Lisa's 2018 Category Challenge
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This is my 11th year with LT, and my 10th doing the category challenge. After a stressful year of being promoted to a new job, and moving, in 2018 I want to relax and see where my reading takes me month to month.
So instead of my usual categories of library books, new fiction, mysteries, etc., I'm going to let my mood guide me, because after all I'm a very moody reader. My challenge will be to use each month of the year as a category with no specific limit. This will be new for me, but I think I will enjoy it. I have so many books on my Nook it mocks me to let me know, and while moving I saw books that I didn't realize I had. I'd like to make a dent in both.
I will also attempt to participate in the various CATS, as well as the Bingo Dog.
10 TOTAL/ (5 NOOK/ 5 LIBRARY)
TOTAL 8 4 NOOK/3 LIBRARY/ 1 ROOT
TOTAL 16 (7 NOOK/ 8 LIBRARY/ 1 ROOT)
TOTAL 11 (3 NOOK/ 7 LIBRARY/ 1 ROOT)
TOTAL 15 (7 LIBRARY 6 NOOK/ 2 ROOT)
TOTAL 14 ( 7 NOOK, 6 LIBRARY, 1 ROOT)
TOTAL 14 (7 NOOK, 6 LIBRARY, 1 ROOT)
TOTAL 15 (7 NOOK, 6 LIBRARY, 2 ROOT)
TOTAL 17 ( 4 NOOK, 12 LIBRARY, 1 ROOT)
January Random- Darktown
January Color- (Black)- The Magpie Murders
January Mystery- (Nordic)- The Hanging Girl
February Color-Worthy Brown's Daughter
February Mystery-A is for Alibi
March Random -The Leavers
March Mystery -Wife of the Gods
April Random- Death of a Peer
April Random- To Die But Once
April Mystery- Death of a Peer
April Color- The Kind Worth Killing
May Mystery- Death in the Clouds
May Color- The Deep Blue Good Bye
June Color- The Lilac Girls
July Color- Ride The Pink Horse
July Mystery- The Blackhouse
July Mystery- Hard Frost
July Random-The Women in the Castle
August Color-The Drowned Boy
August Mystery- Murder on Bank Street
August Mystery- Murder on Lexington Avenue
August Random- The Cove
September Color -The Ballad of Frankie Silver
September Mystery- The Last Good Kiss
September Mystery-The Far Side of the Dollar
September Random-The Risk Pool
October Color- Winter in June
1 Death of a Peer April RandomCAT and MysteryCAT
3 Chasing The Dime
4 The Hanging Girl
5 The Wicked Girls
6 What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky
9 In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner- added to LT in 2009
10 We Were Mothers
11 Raisin in the Sun
14 The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street
16 Have a Nice Guilt Trip⊙
17 Sleeping Beauties
18 Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
19 The Wife Between Us
21 Winter Christmas
22 Lightning Men
24 Three Wishes
Great to see you all set up, Lisa. I like the idea of reading month to month, I may have to give that a try at some point.
This is my 10th year doing the challenge as well, and I'm also using the months as my categories! I look forward to comparing notes with you. :)
I am also very much a mood reader. Looking forward to seeing what you pick up.
Nice! I like the monthly set up. It makes for a very open challenge!
>16 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy, thank you. I'm looking forward to the month by month reading. I think this will be a good change for me, and keep me from trying to make books I want to read fit into my categories.
>17 christina_reads: Hi Christina! I will take a peek at your thread soon. I'll try not to duplicate the pictures, which I have to admit are fun looking for!
>18 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie, thanks for stopping by!
>19 VivienneR: Thank you, I am looking forward to the freedom
>20 cmbohn: Hi Cindy, thank you!
>21 lkernagh: Hi Lori, thank you!
>22 rabbitprincess: Hi RP, thank you, this is the first time I am trying a "loose" challenge.
I debated on just doing monthly categories but decided I wanted category names even if I didn't want to be boxed in on categories.
>24 thornton37814: I've been doing monthly categories for three years now. I like the idea of other categories, but then I spend too much time trying to figure where each book fits!
So, I'm still with monthly but keep thinking about the others... sigh...
One of these years I’m going to do something similar and just read whatever the heck I want. Good for you for taking an approach that works for you.
I'm another one who doing their reading month by month. I look forward to seeing what you read!
>25 majkia: >26 LittleTaiko: >27 mamzel: I basically decided to read whatever I wanted. I'm taking a vacation from meaningful categories and plan to just rotate through the vacation destinations; however, I reserved the right to put something in a category that fits its setting or is where I read it. I think a lot of us were tired of being too boxed in.
I love my (few) categories and try to keep tham as open as possible. Yet I like to see the flexibility of your monthly reading, sometimes I would even prefer it. But then I fall in love with my categories all over again. Happy reading!
I'm spending my second snow day getting caught up on threads, chores, and the never ending struggle to declutter.
I finished two books so far, the excellent Darktown and the so so series, but for some reason I can't stop reading, The People vs. Alex Cross.
Darktown, an excellent combination of police procedural, mystery, and race relations is set in 1940's Atlanta. The city responding to pressure, has hired eight African American police officers who are housed separately from the white officers and do not possess the same authority to uphold the law even though they wear the badge as well. This book was a BB from Ridgeway Girl (Kay).
The People vs. Alex Cross is 25th in the series, and is not the same quality as when I first started reading them. Alex Cross is a good character, but Patterson's writing has gotten lazy over the years. In this installment, Alex is on trial for being an overzealous, trigger happy officer who has killed and injured three people. The evidence indicates that the individuals were unarmed and things look pretty bleak for the agent/psychologist.
I finished The Hanging Girl last night, which was my read for this month's MysteryCAT. I enjoy the Department Q series, but I found this book to be just a bit too long and I didn't find it as engrossing as other books in the series. The main story line involves the long ago death of a young girl involved with an older man, and members of a cult with a murderer among them. The girl was found hanging from a tree which may or may not have been an accident. Carl is haunted by an event brought to light by the death of his cousin, Rose is struggling, and Assad saves Carl's life once again. It wasn't a bad read, I think I had trouble following the direction of the murder investigation.
I'm ready for The Scarred Woman, which I had back in October, but sadly had to return to the library due to all of my moving madness. I'm number 5 for 5 copies, so hopefully soon!
Now I'm reading Round Midnight and Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk.
I have to say, only a few days into the new year, and I am enjoying my "random" reading.
>33 RidgewayGirl: Hi Kay, I had to make myself not read Lightning Men right away, although I won't be able to wait too long!
I'm enjoying Lillian Boxfish, it's very interesting how each chapter details a certain aspect of her life. The language is beautiful and it is well written. I want to have that interesting a life when I get that age.
By the way, I think I forgot to answer your question on my old thread. I have picked colors for the house, the living room is what I would call similar to butterscotch, the master bedroom is a light cocoa, and the rest of the rooms are a creamy tan. It's amazing how different paint looks when it's on the wall, it tool three tries to get the right white for the ceiling and woodworks. I wasted a good bit of money trying samples and then realizing that they looked horrible on the walls:)
Haven't touched the kitchen yet, because I'm going to replace the appliances, tile and cabinets all at one time yikes!
Catching up on your thread Lisa! Did you say there was a new Slaughter out in July, possibly? I was looking for info on it.
Hi Victoria, yes a Will Trent book, Pieces of Her, due July 31st. I'm trying not to spend money but I don't know if I can control myself until the library gets it!
Round Midnight spans approximately fifty years, and weaves the stories of June, Honorata, Engracia, and Coral as they face life challenges in Las Vegas. Each of these women connect with each other in some way and each is of a different nationality or culture. June is Jewish, Honorata is from the Philippines, Engracia is Mexican, and Coral is biracial. At the center of each woman's story, is the club owned by June and her husband, El Capatain.
Round Midnight refers to the Midnight Room at the club, but it's the interconnected stories of these four women, that is the focus of the book.
I think I picked this book up because I enjoyed We Are Called To Rise also by this author, also set in Las Vegas.
I enjoyed Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk, a simple, but beautifully written story of a eighty something woman taking a walk in the New York neighborhood she loves, on New Year's Eve, 1984. Although the book is intended to be character and not plot driven, I couldn't help but think, ok, here comes a big secret, or a huge reveal, but no, it's just a tale of a very strong willed, independent woman as she looks back on her life. Lillian is not a heart warming character, but she is certainly an interesting one.
>38 jonesli: - I enjoyed it also when I read it last year. I sort of wished I had known it was loosely based on a real person before reading it. It may have added to my enjoyment. You're right that Lillian isn't going to give you the warm fuzzies but man is she interesting.
>38 jonesli: Adding that one to The List, Lisa - sounds like one I would enjoy.
The Magpie Murders I was afraid that this book would be too clever and I wasn't sure if it would live up to the hype. I was pleasantly surprised with this murder mystery within another murder. I can definitely see the Agatha Christie influence and I can appreciate that it was different from the norm. An editor recelves a manuscript and realizes that the last chapter was missing, and becomes convinced that there is a story behind the author committing suicide and the missing chapter.
I had trouble putting the book down which is always a good sign.
>41 jonesli: I enjoyed that one as well. Couldn't turn the pages fast enough!
Glad everyone enjoyed The Magpie Murders. I have it on the shelf and thought it would fit the Bingo square "something you see in the sky".
>41 jonesli: - I also enjoyed that one quite a bit. It kept my attention the whole way through.
>43 cmbohn:, >44 rabbitprincess:, and >46 LittleTaiko: Hi Cindy, RP, and Stacy. Glad to see the love for The Magpie Murders. It seems as though most people enjoyed it, although there a few that didn't.
>42 thornton37814: I think you'll enjoy it Lori!
>45 VivienneR: Good idea Vivienne, that didn't occur to me about the Bingo square.
Hi Lisa, I am about 100 pages into Magpie Murders and so far it's a fun read that brings both Agatha Christie and the television show Midsomer Murders to mind.
>48 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy, It looks like you are enjoying or maybe you have finished by now Magpie Murders.
The Wicked Girls was an ok story about two girls Bel and Jade, who didn't know each other that well and committed a crime when they were children. Flash forward both of them with new identities and a serial killer who may be known to one of them. I think I would have preferred more of a plot regarding the past crime when they were children instead of the modern day story.
Concealed in Death- You would think that one would grow tired of this series after so many books, but they are always enjoyable and they don't disappoint. In this one, there are twelve buried bodies of young girls in one Roarke's buildings which is about to undergo renovation. Also, some sad truths about the foster care system.
Woman in the Window this books just screams as an homage to Hitchcock's Rear Window. The protagonist, Anna Fox a child psychologist, lives alone, and spends her days drinking way too much wine, taking too much medication, watching old movies, and spying on her neighbors. Anna is suffering from the after effects of a traumatic event in her life, and there are times when the reader is uncertain about what is reality and what is Anna's mind.When Anna believes she has witnessed a crime against one of her neighbors, no one believes her. I loved the mention of the many old movies, mostly Hitchcock films and a few others.
>49 jonesli: I may eventually try some of the J. D. Robb books. Years ago, I was told they weren't as good as the books authored under the name Nora Roberts so I steered clear of them. I wonder if the person just preferred the romantic suspense elements in the other books? I'm more willing to try them now, but I can't see myself reading all of them. There are just too many.
>50 thornton37814:, My mom suggested I try them, and I'm currently devouring the first one. She loves Nora Roberts books, but had tried the first Robb book and didn't enjoy it at all; she said it was too violent for her, and that she doesn't like sci-fi/fantasy. I don't find the sci-fi/futuristic element to be all that present compared to what I expected, but I guess if you don't read any sci-fi/fantasy (which is definitely the case for my mom), even the smallest bit could be off-putting.
>49 jonesli:, I'm glad to hear that about your experience with the Robb books. This first one I'm reading took me a little bit of time to get into, but now that I'm engaged, I don't want to put it down!
I really enjoy the Robb books. The sci-fi element is so small and it is so tied in with ordinary things that it's not as if you have to imagine an entirely different world. In describing the books I would almost ignore the futuristic part (2060 isn't that far away...) and call them a good police series with a female protagonist and some hot sex thrown in for fun.
Yeah, The Wicked Girls disappointed me. It began really well and seemed to be setting itself up to say something interesting and upend assumptions. And then it turned into the most predictable of genre thrillers. I guess it's good to be able to cross her off my list of authors to watch for?
>51 whitewavedarling: I'm not crazy about sci-fi but can tolerate fantasy in small doses.
>50 thornton37814: Hi Lori, I agree with you, there are way too many books in the In Death series, but I am close to getting caught up, so there's that. They are fun reads for me. The sci- fi is not heavy handed at all, and just enough to be somewhat believable.
>51 whitewavedarling: Oh, you're reading the first book? I predict you will be looking for the second one to read very soon, they are addictive, although I do try to give myself a little break in between reading them.
>52 mysterymax: Yes exactly, I think the author does a good job with this series, just the right blend of police procedural, a kick a** lieutenant, and the steamy sex with Roarke lol.
>53 RidgewayGirl:, I think you're right Kay, if this author has another must read mystery/thriller coming out, I think I'll wait and see before reading it.
There's not much to say about The Wife Between Us, which was my last read in January. I do know that I am a sucker for every monthly must read thriller that becomes available at the library, I'm becoming predictable! Ex wife stalks current wife, but is she trying to help her or sabotage her marriage? Not a total waste of reading time, but life is short!
The Scarred Woman, the latest Department Q book, was just a tad too long, but the dual plotlines of Rose's downward spiral, combined with a benefits worker who decides to murder her clients, was a good mix.
Last Night at the Lobster, I finished this little gem this morning after starting it yesterday. I think I can safely say that I will read whatever Stewart O'Nan has to offer. I have enjoyed every book that I have read of his to date, and I can't imagine him writing a dud. Last Night at the Lobster takes place in one night five days before Christmas as Manny, the Red Lobster manager, tries to make the restaurant's last night in business a memorable one. For such a small book, it is very atmospheric. I could just picture the snow and the restaurant. Now I want Cheddar Bay biscuits!
>55 jonesli:, Your prediction is correct :) I finished it last night, and wish I already had the next in hand. I'm thinking of treating myself to a trip to our local used bookstore for my birthday next week, and have every intention of picking up a few more whenever I do get there!
It's good to see someone discovering O'Nan, too. He visited my school and read right around the time Last Night at the Lobster came out, and I really enjoyed hearing him. I helped with the school's readings in those days, and found out afterward that our department chair hadn't been thrilled with the results only because of the book he read from. The vast majority of reading attendees were, as planned, freshmen in college, and given that we were at a private university and a lot of them came from wealthy families, most of them just didn't have the life/work experience to be able to relate to the book and what O'Nan read from it. He didn't make many new fans that night, unfortunately--outside of older grad students and adults in the audience--but I heard a lot of great things about his other books that our chair had hoped he'd talk about. I haven't gotten around to them yet, but I've got a few on my shelves that have been gathering dust for too long, so this is a reminder to me to get back to them sooner than later!
...a lot of them came from wealthy families, most of them just didn't have the life/work experience to be able to relate to the book
I mean, that's why we read, isn't it? To see the world through eyeballs other than our own? And I'm jealous you got to hear O'Nan.
>58 RidgewayGirl:, lol--theoretically, yes :) Tell that to a thousand 18-year-olds who've been required to be somewhere on a weeknight, though... I think the difference/annoyance was that a lot of folks familiar with his work felt he could have read from something else, and a lot of them might have been driven to read his books, whereas the bit he read didn't inspire enough/many of them to read more, as it could have. Read aloud is a lot different from reading for pleasure to yourself, too--not all books translate so well to air.
It was great to hear him and hang out with him, though :) My position as the one graduate student with any interest in creative writing often meant I got invited out for drinks with writers and faculty, which added a lot to my grad experience! I didn't understand a LOT of that night's conversation, it was so focused on baseball, but it was still fun!
Loving the O'Nan talk here - I am a fan. Last Night at the Lobster is my favorite so far, and I keep going back to it because it speaks to me. He has not disappointed me yet.
>60 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie, I've become a big fan of Mr. O'Nan, I have to look and see what else I have left to read of his.
>61 -Eva-: Hi Eva, I like Rose a lot, and yes the social worker was a wacko, she probably should have chosen a different profession.
In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner - I stalled on reading the Havers and Lynley series, not because they aren't good, they are, but just way too long. When I first discovered them I was reading them back to back then grew tired of them. I have many of these in my tbr, so I would like to progress a little further in the series this year. In this installment, Havers and Lynley are at odds because of her behavior in the previous book. She has been demoted and tries very hard to get back into his good graces. Two people are killed on the moors, and one of the victims was the daughter of one of Lynley's old colleagues. I liked that each officer had a different suspicion of who the murderer was.
Worthy Brown's Daughter was an unusual departure for Philip Margolin. Instead of his usual fare, this book centered around a lawyer who tries to help a former slave, Worthy, and his daughter Roxanne. A nice piece of historical fiction, that kept me engaged.
Negroland, for some reason, this book did not work for me. I did not find it to be a seamless read with a clunky beginning and facts that I found to be all over the place at times. Most people seemed to have loved it though.
A is for Alibi was a reread for me, as I was sad to learn of Ms. Grafton's passing in December. I decided to do a reread of this series this year to reacquaint myself with her earlier works. It's been several years since I read it, so it was nice to revisit with Kinsey.
I haven't been by thread in a while, I need to catch up!
Look for Me is the latest book in Lisa Gardner's D.D. Warren series. I always enjoy reading this author and look forward to her books when they are released. In this one, D.D. looks for a teenage girl whose entire family was murdered. Told in alternating pov's the reader isn't sure if the girl was the murderer or if someone else is, and if her life might be in danger. This book isn't for everyone, there's some disturbing detail about foster care system and school bullying.
I have been very absent from LT these days, I do read various threads, and I have been reading, but RL has me really tired these days. I don't know if work is taking its toll on me or what, but I haven't been able to post in the evenings or on weekends in ages. I think it might be because it takes me longer to get home these days.
I have been keeping busy with various house projects: you know how that goes, change one thing then another, and then trying to keep my grandchildren from destroying the house after I have things like I want them lol! My granddaughter is 7, and my grandson will be 3 in August, so I expect him to touch things but not her. Then there's my just turned 88 year old mother who prefers to live alone and sometimes "doesn't feel like answering the phone or checking messages" sigh. She's a delight, but she is exhausting :)
I keep saying that I will stay away from the newest library thriller of the month, but I am reading Then She Was Gone and I am enjoying it very much.
I hope to be around more in May!
Good to hear from you, Lisa. Family can be both the delight and irritation of one's life and sometimes the best way to deal is to simply disappear into the pages of a book!
>64 jonesli: Wow, you really are caught between the generations! My eighty-year-old father is enough work without adding young children to the mix (teenagers are blissfully able to survive on their own for short stretches). In my memory, slightly older children are even more chaotic than toddlers because they can reach more and they're so very curious. If it's any consolation, my house stays tidier now that my two have reached teenagerhood. So in ten years, things will stay where you put them!
>64 jonesli: I'm sure they all keep you busy! Good to see you checking in. I am trying to be better about that to, though I don't have your reasons, LOL
That's a lot on your plate! Sending you good reading vibes and hoping RL calms down for you in May.
Happy June everyone!
I just can't seem to get here to post like I used to, but it's nice to know I can always come back when time permits. Things have calmed down in RL somewhat, now it's a micromanaging boss that has me twitchy and thinking more and more about retirement. I have at least seven years to go, and I certainly don't want to wish my life away, but its nice to think about at least twice a week !
>65 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy, reading is one of the few things keeping me sane right now. At the moment I'm tearing through the Cork O'Connor series and enjoying them tremendously. I always like the storylines, although some are better than others. I think the scenic descriptions are soothing my nerve right now.
>66 RidgewayGirl: Hi Kay, I just hope I'm not getting cranky in my middle age lol! I think once kids are gone from home, you get used to things being a certain way.
>67 VictoriaPL: Hi Victoria, good to see you! Hope the books are treating you well. I think there's a Will Trent book in our future next month or August, but I will have to double check about that.
>78 Hi RP, yes I was getting stressed out, but had to learn to calm down, because I certainly don't want my BP spiking if I can help it!
I had a good reading month in May, I think the standout was probably Home Fire, as I did not see the ending coming at all.
Now I'm reading yet another Cork O' Connor Trickster's Point and the massive Sleeping Beauties. It's been a while since I read a Stephen King doorstopper.
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