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Chatterbox Reads Omnivorously, and Fires Book Bullets Indiscriminately -- Part IV

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Jul 30, 2017, 7:43pm Top

To Wei Ba, Who Has Lived Away from the Court

Like stars that rise when the other has set,
For years we two friends have not met.
How rare it is then that tonight
We once more share the same lamplight.
Our youth has quickly slipped away
And both of us are turning grey.
Old friends have died, and with a start
We hear the sad news, sick at heart.
How could I, twenty years ago,
Know that I'd be here at your door?
When last i left, so long ago,
You were unmarried. In a row
Suddenly now your children stand,
Welcome their father's friend, demand
To know his home, his town, his kin-
Till they're chased out to fetch wine in.
Spring chives are cut in the night rain
And steamed rice mixed with yellow grain.
To mark the occasion, we should drink
Ten cups of wine straight off, you think-
But even ten can't make me high,
So moved by your old love am I.
The mountains will divide our lives,
Each to his world, when day arrives.

-- Vikram Seth (translated from the Chinese of Du Fu)

This is an interesting poem, because Seth has been liberal in his translation/adaptation of the original Chinese, not just literally translating it, but elaborating on it.

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 1:44am Top

As always, I'll try to set the tone with a poem -- I seem to be in the mood for elegies this year! The previous thread has my short reviews for books that I read from April 1 until June 30; I'll soon begin posting comments on books that I read from July 1 onward (yes, I'm behind -- again...) I'm still on track to meet my reading goal for the year of 401 books, amazingly, and should do far better than my personal worst last year, of only 347 books...

If you want to see what I have been reading in real time, your best bet is to go to my library on LT, and look at the dedicated collection I've established there, under the label "Books Read in 2017. As I complete a book, I'll rate it and add it to the list. I'll also tag it, "Read in 2017". You'll be able to see it by either searching under that tag, or clicking on https://www.librarything.com/catalog/Chatterbox/booksreadin2017. There you can see what I have been reading most recently and how I've rated it, broadly, in star ratings, at least. I will eventually get around to commenting on everything here, I promise...

My TBR mountain remains out of control, thanks in part to m trip to ALA in Chicago, and to my inability to control my requests for advance reading copies of books from either Amazon Vine or NetGalley. The Providence Athenaeum's willingness to fulfill purchase requests for their library doesn't help either, although at least those don't go on my acquisition list!

My guide to my ratings:

1.5 or less: A tree gave its life so that this book could be printed and distributed?
1.5 to 2.7: Are you really prepared to give up hours of your life for this?? I wouldn't recommend doing so...
2.8 to 3.3: Do you need something to fill in some time waiting to see the dentist? Either reasonably good within a ho-hum genre (chick lit or thrillers), something that's OK to read when you've nothing else with you, or that you'll find adequate to pass the time and forget later on.
3.4 to 3.8: Want to know what a thumping good read is like, or a book that has a fascinating premise, but doesn't quite deliver? This is where you'll find 'em.
3.9 to 4.4: So, you want a hearty endorsement? These books have what it takes to make me happy I read them.
4.5 to 5: The books that I wish I hadn't read yet, so I could experience the joy of discovering them again for the first time. Sometimes disquieting, sometimes sentimental faves, sometimes dramatic -- they are a highly personal/subjective collection!

The books read this year, starting with July's list:

The July list...

211. The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (finished 7/1/17) 4.15 stars
212. Sycamore Row by John Grisham (finished 7/2/17) 3.85 stars
213. Punishment by Linden MacIntyre (finished 7/2/17) 4.3 stars
214. The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession by Andrea Wulf (finished 7/4/17) 4.4 stars
215. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (finished 7/7/17) 4.5 stars
216. A Column of Fire by Ken Follett (finished 7/7/17) 3.2 stars
217. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (finished 7/8/17) 5 stars
218. *Avenger by Frederick Forsyth (finished 7/9/17) 4 stars
219. *The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth (finished 7/10/17) 3.85 stars
220. House of Spies by Daniel Silva (finished 7/12/17) 3.5 stars
221. Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas Ricks (finished 7/14/17) 4.1 stars
222. The Kill by Jane Casey (finished 7/14/17) 4.15 stars
223. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (finished 7/15/17) 4 stars
224. After the Fire by Jane Casey (finished 7/16/17) 4.2 stars
225. Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey (finished 7/17/17) 4.3 stars
226. Invictus by Ryan Graudin (finished 7/18/17) 3.3 stars
227. *The King's General by Daphne du Maurier (finished 7/19/17) 4.3 stars
228. The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Menna van Praag (finished 7/20/17) 3.6 stars
229. The Imperial Wife by Irina Reyn (finished 7/20/17) 3.85 stars
230. Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay (finished 7/22/17) 3.8 stars
231. Sunday Morning Coming Down by Nicci French (finished 7/22/17) 4.3 stars
232. Akenaten: Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz (finished 7/23/17) 3.9 stars
233. Dark Water by Parker Bilal (finished 7/23/17) 4.15 stars
234. The Accusation: Forbidden Stories From Inside North Korea by Bandi (finished 7/24/17) 4.2 stars
235. The Third Nero by Lindsey Davis (finished 7/25/17) 3.85 stars
236. *Nefertiti by Michelle Moran (finished 7/25/17) 3.9 stars
237. His Whole Life by Elizabeth Hay (finished 7/26/17) 4.2 stars
238. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen by Hendrik Groen (pseudonym) (finished 7/26/17) 4 stars
239. The Girl From Venice by Martin Cruz Smith (finished 7/27/17) 3.45 stars
240. Basket of Deplorables by Tom Rachman (audiobook only) (finished 7/27/17) 3.9 stars
241. *The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran (finished 7/28/17) 4 stars
242. See What I have Done by Sarah Schmidt (finished 7/28/17) 3.7 stars
243. The Saboteur by Andrew Gross (finished 7/29/17) 3.5 stars
244. Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally (finished 7/30/17) 4 stars
245. The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan (finished 7/31/17) 4.5 stars
246. Night Crossing by Robert Ryan (finished 7/31/17) 4.1 stars
247. The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami (finished 7/31/17) 3.2 stars

The August list...

248. The Enemy of the Good by Matthew Palmer (finished 8/1/17) 3.8 stars
249. *The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis Peters (finished 8/1/17) 3.3 stars
250. *The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (finished 8/2/17) 4 stars (sentimental fave)
251. The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye (finished 8/3/17) 3.9 stars
252. On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen (finished 8/3/17) 3.65 stars
253. Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery by James R. Benn (finished 8/6/17 3.85 stars
254. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (finished 8/6/17) 3.75 stars
255. The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson (finished 8/8/17) 4.1 stars
256. The Golden Age by Joan London (finished 8/9/17) 4.3 stars
257. The First Wave by James R. Benn (finished 8/10/17 4.1 stars
258. The Traitor's Niche by Ismail Kadaré (finished 8/10/17) 4.3 stars
259. *The Summer of the Spanish Woman by Catherine Gaskin (finished 8/11/17) 4 stars
260. The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (finished 8/11/17) 3.85 stars
261. The New Mrs. Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan (finished 8/12/17) 4.3 stars
262. The Book of Separation by Tova Mirvis (finished 8/12/17) 4.65 stars
263. The Rat Catchers' Olympics by Colin Cotterill (finished 8/13/17) 4.15 stars
264. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell (finished 8/13/17) 4.2 stars
265. Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann (finished 8/13/17) 4.45 stars
266. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich (finished 8/14/17) 3.3 stars
267. Need to Know by Karen Cleveland (finished 8/14/17) 3.9 stars
268. City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker (finished 8/15/17) 3.65 stars
269. The Store by James Patterson (finished 8/16/17) 2.7 stars
270. You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages by Carina Chocano (finished 8/17/17) 4 stars
271. Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan (finished 8/17/17) 3.8 stars
272.Operation Whisper: The Capture of Soviet Spies Morris and Lona Cohen by Barnes Carr (finished 8/19/17) 3.7 stars
273. Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart (finished 8/19/17) 4.2 stars
274. *A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs by Ellis Peters (finished 8/21/17) 3.7 stars
275. Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn (finished 8/22/17) 4.35 stars
276. Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War by Lynne Olson (finished 8/23/17) 4.3 stars
277. Insidious Intent by Val McDermid (finished 8/24/17) 4.2 stars
278. His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet (finished 8/25/17) 4.15 stars
279. A Time of Love and Tartan by Alexander McCall Smith (finished 8/25/17) 3.4 stars
280. *The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (finished 8/26/17) 4.6 stars
281. Blood Alone by James R. Benn (finished 8/26/17) 3.65 stars
282. Backbone: Living with Chronic Pain without Turning into One by Karen Duffy (finished 8/27/17) 4.15 stars
283. *An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris (finished 8/28/17) 5 stars
284. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera (finished 8/30/17) 4 stars
285. Evil for Evil by James R. Benn (finished 8/31/17 3.65 stars

The September list...

286. The Walls by Hollie Overton (finished 9/1/17) 3.5 stars
287. The Letter Writer by Dan Fesperman (finished 9/2/17) 3.6 stars
288. The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Ernest J. Gaines (finished 9/2/17) 4.1 stars
289. Court of Lions by Jane Johnson (finished 9/3/17) 3.55 stars
290. The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters & Joan Hess (finished 9/4/17) 3.85 stars
291. Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas (finished 9/4/17) 4 stars
292. The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simison (finished 9/5/17) 3.15 stars
293. Rag and Bone by James R. Benn (finished 9/8/17) 3.6 stars
294. The Pious Ones: The World of Hasidim and Their Battles with America by Joseph Berger (finished 9/9/17) 3.7 stars
295. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (finished 9/10/17) 5 stars
296. Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford (finished 9/10/17) 3.9 stars
297. History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (finished 9/11/17) 4.25 stars
298. A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer (finished 9/12/17) 3.85 stars
299. To Kingdom Come by Will Thomas (finished 9/14/17) 3.65 stars
300. Scott-Land: The Man Who Invented a Nation by Stuart Kelly (finished 9/14/17) 4.1 stars
301. I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon (finished 9/15/17) 4.3 stars
302. How to Be a Muslim: An American Story by Haroon Moghul (finished 9/16/17) 2.9 stars
303. Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy (finished 9/16/17) 3.55 stars
304. The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal (finished 9/16/17) 4.1 stars
305. The Spy's Daughter by Adam Brookes (finished 9/17/17) 4.4 stars
306. In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult by Rebecca Stott (finished 9/18/17) 3.7 stars
307. Glass Houses by Louise Penny (finished 9/19/17) 4.35 stars
308. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (finished 9/20/17) 4.45 stars
309. Murder on the Serpentine by Anne Perry (finished 9/21/17) 3.3 stars
310. The Boat Rocker by Ha Jin (finished 9/21/17) 3.1 stars
311. Munich by Robert Harris (finished 9/23/17) 4.15 stars
312. Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back by Gretchen Carlson (finished 9/24/17) 3.85 stars
313. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (finished 9/25/17) 4.1 stars
314. Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog and the Strangling of a City by Kate Winkler Dawson (finished 9/26/17) 3.7 stars
315. *The Informant by Thomas Perry (finished 9/27/17) 3.8 stars
316. The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore (finished 9/28/17) 4 stars
317. *Death Benefits by Thomas Perry (finished 9/29/17) 4 stars
318. The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green (finished 9/30/17) 3.8 stars
319. Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms by Gerard Russell (finished 9/30/17) 4.35 stars

The October List...

320. *Silence by Thomas Perry (finished 10/1/17) 3.8 stars
321. *String of Beads by Thomas Perry (finished 10/3/17) 3.9 stars
322. Millard Salter's Last Day by Jacob M. Appel (finished 10/5/17) 3.65 stars
323. *The Face Changers by Thomas Perry (finished 10/6/17) 3.75 stars
324. *Nightlife by Thomas Perry (finished 10/7/17) 3.8 stars
325. A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa by Alexis Okeowo (finished 10/7/17) 4.1 stars
326. The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose (finished 10/10/17) 3.45 stars
327. *Dance for the Dead by Thomas Perry (finished 10/10/17) 3.8 stars
328. Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives by Gary Younge (finished 10/11/17) 5 stars
329. The Amber Shadows by Lucy Ribchester (finished 10/13/17) 3.2 stars
330. *Runner by Thomas Perry (finished 10/14/17) 3.75 stars
331. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (finished 10/14/17) 4.7 stars
332. A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism by Caroline Moorehead (finished 10/15/17) 4.35 stars
333. The English Wife by Lauren Willig (finished 10/16/17) 4.2 stars
334. Nine Lessons by Nicola Upson (finished 10/17/17) 4.7 stars
335. Fast Falls the Night by Julia Keller (finished 10/17/17) 4 stars
336. The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad (finished 10/18/17) 3.8 stars
337. The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (finished 10/19/17) 4.3 stars
338. Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan (finished 10/20/17) 2.8 stars
339. *Shadow Woman by Thomas Perry (finished 10/21/17) 3.55 stars
340. *Blood Money by Thomas Perry (finished 10/22/17) 3.9 stars
341. Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer (finished 10/23/17) 4.85 stars
342. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (finished 10/24/17) 4.15 stars
343. Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore (finished 10/26/17) 4.2 stars
344. *Frederica by Georgette Heyer (finished 10/26/17) 3.8 stars
345. A Mortal Terror by James Benn (finished 10/27/17) 3.75 stars
346. Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 by Adam Hochschild (finished 10/28/17) 4.7 stars
347. Penguin Island by Anatole France (finished 10/30/17) 4.1 stars
348. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (finished 10/31/17) 3 stars
349. The Limehouse Text by Will Thomas (finished 10/31/17) 3.7 stars

The November List...

350. Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell (finished 11/2/17) 4.15 stars
351. Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan (finished 11/3/17) 4.2 stars
352. The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China by David Eimer (finished 11/4/17) 4 stars
353. The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer (finished 11/4/17) 3.85 stars
354. *Arabella by Georgette Heyer (finished 11/6/17) 3.65 stars
355. The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation by John Fuller (finished 11/7/17) 4.35 stars
356. A Matter of Loyalty by Elizabeth Edmondson & Anselm Audley (finished 11/8/17) 3.5 stars
357. (a) The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch (novella) (finished 11/9/17) 3.7 stars
(b) A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch (short story/audio) (finished 11/9/17) 3.1 stars
358. A Twisted Vengeance by Candace Robb (finished 11/9/17) 3.6 stars
359. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (finished 11/10/17) 4.7 stars
360. *The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson (finished 11/11/17) 3.75 stars
361. Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill (finished 11/11/17) 4.3 stars
362. The Living Infinite by Chantel Acevedo (finished 11/12/17) 4.4 stars
363. The Burning Girl by Claire Messud (finished 11/12/17) 4.15 stars
364. Death's Door by James R. Benn (finished 11/13/17) 4 stars
365. The Parcel by Anosh Irani (finished 11/13/17) 4.2 stars

* Re-reads

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 1:45am Top

Reading from past months:

The June list...

182. Where Dead Men Meet by Mark Mills (finished 6/1/17) 4 stars
183. Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie (finished 6/2/17) 4 stars
184. *My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart (finished 6/3/17) 3.9 stars
185. Minds of Winter by Ed O'Loughlin (finished 6/3/17) 4.6 stars
186. Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition by Paul Watson (finished 6/3/17) 4.3 stars
187. Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe (finished 6/5/17) 3.85 stars
188. Clutch of Constables by Ngaio Marsh (finished 6/7/17) 4 stars
189. The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (finished 6/8/17) 3.8 stars
190. The Prisoner of Guantanamo by Dan Fesperman (finished 6/8/17) 3.8 stars
191. The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson (finished 6/9/17) 4.3 stars
192. Fools' River by Timothy Hallinan (finished 6/10/17) 4.3 stars
193. The House of Dust by Paul Johnston (finished 6/10/17) 4.15 stars
194. Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo (finished 6/11/17) 3.75 stars
195. Beautiful Animals by Lawrence Osborne (finished 6/11/17) 4.35 stars
196. The Good People by Hannah Kent (finished 6/12/17) 4.5 stars
197. Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple (finished 6/12/17) 3.9 stars
198. The Wind Off the Small Isles by Mary Stewart (finished 6/12/17) 3.3 stars
199. The Wasting of Borneo: Dispatches from a Vanishing World by Alex Shoumatoff (finished 6/13/17) 3.7 stars
200. The Blue Noon by Robert Ryan (finished 6/13/17) 4 stars
201. A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee (finished 6/16/17) 4.3 stars
202. No Echo by Anne Holt (finished 6/20/17) 2.9 stars (finished bec. I'm stubborn)
203. *The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye (finished 6/21/17) 3.85 stars
204. Heads or Hearts by Paul Johnston (finished 6/21/17) 3.9 stars
205. Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta (finished 6/21/17) 4 stars
206. The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish (finished 6/26/17) 4.65 stars
207. Keep Her Safe by Sophie Hannah (finished 6/27/17) 4.15 stars
208. Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-first Century by Jessica Bruder (finished 6/28/17) 4.8 stars
209. Love Like Blood by Mark Billingham (finished 6/29/17) 4.3 stars
210. The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry (finished 6/30/17) 3.85 stars

The May list...

141. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani (finished 5/1/17) 3.7 stars
142. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (finished 5/1/17) 5 stars
143. Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty (finished 5/3/17) by Dan Jones 3.9 stars
144. *The Blood Tree by Paul Johnston (finished 5/4/17) 4.1 stars
145. The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance by Anders Rydell (finished 5/4/17) 3.7 stars
146. Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen (finished 5/5/17) 4.35 stars
147. The Windfall by Diksha Basu (finished 5/5/17) 3.8 stars
148. The Ends of the Earth by Robert Goddard (finished 5/6/17) 3.85 stars
149. Golden Hill by Francis Spufford (finished 5/6/17) 4.5 stars
150. The Radium Girls by Kate Moore (finished 5/7/17) 4.8 stars
151. Vienna Spies by Alex Gerlis (finished 5/7/17) 4.25 stars
152. Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar (finished 5/8/17) 4.4 stars
153. The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett (finished 5/9/17) 4.1 stars
154. The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn (finished 5/9/17) 3.3 stars
155. My Glory Was I Had Such Friends by Amy Silverstein (finished 5/10/17) 4 stars
156. Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister (finished 5/11/17) 3.8 stars
157. *The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Francis Lee (finished 5/14/17) 3.3 stars
158. Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick (finished 5/14/17) 4.8 stars
159. Shadow Man by Alan Drew (finished 5/15/17) 3.5 stars
160. The Silent Dead by Tetsuya Honda (finished 5/15/17) 3.8 stars
161. A Lily of the Field by John Lawton (finished 5/18/17) 4.1 stars
162. Ratlines by Stuart Neville (finished 5/18/17) 4.2 stars
163. The Forever House by Veronica Henry (finished 5/19/17) 3.7 stars
164. Young Radicals: In the War for American Ideals by Jeremy McCarter (finished 5/20/17) 5 stars
165. A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson (finished 5/21/17) 3.85 stars
166. He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly (finished 5/22/17) 4.15 stars
167. *The Urge to Jump by Trisha Ashley (finished 5/23/17) 3.6 stars
168. My Life With Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul (finished 5/23/17) 3.9 stars
169. *Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald (finished 5/24/17) 5 stars
170. Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore (finished 5/24/17) 4.1 stars
171. A Secret Garden by Katie Fforde (finished 5/25/17) 3.5 stars
172. A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment by Philipp Blom (finished 5/26/17) 4.6 stars
173. Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo (finished 5/26/17) 3.75 stars
174. Mendelssohn is On the Roof by Jiri Weil (finished 5/27/17) 4.3 stars
175. The Decision by Penny Vincenzi (finished 5/27/17) 3.6 stars
176. The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (finished 5/28/17) 3.25 stars
177. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (finished 5/28/17) 3.45 stars
178. Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves (finished 5/29/17) 4 stars
179. Friends and Traitors by John Lawton (finished 5/29/17) 4.3 stars
180. The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain (finished 5/30/17) 4.2 stars
181. A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith (finished 5/31/17) 3.7 stars

The April list...

102. Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (finished 4/1/17) 3.8 stars
103. Death in the Vines by M.L. Longworth (finished 4/2/17) 3.45 stars
104. Murder on the Ile Sordou by M.L. Longworth (finished 4/2/17) 3.4 stars
105. The Graduate by Charles Webb (finished 4/3/17) 2.25 stars
106. Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles (finished 4/4/17) 3.25 stars
107. The Water Museum by Luis Alberto Urrea (finished 4/6/17) 4.1 stars
108. Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale (finished 4/6/17) 4.15 stars
109. *The Rose Garden by Susanne Kearsley (finished 4/7/17) 3.7 stars
110. Testimony by Scott Turow (finished 4/7/17) 3.8 stars
111. The Mystery of the Lost Cézanne by M.L. Longworth (finished 4/8/17) 3.5 stars
112. Reading Turgenev by William Trevor (finished 4/9/17) 4.2 stars
113. Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (finished 4/10/17) 4.6 stars
114. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (finished 4/10/17) 4.4 stars
115. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan (finished 4/11/17) 3.8 stars
116. The Agent Runner by Simon Conway (finished 4/12/17) 2.9 stars
117. Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Giles Milton (finished 4/13/17) 3.9 stars
118. The Devil and Webster by Jean Hanff Korelitz (finished 4/13/17) 4.3 stars
119. Prussian Blue by Phillip Kerr (finished 4/14/17) 4.3 stars
120. *The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer (finished 4/15/17) 3.9 stars
121. The Curse of La Fontaine by M.L. Longworth (finished 4/15/17) 3.7 stars
122. The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley (finished 4/16/17) 4.2 stars
123. A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin's War with the West by Luke Harding (finished 4/17/17) 4.35 stars
124. The Last Hack by Christopher Brookmyre (finished 4/17/17) 4.4 stars
125. Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music by James Rhodes (finished 4/18/17) 4.2 stars
126. Night and Day by Elizabeth Edmondson (finished 4/19/17) 3.65 stars
127. *A Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer (finished 4/20/17) 3.9 stars
128. The Lady and the Unicorn by Rumer Godden (finished 4/20/17) 3.7 stars
129. The Alps: A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond by Stephen O'Shea (finished 4/21/17) 4.1 stars
130. The Patriots by Sana Krasnikov (finished 4/21/17) 4.3 stars
131. New Boy by Tracey Chevalier (finished 4/22/17) 3.7 stars
132. The Corners of the Globe by Robert Goddard (finished 4/23/17) 3.9 stars
133. The Coffin Road by Peter May (finished 4/23/17) 4.2 stars
134. Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer (finished 4/24/17) 3.4 stars
135. There Your Heart Lies by Mary Gordon (finished 4/25/17) 4 stars
136. Darktown by Thomas Mullen (finished 4/26/17) 4.3 stars
137. *The Bone Yard by Paul Johnston (finished 4/26/17) 4 stars
138. The Verdict by Nick Stone (finished 4/28/17) 4.35 stars
139. *Faro's Daughter by Georgette Heyer (finished 4/29/17) 3.35 stars
140. *Water of Death by Paul Johnston (finished 4/30/17) 4 stars

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 1:59am Top

The March list...

(which doesn't fit without making all the touchstones go wonky, for some reason...)

61. The Sellout by Paul Beatty (finished 3/2/17) 4.3 stars
62. Conviction by Julia Dahl (finished 3/2/17) 3.85 stars
63. Defectors by Joseph Kanon (finished 3/3/17) 4.3 stars
64. The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood (finished 3/4/17) 3.7 stars
65. Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung by Min Kym (finished 3/4/17) 4 stars
66. The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood (finished 3/5/17) 4.1 stars
67. Who You Think I Am by Camille Laurens (finished 3/5/17) 3.65 stars
68. Death on Blackheath by Anne Perry (finished 3/6/17) 3.5 stars
69. Often I Am Happy by Jens Christian Grøhndahl (finished 3/7/17) 4 stars
70. The Strange Case of Rachel K. by Rachel Kushner (finished 3/7/17) 3.65 stars
71. Lenin's Roller Coaster by David Downing (finished 3/8/17) 3.45 stars
72. How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality and the Fight for the Neighborhood by Peter Moskowitz (finished 3/9/17) 5 stars
73. All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg (finished 3/10/17) 4.4 stars
74. A Single Spy by William Christie (finished 3/11/17) 3.7 stars
75. The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel (finished 3/11/17) 4.6 stars
76. The Angel Court Affair by Anne Perry (finished 3/12/17) 2.9 stars
77. The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes by Zach Dundas (finished 3/13/17) 4 stars
78. City of Friends by Joanna Trollope (finished 3/14/17) 3.85 stars
79. The Fortunate Ones by Ellen Umansky (finished 3/15/17) 3.5 stars
80. Death at the Chateau Bremont by M.L. Longworth (finished 3/16/17) 3.4 stars
81. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild (finished 3/17/17) 4.15 stars
82. If I Could Tell You by Elizabeth Wilhide (finished 3/17/17) 2.7 stars
83. *The Danger Tree by Olivia Manning (finished 3/18/17) (The Levant Trilogy, Part I) 4.35 stars
84. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney (finished 3/19/17) 4.4 stars
85. Barney: Grove Press and Barney Rosset, America’s Maverick Publisher and His Battle against Censorship by Michael Rosenthal (finished 3/20/17) 4.15 stars
86. Murder in the Rue Dumas by M.L. Longworth (finished 3/20/17) finished 3/20/17
87. *The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey (finished 3/21/17) 4.75 stars
88. Treachery at Lancaster Gate by Anne Perry (finished 3/22/17) 3.4 stars
89. Notes From the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone (finished 3/22/17) 3.8 stars
90. The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott (finished 3/24/17) 3.4 stars
91. The Summons by Peter Lovesey (finished 3/24/17) 3.7 stars
92. Cotillion by Georgette Heyer (finished 3/25/17) 3.4 stars
93. *The Battle Lost and Won by Olivia Manning (finished 3/25/17) (The Levant Trilogy) 4.3 stars
94. *Venetia by Georgette Heyer (finished 3/26/17) 4 stars
95. *The Sum of Things by Olivia Manning (finished 3/26/17) (The Levant Trilogy) 4.1 stars
96. The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam (finished 3/27/17) 4.65 stars
97. The Pen and the Brush: How Passion for Art Shaped Nineteenth-Century French Novels by Anka Muhlstein (finished 3/28/17) 4.3 stars
98. Anne Boleyn, A King's Obsession by Alison Weir (finished 3/28/17) 4.35 stars
99. The Night Bell by Inger Ash Wolfe (finished 3/29/17), 4.25 stars
100. Stoner by John Williams (finished 3/30/17) 4.3 stars
101. Black Widow by Christopher Brookmyre (finished 3/30/17) 4.5 stars

The February list....

29. Human Acts by Han Kang (finished 2/2/17) 4.2 stars
30. A Want of Kindness by Joanne Limburg (finished 2/3/17) 2.9 stars
31. The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths (finished 2/4/17) 3.85 stars
32. Small Admissions by Ivy Poeppel (finished 2/5/17) 3.5 stars
33. The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hawkins (finished 2/6/17) 4.4 stars
34. American War by Omar El Akkad (finished 2/6/17) 4.6 stars
35. Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty (finished 2/8/17) 4.4 stars
36. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (finished 2/8/17) 5 stars
37. The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak (finished 2/9/17) 4.15 stars
38. Death in Bordeaux by Allan Massie (finished 2/10/17) 4 stars
39. Bartleby and Benito Cereno by Herman Melville (finished 2/10/17) 4.35 stars
40. *Dark Summer in Bordeaux by Allan Massie (finished 2/11/17) 4.15 stars
41. Cold Winter in Bordeaux by Allan Massie (finished 2/12/17) 4.2 stars
42. End Games in Bordeaux by Allan Massie (finished 2/12/17) 4 stars
43. The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World by James Barron (finished 2/14/17) 4.1 stars
44. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths (finished 2/14/17) 3.9 stars
45. The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford (finished 2/15/17) 3.3 stars
46. Animal Farm by George Orwell (finished 2/15/17) 4.1 stars
47. Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny (finished 2/16/17) 4.4 stars
48. Metamorphosis and In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka (finished 2/17/17) 4.15 stars
49. I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad by Souad Mekhennet (finished 2/18/17) 4.5 stars
50. The Marches: A Borderland Journey between England and Scotland by Rory Stewart (finished 2/19/17) 4 stars
51. In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant (finished 2/20/17) 4.15 stars
52. The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America by Mark Sundeen (finished 2/21/17) 4.45 stars
53. Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner (finished 2/22/17) 3.75 stars
54. Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell (finished 2/22/17) 3.4 stars
55. The Drowning King by Emily Holleman (finished 2/22/17) 4 stars
56. *Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (finished 2/24/17) 5 stars
57. In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear (finished 2/26/17) 3.85 stars
58. The Bone Tree by Greg Iles (finished 2/27/17) 3.4 stars
59. A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi (finished 2/28/17) 3.25 stars
60. Nightwood by Djuna Barnes (finished 2/28/17) 3.2 stars

The January list...

1. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (finished 1/2/17) 4.2 stars
2. Bleaker House by Nell Stevens (finished 1/3/17) 4.1 stars
3. City of Secrets by Stewart O'Nan (finished 1/3/17) 3.85 stars
4. Consequences by Penelope Lively (finished 1/5/17) 4.15 stars
5. Fatal by John Lescroart (finished 1/5/17) 2.8 stars
6. The Angry Tide by Winston Graham, (finished 1/6/17) 4.3 stars
7. Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman (finished 1/8/17) 3.8 stars
8. The Futures by Anna Pitoniak (finished 1/9/17) 3.7 stars
9. The Honeymoon by Dinitia Smith (finished 1/11/17) 4.2 stars
10. Russian Roulette: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Plot for Global Revolution by Giles Milton (finished 1/11/17) 4.15 stars
11. The Stranger From the Sea by Winston Graham (finished 1/12/17) 4.1 stars
12. Jonathan Swift by Leo Damrosch (finished 1/13/17) 4.4 stars
13. The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham (finished 1/14/17) 4 stars
14. The Loving Cup by Winston Graham (finished 1/15/17) 4 stars
15. The Long Room by Francesca Kay (finished 1/16/17) 4.2 stars
16. Generation Revolution: On the Front Line Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East by Rachel Aspden (finished 1/16/17) 4.35 stars
17. Buried in the Country by Carola Dunn (finished 1/16/17) 3.35 stars
18. A Prisoner in Malta by Phillip dePoy (finished 1/17/17) 2.9 stars
19. The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle (finished 1/19/17) 4.5 stars
20. Latest Readings by Clive James (finished 1/20/17), 4.8 stars
21. The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham (finished 1/21/17) 3.9 stars
22. The Bertie Project by Alexander McCall Smith (finished 1/23/17) 3.35 stars
23. Bella Poldark by Winston Graham (finished 1/25/17) 3.8 stars
24. East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity by Philippe Sands (finished 1/26/17) 5 stars
25. The Empty House by Michael Gilbert (finished 1/27/17) 3.1 stars
26. Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty (finished 1/29/17) 4.3 stars
27. Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King (finished 1/30/17), 5 stars
28. Death on Delos by Gary Corby (finished 1/31/17) 3.5 stars

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 2:15am Top

While I want to read serendipitously, I also have some reading goals. I did a truly appalling job at meeting those that I set for myself last year, so this is my other New Year's reading resolution: to do better at reading the books that I know I want to complete. They only add up to about a quarter of my total estimated reading, so it shouldn't be too much of a hardship, although I've not done terribly well at these so far.

Reading Series Books

The Poldark Series by Winston Graham (the remainder of these)

The Angry Tide read
The Stranger From the Sea read
The Miller’s Dance read
The Loving Cup read
The Twisted Sword read
Bella Poldark read

The Bordeaux quartet by Allan Massie

Death in Bordeaux read
Dark Summer in Bordeaux read
Cold Winter in Bordeaux read
End Games in Bordeaux read

The Elena Ferrante quartet

My Brilliant Friend
The Story of a New Name
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
The Story of the Lost Child

The Cornish trilogy by Robertson Davies

The Rebel Angels
What’s Bred in the Bone
The Lyre of Orpheus

The Levant trilogy by Olivia Manning

The Danger Tree read
The Battle Lost and Won read
The Sum of Things read

The Quintilian Dalrymple series by Paul Johnston (remainder)

The Bone Yard read
Water of Death read
The Blood Tree read
The House of Dust read
Heads or Hearts read
Skeleton Blues

The Teetering Tower of ARCs (Advance Review Copies

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
City of Secrets by Stewart O’Nan read
The Honeymoon by Dinitia Smith read
City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence
At the Existentialist Café by Sarah Bakewell
Country of Red Azaleas by Dominica Radulescu
Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell read
Mercury by Margot Livesey
The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks read
House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure
The Patriots by Sara Krasikov read
Among the Living by Jonathan Rabb
A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker

Authors New to Me -- and Recommendations

The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter by John Pipkin
The Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies
The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson read
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan read
The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan
The Guineveres by Sarah Domet
The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver
Did You Ever Have a Family? by Bill Clegg
Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto
Stoner by John Williams read

Canadian Content

The Parcel by Anosh Irani read
Stranger by David Bergen
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood read
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
The Piano Maker by Kurt Palka
The Night Bell by Inger Ash Wolfe read
Us Conductors by Sean Michaels
His Whole Life by Elizabeth Hay read
Punishment by Linden Macintyre read

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 2:16am Top

Reading Challenge Part II

Why Haven't I Read This Yet??

No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod
The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Animal Farm by George Orwell read
Lolita by Nabokov
2203::The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Europa Editions

15297283::The Golden Age by Joan London read
Baba Dunja’s Last Love by Alina Bronsky
The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami read
Fire Flowers by Ben Byrne
The Living Infinite by Chantel Acevedo read
The Invisible Mile by Peter Coventry
Check Point by Jean-Claude Rufin
Endgame by Ahmet Altan

A Voyage Around the World

Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria) read
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (Cameroon/US) read
Human Acts by Han Kang (South Korea) read
15436882::Judas by Amos Oz (Israel)
12944013::The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany)
17021792::Sergio Y. by Alexandre Vidal Porto (Brazil)
Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally (Australia) read
The Chosen Ones by Steve Sem-Sandberg (Sweden)
Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Congo)
Mendelssohn is On the Roof by Jiri Weil (Czech Republic) read
16362825::2084 by Boualem Sansal (Algeria/Germany)
An Englishman in Madrid by Eduardo Mendoza (Spain)
The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam (Pakistan/UK) read
The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)
The Traitor's Niche by Ismail Kadare (Albania) read
The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak (Turkey) read
They Were Counted by Miklos Banffy (Hungary)
The Accusation: Forbidden Stories From Inside North Korea by Bandi (North Korea) read
The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke (China)
All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan (Ireland)
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Vietnam/USA) read
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Ghana/USA) read
Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy (India) read
Who You Think I Am by Camille Laurens (France) read
The Dove's Necklace by Raja Alem (Saudi Arabia)
Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt) read
The Bones of Grace by Tahmima Anam (Bangladesh)

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 2:21am Top

Reading Challenge Part III

NetGalley Tower of Shame

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
The Lauras by Sara Taylor
Boat Rocker by Ha Jin read
The Futures by Anna Pitoniak read
The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott read
The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye read
Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr
The Private Life of Mrs. Sharma by Ratika Kapur
The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith read
Black Widow by Christopher Brookmyre read
The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
The Imperial Wife by Irina Reyn read
I am No One by Patrick Flannery
Darktown by Thomas Mullen read
The Letter Writer by Dan Fesperman read

Non-Fiction Challenge

Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Lesley Blume
Spain in Our Hearts by Adam Hochschild read
The Immortal Irishman: the Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan
Tom Paine by John Keane
All Strangers are Kin by Zora O’Neill
The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China by Huan Hsu
Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty by Dan Jones read
Deep South by Paul Theroux
Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman
Strangers Drowning: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices and the Urge to Help by Larissa MacFarquhar
Game of Queens: The women who made sixteenth-century Europe by Sarah Gristwood
The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao by Ian Johnson
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore read
The Trials of the King of Hampshire by Elizabeth Foyster
Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-Extinction by Helen Pilcher
Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music by James Rhodes read
Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge read
Dark Money by Jane Mayer read
Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neill
The House by the Lake by Thomas Harding
Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick read
A Kim Jong-Il Production by Paul Fischer
In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon’s Wars by Jenny Uglow
The French Intifada by Andrew Hussey
Scott-Land: The Man Who Invented a Nation by Stuart Kelly read
Russian Roulette by Giles Milton read
The Emperor Far Away by David Eimer read
The Broken Road by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms by Gerard Russell read

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 2:45am Top

The Dreaded Acquisition Lists -- begin here....

please note that a single $ means that I paid a sale price -- anywhere from 99 cents to $3 -- for the item in question. If there's no $ or $$ sign marked, that means it was free to me.

And more...

Books Purchased or Otherwise Permanently Acquired in 2017
Part I

1. Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat (Kindle Sale, $), 1/1/17
2. The Children by David Halberstam (Kindle Sale, $) 1/2/17
3. Amberwell by D.E. Stevenson (Kindle Sale, $) 1/3/17
4. The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley (NetGalley) 1/3/17
5. The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in Flight by Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrian Levy (NetGalley) 1/3/17
6. Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin (NetGalley) 1/3/17
7. All the Lives I Want by Alana Massey (NetGalley) 1/3/17
8. The Lost Woman by Sara Blaedel (NetGalley) 1/3/17
9. Down City: A Daughter's Story of Love, Memory and Murder by Leah Carroll (NetGalley) 1/3/17
10. The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries by Andrei Soldatov and Irinia Borogan (Kindle Sale, $) 1/4/17
11. The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle (Audiobook, $$) 1/4/17 read
12. The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin (UK Kindle, Kindle Sale, $) 1/5/17
13. Fleshmarket Close by Ian Rankin (Kindle Sale, $), 1/6/17
14. A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson (NetGalley), 1/6/17 read
15. Trajectory: Stories by Richard Russo (e-galley from publisher) 1/6/17
16. There Your Heart Lies by Mary Gordon (e-galley from publisher) 1/6/17 read
17. Chemistry by Weike Wang (e-galley from publisher) 1/6/17
18. Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny (e-galley from publisher) 1/6/17 read
19. Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst (Kindle Sale, $) 1/7/17
20. Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti (Kindle Sale, $) 1/7/17
21. As Good As Gone by Larry Watson (Kindle Sale, $) 1/7/17
22. Prussian Blue by Phillip Kerr (NetGalley) 1/7/17 read
23. The Fall Guy by James Lasdun (Kindle, $$) 1/8/17
24. The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham (Kindle, $$) 1/8/17 read
25. Bed-Stuy is Burning by Brian Platzer (NetGalley) 1/8/17
26. Icy Clutches by Aaron Elkins (Kindle Sale, $) 1/9/17
27. Curses! by Aaron Elkins (Kindle Sale, $) 1/9/17
28. Twenty Blue Devils by Aaron Elkins (Kindle Sale, $) 1/9/17
29. Skeleton Dance by Aaron Elkins (Kindle Sale, $) 1/9/17
30. Fellowship of Fear by Aaron Elkins (Kindle Sale, $) 1/9/17
31. Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker (NetGalley) 1/9/17
32. Small Hours by Jennifer Kitses (NetGalley) 1/9/17
33. A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn (Kindle, $$) 1/10/17
34. Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig (NetGalley) 1/10/17
35. The Unbanking of America by Lisa Servon (Kindle, $$) 1/10/17
36. Bad Blood in Meantime by Murray Davies (UK Kindle, Kindle Sale, $) 1/10/17
37. The Believer by Joakim Zander (Amazon Vine ARC) 1/11/17
38. Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast by Megan Marshall (Amazon Vine ARC) 1/11/17
39. On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman (Amazon Vine ARC) 1/11/17
40. If I Could Tell You by Elizabeth Wilhide (Amazon Vine ARC) 1/11/17 read
41. The Dry by Jane Harper (Kindle, $$) 1/11/17
42. We Do Our Part: Toward a Fairer and More Equal America by Charles Peters (NetGalley) 1/11/17
43. Signals: New and Selected Stories by Tim Gautreaux (e-galley from publisher), 1/14/17
44. The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham (Kindle, $$) 1/16/17 read
45. The Loving Cup by Winston Graham (Kindle, $$) 1/16/17 read
46. The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham (Kindle, $$) 1/16/17 read
47. Bella Poldark by Winston Graham (Kindle, $$) 1/16/17 read
48. Shield of Three Lions by Pamela Kaufman (Kindle, $) 1/16/17
49. Latest Readings by Clive James (paperback, $$) 1/17/17 read
50. Shelter in Place by Alexander Maksik (paperback, $$) 1/17/17
51. Othello by William Shakespeare (paperback, $$) 1/17/17
52. The Bertie Project by Alexander McCall Smith (NetGalley) 1/20/17 read
From here to end of page, all are ARCs from ALA Midwinter in Atlanta, at no cost to me, Jan 20-22
53. The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World by James Barron read
54. In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant read
55. Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe by John Julius Norwich
56. The Long Drop by Denise Mina
57. How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life by Massimo Pigliucci
58. I See You by Clare Mackintosh
59. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
60. Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli In His World by Erica Benner
61. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
62. Silver and Salt by Elanor Dymott
63. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid read
64. The Fortunate Ones by Ellen Umansky read
65. Death on Delos by Gary Corby read
66. The Leavers by Lisa Ko
67. Death on Nantucket by Francine Mathews
68. Europe's Last Chance: Why the European States Must Form a More Perfect Union by Guy Verhoefstadt
69. The Trophy Child by Paula Daly
70. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford
71. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan
72. When the English Fall by David Williams
73. NK3: A Novel by Michael Tolkin
74. The Dime by Kathleen Kent
75. Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 2:23am Top

Books Purchased or Otherwise Permanently Acquired in 2017
Part II

Until further notice, all books below were ARCs acquired (free) at ALA Midwinter in Atlanta, January 20-22, 2017

76. A Twist in Time by Julia McElwain
77. The Last Hack by Christopher Brookmyre Read
78. Agent M: The Lives and Spies of MI5's Maxwell Knight by Henry Hemming
79. The Unruly City: Paris, London and New York in the Age of Revolution by Mike Rapport
80. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
81. The Little French Bistro by Nina George
82. Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem by George Prochnik
83. Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt Read
84. The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
85. Lenin's Roller Coaster by David Downing Read
86. Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner
87. A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes
88. The Child by Fiona Barton
89. 4 3 2 1: A Novel by Paul Auster
90. The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller
91. The Trump Survival Guide by Gene Stone
92. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn Read
93. The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill
94. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney Read
95. The Marches: A Borderland Journey between England and Scotland by Rory Stewart Read
96. Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King
97. The Young Widower's Handbook by Tom McAllister
98. The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
99. Miss You by Kate Eberlen
100. Fateful Mornings by Tom Bouman
101. Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
102. The Other Widow by Susan Crawford
103. The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel Read
104. Final Demand by Deborah Moggach
105. The Cutaway by Christina Kovac
106. The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne
107. The Jane Austen Project by Karen Flynn Read
108. Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists by Donna Seaman
109. The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker
110. City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York by Tyler Anbinder
111. The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown
112. My Last Lament by James William Brown
113. The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown
114. The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall
115. What My Body Remembers by Agnete Friis
116. New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
117. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
118. No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts
119. The Birdwatcher by William Shaw
120. Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation (edited Michael Chabon)
121. Double Bind: Women on Ambition by Robin Romm
122. The Secrets You Keep by Kate White
123. The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
124. The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor
125. Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams
126. The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon
127. Our Little Racket by Angelica Baker
128. The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett
129. Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
130. Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes
131. The Dinner Party by Joshua Ferris
132. Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
133. UNSUB: A Novel by Meg Gardiner
134. Bad Seeds by Jassy Mackenzie
135. Touch by Courtney Maum
136. Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes
137. The Idiot by Elif Batuman
138. The Widow's House by Carol Goodman
139. Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt
140. Easternization: Asia's Rise and America's Decline From Obama to Trump and Beyond by Gideon Rachman
141. Dead Man Switch by Matthew Quirk
142. Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
143. Mad Country by Samrat Upadhyay
144. Bad Dreams and Other Stories by Tessa Hadley
145. Most Dangerous Place by James Grippando
146. Inheritance From Mother by Minae Mizumura
147. Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway's Secret Adventures, 1935-1961 by Nicholas Reynolds
148. Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles Read
149. Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us by Sam Kean
150. Shining City by Tom Rosenstiel
151. Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War by Lynne Olson read
152. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths read
End of list of ARCs from ALA Midwinter

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 2:47am Top

Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
Part III

153. The Best American Short Stories 2016 (Kindle Sale, $) 1/24/17
154. The Best American Mystery Stories 2016 (Kindle Sale, $) 1/24/17
155. The Best American Essays 2016 (Kindle Sale, $) 1/24/17
156. The Best American Travel Writing 2016 (Kindle Sale, $) 1/24/17
157. The Best American Non-Required Reading 2016 (Kindle Sale, $) 1/24/17
158. The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance by Anders Rydell (NetGalley) 1/24/17 read
159. The Devil and Webster by Jean Hanff Korelitz (NetGalley) 1/24/17 read
160. The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams (Kindle, $$) 1/26/17
161. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (Audiobook, 2 for 1 deal, $) 1/26/17
162. The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan (NetGalley) 1/26/17
163. Citadel by Kate Mosse (Kindle Sale, $) 1/27/17)
164. Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West by Peter Hessler (Kindle Sale, $) 1/27/17
165. Every Dead Thing: Dark Hollow by John Connolly (NetGalley) 1/27/17
166. Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra (Kindle, $$) 1/27/17
167. Friday, the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman (Kindle Sale, $) 1/30/17
168. Beartown by Fredrik Backman (NetGalley) 1/30/17
169. Exit Music by Ian Rankin (Kindle Sale, $) 2/1/17
170. The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla (Kindle Sale, $) 2/1/17
171. The Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie (Kindle Sale, $) 2/1/17
172. 19046566::Fool's Gold by Caro Peacock (NetGalley) 2/1/17
173. Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death by Brenna Hassett (NetGalley) 2/1/17
174. Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin (Kindle Sale, $) 2/1/17
175. We'll Meet Again by Philippa Carr (Kindle Sale, $) 2/1/17
176. In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen (Kindle Freebie) 2/1/17
177. House of Names by Colm Toibin (NetGalley) 2/1/17
178. The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and a Friendship Made and Lost in War by James McGrath Morris (NetGalley) 2/2/17
179. The Novels of Alexander the Great: Fire from Heaven, The Persian Boy, and Funeral Games by Mary Renault (Kindle sale, $) 2/2/17
180. My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul (NetGalley/ARC) 2/2/17 read
181. Barney: Grove Press and Barney Rosset, America’s Maverick Publisher and His Battle against Censorship by Michael Rosenthal (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/4/17 read
182. 138540511::The Watcher by Ross Armstrong (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/4/17
183. Bleeding in Black and White by Colin Cotterill (Kindle, $$) 2/6/17
184. The One-Eyed Man by Ron Currie (Hardcover, from publisher) 2/6/17
185. Bartleby and Benito Cereno by Herman Melville (Kindle, cheap, $) 2/6/17 read
186. The Silent Dead by Tetsuya Honda (Kindle, $$) 2/6/17 read
187. 19071663::Corpus by Rory Clements (Kindle, $$) 2/6/17
188. Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie (Kindle $$) 2/7/17 read
189. Cockfosters by Helen Simpson (e-galley from publisher) 2/7/17
190. Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (e-galley from publisher) 2/7/17
191. The Woman on the Stairs by Bernhard Schlink (e-galley from publisher) 2/7/17
192. Living in the Weather of the World by Richard Bausch (e-galley from publisher) 2/7/17
193. My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith (e-galley from publisher) 2/7/17
194. Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/8/17 read
195. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan (NetGalley) 2/8/17
196. Hardcastle's Runaway by Graham Ison (NetGalley) 2/9/17
197. Sissinghurst, an Unfinished History by Adam Nicolson (Kindle Sale, $) 2/10/17
198. The Americans: The Colonial Experience by Daniel Boorstin (Kindle Sale, $) 2/10/17
199. 138759635::Testimony by Scott Turow (NetGalley) 2/10/17 read
200. Animal Farm by George Orwell (Kindle, $$) 2/11/17) read
201. Mikhail and Margarita by Julie Himes (ARC from publisher) 2/11/17
202. A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas (paperback from publisher) 2/11/17
203. Forever On: A Novel of Silicon Valley by Rob Reid (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/11/17
204. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (Kindle Sale, $) 2/12/17
205. Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade (Kindle Sale, $) 2/12/17
206. 138848016::Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/13/17
207. Scars of Independence by Holger Hoock (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/14/17
208. Murder on the Serpentine by Anne Perry (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/14/17read
209. In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/14/17 read
210. The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017)
211. A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017)
212. 18888943::Conviction by Julia Dahl (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017) read
213. 19127507::Who You Think I Am by Camille Laurens (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017) read
214. Often I Am Happy by Jens Christian Grøndahl (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017) read
215. The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017)
216. Everything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017)
217. Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka (Paperback, $$) 2/14/17 read
218. The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald (Paperback, $$) 2/14/17
219. The Trespassers by Laura Z. Hobson (Kindle sale, $) 2/15/17
220. The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell (Kindle sale, $) 2/15/17
221. Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman (Kindle sale, $) 2/15/17
222. The Drowning King by Emily Holleman (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/15/17 read
223. Shadow Man by Alan Drew (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/15/17 read

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 2:35am Top

Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
Part IV

224. Unquiet Ghosts by Glenn Meade (ALA Midwinter, ARC) (Forgotten from Jan 2017)
225. The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone (ALA Midwinter, ARC) (Forgotten from Jan 2017)
226. The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal (ALA Midwinter, ARC) (Forgotten from Jan 2017)
227. The End We Start From by Megan Hunter (ALA Midwinter, ARC) (Forgotten from Jan 2017)
228. The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer (ALA Midwinter, ARC) (Forgotten from Jan 2017) read
229. A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/16/17
230. The Heirs by Susan Rieger (NetGalley) 2/16/17
231. New Boy by Tracey Chevalier (NetGalley) 2/16/17 read
232. Racing the Devil by Charles Todd (Kindle, $$) 2/16/17
233. I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad by Souad Mekhennet (NetGalley) 2/17/17 read
234. An Honorable Man by Paul Vidich (Kindle, $$) 2/17/17)
235. Augustus by John Williams (Kindle, $$) 2/18/17
236. The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America by Mark Sundeen (Kindle, $$) 2/18/17 read
237. A Gathering of Spies by John Altman (Kindle Sale, $) 2/19/17
238. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (paperback, $$) 2/20/17 read
239. The Water Museum by Luis Alberto Urrea (paperback, $$) 2/20/17 read
240. Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell (UK Kindle, $$) 2/22/17 read
241. City of Friends by Joanna Trollope (UK Kindle, $$) 2/22/17 read
242. A Secret Garden by Katie Fforde (UK Kindle, $$) 2/22/17 read
243. Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/22/17 read
244. What's Become of Her by Deb Caletti (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/22/17
245. The Diplomat's Daughter by Karin Tanabe (NetGalley) 2/23/17
246. A Rabble of Dead Money: The Great Crash and the Global Depression by Charles R. Morris (from publisher) 2/23/17
247. Detective by Arthur Hailey (Kindle sale, $) 2/24/17
248. The Photograph by Penelope Lively (Kindle sale, $) 2/24/17
249. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (Audiobook, $$) by Arlie Russell Hochschild 2/25/17 read
250. The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers by Thomas Fleming (Kindle Sale, $) 2/25/17
251. The Lubetkin Legacy by Marina Lewycka (UK Kindle, $$) 2/25/17
252. Rosy is My Relative by Gerald Durrell (Kindle sale, $) 2/26/17
253. Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak (UK Kindle, $$) 2/26/17
254. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese May Fowler (Kindle Sale, $) 2/26/17
255. Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created, by Laura Miller et al (Kindle Sale, $) 2/26/17
256. A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain (Kindle Sale, $) 2/26/17
257. The Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan (UK Kindle, $$) 2/26/17
258. Promises by Catherine Gaskin (UK Kindle sale, $) 2/26/17
259. Edge of Glass by Catherine Gaskin (UK Kindle sale, $) 2/26/17
260. Libra by Don DeLillo (Kindle sale, $) 2/27/17)
261. A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey (Kindle sale, $) 2/27/17
262. Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars by Miranda Emmerson (NetGalley) 2/28/17
263. Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore (UK Kindle, $$) 2/28/17 read
264. The Templars' Last Secret by Martin Walker (NetGalley via publisher) 3/1/17
265. The Thirst by Jo Nesbø (NetGalley via publisher) 3/1/17
266. Defectors by Joseph Kanon (NetGalley) 3/1/17 Read
267. Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times edited by Carolina de Robertis (NetGalley) 3/2/17
268. A Single Spy by William Christie (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/2/17 read
269. The Wasting of Borneo: Dispatches from a Vanishing World by Alex Shoumatoff (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/2/17 read
270. Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/2/17 read
271. My Darling Detective by Howard Norman (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/3/17
272. All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/4/17 read
273. The Curse of La Fontaine by M. L. Longworth (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/3/17 read
274. The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/5/17
275. Cave Dwellers by Richard Grant (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/5/17
276. Eleventh Hour: a Tudor Mystery by M.J. Trow (NetGalley) 3/7/17
277. The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell (Audiobooks, $$) 3/7/17
278. The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria by Alia Malek (Kindle, gift) 3/7/17
279. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (paperback, loan) 3/9/17 read
280. The Graybar Hotel by Curtis Dawkins (NetGalley) 3/10/17
281. How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds by Alan Jacobs (NetGalley) 3/12/17
282. How to Behave in a Crowd by Camille Bordas (NetGalley) 3/12/17
283. The Song and the Silence: A Story about Family, Race, and What Was Revealed in a Small Town in the Mississippi Delta While Searching for Booker Wright by Yvette Johnson (NetGalley) 3/17/17
284. Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale (NetGalley) 3/17/17 read
285. The Standard Grand by Jay Baron Nicorvo (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/20/17
286. Anne Boleyn, A King's Obsession by Alison Weir (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/20/17 read
287. The Spy Across the Table by Barry Lancet (NetGalley) 3/20/17
288. Take Me to Your Heart Again by Marius Gabriel (Kindle Freebie) 3/22/17
289. Stockholm Delete by Jens Lapidus (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/22/17
290. Once, in Lourdes by Sharon Solwitz (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/22/17
291. Slow Horses by Mick Herron (Audible audiobook, $$) 3/22/17
292. Young Radicals: In the War for American Ideals by Jeremy McCarter (NetGalley) 3/24/17 read
293. The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17 read
294. The Second Day of the Renaissance by Timothy Williams (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17
295. Gender, Politics, News: A Game of Three Sides by Karen Ross (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17
296. There Your Heart Lies by Mary Gordon (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17 read
297. The End of the Day by Claire North (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17
298. The Parthenon Bomber by Christos Chrissopoulos (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17
299. Protest in Putin's Russia by Mischa Gabowitsch (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 2:42am Top

Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
Part V

300. A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter (Amazon UK, Kindle Sale, $) 3/27/17
301. Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta (NetGalley) 3/30/17 read
302. The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton (NetGalley, From Publisher) 3/31/17
303. The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk (NetGalley, from Publisher) 3/31/17
304. A Deadly Betrothal by Fiona Buckley (NetGalley) 3/31/17
305. A Small Revolution by Jimin Han (Kindle First, Freebie) 4/1/17
306. The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan (Kindle Sale, $) 4/3/17
307. A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols by Tim Marshall (NetGalley) 4/3/17
308. Steam Titans: Cunard, Collins, and the Epic Battle for Commerce on the North Atlantic by William Fowler (NetGalley) 4/3/17
309. Reading With Patrick by Michelle Kuo (NetGalley) 4/3/17
310. Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin (Kindle Sale, $) 4/3/17
311. The Lake by Lotte Hammer (NetGalley) 4/3/17
312. The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances Fitzgerald (Kindle pre-order, $$) 4/4/17
313. Modern Gods by Nick Laird (NetGalley) 4/4/17
314. Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live by Peter Orner (NetGalley) 4/5/17
315. Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo (NetGalley) 4/6/17 read
316. Woolly: The True Story of the De-Extinction of One of History's Most Iconic Creatures by Ben Mezrich (NetGalley) 4/6/17
317. Salt Houses by Hala Alyan (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/7/17
318. Moving Kings by Joshua Cohen (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/7/17
319. Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/7/17 read
320. My Glory Was I Had Such Friends by Amy Silverstein (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/7/17 read
321. The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson (UK Kindle, $$) 4/8/17 read
322. Beware This Boy by Maureen Jennings (UK Kindle, Kindle Sale, $) 4/8/17
323. The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley (UK Kindle, $$) 4/8/17 Read
324. The Good People by Hannah Kent (UK Kindle, $$) 4/8/17 read
325. About Last Night... by Catherine Alliott (UK Kindle, $$) 4/8/17
326. The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness by Jill Filipovic (Hardcover from publisher) 4/10/17
327. Friends and Traitors by John Lawton (NetGalley) 4/11/17 Read
328. A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin's War with the West by Luke Harding (Audible audiobook, $$) 4/13/17 Read
329. Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon (Kindle sale, $) 4/13/17
330. The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times by Christophe de Bellaige (Kindle, $$) 4/13/17
331. The Locals by Jonathan Dee (NetGalley) 4/14/17
332. Domina by L.S. Hilton (NetGalley) 4/14/17
333. Akenaten: Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz (gift) 4/14/17 read
334. Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Kindle, $$) 4/14/17
335. Fish Have No Feet by Jon Kalman Stefansson (UK Kindle, $$) 4/14/17
336. The Lady and the Unicorn by Rumer Godden (Kindle, $$) 4/15/17 Read
337. The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer (Audiobook, Sale, $) 4/16/17 Read
338. The Hidden Flower by Pearl Buck (Kindle Sale, $) 4/17/17
339. Silence in Court: a Golden Age Mystery by Patricia Wentworth (UK Kindle Sale, $) 4/17/17
340. Red Shadow: a Golden Age Mystery by Patricia Wentworth (UK Kindle Sale, $) 4/17/17
341. Outrageous Fortune: a Golden Age Mystery by Patricia Wentworth (UK Kindle Sale, $) 4/17/17
342. This Perfect Day by Ira Levin (Kindle Sale, $) 4/18/17
343. The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham (NetGalley) 4/18/17
344. Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen (NetGalley) 4/18/17 read
345. The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow (NetGalley) 4/19/17
346. Love, Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival by Jeffrey Gettleman (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/20/17
347. The Summer House Party by Caro Fraser (UK Kindle Sale, $) 4/21/17
348. Here and Gone by Haylen Beck (NetGalley) 4/22/17
349. The Sixth Victim by Tessa Harris (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/22/17
350. The Windfall by Diksha Basu (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/22/17 read
351. Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Blanca Marais (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/22/17
352. The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (NetGalley) 4/24/17 read
353. A Fortune Foretold by Agneta Pleijel (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/25/17
354. The Currency of Love by Jill Dodd (NetGalley) 4/25/17
355. Blackout by Marc Elsberg (NetGalley) 4/25/17
356. Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/26/17
357. Tinkers by Paul Harding (paperback, $$) 4/27/17
358. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (NetGalley) 4/27/17
359. Vienna Spies by Alex Gerlis (UK Kindle, $$) 4/27/17 read
360. Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart by Scott Anderson (NetGalley) 4/28/17
361. Barkskins by Annie Proulx (UK Kindle sale, $) 4/28/17
362. The English Girl by Katherine Webb (UK Kindle Sale, $) 4/28/17
363. The Food of Love by Prue Leith (UK Kindle Sale, $) 4/28/17
364. Digest by Gregory Pardillo (paperback, $$) 4/28/17
365. Thomas Paine: Collected Writings by Thomas Paine (second hand hardcover, $$) 4/29/17
366. Trophy Son by Douglas Brunt (Amazon Vine ARC) 4/29/17
367. The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth (UK Kindle sale, $) 4/30/17
368. Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner (Kindle First freebie) 4/30/17
369. A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II by A.T. Williams (Kindle, $$) 5/1/17
370. Aftermath by Peter Robinson (UK Kindle sale, $) 5/1/17
371. Hame by Annalena McAfee (e-galley from publisher) 5/1/17
372. Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield by Robert Latiff (e-galley from publisher) 5/1/17
373. At the Strangers' Gate: Arrivals in New York by Adam Gopnik (e-galley from publisher) 5/1/17
374. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (audiobook, $$) 5/2/17
375. Wolf on a String by Benjamin Black (NetGalley) 5/4/17
376. He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly (UK Kindle, $$) 5/6/17 read
377. Where the Bodies Are Buried by Christopher Brookmyre (audiobook, $$) 5/6/17
378. Pussy by Howard Jacobson (Kindle, $$) 5/6/17
379. Dark Water by Parker Bilal (NetGalley) 5/6/17 read
380. Gravel Heart by Abdulrazak Gurnah (NetGalley) 5/6/17
381. The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II by Svetlana Alexeivech (Amazon Vine ARC) 5/7/17
382. Tom Paine's Iron Bridge: Building a United States by Edward Gray (paperback, $$) 5/8/17
383. 46 Pages by Scott Liell (paperback, $$) 5/8/17
384. Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities by Bettany Hughes 5/9/17

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 2:44am Top

Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
Part VI

385. We Shall Not All Sleep by Estep Nagy (Amazon Vine ARC) 5/9/17
386. Battles for Freedom: The Use and Abuse of American History by Eric Foner (out of the blue from publisher, paperback) 5/9/17
387. The Lost Pages by Marija Pericic (audiobook, $$) 5/10/17
388. The Hideout by Egon Hostovský (paperback, Amazon Vine) 5/11/17
389. The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish (Amazon Vine ARC) 5/11/17 read
390. The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase (Amazon Vine ARC) 5/11/17
391. A High Mortality of Doves by Kate Ellis (UK Kindle, $$) 5/12/17
392. The Twentieth Day of January by Ted Allbeury (Amazon Vine ARC) 5/12/17
393. Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs (Kindle sale, $) 5/14/17
394. The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami (from publisher, paperback) 5/15/17 read
395. The Man Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald by David Handler (Kindle sale, $) 5/16/17
396. The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America by Rick Wartzman (hardcover, from publisher) 5/16/17
397. Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin (audiobook, $$) 5/16/17
398. The Gifts of Poseidon by Anne Zouroudi (UK Kindle sale, $) 5/16/17
399. Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe (paperback, $$) 5/17/17
400. The Forever House by Veronica Henry (UK Kindle, $$) 5/18/17 read
401. Blame by Jeff Abbott (NetGalley} 5/18/17
402. The Black Hand: The Epic War Between a Brilliant Detective and the Deadliest Secret Society in American History by Stephan Talty (NetGalley) 5/18/17
403. Live From Cairo by Ian Bassingthwaighte (NetGalley) 5/18/17
404. Endgame by Ahmet Altan (paperback, $$) 5/19/17
405. Checkpoint by Jean-Christophe Rufin (paperback, $$) 5/19/17
406. Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie (UK Kindle, sale, $) 5/20/17
407. The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie (UK Kindle, sale, $) 5/20/17
408. Chasing Phil: The Adventures of Two Undercover Agents with the World's Most Charming Con Man by David Howard (NetGalley) 5/22/17
409. Lullaby Road by James Anderson (NetGalley) 5/22/17
410. Paradox Bound by Peter Cline (NetGalley) 5/22/17
411. Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan (NetGalley) 5/24/17 read
412. Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou (Kindle, $$) 5/26/17
413. The Traitor's Niche by Ismail Kadaré (UK Kindle, $$) 5/26/17 read
414. Map Drawn by a Spy by Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Edelweiss digital ARC) 5/26/17
415. Browse: the World in Bookshops by Henry Hitchings (Edelweiss digital ARC) 5/26/17
416. Class: Welcome to the Little School by the Sea by Jane Beaton (UK Kindle, sale, $) 5/26/17
417. The Jeeves Omnibus, Vol. I by P.G. Wodehouse (UK Kindle, sale $) 5/26/17
418. In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult by Rebecca Stott (Amazon Vine ARC) 5/27/17 read
419. Lockdown by Laurie R. King (Amazon Vine ARC) 5/27/17
420. Beautiful Animals by Laurence Osborne (Amazon Vine ARC) 5/28/17 read
421. The Wind Off the Small Isles by Mary Stewart (UK Kindle, sale, $) 5/29/17 read
422. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (UK Kindle, sale, $) 5/29/17
423. My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart (UK Kindle, sale, $) 5/29/17 read
424. Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart (UK Kindle, sale, $) 5/29/17
425. A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith (UK Kindle, $$) 5/30/17 read
426. Come Sundown by Nora Roberts (Kindle, $$) 5/30/17
427. Falling by Elizabeth Jane Howard (Kindle, $$) 5/30/17
428. The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey (NetGalley) 5/30/17
429. How to Be a Muslim: An American Story by Haroon Moghul (NetGalley) 5/30/17 read
430. Fools' River by Timothy Hallinan (Edelweiss Digital ARC) 5/31/17 read
431. The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (Edelweiss Digital ARC) 5/31/17 read
432. The Rat Catchers' Olympics by Colin Cotterill (Edelweiss Digital ARC) 5/31/17 read
433. The Saboteur by Andrew Gross (NetGalley) 5/31/17 read
434. Soul Cage by Tetsuya Honda (NetGalley) 5/31/17
435. A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee (NetGalley) 5/31/17 read
436. The Missing Wife by Sheila O'Flanagan (UK Kindle, sale, $) 6/1/17
437. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris (UK Kindle, sale, $)
438. Enemy of God by Bernard Cornwell (UK Kindle, sale, $)
439. Holland House: A History of London's Most Celebrated Salon by Linda Kelly (UK Kindle, $$) 6/1/17
440. The Man Who Could Be King by John Ripin Miller (Kindle First Freebie) 6/1/17
441. Basket of Deplorables by Tom Rachman (Audiobook, $$), 6/1/17 read
442. We Were Strangers Once by Betsy Carter (NetGalley) 6/6/17
443. PIG/PORK: Archaeology, Zoology and Edibility by Pía Spry-Marqués (NetGalley) 6/6/17
444. Clutch of Constables by Ngaio Marsh (Audiobook, $$ 6/6/17 read
445. Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander (ARC from publisher) 6/7/17
446. Norma by Sofi Oksanen (ARC from publisher) 6/7/17
447. From Global to Local: The Making of Things and the End of Globalization by Finbarr Livesey (ARC from publisher) 6/7/17
448. Final Curtain by Ngaio Marsh (Audiobook, $$) 6/8/17
449. Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin (ARC, gift) 6/8/17
450. The Revolution of Marina M. by Janet Fitch (ARC, gift) 6/8/17
451. When in Rome by Ngaio Marsh (Audiobook, $$) 6/9/17
452. Down for the Count by Martin Holmen (Edelweiss e-galley) 6/10/17
453. The Couturier of Milan by Ian Hamilton (Edelweiss e-galley) 6/10/17
454. Sorrow of the Earth: Buffalo Bill, Sitting Bull and the Tragedy of Show Business by Eric Vuillard (Edelweiss e-galley) 6/10/17
455. Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India by Kief Hillsbery (Amazon Vine ARC) 6/12/17
456. Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by Gordon Wood (Kindle, $$) 6/15/17
457. An Italian Holiday by Maeve Haran (UK Kindle, sale, $) 6/15/17
458. The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer (UK Kindle, $$) 6/15/17
459. Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally (audiobook, $$) 6/15/17 read
460. I Hear Your Voice by Young-ha Kim (Amazon Vine ARC) 6/16/17
461. Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart (NetGalley) 6/16/17
462. Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen (NetGalley) 6/19/17
463. Canada by Mike Myers (Kindle, $$) 6/20/17
464. The Golden House by Salman Rushdie (NetGalley) 6/21/17
465. A Lady in Shadows by Lene Kaaberbol (NetGalley) 6/22/17
466. The Vineyard by Maria Dueñas (NetGalley) 6/22/17
467. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen by Hendrik Groen (NetGalley) 6/23/17 read
468. Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker (NetGalley) 6/23/17
469. Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn (NetGalley) 6/23/17 read
470. Invictus by Ryan Graudin (Amazon Vine ARC) 5/21/17 (overlooked) read
471. Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas Ricks (audiobook, $$) 6/15/17 read
472. The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve by Stephen Greenblatt
473. The Burning Girl by Claire Messud read
474. Fever by Deon Meyer
475. Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillan
476. The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith
477. Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener
478. Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann read
479. Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China by Xialou Guo
480. See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt read
481. George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl
482. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
483. Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder read
484. A Column of Fire by Ken Follett read
485. Need to Know by Karen Cleveland read
486. A Casualty of War by Charles Todd
487. Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson by Gordon Wood
488. Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson
489. The Messenger by Shiv Malik
490. Pieces of Happines by Anne Ostby
491. The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
492. The Quantum Spy by David Ignatius
493. The Child Finder by Rene Delfield
494. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
495. The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer
496. Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
497. Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss
498. The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy
499. Carnegie's Maid by Marie Benedict
500. Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
501. The Black Painting by Neil Olson
502. Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent
503. Elle by Philippe Djian
504. Tangerine by Christine Mangan
505. Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller
506. This is What Happened by Mick Herron
507. Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali
508. The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper
509. Sourdough by Robin Sloan
510. Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
511. White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht
512. The Address by Fiona Davis
513. Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore read
514. Even If it Kills Her by Kate White
515. From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty
516. The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb
517. Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How "The Graduate" Became the Touchstone of a Generation by Beverly Gray
518. Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna
519. Woman at 1,000 Degrees by Hallgrímur Helgason
520. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
521. Hue 1968 by Mark Bowden
522. Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom by Russell Shorto
523. Rogues’ Gallery: The Rise (and Occasional Fall) of Art Dealers, the Hidden Players in the History of Art by Phillip Hook
524. Keep Her Safe by Sophie Hannah read
525. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
526. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
527. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
528. Rebellion by Molly Patterson
529. Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan read
530. The Invisible Mile by David Coventry
531. A Death Along the River Fleet by Susanna Calkins
532. Displaced by Stephen Abarbanell
533. Katalin Street by Magda Szabo
534. The Power by Naomi Alderman (UK Kindle, $$) 6/25/17
535. Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline (Kindle Sale, $) 6/25/17
536. The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry (NetGalley) 6/26/17 read
537. The Red Word by Sarah Henstra (NetGalley) 6/26/17
538. The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea by Bandi (Kindle, $$) read
539. Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford (Amazon Vine ARC) 6/26/17 read
540. Death by His Grace by Kwei Quartey (Amazon Vine ARC) 6/26/17
541. The Outer Cape by Patrick Dacey (Amazon Vine ARC) 6/26/17
542. Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn (Amazon Vine ARC) 6/26/17
543. Sirens by Joseph Knox (NetGalley) 6/28/17
544. Prosperity without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow by Tim Jackson (Amazon Vine) 6/28/17
545. The Walls by Hollie Overton (Amazon Vine ARC) 6/28/17 read
546. Sympathy for the Devil by William Shaw (UK Kindle, $$) 6/28/17
547. The Mortal Sickness by Andrew Taylor (UK Kindle, sale, $) 6/28/17
548. The Lover of the Grave by Andrew Taylor (UK Kindle, sale, $) 6/28/17)
549. The Visitors by Catherine Burns (NetGalley) 6/29/17
550. Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting by John Mauceri (NetGalley) 6/29/17)
551. Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at London's National Theatre by Nicholas Hytner (NetGalley) 6/29/17)
552. Love Like Blood by Mark Billingham (audiobook, $$) 6/29/17 read

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 2:47am Top

Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
Part VII

553. Secondborn by Amy Bartol (Kindle, freebie) 7/1/17
554. The Thousand Lights Hotel by Emylia Hall (UK Kindle, sale, $) 7/1/17
555. The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux (Kindle, $$) 7/1/17
556. Orlando by Virginia Woolf (Kindle, $$) 7/1/17
557. It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree by A.J. Jacobs (NetGalley) 7/1/17
558. The Price of Silence by Dolores Gordon-Smith (NetGalley) 7/4/17
559. Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America by Steven Ross (NetGalley) 7/7/17
560. Court of Lions by Jane Johnson (UK Kindle, $$) 7/7/17 read
561. House of Spies by Daniel Silva (audiobook, $$) 7/11/17 read
562. Sunday Morning Coming Down by Nicci French (UK Kindle, $$) 7/14/17 read
563. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (audiobook, $$) 7/14/17 read
564. Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen (NetGalley) 7/14/17
565. The Third Nero by Lindsey Davis (audiobook, $$) 7/16/17 read
566. The Hourglass by Tracy Rees (audiobook, $$) 7/16/17
567. Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey (UK Kindle, $$) 7/16/17 read
568. The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization by Martin Puchner (NetGalley) 7/17/17
569. Friend Request by Laura Marshall (NetGalley) 7/17/17
570. Foreign Affairs by Patricia Scanlan (UK Kindle, $) 7/17/17
571. House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick (UK Kindle, $), 7/17/17
572. The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Menna van Praag (Kindle, $) 7/17/17 read
573. Wintercombe by Pamela Belle (UK Kindle, sale, $) 7/18/17
574. The Shattered Lens: A War Photographer's True Story of Captivity and Survival in Syria by Jonathan Alpeyrie (NetGalley) 7/19/17
575. Death in St. Petersburg by Tasha Alexander (NetGalley) 7/19/17
576. The English Wife by Lauren Willig (NetGalley) 7/20/17 read
577. Beau Death by Peter Lovesey (Edelweiss e-galley) 7/22/17
578. Beforelife by Randal N.M. Graham (Amazon Vine ARC) 7/22/17
579. The Ruined House by Ruby Namdar (Amazon Vine ARC) 7/23/17
580. The Queen's Exiles by Barbara Kyle (gift from author, a friend) 7/24/17
581. Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat Into Victory by Michael Korda (NetGalley) 7/24/17
582. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (audiobook, $$) 7/25/17 read
583. The Boat People by Sharon Bala (NetGalley) 7/25/17
584. BOOM: Oil, Money, Cowboys, Strippers, and the Energy Rush That Could Change America Forever by Tony Horwitz
585. Sweet, Thoughtful Valentine by Alexander McCall Smith
586. Nate in Venice by Richard Russo
587. A Hidden Secret by Linda Castillo
588. The Death Factory by Greg Iles
589. Vermeer to Eternity by Anthony Horowitz
590. Only the Lucky by Linda Castillo
591. The Spook Who Spoke Again by Lindsey Davies
592. Long Lost by Linda Castillo
593. A Breach of Security by Susan Hill read
594. Hero by Susan Hill
595. The Plane That Wasn't There: Why We Haven't Found Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 by Jeff Wise
596. Devil in the grove : Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the dawn of a new America by Gilbert King (Kindle, sale, $) 7/26/17
597. Weycombe by G.M. Malliet (NetGalley) 7/27/17
598. The Undertaker's Daughter by Sara Blaedel (Amazon Vine ARC) 7/27/17
599. The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor (NetGalley) 7/27/17
600. The Radicals by Ryan McIlvain (NetGalley) 7/27/17
601. The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch (Kindle, $$) 7/27/17 read
602. Good Neighbors by J.D. Serling (Amazon Vine ARC) 7/28/17
603. You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages by Carina Chocano (Amazon Vine ARC) 7/28/17 read
604. Murder Games by James Patterson (Kindle sale, $) 7/28/17
605. A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949 by Kevin Peraino (Amazon Vine ARC) 7/28/17
606. Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye (Kindle, $$) 7/29/17
607. The Spring Madness of Mr. Sermon by R.F. Delderfield (UK Kindle sale, $) 7/30/17
608. Flawed by Cecelia Ahearn (UK Kindle sale, $) 7/31/17
609. The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin (Amazon Vine ARC) 7/31/17
610. The Devouring by James R. Benn (Amazon Vine ARC) 7/31/17
611. Corridors of the Night by Anne Perry (UK Kindle, sale, $) 7/31/17
612. Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry (UK Kindle, sale, $) 7/31/17
613. An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry (Amazon Vine ARC) 7/31/17
614. You Don't Know Me by Imran Mahmood (UK Kindle, sale, $) 7/31/17
615. Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys (UK Kindle, sale, $) 7/31/17
616. The Judith Lennox Wartime Collection by Judith Lennox (UK Kindle, sale, $) 7/31/17
617. Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini (NetGalley) 8/1/17
618. I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street by Matt Taibbi (NetGalley) 8/1/17
619. The Cloister by James Carroll (NetGalley) 8/1/17
620. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell (paperback, $$) 8/2/17 read
621. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (audiobook, sale, $) 8/2/17 read
622. The Seagull by Ann Cleeves (NetGalley) 8/2/17
623. The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/2/17
624. Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/2/17
625. Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/2/17
626. Amnesia by Michael Ridpath (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/2/17
627. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (Kindle, $$) 8/2/17 read
628. On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen (Kindle, gift, free) 8/2/17 read
629. The Second Sister by Claire Kendal (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/3/17
630. The Constant Soldier by William Ryan (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/3/17
631. Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/3/17
632. Happiness by Aminatta Forna (NetGalley) 8/4/17
633. The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam (NetGalley) 8/4/17
634. The Collector by John Fowles (Kindle, sale, $) 8/4/17
635. Satellite by Nick Lake (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/4/17
636. The Disappearance Of Adele Bedeau by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/4/17
637. Belshazzar's Daughter by Barbara Nadel (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/6/17
638. American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy (NetGalley) 8/6/17
639. Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu-lien Tan (Kindle, $$) 8/6/17
640. The Mermaid's Scream by Kate Ellis (UK Kindle, $$) 8/6/17
641. Go Back to Where You Came From by Sacha Polakow-Suransky (NetGalley) 8/7/17
642. The Golden Dice by Elisabeth Storrs (Kindle, sale, $) 8/7/17
643. Call to Juno by Elisabeth Storrs (Kindle, sale, $) 8/7/17
644. Murder in July by Barbara Hambly (NetGalley) 8/7/17
645. True Gentlemen: The Broken Pledge of America’s Fraternities by John Hechinger (NetGalley) 8/8/17
646. The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (Kindle/audiobook, $$) 8/8/17 read
647. The Narrow Bed by Sophie Hannah (UK Kindle, $$) 8/8/17
648. The Eden Inheritance by Janet Tanner (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/8/17
649. Oriental Hotel by Janet Tanner (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/8/17
650. The Dreaming Stones by Sarah Harrison (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/8/17
651. The Parrot Cage by Daphne Wright (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/8/17
652. Never Such Innocence by Daphne Wright (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/8/17
653. The Longest Winter by Daphne Wright (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/8/17
654. The Distant Kingdom by Daphne Wright (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/8/17
655. Blood Alone by James R. Benn (Audiobook, $$) 8/10/17 read
656. The Book of Separation by Tova Mirvis (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/11/17 read
657. Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want by Frances Moore Lappé (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/11/17
658. City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker (Audiobook, $$) 8/11/17 read
659. Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/13/17 read
660. The Identicals by Elin Hildebrand (Kindle, sale, $) 8/13/17
661. 16th Seduction by James Patterson (Kindle, sale, $) 8/13/17
662. The Mothers by Brit Bennett (Kindle, sale, $) 8/13/17
663. Catching the Tide by Judith Lennox (UK Kindle, sale, $) 8/14/17
664. Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum (NetGalley) 8/15/17
665. The Appraisal by Anna Porter (ARC from publisher) 8/15/17
666. The Shadow List by Todd Moss (e-galley, First To Read program) 8/15/17
667. The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian (NetGalley) 8/15/17
668. The Store by James Patterson (Kindle, $) 8/15/17 read
669. Operation Whisper: The Capture of Soviet Spies Morris and Lona Cohen by Barnes Carr (Audiobook, $$) 8/15/17 read
670. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/17/17

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 4:07pm Top

Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017

671. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Audiobook, $$) 8/18/17 read
672. The Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens (Amazon Vine ARC), 8/21/17
673. A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa by Alexis Okeowo (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/21/17 read
674. Munich 1919: Diary of a Revolution by Victor Klemperer (Amazon Vine hardcover) 8/21/17
675. Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City by Kate Winkler Dawson (ARC, from friend) 8/21/17 read
676. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (Audiobook, $$) 8/21/17
677. Rag and Bone by James R. Benn (Audiobook, $$) 8/21/17 read
678. A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs by Ellis Peters (Audiobook, $$) 8/21/17 read
679. The Establishment by Howard Fast (Kindle sale, $) 8/23/17
680. Insidious Intent by Val McDermid (UK Kindle, $$) 8/23/17 read
681. The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (UK Kindle, $$) 8/23/17
682. The Bookworm by Mitch Silver (NetGalley) 8/23/17
683. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (NetGalley) 8/24/17 read
684. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks (NetGalley) 8/24/17
685. A Time of Love and Tartan by Alexander McCall Smith (UK Kindle, $$) 8/24/17 read
686. The Spy's Daughter by Adam Brookes (UK Kindle, $$) 8/25/17 read
687. In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende (NetGalley) 8/26/17
688. Backbone: Living with Chronic Pain without Turning into One by Karen Duffy (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/26/17 read
689. Best American Essays 2017 edited by Leslie Jamison (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/26/17
690. Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II by Meredith Hindley (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/28/17
691. The Famished Road by Ben Okri (Kindle sale, $) 8/28/17
692. Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer (Kindle sale, $) 8/28/17
693. An Army of One by Tony Schumacher (Kindle, $$) 8/29/17
694. The Autumn Throne by Elizabeth Chadwick (Kindle sale, $) 8/29/17
695. Glass Houses by Louise Penny (Audiobook, $$) 8/29/17 read
696. The Shivering Sands by Victoria Holt (Kindle Sale, $) 8/31/17
697. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo Lodge (NetGalley) 8/31/17 read
698. Only Child by Rhiannon Navin (NetGalley, From Publisher) 8/31/17
699. The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump: Essays and Reportage, 1986-2017 by Martin Amis (NetGalley, From Publisher) 8/31/17
700. The Woods by Harlan Coben (Audiobook Sale, $) 9/2/17
701. Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
702. The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Ernest J. Gaines (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/2/17
703. The Dower House Mystery by Patricia Wentworth (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
704. The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
705. The Pool of St. Branok by Philippa Carr (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
706. Cold in the Earth by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
707. The Darkness and the Deep by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
708. Lying Dead by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
709. Dead in the Water by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
710. Lamb to the Slaughter by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
711. Cradle to Grave by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
712. The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
713. Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring sanity to our politics, our economy, and our lives by Joseph Heath (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
714. False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East by Steven A. Cook (Amazon Vine Hardcover) 9/3/17
715. A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation by Craig Harline (Amazon Vine ARC), 9/3/17
716. To Kingdom Come by Will Thomas (Audiobook, $$) 9/4/17 read
717. A Mortal Terror by James Benn (audiobook, $$) 9/4/17 read
718. Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation by John Freeman (Kindle, $$) 9/5/17
719. In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope by Rana Awdish (Kindle, $$) 9/5/17
720. The Designer by Marius Gabriel (Kindle First freebie) 9/6/17
721. Love You Dead by Peter James (UK Kindle, $$) 9/6/17
722. A Crime in the Family: A World War II Secret Buried in Silence--And My Search for the Truth by Sacha Batthyany (NetGally) 9/6/17
723. Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy by Michael Perry (Edelweiss e-galley) 9/6/17
724. The Rose in Winter by Sarah Harrison (NetGalley) 9/8/17
725. The Liar in the Library by Simon Brett (NetGalley) 9/8/17
726. Do This For Me by Eliza Kennedy (NetGalley) 9/8/17
727. The Pool House by Tasmina Perry (UK Kindle, $$) 9/8/17
728. The Bridge of Sighs by Olen Steinhauer (Kindle Sale, $) 9/10/17
729. Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (Amazon Vine ARC), 9/10/17
730. A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer (Audiobook, $$} 9/11/17 read
731. Never Coming Back by Alison McGhee (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/11/17
732. Rose & Poe by Jack Todd (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/11/17
733. I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon (NetGalley) 9/12/17 read
734. She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop (NetGalley) 9/12/17
735. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (Kindle, $$) 9/12/17
736. Anna and Her Daughters by D.E. Stevenson (UK Kindle Sale, $), 9/12/17
737. Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben (NetGalley) 9/13/17
738. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/14/17
739. On ne naît pas grosse by Gabrielle Deydier (UK Kindle, $$) 9/14/17
740. The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti (NetGalley) 9/14/17
741. Mosquito by Roma Tearne (UK Kindle, $$) 9/16/17
742. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis (Kindle, freebie from Amazon Prime) 9/16/17
743. What You Did Not Tell: A Russian Past and the Journey Home by Mark Mazower (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/17/17
744. A Matter of Loyalty by Anselm Audley & Elizabeth Edmundson (NetGalley) 9/17/17 read
745. The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/18/17 read
746. The Woman in the Camphor Trunk by Jennifer Kincheloe (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/18/17
747. Oriana Fallaci: The Journalist, the Agitator, the Legend by Cristina De Stefano (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/18/17
748. Three Floors Up by Eshkol Nevo (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/20/17
749. Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back by Gretchen Carlson (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/20/17 read
750. Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror by Victor Sebastyen (NetGalley, From Publisher) 9/20/17
751. Munich by Robert Harris (UK Kindle, $$) 9/21/17 read
752. Wolf Season by Helen Benedict (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/21/17
753. Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer (UK Kindle sale, $) 9/21/17
754. The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer (UK Kindle Sale, $) 9/21/17
755. The Elizas by Sara Shephard (NetGalley) 9/22/17
756. The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics by Mark Lilla (Kindle, $$) 9/23/17
757. Old Scores by Will Llewellyn (NetGalley) 9/24/17
758. The Time In Between by David Bergen (Kindle, $$) 9/25/17
759. Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer (Kindle Sale, $) 9/25/17
760. The Day She Disappeared by Christobel Kent (NetGalley) 9/25/17
761. Rough Music by Patrick Gale (UK Kindle Sale, $) 9/26/17
762. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/27/17 read
763. Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova (Kindle, $$) 9/27/17
764. The Secret Pilgrim by John Le Carré (Kindle Sale, $) 9/28/17
765. The Deceivers by Alex Berenson (NetGalley) 9/29/17
766. Mrs. by Caitlin Macy (NetGalley) 9/30/17
767. Left Bank: Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50 by Agnes Poirier (NetGalley) 9/30/17
768. The Unforgotten by Laura Powell (NetGalley) 9/30/17
769. Millard Salter's Last Day by Jacob M. Appel (NetGalley) 9/30/17 read
770. Memento Mori by Ruth Downie (NetGalley) 10/01/17
771. The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat (NetGalley) 10/02/17
772. The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy by Daniel Kalder (NetGalley) 10/02/17
773. The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst (NetGalley) 10/02/17
774. The Sandman by Lars Kepler (NetGalley) 10/02/17
775. The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen (Kindle, $$) 10/03/17
776. A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism by Caroline Moorehead (audiobook, $$) 10/03/17 read
777. Gateway to the Moon by Mary Morris (NetGalley) 10/04/17
778. Murder in the Manuscript Room by Con Lehane (NetGalley) 10/04/17
779. A Question of Trust by Penny Vincenzi (UK Kindle, $$) 10/04/17
780. The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd (UK Kindle sale, $) 10/06/17
781. Hunters & Collectors by M.K. Suddain (UK Kindle, $$) 10/08/17
782. The Swimmer by Roma Tearne (UK Kindle sale, $) 10/08/17
783. A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller (NetGalley) 10/08/17
784. MacBeth by Jo Nesbø (NetGalley) 10/08/17
785. Peach by Emma Glass (NetGalley) 10/08/17
786. The Few by Hakan Günday (Edelweiss e-galley) 10/09/17
787. Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki (Edelweiss e-galley) 10/09/17
788. Shadow Play by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (NetGalley) 10/09/17
789. Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (NetGalley) 10/09/17
790. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (Audiobook, $$) 10/09/17
791. Guns, Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond (Kindle sale, $) 10/09/17
792. Nine Lessons by Nicola Upson (Kindle & Audio, $$) 10/10/17 read
793. Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead (NetGalley) 10/11/17
794. Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday (NetGalley) 10/13/17
795. Hotel on Shadow Lake by Daniela Tully (NetGalley) 10/13/17
796. The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair (From Publisher) 10/13/17
797. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica (Kindle Sale, $) 10/13/17
798. Redcoat by Bernard Cornwell (UK Kindle Sale, $) 10/13/17
799. Hitler, My Neighbor: Memories of a Jewish Childhood, 1929-1939 by Edgar Feuchtwanger (From Publisher) 10/15/17
800. My Mother's Shadow by Nikola Scott (Amazon Vine ARC) 10/16/17
801. What Can I Bring? Southern Food For Any Occasion Life Serves Up by Southern Living (Amazon Vine) 10/16/17
802. Poison by John Lescroart (NetGalley) 10/17/17
803. Zack by Mons Kallentoft (NetGalley) 10/17/17
804. Spy of the First Person by Sam Shepherd (from publisher/NetGalley) 10/18/17
805. Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan (Kindle, $$, Kindle settlement) 10/18/17 read
806. Penguin Island by Anatole France (Kindle sale, $, Kindle Settlement) 10/18/17 read
807. The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson (Amazon Vine ARC) 10/19/17
808. Protected by the Shadows by Helene Turstene (Amazon Vine ARC) 10/19/17
809. The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn by Margaret Willes (NetGalley) 10/19/17)
810. The Queen's Prophet by Dawn Patitucci (Amazon Vine ARC) 10/19/17
811. Alive in Shape and Color: 17 Paintings by Great Artists and the Stories They Inspired edited by Lawrence Block (Amazon Vine ARC) 10/19/17
812. Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer (Amazon Vine ARC) 10/20/17
813. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (Kindle Sale, $) 10/23/17
814. Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill (Kindle, Kindle Settlement, $$) 10/24/17 read
815. The Living Infinite by Chantal Acevedo (Kindle, Kindle Settlement, $$) 10/24/17 read
816. Lesser Evils by Joe Flanagan (Kindle, Kindle Settlement, $$) 10/24/17
817. The Balcony by Jane Delury (NetGalley) 10/30/17
818. The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley (NetGalley) 10/30/17
819. I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke (NetGalley) 10/30/17
820. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell (NetGalley) 10/30/17
821. The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley (NetGalley) 10/31/17
822. First Person by Richard Flanagan (From Publisher/NetGalley) 10/31/17
823. Winter by Ali Smith (From Publisher/NetGalley) 10/31/17
824. A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey (From Publisher/NetGalley) 10/31/17
825. The Monk Of Mokha by Dave Eggers (From Publisher/NetGalley) 10/31/17
826. The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky by Jana Casale (From Publisher/NetGalley) 10/31/17
827. Madness is Better Than Defeat by Ned Beauman (From Publisher/NetGalley) 11/1/17
828. Fade-Out by Patrick Tilley (NetGalley) 11/1/17
829. This is How It Ends by Eva Dolan (NetGalley) 11/1/17
830. The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn (NetGalley) 11/1/17
831. Videocracy: How YouTube Is Changing the World . . . with Double Rainbows, Singing Foxes, and Other Trends We Can’t Stop Watching by Kevin Allocca (NetGalley) 11/1/17
832. The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley (NetGalley) 11/1/17
833. The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-being of Nations by David Pilling (NetGalley) 11/1/17
834. The Clarity by Keith Thomas (NetGalley) 11/1/17
835. Neapolitan Chronicles by Ana Maria Ortese (Edelweiss e-galley) 11/2/17
836. The Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth (Audiobook, $$) 11/2/17
837. Victim Without a Face by Stefan Ahnhem (UK Kindle, RR) 11/2/17
838. The Toughest Indian in the World by Sherman Alexie (Kindle, Kindle Sale, $) 11/3/17
839. Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century by David Graham (Kindle, Kindle Sale, $) 11/3/17
840. Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella (NetGalley) 11/3/17
841. An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic by Daniel Mendelsohn (Kindle/Audiobook, $$) 11/3/17
842. A Blind Goddess by James R. Benn (Audiobook, $$) 11/3/17
843. Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America by Vegas Tenold (NetGalley) 11/3/17
844. Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots by Nancy Goldstone (NetGalley) 11/3/17
845. Great American Outpost: Fortune, Freedom, and Madness in the North Dakota Oilfield by Maya Rao (NetGalley) 11/3/17

Jul 30, 2017, 8:31pm Top

And Happy New Thread, Suz!

Jul 30, 2017, 8:35pm Top

Happy new one, Suz!

Edited: Jul 30, 2017, 9:12pm Top

Thanks for the early visits! I've left plenty of room to chronicle future acquisitions (rueful grimace...)

Although, truth be told, with ALA Midwinter and ALA both behind me now, hopefully there won't be that many acquisitions to log, other than Amazon Vine ARCs and NetGalley books.

A lovely ginger cat with a gorgeous fluffy tail followed me home on my walk, and all the way up onto my porch. He then sat right up on the doorstep, just waiting for me to get out my key so that he could saunter right indoors. Now, this gentleman was wearing a bright blue collar, which had a phone # that was so small I couldn't read it, and on the flip side, a notification, "Please Do Not Bring Inside." Clearly he has tried this before, or else people have assumed he's homeless and have catnapped him, thinking that they'd give him a good home. I lured him around the side of the house then raced back up to the porch and snuck in the door, and only JUST beat him back. He sat outside crying for me to come out and play -- or to let him in. So funny, but kinda sad. He's such a lovely cat and clearly just wants someone to hang out with, and his humans want him to be an outdoor cat. They -- and my cats -- would kill me if he ambled in chez moi and made himself at home.

Jul 30, 2017, 9:34pm Top

>18 Chatterbox:

His owners could learn that outdoor cats have shorter lives due to becoming prey or getting hit by cars or worse...

Jul 30, 2017, 10:53pm Top

Glad to see a new thread and saddened by the ginger cat story. I don't understand how people who care about their cats can turn them loose like that.

Edited: Jul 31, 2017, 1:16am Top

So many books at the top of your thread, I'm planning on reading The Devil and Webster this month, I went back to your older threads but couldn't find your thoughts on the book, so will have to ask you here.

From your Europe Editions list - The invisible mile by David Coventry won the NZ Best First Book Award last year, I started it but found it a bit too masculine and sporty so didn't persevere. I intend to have another go when it gets to be less popular at the library. I do read sport-themed books, just read and loved the Aussie crime novel, The rules of backyard cricket.

Edited: Jul 31, 2017, 4:06am Top

>21 avatiakh: The Devil and Webster was my book #118, which is one way to track my reviews down. All my mini-reviews are done chronologically, and have the numbers attached to them, so you just need to go back to the page that has #118 on it. Which in this case was post #56 on the previous thread. Here's the capsule review:

This was both a fun read, and very timely, and I suspect the two are related. Apparently the characters in this novel appeared in an earlier book by Korelitz, but I didn't read it, and it didn't make any difference. In any event... Naomi Roth, having helped her university, Webster College, out of a publicly embarrassing situation, was elected its president a decade ago, and now has settled more or less comfortably into that role, in spite of a handful of middle aged white men who resent her and a hostile executive assistant. Her closest friend runs the admissions department, and her daughter has settled in as a student at the college. But then, when what should have been an easy decision on tenure (a professor who hasn't published much at all, and whose sole published work turns out to be tainted by plagiarism is denied tenure) turns out to be the cause of a growing student protest on campus (the professor is tremendously popular among his students, both for his rapport with them and for his easy grading; he also, the reader learns, is African-American...), Naomi's life becomes harder. Herself a former radical, she tries to reach out to the student protestors, but they don't want to talk. They just want their professor given tenure -- an impossibility. (Nor can she discuss the reason, given the confidentiality that protects him.) The situation escalates... Think of any of the campus protests of recent years, and you've got the atmosphere that Korelitz has captured here, right down to the problems associated with Webster's own founder centuries earlier. Read it -- it's provocative, well-written, and a gripping fast read. I couldn't put it down. 4.35 stars.

Jul 31, 2017, 4:41am Top

>22 Chatterbox: Thanks. I just wasn't engaging my brain and went back to your 2nd thread. Great review, I'm fired up to read it all over again, I had probably added it to my to-read list after reading your review.
I'm adding it to a TIOLI challenge - read a book concerned with student protests.

Jul 31, 2017, 11:05am Top

Back on your other thread you mentioned that for the first time in your life that you don't have to worry about running out of things to read. I am now in that same boat. Thanks to ALA. I think my tendency to pick up books that sound interesting but that I can't read right now started back when I regularly ran out of things to read and the nearest public library was in the next town and I had no car. That is one of the things I thank Amazon for. I can get books sent right to the house - wherever the house may be. The USPS come to the end of the driveway and there is a package delivered. It is great.

But, still my major source of books is ALA. The years that I am on a committee I don't have as much time in the exhibit areas, so don't get as many books. That happened this summer. The number of books that you got far outstripped my haul. But having the meeting in Atlanta allowed me to pick up anything that caught my eye, and because I was driving and didn't have to worry about shipping, I did so. I was much more circumscript in Chicago because I simply wasn't in the exhibits, except for Friday night, late Sunday afternoon, and Monday morning. I did manage to have a fair haul, but nothing like Atlanta. The summer conference next year is in New Orleans and I will be driving to that, so I can gather till my hearts content.

I am very picky about reading YA and Children's books. I only read what really interests me, or titles that have won awards, but in Atlanta I picked up lots of them. I then mailed them, once I got back home, to my cousin who live in Wyoming and teaches in the Nebraska Panhandle, and my sister in Montana. It is harder for them to get free books, and both of them teach school, so I figure the ARC are going for a good cause. The 2018 ALA Mid-Winter will be in February in Denver and both my cousin and my sister plan on attending. I anticipate that there will be multiple boxes shipped at that conference.

Jul 31, 2017, 11:07am Top

I am about to finish reading Ready Player One. I wanted to get this one read before the movie comes out, and I have to confess that I a little disappointed in it. The ending is dissolving into just a lot of bang bang shoot'em up. Oh well, the view of the future in cyberspace is interesting.

Jul 31, 2017, 11:52am Top

I'd like to make it to Denver, as a former colleague and friend, a former WSJ journalist, now works as a librarian in Boulder and undoubtedly will make it to ALA this time. I'll start squirreling away pennies, but really I need the income side of the ledger to pick up, too. I was lucky in Chicago that I had a free place to stay, but doubt that I could repeat that in Denver, and that was crucial. Airfare and hotel, even a shared hotel? Gulp. Hard to imagine how I'd manage that. If anyone in my family gave me Xmas gifts, I suppose I would know what to ask for!

Jul 31, 2017, 5:32pm Top

Some trivia data points: so far this year, I have read 37 non-fiction books and my re-reads amount to only 22 books. That's fairly good going, since some of the re-reads were for book groups and/or challenges that I had set myself re tackling a series, so I'm generally pleased.

Though next month, I'm going to try to have my non-fiction reading amount to at least a third of the total!

Jul 31, 2017, 7:30pm Top

I rarely post here, but always check your reading matter..for additions to my LIST...you rarely let me down, you.

I love the cat story at #18...my Kitteh showed up on my doorstep, with collar...i guess it's 5 years ago. I was glad he was a Boy...he's my Baby, and a little pill, to boot

You're all good, Suze.

Jul 31, 2017, 11:33pm Top

>28 TheWorstOffender: So, what did you add to your list??

More data points: average monthly reading so far this year: 35.3 books. To reach my goal by December, I will only have to read 31 books a month. Woot!

Aug 1, 2017, 11:47am Top

HI Chatterbox! I hope all is well with you.

I agree with TheWorstOffender. Yours is a thread to watch for interesting reads and your reviews are a pleasure to read.

Aug 1, 2017, 3:17pm Top

>30 brodiew2: Thank you for the compliment!! Everything is more or less OK. Cassie is slowly improving on (very pricey) prescription food, after throwing a big health scare into me and requiring a trip to the vet. Cats! Good grief... But now I'm hoping it really is just inflammatory bowel, and reconciled to the lifelong rigorous diet/medication regime, rather than fearing the worst re lymphoma, which can be easily confused with IBD. I just couldn't afford to spend $4,000 for a surgical biopsy to confirm what it was, since first line treatments are the same anyway -- diet and steroids. So, all paws crossed.

Still not enough work. The less said about that, the better.

Tomorrow is sign up day for reading groups at the Providence Athenaeum. I have to decide which ones I'll go for -- perhaps the Faulkner?

Aug 1, 2017, 5:21pm Top

Another trivia tidbit: out of all those book acquisitions, only 81 were books I paid a full price for. And of those, 14 were books that I bought for a book group or other session. So really, "discretionary" book purchases -- including using Audible audiobook credits -- amounted to only 67. Which is pretty good. Yes, I know I sound as if I'm rationalizing.

Aug 1, 2017, 10:07pm Top

So, my friend Gerit just got a hand-typed note of appreciation and thanks from none other than David McCullough, acknowledging her just-published book, Botanical Shakespeare. It reads, in part, "your book is a visual and literary banquet." What a wonderful tribute to her -- I'm so thrilled for her!! :-)

Aug 1, 2017, 10:15pm Top

Oh that's wonderful.

Aug 2, 2017, 6:52am Top

>33 Chatterbox: Whoa, that's fantastic!

Happy new thread!

Aug 2, 2017, 1:35pm Top

>29 Chatterbox:
I take note of everything you read, since your taste is, more or less, akin to mine. That being said, I've been "reading" The Sport of Kings: A Novel all year. The writing style is a bit awkward and my attention span can plummet to Zero, on a given day....oy

Aug 2, 2017, 4:09pm Top

>36 TheWorstOffender: Oh dear, I have that from the Athenaeum, and I want to read and return it this month...

Aug 2, 2017, 6:56pm Top

I have had that novel on my TBR wishlist since it came out. Now I am glad I didn't buy it, but I am still curious about it, so perhaps will see if a library has it.

Aug 2, 2017, 7:04pm Top

>37 Chatterbox: The Sport of Kings is in the UK Kindle Summer Sale @ £1.99

Aug 3, 2017, 6:05pm Top

>39 elkiedee: Luci, you are an enabler. Not only did I acquire it, but a few others. Sigh.

Aug 3, 2017, 6:58pm Top

Suz, here is the link to the thread I started about getting a group together on Sept. 9.


Aug 4, 2017, 4:30pm Top

>22 Chatterbox: Just finished The Devil and Webster and was mightily entertained by the plot even though I found it hard to like anyone in the book. My TIOLI listing has generated 4 shared reads.

Aug 4, 2017, 4:39pm Top

>42 avatiakh: - I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it, as I'm one of the ones intending to share that read with you!

Edited: Aug 4, 2017, 6:53pm Top

>42 avatiakh:, >43 katiekrug:
Very pleased that is working out well! I thought it was timely, well written, and intriguing, even if it didn't rise to the level of "wow" that earns a five star rating from me. I also thought it was rather brave of her to tackle the subject at all, all things considered...

I feel stuck reading very lightweight stuff, thanks to my damned head and a general lack of energy. I'm making a quick dash to NYC tomorrow, returning Monday, the first time leaving Cassie to fend for herself post diagnosis. But she is faring quite well. Chirping away, eating, drinking (a lot -- which is the steroids at work). I still have not discovered which cat is responsible for the diarrhea, however.

OK, off to find an ice pack and lie down for a while.

Aug 4, 2017, 8:40pm Top

>44 Chatterbox: Good luck with that "damned head" Suz. xx

Aug 4, 2017, 9:43pm Top

I have been reading mostly light weight stuff as well. Maybe it is the summer doldrums? But most likely it is my need to just veg out before school starts again.

Aug 6, 2017, 3:57pm Top

Singaporean chick lit -- LOL -- two variants of that!! And Billy Boyle mysteries from Soho, which I've finally gotten around to reading/listening to.

Battling migraines off and on.

Luckily last night was an "Off" night because I went with a friend to see the almost final performance of "Indecent" on Broadway. A play about a play by Sholem Asch -- utterly brilliant and superbly directed. May have been one of the best plays I've seen this year. I really didn't know what to expect, but it was excellent. The story of a play the featured the first lesbian kiss on Broadway, but really a play about artistic creation, love, identity, anti-semitism, the United States and immigrants, etc. And just so wonderfully creative. An hour and 45 minutes, no intermission, and I never once thought to look at my watch.

Aug 6, 2017, 8:12pm Top

I've got two or three of those Billy Boyle mysteries. I haven't read them yet. I didn't know they were available in audio recording. Are the recordings good?

Aug 6, 2017, 8:25pm Top

The first one is meh -- the main character is from Boston and the narrator kind of muddles up the south Boston accent, which is kind of crucial, since it's a first person tale! Not annoying enough for me to try book two, but still. I'll probably read books three and four, which the Athenaeum has on the shelves. And the narrators change midway.

Edited: Aug 6, 2017, 8:39pm Top

According to LT there are now 12 of these mysteries. I diidn't realize there were that many. The ones I have are later in the series and I picked up number 12 in Chicago. Since I am driving home I will check to see if the public library has any of the recorded versions and if so can get it so I can listen on the way home.

My long drive listening series is now the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. These are children's books along the Harry Potter/Eragon continuemum, but the narration is very well done and they are a rollicking good fantasy/adventure for kids - and for me to listen to while driving. Unfortunately, the public library doesn't have book 2 Flyte in the series in the recorded version so I am trying to get it through Inter-Library Loan. So far no luck, but I am hoping that something will come through before I leave.

Aug 15, 2017, 12:22pm Top

Catching up at long last. How wonderful that McCullough sent your friend a praiseful note. That's a real wow.

Aug 21, 2017, 3:44pm Top

Just reporting back on my trip and thanking you again for the terrific London recommendations! It was a great 2 weeks, we loved Cornwall and Wales, and the 4 days in London were perfect (cool and rainy, unlike the rest of Europe).

I thought I saw a FB post about a not-to-be-missed historical novel, but now I can't find it. Do you recall what it was?

Aug 22, 2017, 5:43pm Top

>52 vivians: Possibly The Weight of Ink, which is a dual narrative novel, partly set in the Jewish community of Restoration London, and partly set in a more or less contemporary time, all revolving around the rediscovery of old manuscripts long-hidden in a house in Richmond, England? That was a standout. The Good People by Hannah Kent, set in Ireland circa 1830 or so, was also very good (if not as remarkable as her debut novel) and I liked The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson. The latter two were on the longlist for the Walter Scott prize for historical fiction; have yet to read Sebastian Barry's prize, which won. Birdcage Walk, which sadly will be Helen Dunmore's final work, also was fascinating -- about the conflict between progressive thinkers and their conservative opponents, as seen through the lens of a single family in Bristol on the eve of the Reign of Terror in France. Dunmore being the kind of author who she was, the businessman/son-in-law has secrets of his own to hide...

Welcome back!!!

Meanwhile, I went to Boston to be part of the 15,000-strong counter-protest to the 50-strong "free speech" (translate "hate speech") event last Saturday. It was fun, I saw no violence at all anywhere near where I was. Of course, I did get (a) an epic migraine and (b) some kind of weird reaction to either the sun (which was intense) or the sunscreen that someone let me use, and now my arms have all kinds of itchy bumps all over them. At least the migraine is finally leaving. And the alt-right trolls had the freedom to hold their event in safety -- I even heard of counter-protestors helping some of those folks get through the crowds to the alt-right event sight safely, quite a contrast to Charlottesville (yes, OK, there was some yelling, but...) A few twits wanted more drama for their protest dollar, I guess, and tried to block a street later, but that was just ridiculous.

Can't believe how many ARCs I have to read.

On the down side, I got booted from the Athenaeum's Faulkner reading group. Allegedly too many people signed up and I drew the short straw? I think I'm not part of the inner circle yet.

Aug 25, 2017, 7:14am Top

>54 ffortsa: nasty about the Faulkner group.

Aug 25, 2017, 2:09pm Top

>55 Chatterbox: Yeah, not fun. I had a v. weird first conversation with the Athenaeum director when he called to tell me. It sounded -- and this may have been migraine brain -- as if he was telling me that I was perfectly free to just leave the Ath altogether if I wasn't happy, which kinda took me aback. I was feeling better the next day, went in to pick up some books on hold, and was trying to figure out my status in one of the other groups I had signed up for, but that I hadn't gotten a confirmation for. Morgan, my buddy over there, took down a note and said he's try to find out. Matt, the director, called me back again, and I challenged him about his comments, and he was very apologetic. He was insistent that that wasn't what he had meant; that the Ath had screwed up, etc. I am still pretty sure that if I were part of the inner circle, I wouldn't have been cut...

Oh well. Meanwhile, reading/listening my way through the "Billy Boyle" series of mysteries by James Benn. Finally got around to reading His Bloody Project, which was odd and disconcerting (a Man Booker longlist book from last year that a friend has been raving about; I have an ARC of the author's new novel waiting for me.) But I may need something lighter.

Aug 25, 2017, 2:26pm Top

>56 _Zoe_: It seems strange that they wouldn't decide in advance how many spots they had available, and do sign-up on a first-come, first-served basis....

Edited: Aug 25, 2017, 10:43pm Top

>57 Chatterbox: I think there was a technical problem of some kind, but nobody seemed able to explain it clearly. Whatever it was, they confirmed more people than they could accommodate, and had to decide who to remove. They say I signed up too late, but I did so within 3 minutes of registration opening -- and this is at the Providence Athenaeum's book groups, not buying tickets for Bruce Springsteen's farewell concert tour online, or something. Which is why I'm a little bit skeptical. But of course, I don't have any evidence that this is incorrect. So, whatever. I have to give in graciously and not throw a tantrum about it.

Just finished the new "Scotland Street" series book by Alexander McCall Smith, and I have to say I'm rather miffed. He decided to play a theme that I think is serious -- women's attempts to make progress in the workplace and fight systemic discrimination -- for satire and laughs. One of his characters is an endearing and hapless father and husband, bullied by his appalling wife who spouts Jungian slogans, cheats on him, and instructs him that he has to abandon his privilege. He applies for a promotion, and it's made clear to him that he doesn't stand a chance: the other applicants are both women, he's not to include his education qualifications or professional accomplishments on his application form, and his mission statement has to be all about apologizing for being male. Sorry, but this is still too serious an issue to play for yucks in this way, flippantly, without any serious attempt to counterbalance it. There are no women professionals in these books, even, bar one academic: they are housewives and mothers, assistants, café owners, etc. Blech. A full half point deducted for this.

Aug 26, 2017, 4:55am Top

>51 sibyx: Ooh, looking forward to this one. Such a fun set-up.

Hope your next book group sign-up is less painful.
I am feeling a bit snowed under with the tbr otherwise would be going through your latest acquisitions with great care and attention.

Edited: Aug 27, 2017, 8:39pm Top

>59 Chatterbox: My book acquisitions are all a proxy for the things I can't do, like travel. My migraines are so bad and my finances are a little too precarious for that to be viable. Plus, between my mother's poor health and my friend's uncertain medical problems in NYC, and a sick cat, I just feel as if I'm still juggling so much other stuff beyond my control that to have some books -- most of them free! -- keeps me happy

I do need to dig in and resume reporting on the books I've read. Although if you want to read a bit about what I've read on the non-fiction front, there is the non-fiction challenge thread. Right now, I'm reading an ARC allegedly about living with chronic pain that really isn't living up to expectations, Backbone: Living with Chronic Pain Without Turning Into One by Karen Duffy.

But the latest Miss Kopp book was a winner -- almost back to the form displayed in book #1, after a somewhat disappointing second book. It hangs together, instead of feeling segmented/choppy.

I just feel the need to read escapist stuff. I can't help it...

Aug 28, 2017, 12:22pm Top

Oh dear. Just found out I'm not registered for one of my two remaining Athenaeum reading groups. More technical difficulties. "But we'll put you on the waiting list..." This was the group that I belonged to last year, that I said I wanted to return to, that I thought was holding a place for me, and that I assumed, when I couldn't submit something online, meant that they had already registered me. Silly me. It turns out it was a technical glitch at their end. So now I'm down to one group. Maybe. I just e-mailed the organizer to find out whether I really exist for THEM.

Aug 29, 2017, 2:59am Top

I'm immersed in listening to a "re-read" of An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris. It's just as good on audio as it was to read, and precisely the right amount of time has passed for me to re-read it; I can't remember all the little details, and am reveling in the suspense and intrigue, as Colonel Picard finds himself inexorably drawn into the Dreyfus case by his sense of honor and justice, almost against his will. I love complicated characters like this, and especially relish finding them in genre fiction.

Aug 29, 2017, 11:22am Top

>62 ffortsa: I read that sometime in the last year. Wonderful book.

Aug 29, 2017, 11:25am Top

>62 ffortsa: - I've had that on my Kindle since you originally read it and raved about it. I should, um, maybe read it soon...

Aug 29, 2017, 12:08pm Top

I finished listening to it late last night, with the result that I'm stumbling around here today, all groggy and sleep deprived. But it's just impossible to stop listening, just as it's impossible to put down and stop reading. Usually, I'll program my Kindle Fire to shut off after 30 minutes, by which point I'm asleep. This time? I kept having to reset it, over and over and over. Until -- the end.

Aug 29, 2017, 2:42pm Top

Thanks for the update about the Kopp third book. Great to hear it lives up to the first. Trying to resist adding >62 ffortsa: to the audible list. Ha! Faint hope.

Aug 29, 2017, 5:17pm Top

>13 Chatterbox: Who knew Tom Hanks was writing!? Uncommon Type: Some Stories. Certainly not me :)

This year I have acquired a total of 27 books. Probably the price of my total equals the price of your total!!

>62 ffortsa: well then, maybe I should WL it. And I agree about there being a sweet spot in time for rereading. Just long enough that all the details are foggy

Aug 29, 2017, 6:22pm Top

>67 Chatterbox: They are all based (the stories in the tome, I mean) around a typewriter in Hanks' collection of typewriters. I have not yet read it, so have no idea whether or not this works or is just a little precious. I confess it sounds a bit too much as if it falls into the latter category, which is why I haven't read any of the stories, but -- it was a FREE BOOK. My resistance is zero when confronted with these.

>66 LovingLit: Speaking of resistance, I would suggest not resisting the lure of this book. Really. it's honestly one of the best audiobooks I could recommend. The epitome of a thumping good read. I would say that about all of Harris's works (his latest was very meh), but I think this is probably his best novel, ever. And the narration is excellent.

Aug 30, 2017, 11:35pm Top

OK, I have apparently been booted from all THREE of my Athenaeum reading groups. The Faulkner group for space, then the contemps group because technical glitches meant I couldn't register. So I reached out to the organizer of the third group, for which I had a confirmation online that I had registered, to tell her that I couldn't make the first meeting but that I'd be at the rest and just be sure that I WAS on the list. And got the following response: "I am so very sorry to have to tell you that at present we find it necessary to limit membership in our Book Group. There are few things I dislike more than having to discourage an enthusiastic reader. We are restrained by the physical limitations of the meeting room and our need to remain a "discussion" group." When I asked about the fact that I had a confirmation e-mail, she told me that only the group leader (her) can confirm membership in the group. Unbelievable. Multiple expletives deleted. Of course, until I asked her, she hadn't told me that I WASN'T part of the group. WTF???

Aug 31, 2017, 2:35am Top

>69 PawsforThought: What? How poorly can things be handled, exactly?

Aug 31, 2017, 10:09am Top

>69 PawsforThought: - That's ridiculous.

Edited: Aug 31, 2017, 1:02pm Top

Can you spell "secret club"? That's really what it feels like. I feel as if I have been black-balled. Each individually (well, except the last one) has a logical explanation. The third case? I don't even know this woman. But it sounds as if she's assembling a group of her chosen buddies. I don't understand. The good news in this mess is that when I talked to the executive director about it, he was astounded, and embarrassed (even though it was his decision that I was one of the folks to be ousted from the Faulkner group) and is looking into the whole mess. Clearly, group admissions need to be standardized, he says. Erm, no kidding? I just e-mailed a friend who ran the excellent Sebald discussion group last year to say an extra thanks for letting me participate at all!!!

Aug 31, 2017, 1:48pm Top

I'm glad you talked to the ED about it. I was going to suggest that, but sometimes I realize people don't want unsolicited advice! They best make it up to you - free membership for a year?!?!

Hoping to see you on the 9th! We seem to be getting a good group together...

Aug 31, 2017, 5:11pm Top

>73 Chatterbox: Yup, got free membership for a year. Did you read my mind?? :-) But I still don't have a book group... :-(

Aug 31, 2017, 5:31pm Top

Well yay for free!

Maybe start your own?

Sep 1, 2017, 2:38am Top

You ARE reading my mind. I might even pitch it to the Athenaeum, though they are so clubby that I don't know whether it would work. Still, I could come up with a great reading list for a reading group of books focusing on expatriates and exiles in the 20th century. From Hemingway, Job by Jacob Roth and something like Pnin by by Nabokov, to Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin and then The Latecomers by Anita Brookner and Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys. Maybe a coming of age book like Necessary Errors by Caleb Crain, and then one or two books about modern dislocations -- maybe Salt Houses, which I haven't read yet, or Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky, or Adios, Happy Homeland by Ana Menendez. The Sympathizer would probably work, too. It would be fun to mix well known books with lesser known ones.

Edited: Sep 1, 2017, 3:04am Top

>76 charl08: Sounds good - I'd join that! Great theme. I'm intrigued by Jean Rhys as she comes up a lot in Flaneuse - such an interesting life.

Sep 3, 2017, 5:23pm Top

Sorry about your book club woes with the Athenaeum.

Sep 3, 2017, 5:41pm Top

>78 Chatterbox: I'm still bummed, and trying to tell myself that it will give me more time for my own reading. Which is true. And come spring, there's a risk of some personal stuff involving a friend that may surface and demand some time, so maybe all for the best? Looking for the bright side??!!

Am spending the weekend immersed in books. Finishing up a bunch that need to go back to the Athenaeum, from the lightweight (The Painted Queen, the posthumous conclusion the Amelia Peabody Egyptology mysteries) to the moderately serious nonfiction, like The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner. I've got more serious non-fiction tomes sitting here, too, and a few serious novels, but my bandwidth doesn't seem to stretch that far.

A few more Amazon Vine books just landed. People are getting booted from that program inexplicably, which is making me feel greedy and request every book I feel the slightest urge to read. So I got something about Martin Luther and the Reformation, and a non-fiction tome called "False Dawn" about the Arab Spring -- the title should give you a hint of its focus. Also recently arrived is Victor Klemperor's diary, etc. about Munich in 1919, from Polity, a left-leaning publisher that sends a lot of its books to Vine. They've got an interesting lineup, but some books just start from too much of a premise for my taste. I've read Klemperor's diaries from the Nazi era, however, and I expect this will be fascinating.

>77 thornton37814: I read about Jean Rhys in a book about literary couples a while back; Between the Sheets by Lesley McDowell. It also included h.d. (Hilda Doolittle) and Sylvia Plath, and, if I recall correctly, Rebecca West -- women who were powerful figures, but whose intimate relationships all shaped and/or distorted their work, either because they reacted badly to specific relationships and struggled to find men who could understand their strength and their talent and accept both, or because they were taken advantage of by the men they knew. I think the only one of Rhys's books that I've read is Wide Sargasso Sea but it seems that a good one for an expatriate reading themed group might be Voyage in the Dark. I'd have to re-read one and read the other to decide, and try to make sure there weren't overlaps (i.e. not too many "people in Paris in the interwar years", etc. If I did it at all.)

Sep 3, 2017, 6:00pm Top

Not many people in interwar Paris in Wide Sargasso Sea - it's a sort of take on Mr Rochester's first wife. She has come from the Caribbean to England, but her situation is very different from that of English and American expats in Paris/Europe (or other expats there).

Sep 3, 2017, 6:15pm Top

>80 Chatterbox: Yes, I know about Wide Sargasso Sea, but I'm wondering about some of Rhys' other novels, which I think DO focus more on the experience of her contemporaries in that era. (1930s-ish) Good Morning, Midnight and After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie are both set in Paris; the main character in the former had lived there for a while, but I don't know what era. Voyage in the Dark's heroine is from the West Indies and living in London as an expat and a bit of a drifter, so the London element is a bit different. It's just that all Americans and Brits seemed to go to Paris, didn't they?!

Thinking of this, could even add Tom Rachman's, The Imperfectionists to the list...

Sep 3, 2017, 6:18pm Top

She was neither American nor British - she was from Dominica.

Sep 3, 2017, 6:33pm Top

>82 Chatterbox: Yes, I know. My point wasn't specific to Rhys; it was that there are so many books about American and British characters, regardless of the nationality of the authors, in general, flocking to Paris in this critical period. It seems as if relatively few of them (if they traveled) seemed to go to Africa, or Peru, or even Japan. The authors went to Paris, and their döppelgangers went to Paris too... Of course, having said that -- Thomas Mann sent his characters to Switzerland, and Venice! And Maugham, in at least one book, sent them off to China.

Sep 4, 2017, 9:04am Top

Seems like I lost your thread! Whoops!
Nothing to add to the discussion but dropping my star so I don't lose you again

Edited: Sep 4, 2017, 5:18pm Top

>84 Chatterbox: Welcome back to the fray! You haven't missed all that much, sadly, just a lot of dithering around on my part...

Sep 5, 2017, 3:46pm Top

I, too, have re-found your thread and am getting armloads of book bullets here, as usual.

I'm surprised to hear that people are losing interest in Amazon Vine. They like getting the stuff but hate doing the reviews perhaps? I tried there for awhile but never did get picked for it. Nowadays, I have a hard time motivating myself to write anything about the books I've read so it's just as well. Add the latest read to the list of finished books and then move on to the next one is about it.

Edited: Sep 5, 2017, 11:20pm Top

>86 Chatterbox: It's not so much that they are losing interest -- Vine is tossing them out, for reasons unknown and unexplained. Very perplexing to all of us. I've survived the latest cull, but who knows how much longer I'll last??

Just discovered a new mystery series that I really quite like, exactly what I need (she said sarcastically...) It starts out with Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas.

Sep 5, 2017, 11:38pm Top

>87 lindapanzo: oh ok, I misunderstood. It seems strange to boot out well regarded reviewers.

Sep 6, 2017, 5:04am Top

Suzanne, have you come across this article in the Irish Times? I thought you might be interested in it if you hadn't as yet seen it. The writer’s calling is now, increasingly, an unremunerated one

Sep 6, 2017, 1:08pm Top

>89 Chatterbox: Actually, you know what stopped me dead in that article? The idea that someone who is self-employed is allowed to collect any kind of government benefits -- job-seeker's benefit, or unemployment insurance or welfare. That does NOT happen here. If I'm unemployed here, I'm just unemployed. It's up to me to find work. Which is why I am literally on the poverty line this year. Being self-employed means I don't even qualify for food stamps or anything else. It's assumed that I'm just lazy in not getting more work, that I'm just choosing not to work harder. Or in not getting a "real" job. Sigh. Sorry, but this has been a vicious, brutal year. Even one piece of work that I thought I had landed (writing a white paper) was canceled after I had developed an outline for the client.

>88 avatiakh: Yes, it's very weird. I'm just grateful that they haven't tossed me -- free books have saved my sanity this summer!

Sep 10, 2017, 1:21pm Top

Finally have gotten rid of a migraine (I think/hope.) It started Thursday, was vicious on Friday, was in abeyance for part of the day on Saturday but still niggling -- I ventured out to the NYC meetup with Katie, Judy & Jim, Vivian, Reba and her husband, Katherine and Elizabeth from Club Read. But by the time I got on the train, it was back. Which means it was a miracle that I realized that my red cap (a new guy I'd never seen before) had put me on the WRONG TRAIN. I was chatting to the conductor before the rest of the folks boarded, and she happened to mention she had brought the train from New Haven to NYC, and I stopped dead. "Wait a minute, isn't this train going TO New Haven, and on to Providence and Boston?" Erm, nope, it was bound for Washington. Utter panic. I had ten minutes to get off (with bags), find the right platform, and get on the right train. Thank heavens for the conductor and a wonderful woman from Penn Station's staff (which I think very, very highly of.) I wish I had stopped to get their names, but I'll try to back track so that they get acknowledged. I fell onto the train just as the doors were closing. So all last night had another migraine, and into this morning. Piffle. It seems to have cleared -- touch wood.

I plan to spend a very, VERY quiet afternoon reading and napping, however. At least now I CAN read, as long as the head behaves.

Sep 10, 2017, 1:28pm Top

Ooof, sorry about the train mix-up! It was great to see you yesterday - thanks for coming out!

Have a good, quiet afternoon.

Sep 10, 2017, 1:50pm Top

Oooh! Sorry to hear about your migraines, and the trouble with the trains. I'm guessing you had a good time at the meetup, at least? And hoping you get a really quiet afternoon with a healthy amount of reading.

Sep 10, 2017, 1:58pm Top

Glad to hear you made it to the meet-up. I have enjoyed every LT meet-up I have participated in. The last one, it so happened, that you were there.

I am sorry about your migraine. Mine subsided with age, but they were hormone related. Much different scenerio than with you.

Also sorry to hear about the train mix-up. It helps that the train station people were so helpful.

Sep 10, 2017, 10:45pm Top

I was very lucky with the trains! I've always laughed before when the conductor has come on and said "anyone not going to Boston, this is your last chance to get off..." But then I've never had a completely inept red cap (for those who don't know, they put passengers on before general boarding and help with luggage) put me on the wrong train before. Just... wow. I'm glad for the sake of others that I was the only passenger he was "helping" or we would have had to retrieve others, as well -- UGH.

Yes, this has been a bummer of a migraine year. I think my neurologist will want me to raise my Topamax dosage yet again. I'm kind of out of options.

Just finished reading Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie and it's excellent. I hadn't realized, however, that it's loosely based on "Antigone" -- that's how well Shamsie roots her narrative in the here and now and how convincing it is in its own terms and how firmly it stands on its own feet. Five stars. Hopefully it will make the Booker shortlist.

Now finishing Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford. I never read his debut novel, although I thought Songs of Willow Frost was OK/good and that's pretty much where I am on this one, too. He's milking the same themes fairly consistently, it seems, or similar ones. Which is OK, but... Glad this was an ARC.

Sep 11, 2017, 6:27am Top

Man Booker - I was going to say I saw the shortlist at a library last week - but that can't be the case because the shortlist isn't out until Wednesday 13 September.

I'm in the queue for Kamila Shamsie and Arundhati Roy but hoping that the Shamsie doesn't come through too soon because I've already got several threatening to come through at once, there's one copy and other reservations after me, and I'm away and unlikely to read much 23-27 September.

Shamsie says that she was asked to write a play based on Antigone - she didn't but she wrote this novel instead.

Jamie Ford - my memory is that Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was a good read but OK/good is also how I remember it. I was drawn to the WWII setting and the Chinese-American and Japanese-American characters and so slightly different perspective.

Sep 11, 2017, 7:32am Top

Oh, no! I'm sorry to hear about the migraine and the train mix-up! The times that I've traveled by train, I've been utterly dependent on those Red Caps; I would have been a basket case in your situation! I'm so glad you were able to get on the right train in time.

Sep 11, 2017, 10:16am Top

What a lousy train mix-up! Hope you have a better week and hope the test results news is good. Great to see you again.

Sep 11, 2017, 11:58am Top

>96 scaifea: All three books are set in Seattle; all involve characters who are young, Chinese-American boys; all are coming of age stories (and two of three have dual narratives, which include a "later day" adult version of the hero looking back.) In two of the three, the heroine is Japanese American, a childhood friend turned love interest. The era is the same: Seattle circa 1910-1940. There's a substantial lack of any attempt to diversify, here. And it felt as if I were reading the same boy's story -- the voice isn't distinctive enough. (I'm talking about Jamie Ford.) If he were a stronger builder of characters, or if he were writing about real-life individuals, I wouldn't be mildly irritated. And it's quite readable. It's just also forgettable.

I'll be curious to see what's on the Booker shortlist. I have now read three of the books on the longlist: Exit West and The Underground Railroad, both last year, and now Home Fire, and I'd be happy to see any of these on the short list. I just dipped into my NetGalley copy of Autumn by Ali Smith, and am not sure what to make of it. I have History of Wolves here and may pick that up next and get it read by Wednesday's announcement. I also have the Paul Auster novel (intimidatingly large ARC), Sebastian Barry's novel (I'm not a big fan of his novels, so have been bumping it...) and Lincoln in the Bardo which is an Amazon Vine ARC with a review that is overdue. So I may end up reading 8 or 9 of the longlist total, if I read Reservoir 13. Am not sure I will read the Arundhati Roy novel. Her last book (nonfiction) annoyed me so much with its polemics (you MUST think like I do, or you are this, or that, and if you don't believe in precisely this way, then you are doomed to be tortured in hell -- I hate people who TELL me what I MUST think instead of setting out to show me why a certain set of convictions is most rational.) I would have thrown it at the wall had it not been a NetGalley book on my (then Nook device.)

>97 vivians: >98 Chatterbox:

I'm so glad that my migraine finally seems to have left and that my head is clear again -- for now. Not only because I'll be able to avoid train mixups by asking questions like "so this really is the Boston train??" when there were things that puzzled me (it was shorter than usual, other people weren't leaving the waiting area and I knew that they, too, were going to Boston, etc.) but because I can think coherently. I'm just not to be counted on to remember accurately or in detail when I'm in migraine-brain mode, as I was from Weds night until yesterday evening.

Thanks for the good wishes, Vivian. Hopefully will have some good news on Weds. Fingers, toes, paws all crossed. Meanwhile, came home to find the official notice telling me that I have no health insurance as of 8/31. (Can't afford it...) Hoping I'll be able to get back in at the end of the year. Meanwhile, I can use GoodRx to cut the price of prescriptions.

Sep 11, 2017, 12:36pm Top

Yes, I've only read one Jamie Ford book but do see what you're saying.

Man Booker - I've read two on the longlist, Swing Time and Exit West. Lincoln in the Bardo was a Kindle bargain a few months ago, and I have Amazon Vine arcs and Netgalleys of several of the others.

Eek re health insurance.

Sep 11, 2017, 2:05pm Top

>99 elkiedee:

Hi - not sure if you have other chronic health qualifiers, but an old friend qualified
for Disability Health Insurance because of disabling migraines.
Hope you are close to Medicare!
Disability Organizations may also help you find affordable health care.

Sep 11, 2017, 2:49pm Top

Nope, still a decade away from Medicare, and I wouldn't qualify for disability. It's a VERY uphill battle for someone with migraines, as your friend will probably tell you. The mere fact that I can do work might be enough to disqualify me for any benefits, as might the fact that I have been self-employed. It's a bit of a mess. I may eventually have to go that route, but for now, at least, I don't need a lot of healthcare spending, and it's actually cheaper to self insure. Absent, of course, a catastrophe... Which is why I'm hoping that I'll be able to get back on the rolls in January. A lot will depend on where I'm at financially, and what the premiums are.

Sep 11, 2017, 2:54pm Top

I agree with you about the Jamie Ford books. I read one, and then read a second and it felt like I was reading the same book. I do think that I learned much about the history of the city of Seattle from Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I was unaware that there was a separate Japantown and Chinatown. I thought it was all Chinatown. But one book with almost the same plot is enough.

Sep 11, 2017, 5:07pm Top

So, can now say I have read four of the Man Booker longlisted books! History of Wolves is a very worthwhile debut novel, both beautifully written and compelling. Obviously unputdownable, since I read it in a single sitting. That said, it's a quintessential coming of age novel that telegraphs a bit too much of what's going on, and while excellent, doesn't quite measure up to the rival novels that I've read. It's just not in the same league. Fridlund could be, one day, depending on how she develops. I'm wavering on my rating, but it will be in the 4.2 to 4.35 range. Memorable, but not remarkable.

>103 Chatterbox:, Yes and from what I've heard of Ford's debut novel, he's written very similar novels three times: coming of age novels featuring a Chinese-American young man in Seattle in almost the same era. ENOUGH. The backdrops differ, but not adequately. The test will be whether can write about different characters and settings and eras.

Sep 11, 2017, 5:33pm Top

>104 katiekrug: - I think some others had a similar reaction to History of Wolves - good and promising but a bit heavy-handed... It's on my library list but I'm in no hurry to get to it.

Sep 11, 2017, 6:44pm Top

I thought it was very, very good -- I think I might not have been as impressed if I had been coming off a period of fabulous reading instead of some mostly bleah/OK/formula/series books. This was head and shoulders above that. My only question was whether it was a Man Booker nominee. I wouldn't expect it be shortlisted. But I've been wrong before!

Sep 11, 2017, 7:24pm Top

OMG, what a terrible time you're having. It was really good of you to come to the meet-up with a migraine. I had those for several years and know how awful they are. I'm glad it got better and that you managed to catch the right train, even though the experience must have been exhausting. Anyway, it was great meeting you. Sorry we didn't get more time to talk but hope we can do it again someday and have more time.

Sep 11, 2017, 11:05pm Top

Sheesh! Dealing with mis-information with a migraine! I'm glad you're savvy and smart.
Continue to feel well, please.

Sep 12, 2017, 2:37am Top

>107 LizzieD: Hi Reba! Thanks for visiting! I think I was in the eye of the migraine hurricane, to borrow some contemporary parlance, or I wouldn't have ventured out... I'm a little more savvy than that. Still, was not at my best. Sorry we didn't have time to chat; wish I had heard more about your thoughts about the Morgan Library. (curses on seating arrangements...) Hope you relish the remainder of the time in NYC before heading back to sea breezes... Definitely hope to see you again.

>108 Chatterbox: Hello, Peggy! Yes, that's a first for the red cap brigade. I rely on them and they have never, ever let me down before. This guy was very young and I hadn't seen him before, so it's possible he's brand new. I had showed him my ticket, told him my destination, etc., etc. Oh well, first time for everything. Just hope it's a last time, as well! At least it was a Saturday and not a holiday weekend/peak travel season.

Sep 12, 2017, 10:46am Top

>109 m.belljackson:

Maybe Fruit Basket Upset could work at Meet ups so seat mates change every hour or so...?

Sep 12, 2017, 12:47pm Top

>110 Chatterbox: Excellent idea, especially at the Morgan, where we weren't kind of shoehorned into a corner and where changing seats would have been a bit of a nightmare. Something to bear in mind for the next meetup I attend, when/wherever that happens to be.

Sep 12, 2017, 5:22pm Top

>102 benitastrnad: Chatterbox

The deadline for ACA is now, December 15....not January.....thank 45 for that one

Sep 12, 2017, 7:06pm Top

>112 Chatterbox: Yes, I did put that on my calendar, but thanks for the reminder.

Sep 13, 2017, 1:21am Top

Well past time for me to do some mini-reviews...

211. The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

The first in what Soho Press promises will be a new series, featuring an intriguing sleuth: a Parsi woman in India, circa the early 1920s. Perveen Mistry is Bombay's first female lawyer, and has a different and non-traditional past, including a stint at university in England. Now back and trying to practice with her father in Bombay, she attempts to bridge tradition and modernity, and England and India. Suddenly, she finds herself with a real case when three widows of a Muslim businessman, in strict purdah, require legal guidance, ostensibly to sign away some of their dower rights. Are they being unduly influenced, and if so, who's behind the scheme? Then there's a murder... This isn't quite as compelling as the early Rei Shimura mysteries, and some of the attempts to build out Perveen's character and her friendship with her college friend are awkward, but it's an interesting yarn, and I like Massey's books well enough to keep reading. 4.15 stars.

212. Sycamore Row by John Grisham

The reason I picked this up to read was that it featured Jake Brigance, the hero of Grisham's overlooked debut legal mystery, the one he wrote before The Firm made him famous, and which is quite good, A Time to Kill. Several years after he won his famous case, Jake is struggling personally and financially, an apparent contradiction in terms. Then a big will contest drops into his lap, when a local man, almost unknown to everyone around him, leaves a multi-million dollar estate to his black housekeeper. Why on earth would he disinherit his family and do this? It's a tangled yarn, full of feuding lawyers. That said, the reason becomes evident too early on, to a reasonably wide awake reader familiar with the Jim Crow south. Still, the tale is worth 3.85 stars.

213. Punishment by Linden MacIntyre

This is a Canadian author who should be better known south of the border, and the story is a fascinating and convoluted one of the complex ties between a middle-aged former prison guard and a younger man, and former inmate at the facility where the former man once worked. They are linked by events in that prison, and then by the death of a young woman in the town to which both have now returned. Another returnee is a peer of older man, who left Canada to join the US military, serve in Vietnam and then in the police in Boston, only to leave after running into "problems." What is justice, really, and who has the right to deliver it? This is a compelling tale that I couldn't put down. 4.3 stars. (Read for Canada Day...)

214. The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession by Andrea Wulf

After reading Andrea Wulf's excellent book about Alexander von Humboldt, I decided to double back and read her earlier tome in my collection about botanists and botanizing, and about how the rather humdrum collections of English gardeners and botanists were vastly expanded during the 18th century through the efforts and networks of a handful of enthusiastic collectors in North America. Wulf recounts the difficulties of collecting and transporting specimens in an era in which they could be ruined by salt water or captured by ships of nations with which Britain was at war; the trials of climbing a towering spruce to collect its cones, of traveling over mountainous regions where no paths existed, etc. She chronicles the sometimes irritable and strained relationships between the demanding customers in Britain and the unappreciated and hardworking providers in the United States/colonies, who would go on the road for weeks or months at a time with long "wish lists" to fulfill the dreams of nurserymen, garden designers and the noblemen who set the fashion for lavish parklands full of exotica. Very highly recommended. 4.4 stars. Probably should be higher, as this was very memorable.

215. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Once I pushed past the first few pages (which I tried and failed to do several times) and shrugged off my aversion to what seemed like a twee idea for a book within a book, I absolutely loved this dual narrative mystery. At first, I was annoyed that this first half, set in the 1950s as a classic crime novel, appeared to end as a cliffhanger, to morph into a second and different mystery -- what happened to the author of that novel. But it all hangs together cleverly, and to say too much about it would be to spoil the twists and turns and fun of it all. 4.5 stars, a thumping good read.

216. A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

I have to confess that even had I not obtained an ARC of this, I might have purchased it, having read the two previous chunksters, in which case I really would have wasted my money. Do not waste yours. Get it from the library if you must read it. It's very very long, and very, very predictable. All set in the Tudor era, and full of characters who are what they appear to be, either black or white (Follett doesn't deal in shades of grey, or subtlety). Since it's Mary Tudor, you know that there will be burning at the stake; since it's Elizabeth, you know that there will be Mary Queen of Scots, various plots involving Catholic priests, etc. And of course, a divided family. The characters are two-dimensional. Is there anything else you'd care to know? Plod, plod, plod. Very episodic. A demonic inquisitor does evil things to lots of people. Etcetera. I'm being generous when I say 3 stars.

217. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Lots of warbling by lots of LTers led me to this memoir by a legal defender of those with nowhere else to go: those on death row with nowhere to turn. A lot of others have paid tribute to this book, so I'll just say that whether or not the people he and others like him represent are innocent, few obtain effective counsel or equitable treatment in sentencing, and he is struggling to redress the balance -- and to wipe out the death penalty. And I happen to agree with that crusade. Don Quixote/windmills? Possibly, but the passion comes across, especially when he talks about those who were unjustly convicted and whose release he has managed, against the odds, to win, or those who were sentenced as teens to indefinite periods of imprisonment for relatively minor offenses and who are still in jail as middle aged men or women, decades later. A must read for those interested in criminal justice. 5 stars.

218. Avenger by Frederick Forsyth

This came up in an audiobook sale and I nabbed it; it was a good choice to listen to with a migraine, as I didn't have to really think about the plot. (It was a re-read.) A compelling yarn of revenge, a dish served cold many years later, as a professional is hired to do the job of returning a Serb war criminal to face justice. The problem? While some Americans want this, others want his help with secret fighting against new American enemies, and are helping him keep his new identity and refuge impregnable. Or so everyone thinks... 4 stars. Late Forsyth, but still good.

219. The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth (finished 7/10/17)

This is vintage Forsyth, and another audiobook "re-read." (The above whetted my appetite.) Written and set before the collapse of the Soviet Union, this imagines an aging Kim Philby being summoned to help organize a plot to prevent new strategic weapons being placed in the UK, by exploding a nuke device there. The security services stumble onto the plot when they find a part of the device being smuggled into the country -- but can they find the illegal agent and stop the rest of the device being smuggled in and assembled in time?? As always with Forsyth, it's a richly detailed and suspenseful yarn. Recommended, in spite of its age. Lots of tradecraft detail, too. 3.9 stars.

220. House of Spies by Daniel Silva

This compared poorly to Forsyth, I have to say. After so many books, Silva's themes are extremely repetitive and his villains are becoming almost cartoonishly villainous. (Of course his villain is called Saladin, and of course he's from ISIS...) Always, Gabriel Allon's team seems to hole up in a villa somewhere and debrief or brief or interrogate someone. It's all very same-y. I'm at the point where I'd rather try something completely different, or go back and re-read another Forsyth book that I haven't read in a decade than ever read another Daniel Silva book, ever again. They're coming out of a factory somewhere, aren't they?? 3.35 stars. Oh, if you want to know, this happens in the south of France, and the team co-opts a power couple, one of whom is a drug kingpin. And of course Gabriel leaves his desk behind, and of course his wife isn't happy that he's not around and not spending time with the babies, etc., and risking them all. But Gabriel is still the same tortured individual, no growth, no change, blah. Where is the Silva of An Unlikely Spy or The Marching Season?

More reviews later....

Sep 13, 2017, 3:00am Top

>211 Ooh, The Widows of Malabar Hill sounds interesting. I'm on a bit of a 20's kick at the moment, but I don't think I've ever read a book set in 1920's India.

Sep 13, 2017, 9:13am Top

Too bad about the latest Follett. I never did read the second in the Kingsbridge "series" (using the term loosely). You got me with Punishment, which appears unavailable here, and Magpie Murders which I know several people have also liked. And of course, I'm glad Just Mercy was a winner for you - I heard Stevenson speak last winter and he was wonderful. The Equal Justice Initiative is doing interesting work to memorialize the history of lynchings in the US, including building a memorial in Alabama that is supposed to open next year.

Sep 13, 2017, 9:29am Top

Oh no, not happy to see your review of the new Follett book as I just bought it! Oh well, I own the other ones and I don't like to own only parts of series.
Glad to see that you enjoyed Magpie Murders and Sycamore Row! Linden MacIntyre I have not heard of (bad Canadian, I am) so I will have to check him out

Sep 13, 2017, 9:57am Top

I was surprised by the Booker shortlist - were you? I'm in the middle of 4 3 2 1 and liking it a lot, and have read the others except for Elmet which is not yet available from my library. I think I'd place Autumn as first on my list, with Lincoln in the Bardo a close second.

Sep 13, 2017, 10:31am Top

>118 Chatterbox: I was completely stunned by the inclusion of History of Wolves. I thought it was very, very good, and even remarkable for a debut. But to put it in the category of a Booker shortlist??? The writing, quite possibly. But not the plot, taken as a whole. The character, quite possibly, but it's not a solid "whole." I very, very much liked Mohsin Hamid's novel, which I think is one of his best, and every bit as imaginative as The Underground Railroad, and dealing with contemporary themes that are likely to appeal to European readers in the same way that Whitehead's did to US readers. It's perhaps more distancing, with more perspectives, but that's simply Hamid's style, and a matter of literary taste, not merit. I'd put them on a par, and am surprised not to find them both among the finalists, since it's really which you prefer, rather than which is "better". I've got the ARC of Auster sitting here (it's just SUCH a chunkster, a contrast to Auster's usually tightly-written novels...) Also have an e-galley of Autumn and an ARC of Lincoln in the Bardo kicking around, neither of which is really calling to me, although I'll probably read the first one soon, as I have dipped into it. I doubt I'll read Elmet; I'm not enough of a completist. I'm dismayed by the fact that Kamila Shamsie's novel wasn't included; that and Whitehead's are the two notable omissions, IMO. I probably would have ditched History of Wolves, even though I'd still recommend it as a good read, but can't say what else I would have removed from my personal six.

>117 vivians: Chelle, yes, a bad Canadian!! LOL! Linden is/was a top Canadian TV journalist, headlining a well-known program for many years -- the fifth estate. And generally doing documentaries, etc., mostly for CBC. He resigned from the CBC in the midst of budget cuts even though they wanted to keep him, in order to free up his salary so that the organization could keep some of his younger colleagues on staff. He also won the Giller Prize for one of his first novels, a loosely-knit trilogy set in Cape Breton, The Bishop's Man. All in all, I have a lot of time for him as a person, a journalist AND a novelist.

Sorry to break the news about the Follett book to series addicts, but as I said, I probably would have bought it, too. Luckily I was able to snaffle a freebie at ALA, and saved myself the money. I just felt that he was developing wooden characters and dialogue around history. Look, if you don't mind that (and some people won't notice or care, based on the reviews I see for other authors who do this), it will read like an adventure yarn.

>116 ChelleBearss: Yes, I think you were one of the chief warblers steering me toward Bryan Stevenson and Just Mercy. And then I found a paperback copy at G's apartment, left behind by who knows who, so I picked it up to read.

>115 katiekrug: It is very good; I'm not sure how much of it feels like the 1920s, distinctively, other than a few obvious details -- music, presence of colonial officials. I'm reserving judgment on some aspects of this series. I may re-read the Rei Shimura series; the early books of that series were extremely good, and they only kind of collapsed in the latter innings, when Massey couldn't figure out to do with Rei's own life.

Sep 13, 2017, 11:34am Top

Good morning, chatterbox! I hope all is well with you.

>114 PawsforThought: I am so happy to see your mini-reviews return!

212. I thought was ok, but it never reached the dramatic tension of A Time to Kill. I got it most to listen to Michael Beck, whom has done an excellent narrating job for Grisham over the years.

215. I've hear warbling about this and it is currently on my hold list at the library. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it.

219. I may check this one out for fun. I listened to a few of his years back. I really enjoyed his ICON.

220. You opinion on this one seems to be the general consensus. Too bad. My favorite of his is The Confessor.

Sep 13, 2017, 11:59am Top

>119 brodiew2: I'm not at all familiar with the Rei Shimura series, I'll have to look into that at some point.

Edited: Sep 13, 2017, 6:23pm Top

221. Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas Ricks

This was an intriguing if not absolutely convincing parallel biography of George Orwell and Winston Churchill. Rough contemporaries, both -- argues Ricks -- fought totalitarianism on both the left and the right, with Churchill waging his war in politics and Orwell doing so first in Spain as a volunteer in the Civil War, and then via literature, in Animal Farm and 1984, becoming persona non grata for communists in the process. At first, they are an awkward and odd couple and Ricks never fully convinces me that they belong together in a single book, if only because their lives never really intersect or overlap, except in the context of the events through which they lived and the issues that preoccupy them. Churchill wasn't a literary man, even though he eventually became a reader and himself wrote histories, but he wasn't a deep thinker, like Orwell. And Orwell wasn't the political schemer that Churchill was. So some of this feels forced. That doesn't mean that it is any the less interesting, and Ricks does an excellent job of giving the reader a great backdrop and sense of the times in which they lived and the existential challenges they confronted. Recommended. 4.2 stars.

222. The Kill by Jane Casey 4.15 stars
224. After the Fire by Jane Casey 4.2 stars
225. Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey 4.3 stars

I've played catchup on this mystery series, set in London and featuring a feisty young Irish/British detective, Maeve Kerrigan. She has a truly obnoxious colleague with whom she must deal, Josh Derwent, and a troubled boss, and a possibly problematic relationship at the beginning of these three books, the most recently published in the seven-book series. The first deals with the murders of some police detectives; the second with the discovery of a conservative "values" MP in a tower block of flats after a fire, one occupied by immigrants of color; in the final one, Maeve must solve the puzzle of the disappearance of a woman, leaving only lots and lots of blood behind, discovered by her teenage daughter. The final one is the most perplexing and convoluted, with a really gut punch twist in terms of the solution.

223. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Is this a novel, or a thinly disguised advert for psychotherapy? I'm not really sure. All I know is that the more I look back at it, the greater my distaste for it grows, and the more annoyed I become and the more manipulated I feel. Eleanor Oliphant is a deeply troubled young woman unable to form relationships with others and even to process their own view of the world, but since we're seeing this story unfold through her perspective (although not through her voice), we realize what's going on but are coaxed to feel empathy for her. Which is appropriate, but she is just TOO extreme a situation. I won't deliver spoilers, but if Honeyman's goal was to create empathy for people with mental health issues, why start out with someone in such an extreme situation? And why present a situation as being a kind of "all you need is the love of a good man", or in this case, a geeky technology dude who can look past Eleanor's extreme social anxiety to the person inside. Basically, this is a fairy tale for those dealing with psychiatric problems. A little bit of therapy, and you'll find a man who loves you and you'll live happily ever after. It annoyed me a great deal. 3 stars. Was it well written? Yes. Was it convincing? Yes. Was it sentimental? Yes. Will people cry while reading it? Yes. Ugh.

226. Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Primarily for YA audiences, I suspect, but it was still fun, even if I kept getting a bit confused by some of the multiverse terminology along the way. The hero of this time travel saga was born "out of time" (and shouldn't have been born at all, since his father was a gladiator from ancient Rome, while his mother was a time traveling researcher from the distant future...), before the spaceship had a chance to re-enter the "home domain" or whatever. So Farway actually doesn't have a birthday, which has caused some kind of warp in the multiverse's system. The first clue is when a virus infects the program for his final exam, causing him to fail his test to joint the official time travelers, something he's been studying for his entire life. So Farway must become a pirate of sorts, along with his closest friendsscouring the past and scooping up objects for private collectors (saving them from the sinking Titanic or the burning Library of Alexandria, for instance.) But then the multiverse glitch and a mysterious young woman named Eliot enter his life and that of his spaceship and crew... It's way too complicated to explain. Or even understand. But it's entertaining, if you don't care about understanding it. 3.3 stars.

227. The King's General by Daphne du Maurier

This was an audiobook re-read (re-listen? whatever) of a favorite of mine by du Maurier, one of her lesser known novels, read by Juliet Stevenson. It's an excellent, excellent combination -- a fascinating yarn set during the English Civil War that set the Royalists against Cromwell, located in Menabilly, the house du Maurier herself later lived in and loved, full of suspense and intrigue, with a perfect narrator. The heroine, Honor Harris, disabled by a fall from a horse, meets the man she loves, a Royalist general with more valor than good sense or courtesy, who makes enemies very readily, after she seeks refuge at Menabilly on the eve of the war. Honor and Richard Grenville rekindle their love affair, and she remains one of his most loyal supporters, even as he sabotages his own career and his relationships with others that she loves thanks to his arrogance. There are some fabulous scenes of tension and suspense here, and overall, it's a great portrayal of the war in the west. One of du Maurier's best. 4.3 stars.

228. The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Menna van Praag

Kind of sweet and whimsical. A young woman has a shop selling one of a kind pens, along with paper and envelopes. The author being what she is, occasionally our lead character "senses" things about her customers, or the people she meets, and is lead to write letters to them. One of these people is a widower whose wife comes back to life, kinda sorta, but not precisely in the way he imagined. Meanwhile, the shopowner finds love, if not in the place or way she imagined. Only for those with a high tolerance for whimsy. 3.35 stars.

229. The Imperial Wife by Irina Reyn

This was very readable, even if it was one of those dreaded dual narrative novels. The historic bit revolves around Catherine the Great as a bride and young wife, trying to survive and become queen -- and then queen in her own right. The contemporary strand is a bit of an awkward fit -- a young Russian-born emigré works at an auction house, and is married to a scion of a proper upper crust American family. But her Russian family isn't like the oligarchs, like the parents of her arch-rival in the auction business. So when she has the chance to auction off a jewelled medal that once belonged to Catherine the Great, she closes her eyes to all kinds of ethical issues. But will her career and her marriage survive? This wasn't great, but it was readable and intriguing; I liked the modern strand a little more, as it raised some interesting issues, even if it was a bit predictable sometimes and the author didn't have enough time or space to develop her characters. The historical elements were too well known and felt shoe-horned in. I would have been quite happy with a more straightforward book involving just the art world tale. 3.75 stars; feeling generous.

230. Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. This is what happens when you let a mediocre novelist lose on a biography of her favorite author, I suppose. Tatiana de Rosnay inserts herself into du Maurier's thoughts and actions to an embarrassing extent ("Standing up, leaning against the window, she smokes a cigarette and looks out towards the slim blue line of the sea, lost in her thoughts.” REALLY?) She even does this with du Maurier on her deathbed. Sometimes she gets it right and it's interesting (the relationship between du Maurier and Victor Gollancz) and sometimes she is waaaay off target (arcane details of the French translations of the novels, say). The repetitiveness is annoying, as is the lack of specific detail to back up some of her assertions -- she'll claim that du Maurier was funny in real life and then fail to give examples. (All the anecdotes she does provide speak to the contrary...) Then there's the ever present use of the present tense, the fact that de Rosnay interposes herself and her pointless meanderings around the places that du Maurier lives, as if to channel her spirit. Just -- NO. I suppose if you're a big du Maurier fan and don't really care, and just want to read ramblings from a fangirl, then this is right up your alley. Otherwise, no. I've downgraded this since I first read it, to 2.7 stars. It was an ARC, thankfully.

231. Sunday Morning Coming Down by Nicci French

Is this the conclusion of the series of suspense books featuring psychotherapist Frieda Klein? Since "Nicci French" (a husband/wife writing team) have now written their way from Monday all the way to Sunday, I'm kind of afraid it might be. But it also ends (I have to warn you) on a bit of a cliffhanger, albeit not as big a one as the "Saturday" book did. This book should be the culmination of it all -- as Frieda finds a man buried beneath her own floor, and then her friends and family become targets of a vengeful killer. Is it the man that nearly everyone but her believes is dead? Can they identify and find him? And is it really him who is attacking those close to her, or someone else -- a copycat? Unputdownable suspense, and so I didn't put it down until I had finished... 4.3 stars. A great series. I wonder if Frieda will pick up with months, now???

Sep 13, 2017, 7:00pm Top

>120 PawsforThought: I am muddling along, thanks, Brodie... putting one foot in front of the other... That's funny that you should mention Icon, as I was looking to see what unabridged audiobooks are available. Sadly, there's a shortage of his good (i.e. early/middle period) books available. Yes, two of his most recent and weakest books are there, but not Icon or some of the others that I'd rather like to either re-read or listen to. I hope someone gets on the job here. In addition to Icon, I loved The Deceiver, which is a collection of four long and connected stories, which I may re-read now that I have mentioned them!, and The Fist of God is very good too. I also remember The Negotiator as being good. I like the way he blends fact and fiction effectively. It can sometimes blur the line between whether what you're reading is truth disguised as fiction, or not...

>121 Chatterbox: You should be able to find these in second hand bookstores, or very cheaply via Amazon, etc, or library. They really are excellent, and give a great picture of Japan, and someone who spends her life going back and forth between the US and Japan as an expat. I absolutely loved them and tore through them when I discovered them. They do kind of trail off in the last three or four. I'd love to see LT folks pick up on Sujata Massey and Rei Shimura... The first is The Salaryman's Wife.

Sep 13, 2017, 7:36pm Top

>122 Chatterbox: Thank you very much for the new batch of your reviews. I added quite a few books to my TBR list.

Sep 13, 2017, 8:22pm Top

>124 Chatterbox: Always glad to be an enabler...

Sep 13, 2017, 9:33pm Top

232. Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz

This was a gift from a kind fellow LTer... all the way from New Zealand!! I finally picked it up to read, and it was very intriguing, a different kind of novel from Mahfouz, if perhaps not quite up to the standard set by his Cairo novels. Meriamun, son of a royal scribe, is traveling with his father when they pass the ruins of Amarna, aka Akhetaten, the city founded by the pharaoh who believed in a single overarching divine god, Aten, or the sun. When invaders seized land from the Egyptians and plague struck, it was all put down to Akhenaten's heresy, and he was deposed. Meriamun, curious, takes his father's introductions to all the surviving major players in the drama/tragedy and asks for their views on what happened, and the result is a kind of episodic narrative of conflicting perspectives. Who was Akhenaten? Was he a lunatic or divinely inspired? Was he manipulated by Nefertiti or was she his disciple? Was it all a political scheme to gain power? Was he a murderer of his elder brother? Who to believe? Is there merit in his religious insights? It's all up to Meriamun -- and the reader. 3.9 stars.

233. Dark Water by Parker Bilal

More Egypt, but this time more or less modern. It's the latest Makana mystery, and it's actually less about Cairo than the Sudan and Istanbul, as Makana, the Sudanese refugee investigator, is convinced to undertake a mission to Turkey to extricate an intelligence asset on behalf of the various security services. And readers finally get significant insight into the fate of his family -- and it's not good news for Makana, but in a very different way than anyone might have imagined... Not as strong as the best of these books, and reliant more on action than on character development, but this is still an excellent series and noteworthy in part because it's simply different from the run of the mill mysteries. Nor has Parker Bilal relapsed into formula plotting and writing; hallelujah. 4.15 stars.

234. The Accusation: Forbidden Stories From Inside North Korea by Bandi

The folks at the Grove/Atlantic booth at the ALA event recommended this book to me enthusiastically, and not just because they published it. Probably in part because it's almost the only work of fiction to emerge from behind the borders of North Korea, written by someone who still lives there and smuggled out, published while its author is still living somewhere in Kim Jong-oeun's loony world. One can only imagine what would happen if his identity were discovered. But more than that, these stories capture the sheer lunacy of the world that Kim, his father and grandfather have created for North Korean citizens to inhabit. As literary works, they aren't perfect, but really, that's not the point. They are very good, in any event, and the insights they give -- into a mother trying to raise her son who is terrified by propaganda posters, and who ends up being banished from Pyongyang as a result. It's a dystopian world that "Bandi" creates and that his characters inhabit -- and obtaining insights into that world is one of the chief reasons to read this. As a literary work? Hmm, I don't know. With no real peers (other North Koreans have written memoirs and non-fiction books after fleeing, and the occasional work of fiction, but it's tough to draw comparisons), I find it particularly hard to assess their merits. I do recommend reading this, however. 4.2 stars

235. The Third Nero by Lindsey Davis

I seem to have bypassed the series featuring Falco the investigator in favor of this one, with Flavia Albia, his adopted daughter, both by Lindsey Davis. The number of unread books in the former was simply too long, and while perhaps one day I'll backtrack and read them, right now I felt more like reading these, with a feisty female heroine in the era of Domitian, a particularly nasty emperor. Falco (who was kind of a typical roistering male dude, anyway), makes guest appearances, which is enough. In this book, the fifth in the series, Albia is recovering from her wedding day, which culminated in her new husband being hit by lightning. He's recovering too -- more slowly. So when Albia is asked to undertake a particularly thorny and politically complicated investigation involving an imposter to Nero (yes, really, harp and all) she figures she might as well... Famous last thoughts... 3.85 stars, a decent addition to the series.

236. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran 3.9 stars
241. The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran 4 stars

After reading Mahfouz's take on Akhenaten, I found my mind turning back to these novels, which are a much more lightweight approach to the Amarna saga. (I should note that the author is a friend of mine.) The first book is a solid tale of the famous Nefertiti, but recounted by her sister, Mutnodjmet, which adds a degree of freshness to the whole thing: in Moran's version, Nefertiti's sister is an outsider, never a convert to the single divinity and Akhenaten's almost cult-like religion. She recognizes the dangers of a religious tyranny, as well as the dangers of being a potential alternative focus of power. Moran, who has done studies in Egyptology, has some interesting thoughts on what happened after Akhenaten's death, and who succeeded him. The Heretic Queen suffers from compressing the timeline beyond (my) credulity; its heroine, Nefertari, is supposed to be Mutnodjmet's daughter, but this wouldn't really have worked out very well, and the reader has to squint to believe it, or else believe that certain people were only on the throne for two or three years, versus decades. In any event, in some ways it's a stronger story, if only because it's less familiar: Nefertari has to establish herself as the premier wife and then help Ramesses in his struggle to strengthen Egypt. It's still a bit soft-focus and romantic, however. Fun to re-read after many years.

237. His Whole Life by Elizabeth Hay

After loving Late Nights on Air, I've been meaning to read another novel by Elizabeth Hay, another Canadian novelist who gets too little attention. This was my choice, and it was very good and worthwhile, if not fabulous. It's a coming of age story, blended with a nostalgia story, revolving around that quintessential Canadian institution, the lakefront cottage. Gradually, a middle-aged woman and her teenage son find themselves drawing more and more away from their lives in New York and toward the mother's past in small-town Ontario, and her past ties. But the price to be paid is a high one... This isn't a perfect novel -- it moves in jerks and sputters, sometimes. But the character development is excellent, and there are vignettes here that were simply perfect. 4.2 stars.

238. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen by Hendrik Groen (pseudonym)

I tiptoed into this Dutch novel warily, fearful of another Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry or similar "feel good but with profound message and quirky undertones" novel. Happily, this is much better than those "quirky" books, even though it's recognizably in the same territory. Written by someone under a pseudonym (last time I checked, the author still hadn't been identified), the "author", aged 83 1/2, is living on a pittance in a Dutch old folks' home, debating whether or not he can afford to buy a mobility scooter, and if so, what kind. He is scathing about most of his fellow residents, whom he feels checked any critical and intellectual faculties they possessed at the door when they checked in. His closest friend lives in an assisted living facility nearby, with diabetes and a flatulent dog. Then life starts to change: an attractive woman moves in and a group of the lively and engaged find each other and begin organizing outings. Hendrik, it seems, discovers a reason to continue living... 4 stars. Moving without being sentimental.

239. The Girl From Venice by Martin Cruz Smith

Allegedly, this is suspenseful. I don't get it. Yes, Cenzo the fisherman fishes Giulia, a Jewish girl, out of the Venice lagoon one dark night and ensures that the SS hunting for her don't catch her. But after that, the plot falls apart. For some reason, the fisherman has a brother who is a movie star (Okaaaay) and the two have fallen out because Giorgio had an affair with Cenzo's late wife (riiiight). And because Cenzo also draws beautifully, Giulia can also see hidden depths in him. Are you seeing some credibility issues here? And that's even before we get to the partisans, double crossing, blah blah blah. Otto Skorzeny comes in at some point. And a beautiful wife of some diplomat. And there are other dramatic events that really feel disconnected. It's sort of set in Venice, and sort of set in Mussolini's puppet "court" near Lake Como. I struggled to follow the plot, but ultimately really didn't care. 2.9 stars, being generous.

240. Basket of Deplorables by Tom Rachman (audiobook only)

As far as I know, this collection of loosely linked stories is still available only for audiobook -- it was an Audible Original. I don't know how much you're really missing -- I liked it, but I'm still looking for the storytelling prowess that I enjoyed so much in Rachman's debut, The Imperfectionists. The stories here are supposed to be tied (obviously) to the infamous comment by Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, but the linkage isn't obvious. They aren't tied to the election (or only peripherally in a few cases, as when one character tries to convince a date -- knowing that she has hidden her Trump sympathies -- that he, too, is a hidden Trump supporter in a blue state on their first outing together.) Some characters really are "deplorables", like the guy who fakes his own death, and in a later story, orchestrates a dreadful betrayal after trying to save himself. The bottom line? OK, but not marvellous. No reason to run out and get Audible just for this. 3.75 stars.

242. See What I have Done by Sarah Schmidt

I'm kind of startled that I didn't like this book any better than I did. It was one of the ARCs that everyone was chattering about at ALA, and I was rather eager to read it. But rather than unfold a mysterious puzzle about the Lizzie Borden murders, Sarah Schmidt focuses on building up a claustrophobic, even suffocating (the weather in the days of the murders was stiflingly hot) environment in which the tensions among her characters can't help but spill over. She emphasizes bodily fluids and tastes to the point where I'd almost feel like gagging. It's all feverish and hectic. I'm sure this speaks well of the caliber of Schmidt's writing -- that she could evoke a response like this in me, to the point where I was reacting on such a visceral level to her descriptions -- but it was literally an unpleasant reading experience, smells, descriptions of rotting teeth, etc. As a literary endeavor, this may be great, but I was uncomfortable. And the mystery really wasn't there, after all... 3.7 stars.

243. The Saboteur by Andrew Gross

Very, very predictable book of World War II derring-do, with a very attractive cover. It focuses on the attacks on the heavy water plant in Norway, to take it out of circulation and deny the Nazis what they probably needed to focus on building nuclear weapons. It's basically history with dialogue. That's not to say it isn't interesting and suspenseful, especially if you don't know the story. If you do know the story, I'd suggest waiting until the details fade to read this. I had recently read Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, which has an entire chapter on this, so few of the details were suspenseful -- I was curious to see how Gross fictionalized it. He did a creditable job, which is why I'd give it 3.5 stars. that said, nothing here breaks beyond the genre; there's no complexity in the characters or plot.

And that's all for today! A lot more still to come as I still haven't even finished July's books, quite yet.

Sep 13, 2017, 9:49pm Top

I heard the buzz about See What I Have Done and heard the author speak at ALA and I didn't understand all the excitement about that novel. I didn't bring home an ARC of that one for myself. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

I do have a copy of Saboteur and wondered how he was going to tell that story. I didn't have time to examine the ARC so wasn't sure if it was fiction or non-fiction.

You are sure buzzing through the books even though for you your numbers are down? Do I remember you saying that at some point?

Sep 13, 2017, 11:10pm Top

Wish-listing *Salaryman's* and Nicci French 1. Thanks for the suggestions, Suz.
Hope you're well!

Sep 14, 2017, 6:30am Top

>122 Chatterbox: Oh, I do love Daphne du Maurier - I need to get round to that one, soon.

Sep 14, 2017, 6:57am Top

>123 annushka: They haven't been published in Sweden so would really only be possible to get hold of online. (The libraries aren't allowed to buy via Amazon et al.) But I never ever buy books I'm not certain I'm going to want to keep so wouldn't buy them just to check them out. I'll try to remember the author in case I stumble upon them at a later date.

Sep 14, 2017, 1:02pm Top

Are you up for the Gessen lecture 12/18 from 7-9? If so I'll get tickets. She just made the NBA longlist so hope I'm not too late.

Sep 14, 2017, 1:09pm Top

>114 PawsforThought: Glad to hear that you, too, had trouble with the first few pages of The Magpie Murders. Unlike you, I haven't pushed myself past those first few pages but everyone seems to love it so it might be time to give it another try.

Sep 14, 2017, 1:37pm Top

Hello chatterbox!

>126 benitastrnad: Another interesting group.

238. I saw this one at B&N the other day and have not been sucked into the genre previously. I'm glad to hear that this rose above. I'll take a closer look.

239. Love your 'allegedly'. Too bad that Smith is faltering in his later career. There is alsways a re-read fo Gorky Park. :-P

243. I am looking forward to this one. I am not familiar with the history so it should be pretty good. Did you read his The One Man?

Sep 14, 2017, 1:47pm Top

>131 lindapanzo: Yes, very much so if tickets are available!!

>132 brodiew2: Do give it a try. I think I succeeded on my third or fourth attempt...

>130 vivians: If I find my paperbacks, I'll put them in a package for you. I think I have many of them on Kindle now.

>133 Chatterbox: I tend to get offered a lot of these quirky books on auto-approval via NetGalley, so I end up with them as freebies anyway. Or I pick some up from the library. Then I loathe them. As I did with (review upcoming) the latest book by Graeme Simison (author of the "Rosie" books). I did read The One Man and it was more interesting to me, although still in the predictable category, in that it's a bit formulaic and the characters behave in ways you can pretty much anticipate -- they don't break the patterns he lays down for them early on. There are few real twists that I like in a good suspense yarn. I tend to like books that either approach the subject from an unexpected angle (as in Robert Harris, when he wrote about Cicero through the eyes of his slave, Tiro, or took on the Dreyfus case through the eyes of an establishment military officer from Alsace who didn't like Dreyfus and didn't want to believe him, but was convinced slowly by the evidence, and who still didn't like the man afterwards) or where there are real and convincing twists in the narrative.

>127 LizzieD: Dunno that my numbers are down -- I think that they are up over last year -- but my reading enjoyment level may not be as high. I feel as if I have fewer books that I'm absolutely loving. Or else I'm getting pickier??

There will be more reviews (I'm nearly at book #300...) but probably not today. I have to read a lot of bumph about portfolio construction and asset allocation, and I also am fighting the onset of another migraine.

Sep 14, 2017, 2:40pm Top

Got 'em! December 18 NYPL. Portfolio construction and asset allocation - welcome to my life!

Sep 14, 2017, 3:28pm Top

Sep 14, 2017, 3:50pm Top

>135 katiekrug: Excellent!! Thanks so much for doing this; let me know the cost and I'll put aside some $$ for it.

I've finally got a bit of work, which might drag me slightly above the literal poverty line for the year (if I get paid before year's end for it.) Writing a white paper for an asset management company. They've sent me a bunch of OTHER white papers to read, and I'm not sure whether the intent is for me to look at the subject matter or the combination of content and overall focus as models. But I'm reading my way through them -- they range from the very straightforward plain vanilla (Morningstar) to the more arcane, from folks like Rob Arnott and Cliff Asness at AQR. A lot is about factors and enhanced beta. The white paper product will be aimed at financial advisors -- like you! :-)

For interested people, I have the following freebies available from my just reviewed books up for grabs. First come, first served.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
The Saboteur by Andrew Gross
Manderley Forever by Tatiana de Rosnay
Invictus by Ryan Graudin

His Whole Life by Elizabeth Hay

No commitment to send them out in the next few days, but before the end of the month. (Sorry, the Follett is already spoken for.)

Sep 14, 2017, 4:10pm Top

I wouldn't mind the Schmidt (despite your less than glowing review!), and you needn't mail it. I can take it off your hands the next time I see you if that's easier...

Sep 14, 2017, 4:15pm Top

>134 vivians: Thanks, that's very kind of you, but I'm okay. I have plenty of books to read right now anyway.

Sep 14, 2017, 5:21pm Top

>138 PawsforThought: It's yours. I'll need to find where I put it... Shall be down in NYC once or twice at the end of the month and again around Oct 5th to see my neurologist, so mebbe we can make a plan then.

Sep 14, 2017, 6:07pm Top

No rush. I leave the 30th for CA and TX and don't get back until the 12th :-/

Edited: Sep 14, 2017, 7:38pm Top

>126 benitastrnad: Book 240: I have a print ARC of Basket of Deplorables, published here by Quercus under the riverrun imprint. Also available in Kindle - I wouldn't be surprised to see it show up as a bargain at some point - quite a lot of the ARCs I've had from Amazon Vine since November have appeared as Kindle bargains already. Interestingly, your cover looks to be from Text Publishing, an Australian company.

Sep 14, 2017, 8:55pm Top

>142 Chatterbox: I just picked a pretty cover that I liked! The US cover is only the Audible one, which is a different shape and I couldn't get it to fit into a format that would match the other illustrations, no matter how hard I tried to manipulate it. So I just picked one that I found attractive! :-) For those who care about such-like things, the actual cover is mostly red, and can be found by clicking on my link. Glad that there is a print version of the book available; that suggests one might eventually appear here. I'm not sure why they just didn't do it in the first place.

Sep 15, 2017, 1:33am Top

Have just finished my 300th book of the year: Scott-land: The Man Who Invented a Nation by Stuart Kelly. It's a quirky kind of book about Sir Walter Scott, his novels, the phenomenon that he was for a brief time and how he kind of spearheaded the shift from epic poetry (think, Wordsworth, Byron, Coleridge, etc.) to the romantic novel that would take shape and dominate Victorian literature (Dickens, Eliot, etc.) It rambles a bit, jumping all over from ruminations on tartan obsessions in the modern day, to a survey of Scott's life and literary output and themes, to the backdrop against which he worked, to Scottish nationalism, past and present. Did you know that the kilt wasn't even invented until the 1730s? I didn't...

So, onward, ever onward...

Sep 15, 2017, 8:15am Top

Congrats on 300 books! That's amazing

>119 brodiew2: Ah, I know of the Fifth Estate but have never watched it. I'll have to find some of Linden MacIntyre's books. I love reading Canadian books but it can be pretty hard to find good recommendations for them. I'll add The Bishop's Man to the Wishlist! Thanks

Sep 15, 2017, 10:47am Top

>145 Chatterbox: And if you haven't tried Elizabeth Hay, there's another recommendation! Start with Late Nights on Air, which I loved. I'm making a point of seeking out more Canadian fiction, some by authors who hit the the big time, such as Madeleine Thien has just done, or the perennial Margaret Atwood (whom my mother still remembers as a little pre-teen girl named Peggy...), some who write commercial fiction (Anna Porter has a new novel about to appear, "The Appraisal", that I'm about to read; she's also known as a big figure in the Canadian publishing world), some by authors that I simply run across and take a flyer on or who for some reason are unaccountably less known (Hay, Macintyre, Anosh Irani, David Bergen, Marina Endicott, and on the other end of the spectrum, people like Jane Urquhart, who still doesn't have as big a profile as her output and longevity would suggest she should.)

Generally, I'm relishing the fact that Canadian fiction has become so much more sprawling, diverse, interesting and populous a universe than it was 25 years ago, when it seems as if "the Margarets" (Laurence and Atwood) were the ne plus ultra), with a few also rans, and Mavis Gallant out there in Paris, with Robertson Davies, Timothy Findley and a few others. For all the grumbling I sometimes here, we're really making big progress. In all areas, even commercial fiction. I read that great series of crime novels set in a city that mimics North Bay, by Giles Blunt, and then there is the ongoing series of mysteries by "Inger Ash Wolfe" (a pseudonym), which I like very much. And I just picked up an ARC from Amazon that turns out to be a thriller set in Vancouver by a new Canadian writer, Sheena Kamal. Every so often, I just prowl through Amazon Canada, and then try to figure out a way to lay hands on a copy of what I want, sometimes by asking for it as an Xmas gift...

Separately, would be happy to send you some of the earlier Linden Macintyre novels, assuming I can locate them on my shelves. I'm de-accessioning dead tree books, and shifting content to Kindle for pragmatic reasons. Just let me know. (As long as they aren't autographed, I'll do this, if someone wants to read the book.)

Sep 15, 2017, 11:26am Top

>146 ffortsa: Inger Ash Wolfe writes lovely mysteries, and I love her characters for being real people. Thanks for the list - yet more books to think of reading.

Edited: Sep 15, 2017, 12:13pm Top

>147 Chatterbox: Although in real life, Inger Ash Wolfe is a novelist named Michael Redhill... :-) He came clean in 2012, after the first two or three books were published.

Do try Giles Blunt for more Canadian mysteries. I can't remember who suggested these to me, but I thank him/her. I think it might have been my Winnipeg friend, Dave P. An unfailing source of all things literary and Canadian.

Sep 15, 2017, 12:40pm Top

The longlist for the National Book Award for fiction has been releasead. Here it is.


Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman (Knopf)

The King Is Always Above the People: Stories by Daniel Alarcón (Riverhead)

Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig (Grove)

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (Scribner)

The Leavers by Lisa Ko (Algonquin)

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central)

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf)

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (Counterpoint)

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)

I purchased The Leavers a couple of weeks ago, but I got Miss Burma and Pachinko at ALA. I have Pachinko on the table to be read soon, but I have kept putting it back on the pile. Maybe will have to move it up on the list.

Sep 15, 2017, 1:59pm Top

So frustrated - Min Jin Lee is speaking at our local, tiny, completely out-of-the-way library in October and I'll be away at a conference. So aggravating! I haven't read Pachinko but it's high on my list. I've read The Leavers - very moving, and have the Jesmyn Ward audio on hold at the library. Haven't heard of the others, but it's kind of nice to see new-to-me authors.

Sep 15, 2017, 3:23pm Top

>146 ffortsa: I have heard of Hay but haven't read any yet. I'll add her to my list, thanks!
I tried to read Madeleine Thien but couldn't get into it. I'm sure it's a great book but I was pregnant (and brain dead) at the time so I'll try again.
I love when my library has a shelf devoted to Canadian authors. I will grab a bunch or take not and Wishlist them for later. I think the shelf has Halloween books right now though

Thanks so much for the offer! I'll PM you my address. You are so kind!

Sep 15, 2017, 3:54pm Top

I met Min Jin Lee at BookExpo last year and she was absolutely delightful. She didn't have a crowd at her signing line, and so we chatted for a while.

Some of those nominees I hadn't heard of -- the Alarcon stories (though I know of him as a writer), Machado and Sexton. (Sigh, of course they all are from smaller presses...) I have ARCs, e-galleys or finished copies of all the rest, thanks to the publishers... *grin*

Everyone that has read Miss Burma has raved about it, so I may have to bump that one up the list. Pachinko already is on my list...

>150 ChelleBearss: Oh no, that's rotten timing.

>151 Chatterbox: I have heard that there is a high correlation between pregnancy and brain death! I still haven't read this new Thien novel either (though I read her debut, Dogs at the Perimeter), so you aren't alone. It's on my list of Canadian fiction to read this year.

Now I just need to decide what to read this weekend. Right now am finishing a novel that won't even be released until 2018 (thanks, NetGalley!). Talk about having one's priorities skewed. But it's by Ariel Lawhon, whose two previous books have been very good, so I didn't really want to read this one, which is about Anna Anderson and the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Then I'll finish the Sheena Kamal thriller.

Sep 15, 2017, 4:19pm Top

And giving equal time to the non-fiction candidates for the National Book Award, here is THAT longlist! As I noted elsewhere, it turns out that a former colleague and FB friend of mine is married to Frances Fitzgerald, and I had no idea. To be fair, I think that this is a relatively recent marriage...

Erica Armstrong Dunbar,
Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

Frances FitzGerald
The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

James Forman, Jr.
Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

Masha Gessen
The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

David Grann
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the F.B.I.

Naomi Klein
No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need

Nancy MacLean
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

Richard Rothstein
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Timothy B. Tyson
The Blood of Emmett Till

Kevin Young
Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News

It's a pity that at least a couple of these aren't available yet. I'll be reading FitzGerald's book, the book by David Grann, the tale by Erica Dunbar of Washington's slave, and eventually, Masha Gessen's tome.

Edited: Sep 21, 2017, 10:34pm Top

The remainder of the July books:

244. Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally

I've loved several of the Thomas Keneally novels that I've read so far, so when this new book popped up as an audiobook-only option (so far -- for some reason, some of his books appear on audio long before the Kindle or book-book versions become available here in North America; go figure) I grabbed it. After all, it's Keneally, and he's tackling a thorny issue, the question of Catholic priests who prey on the children under their care. The protagonist here is a Catholic theologian and priest, returning home to Australia to visit for the first time in many years since being essentially banished for being too politically progressive. (He lives and works and teaches in Canada.) Coincidentally (actually, not at all so...) his taxi driver turns out to be a woman with an issue with priests -- for very good reason. And soon enough he finds out that another one of his childhood friends also has an issue with priests -- and that they are connected, and involve the same powerful priest in same diocese that has the power to decide whether or not to let our hero return to live in Australia at some point... Sadly, it's not as compelling or dramatic as it sounds. A lot is exposition, and it relies too much on coincidence. Still, it's well done, well written and intriguing. Worthwhile, if not the author's best, and quite possibly not the best novel on the subject. For instance, Linden Macintyre's The Bishop's Man, as noted previously, does an excellent job of probing similar themes. 4 stars

245. The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

This may be a candidate for my top novels of the year list, or the best "new to me writers" list, or some such ranking. In any event, Mahajan does a superlative job of delicately picking apart the story of the lives of two families affected by a single bomb planted by Kashmiri Muslim separatists in Delhi. Who were they and what were their goals? One Hindu family loses both their sons; the other family's sole son (a Muslim) was with his friends but, freakishly survives the blast. The aftermath stretches on for many years and leads the characters, especially the surviving youngster, in some very unexpected directions. The damage keeps on and on harming people, but in the most strange ways. Go with the flow when reading this, and bring no expectations to the table. But do read it. 4.5 stars.

246. Night Crossing by Robert Ryan (finished 7/31/17) 4.1 stars

After enjoying Ryan's novels featuring Dr. Watson (of Sherlock Holmes fame) during World War I, and a rather good World War II SOE novel, I thought I'd try this novel, featuring a police inspector who goes to Berlin to investigate the death of an Englishman and retrieve some mysterious documents that went missing when he was discovered dead in an alley. The complicating factor? It's 1938... Cameron Ross returns to England unsatisfied, but not before meeting the beautiful Ulrike, a musician. When she is forced to flee Germany, she follows him, abandoning her relationship with her fiancé, a devoted Nazi. But Ross's father has other ideas, and she ends up in a camp, kept apart from him, while Ross is charged with military intelligence duties. Of course, the fate of all of them -- Ross, Ulrike, the fiancé, and a Berlin cop that assisted with the murder investigation and is a true blue Nazi -- will collide in a final climactic scene, but not before a lot of complex plot twists and turns and time has elapsed. Worthwhile, but be prepared to ride out those twists and turns. 4.1 stars, strictly a formula novel.

247. The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami

Speaking of rambling, I was never quite sure of what this novel was trying to do or what the characters were on about, etc. Ultimately, I couldn't really care. In the thrift shop of the title, Hitomi sells stuff and interacts with the owner, his sister and the guy who drives the truck and helps with deliveries, Takeo, with whom she is sort of in love. But everyone sort of drifts around in a mist, bumping into each other. They wander. They don't develop. Things happen, and then nothing really changes. No, this isn't a phenomenon of Japanese culture. Sorry. I've read some of the classics of Japanese literature, and while the voice and atmosphere is the same, there are plot developments and characters are more firmly delineated. This was a frustrating read. 3 stars.

Sep 16, 2017, 1:19pm Top

I loved Hiromi Kawatami's previous one, Strange Weather in Tokyo, but Nakano Thrift Shop was a bit disappointing for me, too,

Sep 16, 2017, 1:39pm Top

>155 Chatterbox: Maybe I should try the prior novel, but it won't be for a while...

Sep 16, 2017, 6:31pm Top

>154 jnwelch: I agree Suz on Kawakami and other Japanese writers in that there seems to be an almost built-in dislocate in their style. I don't endear easily to aloof and cold.

Have a great weekend.

Sep 17, 2017, 9:57am Top

Uh oh, three BB's - - I only recognized ONE name on the NBA list, Jennifer Egan!

I was disappointed in the Rachman. I have a thing about using animals when you (the writer) think you have to kill something to make a point. Just kill a person, dammit.

Glad that you are enjoying the Flavia Albia mysteries -- I've been listening to the Marcus Didius Falco series and a book or two ago he and Helena adopted Albia -- mainly I'm glad to hear he is around to pester his daughter, he does lead a rather dangerous life.

Your woes with the Athenaeum sound bizarre. I will say that I was once told I couldn't be in a book group because I was too intimidating. Starting a group of your own sounds like the ticket. I've never been invited to one or tried to join one since that disaster. LT is the closest I've come to having a group and I've come to accept that maybe I'm just not the right sort.

Sep 17, 2017, 11:51am Top

>158 m.belljackson:

It first seemed that including a violent animal death for no reason (like "clapboard house") was a modern inclusion,
then I found the same in Dickens' Oliver Twist. Maybe this was the first and so set a precedent...

Edited: Sep 17, 2017, 12:20pm Top

It would be a gruesome but interesting literary quest - but I think you might be onto something as the 19th century might well when a mere animal would be regarded as a worthy substitute for the death of a human--but somehow "easier" to bear which is what I find disgusting as it is manipulative of our emotions in a craven way. Animals do die horribly, and I've read plenty of books where I'm fine with it when it fits within the context of the story.

Hi Suzanne!

Sep 17, 2017, 1:45pm Top

>160 Chatterbox: Hi Lucy! watching the discussion unfold with interest!

I suspect the contemporaries reading group will be glad to see the back of me. One of the admins once said, jokingly, oh, here comes the really talkative member of our group -- but in a way that I know meant that she didn't really like the fact that I talked that much. Ironically, another member of that group actually talked far more than I did -- and had started to make a point of trying to contradict everything I said, or wrinkle her nose whenever I made a point. She is very bright -- a lawyer, former academic, etc. -- and far more articulate than I am, and also more socially adept. So it got to the point where I actually had become wary of opening my mouth in that group, between Holly's comment and Pamela's deft sideswipes. I began to feel stupid, while knowing that I was brighter than all but two or three of the regular attendees there (and certainly than Holly.) A good group is made up of people who all come to the table with different perspectives on a book, and whose goal isn't to score points off each other, but to try and make points, in the interest of pushing forward a discussion about the book. Sigh.

I may wait until next year to propose my own group; not sure I have the energy right now, or that I want to try to come up with a reading list in the next week or two. I mean, my longlist is LONG: (I would make it a 20th century, post Henry James list of literature on the themes of exiles, expatriates and emigrés.

Hemingway - The Sun Also Rises

Joseph Roth – Job

Nabokov – Pnin

EM Forster - Passage to India

James Baldwin -- Giovanni’s Room

Jean Rhys -- Wide Sargasso Sea or Voyage in the Dark

James Jones -- The Merry Month of May

Monica Ali -- Brick Lane

Caleb Crain -- Necessary Errors

Laila Lalami -- Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

Ana Menendez -- Adios, Happy Homeland

Hala Alyan -- Salt Houses

Viet Thanh Nguyen -- The Sympathizer

That's a year's worth of reading for a book club right there...

The goal would be to try to combine classics (Roth, Baldwin) with more contemporary narratives, and the traditional white man goes to Paris to find himself while drinking absinthe idea with something different -- people driven from their homes against their will, not just traveling to explore with the sense that they can always return home, but those who have to redefine their very idea of what home is, or who no longer possess an idea of "home" -- cultural displacement. So, post-colonialism comes into play, and migration from the so-called Third World to Europe and North America. The bit that's still missing is someone who migrates from the "First World" to Asia or Africa. For that matter, a book like Exit West could fit in here, too. Also want to explore a range of literary styles -- so Mohsin Hamid's novel would be a narrative form that is quite different from Hemingway, while Menendez plays with innovative storytelling and myths.

Meanwhile, I'm reading a thumping good espionage novel (the third installment in the series by Adam Brookes, who started out with Night Heron, and I have to get back to it. It's been a while since I had a "really can't put it down" book.

And my audiobook (the new Louise Penny mystery) also is very good. Perhaps I've finally discovered the right way to tackle her novels -- via audio. The short, staccato writing style that annoys me so much in print isn't even discernible. And the plot is more gripping than the last book was, hurrah!

Sep 18, 2017, 6:32pm Top

>158 m.belljackson: Too intimidating, eh? I've heard that in other contexts myself. and >161 ffortsa: that too. I think lawyers have a frequent flaw in their character that leads them to tally up the points, but this one sounds downright rude.

For your list of exiles, you might look at the three panelists at the Brooklyn Book Festival panel titled 'Spanning Place and Time: Migration and Memory'. The panelists were Wioletta Greg, who spoke only in Polish but now lives on the Isle of Wight, writing about Poland, Santiago Gamboa, who read an interesting passage about people from Latin America returning to their homeland after living for years in Europe, Maja Lunde and Gabriel Sanders (sorry, I didn't stay to hear them). No idea of the quality of their work, but new names to me in the area of your subject. Thanks for your list, however. I've read only a few of them so far.

Edited: Sep 18, 2017, 7:59pm Top

>162 Chatterbox: Thanks for the suggestions! Wioletta Gerg's latest novel was a nominee for the Man Booker International prize, but I haven't read it; the others are new to me... I'll do some digging!

Sep 19, 2017, 8:12am Top

I saw The Word Exchange at the library today and noted that it got less than stellar reviews on goodreads so left it on the shelf. Now just checked it on LT and see your high rating so will get it out on my next visit. The premise looks very promising and I'm hosting October's near-future scifi thread over in the category challenge so fits in there very nicely.

I finished The weight of ink this evening. Really loved this though I took my time and missed the August shared read on TIOLI.

Sep 19, 2017, 9:39am Top

Many thanks for the list, Suz - as a book group moderator I am always looking for the next book to suggest to my feisty group.

Sep 19, 2017, 10:39am Top

>164 magicians_nephew: I thought it was very clever and thought-provoking. I was surprised by the low ratings, but can only assume readers were looking for something less highbrow. It is very high concept, and once or twice I struggled, but I still found it fascinating. The whole idea of the degradation of language, too, is only going to increase in importance, I think. You'll notice that even though it's been several years, I instantly remember the book, the themes, etc. How many novels is that true of? Only those that are good enough to resonate, right?

>165 Chatterbox: de rien, m'sieur.

Sep 19, 2017, 4:53pm Top

Oh wow, that is a great recommendation. I thought as I read the reviews that possibly the book was a challenging read rather than a bad one. I went back and read your 2014 comments and noted that several of us (including me) had added it to our to read lists back then. We get so many BBs that not all can be followed through with.
I did grab Magpie Murders off the library shelf.

Sep 19, 2017, 11:13pm Top

Back again to "favorite" a couple of posts and now off to look at The Word Exchange.
Meanwhile, I'm about to finish The Weight of Ink. At 80% read I really, really like it but don't quite love it. I'll have to try to think why not.

Edited: Sep 20, 2017, 12:32am Top

>168 Chatterbox: I can understand not loving it. I'm in about the same place, especially after time to reflect. For me, I think it was that there was a lot of philosophy, and a lot of introspection. It was just too much. And the overall tone was somber and bleak. I like some leavening of that along the way. It was very accomplished, but...

Sigh, I shall have to read more junk so as not afflict you all with quite as many BBs???

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 12:03am Top

OK, time to start digging into the August books...
This batch includes a bunch of re-reads and comfort reads and light reads.

248. The Enemy of the Good by Matthew Palmer

Spotted this at the Athenaeum and picked it up; a thriller set in Kyrgyzstan? How cool. And it's a decent, fast-paced read, too, by an author who knows his stuff, with the usual caveat that writing a thriller requires one to suspend common sense at times. The heroine is the daughter of an American foreign service officer who grew up in Kyrgyzstan and attended an international school there (yay, international school kids rule!), as her mother was a local. But both her parents ran afoul of the regime and died in a mysterious "accident" leaving Kate to be raised by relatives. Now her Kyrgyz aunt also has long since vanished into the regime's jails and she too, after blotting her copybook working in Cuba, has been sent back to the country where it all began, where her uncle is now ambassador. (Now, this would never happen in real life...) There's a reason -- the Americans believe that a resistance group they'd like to tap into is led by one of her former classmates. But can she trust her embassy colleagues? Can she trust her former classmates? Is a revolution really brewing? Good and just the right amount of intrigue. 3.8 stars.

249. The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis Peters

Audible had some unabridged Brother Cadfael yarns available and I thought that I'd try one that I didn't remember well, to listen to when I had a migraine. It was a good listen, but the "mystery" wasn't much of a mystery, really. And I never really try to figure out whodunnits; I like to be surprised and shocked. This one was just so obvious that it felt that Cadfael was slow-witted and I became annoyed. 3.3 stars. I'll only listen to more if they are on sale.

250. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

This was another re-read of a long-time sentimental favorite that I've read and re-read until the words come off the page, since I first discovered it in an Ottawa library at the age of about 12. (Colleen McCullough plagiarized it in The Ladies of Missalonghi and don't let anyone tell you differently...) Written in 1926, it's a period piece -- the story of Valancy Stirling, or "Doss" as the extended Valancy clan calls her. She's the put-upon, overlooked, lackluster, feeble and dour spinster in her late 20s (can't recall exactly) who has never had anything all of her own, and is always compared unfavorably with her glamorous cousin Olive. She is bullied by her widowed mother and her cousin. She's actually an unappealing character -- except for her love for books, especially those by a mysterious author named John Foster, who ventures out into mysterious and unknown places and writes about them in lyrical (aka purple) prose. Then one day Valancy goes to consult a doctor -- not the family doctor -- about some mysterious heart palpitations she's been having. The news he gives her provides her with a shock and the courage she needs to kick over the traces. She scandalizes the family (hurrah!) and sets out to live her OWN life on her OWN terms. It's a lovely, heartwarming tale, however old-fashioned it feels. 4 stars.

251. The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye (finished 8/3/17) 3.9 stars

Hmm, there's a problem here. Lyndsay Faye is a massive fan of Sherlock Holmes and writing homages to Holmes and Watson; I'm a massive fan of Faye's NON-Holmes writings. Oh well. These stories are just fine, and Faye really does capture Conan Doyle's voice and the spirit of the whole oeuvre. They'd be absolutely ideal for the Sherlock maniac in your life. They were fun, and I consumed them one at a time, over many months. Many, many months. Because I just wasn't captivated enough to keep reading consistently, since I'm NOT a Sherlock maniac. (Well, except for the creativity behind some of the video versions...) Read it, by all means. You'll love it if you love Conan Doyle, I suspect. 3.9 stars.

252. On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

The latest in the series of mysteries and exploits involving Lady Georgianna Rannoch, 30-somethingth in line to the throne after George V, who in this episode is deteriorating in health. Georgie wants to give up her place in the succession; Queen Mary is terrified that the Prince of Wales will lose his right to succeed by insisting on marrying a divorced woman, Wallis Simpson. She strikes a kind of deal with Georgie: if she goes off to an Italian villa, where a member of the nobility (married to a schoolfriend of Georgie's) is entertaining the Prince and Wallis, she can reconnoitre the situation and find out if a secret marriage has taken place. Then the queen will use her influence in Georgie's behalf to push forward her renunciation of her place in the succession for marrying a Catholic, the hunky Darcy. Of course, this being Georgie, it turns out to be a lot more complicated. There's murder and espionage involved... and Georgie's mother turns up to complicate matters. Good heavens... The series is fun, but don't start here. 3.65 stars.

253. Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery by James R. Benn 3.85 stars
257. The First Wave by James R. Benn 4.1 stars

I'm finally reading my way through this series, for several reasons. Can Soho Press really publish a bad series of mysteries? It's a set of adventure mysteries against the backdrop of WW2, so that has to be intriguing, right? And I accidentally requested an ARC of the most recent one from Amazon Vine, so I really have to play catchup before I read and review that one... So, these are the first two, all about Billy Boyle, an Irish cop from Boston. What distinguishes him from any other of that genre caught up in the post-Pearl Harbor military frenzy, is the fact that his aunt/cousin, Mamie, happens to be married to a general by the name of Eisenhower. Turns out that uncle Ike can't or won't keep him stateside, but he does give him a job on his staff -- doing special investigations. There are times, however, when Billy wonders whether it might not have been safer for him to be on the front lines... In the first book, Billy travels to London, meets Kaz, a Polish baron in exile with whom he'll be working, and is tasked with investigating a murder among the Norwegian government in exile, that ends up getting him involved in probing a plan to invade Norway and take it back from the Nazis, and find out what happened to some of the country's missing gold reserves. The second book picks up quickly thereafter. Billy, reconciled to the idea of serving and no longer a grumpy curmudgeon about it, arrives in North Africa ahead of most of the troops landing in Operation Torch. The beautiful British woman he loves is an SOE agent in danger, but that's the least of his worries in this complex tale of double- and triple crosses and stolen penicillin. Kaz finds his warrior mojo in this book, even though Diana loses hers. Good reading, but the female characters definitely take a back seat, perhaps necessarily. I already can tell this will become annoying. Moreover, there's a lack of real character depth or development.

254. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

I got the first two volumes in this ultra-lightweight and very silly/frivolous Singaporean chick lit saga from Amazon Vine, and must have become addicted, because I wanted to find out what happened. The answer, of course, is nothing of any use or value. That didn't mean that it wasn't so bizarrely odd that it was a fun romp. I really hope that Asia's ultra-rich aren't like this. If they are, it really is time for a new revolution. 3.65 stars. Not if you want to take anything seriously, because it will annoy you deeply. Strictly to laugh at.

255. The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

Having heard a lot of people say that they are fans of the Longmire mysteries, I assigned myself the first book to read this year. I tried it as an audio book, which may have been part of the problem. It was a slow start to the novel, and the drawling voice did not help. I think it took me five or six weeks to get into it and finish it. Even then, it wasn't until I was reading the last 50 pages or so that I became completely engaged, by the time Longmire is making his trek through the snow to rescue a potential victim. Until then I was reading dutifully. I may give book #2 a chance, but only if I can find it in the library. I liked his writing style and sense of place, but the pacing was too slow for me.

256. The Golden Age by Joan London

A fascinating novel, and a poignant tale of two young people and their families recovering from polio in an Australian nursing home. The only two near-adolescents in a recovery home dedicated for children, they are thrown together. We hear the tales of their families, and of the matron who runs the house. London's story is unique and distinctive, so is her narrative voice. Her characters are real and distinctive; they sprang to life on the page. I can't remember who recommended this to me, but I thank them! So -- true. 4.3 stars.

258. The Traitor's Niche by Ismail Kadaré (finished 8/10/17) 4.3 stars

An eerie, chilling (in many senses) and creepy novel, about the people in the Ottoman emperor's broad circle whose lives revolve, in one way or another, around the niche of the title. There is the man responsible for maintaining the heads that occupy it, and ensuring that they look fresh and presentable (or his head may be the next to be there...) There are the minions despatched to collect the heads, by decapitating pashas who have revolted or otherwise have offended the emperor. There are those pashas themselves, one of whom tries to outwit the "collector." And those on the collector's route, in "pacified" territories, who line up docilely to pay to sea the exhibited head, which is cherished almost like a beloved being by the collector... Kadaré, an Albanian writer, comes from one of those countries that was part of the Ottoman empire and was "pacified", lending a particular element of interest to the narrative. Definitely a recommended novel (and on the Man Booker International prize longlist). 4.3 stars

259. The Summer of the Spanish Woman by Catherine Gaskin

Of course, this isn't in the same league as the two previous books at all! I enjoyed reading Gaskin's novels in the 1970s and 1980s -- family sagas and epics and really quite well written, but with plots that were basically historical fiction/historical romance. In this one, a mother and daughter must leave their family home in Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century, and venture off to Spain, where their only remaining asset turns out to be a dilapidated house and a stake in a sherry making venture. They aren't made very welcome: their father/grandfather had a complicated history with some of the proud and insular Spanish families that the come to learn only gradually. Still, they make their lives there. It's a long and drawn out narrative that moves from about 1906 or so until 1936 and the outbreak of the civil war in Spain, and involves lovers long separated, etc. etc. Still, a good read; the first time I'd re-read it since about 1980; it's just been made available for Kindle. 4 stars.

260. The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (finished 8/11/17) 3.85 stars

The latest P. Gregory novel. Ho hum. This time, she turns her gaze on the Grey sisters -- Lady Jane (beheaded for being queen for nine days), Catherine and Mary. I did like the way she managed to find a different voice for each, and made it clear how each had different preoccupations: religion, frivolity but also ambition (Catherine) and sheer pragmatism (Mary.) But how I wish that she would learn not to repeat a sentence three times with only minor alterations, as if her readers were in grade 2, and learning to read and struggled to comprehend basic concepts. It doesn't enhance the literary style. The bottom line? Read Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle instead. No, it doesn't give Jane's perspective, but it's a much more thoughtful and better written book. The one part of this I did like is that it gives a brutal (and probably brutally honest) view of Queen Elizabeth, who for all the way we view her as a heroine now, was also a real bitch to a lot of people. 3.85 stars, being generous with this rating.

Sep 22, 2017, 2:38am Top

Ooh, some interesting read here. I'm making note of The Confession of Brother Haluin, The Blue Castle and On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service. I've been thinking of watching the Brother Cadfael TV series but have too much on my plate right now.

Sep 22, 2017, 10:27am Top

>170 PawsforThought: The Last Tudor arrived this week in the library, and I'm hoping to read it sometime in the next year.

Sep 22, 2017, 12:09pm Top

I read a batch of the Cadfael's back in the day and then sort of figured out it was the same story told over and over again.

But then I fell in love with Derek Jacobi's TV mysteries based on the character and read them all again.

Comfort reading, like comfort food is never to be sneered at

Sep 22, 2017, 12:27pm Top

>170 PawsforThought: I think I own a copy around here somewhere of the first James Benn mystery. I've never seen anyone rave about it but I like a WW2 mystery. This one doesn't sound worthwhile though.

Sep 22, 2017, 12:54pm Top

>174 Chatterbox: No, I wouldn't rave about it. And I definitely wouldn't recommend the audiobooks; the narrator's voice is annoying and when he tries to do Irish voices, he makes them sound Scots. (in a later book.) There's a new narrator for some of the later books, and I'll try that out, but... I would say they are interesting? That said, I don't find cozy mysteries at all interesting, for some of the same reasons I am "meh" about this -- a lack of distinctive flavor, a series of events that feel as if they are following a kind of formula, and characters that sometimes are doing what they are supposed to do to meet reader expectations. Why not try the first one? If you don't like the tone/voice, etc. you def. won't like the others.

>173 lindapanzo: I binge read them when they were re-released in the late 80s/early 90s -- or I think they were being re-released? And she was writing the final ones. And I binge read the Felse books, which were being re-released, and everything else I could find. And then I ran out of books by her...

>172 magicians_nephew: I'm sure there is a long waiting list!

>171 thornton37814: I never watched all the Cadfael mysteries. I love Derek Jacobi, but too many of those, as Jim points out in >173 lindapanzo:, felt like the same plot, repeatedly, and the TV format just emphasized that. If they were/are available for streaming, I'd dip into them. Actually, that's an idea -- maybe I can find the DVDs at the Athenaeum and just pick up one or two to watch occasionally.

Sep 22, 2017, 1:19pm Top

>175 PawsforThought: Yeah, maybe spreading out watching them, instead of doing a marathon, would be a good way to watch them.

Sep 22, 2017, 1:28pm Top

>175 PawsforThought: Thanks for the info. I don't do audiobooks and I do like cozies. Since I do own the first one, I think, I will give it a try. It seems to me that I picked it up in my early LT days and it's likely on my Kindle.

Aha, yes, I own Billy Boyle and I picked it up in the summer of 2009 on Kindle. Probably one of my longest-standing Kindle books.

Sep 22, 2017, 3:16pm Top

>176 lindapanzo: I wouldn't do a marathon of those -- they don't "flow" into one another with cliffhangers, the way Game of Thrones or Homeland or other miniseries do. Each episode is self-contained.

>177 Chatterbox: You've got nothing to lose! It's more violent/thriller-like than a cozy mystery, I hasten to add. After all, it's war, and there are murders. But it's got the same "chugging along like a train" pace. I kept wishing it were more like John Lawton's Frederick Troy mysteries, which are really deep dives.

Sep 22, 2017, 4:16pm Top

>175 PawsforThought: Actually the lines are never too long here in the academic library because people rarely place holds on items. (They want instant gratification.) Most of our people just browse to see what they want. Ours is a leased book collection so we keep them in a separate section. We keep one out of every five titles permanently, usually the ones of a more literary nature.

Sep 22, 2017, 6:18pm Top

>179 Chatterbox: I'm all for instant gratification...

I like the idea of keeping lots of titles permanently, if only because I'm so delighted when I discover an old favorite that isn't a literary classic, sitting a shelf and waiting for me. I understand that they have less literary merit -- but it's so nice to see them there, like old friends. I'd love to see a copy of Avalon by Anya Seton, for instance, if only because my copy has literally fallen apart.

Sep 22, 2017, 7:35pm Top

>170 PawsforThought: I have Rich People Problems for my eReader. I'll keep your thoughts in mind when I get to it. I hope it doesn't annoy me too much :)

Sep 22, 2017, 9:21pm Top

>181 Chatterbox: Have you read the two previous books in the series already? You really need to have done that for this one to make sense.

Sep 23, 2017, 8:05am Top

>181 Chatterbox: Nope, I didn't realize that was part of a series! I'll find the other two first. Thanks!!

Sep 23, 2017, 2:13pm Top

>180 ChelleBearss: Earlier today one of our professors made a Facebook comment about a series she'd just begun to read. It's a series many of us here on LT enjoy, and it's one series our library has kept because it circulates very well and has a broad readership. Since she was just to the second in the series, I told her the library had most, if not all, of the volumes. She was quite excited and plans to stop by to check the next one out.

Sep 23, 2017, 2:23pm Top

>184 Chatterbox: So, which series was it? Are you going to leave me hanging in suspense??? LOL!

Sep 23, 2017, 3:21pm Top

>185 thornton37814: Just trying to honor the privacy of her reading choices since she isn't here.

Edited: Sep 23, 2017, 9:01pm Top

I laughed about your comment regarding the Anya Seton book. I loved Green Darkness back in the day, and would find myself thinking about it at odd times. By accident I found it at a used bookstore and purchased it along with a paperback copy of Winthrop Woman. Green Darkness is one of the few titles of books I have read that I have kept. Almost always, once I read a book it has to leave the house. Otherwise I would be drowning in books.

By-the-way, I am looking for a used copy of Theirs Was the Kingdom. I have a copy of God Is An Englishman but gave away my set years ago. Now I want the Swann Family Saga back.

Sep 24, 2017, 12:49am Top

>186 benitastrnad: Understood!

>187 Chatterbox: I have several books of that kind, that I feel a need to have with me constantly, like comfort blankies. I make sure I have Kindle versions of them, if at all possible. I think a lot of the Delderfield books are available on Kindle now, quite affordably? A book I just read mentioned The Secret Island -- it was author Rebecca Stott's first venture into "secular" literature, and one of my favorite Enid Blyton books in childhood, a classic "running away" book. I instantly decided that I had to have a copy, but it's a bit too pricey and not really accessible. It would be 4 pounds for my UK Kindle -- for a 230 page children's book, a little much -- and I'd have to order a paperback here, as it's not available for Kindle. So I haven't bitten the bullet. I just loved the story, and read it over and over again. I have a whole list of books like that. The Gentle Falcon by Hilda Lewis was one, and most of the novels by Geoffrey Trease.

Sep 26, 2017, 11:03am Top

Over the weekend I watched a couple of hours of PBS's Create Channel programming. One of the programs was Rudy Maxa's travel show for PBS. He took a trip to Tokyo. One of the things he featured for entertainment was the plethora of pachinko parlors. He showed how the game was played and told the viewers how popular the game was in Japan. In fact he said that he stayed in the parlor he was in several hours playing the addictive game. Of course, this only reminded me of Pachinko and the fact that I have the book but haven't read it. Yet. Rudy Maxa may have convinced me to get it out and move it up on the TBR list.

Sep 28, 2017, 11:31am Top

I have spent the last two weeks watching the Ken Burn's Vietnam War series. It is amazing. I have had a copy of Bright Shining Lie in my collection for years and it has just been sitting there. I think I am going to dig it out and read it. I avoided it because I thought of it as one of those conservative tomes from before me time. I think I am wrong about that? What is your opinion. Neil Sheehan was one of the frequent "talking heads" in the series and I liked what he had to say.

Edited: Sep 28, 2017, 11:38am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Sep 30, 2017, 12:09am Top

Sheehan is anything BUT a conservative... Will write more about this after I have recovered from the last 36 hours. A Lyft driver stole my Bose headphones, had to file a police report, then my laptop died, and now I'll have to spend money I don't have and can't afford to replace it in order to work. I've got a handful of people I've been trying to collect $$ from people who've owed it to me for two years plus, and they don't want to pay and all I want to do is sit and cry at this point. So I'll be back to this, and the non-fiction challenge, in a day or two. Apologies.

Sep 30, 2017, 11:05am Top

Oh dear Suz, I hope things sort out ok. Won't say more for now.

Sep 30, 2017, 3:49pm Top

So sorry for the multi-pains that are hitting you! I hope things will sort out soon...in the meantime, know that your LT friends and acquaintances are sending you good thoughts and wishes.

Karen O.

Sep 30, 2017, 7:51pm Top


Sep 30, 2017, 9:41pm Top

>192 sibyx: That's terrible! I hope things get sorted out for you soon!

Oct 4, 2017, 5:20pm Top

>196 Chatterbox: Thanks Chelle. Am back online. New laptop. New headphones. Much smaller savings account. Nothing new from Lyft driver. I've been binge-listening to Thomas Perry's suspense novels. For some reason, that is my comfort-reading of choice, with stress and migraine stuff going on. Though I did manage to finish Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms for the non-fiction challenge for September. It was fascinating. Who knew that there were only 176 Samaritans (as in the Good Samaritan...) left in the world?

Oct 5, 2017, 3:01am Top

Sorry to hear you had to get a new laptop and headphones - and what an *ss of a Lyft driver!

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 3:57am Top

Also sorry to hear about your recent mishaps that have proven annoyingly costly.

Thought you might like to look up this new book by NZ writer, C.K. Stead, The necessary angel. Literary about expat NZer in Paris.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 12:10pm Top

What do you think about the Nobel Prize? I was disappointed. It is no secret that I am a Murakami fan and I hope that he manages to win someday. I also would be happy with Margret Atwood - but that isn't likely to happen now that Alice Munro won.

Oct 5, 2017, 12:52pm Top

Good morning, chatterbox!

I know you read a lot of different genres. I'm very excited about Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz. Have you read this one?

Oct 6, 2017, 11:49am Top

Sorry to read about all the tech and work travails. Hope the new gadgets behave themselves.

Oct 6, 2017, 12:26pm Top

>202 Chatterbox: They are doing beautifully, thanks, Charlotte. I did have an editor go ballistic on me this morning (while I'm battling latest migraine) because a piece was a day late because of all this stuff. He literally erupted. It's someone I've known for 20 years, although only worked for since he opened his own agency. I'm rather annoyed because he is paying me peanuts, and so far hasn't even paid me for the work I've done, and he's just transmitting the irritation he's getting from client.

>201 charl08: I haven't actually. I've seen Hurwitz's books pop up in bookstores but don't think I've ever read them. Should I try it as an audiobook?

>200 brodiew2: I was surprised, but not displeased. I like Ishiguro, and it's an interesting choice -- the Nobel committee is nothing if not unpredictable. And let's face it, not all winners are icons of literature, if you look at the list, even if we want it to be the ne plus ultra prize for a lifetime's work. Just take a gander at the winners. Some truly are shiny literary stars whose names will endure. Others?? Erm, not so much. And others are simply interesting choices, like Svetlana Alexeivetch. So I tend not to get over-excited by who will and won't get the nod -- I merely follow it, in a kind of intrigued, curious manner. I wouldn't say that Alice Munro's win means Atwood won't get it -- I don't think the committee approaches things that rationally, allotting x picks per country. I think they just want unusual, interesting choices, and are less likely than any other prize by the "consensus" -- something is far more likely to come out of left field. Perhaps Murakami won't get it, but some other Japanese writer that none of us have heard of will. Of some high-end genre writer from Asia or Africa, and we'll all look at each other and say, "who?" This is, after all, the group that awarded the prize to Pearl Buck.

>199 benitastrnad: Thanks so much -- this sounds VERY appealing. Not available in the UK yet, and available via book depository only at a price I can't quite afford right now, so I may wait until I can get it on my UK Kindle in February. If I succumb earlier, or end up with a BD gift certificate for Xmas or my birthday in the interval, I'll let you know. It's DEF up my alley. Have you read it yet??

>198 avatiakh: Yes, he is. And now that the cops are involved, he is saying that he'll return the headphones, really truly. Lyft has issued a FedEx ticket for them, to go to my friend's in NYC, where they can be left in the lobby. So I'll have two pairs of headphones, one pair of which I'll be using all weekend to transcribe (again) hours of interviews that I did 10 days ago. Blech.

Still mainlining Thomas Perry thrillers on audiobook. They are just the thing for migraines, as I have read them already, and they don't require a high level of concentration, but they keep me entertained when I can't read on a screen or page.

Oct 6, 2017, 12:31pm Top

>203 brodiew2: ABSOLUTELY! Sorry. Yes. I am in love with this series, though it has only two book and short story. Scott Brick narrates and does an A+ job. The third book is due out in January.

Oct 6, 2017, 12:53pm Top

Thanks for that thoughtful reasoned commentary on the Nobel Committee. I don't know why there choice matters to me at all. I think it is because the writers who have spoken to me over the years are not the same as those that speak to the committee. I tend to think of the award as a reward. Clearly, that is not the case. Thanks for pointing that out in a gentle way.

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 2:54pm Top

>204 benitastrnad: LOL, OK, I have one or two credits in my stash; shall look at the series. Though they compare it to Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne, and I don't like either of those two... Hmm. I like subtlety with my thrillers, more espionage and less action.

>205 Chatterbox: No, I see your point, and I think a LOT of people share it, especially when they feel strongly about particular authors. I've spent more time thinking about literary prizes in general since joining LT, where a lot of people follow them and really want judges to do the "right" thing, and almost judge the judges. I've ended up going the other way, and viewing many of these prizes as being more of a reflection of what is particularly esteemed (or popular, or both) right now. It may endure, or it may not -- we can't really tell. I just don't want to end up in the position of despising certain judges for not sharing my predilections, and thinking that they are stupid or ill-informed as a result. Once you get past a certain point, different books speak to different readers in different ways; there obviously are formula reads and Harlequin romances and books of that ilk, but on a shortlist of five books, any one of three probably could legitimately win. And the Nobel is such a different kind of award anyway -- a lifetime award for any kind of literary contribution. Those judges have made it clear that they want to be very open and go their own way.

So, I suppose what I'm saying is that to the extent there is a book that I love in contention (or an author who is a friend whose book is in the running, or in this case, the wife of a friend who is in contention for a National Book Award) then yeah, the choice matters. But then I'll take a step back and say, nope, I'm also not going to judge the judges and say they don't know what they're doing, they're unqualified, they are stupid, they made the wrong selections, etc., just because they didn't make the decisions I did. For instance, I don't understand why the Man Booker jury picked History of Wolves for the shortlist and left off Kamila Shamsie's new novel, which I thought was better and more interesting. The former could end up going down in history as the author's debut novel and nothing more, or just dying. Shamsie's book will give her another boost, I think -- it's a very strong and assured novel.

As I said I was surprised by Ishiguro, but pleased that a better known novelist won. What I like about his novels, vs. those of Atwood, is that each is so unique/distinctive; you couldn't pin any kind of label on him (magical realism, contemporary, historical, fantasy, science fiction -- he ventures everywhere, and delivers elegantly.) Atwood, while extremely talented, does get caught up in certain ruts from time to time. But she does have the kind of oeuvre that would warrant this accolade, esp factoring in her essays, critical studies and poetry. I just don't know enough Murakami to comment.

Oct 6, 2017, 3:05pm Top

>206 brodiew2: Then perhaps you should pass. It's pretty action oriented. I liked the idea that he was trained as a killing machine, but his particular 'father' (handler) also wanted to keep him human, which turns out to be both good and bad in his present circumstances. If you want to check my reviews, they are here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/259544.

Oct 6, 2017, 7:38pm Top

>207 Chatterbox: Tks! I'll keep it on my wish list in case any of them pop up in Audible sales or special offers. For now I may refrain. I'm binging on Thomas Perry, which is about my limit for action, and then I'll probably return to some more conventional mysteries and more serious reading, if my migraines permit. I have some good non-fiction lined up.

Oct 6, 2017, 8:28pm Top

>203 brodiew2: I was also very taken with the idea of this book. I haven't read it, I'll have to wait my turn at the library as book prices here are fairly steep, saw it this morning at the bookshop ($NZ37). Anyway I mentioned it to you in case it turned up as a review copy somewhere. Stead is one of NZ's more eminent literary figures.

Oct 6, 2017, 11:27pm Top

>209 Chatterbox: Do keep me posted on what you think of the book when you've read it. I've heard that book prices down under are a bit silly, and that there are relatively few discount options available. Sigh. I suppose that's somewhat inevitable as the result of a smaller market? Or are there other factors at work? Yes, shall keep my eyes open, and it's on my list for purchase when it becomes available on Kindle in the UK in February. And it's not as if I have nothing else to read in the meantime...

I'm going to delve back into the Baker & Llewellyn mysteries by Will Thomas and try out a debut novel, The Readymade Thief, by Augustus Rose, all of which I have from the Athenaeum. Meanwhile have a growing mound of ARCs from Amazon Vine...

Oct 7, 2017, 12:26pm Top

Dear Suz,

It has taken me awhile to get around to doing this, but I wanted to let you know that I enjoy your posts here, and I hope that you don't stop doing LT. I understand your headache problems and how debilitating they can be. I suffered from migraines for about 5 years. Mine were hormone based, but they were incredibly painful often accompanied by auras and sensitivity to lights and smells. (For some reason the smell of cooking chicken set them off. I still tend to avoid chicken for that reason.) For a very healthy person, I found myself leaving work early, or working through the pain. My Doctor told me that she thought my migraines would pass, and they have. I am rarely afflicted with them now. But this experience led me to be much more sympathetic to this medical condition. It has taken the medical community a long time to recognize migraines as a medical condition that needs treatment. I firmly believe this is due to the fact that the majority of sufferers are women and the medical establishment called it a "woman's condition" and relegated it to the hinterlands of research and concern. I hope that someday there will be a breakthrough for sufferers who have the problems you have with this condition. In the meantime, keep posting, and I hope to see you at more ALA's. Now that I am no longer serving on committees, I should have more time to spend in networking. Maybe I will see you in Denver?


Oct 9, 2017, 9:35am Top

Happy Thanksgiving, Suz! Hope your migraines have decreased for you!

Oct 9, 2017, 1:50pm Top

>211 ChelleBearss: Thanks so much for the kind words, Benita. I completely agree with you re the misogyny of many physicians with respect to migraine -- my mother was told in the 1960s/70s that it was "all in her head." She responded, wryly, that it certainly was, and that she'd like them to remove it from her head. They looked at her blankly, not recognizing the sarcasm. I had a period where the migraines abated and they seem to be back in a slightly different form -- not as constant and unremitting as they used to be, but I also seem to have less resilience to deal with them (age??) So I'm now taking yet another drug on top of the Topamax, having just added Verapamil to the list. It's wearying. I feel as if I am about to get a migraine, have one, or am trying to recover from one.

I don't plan to leave LT, but I'm not as active as I used to be -- my energy levels are lower. I can either read, or I can post. And we know which comes first, right?! Not sure at this point about Denver. It doesn't seem very likely, given my financial position. Unlike Chicago, I wouldn't have a free place to stay. I'd love to go, obviously, and my cousin is going, and probably a dear friend and former colleague, who is now a librarian in Boulder, but finances rule right now. And I just had to spend several times my budget for this on the new laptop. It could be reckless.

>212 Chatterbox: Happy Thanksgiving, Chelle! I hope your littlest one has given you enough rest to enjoy the festivities....

And today is my THINGAVERSARY!! In fact, it's my 11th Thingaversary, although I didn't start hanging around here until the beginning of 2010. So, yet another way to feel old!!

Oct 9, 2017, 11:15pm Top

Oh! Hope you had a happy Thingaversary, Suz! Your presence is certainly a gift to the rest of us!

Oct 10, 2017, 12:18am Top

Happy Thingaversary, Suz! My 10th is coming up later this month. How time flies, yes? Although my migraines are mostly under control (after some years of getting into these cyclical never-ending regurgitation cycles, every two hours, necessitating emergency room visits in the dead of the night), Santa Anas in October seem to bring out them out and although I've not been incapacitated, I've certainly been uncomfortable and unproductive. All this is simply to say that I am constantly amazed at how much you get accomplished despite your nearly constant levels of pain. You have my admiration.

Oct 10, 2017, 2:04am Top

Happy Thingaversary!

You're absolutely doing the right thing in taking things a bit easier and not posting a lot on LT when your migraine are tiring you out. If it's a choce between LT posting and reading - always reading!

Oct 10, 2017, 2:29am Top

Yup, adding to the consensus - go with the reading. 11 years is impressive stuff, glad you're here.

Edited: Oct 10, 2017, 6:29am Top

Happy Thingaversary, Suzanne! Thanks for all the book bullets over the years. I don't think you've ever steered me wrong. I'm sorry to hear your migraines are giving you so much trouble, but I'm glad you're at least able to read through them, if not spend time here with us. Take care.

Oct 10, 2017, 9:09am Top

Happy Thingaversary! So glad that we all found this wonderful place!

Oct 10, 2017, 10:59am Top

Happy Thingaversary, Suz! I'm glad we had a chance to meet in Chicago at the ALA meeting time.

Oct 10, 2017, 12:02pm Top

Good morning, chatterbox!

I don't know what it's like to have migrane headaches. I wish you the best.

>211 ChelleBearss: I agree with, Benita. I love your reviews, but I also understand the toll such headaches can take.

Oct 10, 2017, 3:04pm Top

Thanks for all the Thinga-greetings!! and the good wishes...

I had a day spent transcribing a looongg interview, which was grueling. It turned into 24 pages of print, or 12,703 words. So you can imagine how much fun THAT was. Now I have to work up an outline for this project. But I'm having a quiet-ish day today. The cats and I are hanging out. I'll finish The Readymade Thief which is, erm, very odd.

Head is ok, just kind of lurking. It's very muggy and unusually warm for the season, though, which I find unpleasant. Blech.

Oct 11, 2017, 1:24pm Top

I have thought that if I do make it to Colorado, I'd looooove to take the train there. I love long train trips, and this one would take me to Chicago on the Lakeshore Limited, and then to Denver on the S. California Zephyr, going through places I've never been in Iowa and Nebraska. Wonder if I could take the train one way and fly back, or vice versa??

Oct 11, 2017, 1:32pm Top

I've done the Lakeshore Limited run from Chicago to NYC and it's gorgeous. And the Zephyr from Chicago to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, which is close to where I live. That is ... less gorgeous but still really interesting if you like seeing into people's backyards and the sides of town you don't get to see from a car.

The Amtrak site is really easy to navigate and book one-way fares, if that's the way you decide to go. Going east-west I don't think you need to layover in Chicago, either, unless the Lakeshore runs way off schedule, which can definitely happen.

Edited: Oct 12, 2017, 11:24pm Top

In 2004 we did several long train trips - after Left Coast Crime in Pasadena we travelled from LA to Oakland, and then in autumn of the same year we flew to NYC, had a couple of days there before getting a train to Toronto for Bouchercon (crime fiction convention), got the overnight train to Montreal (though a much shorter journey than from and to NYC, as we then travelled from Montreal back to New York. North American trains are generally a bit more comfortable than those over here, and at that time the exchange rates were fantastic for us and made it all much more affordable, as did some very advance bookings.

>224 elkiedee: Haha, love the idea of gawking at people's backyards.

At LAX I completely confused the very sweet elderly ladies on the volunteer information desk by asking about the Metro, not something that fits with the image of Los Angeles here. It was actually a very comfortable journey as the train wasn't nearly as crowded as the London Underground, but yes, it did go through Compton and other areas with a certain reputation. It sadly wasn't extended to Pasadena until after that trip (that would have saved us a long and expensive cab journey out there from Union Station).

Edited: Oct 13, 2017, 4:51pm Top

>223 rosalita: when i was young and poor I took the old "Southern Cresent" which ran from New York down to New Orleans stopping in a few places in between. (I got off in Atlanta)

Was a trip out of time with the old Pullman cars and the diner car and the friendly businesslike porters.

Looking out the window at the Virginia Tidewater at 6:00 AM with the sun coming up.

Your trip sounds amazing Suz - maybe one of these days.

Oct 13, 2017, 6:36pm Top

I did take the cross-Canada train trip the summer that I was 18, after my parents left to live in Japan, and I returned east from Vancouver to start my second year at university in Kingston, Ontario. The first overnight was in the Rockies, so I woke up at dawn in Banff (missed most of the Rockies which was a shame...); the second was on the prairies, so I saw sunset on the prairies, which was stunning, and reminded me that there is no such thing as a dull landscape. The third overnight was a landscape I'd seen before, on a camping trip when I was 13, in northern Ontario, and from traveling to see my grandparents, up on the northern shore of Lake Superior, etc. The fourth day we pulled in Union Station in Toronto in mid-morning. It was great -- did it on my own, in a little roomette. (with lots of books, of course.) This was in the days before cell phones, before Internet, so literally no one knew where I was for those three days, and it was wonderful.

I'd also like to take the trip that runs along the top of the US, through Montana and the Dakotas, to Seattle/Portland. (I think it leaves from Chicago?) That is supposed to be excellent.

If I thought I could do the Denver journey without a sleeper (which I couldn't...) it would only be about $250 if I booked it now. But that's two overnights. I'd be dead. Not at my age!

Had ANOTHER migraine last night and had to will myself into feeling human enough into doing some deadline work this morning. Rather, redoing the same piece that I did late last week/Monday for the "friend" who made me feel like a p.o.s. for feeling so sick and working so slowly previously. The end client now wants more/different stuff, so I had to make changes to it anyway. (And proving that this wasn't an urgent-we-have-to-publish-in-24-hours, took 4 days to tell this to my contact on the job. Yup...) At 3:08 a.m., I rolled over, looked at the clock, and thought to myself, is it really worth it any more? Then I remembered that I had two elderly cats, one of whom was sleeping on my hair. But I finally reached a point where books didn't matter any more, I was so exhausted.

Now I'm feeling mostly better, but just wiped out and bruised. My reading count is going to be very, very, very low for this month, I suspect.

Has anyone else been following this astonishing guy who was on Jeopardy -- a bit of a kook, very goofy -- who was just unbeatable and who won $411,000 before finally losing -- by only $51!? Sometimes I think it would be fun to go on jeopardy -- and then I see people like him and go -- nope, no way....

Meanwhile -- finally read Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge. The story of five young boys/men/teenagers who died on a single, randomly chosen day due to gun violence. Accidents (perhaps/kind of), murder by family members, random shootings, gang violence -- pretty much anything you can imagine. And Younge weaves in the broader themes and issues brilliantly. You may well have run across this already, but if not, READ IT. It's tragic, but a must read. Very compelling, even though it will make you angry. (Well, it should.) Gets the full 5 stars from me.

Oct 13, 2017, 6:55pm Top

I've been wanting to read the Gary Younge book... Will have to check the library to see if it's readily available.

Sorry about the head and work. A winning combination :-/

The longest train ride I've done is Chicago to Dallas in a roomette (private, slept two, but no private bath). The Wayne made me take the upper berth which folded down from the wall. I have a picture somewhere.... I got very little sleep that night...

He is actually taking the train from NY to Miami on Sunday/Monday - going to his mom's and didn't want to fly, but didn't need a car there, as he'll be driving back north with his brother-in-law. His whole family thinks he's crazy, but I totally get it - trains are fun!

Oct 13, 2017, 8:56pm Top

>228 Chatterbox: Tell The Wayne I agree with him that trains are fun -- as long as you get some comfort and privacy when you sleep! I can sleep in an upper berth, but I really loved the European sleeper trains...

Over the age of 26, I think, you automatically end up with first class Eurail passes, or something like that -- or else first class is affordable. Can't remember. Anyway, a few times I did one of those so many days out of so many weeks passes, and it was great. One overnight trip in a first class compartment from Vienna to Paris, gliding past the Abbey of Melk at twilight... Another time, did the trip from Rome to Paris. I think the most difficult was when they slid the train onto a ferry to Scandinavia -- I was off to Gothenburg to see my closest friend from high school.

English/Scottish trains aren't what they used to be, but sleepers are still OK, if you're going to Cornwall or Scotland. I like going to sleep to the clickety-clack sound.

Oct 13, 2017, 10:02pm Top

I purchased my plane ticket for Thanksgiving last night. Called my mom today to tell what days I would be there and she told me she was’t going to make the trip. She just doesn’t feel up to it. I am disappointed as I wanted to spend Thanskgiving wth her and my sister. I know that at her age she is not going to be traveling as much by herself but I am still disappointed.

Oct 13, 2017, 11:07pm Top

Loved my only train ride from here in SE NC to Pennsylvania in '64. I hope you get to do yours to Colorado - sounds great.
I'm sorry about the work and headache combo. You are a seriously formidable person, Suzanne, and I'm proud to be your LT friend.
The Younge sounds imperative and the Rose sounds intriguing. Thanks!

Oct 14, 2017, 2:51am Top

>227 katiekrug: I took the sleeper from Calais to Milan once when I was on my way to be an au pair in Florence. It was just after I left university and I remember my Dad bought me a first class ticket as he clearly didn't think I'd manage to get there on my own in one piece. At the time first class on the continental trains was much cheaper than in the U.K. - I wouldn't be surprised if that's still the case. I'd love to do a longer European train journey but no one else in my family is as keen.

Oct 14, 2017, 10:24am Top

>227 katiekrug: The Jeopardy winner was on Jimmy Fallon this week - turns out that they know each other (Jimmy has frequented the bar that Jeopardy Guy 'tends for)! He seems like a really interesting and funny guy.

Nov 1, 2017, 3:08pm Top

Happy November 1st, Suz!

Nov 4, 2017, 3:59pm Top

>234 Chatterbox: Thanks Chelle! I have been absent from my own thread for too long. Migraines and some work and a very painful ankle that is making it increasingly difficult to walk. This started last year, and has gotten steadily worse. Absence of health insurance means that it will be January before I can stagger in to a doctor and get it seen to, once I can get myself back on the rolls. I can get about five or ten minutes of walking before the pain kicks in. No redness, no visible inflammation, so I'm flummoxed. Feels as if someone/something has kicked me in the ankle bone. Thankfully, reading is a sedentary occupation!

Nov 4, 2017, 5:17pm Top

>235 ffortsa: Hm. Heel pain too? If the pain is essentially traveling up your inner ankle, it might be plantar fasciatis, which I've been suffering with. You might try a pair of cheap generic orthotics in your shoes, something you could find at a CVS or Walgreens. It helped a neighbor of mine immediately. I, on the other hand, went for the luxury item and will pick up my custom ones Thursday, and I hope they help. It's been over three months for me.

Of course, if it's not that, I have no unsolicited advice for you.

Nov 4, 2017, 6:05pm Top

Nope, only ankle, right on the bone and moving slightly up from there. Incredibly painful to flex my foot.

Nov 4, 2017, 9:50pm Top

Even though you are in pain it is good to see you back on your thread.

Nov 7, 2017, 3:34pm Top

Not to be annoying...but it sounds like Arthritis...which i have in my wrists and lower back...in a flare-up it's a Burning Pain that feels like something is broken (i've never had a broken bone so can't testify)....just my experience and thoughts...don't everybody get weird

Nov 8, 2017, 1:13pm Top

Stopping by, Suz - want to offer sympathy for your headache woes. I feel fortunate that I only have a few in a year.

Nov 8, 2017, 3:52pm Top

This fall has been brutal and unpleasant. I feel as if I have to budget my resources carefully. Saving them for the work that I do have on my plate, and for the reading I want to do. Posting takes a definite back seat.

Nov 9, 2017, 8:16am Top

No worries. We'll be here as you find time to drop in.

Nov 11, 2017, 1:28am Top

It's clearly time for some more of my mini reviews.

261. The New Mrs. Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan

This author has morphed over the years; every time I think I have her pegged, she tries something a bit different. At first, she wrote a few historical fiction books, a little too gritty to be called historical romances (they didn't always have happy endings and weren't light and fluffy.) Then she moved into what I'd call contemporary women's literature, writing a more up-market version of chick lit for women who are older (in their 40s or so). Her last book was back to more recent history, and this one is set in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and is actually a suspense novel, albeit one with a slow creep to it. The novel opens with the discovery of a body, buried for decades, in the garden of a house that had been bombed during the war and now (during the modern era) is being renovated/torn down, etc. We get some hints/clues, and then zoom, it's back to the cold, dreary aftermath of the war, with rationing and general nastiness in the London neighborhood where the house is set. Two sisters, one widowed during the war, one still single, await the return of their brother from his posting in the occupation forces in Germany. But he arrives with a surprise: a German wife. That's a slap in the face to all those who lost loved ones during the conflict, and what is still stranger is that the newlyweds don't seem altogether at ease with one another. Things are made even more complicated by the fact that the new husband has made enemies, jilting an ex-girlfriend to marry this strange German orphan. What is her story? How did they end up together and what will all this tension produce? Throw in some postwar war crimes investigations, some early Cold War themes, and you've got a very atmospheric novel. 4.3 stars.

262. The Book of Separation by Tova Mirvis

Tova Mirvis grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household and found herself following in the path of a good Jewish girl, meeting an interesting and devout Jewish guy and marrying him. But that wasn't the end of the story. Mirvis had other ambitions for her life, such as becoming a novelist. And eventually, even as she gave birth to her three children and dutifully observed all the restrictions on her life, she realized that she was doing so more out of habit than conviction. We know what happens because when the memoir begins, Mivis is setting off for her first high holy days alone, with her children with her ex-husband, trying to find a new way of exploring her spirituality that isn't about rigorous obedience to rules that she questions more and more. Increasingly, she is willing to do things like check her e-mail on the Sabbath or let one of her son taste pizza (vegetarian -- his choice) at a non-kosher pizza joint in Manhattan, at his request. The separation that Mirvis chronicles is twofold: the classic separation from a spouse, and the separation from a lifelong way of thinking and being, the unquestioning acceptance of a religious identity, and the quest for something new. This isn't like some of the Hassidic Jewish chronicles of rejection and alienation, but something more nuanced, if still difficult and wrenching. Excellent, moving and very worth reading. I'll definitely be adding one of her novels to my reading list in the not-too-distant future. 4.65 stars.

263. The Rat Catchers' Olympics by Colin Cotterill

To start with the quirky stuff first, yes, there really is a competition amongst international rat catchers staged as part of this book, although whether one took place during the Moscow Olympics, or whether it's merely part of Colin Cotterill's VERY fertile imagination, is another question altogether. All that aside, this is "Dr. Siri goes to Moscow", during the course of which he has to try to stop some kind of assassination attempt. But who the assassin is, and who the target is, are both unclear, and Siri's spirits are only managing to muddle things up. It's a lot of fun, of course, if not as good as some of the earliest books in the series. Still, any book featuring the inimitable Siri remains fresh, distinctive and entertaining. 4.15 stars.

264. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

If you've read anything by Sarah Vowell (an occasional contributor to NPR; she does 'audio essays'), you'll know what to expect here. This is part history, but only in a small part. A much larger part is Vowell's take on history, so it's as if she were standing up in front of a classroom and saying, well, and you know what happened next, and trying to put the whole thing into a kind of very personal context. So a chunk of it is Lafayette, but... well, some of it just Sarah Vowell, being mildly entertaining and flippant about the Founding Fathers. Honestly, looking back on it a month or two later, I'd say, heck read a good bio of Lafayette, unless you really can't face that. Although this might work as an audiobook. 4 stars.

265. Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann

This was an ARC that I'd had my eye on and that I picked up at ALA in Chicago last June and that proved even better when I finally got around to reading it in mid-August than I had anticipated. Sure, it's still a basic novel with a basic theme -- an academic setting, with a graduate returning to his alma mater as a professor (heavens, how many times have we seen a variation on this theme???) In this instance, there is a past puzzle (ooh, another tried and true theme) involving the disappearance of Matthias's best friend, as well as the fact that Matthias, a one-hit-wonder writer, is suffering writer's block. (lots and LOTS of familiar tropes.) But in spite of all the echoes of novels past, this still managed to grab my attention and hold it as I turned the pages. Matthias is caught in a vortex of lies, past and present, can't figure out who to trust, and struggles to clear his name. A very good read. 4.4 stars.

266. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

This debut novel got a lot of attention from nearly everyone, and I found it an incredible slog, in spite of the remarkably beautiful writing, which is why the rating isn't lower. The first character we meet is Ann, now married to Wade, who slowly is losing his memory, as have his forebears. This may be lucky, as Wade has endured greater losses: his two daughters. We soon discover that one of them was brutally murdered and the other, a witness, ran off into the woods, never to be seen again. The murderer was their mother, Jenny, now in prison. Over the course of the novel, Ann and Jenny narrate different segments in the past and present, as do the two girls in the past, but we never see inside Jenny's mind as we do Ann's, so what remains frustratingly opaque is the motive behind this shocking act of violence. So much is left unanswered, as the narrative drifts hither and yon. Beautiful writing and perhaps the most frustrating book I've read this year for that reason. 3.3 stars. It took me forever to finish reading.

267. Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

OK, this is supposed to be the thriller of the new year (it's due out in January; I picked up the ARC at ALA in Chicago very early, back in June.) And yet, I had to remind myself of some of the plot details. It was a good read at the time, but really hasn't stuck with me for long! A spook whose job it is to look for Russian agents that have infiltrated the US gets a VERY nasty shock one day when she finds a series of photos of these deep cover people and realizes that one of them is far, far closer to her than she realizes. Now, her life has turned topsy turvy. And so begins the usual suspense race -- who can she trust, who is out to get her and her family, etc. It's worthwhile, but definitely something to borrow rather than buy. 3.9 stars.

268. City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker

This could have been better written, and done more justice to a fascinating subject: the poisoners' plot that oozed around the court of Louis XIV. I think it's a stretch to say that the gentleman in question here was really the first police chief of Paris, but whatever. There's a good history of the Marquise de Brinvilliers and all the other noblemen and noblewomen caught up in the plots and poisonings, but after a while some of this becomes tortuously complicated, repetitive and somewhat aimless. Part of the problem is the writing and part is the lack of real focus. But if you haven't read anything about this story before, give it a shot. 3.6 stars.

269. The Store by James Patterson

I decided to read this James Patterson potboiler because it's so obviously aimed at Amazon, and that part of it was a hoot. Also, there's an element of it that is reminiscent of John Grisham's The Firm, in which husband and wife are spied on and exploited for evil purposes by an evil conglomerate. It was fun enough to make me wish that someone able to do more with the idea than Patterson had taken it on. 2.6 stars.

270. You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages by Carina Chocano

There are no surprises -- or few surprises -- in this collection of essays. And there should be some, if you're going to tackle Hollywood and popular culture from a feminist perspective. I mean, it's kind of obvious to say that Hollywood, at best, provides mixed messages, from "Eat Pray Love" to that Julia Roberts vehicle that everyone but me seems to love, "Pretty Woman." There are fun bits -- how the Stepford Wives became Desparate Housewives -- but sometimes she's too didactic, and lots of the time too pedantic. 3.85 stars, for being determined and thorough, but there was never a moment where I laughed out loud or went "wow!"

271. Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Another one of the ARCs I picked up at ALA, this one from the breakdown of a publisher's stand (standing in line repeatedly, picking up one book at a time; I think this was my fourth or fifth choice!). I'd read the two previous books in the series and they are kind of sweetly charming; set in Cornwall (a big plus) and including a puffin who has adopted a young woman who owns the bakery in question. It's kind of chick lit comfort reading, with very little substance. 3.6 stars. I wasn't crazy about the somewhat off-kilter plot involving the heroine's best friend.

More later.

Nov 11, 2017, 2:22am Top

I also read The Store for the same reasons and enjoyed it mildly. The premise is really good.

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 9:47pm Top

You got me with two book bullets. Book of Separation and Shadow of the Lions. I didn’t manage to pick up either of those at ALA.

Nov 11, 2017, 11:11pm Top

>243 avatiakh: I finished reading The Book of Separation very recently and found it be very moving as well.

Nov 12, 2017, 12:19am Top

Hi Suz - at last. I'm really sorry to read about your migraines and your ankle. It sounds like you've had a rough year. But you're still reading great books!! I've just found 4 books from you that I want to read and I've only gone up as far as yesterday!! Book of Separation, Shadow of the Lions, The New Mrs Clifton and Need to Know all look good.

Nov 12, 2017, 10:39am Top

>245 annushka: Not sure Book of Separation was at ALA; I got the ARC from Amazon Vine, and devoured it in a single setting (something that is happening less frequently, alas... Don't know whether it's my attention span, or migraines or jsut apathy.

Good to know that my ability to launch book bullets has survived, however!!

Nov 12, 2017, 11:27pm Top

Your ability to launch book bullets is not impaired at all Suz.

I do hope things pick up for you soon, my dear, health wise. xx

Nov 13, 2017, 2:59am Top

>122 Chatterbox: re: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I think my mum is reading this, at the behest of my sister. I will have to ask her what she thinks!

Some beautiful book covers in your latest batch of reads. My tally rises ever so slowly these days as I trudge through The Master and Margarita, but on the bright side, I am watching some good DVDs!! :)

Nov 13, 2017, 12:22pm Top

>250 Chatterbox: I think this is one of those books that a lot of people will love, because if you aren't a judgmental reader (as I can be, annoyingly) and if you are in the least prone to sentiment, then you will be swept up by what I can only think of as pathos. But what I dub pathos, others will view in a much more favorable light, so... should I really be that damning? At the end of the day, this is my subjective response to the book. I think had it not been so clearly aimed at a mental health issue, I wouldn't have reacted in the way that I did. There were things that she tried to do deftly -- gradual reveals of "secrets". But I just finished Michael Redhill's Bellevue Square, in which the author literally has the reader dizzyingly bemused as to the nature of reality and not trusting the narrator in the least, while empathizing tremendously with her, precisely because there isn't a single bit of bathos in the whole thing. Just exceptionally skilled writing, and a tremendous command of his material. It's unusual that he's a man writing a woman's first-person narrative, but he has done so successfully in four mysteries under the pseudonym of Inger Ash Wolfe, without being rumbled until he outed himself, and I think his approach has more to do with stripping out sentiment (the lonely, friendless woman, the Cinderella narrative) and more to do with injecting real interest in the tale and solid understanding of who people are. This is why I find so many of these "quirky" novels problematic (the genre started with Rachel Joyce, whose newest book is quite dreadful, but I'll get to that soon enough...)

Nov 13, 2017, 1:20pm Top

I love your explanation why you rated Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine the way you did. I have had people ask me about this book because they have enjoyed reading it. I read the reviews and have an ARC of it, but it just hasn't called to me. I have it in a box for my sister. She might enjoy it better than I would.

It is one of those examples of books being a personal selection.

Nov 13, 2017, 4:04pm Top

>243 avatiakh: I happened to catch Tova Mirvis reading from The Book of Separation at the Boston Book Festival. She read the first chapter, and I could just picture her watching the clock in the car as she cruised past sundown and the world didn't end. I'll grab it if it goes on sale for Kindle.

Edited: Nov 13, 2017, 4:29pm Top

>253 Chatterbox: I'll bring the ARC to New York next week to the book circle, and you won't have to wait. Just give it back to me when you're done. It's one of the rare books that I plan to keep, at least for now.

>252 ffortsa: Yup, someone strongly recommended it to me. I bit. I probably shouldn't have done. Oh well, c'est la vie. There have been books I've recommended, having loved myself, that haven't been big wins for others.

Nov 13, 2017, 10:22pm Top

Glad to see the love for The Book of Separation; it really deserves it. When I think back over the books I've read so far this year (I just finished book #365, so, a book a day by mid-November!), it still registers as one of the most memorable.

At some point soon I'll start a new thread and resume posting some more reviews. But not tonight.

Edited: Nov 13, 2017, 11:14pm Top

Suz, hope you're having/will have better days this week.
You got me with both *Separation* and *Bellevue* --- so Inger Ashe Wolfe is really Michael Redhill. Wow! Thanks for that info.
And you just finished #365 in a sort of throw-away line. Congratulations!

Nov 14, 2017, 1:16am Top

>256 Chatterbox: Thanks for the good wishes, Peggy. You'll have a lot of fun with "Bellevue", which may be my new standard for an unreliable narrator. Oh, and Inger Ash Wolfe becomes relevant in the final stages of the book. I hope that's not too much of a giveaway. I don't think so. I can't wait to hear what you think of it -- I thought it was absolutely fascinating, and VERY twisty. It's on the shortlist for the Giller Prize, though I'm still rooting for Ed O'Loughlin's Minds of Winter, which is also twisty and has different levels of reality, but is even more intriguing, slightly less wacko and self-referential.

Those are the only two Giller nominees I've read (the prize will be awarded Nov. 20th). Rachel Cusk's new novel is also on the shortlist, and two other authors that I'm not familiar with, including one indigenous writer from British Columbia, Eden Robinson.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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