Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 9
This is a continuation of the topic Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 8.
This topic was continued by Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 10.
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Hello, Old Friends, and Welcome, New Ones!
About me: I'm in my late 30s and besides reading, I love to travel, try new wines, indulge in shenanigans, and spend time with friends and family. Other things I love: Pimm's, snark, the New York Giants, the New York Yankees, sports in general, Cards Against Humanity, and "ethnic" (i.e. non-American) cuisine. But I like American food, too. I just like food. :) My husband and I recently moved from Dallas, Texas to the New York City-area.
My reading is primarily fiction, though I love nonfiction, too. I'll read almost anything if it has a compelling narrative - from great literature to tawdry romances. This is a judgment-free zone. Unless you use bad grammar, and then I judge you. A lot. (Ooh, look, lots of sentence fragments; I'm judging myself now...)
Other characters who occasionally make an appearance on my thread:
The Wayne - husband
Louis - The World's Best Dog (who is currently being taken care of by my sister-in-law because my mean landlord won't let us have a dog in this beautiful house...)
Leonard - a cat that thinks he's a dog, which is why I find him acceptable
Olivia, Peter, and Abby - my cousins (11, 7, and 3) on whom I dote
Charlie - my baby nephew born January 24!
Benjamin - my baby cousin born March 15!
BOOKS READ TO DATE
27. Flight by Sherman Alexie (audio) (3 stars)
26. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (4 stars)
25. The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam (4.5 stars)
-- Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison (audio) (DNF)
24. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (4.5 stars)
23. Holy Cow by David Duchovny (audio) (3.5 stars)
22. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (audio) (4.5 stars)
21. When She Said I Do by Celeste Bradley (3 stars)
20. Sugar on Top by Marina Adair (2.5 stars)
-- Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (DNF)
19. Purity in Death by J.D. Robb (3.5 stars)
18. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley (audio) (3.5 stars)
-- Sophie's Choice by William Styron (DNF)
17. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (audio) (4 stars)
16. Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan (3.5 stars)
BOOKS READ TO DATE
1. And Justice There is None by Deborah Crombie (3.5 stars)
2. Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas (3 stars)
3. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (3 stars)
-- In Twenty Years by Alison Scotch Win (DNF)
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (audio) (4 stars)
5. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer (audio) (4.5 stars)
6. The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (4 stars)
7. Kindred by Octavia Butler (3.5 stars)
8. News of the World by Paulette Jiles (4.5 stars)
9. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (audio) (3.5 stars)
10. Everyday People by Stewart O'Nan (4.5 stars)
11. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (4.5 stars)
12. The River of Doubt by Candice Millard (audio) (4 stars)
-- Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li
13. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths (4 stars)
14. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (4.5 stars)
15. You Can't Make This Up by Al Michaels (audio) (3 stars)
Ratings: I've stolen my star scale from Ellen and slightly modified it.
5 stars = I connected with this book in a special way. It may not be perfect, but it was perfect for me.
4.5 = A great read, among my favorites of the year.
4 = A good read and one that I recommend; truly enjoyable and/or worthy.
3.5 = Pretty good, with a few things done very well.
3 = Good for what it is.
2.5 = Average, and life is too short to read average works.
2 = A bit below average. A waste of time.
Anything worse I probably didn't finish and so wouldn't give a rating.
Some of the challenges I am following/wanting to participate in:
American Author Challenge (75ers)
Nonfiction Challenge (75ers)
Monthly Themes (Reading Through Time)
CultureCAT (2017 Category Challenge)
Why the Hell Did Donald Trump Win? (not sure of actual group read name :) ) (75ers)
I also want to save room for random/serendipitous choices, so I need to give myself permission to dip in and out of the challenges. I may bring back my LT Folly book selection or some other random means of selecting at least one book a month.
Some reflections on my reading this year (as of April 24)...
I haven't really been happy with my reading so far. I have read some great books, but overall, I haven't gotten a lot of pleasure from my favorite activity. I don't know if it's because I've been distracted with unpacking and organizing and having lots of things to do, or my books just haven't been very entertaining, but something needs to change. I want to read books that I *yearn* to get back to when I've put them down. I don't care if they have literary merit or not - I just want them to entertain me and transport me. So you may be seeing more mysteries and romance around here. I am still going to try to keep up with the AAC and the Nonfiction Challenge, but I will no longer worry about being a "purist" in either.
This is supposed to be fun, right?
Happy new one, Katie. And yes, reading should be enjoyable. Find your blissful reading.
Bliss...There's something to be said for challenging yourself. Of course, not challenging yourself, not even reading, can be experienced as blissful.
Just to be contrary.
>9 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth! I was looking at a stack of books the other day, and most of them were ones I bought because I felt like I "should" read them. Blech! No thanks.
>10 weird_O: - We all read for different reasons, Bill. I have a lot on my plate and don't need reading to feel like another chore. And one can certainly still be challenged while enjoying a book!
>11 jnwelch: - Great combination, Joe!
Hi and happy birthday week! Hope you keep enjoying all things NY - you're off to such a great start. I'm looking forward to another meet-up sometime.
Mixing it up sounds like a good idea Katie. I've picked up some Rabbi Small mysteries, which I'm enjoying so far. I like the feeling of achievement when I've read something difficult, but can't do a lot of that when I'm doing lots of thinking at work.
>13 vivians: - Thanks, Vivian! I guess we don't need a specific reason to meet-up, though bookish events are always fun :)
>14 charl08: - I think part of my issue, Charlotte, is that I have so little reading time (relatively speaking) that I don't want to "waste" the time I do have. I agree about the feeling of achievement when finishing something difficult, but it's not so much shying away from difficult things... Difficult can still be engaging and compelling. I just want to shy away from those books that I spend most of my time wondering when it will end :-P
I often feel like it goes in waves for me - periods when I am mired in books that I think will never end. Sometimes they're just not great books, sometimes they're things I feel like I "have to" read, sometimes they're just a chore for some other reason. But it does feel like all of those often pile up together! I think recently it's been essentially for the same reasons as you - the moving thing, the time thing (Russian is taking up a decent amount of what would normally be reading time). Maybe it will settle a bit for both of us in the near future. Maybe. :)
Happy new thread, Katie. I keep telling myself that I won't try to be a purist with the challenges but myself just doesn't listen *sigh*. Lately the books have been a bit of a struggle so I have an idea what you are going through. I hope you find a way to put some sparkle back into your reading.
Happy new thread. Love the topper. :)
I think this may be the time of year when all our shiny goals from the New Year start to look a little over-ambitious. Nothing should ever take the fun out of reading. Especially now that we're out of school...
Happy new thread and here's to books you long to get back to!! A toast to whimsy.
Happy new thread, Katie, the topper is intriguing: it looks like a photo, but feels like a painting.
Reading should always be fun. What is fun depends on mood, available reading time etc. Sometimes it isn't easy to get the right books at the right time.
Happy new thread, Katie! From your last thread, I will pick up one of the mugs next time I am out there. I nearly bought one last week, but wondered how much room you would have in your luggage. I hope I'm worth missing Edinburgh for :-) But it will be lovely to see you. I'll adjust my calendar for those dates. I had the whole week blocked out so the needy couldn't get me without calendar invitations alerting me to the fact that I had a potential clash :-)
Happy New Thread, Katie! Love the topper. I hope you get the bookish spark back in your life. I am sure it will return. There is joy there.
>23 Berly: - A perfect toast! Thanks, Kim!
>24 FAMeulstee: - Anita, you are so right about it not always being easy to find the right book at the right time. I shall persevere!
>25 susanj67: - I shall make room in my luggage for the mug! But really, I usually have to bring so much over for these meetings that then gets used or left or handed off to others, I am sure to have lots of space on the way back!
>5 katiekrug: Yes, it's supposed to be fun! I know you will find something to spark your book lust again, and I love that you are casting your net wide to find that special something. Whatever it takes!
Hi Katie and happy new thread.
I love that topper, too; intriguing and deceptive.
It is absolutely supposed to be fun! What I called 'free' reading when I was in school should not be a chore. Find that romance! Find that mystery! No guilt allowed.
Every time I accept a challenge I immediately feel 'cabined, cribbed, confined' although I finish the books (except the Michael Chabon AAC challenge a while back...). The relief when finishing one is almost more than the benefit of reading it. The only challenge I'm not feeling antsy about is the year long Bible-as-Literature read here on LT. I'm at a boring part of the OT right now, but am almost a third of the way through. I deliberately haven't joined any challenges this year except Bleak House, glad I did it, glad I'm done with it.
I hope your Tuesday is going well. We're getting rained out here in central NC, about 4" inches since Sunday with up to an inch more before it clears. It is a good reading day.
>32 rosalita: - Julia, I think if I'd just turn my brain off and stop obsessing over it, I would be fine. But I am feeling kind of bleh anyway, so nothing seems right, you know? I hate that.
>33 karenmarie: - I looked at what's coming up for the AAC and the NF Challenge, and they both involve stuff I want to do - I think it's the schedule I struggle with sometimes, in feeling like I *have* to read something at a certain time, so I may just make a pile of books that fit what's left, and read them as the mood strikes.
It's drizzly here for the 2nd day in a row, and I would love to just curl up with something mindless. Instead, I'm in the dungeon working :(
In the past few days, I've finished two books in series I'm following:
This was a much better entry in the series than the previous one, and there is some good personal growth and maturation for Flavia. I hope the twist at the end that it ended on is not what it appears to be.
Still enjoying this series, even after 15 books. They are pretty formulaic but there is comfort in that. And I appreciate the humor.
I got to page 359 in Cutting for Stone and then decided to read a chapter-by-chapter summary of the last half of the novel on Schmoop. And then I read some blogger reviews. Ugh. No thanks. Glad I waffled on finishing it - I think I would have been mad if I ended up spending more time with it.
Verghese and I are donesies.
I have no use for very literal people who don't understand a joke.
*slurps from a giant glass of red wine*
>40 katiekrug: Ha! I saw that conversation and was waiting for your response. Perfectly done!
>41 PaulCranswick: - Thanks, Paul!
>42 rosalita: - Gah! As much as I love my friends in this group, I don't love how overly familiar others can be sometimes.
>43 scaifea: - Just me venting because I'm in a bad mood anyway :-P
Thanks for the birthday wishes! It's been a shaky start to the day but I have hopes for improvement!
>44 msf59: - Thank you, Mark! And so appropriate... B.A.G.
This made me think of you. Hoping that your birthday is full of snark, shenanigans and at least two glasses of wine. Wishing you happy and hoping you know how much fabulousness you bring to the threads.
>48 Crazymamie: that is a work of genius, which I saved to share with some coworkers who will also appreciate the snark.
Happy birthday Katie!!!
Happy Birthday, Katie, and may the coming year bring you all good things!
Thank you, Joanne, Laura, Joe, Karen, Rhian, Roni, and Amber!
I ended up having a great birthday, the highlight of which was seeing Kevin Kline on stage in Noel Coward's Present Laughter. It was very funny, and we had a great time. Kevin Kline was just perfect in the role of an aging stage actor.
The only bad part was how late we got home and how tired I am today!
Happy new thread, Katie! I'm glad that you had an excellent birthday in NYC.
Glad to hear the birthday evening was a big success but hope you get to bed early tonight.
>63 katiekrug: Glad you enjoyed the Coward play. He's so delightfully funny and Kline would be perfect for that role. :)
>48 Crazymamie: lol!
And I love that this can be posted here and everyone knows that "this made me think of you" is said with the warmth and love of a friend :)
Happy Birthday, Katie. It sounds like you had a great day. I hope your Friday goes smoothly and that you get a nap.
Safe travels. Nap on the plane? Notice on Friday I am always thinking about naps.
Oh No, I missed your birthday! At least I am in time to wish you a very happy Birthday Week!
When I get bogged down in my reading and need a "sparkle" or two - I reach for a good zombie book with lots of violence and plenty of gore. Guaranteed to perk me up!
Another Happy Birthday Week Wish!! Just in time for the weekend celebration. Phew. : )
Edited to add that I love JD Robb.
>71 BLBera: - Nap on the plane is a possibility, depending on if I get upgraded or not :) I think about naps EVERY day....
>72 DeltaQueen50: - Thanks, Judy! I just made note of your latest zombie read - sounded fun!
>73 Berly: - Thank you, Kim! Birthday week wishes are just as welcome as day of wishes! The JD Robb books are nice and reliable, aren't they?
Ack, I missed your birthday and I missed wishing you a Happy New Thread....
So, I will wish you safe travels and an upgrade on the plane!
>77 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen.
>78 karenmarie: - Thank you, Karen. Arrived after an uneventful flight and drive yesterday evening. Today was a bit hectic as a lot of things had not been done that needed to be. I am just here helping out a colleague, and she left a lot undone, so I was scrambling. But all will be well, I'm sure. It's nice to see my work buddies :)
There is no way I can catch up, but I hope your trip goes as smoothly as possible :).
Katie, have a great weekend in Texas especially meeting up with family there.
Sorry I missed your birthday, Katie. Sounds like it turned out well. Safe travels.
I have seen you sneaking comments here and there on LT. Using the slow re-entry method I see. : ) Missing your shenanigans.
Welcome back. We're all looking forward to hearing how you're doing and how re-entry really has been.
Hey Katie, good to see you popping up around the threads. Hope NY is treating you well.
Hello Friends! Thank you for your messages. I am lurking here and there but mostly taking a break from LT. I am keeping my reading and my catalogue updated, though...
All is well here. I got back from my trip over a week ago - it went fine and it was great to see most of my family at the end of it. My cousins had a Cinco de Mayo party and invited my close circle of friends, so I actually got to see almost everyone I'd want to. And they had a surprise birthday cake and presents for me, which was so thoughtful and made me realize how lucky I am to have such a great group of friends, even if I don't see them all that much anymore.
We went to a panel discussion on Friday at the New York Public Library with Judy and Jim on the current state of politics and civil engagement. One of the panelists was George Packer, author of The Unwinding, and he was, unsurprisingly, very interesting. The four of us went to dinner afterwards and chattered away :)
This week we are going to a concert put on by the Glimmerglass Opera at the NY Botanical Gardens, which also has a Chihuly exhibit on, and we also have tickets to a screening of one of my favorite movies - 'Young Frankenstein' - followed by a talk by Mel Brooks, whom I adore. So it should be a fun and busy week!
I'll try to post some comments on the few books I've finished.
Katie--Chihuly, Young Frankenstein AND Mel Brooks?! Totally jealous. ; ) Glad you had a fun time reconnecting with friends and family at Cinco de Mayo. Happy Monday.
Hi Kim, Beth and Ellen - We are really looking forward to the YF event on Sunday.
Ellen, I'll have to look up The Frisco Kid. I'm not sure I've seen it, but it sounds familiar.
Sugar on Top by Marina Adair – A not very good contemporary romance, trying to do Southern small-town quirkiness and not being successful. 2.5 stars
When She Said I Do by Celeste Bradley – A decent historical romance. Racier than a lot of them. 3 stars
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson – A remarkable history of the Great Migration, including 3 compelling portraits of real people who made the journey. The audio read by Robin Miles is excellent. 4.5 stars
Holy Cow by David Duchovny – A funny tale about a cow, a pig, and a turkey who leave their farm to find a better place in the world. The audio is read by Duchovny, with his usual deadpan delivery. 3.5 stars
I've set aside the excellent The Golden Legend about human connections and religious conflict in Pakistan to read The Underground Railroad for a book club meeting on Tuesday. It caught me up right away.
On audio, I'm listening to a "chick lit" (is it just me or is that term kind of offensive?) novel with a great title - Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger.
>97 katiekrug: I've read the print version of that audio. It was enjoyably fluffy. And I agree "chick lit" is a terrible term. However, I hate "women's fiction" more.
>98 MickyFine: Same. At least "chick lit" sounds cute and fun while being offensive.
>97 katiekrug: I love that title, Katie.
I'm playing chase the book this evening. I read a review on someone's thread and can't remember the flipping title. Argh.
Hi, Katie! Just checking in with my pal. Hooray for The Warmth of Other Suns & The Underground Railroad. Both are favorites of mine,
>102 RebaRelishesReading: - I did, Reba. I marveled at the depth of her research.
>103 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! Two good ones. I'm really loving the Whitehead and have high hopes for the book club discussion of it. It'll be my first time at this particular group...
>104 ronincats: - Can't forget that, Roni! The whole cast is just fabulous.
>105 Berly: - It would make a great light read, Kim. I can't remember if you do audios, but I loved Duchovny reading it.
>106 BLBera: - Things are good but busy, Beth. I just got a minor reprieve from something at work that was making my life difficult, so I'm grateful for that!
Tonight is the concert and Chihuly exhibit - I leave in an hour or so to head into the city. We are staying overnight, so I am getting a Lyft to the train station and then checking into the hotel.
>97 katiekrug: I love that title.
And yeah, chick lit is kind of offensive. But I can also see the problem with women's fiction. There's fiction, and then there's women's fiction. That's obnoxious in its own way.
I find most genre classification kind of arbitrary. Just persuse a bookshelf at the library or bookstore and grab something that looks interesting or sounds appealing. Done and done.
>107 katiekrug: Have a wonderful time tonight. That's at NY Botanical, right? I get up there so seldom.
You guys really are taking advantage of your new location. An evening in the city including a concert and Chihuly sounds wonderful!!
Thanks, Beth, Judy, Reba and Juli! We had an okay time - it was fun to do something different and see a different part of the city (the Botanical Garden is a lovely green oasis in the Bronx). Unfortunately, it was really hot which makes me cranky and the concert was just kind of "meh." The acoustics weren't great, and it was billed as opera but was mostly musical theater. I have nothing against musical theater, but it's not the same. And it ended while it was still light out, and I wanted to see the Chihuly illuminated at night, so I'll go back. The exhibit runs until October something.
ETA: Reba - well, I figure I should get my money's worth for the rent I'm paying to be near the city ;-)
>114 katiekrug: That's too bad that it wasn't a great outing, Katie. Sounds like you will have to time your shows there so that it will get dark earlier. I would like to be able to complain of the heat - just saying. Have a great weekend.
Meg, it's always fun to do something different, so it wasn't a total loss. I would gladly send you some heat, but it's gone now :)
Happy Saturday, Katie! Hooray for Underground Railroad.
I am only 2 stories into Anything is Possible, but I am completely hooked. Happy Camper.
Fingers crossed for a good book meeting Katie. I still haven't read The Underground Railroad. Oops.
Too bad the evening wasn't all it was hoped to be. I'd love to see a Chihuly outdoor display after dark. I've seen pictures and it looks amazing.
The Kindle Daily Deal today int he US has lots of goodies included. I picked up 9 titles :)
>119 msf59: - Mark, the only Strout I've read is Amy and Isabelle years ago. She is an author I always mean to get around to more... I am glad you are enjoying her latest.
>120 charl08: - It'll be there when you get around to it, Charlotte :) Fingers crossed for the book group...
>121 RebaRelishesReading: - They can't all be winners, I guess! I will try to get back one evening to see them properly.
>122 drneutron: - This was my first Whitehead, Jim, but I own a copy of Zone One.
Fingers crossed indeed. I have just been giving myself itchy feet looking at the NY public library programme. I love that they chose one of Adichie's books for their book programme. Maybe they do live streaming though. Will have to check that out...
>124 charl08: - The NYPL has great programs, Charlotte. I've been to two so far and joined their "Friends of..." program so I can get advanced notice of events (and snag tickets!).
I would love to see Adichie, but since I haven't read the book yet, I'd feel bad taking a spot.
>125 BLBera: - Beth, the guy who was leading the group last night mentioned The Intuitionist and how much he loved it. He is a big Whitehead fan.
My Kindle is overloaded, but I show no signs of slowing down :)
To catch up a bit -
We had a great time at the screening of 'Young Frankenstein' and talk with Mel Brooks afterwards. The NJPAC is a really nice venue, and they put on some great stuff. They are doing a similar event in September with 'Monty Python's Life of Brian' and John Cleese, which I hope to make it to.
Mel Brooks was very funny, though his age is showing... He'd occasionally get a little lost in a story he was telling or repeat things, but he was delightful and had the entire audience in stitches most of the time. He and Gene Wilder wrote YF while working on 'Blazing Saddles.' Wilder liked to write while drinking tea and eating McVities digestives (paging Amber...).
Last night I went to a new-to-me book group to discuss The Underground Railroad. Despite one woman who just spouted the most inane comments, it was an excellent discussion overall, and probably the best book group I've been to. There was a good mix of men and women and different ages, and most had interesting things to contribute. Except for the one annoying woman, we all loved the book but for a lot of varying reasons which made for a fun discussion. So yay - I think I've found a book club at last!
Congratulations on finding a book club. I hope that woman doesn't spoil it for you.
Sounds like a fun evening out.
And huzzah for finding a good book club! :D
>127 katiekrug: Oh, Gene! Love him. I'd be happy to have shares some tea and McVities with him...
"When Munir was a child someone had asked him if he knew what the soul was, and he had replied, 'Yes, the soul is a pocket, in which you carry the names of those you love.' "
"She thought of the boy thrown into the cauldron of war, the girl beset by various bigotries, her life in danger, and saw how unjust it all was, her fury limitless for a few moments. And she felt a sense of shame, something akin to accusation from them towards her and her generation, for not having constructed a better world to welcome and contain their beauty, to house their spirit."
I finished The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam this morning and absolutely loved it.
It sounds beautiful, Katie. I hadn't heard of it but will look for it now.
Hooray for a book group that you like! Fingers crossed. What is your next selection?
The Golden Legend sounds great. Onto the list it goes.
>128 RebaRelishesReading: - Reba, I don't know if she'll come back, to be honest. Hope not, anyway!
>129 MickyFine: - Yep, yay on both counts :)
>130 jnwelch: - Joe, The Intuitionist didn't really sound like one I'd be interested in. I do have Whitehead's Zone One and The Colossus of New York on my shelves, so I'll get to those eventually.
>131 scaifea: - :)
>133 RebaRelishesReading: - I hope you like it, Reba. For someone like me, who doesn't have much use for religion in general, it was fascinating. And affirming.
>134 BLBera: - The June selection is The Handmaid's Tale which I've read. I may re-visit it on audio, but probably won't re-read it in print.
I think you'll like the Aslam novel, Beth. Lots to chew on...
>132 katiekrug: Sounds good. Added it to the wishlist.
I hadn't realised you hadn't read Americanah, and your reasoning on attending the event not only makes complete sense, but is rather selfless. I would like to hear her speak again: when I heard her she had only just published her second book and was perhaps too patient with some rather idiotic questions, but was a very charismatic speaker. I rather hope she is a little more direct these days.
Yay, for finding a good book club, Katie. It is interesting and good that it is mixed as so many groups seem to be women only.
Happy Saturday, Katie. The Golden Legend sounds really good. I have added it to the list.
You might like my current audio, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. I think you would really appreciate her smart sense of humor.
Have a great holiday weekend.
>136 charl08: - I am determined to read *something* by her before the year is out! I own 3 of her novels, I think...
>137 Familyhistorian: - Meg, that is one thing that I had been finding frustrating - the women-only thing. There were two men at this past meeting but there are a few others in the group, apparently.
>138 msf59: - Thanks, Mark. I will see if I can track down a copy of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.
>139 DeltaQueen50: - Hi Judy! The weekend was okay - most of it was spent in the car, driving to my sister-in-law's house in Virginia and then back again. It was about 6 hours each way... But I met my nephew, Charlie, who was born in January. And I managed to avoid holding him and changing diapers, so SUCCESS.
>140 jnwelch: - I hope you like it when you get around to it, Joe!
Hi Katie! Congrats on finding a book club--I hope it continues to be a good one. : ) Yup, I always have an audio book going so thanks for the recommendation and The Golden Legend quotes are awesome!
The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam
A beautifully written and incredibly moving story about the destructive nature of religious division - and perhaps, ultimately, of religion itself. The novel follows three people displaced by the consequences of suspicion and hatred in contemporary Pakistan where Christians, moderate Muslims, and militants cannot find a space to share in civic life. But amid this grim and seemingly hopeless situation, Aslam tells a story of human connection and the things that really matter and how they can encourage us to rise above the worst of human nature.
4.5 stars (may be 5, as I keep thinking about it...)
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This was a re-read for me - my first and only other read of it was my junior year in high school (so about 16 years old), and I remember being awed by it. I even remember the name of the paper I wrote on it!
This time, while I could still appreciate it, it lacked something for me. I also had some issues with Janie and Tea Cake's relationship. Still, much of the writing is just beautiful, and I was glad to have re-visited it.
"Here Nanny had taken the biggest thing God ever made, the horizon - for no matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you - and pinched it in to such a little bit of a thing that she could tie it about her granddaughter's neck tight enough to choke her." (page 85)
Beth, I think you'll like TGL as much as I did.
If I can find my copy of Oranges, I will gladly do the group read. I seem to be missing some books - I think there must be a box in the basement or something....
LOL, Susan! Did I tell you I found a hidden closet in the attic? Ok, not really hidden, but I hadn't noticed it before... :-P
Cool - a hidden closet in the attic. I could use one of those although when my daughter moves to her new and HUGE house I hope to get rid of her things.
Well, this is going to be pretty low key. I'm not going to start a new thread or anything for the reread.
Lost books? A tragedy.
>117 katiekrug: It was actually Meg who was begging you to send some heat, but I wouldn't mind a bit of it myself, so that works. :-)
I love the idea of a hidden closet in the attic. There is a mystery novel waiting to be written there..., perhaps a YA mystery novel.
Adding The Golden Legend to the wish list immediately.
And I hope you're having a great weekend!
Title ideas: Katie and the extra Key?
Katie and the Cupboard of K...?
More importantly: did it have fur coats and then a surprising smell of fir trees?
>153 BLBera: - Hooray for no new thread, Beth. I think we tend to get separate thread happy, and it just becomes one more thing to keep track of.
I hope your daughter's new house is close enough to still allow quality Scout time for you!
>154 Berly: - I did open the door with a small amount of trepidation, but it was empty :)
>155 EBT1002: - If only I had the patience to write, Ellen... You'll like The Golden Legend, I think.
>156 charl08: - I did get a blast of icy air and saw a stray snowflake or two...... :)
>159 drneutron: - Snork!
Flight by Sherman Alexie
This was my first Alexie, and it won't be my last. Not because it was so great but because I feel like I should try something else... I listened to the audio and the narrator really annoyed me. There was no subtlety to his portrayal of "Zits," a half-Native American boy in foster care who ends up traveling to different time periods to see the conflicts and ambiguities inherent in life and who gains an understanding of what it means to be both victim and villain. I think this was a YA novel, and the pat ending seemed out of step with the rest of the book. It does deal with some important issues that are often overlooked in literature (and by society), so for that reason alone, I bumped it up a star.
>159 drneutron: Ha!
Morning, Katie! I added The Golden Legend to your Dirty Dozen - very nice review.
I read Their Eyes Were Watching God for the first time just a few years ago, and I loved it, but I listened to the audiobook narrated by Ruby Dee, and it was truly fabulous. Now I am wondering if it would hold up for me as a reread. Love the quote you chose.
>161 Crazymamie: - I bet Ruby Dee reading TEWWG was *amazing.* I may have to keep an eye out for that audio...
I'm so glad you added The Golden Legend to my DD :) It deserves to have lots of readers!
>162 MickyFine: - I think that's one of the ones of his I own, Micky. I will make it the next book I try by him - but that won't be for a while, probably. I've been busy alphabetizing and shelving my books and it's reminded me of just how many books I have that I want to read Right Now.
Just saw on Facebook that Helen Dunmore has died. I have read two of her novels and enjoyed them both, and have 6 more sitting on my shelves...
She was only 64 but recently revealed she had cancer.
I have The Siege on my shelf...
Sad news about Dunmore. Lovely article by her about legacy. The Siege is great.
Aw, bummer about Helen Dunmore and only 64? Sad.
Sorry, to hear your Alexie was a letdown. Glad you have not given up on him. Find a copy of Lone Ranger. That will put you back on track.
Oh, that is sad. I was very moved by this editorial she published recently.
Love Alexie Sherman! Defintitely try another one! The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a favorite. : )
I am in the middle of finally organizing and shelving my books in alphabetical order (the fiction anyway. I've finished organizing the nonfiction, and that gets done by topic). I've decided not to separate by genre; previously, I had my mysteries/suspense/crime fiction, sci-fi and fantasy, and romance separated out from everything else. That seemed needlessly complicated :)
I made the entire process hard on myself by willy-nilly unpacking boxes of books and throwing them up on shelves and what didn't fit, hauling up to the attic bedroom until I could tackle the project. So it is quite a process getting it done, but it's fun - though a little overwhelming as I am reminded of how many books I own and that I want to read them all Right Now.
Ah well, I guess there are worse problems to have.
Morning, Katie! Do you keep the ones like Penguin Deluxe Classics together?
Morning, Mamie! I don't have any of that particular collection, but I keep my Penguin Clothbounds together and my Penguin Drop Caps :)
I used to separate out my Europas and NYRBs, but found I kind of forgot about them and rarely read them, so I'm hoping having them intermingled will cause me to pick one up more often.
PSA: I am currently listening to the Audible production of The Handmaid's Tale, narrated by Claire Danes, and it is fabulous! Danes' voice is just perfect for the story.
I am glad I read the book in print first, but this is a wonderful way to re-visit it. My book group will be discussing the novel later this month.
I have been thinking about shuffling up the books just to change the view - my current arrangement has the crime fiction all together in the bedroom, which I have loved, but it would be fun to shake things up. I have my Penguin Deluxe Classics and Penguin Clothbounds each in their separate spaces, and I might move those into the bedroom shelves. Really, the bottom line is that I need more bookshelves - Craig's gift to me for my birthday was whatever shelves I wanted, so I need to pick those out.
I bet Claire Danes is fabulous reading The Handmaid's Tale - I might have to use a credit and pick that one up as a reread. I love revisiting books in audio format!
The changing up of the view is an excellent idea. In Dallas, I had the crime and mysteries in the guest room so I'd often forget about them. I am not shelving all the books in a series - just the next one to be read. The others will be stored in the attic bedroom, because all those Deborah Crombies and Elizabeth Georges and JD Robbs would take up too much shelf space!
Overall, I think I have enough shelves right now, just not enough space for them, unless I can wrestle a couple of the tall ones up two flights of narrow stairs :-P
Okay. I think it is a brilliant idea to just shelve the next in a series instead of all of them. You are a genius!!
>175 katiekrug: alphabetical by title or author? I have mine by author, and the mysteries are (mostly) separated, on a shelf in the bedroom. But I have given away a lot of the mysteries in the past, and if the numbers get down enough, I'll integrate them with the other fiction. Besides, sometimes the line between is pretty thin. I'm thinking of Denise Mina's first trilogy, and The Name of the Rose, etc.
By author, of course. I'd never considered otherwise. I like to have all of an author's work together.
Part of my reasoning to incorporating the mysteries/crime fiction was exactly your point about the blurred line...
I love doing what you're doing, Katie - organizing the books. Lots of old friends re-surface, right? And ones you'd forgotten you want to read. Plus you're making them all findable. It was driving us crazy to think of a great book we wanted to show someone, and then not be able to find it.
I have my history books by period / topic but the other fiction is mostly alphabetical.
Now that you've finished alphabizting the book - on to the spice rack!
>187 magicians_nephew: - The spice rack is The Wayne's domain! And is subject to his very own mysterious organizing principles (i.e. none at all....) :D
My fiction is divided up into classics, adult fiction, and children's & YA (with a separate section for picture books), and then each of those sections is divided by author. Because nerd. :)
Not nerd! I forgot I also used to separate out classics. But I'm getting lazy in my old age :)
It sounds like you are having fun organizing your books, Katie. Too bad we're not neighbors; we could have a party. With wine. I love organizing books.
I've been trying to catalog this summer.
What do the LT poohbahs call it? A cataloging flash mob? That's what we need — a roving band of LTers who swoop in and help you organize (according to your instructions, of course) and add your books to LT.
>192 rosalita: Ha! Just how far do you think we'd get before we were all stretched out on the couch and floor reading a book that happened to come to hand?
>193 ffortsa: Halfway through the first shelf, maybe? Especially if Katie took Beth's suggestion and provided wine.
Wine and book organizing? Sounds like an ideal scenario for you Katie. Enjoy.
The only problem I have, handling the books, is getting irritated at myself, for not reading all these damn gems.
>132 katiekrug: oooh, great quote there about the soul.
>175 katiekrug: that does sound like a project! My books are arranged in a very haphazard manner, it all started to go awry when I needed to have all my Booker Prize winners together. Then came the issue of where authors go who have won the Booker for one novel, but not for the others....oh my. And seeing as I like also to shelve books by size and publisher, it has become a right mess that only I can decipher ;)
I'm loving living vicariously through your book organizing project, Katie! Last summer I re-organized all of my books by size. I was very hesitant at first because it seems so superficial... but I can fit way more books on my shelves now!
>195 BLBera: and >196 rosalita: - You ladies are welcome to show up anytime to help :) Note to self: lay in more wine supplies...
>197 msf59: - Mark, I totally hear you about being reminded of all the great books still to be read! I love it and hate it at the same time.
>198 Ireadthereforeiam: - Megan, that does sound rather complicated :) But as long as you can find what you need, it doesn't really matter!
>199 norabelle414: - I can see the practical side of arranging by size, I guess, but it's edging towards the "Arranged by Color" line in my head... ;-)
Random story: at my wedding reception, my father decided instead of a traditional toast, to basically roast me and tell embarrassing stories about me, including how I used to love to rearrange my books as a kid. Including by color... Heh.
>200 katiekrug: I loved organizing stuff as a kid as well. Books got it often. But one of my favourites was crayons or pencil crayons - by colour, alphabetically by name, etc.
My fiction is alphabetical by author and my spices are alphabetical too but...crayons alphabetical by name? That's a new one for me.
I haven't alphabetized the books yet. Yet. But they are arranged in my own sort of makes-sense-to-me way. I have all the non-fiction together, and of course anything in a series has to be in order. Then I have the kid fiction (but only the books appropriate for the current ages, baby books are put away) Newbery awards have their own spot. NZ authors have a shelf, and the cloth bound Penguins and sort of collector books have a shelf.
Way back at >127 katiekrug: I wanted to say Hooray!! for a successful book club meeting. I am hosting my book club this month. Fingers crossed. It's only my second meeting and they didn't do much book discussion at the first one. Nobody wanted June, so it's the new girl, I guess.
ETA: Oh, I meant to say, my MIL organizes her kitchen pantry by color. So the carrots, apricots and pumpkin are together, etc. It took me for ages to work that out so I could find things.
>192 rosalita: sounds like the old show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" but with books
>199 norabelle414:, >200 katiekrug: I have different bookcases for paperbacks and hardback/trade paperbacks, so I guess I sort by size, but the fiction is alphabetical within those parameters. I have adjustable shelves, so the shelf height for the paperbacks is just tall enough for them to fit, lets me add an additional shelf.
>203 RebaRelishesReading: - Impressive on the spices! I *think* The Wayne has the spices roughly organized by frequency of use, but I'm not sure...
>204 nittnut: - Jenn, that's hilarious about your MIL. I don't think I've ever heard of that "system" for a pantry. I have a friend coming over this weekend to lend a hand with the book organizing. I figure it'll be more fun with someone to chat with :)
I am so happy I found a good group (finally!) - we'll be discussing The Handmaid's Tale later this month, and I expect it'll be an excellent discussion.
>205 magicians_nephew: - I LOVED that show, Jim!
>206 ronincats: - Ooh, so neat and tidy, Roni!
>207 Crazymamie: - TGIF, Mamie! It's been a weird week... I am looking forward to the weekend for sure :)
I am still reading The Lauras which is strangely engaging despite all the problems I have with it, mostly around believability...
The audio of The Handmaid's Tale remains fantastic.
I haven't picked up my nonfiction read (Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places) in a while. Maybe this weekend I will give it some attention. It's not bad, I just haven't had much reading time.
>206 ronincats: Beautiful, Roni! That was kind of my reasoning as well. The shelves at the bottom of my bookshelves are taller than the shelves at the top, so I divided all my books into about 6 different heights and they are sorted alphabetically by author last name within those categories. It has the bonus of looking very tidy when all of the same height books are together, but mainly it lets me keep more books on a bookshelf. And now none of my books are too tall for the shelf that they are on, so all of them can sit upright, spine facing out.
Happy Friday, Katie. I ended up with mixed feelings on The Lauras too. I was waiting for it to really soar and...
>206 ronincats: Ohhh....so jealous! Most of my mass market paperbacks are stacked in an old pine cabinet several piles deep behind a solid door. Can't see 'em, hard to get at 'em.
>210 norabelle414: - I like having all the different heights and types of books jumbled together. I'm sure I'm weird!
>211 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! I am about 50 pages from the end...
>212 laytonwoman3rd: - Most of my mass market paperbacks are series books, so I only shelve the next one to be read. The others I am keeping stacked in the attic bedroom to conserve shelf space :)
My best friend/kindred spirit/bosom buddy/sister from another mister is coming over today to hang out. And to help me with my book organizing. I think she may be more excited than I am :)
So glad you found a good book club, Katie. I've tried a couple but have given up. The Handmaid's Tale should make for a great discussion.
I'm for random shelving, well, because I'm a random kind of guy. Weird, huh? Couple of years ago, I built shelves for a particular location, and I vowed to shelve fiction there. Except I got selective and, for example, decided to leave my crime novels where they were. I filled the new bookcase with fiction and stashed the fiction overflow in various locations throughout the house. I sorta like having fiction alphabetized by author surnames, but then I have authors who do NF and fiction and should I squeeze their NF books in with their fiction books. The neverending decisions.
Random also means to me mixing books regardless of size, oh, but with the exception of oversize books, like art and photo books, which are sequestered together on the lowest shelves. But in the main, we've got hardcovers, trade paper, and mmp intermixed.
Infrastructure, infrastructure. You have to keep after it and expand capacity as necessity dictates. Right now, the stacks in my stacks are lobbying me, but I've got my GOP ears on for that.
I know you really wanted to learn all this. Hahahahaha...
Hope you having fun pawing through your books, Katie. That's the biggest thing I am looking forward to with the move - I get to re-shelve all my books!
I have three four sections in my shelves. TBR, Fiction, non-fiction and then my kids' books. Within each section, they are arranged by author. It does make the shelf height a little tough, but I also put some of them on their sides and I do have some knick knacks scattered in amongst the books. As I have more and more books, I have less and less knick knacks!! LOL I still haven't added all of my books to LT. I think I have done all the ones in my bedroom, which is all TBR, but the downstairs shelves? I haven't touched them. Someday...
>215 RebaRelishesReading: - Reba, I'm glad, too! Looking forward to the next meeting...
>216 weird_O: - I love hearing about individual organizational schemes, Bill!
>217 MickyFine: - It was great, Micky, but we didn't do any book organizing :) Just hung out and relaxed.
>218 DeltaQueen50: - It is fun, Judy, though I didn't get any progress made this weekend...
>219 Berly: - Kim, I am slightly OCD about having all my books catalogued in LT, especially the TBR ones. As soon as possible after making a purchase, I enter the details...
I had a nice weekend just hanging out with my friend. She stayed the night and then we spent today doing absolutely nothing (again)! We did watch a fascinating documentary on Netflix about the Barksley Marathon, which is an ultra marathon/trail race in Tennessee organized by quite a character. I'd never heard of the race before, and it was really interesting.
This topic was continued by Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 10.
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