of characters and I did get a few mixed up occasionally (Stefan/Samuel, Adam/Andre, and a few others who I just couldn’t remember if they were introduced in book 1 or if I “skimmed” a section where they were introduced earlier in this book). However, that didn’t diminish my enjoyment very much.

193LibraryCin
Jul 14, 2017, 9:01pm Top

The Secret History / Donna Tartt
3 stars

Richard is on a scholarship when he goes to college in New England. He gets into an elite Greek program, with only a few other students in it. All the other students are rich and don’t think about money. One of their little clique is murdered by the rest of them at the start of the book, then Richard, the narrator, backs up to tell how they got there, and how things went afterward.

Based on the first half of the book, I would have given this 2 stars. I didn’t like any of the characters at all. I found them snobby and pretentious. I’m not sure if they were meant to come across that way via the writing, or if it was the narration of the audio (by the author herself), so the tone as she read, or if it was just the way I saw them, but either way, I didn’t like them at all. Oh, yeah and twins: Charles and Camilla… really? Every time they were mentioned as a pair, my mind went to the Royal Family in England!

So much of the first half of the book was taken up discussing boring Greek stuff, philosophy, academic stuff. I just wasn’t interested. The second half of the book picked up, though only enough for me to give it 3 stars (ok) - and I suspect, as I write this within hours of finishing, that the further I get from it, I might actually feel like I should have rated it only 2.5, not 3 (average for 2 stars in the first half and 3 stars in the second half). However, I did find the stuff that happened after the murder to be more interesting. As for the ending…. I liked part of it, but disliked another part.

194LibraryCin
Jul 17, 2017, 10:04pm Top

12x12 Travel

Rebel Queen / Michelle Moran
4 stars

It’s India in the 19th century. Sita is only a child when her mother dies in childbirth. While her grandmother wants to sell her to a brothel, her father won’t allow it. Instead, he and a neighbour train her on everything she might need to know to become a “Durgavasi”, one of the ten elite women who protect India’s queen. Sita’s younger sister’s hopes of a dowry rest on Sita getting this position. India is in a bit of turmoil at this time, as England has occupied India, and is, for the moment, allowing India’s royalty to lead India, but things take a turn for the worse.

This was really good. I didn’t know about this bit of history, nor about India’s queen. I found Sati to be very interesting and enjoyed following her story. I also, as always, appreciated Moran’s historical note at the end explaining which events of the book really happened.

195LibraryCin
Jul 17, 2017, 10:21pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, HorrorKIT, AlphaKIT

The Sandman. Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes / Neil Gaiman
3.5 stars

Dream (aka The Sandman) was captured and imprisoned 70 years ago. Once he escapes, he goes looking for his objects of power, at least one of which is being used by a madman.

I liked this, particularly the last issue in this volume, the introduction of Dream’s sister, Death. I also enjoyed the bit in the diner. Some parts were hard to follow, but I enjoyed the parts that were a bit easier. Funny most of the parts I liked best (except for Death) focused more on human characters. I guess I can’t do a very good summary because I suppose I missed too many things. I did like the artwork and I do plan to continue the series, though.

196DeltaQueen50
Jul 19, 2017, 4:45pm Top

>195 LibraryCin: We had a year-long group read of the Sandman back in 2013. If you are interested in the discussions, here are the various threads: http://www.librarything.com/groups/sandman I was a total newbie to the series and learned a lot from the veterans that had read it before.

197LibraryCin
Jul 19, 2017, 7:32pm Top

>196 DeltaQueen50: Oh, cool! Thanks for that link. I'll take a look!

198LibraryCin
Jul 22, 2017, 1:25am Top

12x12 Overflow

Still Life With Bread Crumbs / Anna Quindlen
3.5 stars

Rebecca is an award-winning, famous photographer. When she runs into some money trouble, she decides to rent out her NYC apartment and move to a small place in rural NY. While there, she meets the locals and finds more interesting items to photograph.

I enjoyed this. It wasn’t fast-moving or anything, but I liked the characters and enjoyed the story.

199LibraryCin
Jul 22, 2017, 11:41pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, CultureCAT, PBT, PBT High Notes

Mudbound / Hillary Jordan
4.5 stars

The opening chapter has brothers Henry and Jamie burying their seemingly unlikable father. From there, the book backs up in time to tell of Laura and Henry’s marriage in the late 1930s, into the 1940s, and their move from a city to rural Mississippi to run a farm, Henry’s dream. But, they have Henry’s father, Pappy, living with them and their two daughters and making their lives miserable. Jamie has been over in Europe fighting in the Second World War. Henry employs three black families on the farm, one of which is the Jacksons, and Laura employs Florence Jackson to help in the house. The Jacksons eldest son, Ronsel, has also been fighting in the war. Things get worse for the families once Jamie and Ronsel come home. It is the South, after all, and racism and the KKK are still alive and kicking.

Wow, this was really good. It mostly wasn’t fast-paced, but I wanted to keep reading. It was told from multiple points of view, so that made things a little more interesting (and it was easy to follow whose viewpoint it was, as the chapter was not only introduced with their name, their name was the “running title” at the top of each page for that chapter). Ugh, some of those people are so hateful! Even the nicer people have unlikeable reactions, in some cases! This is likely to be one of my favourites for this year.

200clue
Jul 23, 2017, 12:12pm Top

>199 LibraryCin: BB for me.

201LibraryCin
Jul 23, 2017, 2:00pm Top

>200 clue: I hope you like it!

202LibraryCin
Jul 24, 2017, 12:58am Top

12x12 Series, RandomCAT, CATWoman, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR

The Game of Silence / Louise Erdrich
3.5 stars

This is a children’s book, a continuation of “The Birchbark House”. It is 1850 and Omakayas is now 9-years old. This book goes through another year in her life, all four seasons. In the spring, Omakayas, her family, and the other Ojibwe discover that they are being told by the white people that they need to leave. They send out four men to find out what happened, why they must leave – did they break the treaty? While the four men are gone, Omakayas learns about medicines from her grandmother, while her cousin, Two Strikes, though a girl, wants to build her own little army made up of the boys. And, there is more day-to-day stuff happening, as well.

I enjoyed this. Not quite as much as “The Birchbark House”, but it was still enjoyable and I will continue the series. There are very nice illustrations, and some well done descriptions of how things are done (similar to the first book).

203LibraryCin
Jul 26, 2017, 8:58pm Top

12x12 Audio, Mystery Subgenre, AlphaKIT

The Girl on Legare Street / Karen White
3 stars

In book 2 of the series, realtor Melanie is brought together with her mother, whom she hasn’t seen, nor heard from, in 33 years; her mother left when Melanie was 7. Her mother wants “Melly” to help her buy their ancestral home. In the meantime, a ship has been recovered... a ship belonging to their ancestors, and a body is found on it. Also, there are mysterious portraits in the attic of the house – who are the girls in the portraits?

I should have reread my review for the first book before getting this one on audio. I warned myself that I should not do the audio for the second one. Oops! So, I listened to the audio again and it was no better. It didn’t hold my attention enough to follow everything, though I got the gist. I’m giving it (like the first one) an “ok” rating, but I’m stopping the series here.

The author ended both books with a “cliffhanger” kind of ending, in hopes that it would intrigue the reader enough to continue. It worked after the first book, but it’s not working again. I don’t think I liked a single character in the book! The main character, Melanie, I was neutral about, but I really disliked both her mother and the potential love interest, Jack. Wow, could either of them be any more pushy!? They both constantly annoyed me.

204lkernagh
Jul 28, 2017, 4:11pm Top

>199 LibraryCin: - Great review of Mudbound! Makes me want to move that one up my TBR pile!

205LibraryCin
Jul 28, 2017, 7:38pm Top

>204 lkernagh: Thank you! I hope you like it whenever it is you get to it!

206LibraryCin
Jul 28, 2017, 9:46pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, Trim the TBR

As Seen on TV / Sarah Mlynowski
3.75 stars

Sunny is leaving Florida for New York City to move in with her boyfriend, but at the last minute, her job falls through. When a friend offers to help get her a spot on a reality tv show, Party Girls, Sunny is hesitant, but it’s a job to keep her going for a few weeks until she find a real job. Unfortunately, Sunny gets all caught up in being a star and being on tv, and she forgets what’s important.

I quite enjoyed this (overall). Sunny was very unlikeable in the middle of the story, though, when she was all caught up in herself, her image, and the show. What an awful reality show, though! I enjoyed the few parts where there were roommates watching the show, so there was a bit of an outsider’s perspective on the show itself.

207LibraryCin
Jul 30, 2017, 2:24am Top

12x12 Trim, AwardsCAT, Trim the TBR

Dying Inside / Robert Silverberg
3 stars

David gets paid to write university papers for college students. He has been telepathic (he can read minds) all his life. He is now in his 40s(?), and his “gift” seems to be disappearing. He looks back on the good and bad his telepathy has brought him and is trying to deal with the seemingly inevitable loss of it.

Overall, it was ok. The 1970s definitely came through in the book (it was originally published in ‘72): sex and drugs. I enjoyed some of the relationships David had – the rocky relationship with his adopted younger sister, adopted when David was 10 years old; and his long-ago relationship with Kitty were particularly interesting to me. Some of the rest of it wasn’t as interesting, though. I’m not sure why the author felt it necessary to include some of the university papers her wrote for students; I found those boring and mostly skimmed those. The edition I read was published in 2008 and there was a good introduction by the author as to how the book came about.

208LibraryCin
Aug 2, 2017, 10:24pm Top

12x12 Overflow

Blue Dahlia / Nora Roberts
3.5 stars

A couple of years after Stella’s husband dies in a plane crash, she and her two sons move to Tennessee, where her father and stepmother live. Stella quickly finds a job (and a place to live) with Roz, who owns a gardening company. Roz also owns a huge old house, complete with a resident ghost, who seems to enjoy children. Logan, another employee of Roz’s, and Stella get off to a bad start; Stella is super-organized and is trying to organize Roz’s company, and Logan is not.

I enjoyed this. It wasn’t fast-moving or anything, but it was enjoyable. I liked the ghost story, in particular. This, being the first in the trilogy, didn’t come to a full conclusion and we can already figure out who will be paired up with whom in the next two books, but that’s ok. I’d like to continue and I certainly want to learn more about the ghost story!

209LibraryCin
Edited: Aug 5, 2017, 11:15pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, RandomCAT, Trim the TBR

Catacombs / Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
3 stars

A continuation of Catalyst, human boy Jubal, and cat Chester have a bond where they can communicate via their minds. They (and other cats) are brought to planet Mau by Pshaw-Ra, who is royalty on that planet. Pshaw-Ra has plans to rule the universe. Little does everyone know, but Pshaw-Ra is planning to find a way to use all these cats to his advantage.

It was ok. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book. I’m not a big fan of the space-stuff, but I enjoyed the cats themselves when the focus was on them and their behaviours and their links to their humans.

210LibraryCin
Aug 5, 2017, 11:14pm Top

12x12 Audio

Telex from Cuba / Rachel Kushner
2.5 stars

This is set in the 1950s in Cuba. Some American families have moved to Cuba to work for companies on the island. The main character in the story is a boy, K.C. So, the story follows him and his family, as well as a young girl, Everly, and her family (amongst others).

I’m sure my rating (and enjoyment, or lack of) of the book more reflect the fact that I was listening to it on a dying mp3 player, so it was harder to pay attention as the sound came and went at times. Of what I was paying attention to, there were parts I enjoyed more than others: the focus on the families was more interesting to me than the focus on the politics of the revolution.

211LibraryCin
Aug 6, 2017, 1:22am Top

12x12 Nonfiction, AwardsCAT, AlphaKIT

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic / Alison Bechdel
4 stars

Alison Bechdel grew up in the 1970s. Her family lived in a huge home, a home her father was constantly fixing up. Her father was a high school teacher and a funeral home director in a small town, and though Alison didn’t know it, he was gay. Alison herself realized she was a lesbian when she was in college. The book looks at her life while she was growing up, and in particular, her relationship with her often-distant father.

I really enjoyed this. It is a graphic novel and I liked the mostly simple artwork. Many of the literary references were over my head, though (Alison and her father shared a love of reading). The chapters mostly focus on a particular topic, so one would mainly focus on her father’s death, one on growing up around the “fun house” (nickname for the funeral home!), another her father’s restoration projects, etc. So, although it generally went in chronological order, it wasn’t completely. I still thought it flowed well, though.

212mathgirl40
Aug 6, 2017, 10:03pm Top

>170 LibraryCin: I'd never heard of Jenny Lawson either, but just yesterday, a friend had recommended her books. So after seeing your review, I definitely should give her books a try.

213LibraryCin
Aug 6, 2017, 11:45pm Top

>212 mathgirl40: Not everyone seems to enjoy her humour, but I really did! Humour is so subjective. I hope you enjoy it, as well!

214LittleTaiko
Aug 8, 2017, 12:43pm Top

>211 LibraryCin: - I'm looking forward to seeing the musical Fun Home when it comes through my city in September.

215LibraryCin
Aug 8, 2017, 10:24pm Top

Yeah, someone else just mentioned it's also a musical! Hadn't realized. I'll have to keep my eyes open to see if it ever comes near me.

216LibraryCin
Aug 8, 2017, 11:55pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, Trim the TBR, AlphaKIT, CATWoman

Orange is the New Black / Piper Kerman
4 stars

When Piper Kerman was jut out of university, she wanted an adventure. Well, she got a little more than she’d bargained for, as she ended up smuggling drugs. It was about 10 years later, after she was engaged, she finally served time for her crime. She was sent to a minimum security prison in Connecticut, where she spent almost a year. This book describes that year in her life.

This was really good. The prison itself wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be. It seems, at least once Piper learned the “ropes”, she was able to stay on good terms with many of the prisoners and the bigger “threat” was the staff. She and many of the other inmates got along well and became friends.

The end of the book included a reader’s guide, with an interview with Piper and discussion questions. She did mention in the interview portion that, although there wasn’t violence, rape, etc, (as many people – and I – would have expected in such a place), it still wasn’t a nice place. That is, there was no privacy at all, and you have no control over your life or over many decisions. As she was transferred, towards the end, to a couple of other penitentiaries, she also discovered how much worse it could get. Piper was very lucky to have the support system that she did outside of prison; many inmates don’t have that, nor other advantages that Piper had (white skin, money, a job waiting for her when she got out…).

217LibraryCin
Aug 13, 2017, 7:13pm Top

12x12 Animals, Mystery Subgenre, RandomCAT, Trim

Native Tongue / Carl Hiaasen
3.75 stars

Two endangered voles (a specific type) – in fact the last ones on Earth! – are stolen from Animal Kingdom, a theme park/zoo in the Florida Keys. Characters in the book include the two bandits and an old woman (an activist who has a penchant for guns!), who get to know each other; the owner of the zoo, who has a questionable past, and some of his employees: one of the main ones being a PR script writer, who decides he doesn’t like all the lies he is asked to write to release to the media. Then… people start dying...

Hiaasen’s books always have so much going on, and plenty of zany characters! I quite enjoyed this one, possibly more than some of the others I’ve read, but not quite enough for a 4 star rating. I liked that Hiaasen brought back a character from a previous novel, though I can’t recall which novel, but I do vaguely remember him. I don’t think I found this as funny as some of his others, but that’s ok. I always like the environmental themes in his books.

218LibraryCin
Aug 18, 2017, 11:27pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Trim the TBR, RandomCAT, Mystery Subgenre

Eye of the Whale / Douglas Carlton Abrams
4 stars

Elizabeth is married, but spends much of her time away, researching for her thesis on whales. She is studying whale communication. When she is the first to notice a different song amongst the whales, something appears to be very wrong. But, she needs to head home to California. With trouble brewing with her husband and at the university with regards to her thesis, Apollo, a whale, races too close to shore, but won’t leave. When she tries to help get him back to the ocean, she becomes a target...

I really enjoyed this! I love animals and am interested in environmental topics, and this has a definite environmental focus, as well. There are short chapters, introduced by location and time, so you know this is time-sensitive. There were parts that kept the book a page-turner for me.

219LibraryCin
Aug 20, 2017, 11:01pm Top

12x12 Oh, Canada, BingoDOG

The Dark and Other Love Stories / Deborah Willis
3.5 stars

This is a book of short stories. Some of the stories include two girls/friends at camp who would sneak out of their bunk at night; two girls/friends who would break into neighbourhood houses when no one was home; a little boy who’s father lived with him and his mother when he was 9 – they had a memorable Halloween; a man who survived a concentration camp as a child moves to Canada and rarely speaks, while a girl of 18 moves away from home to work for a small town newspaper; a man shares his new apartment with a crow… and more.

Usually, a book of short stories will get a 3 star rating from me: I like some of the stories, I don’t like some, and some are ok, so the book, as a whole, averages out to about 3 stars (ok). In this one, however, I can say that I liked almost all of the stories, so it’s getting a 3.5 rating. So, one of the better collections I’ve read.

220LibraryCin
Aug 25, 2017, 10:49pm Top

12x12 Overflow

The Last Juror / John Grisham.
4 stars

Willie Traynor, a newly graduated journalist, moves from the north to a small town in Ford County, Mississippi, and takes over the local newspaper. In 1970, shortly after he’s taken over the paper, Danny Padgitt is arrested for raping and murdering a young mother, in her home, while her kids woke up and witnessed what was happening. Willie’s coverage of the story puts him in the path of the entire Padgitt family, who tend to keep to themselves. In the meantime, Willie has become friends with a local black woman, a woman who becomes the first black woman to serve on a jury in Ford County. After the trial, the town moves on and Willie continues to cover the news over the next decade or so… and jury members from the old Padgitt trial start to turn up, murdered.

I really liked this one. I have to admit that the middle section slowed down, but I really liked the first section and it picked up again at the end. I also really liked the friendship between Willie and Miss Callie.

221LibraryCin
Aug 25, 2017, 11:06pm Top

12x12 Travel, Trim the TBR, CATWoman

The Lady and the Unicorn / Tracy Chevalier
3.5 stars

It’s late in the 15th century and artist Nicolas des Innocents is hired to design tapestries for nobleman Jean le Viste. Nicolas is a notorious womanizer and decides he wants to bed Jean’s daughter, Claude. Claude, in turn, is attracted to Nicolas, but she is yet to be betrothed and certainly can’t afford any stains on her reputation! Meanwhile, after the tapestries are designed, Nicolas must hand over the actual crafting of them to a weaver in Brussels, Georges de la Chapelle. Georges, his family, and his workers take it from there to actual make the tapestries. Georges also has a daughter, Alienor, who happens to be blind. Nicolas also works his charms on her.

Overall, I did like the book/the story, but I REALLY didn’t like Nicolas, nor did I like Claude. I did like Alienor, but I just don’t understand how all these women would fall for the jerk, Nicolas! Each chapter is told from a different point of view, but the start of the chapter tells you whose point of view you are a following, so it’s not hard to follow.

222LibraryCin
Aug 25, 2017, 11:18pm Top

12x12 Audio, Trim the tbr

The Nobodies Album / Carolyn Parkhurst
3.5 stars

Octavia Frost is a successful author, with eight published novels. She has decided she’d like to rewrite the endings for all of them, and publish that as a collection. Her rock star/musician son, Milo, and she have been estranged for four years, but she feels she must go to him when he is arrested on suspicion of murdering his fiancee.

I much preferred the mother/son story to the multiple books and rewritten endings by Octavia Frost. I listened to the audio and often missed too much of those rewritten stories to really follow them. I did enjoy the murder mystery, though, and Milo and Octavia coming closer together again.

223LibraryCin
Aug 27, 2017, 1:47am Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, HorrorKIT

The Book of Speculation / Erika Swyler
3 stars

Simon is a librarian who has just lost his job. His old house is falling apart around him and he can’t afford to fix it. His has pretty much raised his sister, Enola, but she’s been gone for a long time. She reads tarot cards for a travelling circus. When a bookseller gives him a book with his grandmother’s name in it, he starts researching. He discovers that the women in previous generations of his family all drowned on July 24. When Enola comes home to visit close to that date, he is worried.

The book goes back and forth in time, following Simon’s life and back in time, following the circus that one of his ancestors belonged to. At first, I didn’t mind the historical portion of the story, but somewhere along the way, much of that part of the story lost my interest, though I still enjoyed Simon and Enola’s portion of the story. Overall, it was ok.

224LibraryCin
Aug 28, 2017, 12:10am Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, CultureCAT, Trim the TBR

Why New Orleans Matters / Tom Piazza
3.5 stars

This book was written a very short time after Hurricane Katrina. Katrina hit at the end of August in 2005, and this book was copyrighted the same year. In Part I, the author describes the culture of New Orleans: the food, the music, the parades, Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras… He also talks about the bad side: the crime, the poverty. In Part II, he looks at the devastation caused by Katrina and contemplates the rebuilding.

I liked it. I’ve been there once, and I already wanted to go back… and the book made me want to go back even more! I was there in 2011, and most of the places I visited hadn’t been affected by the flooding. I did get to one of the affected areas that still, in 2011, mostly hadn’t been fixed up. Reading the book certainly brought back some good memories of my visit, though!

225rabbitprincess
Aug 28, 2017, 5:36pm Top

>224 LibraryCin: I visited New Orleans a mere four months before Katrina. Wish I'd taken more photos of the city before the destruction :(

226LibraryCin
Aug 28, 2017, 8:24pm Top

>225 rabbitprincess: Oh, wow! Of course, I was never there beforehand, so I have nothing to compare to for what I saw.

227LibraryCin
Aug 29, 2017, 11:29pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, CATWoman

Wicked Girls / Stephanie Hemphill
2.5 stars

This is a fictional account of the Salem witch trials, mostly told from the points of view of three of the girls who accused many of the people, two 17-year olds and one 12-year old.

I was initially excited to find a fictional book about the Salem witches, but I skipped entire first chapter, thinking it was a quote. Suddenly the 2nd chapter started with another “quote” and I realized – oh, crap! I think the entire book is written this way: like poetry. Or, I guess the term is “in verse”. Not a fan. I skim/read that kind of thing quickly, and don’t really pay attention.

The good part: it was quick! The book did go right at the end with the notes on the real-life people, both the accusers and the accused. Also a note, in general, on why they may have accused so many people. That gave it the extra ½ star, but I’d still like to find a good fictional work on this topic.

228whitewavedarling
Aug 30, 2017, 3:12pm Top

I'll be curious about anything else you find that's related fiction. I recently spent a weekend in Salem, which made me realize I hadn't read any related fiction at all, but would like to. The closest I've come is an actual book of poetry--The Afflicted Girls by Nicole Cooley--which I really enjoyed, but it was poetry.

In any case, I'm sorry this one didn't work out as you hoped. If I should happen across something, I'll let you know! (And of course I'll keep an eye out here in case you do :) )

229LibraryCin
Aug 30, 2017, 7:31pm Top

>228 whitewavedarling: I share all my reviews to facebook, as well. One friend there (originally from shelfari and she recently moved to Salem) recommended this book when she read my review:
The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

More specifically, this is what she said: "Related topic/spinoff, but not 100% about the Salem Witch Trials, an excellent fictional read is The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry."

230LibraryCin
Edited: Aug 30, 2017, 9:49pm Top

>228 whitewavedarling: I see someone over on the CATWoman thread has also recommended:
Beyond the Burning Time by Kathryn Lasky

And someone else recommended The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (which I'd forgotten about, but I have already read!).

231whitewavedarling
Aug 30, 2017, 9:37pm Top

>229 LibraryCin:, >230 LibraryCin:, oh heavens--book bullets galore!!!

232LibraryCin
Aug 30, 2017, 9:49pm Top

233LibraryCin
Sep 2, 2017, 3:05pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT, Trim the tbr

One Good Knight / Mercedes Lackey
3 stars

Andromeda is a princess, and is very smart. Her mother keeps her at a distance and doesn’t really want her learning too much, including how to govern. When the kingdom is threatened by a dragon, they decide to offer sacrificial virgins to appease it.

I mostly enjoyed it, but it was a bit odd and had a definite weird ending. I’m not sure if I want to continue the series, but since they all seem to be about different characters, I think I will. I think the series is really just the same “world”.

234LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 2, 2017, 3:22pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the tbr

The Good Father / Diane Chamberlain
5 stars

Travis has been raising his (now) 4-year old girl with the help of his mother (at his mother’s home). But when their home burns down and his mother dies, Travis and Bella have nowhere to go. And Travis has lost his job. In looking for construction work, he gets caught up in other work he shouldn’t have, putting people’s lives (including Bella’s) at risk.

I listened to the audio, which was very well done, in addition to it being a very engaging story. The audio had three different narrators, for the three characters who told the story. Travis was one; Bella’s mother Robin was another; and a woman Travis and Bella met while looking for a job, Erin, was the third.

The story itself pulled me in immediately, then it went back in time a bit to hear how we got to that point, from Travis’s point of view. Robin’s POV went back and forth in time from when she met Travis and she later got pregnant… all while dealing with a heart problem; also her current life, 4 years later, as the fiancee of a well-known, well-connected man, running for mayor. Erin’s POV also included the current timeline, when she met Travis and Bella while Travis was looking for a job, and back in time to her married life, with a little girl she lost.

After the book drew me in at the start, I just wanted to keep listening to find out what would happen. Be warned that a Kleenex comes in handy at points. For a while, I thought I wasn’t going to like how it appeared to be heading toward the ending, but I was ok with it, after all.

235LibraryCin
Sep 4, 2017, 2:21am Top

12x12 Series, AlphaKIT, PBT

Unsouled / Neal Shusterman
3.5 stars

Trying not to give away too much info from previous books to summarize this one… Many of the potential unwinds are on the run. Many of the characters from the previous books in the series are running, or fighting back, or, in some cases, merely mentioned. Some chapters follow the scientists who invented unwinding, though they regretted it once they realized what it was being used for, as that was not its intent (from their points of view, anyway). A few new characters are introduced, ending up travelling along to hide, fight, or chase after those running.

It was good, though I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first two in the series. It did get better at the very end, but it wasn’t quite enough to up my rating. I do love the way the author works in little advertisements in between narrations of the story. Those little advertisements do mean something, as well. The chapters switch on whose point of view we are following; there are a lot of characters and I had a bit of trouble remembering who some of the characters were, in some cases! But, as the story moved forward, I either remembered more, or at least learned enough to follow.

236lkernagh
Sep 4, 2017, 7:48pm Top

Great reviews - making special note of the Chamberlain book - and noticed that you are one book away from filling every square on your Bingo card!

237LibraryCin
Sep 4, 2017, 10:37pm Top

>236 lkernagh: Yes on the Bingo! I plan to finish it up this month with the help of September's RandomCAT. :-)

Hope you like the Chamberlain. It's only the 2nd book I've read by her and I think the first one was around 4.5 stars, as well. I definitely plan to read more!

238LibraryCin
Sep 5, 2017, 11:00pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, CultureCAT

Little Bee / Chris Cleve
3.5 stars

Little Bee is from Nigeria and was fleeing for her life when she met Andrew and Sarah on a beach in her country. Some time later, Bee has arrived in England, but has been held for 2 years in a detention centre for immigrants. When she is released, she contacts Andrew, since he and Sarah are the only people she knows in England. When she makes it to their place, however, Sarah is dealing with other things.

My summary gives away more than the book jacket, though I still don’t think it gives away very much. The book alternates between Bee’s and Sarah’s points of view. I liked the book, but I have mixed feelings about the ending. I absolutely hated Sarah’s boyfriend and have no idea what she saw in him! There is a good author’s note at the end.

239LibraryCin
Sep 9, 2017, 12:03am Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Trim the TBR, RandomCAT

Man Vs. Weather / Dennis DiClaudio
3.5 stars

This is a humourous book that teaches readers about the weather.

I am always interested in the weather and am particularly fascinated by storms and bad weather. I have occasionally thought it might be interesting to be a meteorologist. I mostly enjoyed this. There were a few parts where the science was just a little too much for me, despite my interest, but mostly the author was able to describe it in ways that made sense. There was humour thrown in, and some illustrations. I was particularly interested in the sections on storms and bad weather (no surprise to me), and at the end, I also enjoyed the section on the history of weather (and the Earth and humans, in general).

240LibraryCin
Sep 11, 2017, 10:44pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, CATWoman

Eleanor & Park / Rainbow Rowell
4 stars

Eleanor is a big girl with fiery red, curly hair. She is new and at first has trouble fitting in at school and is bullied. But, when she and the (half) Korean guy (Park) she sits beside on the bus start sharing comic books and music, they seem to hit it off. But, Eleanor needs to hide her new relationship, as her stepfather is mentally and emotionally abusive toward her, her mother, and all her siblings. He can never find out (nor can her mother).

I enjoyed most of the book, but Eleanor annoyed me with some of her decisions. I didn’t like the end at all, but I kept a pretty good rating even though I disliked the end so much, simply because I liked the rest of the book so much. The book alternated viewpoints between Eleanor and Park. I listened to the audio, which was done well with two different narrators.

241LibraryCin
Sep 13, 2017, 10:56pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, Trim, RandomCAT, PBT

A Deadly Yarn / Maggie Sefton
3 stars

A friend of Kelly’s is moving from Colorado to New York to further her artist career, but on the morning another friend, Megan, is supposed to pick her up to get her to the airport, she is found dead. Kelly and Megan begin sleuthing to find out who killed Allison (though Kelly has been warned against sticking her nose in before!).

It was ok. A quick read. I think this is where I’ll stop with this series, though. The mystery was fine for me, but I was quite bored with Kelly’s personal issues/decisions/life. I thought the author did a nice job with her descriptions of Colorado, though. There are plenty of cozy mysteries out there, but this series has lost my interest.

242LibraryCin
Sep 16, 2017, 3:09pm Top

12x12 Animals, HorrorKIT

Scarecrow / Alyssa Wong
3.5 stars

This is a horror short story. I don’t think I really want to summarize it, as I think part of the story is about figuring out what’s happening. It took a little bit to realize what was going on, but once I did, I thought the story was good.

243LibraryCin
Sep 16, 2017, 11:49pm Top

12x12 Travel, Trim the TBR, RandomCAT, CultureCAT, AlphaKIT

The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe / Peter Godwin
3 stars

In 2008, there was a “democratic” election in Zimbabwe, which apparently defeated its long-time leader/dictator, Robert Mugabe. Mugabe, however, wouldn’t accept it, so while there was to be a re-vote, Mugabe’s people hunted down and tortured and/or murdered people known to be voting against him. The (white) author, who had been born in Zimbabwe, and was now a journalist elsewhere, decided to head back and talked to Zimbabwean people to bear witness.

The book followed the author as he travelled across the country to talk to the people. There were a lot of people and much of the book, particularly the first half, focused on telling the stories of those who had been tortured. Because there were so many people, I sometimes found it hard to follow – is this a new person, or is this one of the people already mentioned? Some of the other parts were a bit dry for me. It’s horrible, everything that happened, but I found much of the book (though not all) a dry read, unfortunately.

This book is copyrighted 2010, so I looked up Mugabe. The man, at 90-something years old now, is still alive and sadly, still the leader of the country.

244LibraryCin
Sep 18, 2017, 10:53pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, PBT

Station Eleven / Emily St. John Mandel
3.5 stars

Just after an actor, Arthur, dies onstage of an apparent heart attack, it becomes known that a flu epidemic is sweeping the world. It’s not long before most of the human population has died. The book follows a young actress, Kristen, 20 years later; it also follows Jeeves just after the epidemic became known – he was an audience member who tried to save the actor who died. The book also goes back in time to look at Arthur’s life.

There is a lot of back and forth in time, but it says early on in each chapter when we are reading about, so it’s not hard to follow. That being said, I found the epidemic itself and the parts immediately after, were the most interesting to me. Arthur’s life wasn’t as interesting to me, though I was curious who, in his life, survived or didn’t. Parts of Kristen’s story, 20 years later, were somewhat interesting. It certainly was interesting to see how people had been coping for the past 20 years! Overall, it was good, but nothing super-special for me.

245christina_reads
Edited: Sep 20, 2017, 3:10pm Top

>244 LibraryCin: I had pretty much the exact same reaction to Station Eleven -- parts were good, but the postapocalyptic stuff was more interesting than the Arthur stuff. I did love one part near the end, when a couple of the characters see the electric lights of a small town in the distance.

246LibraryCin
Sep 20, 2017, 7:46pm Top

>245 christina_reads: Yes, that scene was pretty cool!

247LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 20, 2017, 10:28pm Top

12x12 Animals, BingoDOG, RandomCAT

Jerry of the Islands / Jack London
3 stars

This book follows Jerry, a puppy, as he sets out on the sea with a sailor. From there he ends up on land with a group of people. And he makes his way further from there. Much of the story is from Jerry’s point of view.

It was ok. I had trouble following much of the dialogue. I (no surprise to me) found myself much more interested in the parts that were from Jerry’s point of view, rather than the parts that strayed from that and focused on the people in the story.

248LibraryCin
Sep 22, 2017, 10:23pm Top

12x12 Travel, CultureCAT

A House in the Sky / Amanda Lindhout
4.25 stars

In 2008, Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout travelled to Somalia with Australian photographer, Nigel Brennen. While there, they (along with 3 Somalian escorts) were kidnapped and held for ransom. Amanda and Nigel were held for over a year before their families, with the help of a professional negotiator, came up with part of the money the kidnappers had originally asked for to get them released.

Amanda not only tells her story in the book; she narrates the audio. As the book was coming close to the end, I marveled that she was not only able to write her story, but she is able to narrate it! The book started a bit slower, as she told of her life growing up in Alberta, Canada (fairly local to me!), before she caught the “travel bug” and she wanted to travel all over. She tells stories of some of the places she travelled before deciding to head into Somalia to hopefully write a story to “make” her career. But, the pace of the book just picks up more and more as the book goes on.

At the start of the book, I was ready to give it 3.5 stars, but it quickly went up to 4 stars. At the end I might have given 4.5 stars, but I wanted to take the entire book in account for my rating and settled on 4.25, as I feel like it does deserve higher than 4.

249clue
Edited: Sep 22, 2017, 10:56pm Top

>248 LibraryCin: When I read your review my first memory of the book was that I disliked the author intensely and I had given the book a low rating. When I went back and looked at my rating it was 4. After I read my comments I realized that I did dislike her because I thought she put so many lives at risk. I also mentioned that she had thought the professional journalists were jealous of her although there was no reason for them to, THEY were the high paid professionals. Despite my dislike of her, in the end I rated it a 4 because it was indeed a spellbinding account.

250LibraryCin
Sep 23, 2017, 1:04pm Top

>249 clue: I read that in a few reviews after, as well. Many people didn't like her or her actions. I don't really think I liked her much, either, but that didn't (for whatever reason!) affect what I thought of the book.

As for being a journalist, I vaguely remember hearing the story around the time it happened (probably just that a Canadian journalist had been kidnapped and got out), so before she headed to Somalia, I kept expecting to read that she went back to school for journalism!

251LibraryCin
Sep 24, 2017, 1:05am Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, PBT, Mystery Subgenre

I'd Know You Anywhere / Laura Lippman
4 stars

Eliza is now married and has two kids: Iso is a teenager and Albie is younger. But when she was 15 years old and went by her full name, Elizabeth, she was kidnapped, and later released. Her kidnapper was arrested and charged with 2 murders, though it was suspected he’d done more than the two. Elizabeth was his only victim who lived. Eliza’s kids have not been told what had happened to their mother when she was younger. Walter, her kidnapper, is on Death Row, but not long before his date, Eliza gets a letter from him…

This was quite good. Not as edge-of-your-seat as I originally expected, but it was still a good story. The book went back and forth in time between present-day and 1985 when Elizabeth was kidnapped. It also changed points of view. Mostly it was told from Elizabeth/Eliza’s point of view, but we got Walter’s POV, as well as a few others, though the others mostly came in the second half of the book. There were a couple of characters I really really disliked (in addition to Walter!).

252LibraryCin
Sep 25, 2017, 11:54pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, PBT, Trim the TBR, RandomCAT

My Story / Elizabeth Smart
4 stars

In 2002, Elizabeth Smart was only 14-years old when she was kidnapped from her own bedroom(!!!) in Salt Lake City, Utah. A homeless man who considered himself a prophet kidnapped her and he and his wife held her for nine months before they were caught and she was reunited with her family. Elizabeth tells the story of what happened.

In addition to her own story of what happened over those nine months, Elizabeth tells some of how things were going back home with the search. In fact, for a good chunk of the time, she was kept very close to home, until it got too cold to live in their tent and all three moved to California.

The way the story was told seemed very “simple” to me, maybe to reflect (on purpose or otherwise!) how young she was at the time? There is also a bit or repetition. I certainly remember the story in the news, even here in Canada and always wondered about her. She seems to have come through very well adjusted (despite the daily rape!). She doesn’t go into detail on that. The 4-star rating may also have to do with my interest in the case, generally.

253LibraryCin
Sep 30, 2017, 4:23pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT

One Perfect Lie / Lisa Scottoline
4 stars

We are told from the first sentence that Chris Brennan is lying. He is at a job interview to be a teacher. He not really a teacher, but they don’t know that and he is able to charm his way into getting the job. He is trying to get close to some of the boys at the school… for what purposes, we don’t yet know! We do know, early on, that he has to do what he’s doing within a week.

The book pulled me in right away, but when we switched views to focus on three of the boys and their mothers/families, I didn’t find their stories as interesting, but only initially. There was a surprising twist in the middle, and at first, I didn’t even believe it! Not really to do with the book itself, but I did notice that the blurb on the dust jacket had one of the three boys’ names incorrect! Jordan is the character’s name and whoever wrote that blurb called him Justin (more than once!) Oops! Overall, though, really good book!

254LibraryCin
Oct 2, 2017, 10:53pm Top

The Ice Limit / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
2 stars

Lloyd (this is his last name) is a super-rich guy who decides he wants to bring a giant meteorite back to the US to his museum from a small island off the coast of Chile, so he brings together a group of people to do so. Plenty of bumps and bruises along the way (apparently, people died, too!).

Sorry for the poor summary. Was listening to the audio and as soon as it was introduced and I hear the narrator (Scott Brick), I thought “oh no”. He has a very nice voice, but it’s also very monotone and I tend not to pay much attention as he narrates. So, I missed much of what was happening (including anyone dying!). I hated that they referred to pretty much everyone in the book by their last name. Because of this (and my lack of attention), when I was paying attention, I couldn’t even remember who the lone female character was. Oh, look! As I read a summary, apparently there were 2 women characters! Who knew!? If only the authors had referred to them by their first names, I’m sure I, at least, would have caught that! The book was loosely based on a real giant meteorite, apparently.

255LibraryCin
Oct 6, 2017, 9:59pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, AwardsCAT, Trim

Skippy Dies / Paul Murray
3 stars

Daniel (aka Skippy) dies in the first sentence of the book. He and a friend are in a donut-eating competition and Skippy just keels over, before even eating any of the donuts. From here, the story goes back in time, leading up to Skippy’s death and follows a few different characters, including Skippy, Howard (one of the teachers at Skippy’s boarding school), and Carl (a drug-dealing reprobate and bully). The book then continues beyond Skippy’s death to how people are dealing with it.

The book was ok. I actually found Howard’s story most interesting, but Skippy’s got more interesting after a bit. I hated Carl and really didn’t enjoy reading any of the sections that focused on him. I also didn’t much enjoy the sections that focused on Skippy’s friends. Some of the dialogue did not have quotation marks which bothers me! Also, it felt a little odd in the parts when the second-person pronoun, “you”, was used.

256LibraryCin
Oct 10, 2017, 12:23am Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, AwardsCAT, CultureCAT, Travel Across Canada

A World Elsewhere / Wayne Johnston
3 stars

Landish Druken is from Newfoundland and, while attending Princeton, meets George Vanderluyden. They have a falling out, but years later, Vanderluyden has since built a mansion, is married, and has a daughter. He takes in Landish and the boy Landish has taken in, Deacon.

I have to admit to being quite distracted as I read the first 2/3 of the book, so I know I missed some things. For the first 1/3 of the book, I kept reading Landish’s last name as “Drunken”. Oops! It got better (though still wasn’t terribly exciting) for the last 1/3 of the book, when I was able to better focus on it. There were a few twists at the end.

I actually smiled at the dedication and the acknowledgments: I knew his parents and it was dedicated “in loving memory” of them. I was a good friend of his youngest sister so have met some of her siblings, as well (all mentioned in the acknowledgments), though I’ve never met Wayne. Of course, that’s just a personal reaction to those parts of the book that really don’t have to do with the book itself!

257LibraryCin
Oct 11, 2017, 10:28pm Top

12x12 Travel, CultureCAT, High Notes

City of Thieves / David Benioff
3 stars

It’s WWII in Leningrad, Russia. Lev and Kolya are in jail together, but are sent out to find a dozen eggs at a time when there is very little food to be found anywhere. Sorry, not a great summary. I guess that is just what starts it off, as Lev and Kolya travel together from there.

I listened to the audio and, like many audios, there were just too many parts that didn’t hold my attention (hence the sketchy summary). Parts were ok, though, and one part was quite horrifying. Overall, though, it was merely “ok” for me.

258LibraryCin
Oct 13, 2017, 8:39pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, Trim the TBR, AlphaKIT

I See Rude People / Amy Alkon
4 stars

There is a long subtitle to this one, which pretty much says it all: “One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society”. The author is a blogger and has an advice column. She is quite outspoken when it comes to people being rude. There are chapters on people talking loudly on their cell phones (one of my pet peeves!), parents who don’t parent, telemarketers, and more.

I really enjoyed this. There was plenty of humour and I applaud her for standing up to some of these people! She goes to extremes in some cases (like with the telemarketers… or hunting down the guy who stole her car, and trying to hunt down whoever stole her identity), but good for her!

259LibraryCin
Oct 13, 2017, 11:03pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, AlphaKIT

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry / Gabrielle Zevin
4 stars

AJ is only 39, but is a widower. He drinks a bit too much and one night, while passed out, a very valuable book is stolen from him. He also owns a bookstore in the small town on the small island that he lives on. He is pretty disillusioned with life. Shortly after the book is stolen, though, something arrives at the bookstore to wake him up again.

I really enjoyed this! It wasn’t a page-turner or an action-packed book, but it was really enjoyable. I liked most of the characters (though I wasn’t crazy about either Daniel or Ismay). I also loved all the book/literary references! And the tv references, though there weren’t nearly as many of those.

260LibraryCin
Oct 16, 2017, 10:53pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, PBT

Hidden Figures / Margot Lee Shetterly
3.25 stars

This is a history/biography of some of the African-American women who worked for NASA (or NACA, as it was originally) during the 1940s through to the 1970s. While society, in general, had black and white people still segregated, these brilliant women started off working as “computers” (human math calculators) at NACA, and some worked their way up from there (at least as high as they were able to).

I found the biographies of the women much more interesting than the parts that focused more on NACA/NASA and the science/math though I normally am ok with science, but I suppose that depends on the type of science. These women were brilliant, and had to fight hard to get where they were and to keep going. I am so impressed with what they did. I haven’t seen the move (though I’d like to), and I’m going to guess I might like it better.

261LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 17, 2017, 11:18pm Top

12x12 Series

7th Heaven / James Patterson
3.25 stars

Two storylines ran through this one. Wealthy people are being tied up in their homes and murdered via the home being set on fire. Also, the young (teenage) son of a prominent man has disappeared and a young prostitute is being questioned, as someone saw the boy coming out of her house on the night he disappeared.

I listened to the audio, so I missed things here and there (as I often do, unless it’s particularly engaging!). I found the stories interesting, though I’m not finding the women’s personal lives as interesting as I once did. However, I will continue the series, at least for now.

262LibraryCin
Oct 22, 2017, 1:12am Top

12x12 Series

The Girl in the Spider's Web / David Lagercrantz
2.5 stars

Not too sure how to summarize, as I sort of “missed” what got it started. Ended up with the father of an autistic child working on some sort of artificial intelligence and Lisbeth Salander getting involved to protect the autistic boy.

It was really not interesting throughout most of the first 2/3 of the book, but it picked up for the last 1/3, about the time Lisbeth and August (the autistic boy) were together, but not really enough to increase my rating by much. I don’t plan to continue the series.

263Chrischi_HH
Oct 22, 2017, 4:56pm Top

Somehow I missed your thread until today - how could that happen?! As usual, I took a few BBs from you. I liked City of Thieves better than you did, though.

264LibraryCin
Oct 22, 2017, 10:47pm Top

>263 Chrischi_HH: LOL! I did that a few times this year, as well! No worries! There are so many individual threads, it's easy to miss some that you think you might want to follow!

265LibraryCin
Oct 23, 2017, 9:25pm Top

12x12 Audio, AlphaKIT

Not My Father's Son / Alan Cumming
4 stars

Actor Alan Cumming was abused by his father while growing up. As an adult, there is a mystery surrounding his maternal grandfather that he and his mother are just learning about, as well. His memoir tells about both, going back and forth in time.

I actually haven’t seen him in very many movies (or tv), but the most memorable for me was “Circle of Friends” as “creepy” Sean Walsh, so anytime I’ve heard his name in the past or have seen him, my first thought is always oh, it’s “creepy Sean Walsh”! Which is unfortunate.

I thought this memoir was very well done, though. I think (at least based on the book), I might actually like “creepy Sean Walsh” (or, at least, the actor who played him)! He manages to insert some humour into his memoir, as well, despite the horrible things he went through as a child. I found his own story more interesting than his grandfather’s. I listened to the audio, which he narrated himself, and really enjoyed it. He has a beautiful voice and I love the Scottish accent!

266christina_reads
Oct 24, 2017, 12:59pm Top

>265 LibraryCin: It's so funny how our first experience of an actor colors our view of him/her! I first saw Alan Cumming as Mr. Elton in the Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma, so that's how I always think of him! :)

267rabbitprincess
Oct 24, 2017, 5:01pm Top

Alan Cumming will always be Boris from Goldeneye to me! :P

268LibraryCin
Oct 24, 2017, 7:01pm Top

>266 christina_reads: LOL! It is funny... and obviously we all think of him as a different character!

I went to imdb after I finished the book to see what else he'd been in. He's been in so much, it's funny I've seen so few of those movies/tv shows!

269LibraryCin
Oct 25, 2017, 10:41pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, RandomCAT, HorrorKIT

The Manhattan Hunt Club / John Saul
4 stars

Jeff has been falsely convicted of a crime. But when he is “transferred” out of the prison, he is taken… somewhere and locked in a room with another man. It’s not long after that they are released into the tunnels underneath New York and are told that they’ll “win” if they make it to the surface. Meanwhile, his family and girlfriend think he died in a crash.

I really liked this. It didn’t take long to get sucked in, though it takes a little bit to figure out what’s going on in the book. It’s told from different viewpoints, so the reader is partial to things that the characters aren’t as they try to figure out what’s happening, as well. This was one I didn’t really want to put down – I wanted to keep reading. And, there were a couple of twists!

270LibraryCin
Oct 25, 2017, 10:57pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR, Travel Across Canada

Victoria's Castles / Paul G. Chamberlain
3.5 stars

This is a short book describing the castles in Victoria, B.C. It describes the architecture, as well as the history of the castles and the people who lived there.

I bought this book as a souvenir the first time I visited Victoria and have finally gotten around to reading it. I saw two castles while I was there (Craigdarroch Castle and Hatley Castle) and apparently there is one more still standing. I enjoyed the book, particularly the histories of the people who lived in them - some politicians, some businessmen. The book was short, and of course, included photos of the castles.

271LittleTaiko
Oct 27, 2017, 9:43am Top

>265 LibraryCin: - I don't normally listen to audio books but that is one that I felt I needed to listen to as opposed to read. Having his voice really added to my enjoyment of the book. Like you, he was always that creepy guy from Circle of Friends for me too. However now when I first think of him it is as Eli Gold from The Good Wife. He is such a versatile actor!

272rabbitprincess
Oct 27, 2017, 6:45pm Top

To me Alan Cumming is also sometimes "the guy who introduces Masterpiece Mystery on PBS" ;)

273LibraryCin
Oct 28, 2017, 5:47pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre

The Watchman / Robert Crais
3.5 stars

Larkin is a spoiled rich girl who gets in a car crash and apparently has witnessed something due to this crash so that someone wants her dead. Joe Pike is brought in to protect her and keep her alive.

The car crash itself was a bit confusing at the start. It happened fast and I had trouble figuring out who was who right off! (And I still had trouble sorting out some of the characters later on, as well!) However, once I figured out the gist (even if I didn’t have the characters straight) of what was happening, some parts were fast-paced, while others weren’t as interesting. I really didn’t like either of the main characters, though, Larkin or Pike (mostly he’s called by his last name). I don’t plan to seek out any more books with Pike in them; I won’t necessarily rule them out altogether, but I won’t go looking for any.

274LibraryCin
Oct 29, 2017, 11:12pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, CATWoman, CultureCAT, Trim the TBR, Travel Across Canada

Plainsong / Nancy Huston.
3 stars

Paula’s grandfather has just died. As she goes through some of his journals/writings, she tries to piece together his life.

I think the story was fine, but I didn’t like the way it was written. No chapters, no dialogue. I don’t think this part really bothered me, but, as an fyi, it was written like Paula was talking to her grandfather in what she wrote, using “you”. It also jumps around in time, constantly back and forth, which is something that normally doesn’t bother me, but there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the jumping around, so I didn’t like the way it was done in this book. I did like the history covered in the book (it was set in Alberta and much of it in my city, Calgary). I did not like the person her grandfather was (or who Paula thought she was or who she wrote him to be) – he was a horrible person!

275LibraryCin
Nov 5, 2017, 3:07pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada

The Heart Goes Last / Margaret Atwood
4 stars

Due to severe economic hard times, like so many other people, Stan and Charmaine are living in their car. When they are given an amazing opportunity to live in a real house, they jump at the chance! But, there’s a catch. They live in the house for one month, then have to live in a prison for the next month, then they alternate months with another couple doing the same thing. When Charmaine meets the man from the couple they alternate with (they aren’t supposed to meet their alternates), things get a little messy.

I really liked this! There were a few sections in the middle that weren’t as good, I didn’t think, and it got a bit silly, even, but overall, I still really enjoyed it! I like Margaret Atwood, but this – at least to me – seemed more appealing somehow and may be one of my favourites by her (though, to be honest, it is hard to compare to some I read years ago, before I did ratings and reviews).

276LibraryCin
Nov 8, 2017, 9:47pm Top

12x12 Audio, Trim

IT / Stephen King
4.75 stars

When Bill is 11 years old in the late 1950s, his younger brother is murdered. He and his group of friends are being bullied, while kids, in general, are disappearing from their small town of Derry, Maine, in way too high numbers. Although the results are obvious to everyone (the disappearance of kids), it seems only the kids can see some of what’s happening.

I listened to the audio, narrated by Steven Weber. He is very good; he did so well with all Richie’s voices! One thing I didn’t like (though it’s a small thing), and it’s only due to the audio, is with the back and forth in time – only close to the end – it was sometimes hard to tell if it was the adult characters or the kid characters we were following. In the print book, it should be easy enough to figure out. To reiterate, throughout most of the book, the back and forth in time was easy enough to follow, but there was just a little bit near the end where I had a bit of trouble.

The other thing I didn’t like (possible spoiler, though I’m still trying to keep it vague): Bev! What are you doing!? Why!? You’re 11 years old! Overall, though, I loved the characters, and except for the two small things, I loved the book! It was a reread. I read it in high school, and remember loving it then, too.

277mathgirl40
Nov 8, 2017, 9:57pm Top

>276 LibraryCin: I'm glad to hear that the audiobook version of It was well done. I'm on my library's waiting list for the e-audiobook, but as one might expect, it's a very long list, so I don't expect to get to it until next year.

278whitewavedarling
Nov 9, 2017, 10:31am Top

>276 LibraryCin: and >277 mathgirl40:, I was so disappointed in the new movie, my husband ended up watching the old movie on Halloween--it's so much better! We also went to get a used copy of the book, which I haven't read in high school and he's never read; I can't wait to dive into it again :) Now I'm tempted by the audiobook, though--I don't usually listen to them, but I can see Weber doing a great job with that... it's on my radar now that you guys have brought it up :)

279mamzel
Nov 9, 2017, 5:17pm Top

>159 LibraryCin: When California was suffering from drought, I was blown away by the amount of water needed for some crops. The amount for almonds was one - 1 gallon needed to raise 1 almond!!! There are more surprising numbers here.

>162 threadnsong: Don't even get me started on this one! Not to mention the about of oil used to create the bottle and then transport them all over kingdom come. If Fiji water really does come from Fiji (which I seriously doubt), that's criminal!

>216 LibraryCin: I've never read the book but have really enjoyed the series on Netflix. Lots of interesting characters.

>235 LibraryCin: I only read the first book of the series, Unwind and will never forget that final chapter. It gave me chills. I think I'm afraid that I will be disappointed by the rest of the series as I have by so many YA series where the first is fantastic and the rest...not.

>240 LibraryCin: Have your read Fangirl also by Rowell? I loved that one.

All caught up with you again.

280LibraryCin
Nov 9, 2017, 6:58pm Top

>277 mathgirl40: I originally put it on hold at the library in October 2016! It actually came in for me in spring this year, but I had too many audios at the time, and this one is so long, I thought there was no way I'd get to it, so I "returned" it and put it on hold again. So, yeah... it probably took about 6 months or so for me to get it! Timing ended up working well, as I did get to listen to it over Halloween this year!

281LibraryCin
Nov 9, 2017, 7:00pm Top

>278 whitewavedarling: I read it in high school, as well, but that was about 30 years ago!

I actually really liked the new movie (saw it just before starting this audio... it was actually helpful, especially at the start, for me to get a handle on all the different characters!). I haven't seen the old movie since it aired on tv... when was that around 1990ish? So, I can't compare the movies! :-)

282LibraryCin
Nov 9, 2017, 7:03pm Top

>279 mamzel: Before reading the book, but after hearing about how much water was needed for almonds, I did cut back on how much I was eating (though escalating prices also helped with that!).

I haven't seen the Neflix series for Orange is the New Black, but I'd like to watch it... eventually!

I do think the first book in the Unwind series was definitely the best one. I listened to the audio and was horrified while listening to Roland being unwound!.

I have not (yet) read anything else by Rowell, but I likely will. I'll check out Fangirl. thanks!

283mathgirl40
Nov 9, 2017, 7:18pm Top

>280 LibraryCin: Maybe I'll get the book by next Halloween. :)

284LibraryCin
Nov 9, 2017, 10:30pm Top

>283 mathgirl40: Maybe you will! :-)

285LibraryCin
Nov 10, 2017, 2:03pm Top

The Last Battle / Stephen Harding
3.5 stars

There is a castle in Austria called Schloss Itter. During WWII, there were French VIPs (mostly politicians) who were kept prisoner in Schloss Itter; needless to say, it was a fairly comfortable place to be kept prisoner during the war. When the war was over, though, they needed to be rescued. So, after the war had officially ended, American soldiers came together with a few German soldiers to get the French VIPs out, but there was a battle at the castle before they were able to leave.

This is a story from WWII that I knew nothing about. (Even for all I’ve read, I’m sure there are plenty of lesser-known stories.) It was interesting. In addition to information about the war, the castle, and the battle itself at the castle, there was biographical information about the prisoners, as well as the soldiers who worked together to help out (although, there were a lot of people, so it was still a bit tricky to recall who was who!). I also enjoy biographies, so those parts were some of the most interesting to me in this book, in addition to the battle itself. As a Canadian, I found Rene Levesque’s “cameo” in the book (he appeared later as a journalist) interesting. For the most part, I liked the way this book was written. There were a few dry parts, but mostly I enjoyed it.

286LibraryCin
Nov 11, 2017, 7:03pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, HorrorKIT

The Sleeper and the Spindle / Neil Gaiman
3.5 stars

There is an entire kingdom asleep next to one where the dark-haired queen (no names are used) will soon be getting married. She feels she and her dwarfs must go save the princess in the sleeping kingdom before her own wedding.

Beautiful illustrations, but very detailed and mostly pencil, so hard to see on my e-reader. I reread it on my PC where the illustrations were larger and easier to see; also couldn’t see on my e-reader, but there were bits of gold in the illustrations, as well. I think, because it’s a short story, I felt like I could read through fairly quickly, but there is some complexity to this one, so I reread the end of it (while on my PC) to get a better idea of what actually happened and the twist at the end. I would recommend reading this one in print, or at least on a larger screen with colour. Quite good, though, and I liked the twist!

287LibraryCin
Nov 12, 2017, 4:45pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, AlphaKIT, RandomCAT, PBT High Notes

Love Walked In / Marisa de los Santos
3.5 stars

Cornelia works in a cafe and meets someone whom she starts dating. Clare is 11-years old and having a hard time with her mother, as her mother seems to be acting very odd. Clare knows something is wrong and is afraid her mother is sick.

The book started ok for me, but got better. It was ok at the start while I got to know the characters and what was going on. It really picked up for me in the middle after Cornelia and Clare met, but I have very mixed feelings about the ending. I’m settling on rating it “good” at 3.5 stars.

288LibraryCin
Nov 18, 2017, 10:46pm Top

12x12 Series, CATWoman

Ripley's Game / Patricia Highsmith
3.5 stars

This is the third book in the Tom Ripley series. At least at the start of the book, there is not much focus on Tom, himself. He manages to get involved in the life of a man, Jonathan, who has a disease and isn’t sure how long he is going to live. Jonathan is convinced to help murder someone… then is asked to do it again.

I think I liked this one better than the 2nd book (or what I remember of it!). To be honest, at least in the first half, I was bored when the focus was more on Tom’s life at home with his wife, Heloise, whom I find very boring. I have no interest in their lives. I found following Jonathan and his story much more interesting, and when Tom got more involved with Jonathan, that ramped up my interest. Part of the book was a little more edge-of-your-seat (or my seat, anyway!), I thought. But, I didn’t think the end was realistic… or, realism aside, it wasn’t in character (not Tom’s or Jonathan’s character, but Simone’s charater, Jonathan’s wife). So, overall, it was a “good” read for me.

289LibraryCin
Nov 18, 2017, 11:08pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, PBT

Born a Crime / Trevor Noah
4 stars

Trevor Noah was born in South Africa during apartheid to a black mother and a white father, which was illegal (yes, his being born to an interracial couple was illegal). He mostly grew up with his mother, but had trouble fitting in anywhere, since he was coloured. The book is about Trevor’s childhood; it deals quite a bit with race relations, and also parts deal with his home life with his abusive stepfather.

I listened to the audio, narrated by Trevor himself, which was nice because then I got a proper pronunciation of various words in various languages. The book does hop around chronologically, so there were times I had to stop and think, wait – that hasn’t happened yet! Overall, though, very enjoyable book, and very good audio.

290LibraryCin
Nov 20, 2017, 11:28pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, Trim the TBR

The Water is Wide / Pat Conroy
4 stars

When Pat Conroy was a new teacher, he set out for a small island off the coast of South Carolina in 1969/70 to teach poor kids at a black school there. What a culture shock! Not only did these kids mostly not know how to read or write, but they had never experienced Halloween! Pat did a lot for these kids over the year, and taught them in unorthodox ways.

I thought this was a memoir, but it was only at the very end of the book that it said it was “based on” his year on the island. I think it also said “fiction” somewhere, but I may be mixing that up with a review I read. I did disagree with one thing he did/argued for, but overall, I was enjoyed this book. It just might have been nice to know ahead of time that it may not have been a completely true account, though.

291LibraryCin
Nov 25, 2017, 12:15am Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, Passport Challenge

The Thistle and the Rose / Jean Plaidy
4 stars

Margaret Tudor (Henry VIII’s older sister) was sent to Scotland when she was 12 or 13 to marry King James IV. She fell immediately in love when she met him, but he died young, in battle. In the years to come, she would fall easily in love and eventually be disappointed. But, she always had her and James’ son, James V, to fight for the crown for.

I don’t remember reading anything about Margaret before (though it appears that I have, but it was a number of years ago), so this was quite interesting. It’s funny, with all I’ve read about Henry (and a little bit about their youngest sister, Mary), I always thought Margaret was kind of boring, but Plaidy made her interesting to me. That may be more because she focused on her personal life than on the politics, though. Of course, the politics always came in to play to determine how her life would go. Of the few by Plaidy I’ve read, this might be one of my favourites.

292LibraryCin
Nov 27, 2017, 11:58pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, RandomCAT, AwardsCAT

Road Trip Rwanda / Will Ferguson
4 stars

Author Will Ferguson has a friend in Calgary, Canada, who is originally from Rwanda, Jean-Claude. A 19-year old Jean-Claude, a Tutsi, got out of the country mere months before the genocide in 1994. The two take a trip to Rwanda for a few weeks and Jean-Claude tours Will around.

I learned that Rwanda has come back from the genocide socially and economically ahead of the game, ahead of other African countries, and ahead of many other countries in the world. It’s an impressive turn-around; of course, the ghosts of the genocide are still everywhere in the country. The book includes a brief history of what led to the genocide and the genocide itself, and of course, we learned more about various things that happened in various places throughout the country as Will and Jean-Claude took their trip.

There were a couple of respites from genocide “memories”: they did a tour in the Virunga Mountains to see Dian Fossey’s gorillas; they also went to a national park, where the wildlife is protected. I’ve read about both the genocide and Dian Fossey and the gorillas, so much of the information wasn’t new to me, but this was a reminder. Ferguson often adds humour to his travel books, but this one is a tough one to do that with. There is a bit, but not as much as in his other books. Overall, I thought this was a very good book to get information about the tough topic of the Rwandan genocide, in addition to updates about the country.

293LibraryCin
Nov 30, 2017, 12:46am Top

12x12 Animals, AlphaKIT

The Elephant Whisperer / Lawrence Anthony
4.5 stars

Lawrence Anthony bought a game reserve in South Africa and shortly after, rescued a herd of troublemaking elephants. He was able to calm them down and even befriend them. As the elephants become more well-behaved, his reserve grew with more and more wildlife and stories (good and bad, including poaching, a common threat) on the reserve.

I loved most of this! I listened to the audio, and did lose interest a few times, mostly during parts that weren’t about the animals, and I ended up sobbing as I walked from my work to the train listening at the end of the book!

294Kristelh
Dec 1, 2017, 5:01pm Top

Happy Birthday, Cindy!

295LibraryCin
Dec 1, 2017, 5:43pm Top

>294 Kristelh: Thanks so much, Kristel! Not sure if I'll get a chance to do any reading today (despite taking the day off work), but hopefully this evening. I am going out for food, then I need to do a bit of baking (for something not related to my birthday at all!). Maybe after that, I'll get time to read!

296LibraryCin
Dec 2, 2017, 12:54am Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre

Her Royal Spyness / Rhys Bowen
3.5 stars

It’s 1932. Georgiana (Georgie) is 34th in line to the British throne, but she and her brother, a duke, are broke. Georgie decides not to wait for someone to choose a husband for her and she sets out from Scotland to London and moves into her family castle all by herself, including no servants. She must learn to do many things herself, like starting a fire, cooking, etc. When her brother comes to visit, a man claiming to have won the deed to their castle from their now-dead father shows up. Not long after, Georgie finds his body in their bathtub and her brother has returned to Scotland!

I enjoyed this. It was cute and light and enjoyable. It wasn’t on my tbr and was chosen to fit a challenge, so I’m waffling about adding another series to my tbr, but I think I’ll at least continue with the next one to see where it goes.

297christina_reads
Dec 4, 2017, 11:31am Top

>296 LibraryCin: I think it's an enjoyable series! I'm not caught up yet, but I'm five or six books in. It's definitely on the VERY light/fluffy/cozy end of the mystery genre, so it would certainly depend on what you're in the mood for!

298LibraryCin
Dec 4, 2017, 8:16pm Top

>297 christina_reads: I haven't checked - how many books are in the series now?

299LibraryCin
Dec 4, 2017, 11:27pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, CATWoman, CultureCAT, Passport Challenge

The Hero's Walk / Anita Rau Badami
3.5 stars

Sripathi and his daughter had a falling out when she moved to Canada from India and wanted to marry someone she met there. They never spoke again, though Maya went on to have a little girl herself, Nandana. Unfortunately, when Nandana was only 7-years old, Maya and her husband died in a car crash. Sripathi had to collect his granddaughter and bring her to India to take care of her and to live with the rest of the family: his son, Arun, his sister, Putti (who never got married, as their mother never approved of anyone!), their mother, Ammayya, and Sripathi’s wife, Nirmala.

It started a bit slow for me, as I found it tricky to figure out who was who, as there were a lot of characters! There was also (at least at first) some jumping around in time, as characters were lost in their memories, as well as present day, so I found that trickier to follow, as well. I enjoyed Nandana’s story from the start. The book got better in the second half, once I figured out (mostly!) who was who. However, I didn’t like Sripathi much: especially in the first half - I found him to be a very angry man.

300christina_reads
Dec 5, 2017, 10:49am Top

>298 LibraryCin: Looks like there are 11 books now, with a 12th coming out in 2018!

301LibraryCin
Dec 5, 2017, 2:56pm Top

302LittleTaiko
Dec 7, 2017, 3:48pm Top

>300 christina_reads: & >301 LibraryCin: - I think the series keeps getting better and better, though it sill remains firmly in the light & fluffy category. The new release is something I look forward to each year and tend to read it while on vacation.

303LibraryCin
Dec 7, 2017, 7:01pm Top

>302 LittleTaiko: Oh, that's good to hear! Thank you!

304LibraryCin
Dec 10, 2017, 12:33pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the tbr, (Nov) AlphaKIT

The Queen's Mistake / Diane Haeger
3.5 stars

Catherine Howard was Henry VIII’s fifth wife; she was also Anne Boleyn’s cousin. Catherine was not even 20 years old yet when she married Henry and Henry was almost 50. Although Henry didn’t know it, Catherine had a bit of a reputation for being promiscuous. When Henry found out, after they had been married for a short time, things did not end well for Catherine.

I have read a little bit about Catherine, but not as much as some of Henry’s other wives. This book didn’t change my opinion of her. I’m not a fan of Catherine herself, although the story was good.

305LibraryCin
Dec 10, 2017, 12:55pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, RandomCAT

The Snow Queen and Other Tales / Hans Christian Anderson
2.25 stars

This is a collection of short stories by Hans Christian Anderson. I’m not always a fan of short stories, and this one didn’t win me over, either. For most of them, I just didn’t get interested and pretty much skimmed. There were a few that held my interest, but not many, and of those, two were ones I already knew the general story for, so it was easy to pick up if I missed a bit in the middle. The extra 1/4 star is for the few stories that were ok and (somewhat) held my interest.

306LibraryCin
Dec 11, 2017, 11:17pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, HorrorKIT, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR

Meat / Joseph D'Lacey
3.5 stars
283 pages

In this town, survival is all about the meat. The Magnus Meat Processing Plant, or MMP (which includes the “farm” itself, the slaughterhouse, meat cattle, dairy cattle, veal calves, etc.) pretty much runs the town. Well, that and the religious group that worships meat; the cattle at the MMP are the “Chosen”. The people who work at MMP are the best paid in town and are highly regarded. But, there are a few people in town (including Richard, the man who stuns the cattle before they are killed) who are questioning it all. Richard won’t even eat meat, anymore, and his wife begs him to bring meat home for her and their twin daughters. When things start going badly, there is a showdown between the MMP workers and owner, the bishop and parsons, and the few who are questioning if this is really how it has to be.

Be warned that there are slaughterhouse descriptions in this book. I very rarely eat meat, but I have read and seen enough online to realize that what’s described in the book (the treatment of the cattle, anyway) is, sadly, probably all too real. Also, sadly, very little actually shocked me, though it’s still so horrible. I’d describe the book as a dystopian horror and I’m rating it “good”. I found it very dark and bleak, but also an interesting story.

307LibraryCin
Dec 13, 2017, 10:57pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT

Once We Were Brothers / Ronald H. Balson
4 stars

When Ben and Otto were kids, Ben’s Jewish family took in a German boy, Otto, and raised him for a number of years. Shortly before WWII broke out, it was decided that Otto would be safer if he left the Jewish family to work with the Nazis. When Ben is in his 80s and living in Chicago, he comes face-to-face with well-known artist Elliot Rosenzweig, who claims to also be a Holocaust survivor, but Ben recognizes him as Otto and won’t back down. Ben hires lawyer Catherine to help prove that Elliot and Otto are one and the same.

I really liked this story. I wasn’t always crazy about Ben, nor was I crazy about Elliot. I agreed with Catherine through the first half that Ben had zero proof whatsoever and I felt like she was wasting her time – as a lawyer, she doesn’t have a lot of extra time. Unlike Catherine, who came around, I still felt through the entirety of the book that Ben had zero proof and was exasperated with him many times. However, yes, he had a compelling story, no question about it. Overall, I still really liked the book and am giving it a “very good” rating, but I also didn’t cry, which is surprising for me. Oh, just as an fyi (though it has no bearing on my rating one way or the other), I listened to the audio.

308LibraryCin
Dec 16, 2017, 12:50am Top

12x12 Animals

H is for Hawk / Helen Macdonald
3 stars

When the author’s father dies, she decides to train a goshawk. She’s been fascinated by hawks since she was a child.

I really enjoyed the parts of the book that actually focused on Mabel, the hawk. It’s too bad there wasn’t more of that in the book. I was bored by the literary criticism she included (not sure the point of it for most of it), and there seemed to be a lot of it! The discussion of one particular book, “The Goshawk”, was one she’d read when she was young, so at least this “fit” the rest of the book, but I wasn’t as interested in that story, though there were parts that were ok. I honestly wasn’t all that interested in her father, either, so the parts about her childhood and her dad weren’t very interesting to me, either. I also still don’t understand the point of taking a wild bird of prey and making it live with a human. I don’t like the idea of it.

The parts with Mabel are about a 4 star for me, but the rest was more of a 2 star, with “The Goshawk” coming in around 3 stars. Averaging it all out, it’s getting an “ok”, 3 stars, from me.

309LibraryCin
Dec 18, 2017, 11:20pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, PBT, AlphaKIT

The Guinea Pig Diaries / A.J. Jacobs
3.5 stars

A.J. Jacobs decides to put himself through a series of “experiments”, a month at a time. He will live in a different way each month. For example, one month is living rationally, examining and correcting for all his biases (at least as much as possible). Another month, he will tell the truth all the time, whatever comes into his head, he will say. Another month, he helped his nanny with online dating; that is, he mostly looked over the replies and replied back, etc (he calls this his month of living “as a beautiful woman”). He lives by George Washington’s 110 rules. He outsources his life, both his work and personal life. And more.

I enjoyed this! I think I enjoyed all of these. Of course, there were bits of humour here and there. Possibly my favourite was when he did his wife’s bidding for an entire month. This was in return for all the other odd experiments she’d had to put up with. Enjoyable book!

310LibraryCin
Dec 18, 2017, 11:34pm Top

12x12 Animals, AlphaKIT, PBT

Ranch of Dreams / Cleveland Amory
4 stars

Cleveland Amory started an animal sanctuary in Texas, the Black Beauty Ranch. They’ve had cats, burros, horses, chimpanzees (including Nim Chimpsky), elephants, foxes, prairie dogs, goats and probably others that aren’t coming to my head at this moment. This book tells how the sanctuary got started and many stories of the animals that have come to live there.

I really enjoyed this! It was very fast to read and there were separate chapters devoted to each species. He does also tell of some of the sad stories that led to the various critters coming to live there.

311LibraryCin
Dec 23, 2017, 1:36am Top

12x12 Audio, Trim, PBT

703: How I Lost More Than a Quarter Ton and Gained a Life / Nancy Makin
3 stars

The author had a top weight of 703 lbs. She lost the majority (over 500 lbs) of that weight and recounts her story here in hopes of inspiring other people.

It was a decent story. The author started the story as a child and worked her way forward, but there were large gaps in time in her story. I listened to the audio, so sometimes lost where we were: what age she was, what weight. I found her childhood particularly interesting. She never really said how she lost all the weight, but I still found the perspective interesting. She didn’t leave her house for years; when she did, they needed special equipment to get her out and to the hospital. The comments and stares are things you don’t think about. Even how to do so many things that so many of us take for granted. When she did leave her house, her son would stand in such a way to try to block people’s stares. There are just so many things we take for granted.

312LibraryCin
Edited: Dec 23, 2017, 1:46am Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Trim the TBR

The Fossil Hunter / Shelley Emling
4 stars

Mary Anning was born in 1799 in Lyme Regis, England. She and her father would walk along the short and hunt for fossils. When she was 12, she discovered an entire dinosaur skeleton, the first one (or one of the first)! They weren’t yet called dinosaurs, but she continued to hunt for fossils throughout her life (to sell them so she could support her mother and brother after her father died). She was mostly not recognized for everything she’d done, as she was a woman. It was a time when evolution was not yet known and with all the new discoveries, it was the start of religion vs. science debate. She became friends with many male scientists – geologist and paleontologists.

I really enjoyed this! I was originally introduced to Mary via Tracy Chevalier’s “Remarkable Creatures”, then decided to find some nonfiction. Much of the book was also history, science, geology, paleontology, religion vs. science, as well as a biography about Mary. All of which I found interesting.

313clue
Dec 23, 2017, 9:21am Top

>312 LibraryCin: This is a BB for me, I loved Remarkable Creatures so the nonfiction sounds really interesting.

314LibraryCin
Dec 23, 2017, 12:22pm Top

>313 clue: It really is! I hope you like it!

315lkernagh
Dec 23, 2017, 7:55pm Top

Hi Cindy, stopping by to wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and happiness this holiday season and for 2018!

316LibraryCin
Dec 23, 2017, 8:54pm Top

>315 lkernagh: Thank you so much! Happy Holidays to you, too!

317Kristelh
Dec 25, 2017, 8:15am Top

Stopping by to wish you the best of the end of 2017 and the start of 2018.

318VivienneR
Dec 25, 2017, 10:36am Top

319LibraryCin
Dec 25, 2017, 11:52am Top

Thank you both. Merry christmas to you, too!

320LibraryCin
Dec 29, 2017, 3:32pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, AwardsCAT, CATWoman, AlphaKIT

Raven Black / Ann Cleeves
3.5 stars

When 16-year old Catherine, a newcomer to Shetland, is found murdered, people assume the odd guy who was also thought (though it was never proven) to have killed a younger girl years earlier was also responsible for Catherine’s death. The younger girl, though, was never found.

Good book, but lots of characters to keep straight. This was told from different points of view. I was surprised by the ending. I might have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so distracted while reading. I will continue the series.

321LibraryCin
Dec 29, 2017, 3:54pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, CATWoman, AlphaKIT

Glory in Death / J.D. Robb
3.5 stars

When the prosecuting attorney is found murdered in a bad part of town, Eve Dallas is on the case to find out what happened. Soon after, another high-profile woman is also murdered. Eve’s significant other has connections to both women.

Decent story, but I still don’t like Roarke. Nor do I particularly like Eve much, either, but I do prefer her to Roarke. I might have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so distracted while reading. I will, for now, continue the series.

322LittleTaiko
Dec 29, 2017, 3:58pm Top

>320 LibraryCin: - I just picked that one up at a bookstore earlier this week and plan on reading it in January for the color challenge. Happy to hear that you enjoyed it.

323LibraryCin
Dec 29, 2017, 4:09pm Top

12x12 Travel, CATWoman

The Medievalist / Anne-Marie Lacy
4 stars

Jayne is a historian and a descendant of King Richard III of England – the man who may have had his two nephews (Edward IV’s sons) murdered so Richard himself could take the crown. Jayne doesn’t believe this is the case. When Richard’s grave is being dug up, Jayne is a volunteer on site. At the end of the day, when she tries to help by covering up the bones, she grabs on to an artifact… and suddenly wakes up in the Middle Ages amidst tents. Jayne thinks this might be the eve of Richard’s death!

I quite enjoyed this! Obviously implausible, but even taking the time travel element out of it, I don’t believe what the author proposes is very likely. Have to admit, wasn’t crazy about Jayne and Richard’s relationship (ewww – he’s your ancestor!) I still enjoyed the story, though. Jayne got to spend plenty of time in the late 15th century with Richard and with Bess, Edward IV’s eldest daughter. The book was mostly from Jayne’s point of view, but occasionally, we switched to Richard’s; not surprisingly, I found Jayne’s (a woman’s) POV more interesting.

324LibraryCin
Dec 29, 2017, 4:09pm Top

>322 LittleTaiko: Hope you like it! I think I might have rated it a bit lower than some others. :-)

325LibraryCin
Dec 31, 2017, 3:21pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT

Welcome Home: An Animal Rights Perspective on Living with Dogs & Cats / Nathan and Jennifer Winograd
3 stars

This book argues that dogs and cats are ok to keep as pets (in contrast to what PETA and at least one animal rights lawyer suggest).

I agreed with most of what the authors had to say (though not quite everything). Although I knew some of what PETA does (and it’s not what most people think!!!), they provided specific examples, and it’s not good. I did find that part (part 2, that focused on PETA) most interesting. Have to admit, though, that much of it read a bit like an academic paper (but I guess that tells you that there are lots of bibliographic references for what they have to say!). And they include some photos – sad photos. :-(

326LibraryCin
Dec 31, 2017, 6:55pm Top

12x12 Audio, CATWoman

The Girls / Emma Cline
3 stars

This is based on Charles Manson and his cult in the late 1960s. We follow a young Evie, as she gets pulled into the cult by a group of girls she encounters.

I like the idea of the book, but the execution wasn’t so great for me. I didn’t like any of “the girls”, and didn’t “get” Evie’s enthrallment with Susanne or with any of it. Bunch of airheads they all were, I thought! I listened to the audio, and they certainly sounded that way. Not only that, but by the end, a bunch of psycho airheads. I guess I also don’t “get” the culture at the time. I didn’t dislike the story – it was ok. But, I certainly didn’t like any of the characters, nor did I understand their motivation for anything they did, beyond doing whatever-the-heck “Russle” wanted them to do. Sex, drugs… and not much in the way of rock’n’roll.

327LibraryCin
Jan 1, 3:44pm Top

I'll do some stats, as well. but for now, these are my favourites and least-favourites of the year:

My top 10 (4.25+ stars):
Intensity - Dean Koontz
The Good Father - Diane Chamberlain
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell - Nadia Hashimi
The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah
I'll Be Watching You - Charles de Lint
Through a Window - Jane Goodall
Fierce Kingdom - Gin Phillips
Mudbound - Hillary Jordan
The Elephant Whisperer - Lawrence Anthony
A House in the Sky - Amanda Lindhout

Honourable mentions (rereads + one 4.25 stars):
Into Thin Air / Jon Krakauer
IT / Stephen King
Faithful Place / Tana French

Dishonourable mentions (2 or 2.25 stars):
Birdie / Tracy Lindberg
The Underground Railroad / Colson Whitehead
The Ice Limit / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet / David Mitchell
The Snow Queen and Other Tales / Hans Christian Anderson

328LibraryCin
Jan 1, 6:26pm Top

Stats
161 books
50,741 pages
= 315 pages / book (average)

New authors to me: 91 out of 161 = 56.5%
Canadian authors: 23 out of 161 = 14.3%

Some genres (some of these will overlap, and I probably missed some, too):
Nonfiction (not including Biography/Memoir): 19 out of 161 = 11.8%
Historical fiction: 25 out of 161 = 15.5%
Young adult: 12 out of 161 = 7.5%
Biography/Memoir: 25 out of 161 = 15.5%
Graphic novels: 3 out of 161 = 1.9%
Mystery/Thriller: 25 out of 161 = 15.5%
Horror: 6 out of 161 = 3.7%

Group: 2017 Category Challenge

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