Chatterbox Reads Omnivorously, and Fires Book Bullets Indiscriminately -- Part V
This is a continuation of the topic Chatterbox Reads Omnivorously, and Fires Book Bullets Indiscriminately -- Part IV.
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-- by Elizabeth Bishop
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
As always, I'll try to set the tone with a poem -- I still seem to be in a moody frame of mind. I'm also in catch-up mode...
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 November's list:
The November List...
350. Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell (finished 11/2/17) 4.15 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
357. (a) The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch (novella) (finished 11/9/17) 3.7 stars (A)
(b) A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch (short story/audio) (finished 11/9/17) 3.1 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
365. The Parcel by Anosh Irani (finished 11/13/17) 4.2 stars
366. Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved by Kate Bowler (finished 11/14/17) 3.7 stars
367. The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer (finished 11/15/17) 3.2 stars (A)
368. Sylvester by Georgette Heyer (finished 11/17/17) 3.9 stars (A)
369. *Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James (finished 11/18/17) 4.3 stars (A)
370. The Girl who Takes an Eye For an Eye by David Lagercrantz (finished 11/19/17) 3.9 stars
371. *Thornyhold by Mary Stewart (finished 11/20/17) 3.7 stars (A)
372. Pictures of Fidelman by Bernard Malamud (finished 11/21/17) 3.7 stars
373. *Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart (finished 11/21/17) 3.6 stars (A)
374. Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe (finished 11/22/17) 3.9 stars
375. An Army of One by Tony Schumacher (finished 11/23/17) 3.9 stars
376. An Englishman in Madrid by Eduardo Mendoza (finished 11/23/17) 4.1 stars
377. *Anything for a Quiet Life by Michael Gilbert (finished 11/24/17) 4 stars (A)
378. Alive in Shape and Color: 17 Paintings by Great Artists and the Stories They Inspired edited by Lawrence Block (finished 11/24/17) 3.8 stars
379. *Every Woman for Herself by Trisha Ashley (finished 11/25/17) 4 stars (A)
380. *True Evil by Greg Iles (finished 11/26/17) 3.8 stars (A)
381. Ties by Domenico Starnone (finished 11/28/17) 4.3 stars
382. UNSUB by Meg Gardiner (finished 11/28/17) 3.7 stars
383. Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales by P.D.James (finished 11/28/17) 4.2 stars
384. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (finished 11/29/17) 4.35 stars
385. House of Names by Colm Toibin (finished 11/30/17) 4.3 stars
The December List....
386. The Vanishing Box by Elly Griffiths (finished 12/1/17) 3.85 stars
387. All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan (finished 12/2/17) 4 stars
388. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (finished 12/2/17) 4.3 stars
389. A Blind Goddess by James R. Benn (finished 12/4/17) 3.45 stars (A)
390. The Trials of the King of Hampshire: Madness, Secrecy and Betrayal in Georgian England by Elizabeth Foyster (finished 12/4/17) 4.1 stars
391. A Christmas Return by Anne Perry (finished 12/5/17) 3.6 stars
392. False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong (finished 12/5/17) 4.3 stars
393. Stranger by David Bergen (finished 12/6/17) 3.85 stars
394. *Snared Nightingale by Geoffrey Trease (finished 12/7/17) 4.35 stars
395. Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields by Wendy Lower (finished 12/7/17) 3.8 stars (A)
396. Cats I've Known: On Love, Loss, and Being Graciously Ignored by Katie Haegele (finished 12/8/17) 3.8 stars
397. A Marriage Under the Terror by Patricia Wentworth (finished 12/9/17) 2.9 stars
398. The Rest is Silence by James R. Benn (finished 12/9/17) 4 stars (A)
399. Sourdough by Robin Sloan (finished 12/9/17) 4.25 stars
400. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (finished 12/10/17) 4.35 stars
401. *The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid (finished 12/10/17) 4.3 stars (A)
402. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (finished 12/11/17) 4.15 stars
403. *A Place of Execution by Val McDermid (finished 12/12/17) 4.25 stars (A)
404. Camino Island by John Grisham (finished 12/13/17) 3.7 stars
405. The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle (finished 12/13/17) 4.3 stars
406. The Hellfire Conspiracy by Will Thomas (finished 12/15/17) 3.7 stars
407. A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power by Paul Fischer (finished 12/16/17) 4.2 stars
408. Pyramids by Terry Pratchett (finished 12/16/17) 3.75 stars
409. The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History by Thomas Harding (finished 12/17/17) 4.15 stars
410. *Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett (finished 12/17/17) 4.2 stars (A)
411. Us Conductors by Sean Michaels (finished 12/18/17) 4.35 stars
412. The Burial Society by Nina Sadowsky (finished 12/20/17) 3.2 stars
413. We Are Not Alone by James Hilton (finished 12/20/17) 3.4 stars
414. Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-Extinction by Helen Pilcher (finished 12/21/17) 3.9 stars
415. The White Ghost by James R. Benn (finished 12/21/17) 3.5 stars (A)
416. The Bones of Grace by Tahmima Anam (finished 12/22/17) 4.3 stars
417. *So Wild the Heart by Geoffrey Trease (finished 12/22/17) 4.2 stars
418. I Am No One by Patrick Flanery (finished 12/23/17) 4.15 stars
419. *Wicked Uncle by Patricia Wentworth (finished 12/24/17) 3.4 stars
420. Lesser Evils by Joe Flanagan (finished 12/25/17) 4.2 stars (A)
421. The Blind Astronomer's Daughter by John Pipkin (finished 12/25/17) 4 stars
422. The Gifts of Poseidon by Anne Zouroudi (finished 12/26/17) 3.8 stars
423. What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers across America by Ted Dintersmith (finished 12/28/17) 4.35 stars
424. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (finished 12/28/17) 4.3 stars
425. The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (finished 12/29/17) 3.85 stars
426. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope (finished 12/29/17) 3.8 stars
427. Wolf on a String by Benjamin Black (finished 12/30/17) 3.75 stars
428. Skeleton Blues by Paul Johnston (finished 12/30/17) 4 stars
429. Checkpoint by Jean-Christophe Rufin (finished 12/31/17) 4.2 stars
430. No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod (finished 12/31/17) 4.4 stars
(A) -- Audiobook
Reading from past months:
The October List...
320. *Silence by Thomas Perry (finished 10/1/17) 3.8 stars (A)
321. *String of Beads by Thomas Perry (finished 10/3/17) 3.9 stars (A)
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 (A)
324. *Nightlife by Thomas Perry (finished 10/7/17) 3.8 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
340. *Blood Money by Thomas Perry (finished 10/22/17) 3.9 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
345. A Mortal Terror by James Benn (finished 10/27/17) 3.75 stars (A)
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 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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 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 (A)
250. *The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (finished 8/2/17) 4 stars (sentimental fave) (A)
251. The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye (finished 8/3/17) 3.9 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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
(A) -- Audiobook
More past reading:
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 (A)
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 (A)
215. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (finished 7/7/17) 4.5 stars (A)
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 (A)
218. *Avenger by Frederick Forsyth (finished 7/9/17) 4 stars (A)
219. *The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth (finished 7/10/17) 3.85 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
240. Basket of Deplorables by Tom Rachman (audiobook only) (finished 7/27/17) 3.9 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 June list...
182. Where Dead Men Meet by Mark Mills (finished 6/1/17) 4 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
204. Heads or Hearts by Paul Johnston (finished 6/21/17) 3.9 stars (A)
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 (A)
150. The Radium Girls by Kate Moore (finished 5/7/17) 4.8 stars (A)
151. Vienna Spies by Alex Gerlis (finished 5/7/17) 4.25 stars (A)
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 (A)
158. Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick (finished 5/14/17) 4.8 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
127. *A Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer (finished 4/20/17) 3.9 stars (A)
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 (A)
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
(A) -- Audiobook
And the reading lists from the beginning of the year...
The March list...
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
92. Cotillion by Georgette Heyer (finished 3/25/17) 3.4 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
14. The Loving Cup by Winston Graham (finished 1/15/17) 4 stars (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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 (A)
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
While I want to read serendipitously, I also started the year with some reading goals. I did a truly appalling job at meeting those that I set for myself last year, and am not doing all that much better this year, alas. Still, serendipity continues to rule!
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 read
The Teetering Tower of ARCs (Advance Review Copies
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith read
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
Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell read
Mercury by Margot Livesey
The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle read
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee read
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks read
House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure
The Patriots by Sara Krasikov read
A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker
Authors New to Me -- and Recommendations
The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter by John Pipkin read
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 read
Stoner by John Williams read
The Parcel by Anosh Irani read
Stranger by David Bergen read
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 read
His Whole Life by Elizabeth Hay read
Punishment by Linden Macintyre read
Reading Challenge Part II
Why Haven't I Read This Yet??
No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod read
The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope read
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Animal Farm by George Orwell read
Lolita by Nabokov
The Golden Age by Joan London read
Baba Dunja’s Last Love by Alina Bronsky
The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami read
The Living Infinite by Chantel Acevedo read
The Invisible Mile by Peter Coventry
Check Point by Jean-Claude Rufin read
Endgame by Ahmet Altan
Lesser Evils by Joe Flanagan read
Ties by Domenico Starnone read
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
Judas by Amos Oz (Israel)
The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany)
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
2084 by Boualem Sansal (Algeria/Germany)
An Englishman in Madrid by Eduardo Mendoza (Spain) read
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
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) read
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) read
Reading Challenge Part III
NetGalley Tower of Shame
The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
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 Flanery read
Darktown by Thomas Mullen read
The Letter Writer by Dan Fesperman read
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 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
Game of Queens: The women who made sixteenth-century Europe by Sarah Gristwood
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren read
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore read
The Trials of the King of Hampshire by Elizabeth Foyster read
Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-Extinction by Helen Pilcher read
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 read
Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick read
A Kim Jong-Il Production by Paul Fischer read
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
Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms by Gerard Russell read
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 $$ sign marked, that means it was free to me.
Books Purchased or Otherwise Permanently Acquired in 2017
1. Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat (Kindle Sale, $), 1/1/17
2. The Children by David Halberstam (Kindle Sale, $) 1/2/17
3. Amberwell by D.E. Stevenson (Kindle Sale, $) 1/3/17
4. The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley (NetGalley) 1/3/17
5. The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in Flight by Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrian Levy (NetGalley) 1/3/17
6. Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin (NetGalley) 1/3/17
7. All the Lives I Want by Alana Massey (NetGalley) 1/3/17
8. The Lost Woman by Sara Blaedel (NetGalley) 1/3/17
9. Down City: A Daughter's Story of Love, Memory and Murder by Leah Carroll (NetGalley) 1/3/17
10. The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries by Andrei Soldatov and Irinia Borogan (Kindle Sale, $) 1/4/17
11. The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle (Audiobook, $$) 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
Books Purchased or Otherwise Permanently Acquired in 2017
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 read
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
Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
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. 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 read
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. 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. 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. Testimony by Scott Turow (NetGalley) 2/10/17 read
200. Animal Farm by George Orwell (Kindle, $$) 2/11/17) read
201. Mikhail and Margarita by Julie Himes (ARC from publisher) 2/11/17
202. A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas (paperback from publisher) 2/11/17
203. Forever On: A Novel of Silicon Valley by Rob Reid (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/11/17
204. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (Kindle Sale, $) 2/12/17
205. Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade (Kindle Sale, $) 2/12/17
206. Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/13/17
207. Scars of Independence by Holger Hoock (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/14/17
208. Murder on the Serpentine by Anne Perry (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/14/17read
209. In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/14/17 read
210. The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017)
211. A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017)
212. Conviction by Julia Dahl (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017) read
213. Who You Think I Am by Camille Laurens (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017) read
214. Often I Am Happy by Jens Christian Grøndahl (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017) read
215. The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017)
216. Everything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz (Amazon Vine ARC) (Forgotten from January 2017)
217. Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka (Paperback, $$) 2/14/17 read
218. The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald (Paperback, $$) 2/14/17
219. The Trespassers by Laura Z. Hobson (Kindle sale, $) 2/15/17
220. The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell (Kindle sale, $) 2/15/17
221. Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman (Kindle sale, $) 2/15/17
222. The Drowning King by Emily Holleman (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/15/17 read
223. Shadow Man by Alan Drew (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/15/17 read
Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
224. Unquiet Ghosts by Glenn Meade (ALA Midwinter, ARC) (Forgotten from Jan 2017)
225. The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone (ALA Midwinter, ARC) (Forgotten from Jan 2017)
226. The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal (ALA Midwinter, ARC) (Forgotten from Jan 2017)
227. The End We Start From by Megan Hunter (ALA Midwinter, ARC) (Forgotten from Jan 2017)
228. The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer (ALA Midwinter, ARC) (Forgotten from Jan 2017) read
229. A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner (Amazon Vine ARC) 2/16/17
230. The Heirs by Susan Rieger (NetGalley) 2/16/17
231. New Boy by Tracey Chevalier (NetGalley) 2/16/17 read
232. Racing the Devil by Charles Todd (Kindle, $$) 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
Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
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, $$) 3/22/17
292. Young Radicals: In the War for American Ideals by Jeremy McCarter (NetGalley) 3/24/17 read
293. The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17 read
294. The Second Day of the Renaissance by Timothy Williams (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17
295. Gender, Politics, News: A Game of Three Sides by Karen Ross (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17
296. There Your Heart Lies by Mary Gordon (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17 read
297. The End of the Day by Claire North (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17
298. The Parthenon Bomber by Christos Chrissopoulos (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17
299. Protest in Putin's Russia by Mischa Gabowitsch (Amazon Vine ARC) 3/24/17
300. A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter (Amazon UK, Kindle Sale, $) 3/27/17
301. Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta (NetGalley) 3/30/17 read
302. The Misfortune of Marion Palm by Emily Culliton (NetGalley, From Publisher) 3/31/17
303. The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk (NetGalley, from Publisher) 3/31/17
304. A Deadly Betrothal by Fiona Buckley (NetGalley) 3/31/17
305. A Small Revolution by Jimin Han (Kindle First, Freebie) 4/1/17
306. The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan (Kindle Sale, $) 4/3/17
307. A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols by Tim Marshall (NetGalley) 4/3/17
308. Steam Titans: Cunard, Collins, and the Epic Battle for Commerce on the North Atlantic by William Fowler (NetGalley) 4/3/17
309. Reading With Patrick by Michelle Kuo (NetGalley) 4/3/17
310. Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin (Kindle Sale, $) 4/3/17
311. The Lake by Lotte Hammer (NetGalley) 4/3/17
312. The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances Fitzgerald (Kindle pre-order, $$) 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 read
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, $$) 5/2/17
375. Wolf on a String by Benjamin Black (NetGalley) 5/4/17 read
376. He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly (UK Kindle, $$) 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
Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
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, $$) 5/16/17
398. The Gifts of Poseidon by Anne Zouroudi (UK Kindle sale, $) 5/16/17 read
399. Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe (paperback, $$) 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
Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
FROM HERE ON, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, THE BOOKS ARE ALL ARCS/GALLEYS FROM ALA CHICAGO, June 2017:
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 read
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
THAT'S ALL THE ALA CHICAGO LOOT!!
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
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
THE FOLLOWING ALL ARE KINDLE SINGLES, ALL SHORT ITEMS PURCHASED FOR 99 CENTS TO $2.99 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
THAT'S ALL THE KINDLE SINGLES....
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, $$) 8/15/17 read
670. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas (Amazon Vine ARC) 8/17/17
Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
671. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Audiobook, $$) 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 read
694. The Autumn Throne by Elizabeth Chadwick (Kindle sale, $) 8/29/17
695. Glass Houses by Louise Penny (Audiobook, $$) 8/29/17 read
696. The Shivering Sands by Victoria Holt (Kindle Sale, $) 8/31/17
697. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo Lodge (NetGalley) 8/31/17 read
698. Only Child by Rhiannon Navin (NetGalley, From Publisher) 8/31/17
699. The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump: Essays and Reportage, 1986-2017 by Martin Amis (NetGalley, From Publisher) 8/31/17
700. The Woods by Harlan Coben (Audiobook Sale, $) 9/2/17
701. Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
702. The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Ernest J. Gaines (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/2/17 read
703. The Dower House Mystery by Patricia Wentworth (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
704. The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
705. The Pool of St. Branok by Philippa Carr (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
706. Cold in the Earth by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
707. The Darkness and the Deep by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
708. Lying Dead by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
709. Dead in the Water by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
710. Lamb to the Slaughter by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
711. Cradle to Grave by Aline Templeton (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
712. The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
713. Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring sanity to our politics, our economy, and our lives by Joseph Heath (Kindle Sale, $) 9/2/17
714. False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East by Steven A. Cook (Amazon Vine Hardcover) 9/3/17
715. A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation by Craig Harline (Amazon Vine ARC), 9/3/17
716. To Kingdom Come by Will Thomas (Audiobook, $$) 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, $$) 9/12/17 read
736. Anna and Her Daughters by D.E. Stevenson (UK Kindle Sale, $), 9/12/17
737. Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben (NetGalley) 9/13/17
738. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/14/17 read
739. On ne naît pas grosse by Gabrielle Deydier (UK Kindle, $$) 9/14/17
740. The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti (NetGalley) 9/14/17
741. Mosquito by Roma Tearne (UK Kindle, $$) 9/16/17
742. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis (Kindle, freebie from Amazon Prime) 9/16/17
743. What You Did Not Tell: A Russian Past and the Journey Home by Mark Mazower (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/17/17
744. A Matter of Loyalty by Anselm Audley & Elizabeth Edmundson (NetGalley) 9/17/17 read
745. The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/18/17 read
746. The Woman in the Camphor Trunk by Jennifer Kincheloe (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/18/17
747. Oriana Fallaci: The Journalist, the Agitator, the Legend by Cristina De Stefano (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/18/17
748. Three Floors Up by Eshkol Nevo (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/20/17
749. Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back by Gretchen Carlson (Amazon Vine ARC) 9/20/17 read
750. Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror by Victor Sebastyen (NetGalley, From Publisher) 9/20/17
Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
751. Munich by Robert Harris (UK Kindle, $$) 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, $$) 10/08/17
782. The Swimmer by Roma Tearne (UK Kindle sale, $) 10/08/17
783. A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller (NetGalley) 10/08/17 read
784. MacBeth by Jo Nesbø (NetGalley) 10/08/17
785. Peach by Emma Glass (NetGalley) 10/08/17
786. The Few by Hakan Günday (Edelweiss e-galley) 10/09/17
787. Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki (Edelweiss e-galley) 10/09/17
788. Shadow Play by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (NetGalley) 10/09/17
789. Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (NetGalley) 10/09/17
790. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (Audiobook, $$) 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
Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
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 read
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, $$) 10/24/17 read
817. The Balcony by Jane Delury (NetGalley) 10/30/17
818. The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley (NetGalley) 10/30/17
819. I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke (NetGalley) 10/30/17
820. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell (NetGalley) 10/30/17
821. The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley (NetGalley) 10/31/17
822. First Person by Richard Flanagan (From Publisher/NetGalley) 10/31/17
823. Winter by Ali Smith (From Publisher/NetGalley) 10/31/17
824. A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey (From Publisher/NetGalley) 10/31/17
825. The Monk Of Mokha by Dave Eggers (From Publisher/NetGalley) 10/31/17
826. The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky by Jana Casale (From Publisher/NetGalley) 10/31/17
827. Madness is Better Than Defeat by Ned Beauman (From Publisher/NetGalley) 11/1/17
828. Fade-Out by Patrick Tilley (NetGalley) 11/1/17
829. This is How It Ends by Eva Dolan (NetGalley) 11/1/17
830. The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn (NetGalley) 11/1/17
831. Videocracy: How YouTube Is Changing the World . . . with Double Rainbows, Singing Foxes, and Other Trends We Can’t Stop Watching by Kevin Allocca (NetGalley) 11/1/17
832. The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley (NetGalley) 11/1/17
833. The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-being of Nations by David Pilling (NetGalley) 11/1/17
834. The Clarity by Keith Thomas (NetGalley) 11/1/17
835. Neapolitan Chronicles by Ana Maria Ortese (Edelweiss e-galley) 11/2/17
836. The Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth (Audiobook, $$) 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 read
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
846. The Internet is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen (Kindle, $$) 11/6/17
847. The Melody by Jim Crace (NetGalley) 11/7/17
848. The Done Thing by Tracy Manaster (NetGalley) 11/7/17
849. The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen (NetGalley) 11/7/17
850. Arabella by Georgette Heyer (Audiobook, discount, $) 11/7/17 read
851. Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle by Dervla Murphy (Kindle sale, $) 11/7/17
852. Winter Book by Tove Jansson (Kindle sale, $) 11/7/17
853. The Polar Bear Killing by Michael Ridpath (Kindle Single, $) 11/7/17
854. The Partnership Track by Michael Ridpath (Kindle Single, $) 11/7/17
855. The Other Woman by Laura Wilson (UK Kindle, Kindle sale, $) 11/7/17
856. The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya (NetGalley) 11/9/17
857. Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (NetGalley) 11/9/17
858. A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch (Audiobook Single, $) 11/10/17 read
859. Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved by Kate Bowler (Amazon Vine ARC) 11/11/17 read
860. The Burial Society by Nina Sadowsky (Amazon Vine ARC) 11/11/17 read
861. Pictures of Fidelman by Bernard Malamud (Kindle, $$) 11/11/17 read
862. The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century by Robert D. Kaplan (NetGalley) 11/12/17
863. Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers (NetGalley) 11/13/17
864. The Last Hours by Minette Walters (UK Kindle, $$) 11/13/17
865. The Soldier's Curse by Tom & Meg Keneally (Audiobook, $$) 11/13/17
866. Sugar Money by Jane Harris (UK Kindle, $$) 11/13/17
867. How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life by Seneca (NetGalley) 11/13/17
868. The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson (ARC from publisher) 11/14/17
869. Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner (NetGalley) 11/14/17
870. Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir (Audiobook, $$) 11/14/17
871. The Take by Christopher Reich (NetGalley) 11/16/17
872. Sylvester by Georgette Heyer (Audiobook, $$) 11/16/17 read
873. Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein (NetGalley) 11/17/17
874. Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth (Amazon Vine ARC) 11/17/17
875. This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff (Amazon Vine ARC) 11/17/17
876. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (Audiobook Freebie) 11/18/17
877. Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich (Audiobook, $$) 11/18/17
878. A Lesson in Dying by Ann Cleeves (UK Kindle Sale, $) 11/18/17
879. Sleep No More by P.D. James (Kindle, $$) 11/19/17 read
880. The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner (Audiobook, $$) 11/19/17
881. The Rest Is Silence by James R. Benn (Audiobook, $$) 11/20/17 read
882. Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart (Audiobook, special, $) 11/21/17 read
883. Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London by Lauren Elkin (Kindle, $$) 11/23/17
884. Ties by Domenico Starnone (Kindle, $$) 11/23/17 read
885. A Separation by Katie Kitamura (Kindle, $$) 11/23/17
886. The China Governess by Margery Allingham, (Kindle sale, $) 11/24/17
887. Sweet Danger by Margery Allingham (Kindle sale, $) 11/24/17
888. Wicked Uncle by Patricia Wentworth (Kindle sale, $) 11/24/17 read
889. A Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell (Kindle sale, $) 11/24/17
890. The Cutting Season by Attica Locke (Audiobook sale, $) 11/24/17
891. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neal Degrasse Tyson (Kindle sale, $) 11/24/17
892. Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller (Kindle sale, $) 11/24/17
893. Maybe Esther by Katja Petrowskaja (Amazon Vine ARC) 11/24/17
894. An Equal Stillness by Francesca Kay (UK Kindle sale, $) 11/24/17
895. White Houses by Amy Bloom (Amazon Vine ARC) 11/24/17
896. A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History by Jeanne Theoharis (Amazon Vine ARC) 11/24/17
897. The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lukas (Amazon Vine ARC) 11/24/17
898. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion (Kindle Sale, $) 11/27/17
899. Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit (Kindle Sale, $) 11/27/17
900. The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Tim Egan (Audiobook Sale, $) 11/27/17
Books Purchased or Permanently Acquired in 2017
901. White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg (Audiobook sale, $) 11/27/17
902. Granta 141: Canada (Granta: the Magazine of New Writing) edited by Madeleine Thien (Kindle, $$) 11/28/17
903. Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul by Jeremiah Moss (Audiobook, $$) 11/28/17
904. Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes (NetGalley) 11/30/17
905. A Cruel Necessity by L.C. Tyler (Kindle Sale, $) 12/1/17
906. A Marriage Under the Terror by Patricia Wentworth (Kindle Unlimited) 12/1/17 read
907. The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb (Kindle Unlimited) 12/1/17
908. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (Kindle Unlimited) 12/1/17
909. Eva's Eye by Karin Fossum (Kindle Unlimited) 12/1/17
910. The Radiant Way by Margaret Drabble (Kindle Unlimited) 12/1/17
911. Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields by Wendy Lower (Kindle Unlimited) 12/1/17 read
912. The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai (Kindle Unlimited) 12/1/17
913. Picasso and the Painting That Shocked the World by Miles Unger (NetGalley) 12/1/17
914. We Are Not Alone by James Hilton (Kindle Unlimited) 12/1/17 read
915. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (Kindle Sale) 12/2/17
916. Hole and Corner by Patricia Wentworth (Kindle Sale) 12/2/17
917. Nothing Venture by Patricia Wentworth (Kindle Sale) 12/2/17
918. Age of Folly: America Abandons Its Democracy by Lewis Lapham (Kindle, $$) 12/2/17
919. The Vanishing Box by Elly Griffiths (UK Kindle, $$) 12/2/17 read
920. Rooted in Evil by Ann Granger (UK Kindle, sale, $) 12/4/17
921. False Impression by Jeffrey Archer (UK Kindle sale, $) 12/4/17
922. Cruel Mercy by David Mark (UK Kindle sale, $) 12/4/17
923. Dead Pretty by David Mark (UK kindle sale, $) 12/4/17
924. The Hopkins Conundrum by Simon Edge (UK Kindle sale, $) 12/4/17
925. Mind of a Killer by Simon Beaufort (NetGalley) 12/4/17
926. Lock 13 by Peter Helton (NetGalley) 12/4/17
927. Whisper the Dead by Stella Cameron (NetGalley) 12/4/17
928. The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith (NetGalley; from publisher) 12/4/17
929. The Only Story by Julian Barnes (NetGalley; from publisher) 12/4/17
930. God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright (NetGalley; from publisher) 12/4/17
931. The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life by Richard Russo (NetGalley; from publisher) 12/4/17
932. A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew Wilson (NetGalley) 12/4/17
933. How Democracies Die by Steve Levitsky (NetGalley) 12/4/17
934. Hearts of Resistance by Soraya M. Lane (NetGalley) 12/4/17
935. Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein by Kathryn Harkup (NetGalley) 12/5/17
936. From the Fifteenth District by Mavis Gallant (Kindle Unlimited) 12/5/17
937. Sleeping in the Ground by Peter Robinson (Kindle, sale, $) 12/5/17
938. Bay of Hope: Five Years in Newfoundland by David Ward (NetGalley) 12/6/17
939. The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century by Simon Baatz (NetGalley) 12/7/17
940. Snared Nightingale by Geoffrey Trease (Kindle, $$) 12/7/17 read
941. The Moon in the Water by Pamela Belle (Kindle Unlimited) 12/7/17
942. Cats I've Known: On Love, Loss, and Being Graciously Ignored by Katie Haegele (Amazon Vine ARC) 12/8/17 read
943. Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen (NetGalley) 12/8/17
944. Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell (Edelweiss e-galley/ARC) 12/8/17
945. Whisper of the Moon Moth by Lindsay Jayne Ashford (Kindle Unlimited) 12/9/17
946. Virgin Earth by Philippa Gregory (Kindle UK sale, $) 12/10/17
947. Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory (Kindle UK sale, $) 12/10/17
948. All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson (Amazon Vine ARC) 12/11/17
949. My Name is Nathan Lucius by Mark Winkler (Amazon Vine ARC) 12/11/17
Loosely related to this, but cheerier for you:
"Cleaning the attic is long, slow work, indeed.
It would go much faster if I'd never learned to read."
(- from anonymous source in yesterday's newspaper)
I was reading that Elizabeth Bishop poem just the other day. Isn't it wonderful how all that emotion can be heightened, concentrated by that form!
Finally finished the touchstones for the lists. For context, it takes me about four or five attempts to complete each list. I'll accidentally click on the name of the book instead of "other" and then I have to start from scratch, or the touchstones go into a timeout, or start showing me nothing but Harry Potter titles or a random selection of classic titles (Austen, Dickens, etc.), which means I have to start over. It takes me four or five hours of work to move all these lists, but since I've actually had people PM me to ask whether or not I have read book X this year or have got book Y on my TBR list.... IN SPITE of my request to just check the library... I can only imagine the flurry of requests if I didn't do this. Sorry if I sound grumpy, I have another headache.
>23 m.belljackson: Love that! For some reason, much of my clutter seems to be clothes-related. If said clothes are in reasonably good shape, I appear to be incapable of removing them from the household. This is related to years (decades) in NYC of having no easy access to a washer/dryer. I also have a LOT of sheets (same reason.)
>24 ffortsa: It's amazingly intense, and so moving. I have Megan Marshall's bio of her teed up to read soonish. btw, I noted in the prior thread that I'll bring the Tova Mirvis memoir to NYC next week for you to pick up at the book circle.
>22 jnwelch: Lots of reading done -- but lots more to do!!
>25 Chatterbox: I'm probably guilty of asking too many questions on your thread, though I try to limit it to Australian & New Zealand new releases. I just hope I'm giving you a heads up in case you see them in an ARC scramble. I'm reading The Necessary Angel (we chatted about this one a few weeks back) at the moment though it's just been bumped by Garry Disher's latest crime novel.
This year I've seemed to have really embraced Ozzie ocker-ness what with my watching their Underbelly crime series and falling for the wonderful Rake tv show. I've also enjoyed several lighter Aussie reads, The Rules of Backyard Cricket has been a high point.
>26 avatiakh: Oh, no -- that's not the kind of question I'm thinking about. And I'm primarily thinking of whether or not I've yet read a book that I've acquired. Oh well. I do have "Necessary Angel" on my watchlist for when it becomes available in the UK in the new year (I think in February) and I'll be adding it to my TBR then. Just added a historical mystery by Tom Keneally and his daughter to my audiobook library -- for some reason, his books become available in audio long before the books themselves are available either in print or digital formats here. Go figure...
It's staggering just to gaze at the number of books you've consumed this year! Wow!
>28 thornton37814: You'll see clusters of Georgette Heyer books, and those by Thomas Perry, and some other re-reads -- almost all are audiobooks, and represent good audiobooks to listen to while coping with migraines. Have just added Sylvester to the list, and shall hope that will get me to the end of the current migraine. Sigh, for some reason touchstones not working -- another Heyer tome.
>30 Chatterbox: Glad you are able to listen to books while you have a migraine. I've resumed listening to audio books on the way to and from work. I will sometimes continue listening after I get home to get to a good stopping place. I can do it for a few minutes in the morning at work before I open the library doors.
I went to the public library and got Book of Separation. I started reading and got grabbed by the first chapter. Those who like reading memoirs will love this book.
Phew, migraine gone. That was a three-day one. Bother and blast. But the final audiobook was "Sylvester", which was a Heyer book I had never read before! And I really enjoyed it, unlike The Reluctant Widow, another unread Heyer audiobook, which was a "take it or leave it" (which ALSO has no touchstone -- what is it with touchstones now???)
I had a lot of trouble with the touchstones earlier in the week. And with search.
>34 ffortsa: I did too, but it seems to be ironed out now. It always seems to happen when I have a fit of wanting to do some housekeeping here.
I was beyond thrilled to see that I have read all the books on your Why Haven't I Read .... but then I HAVEN'T read 95% of what you are reading or have read recently.
Happy to see The Year of the French on your recommended list - it is a great book.
Back to add -- I seem to have read 796 of the 11,000 plus you have listed here. Don't know how many are listed and not read - I admit I have somewhere in the realm of 300 in that category although probably 1/2 are science fiction and fantasy which seem to take up a lot of room on my shelves (the series thing, I think!).
Hope you are feeling better these days.
>27 Chatterbox: I finished Stead's The Necessary Angel and found it a rather enjoyable literary read. He's written more worthy books but this one is like an ode to Paris and academia and includes the changing political world. I'm inclined now to read his Mansfield novel as there was an interesting sojourn in the book to Gurdjieff's mansion just outside of Paris, a visit to where Katherine Mansfield died.
>35 sibyx: You are responsible for my adding The Year of the French to the my targeted reading for the year, Lucy -- now I just need to read it!!
Anything that I have added to my lists in #9 to #18, that I have read is marked read. I'm being very, very disciplined -- though I'm not quite up to date yet.
>36 avatiakh: Argh, stop whetting my appetite for a book I can't read for MONTHS!! LOL...
I just re-read (via audiobook, during the three-day migraine) a P.D. James novel, Death in Holy Orders and it was excellent. It has probably been 20 years (or since publication date) since I read it, and now I'll consume at least two more Adam Dalgliesh mysteries that aren't narrated by a woman with a VERY irritating voice -- in other words, the two final books in the series. I had forgotten how excellent and complex and character-driven these books are, even if they don't have the same element of dramatic suspense and final "big twists" that today's big writers employ.
I'm here, and that's about all I can say for myself. Many thanks for your keeping on, Suzanne!
Oh dear. I also appreciated *YotFrench* and hope to live long enough to reread P.D. James - especially those middle-ish ones like *DiHO*, one of my favorites as I recall.
It's scary to look at the list of audiobooks, and re-reads. There are a lot of books I want to read, but can't face actually reading much right now, oddly.
I'm also behind on my whitepaper project. Seem to have a very limited bandwidth for anything that requires energy. I'm convinced that it's the Veramapil (new migraine meds) and need to have a conversation with the neurologist.
So, Michael Redhill, aka Inger Ash Wolfe, has won the Giller Prize for Bellevue Square, which I noted toward the end of my previous thread that I had just finished reading and very much liked, though not as much as Minds of Winter by Ed O'Loughlin. A shout-out to those of you who noted the book at that point; it's the first in a proposed trilogy and is VERY twisty, with perhaps the most unreliable heroine I have ever encountered in my life.
Well, here's a reliable heroine: Lydia Maria Child.
"Inspired by the abolitionist editor William Lloyd Garrison...
Child wrote An appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans in 1833."
Pro-slavery readers forced cancellation of her editorship of Juvenile Miscellany.
She continued her writings and penned "A Boy's Thanksgiving"
which opens with -
"Over the river, and through the wood
to Grandfather's house we go."
A Great Thanksgiving to ALL!
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.
Echoing lovely sentiments of Paul's above -- and to say in RL there is a corgi keeping an eye on the oven right now.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I hope that Posey's vigil by the oven was not in vain...
Love the Elizabeth Bishop Poem. She nail it.
The Prisoner of Zenda is a galloping good read - better than the movie. Better than the good movie anyway.
was happy to see you the other day.
>45 magicians_nephew: Good to see you too -- hope the dental emergency was addressed in time for Turkey Day!
I am about to embark on the audiobook of "Zenda". I seem to be enmeshed in audiobooks right now, courtesy of unpredictable headache schedule, and I've been "re-listening" to a lot of things that I don't have to pay much attention to for much the same reason. Piffle. I've got a big pile of serious reading that I WANT to do and don't seem to have the bandwidth to tackle. Particularly annoying in the case of The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke, which I'm about a third of the way through, and which is fascinating. But it requires my eyes and my full attention.
Oh, among that serious reading is a bio of Elizabeth Bishop. Another reason for posting that poem!!
For all those interested parties -- I have posted the list of categories for the 2018 non-fiction challenge in November's challenge thread. I'll post again in December.
Well, thanks to the ability to deploy my Kindle credit for more than just books, and the Thanksgiving sales and the ability to spread out payments, I now own both an Amazon Echo and a Dot. The Dot was $20 off for Audible's 20th birthday earlier this month, which made it very cheap, and then for Thanksgiving, the Echo was on sale AND I had the ability to spread the payments over the next several months for $16 a month. I can now listen to my streaming radio stations (TuneIn -- global radio!!!) and all my audiobooks and my Amazon music with voice commands. I still don't have access to my own playlists on my iPods (I'll have to get a new 30-pin docking station that has good quality audio for that, alas, after mine simply blew up six weeks ago) but it's such a joy to listen be able to say, "Alexa, play me Bach Cello Suites" and for that to happen. For a total up front investment of $55... (albeit with more payments to come, but it's my birthday present to myself, from the Apple e-book settlement!)
Happy birthday, Suzanne, whenever it happens to be. I think your self-gifting sounds terrific.
I love the idea of your Echo and Dot purchases. That would be so handy. I want to get an Echo, but first I have to ante-up for internet in the house. I just don't want to do that.
On-the-other-hand, I have managed to whittle Sirius down to $5.00 per month for radio in the car. Not bad. But I confess, I did it just so I can listen to Christmas music while I am driving home.
>46 Chatterbox: I look forward to your review of the Elizabeth Bishop bio, Suz. Need to read more on the lives of the poets. xx
I'm loving it so far... I can see that my audiobook consumption is going to go even higher, however, which may not be so great for my budget. Shall have to keep a keen eye out for sales (There was just a good one at Thanksgiving -- $4.95 per book) and other bargains.
Benita, I need the Internet/wi-fi at home and really couldn't live without it. I was just thinking about this yesterday -- it's the one single, solitary thing I couldn't give up. (Well, and heating and electricity.) Everything I use piggybacks off that. I don't have TV cable, but Internet is crucial. I could even give up my TV sets and DVDs. Isn't it horrible to be that addicted? But I need it for work; it's my link to LT; I download my Kindle books; I stream radio (the stuff I can't get locally, such as classical music) and now I'm interested in seeing what the Echo can do.
>48 rosalita: The birthday isn't until Feb 1, so I will have to rationalize this as my Xmas gift to myself. Since I no longer get any other gifts from family, etc., that's possible to do!
I also signed up for another trial of Kindle Unlimited. I plan to cancel before the end of the month, when I will get billed for the first time, especially since, as I expected, it remains as clunky to use and as devoid of really interesting books that I want to read. The lion's share of the books are those published by Amazon's own labels, and the other two publishers that participate (partially) are Houghton Mifflin and Open Road Media (but only very selectively.) The only way to find non-Amazon published books you might want to read is to search by publisher and then scour their offerings, book by book, for what they have offered. It's very eclectic. For instance, the first volume of the John Dos Passos trilogy is available, but not the second or third (from Houghton Mifflin.) There are lots of children's books, and a bunch of Tolkien, and everything else is hit and miss. I'll see what I can read in the next four weeks and then cancel. For anyone uninterested in Amazon's own labels, it's really not worth it. If they ever convince the other large publishers or more of the indies to jump aboard, it might be worthwhile. But not now...
Well, my next book will be my 400th. And one more after that, and I will have met my target for the year...
Well done Suz for yet again reaching 400 books despite your headaches and worries.
Have a lovely weekend. xx
A wise use of your settlement credit.
My reading has come to a complete and utter standstill. I had a bad cold for a week. I was coughing so much I didn't sleep and could barely eat. Anyway, by Monday, I could barely walk from my bedroom to the kitchen but managed to get myself to the ER and was hospitalized for 3 days with pneumonia. My breathing is much improved and now getting stronger day by day. Also starting to read again, though my longest reading stretch in two weeks now is about a half hour.
>55 lindapanzo: Oh no! Linda, I'm glad you're improving - that must have been awful.
>55 lindapanzo: Linda, I noted your pneumonia but not the hospitalization. How horrible, but at least you got the treatment you needed. A reminder to us all that bad colds aren't always just that. I'm so glad you are recovering. Dare I suggest trying audiobooks? You can program them to stop after a certain period of time on your phone or other device, so you can listen to them in bed. Get a trial subscription for a month, which will give you one or two free audiobooks, depending on how generous they are being, and then cancel it (you keep the books...) I've found them a blessing when I have had bad colds (though thankfully never anything as severe as your pneumonia) and even with migraines, as long as I have the right narrator and material.
Hooray for meeting your reading goal. I am going to fall somewhere between 10-15 short, can't be helped.
One year up here when we were still off the grid and my spousal unit was away and the generator stopped working so we were totally dependent on the trickle of solar we got since it snowed and snowed and snowed . . . my daughter and I decided the only thing we cared about was having internet. We got by with candles, paraffin lamps, no bathing, whatever it took. We had to brush off the panels we could reach every hour. But we kept our power on!
FINISHED MY READING CHALLENGE/GOAL! It's worth the capital letters, as this is the first time this has happened since 2014....
Book #400 was Did You Ever Have a Family? by Bill Clegg, which I thought was very good; and in honor of two big themes of the year, book #401 was a re-read and an audiobook, The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid.
And there are still three weeks left of the year!
Well done on hitting your goal, and with time to spare!
I liked Did You Ever Have a Family. I went to school with Clegg's sister, and the area he writes about - the NW corner of Connecticut - is where I was born and grew up (though partly over the state line in New York).
>65 katiekrug: It was a very vividly written book, Katie... A friend of mine asked me on FB whether I'd recommend the book, but I had to wince. She lost her 16-year-old daughter earlier this year, and I had to say, nope, not yet. It's all about mothers grieving their children and their relationships with their children and I don't think that Frieda could handle that yet.
Thanks for the congratulations, but it came at the cost of not have enough work and income, and being far too down in the dumps (aka literally depressed, in spite of the meds) most of the time. Maybe I can correct both of those AND manage to meet my goal next year? Is it possible to get everything perfectly calibrated??
>59 Chatterbox: Congratulations on meeting the reading goal. Wishing you to meet all of your goals (non-reading including) in 2018. I'm looking forward to read your reviews of your most recent reads.
>68 Chatterbox: never mind perfect. Just feel better this coming year.
Congratulations, Suz! 400 is absolutely wonderful and amazing! Take victories where you find them!!!!
I checked out the Templar books on Amazon and wonder whether you're reading the Dan Jones or some earlier effort. I'm eagerly awaiting a report!
Yes, it's the Dan Jones book -- I spotted it in the new release section at the Athenaeum and promptly appropriated it. I actually haven't started reading it yet, but it's close to the top of my TBR stack...
>36 avatiakh: Yippee! The friend of mine who has been cycling madly around New Zealand made time to stop and pick up a copy of The Necessary Angel for me. She is another bookworm, when not working or cycling, and her only question was whether she should read it first, before passing it along to me, and I said, "by all means." I will swap it for the latest Graeme Macrae Burnet book sometime in the next few weeks -- if not next week when I'm in NYC, then via mail. Which means I'll have to finish reading The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau, which is short, but on which I've stalled twice now.
Congrats on reaching your goal. Very impressive!!
I've tried audio books and have never done well with them. My reading seems to be back to normal though I'm preferring light, fluffy stuff for now. Heavy nonfiction might be off the table for awhile, for me.
As always, I am very impressed by how many books you read each year. I had a tough year. I didn't think I would make it to 75. Amen, I did.
All good wishes to you this holiday season.
Hooray on reaching your goal. I am going to fall short of mine once again this year. But I'm ok with it. It's the journey and blablabla! Nonetheless making your goal is an extra boon.
I just added a stack of audiobooks to my favorites list on TuneIn Radio premium (which I pay $10 a month for). It's not as easy to use, but I get unlimited audiobooks, as well as lotsa music stations. I don't appear to be able to stream the audiobooks (which are premium content) through the Echo, however, which rather bums me out.
>74 lindapanzo: Light fluffy stuff is great. I'm doing a lot of re-reading, too. Just finished re-reads, via audio, of two of my fave Val McDermid books -- it's a different experience listening to them. And I re-read one of the two novels that Geoffrey Trease wrote for adults, and may now seek out the other one, because he is one of my favorite authors of historical novels, ever. I've got a stack of mysteries here, and Pyramids by Terry Pratchett, so plenty of fluff is lurking on the TBR...
>75 Whisper1: Congrats on reaching your goal with all that you have had going on -- I am SO impressed! Happy holidays to you...
>76 sibyx: After two years of falling woefully short, for reasons that you know all too well, I really wanted to get there this year (especially since I've been acquiring books and I don't have the excuse of having had a lot of work to do, alas...) I'm also pleased that I read as much non-fiction as I did, though I would still like to wrap up the year with several more reads. AND The Year of the French, which I've started, and which was a book bullet from you!
>78 benitastrnad: Congrats to you in Alabama on the election results...
Boy oh boy was I surprised! I figured the lunatic fringe would win this one, because, you know, God is on his side, but it didn't turn out that way. My thanks to the Pantsuit Nation people who got out the vote. They were relentless. And guess what - Dallas County Alabama went for Doug Jones. Selma is the county seat for that county and Dallas County is part of the "Black Belt" in Alabama. Majority minority population. It went for Doug Jones!! Can you believe it?
It happened because the Black voters got out and voted. They VOTED!!!!
Statewide there was a 50% turn out. That is as high as for a Presidential election and is extremely high for Alabama.
Of course, the down side is that in the next election they will have to get out and vote or the powers that be will win again. It means that nobody, black or white, can slack off on the importance of getting registered and voting.
>80 benitastrnad: I did like that in his speech the first thing he said was to thank the African-Americans who voted for him.
>81 elkiedee: And now he has to fight for them in the Senate... and for all the other folks who have drawn the short straw, socially and economically, even if some of that latter group were Trump supporters. Because they are being woefully ill-served by the idiots they vote for and, no, they don't deserve to be left stranded high and dry. I really, really, really don't want a divided country with people hating each other, and it has to stop sometime or we'll end up literally killing each other.
I'm reading The Terranauts and the world around me makes me want to go inside a big glass bubble like the one those characters are living inside and staying there. In spite of all the scenarios that the author devises for his book...
I have health insurance again!!!!
Went to the Rhode Island office for my real person appointment, and he was really helpful. It turns out that I'm so old and so poor (estimated realistically what I might earn next year based on what I did this year) that I can get a subsidy, even though some of my income goes thru my LLC. And that the subsidized plans ALSO have lower deductibles. So smaller premiums, smaller deductibles. OMIGOD.
^Wowza! That is pretty impressive Suzanne. Good for you.
What are your thoughts on The Last Ballad? You are reading it, right?
I haven't started The Last Ballad yet. I have one or two others that take precedence, alas, including one that was on hold at the Athenaeum and has to go back tomorrow or they will amputate some fingertips. (an OK John Grisham, Camino Island, but the plot revolved around RARE BOOKS, so I had to read it...)
No, I have a room with wall to wall bookcases. And both US and UK kindles full of books. And a second room with bookcases. And books everywhere. From where I sit on my sofa, there are 8 piles at least knee high within a six foot radius. You get the picture?? Yup... I'm a bona fide book fiend.
>87 katiekrug: I am very psyched about the health insurance. Means I will be able to get the pesky ankle seen to in the New Year and maybe be able to walk properly and without pain again. I just hope no surgery is involved.
Sigh; we're at that age. Just learned that the husband of a friend of mine in NYC died recently. I don't want to go into details, but it was kind of sudden, and she's in the midst of some other stuff too. He was hospitalized and in a coma and it didn't look good and he didn't pull through. I'll be seeing her on Tuesday when I'm there. Meanwhile, am sending Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg to my friend Frieda in Luxembourg, at her insistence, and against my better judgement; she lost her teenage daughter earlier this year. ARGH. If things go in threes, this is the third straight year of death and disaster in my life. ENOUGH, WHOEVER IS RUNNING THINGS! STOP IT, ALREADY? STOP RAINING DOWN CRAP ON MY FRIENDS AND I? PUHLEEEZ? I just wanted to celebrate the insurance thing, but nope.
So I think I'll go and read a book instead. It usually helps.
Oh, did anyone else here read The Terranauts? I'm bemused at the bad reviews. Yes, it has some really unlikable characters, but that's part of the fun. It about what starts off as an ecological experiment but turns into a social experiment. It's not great literature, but it's definitely a thumping good read, and a fun premise. And I LOVE the unlikable characters -- and in this case, they are completely convincing and in context.
>73 Chatterbox: Oh that's good news about the Stead book, and also great news about your insurance.
I've just suffered through Michelle de Kretser's The Life to Come, a review copy so I had to finish, it has no story just excellent characterisation and an enjoyable Paris section. As I reflect on it I can understand the rave reviews it's getting but I still don't have the love. Another one that is mostly set in the world of writing, translation and migration. Lisa (LT anzlitlovers) has an excellent review.
I'm delighted to have come in time to read about the health insurance. GOOD!!!! That's how it's supposed to be! I'd do a happy dance if my sciatica were not raging.
>91 avatiakh: That actually makes the de Kretser sound intriguing -- though not enough to run out and hunt down a copy, and it's not going to be here for eons, it sounds like, so tough luck. Meanwhile, I DO have an e-galley of the new Richard Flanagan and have dipped into what feel like the first delectable pages, so I shall have to be satisfied with that.
Amusingly, I have three books by three different Flanagans lined up. The Year of the French, the forthcoming novel by Richard Flanagan, and a crime novel, Lesser Evils from Europa, by Joe Flanagan. Maybe it's actually the year of the Flanagans???
I have NOT finished my Christmas shopping. Sigh.
Great news about the insurance!! I say this as someone astounded with the recent health charges. For instance, it would've been cheaper to fly round trip to Europe than to take a ten-mile ambulance trip to the hospital. Thank goodness for good insurance!!
So glad to hear about the insurance. Maybe the coming year will be better than this last one for you.
Your living room sounds like mine. I like it.
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:
Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.
Not sure why you have never responded to any of my messages this year Suz, but I'll continue following your reading progress as usual.
Merry Christmas, Suzanne! Congratulations on regaining health insurance; that's no small blessing at the present time.
Thank you all for the seasonal greeting!!
I've ended up having a quiet day, as I woke up yesterday with the beginnings of a cold. Had planned to go to friends for Christmas dinner today, but as my friend's husband has been battling lymphoma for three years now, I didn't want to give him a cold on top of that. This does seem to be developing into anything nasty and is probably just a stray Amtrak germ, but talk about poorly timed! So it's me, the cats, the books and some classical music on the streaming radio service.
Love the Welsh greetings, Rhian.
>102 PaulCranswick: Paul, I haven't been around much even to keep up with my own stuff, as you've probably noticed. My apologies if I've overlooked any of your posts here.
>103 kidzdoc: Yes, we'll see how long the insurance lasts. This may be a last hurrah, with tax credits, affordable premiums, etc. going the way of the dodo by next year. I just watch what is happening and I wonder whether I'm stuck in some kind of horror movie, or a nightmare. But nope, I'm awake, and this is real life.
And here's something to laugh about for those of you not following my Facebook feed: I was offered some work earlier this month, with compensation in a brand new, untried/untested digital currency. Essentially, I'd get about $400 worth of this stuff, which would have zero value until March, for stories filed between now and March, and then it would be valid for exchange for stuff on an exchange. Most of which is cannabis products at this point, although they plan to make it widely accepted digital currency and keep talking about the "unlimited potential" for digital currencies. Quite aside from what has happened to bitcoin (its rollercoaster ride), I'm a professional, and prefer to be paid in some form of currency that is (a) liquid and (b) accepted by providers of the goods and services that I actually consume in my real life as of the time that I deliver the work. I can figure out that this is a bit of a rip-off (here, do work for free, or for free pot, or in hopes that this will be another bitcoin, in 10 years' time, maybe), but the people that don't get it are the younger writers who can least afford to make this kind of tradeoff. Sigh. It's funny, but it's not. But it is. Where are we going? I'm already being offered 1985 freelance rates, but this? LOL.
Merry Christmas to all. Enjoy your eggnog, your sausage rolls, your glüg, your wassail, your turkey/goose & fixings, your mince tarts, your cookies, etc. etc.
Just wanting to say a BIG thank you for setting up the non fiction reading thread. I have followed along but rarely posted but I greatly value the monthly threads.
Wishing you a wonderful 2018 and a year of fantastic reads!
Congrats about the insurance!
And I am a long long time fan of TC Boyle. I am expecting to like this one as my spousal unit and I were long-term observers of the Biosphere debacle and went to see it when it was still inhabited. When Boyle is good he is so so so good. And even when he is not as good he is better than most. He chooses very interesting 'social experiments' to write about-- situations where people are cooped up together in some unusual environment, from a commune in Alaska to an artist's colony on an island of the southern coast, to Frank Lloyd Wright's hothouse, to the Michigan health nut/cereal kingdom The Road to Wellville and on. There are things in some of his books that I think about frequently, prescient things -- about the environmnent -- A Friend of the Earth (extremely depressing). Drop City is a genuine classic about the commune experiment. I haven't loved (or even finished) every Boyle I've begun, but they are always hugely thought-provoking and memorable.
>106 mdoris: You're very welcome, and I'm glad you've enjoyed the non-fiction thread! Hope to see you back there this year; I've already been hit by numerous book bullets for January, and it isn't even 2018 yet...
>107 sibyx: Which are the better Boyle novels that you would recommend? I liked this one well enough to try some more. I thought his characters were excellent, and the way he shifted from what seemed to be a science experiment to a social experiment -- do give it a shot. Would you like me to mail you the ARC?
I'm reading The Prisoner of Zenda and have decided that it's the perfect book to read for an icy, freezing cold "holiday" weekend. I can't believe I've never read it, and now I'll have to look for the movie to watch. Not literary, what a fun romp.
>109 Chatterbox: The Prisoner of Zenda is an old favorite of mine! I've read it, well, I've no idea how many times, but more than a few.
As for movie versions, you won't lack for choice. My favorite is the 1952 version (Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger and James Mason - how can you go wrong?), but it's a remake of one from the 1930s and there are a few silent versions as well. There's even a version from the 1970s with Peter Sellers.
>107 sibyx: "Drop City is a genuine classic about the commune experiment." I like the way Lucy thinks! Drop City remains my favorite of his work. He is quite prolific, so there are so many of his I NEED to read. The Inner Circle is also very good but I found The Tortilla Curtain heavy-handed.
Hi, Suzanne! Are you feeling better. I saw somewhere that you were ill.
>110 Dejah_Thoris: Thanks for the recommendations! I will check out Netflix and Amazon Video and see what I can find...
>111 msf59: Hi Mark, thanks for the visit, and the Boyle recommendations. I have been waging a battle against a cold that started off mild and has gained in intensity, and today a migraine decided to join the fun. Wheeee. Had to cancel my Xmas plans, and I'm behind on some of my year-end work now, and wrestling with whether to have NYE dinner with friends (quiet, but I'm still tired and dragging.) Since next week I have some work deadlines and book circle in NYC, lots to juggle. By early February, things probably will be very quiet again.
It's long past time for me to play catch-up with book notes, and I'm running out of time in the year. We'll see what I can get done...
272. Operation Whisper: The Capture of Soviet Spies Morris and Lona Cohen by Barnes Carr
This should have been more engaging than it was. The tale of a couple who decided to become spies for the Soviet Union – part of the group of American communists in the 1920s/30s who went all the way and went undercover. Unlike the Rosenbergs and others, they escaped from the US when they were identified, and ended up living under new identities as rare book dealers. (They make a small guest appearance in 84, Charing Cross Road, which is how I heard about them.) Eventually, they were rumbled again. Alas, the whole tale of the investigation and capture lacks any feeling of suspense. 3.7 stars
273. Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart
After a sort of prosaic sophomore outing for Miss Kopp and her creator, both are back in form in this third book. Constance Kopp is still struggling to be recognized as a proper policewoman, but in her role as matron of the jail, she is making the most of her responsibilities – and conducting investigations into the background of some of her charges. In a new era of freedoms for women, the lives these women (and sometimes girls) want for themselves sometimes clashes with what their families and even society will tolerate or allow, and it’s that conflict that’s at the heart of the book – a conflict that reaches into Constance’s own family… 4.2 stars
274. A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs by Ellis Peters
Re-read of one of the “modern” mysteries by Peters, set in the 1960s or so. Kind of comfort reading. Set in Cornwall, where the Felse family is on vacation. Meanwhile, another family is about to experience some drama there when one of its members sets about opening an old grave in a crypt in search of a lost object – only to find some different bodies, more modern, that obviously don’t belong there. Meanwhile, there’s no sign of the tomb’s rightful inhabitant. A tale of smuggling and murder. 3.7 stars
275. Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn
The next in the Hogarth Shakespeare series (well, a version of Macbeth is coming soon). This is King Lear, only the author’s Lear is a media mogul who we first meet shut up in a luxury loony bin, where his two daughters are keeping him safely contained until a critical board meeting is over, with the help of an unprincipled doctor. With the help of an alcoholic comedian, Dunbar makes a break for it, and then it’s Lear redux. I really enjoyed this, although St. Aubyn sometimes stretches to make the parallels work. (His Cordelia is unconvincing; his evil sisters, on the other hand, are unconvincing yet compellingly grotesque.) But it’s Dunbar himself who carries the novel just as Lear carries the play, and does so very well. 4.35 stars
276. Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War by Lynne Olson
This is an extremely thorough look at many of the nationalities whose representatives found themselves marooned in England following the seizure of their countries by the Nazis. There’s a lot of great detail about individuals, like the Dutch queen’s transformation from an isolated and effectively powerless woman to a populist ruler over the course of the war, who managed to seize the opportunity provided to her to carve out a role for the entire monarchy. From escapes like that of the Norwegian king, to returns as agents, this covers a lot of ground for several key nations, including Poland and Czechoslovakia, some of which had governments that resisted en masse, others of which collaborated (Belgium, the Czechs.) If you’re interested in WW2 history, this is something to add to the list, simply for the amount of ground it covers. 4.3 stars
277. Insidious Intent by Val McDermid
Val McDermid returns to Tony Hill and Carol Jordan in this book, and it’s good, if not great. Gradually, Carol’s team becomes aware that there’s a pattern of single women vanishing, then turning up burned to death in their own cars. What’s happening? Against all the odds, there’s a link: all the women have met a new guy at a wedding shortly before. But who is he? And what’s his motive? The investigation is complicated by problems involving Carol herself. The book? It’s complicated by a big rush to an overly artificial and melodramatic conclusion, which felt slightly bizarre. I had hoped for dramatic, to be sure, but more…. subtle or nuanced. Hmm. 4.2 stars
278. His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
So, so, so much buzz about this one, starting with its addition to the 2016 Man Booker longlist. I liked, but didn’t love it. It purports to be the “real life” tale of a 19th century Scottish crofter, who commits murder – the story of his life and the reason(s) for his crime; the tale of his entire community, followed by the chronicle of his trial. Did he receive justice or not? The whole is presented to the reader, and the divergent points of view/perspectives are intriguing and offer plenty of food for thought, and display the author’s skill at showing social attitudes of the time. Did it completely captivate me? Nope, but I have a friend who just loved it. 4.15 stars
279. A Time of Love and Tartan by Alexander McCall Smith
One of the Scotland Street serial novels books, featuring young Bertie, and a host of other Edinburgh figures, from Matthew the wealthy but naïve art dealer and his triplets, to Stuart and the dreadful Irene (Bertie’s parents), a dog with a golden tooth, Big Lou the tea shop owner, and on and on. It’s really about the characters here, as the plot develops at a glacial speed over the course of the books. You need to have a high tolerance for whimsy, too. Start at the beginning, with 44 Scotland Street, though.
280. The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
A re-read, as this is about to be re-issued by The Other Press in 2018. It’s a dystopian novel, set in a Sweden in which childless, single women over 50 (I think) and men over 60, must leave society for a facility where they will be part of a series of medical experiments and begin donating various bits and pieces of themselves until eventually – they die. Either from complications due to the experiments, or because they make their final donations of kidneys or lungs or hearts. To people who are “necessary” and “needed” because they have spouses and/or children. It’s provocative, and intriguing because in “the unit” the main character of the novel, Dorrit, like many other residents, for the first time in her life experiences what it’s like to be needed by others and to be part of a community. And that’s just the beginning of the irony… The excellence and chilling nature of this book haven’t palled. 4.6 stars.
281. Blood Alone by James R. Benn
285. Evil for Evil by James R. Benn
293. Rag and Bone by James R. Benn
I’m working my way through this series of mysteries featuring the intrepid Billy Boyle, who never gets knocked down for long, though he takes a lot of beatings in every book. He’s like an action hero, really, if I stop and think about it: well intentioned, but with flaws; chivalrous, but makes mistakes; shoots his mouth off at the wrong time, but it ends well… Set in World War II, and largely focused in the period from mid 1943 through to mid 1944. You can click on each title and get a description if you want: basically they cover the invasion of Sicily (with a fun segue into the Mafia); a case set in Ireland, which means Billy gets to go back to his Irish roots and has to deal with conflicting loyalties; and one in London, in which a Russian officer is murdered, there's some stuff about the Katyn massacre and it's Billy's best friend, Kaz (a Polish baron) who must deal with dangerous conflicts. They’re all more or less fun, my ratings hover steadily at about 3.6 stars, so I wouldn’t get too excited. If you’re into military history, and want a plain vanilla crime story taking you behind the scenes of Eisenhower’s office, go for it, but it is very plain vanilla.
282. Backbone: Living with Chronic Pain without Turning into One by Karen Duffy
This could have been much better than it was. Some of it is flippant and self-evident, unfortunately. Who wants to make cut-out paper-dolls that slip on your fingers? Stuffed in between the absurd stuff, the self-evident stuff and the “I’m so privileged and George Clooney is my friend” stuff, is the occasional useful tidbit. But you have to dig for it. 3 stars
283. An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Another re-read, because I was battling migraines – on audiobook. And it was just as excellent to listen to as it was to read. The suspense just builds and builds as Georges Picquart can’t help coming to the conclusion that Dreyfus was framed, as a byproduct of his conviction that there is another spy in the French military still running around causing damage, and nobody is stopping him. He doesn’t give a damn about Dreyfus, really; he just wants the spying stopped, and the right things done. And he doesn’t understand why no one else wants that. And those in power don’t understand why he just doesn’t toe the line. And that sets up a wonderful novel… 5 stars!
284. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
Maybe it’s me, or maybe I wasn’t in the mood to worship this kind of elliptical writing, but I couldn’t fully appreciate several of the unconnected segments that make up this book that really isn’t quite a “novel” in the full sense of the word. Yes, the segments address aspects of laughter or forgetting, and other things as well, but the heavy use of magic realism – not my favorite phenomenon – kind of weighed on it and was always pushing me to about what everything meant, to ponder the layers and layers of meaning. By the time I got to the last two segments, I was not in a mood to really enjoy it. I think I prefer some of Kundera’s mid-career writing (eg Slowness). This was for my book circle in NYC. 4 stars.
286. The Walls by Hollie Overton
This was mindless stuff, to recover from Kundera. A pointless thriller, in which the protagonist – who works in prisons, talking to death row inmates – ends up marrying a guy who enjoys beating her, and threatening her. Does she have to put up with it? Or can she take action, and take tips from the criminals she knows with “the walls”? Quite forgettable. But entertaining. 3.5 stars
287. The Letter Writer by Dan Fesperman
Entertaining, and less forgettable than the previous mindless reading choice. Fesperman chose to set this in WW2. His protagonists are the letter writer of the title, a Jew from the lower east side of Manhattan called Danziger, and a cop who has made his way to NYC from a small town in North Carolina, Woodrow Cain. The latter is out of his depth in the North, and in the big city, and he’s being squeezed for favors by everyone from his father-in-law (to whom he owes his job) to the commissioner, who wants insight on who in the precinct is clean or dirty. Meanwhile his new colleagues hate him. And then there are murders that appear to be related to national security; murders that Danziger, the letter writer, may be able to help him solve. Great insight into the New York of the era. 3.8 stars.
288. The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Ernest J. Gaines
A short but piercing novella of great power. Brady Sims was the man assigned the task in the community of keeping black children in line, and whipping them when needed in the era of the Great Migration – a time of danger. But it didn’t work in the case of his own son, and when this novel opens, it’s with Brady entering the courtroom where his son has just been convicted of robbery and murder – and shooting him. The reader learns the backstory along with the reporter assigned to learn about Brady from the regulars at the barbershop. Compelling and eerily timely. 4.1 stars
289. Court of Lions by Jane Johnson
A fascinating yarn about the last emir of Granada, and about a modern day woman who ends up in Granada, linked together by some writings the latter finds hidden in the tiled walls of the palace and dating back to the days when the Moors still ruled over at least a bit of Andalucia. Kate has fled her own life in England, while Blessings, for reasons that remain murky for some time, is driven out of his own tribe and ends up as a servant, and ultimately beloved companion to the emir, Abu Abdullah, or Momo. The problem? The link between the two narratives takes a little too long to materialize, however intriguing both strands were individually. That said, it was refreshing to read a novel about this era from the Moorish POV, however romanticized. 3.55 stars
290. The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters & Joan Hess
The last book in the Amelia Peabody series, so of course I had to read it. Not the best, perhaps a bit squishy around the edges, but featuring all the main characters and themes. Of course, we’ll never know what happens to them all eventually, as this doesn’t move it forward in time from the last in the series, but fits in somewhere amongst all the earlier books. I won’t bother with plot details. There are antiquities, and disguised evildoers, of course. 3.8 stars
291. Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas
299. To Kingdom Come by Will Thomas
This is a new series for me, and these are the two first books, set in late Victorian London. Thomas Llewellyn, a disgraced former Oxford scholar, and former inhabitant of the Oxford gaol, has almost resolved to throw himself into the Thames in London when he spots an advertisement for an assistant for a private investigator, Cyrus Barker – “some danger involved.” After a highly unique job interview, Llewellyn is hired, and finds himself employed in a highly unique establishment. His new boss spent many years in China, speaks Chinese dialects, drinks gunpowder tea and dines at a mysterious establishment named Ho’s, reached via an underground tunnel and patronized by all of London’s underworld. His butler is a fussy and protective member of London’s Jewish community, and Cyrus is the guardian of one of the Chinese empress’s prized Pekingese dogs, nicknamed Harm. That’s just the backdrop. Then there are the crimes, and the fact that Barker’s previous assistant did indeed die on the job… Thomas has created some fascinated characters and settings, even if the writing isn’t anything particularly special. If you’re jaded with Anne Perry, DO take a look at these. Set in the same era, they take a look at London’s underbelly. These two deal with a serial killer, and Irish Fenians, and the overall theme is Thomas’s growing understanding of Barker’s trade/profession. 4 stars for the debut; 3.7 stars for the second book.
292. The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simison
This confirms that Simison is an author I really don’t need to read any more of. Adam is pushing 50, “partnered” with Claire, with whom he isn’t nearly as passionate about as he was with Angelina, who now lives back in the USA, while he’s still in Australia. Then out of the blue, decades after they said goodbye, he hears from her. E-mail/Facebook have a lot of answer for, not least this book. So far, so predictable. But as his ties to Claire crumble and he decides to visit Angelina and her husband that things get really weird. You could argue that Simison is being daring, but this isn’t the kind of book – up to this point – that has led the reader to expect that. So it comes out of the blue. And as before, his female characters are simply tissue thin and borderline caricatures. He paints Claire as a sad-sack or demanding, and Angelina as neurotic. Neither is real. The whole situation is bizarre. Just save yourself from this one. 2.5 stars
294. The Pious Ones: The World of Hasidim and Their Battles with America by Joseph Berger
This was a fascinating read, since it didn’t start with a premise as some memoirs of people who have left the Hasidic community have done. It’s not from inside the community, but it’s informed, and gives a good overview of some of the issues that have arisen, especially in the New York area, when an ultra-religious group has insisted that it must live life on its own terms, even at the expense of its neighbors. The Hasids are NOT the Amish, in this regard, as this book makes clear. At the same time, this is a sympathetic portrayal of people who have created and who cherish something that many in the rest of America feel the lack of sometimes – a sense of a tightly-knit community. It does raise questions that Berger doesn’t try to address, however, such as what to do when that clashes with the needs of other communities, but he does yeoman duty in explaining the basics to the general public. 3.7 stars
295. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
Easily one of my favorite novels of the year, and I remain bemused as to why it didn’t make it onto the Man Booker shortlist. Oh well. It’s the tale of three siblings: Isma, Aneeka and Parvaiz. Now they have finally all scattered, after their mother’s death frees Isma to leave for the US to resume her academic career, and brother Parvaiz’s departure for “parts unknown” where he can pursue his jihadist dreams. The novel gripped me from the opening chapter, a scene where Isma has to rehearse and then experience her exit interview from the UK before boarding a plane to the US: daughter of a jihadist father, and a Muslim, she clearly is flagged as a security risk, regardless of what she thinks, and has to defend herself against her own identity. Even when she reaches the US, these connections dog her. Not only does her relationship with Aneeka, her much younger sister, become more problematic, but Aneeka’s twin, Parvaiz, seems to be out there on the horizon. And then, suddenly appears “Eamonn”, the son of a Muslim politician who is about to be named Home Secretary, and who sports an unlikely Anglicized name reflecting his father’s rejection of “authentic” British Muslims. Soon enough, he will translate that into policy, making impossible for people like Pervaiz to ever return to their homes and igniting a disaster that will sweep up Isma, Aneeka, Pervaiz and Eamonn alike in a devastating climax. Based on Antigone, but really, just ignore that and read it on its own merits. 5 stars!
296. Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
Well, yet another book by Jamie Ford that is a coming-of-age tale about a young Chinese or Asian boy in the Seattle of the early decades of the century. However interesting the backdrop, could Ford PLEASE try to vary his themes even slightly?? This is starting to become overly predictable. A voyage of self-discovery in adulthood, or parallel narratives, adulthood vs childhood, that reveal hidden secrets. OK, I get it. The only variations are the context. In this case, it’s Seattle’s world’s fair (where a child is raffled off to a winner, who turns out to be the madam of a brothel), the red light district and the smuggling of Chinese men and women, around the dawn of the 20th century. That alone is responsible for the rating. The rest was oh-so-predictable, including the writing. 3.75 stars
297. History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
I think that this was the novel that squeezed Kamila Shamsie out of “her” place in the Man Booker shortlist this year. It’s a debut novel and quite good, for what it is. But what it is wasn’t all that different from much else out there that I’ve seen, although I think Fridlund could have a very strong career ahead of her. In a nutshell: a young woman raised in near poverty, the last members of an abandoned commune in Minnesota, on the outskirts of town. She’s a bit of an outlier; imaginative, bookish. Then across the lake, a young family with a young son moves in, and Linda is drawn into their orbit as a babysitter for their son, Paul. But there are subtexts and things she doesn’t understand. And then one crucial weekend, everything goes wrong. It’s carefully written, with lots of foreshadowing, and an odd side-plot involving a teacher and a fellow student and possession of pornography that didn’t quite work for me. Still, it’s worth reading. 4.25 stars
298. A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer
I’ve been re-reading novels by Heyer (or rather, listening to the audiobook versions) and listening to the ones I’d never read, for most of the year. This one falls into the latter category, and I really enjoyed it, even though it’s not a conventional romance by her. It starts off with a wedding, and not one that unites the hero to his true love – she is lost to him because he has lost the family fortune. Instead, he ends up making a pragmatic match to an heiress whose father is a merchant in the City with lots of money who wants a title for his daughter. The “happy ending” is of a very different nature, and there are things like babies that happen en route to it – very different kind of Heyer… 3.85 stars.
300. Scott-Land: The Man Who Invented a Nation by Stuart Kelly
This was a fun part-biography, part literary history and part travel book. I had been toying with the idea of reading Walter Scott’s “Waverley” novels at some point, and this was a reminder of how antiquated they are, in some ways! It also put them in an intriguing context. How Scott morphed from a quite successful poet to a wildly successful author, who had people mimicking his style and approach all over the place – and how he ended up in a financial debacle by the end of his life. Kelly combines his look at the books, at Scott’s life, etc. with growing up in the borderland communities that Scott called home and that he wrote about, and doing the travel writing “thing” of linking the man and his books to the places as they are today and the Scots people themselves. 4.1 stars
>113 Chatterbox: I like the title of that Ellis Peters one. I don't think I've ever read anything other than the Cadfael series by Peters. I guess I should start this series at the beginning if I try it.
Hope you're staying warm and feeling better!
I'm bleeding from a couple or 3, thank you very much, and I'll just add that A Civil Contract is one of my favorite Heyers.
I look forward to next year as I visit you, my source.
As you can see, I'll have a lot more book bullets flying in the next 48 hours or so. We're up to book #300 in the mini-reports, but I've read 426....
Good heavens. Why not list the title and the grade, and just elaborate on the ones you feel strongly about? Such dedication.
>118 ffortsa: Because I'm obsessive. (I do list the title and grade, see the top of every thread...) And because in the past, my integrity has been questioned (she didn't really read all those.) And that's how/why I started doing this in the first place. ETA: And if I don't, someone inevitably asks for my views on a particular book, and I end up doing it anyway. Finally, people seem to scroll right pass the long, detailed lists of what I've read up top, all searchable with just a simple CTRL + F, to ask me whether I've read something and what I've thought. I don't mind, but maybe by making it a bigger thing, they'll remember?
301. I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
Sorry, folks, but this won’t be out until March… It’s a NetGalley novel that I pounced on as soon as I was approved for it, because I really enjoyed both of the author’s previous books and the subject intrigued me tremendously. I was also very curious to see how she would tackle it – we know now what really happened to the Grand Duchess Anastasia, so would she mess with history? Lawhon combines the tales of Anastasia and of Anna Anderson in her decline, half-insistent and half-reticent about the claims that others make more forcefully about her identity as Anastasia, the missing Romanov. Slowly the tales converge, and we learn what happened and Lawhon’s spin on the truth. It’s very well done. 4.3 stars.
302. How to Be a Muslim: An American Story by Haroon Moghul
I wanted this to be better than it was, but instead of being the story of an undergraduate leader of the Muslim community at NYU thrust into the spotlight after 9/11 who later has a kind of crisis of faith, it’s a lot of meandering and agonizing. Really, it’s a magazine article, combined with stuff that might have been better kept in therapy sessions. This is why I often say I don’t like memoirs. And it’s particularly unfortunate, given the subject/focus. 2.8 stars.
303. Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy
I really, really struggled to become engaged in this disconnected web of tales, involving an adopted Indian girl, raised (and abused) in a commune in the town she is now revisiting as a filmmaker from her Scandinavian adopted country. But while she is the centerpoint around whom much of the action flows, we also have a troubled man who works with her; a guide at one of the key temples; and a trio of women, long-standing friends, who have come on pilgrimage to the temples in the town. It’s all too loosely woven together to have worked well for me, although there is some wonderful writing. It’s also bleak, although I certainly could have transcended that.
304. The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal
This is better than many of these “women in peril” novels, involving the problems that part-aboriginal women encounter in British Columbia. One day, the adoptive parents of Bonnie reach out to Nora Watts. They shouldn’t know who she is, but they do – she’s the girl’s birth mother. And Bonnie knows it too. And Bonnie has vanished. Where, and why? Nora realizes that something is amiss; that people are watching Bonnie’s parents. What is happening? She sets off on Bonnie’s trail… This is about outsiders in communities that like to think that they are pretty and perfect, and there are no easy answers. It’s a good kind of suspense novel, in that not all ends are tied up neatly, and that the author doesn’t resort to cheap tricks, like big explosions, to resolve it all. 4 stars
305. The Spy's Daughter by Adam Brookes
The third in what may only be (sadly) a trilogy revolving around the character of Philip Mangan, a British journalist who has become enmeshed in all kinds of espionage skullduggery. We’ve seen Mangan lose any sense of idealism and trust as the two previous books have progressed, but as this book opens, maybe there’s a chance for redemption? As he pursues his own investigation into a malefactor, he encounters an odd Chinese family, including an unhappy looking teenager, Pearl Tao. The reader already is aware that Pearl is a scientific and technical genius, born in the US and poised to work in the US defense establishment. What Pearl doesn’t realize, but Mangan does, is that her parents have carefully positioned her to do this, because they are Chinese agents… It’s a brilliant yarn. Recommended, but read the first two books first, starting with Night Heron. 4.4 stars.
306. In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult by Rebecca Stott
Another memoir, and one that is on the borderline, partly saved by Rebecca Stott’s excellent writing skills and her ability to take a big step back and deal thoughtfully with her family history. I had encountered the Plymouth Brethren through one or two novels I have read, in passing – they are one of those fundamentalist groups one finds (and now that I’ve read this, I realize that I’ve probably seen groups of them occasionally here in the US.) What I hadn’t realized was the way that this particular religion operated like a cult – that when religious offshoots become too small and isolated from the mainstream, there is a risk of this kind of abusive behavior of their congregants. Stott takes it easy on her father, one of the protagonists, in many ways, but she also is clear-headed about his flaws. It’s a fascinating family history, and it amazes me that she emerged as she did. It’s also a reminder of the kind of stories that can lie behind us… 3.7 stars
307. Glass Houses by Louise Penny
I’ve had a very ambivalent relationship with Perry’s novels. Gamache is this wise, all-knowing figure that people in his life kind of genuflect too, and he kind of irks me – in some ways, even when he’s being human, he’s not quite human. He doesn’t ever laugh; he’s more like to nod compassionately and look deeply into your eyes. Does he ever get drunk and go to a hockey game and just roar with laughter? Everyone there has this low-level, deep intensity to them all the time. Then there is her style, with the choppy sentences: one of my pet stylistic peeves. So, this time I thought I’d try to listen to the audiobook, and that really helped with the style. And the plot caught my attention – the idea of a figure who embodied a kind of “j’accuse”, even as Gamache is in the midst of a difficult trial. (And of course, this being Gamache, it’s not just a trial, but his whole raison d’etre is at stake, etc. etc.) Still, one of the best of the series, IMHO. 4.3 stars.
308. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
I kept picking this up and putting it back down again throughout the summer, and I couldn’t begin to explain why: it’s a very compelling narrative, which many of you probably already have read by now. The title character goes into exile with his commanding officer, while reporting back to the Hanoi regime, and to my mind these scenes are the best of all: the disconnect between a man in exile, who is finding his feet in the new country, serving two masters and commenting sardonically on the situation. Yet he’s not telling this tale to us, but to a mysterious other commander, someone to whom he is accountable in some way. It’s only toward the end of the novel that we understand who that is and how he ended up in a position where he must tell and re-tell this life story. I definitely recommend it, but I’m looking forward more to reading Nguyen’s shorter works in The Refugees, I think. 4.45 stars
309. Murder on the Serpentine by Anne Perry
Thomas Pitt has always tackled tricky political cases and this may be the worst yet – a body found drifting on the Serpentine. Worst yet, the body is that of a man trusted by the Queen. And the suspects include friends of the Prince of Wales, who is no friend to Pitt, and yet who it is clear will inherit the throne in the not to distant future. This seems to be a no-win case. But then, this is Anne Perry at the helm… 3.3 stars. This feels like the 227th book in this series, but it may actually be the last, as it seems Perry is allowing the torch to pass to Pitt's son! And it ends on a kind of suitable note, if end it does.
310. The Boat Rocker by Ha Jin
I’m giving up on Ha Jin. This was a potentially interesting but clunky novel. The protagonist, an expat Chinese journalist, is told by his bosses to do an exposé of his wife, who has just written a grandiose novel that is really dreck. He does so, delightedly, showcasing her flaws (it’s all rather bizarrely unconvincing, showing that the author really doesn’t understand journalism), only to find that the Chinese authorities, and everyone else, gang up against him. Is it persecution or persecution mania, and does the reader really care? I just ended up feeling that I was reading something potentially fascinating that Ha Jin had bent to his own ends and distorted. 3 stars
311. Munich by Robert Harris
Robert Harris has his really excellent books (the Cicero trilogy, and An Officer and a Spy, for instance) and his “only OK” books. This is one of the latter, along with Conclave. For those who have read extensively about the run-up to the war, the near-misses, the cabal within the German military who tried to depose Hitler (efforts that would culminate in the general’s plot of the summer of 1944 and Stauffenberg’s coup attempt), this will be mildly interesting, but offers little in the way of real suspense or fresh insights. Unlike his novel focusing on the Dreyfus Affair, Harris isn’t shedding light on something most of us have long forgotten, but simply moving to well-trodden turf. It’s mildly suspenseful, but the less you know, the more intriguing you’ll find it. 4.15 stars.
312. Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back by Gretchen Carlson
From the title and the author’s name, you can guess what this is about. It doesn’t delve into Carlson’s own experiences at Fox News, which is just as well – there has been plenty of news coverage of that already, and it would be just piling on. This is much more useful: how people can move forward. What do you do? How can you buttress yourself, psychologically, to withstand people using tactics designed to weaken you? How to deal with HR departments, which are NOT on your side? If you have a daughter entering the corporate workforce, there’s a worse thing I can think of than to give her this as a gift, along with some power suits, etc. Because there are still a lot of creeps out there. Some stuff is self-evident, but when you’re 22 or 23, NOTHING is self-evident, and you don’t know how to handle shit when it’s your boss.
313. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
My first book by Ruth Ware, and it was quite good, and rather suspenseful, even if the core idea – a group of friends, tightly-knit and exclusive during their school days, then drifting apart as adults, but bound by a secret of some kind – is rather old-hat in the world of thrillers. Still, Ware does well with it, setting the novel in an eerily atmospheric setting in marshland, and creating some compelling characters with believably stressful interactions. She also leaves both them and us, the reader, questioning whether we should look back as fondly and nostalgically as we do on our youth, and pondering the dangers of glamorizing our teen years. The “game” of the title is an intriguing twist, too, with the modern-day characters left to ponder, in horror, its real consequences. 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
I see what Winkler is doing here, comparing the strangling of a city by smog, and a serial killer (Christie) who strangled his victims in the period leading up to and during the great smog, but trying to force the two stories together as he does (in the way that Erik Larson did in The Devil in the White City) doesn’t work all that well. It FELT forced, in a way that Larson’s narrative didn’t. So as a reader, I felt as if I was leaping from one storyline to the other, and that they were only loosely connected – London, in the same era. The smog didn’t give Christie cover for his crimes; it didn’t cause the crime or indeed trigger a crime wave. Both are interesting storylines, but they are distinct and separate, and I became increasingly irritable. So I started reading them separately! Sigh. I actually found the smog tale more intriguing that Christie’s crimes and their investigation; Dawson doesn’t have a knack for true crime writing. 3.65 stars, but thanks to Mark for the ARC!!
315-340 I’m cramming together a list of a bunch of Thomas Perry novels that I got as audiobooks, largely during sales, and listened to during bouts of migraines throughout September and October. All of these were “re-reads” (first time listens), and none really caused me to change my views of the book. The suspense in some of these narratives works very well; my favorites were some of the Jane Whitefield series, and Death Benefits, a stand-alone thriller that has an intense final hunt and chase series, and that may be my favorite of his books – how to make insurance fraud incredibly exciting. I won’t bother with individual reviews or even cut & paste images here…
315. The Informant by Thomas Perry (finished 9/27/17) 3.8 stars
317. Death Benefits by Thomas Perry (finished 9/29/17) 4 stars
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
323. The Face Changers by Thomas Perry (finished 10/6/17) 3.75 stars
327. Dance for the Dead by Thomas Perry (finished 10/10/17) 3.8 stars
330. Runner by Thomas Perry (finished 10/14/17) 3.75 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
324. Nightlife by Thomas Perry (finished 10/7/17) 3.8 stars
316. The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
This was a book that I picked for our reading group, and while I don’t think it won too many fans, I was glad to have created a way to push myself to read this Bengali classic by a poet who won the Nobel Prize. Better known for his poetry (which galvanized Bangladeshis during their 1970s fight for independence), Tagore wrote little fiction, and mostly short stories; this was, I think, his only full-length novel, and it’s highly symbolic and metaphorical. His heroine is a Hindu woman of her era (turn of the last century) married to a progressive rajah, whose close friend is a revolutionary. Her husband encourages her to leave purdah, but what follows – in the name of her freedom – is a disaster. The translation by Tagore’s son is, ahem, less that flowing and accessible, perhaps, but I think it’s still worth reading. 4 stars.
318. The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
I really enjoyed the first few Jane Green books; then I think she married and moved to the US and they became kind of maudlin weepy sentimental things. Dunno quite what happened. All about first world problems involving women who really I just wanted to hit. This is better: adult children of a dysfunctional mother trying to grips with what is left as she lies dying. She has stronger character development and although she can’t seem to get out of Westport, Connecticut (heaven help us all), that’s not the focus of what’s happening here. Happily, this was a library book. 3.6 stars.
319. Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms by Gerard Russell
As long as I can remember, I’ve been curious about “left over” groups of people that don’t belong to established nations. The Catalonians and Basques, who insist that they aren’t Spanish. The Ruthenians, the Kurds, the Assyrians. So here Gerard Russell brings the reader’s attention to the religious equivalent: people who belong to religious minorities. And by that I don’t just mean Christians in Muslim countries, but people who belong to religions that are minorities everywhere they live. ISIS brought some attention to the Yazidis, and they are featured here. But did you know that there are still Samaritans? Let alone what they believe, where they live or what distinguishes them from others? Or how about the Zoroastrians, persecuted in Iran and dwindling in numbers throughout the middle east, which is the focus of Russell’s study (since this is where these and many other groups once flourished – although some Zoroastrians relocated to India, ancestors of today’s Parsees.) Read this, be fascinated, be concerned. Who will these people become if their last links to their home territories are snapped? Completely compelling 4.35 stars.
322. Millard Salter's Last Day by Jacob M. Appel
Millard Salter has decided that he has lived long enough and that it’s time to die, before senility and incompetence can set in. The reader begins to understand precisely why he has decided on that day to end his life. But first, we follow him through the day, a mix of the ordinary and the extraordinary: a visit to his late second wife’s grave; a lunch with his disappointing son, Lysander; dealing with the bureaucracy and bizarreness of the hospital where he works as a psychiatrist. I won’t give away the ending. I’ll just say that overall, this is not a warm and fuzzy book, and you should read it prepared to think seriously about life and death issues. It’s a bit predictable as a novel, rather ho-hum in terms of writing and character, but it does a good job making its points. 3.65 stars.
325. A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa by Alexis Okeowo
This was good, but not great. It’s broken up into four distinct narratives, quite separate from each other: one about battling the Lord’s Resistance Army (and trying to reintegrate those child soldiers who have returned into society) in East Africa; one about fighting Boko Haram in Nigeria that goes beyond the Chibok kidnappings; one very interesting segment about fighting modern-day slavery in Mauritania (slavery that is rationalized in the name of religion); and finally one about a young girl in Somalia who persists in playing women’s basketball and helping to form teams, in the face of threats. But there’s little in the way of an overarching narrative arc, or attempt made to link these – the reader is left to draw his/her own conclusions. That’s fine, and it’s somewhat self-evident, but this would have been so much richer had the author tried to amplify this with a few more stories, and woven in those as well. Instead, she tells us her story, as an expat African-born, American-raised journalist, which isn’t really relevant: she’s not fighting fundamentalism, and I didn’t care about that. She needed to stay out of the narrative completely. 4.1 stars. She’s a talented writer, but…
326. The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose
Quirky and (for my taste) overly complex fantastic narrative. I’m not even sure how to describe this. The heroine is a disaffected teenager with a stepfather who kind of takes over her mother’s life. At school, it’s only her shoplifting skills that win her friends, of a sort. Then one day, she and her only friend are invited to some odd kind of underground happening. From there, she literally ventures down a rabbit hole. Next thing you know she’s in jail, escaping from jail and seeking refuge in a mysterious sanctuary run by the cult-like group that organized the happening; a group that has a bizarre interest in her and a hypnotic fascination for Marcel Duchamp. If you can follow all this, it’s about a group of people who think that the secrets to life or something are built into Duchamp’s work; it’s about hackers; it’s about experimental drugs; it’s about disaffected teenagers and floating through life trying to find a footing; it’s about urban exploring. I’m not really sure what it’s all about. It all felt very nihilistic. It was intriguing, but disturbing and too often confusing. I may just be too old? 3.45 stars
328. Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives by Gary Younge
Precisely because Gary Younge comes to the topic, the players, etc. from outside the country, this is a breath of fresh air. Sure, there is outrage, but also a dispassionate look at what’s afoot. He has no pet theories or causes. He’s stunned by what is happening, but ready to listen to whatever anyone has to say about gun violence. But at the end of the day… Well, read this. He tells the story of ten children (under the age of 18) who lost their lives on a single, randomly-chosen day across the country. 5 stars.
329. The Amber Shadows by Lucy Ribchester
This looked tantalizing: Bletchley Park! Mysterious chunks of amber arriving in the mail for one of the women working there! Spies? But it all fell completely apart. Sure there were spies, but I still don’t think I completely understand who they were or what they were doing. This is what happens when you lie to your child about how his/her parents are? In any event, it took great effort to turn what could have been an exciting drama into something confusing and ultimately boring, but Ribchester managed. 2.9 stars
331. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
A lot of people have weighed in already on this; what’s to add? I’ll just say that I still find myself pondering this book. Specifically, it blew me away when I first read it in early October, but then a few weeks later, I started to think about it. What was I reacting to? What was it that I thought was so astonishing? Certainly, the style was revolutionary and deserves all the accolades that it’s getting. But beyond that? The idea of corpses rejecting death; debating the nature of death? It’s interesting. It’s compelling. But to build a novel, vs a story around it? I haven’t reached any conclusions here, but I find myself enjoying thinking about the book, what Saunders tried to do, etc., which also tells me something. I honestly don’t know whether this will be a lasting book, or something that proves to just be a quirky fad, but my 4.7 star rating stands for now, and I’ll certainly be going back to re-read it at some point.
332. A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Remarkable Story of an Italian Mother, Her Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Fascism by Caroline Moorehead
For all those who toss around the phrase “antifa” these days without stopping to think about what it means: HERE is what it means. This is a great book, the tale of an Italian family, a mother and her two surviving sons, who stand up to be counted as Mussolini’s power grows greater and greater in the 1920s and 1930s – and who become enemies of the state, with everything that means. It’s salutary reading what that did mean, from being forced to drink castor oil, to being imprisoned on punishment islands, to being followed by Mussolini’s buddies while living abroad and living under the threat of betrayal, entrapment, kidnap and murder. How did this happen; where did it lead? Read this… It’s the third of Moorehead’s books about WW2 Europe; the first was a so-so book about an important topic, the deportation of French women to Ravensbruck concentration camp; the second, about a French community that sheltered Jews and other resisters throughout the war. This is the most interesting, precisely becase it’s likely to be least known to most readers. 4.35 stars
333. The English Wife by Lauren Willig
If you’re looking for a “thumping good read”, this is it, when it comes out on January 8. It opens with the mysterious disappearance (presumably into the freezing Hudson River) of beautiful Annabelle van Duyvil and the stabbing death of her husband Bayard, found by his sister Janie, on the night of the ball they throw at their new mansion, Ilyria. Everyone wants to blame the mysterious Annabelle, especially when her cousin shows from England making odd claims about her actual identity. In the Gilded Age, spinsters like Janie van Duyvil aren’t supposed to do anything but stay at home and cater to their bossy mammas, but the family tragedy triggers something in Janie. For the first time, she decides to act, and to find out what is going on and to unearth the truth… 4.2 stars. Great atmospherics, lots of suspense; a dual narrative taking the reader back into Annabelle’s lie.
334. Nine Lessons by Nicola Upson
I’ve been reading and enjoying this series of mysteries featuring Josephine Tey (real life crime writer) as sleuth since Nicola Upson began writing them, and I’ve enjoyed them all immensely, although one or two aren’t quite as robust. This time, however, Upson has knocked the ball right out of the park; it’s an excellent crime puzzle, tremendously atmospheric, and with richly developed characters that Tey herself would only sit and envy and be unable to imitate. If you’ve read Tey, do yourself a favor, you MUST read these. If you haven’t read Tey, for heaven’s sake. Start with The Franchise Affair. (One caveat: if you’re homophobic, don’t bother with Upson’s novels, as some of the characters are gay. There aren’t any explicit sex scenes to wound your tender feelings, though.) I just am so, so impressed with Upson as a novelist and creator of character. 4.7 stars.
335. Fast Falls the Night by Julia Keller
Another in the series of mysteries set in a small community in West Virginia, featuring Bell Elkins, the town’s prosecutor. This time around, a particularly horrible batch of heroin is causing one overdose after another, and no one, from the cops to the paramedics, can keep up. Where is it coming from? Bell and her team take on the challenge. As the TV shows say, this one is “ripped from the headlines”, which is why it’s only 4 stars – I feel as if it’s a novelized version of some newspaper/ magazine coverage I’ve read, with a mystery loosely attached. Sigh; it also ends with a cliffhanger.
We seem to be on the same page in our opinions about Home Fire, which is my favorite nove of 2017, along with Lincoln in the Bardo and Another Day in the Death of America. I'm glad to hear that you liked History of Wolves; I'll be sure to get to it next year.
I tried to read How to Be a Muslim, but I lost interest in it about 50 pages in. I think it's destined for the discard pile. I've become less enamored of the LT Early Reviewers program recently, and from now on I'll only select books that I'm absolutely certain I want to read. Too many books, and, especially now, too little time.
>122 avatiakh: Oh my heavens, what an astonishing cat!! Stunning. I would offer him house room....
>123 kidzdoc: I did like History of Wolves, but knowing your views about about self-involved North Americans, I'd caution you at the outset... It's one that you may find more interesting than enjoyable -- that was kind of my experience. And I do think that the author has tremendous talent that isn't fully reflected in this debut novel, which is one of the reasons I found it so frustrating that it made it on the Man Booker shortlist while Shamsie's novel didn't. Clearly the judges were looking for something different -- and part of intrigue for me is to try and figure out precisely what it was that they were seeking and rewarding, based on the choices that they made.
I have been putting together my "best of" list, and it has ended up looking very weird. There's a "standout" category, which is really the top books, but also a "thumping good reads" list. Then there's a separate "recommended" list, for books that are very good and would have made a quarterly "best" books list, but don't cut it by year-end. I've got "intriguing, but not for everyone" (LOL) and finally "Best re-reads." That should cover me!! I don't know that I'll have a single best book, but up there at the top will be Shamsie's tome, Golden Hill by Francis Spufford, Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill (it just won the Giller in Canada), Minds of Winter by Ed O'Loughlin (short-listed for the Giller, and I think might be a smidge better...), The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam, Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan, although that wouldn't be in the top five, then Exit West, Hag-Seed by Atwood, and American War by Omar el-Akkad. Not including short stories by Katherine Heiny, et al. Interesting that this is dominated by Canadian and Indian subcontinent (Indian/Pakistani/diaspora) writers. Commonwealth RULEZ.
Geez - if you typed all that with a Migraine, YOU should write a book!
>125 m.belljackson: incipient migraine. And I have written a book. Actually three of 'em now. One of my own, and ghost written two, one with my name on it and one that doesn't have my name on it. *grin* All with migraines. Yup. But getting too old to be be superhuman, so...
I'm exhausted just reading your reviews! Random comments:
Adding The English Wife to my WL.
Do the Nicola Upson books need to be read in order?
The Lying Game is on my library list. I read her second novel - The Woman in Cabin 10 and didn't love it, but I saw her speak at that Simon & Schuster event last winter and liked her as a person and the premise of this one intrigues me, so....
Adding the new Lawhon to my WL. I liked her first novel and saw her at Booktopia in Asheville soon after it came out. I have her 2nd one on my Kindle.
Disappointed to hear your (and Darryl's) comments on How To Be a Muslim, as I picked it up for my Kindle and was thinking of reading it for the appropriate month in the NF challenge.
I wish more people would hear of/read The Golden Legend. It might be my favorite of the year.
And thank you for mentioning American War, as it reminds me I NEED to read that one, especially since you were kind enough to send me the ARC!!
I used to teach full time - medicated and with tall day long tumblers of coffee - not easy,
but when you don't have other options, you make it work till blessed Friday afternoons...
or Thursday when I had a sick day coming...now happily retired.
336. The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad
This is one of what seems as if it will be a handful of narratives (I’ve already seen at least one other one) of first-person stories told by young women who became captives of ISIS. Nadia recounts her life growing up in a Yazidi community; the essence of Yazidi beliefs; how she and her neighbors interacted with their Kurdish and Muslim neighbors in Saddam’s era and in the days before ISIS arrived on the scene, and then the horrifying ordeal that she and her extensive family underwent. Ethnic cleansing? That’s a benign phrase to cover what happened. The handful of survivors bear testimony. It’s a tough read; The most compelling part is what happens when she escapes her captors home and randomly picks a house to approach for help… 3.8 stars
337. The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
While fascinating and, as always, well written, this novel by Brooks engaged me far less than those she has set in more familiar environments. Here she tackles the story of King David, told largely through the eyes of Natan, the prophet who will chronicle his rule, warn him of the perils of his relationship with Batsheva and then help to prepare Solomon for his future role. I was intrigued throughout (nope, I didn’t know the details of all the Biblical story), but ultimately I felt that Brooks was chained to that text and narrative in a way that she wasn’t with any of her other books, even March. It was like reading a novelization of the Old Testament, and at some points, I thought, hmm, OK, is that it? Excellent writing, creative ideas, but nothing that ever really pushes boundaries in the way that Colm Toibin did with his Testament of Mary 4.3 stars.
338. Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan
Oh dear. I had read a number of this author’s chick lit novels a decade or two ago, and when this appeared on sale, and I needed something light to read, thought I’d give it a try. Big mistake. Groups of characters, all revolving around a condo development in Spain. Hilariously caricatures of Texan family by an Irish writer is the fun part. 2.6 stars.
341. Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer
This will be one of the top books of the year for me; it only becomes more and more relevant, especially now that the tax reform package has been passed. In fact, I’ll simply say that if you don’t read this book, you won’t understand how or why the GOP is putting together the agenda it is. You won’t understand the pressures that non-profit institutions are putting on colleges to reshape their curriculum, and just why some of these billionaires now are interested in acquiring popular magazines like “People” and what this might mean. Transparency? Balance? Fugheddaboutit. Just – read this book. Please. It’s impeccably researched and documented. 5 stars.
342. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
This has gotten a lot of buzz, in part because of the title. I would say that it’s aimed primarily at readers in the UK, where many of the issues it addresses will have had less traction/attention than they have in the US. Unless you’ve been asleep under a rock, this doesn’t say anything terribly new, and she doesn’t have the elegant or compelling voice of many of the writers who are saying precisely the same kinds of things in the US that we’ve been reading. It’s fine, and certainly worth picking up (it’s also short…) but it won’t give you dramatic new insights thematically. I found it occasionally frustrating, as she talks about the general ignorance of the long-standing history of black people in the UK and then really fails to explore that herself, beyond a few statistics and one or two references (a century ago) to mixed race children. But what about the 18th century and 19th century? A few paragraphs about that history would have been fascinating and begun to fill that hole, but instead readers get their knuckles rapped and are left with no fix for the problem. It’s stuff like that which annoyed me. Still, I ended up giving it 4.1 stars, as a “wake-up call” to readers in the UK who are her primary audience.
343. Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore
This was a fun and fantastic “what if?” kind of book. Milo is really crap at reincarnation. He only has 10,000 attempts to get it right and achieve a kind of perfection. But each time his life ends, whether with a whimper or a bang, he finds himself failing to pull it off. His flaws still outweigh the good stuff, and he ends up back in a holding pattern in the Afterlife, with his guide, Suzie, preparing to try yet again. Complicating things is the fact that he’s in love with Suzie – and that the number of re-tries is diminishing. He gets only five more attempts. And Suzie is making her own choices about what to do next, too… 4.2 stars. Fun, and at the same time leads you to think “what’s it all about…”, so be prepared for that!
344. Frederica by Georgette Heyer
Part of my massive Georgette Heyer re-read project. This one is kind of a classic: Frederica decides that she has to launch her younger and more beautiful sister in society, and enlists the aid of their distant cousin, the Marquis of Alverstoke, in doing so. For his part, he loathes family and the whole social hullabaloo but now finds himself caught up in everything from saving dogs to attending a balloon ascent (and chasing the balloon, and the small boy attached to it) across country. There’s a lot of wit here, and I love the trend of older, sensible heroines that meet their match precisely because they are witty, amusing, charming and intelligent, not cute and sweet and simpering. 4 stars
345. A Mortal Terror by James Benn 3.75 stars
364. Death's Door by James R. Benn 4 stars
389. A Blind Goddess by James R. Benn 3.45 stars
398. The Rest is Silence by James R. Benn 4 stars
415. The White Ghost by James R. Benn 3.5 stars
Another collection of the Billy Boyle mysteries, a handful set in Italy, where American troops are now fighting their way towards Rome. In one case, Billy actually impersonates a priest to get to the Vatican and find who murdered an American priest there, and becomes entangled with the occupying Germans and divisions within the Vatican; in another, racial politics within the US Army on the eve of D-Day comes into play as Billy and his friends, Kaz and Big Mike, must try to save a falsely-accused African American GI, while at the same time fulfilling their official mandate and solve another murder that has been placed at the door of a B&B host. The White Ghost is a break in the series; it belongs chronologically to earlier in Billy’s career, to 1943: he’s sent off to the Solomon Islands at the behest of the Kennedy family to get Jack out of trouble after his PT boat accident. It seems someone turned up murdered, and the Kennedys think that Billy, with his background as a Boston detective and a “friendship” (of sorts) with Jack, is the guy to send halfway around the world to conduct a whitewash. All of these are audiobooks.
346. Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 by Adam Hochschild
Playing catchup, and finally read this excellent book about Americans who went to fight in Spain’s civil war, or, like Hemingway, just to observe it while displaying lots of braggadocio. The gems here are the stories of unknown people, not Hemingway or even Orwell, whose experiences and lives are well known by now. But the doctors, the steelworkers and fishermen, the academics – one guy, an economist who knew John Maynard Keynes, was living in Moscow and just decided it was time to head off to Spain. What drove them there and what happened to them? Hochschild covers the gamut of experiences: those who went immediately and those who went later, when travel was much more difficult and the politics impossibly complex. He also, intriguingly, covers people who ended up on the Nationalist side, with Franco, and chronicles their experiences, a part of the tale that has gone largely untold. Highly recommended. 4.7 stars.
347. Penguin Island by Anatole France
Essentially a fable. What happens when a saintly monk is tempted to put up sails on his coracle? Why, he ends up being carried off to an island full of penguins. And when he accidentally mistakes them for human beings and baptizes them, why, god and the saints are in a fix: you can’t give a soul to a PENGUIN! And yet that is precisely what has just happened. So they decide to make these penguins into people… And so begins the transformation of the penguins into humans, and the reader watches the evolution of their “society”. You really have to read it to fully appreciate it. For our book circle, 4.1 stars.
348. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
More from the author of the book about the dude who started off walking one day and didn’t stop until he got to Scotland – you know. I refer to this as stunt fiction. These books are as light and insubstantial as candy floss – the concept is everything, characters must have quirks that are endearing and allow us to empathize with them, and there must be a setting that, ditto. In this case, there’s a music shop (all vinyl, natch), in a dilapidated road forgotten by most residents of the town, but full of Characters with a capital C. It’s the late 80s/early 90s, and CDs are taking over the world, but NOT for the proprietor of the music shop, oh no. Who also loves a woman he met with horrible arthritis. But I won’t go on. It’s just a bathetic silly book, that relies on sentiment rather than plot or character to go anywhere. 2.5 stars.
349. The Limehouse Text by Will Thomas
406. The Hellfire Conspiracy by Will Thomas
The next two books in the Barker & Llewellyn series. The first involves a secret Chinese book, and of course, Harm, Barker’s Pekingnese dog, gets a star role. The second’s plot begins with the disappearance of a young girl, after which the investigative duo realize that there have been several young girls kidnapped and murdered. Is this because of a new Hellfire Club has been launched (and covered up by corrupt authorities, including the police?) or because a serial killer is running amok? Both good; 3.7 stars for both.
350. Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell (finished 11/2/17) 4.15 stars (A)
This is one that I’ve had kicking around for a little while now. Set in the NYC literary world of the 1950s/early 60s, and with multiple characters, ranging from the spoiled brat son of a publishing executive, to a young Jewish woman from the Midwest trying to make her way in the anti-Semitic publishing world, to a talented African American writer who is hiding secrets of his own, this (eventually) builds up to a dramatic climax, but takes some time getting there. On its way, it gives an interesting portrait of the era, warts included.
Chasing Goldman Sachs came out in hardcover in 2010 and a new, revised paperback in 2011. That's mine, from soup to nuts, for better or worse. (The Washington Post put it on its list of best books for 2010.)
I just completed writing Smart Women Love Money for its author; I'm not on the cover, but Alice mentions me in the credits. The book came out at the beginning of 2017.
And then back in 2009, Reading Minds and Markets appeared; my names is on the title alongside Jack's. He sold the book based on a page and a half proposal and then had a panic attack since he had no idea how to write or structure the thing. So that's what I did -- take his ideas and turn them into a structure, and then write them up. Gave the drafts back to him to review, etc.
>127 katiekrug: Yes, I'd definitely read the Upson books in order, since there are relationships among the major characters that evolve over time. You'd be jumping in to the middle, otherwise, and probably miss out on character details. Don't worry -- they are all very good... (Yes, I'm warbling.)
Oh, so THAT'S where I sent the ARC of American War! I knew I didn't have it, but honestly couldn't remember. No, I don't need it back, I was mildly curious. At some point, it will be available for sale on Kindle and I'll get it.
I agree that The Golden Legend is right up there for me. More people NEED to read that book. In fact all of that list of books is just EXCELLENT. And I didn't even warble about the nonfiction.
Will do more of these tomorrow. I don't want to be responsible for a collapse or swoon by Katie or Kerry. Besides, I have No Great Mischief to read, and Skeleton Blues to finish tonight. And there's an outside chance I'll finish Checkpoint by Jean-Christophe Rufin before bedtime, too. Tomorrow, I'll finish The Explosion Chronicles and -- something else. Dunno what.
I've read a lot of Josephine Tey and I have several of the Nicola Upson books on my TBR list but they dot around in the series so I haven't started them in case I like them and then don't have the next one ready! Your review makes them sound very worth reading so I might investigate and be prepared to buy the next...
351. Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan
This is due out in mid-January, and for those with a taste for novels revolving around courtroom dramas and the lives of those they affect, it’s something you’ll want to consider. At first, it looks like another gruesome “he said, she said” case, set in the world of politics: high flyer James, an Oxford graduate and always someone to whom everything in life came easily, now is accused of raping his personal assistant, with whom he had just ended an affair. The news becomes public – and becomes a court case. The prosecutor, Kate, is highly motivated – this will make her career. But Sophie, James’ wife, is devastated – how could this happen? So far, so predictable. But, as we begin to learn through glances back into their lives at Oxford, this is not a typical kind of case, or a typical kind of prosecution. 4.2 stars
352. The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China by David Eimer
This was an intriguing concept that didn’t always click as well as it might have; I suspect that part of this is that Eimer just isn’t as natural an observer or travel writer as others that I’ve read. But the concept is enough to carry the book and make it a very worthwhile read: he travels to the outermost reaches of China, the places inhabited largely by China’s scores of minority populations and where the Han Chinese, if not a minority themselves, at least find themselves still working to establish their dominance. These include Tibet (of course… the least interesting because the best known of the segments), Xinjiang and the Uighurs in the far west; China’s Korean population (very interesting, the amount of back and forth); a small section about the Russian-Chinese (I was stunned that finding a full-blooded Manchu these days is very, very rare – that says a lot about what has happened since the collapse of the empire), and in the southeast, along the Golden Triangle area, which I’ve visited from the other side of the border (Laos and Thailand.) The way these minorities do or don’t coexist with the Han; their ability to retain independence and any economic power, varies tremendously (with their political reliability…) and the contrasts are thought provoking. It’s a reminder that China isn’t a country that is as monolithic as it would like to appear. 4 stars.
353. The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer
I’m a sucker for a time-travel novel, and when it has the heroine going back in time to the Italian Renaissance, well, what’s not to like? This is a bit on the romanticized front: our heroine quickly finds a job as a scribe (imagine the typical female neurosurgeon going back in time to the mid 14th century and trying to find work? She’d be burned as a witch in 10 minutes.) She loves the food, which tastes of real food – it’s a paen to locavorism. And the man she meets and falls for, a fresco painter, accepts her tale of time travel almost without a blink when she eventually tells him. (Really?? I’d be having hysterics.) There’s a plot involving a conspiracy to overthrow the city government of Siena, and then the Black Death arrives… and our heroine is transported back to modernity accidentally. Will she decide to stay where she belongs – and where DOES she belong? Fun, for those who like this kind of thing. 3.85 stars
354. Arabella by Georgette Heyer
Part of my Heyer impromptu re-read, and an audiobook. This was, I think, the second Heyer that I read, after Regency Buck, when I was 9 or 10 years old. It doesn’t remain one of my favorites, because however sweet the story is, it’s just too sweet. The heroine, however intelligent, also is very young, and does a stupid thing up front, letting the hero and his friend know that she is an heiress (she’s not) because they’ve wounded her pride. Said friend whispers the news to another friend, and before you know it… Now she has ruined her marriage chances, even though she is an acknowledged beauty, and her godmother is bemused by all the swains who keep following her around. Especially by Mr. Beaumaris, the noted dapper man about town, who has never fallen for a woman yet… But Arabella, in a modern phrase, lacks agency. Unlike Heyer’s later novels, and heroines like The Grand Sophy, she never takes charge of anything. She tries but makes messes of things. She has a good heart but is kind of hapless, and is rather delighted, ultimately, to be taken under the wing of a strong man who loves her. There are plenty of other Heyer novels I prefer to this one. 3.6 stars.
355. The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation by John Fuller
The year that followed the release of Darwin’s Origin of Species was the year that led to the outbreak of civil war in the United States, and Fuller’s book focuses on its immediate impact on a group of thinkers and scientists, largely those in the New England/New York area, who were wrestling in different ways with man’s place in the world and also with the thorny question of how different “races” of men fit into the spectrum. It also stunned men of science who, until then, had seen no reason why their scientific rigor couldn’t co-exist quite comfortably with a profound religious faith. The title makes a lavish claim, and I’m not sure that it holds up, but it’s still a fascinating read. How did people react to these theories, and to the challenges to their world view? Somewhat confined in time and nature to the critical decade of the 1860s, you’ll need to decide for yourself if the title fits. But it’s a worthwhile read, for those with an interest in the topic. 4.35 stars.
356. A Matter of Loyalty by Elizabeth Edmondson & Anselm Audley
Completed by Elizabeth Edmondson’s son, Anselm Audley, this will be the last in what had been an entertaining series set in a small cathedral town in the 1950s or so. It’s an ensemble piece, revolving around an intelligence agent sent to work in a local nuclear research facility, and his young sister; the local earl (an American) and his two daughters; the niece of the former earl – they live at castle. There are ancillary folk, relatives and local residents. She does a great job of creating a good atmosphere. This book revolves around a Hungarian defector, and a security leak at the research facility. Good light reading and I’ll be sad to say goodbye to these characters, as these have been good comfort reading. Still, my fave books of hers were written under the nom de plume of Elizabeth Pewsey: a series of six novels set in a fictional cathedral town, and featuring the wackiest and most engaging and charming set of characters imaginable. Including ghosts in one, who comment off-stage, a bit like a Greek chorus. The series starts with Children of Chance, and I think they are being sold at a discount on Kindle under one of her “real” names, Elizabeth Aston. I would happily have read another four Mountjoy novels, and now I never will… This one? 3.6 stars.
357. (a) The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch
(b) A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch
Two new offerings from Ben Aaronovitch that, combined, make up the length of a single short book. The first is a novella in which Peter must find out why ghosts are being dispatched down the Metropolitan Tube line, and trace the disruption to its source. It’s good, and makes me wonder what will happen when his niece is old enough to play a real part in these novels – it could become even more entertaining! (3.7 stars.) Then in the Audible short story, a crazy book runs amok in a library. A bit predictable for Aaronovitch, actually. 3.1 stars.
358. A Twisted Vengeance by Candace Robb
I’ve picked up a historical mystery by this author from time to time over the past 20 years or so. This one looked interesting, as I only had to be familiar with English history (phew) in a period that I knew something about, and one of her flaws is assuming that her readers know as much as she does. That’s a little less the case here, but I accidentally picked up the second book in the series at the library and really should have started with The Service of the Dead, since I spent a lot of time up front trying to figure out who was who, and why wasn’t this explained? Erm, because the author assumed I had read book #1. It’s set in York, where Kate, a widow, lives with a mixed household: her brother’s child and her late husband’s illegitimate children. She runs a boarding house, and is a recognized member of the town’s merchant community. But now trouble looms on two fronts: her mother, whom she blames for many years of strife, is returning to York to set up a kind of beguinage (an unofficial community of religious women), while Henry of Lancaster is returning to England in face of his banishment by Richard II, ostensibly to reclaim his father’s titles but all know that it’s to claim the crown. There are soldiers all over the place, so when one of them breaks into Kate’s mother’s beguinage, and is stabbed, beginning this narrative, it shouldn’t be too surprising, should it? Or is something more nefarious at work? Of course it is… 3.6 stars. I didn’t like it enough to go back and read the first in the series at this point.
359. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
This will probably be on my best books list for the year – a crime thriller set in East Texas, dealing with the legacy of complicated family trees and contemporary racial politics. Darren Matthews sets out for the little town of Lark, Texas at the urging of a friend in the FBI: a black attorney from Chicago was found dead there and everything probably will be swept under the carpet, life being what it is. Darren, a Texas Ranger on leave after an incident is investigated, discovers just as he arrives in Lark that the story is going to be more complicated. Right at the sight where the dead man was last seen, a roadside eatery run by a black woman named Geneva Sweet for decades, a young white woman now is being fished out of the water. She, too, has drowned. Two mysterious deaths, back to back? Are they connected? And if so, how and why? And does anything connect them to the death of Geneva’s own husband in their little eating shack many years previously? Just what secrets is the small town hiding? A perfect portrayal of the way members of a small community struggle with power abuses and have to live with them – in order to live… And what happens when an outsider starts asking uncomfortable questions and demanding answers. 4.75 stars. I’ll be reading much more by Locke in 2018.
360. The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson
Reading the last of Edmondson’s novels prompted me to re-read this one, which is a warm & fuzzy, feel-good kind of book. Four different and apparently unrelated people receive a summons to travel to the Villa Dante (it’s the late 1940s, early 1950s.) Delia is a young opera singer in crisis; after an illness, she is struggling to get her voice back. (traveling with her – her closest friend, escaping from an impossible marriage to a former military star.) Then there is an older woman, a novelist suffering from writer’s block, and the poverty that has followed that. A nuclear scientist with profound religious faith and qualms about the bomb’s use, who worked in Los Alamos. And a bit of a playboy American lawyer who really would rather be an artist, but is being brought into line by his parents and the dreadful young woman who is about to ensure he proposes to her. But why have they been summoned, when none of them seem to have any ties to the recently-deceased Beatrice Malaspina? And yet the clues they discover – as they try to solve a mystery that the lawyers tell them will leave each of them with a big inheritance – suggest she knew an uncomfortably great deal about them… A thumping good read, with a chick lit tone.
361. Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill
This novel won the Giller Prize this year and while it wasn’t my favorite of the shortlist (that would be Minds of Winter) I still think this was an excellent choice. (The author also is Inger Ash Wolfe, who has written several mysteries under that pseudonym.) It’s almost impossible to describe how twisty and turny this is. It starts off feeling sane enough: Jean Mason, who runs a bookstore in Toronto, has a doppelganger or double. She learns of this when someone literally assaults her, and accuses her of being this double. Others comment on seeing her places that she hasn’t been. Jean learns that this woman hangs out in Bellevue Square and becomes fixated on finding her herself. But while others see her, she can’t. What’s going on? That is, indeed the question, because as the novel unfolds, the reader has to start asking precisely how much can we afford to trust Jean herself. Things get extremely strange, and we have to ask whose version of reality is real. Is the family really living off a windfall her husband got while playing the lottery? Or is her mind tricking her? And if her mind is tricking her, does that mean her doppelganger doesn’t exist? The final scenes of this novel are frustrating, as it all kind of comes together in a hallucinogenic whirlpool – AND there is a cliffhanger of sorts at the end, AND a reference to Redhill’s mysteries. This turns into metafiction with vim and vigor. So, be prepared: this is a public service warning. On the other hand, if you can just go along for the ride, it goes from banal to wacky and fascinating in a way I’ve never seen done before. 4.6 stars.
>133 Chatterbox: I so miss Elizabeth Pewsey, as I think of her, and the Mountjoy books. I would love there to be more than 10, or even more than 6. I've read one of her other books but am a bit wary about her new ones.
Is this the first Attica Locke book you've read? Have read the other 3 and hoping to get hold of this one soon
I'm still in the library queue for Bluebird, Bluebird and looking forward to it. I was in the minority in finding Pleasantville to be less than remarkable but I quite liked Black Water Rising.
And you've reminded me that I'm interested in reading Spain in Our Hearts; I'm sure it will fit a category for the Nonfiction challenge!
Have just finished my final book for 2017 -- #430. I could push it and finish Mrs. Dalloway, but I think Clarissa deserves greater attention, so she will be an early read in 2018, along with The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke, which is excellent but also long and requires a period of undivided attention.
How this compares historically to past reading, since joining the 75 Group and actually tracking how many books I read each year:
2017 -- 430
2016 -- 347
2015 -- 378
2014 – 461
2013 – 438
2012 – 421
2011 – 466
2010 -- 506 (I can't begin to explain this anomaly, although I can explain 2015/2016)
The average of those, eerily, is 430.8 books...
So I'm precisely on average!!!
>134 elkiedee: This was indeed the first Attica Locke book for me; more lie ahead next year. I'm also contemplating a start-to-finish re-read of the Mountjoy books.
>135 EBT1002: I'm pretty sure you could shoehorn it into biography and it definitely would belong in history... !
I'll try to finish some more mini-reviews later on tonight. No plans for NY Eve, thanks to the The Bug that has laid me low.
My goodness! I didn't realize that Elizabeth Edmondson was E. Pewsey. I bought and read the first Very English mystery for Kindle before I saw all 3 available for $6. When I clicked on that deal (having determined to eat the cost of the first one), I was offered the last 2 for $10.68 instead. Well, Amazon.
I've read the first A. Locke and mean to get to the next ones. She's good, all right.
- and - 430 is amazing and Suzanne-like. Congratulations and good wishes for 2018!
Ha! ALL of the Mountjoy novels are available as audiobooks, but under her "Aston" surname. And since they are eligible for Whispersync, and I already had all but one of the titles, I paid $10 plus 1 credit for all six. Woot. That's a good way to end the new year. I will prolong the pleasure by LISTENING to them. Starting with Children of Chance.
362. The Living Infinite by Chantel Acevedo
The twin stories, one based loosely on the real life of Spanish princess Eulalia in the final decades of the 19th century, and of her “foster brother”, the son of her wet nurse, Thomas Aragon, who after his mother is sent from the court back to the farmland from which she came, ends up managing to climb his way back to become a small bookstore proprietor. Brought back together by serendipity and Eulalia’s enduring affection for her wet nurse, Thomas ends up accompanying the princess on a trip to Cuba, in an attempt to shore up affection for Spanish rule. He’s her secretary as she tries to pen a memoir of true life behind the gilded exterior of the court – which will prove too scandalous to publish in Europe. Only in Chicago, their next destination for the World’s Fair, will Eulalia have a chance to publish – if she wants to, and is willing to pay what could be a high risk… 4.4 stars, an excellent novel, about people that “traditional” historical fiction has ignored in favor of far too numerous novels about the Tudors.
363. The Burning Girl by Claire Messud
A story of childhood and adolescent friendship, and what happens with close friends grow apart. Set in a small Massachusetts town, Julia is the privileged one and Cassie is the risk-taking, daring one with a single mother. But things start to change when Cassie’s mother meets a man, and he ends up taking over their lives. It’s hard to describe the plot, which feels rather predictable – it’s a woman looking back in later life – but I’ll just say that I didn’t like this nearly as well as The Woman Upstairs, the other book by Messud that I’ve read. 4.15 stars
365. The Parcel by Anosh Irani
Another of the very good Canadian novels I’ve read this year; this one set in India, where an aging hijra (transsexual) is handed the task of “breaking” a new young Nepali prostitute in the city’s red light district. It’s a chilling tale. The main character is pragmatic, angry, still wrestling with the consequences of following her nature, and aware that her life can only get worse from this point on. But if she succeeds in taming “the parcel” for its sale to its first owner, then she’ll at least earn some cash for her patron. But everything around her seems to be falling apart, and while she’s trying to give “the parcel” lessons that will help her survive her life, she can’t help wondering whether that is the best she can do. 4.2 stars, recommended to those with the intestinal fortitude for the subject matter.
366. Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved by Kate Bowler
Another memoir, but a better one. Kate Bowler studies the theology behind the prosperity gospel and even subscribes to many of its tenets – and then she is diagnosed with extremely advanced cancer, a possible/probable death sentence, over the long-term. The reactions of those around her and the nature of the prosperity gospel force her to revisit the assumptions by which a growing number of Americans live their lives: that if they simply pray the right way and tithe, they will be rewarded with good things. And that if they aren’t – if they are victims of misfortune – it’s a sign that they aren’t doing something right. But what happens when a group of otherwise loving, thoughtful people (as Bowler describes them) bump up against something like this? The result is chronicled in an intriguing narrative by someone who is a Christian, and who describes the history and context for all this. 3.7 stars
367. The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer
368. Sylvester by Georgette Heyer
Two more Heyer novels, both of them new-to-me books. I confess I was underwhelmed by The Reluctant Widow in spite of one or two humorous characters, in large part because the “hero” bullies the heroine around and the romance is unconvincing. But Sylvester is good, and very entertaining, with its literary heroine who finds herself hoist with her own petard when the man she has drawn on as the villain in a book she writes anonymously – and that turns into a great success – begins to woo her and shows that he’s anything but villainous. 3.2 stars to the former; 3.9 stars to the latter.
369. Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James
I decided to listen to the audiobooks of a few of the Adam Dalgliesh mysteries NOT narrated by a woman with an annoying voice, and this is the first of those. Very good, and the rich detailing and character development is a reminder of why James was among the greats. Dalgliesh returns to an Anglican seminary where he had spent a few summers, sent to investigate the mysterious death of an ordinand (trainee Anglican priest) with a powerful father. But then other deaths follow, and there seem to be an abundance of motives. As well as an attractive woman, a scholar (who appeals to the scholarly Dalgliesh…) 4.3 stars.
370. The Girl who Takes an Eye For an Eye by David Lagercrantz
Hmmm, not sure this series is going anywhere much, at this point. The first sequel was quite good, but this one felt messy and muddled. Salander herself takes a bit of a backseat and even ends up becoming a victim character at one point. Argh. The plot revolves around finding evidence of just what those evil people were doing in her childhood, which felt like filling in too many gaps, rather than moving the narrative forward at the same time. I’m getting bored with this. 3.75 stars.
371. Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
373. Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart
More migraine-related “reading” on audiobook; two re-reads of venerable Mary Stewart books. These are among her late career books, though, and thus not her best; Stormy Petrel has a bit of suspense, but not up to her earlier standards, while Thornyhold is simply a gentle narrative involving hints of light witchcraft – really! Made me wish that books like Nine Coaches Waiting were available for audio.
372. Pictures of Fidelman by Bernard Malamud
Read for my book circle in NYC. I had always had Malamud as one of those authors that I wanted to read; this is why I like a book group that focuses on “classics” of one kind or another – about ½ or 1/3 of the time, the books end up being ones that I’ve always thought I should read or had on my TBR list. Fidelman is an artist, and the six linked stories here portray his comic misadventures over his many years in Italy, ranging from art theft to encounters with models – well you’d have to read it. A classic novel? I don’t know. But a fascinating novel from a novelist who is one of the top 20th century American writers. 3.7 stars.
374. Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe
This was fun – at least for me, having spent most of my teenage years in Belgium, and knowing the Atomium from outside but not really knowing the story behind it. Coe weaves the tale of an English bureaucrat dispatched by his superiors to run the pub at the English pavilion, solely on the strength of the fact that his mother was a Belgian refugee (from WW1) and his father once ran a pub… There he meets all kinds of people, gets involved in some light cold war skullduggery and falls into romance, in spite of being married and a father… 3.9 stars.
375. An Army of One by Tony Schumacher
The third and possibly the final book in this series of alternate history novels, of which my favorite was the second. In a nutshell: Germany has won WW2 (so far, so common a theme in alternate history) and the anti-hero of this novel is a former British soldier, winner of the VC, who after being imprisoned, is now released and assigned to work as a cop alongside the Germans. Meanwhile, his wife and child have died, victims of a Resistance bomb, so you could definitely argue that he has conflicted loyalties… That said, this outing feels far too much like a vast action movie in print, as John Rossett tries to arrest and bring to justice a killer in the lawless city of Liverpool – but both the local Germans and the resistance want to stop him. Cue action sequences galore, nonstop. Lots of hunts and battles through abandoned urban landscapes, too light on real intrigue for me. 3.8 stars. Earlier books had a better balance.
376. An Englishman in Madrid by Eduardo Mendoza
This was a much more intriguing book set in a similar era; written in Spanish for readers in that country, it deals with the run up to the outbreak of hostilities in the Spanish Civil War. The main character, however, is the Englishman of the title, lured to Madrid on the promise of money and status for helping a nobleman evaluate his art collection – the latter is hoping to sell some of it and help his family get out of Spain before things explode. Or at least, that’s what he’s told. But stuff rapidly gets far more complex, with every member of the ducal family having his or her own agenda. It’s an intriguing novel in all senses of the word, and reinforces all the noir-ish feel that Madrid must have had at that era, with the Communists at one extreme, the fascists at the other, and the Popular Front government desperately trying to keep a hold on power. Recommended, especially to anyone looking for fiction to read after Hochschild’s book about Americans in the Spanish Civil War. 4.1 stars.
377. Anything for a Quiet Life by Michael Gilbert
In 2018, I’ll be re-reading a lot more of Gilbert’s mystery novels; he is someone who remains a favorite for his crisp, dry style and eye for what lies beneath the skin of ordinary men (mostly; he doesn’t tend to write about female characters except as admiring assistants; my sole critique of his books. His female characters aren’t weak and feeble, but they never occupy center stage.) This is a series of linked stories about a solicitor “retiring” to a rural community, only to discover that life is never dull – from mysterious deaths to threats of a takeover by modern “wanderers.” 4 stars, listened to this as an audiobook, but few of his novels are available for audio, and some of them, like Death in Captivity, sound as if they were recorded in the 1950s and are to be avoided for that reason.
378. Alive in Shape and Color: 17 Paintings by Great Artists and the Stories They Inspired edited by Lawrence Block
This was an Amazon Vine offering, an ARC. It may already be out; unsure. The subtitle tells it all, and if you check Amazon’s page, you can see who the authors are. If you like the authors, or a reasonable number of them, then you’ll like the book – it’s that kind of collection. But as with any anthology, it’s kind of hit and miss, although the premise is clever – each writer was told to take a great painting and write a story connected to it. Some make the link very explicit; for others, it’s only tangential. One or two of these stories will linger for a long time; several are very forgettable. Most fall in between. 3.75 stars. Your list will probably differ.
379. Every Woman for Herself by Trisha Ashley
A re-read of my favorite novel by Trisha Ashley, who does the best job of chick lit for women that I can imagine. And listening to it vs reading it highlighted elements I didn’t remember before, so changed my “visual sense” of the characters and their setting, if that makes sense. (Yes, another migraine book…) Charlie (aka Charlotte) and her sisters Anne and Emily have long suffered from their father’s obsession with the Brontes, but thankfully their genius brother Branwell is too busy at university being a genius (when not home having a nervous fit) to worry about that. When this novel opens, Charlie has just been told by her husband that he wants a divorce; she then accidentally kills her neighbor’s lecherous husband with a cast-iron frying pan (she’s lifting it down from a cupboard when he sneaks in and runs a hand up her leg; she drops it and his head happens to be in the way…) Thankfully, her snoopy neighbor was standing in the door and saw everything, but when she returns home, her own memories of this event, the widow Angie’s reaction and the divorce are al still haunting her. So she’s in no mood to cope with any nonsense from a far-too attractive actor living in the nearby cottage with his small daughter. This is actually much wittier and subversive than I’m making it sound, while also romantic in a not-too squishy and sentimental way. I had fun with this listen. 4 stars…
380. True Evil by Greg Iles
The final migraine book. It was on sale, as a deep discount book, and because I had already read it, I didn’t feel I needed to pay all that much attention. Having recently read the over-written and over-wrought “Bone Tree” trilogy, I wasn’t expecting much, so I was pleased that this was actually a decent (if somewhat over the top) thriller, featuring avant garde science and snakes. Really. And murderous spouses. Basically, FBI agent who lost her sister, risks her career to warn a doctor he's the likely next victim. 3.8 stars.
381. Ties by Domenico Starnone
Allegedly, this author might be Elena Ferrante’s husband? Whether or not that’s true, this is an elegantly-crafted short novel that starts out brilliantly, kind of flags about 2/3 of the way through and finally regains some life in the final pages (although a blind person could have seen the denouement…) Essentially, it’s about the damage that infidelity wreaks on people, on a marriage, on – yes – the ties that bind each to the other. It starts with some letters written by an increasingly angry and dysfunctional spouse, then shifts to many decades later, when the husband is living with his wife. But what has happened in between – to the wife and to their two children, abandoned briefly during their childhood? We learn… and understand what it means when selfishness/self-centeredness takes its toll on others. Interesting questions raised here and in a provocative way. 4.3 stars.
382. UNSUB by Meg Gardiner
Not as good as her Evan Delaney, but much better than the last series she wrote, the name of which has thankfully slipped my mind. A serial killer nearly drove Caitlin Hendrix’s father insane (and nearly killed him) decades ago. Now he has retired, she is a cop and “The Prophet” seems to be back and killing again. Caitlin is only a narcotics detective, and a neophyte, but she is brought on board the team to help work through her father’s notes and persuade him to help them. But can they catch him this time? A “typical” serial killer thriller, if such a thing exists. 3.7 stars.
383. Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales by P.D.James
The second book of short stories by P.D. James published since her death, and it’s definitely worth reading, although I’d get it from the library or wait until you can find them on sale, because it’s not worth paying a full hardcover price! As noted previously, James has a great skill with both the intricacies of plot and character, and she can deliver even when it comes to a range of short stories. These vary from classic “locked room” (or rather, locked house…) murder mysteries, to more psychological stories, like the one about the yo-yo that kicks off the anthology. Recommended; 4.2 stars.
384. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
I found large chunks of this absolutely fascinating, particularly Jahren’s fascination/obsession with science and why we study the things we do, and what we discover as a result. That, and her observations and insights about the world around us, are the reason to read this book. Her own story, alas, I found a little less compelling. I could only read so much about how she struggled to set up a lab, get funding, eat properly, etc., before I was ready to holler “enough”…. 4.3 stars
385. House of Names by Colm Toibin
After reading Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, based on Antigone, I had high hopes for this, based on the Oresteia by Aeschylus – much more directly in this case, since it’s essentially a historical novel about Clytemnestra, Electra and Orestes. Toibin does take liberties with the plot as recounted by Aeschlyus, or seems to (unless we redefine the nature of the Furies?). But after a crackling start, the focus shifts from the palace to what happens to Orestes in his long period away from his home, and here Toibin began to lose me. I understand that there’s a gap between the two plays, and that Toibin is trying to say something about a generation’s loss in futile foreign wars, but I slowly and gradually began to lose my earlier “omigod I can’t put this down” feeling” about the book. Hmm. I’ll give it 4.3 stars, too, because it’s imaginative, very well written, but still lacks that magical “something”…
386. The Vanishing Box by Elly Griffiths
Another “Magic Men” novel set in the Brighton of the early 1950s, which I’m liking just as much as the Ruth Galloway tales, or perhaps more at this point, as these feel more fresh. Max and his daughter Ruby are about to perform in a season variety show – perhaps the last of its kind as TV starts to take over and Hollywood may come knocking. Meanwhile, Edgar’s latest murder inquiry seems to have links to some of their fellow performers, and comes uncomfortably close to home, raising questions about what lies ahead for Max’s future, and for Edgar and Ruby’s life together… 3.85 stars. Very good and atmospheric; will be interesting to see how she develops the series from here, however.
387. All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan
While this was a good novel that has grown on me since I finished it, it didn’t have the immediate “wow” impact that Ryan’s two prior books have had. Perhaps that’s because the pace of it stutters a bit; perhaps because he is writing solely through a woman’s perspective throughout? I’m not sure. The narrative spans the time frame between the day that the main character tells her husband that she’s pregnant and that he’s not the father, and the day that she gives birth. The father (as she knows, and no one else does) is a young man she has been tutoring, teaching him to read: he’s a member of a traveling group of tinkers or gypsies; outsiders who live strictly by their own rules. He has moved on, when she goes to look for him, but she instead strikes up a close friendship with another young woman: both have been cast out of their own communities, one because she is pregnant and the other because she can’t get pregnant. Complications ensue… and a clever denouement. 4 stars; perhaps too low a rating, but this was more of a struggle to read.
388. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
One of the buzzed-about books of the year. Anna Kerrigan first meets Dexter Styles during the early years of the Depression, when she’s still a child; she’s a witness to some dealings between him and her father that may lead to the latter’s disappearance not long after. Flash forward to World War II, and Anna is working in the Brooklyn Navy Yards, where she manages to become a diver (kudos to Egan for the vivid descriptions of the work there, and of what it was like to be a diver in the era, working on ships) and where, under a pseudonym, she re-encounters Dexter Styles once more. By now, the reader has a much greater understanding of just how risky it can be to cross Dexter, and yet Anna is determined to find out what happened to her beloved father; why he abandoned them. There’s a great climactic scene or two, but the end result is kind of like a great prolonged sighhhhhh. All the ends are neatly wrapped up, with a few digressions. So, 4.3 stars, mostly for the central New York tale.
390. The Trials of the King of Hampshire: Madness, Secrecy and Betrayal in Georgian England by Elizabeth Foyster
What a quirky story, and kudos to the author for digging it out of the archives. How did one declare a nobleman mad in the days when challenging his authority was akin to lese majeste? Foyster tells the story of the third earl of Portsmouth: was he really insane or was his family – who would inherit his estate if he could be deemed so – simply trying to manipulate the law? Was his madness harmless eccentricity, or damaging to those around him? As long as his (older) wife was able to keep him in line, all was well, but by 1823, a lawyer had married the earl of to someone who wasn’t real of his social standing, but who happened to be the lawyer’s daughter (with Byron as witness!) And then everything went to hell. To rescue him from his abusive wife, and the estate from rack and ruin, the relatives swooped in – and in 1823 ended up washing a lot of dirty linen in public. In these pages, you’ll meet not only Byron but Jane Austen (who attended a part chez Lord Portsmouth) and other figures of the era, and read all kinds of bizarre stories. A fascinating yarn. 4.1 stars.
391. A Christmas Return by Anne Perry
The latest in the series of seasonal novellas by Perry, this one featuring Charlotte Pitt’s fearsome grandmamma, who turns out (surprise) to be less fearsome than previously known, and to have a strong interest in seeing justice done, even years after the fact. 3.6 stars.
392. False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong
This will be out in February; timely, in light of the #metoo movement. It’s the product of two reporters and two journalistic investigations; when the authors realized they were researching the same criminal from different perspectives, they combined their forces and produced this book. On the one hand, it’s the story of a young woman (Marie) who has been in foster care, had a troubled life, and who now is living in a group home setting, in her own unit, on her own for the first time. She reports that she has been raped – but is disbelieved, but her former foster mother, the cops, etc. etc. Ultimately, she is charged with filing a false report, and bullied into pleading guilty, or else… Meanwhile, in another part of the state, investigators are tracking a rapist with a particular signature – one that would be all too familiar to Marie, if only she knew about it, and if only those investigators knew about Marie, and had access to the evidence from her investigation. In a nutshell, this deals with a particular criminal and his crimes, but also with which rape victims are believed, and why – and that’s why you should read it, as I suspect we’re about to face a backlash to the #metoo environment, as people start yelling about false accusations. This has some interesting thoughts & data on the subject. 4.3 stars.
393. Stranger by David Bergen
A young woman works at a fertility clinic in Guatemala and is romantically involved with a doctor there. After he has an accident, leaving him with brain damage, he is taken home to the US by his wife and she realizes that she is pregnant. But after giving birth, the baby vanishes and she is told she has signed a consent form for the baby’s father to adopt her daughter. The baby has gone to the US – somewhere she’ll never reach, much less from which she’ll be able to retrieve her child. Or will she? 3.85 stars.
394. Snared Nightingale by Geoffrey Trease 4.35 stars
417. So Wild the Heart by Geoffrey Trease 4.2 stars
I decided to re-read both of the novels that one of my favorite childhood authors wrote for adults. Both are historical books, like most of those he wrote for kids, and echo many of their themes: a rather subversive attitude to authority (Trease was a socialist, and deliberately chose as heroes for his books for children and young adults, ordinary people, not princes, princesses or other high-ranking folks; they were more likely to be arrogant fools or silly types in his books, where common sense and solid thinking was prized; he also always had girls/young women playing strong roles alongside the boys, one reason I loved his books, I think!) The first of these is the tale of a young man living in Italy, the son of a 15th century expat younger son, who discovers he has unexpectedly inherited an earldom, to the great displeasure of a local noblewoman, who fully expected her grandson to capture the prize. The dapper and scholarly young man – far too glamorous and Italian-like to be a convincing earl in the Welsh marches is the local verdict – sets about shaking things up, but he struggles to win the heart of the woman he has decided he loves: her mind has been poisoned against him… So Wild the Heart is set right after the Napoleonic wars, and the hero is an Oxford scholar from a very poor background who is desperately hoping his translation of a third-rate Latin poet will make his name. Off he goes to the Italian lakes, to find the precise place Antonian penned his works – but finds far, far more than that, including a bunch of Byron wannabes at a lakeside villa, and some local anti-Austrian revolutionaries. A better ending than Snared Nightingale but slightly less convincing or interesting a tale (for me, at least.) I wish Trease had written more of these, even though they do feel a bit dated for today’s readers. I like ‘em.
395. Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields by Wendy Lower
This was a book I got via my Kindle Unlimited trial – otherwise probably wouldn’t have bought it. It’s interesting, if chilling. Nothing unexpected, really, although the individual stories are interesting, and it’s good to be reminded that some of these women weren’t just SS guards, but nurses, teachers and even homesteaders. Calling them all “furies” is a stretch, especially since passive/active compliance with/acceptance of, rather than aggressive participation in, the Holocaust, seems to have been the order of the day for these women, whatever the range of their beliefs. The interesting part does deal with how those beliefs were shaped, in fact. A bit on the dry side; it felt like an academic study that the author tried to turn into an accessible book. 3.8 stars.
396. Cats I've Known: On Love, Loss, and Being Graciously Ignored by Katie Haegele
This is a cute little anthology of all kinds of cats that have crossed the author’s path, from ones she has owned (or been owned by) to the landlord’s cat, who climbs a tree in order to stare in her window and watch her work. Family cats, shadows of cats, neighborhood cats, cats she encounters while traveling at a bed & breakfast… All kinds of cats. A delight to dip into, or read straight through, and if you’re gift shopping for your favorite cat person (not me, since I obviously have it…) this is a great candidate. 3.8 stars
397. A Marriage Under the Terror by Patricia Wentworth
419. Wicked Uncle by Patricia Wentworth
I’ve really enjoyed the “Miss Silver” mysteries (and will be re-reading more of those next year) and the handful of 1920s/1930s/1940s standalone mysteries by Wentworth that I’ve read. Then I stumbled across this, and what on EARTH? There clearly is a reason it was out of print for so long. It’s a silly, sentimental romance between a swooning young aristocrat and a revolutionary, during Robespierre’s rule. But it’s leaden and laughable. Avoid. 2.75 stars. But the re-read of Wicked Uncle, a classic Miss Silver tale, was fun – Dorinda takes a new job and discovers that her new employer’s business partner is the charming ne’er-do-well uncle who deserted her now-dead aunt many years ago, complete with new name. Not only that, but he tried to set her up to be arrested for shoplifting so that they wouldn’t meet, and she wouldn’t break his cover. But then, Gregory Porteous, as he’s now known, is a blackmailer, so there are plenty of people who have a motive to bump him off when he’s found dead in the middle of a house party. 3.4 stars
399. Sourdough by Robin Sloan
Lois Clary doesn’t do well with people; she is much better with lines of code. In fact, when she moves to San Francisco to start work at a new robotics factory, the only people she interacts with are the two brothers who run a mysterious soup and bread delivery service. She becomes addicted to real food after subsisting on faux gloop, and when the brothers are forced to leave the country, Lois inherits the sourdough starter. It’s the beginning of something lifechanging: Lois becomes a baker. For herself. For her company cafeteria. And finally for the city, at a mysterious underground market where she is required to train one of her robotic arms to help her mix the loaves. But she realizes that it’s all about the sourdough starter itself, which seems to have its own personality: a face even appears on each loaf. Something strange is afoot… But hey, this is by the author of “Mr. Penumbra…” so of course it’s a bit strange, a bit quirky, and blending old and new technologies while hinting at secret societies and stuff like that. Fun. 4.25 stars.
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