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Kerry (avatiakh) will be reading in 2017 #2

This is a continuation of the topic Kerry (avatiakh) will be reading in 2017.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1avatiakh
Edited: Mar 13, 9:07am Top


Mt Taranaki, one of the few things I loved about boarding school was getting to see this mountain on a daily basis.

Currently Reading:

Poldark by Winston Garham - iPod audio
Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra - crime - tbr pile
The lies they tell by Tuvia Tenenbom - kindle unlimited trial
Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Lo Kuan-Chung - tbr pile

My Year in books 2016

2avatiakh
Edited: Feb 11, 12:00am Top


New Plymouth
My 2017 category challenge:

1) ANZAC - Australia / New Zealand literature
2) Israel & Jewish World literature
3) Nonfiction
4) Young at Heart - children's & YA
5) Scifi & fantasy
6) Books in Translation
7) The Big Read - doorstoppers & series
8) Challenges - CATS, TIOLI & Theme reading
9) Anthologies, short stories, essays, poetry
10) Thrillers - adventure, crime & espionage
+
Overflow / General Fiction

3avatiakh
Edited: Feb 28, 3:44pm Top


ANZAC challenge 2017

ANZAC Bingo 1x25
1: Read a book set around WW1 - Somme Mud by E.P.F. Lynch
2: Read a dystopian novel - The Quiet Earth by Craig Harrison
3: Read a book published between 1950-1979 - Living in the Maniototoby Janet Frame (1979)
4: Read a book about convicts or forced migration - The Second Bridegroom by Rodney Hall
5: Read a book by a dead author - The Godwits Fly by Robin Hyde
6: Read a book from a 'best of' list - The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
7: Read a book with a rural setting - The White Earth by Andrew McGahan
8: Read a book with yellow on the cover - Between Sky and Sea by Herz Bergner
9: Read a book less than 200 pages - The Severed Land by Maurice Gee
10: Read a book set outside Australasia - The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth
11: Read a journal/memoir (can be fiction) - Looking for Darwin by Lloyd Spencer Davis
12: Read a book about colonists/settlers - Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar
13: Read a book with a name in the title - The Legend of Winstone Blackhat by Tanya Moir
14: Read a fantasy novel - The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan
15: Read a book about the goldrush - It's raining in Mango by Thea Astley
16: Read an award winner - Chain of Evidence by Garry Disher
17: Read a book with a murder - Trust No One by Paul Cleave
18: Read a book by a young writer under 35yrs - While we run by Karen Healey
19: Read a book with a school/education setting - Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
20: Read a book published in 2016/17 - Tell the truth, shame the devil by Melina Marchetta
21: Read a book with a # or quantity in the title - Sixty Lights by Gail Jones
22:Read a book about a marriage - Perfect Couple by Derek Hansen
23:Read a young adult book - My sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
24: Read a book by an indigenous writer - Mutuwhenua by Patricia Grace
25: Read a book with an animal/bird on the cover - All the green year by Don Charlwood

I've added titles but reserve the right to chop and change as the year progresses.

4avatiakh
Edited: Feb 11, 12:04am Top


75er & other Reading challenges

I participate in the monthly TIOLI challenge and occasionally get a book read for the BAC (British Author Challenge), the Nonfiction Challenge here in the 75er group. In the category challenge group I've joined in a few already and I also try to read a book for the almost defunct Orange/Bailey's Jan/July group.
Group/shared Reads I'm hoping will get underway:

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth - May
Poldark series

Orange/Bailey's Jan:
The glorious heresies by Lisa McInerney

5avatiakh
Edited: Feb 11, 12:07am Top

Plans for February:
Reposting all the books I noted for reading in January minus the one I did read...sigh
_____
To green angel tower by Tad Williams, the final book in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy - read one chapter
Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra - read one chapter
Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong (14th century Yuan Dynasty) - my slow read for the year
King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett
The glorious heresies by Lisa McInerney - Orange/Baileys Jan read
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht - my AwardCat Jan read (category challenge group)

The secret book of kings by Yochi Brandes

also adding:
The wish child by Catherine Chidgey - ANZAC read
Tell the truth, shame the devil by Melina Marchetta - listening
Blood Moon by Garry Disher
Shylock's Daughter by Mirjam Pressler - reading
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
Girl at War by Sara Nović
The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach

and lots more

Poldark group read:
#1 Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
#2 Demelza by Winston Graham

6avatiakh
Edited: Feb 11, 4:00pm Top

Reposting my lastest review:

29) Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps' Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley (2014)
nonfiction
This was an interesting read about the Marine's combat hunter program and how you can use some of the tactics to keep yourself safe as the world evolves into an increasingly unsafe place. The term left of bang is referring to noticing and taking some sort of action before an incident (bang) rather than reacting to one that is/has taken place (right of bang). This involves becoming self aware of one's situation, the environment, becoming more observant of others.

'Staying left of bang, write Van Horne and Riley (the son of a police officer), starts with enhancing your observational skills. Drawing on scientific research findings, they describe in detail how to detect and analyze suspicious human behavior in six “domains” that “communicate current emotions and possibly future intentions” to determine a potential threat. The domains, or cue sources, are:

Kinesics, people’s conscious and subconscious body language
Biometrics, human beings’ “uncontrollable and automatic biological responses to stress”
Proxemics, the way subjects use the space around them and interact with surrounding people
Geographics, reading familiar and unfamiliar patterns of behavior within a given environment
Iconography, the expression of beliefs and affiliations through symbols, and
Atmospherics, “the collective attitudes, moods, and behaviors present in a given situation or place.”
The book points out that by searching for “clusters” of cues from these domains, you can learn to enhance your abilities to observe your surroundings and improve the skills you already possess.' - https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/situational-awareness-lets-stay-left-bang/

Some of the videos mentioned in the book can be found here:
http://www.cp-journal.com/articles-videos-mentioned-left-bang/

Morphidae
So what did you think of it?
Reply |
avatiakh
I found it interesting. On a personal level we were already aware of the need to observe and keep safe, my husband is from Israel, so it's sort of ingrained. I'll probably recommend it to my daughter as she lives in London and travels around Europe quite frequently with her partner.

It does add to your understanding of military procedures and gives you a lot of respect for the soldiers out in war zones having to patrol in areas where the enemy could be anyone in plain sight.

7Berly
Feb 10, 11:57pm Top

Is it safe? Happy new thread!! I'll have to come back to see what you'v filled in. : )

8avatiakh
Feb 11, 12:09am Top

>6 avatiakh: Yes, safe as houses now.

9avatiakh
Feb 11, 12:26am Top

What I'm actually reading:
_____
_
Sacred Games - slow read
Shylock's Daughter - YA based on The Merchant of Venice, not really wowing me as yet
Strange Star - YA, just started, Lord Byron, Percy & Mary Shelley sitting in the dark & telling ghost stories
The Severed Land - YA fantasy, good so far
Good People - just started, maybe a bit too wordy
Lauren Yanofsky hates the Holocaust - YA, a typical teen novel, Lauren would rather hang out with the cool kids than go to after school classes at the Jewish Centre
Tell the truth, shame the devil - Melina Marchetta's first adult novel, also not grabbing me
The world of Edena - graphic novel, stalled

10jessibud2
Feb 11, 8:00am Top

Happy new thread. I can barely keep up with the three I have on the go at the moment, let alone the number you are juggling! Some of them look very good!

11avatiakh
Feb 11, 5:27pm Top


29) Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan (2006)
graphic novel
I loved the artwork by Niko Henrichon, so much orange and yellow. This is based on the true story of the lions that escaped from the zoo in Baghdad during the initial US air raids in 2003. The lions all have different survival instincts which makes the storyline compelling. At the back of the book is a section devoted to initial concept art which is always interesting to look at.
From wikipedia: 'IGN named Pride of Baghdad the Best Original Graphic Novel of 2006, calling it a "modern classic", and commenting that the book "can be enjoyed on several levels. Those wanting a 'simple' tale of survival and family will find that. Those wanting a powerful, gripping analogy of war will find that as well. Writer Brian K. Vaughan was also careful to avoid pinpointing any one particular viewpoint—each lion represents a different attitude, which is refreshing since many books do not allow that choice.'
_


Elmer: a comic book by Gerry Alanguilan (2009)
graphic novel
This was originally self published in 4 issues by Filipino writer/artist Alanguilan before finding a publisher and coming out in one volume. This was one that I'd never have come across except for browsing through Cart's Top 200 Adult Books for Young Adults. An unlikely premise but a highly enjoyable read. The artwork is good, so many chicken drawings, what a feat to turn so many into individuals. I liked how so many of the chickens fought back, had strong menacing personalities and protected their right to no longer be eaten.
Imagine a sudden white flash across the world and chickens all around the world waking up with the equivalent of human intelligence. At first chaos and killing both of humans and chickens. Battery farm chickens finally take revenge, fighting cocks long bred for their killing instincts form gangs. Later the UN accepts chickens into the human family. All this seen through the lens of one chicken family, in the present the assimilated adult children who have gathered at their family home as their parents are ailing, and also through a diary kept by the father, Elmer, as he navigates those first months and years of chaos, prejudice and learning.


12avatiakh
Edited: Feb 11, 8:22pm Top


Mister Doctor: Janusz Korczak and the Orphans of the Warsaw Ghetto by Irène Cohen-Janca (2015)
illustrated story

I found this children's story about the orphans and Janusz Korczak really inspiring. The text succeeds to convey the spirit of Korczak's philosophy of respect, honour and kindness that made his orphanage so different. There are hints of fairy tale and also mentions of his character Matt from King Matt the First, the children carry a King Matt flag when they enter the ghetto for the first time. Overall a very good children's story about a very sad event in human history.

The artwork is by Italian Maurizio Quarello and looking at his other work it appears to be quite a departure. Here he uses graphite pencils on a tinted background to great effect.

A youtube presentation of the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUgdKA_BQVY
A more informative review here: https://thechildrenswar.blogspot.co.nz/2015/03/mister-doctor-janusz-korczak-orphans-of.html

Janusz Korczak: "The lives of great men are like legends-difficult but beautiful, "

'Janusz Korczak once wrote, and it was true of his. Yet most Americans have never heard of Korczak, a Polish-Jewish children´s writer and educator who is as well known in Europe as Anne Frank. Like her, he died in the Holocaust and left behind a diary; unlike her, he had a chance to escape that fate-a chance he chose not to take.
His legend began on August 6, 1942, during the early stages of the Nazi liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto-though his dedication to destitute children was legendary long before the war. When the Germans ordered his famous orphanage evacuated, Korczak was forced to gather together the two hundred children in his care. He led them with quiet dignity on that final march through the ghetto streets to the train that would take them to "resettlement in the East" -the Nazi euphemism for the death camp Treblinka. He was to die as Henryk Goldszmit, the name he was born with, but it was by his pseudonym that he would be remembered.

It was Janusz Korczak who introduced progressive orphanages designed as just communities into Poland, founded the first national children´s newspaper, trained teachers in what we now call moral education, and worked in juvenile courts defending children's rights. His books How to Love a Child and The Child´s Right to Respect gave parents and teachers new insights into child psychology. Generations of young people had grown up on his books, especially the classic King Matt the First, which tells of the adventures and tribulations of a boy king who aspires to bring reforms to bis subjects.

It was as beloved in Poland as Peter Pan and Alicein Wonderland were in the English-speaking world. During the mid- 1930s, he had his own radio program, in which, as the "Old Doctor," hedispensed homey wisdom and wry humor. Somehow, listening to his deceptively simple words made his listeners feel like better people.

At the end, Korczak, who had directed a Catholic as well as a Jewish orphanage before the war, had refused all offers of help for his own safetyfrom his Gentile colleagues and friends. "You do not leave a sick child inthe night, and you do not leave children at a time like this," he said.' - from http://korczak.com/Biography/kap-1who.htm

13jessibud2
Feb 11, 7:56pm Top

>12 avatiakh: - Wow, you are right, Kerry. I had not heard of him. What a man he was. I will look for this book! Thanks for a great review.

14avatiakh
Feb 11, 8:26pm Top

>13 jessibud2: I also wasn't aware of him until a few years ago. By chance I picked up a copy of The king of children and although I have yet to read it, I was inspired to look out for his children's fiction. I've read both King Matt the First and Kaytek the Wizard, both are very good. The book of Aron is a recent fiction novel about his children's orphanage in the ghetto. Now I want to read more nonfiction about his life before the war.

15jessibud2
Feb 11, 8:33pm Top

>14 avatiakh: - Ok, how is this for spooky (or karma, however you interpret such things.) I was emailing with a close friend in the States (near Boston) who is in for the evening because she is snowed in and their road hasn't been plowed. Here is exactly what she wrote me, not an hour ago:

"I read a very fine and sad and moving book about Janus Korczak today. I barely left the living room, let alone the house. The title is The Book of Aron; it's by Jim Shepard who teaches at Williams College in the western part of Mass. (Massachusetts)

I heard the author speak last year at the JCC and bought it thinking I'd read it right away. But I did read it today. Actually short but not easy to work my way through. Very fine. Very sad."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, what are the odds that, having never heard of Korczak before today, suddenly I read about him twice, in one evening, from different parts of the world? I think maybe this is a sign that I must go find either the book you recommended or the one my friend did. By the way, I hope you won't mind but I copied your review to her, as I had to tell her about this unusual coincidence, too!

16avatiakh
Edited: Feb 11, 8:44pm Top


The storyteller by Evan Turk (2016)
picturebook

I wanted to explore the art in this book but found the story really interesting as well. It's a nonfiction picturebook relating myths from Morocco, an Arabian Nights style plot. The artwork is sort of a blend of traditional with modern, the intricate with the suggestive sweep of bold lines. A lot to enjoy especially the bold colours.
There's a good article here on Turk's love affair with both Moroccan art and oral storytelling: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/articl...
and a book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKV_ZBRRzXo

From the publisher: 'From Ezra Jack Keats 2015 New Illustrator Honor recipient Evan Turk comes his debut work as author-illustrator: an original folktale that celebrates the power of stories and storytelling.
Long, long ago, like a pearl around a grain of sand, the Kingdom of Morocco formed at the edge of the great, dry Sahara. It had fountains of cool, refreshing water to quench the thirst of the desert, and storytellers to bring the people together.'


17avatiakh
Feb 11, 8:42pm Top

>15 jessibud2: Wow, that is a coincidence! I recommend reading both Mister Doctor and The book of Aron, they are quite different. As I said above his children's books are both well worth reading and of course less sad.
There's a poignant sculpture at Yad Va shem in Jerusalem to memoralise him and the children.

18jessibud2
Edited: Feb 11, 8:55pm Top

Totally different from your post in >16 avatiakh:, but for some reason, I was reminded of another children's book I have, this one based on a true story. It's called The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter and while the artwork is more naïve and not all that outstanding (in my opinion), the story is amazing. It tells of a woman in Basra, a port city in Iraq, who was a librarian. Her library housed 30,000 books, of many languages. Her library was also a community meeting place, here people gathered to talk about books, and matters of the world and of the spirit. But when war came, and she wanted to move the books to a safer place to escape the bombs, she is refused permission from the governor. So she does what any booklover would do: she goes undercover. She moves them a few at a time, by herself, and then, recruits the help of friends and neighbours. Having successfully moved them, the library is indeed, bombed but most of the books are saved. This story was first revealed to the world by a New York Times reporter who heard about it when she was in Iraq. Portions of the sales of the book were donated to a fund to help rebuild the library. I think the NYT article appeared in 2003.

19avatiakh
Feb 11, 9:13pm Top

>18 jessibud2: Oh yes, I've read that one too. It's an inspiring story and also leads me on to another book The bad-ass librarians from Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts! I haven't read this but it's got good reviews.

20jessibud2
Feb 11, 9:33pm Top

>19 avatiakh: - and such a delicious title, lol! ;-)

21jnwelch
Feb 11, 10:44pm Top

Pride of Bagdad was a good 'un, wasn't it, Kerry. You stalled out on The World of Edena - that's one I've been interested in. Why did it drag for you?

22PaulCranswick
Feb 11, 11:05pm Top

Am interested to see your reading (well starting to) Sacred Games which is a chunkster I have had on the shelves a while and also a Maurice Gee. He is a writer I want to read much more of but who is impossible to find over here. It will be quicker to use book depo and amazon in the UK when I move there and the libraries may also have some.

Happy new thread, Kerry. xx

23avatiakh
Feb 11, 11:25pm Top

>21 jnwelch: Hi Joe, oh yes, I loved Pride of Baghdad, those lions were quite something. I haven't picked up The World of Edena lately as it's such a big book, I'm not ready yet to commit the time to it. Probably later this coming week as it's library due date draws near. I was intrigued that it started as a commission job for Citroen Motors and the opening story features an old Citroen. The introduction to the book was quite absorbing.

>22 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. I'm being pressed by library books so having less time for the books from my own shelves so haven't been reading much from Sacred Games though it will become a frontrunner in the next few days as I wrap up a couple of YA reads. So far it looks to be a great sprawling yarn and an enjoyable one at that.
The Severed Land is Maurice Gee's latest book, it's a YA fantasy, he does fantasy very well. I have most of Gee's books, picked up in used bookstores from time to time. I'm sure you'll have much more luck in England.

>10 jessibud2: I never answered this query. I start lots of books, read a chapter or the first 25-50 pages and then settle on a couple to read straight through. The others I'll pick up from time to time and read a chapter here and there until I can't put them down and then they will become my priority read.

24charl08
Edited: Feb 12, 6:15am Top

So many book bullets here Kerry. I loved The Book of Avon, so moving, so will look for the picture book too.

And I hadn't read either of the books discussed set in Baghdad, so will add those too. I am meeting the young man from the refugee group who I passed on Alpha (or rather encouraged him to take out from the library) this week, and so am keen to hear what he makes of it.

25DianaNL
Feb 12, 8:32am Top

26FAMeulstee
Feb 12, 10:40am Top

Happy new thread, Kerry!
You have been reading lots of interesting books.

>1 avatiakh: >2 avatiakh: >4 avatiakh: Is it all Mt Taranaki at these pictures?

27avatiakh
Feb 12, 2:52pm Top

>24 charl08: Will be interesting to see his reaction to that GN.

>25 DianaNL: Wave to Diane. Love kittens.

>26 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. Yes, all of Mt Taranaki. It resembles Mt Fuji in Japan and while I hated the boarding aspect of my high school years, I did love the school & that wonderful mountain and living by the sea.

28avatiakh
Feb 12, 3:10pm Top


30) Shylock's Daughter by Mirjam Pressler (1999 German) (2000 Eng)
YA
This is a retelling of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and comes with a short essay by Professor Brian Murdoch who discusses the book, Venice and the play.
I'm no longer familiar with all the ins and outs of the play so was fairly taken aback by Jessica's elopement with Lorenzo, mainly because of her robbing her father when she did it. There are a few extra characters including a foster sister for Jessica who is much more deserving of our attention. The book follows the plot of the play, including the 'pound of flesh' though we don't get to visit the court room scene.
What the book does very well is outline the life for Jews in the Venice Ghetto in 1568, the differences between Ashkanazi, Marrano & Sephardhi Jews living in Venice at the time. It also explains the reasons behind the Jews agreeing to live in the ghetto.

29avatiakh
Feb 12, 5:36pm Top

A visit to a couple of charity shops this morning when in a nearby suburb and came away with:

The bad-ass librarians of Timbuktu - $3
Flood of Fire by Amitar Ghosh - $2
and for my mother -
The girl on the train - $1
I have a few really good reads lined up for her, so I need to plan a visit.

30AMQS
Feb 12, 11:09pm Top

Hi Kerry! I have The Storyteller in my library. It's so beautiful.

I have had King Matt the First on my radar for awhile, but I really didn't know anything about its author. Now I want to read it even more, along with the other books you recommended. What an amazing and tragic story.

31avatiakh
Feb 12, 11:25pm Top

Hi Anne, yes the book is very beautiful. I came across some of the images online and had to see the book itself after that.

Oh yes, King Matt the First is good. He wants to be a good king, but you can't agree with everyone as he soon finds out. I've just ordered by interloan his Big Business Billy, it seems to be quite rare but our National Library has a copy.
'...the hero is a child who is learning the ways of a man of business. Billy does everything an entrepreneur should do. Moreover, Billy is determined to run his business with the highest standard of ethics. As in Korczak's other masterful pieces of children's literature, most notably "King Matt the First," our hero ends up in ever deeper trouble, mainly because he cannot fit in the adult world. In other words, the world of the adult is not a friendly place for children; in fact, it can be downright hostile....'

32Berly
Feb 13, 2:53am Top

>29 avatiakh: I love how your pile of books for your Mom is driving your need to visit!! LOL. I am sure you are a popular visitor.

33arubabookwoman
Feb 13, 1:53pm Top

I think when you get into Sacred Games you will be unable to put it down. I loved it.

Lucky you finding a copy of The Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu. It's been on my radar screen, but I haven't come across an inexpensive copy. Hope you read it soon so I can read your opinion of it.

34nittnut
Feb 13, 3:14pm Top

Happy new-ish thread!

>6 avatiakh: I am intrigued by Left of Bang. With two brothers who are police officers, there is a lot of talk in our family about being aware of what's going on around you.

>12 avatiakh: I love the artwork in Mister Doctor. Beautiful.

35brodiew2
Feb 13, 3:57pm Top

Hello Kerry! I hope all is well with you.

>11 avatiakh: Pride of Bagdad looks amazing. I'll be looking into it immediately.

36avatiakh
Feb 14, 1:55am Top

>32 Berly: Well, since she had her cataract eye operations she's swung back into reading and driving big time. She went through 6 months last year almost blind, luckily the operations went well.

>33 arubabookwoman: I'm looking forward to sinking into Sacred Games, just need to clear a couple more library books.
I had just recommended The Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu the day before to Shelley, so was rather serendipitous to find it on the shelf at the charity shop.

>34 nittnut: Hi Jenn, Left of Bang was a good read, not my usual subject matter, but the human behaviour aspect was very interesting and if I learnt anything it was trust your instincts.

Mister Doctor is a beautiful book, gave me more than I expected.

>35 brodiew2: Hi Brodie - Pride of Baghdad is well worth looking out for.

37Berly
Feb 14, 2:06am Top

>36 avatiakh: So glad that the operations went so well for her. That's awesome!!

38avatiakh
Feb 14, 2:37am Top


31) Lauren Yanofsky hates the Holocaust by Leanne Lieberman (2013)
YA / Canada

I found a list of YA Jewish reads a while back and requested several that sounded interesting from my library - this was one of them, the title alone made it worth a look. It's a mixed bag sort of read, one I would have abandoned except I decided to finish it to see where Lauren ends up. Lauren is a 16 yr old high school student, she's ditched her Jewish school for a public high school. In fact, since her bat mitzvah she 's given up on being Jewish. She used to be obsessed about the Holocaust to the point that she suffered panic attacks, her grandmother was a survivor and her father is a lecturer on Holocaust studies. It seems her whole Jewish identity rests with the Holocaust and nothing more. Mostly it's a typical high school romance story, though through it all Lauren continues to struggle with her Jewish identity.
I suppose when I read YA Jewish fiction I want the main character to accept their Jewish identity and be stronger for it. Here Lauren is a mess, she's rejected her ties to Reform Judaism, but it doesn't seem to have helped. The parents don't seem to care that their child has rejected their identity, she even burns her bat mitzvah certificate.
I could go on but I'll leave it here.

39katiekrug
Feb 14, 12:25pm Top

Happy new thread, Kerry!

Mister Doctor looks like a good one. I hadn't heard of Dr. Korczak until I read The Book of Aron late last year.

40charl08
Feb 14, 5:15pm Top

Gosh, lucky picking up that second hand copy of the librarians of Timbuktu. Looking forward to reading that one.

41avatiakh
Feb 15, 9:57pm Top

>39 katiekrug: Hi Katie. Yeah, Mister Doctor is a good addition to school library shelves.

>40 charl08: Oh, I knew it was my lucky day as soon as my eye fell on it!

42avatiakh
Feb 15, 10:11pm Top


Willy & Max by Amy Littlesugar (2006)
picturebook

A Holocaust story around the friendship between two Belgium boys, one of whom is Jewish. Willy's family promise to look after a painting, The Lady, belonging to Max's family when the Nazis arrive and take valuables from Max's home. However someone informs on Willy's family having contact with Jews, so their antique shop is raided. Many years later in the USA, Willy is contacted, authorities have found the painting and because of a photo of the two boys attached to the back of The Lady, they've identified him. Willy, an old man now is determined to track down Max to give him his painting back. He locates Max's family, Max has recently died, but his family finally gets the painting that Max talked about so much. A good story that could lead to much discussion. There is nothing too upsetting in this story. Illustrated by William Low.

The author's note tells about The Commission for Art Recovery and stolen Jewish art.

43avatiakh
Edited: Feb 15, 10:40pm Top


The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust co-written and co-illustrated by Karen Gray Ruelle & Deborah Durland DeSaix (2010)
picturebook

This was quite fascinating. During World War Two the Muslims of Paris helped many North African Jews and small children pass as Muslim and avoid capture by the Nazis. At the time most of the Paris based Muslims were Berbers from Kabylia in Algeria. The Kabyle were also active in the resistance, hiding people in the mosque for a few days before getting them out of Paris. The Nazis were less likely to search the premises thoroughly as they didn't want to stir up trouble with any North Africans while they had a war on in the North African desert.
The author got most of their material from interviews with Derri Berkani who made a documentary on the 'forgotten resistance' in 1990. The illustrations are quite lovely, the coverart especially.

44avatiakh
Feb 15, 10:57pm Top


32) The World of Edena by Moebius (2016)
graphic novel

This started out in 1983 as a commission by car manufacturer Citroën. The first chapter has a classic vintage Citroën driving across an unknown planet. I won't go into details, not sure really how to describe it, except to say it's set in outer space and you get a bit mixed up eventually as to what is dream and what is reality. The artwork is excellent.


45FAMeulstee
Feb 16, 8:05am Top

>43 avatiakh: Indeed facinating, Kerry, I never knew this.

46avatiakh
Edited: Feb 16, 9:39pm Top


Harvey by Hervé Bouchard, illus. Janice Nadeau (2009)
children's graphic novel

This just scrapes in as a graphic novel, the illustrations dominate too much to call it an illustrated novel, though the strip layout is missing. The plot is fairly simple, it's about Harvey's reaction to his father's sudden death. We meet Harvey and his younger brother (who is taller than Harvey) coming home from school to see a small crowd and ambulance outside their home. It hits the spot emotionally and the illustrations are very well done.
The author is from Quebec and the character names and feeling of the book reflect that.

47avatiakh
Feb 16, 9:52pm Top


Cloth Lullaby: the woven life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Noveesky, illus. Isabelle Arsenault (2016)
picturebook

A very effective blend of word and illustration to portray the life of an unusually creative woman, sculptor Louise Bourgeois. The illustrations are a delight, lots of detailed look at fabrics and how they are woven.

From wikipedia: Louise Joséphine Bourgeois (1911 – 2010) was a French-American artist. Best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art, Bourgeois was also a prolific painter and printmaker. She explored a variety of themes over the course of her long career including domesticity and the family, sexuality and the body, as well as death and the subconscious. Although Bourgeois exhibited with the Abstract Expressionists and her work has much in common with Surrealism and Feminist art, she was not formally affiliated with a particular artistic movement.


_

48avatiakh
Edited: Feb 16, 11:38pm Top


Miracle Man: the story of Jesus by John Hendrix (2016)
picturebook

Hmmm.....I was interested in reading this one, a colourful jazzed up looking treatment of the story of Jesus. The book plunges us into Jesus's life at about midpoint when he's already an adult and about to perform some miracles. The first lot of text describes the land as 'dry and dusty', 'people were in need', 'the land was a sick place, in need of healing', '...blind place...' and '...thirsty place...'
I had a few issues with this book, possibly I'm too sensitive but I like to see these books give a balanced treatment to historical events and biblical stories - here, the Roman soldiers are drawn to resemble perhaps Persian soldiers, anyway not Roman though they have Roman weaponry, the local people are well drawn. No mention of the towns, Jerusalem even or Galilee though it looks like the author's focus was on the message not the details.
I will say that the illustrations are skilfully done, detailed and there's lots to look at, some I didn't particularly like or were too hard to read, but overall it's all so bold and larger than life, which again is probably the effect the writer/artist was after.
In his author's note Hendrix says he's stripped the Gospel of Matthew of many details in order to tell his own version of the story and to focus on Jesus, the individual himself.
..so if you want a modern looking adaption of the story of Jesus, this is for you...'
I think it would work well if it was used along with other dryer texts on the life and gospel of Jesus.






49msf59
Feb 17, 6:42am Top

Happy New(ish) Thread, Kerry! Love the Mt Taranaki topper. Gorgeous. It looks like the books are treating you well. Have a great weekend.

50avatiakh
Feb 17, 6:45am Top


Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (2016)
graphic novel

Before I read this I noticed that there was some criticism by childlit experts that I follow about cultural aspects/cultural appropriation of the book. It's possible to read this book and enjoy it for what it is and not even notice what draws the ire of some Mexican or Native American children's literature people. One commentor (Yuyi Morales) makes the point that ghosts aren't part of the Day of the Dead tradition and that it's celebrated on Nov 2, not Halloween.

For me the story was ok, a family move to a new town in California and find out that it is full of ghosts who appear to mix and mingle with the living on the night of Halloween. However the celebration is more in the style of the Mexican Day of Dead. I didn't gel with the characters in the book and would definitely recommend her other graphic novel, Drama over this one.

_

51jessibud2
Feb 17, 7:13am Top

>47 avatiakh: - Oh, I love the look of Cloth Lullaby!

52Berly
Feb 17, 12:15pm Top

You read such an eclectic collection of books!! I need to branch out more....

53nittnut
Feb 17, 6:13pm Top

>47 avatiakh: Oh my goodness. I need to have Cloth Lullaby.

54avatiakh
Edited: Feb 17, 8:15pm Top

>49 msf59: Hi Mark, I'm currently enjoying an adult novel (finally!) The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko, takes a little perseverance but is now quite captivating.

>51 jessibud2: >53 nittnut: I hope you can get a look at the book. I maybe overstated the amount of detail on fabrics, but her family's business was restoring tapestry so there was quite a bit about sewing and repairing weaves etc.

>52 Berly: I've spent a lot of time lately on illustrated books, so good to get back to an actual proper novel. I like to mix it up as the artwork in some picturebooks is quite amazing.

55jnwelch
Feb 18, 8:42pm Top

>44 avatiakh: Whoa, I love the look of that artwork, Kerry. That one's in my not-too-distant future.

I think my wife and I liked Ghosts more than you did. The sister relationship helped. I need to read Drama.

56avatiakh
Feb 18, 11:33pm Top

>55 jnwelch: Oh, you'll like that one.
I liked Drama more than Ghosts. I read all about the criticism about the book so couldn't enjoy it for what it is.

57avatiakh
Edited: Feb 19, 2:56am Top


33) The invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach (2016)
fiction

A very moving story. Heaven knows where Stambach got the idea for this one but it really worked a subtle magic on me for all the depressing world it encompassed. Ivan has lived in the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus since he was left on the doorstep seventeen years earlier as a newborn. He's a product of Chernobyl, severely deformed but with a fierce intellect and a devourer of books. Into his barren world comes Polina, sixteen yrs old, recently orphaned and dying of leukemia. She's smart, funny and irreverent. In her short time at the hospital they become more than friends. This won an Alex Award (2017) - given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.
Stambach is interesting, I had a peek at his bio - 'Scott Stambach lives in San Diego where he teaches physics and astronomy at MiraCosta and Mesa colleges. He also collaborates with Science for Monks, a group of educators and monastics working to establish science programs in Tibetan Monasteries throughout India. '

58avatiakh
Edited: Feb 19, 12:05am Top


The Sam and Lucy Fables by Alan Bagnall, ill. Sarah Wilkins (2016)
children's fiction
Oh, this was fun. A collection of short stories starring Sam and Lucy, two smart little pigs.
'We learn how whales got to the sea, how bus drivers learn not to stay stopped just because it's a bus stop, how fish learned to read (in schools of course) and how not to despair because your computer has crashed.'

Alan Bagnall is well known here for writing many stories for the Education Department's school reading programme. Wilkins has built a career doing graphics for magazines, editorials and the occasional collaboration for picturebooks.
http://www.sarahwilkins.net/



59AMQS
Feb 19, 2:21am Top

Well, it turns out that neither my public library system nor my school district library system has King Matt the First, but I was able to place an ILL request. Looking forward to it.

I need to look for The Grand Mosque of Paris.

60PaulCranswick
Feb 19, 2:44am Top

Thirty three books plus already Kerry. I think 200 is definitely on the cards despite your pessimism pre-start.

Have a great Sunday.

61avatiakh
Feb 20, 3:08pm Top


34) The Severed Land by Maurice Gee (2017)
children's fiction

Always something to celebrate when Gee pens another book, this one a children's fantasy. He had retired from writing some years ago, but the image of Fliss sitting in a tree and watching soldiers chase a drummer boy to the wall, the impenetrable wall that she now lives safely behind, was too strong and once again he put pen to paper.
There's been so much talk in the media about building walls, so quite interesting to read about a fantasy wall, one that divides the land between the colonisers and the native tree people. A wall that decides who can cross over and live safe from slavery and hate.

62avatiakh
Feb 20, 3:10pm Top

>59 AMQS: Oh good. My interloan requests seem to have disappeared into smoke. I need to see what happened.

>60 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, I'm just not reading the books I intended to. I need to drop my reliance on the library and get back to the piles in the house.

63avatiakh
Feb 21, 1:14am Top


35) Tell the truth, shame the devil by Melina Marchetta (2016)
fiction

Marchetta's first adult novel is a crime mystery. Bish Ortley is a suspended policeman who gets caught up in an investigation into a terrorist bombing of a bus full of high school students in Calais as his estranged daughter was on the bus. He rushes across the channel and is one of the first of the parents on the scene, making crucial bonds with the surviving children and parents and with the French investigators. One of the girls has gone missing and it's quickly revealed that she's the daughter of a notorious terrorist from a bombing 13 years earlier that Bish had investigated. Was she the bomber or was she the bomber's target? All up is a huge mystery that unravels and reveals many secrets in a totally satisfying read.

64charl08
Edited: Feb 23, 4:21pm Top

>63 avatiakh: Sounds like gripping reading Kerry.

Good luck with getting back to your piles of your own books. I am being distracted by e books at the moment.

65avatiakh
Feb 21, 6:04am Top


Counting Lions: Portraits from the Wild by Katie Cotton (2015)
picturebook

A counting book of beautiful wildlife portraits of endangered animals designed to create awareness of the plight of the world's wildlife. The artwork by Stephen Walton is stunning. The book itself is large size.

66PaulCranswick
Feb 21, 8:17am Top

>61 avatiakh: Great to see another book from Maurice Gee. I fully intend to work through his bibliography if only I can track them all down.

67avatiakh
Feb 23, 3:05pm Top

>66 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul - I believe that I have all his books, easier for me to accumulate through the used bookshops here. I've read all his children's and YA work and several of his adult books. I'm also intending to read them all eventually.

>64 charl08: Hi Charlotte - I'm collecting less books from the library of late, so there's hope.

68avatiakh
Feb 23, 3:24pm Top


36) Blood Moon by Garry Disher (2009)
crime

Inspector Hal Challis #5. Continuing this series and really enjoying the ensemble cast of characters of detectives and uniformed cops. I've already downloaded the next book onto my phone to read, I now have three e-library books to get through.

Last night I watched the first Jack Irish tv movie which stars Guy Pearce. It was quite good and encourages me to look out for this series by Peter Temple when I finish up reading Garry Disher, the first book is Bad Debts. There's 3 tv movies and also a newer tv series all starring Guy Pearce. I think the books will be good judging by what I've seen.

69avatiakh
Feb 23, 3:40pm Top


37) Rump:The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff (2012)
children's fiction
This was a great retelling of Rumpelstilsken, told from the POV of Rumpelstilsken, so this time our sympathies lie with him rather than the miller's daughter.
Another good retelling was the YA fantasy by Elizabeth Bunce, A curse as dark as gold.


38) Strange Star by Emma Carroll (2016)
YA

This was a great little read also. Lord Byron, Percy & Mary Shelley are all characters in this tale which echoes some of the real-life inspirations for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The party of Englishfolk, staying in a villa on Lake Geneva are sharing scary ghost stories, Mary Shelley is stuck for a story to tell when her turn comes round. At that moment an insistent knocking on the door scares them all, at the door is a girl, scarred, blind and almost dead from exhaustion. When she recovers she has a tale to tell...she has followed them from England, from the last place they stayed before they came to Europe...a tale of a scientist with a crazy idea.

70avatiakh
Feb 24, 3:26pm Top


39) The girl who drank the moon by Kelly Barnhill (2016)
children's fiction

This won the 2017 Newbery Award. A great children's fantasy, lots of magic and a strong plot. I did find the ending stretched out rather a lot but overall a very satisfying read.
Once a year the people of the Protectorate leave the town's youngest baby out in the woods as an offering to the witch who dwells in the deepest, darkest part of the woods. So the people suffer from great sorrow and some mothers can't accept the loss of the child, still it's more bearable than the wrath of the witch...who is this witch, and how evil is she?

71PaulCranswick
Feb 24, 8:32pm Top

>70 avatiakh: Interesting title, Kerry. What is the follow up : "The Boy who Munched the French Wondows"?!

Have a lovely weekend.

72nittnut
Feb 24, 9:28pm Top

>70 avatiakh: I can't wait to read that one. It's a long wait list, but I will get it eventually.

73ronincats
Feb 24, 10:16pm Top

>70 avatiakh: I enjoyed that one too.

Gee, thanks, Kerry. My library has The Dark Days Club, and The Dark Days Pact is on order. The first is winging its way to my local branch.

74avatiakh
Edited: Feb 25, 2:05am Top

>71 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. Yes, the title is a bit different, your suggestion might be a bit dangerous.

>72 nittnut: Jenn - hope you get to it soon.

>73 ronincats: Hi Roni - I've started reading The Dark Days Club, just a couple of chapters so far.

75avatiakh
Feb 25, 2:26am Top


40) Another Me by Eva Wiseman (2016)
YA historical fiction
This is set in 14th century Strasbourg, France and based around the true story of how 2,000 Jewish inhabitants were burned alive by their fellow citizens, blamed for the Black Plague that spread quickly among the inhabitants. Because of Jewish customs of cleanliness, they were less likely to catch the plague and so were under suspicion.

Natan is in love with Elena, a Christian girl. One night after sneaking a visit to her, he comes across Kaspar, a butcher and his thugs poisoning the town well, they plot to blame it on the Jews.
I didn't gel so much with the characters in this story, unfortunately Natan is killed early on and his soul ends up in the body of Elena's father's worker, an ugly, squat fellow with greasy hair, so every time Elena talks to Natan she has to deal with the ugliness of the body he now inhabits. Still, it sheds light on an awful event from the past,and I'll look out for other historical fiction.

76avatiakh
Feb 25, 2:38pm Top

Little bit annoyed as two of my interloan requests haven't been fulfilled. Big Business Billy by Janusz Korczak is in our National Library but looks like it is a non-loan item. Shame so now I'll look out for Korcak's nonfiction on education issues instead.
Also nonavaiable in New Zealand is From Swastika to Jim Crow: refugee scholars at Black colleges by Gabrielle Simon Edgcomb looked like an interesting read. I read an article last week, about how after fleeing the Nazis, many Jewish refugee professors found homes at historically black colleges in the south.
There's a documentary based on the book as well - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4DecqDTB3Y
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_Swastika_to_Jim_Crow

Pickups from the library:
Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo - loved her debut novel and waited ages for this to come in
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman - Regency paranormal - hoping it's good.
The girl from everywhere - time travelling YA

My focus for the rest of Feb is to concentrate on Sacred Games.

77avatiakh
Edited: Feb 26, 12:39am Top

Yesterday I came home from the CBD via Onehunga which is home to my favourite used bookstore, The Hard to Find Bookshop - took a few photos as I do from time to time.
)

_
That's my pile of books on the chair in the second photo, I culled it down a bit before going to the counter.
To the wild sky by Ivan Southall - YA, a Text Classic series that I'm collecting
The Magician's Wife by Brian Moore - saw this mentioned a few times on LT
Early Dawn by Lev Kassil - a Soviet era writer of children's books
The Witch at Wellington Library by Maxine Schur - children's reader
Palestine: retreat from the mandate by Michael Cohen

78ronincats
Feb 25, 11:38pm Top

Hmmm, none of your photos are showing up for me. Just saying.

79avatiakh
Feb 26, 12:45am Top

>78 ronincats: Ok, tried to take them straight from dropbox. Have reloaded them from photobucket

80avatiakh
Feb 26, 2:37am Top


41) Cardboard by Doug TenNapel (2012)
YA graphic novel
This was fun. Cam lives with his Dad who is out of work and skint. So for Cam's birthday he ends up bringing home a cardboard box. He's paid 78c for it from some wiseguy and they'll be able to do some construction fun with it. However Cam's Dad forgets that there were two rules regarding the cardboard - 1) bring back all the scraps 2) Don't ask for more. Turns out that this is not just any cardboard box...

81scaifea
Feb 26, 1:17pm Top

I liked Rump quite a bit and I LOVED The Girl Who Drank the Moon - I'm happy to see that you liked them, too!

82avatiakh
Feb 26, 4:15pm Top

>81 scaifea: I'm surprising myself with the amount of fantasy I've been reading of late. My next YA is about timetravel in an old pirate ship which sounds like quite an adventure, The girl from everywhere.

83FAMeulstee
Feb 26, 5:33pm Top

>77 avatiakh: Lovely pictures, Kerry, and I love the name of the shop :-)
I have the Dutch translation of To the wild sky hope to get to it soonish.

84scaifea
Feb 27, 6:40am Top

I just finished Wolf Hollow yesterday - have you read it, yet? Ohmygosh, it's amazing!

85avatiakh
Feb 27, 12:48pm Top

Hi Amber - yes, a few weeks ago, I loved it too.

86ronincats
Feb 27, 5:49pm Top

>79 avatiakh: MUCH better. I can see why you like the place so much.

87avatiakh
Feb 27, 6:23pm Top


Du iz tak? by Carson Ellis (2016)
picturebook

This was a Caldicott Honor Book (2017) and is quite fun and educational. The text is all in a non-English insect language which is easy enough to understand. An insect points to a new shoot and asks "Du iz tak?" "Ma nazoot" answers the other insect. The book proceeds to show the growth of the shoot into a beautful plant, then flower and how a plethora of insects take advantage of it. The artwork is restrained with muted colours, the book could be wordless but the idea of an insect language moves this one up the ranks to outstanding.

_

88avatiakh
Feb 27, 6:44pm Top

>86 ronincats: It's an old building, every nook and cranny is books, the mezzanine areas can be quite nerve-wracking at times, especially when you're clambering round with a pile of books. While I was there a young girl came up the stairs, got scared and forced her mum to go straight back down again. This visit the shop seemed to be overflowing with extra stock, piles of books by the shelves, cartons of books etc.

I'm almost halfway through The Dark Days Club, I'm enjoying it though it's more paranormal than I usually read. I like that there's only the slightest hint at romance.

89avatiakh
Edited: Feb 28, 3:45am Top


The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane by C.M. Millen
picturebook

This was a reread, I felt I had to revisit after reading The White Cat and the Monk: A Retelling of the Poem "Pangur Bán" a few weeks back. This is set in an early Irish monastery and features several of the incidental poems that monks sneaked onto corners of the manuscripts that they worked on. Brother Theophane is young and a little carefree, so he is sent to collect bark and make the brown ink. While he's outside he decides to collect different plants and make more colourful inks so the monks can add colour to their gloomy work.

_

90avatiakh
Feb 28, 4:37am Top

I just read this article, Critical Thinking With Unreliable Picture Book Narrators and while I've already read a couple of them, I've requested the rest from the library, they all sound like great reads.

91scaifea
Feb 28, 6:42am Top

I'm on hold for Du Iz Tak? and have been for *ages*... Patience...

92avatiakh
Feb 28, 7:23am Top

>91 scaifea: I picked up a copy for $2 today, it was an ex-sample at the Scholastic Factory Shop. I'm lucky this factory shop for children's books is only about 3km from my home.


Religion : A Discovery in Comics by Margreet de Heer (2011 Dutch) (2015 Eng)
graphic novel

A visual presentation of the idea of religion. De Beer gives us a brief overview of five of the world's main religions - Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. As well she tackles atheism and humankind's quest for spiritual enlightenment. She also rates the five religions from a feminist point of view. It's an interesting read, more a springboard to further reading than anything else.
She's also done similar books on philosophy, world domination and science.

_

93avatiakh
Edited: Mar 13, 7:43pm Top

Plans for March:
Reposting all the books I noted for reading in January& February minus the one I did read in Jan...bigger sigh than I did at beginning of Feb
_____
To green angel tower by Tad Williams, the final book in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy - read one chapter
Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra - read 100pgs
Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong (14th century Yuan Dynasty) - my slow read for the year
King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett
The glorious heresies by Lisa McInerney - Orange/Baileys Jan read - started
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht - my AwardCat Jan read (category challenge group)
All the above are my slow reads, I'll be reading them one after the other.

The secret book of kings by Yochi Brandes - reading
Good People by Nir Baram - DNF
Whispering Death by Garry Disher
The New York trilogy by Paul Auster - DNF
The Green Man by Kingsley Amis
Silence by Shūsaku Endō
The dark days club by Alison Goodman


and lots more added to TIOLI
Nothing tastes as good - Claire Henessy
Death Going Down - María Angélica Bosco
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari
Welcome to Lagos - Chibundu Onuzo

Poldark group read:
#1 Ross Poldark by Winston Graham - listening
#2 Demelza by Winston Graham
#3 Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham

94Whisper1
Feb 28, 8:25pm Top

>57 avatiakh: Kerry, Your thread is always so good that I feel like I am falling into a magical place. This particular book was one of my top reads of last year. I set me on a path to learn as much as possible regarding Chernobyl. Thanks for the additional information about the author.

95avatiakh
Mar 1, 4:26pm Top


42) Silence by Shūsaku Endō (1966 Japan)
fiction
This was a wonderful read about Jesuit missionary, Rodrigues, who enters Japan in 1639 after the Shimabara Rebellion. He's to bring succor to hidden Japanese Christians and also find out the fate of his mentor, Ferreira, who it is rumoured has become an apostate. Nothing could prepare him for what he finds and Rodrigues' faith is tested to its limits.

96brodiew2
Mar 1, 4:29pm Top

Hi Kerry! I hope all is well.

>95 avatiakh: I've seen Silence making its way around, but I'm not sure its my thing.

97nittnut
Mar 1, 4:58pm Top

>93 avatiakh: So you made some goals, and then you read a bunch of other books. *Grin* Book addict issues. Not, of course, that I know anything about that. I finished Stone of Farewell and then realized that I only had part 2 of To Green Angel Tower on my kindle. Sigh. I've ordered part 1, which was only available in book form (why?) and I should have it soon.

>95 avatiakh: I am putting Silence on my TBR pile. It sounds intriguing.

98avatiakh
Edited: Mar 2, 1:08am Top

>94 Whisper1: Hi Linda - oh I feel flattered and yes, The invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko was a top notch read for me too. It won an Alex Award so will be getting some more exposure for that.

>96 brodiew2: Hi Brodie. Silence was an extremely good book. I'd suggest reading some of the reviews forit rather than my comments. I've just watched the trailer for the 2016 film and can't decide if I want to watch it as yet.

>97 nittnut: I wonder why I make any goals at all, though I do eventually achieve them just not in the time span I initially think I will. I'll be tackling To Green Angel Tower once I put Sacred Games to bed. I hope you manage to get it read while you move house.

I just signed up for a 30 day free trail of kindle unlimited, I don't intend to take it beyond the free period, just that I went to look for a book that was published yesterday and instead of paying $13.50 for it, I got it for free as long as I start reading immediately! My library doesn't have it on order, The lies they tell by Tuvia Tenenbom.

I'm almost done with The dark days club and I'm really enjoying it, another unplanned ANZAC read.

99avatiakh
Edited: Mar 2, 10:59pm Top


43) The dark days club by Alison Goodman (2015)
YA fantasy
This is the first in the Lady Helen series, it's Regency with paranormal elements. The main character, Lady Helen, is your typical young lady launching on her first season but from her late mother she's inherited a unique ability. She's a Reclaimer, a special one. The enemy is demon-like and inhabits human bodies at all social levels of society. Lady Helen is initiated in to the Dark Days Club, a coterie formed to assist and support the few Reclaimers that exist. She's going to be a sort of Regency Buffy but how does that co-exist with the sort of demure ladylike existence that is expected of her.
What I liked is the detail of the world that Lady Helen lives in, not just the social circle she moves in, but also that of the ordinary people. Also that the romance is pared right down, Goodman injects just enough to give us hope that a great love story is underway, but the main focus is primarily on Lady Helen's emerging abilities and what this means for her.
Luckily the second book The dark days pact just came out in January. I've already got it on request at my library.

100avatiakh
Mar 2, 6:25pm Top


44) Whispering Death by Garry Disher (2011)
fiction
Inspector Hal Challis #6. I'm very much enjoying this police procedural series and now only have one left to read.
This one revolves round a serial rapist, a young woman whose an accomplished cat burglar and Hal Challis speaking his mind to a reporter about police budget & staffing cuts in his state.

101ronincats
Mar 2, 6:26pm Top

>99 avatiakh: It's waiting for me at the library! And the second is on order for the library and I'm first in line when it gets here.

102charl08
Mar 3, 3:18am Top

>95 avatiakh: This is on my radar. Is there a lot of discussion of theology, or would you say it's more general (kind of ethics?). I've found some of Marilynne Robinson's stuff a bit off- putting with the focus on the intricacies of belief. Perhaps I should just try Silence anyway though.

103avatiakh
Mar 3, 4:44am Top

>102 charl08: I think you'd enjoy it as while it deals with the priest's faith it also deals with the imposition of a foreign religion on the closed society that was Japan at the time and that aspect is interesting too. I didn't feel dragged down by any religious discussion, it was more the priest's reactions to what he saw and what was said/done to him and others.
I haven't read Marilynne Robinson, I did start an audiobook but the narrator droned on and I fell asleep.

104Berly
Mar 4, 11:06am Top

After seeing all the books you have been reading, I think I am due some YA. Maybe some older Newbery's since The Girl Who Drank the Moon has such a long wait list.

105charl08
Mar 4, 11:59am Top

Thanks Kerry. I'll add it to the list. Sounds like it would be a good book for a trip when I have lots of uninterrupted time to read.

106alcottacre
Mar 4, 1:04pm Top

Hello, Kerry!

107avatiakh
Mar 5, 1:47am Top

>104 Berly: I find YA great to fit around more demanding reads, though lately I have been finding it hard to even fit in those demanding reads around the YA!

>105 charl08: I found it to be a quick read, especially since it was due back at the library last week.

>106 alcottacre: Hi Stasia. Great to see you doing the rounds and congratulations on having finished your studies.

108Ireadthereforeiam
Edited: Mar 5, 2:28am Top

>95 avatiakh: I keep threatening to go on a Japanese author binge, and this one will be added to the pile to read if my threat ever comes good.

eta: I may have missed it, but did you review The New York Trilogy? I couldn't spot it. I ended up giving it a 4-star rating, even though I recall it being a tad confusing reading at times

109avatiakh
Mar 5, 4:17am Top

Hi Megan - I'm listening to The New York Trilogy and it's a slow listen as I have Harry Potter cds on the go in the car. I've read and enjoyed a couple of Auster's books, he does do confusing but 'good confusing'.

As far as Japan goes, Silence is a must read as is Murakami if you haven't read any of his as yet? I'll be reading/listening to his The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle this year. I had Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama home from the library, it looks like a delicious big crime novel, but ran out of time, so a nudge to get it out again. I also want to read David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
I was browsing Japanese reads at Unity Books yesterday and noted -
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture by Ruth Benedict - reviews are mixed & interesting
The Book of Tea by Kakuzō Okakura - definitely reading this
The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami - love the cover photo
)__

110avatiakh
Edited: Mar 5, 8:21pm Top


45) Nothing tastes as good by Claire Hennessy (2016)
YA, Ireland
I loved this. I've read a few YA around the topic of eating disorders and they can be quite disheartening reads. In this one, anorexic Annabel has already died and has been given the option to be a sort of 'guardian angel' or 'ghostly helper' to another teen who has problems. Annabel projects and sees Julia's problem straightaway, she is fat. The book is about saving Julia from herself in her final year of school and also finally making Annabel confront her own death as right to the end she had felt in control and would never admit that she had a sickness. Annabel needs to get it right for Julia as she'll earn the right to leave a last message to her own family. Mostly the story revolves around Julia's love of journalism and her role as editor of the weekly school paper, the need to meet deadlines and motivate her news crew.

Irish Times Review: http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/nothing-tastes-as-good-by-claire-henness...

111avatiakh
Edited: Mar 5, 6:16am Top


Sam & Dave dig a hole by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen (2014)
picturebook
Much love for this one. Here the text does not exactly tell us what is going on in the pictures as Sam and Dave dig a hole.



No Bears by Meg McKinlay & Leila Rudge (2011)
picturebook
The girl in the story says there are "no bears" in her book, but a bear is there and actually saves the day. Another where text and pictures deliberately don't match up.


112avatiakh
Mar 5, 6:31am Top


Lion Lessons by Jon Agee (2016)
picturebook
Fun. Boy tries to learn to be fierce and strong as the lion teacher but is failing, that is until it really matters.



How to be a hero by Florence Parry Heide & Chuck Groenink (2016)
picturebook
Gideon wants to be a hero, but what is a hero? Heide lets the reader decide who the hero is.



How this book was made by Mac Barnett & Adam Rex (2016)
picturebook
Another fun read. This is a humorous look at how a book gets published and how it isn't really a book until it has a reader.

113scaifea
Mar 5, 1:08pm Top

Oooh, Sam and Dave is one of Charlie's and my favorites! Also How This Book Was Made. We're huge fans of Mac Barnett here.

114avatiakh
Edited: Mar 5, 8:54pm Top


Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman (1995)
picturebook
How can you not like this one. Officer Buckle gives boring safety talks at schools and the children drift off to sleep. When he starts bringing police dog, Gloria, to his talks he's suddenly got an enthusiastic audience and lots of bookings. Unknown to Officer Buckle, Gloria is acting out his safety tips behind his back - so again, a book where the text and pictures don't completely match up to the glee of the young reader.
This was a Caldicott Medal winner back in the 1990s.
_

115avatiakh
Edited: Mar 5, 9:00pm Top

>113 scaifea: Picturebooks can be so satisfying even for jaded adults. You might like Hill & Hole by Kyle Mewburn, if it's available in the US.

116PaulCranswick
Mar 5, 9:07pm Top

>110 avatiakh: Obesity is becoming a major scourge in the Western countries and I am among the burgeoning number. Works of YA that can get the message across will definitely help.

Sometimes it is not always about over eating; it can be a genuine health concern and it is unfair and unwise to generalise but so many of us could do so much more. Eat better, exercise more and trim down. I need to lose 30 kilos; 30 kilos for heaven's sake.

117jessibud2
Mar 6, 6:53am Top

>114 avatiakh: - Officer Buckle and Gloria was always a favourite read in my classroom. My students particularly loved acting it out as we read and reread it. Needless to say, everyone wanted to be Gloria! :-)

118avatiakh
Mar 8, 2:20am Top

>116 PaulCranswick: Some excellent books around, and also important to just normalise these overweight kids. Not every books needs to carry the 'lose weight and your life will get better' message. A favourite is Fat Kid Rules the World.

I'm also carrying more than I should at present, ever since my favourite gym changed ownership and I left in protest I've had problems resetting my fitness routine at my new gym.

>117 jessibud2: I think it would be a perfect book for acting out. I was very pleased to have discovered this book from the article Critical Thinking With Unreliable Picture Book Narrators.

119avatiakh
Mar 8, 2:31am Top


46) The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin (1998)
YA
Very intense and tautly plotted psychological drama. I picked up a tatty ex-library copy from the sales table as I'd read and enjoyed Werlin before. This ragged paperback sat round the house till the other day when I finally picked it up so I could read and discard it. Great read.
David has been acquitted of killing his girlfriend, it was an accidental death but he's still grieving from the incident, recovering from the court case, the initial guilty slander he's been through. He must now repeat his final high school year in order to apply for college, his parents suggest he moves to a different city and stay with relatives and attend a new school. He immediately feels bad vibes from the relationship between his aunt and uncle and his young cousin, Lily just gives him the creeps, she's so hostile.

120FAMeulstee
Mar 8, 4:16pm Top

>119 avatiakh: I liked that one, Kerry, when I read it back in 2011.
Sadly only one other book is translated Locked inside, have you read it?

121avatiakh
Mar 9, 5:11pm Top

>120 FAMeulstee: No, I've read her Impossible which was good, based on the folk song, Scarborough Fair. I feel like I've read another by her but nothing comes to mind. Locked inside sounds good.


47) The girl from everywhere by Heidi Heilig (2016)
YA
Well, actually she's from 1860s Hawaii. This time travel in a pirate ship idea was a good not great read. I liked a lot of the ideas in the travelling from map to map, but most of all I loved reading about old Honolulu & Hawaii in Victorian times. Heilig is from Hawaii and knows her history and the local myths and legends and this was the part of the story that I enjoyed most.
The sequel, The ship beyond time has just come out and I've already asked my library to get it.

122katiekrug
Mar 10, 4:05pm Top

De-lurking to wish you a great weekend, Kerry!

123PaulCranswick
Mar 11, 9:35am Top

Like Katie, a quick fly-by hello and happy weekend from your friend in Malaysia (I may not get to say that too often in the future)!

124Berly
Mar 11, 5:40pm Top

Another de-lurker! Happy weekend. : )

125cammykitty
Mar 11, 6:04pm Top

Cardboard looks like a book bullet. I've seen praise for it before, but it looked like it was just 101 things you can do with a box.

Ghosts - the cultural appropriation comments are interesting. I'm not defending cultural appropriation at all. Poor borrowing from a culture can be pretty insulting, but the US does a lot of it and talks a lot about it. I'd been talking a lot about it so brought it up with a Japanese artist who was using a Scottish ballad as his inspiration and he looked at me like I was nuts. So, what does that mean... But my other comment on it is my school is 25% Latino at least and Halloween and Day of the Dead traditions have blended together at our school. We actually had a big alter one year until someone complained about it, I don't know on what grounds. We do have the sugar skulls and people talk about both holidays. Obviously they are different holidays and a lot of our Mexican-Americans celebrate both. Day of the Dead is more serious, a bit like our Memorial day. That said, in blended cultures like ours the holidays are similar enough and close enough together that they are blending together.

126avatiakh
Mar 11, 8:02pm Top

>122 katiekrug: >123 PaulCranswick: >124 Berly: Thanks. Extremely rainy here, we've had the entire March average rainfall come down in a couple of days and no end in sight to the downpour...so a wet weekend.

>125 cammykitty: Cardboard was unexpectedly good, I saw it on an online list of graphic novels for kids somewhere or other and it was the only one I hadn't read. One of my favourite picturebooks is The Man who Loved Boxes by Stephen Michael King but these are two totally different beasts.

Thanks for your comments about the cultural appropriation and the blending of the two traditions in the US schools. I'm friends with Monica Edinger on GR and she had been alerted to blog posts and comments about the book. Debbie Reese who blogged about her problems with the absence of Native American ghosts around the Mission in the story is an important voice on these issues.

Ok, I've given up on the audio of New York Trilogy by Paul Auster - the narration did not draw me in rather the various voices turned me off. I'll pick up the paperback instead. I've started Poldark instead and very happy with my choice.

127cammykitty
Mar 11, 8:34pm Top

I can see how an absence of Native American ghosts could be a real issue. Like the double-forgotten people. I'll look for both Cardboard books!

128avatiakh
Mar 13, 9:15am Top


48) Signal Loss by Garry Disher (2016)
crime, australia

Hal Challis #7. This is the latest in the series so i'm up to date and now only have a couple of Disher's novels to read.
There's a few crimes to solve this time and but it all starts off with a hit job that gets complicated. The peninsula is overrun with drugs, if only they can find whose behind it all. And then there's the burglar turned rapist.

129charl08
Mar 13, 2:29pm Top

I've just picked up Cloth Lullaby from the library - what a beautiful book. I'm not sure about the spiders, but the woven art looks like something I want to find out more about. Thanks for mentioning this book - I'd never have found it otherwise.

130avatiakh
Edited: Mar 13, 5:48pm Top


49) Kings of the Boyne by icola Pierce (2016)
children's historical fiction
I noted this from a best of list of 2016 books recommended by Irish children's writers back in December. I find the literary pages of The Irish Times a useful resource for new fiction.
Pierce has previously written Behind the walls about the 1688 Siege of Derry. This book continues the story of the Williamite War waged between the Protestant William of Orange and the Catholic King James II, his father in law. The 1690 Battle of the Boyne was the last deciding major engagement and William's victory entered the Orange folklore.
The book follows the fates of four soldiers from both sides as well as including the Kings themselves.
Pierce has also included the story of Ulsterwoman, Jean Watson, a story that shows how desperate times were back then for poorer folk. http://forgedinulster.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/the-story-of-jean-watson-and-king.h...

I enjoyed this and will read Behind the Walls when I can catch my breath from all the other reading I have lined up. I know nothing about this era of history, had never heard of the Battle of the Boyne which is considered one of the major battles in the history of the British Isles.

131avatiakh
Mar 13, 5:51pm Top

>129 charl08: Oh great, it was an interesting story about an artist I'd never heard of and Isabelle Arsenault is such a wonderful illustrator of these types of books.

132alcottacre
Mar 13, 5:55pm Top

I am being hit by BBs everywhere on this thread! Must run and hide in The BlackHole!

133avatiakh
Mar 13, 7:44pm Top

>132 alcottacre: Hi Stasia, I'm hardly reading my own books due to so many BB hits so I know that feeling.

134PaulCranswick
Mar 14, 7:08pm Top

>130 avatiakh: That looks fascinating, Kerry. My own familial lineage will always make such books interesting. Great Gran and Grandad were catholic and protestants who ran away from Donegal to marry and settled in West Yorkshire. They were deeply and directly affected by the divide between Orange and Green.

135avatiakh
Mar 17, 1:24am Top

>134 PaulCranswick: Paul - my Irish grandfather came out to NZ before WW1, and in the little town he settled he couldn't socialise with the local Irish as he was Catholic and they were all members of the local Orange Lodge.
Another historical Irish children's book I enjoyed was Children of the Red King, set in 1209 and by Madeleine Polland.

136avatiakh
Mar 17, 1:29am Top


Rivers of London: Night Witch by Ben Aaronovitch (2016)
graphic novel
Fits into the Peter Grant series of books like colourful brief interludes. This one wasn't that compelling tbh. Russian Night Witches, millionaires, a child kidnapped, ransoms and Lesley wearing her mask. For fun, Peter's girlfriend, the river sprite Beverley charms some Russian mafia muscle and they end up doing her housework.

137PaulCranswick
Mar 17, 7:21am Top

>135 avatiakh: It is simply amazing how deeply prejudices went between those two groups. It can still be seen today albeit to a lesser extent in the last 30 years in Glasgow and Liverpool especially in the United Kingdom.

Have a wonderful weekend, Kerry.

138avatiakh
Edited: Mar 19, 5:56am Top


50) The Lies they tell by Tuvia Tenenbom (2017)
nonfiction

Expat Israeli Tenenbom drives across the US for seven months and reports verbatim conversations he has with a diverse number of US citizens. He talks to the rich, the powerful, the homeless and the poor. When he's warned not to go to certain neighbourhoods for his own safety he makes a beeline for them and talks to those who live there. All this while he catches up with the daily news reports and follows the primary debates for the 2016 Presidential election.
I read his Catch the Jew! and found it a revelation, this one is also a revelation though on a lesser scale as the US is such a huge country. Tenenbom's style is conversational, humorous and rude but he asks the questions that no one else is willing to ask and he asks them of all manner of people so the book is a compelling read. He sums up in just a few pages and is quite brutal but honest.

Publisher Weekly - 'He encounters propaganda and denial, and exposes political corruption in Chicago, gun culture, megachurches, anti-Semitism, polarizing opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, vanishing Native American culture, proud “rednecks”, intimidating African-Americans and Muslims, and climate-change deniers denigrating intellectuals. He reveals the hypocrisy of a nation where international aid organizations are well funded and $30 million is raised for a Catholic shrine in Wisconsin, yet devastated neighborhoods in Detroit and Chicago get nothing. His outlook may be bleak, but it’s hard not to share his incredulity at the levels of laughable self-delusion. '

An interview with Tenenbom about his book here - http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=36457
Interesting, here's what he said about Trump in Sept last year:
Why can't things go on as they have up to now?

"Because it goes against human nature! Why is Donald Trump doing well? After all, 10 or even four years ago he would never have been able to penetrate the establishment's outer defenses. He says things that Americans don't hear. In other words, they think it, but don't hear it. That is why the press has rallied, almost in its entirety, against him. Even the Republicans. Because everyone is afraid it will blow up."

What you saw on your long journey was that the mechanism protecting this fictitious unity is a phony mechanism, which is why, quite ironically, Donald Trump appears like someone who can save America from this quandary...

"That's it exactly. He will save America by placing a 'this is what we think' mirror in front of it. It's very important. On a personal level, I am not in favor of Trump and am not involved in the elections. I am keeping a distance, without voting. But I think it would be really good for America, on all fronts, if he is elected. Because then they will have to confront their problems."

139drneutron
Mar 19, 2:08pm Top

Interesting - I'm going to look for this one at the library.

140alcottacre
Mar 19, 4:08pm Top

>138 avatiakh: Looks like Tuvia Tenenbom is an author I will have to track down!

141avatiakh
Mar 19, 10:23pm Top

>139 drneutron: >140 alcottacre: Tenenbom is definitely not for everyone, but he's refreshingly unPC. He's active in theatre and can pass for a German so has this chameleon-like persona which he uses to advantage to get people to say what they honestly believe. His book on Israel/Palestinian territories, Catch the Jew, was a real eye opener. He's also written a book about Germany, I sleep in Hitler's Room.

142avatiakh
Edited: Mar 21, 12:25am Top

Auckland Writers Festival will be here in May, I used to be a festival volunteer but stopped a couple of years ago and haven't been since then. This year I've decided to go to a few events and have purchased my tickets.
So I'll be seeing -
Paul Beatty - have not read his book
Nick Bollinger - got his memoir Goneville
Amie Kaufman (free event) - YA writer
Ian Rankin
NZ educator, Welby Ings & his book Exams be damned - free event
Frances Hardinge - free event
Caroline Brothers - not read her The Memory Stones, it's on my tbr
Steve Sem-Sandberg - not read any of his books
Matters Medical - David Galler, Glenn Colquhoun & Sue Wooton - I've read Colquhoun's poems & have Gilmour's award winning memoir on my tbr pile

There are lots of great writers coming - I'm missing AN Wilson, Hisham Matar, George Saunders, Anne Enright, Teju Cole, Paul Cleave, Ha Jin, James Gleick, Stella Duffy, James Shapiro, Madeleine Thien, John Lancaster, Lloyd Geering, Fiona Kidman.

I feel like I should be going to more, but there are lots of timetable clashes and I've decided not to go on the last day which also cancels out several. I chopped and changed but am happy with my choices. I might be convinced to add a few more events, i have to decide fairly quickly as the festival is incredibly well supported and popular writers sell out fast. Jay Rayner's The Ten (Food) Commandments has already sold out in only 4 days.

143alcottacre
Mar 20, 6:45pm Top

>142 avatiakh: Sounds like a wonderful time, Kerry! I hope you enjoy it all.

144nittnut
Mar 20, 8:32pm Top

Hi Kerry. Thanks for the book lists!

145avatiakh
Mar 21, 4:44pm Top


51) Thraxas at the races by Martin Scott/Millar (1999)
fantasy
Thraxas #3. I'm enjoying this fantasy series. Thraxas is a disgraced PI, a sorcerer whose forgotten most of what he learnt and now can only carry one spell at a time. This book is set around the world of chariot racing and betting. Thraxas is engaged to discover the missing artwork of his old military commander, a man he's respected from the time they fought against the invading Orcs.
These books are great fun, a little irreverent, and enough mystery to keep one entertained. Millar went on to write the Lonely Werewolf Girl books starring Kalix which I also really liked.

146alcottacre
Mar 21, 4:51pm Top

>145 avatiakh: The Thraxas books sound like fun. I will have to try them some time.

147avatiakh
Mar 21, 5:30pm Top

Stasia, they're not well known but are a lot of fun. I looked out for them after reading Kalix and following the author's blog for a while. They sat around my house for a fair while before I started reading them but have been released as e-books more recently.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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