January ColorCAT: Black
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January ColorCAT: BLACK
Black is the absorption of all color and the absence of light. It's sophisticated and mysterious.
For this challenge choose a book with a black cover, black spine or end papers. Choose a book with the word black in the title or black can be the author's name. Also, if you want to think outside the box, choose a title that evokes the color black, such as crow, raven, midnight, onyx, ebony...
I'm looking forward to see what everyone chooses.
I am thinking The Monk might fit, the cover does have black on it and Monks wear black.
Ha! I have a title with "white" that I might read. Will have to look closer at covers and see what I come up with...
ETA: And I have a book with "black" in the title that I need to finish this month! Sigh...
I've earmarked The Black Arrow, by Robert Louis Stevenson, for this challenge!
I plan to read The Black Tongue by Marko Hautala. I gather it is horror story based on Finnish folklore.
I really enjoyed The Blackhouse . I liked all of the Lewis trilogy.
I've already started Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, and I'm glad I have because I hadn't realised (ebook) just what an epic chunkster it is (according to amazon, the paperback is over 1200 pages! My wrists are definitely thanking me that I'm not reading it in paper format!). I'll be lucky at the rate I'm going to finish it for the end of January, but I will try.
I had originally earmarked it for the grey month later in the year, but I am going to read Agnes Grey for that instead. The book I'd originally earmarked for January also has blue in the title as well as black, so I'm doing it for that month instead.
Right now I'm planning to read A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh, which I think I've read before but can't remember anything about! My copy has a mostly black cover:
I think I'll read The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell. My copy is mostly black. And it fits the RandomCAT, too, as it is a BB tat hit me in 2015.
I've decided that although I'm going to carry on reading Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, I'm not going to knock myself out to finish it by the end of January. My reading tends to be in the hour after I go to bed, and I read bits of two or three books then. At that rate my kobo is telling me I am going up 1% read every two to three days (I started it nearly a week ago, and I'm yet to hit 4%), so even if I up the reading speed it may well still take me several months! I'll just resurrect the thread in the month that I eventually finish it :) (maybe I'll finish it in August, in Grey month).
I've requested January Black from the library as it seemed so very appropriate.
I'm going to try Voyage of the Narwhal which has a mostly black cover, plus it also covers my AlphaCAT V requirement. Doubling up is always good!
>15 casvelyn: An early lesson in judging books on their covers, I guess! My copy also has a horse on the cover, but the horse is carrying a helmet-wearing, sword-wielding guy. I actually can't remember whether I read the blurb before buying it or just picked it up at the book sale because of Robert Louis Stevenson.
I loved The Black Arrow. It took a bit to get into the language, but it was really good.
I get most of my books from the library, so I'm guessing as to what might work from what I already plan to read:
In the Kingdom of Ice - the cover looks about 3/4 black
The Radium Girls - again, the cover looks about 3/4 black
20th Century Ghosts - much of the cover look black.
Now, that's just from the main cover that is displaying here.
Finally posted pics of my choices in >2 luvamystery65:
I love my annotated Frankenstein. The dust cover is beautiful but I love the book cover even more.
I am going to read Black Swan Green by David Mitchell. Obviously it could work for Green, too, but I have lots of options in the shelves for that color!
>41 Berly: I adored that book. He could have been present in some of my childhood, the details were just so bang on.
Good picks. I read Frankenstein for the first time in 2017; what a beautiful book. Fell in love with the writing style, even though Victorian melodrama is rarely for me.
At a minimum, I should get to Norman Cantor's In the Wake of the Plague: the Black Death and the World it Made, but I imagine there will be others.
Would the 'blind' in Snowblind count?
>45 Dejah_Thoris: It does if you want it to.
I picked up Trell by Dick Lehr for this CAT, but I'll finish it today or tomorrow. It's an excellent YA novel about a teenage girl working to free her father who is in prison for a murder he didn't commit. It's also about what Boston was like in the eighties, when crack swept through and about journalism - Trell works with a lawyer working on her father's appeal and with a jaded old reporter who is putting a story together. There's a lot of nuance her for a YA novel.
>51 LibraryCin: whoops. Guess I left that out. I hadn't actually read the blurb about this one. I knew that it took place on the moon, but that was all. I had been dying to read it because I loved The Martian so much. And I think the fact that I loved it so much hurt Artemis. It was good. The writing was solid. The story was well thought out. But... I couldn't help comparing it to the other book. And it just wasn't that. If I can step away and rate it based only on its own merits, I do feel like it was worth reading (I gave it 4 stars). But I still finished it feeling sort of let down.
>52 virginiahomeschooler: Thank you! Yeah, it's hard not to compare, for sure.
I am currently listening to Artemis and I am bit disappointed so far. Weir’s weakest area when it comes to writing is his character development and that did not have too much of a negative effect on The Martian but it does on Artemis. The book started off promising with a Saudi woman as its main character but she half way through the book she comes across to me as being not that much different from a whiny American teenager. Only a 3.5/5 for me at this stage of reading.
>52 virginiahomeschooler: - You liked it much more than I did. It was a DNF for me from the end of last year. I know part of why I hated it so much was that I kept comparing it to The Martian which isn't fair. However, I had a real problem with the main character and just couldn't keep reading. It did win the Goodreads award for SF I believe so obviously I'm in the minority. :)
>54 Zozette: Jazz is definitely the weakest part of the book and never really all that likeable for me. I sort of felt like he wrote her the same way he wrote the Mark Watney in The Martian. But what worked with Watney doesn't work with Jazz. They're both brilliant, though with Watney we are able to see his genius through his actions while we're mostly simply told that Jazz is exceptionally bright. I don't know how he coudlve done things differently, but yeah where Watney was (at least for me) what made The Martian, Jazz is more a drawback for Artemis.
>55 LittleTaiko: I struggled with the middle. I felt like it started strong and ended well, but the middle was too much like living inside Jazz's head, and I didn't like her enough to want to stay for long. That said, I have this weird fascination with the idea of colonizing a distant planet (or the moon), and so I'm a sucker for stories like this one. Weir is very good at those little details that some probably find over the top and maybe a bit dull. But I love that stuff. I don't understand most of it, but I love it.
>56 virginiahomeschooler: Now I'm torn. I was looking forward to reading it because I loved The Martian.
>57 mysterymax: Sorry! I mean I still am glad I read it. If you go into it knowing the main character is sort of a criminal and not the hero that Watney was, it's not a bad book. I will say I'm glad I borrowed it from the library instead of bought it.
>59 virginiahomeschooler: Sounds like a good idea. I already have three books on interlibrary loan request. Maybe they won't come until the weather warms up. Right now, it's too cold to go anywhere. My next Somerset book is percolating in my mind, so I'm using the time to curl up in my chair with blankets, tea and cat.
>58 pamelad: I love Cornell Woolrich and so I just had to rush over to Amazon and pick myself up a Kindle copy of Rendezvous in Black!
I have completed my first read for this months ColorCat: Black Coffee which was actually an adaptation of a 1930's Agatha Christie play, written by Charles Osborne in 1998. It was light and fairly enjoyable, but there were some areas that were very different from Christie.
Just realized that my first read in 2018 fits the January ColourCAT:
Not for the title but for the predominantly black cover.
I finished the short story The Minister's Black Veil by Hawthorne. I had thought that it was a novella rather than a short story so I will have to look through my Kindle for another 'black' title.
>67 luvamystery65: Thanks. I will still try to find another title but with less stress now :)
I finished The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson. Rather disappointing.
>70 MissWatson: Ruh-roh! I have that one in my purse for reading next!
>71 rabbitprincess: Your experience may be different from mine, but so far all of Stevenson's young boy heroes struck me as far too naive, given their upbringing.
>74 MissWatson: I read and loved (and still love) Kidnapped and Treasure Island, but that could be because I read them as a kid and have been inoculated against the naivete. We'll see how this one goes, with my reading it for the first time as an adult!
I started Edinburgh Twilight which will count for this challenge because of the cover. I'm not far enough into it to tell if I'm going to like it.
Both the cover of When We Were Animals and it's dark content fits the theme of "Black":
20th Century Ghosts / Joe Hill
This is a book of short stories, some horror, some fantasy, some a combination. Some of the stories include: a young Van Helsing, a movie theatre ghost, a boy who wakes up one morning having turned into a bug, two brothers – the younger a savant who builds cardboard box mazes, an inflatable boy, a very reclusive horror writer, a basement with an old nonworking phone that rings, an odd museum, a boy who can actually fly while wearing his cape, and more.
I really enjoyed most of these stories. Collections of short stories often end up ok for me, with a mix of liking some stories and not liking others. I don’t think there were any I disliked in this collection, and most I really liked. Many of the stories don’t quite “end”… with more of a leave-it-up-to-your-imagination kind of thing, which can be extra-creepy with horror stories! I have had “The ants go marching one-by-one...” going through my head since I finished the book (it played a role in one of the last stories).
I've read Dark Horses and Black Beauties: Animals, Women, a Passion by Melissa Holbrook Pierson for this CAT. It is a rather disjointed book in which the author talks mainly about girls/women and horses. She relates her own experiences with horses, mentions horses in literature, and describes some appalling conditions under which some horses live and/or die. There is a photograph at the beginning of each chapter, and most of the horses are black and the girls/women have dark hair.
In the Kingdom of Ice / Hampton Sides
In the late 19th century, Captain De Long paired up with the owner of the New York Herald (who funded the trip) to sail the USS Jeannette to the North Pole. At the time (though no one had yet been there), some people thought that once you pushed past the ice, there was warmer and open water. De Long, armed with maps (many of which were simply incorrect) from German cartographer Petermann, took off on the multi-year voyage with 32 other men to sail through to the ice-free section and the North Pole. Without wanting to give too much away, this would prove to be incredibly dangerous.
This was amazing! Some of the background information near the start of the book, particularly about Bennett (who funded the trip), wasn’t as interesting, but it wasn’t uninteresting, either. I seem to be fascinated by survival stories (though I’m about the opposite of a risk-taker, myself - I’ll just read about it, thanks!). This one read like fiction and it kept me wanting to keep reading to find out what happened next. It is nonfiction, so it really happened, but I honestly didn’t know how it would turn out, so I was riveted!
>83 LibraryCin: - My husband loves these type of books so I'm going to keep track of this as an idea for a gift for him.
Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History The cover is mostly black, the hardcover is all black and some might argue that the content satisfies that requirement also...but I won't go there.
I am at heart a wannabe journalist, certainly not in skill, but in my lifelong fascination with the career path. I have read many memoirs over the years of print, TV and digital journalists and am always in awe of the hard work that is required to feed the press and keep our world safe by putting out the truth. Katy Tur is at heart a rough and tumble style journalist who has successfully adapted to a professional on-screen presence with grace and wit. There were laugh-out-loud anecdotes about the campaign trail and wise observations about the process and the candidate. There were astonishing reports of risk to the journalists from the rally crowds. Tur mixed a personal memoir with the unusual experience of following Trump on the campaign trail. At first I found the back and forth timeline a bit questionable, but once I adjusted, I realized the wisdom of formatting the story in this way. Her writing is clear, precise, inviting and funny as needed. I didn’t think I wanted to revisit 2016 because we watched it all so closely on TV, but this was a suitable epilogue to that experience. I will continue to follow her career and am grateful she took the time to record this portion of her reporting life.
I finished The Black Arrow, by Robert Louis Stevenson. It came in from the library book sale and will go back there. It wasn't terrible, but certainly not my favourite Stevenson.
>86 beebeereads: Ooh, I keep getting recommended this book by kobo recommendations. I haven't bought it (too expensive), but will keep it on the wishlist. I really like this sort of book written by journalists too (usually - I suspect Fire and Fury might be a bit much for me). I've often thought if I could have my time again I'd train to be a journalist.
>88 Jackie_K: heh,heh, yes a bit much for me too and question as to whether "journalist" would be an accurate title for him.
>85 dudes22: I think it would make a great gift for someone who likes these kinds of books!
I'll be reading Einstein's Dreams for this one (about half of the cover is black).
>91 scaifea: oh, I love Einstein’s Dreams. Sometimes I read it to my grade 12 physics classes.
>92 raidergirl3: It's my husband's book (he's a physicist by trade), and it's been on our shelves since we married 13 years ago. I've wanted to read it ever since, but just hadn't gotten round to it - I'm looking forward to it!
I finished two other books that qualify for this challenge and am almost finished with a third.
Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life by Jonathan Gould (the cover is predominately black)
Black Skies by Arnaldur Indriaason
Almost finished with Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola.
I think that I will reread via audiobook Georgette Heyer's first book, The Black Moth. It has been several years since I read this one.
I read Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda, selected for the black cover. Paul and Mia Strom seem to have the perfect marriage, but all is not as it seems. A 3 star psychological thriller.
I really liked the cover and bought it specifically for this month's colourCAT - even though I told myself I was going to try to read books from my shelf for this one. Oh well, maybe next month.
I have finished listening to The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. The author's wordy style adapted very well to audio and kept me involved throughout 13 plus hours of listening.
Yesterday I finished listening to The Black Echo by Michael Connelly _ the first Harry Bosch book. It was quite a good story but I think it drag a little towards the end. I might read another Harry Bosch book one day.
I tried to listen The Black Tongue by Marko Hautala but I gave up on it, it wasn’t the book for me.
Upon trolling through the many unread books on my Kindle, I discovered The Black Tulip by Dumas. I think that will be my next book for this CAT!
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women / Kate Moore
In the early 20th century, radium was touted as being beneficial to one’s health. Clock dials were being painted with radium so they would glow in order to be read in the dark. Young women, mostly in their late teens or early 20s, were working in factories, hand painting the radium on to those dials, and being paid very well to do so. Not only hand painting them, but licking the brushes they used to paint, in order to make a nice sharp tip to be able to paint perfectly. Eventually, many of these women began having health problems, from their teeth falling out to carcinomas in various parts of their bodies. The companies that employed these women continued to insist it wasn’t radium that was the problem.
Wow! Scary stuff! Imagine your jawbone disintegrating and breaking through into your mouth in pieces. These women were still young, wanted to get married and have families. Even worse was when a group of women who worked at a factory in New Jersey successfully sued for their health problems, but the company in Illinois told their employees that the radium the company used in NJ wasn’t to blame – it was something additional they put in theirs that wasn’t used in the Illinois factory… so the “lip, dip, paint” method continued in Illinois.
This book is nonfiction, but read like fiction. It kept me wanting to read, and it was a surprisingly fast read. Even more horrifying,
Finished a short story collection with a black cover called The Age of Perpetual Light. Not something I would recommend though.
Finished Black Hole by Charles Burns and gave it 4.4 stars. This graphic novel takes you on an acid trip, where teenagers affected by a sexually transmitted disease are horribly disfigured, shunned and persecuted they live at the margins of society. Very well done.
>105 Crazymamie: This is one I'm keeping on the shelf, I'm sure I'll reread it again too.
I read Black Powder War which was a lot of fun, despite the battles, and also works for the SFF KIT.
I finished The Black Tulip by Dumas -- a nice blend of historical fiction, adventure and romance.
Finished Black Swan Green by David Mitchell. Good stuff about a 13-year-old boy growing up. Bullying, first kisses, the agony of stuttering, family upheavals. A little rough to get into due to accents and colloquial language, but worth it.
And I also finished Die Giftköchin which has a black cat on the cover of my edition (I wonder why? The cat dies early in the book), black vegetation and is full of black humour of a kind that is typical for Finnish authors. Of course, it's possible only authors with that kind of odd humour are translated into German...
I've manged to read 2 this month:
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt -:- Review
Son of the Black Sword Saga of the Forgotten Warrior by Larry Correia -:- Review
I enjoyed both, though I liked Son of the Black Sword better. It looks to be the beginning of a good fantasy series.
I fell behind this month because we’ve been visiting friends and very busy. But I did start Black River by S.M. Hulse which I’m enjoying a lot.
Just finished my last January book: The Camel Club by David Baldacci that has a black cover. This was my first Baldacci but this is not a preferred genre so I don't think I'll continue with the series. It had a topical theme concerning a possible U.S. nuclear attack on, or by, North Korea, which is a bit too close to the truth to be entertaining.
A tad late to the party, but did finish Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf. Much of the book takes place in the quiet of the night.
>125 kac522: Don't worry, I'm still reading my January ColourCAT book! (about 68% through now, sigh. I should get it finished in March though - the kobo is telling me I have 7 hours left to read).
I went for a final push, and finally finished Black Lamb & Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia tonight. I have a real sense of achievement (if I'd realised how much of a chunkster it was I might not have started - I guess that's an advantage of reading an ebook copy!), but also glad it's finished!
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