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December CATWoman: Modern (post-1960) novels by women

2017 Category Challenge

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Nov 14, 2017, 2:45pm Top

Welcome to the December CATWoman thread! This month's topic is modern novels written by women, and "modern" has been defined as anything after 1960. This is a hugely diverse topic that embraces any number of books, from the literary to the lowbrow. You could read a feminist work like Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, or perhaps a novel by a woman of color, like Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon. Delve into science fiction with Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice, or enjoy a fantastical read like Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest. Try an award-winning book like Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries, or curl up with a romantic novel like Sally Thorne's The Hating Game.

Whatever you choose to read, please post your thoughts about it here! And don't forget to update the wiki (once it's working again): http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/2017CC_CATWoman#December

Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 6:09pm Top

Both my online bookclub books for December qualify:

Nox Dormienda by Kelli Stanley and
The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis

Nov 14, 2017, 7:39pm Top

I'm thinking this one should just have books that just fall into place! :-)

Unless I read it this month, my book club book is:
The Hero's Walk / Anita Rau Badami
so it fits.

Also, a possibility for another challenge for me is;
Raven Black / Ann Cleeves

I'm sure I will have plenty more to fit!

Edited: Nov 16, 2017, 3:00pm Top

My plans could change but at this point I am hoping to read the following books that will fit this theme in December:

Bitter Greens by Kate Korsyth
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
To the Bright Edge of the World by Ewoyn Ivey

Nov 15, 2017, 10:08am Top

Oh so many options. Right now I'm probably going to read at least Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes but have so many others that I may have time to get to in December. Other options are Manhattan Beach, The Windfall, Carry Me Home, Girl in Translation, etc...

Nov 15, 2017, 10:54am Top

I'm definitely planning to read Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, and possibly a few others as well!

Dec 1, 2017, 7:52pm Top

Currently reading The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (2004)

Dec 2, 2017, 10:59am Top

I am listening to the audiobook of Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein which will work for this as well as the AlphaKIT. Too bad that Robinson was published in 1958!

Dec 2, 2017, 5:21pm Top

I'm reading Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich.

Dec 3, 2017, 9:59am Top

Dec 3, 2017, 3:01pm Top

I have just finished News of the World by Paulette Jiles which was a 5 star read for me.

Dec 3, 2017, 5:24pm Top

127. Future Home of the Living God is a dystopian novel from Louise Erdrich. Something is happening to babies; evolution seems to be going backwards, or as Cedar Hawk Songmaker, the narrator, says, "Turning around to the beginning. Maybe that's not the same as going backward." Chaos reigns as the social order and government collapse. Is Mother Nature getting back at us?

The novel is a letter from Cedar Hawk Songmaker to her unborn child. Told from her point of view, we get limited information about what is actually happening. The resulting gaps in the plot are a big drawback; perhaps Erdrich would have been better served by using multiple viewpoints.

The writing is wonderful, as one would expect from Erdrich, and she has great characters, but the novel feels a little incomplete. The dystopia needs some development.

So, this is an Erdrich novel that I liked but did not love. Recommended with reservations.

Dec 4, 2017, 1:36pm Top

I hesitate to make plans because that means they will be changed! But I have Trespass by Rose Tremain on deck.

Dec 4, 2017, 11:20pm Top

The Hero's Walk / Anita Rau Badami
3.5 stars

Sripathi and his daughter had a falling out when she moved to Canada from India and wanted to marry someone she met there. They never spoke again, though Maya went on to have a little girl herself, Nandana. Unfortunately, when Nandana was only 7-years old, Maya and her husband died in a car crash. Sripathi had to collect his granddaughter and bring her to India to take care of her and to live with the rest of the family: his son, Arun, his sister, Putti (who never got married, as their mother never approved of anyone!), their mother, Ammayya, and Sripathi’s wife, Nirmala.

It started a bit slow for me, as I found it tricky to figure out who was who, as there were a lot of characters! There was also (at least at first) some jumping around in time, as characters were lost in their memories, as well as present day, so I found that trickier to follow, as well. I enjoyed Nandana’s story from the start. The book got better in the second half, once I figured out (mostly!) who was who. However, I didn’t like Sripathi much: especially in the first half - I found him to be a very angry man.

Dec 5, 2017, 12:07pm Top

I'm now reading What We Lose

Dec 6, 2017, 1:53pm Top

I realized once I had finished it that Nemesis, the final Miss Marple book, was first published in 1971 :)

Dec 7, 2017, 12:33pm Top

I finished Trespass by Rose Tremain which was excellent. Chilling story, unpleasant characters, but completely engrossing to the last page.

Dec 7, 2017, 1:18pm Top

I loved the Tremain I read; I need to read more by her.

Dec 7, 2017, 5:20pm Top

>18 BLBera: I will definitely read more Tremain.

Edited: Dec 8, 2017, 5:23pm Top

The LT Early Reviewers book which I just finished reading qualifies for this challenge: An American Marriage : a Novel by Tayari Jones. It features black marriages, fathers who desert their families, substitute fathers, and a black man incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. I plan to write a review of it this weekend.

Dec 9, 2017, 9:52am Top

COMPLETED Enemies at Home by Lindsey Davis (2014)

Dec 9, 2017, 11:52am Top

I have finished Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (2013)

Dec 9, 2017, 8:34pm Top

I have completed To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey.

Dec 9, 2017, 9:33pm Top

Here is the link to the new, secure 2017 CatWoman Wiki:


Dec 11, 2017, 11:48am Top

Ended up reading The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher for this challenge.

Dec 15, 2017, 6:10am Top

Song for a dark queen by Rosemary Sutcliff was written in the 1970s.

Dec 15, 2017, 10:59am Top

I'm reading Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, published in 2001.

Dec 15, 2017, 5:30pm Top

I just completed Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, published in 2012.

Dec 17, 2017, 8:12am Top

And another Rosemary Sutcliff written in the 1970s: Tristan and Iseult. Not my favourite Arthurian legend, although it is well told here.

Dec 17, 2017, 4:30pm Top

I decided to spend the day with a Kindle book that had been languishing for far too long -- Julie Smith's Jazz Funeral. Being in the frozen north, it was nice to vicariously visit the heat of New Orleans!

Dec 17, 2017, 8:12pm Top

I read What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt, published 2003, set in the 80/90s.

Dec 18, 2017, 10:46am Top

I'm currently reading Burning Bright by Melissa McShane, which was published in 2016.

Dec 18, 2017, 11:22am Top

I'm currently reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. It's well written, and I do want to know what happens, but all the characters seem unhappy, so it's a bit slow-going for me! My CultureCAT read is a bit harrowing this month too - I think I need to find something light to balance it all out.

Edited: Dec 18, 2017, 2:18pm Top

Dec 18, 2017, 3:05pm Top

I have started Room by Emma Donoghue.

Dec 18, 2017, 4:20pm Top

>35 leslie.98: One of my all time favorites. Hope you like it! I became an Emma Donoghue fan after I read this book recommended to me by my DIL. It's a tough subject but so well written and I was mesmerized by the narrator's voice.

Dec 18, 2017, 9:29pm Top

I can't believe I've only read one book so far this month that fits this CAT! I should have one more (maybe two, if I have time) coming up, though! Oh, maybe three!

Dec 19, 2017, 4:00am Top

Looking for short books in my TBR I found Loco, a western written by Lee Hoffman in 1969. Rather unusual, I thought, a young man with no name or family drifts into a valley where some recent newcomers are suspected of cattle rustling and meets a feisty young woman running her father's ranch. None of the expected things happened: no range war, no romance, no wedding.
I've got several of her westerns in German translation (there was no easy buying on the internet in the late 70s, alas) and they all have an unusual protagonist. Reading her for the first time in English, I find that the language is typical of the genre, which looks incredibly dated now.

Edited: Dec 19, 2017, 12:20pm Top

Starting The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (1996)

Dec 20, 2017, 1:22am Top

I just read A Quilt for Christmas by Sandra Dallas (2014).

Dec 23, 2017, 3:04am Top

COMPLETED The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (1996), and starting the same author's Children of God (1998)

Dec 27, 2017, 2:21pm Top

Starting Rufius by Sarah Walton (2016)

Dec 29, 2017, 3:30pm Top

Raven Black / Ann Cleeves
3.5 stars

When 16-year old Catherine, a newcomer to Shetland, is found murdered, people assume the odd guy who was also thought (though it was never proven) to have killed a younger girl years earlier was also responsible for Catherine’s death. The younger girl, though, was never found.

Good book, but lots of characters to keep straight. This was told from different points of view. I was surprised by the ending. I might have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so distracted while reading. I will continue the series.

Dec 29, 2017, 3:49pm Top

Glory in Death / J.D. Robb
3.5 stars

When the prosecuting attorney is found murdered in a bad part of town, Eve Dallas is on the case to find out what happened. Soon after, another high-profile woman is also murdered. Eve’s significant other has connections to both women.

Decent story, but I still don’t like Roarke. Nor do I particularly like Eve much, either, but I do prefer her to Roarke. I might have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so distracted while reading. I will, for now, continue the series.

Dec 29, 2017, 3:59pm Top

I ended up reading two books recently that qualify - Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes and White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner - both enjoyable.

Dec 29, 2017, 4:06pm Top

The Medievalist / Anne-Marie Lacy
4 stars

Jayne is a historian and a descendant of King Richard III of England – the man who may have had his two nephews (Edward IV’s sons) murdered so Richard himself could take the crown. Jayne doesn’t believe this is the case. When Richard’s grave is being dug up, Jayne is a volunteer on site. At the end of the day, when she tries to help by covering up the bones, she grabs on to an artifact… and suddenly wakes up in the Middle Ages amidst tents. Jayne thinks this might be the eve of Richard’s death!

I quite enjoyed this! Obviously implausible, but even taking the time travel element out of it, I don’t believe what the author proposes is very likely. Have to admit, wasn’t crazy about Jayne and Richard’s relationship (ewww – he’s your ancestor!) I still enjoyed the story, though. Jayne got to spend plenty of time in the late 15th century with Richard and with Bess, Edward IV’s eldest daughter. The book was mostly from Jayne’s point of view, but occasionally, we switched to Richard’s; not surprisingly, I found Jayne’s (a woman’s) POV more interesting.

Dec 29, 2017, 4:26pm Top

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 6:34pm Top

I finished a good number of books for this month's challenge:
The Substitute by Nicole Lundrigan
Ars Historica by Marie Brennan
The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
A Turn of Light by Julie Czerneda
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

All of them were good but The Stone Sky, the final book in N. K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy, was exceptional.

Dec 30, 2017, 11:47am Top

I have finished Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (2006)

>48 mathgirl40: I just recently heard about Jemisin's trilogy from my mom -- it is on my to-read list for 2018!

Dec 30, 2017, 11:56am Top

>49 leslie.98: I hope you enjoy the trilogy as much as I did. I will most definitely reread it myself at a later time.

Dec 31, 2017, 6:53pm Top

The Girls / Emma Cline
3 stars

This is based on Charles Manson and his cult in the late 1960s. We follow a young Evie, as she gets pulled into the cult by a group of girls she encounters.

I like the idea of the book, but the execution wasn’t so great for me. I didn’t like any of “the girls”, and didn’t “get” Evie’s enthrallment with Susanne or with any of it. Bunch of airheads they all were, I thought! I listened to the audio, and they certainly sounded that way. Not only that, but by the end, a bunch of psycho airheads. I guess I also don’t “get” the culture at the time. I didn’t dislike the story – it was ok. But, I certainly didn’t like any of the characters, nor did I understand their motivation for anything they did, beyond doing whatever-the-heck “Russle” wanted them to do. Sex, drugs… and not much in the way of rock’n’roll.

Jan 11, 11:43am Top

I've finally decided to abandon The Memory Keeper's Daughter - this was my second attempt at this book, and the second time I've stalled with it. The writing is good, the premise is fine, it just didn't move me to carry on with it. I'm going to give it 3 stars anyway, as it's not that the book is badly written (far from it), and it's definitely a case of me not the book (not usually the case with my abandoned books!!). I'll add it to the wiki anyway, and that's my line drawn under 2017's challenge. Thanks very much for organising it, I've really enjoyed CATWoman!

Group: 2017 Category Challenge

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