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Anne (AMQS) reads in 2017 - Chapter 3

This is a continuation of the topic Anne (AMQS) reads in 2017 - Chapter 2.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1AMQS
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 5:54pm Top



Welcome to my third thread, and thank you very much for being here.

My name is Anne. I am an elementary school teacher librarian in a little Colorado mountain school. My husband Stelios and I have two daughters: 15 and 18. All of us have tottering piles of books in nearly every room of the house. We love to hike, play games together, and travel. 2017 travel plans included a summer visit to Cyprus and Greece. The picture up top is of my daughter Marina exploring the 2nd-century Roman ruins of Kourion in Cyprus. I love this picture, and think of it as something of a miracle. It is SO bright in Cyprus I really can't see anything, but I stab hopefully at my phone, and this photo was the happy result.

This is my 8th year in this wonderful group, and while there's no place I'd rather be, I found it very hard to keep up in the last part of 2016. I will try to be better in 2017, but please know that I appreciate all of you so very much!

2AMQS
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 12:37am Top

September, 2017
57. Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen
58. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
59. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
60. The Losers Club by Andrew Clements

October, 2017
61. Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
62. The Bolds by Julian Clary
63. Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce
64. Safe From the Sea by Peter Geye
65. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

November, 2017
66. Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray
67. Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence
68. Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
69. Eve of a Hundred Midnights: The Star-Crossed Love Story of Two WWII Correspondents and Their Epic Escape Across the Pacific by Bill Lascher
70. Ex-Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
71. Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy

December, 2017
72. Just Kids by Patti Smith
73. Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien
74. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
75. At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays by Anne Fadiman
76. Amina's Voice by Hena Khan

3AMQS
Edited: Aug 29, 2017, 8:51pm Top

August, 2017
50. The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels
51. Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert
52. Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
53. Ranger in Time: Journey Through Ash and Smoke by Kate Messner
54. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
55. Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King
56. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

July, 2017
44. The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman
45. The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower
46. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
47. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
48. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
49. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

June, 2017
35. Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
36. A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
37. On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
38. The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig
39. Siren Sisters by Dana Langer
40. Austenland by Shannon Hale
41. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
42. The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan
43. Amy Snow by Tracy Rees

May, 2017
27. Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
28. The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
29. Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
30. The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
31. Emma by Jane Austen
32. When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad
33. The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA by Doug Mack
34. Short Stories by Anton Chekhov, selected and narrated by Stephen Fry

4AMQS
Edited: Aug 6, 2017, 11:44pm Top

April, 2017
18. Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration -- Lessons from The Second City by Kelly Leonard & Tom Yorton
19. Hundred Percent by Karen Romano Young
20. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
21. The Pants Project by Cat Clarke
22. Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami
23. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
24. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
25. The Circle by Dave Eggers
26. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

March, 2017
14. Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
15. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
16. Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
17. South Riding by Winifred Holtby

February, 2017
7. A Severed Wasp by Madeleine L'Engle
8. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
9. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
10. The Best Man by Richard Peck
11. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
12. Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt, His Cowboy Regiment, and the Immortal Charge up San Juan Hill by Mark Lee Gardner
13. Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier

January, 2017
1. The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz
2. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose
3. Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman
4. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
5. One Half From the East by Nadia Hashimi
6. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

5AMQS
Aug 6, 2017, 11:45pm Top

6AMQS
Edited: Aug 6, 2017, 11:47pm Top



41. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

This is a lovely and achingly sad children’s book, set between the wars in rural Pennsylvania. When Betty comes to town, she bullies everyone in her path. Annabelle silently puts up with the cruelties directed at her and her brothers, but when Betty targets a haunted WWI veteran livign int eh community, Annabelle must stand up to her.

7AMQS
Aug 6, 2017, 11:48pm Top



42. The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan

Another achingly sad but very lovely children’s book. A dog finds two children stranded in a snowstorm and helps them survive, which desperately missing his own poet, who understands the nature of poets, of children, and of life.

8AMQS
Aug 6, 2017, 11:49pm Top



43. Amy Snow by Tracy Rees

The perfect airplane book - long, light, and engrossing. Amy Snow is found as an infant naked in the snow. Her “finder” and protectress is the lovely and wealthy Aurelia, who grooms Amy as a friend and confident, even though Aurelia’s wealthy parents despise the child. When Aurelia dies young, Amy is turned out of the house with an inheritance from Aurelia of £10. The local schoolmaster stops Amy on her way out with a letter from Aurelia, which contains a plea and the beginnings of a trail of clues for Amy to follow to help her understand Aurelia’s life and her own legacy.

9AMQS
Aug 6, 2017, 11:49pm Top



44. The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman

I do like my Cyprus books long:) This is a sweeping epic that begins in Russia in 1913 and encompasses the entire 20th century. Young Malka flees Russia with her family, but instead of South Africa, their intended destination, or the America of milk and honey and streets paved with gold, they end up in the teeming tenements of New York. When Malka is crippled in an accident, she is abandoned, then taken in by an Italian ices peddler. She learns everything there is to kow about ice, ices, and ice cream, building an empire and a new identity for herself as Lillian Dunkle, the Ice Cream Queen of America. This book is superbly researched and beautifully told. Callia read it after me, and asked (more than once) if Lillian was a real person. A fantastic and bittersweet immigrant and rags-to-riches American saga.

10PaulCranswick
Aug 6, 2017, 11:50pm Top

Happy new thread, Anne.

I love the opening shot of Aphrodite (Marina) among the ruins in Kourion.

11AMQS
Aug 6, 2017, 11:50pm Top



45. The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower

A fascinating and informative glimpse into the inner workings of the White House. Ms. Brower lovingly describes the dedicated White House workers and their relationships with first families from Eisenhower through Obama. I couldn’t help but feel a pang and a worry about these gentle, dedicated professionals as I wonder how they fare with the current family.

12AMQS
Aug 6, 2017, 11:51pm Top



46. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Hilarious, clever fun about the apocalypse and its attendant players. I loved it.

13AMQS
Aug 6, 2017, 11:56pm Top



47. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

A bittersweet story that covers a lot of ground -- from 1960s Italy to modern-day Hollywood. The points of view shift several times, from an optimistic Italian trying to build a world-class hotel on a scraggly cliff to a young starlet on the brink of stardom, and from an aging, nearly obsolete Hollywood producer to his disillusioned assistant. Their lives intersect in beautiful ways.

14AMQS
Edited: Aug 7, 2017, 1:17am Top

~that's it for now -- many more reviews to come!

Welcome!

15rosalita
Aug 7, 2017, 6:50am Top

>12 AMQS: Happy new thread, Anne! I always love to see that another reader has fallen under the spell of Good Omens. I love that book so much. I should re-read it soon.

16FAMeulstee
Aug 7, 2017, 7:26am Top

Happy new thread, Anne, nice you got to The Poet's Dog I thought it was a lovely book.

17susanj67
Aug 7, 2017, 7:46am Top

Happy new thread, Anne! I loved the holiday pictures on your last thread :-) And I'm looking up books...The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street looks like a good one. I read The Residence a couple of years ago and thought it was excellent.

18jnwelch
Aug 7, 2017, 9:14am Top

Happy New Thread, Anne.

I loved The Poet's Dog, too. What a remarkable author she is. She conveys more in a few words than just about anyone I can think of.

I wish Gaiman and Terry Pratchett could've collaborated on more books. Good Omens was so much fun to read.

19RebaRelishesReading
Aug 7, 2017, 9:42am Top

Happy new thread, Anne. Love the topper!

20foggidawn
Aug 7, 2017, 1:05pm Top

Happy new thread! Looks like you did some great reading lately.

21drneutron
Aug 7, 2017, 4:17pm Top

Happy new thread!

22AMQS
Edited: Aug 7, 2017, 9:43pm Top

>10 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! That photo was taken not too far from the birthplace of Aphrodite:) .

>15 rosalita: Hi Julia! Good Omens is one of the few books that came home with us -- most of the books we bring to Cyprus stay there -- but we all read it, and Marina decided it could not be left behind:). I remember seeing an audio of it in the library -- maybe I'll listen when I'm ready for a reread:)

>16 FAMeulstee: Hello Anita! Yes, it was -- I thought it was lovely and moving, and I hope it finds readers in the library.

>17 susanj67: Hi Susan, thank you! I really enjoyed The Residence, and so did Callia. I think The Ice Cream Queen is a good read. It seems like it would be alight summer read, but it is surprisingly meaty and very bittersweet.

>18 jnwelch: Hi Joe! Love those two books -- glad to find another fan.

>19 RebaRelishesReading: Thank you, Reba!

>20 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi! It's funny -- I think I spend more time planning the books I will bring on a long trip than the clothes. I never bring books from my library because the beach is too rough on them, plus I like to leave them behind for other readers. So I've been trying to catch up on children's lit since I've been home.

>21 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

23AMQS
Aug 7, 2017, 9:37pm Top

More reviews:



48. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Another good beach read. in 1913 a tiny girl is abandoned on a ship bound for Australia from England. She arrives after a harrowing voyage unable to recall her own name, and clutching a suitcase containing an illustrated book of fairy tales. Adopted by a local family, Nell grows up unaware of her mysterious past, but when she is told she is devastated. Nell travels back to England in the 1970s in an attempt to learn more about her story, and her granddaughter takes the same voyage in the 1990s after a surprise inheritance from her grandmother of a Cornwall cottage. The narrative alternates between various points of view across the decades as Nell and her granddaughter uncovers the secrets of the past.

24AMQS
Aug 7, 2017, 9:37pm Top



49. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

About 8 or 9 years ago I binge-read the Twilight books, which was a lot like eating an entire family-sized bag of Cheetos in one go. I may have done that too at some point, and now I may be permanently over Cheetos. And vampires. There is a lot to enjoy with this book -- it is superbly researched, and Deborah Harkness builds an intriguing world where witches, vampires, and daemons live among us. I love witches and witch lore, but I guess I really don’t love vampires. Or vampire romances. I tore through this one, as did Marina, but neither of us will pursue the sequels unless they happen to fall in our laps.

25AMQS
Aug 7, 2017, 9:39pm Top



50. The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels

A sweet and clever book for readers maybe 7-10 years old about Miss Petitfour (rhymes with “spaghetti store”) and her 16 cats. There are several interconnected vignettes involving adventures they have sailing aloft using a tablecloth and the wind. The adventures are liberally sprinkled with asides about author craft, telling readers the significance of words in a text such as “suddenly,” “meanwhile,” and “by the way.” I imagine I would have enjoyed the book as an 8 year-old. As an adult I found it a little tedious (and sadly I imagine many modern-day 8 year-olds would, too).

26AMQS
Aug 7, 2017, 9:40pm Top



51. Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert

This middle-grade novel is terrific. Annabelle is the middle child of a family in the paralyzing and destructive grips of hoarding. There are towering piles of stuff all over the house, which Annabelle’s mother tends with obsessive focus. Annabelle’s teenage brother copes by disappearing much of the time. Annabelle maintains a strict 5-mils radius (no friends or acquaintances may penetrate this radius), and her younger sister Leslie is sickening herself researching horrific stories of people being crushed to death by their stuff. Annabelle tries to maintain the normal family facade while also navigating sticky middle school relationships and a new crush. Things come to a head when dad leaves the family and Leslie calls in Grandma in desperation. I loved this book and ached for all of the characters. I particularly loved how the adults in the book are not the wise sources of advice they often are, but real, flawed characters who are fully aware of their own failings and don’t have any answers. I think a lot of kids might identify with this book. Very well done, and recommended.

27AMQS
Aug 7, 2017, 9:40pm Top



52. Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins

This is a 2018 Colorado Children’s Book Award nominee about students in a magical school. Only the students profiled here have magic that doesn’t quite work the way it’s supposed to. They are placed in what must be the magical equivalent of special ed, where they attempt to embrace their gifts that the rest of the magical community considers disgraceful. A light book with some serious themes that may be explored to a greater extent in the sequels.

28AMQS
Aug 7, 2017, 9:42pm Top



53. Ranger in Time: Journey Through Ash and Smoke by Kate Messner

Another CCBA nominee - this one about a time-traveling golden retriever. In this book, Ranger travels to Viking-era Iceland to help a young girl survive a volcano. It reminds me a little bit of the Magic Treehouse books in that it blends beginning-chapter book fantasy and adventure with fascinating historical information.

29BLBera
Aug 7, 2017, 9:49pm Top

Happy new thread, Anne. Love the photo - it's beautiful.
>5 AMQS: YES!

>6 AMQS: Wolf Hollow is on my Scout pile.

>7 AMQS: I loved The Poet's Dog and gave it to my daughter for Christmas. She said she sobbed her way through it.

>9 AMQS: I'm a fan of sagas so onto the list it goes.

>12 AMQS: >13 AMQS: I mean to get to these soon.

>24 AMQS: I agree about vampires. I've never seen the attraction. I read this one and the next one, and was sorry. The second one wasn't worth the time and I have no desire to read the third one.

The last two sound like future Scout books.

Thanks!

30MickyFine
Aug 7, 2017, 10:17pm Top

Happy new thread, Anne. That's a real whack of reviews off the bat. I've managed to dodge BBs but you did remind me that I did want to read the rest of the books in the Deborah Harkness series so I should put the second one on The List. So BB by proxy?

31Copperskye
Aug 7, 2017, 10:37pm Top

Hi Anne, I have both Beautiful Ruins and The Forgotten Garden on my read soon list. Unfortunately, there are many books on that list...

>28 AMQS: A time-traveling golden retriever? That sounds adorable!

32lit_chick
Edited: Aug 8, 2017, 11:19am Top

Just marking my spot, Anne. Happy new thread, and happy first day of school!

eta: your first day of school was probably yesterday; it was a long weekend here, but I don't think in the US

33LovingLit
Edited: Aug 9, 2017, 1:18am Top

>12 AMQS: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman...now there's a combo to make some on this site weep with joy :)

Happy newest thread, and WOW! Is that all your holiday reading listed above?

>24 AMQS: LOL- not into the vampires so much any more? A binge read of Twilight will do that to you!!! :)

Eta: from last thread. I usually got travel insurance when going on a trip, but that was ages ago when it was probably relatively cheap. I don't think I ever claimed on it though! I guess I got lucky (or unlucky, whichever way you look at it). If you consistently don't get it, it probably works out in your favour if you only have one or two incidents.

34SandDune
Edited: Aug 9, 2017, 2:54am Top

>33 LovingLit: In the U.K. travel insurance is relatively cheap. I'm the sort of person who'd go into a panic if I had to go abroad without it.

35thornton37814
Aug 9, 2017, 9:37am Top

You were lamenting the early start of schools in Colorado. Schools have already begun in East Tennessee and in Mississippi. Interestingly enough one of the arguments I've heard is kids are needed on the farms in May-July. When I was growing up, kids were needed on the farms between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Has the growing season really shifted an entire month?

36MickyFine
Aug 9, 2017, 11:06am Top

When I've done travel insurance in the past I used World Nomads and it was pretty inexpensive (~$100) and included both medical and trip delay/cancellation coverage.

37AMQS
Aug 9, 2017, 11:08am Top

>29 BLBera: Hi Beth! Glad you found some good books for you and for Scout:) As for Upside-Down Magic and Ranger in Time, they are very quick reads -- maybe just up a level from Magic Treehouse, so you should be able to get a handful of them for $1 or so at a library sale. Glad you concur about vampires -- the way they are portrayed in the (admittedly few) books I've read has been very off-putting, and the human/witch reaction to them is even more so. I hated seeing this dedicated, smart academic turn into a jelly-legged 13 year old :)

Hope you're having a great week!

>30 MickyFine: Hmmm, I'll take BB by proxy, Micky:) I think you must have enjoyed the Harkness book more than I did. If another book from the trilogy comes my way I might read it, but I don't think I'll be seeking one out.

>31 Copperskye: Oh, the towering list! We all have one, I think:) The Forgotten Garden would be a nice one to take on your next trip. Beautiful Ruins was really good. As for Ranger, it's getting to be quite a series -- he's been on the Oregon Trail, in Ancient Rome, to the South Pole, etc. She does a great job of mixing adventure with historical information, and I'm not surprised the series is so popular.

>32 lit_chick: Hi Nancy, yes, my official first day back was Monday. No long weekend here until Labor Day. Teachers officially come back Thursday, but this year the classroom teachers are attending a training this whole week, so I am completely alone in the building with our financial and enrollment secretaries. It's very lonely, but I am getting SO much done! Amazing how productive I can be with no teachers and no students:)

>33 LovingLit: Hi Megan! Oh, Good Omens is terrific! I am a big Neil Gaiman fan, but I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never read any other Terry Pratchett! Gotta fix that ASAP. And no, that's not all holiday reading -- only the adult books came on the trip with us. The children's books are all from my library and are either new books or Colorado Children's Book Award nominees. I try to leave my vacation books behind for them to enjoy another life, and I can't do that with library books:)

>33 LovingLit:, >34 SandDune: (Hi Rhian!) As for travel insurance, I've heard all sorts of different things, and it's one of those things I had never seriously considered before now. A friend traveled with a couple this summer whose overseas trip was insured at a cost of over $1000 each, so once I heard that I admit I didn't research too much. After our experience this summer -- and with getting older, our parents getting older, etc, I won't overlook it in the future. I guess we've been gambling forever, and got caught this time. Fortunately, the difference in fares we had to pay from Athens to Larnaca, while more than the cost of the original tickets, was still probably less than insurance would have cost, and insurance would not have helped with a hotel. It wasn't that we weren't willing to pay -- there was really nothing! We made calls, we visited the travel agent in the airport, but there was nothing. The Athens airport is not close to anything, and only has one hotel nearby that was completely booked. We probably could have found something, but for the travel time, and the few hours we would have had, it didn't make sense to drive for 90+ minutes each way.

>35 thornton37814: Interesting, Lori! I suspect it has very little to do with farming -- isn't harvesting more labor-intensive than planting? I think the trends skew early here to get in as much instruction as possible before standardized testing, though every state tests so... not sure. I hate returning to school in August, but I do love finishing in May:)

38AMQS
Aug 9, 2017, 11:10am Top

>36 MickyFine: Hi Micky -- thanks for the tip! I think I did see that name before, and will definitely look more closely before we go overseas again. All the signs were there -- the accident Marina and I had, Stelios's accident... In fact, we came close to not traveling at all because of Stelios's injuries, and had made calls to Lufthansa, etc to see what our options would be. It was a good lesson learned.

39AMQS
Edited: Aug 11, 2017, 1:09am Top



54. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher, audiobook narrated by Carrie Fisher

Stories and anecdotes from Carrie Fisher's unbelievable life (just as I was agog at the stories she was telling, she asked her readers to consider, if they thought the stories seemed too wild to be true, what she was leaving out). I love Carrie Fisher, and the listening experience was bittersweet after her death last year. She brings up her death several times, which was a little eerie. She is blunt, brutally honest, and terribly funny.

40BLBera
Edited: Aug 11, 2017, 10:07am Top

>39 AMQS: From everything I've heard about Fisher, she sounds like a remarkable woman. She died way too young. Nice comments, Anne.

It sounds like you're having a productive week. Good luck when the school fills with kids.

41MickyFine
Aug 11, 2017, 11:23am Top

>39 AMQS: I read The Princess Diarist earlier this year just after Fisher passed and she also makes references to her death there. Added an extra level of sad in between all the funny.

42SandDune
Aug 12, 2017, 8:03am Top

>37 AMQS: A friend traveled with a couple this summer whose overseas trip was insured at a cost of over $1000 each Wow! I'm not surprised that you thought twice. Our insurance cost for our trip to Cyprus was £164 in total for three people for eleven days, which I considered very expensive, but that was covering a pre-existing condition for my son. Without that I would have been surprised to have paid £100 for good quality cover, and you can pick up a basic policy for £50 or so.

43AMQS
Aug 13, 2017, 8:31pm Top




55. Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King

Confession: my school district's collection policy states, among other things, that the recommended age level for books cover two grade levels of the school. My school is a K-5th grade school, so to comply with the policy, books I purchase (for older students) for the library need to be recommended for 4th grade and up. I bend this rule all the time. Sometimes because my school is a GT center school with many students craving more advanced literature and reading far above their grade level, and sometimes because there is a lot of really awesome literature recommended for 5th grade and up. I usually try to read the new books I purchase that bend the rules, and sometimes I get "caught" with a book that truly is not appropriate for my students (Hundred Percent). Most of the time my rule-bending is justified. Me and Marvin Gardens is unlike anything I've read before. Many of the story's elements and themes are familiar: the awful hurt when friendships change, the frustrations of being 11 and feeling powerless in the face of an important issue (environmental conservation), feeling a fundamental disconnect with parents that leads to a child getting in too deep without the benefit of adult guidance. This book explores all of these themes and adds a unique one: the discovery by protagonist Obe of a brand-new animal. One that combines characteristics of dogs, pigs, and amphibians, and that eats plastic and poops seriously toxic waste. I wasn't sure where the author was going to go with this one, and I was prepared to be disappointed, but instead I was engrossed and moved by this story of a boy struggling to do the right thing and stay true to himself in the face of some usual and unusual middle grade turmoil. Very well done.

44BLBera
Aug 14, 2017, 8:57am Top

I love hearing about your job, Anne. I should be a librarian in my next life.

>55 This sounds like a future Scout book.

45foggidawn
Aug 14, 2017, 9:16am Top

>48 Ooh, that's a tricky rule! I know a lot of review journals see 5th grade as a sort of natural breaking point -- not sure why that's so. And one of our children's staff was remarking to me a couple of months ago that a lot of the juvenile fiction published lately seems to land in our pre-teen section, which would be the stuff that's best for fifth and sixth grade.

46norabelle414
Aug 14, 2017, 9:20am Top

>48 Very interesting to hear how your school library works! When I was in elementary school I struggled to find books to read because I was reading a few years ahead of grade level, but our school library only had grade-level-appropriate books. So I appreciate the good work that you're doing by bending the rules!

47PaulCranswick
Aug 18, 2017, 2:26pm Top

Dropping by to wish you a wonderful weekend, Anne.

I am already into the early hours of Saturday morning here by the way so I am not entirely jumping the gun!

48nittnut
Aug 21, 2017, 9:56am Top

Hi Anne! I am having trouble keeping up with threads this year, but I lost yours completely for a while. I love the photo at the top of the thread. So beautiful. I can't believe it's already time for school to start. My kids are ready, I can tell because they are bored and lazy, Lol.

You had a really exciting (not in a good way) spring. I'm glad that after the initial drama, your holiday was a good one. The photos are gorgeous. I hope Fall treats you better. How exciting to be sending Callia off to school. :)

Interesting about the guidelines around book choosing. I can see how they would want to maximize their dollars, but there seems to be a big difference between 4th and 5th grade in the kinds of books they want to read. At least I've noticed that with my kids. Eli is definitely wanting meatier stuff these days. While I might have read a book like Wonder out loud to him a year ago, he's definitely ready to read things like that on his own now.
Our LL has three categories for kid books (not counting picture books). There is YA, then there is a sort of tween YA, and then the 2nd-5th sort of range. I never know where I'm going to find something. For example, Cinder is in the tween section, so is Hunger Games, and I'd probably put those solidly in YA. Percy Jackson books are found in both the 2nd-5th and tween, including the second series. Esperanza Rising is in the 2nd-5th, but Echo is in tween. See what I mean? So confusing.

49LovingLit
Edited: Aug 22, 2017, 4:47am Top

>39 AMQS: I would like to read that....or maybe I have!? Has she written anything else, or am I getting a random deja vu? ;)
Now I need to go check...I'll be back.

Eta: oops, I have read it! And I only gave it a 2.5 out of 5 rating!

50lkernagh
Aug 25, 2017, 1:29pm Top

Happy new thread, Anne! What a fabulous thread topper pic of Mariana and the ruins.

>9 AMQS: - Taking a BB for the Gilman book. Sounds like a perfect summer read!

>23 AMQS: - Glad to see you enjoyed the Morton read.

>24 AMQS: - Interesting comments regarding the Harkness boook. I have a copy of that one lurking on my TBR pile but I am not a big fan of vampire stories, so it will probably sit there for a while.

Great batch of reviews!

51AMQS
Aug 26, 2017, 8:24pm Top

>49 LovingLit: Thanks, Beth! Sometimes rules for collections, etc don't make sense unless you're living it:) . You should be a librarian -- you'd be excellent at it!

>50 lkernagh: It is a tricky rule, isn't it, Foggi? As I've said I bend that rule a lot, but then make sure to try to read the books in question. Most of the really good, meaty stuff for kids is recommended for 5th grade and up.

>51 AMQS: Hi Nora! There are a lot of kids like that, and my school is a GT school, so I often have students with high reading levels. The intermediate teachers have more mature books in their classroom collections, which I like, but worry about sometimes. Library books are more clear cut as they are clearly school property, so I need to at least sort of follow the collection policies! Fortunately there are a lot of great books out there kids with high reading levels can read -- it doesn't have to be all Hunger Games.

>52 Thank you, Paul! Here it is another weekend -- where does the time go? Hope yours is a good one.

>53 Hi Jenn! Oh, boy, I am having a very hard time keeping up, and I'm thrilled you're here! So far our start-of-school has been smooth. Stelios and I returned late last night from taking Callia to Oregon and getting her moved in. We're so, so happy and so very sad all at once, which is kind of weird. Hope your fall treats you well also.

As for the collection policy, it's less about money and more about covering me and my school if a parent challenges a book. I have the weight and the authority of district policy behind me. I haven't ever had a book challenged, but I have had parent complaints before - always with littler kids. One parent got really upset about Battle Bunny, as she thought another student had defaced the book and had drawn inappropriate things in the book (the book is designed that way and is a huge kid favorite. I asked her if she had asked her son about it, and she admitted that yes, he told her the book was supposed to be that way but she didn't believe him). I am 100% self-funded, so even though my budget is school monies, they actually come directly from my own community.

A few years ago I asked a public librarian about how they decided where books should go. There's no tween section in Jeffco, just J FIC and YA. I read two books close to each other that didn't seem to fit where they were shelved. She said they often will make that determination based on the age of the protagonist. I would definitely put Hunger Games in YA!

>54 LOL, Megan - I am reaching that point where I can't remember if I've read a book or not:) I thought the first half of the book was definitely stronger than the second. It was short enough by the time I felt the book was losing strength, it was nearly over.

>55 Thanks, Lori! Glad I got you:) I think the Gilman book is the next one for my book club. Sadly, now that school has started I can't go anymore, but I look forward to hearing what the group thinks of it.

52AMQS
Aug 26, 2017, 8:33pm Top

So this week Stelios and I took Callia to college! I can hardly believe this time is here, but our sadness was definitely tempered by Callia's happiness and our excitement about the university. They have 5 Opening Days for new freshmen full of activities, volunteering, their first class, opening days groups, social programs, and area tours and activities. The first two days of those include programs for parents and for parents and students together. We got Callia moved into her dorm -- it looks great. A typically small dorm room, but with lots of storage. She and her roommate bonded instantly (they knew each other via social media and had been communicating all summer) and are now inseparable. Callia's desk has a view of the Oregon state capitol, and in just outside the entrance of her dorm is an organic herb & vegetable garden. Behind her dorm is a beautiful botanic garden. Running through campus is the Mill Stream, with hundreds of resident ducks. It's beautiful, and feels just right, but oh wow, we miss her very much. She has always liked to text me throughout the day, and she's kept that up - stuff like "I hope you have a great Friday" and "check out this lavender ice cream we're eating!" It's fun to experience this through her eyes.

53nittnut
Aug 26, 2017, 8:42pm Top

Look at that big smile! She looks so happy. I can say, with a year of Jonah's independence under our belts, that it's terrifying at first, but oh so good to see them blossom into young Adults. I got a text message today with a photo of his healthy bank account balance and a message that said all his bills were paid. It's funny that he's sharing that, but also awesome, because he can claim all the credit.
I love Willamette. We used to do a lot of bird watching there when I was taking Ornithology at Portland State.

54Copperskye
Aug 26, 2017, 8:58pm Top

>57 Wonderful family photo!

Such an exciting time for Callia and such mixed emotions for the rest of the family! I'm sure Marina is going to miss her terribly for the first few weeks. Thank goodness for things like FaceTime and Skype and texting to help keep everyone in touch. Much better than just the dorm phone in the hallway!

I remember move in day at CSU - after we finished and said so long to Chris, I drove to the back of the parking lot, parked the car, and just cried...

55AMQS
Edited: Aug 26, 2017, 9:08pm Top

>58 Way to go, Jonah! That's awesome:) I love Willamette, too. I think I may be in danger of being an obnoxious Willamette evangelist because we are so impressed by their programs and community. One of the biology professors is an ornithologist, and often their Instagram page is full of the birds he's spotted and brought out students to see.

>59 Oh, Joanne, saying goodbye is the worst, isn't it? There was a parent reception right after the goodbyes, so we were distracted at first. The event ended too late for us to fly home the same day, so we decided to stay in a Bed and Breakfast and do a couple of Willamette Valley wine tours the next day (with an unexpected visit to a dahlia farm in full, glorious bloom), so we delayed our sadness. Then on the plane home last night it hit me like a blow and I cried for a good chunk of the flight!

56rosalita
Aug 26, 2017, 9:43pm Top

>57 What a great photo, Anne! Callie looks so ready for this next adventure, and you and Stelio's look so very proud of her, as you should be.

57LovingLit
Aug 27, 2017, 2:33am Top

>57 LovingLit: Aaaaaw, that is lovely :)
My dad took me to my university (college) accommodation (dorm), and after helping me with my bags, pretty much dropped me off with a see you later! He he. He wasn't exactly highly emotionally connected back then :)
Her university looks fantastic, and I bet she will make the most of it, please pass on my well-wishes to her.

58scaifea
Aug 27, 2017, 9:51am Top

>57 LovingLit: Aw, what a great photo! And I'm glad that she's adjusting so well and having a good time. Hang in there, Mom.

59BLBera
Aug 27, 2017, 9:51am Top

What a great photo, Anne. It is hard to let them go. I was lucky that both my kids stayed in state for school, and at first, my daughter, the mama's girl, came home every weekend. So the transition was easier for me. It sounds like a beautiful campus, and Callia will bloom, I'm sure.

60RebaRelishesReading
Aug 27, 2017, 10:11am Top

I'm wracking my brain to remember where Callia is going to school. It sounds wonderful! What an exciting time for you all.

61bohemima
Aug 27, 2017, 10:20am Top

I remember the mixed feelings of letting go, Anne. It took me about 6 months to recover!

>24 AMQS: LOL, great review and cheeto comment. I know exactly what you mean.

Hit with several bb's and a note-to-self to check out Batyle Bunny at our library.

I believe you're right on the mark about schools opening earlier and earlier. Of course the powers that be offer various lame excuses, but it's the testing that drives it all.

62lit_chick
Aug 27, 2017, 10:35am Top

What a wonderful time for Callia! She looks so absolutely delighted! And the campus sounds lovely, Anne. Beautiful photo of her with you and Stelios.

63jnwelch
Aug 27, 2017, 3:03pm Top

>57 LovingLit: Wow, what a great photo, Anne!

Callia's setup sounds wonderful; what an exciting time for her.

My wife and daughter have been in touch with each other by text and phone call every day for years and years. It's a very cool thing that Callia does that with you.

64susanj67
Aug 27, 2017, 3:57pm Top

Anne, that's a lovely photo, and it sounds like things are going well for Callia. It's great that you can keep in contact so easily, though. What is she going to be studying?

65MickyFine
Aug 27, 2017, 5:54pm Top

Glad to see Callia's move into the dorm went smoothly and that she's loving college so far. Sending virtual hugs for you as you adjust to a slightly emptier house.

66lkernagh
Aug 28, 2017, 12:41am Top

>57 LovingLit: - Oh Wow. Best wishes to Calia! Quite the milestone transitioning to what we call in Canada "post-secondary" education (as the next step from "K-12" education). Wonderful photo!

67ChelleBearss
Aug 28, 2017, 11:46am Top

>57 LovingLit: Congrats to Callia on her new college! Hope you are doing ok with her away from home now. Her college grounds sound lovely!

68AMQS
Sep 3, 2017, 1:19pm Top

Thank you Julia, Megan, Amber, Beth, Reba, Gail, Nancy, Joe, Susan, Micky, Lori, and Chelle for your supportive messages! Callia is continuing to love Willamette, though it is beastly hot at the moment. She and her roommate are inseparable, she has made a lot of friends, and she enjoys her courses and instructors. She has always contacted me throughout her day - even in middle school and high school and when she was traveling, and it is no different now, so we feel like we're there. So we miss her but we're doing fine! She plans (at this point) to study biology. Callia has always been very open, affectionate, and she loves to chat, which is wonderful, but I think it was easy for Marina to be overshadowed, particularly since she likes being quiet. It's been fun interacting with Marina in a new way. She misses Callia more than she expected to. Callia gave her a gift she had ordered on Etsy of a state-in-a-state necklace. The necklace is in the shape of Colorado, with the shape of Oregon cut out of it (Oregon is easily recognizable, but unfortunately Colorado is a very boring shape:). Marina wears it every day.

69AMQS
Sep 3, 2017, 1:39pm Top

The start of school for all of us has been so busy (oh yeah, and in the middle of going back to school and taking Callia to school my brother got married!), so I have been doing zero reading. I am stuck on page 100 or so of a book I am really enjoying, and it is showing signs of wear and tear from being schlepped everywhere I go, but still no time to read it. Hope to get some reading in this long weekend. Thank goodness for audiobooks or I would be reading nothing at all!



56. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, audiobook narrated by Paul Michael Garcia

Who was the fool who made January first New Year's Day?

This book is a dreamy love letter to summer and to appreciating the smaller, familiar things in life. Set in the summer of 1928 and focusing on Douglas Spaulding, his family, and the other residents of Green Town, Illinois, the book begins with Douglas rising early to "conduct" the early morning routine stirrings of the town like a magical maestro, and ends with the dreaded return of school supplies to stores, and the storage of the last liquid gold bottles of dandelion wine, summer stoppered to bring its joy in the darker months. The book is loosely based on Mr. Bradbury's own 12th summer, and is a classic I've been meaning to read for a long, long time.

70klobrien2
Sep 3, 2017, 1:46pm Top

>74 Love that book! Ray Bradbury was one of my favorite authors growing up. I think we actually read Dandelion Wine in school, but I loved his SF as well. I recently read the book; I might need to read it again! Great review!

Karen O.

71RebaRelishesReading
Sep 3, 2017, 6:18pm Top

So glad Callia is having such a good college experience and how nice you hear from her a lot. Our kids were in college before texting (or cell phones, really) so we rarely heard from them. It would have been great to share the experience more.

72BLBera
Sep 3, 2017, 9:24pm Top

It sounds like all are well, Anne. The first two weeks of school has kept me busy as well. I loved Dandelion Wine; I keep thinking I should reread it.

73LovingLit
Sep 4, 2017, 4:11am Top

>73 LovingLit: that necklace sounds lovely :) What sweet sisters they are.

74MickyFine
Sep 5, 2017, 4:39pm Top

>73 LovingLit: So glad to hear that Callia is settling in well.

I can relate to Marina, a bit. My younger brother moved out before I did (I lived at home while doing my post-secondary degrees) and it was a little odd initially to be the only "child."

Hope things settle down a bit and you get a chance for some reading. :)

75PaulCranswick
Sep 15, 2017, 10:01pm Top

>73 LovingLit: Callia and Marina really do so much remind me of my two girls Yasmyne and Belle and for similar reasons. Belle (Marina's double in so many ways!) is quite a serious introspective young lady and mature beyond her years. Yasmyne is more conversational and fun loving but with a great work ethic.

Have a lovely weekend, Anne, and love to all your family. xx

76ronincats
Sep 16, 2017, 12:44am Top

Oh, what a wonderful start to Callia's college experience, Anne!

How is Stelios doing, recovery-wise?

77nittnut
Sep 16, 2017, 8:09am Top

As I understand it, my next younger brother came out of his shell quite a bit when I left for college. *grin*

>81 What Roni said - How is Stelios?

78AMQS
Sep 23, 2017, 10:56pm Top

>75 PaulCranswick: Hi Karen! It's nice to see you. Ray Bradbury's writing is incredible, isn't it? I listened to Fahrenheit 451 a couple of years ago, and became so absorbed in the story I actually got lost in my hometown (where there's really just one road...). Hope you're well!

>76 ronincats: Hi Reba! Callia is so good about keeping in touch. In some ways it feels like she's just not that far away. I have noticed this week we've heard from her less. I'm sure she's making friends and getting busy and missing us a bit less. It's been a month today since she moved in!

>77 nittnut: Hi Beth! Are you settling in at school yet? I am only now starting to catch up. The first two months of school were insane this year. This part is a slog, though -- the long stretch between Labor Day and Thanksgiving break.

>78 AMQS: Hi Megan! They are sweet sisters, and daughters, too.

>79 Hi Micky! I was actually in danger of passing a calendar month without finishing a single book, but I managed to get some good reading in last weekend. Kind of a grim reading time! My current audio is a really long one, though: The Count of Monte Cristo. It's so good!

>80 Hello Paul! I hope you're having a good weekend. Yes, I think your comparison of our girls is a good one. I posted a picture of Marina this summer that made Hani start -- she and Belle look so much alike!

>81, >82 Hi Roni and Jenn! Stelios is better and better. He's still not 100%, and his shoulder has healed weird -- he has a big protrusion in the blade itself like a ski jump. If it hits a surface just right it hurts. He's very good about exercises and physical therapy. He went to see a hand specialist -- it's certain now that his hand and wrist were both broken, but since they didn't hurt nearly as much as the shoulder no one knew it at the time. His right index finger points to the left, and his hand has pain and weakness - he can't open jars, for example. The specialist said surgery at this point would not be beneficial, and until his muscles and tendons get used to their new tension he'll be in pain, but it should subside in a year or so. He did a long bike ride last weekend called Pedal the Plains, and rode about 250 miles. He's much happier now that he can ride again!

79PaulCranswick
Sep 23, 2017, 11:00pm Top

>83 Your description of Stelios' injuries made my teeth grind! I have, believe it or not for someone who raced bikes quite seriously albeit for a short time, never broken a bone in my body (finger's crossed). I hope he gets things literally straightened out soonest!

Have a great weekend.

80AMQS
Sep 23, 2017, 11:24pm Top

I very nearly went through September without finishing a single book, but I was determined not to do that! I devoted a good chunk of time last weekend to reading, and finished a book I had been reading for ages:



57. Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schomperlen

This book took me forever to read, but I really enjoyed it. A nameless middle-aged writer is surprised one day to find the Virgin Mary in her living room, requesting to spend a week or so with her as a rest away from her many burdens and travels. The author tells of her week with Mary and alternates it with Mary stories, sightings, and miracles throughout history, and meditations on faith and life and everything. This book was unlike anything I've read, and though it took me forever to finish, that's hardly the book's fault. I found myself thinking about it a lot. Recommended.

81AMQS
Sep 24, 2017, 12:07am Top



58. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

This Newbery Honor book for grades 5 and up is excellent. Ada and Jamie live with their mother in London in poverty and wretchedness. Jamie is much like any 6-year old boy, but Ada has an untreated clubfoot, and her mother humiliates and abuses her terribly, forbidding her to go outside or to school. When Jamie is evacuated to the country during WWII, Ada makes her escape with him. Not chosen by any country families, they are forced on an older woman grieving the loss of her partner. But Susan takes them in, and does whatever is necessary to feed, clothe, and love them. And love them she does. Just as they are beginning to love and trust her in return, their mother comes back into the picture.

The book is essentially about three broken people searching for family and connection. I particularly enjoyed how the author portrayed the children. Children removed from awful situations do not typically respond with love and gratitude to their new caregivers. They lash out. They are sure they will be hurt again, and often behave in a way that will get it over with faster. Their confusion and conflict is acute. Jamie and Ada respond exactly this way. Ada, neglected and abused, lacks basic vocabulary, and finds every interaction exhausting and confusing. As her body grows stronger, so does her spirit. The reader is cheering this new little family. Great read.

82AMQS
Sep 24, 2017, 12:17am Top

>84 That's a great track record, Paul - you should continue it! I don't think "straightened" is in the cards, but "pain-free" is a good goal! Have a wonderful weekend!

83BLBera
Sep 24, 2017, 10:18am Top

Hi Anne - You got me with both books. The War that Saved My Life sounds like a future Scout book.

We've recently been reading The Wolves in the Walls, Madeline - Madeline and the Bad Hat and Madeline's Rescue are favorites, and Fog Island. It's fun to see that she is willing to read things that are a little scary now, with some reassurance that things will be OK in the end.

Have a great week. I know what you mean about slog. I keep looking at the calendar to see if we have some days off soon.

84jnwelch
Sep 24, 2017, 3:26pm Top

>85 I liked The War that Saved My Life a lot, too, Anne.

Thanks for the nudge on Our Lady of Lost and Found. I added it to my WL.

85msf59
Sep 24, 2017, 3:37pm Top

Happy Sunday, Anne! How is my long-lost pal doing? I have missed you. How is the family and how are those books treating you?

86nittnut
Sep 24, 2017, 5:38pm Top

>83 BLBera: It's great news that Stelios can ride again, but the protrusion on his shoulder blade does not sound good. It's such a weird bone anyway.

87Copperskye
Sep 25, 2017, 7:50pm Top

>73 LovingLit: Such a lovely gift! How lucky they are to be so close.

I'm glad to hear Stelios is able to do Pedal the Plains after such a severe fall. Good for him!

Hope you're enjoying the cooler weather. Honestly, I'm not! I miss the sun. :(

88AMQS
Sep 26, 2017, 12:35am Top

>88 AMQS: ...and do you, Beth? We actually do have a day off on October 13. Not sure why, but I'm not going to complain! It's interesting when kids can handle a little bit of scary -- Callia still cannot!

>89 Hi Joe! Glad to see another fan of The War That Saved My Life. As for Our Lady of the Lost and Found, I was doing some book weeding before a wedding guest of my brother came to stay with us. That book was on the weed pile, but something made me keep it. Then I kept thinking about it, which I took as a sign that it was time to read it. It took me forever but I'm very glad I did!

>90 Hi Mark! It's good to see you, my friend. The books are treating me just fine, but I don't know that they'd say the same thing about me! Too much work and not enough reading :( . Hope your family is well! Mine is good -- we had a very rough start to 2017, but now we're all on the mend. Callia started college this fall - can you believe it?

>91 Yes, it's a weird bone. Most of the time he doesn't notice it, but every now and then he leans up against something. Still, the repair (likely rebreaking) would not be worth it. He has been much happier since he has been able to ride again.

>92 Joanne, I am ready for fall. It's my favorite season, but I think I just love when they change. I'm sure I'll complain about being cold soon:) Stelios had a great time on Pedal the Plains. He has such an affection for the heartland after a few RAGBRAIs and now a few years of Pedal the Plains. You don't get the spectacular scenery of Ride the Rockies, but the people are what make the heartland rides so special.

89rosalita
Sep 26, 2017, 7:13am Top

>93 I'm glad such a serious accident hasn't deterred Stelio's from getting back to cycling — it sounds like it's one of his happy places, and we need all of those we can get! And just so you know, Anne, if Stelios ever decides to tackle another RAGBRAI, there are some LTers here in Iowa who are ready and waiting for a meet-up!

90aktakukac
Sep 26, 2017, 10:25am Top

Hi, Anne! I've been thinking of rereading The War That Saved My Life since sometime last month. There's a sequel coming out in early October that I'm anxious to read, too. It's nice to see that Callia is enjoying college and that your husband is cycling and improving. I hope the remainder of 2017 is calmer for you and your family!

91PaulCranswick
Sep 30, 2017, 8:48pm Top

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Anne. xx

92PaulCranswick
Oct 15, 2017, 10:48pm Top

Seen you peeping around the threads over the last day or so, Anne, so I thought I would pop by and see what news you have at present, but no updates to date.

Hope your Sunday has been a good one.

93AMQS
Oct 15, 2017, 11:27pm Top

>94 Julia, I am way overdue for a RAGBRAI myself - wouldn't that be fun to combine it with an LT meetup?

>95 Hi Rachel! Is there a sequel? I'll have to check it out. Hope you have a great week!

>96, >97 Paul, thank you for keeping my thread warm. I need to get over to yours and catch up. Are you still thinking of leaving Malaysia? Any possibility of a CO visit? I have a family at my tiny Indian, Hills, CO school that is leaving next year to spend at least two, if not more years in Malaysia. I'm not sure exactly what the parents do, but I know they feel strongly about their children experiencing life somewhere else. I am grateful for the view into Malay life through your friendship.

94AMQS
Edited: Oct 15, 2017, 11:31pm Top



59. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

A poignant and lovely memoir in verse of the author's childhood in three different worlds: Ohio, South Carolina, and New York in the 1960s. Many have read and loved it here -- I second their beautiful reviews and recommendations.

95AMQS
Oct 15, 2017, 11:38pm Top




60. The Losers Club by Andrew Clements

I love Andrew Clements, and I love The Losers Club. So many of my students belong in this club: Young Alec loves reading more than anything else. It's his sanctuary, his safe place. When the going gets tough, Alec takes refuge in his favorite books. The problem is, he loves reading so much he reads when he's not supposed to: instead of paying attention in class, for example. When Alec is enrolled in the after-school care program, he is forced to join a club, a sports team, or the homework room. Alec decides to create his own club - one that will allow him to read to his heart's content - and calls it the Losers Club in the hopes that no one else will join and he can read in peace. The club proves unexpectedly popular though, and Alec must re-think his strategy.

96PaulCranswick
Oct 15, 2017, 11:46pm Top

>98 The plan is to relocate when I am able to Anne.

A Colorado visit would be very much on my bucket list and meeting you and your lovely family high on priorities if we are able to make it.

97AMQS
Edited: Oct 15, 2017, 11:50pm Top



61. Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

This book had enormous potential - something like a Hunger Games or other dystopian book for younger readers. 9 children live on an island. Every year the boat arrives, bringing the newest young resident, and carrying away the oldest. With the arrival of the newest care, Jinny finds herself the eldest, but questions the way things are and defies the system. The trouble is her defiance appears due to selfishness and willfulness more than a genuine attempt to understand the situation of the children living in the island, and the frustration with the character erases all desire to root for her against whatever system she is fighting.

98AMQS
Oct 15, 2017, 11:56pm Top




62. The Bolds by Julian Clary

A pair of hyenas witnesses a British couple being eaten by crocodiles on a holiday to Africa. They seize upon the opportunity to start a new life in England assuming the identity of the tragic pair. The Bolds try their best to assimilate to human life, but have a steep learning curve. A slapstick, toilet-humor filled book destined (hopefully) to find an audience among Roald Dahl and Captain Underpants fans.

99AMQS
Edited: Nov 5, 2017, 1:54pm Top



63. Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce

A quirky and melancholy children's book about a lonely boy named Prez who has been placed in group youth housing after his grandfather has become unable to care for him. He spends the summer with a family on a farm, where he is joined by Sputnik, an alien sent to look after him, and to compile a list of reasons the earth should not be destroyed. Sputnik appears to other humans as a dog, but to Prez is an excitable, eccentric being who forces him to consider his life, and life in general, in new and earth-shattering ways.

100AMQS
Oct 16, 2017, 12:05am Top

>101 Oh, I hope it's soon, Paul! Have a great week.

101scaifea
Oct 16, 2017, 7:45am Top

>100 AMQS: Charlie and I are reading our first Andrew Clements book (No Talking) and we're both enjoying it. I need to check out more of his stuff.

102jnwelch
Oct 16, 2017, 8:34am Top

Hi, Anne.

I'm one of those who loved Brown Girl Dreaming. I'm glad it worked well for you.

We used to read Andrew Clement books a lot with our kids. He's really good. It's tempting to try one without them. :-)

103rosalita
Oct 16, 2017, 9:38am Top

>98 AMQS: Indeed, RAGBRAI + LT Meet-up = lots of fun for everyone! As long as I don't have to get on the bike, anyway. :-)

104lit_chick
Oct 16, 2017, 10:23am Top

Wonderful reading, Anne!

105MickyFine
Oct 16, 2017, 4:52pm Top

>104 lit_chick: That one sounds pretty cute, Anne. Hope you're getting some gorgeous autumn weather. :)

106aktakukac
Oct 17, 2017, 10:34am Top

>98 AMQS: Yes, there is a sequel, Anne. It's called The War I Finally Won, and I'm trying to avoid reading too much about it just now. I'll read it after I reread the first book...at some point soon, I hope!

107BLBera
Oct 18, 2017, 6:44pm Top

Hi Anne - I added Andrew Clements to the Scout list. Sputnik's Guide also sounds good.

108AMQS
Edited: Oct 20, 2017, 10:46am Top

>106 aktakukac: Hi Amber! I just love Andrew Clements, and No Talking is a great place to start. Hope you enjoy it! Don't miss Frindle either.

>107 BLBera: Hi Joe! It took me far too long to read it - what was I waiting for? Lovely book. I wish I could give it a wider audience at my school. I need to think of a way to promote it. I think Andrew Clements is just fun - I bet you'd love a read of a book of his, and you know it would be a quick one:)

>108 AMQS: Right, Julia? I don't know that I could ride much either, particularly in the oppressive heat and humidity that IA often has in July! We were planning to do it as a family a few years ago, and I was going to drive the sag vehicle, but our plans fell through.

>109 Hi Nancy! How are you?

>110 Hi Micky, it was pretty cute! A good book for thinking about The Big Questions. I wonder what kids will think of it.

>111 Thanks for the info, Rachel! I'll have to look out for that one.

>112 Hi Beth! Andrew Clements's school stories are always hits with kids, so great add!

109Copperskye
Oct 20, 2017, 12:07pm Top

I have fond memories of Chris discovering Andrew Clements' books. Good times!

110witchyrichy
Oct 28, 2017, 9:13am Top

Stopping by to say hello after a long time away! I can't wait to get back and read all your book reviews. Hope things are calming down a bit.

111AMQS
Oct 31, 2017, 7:58pm Top

>114 Those are good ones, Joanne, and seem timeless, even though some of them are getting old! BTW, I'm currently listening to a recommendation of yours: Dear Fahrenheit 451. It's fun so far - thank you!

>115 Hi Karen! I always think "As soon as I finish ______, then I'll have all this time." Hasn't happened so far... glad to see you!

112AMQS
Edited: Oct 31, 2017, 8:41pm Top

Happy Halloween! I love working at a school that celebrates Halloween in a big way! After a couple of years as Amelia Bedelia I decided to go for a different book character this year. Marina designed and helped me embroider my costume -- bless her sweet heart!





113ronincats
Oct 31, 2017, 8:35pm Top

Oh, what a darling Charlotte you make, Anne!

114rosalita
Nov 1, 2017, 7:24am Top

That is such a cute and clever costume, Anne! You and Marina did a great job.

115scaifea
Nov 1, 2017, 7:43am Top

Terrific!

116RebaRelishesReading
Nov 1, 2017, 11:13am Top

Looks like you had fun :)

117aktakukac
Nov 1, 2017, 11:25am Top

I love the costume, Anne!

118MickyFine
Nov 1, 2017, 12:05pm Top

Great costume, Anne!

119ChelleBearss
Nov 1, 2017, 1:26pm Top

Happy November 1st, Anne! Love your costume!

120charl08
Nov 1, 2017, 4:24pm Top

Love the costume! Talented pair the two of you.

I've enjoyed a couple of films Boyce has written so will look for the book - sounds like fun.

121BLBera
Nov 1, 2017, 7:54pm Top

Love the costume, Anne. Which reminds me, I just read George - it was wonderful.

122lit_chick
Nov 2, 2017, 10:47am Top

hehe, great look, Anne!

123jnwelch
Nov 2, 2017, 11:13am Top

>117 aktakukac: Oh my, how much I love that Charlotte costume, Anne. Brilliant!

124Copperskye
Nov 3, 2017, 1:10am Top

>117 aktakukac: Love it!!

125PaulCranswick
Nov 5, 2017, 12:11am Top

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Anne, if you are back from the witching hour!

126LovingLit
Nov 5, 2017, 1:36am Top

Great costume, as ever!
I managed a lightening bolt on my forehead and a pair of Harry Potter glasses for my first ever trick or treating session :)
But now I am planning my next years costume already, a Morticia, Alvira, Vampire concoction!

And, how are Callia's plans to come stay in my fair city for a year of study? Please be swayed by the unconditional* support I will provide her.
*note: unconditional here means 2 midnight calls to be collected from a random location, at least 5 home cooked dinners, and surreptitious vetting of all potential boyfriends with written reports sent back to you directly!

127Donna828
Nov 5, 2017, 1:19pm Top

Anne, I am also listening to Dear Fahrenheit 451 on Joanne's recommendation! As you said, it is a fun book. I listened to the part where Annie went to the party and "talked" to the bookshelves all night. Sadly, I could relate to that.

I'm so sorry we couldn't sneak in a meeup when I was out your way. There are no downtimes during a move. I think Hope's family will enjoy Brighton living. It's a cute town with all the amenities and great views of the mountains. They are close to the airport so I might be flying more than driving from now on. We're tentatively planning an early-January trip. I'll be in touch. No more trips without meetups for me…it was too sad.

128AMQS
Nov 12, 2017, 2:24pm Top

>118 MickyFine: Thank you, Roni! I'm grateful my mom (who made the cape) and Marina had the talent and vision to help me create it!

>119 ChelleBearss: Thank you, Julia! Marina is awesome - she had a lot going on, and still helped me.

>120 charl08: Thank you, Amber! Hope you and Charlie had a happy and spooky Halloween!

>121 BLBera: It was fun, Reba! I don't know that there are too many schools that still dress up/celebrate Halloween. I'm glad mine does - it's fun! Fortunately there are quite a few book characters for me...

>122 lit_chick: Thank you, Rachel!

>123 jnwelch: Thanks, Micky!

>124 Copperskye: LOL, that is so true, Chelle! Now that the girls don't trick or treat anymore we can't raid their candy haul. We just have to make sure we buy enough of our own to give to trick or treaters and have a little extra!

>125 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Charlotte! I know Millions was supposed to be a terrific film (and book). Are there others?

>126 LovingLit: Oh Beth, I'm so glad! A few kids have checked out George and a few have checked out The Pants Project - I'm so glad you enjoyed George!

>127 Donna828: Thanks, Nancy!

>128 AMQS: Thank you, Joe! I'm happy with how it turned out.

>129 Thank you, Joanne!

>130 Thank you, Paul! Our Halloweens are pretty tame, especially as the girls' trick-or-treating days are behind them, and with Halloween falling on a Tuesday, there wasn't much time for witching! Hope you are well.

>131 Can't wait to see your concoction next year, Megan!

You are SO wonderful and generous! My husband says you're hired, and wonders if you'd consider moving to Oregon...? Callia is over the moon. I believe her exact words were "OMG YES PLEASE!!!!!" It looks like a wonderful program. She would be applying around this time next year. There are several interesting-looking options, but she is very enthusiastic about returning to NZ. Thank you, thank you.

>132 I ended up really liking Dear Fahrenheit 451, Donna - someday I'll write a blurb! I was sorry to miss you, too, but a move is huge, and a move with a little one requires all hands on deck. I'm glad they're enjoying their new house! Sounds wonderful. Hope we can meet up in January!

129LovingLit
Nov 19, 2017, 2:15am Top

It must be very exciting for Callia to be thinking about studying overseas.
I was marking some essays this year, and there were a few from students who were form the States. I didn't know from their names, but they essay style was distinctly different from the NZ students. I found that the US students used language so much more eloquently than the kiwis! I was *this* close to providing feedback along the lines of...'have you thought of attending a creative writing course?' ;)

130lkernagh
Nov 21, 2017, 10:27pm Top

Stopping by to say "Hi There!" Anne. Love your Halloween costume. Spooky fun. The spider hairpiece is perfect. Glad to see all is well with the family and how cool for Callia to have an opportunity to study abroad for a year.

131PaulCranswick
Nov 23, 2017, 7:20am Top

This is a time of year when I as a non-American ponder over what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for this group and its ability to keep me sane during topsy-turvy times.

I am thankful that you are part of this group.

I am thankful for this opportunity to say thank you.

132nittnut
Nov 23, 2017, 12:32pm Top

133LovingLit
Nov 29, 2017, 3:54am Top

Hi Anne,
Just dropping by to thank you for being my go to person for kids books :) I was mulling over what to get my niece and nephew for Christmas, and wanted a book to post to them directly from Book Depo. All of a sudden your thread popped into my head, and I came by stat to read over some of your reviews. I ended up getting Juana & Lucas for my niece, and Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes for my nephew.

134PaulCranswick
Dec 9, 2017, 1:07am Top

Hope all is well Anne.

Wishing you and your lovely family a wonderful weekend.

135witchyrichy
Dec 16, 2017, 9:58am Top

Stopping by to say hello!

I, too, should have been a librarian.

And...we seem to share very similar tastes. I read Discovery of Witches and decided not to pursue the sequels. I loved your image of the Twilight series being like binge eating cheetos. Fun while it lasts but can cause heartburn.

Meanwhile, a hearty YES! to Beautiful Ruins and Good Omens. The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street has been by the chair for awhile so may pick it up over the holiday lull.

Best wishes to you for a wonderful weekend!

136lkernagh
Dec 23, 2017, 7:50pm Top

Hi Anne, stopping by to wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and happiness this holiday season and for 2018!

137Copperskye
Dec 23, 2017, 11:20pm Top



Merry Christmas, Anne!

138nittnut
Dec 24, 2017, 8:30am Top



Knowing you lights my world!
Merry Christmas! Peace and Joy!

139RebaRelishesReading
Dec 24, 2017, 10:39am Top

Anne, I hope you and your family have a beautiful Christmas and a wonderful 2018.

140SandDune
Dec 24, 2017, 2:39pm Top



(Or in other words, Happy Christmas, to you and yours!)

141PaulCranswick
Dec 24, 2017, 9:22pm Top



Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

142Donna828
Dec 24, 2017, 10:11pm Top

Anne, I hope you and your lovely family have a wonderful Christmas!


May the joy of the season continue into the New Year!

143witchyrichy
Dec 27, 2017, 11:36am Top

Best wishes for a restful holiday and a magical new year!

144jnwelch
Dec 29, 2017, 2:08pm Top



Happy Holidays, Anne!

145AMQS
Dec 29, 2017, 11:50pm Top

>134 PaulCranswick: Megan, that's so interesting! I wonder if your observation holds true more generally.

>135 witchyrichy: Hi Lori, and thank you! I'm a bit ashamed that I'm thanking you for your lovely words from Halloween... Hope you are well.

>136 lkernagh:, >139 RebaRelishesReading: Thankful for you, Paul, and for everyone here who didn't give up on me this year!

>137 Copperskye: Thank YOU, Jenn! Was this the first Thanksgiving back in the US? I've lost track. Of a lot...

>138 nittnut: Aww, Megan, thank you! Great choices! I really love that I "have to" read children's literature for my job. It's great stuff, for sure. Hope they love your selections! If your nephew enjoys Peter Nimble, then for sure have him follow up with Sophie Quire. It's a fantastic sequel.

>140 SandDune: Hi Karen - love your hearty yesses!It's so wonderful to be part of such a terrific community of readers.

Lori, Joanne, Jenn, Reba, Rhian, Paul, Donna, Karen, and Joe THANK YOU for your wishes and for keeping my thread warm during my LOOOOONG absences. I am very grateful.

146AMQS
Dec 29, 2017, 11:54pm Top

Some LONG overdue reviews. This year's threads seem pretty quiet, so I imagine LT friends are reading, spending time with loved ones, and working on 2018 threads! Still, in the interest of completion and accuracy:



64. Safe From the Sea by Peter Geye
I *think* I learned about this book from Joanne or Donna. A beautiful and poignant portrait of a son reconnecting with his dying father, reconciling bitter memories and betrayals, and the specter of a Great Lakes shipping tragedy years earlier affected every aspect of their lives. Great read.

147AMQS
Dec 30, 2017, 12:00am Top




65. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, audiobook narrated by John Lee

My epic of the year, and a new favorite. I was completely spellbound for the entire saga of the young sailor Edmond Dantes, falsely accused by jealous acquaintances of treason, and sentenced to the horrible prison the Chateau d'If. His imprisonment, education, escape, rebuilding, beneficence, and intricately plotted revenge made for a breathless and heartbreaking tale. One of my top reads of the year.

148AMQS
Dec 30, 2017, 12:04am Top




66. Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray

This is a lovely and wistful Australian children's book. Young Molly lives alone with her mother, who is... different. She brews potions and tinctures, communes with trees, and practices magic, and while molly loves her, she often wishes she were more normal. When Molly's mother accidentally turns herself into a tree, Molly must use every resource she has to manage on her own and help her mother. Her greatest help is the oddest boy in school - Pim - whose belief and championing of Molly sustain her during her darkest times. A sweet and magical story.

149AMQS
Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 12:14am Top



67. Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence, audiobook narrated by Stephanie Spicer

I might never discover new books were it not for Joanne and others here. This was fun. A young librarian writes love (and sometimes breakup) letters to the books of her life- some that she has loved, some that she grew up with, some that she is weeding at work. For the first 2/3 of the book I alternated between enjoyment and annoyance - some of her letters were heartfelt and charming; some were too clever, too weirdly sexual, too stretchy of a concept (more than once I felt this might be a better blog than book), but by the last 1/3 I was hooked enough to reserve a print copy at the library so I could reread it and write down the dozens (hundreds?) of books tenderly loved and recommended. I paid special attention to the books she mentions more than once, so I hope to unearth the copy of The Virgin Suicides I know I have owned at some point, and I listened to the amazing Just Kids that positively mesmerized me. The letter to Dear Fahrenheit 451 made me weep with librarian fellowship. Thank you to Joanne - I recommend this to bibliophiles!

150AMQS
Dec 30, 2017, 12:25am Top




68. Frogkisser! by Garth Nix, audiobook narrated by Marisa Calin

I had my eye on Frogkisser! when it was in my book fair last spring and Scholastic comped a copy for the library. Then when School Library Journal raved about (and starred) the audiobook, I knew I had to listen, and I was not disappointed. Frogkisser! is a terrific fairy tale with a strong, no-nonsense heroine, a trusty royal dog as a sidekick, and a seemingly impossible quest in the face of mortal danger. I loved it. Nix weaves in legends and myths with fantasy and fairy tales, even Easter Egging fellow Aussie children's lit author John Flanagan's rangers. Highly recommended for 5th grade and up, especially for girls who love fairy tales AND a strong heroine who can rescue herself, thank you very much.

151AMQS
Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 1:55am Top



69. Eve of a Hundred Midnights: The Star-Crossed Love Story of Two WWII Correspondents and their Epic Escape Across the Pacific by Bill Lascher

This is not quite what I was expecting. Their escape was indeed epic, but didn't actually begin until page 250. Their love story was star-crossed, but like their escape, starts too late in the book, after too much (in my opinion) about Melville Jacoby's education and background. Still, the story of Jacoby and his wife Annalee Whitmore Jacoby is fascinating. They were both amazing and amazingly intelligent people, and completely dedicated to their careers and to China and all Pacific countries in Japan's WWII path. While reading the book I had a struck-by-lightning moment when author Bill Lascher quotes Annalee's daughter Anne Fadiman. The Anne Fadiman? Author of one of my all-time favorite books about books Ex-Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader? In addition to devouring the life stories of Mel and Annalee, I immediately requested Ex-Libris from the library, and rediscovered a favorite favorite. I love when books lead to other books!

152AMQS
Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 12:53am Top




70. Ex-Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman

See? If you have not read this delightful collection of essays about books and reading, what are you waiting for? After reading this book I put it and two more books written/edited by Anne Fadiman in my Amazon cart: At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays, and Rereadings. The I took them out and asked my husband to give them to me for Christmas. Which he did, bless his sweet heart. This rereading of Ex-Libris cemented its place on my all-time favorites list. I laughed - guffawed actually - throughout. Ms. Fadiman is so clever, so intelligent, and so familiar and approachable. I feel like we're friends. And... in the wonderful way that books lead to more books, I re-discovered that Anne Fadiman is married to George Howe Colt, who wrote another favorite book of mine: The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home, which I hope to reread in 2018.

153ronincats
Dec 30, 2017, 12:56am Top

Anne! I missed you with my Christmas wishes. I'm so sorry; it was totally inadvertent. I think I broke LibraryThing by posting on so many threads--it went down for over an hour and disrupted my sequence. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. But I would never have done so deliberately. Here, belated though it is--

It is that time of year again, between Solstice and Christmas, just after Hanukkah, when our thoughts turn to wishing each other well in whatever language or image is meaningful to the recipient. So, whether I wish you Happy Solstice or Merry Christmas, know that what I really wish you, and for you, is this:


154ronincats
Dec 30, 2017, 12:57am Top

P. S. Also love Frogkisser! and the Fadiman books.

155AMQS
Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 1:05am Top



71. Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy, audiobook narrated by Terry Donnelly

I loved A Week in Winter - Ms. Binchy's book about international guests who come to stay at a remote inn on the wild coast of Ireland. This one has a similar premise - a group of international tourists all running away from something in their real lives are thrown together in a Greek island taverna after witnessing a boating tragedy that kills dozens of people. They process the tragedy's aftermath, the grieving and hospitality of the small, tight-knit island community, and their own damaged lives while bonding with each other and summoning the courage to carry on. But I didn't find the book endearing or enchanting like I did the other one. I loved her portrayal of the Greek village and villagers - that rang true, but the characters did not. There was something about the narration that bothered me also - while Ms. Donnelly handled the various accents admirably, something about her voice plus the characters themselves didn't work - for example, when two characters fall for each other, there was a major ick factor rather than a heartwarming romance. Not recommended.

156AMQS
Dec 30, 2017, 1:07am Top

>158, >159 Thank you, Roni! And no problem - I have been neglecting everyone for months - without meaning to, of course. I am grateful for your wishes and your friendship over the years. Thank you!

157AMQS
Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 1:24am Top



72. Just Kids by Patti Smith, audiobook narrated by Patti Smith.

I LOVED this book. Patti Smith won the National Book Award for this memoir of her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe, and I hadn't heard of it until it was mentioned (at least twice) in Dear Fahrenheit 451. I guess I had some passing knowledge about punk rock/poet legend Patti Smith, and certainly of artist/photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, but not much more than that. I am too young to be fully abreast of 1970s music and art, and not particularly a fan of either punk rock or sexual boundary-pushing art, but within 5 minutes of this audiobook I was completely captivated, and was totally mesmerized for the whole thing. Smith and Mapplethorpe both are fascinating people and gifted artists.

Their abiding love for one another makes for a compelling and heartbreaking story. As the end approached I felt a cry coming on. It was an epic, ugly, sobbing cry for the entire last hour of the book. Smith, who recalls being told by an editor that she talks like a trucker but writes an elegant piece, wrote the book after Robert asked her to on his deathbed, and after many years and staggering personal tragedy, she did. Since I read the book I have been compulsively reading about them both, and watching video footage of Patti Smith. She's amazing. Definitely one of my favorite reads of the year.

158AMQS
Dec 30, 2017, 1:34am Top




73. Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkein

A wonderfully charming collection of letters written by Father Christmas to the children of J.R.R. Tolkein beginning in 1920 and lasting 20 years through the childhoods of all of his children. In the hand-written, illustrated letters are the news from the North Pole, the adventures and mishaps of the North Polar Bear, the mischief of NPB's nephews Paksu and Valkotukka, the treachery of the goblins, and the heroism of the elves. I regret not discovering this book in time to read it aloud to my girls. A lovely Christmas read.

159AMQS
Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 1:44am Top



74. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris, audiobook narrated by David Sedaris

Another book inspired by Dear Fahrenheit 451. A collection of hilarious holiday essays and stories. "The Santaland Diaries," chronicling Mr. Sedaris's stint as an elf in the Macy's Santaland is just flat-out hysterical. I saw a theatrical production of it while heavily pregnant with Marina, and the ushers seated me near an aisle in case the hilarity brought on labor (it was hilarious; sadly, it did not bring on labor). This classic starts off the collection. Another favorite is "Jesus Shaves," where students in a French class in France do their best to explain Easter to a Moroccan student who has never heard of the holiday in their very broken French and severely limited vocabulary. I think his real life stories are funnier than his stories, to be honest, but this was snarky, diverting holiday fun.

160AMQS
Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 2:22am Top



75. At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays by Anne Fadiman

Anne Fadiman is my best friend. The fact that she does not know me and we are unlikely ever to meet does not dampen our BFFitude at all. I simply want to be in her literary company all the time. This collection of familiar essays on such diverse topics as Charles Lamb, lepidoptery, ice cream, night owls, coffee, and mail was an absolute treat from start to finish, including the annotated bibliography. She writes with both a humorous and erudite style, using words that send me straight to the dictionary (she admits in the wonderful Ex-Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader to loving big words) while still achieving a tone of speaking casually to me - only me - over a glass of wine. A wonderful Christmas gift from my thoughtful husband.

161FAMeulstee
Dec 30, 2017, 6:50am Top

Congratulations on reaching 75, Anne!

162Crazymamie
Dec 30, 2017, 7:48am Top

Congrats on making 75, Anne! And I am so glad you took the time to catch up with reviews - you hit me with several BBs.

163rosalita
Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 9:26am Top

Wow, some great reviews here — I caught a few BBs here, in particular the Fadimans. I've already read >160 AMQS: and you captured my feelings about it very well. I've read every book Binchy wrote and none of them are terrible but quite a few of them are much better than this. Have you read others than the two you mentioned? If not, I think you'd like them more than this one.

164drneutron
Dec 30, 2017, 11:16am Top

Congrats!

165RebaRelishesReading
Dec 30, 2017, 11:30am Top

Congrats on 75 and for the reviews. Sounds like some interesting books in there. Hope you had happy holidays and that 2018 will be good to you.

166Copperskye
Dec 30, 2017, 12:38pm Top

Wow, Anne, you’ve been reading up a storm of good books -congrats on reaching 75!!

You’ve reminded me that I have Ex-Libris waiting on the shelf (and also The Big House).

So glad you liked Safe From the Sea!

167ronincats
Dec 30, 2017, 12:41pm Top

Congratulations on hitting that 75 book mark, Anne--you made it!!

168MickyFine
Dec 30, 2017, 10:30pm Top

Congratulations on reaching the magic number, Anne!

169AMQS
Dec 31, 2017, 1:47am Top

>166 Copperskye: Thank you, Anita!

>167 ronincats: Thanks, Mamie! Glad I was able to get you a few times. I have a LOT of catching up to do - it makes me queasy to think how many great books (not to mention the company of great friends) I've missed!

>168 MickyFine: Julia, can you recommend any Binchy books to try? I really did enjoy A Week in Winter. I think you will LOVE the Fadiman books!

>169 AMQS: Thanks, Jim!

>170 Thank you, Reba. I'm striving for more balance and more LT in 2018!

>171 LOL, Joanne, actually it's more like plugging away than reading up a storm - those books I just reviewed dated back to October! You will positively love Ex-Libris. And The Big House . They're both terrific. Maybe you'll get to them in 2018?

>172 Thanks, Roni! I had great reading months and not-so-hot reading months. Relieved I made it to 75! 76 actually - I managed to read one today (that's why I love the time between Christmas and when I go back to school. There's always so much to do before Christmas, but the reward is some time after with new books. Next year we have less time before Christmas but slightly more after).

>173 Thank you, Micky!

170AMQS
Dec 31, 2017, 1:59am Top




76. Amina's Voice by Hena Khan

This is a terrific book published this year that is typical in describing the painful friend and maturing changes that middle school brings, and not-so-typical in having a Pakistani-American protagonist. Like many children born into immigrant families, Amina must balance two worlds. I love the ordinariness of her family life interspersed with descriptions of Sunday School at the local mosque, vivid, mouth-watering descriptions of the food prepared by her mother (and that of her Korean-American best friend's mother), and Islamic traditions and community. What are muslims like? Well, they're a lot like anyone else. They love cheeseburgers and chips, struggle to learn the Arabic words they need to recite for the Quran competition, play basketball for their high school teams, and immerse themselves in harrowing Oregon Trail journals for social studies. Their mosque houses a community center, library, calligraphy exhibit, and reception hall, and provides a multitude of community services to anyone in need. Great read for 4th graders and up.

171AMQS
Dec 31, 2017, 3:25am Top

2017 Favorites!
The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman
South Riding by Winifred Holtby
The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Ex-Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
Just Kids by Patti Smith
At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays by Anne Fadiman



By the numbers:
Fiction: 63
nonfiction: 13
audiobooks: 22
Parmalee Library Books: 33
My OWN books: 26
Rereads: 7

172rosalita
Dec 31, 2017, 6:52am Top

>174 A lot of Binchy's earlier books were sagas that spanned decades, giving the reader a sense of Ireland from the 1950s to the modern era. Of these, I think Copper Beech, Firefly Summer, and The Glass Lake might be my favorites.

Later Binchy focused more on modern Ireland. Of those, Tara Road, Evening Class, and Quentins stand out for me in this category.

>176 I love seeing that people are still reading and loving Up the Down Staircase!

173Storeetllr
Dec 31, 2017, 6:01pm Top

Hi, Anne - Warm wishes to you and your lovely family for a Happy New Year! Smooches from Nickel, a wild-eyed "Hello" from Rosie, and a hug from me.

174ChelleBearss
Jan 1, 10:18pm Top

Hope you had a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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