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DeltaQueen's Year of Freedom - Part 8

2017 Category Challenge

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Nov 25, 2017, 10:00pm Top

Welcome to my eighth thread here at the 2017 Category Challenge. My name is Judy and I am a wife, mother and grandmother who lives in a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. As the year winds to a close, one can’t help but think of the upcoming festive season. We are going to try to keep our holidays pretty low key this year with family and friends, but I remember that as a child, one of the events that I looked forward to with high anticipation was the Ice Capades which often arrived during the holiday season. My sister and I would be taken, often by my grandparents, and we thought the show was glamorous and exciting. Because of my love of vintage posters and to commemorate this childhood memory, I have opened my thread with vintage posters from the Ice Capades.

Reading by category really fits my reading style and I have participated here for the last eight years and I am looking forward to my ninth year in 2018. My thread is up and I am already anticipating another great year of Cat Challenges, Group Reads and Book Bullets.

At the beginning of 2017, I anticipated reading 20 books for most of my categories and 12 for the remaining ones. I have fully completed that goal so my challenge is basically finished, but these categories work well with my reading choices so I will simply carry on until the years end. Please feel free to drop by and visit at any time, I am always ready to talk books or just life in general.

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 10:02pm Top

My 2017 Categories

Category 1: A to D - Authors Whose Last Name Begins with A, B, C, & D

Category 2: E to H - Authors Whose Last Name Begins with E, F, G, & H

Category 3: I to L - Author Whose Last Name Begins with I, J, K, L

Category 4: M - P - Authors Whose Last Name Begins with M, N, O, P

Category 5: Q to T - Authors Whose Last Name Begins with Q, R, S & T

Category 6: U to Z - Authors Whose Last Name Begins with U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Category 7: Re-reads

Category 8: Books That Have Been on My Library List for Too Long

Category 9: Non-Fiction Reads

Category 10: Extras - This category will most likely be for Graphic Novels

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 10:04pm Top


Books Read:

Pages Read:

Read From My Shelf:

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 10:04pm Top

How I Rate Books:

2.0 ★: I must have been dragged, kicking and screaming, to finish this one!

2.5 ★: Below Average but I finished the book for one reason or another.

3.0 ★: Average, a solid read that I finished but can't promise to remember

3.5 ★: Above Average, there's room for improvement but I liked this well enough to pick up another book by this author.

4.0 ★: A very good read and I enjoyed my time spent with this story

4.5 ★: An excellent read, a book I will remember and recommend

5.0 ★: Sheer perfection, the right book at the right time for me

Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 12:49pm Top

1. Authors Whose Last Name Starts With A - D

Books Read

1. Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd - 4.2 ★
2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery - 3.0 ★
3. The Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri - 4.0 ★
4. Talking To The Dead by Harry Bingham - 4.5 ★
5. Resist by Sarah Crossan - 2.5 ★
6. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers - 5.0 ★
7. The Dead by Ingrid Black - 3.5 ★
8. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick - 4.2 ★
9. True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey - 4.5 ★
10. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - 4.5 ★
11. The Killing Hour by Paul Cleave - 3.3 ★
12. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler - 4.0 ★
13. Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks - 4.5 ★
14. The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi - 4.0 ★
15. The Ghost Road by Pat Barker - 4.1 ★
16. Half A King by Joe Abercrombie - 4.0 ★
17. A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - 4.2 ★
18. Death of a Ghost by Margery Allingham - 4.0 ★
19. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo - 4.5 ★
20. Wenjack by Joseph Boyden - 4.2 ★
21. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - 4.1 ★
22. The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley - 4.3 ★
23. Incendiary by Chris Cleave - 4.5 ★
24. Endangered Species by Nevada Barr - 3.4 ★
25. Call Me Princess by Sara Blaedel - 3.8 ★
26. Skin and Bones by Tom Bale - 3.4 ★

Edited: Dec 25, 2017, 1:22pm Top

2. Authors Whose Last Name Starts With E - H

Books Read

1. Roanoke: The Lost Colony by Angela E. Hunt - 3.9 ★
2. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon - 4.5 ★
3. Silas Marner by George Eliot - 4.0 ★
4. Gone by Mo Hayder - 3.8 ★
5. Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood - 3.8 ★
6. The Circle by Sara Elfgren and Mats Strandberg - 4.1 ★
7. Eifelheim by Michael Flynn - 4.1 ★
8. The March Hare Murders by Elizabeth Ferrars - 3.2 ★
9. A Room With A View by E.M. Forster - 4.0 ★
10. The Z Murders by J. Jefferson Farjeon - 3.4 ★
11. And After by Sarah Lyons Fleming - 4.0 ★
12. Dog Boy by Eva Hornung - 5.0 ★
13. Surprises in Burracombe by Lilian Harry - 3.8 ★
14. Still Water by John Harvey - 3.7 ★
15. The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb - 4.5 ★
16. Blackout by Mira Grant - 4.1 ★
17. The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing - 3.0 ★
18. The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett - 4.0 ★
19. Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville - 4.1 ★
20. Troubles by J.G. Farrell - 4.3 ★
21. The Islands of the Blessed by Nancy Farmer - 3.6 ★
22. All the Stars in the Sky by Sarah Lyons Fleming - 4.3 ★
23. Best American Noir of the Century Edited by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler - 5.0 ★
24. Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth - 4.0 ★
25. Christmas at Hope Cottage by Lily Graham - 3.3 ★

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 2:47pm Top

3. Authors Whose Last Name Starts With I - L

Books Read

1. The Murder in Romney Marsh by Edgar Jepson - 3.9 ★
2. Solomon's Vineyard by Jonathan Latimer - 3.7 ★
3. Tickled Pink by Christina Jones - 3.6 ★
4. Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson - 4.5 ★
5. Butcher's Hill by Laura Lippman - 3.8 ★
6. Bullet For A Star by Stuart Kaminsky - 4.0 ★
7. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger - 4.5 ★
8. A Day Off by Storm Jameson - 4.0 ★
9. The Prey by Tom Isbell - 3.8 ★
10. Picnic At Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay - 3.7 ★
11. A Natural Woman by Carole King - 4.0 ★
12. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lundgren - 4.0 ★
13. Plan B by Sharon Lee - 4.2 ★
14. Bleed by Ed Kurtz - 2.5 ★
15. The Salt Road by Jane Johnson - 4.0 ★
16. The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes - 3.0 ★
17. Murder on the Yellow Brick Road by Stuart Kaminsky - 4.0 ★
18. Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine - 4.0 ★
19. Ophelia by Lisa Klein - 3.2 ★
20. The Buckskin Line by Elmer Kelton - 3.7 ★
21. The Grass Is Singing by Doris Lessing - 5.0 ★
22. In Darkness by Nick Lake - 3.6 ★
23. City Primeval by Elmore Leonard - 4.0 ★
24. News of the World by Paulette Jiles - 5.0 ★

Edited: Dec 23, 2017, 1:13pm Top

4. Authors Whose Last Name Starts With M - P

Books Read

1. Close to the Bone by Stuart MacBride - 3.8 ★
2. American Rust by Philipp Meyer - 4.3 ★
3. Burning for Revenge by John Marsden - 3.8 ★
4. Blue-Eyed Devil by Robert B. Parker - 4.0 ★
5. The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe - 4.6 ★
6. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard - 4.3 ★
7. The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi - 3.7 ★
8. Apple Tree Lean Down by Mary E. Pearce - 3.8 ★
9. The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry - 3.4 ★
10. The Blackhouse by Peter May - 4.3 ★
11. The Child in Time by Ian McEwan - 3.3 ★
12. The Coldest Night by Robert Olmstead - 3.7 ★
13. All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy - 4.5 ★
14. The Bees by Laline Paull - 4.5 ★
15. Cape Fear by John D. MacDonald - 4.1 ★
16. Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry - 2.8 ★
17. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka - 4.1 ★
18. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - 3.7 ★
19. Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran - 4.0 ★
20. Autumn: Purification by David Moody - 4.0 ★
21. The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield - 3.8 ★
22. Red Hill by Jamie McGuire - 3.0 ★
23. Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh - 3.7 ★
24. Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate - 4.2 ★
25. Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips - 4.1 ★

Edited: Dec 19, 2017, 8:16pm Top

5. Authors Whose Last Name Starts With Q - T

Books Read

1. Gunman's Chance by Luke Short - 3.5 ★
2. Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy Sayers - 3.8 ★
3. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Sparks - 4.0 ★
4. The New Rector by Rebecca Shaw - 4.0 ★
5. The Hunters by James Salter - 4.3 ★
6. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner - 3.7 ★
7. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout - 5.0 ★
8. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson - 4.2 ★
9. Dead Boys by Ariana Ramirez - 4.0 ★
10. Black Roses by Jane Thynne - 4.1 ★
11. Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber - 4.0 ★
12. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Set - 5.0 ★
13. A Tiding of Magpies by Pete Sutton - 4.2 ★
14. He Died With His Eyes Open by Derek Raymond - 3.4 ★
15. Algonquin Spring by Rick Revelle - 4.0 ★
16. The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson - 4.4 ★
17. The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor - 3.8 ★
18. Broken Jewel by David L. Robbins - 4.3 ★
19. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - 4.0 ★
20. The Blonde by Duane Swierczynski - 4.2 ★
21. The Rubber Band by Rex Stout - 3.8 ★
22. Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan - 4.2 ★
23. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn - 4.1 ★
24. Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen by Alix Shulman - 4.0 ★
25. The Chequer Board by Nevil Shute - 4.0 ★

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 12:03am Top

6. Authors Whose Last Name Starts With U - Z

Books Read

1. Rescuing Rose by Isabel Wolff - 2.8 ★
2. Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace - 4.0 ★
3. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward - 4.5 ★
4. The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine - 3.0 ★
5. Rebel Heart by Moira Young - 3.5 ★
6. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde - 4.0 ★
7. Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool - 4.2 ★
8. The Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton - 4.1 ★
9. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker - 3.8 ★
10. War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells - 3.7 ★
11. Monster Island by David Wellington - 3.6 ★
12. Raging Star by Moira Young - 3.6 ★
13. Criminal Damage by Margaret Yorke - 3.8 ★
14. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne - 3.5 ★
15. Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson - 4.0 ★
16. The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber - 4.2 ★
17. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson - 4.5 ★
18. Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf - 3.2 ★
19. Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese - 5.0 ★
20. Chocky by John Wyndham - 4.0 ★
21. The Girls At The Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine - 3.8 ★
22. Candide by Voltaire - 4.0 ★
23. The Forest Laird by Jack Whyte - 4.0 ★
24. The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells - 3.8 ★
25. As Good As Gone by Larry Watson - 4.2 ★
26. The Jaguar's Children by John Vaillant - 4.1 ★

Edited: Dec 17, 2017, 9:32pm Top

7. Re-Reads

Books Read

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - 5.0 ★
2. The Chronicles of Robin Hood by Rosemary Sutcliff - 4.2 ★
3. Little Men by Louisa Nay Alcott - 4.3 ★
4. The Hearth and Eagle by Anya Seton - 3.6 ★
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - 4.1 ★
6. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck - 4.1 ★
7. Above Suspicion by Helen MacInnes - 4.0 ★
8. Persuasion by Jane Austen - 4.0 ★
9. Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott - 3.5 ★
10. Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow - 3.8 ★
11. Shadow of the Moon by M. M. Kaye - 5.0 ★
12. Peril At End House by Agatha Christie - 4.0 ★
13. Lake of Darkness by Ruth Rendell - 3.8 ★
14. The Big Sky by A. B. Guthrie - 4.5 ★

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 8:13pm Top

8. My Long Library List

Books Read

1. Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede - 2.7 ★
2. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams - 4.2 ★
3. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai - 3.3 ★
4. The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark - 3.6 ★
5. Murder At Cape Three Points by Kwei Quartey - 3.7 ★
6. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan - 3.8 ★
7. The Walking Dead Volume 25: No Turning Back by Robert Kirkman - 4.0 ★
& The Walking Dead Volume 26: Call To Arms by Robert Kirkman - 4.2 ★
8. The Bungalow by Sarah Jio - 2.5 ★
9. Supermutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki - 4.0 ★
10. How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran - 4.1 ★
11. Equal Of The Sun by Anita Amirrezvani - 4.2 ★
12. Watchmen by Alan Moore - 4.5 ★
13. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd - 4.0 ★
14. Telex From Cuba by Rachel Kushner - 4.0 ★
15. Uprooted by Naomi Novik - 4.5 ★
16. Journey by Aaron Becker - 4.1 ★
17. The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths - 4.2 ★
18. The Wind Is Not A River by Brian Payton - 3.5 ★
19. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu - 3.7 ★
20. The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi - 4.5 ★
21. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad - 1.0 ★
22. This Dark Road To Mercy by Wiley Cash - 4.2 ★
23. Waiting For Joe by Sandra Birdsell - 3.4 ★
24. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson - 4.5 ★
25. The Boy On The Bridge by M. R. Carey - 4.2 ★
26. To The Bright Edge of The World by Eowyn Ivey - 4.1 ★

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 10:26pm Top

9. Non-Fiction Reads

Books Read

1. Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee - 3.8 ★
2. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach - 4.0 ★
3. In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson - 4.2 ★
4. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer - 3.8 ★
5. Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War by Helen Thorpe - 4.2 ★
6. The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel - 4.0 ★
7. Enter Helen by Brooke Hauser - 3.8 ★
8. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer - 4.0 ★
9. Five Days At Memorial by Sheri Fink - 4.0 ★
10. The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck - 4.3 ★
11. The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet - 4.2 ★
12. Wolf Boys by Dan Slater - 3.6 ★

Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 11:14pm Top

10. Extras

Books Read

1. Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold - 4.0 ★
2. Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley - 4.0 ★
3. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte - 3.5 ★
4. Firestorm by Nevada Barr - 3.7 ★
5. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes - 4.0 ★
6. Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas - 4.0 ★
7. The Building of Jalna by Mazo de la Roche - 3.8 ★
8. March: Book One by John Lewis - 5.0 ★
March: Book Two by John Lewis - 5.0 ★
March: Book Three by John Lewis - 5.0 ★
9. War Brothers by Sharon E. McKay - 4.0 ★
10. The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg - 4.2 ★
11. Fables Volume 19: Snow White by Bill Willingham - 4.1 ★
Fables Volume 20" Camelot by Bill Willingham - 4.3 ★
12. Secret Path by Gord Downie & Jeff Lemire - 5.0 ★
13. Upstate by Kalisha Buckhanon - 4.2 ★
14. An Unhallowed Grave by Kate Ellis - 3.7 ★
15. Nana by Emile Zola - 3.3 ★
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley - 4.0 ★
Jane, The Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt - 4.0 ★
16. The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie - 4.0 ★
17. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan - 3.8 ★
18. Fables, Vol 21: Happily Ever After by Bill Willingham - 4.0 ★
Fables, Vol. 22: Farewell by Bill Willingham - 4.3 ★
19. A Rage In Harlem by Chester Himes - 4.3 ★
20. War Story by Derek Robinson - 4.2 ★
21. Genesis by Bernard Beckett - 3.4 ★
22. A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas - 3.5 ★

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 10:31pm Top

I accidentally have left an extra space here so I will post another vintage picture of an ice show. I believe this one is for the Ice Follies:

Nov 25, 2017, 10:28pm Top

2017 Reading Plans

Although I am keeping things simple this year, I will be participating in a couple of group reads as well as hosting some of the challenges and I will keep track of such events here.

January: Hosting the January AwardsCat: The Costa Award & "Best of" Lists



April: Hosting the April SFFFKit: Dystopian/Apocalyptic
Hosting the April Reading Thru Time Theme
2nd Quarter Group Read of A Suitable Boy Begins

May: Hosting the May RandomCat


July: Hosting the July CultureCat - Violence, Crime & Justice


September: Hosting the September CatWoman: Children's Lit/YA and Graphic Novels




Nov 26, 2017, 12:43pm Top

Happy new one, Judy!!

Nov 26, 2017, 12:49pm Top

Thanks, Katie, I'm glad you found me!

Nov 26, 2017, 12:53pm Top

212. Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh - 3.7 ★
Category: M to P
TIOLI #12: Book Starts With The Word "I"

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh is not the sort of book to fit neatly into a genre, this is a dark, at times distasteful portrait of a woman who has a lot going on underneath her deliberately calm, unemotional exterior. The book is told through her own words and she doesn’t hold much back. She tells us that she hates just about everybody, and she also makes it very clear that this is a story about her breaking away from the bleak life she is living.

At 24, she is living with her alcoholic, verbally abusive father in a filthy, falling apart house. She doesn’t cook or clean or look after her father other than to control him by supplying him with liquor and hiding his shoes so he can’t wander about. She works in the office of a boys’ reformatory but she hates her co-workers and spends most of her time building fantasies about them. When a new, glamorous employee is hired, Eileen becomes focused on her and believing that a friendship with this woman will transform her life, instead she is drawn into something both dark and dangerous.

Eileen is not an easy read. The author however can write, her descriptions are evocative but Eileen’s world is both offensive and unpleasant. I felt like I needed a long shower after reading this book. It is in turns ugly and depressing but occasionally humorous and original. While for me, the thriller aspect of the story didn’t work, the character study of this unusual woman was superb.

Nov 26, 2017, 1:16pm Top

Happy new thread, Judy! You have had a lot of good reading this year. Love your old Ice Capades pictures!

Nov 26, 2017, 1:36pm Top

Lovely new thread, Judy! The Ice Capades pictures are fabulous!

>19 DeltaQueen50: I think I'll be skipping Eileen....Thanks for the review, though.

Nov 26, 2017, 2:47pm Top

Found you! Happy New Thread, Judy.

Nov 26, 2017, 7:24pm Top

Happy new thread, Judy. I just caught up with your news on the end of your old thread. How fantastic that you sold your house to a family who will appreciate it. That feels so much better, doesn't it? It's great that you can now relax and enjoy the season.

Nov 27, 2017, 6:41am Top

I love the Ice Capades pictures Judy.

Nov 27, 2017, 9:11am Top

Happy new thread, Judy!

Nov 27, 2017, 11:58am Top

Happy new thread, Judy! Wow, the Ice Capades. What a fun way to open up your December thread!

Nov 27, 2017, 2:05pm Top

Happy new thread, Judy! Beautiful pictures!

Nov 27, 2017, 4:01pm Top

>20 VivienneR: Hi Vivienne, I have had a great year of reading, I actually think that my bet with my brother about reading from the 1001 Books has introduced me to so many great reads. I know the big ice show nowadays is "Disney On Ice" but in it's day, Ice Capades ruled!

>21 Dejah_Thoris: Yeah, Eileen was certainly not a pleasant read, but I was impressed with the author's descriptive ability and how good she was at setting the atmosphere. I do love vintage artwork!

>22 ronincats: Hi Roni, I'm glad you found me as once again I forgot to use the "Continuation Link" when setting up my new thread!

>23 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. We feel like a load has been lifted off us now that the house has been sold. The inspection was yesterday and there were only a couple of minor issues so this morning we signed off on that waiver. If all goes according to plan the "Sold" sticker will go up later on today.

>24 Roro8: I love those pictures as well, Ro. I remember when going to the Ice Capades was the highlight of my year!

>25 MissWatson: Thanks, MissW.

>26 lkernagh: Lori, I vividly remember going to see the Ice Capades at the (then-called) Memorial Arena in downtown Victoria. A night of glamour and excitement for an eight year old.

>27 Chrischi_HH: Thanks, Christiane. :)

Nov 27, 2017, 5:26pm Top

>28 DeltaQueen50: I hope everything goes smoothy and your sign wears that "sold" sticker by the end of today, Judy.

Nov 27, 2017, 5:27pm Top

Happy New Thread! Those are some great pictures for your last thread of the year. You find some of the best pictures. I need to get going and post my thread for next year. Where does the time go?

Nov 29, 2017, 12:27pm Top

Yesterday the "Sold" sign went up and hubby and I, with a renewed interest in the apartment, went shopping. Our Christmas is going to be a very practical one with presents like a new, small freezer, an electric can opener, gift cards to Home Sense, Pier One Imports etc. Hopefully there will be a few books as well. ;)

>29 Familyhistorian: So far, so good, Meg. The sign is up, we have a photocopy of the holding cheque and things seem to be progressing well.

>30 dudes22: Betty, I am finding it hard to believe that we are entering the last month of 2017. It seems the older I get, the faster time flys by. I remember when I was a child and summer holidays seemed endless. Now two months can go by in a blink!

Nov 29, 2017, 12:39pm Top

213. Blue Monday by Nicci French - 4.1 ★
Category: E to H
TIOLI #14: A Day of the Week is in the Title or Author's Name

I have long been a fan of the husband and wife writing team that is known as Nicci French but up to now I have stuck to their stand-alone thrillers. I am excited to have now started their series about psychotherapist Frieda Klein. Blue Monday gets this series off to a stellar start. A dark, complicated story with a troubled, interesting main character and a gut wrenching plot about children made this book an intense read.

The book opens with a trip to the past, on a day in 1987 when a little girl called Rosie Vine and her younger sister, Joanna are on their way home from school. Rose is both resentful of having her younger sister trailing along behind her, and preoccupied with thoughts of their stop at the local sweet shop. Rosie gets to the shop first, but Joanna never arrives. She has vanished. Now some twenty two years later, another child has been taken in a similar manner. Dr. Frieda Klein is treating a troubled man and some of the things he says brings her to believe that he is somehow involved with the missing child. She feels she has no other choice but to report this to the police.

These authors excel at writing psychological thrillers. The words, plot and atmosphere are dark, haunting and suspenseful. There are a number of story-lines that are developed over the course of the book and not all have been resolved by the end so the reader is left wanting more. I get a sense that the authors are going to develop Frieda slowly. She is a solitary, prickly, difficult woman but she is starting to let some people into her life and I look forward to seeing how this group evolves over the course of the series and learning more about Frieda and her secrets.

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 1:48pm Top

>32 DeltaQueen50: Great review! I was saving this title for ColourCAT (May, I think) but you make it sound too enticing to wait for five months!

ETA: That black cover could make it work for January!!

Nov 29, 2017, 6:12pm Top

>33 VivienneR: Vivienne, this looks like it is going to be an excellent series. Roro8 gave me a nudge recently and although I didn't really want to start another series, I am glad I gave this one a try. That cover would for sure work for the January Black ColorCat!

Nov 29, 2017, 8:45pm Top

>32 DeltaQueen50: - Although Nicci French has been on my radar for a while, I only managed to read my first one this year. This sounds like a good series (not that I need another series either).

Nov 29, 2017, 9:35pm Top

>32 DeltaQueen50: I've been resisting new series but you got me with this one, Judy. Darn it!

The Sold sign means things are really getting real now! Happy shopping!

Nov 30, 2017, 12:11pm Top

Happy new thread Judy! Love the Ice Capades posters :)

I am glad to see you liked Blue Monday as I own the audiobook. I will have to remember to read it as part of the ColorCAT!

Nov 30, 2017, 2:30pm Top

>32 DeltaQueen50:, I'm so glad you read Blue Monday and rated it so highly Judy. The whole series is that good! I only have one to go. I get the feeling it will be the last one as it has Sunday in the title and it sounds like it will be a big grande finale.

Nov 30, 2017, 8:26pm Top

I am absolutely drained as I went Christmas shopping for most of the day with my youngest daughter. Shopping always exhausts me but I did get a fair amount done which is good. I got home to find my grandchildren here. They came over the help their grandpa bring all the Christmas stuff out from the crawlspace, so I was very happy that I didn't have to get involved with that! I guess the plan is to decorate over the weekend. He also got the Christmas lights up outside and bought a lovely wreath for the door.

>35 dudes22: I wasn't keen to start another series either, Betty, as I feel like I have neglected many of the series that I do follow this year. But I know and like this author so I just couldn't wait, of course, the fact that the title worked well for one of the TIOLI challenges didn't hurt either!

>36 rosalita: Oh, I think you will like this one, Julia. I really liked how both the story unfolded and the characters were introduced in this series. The main story was pretty much completed so the reader isn't left totally hanging which I was happy about, but enough has been left unfinished that I am eager to pick up the next book.

>37 leslie.98: Hi Leslie, and welcome. Oh, I think you are for a treat when you get around to Blue Monday!

>38 Roro8: I am totally hooked on the series, Ro, so thanks for that nudge! I read somewhere that they have planned for the series to have a distinct beginning and a distinct ending, and that many storylines will arc over more than one book, and that, Freida's secrets will be slowly revealed over the course of the series.

Nov 30, 2017, 11:06pm Top

Hi, Judy! Catching up after being AWOL for most of November. I've seen good reviews on various Nicci French novels/series but haven't gotten around to checking them out yet. Sounds like Blue Monday is a good place to start. Hope you recover quickly from your Christmas shopping!

Dec 1, 2017, 10:04am Top

Good morning, Judy! I've caught up on your thread and was so excited to see that you sold your house! How exciting for you to be able to focus on your new home while still being able to spend Christmas in your original home!

Dec 1, 2017, 3:36pm Top

Oh! I missed the part about your selling your house! Wonderful news! Congrats!

Dec 1, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>39 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! I hope you're recovering from your Christmas shopping and that the decorating is going well.

Dec 1, 2017, 8:16pm Top

Well, my hubby and I were out shopping most of today so once again I am exhausted! We went to get the small freezer that we can fit in the laundry room at the apartment. Of course the first store we went to was sold out of this 3.3 cubic foot size, so then we have do shop around and finally found one. And with our luck they didn't have a model in the store so we had to go to their warehouse and pick it up. Luckily the warehouse was sort-of on our way home so we didn't have to go too far our of our way. We have now installed it in the apartment and are very pleased with ourselves. The rest of the evening I am planning on doing nothing other than catching up on LT and vegging out in front of the TV!

>40 Storeetllr: & 41 Hi Diane, yes, we are looking forward to this Christmas with the family here in the house that our girls grew up in. We are trying not to do too much about moving until after Christmas, but we are eager to get the move finalized.

>43 Dejah_Thoris: Hi Dejah, I am a glutton for punishment as there I was again out shopping today! I don't enjoy the shopping part of Christmas, but once I can get it finished, then I can relax and enjoy the rest of the holidays. The decorating is going well, especially as I haven't actually had to do anything yet. My husband seems to be very much into getting the house done up and I am more than ready to step back and let him get at it!

Dec 1, 2017, 10:05pm Top

>44 DeltaQueen50: - Congratulations on the new freezer purchase, even if it was more of a hassle that one typically wants to go through. At least, that is now off your "To DO" list!

Dec 1, 2017, 11:01pm Top

>45 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori. We're getting there with our downsizing. :)

Dec 2, 2017, 2:00am Top

Shopping two days in a row - no wonder you are tired, Judy. It will be nice to get the apartment set up the way you want it.

Dec 3, 2017, 2:30pm Top

>47 Familyhistorian: Meg, I am looking forward to having everything done so we can just relax back into our lazy lifestyle!

Dec 3, 2017, 2:59pm Top

214. News of the World by Paulette Jiles - 5.0 ★
Category: I to L
December CatWoman: Modern Literature
December AlphaKit: "J"
TIOLI #12: Author's Name Has At Least 2 Consecutive Alphabetical Letters

News of the World by Paulette Jiles turned out to be a perfect read for me. I had previously read a book by this author so I knew that it would be beautifully written, but it also turned out that the story-line was one that truly spoke to me and carried me away to a different place and time.

This is a story of two unlikely companions bonding and growing together as they travel through Texas in 1870. One is an older man, Captain Kidd, a man who has already lived a very full life and now travels and reads various newspapers to the settlers living on this vast frontier. The other, is a young girl of 10 years, Johanna, who has been bought back from the Kiowa who took her four years ago. The Captain has been entrusted to take her back to her relatives who live in Southern Texas. Johanna is a reluctant traveller, she has become a Kiowa and has no desire to be returned to the white world. The Captain is an honorable man and he accepts that he has been chosen for this difficult mission, while the little girl puzzles over her fate, her language and her strong feelings that develop for her “Kep-dun”. Together they travel towards an unknown future and learn to totally trust one another.

This is a touching story that the author manages to keep from becoming overly sentimental. Her facts and research about children that were taken by Indians and then returned are accurate and interesting. Ultimately, News of the World is a story about the joys of freedom and the spiritual bonding that love and trust can bring. The author has delivered a first class story where each word fits perfectly into the next, creating a powerful and moving narrative.

Dec 3, 2017, 3:55pm Top

Nice review of News of the World. It's been on my radar for months. Not sure why I keep forgetting to pick it up as everyone I know who has read it loves it.

Dec 3, 2017, 5:52pm Top

>49 DeltaQueen50: - Wonderful review, Judy! I loved that one, too.

Dec 3, 2017, 11:05pm Top

>49 DeltaQueen50: Based on your review, I've requested News of the World from my library. I'll try to join you in a shared read! Thumbs up for your review.

Dec 4, 2017, 2:43am Top

>48 DeltaQueen50: we can just relax back into our lazy lifestyle!. That sounds wonderful, Judy. Hope you are able to get to the relaxing stage soon.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 4:30pm Top

>50 Storeetllr: It's an excellent story, Mary, and then to top it off, Pauline Jiles writes beautifully. She is also a poet and it certainly shows in her writing.

>51 katiekrug: Hi Katie, I've come to love Paulette Jiles and her stories. My only complaint is that she doesn't write faster!

>52 Dejah_Thoris: Excellent, Dejah! I am sure you will love it. :)

>53 Familyhistorian: Me too, Meg, as lazy is what I do best! ;)

Dec 4, 2017, 3:57pm Top

>54 DeltaQueen50: That sounds good, Judy. I am much better at busy and will have to practice being lazy.

Dec 4, 2017, 8:11pm Top

>55 Familyhistorian: I know that it can be difficult when one is first retired. We all seem to be hardwired to be productive but after a lifetime of working, it's great to be able to simply do nothing some days.

Dec 4, 2017, 8:19pm Top

215. As Good As Gone by Larry Watson - 4.2 ★
Category: U to Z
TIOLI #12: Author's Name Has At Least 2 Consecutive Alphabetical Letters

As Good As Gone by Larry Watson is another one of his rich stories about family, trust and reliability told in his resolute yet touching style that produces a powerful and heart felt story. Watson returns to his familiar territory of small town, Montana sets his tale in the early 1960’s.

By 1963 Calvin Sidey has spent a lifetime of leaving. He left his own parents to strike out on his own, he left America to go to war and he abandoned both his sobriety and his family after his wife’s death, he is most comfortable when alone, but when his estranged son, David, requests that he come and stay with his kids while he travels with his wife across Montana for her to have a hysterectomy, he agrees to return to the small town and oversee his two grandchildren. Sidey has his own way of dealing with things and it’s an old fashioned, hard core way of fists and threats so it isn’t too long before the atmosphere is one of tension and menace. Whether he is dealing with a neighbour’s wandering dog, his granddaughter’s abusive boyfriend or a derelict tenant of his son, Calvin acts from his gut. Calvin receives comfort from a neighbour, Beverly, but she can see that this is a man who is always ready to run and she shouldn’t plan on a long term relationship.

I enjoyed this novel very much as each family member had their own challenges and conflicts to deal with. In another era Calvin would have been a western hero, but his ways are not meant for modern times. With As Good As Gone, Watson has produced another book that helps define family loyalty and connections, through a story that is both suspenseful and dramatic.

Dec 5, 2017, 6:33am Top

>57 DeltaQueen50: I do like Larry Watson but I haven’t read that one yet, Judy. Sounds good!

Dec 5, 2017, 10:00pm Top

I love your ice-show pictures! I'm a figure-skating fan myself and though I've never been to the Ice Capades, I had seen Stars on Ice several times, featuring the incomparable Kurt Browning.

>49 DeltaQueen50: Taking a BB for News of the World.

Dec 6, 2017, 12:00am Top

>58 rosalita: Although this wasn't as good a read as Let Him Go was for me, Julia, it is still an excellent read so you have a good one waiting for you.

>59 mathgirl40: I don't even know if the Ice Capades still exist. Way back when they were the major travelling ice show but times change and I don't recall seeing anything about the Ice Capades for a long time. I am sure you will enjoy News of the World, Paulina.

Dec 6, 2017, 12:09am Top

216. The Jaguar's Children by John Vaillant - 4.1 ★
Category: U to Z
December CultureCat: Immigration
December RandomCat: Completed in 1 Day
TIOLI #12: Author's Name Contains At Least 2 Consecutive Alphabetical Letters

The Jaguar’s Children by John Vaillant is a literary thriller whose intense story grabs the reader immediately. Hector, a young Mexican is fleeing his homeland in the hope of a better life in America. He and his friend Cesar have paid the smugglers or “coyotes” for space inside a sealed water tanker truck.

Sitting in the damp, pitch black truck is terrible, but they console themselves that it will only be for a few hours. But something goes terribly wrong and the people in the truck are abandoned in the desert, totally sealed in the dark truck and left to die. When the truck came to an abrupt stop, Cesar was injured and lies dying from a head injury, while Hector, tries to contact help on a cell phone, but with little hope that his messages will reach anyone. While Hector tries to remain positive, he thinks back over his life and how he came to be in this horrible situation. But slowly he is losing his will to survive and hope is fading quickly.

This book brings the voice of a dying boy, trapped in an unbearable situation to life. These people are trying to come north in the hope for a future as there is no future where they originated. What they have found: suffocation, intense thirst, unbearable high temperatures during the day and frigid conditions at night pushes any moral complexity the reader may have about the issue of illegal immigrants aside. These are fellow humans suffering a terrible fate. What makes this novel all the more terrifying is that it is based on a true story of a situation much like this one that occured outside Victoria, Texas in 2003. A difficult read, but one that is very current with the conditions that exist in the world today.

Dec 6, 2017, 9:42am Top

Good review, Judy. I still think about that book.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 9:52am Top

Happy new one, Judy! Your toppers are taking me back - my mom used to take my sisters and I to Holiday on Ice every year - it was a big treat, and we loved going. We could never afford any of the concessions, so my mom would load up her purse with goodies - it was like she had Mary Poppin's carpet bag.

>61 DeltaQueen50: Very nice review - luckily, Katie already hit me with that one.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 10:37am Top

>49 DeltaQueen50: I'm taking a BB for News of the World, too.

Dec 6, 2017, 10:46am Top

>49 DeltaQueen50: I really enjoyed News of the World, Judy. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Dec 6, 2017, 10:31pm Top

>62 katiekrug: Katie, I suspect that The Jaguar's Children will be a read that often comes back t haunt me.

>63 Crazymamie: Mamie, that reminds me of how my family often went to the Drive-In Movie but we would never go to the concession stand, my Mom would pack sandwiches, cookies and lemonade instead. I was fine with that but I do remember being so happy when I got old enough not to have to wear my PJ's there.

>64 Chrischi_HH: Enjoy News of the World when you get to it, Christiane!

>65 Dejah_Thoris: I loved that story, Dejah. I have it all keyed up and ready for my husband to start when he finishes his current read. :)

Edited: Dec 8, 2017, 2:16pm Top

217. The Boy On The Bridge by M. R. Carey - 4.2 ★
Category: My Long Library List
TIOLI #1: The Word "The" Appears At Least Twice in the Title

The Boy On The Bridge by M. R. Carey is a prequel of sorts to The Girl With All the Gifts and is set in the same post apocalyptic world and features the armored mobile science lab, the Rosalind Franklin, that played such a major part in the first book. This story follows a combined military and scientific expedition ten years after the original outbreak. These people are driving the length of Britain, collecting samples with the objective of finding a cure for the fungal disease that has overcome the world.

The author repeats his theme of humans being their own worst enemy, and there are too many agendas in play here for this expedition to have a successful ending. From glory seekers to political power plays this crew doesn’t stand a chance. There is one crew member however, a fifteen year old boy prodigy who sees more and understands more than the rest of the group.

Once again, Carey has written a compelling story that explores the imploding of civilization but still assures us that there is some kind of future for mankind, and I found it as thrilling as The Girl With All The Gifts. The Boy On The Bridge is an excellent companion read to The Girl With the Gifts.

Dec 7, 2017, 8:11pm Top

I haven't been on LT for a few days, but I'm thinking I'll be taking a BB for News of the World too.

Dec 8, 2017, 5:47am Top

>67 DeltaQueen50: Glad to see you enjoy this one. It's certainly one I'll e getting to myself at some point. Just a heads-up though that Fellside is just a stand-alone story that doesn't fit in with this duology as far as I know.

Dec 8, 2017, 2:12pm Top

>68 dudes22: Hi Betty, I am sure you will enjoy News of the World when you get to it.

>69 AHS-Wolfy: Thanks for the "heads-up", Dave. I best edit my review as I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking Fellside is part his zombie world!

Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 12:01pm Top

218. To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey - 4.1 ★
Category: My Long Library List
December CatWoman: Modern Literature
TIOLI #1: The Word "The" Appears At Least Twice in the Title

Although they share the same setting of Alaska, To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey is very different from her first book, The Snow Child. This second book tells the story of a husband and wife, separated by circumstances yet both describing their new experiences in the form of journal entries. The story is further enhanced by other letters, newspaper articles and photographs that gives this tale a cohesiveness and brings the reader a true sense of learning more about the history of Alaska.

The author has replaced the charm and lightness of The Snow Child with a more adventurous story of discovery and survival, as Col. Allen Forrester leads a small expedition up the unexplored Wolverine River into the heart of Alaska. He leaves behind his pregnant wife, Sophie, who chafes under the restrictions of being female when she also longs to out in the frontier. She takes up the new art of photography which opens up a whole new world of nature for her to explore. Ivey hasn’t totally abandoned the magical qualities that she sprinkles throughout her writing but in this book she uses Indian folklore and mythical legends to bring that unexpected wonder to the story.

To The Bright Edge of the World is a great adventure story with a compelling plot and a fantastic setting that the author delivers with exceptional writing skill. This is an epic story that captures the big picture with it’s sweeping vistas yet also hones in on the small details that makes this book also a touching love story.

Dec 10, 2017, 12:20pm Top

Thanks for all the links in one place Judy!

Dec 10, 2017, 6:33pm Top

>71 DeltaQueen50: - Not quite a BB for me as I had already heard about this from ? maybe Kay? I'm looking forward to reading it. We're going away in Jan for a couple of weeks and this might be just the thing to take with me.

Dec 11, 2017, 2:25am Top

>72 DeltaQueen50: Thank you, Judy! I thought I'd already posted a thank you in a thread but don't see it anywhere - there are so many threads about the wikis.

Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 5:38pm Top

>73 leslie.98: You are welcome, Leslie, I didn't want to post them to their appropriate thread until I knew for sure they worked. I see that Eva has now corrected the main page so the links there are to the secure wikis.

>74 dudes22: Betty, I really liked On the Bright Edge of The World as I have a soft spot for books about survival, but it took me awhile to accept that this was a very different book from her first.

>75 VivienneR: You're welcome, Vivienne. I think all the links on the main page have been fixed now so we are back in business. I really missed the Wikis!

Dec 11, 2017, 5:49pm Top

219 Genesis by Bernard Beckett - 3.4 ★
Category: Extras
December Award Cat: International Awards - 2008 New Zealand Book Awards, Best YA Novel
TIOLI #9: A One Word Title

Genesis by New Zealand author, Bernard Beckett, is a dystopian vision of a future Earth that has been greatly changed by environmental catastrophes. The story is told by Anax, a female student who wants to enter an exclusive Academy in order to improve her position in this rigid society. She is being tested with a four hour oral examination of her chosen subject, which is the life of Adam Forde whose actions in the past brought about changes to this society.

Apparently the planet was overwhelmed by war, terrorism and global dust storms during the 2050s but some survivors managed to create an island nation that they surrounded by a sea fence that no one was allowed to penetrate. Anyone seeking refuge there was immediately shot. Adam Forde became the crack in the system when he allowed a young girl to cross the barrier. Anax is tested by three examiners and during this question and answer session, the story of how soldier, Adam broke the rules and so was put on trial before his planned execution but he caught the attention and sympathy of the general public and his sentence became instead of death, isolation. He was housed with a new proto-type AI robot, the plan being that interaction between the robot and the human would improve the robot’s sensitivity towards humans. What this story really is however, is a thinly disguised, philosophical statement about the consequences of environmental neglect.

Although an original way of story-telling, for me, Genesis made global disaster more of a classroom concept than a realistic story. The author’s word of warning is all too true but I felt this novel needed more heart added to the story to make the readers actually care about what they are reading about. Even the twist at the end did not enliven this short book that is more about ideas and debates more than action or emotion.

Dec 11, 2017, 6:18pm Top

>76 DeltaQueen50: - I had heard that it was different from her first book somewhere else here.

>77 DeltaQueen50: - Your review piqued my interest at the beginning, but the last paragraph has convinced me to pass.

Dec 11, 2017, 6:30pm Top

>78 dudes22: When I started Genesis I kept thinking that what I was reading was the preface and that the story would soon start - but it didn't! It's very clever but cold.

Dec 13, 2017, 11:10pm Top

Well another day of shopping and I got very little to show for it. As my grandkids get older they are getting very difficult to buy for. I don't know the right brand names or the stores that they prefer so have to rely on their mom to help me and she's a little lacking in the Christmas spirit this year as her husband's brother has been given days before he succumbs to cancer. I did get a gift certificate for my granddaughter at the Equestrian store as right now she lives and breathes horses. I think we will get a gas gift certificate for my grandson as he's 18 and always needing gas to go somewhere. Hubby and I will have to go and get a couple more gift certificates for them at the local mall, then I will just have to finish off their mom and dad. I think the time to hand everyone a card that has some money in it is fast approaching!

Tomorrow is grocery shopping and cleaning and hopefully some reading time as my books are getting a little neglected these days.

Dec 14, 2017, 12:39am Top

That sounds a particularly heavy Christmas for brother-in-law and his immediate family. Ouch....

I almost always persist too long in giving things instead of money, so I am working on giving money earlier. It just seems to indicate such limited awareness of what would really be a great fit... $X gets passed around and nothing changes in the long run. But then I have to remind myself that it is exactly what is wanted, and so cash is a perfect gift, because the point is to bring a smile to the recipient. And that makes it a lot better. Just an awkward tradition for me, though.

Dec 14, 2017, 5:06pm Top

>81 pammab: It's very sad, between Christmas and New Years last year, the eldest of the three brothers passed away from cancer and now, at the same time of the year, the youngest of the three is going. This will leave my daughter's husband and his sister left of the original 4 siblings. None of the boys have (had) reached 50 yet.

I'm the same about giving money. My side of the family decided a number of years ago to pack up the present giving as it was getting to the stage of each of us giving a gift certificate to the others and then receiving the same amount back from them.

Dec 14, 2017, 7:47pm Top

Losing someone close is always hard and particularly at the holidays I think because the holidays contain some of our closest and dearest memories.

I agree that it gets harder as they grow older to know what to give kids/grandkids. I like to have at least one gift or two that they can open (and I do a stocking of little stuff for them). I have a few standards that I do every year - a gift card for dinner somewhere is a favorite of mine. My side of the family gave up gifts among adults years ago and now we get together and only the little kids ( great-nieces and -nephews) get gifts.

Dec 15, 2017, 1:47am Top

>83 dudes22: Very true, Betty. Christmas is such a family time, and it's going to be a very difficult one for our son-in-law but he and our daughter are determined that the kids will have a good Christmas. My husband and I our heading out tomorrow and hopefully will finish up our Xmas shopping.

Edited: Dec 15, 2017, 1:58am Top

220. The Lake of Darkness by Ruth Rendell - 3.8 ★
Category: Re-Reads
December AlphaKit: "R"
TIOLI #3: Title is a Quotation or a Play on a Quotation

Ruth Rendell was once a favorite author of mine but I have found that her writing and plots in her later books became a little stodgy and judgmental. With this read, I went back to one of her earlier books, The Lake of Darkness, to see it still had that dark edge that I enjoyed in her writing. I am happy to report that, for the most part, it did.

This author excels in interlocking plots where the reader can see that a collusion is inevitable but the fun is in the getting there. While the characters in The Lake of Darkness are a fairly unlikable crew, the story grabs hold and a revenge plot is slowly revealed. Tim feels that the priggish accountant, Martin, would not have had his big win in the football pools without his help but Martin has decided not to tell Tim of the win. Martin does try to give a large chunk of his money to needy people, but this does not always go smoothly and one of his charity cases brings the psychotic serial killer, Finn, into the mix.

I found The Lake of Darkness an entertaining thriller that started slowly but built a lot of momentum as the story escalated. The writing is good, the dialogue hits all the right notes and as the story originated in 1980, the setting of 1980’s London and it’s housing problems is interesting. I would certainly recommend that if one is interested in reading this author, that they start with one of her earlier books rather than the ones that were published later.

Dec 15, 2017, 2:44am Top

Good luck on finishing up your Christmas shopping, Judy.

Dec 15, 2017, 1:11pm Top

>82 DeltaQueen50: I am so sorry to hear about your son-in-law's family. My heart goes out to them and you too Judy.

Dec 15, 2017, 3:52pm Top

>80 DeltaQueen50: I think a card with cash sounds lovely. It is such a treat to have money that isn't earmarked for something else.

I have so few relatives that Christmas shopping is easy but why does every sales clerk ask me how it is going? If I say I'm finished they are shocked and I have to explain. Then they feel sorry for me, thinking I'm going to have a lonely, cold, hungry, Santa-less Christmas. Instead my son, daughter-in-law, husband and I buy each other lots of presents so actually we have a mountain of gifts under the tree.

Dec 15, 2017, 4:48pm Top

I am happy to report that we are virtually finished with our Christmas shopping. My husband still has to pick up a couple of things but I am done. This weekend is going to be dedicated to cleaning the house and the apartment. My brother and two nephews are coming over early next week for a hockey game and we are putting them up at the apartment. Next week will be for wrapping, a little baking and to relax and start to enjoy the holiday season. I will be heading over to Vancouver Island on the day after Christmas and when I get back on January 3rd, we will get underway with the packing and making arrangements for the move.

>86 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I feel much better now that the shopping part is done.

>87 leslie.98: Thanks, Leslie. It's a difficult time and other than being there for them, there isn't much anyone can do, which makes it all the harder on my son-in-law as he is the type to jump in and do things, fix things etc. and, unfortunately, there isn't anything for him to do.

>88 VivienneR: I like getting cash and I know the kids like getting some spending money as well. I look at the grandkids today and can't believe how grown up they've become. It feels as if it happened overnight!

Dec 15, 2017, 5:00pm Top

221. Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth - 4.0 ★
Category: E to H
December Reading Through Time: Fractured Fairy Tales
December CatWoman: Modern Literature
TIOLI #2: A Book With A Word in the Title to Describe My Feelings About Losing the Wiki

With Bitter Greens, author Kate Forsyth blends historical fact and fiction together by mixing the Grimm Brothers fairy-tale of Rapunzel with that of a woman who is a French novelist. Even being a cousin of Louis XIV doesn’t keep Charlotte Rose de la Force from being banished from court and locked away from the world in a convent when she displeases the Sun King. Charlotte-Rose has a difficult time adjusting to this new life of prayers, punishments and isolation but an older, sympathetic nun relates to her the story of Margherita, a young woman of Venice who is taken by the witch called Le Strega Bella and is locked away in an inaccessible tower.

This story delves into all three of these women, telling of their loves and lives and by combining elements of fantasy with historical fact creates a story that is wide in scope yet draws the reader in with her fresh look at an old tale. The main characters that the author has created are complex and interesting women but the one reality that came through loud and clear in each of the women’s stories is that historically women were at the mercy of men.

I found Bitter Greens to be both unique and engaging, although a little too long and occasionally it was bogged down with excessive detail. Three women, three stories, two distinct settings – Venice in the 15th century and France in the 17th century made for an ambitious novel that mostly works.

Edited: Dec 17, 2017, 9:39pm Top

222. The Big Sky by A. B. Guthrie - 4.5 ★
Category: Re-Reads
TIOLI #5: A New York Times Bestseller - 1947

Originally published in 1947, The Big Sky by A. B. Guthrie is the first in a limited series that the author wrote about the taming of western America. This first book deals with the mountain man, a unique breed that were the first white men to come to the western mountains trapping beaver and staying to live the free lifestyle. The story follows the life of Boone Cauldill who starts off as a young runaway from a farm in Kentucky and grows to be a weathered, veteran mountain man, wise in the ways of both the country and the Indians that reside there.

Spanning the years of 1830 to 1843, the book is full of the adventures of Boone, his friend Jim Deacon and their mentor Dick Summers. Boone grows to admire Summers a great deal but although Summers can see that this way of life is ending, Boone has no desire to be anything but a trapper and hunter. He dismisses any idea that the country could change and that settlers will come. Although one can’t help but root for him, Boon Caldill is far from perfect. Much like the father that he ran away from, he is hot tempered and stubborn. He never learned how to express his feelings and he tends to act without thinking about the consequences.

The Big Sky is an epic adventure novel, set in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, an area that the author knew well and obviously loved. This is a skillful depiction of how the west was able to capture the hearts of these independent men whose time was so colorful yet short-lived. While not setting out to romanticize these men, nevertheless, reading of them makes one yearn to experience that lifestyle, if only for a short time. Beautifully written and full of lyrical descriptions, The Big Sky recreates the savagery and splendor of the then untouched frontier.

Dec 18, 2017, 4:25pm Top

>91 DeltaQueen50: I have seen the Howard Hawks movie "The Big Sky" (starring Kirk Douglas) which from the sound of your review must have been based on that book. Not my favorite western but perhaps I would like the book better...

Dec 18, 2017, 5:58pm Top

Hi, Judy! Thanks for stopping by my thread for a visit. It sounds like you are going to be pretty busy for the rest of the year, so I'll just take a moment now to say Happy Holidays, safe travels, and happy moving day! Thank you for helping to make LT my favorite online community, my friend.

Dec 18, 2017, 10:41pm Top

>92 leslie.98: I have seen the film as well, Leslie, and, if I remember correctly, the film is based on only a small part of the story. I would love to see it redone as a TV mini-series as there is a lot of story and many characters to cover.

>93 rosalita: Happy Holidays, Julia. I'll track down your 2018 thread in the New Year. :)

Dec 18, 2017, 10:44pm Top

223. Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate - 4.2 ★
Category: M to P
TIOLI #6: Book Has A Connection to the Number 12

Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate is a courtroom crime classic that was originally published in 1940 and now has been re-issued as a British Library Crime Classic. I have a confession to make in that I don’t usually like courtroom drama but I have to say, this book kept me glued to the pages from start to finish.

In the beginning we are introduced to the varied members of the jury and given a short history about each of them. This personality sketch comes in handy when the jury is in deliberation and each juror’s personality plays a part in whether or not they think the defendant is guilty. The mystery itself is intriguing and I was interested to see how this would play out as there really was a significant doubt as to what actually happened.

This is a story of human behavior and the nature of justice. It is rather frightening how much of this jury’s opinion was formed by the appearance of the defendant and the various witnesses. Their own position in society seems to determine whether or not they would vote guilty. Verdict of Twelve is original, clever and I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

Dec 19, 2017, 12:32am Top

Hi, Judy. I'm confident you will get everything done and have a great final Christmas in your house. When do you make the final move to your apartment?

Dec 19, 2017, 2:05pm Top

>95 DeltaQueen50: After I read one of the other Raymond Postgate books in the past few months, I picked up a copy of Verdict of Twelve.

I'm looking forward to something original and clever.

Dec 19, 2017, 2:59pm Top

Our heavy rain turned to snow this morning and before too long it was sticking to the ground. I had to go out to the grocery store and it was crazy. The roads are very slippery and everyone seemed to be fishtailing about. It was so slippery that I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to walk from the car into the store. When I came out, my car was covered in snow. I am not at home and don't have to go out until later on this afternoon. It does seem to be easing off. It does looks gorgeous outside with the heavy, wet snow sticking to everything, but I will be happy if it turns back to rain and washes away.

>96 ronincats: Hi Roni, the buyers have asked for us to move the possession date up a week so it now looks like we will be moving in the first week of February. We have a couple of moving companies coming over on January 4th to give us an estimate.

>95 DeltaQueen50: I think you will enjoy Verdict of Twelve, Linda.

Dec 19, 2017, 4:17pm Top

Sounds like your Christmas prep is about done and all that's left is the enjoyment! Yay!

My sis and her girls have decided not to celebrate a family Christmas this year, so I'm off the hook with gifts. I did send a little something to my daughter and her s.o. (little rechargeable lights that go in wine bottles and are just enchanting) and a gift card for her. My nieces two kids were both born on January, so I think we are going to celebrate their birthdays with a big holiday/birthday party in the new year. I'll splurge on gifts for them then.

Hope you and DeltaKing have a wonderful Christmas holiday, that the snow goes away except maybe just a dusting on Christmas Eve, and that the packing up and moving to your new place in the new year is smooth and stress-free.

Dec 19, 2017, 6:30pm Top

>98 DeltaQueen50: It's still falling as heavy snow here in the interior with a drop in temperature on the way. At last we'll be able to play with the snow blower we bought this year!

I've seen a number of driving school cars out today, no doubt giving winter driving courses.

>95 DeltaQueen50: You've managed to hit me with another BB before year end!

Dec 19, 2017, 8:11pm Top

>100 VivienneR: It stopped here but is quite mushy outside. It will probably freeze tonight but hopefully the predicted sunshine comes tomorrow and melts it all away! I really enjoyed Verdict of Twelve and can't believe that I had never heard of this author until I read about him on Linda Panzo's thread recently.

Dec 19, 2017, 8:23pm Top

224. The Chequer Board by Nevil Shute - 4.0 ★
Category: Q to T
TIOLI #5: From the New York Times Bestseller List

The Chequer Board by Nevile Shute is another fine example of this author’s work. This is a multi-part story telling of the experience of John Taylor, whom the doctors have given just one year to live due to injuries that he sustained in a wartime plane crash. Turner decides to use his remaining time to trace three men that he got to know while recovering in the hospital.

Turner and two others were under guard while in hospital as all had been charged with crimes. Turner served some time in military prison for stealing supplies from the army and selling the supplies at a profit. Corporal Duggie Brent was under a murder charge as this British Commando killed a man during a bar fight, and Pfc Dave Lesurier, a black American servicemen, had tried to kill himself after he had been accused of trying to rape a young English girl. The third man, Flying Officer Philip Morgan, who had displayed a certain amount of racism, had relocated to Burma, and had matured and learned to be much more tolerant of race issues. The outcome of Turner’s search lead to a few surprises as the lives of these men was much different than what Turner had expected.

I found this an interesting story, perhaps a little too idealistic and simplified, but Shute is at his best when writing of the average man and his story-telling skills are put to good use here. The parts that dealt with the question of racism was handled well and he obviously had a great deal of sympathy for the black American servicemen and the tensions that surrounded them. One word of warning in that the word N ----- was used frequently, but fit with the story as this term was commonly used in the late 1940’s . The Chequer Board is a heart-warming morality tale of second chances and is a great read for anyone who needs their faith in their fellow man restored.

Dec 20, 2017, 12:36am Top

Dec 20, 2017, 2:24am Top

>101 DeltaQueen50: It would be nice if the sunshine melts the snow away, Judy, but they are predicting low temperatures as well. Our snow didn't start until about noon but I went downtown and Vancouver had more snow on their sidewalks than there was here. I took the Skytrain back through New West and saw that they had police cars blocking some of the steeper hills.

Dec 20, 2017, 10:26am Top

>95 DeltaQueen50: >102 DeltaQueen50: You got me with both of these, Judy. I had already requested Verdict of Twelve (it sounds like a nice companion piece to the play Twelve Angry Men, and I'm just waiting for the library to get it to me. The only Nevil Shute I've read is A Town Like Alice, which I love, but for some reason I've been reluctant to pick up another of his novels. I think I'l give The Chequer Board a try, based on your review.

I hope you got the sunshine you wanted!

Dec 20, 2017, 12:36pm Top

I found you. Whew.

And I just have to say: 200+ books. I'm astonished and awestruck. Well done, you.

I'm joining in on some of the Category Challenges for 2018, hoping to make my way through some of the books taking over my house.... I love the January RandomCAT thread you set up!

Dec 20, 2017, 2:32pm Top

>99 Storeetllr: & >103 Storeetllr: Mary, I am so sorry that I missed you! I read your message and I think I mentally answered but forgot to write it down. :(
I hope you have a quiet but enjoyable Christmas. Today we have blue sky and sunshine and the roads are clear so the little snow that is left looks very pretty. Later on I am going to put on the Christmas music, turn on the tree lights and wrap presents. I might even make us a couple of hot toddys to go along with that.

>104 Familyhistorian: I was surprised at how slippery it was when the rain first turned to snow. It actually got better after more snow came down. The roads seem clear today so I am enjoying this little (I hope) interlude of winter. I often wonder how the folks in New West or North Van for that matter, deal with icy road conditions, so many hills!

>105 Dejah_Thoris: Dejah, I have been reading a lot of classic crime written by authors I hadn't really heard much about previously. So far most of these have been very good. Nevil Shute is what I would call a reliable author. So far I have liked everything of his that I have read. A Town Called Alice remains my favorite, but I would also highly recommend Pied Piper as well.

>106 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, I have been reading up a storm this year yet for some strange reason, my TBR seems like it has hardly moved! I love all the challenges we have going on here at the Category Challenge, they are versatile and fun. My Random Cat idea for January was a no-brainer. I figured most of us have been hit by book bullets here so we might as well celebrate them!

Dec 20, 2017, 11:20pm Top

225. A Child's Christmas In Wales by Dylan Thomas - 3.5 ★
Category: Extras
December RandomCat: Can Be Read in a Day
TIOLI #4: Had Planned to Read This Last December

Taken from a 1952 radio broadcast and read by the poet himself, A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas is lyrical picture drawn from his memories of the various Christmases of his youth. This broadcast also includes the poet reading some of his other works including his most celebrated poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ which I found to be very moving.

The first thing that struck me was the quality of his voice, being both rich and deep. This magnificent voice was enhanced by his timing and imagery. His whimsical and random memories included stories of youthful mischief and tales of his abundance of aunts and uncles who tended to over-indulge in Christmas spirits.

This was a short trip to a nostalgic, innocent past told in an expressive and lilting style.

Dec 21, 2017, 12:06pm Top

>107 DeltaQueen50: "I have been reading up a storm this year yet for some strange reason, my TBR seems like it has hardly moved!" Made me chuckle out loud (and then cough -- laughing makes me cough!). So true.

Dec 21, 2017, 12:49pm Top

>109 EBT1002: I hope you are able to put that cough behind you soon, Ellen.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:01pm Top

I'm so far behind I'll never catch up. So glad you've sold your house. What a lot of great reading you've done this year. Have a wonderful holiday. I'll be sure to follow your reading next year, Judy.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:08pm Top

>111 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. :)

Dec 23, 2017, 1:25pm Top

226. The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips - 4.1 ★
Category: M to P
Christmas Mystery Read
TIOLI #12: Author's Name Contains At Least 2 Consecutive Alphabetical Letters

The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips is a noirish crime story full of bleak humor. It is dark and violent as Charlie, a mobster lawyer, makes his final rounds to various seedy joints. He plans on leaving town later that light as he has embezzled money from his boss. The setting is mostly of sleazy nightclubs and strip joints and there is a raft of unsavoury characters that bring humor and pathos to the story. The book takes place in 1979, on a snowy Christmas Eve in Wichita, Kansas and presents Christmas in a totally unpleasant way. In this story Christmas is an inconvenience.

Like an accident waiting to happen the reader can see that bad things are ahead. We discover that Charlie isn’t alone in his embezzlement, his partner Vic, with whom he runs a couple of strip clubs with, is also involved. When Charlie finally goes to meet him, Vic doesn’t show. This opens up the possibility of betrayal and gives the book a sense of inevitable doom. The long night is full of twists and turns and the final twist at the end of the book is a doozy.

Written in simple, straight forward language, the author gives this quirky noir tale a mid-western flavor. Ironic and darkly humorous, The Ice Harvest was a book that I really enjoyed although I could see that it’s nasty side could put some people off.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:30pm Top

I am pretty much ready for Christmas with the presents wrapped, the house cleaned and the food bought. Tomorrow I will be doing all the pre-preparation work that I can, as well as finishing up my laundry and packing to go to visit my Mom on Boxing Day. I will only have limited computer time while away, but will try to keep my thread updated as much as I can. When I get back, it will be 2018 and time for us to move to our new threads. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and I am wishing you all the best for the holiday season.

Dec 23, 2017, 1:40pm Top

Merry Christmas, Judy!

Dec 23, 2017, 4:53pm Top

Merry Christmas to you, Judy!!

Dec 23, 2017, 7:53pm Top

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

Dec 23, 2017, 11:20pm Top

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:

Edited: Dec 24, 2017, 12:47am Top

Merry Christmas Judy

Dec 24, 2017, 2:01pm Top

Merry Christmas Judy!

Dec 24, 2017, 2:33pm Top

Merry Christmas, Judy!

>67 DeltaQueen50: I'm glad to see you liked The Boy on the Bridge. I really liked The Girl with All the Gifts and this prequel is on my wishlist.

Dec 25, 2017, 2:59am Top

Merry Christmas, Judy. I hope the weather cooperates with your travel plans.

Dec 25, 2017, 8:17am Top

Stopping by to wish you the best of the end of 2017 and the start of 2018.

Dec 25, 2017, 10:35am Top

Dec 25, 2017, 12:26pm Top

Merry Christmas Judy,

Have a wonderful visit with your family! And good luck with the upcoming move.

Dec 25, 2017, 1:13pm Top

Merry Christmas, everyone! I can't believe it's 10:00 am and I am all ready for the family to arrive - and I don't expect anyone till 11:00! So with an hour to spare, I decided to do some catching up here. It's lightly snowing here, and although I am not a big fan of snow, it really does look like Christmas. I hope everyone is having a great day filled with good people, good food and, hopefully, some good books!

Dec 25, 2017, 1:22pm Top

227. Christmas At Hope Cottage by Lily Graham - 3.3 ★
Category: E to H
TIOLI #12: Author's Name Contains at Least Two Consecutive Alphabetical Letters

Every year, just before Christmas, I like to pick up a Christmas romance story and this year’s choice was Christmas At Hope Cottage by Lily Graham. I was expecting a Christmas themed romance story but I didn’t find much romance at all. Instead it was more of a story of finding yourself and returning to your roots. There is a touch of magic to the story, as food items cooked by the main characters’ family often heal or solve problems for the villagers.

Emma Halloway has come back to the Yorkshire village of Whistling to recover from an accident that has left her with devastating injuries. Her live-in boyfriend has just broken up with her and although she has lots of reasons for not wanting to go home, she needs the help and support of her family. Emma needs to see if there is still a spark between her and her old boyfriend, Jack but there is also a new man on the horizon and perhaps instead of repeating old mistakes, she should try moving in a new direction.

Christmas At Hope Cottage was a quick read, and although it neither had a great deal of romance or the Christmas atmosphere that I was looking for, it was a feel-good story of love and hope and of finding where and with who one belongs.

Dec 25, 2017, 3:40pm Top

Judy - Hope you have a great Christmas:

Dec 25, 2017, 3:47pm Top

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Dec 26, 2017, 12:13am Top

I did receive a few books and some gift cards for more which I am planning on using in the new year.

Today's haul included:

Farewell to Burracombe by Lilian Harry
The Visitors by Sally Beauman
The Girl From Venice by Martin Cruz Smith
Caroline: Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller
Thin Air by Ann Cleeves
Waiting For Wednesday by Nicci French

All in all, a very good book haul.

I have a reservation on the 9:00 am ferry tomorrow so I am off to Vancouver Island to visit my family. See you in the new year!

Dec 26, 2017, 11:36am Top

Great haul! I really need to get back to Ann Cleeves. Have a great time with your family and a happy New Year!

Dec 28, 2017, 7:32pm Top

Hope you had a good holiday and enjoy your trip!

Dec 31, 2017, 12:45pm Top

It's the last day of the year! I have only read one book since Christmas, a thriller that was ok but not great. I am looking forward to kicking off the New Year with Agatha Christie's Black Coffee. Thanks to everyone that has visited my thread over the last week and in particular, the last week while I've been away. I will hunt everyone's new threads down in the new year when I get home. Looking forward to another LibraryThing year of good books and good chat. Till then,

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Dec 31, 2017, 12:48pm Top

The God Stalk group read thread is up, Judy, at http://www.librarything.com/topic/279620

Edited: Jan 3, 8:58pm Top

228. Skin and Bones by Tom Bale - 3.4 ★
Category: A to D
TIOLI #11: At Least Two Body Parts Are Mentioned in the Title

I don't have much to say about Skin and Bones by Tom Bale. It was an adequate thriller about a massacre in an quiet English village. Of course, the lone madman theory gave way to a far greater conspiracy and the reader had to make a few leaps of faith in order to swallow the story, but I do admit that this book never got my full attention as I found my three year old great-nephew much more interesting - not to mention the new four month old baby!

Dec 31, 2017, 12:59pm Top

>134 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. I have the book on my kindle, ready to go. I thought that I would start it on the two hour ferry ride home.

Dec 31, 2017, 7:06pm Top

Happy New Year, Judy! May your 2018 be filled with joy, health, peace and prosperity as you settle into your new home!

Jan 1, 12:27am Top

>133 DeltaQueen50: Ah, Black Coffee, colour catagory? Happy New Year, Judy!

Jan 2, 2:47pm Top

Happy New Year, Judy!

Jan 3, 9:03pm Top

I am home from visiting my family and since it's now 2018, I will be moving over to my new thread at the 2018 Category Challenge, you can find me here:

Group: 2017 Category Challenge

131 members

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