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June RandomCAT: Into the Unknown

2017 Category Challenge

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May 19, 4:02pm Top

Since so many people graduate or commence their adult lives in late May or June, let's read a book celebrating someone stepping off into the unkown, into a new beginning.

This could be the first book of a series, or a book about someone whose life changes dramatically, or maybe of a teacher who helps others brave that first step.

Be creative! Open the doors!

May 19, 4:02pm Top

So sorry I'm late with this. I thought I had August for some reason!

May 19, 4:56pm Top

Excellent theme! I'll have a rummage through the bookshelves and see what fits :)

May 19, 7:44pm Top

This is one that takes a bit of thought... Will come back with some options sometime over the weekend!

May 19, 8:13pm Top

I love the theme! And considering my whole facebook feed is currently filled with graduation & pregnancy, it seems perfectly timed in my eyes lol.

Meanwhile, I had a short list of 'Y' books on my TBR for the alphacat, and I was just hoping one would fit into randomcat; I got lucky :) I'll be reading The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, which was a Nobel Prize winner, and is also by an author I adore, Jose Saramago. It's about a doctor who returns to his home country after sixteen years in Brazil, but finds a new life rather than continuing on the track of seeing patients.

Edited: May 19, 11:49pm Top

Do you think Apollo 8 would fit about the first trip around the moon?

May 20, 12:58am Top

Wonderful choice of theme! I have a few that might fit but I really want to read No signposts in the sea by Vita Sackville-West. The title sounds like a sort of mystery journey.

May 20, 6:55am Top

>6 cyderry: Absolutely!

Edited: May 20, 12:19pm Top

I'm going to read the nonfiction book Romancing the Vine by Alan Tardi. A successful NYC chef and restaurant owner, his life changed dramatically when he became so exhausted and stressed he decided to lease out the restaurant, he saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center, and his longtime girlfriend decided to leave. The book is about how he created a new life when the old one evaporated.

May 20, 1:49pm Top

I'm going to read The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien. Although I understand she is a well-known female Irish author, she is new to me, and I'm reading it for a new-to-me book club. I went to the book club for the first time today, and think I want to join. I was really impressed with the way the group stuck to discussing the book for the month, The Snow Child. The O'Brien book is the June read.

May 20, 5:31pm Top

I think these could fit:

Shotgun Lovesongs / Nickolas Butler
Shopaholic Takes Manhattan / Sophie Kinsella

May 20, 6:01pm Top

For the "first in series" interpretation, I could FINALLY read Billy Boyle, by James R. Benn, which has been languishing on my shelves for a while.

I could also count Doctor Who: The Churchill Years, by Phil Mulryne, which will be my first Doctor Who Big Finish audio drama, and which features Churchill facing unknown-to-him alien threats in addition to the more earthly threats of the Second World War.

Or I could count The Return of the Soldier, by Rebecca West, which suggests a man whose circumstances have been dramatically changed by war.

May 21, 11:01pm Top

I've got quite a few first in series to read, so it's just a matter of deciding which one

May 22, 9:41am Top

I'm going to read The Second Life of Nick Mason by Steve Hamilton as it appears to be a first in the series. Plus, it fits the unknown aspect since it's not a book I actually bought or asked for. It was part of a package of books I won at a book convention.

Edited: May 22, 12:37pm Top

>11 LibraryCin: Thanks for the reminder about Shotgun Lovesongs, of course I had forgotten that I had it downloaded. Good timing because my Nook has been mocking me lately (running out of space), so I want to try and stay away from the library in June.

May 22, 3:02pm Top

>15 jonesli: I've heard lots of good things about it, so have wanted to get to it for a while. Hope you like it!

May 25, 1:14am Top

I am going to read Black Roses by Jane Thynne for this theme as not only is it the first in a trilogy, it also is about a German actress that makes a huge change in her life when she is recruited to spy on the Nazi's by the British.

Jun 3, 9:52pm Top

>11 LibraryCin:, I just read Shotgun Lovesongs, curious as to why you think it fits, Cindy. If you convince me, I will use. thanks.

Jun 4, 12:56am Top

>18 Kristelh: I was going based on it being tagged "weddings", I believe. I'm almost finished. I was just trying to figure out what might work by using tags, so I tried weddings, pregnancy, etc.

Jun 4, 11:03am Top

Starting the first in a new series Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon

Jun 4, 12:25pm Top

>19 LibraryCin:, reading the intro to the CAT, I decided it would fit because the character(s) in the book do go through dramatic life changes. But they are in their 30s and somewhat established in there roles. I will use it.

Edited: Jun 4, 2:00pm Top

>21 Kristelh: Good to hear! :-)

It does start with a wedding and there are more weddings to come. Even with the marriages that end, I'm thinking for the person who has to start over, that is a different type of beginning, as well.

ETA: And yes, you're right. The intro to the thread does also state:
"a book about someone whose life changes dramatically"

And that seems to happen a few times in this book.

Jun 4, 2:03pm Top

No matter what age you are, marriage is certainly a major change in one's life.

Jun 4, 11:38pm Top

Shotgun Lovesongs / Nickolas Butler
4 stars

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

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

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

Jun 5, 10:08pm Top

COMPLETED Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon (first in series)

Starting Death in Byzantium by M. E. Mayer (box set of the first four in a series)

Jun 6, 7:13pm Top

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, in this book, the narrator goes alone to the planet Winter to see if the people can be persuaded to join the Ecumen.

Jun 7, 6:54am Top

I think my latest ER book fits: The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books. Heading west into the wilderness would certainly count as going off into the unknown, hmm?

Jun 7, 9:48am Top

>27 fuzzi: : Frontiers definitely count!

Jun 10, 7:00pm Top

When the topic for this month was announced, I had no idea if I had a book that would fit the theme. Then I picked up The Hundred Foot Journey on the bargain table at the bookstore and realized as I was reading it, that it would fit. It's the story of a family who comes from India and settle in France and the son who goes on to become a French chef.

Jun 10, 9:01pm Top

I read House of Leaves which fit this challenge perfectly with part of the story dealing with the sudden appearance of 'space' (an extra closet, then a hallway, finally a labyrinth) in a house, and a man's decision to explore said space. Several characters are mad, or are going mad. Reading experimental metafiction is hard work, but I thought this was worth the time and effort.

Edited: Jun 10, 10:43pm Top

I will count Camino Island by John Grisham. I hadn't planned on counting it for this challenge, and in fact hadn't planned on reading it this month, but I did and it fits the challenge. A young woman loses her college teaching job and goes to Florida where her family owns a beach cottage. She plans to at least try to write her second book there. After a few twists and turns she gets the offer to help with an investigation of a local bookstore owner who may be harboring stolen Fitzgerald manuscripts and suddenly she's a component in the high stakes investigation.

Jun 11, 12:19am Top

This was a big change in the lives of Dean Koontz and his wife when they decided to adopt a dog.

A Big Little Life / Dean Koontz
4 stars

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

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

Edited: Jun 11, 3:42pm Top

Great topic with lots of possibilities... :)

I completed Der Mann, der kein Mörder war (Engl. Dark Secrets) by Hjorth & Rosenfeldt. This is the first book of a Swedish crime fiction series, that was on my tbr for almost three years. I'm happy I read it now, and will put number two on my wishlist. 4 stars.

Jun 11, 4:25pm Top

Finished Legacy of Kings, which is the first in a series. Nearly all of the main characters are starting new chapters in their lives, either running into an unknown quest or running away from their old lives (if not both), so it certainly fits here. Full review written...

Edited: Jun 11, 4:54pm Top

I read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng which fits "Into the Unknown" on many levels. Interacial marriage (in the 50s), college, marriage, death

Jun 11, 10:11pm Top

I have completed my read for this month's RandomCat, Black Roses by Jane Thynne. A young actress is encouraged to spy on the wives and girlfriends of highly placed Nazi's and the resulting look at the Third Reich from their women's point of view was interesting.

Jun 13, 9:05pm Top

For a Books Sandwiched in committee meeting, I'm reading The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson, about the lynching which sparked the Civil Rights movement beginning in the 1950s. This lynching was on Rosa Parks' mind when she refused to go to the back of the bus in Montgomery. This fits well into this challenge as a new beginning.

Jun 14, 6:36am Top

I finished Uprooted by Naomi Novik which fits in many ways!

Jun 15, 7:50am Top

I finished two books that could fit this CAT.

Marlena by Julie Buntin: This is a coming-of-age story about a girl who moves to a new town when her parents get divorced. Very good.

Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar: This is a short story/novella about a young girl who is given a button box, which changes her life quite dramatically.

Jun 17, 8:46pm Top

I read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, which features the crew of an infrastructure-building spaceship taking a big new job to go to a new (to humans) part of the galaxy.

Jun 17, 9:23pm Top

I just finished my first RandomCAT for June, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books, and really enjoyed it.

Jun 19, 4:49pm Top

I read my ER book Apollo 8 and it was fascinating. So many little details that I never knew along with great descriptions of these historical events that I lived through!

Edited: Jun 20, 1:30pm Top

Finished No signposts in the sea by Vita Sackville-West that was a perfect choice for the category. A heartbreaking story of undeclared love that takes place while on an ocean voyage. This was Sackville-West's last book, a novella really, and although the subtle story is beautifully written it doesn't rival her other works, such as my favourite, The Edwardians.

Group: 2017 Category Challenge

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