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Sally Lou's updated reading challenge for 2018 -- replaces Sally Lou's reading in 2018

2018 Category Challenge

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1sallylou61
Dec 20, 2017, 9:21am Top

I have decided to redo my 2018 reading challenge. Several people have reading by months, which I would like to do. Therefore, I am planning to go that way. My monthly reading will be titles read since it will be a mixture of things including short stories, plays, etc. instead of full-length books.

2sallylou61
Edited: Aug 7, 11:16pm Top

Titles read in January:

1. Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser -- finished reading Jan. 5th -- BingoDOG over 500 p. -- 4.5 stars
2. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson -- finished reading Jan. 9th -- BingoDOG new to you author and Northside Book Group Jan. read -- 2.5 stars
3. Dark Horses and Black Beauties by Melissa Holbrook Pierson -- finished reading Jan. 11th -- BingoDOG fits 2 or more CATs/KITs, ColorCAT (black) and AlphaKIT (M) -- 2.5 stars
4. Caroline : Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller -- finished reading Jan. 12th -- BingoDOG (involves travel) -- 4.5 stars
5. The Class of '65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness by Jim Auchmutey -- finished reading Jan. 14th -- BingoDOG (number in title) and VA Book Festival book (category 7) -- 4.5 stars
6. Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher -- finished reading Jan. 17th -- 4 stars
7. Some Say Tomato: Poems edited by Mariflo Stephens -- finished reading Jan. 17th -- 3 stars
8. The Three Faces of Nellie by Robynne Elizabeth Miller -- read Jan. 18th -- 3.5 stars
9. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee -- finished reading Jan. 24th -- 3 stars
10. Hacks: the Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House by Donna Brazile -- finished reading Jan. 25th. -- 3.5 stars
11. How Not to Get Rich: The Financial Misadventures of Mark Twain by Alan Pell Crawford -- finished reading Jan. 27th. -- 3 stars
12. Silent no more : victim 1's fight for justice against Jerry Sandusky by Aaron Fisher and Michael Gillum with Dawn Daniels -- finished reading Jan. 28th -- 4.5 stars

3sallylou61
Edited: Aug 7, 11:17pm Top

Titles read in February:

1. (13) Molly Brown from Hannibal, Missouri: Her Life in the Gilded Age by Ken and Lisa Marks -- finished Feb. 2nd -- 3 stars
2. (14) A Journey to Elsewhere: Poetry through the Seasons of Life by Leonard Tuchyner -- read twice Feb. 3rd -- 4 stars
3. (15)Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown (and her cat Sneaky Pie Brown) -- finished reading Feb. 5th.-- 4 stars
4. (16) Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont -- finished reading Feb. 8th --2 stars
5. (17) Murder at Monticello by Rita Mae Brown (and her cat Sneaky Pie Brown) -- finished reading Feb. 9th -- 4 stars
6. (18) The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century by Simon Baatz -- finished reading Feb. 12th -- 2.5 stars
7. (19)Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini -- finished reading Feb. 15th -- 4 stars
8. (20)A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline -- reread for Northside Book Group -- 4.5 stars
9. (21) Agamemnon by Aeschylus, translated by Richmond Lattimore -- read Feb. 24th for Greek drama class
10. (22) War Poems selected and edited by John Hollander -- finished reading Feb. 25th -- 3 stars
11. (23) Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova -- finished reading Feb. 27th -- 4 stars

4sallylou61
Edited: Mar 29, 10:20am Top

Titles read in March:

1. (24) Euripides' Medea by Euripides, translated by Oliver Taplin -- read Mar. 3rd (and again Mar. 6th) for OLLI Greek drama class
2. (25) What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank by Nathan Englander -- finished Mar. 7th -- JMRL Same Page program and Northside Book Club -- 3.5 stars
3. (26) Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush -- finished Mar. 10th -- pleasure -- BingoDOG (relative) and ColorCAT -- 4 stars
4. (27) We Were Eight Years in Power: an American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates -- finished Mar. 11th -- RandomCAT (news headline) and BingoDOG second card (read a CAT) -- 4.5 stars
5. (28) Euripides' Hippolytus by Euripides, translated by David Grene -- read Mar. 11th and again Mar. 13th for Greek drama course
6. (29) The Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier: a Reader's Edition (touchstone does not work) -- edited by William Jolliff -- BingoDOG (second card) (poetry) and ColorCAT (green cover) -- 3 stars
7. (30) Lysistrata by Aristophanes, translated by Alan H. Sommerstein -- finished Mar.19th and read again Mar. 28th for Greek drama class -- BingoDOG (humorous)
8. (31) What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte -- finished Mar. 29th -- BingoDog (second card -- 2018 imprint)

5sallylou61
Edited: May 11, 7:18pm Top

Titles read in April: (without double numbers -- title (such as short story) but not whole book))

1. (32) A Far, Far Better Thing by Jens Soering and Bill Sizemore -- finished reading Apr. 1st but read most of it in March -- book festival -- 4.5 stars
2. (33) Women Illustrators of the Golden Age edited by Mary Carolyn Waldrep -- read April 7th (RandomCAT April purchase) -- touchstone goes to different title
3. (34) Ladies for Liberty by John Blundell -- RandomCAT (April purchase) -- finished reading Apr. 9th -- 3 stars.
4.(35) Magical & Real: Henriette Wyeth, art by Henriette Wyeth, text by Kirsten M. Jensen -- finished April 10th (RandomCAT April purchase) -- 4.5 stars
5. (36) Magical & Real: Peter Hurd, art by Peter Hurd; text by Sara Woodbury, Melissa Renn, and Leo G. Mazow -- finished reading Apr. 13 -- (RandomCAT April purchase) -- 4 stars
6. (37) Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng -- New Dominion Book Group -- RandomCAT April purchase) -- finished reading Apr. 17th -- 4.5 stars
7. The Fly by Katherine Mansfield -- short story for OLLI class held Apr. 17th
8. "An Indiscreet Journey" by Katherine Mansfield -- short story for OLLI class to be held Apr. 24th (no touchstone)
9. (38) Dinner in Camelot by Joseph A. Esposito -- LT Early reviewer -- RandomCAT (April 2018 publication) -- finished Apr. 23rd -- 4 stars
10."Sun and Moon" by Katherine Mansfield -- short story for OLLI class to be held May 1st. (read Apr. 24th)
11. The Garden-Party by Katherine Mansfield -- short story for OLLI class to be held May 1st. (read Apr. 24th)
12. (39) Katherine Mansfield: Life & Works by Jane Phillimore -- reread for OLLI class about Katherine Mansfield -- read Apr. 26th.
13. (40) Gotz von Berlichingen by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by Charles E. Passage -- read as supplementary material for my OLLI German Cultural History class -- finished Apr. 29th

6sallylou61
Edited: May 31, 11:47pm Top

Titles read in May: (without double numbers -- title (such as short story) but not whole book))

1. (41) The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by R.D. Boylan -- supplementary reading for OLLI German Cultural History class -- finished May 2nd.
2. "Powerful angels" by Cathryn Hankla -- short story for New Dominion book group -- read May 3rd
3. (42) Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie --OLLI mystery novels class, BingoDOG (x in title), MysteryCAT (travel) -- finished reading May 3rd -- 4.5 stars
4. (43) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr -- May Northside Library book group, May ColorCAT (blue cover), category 2 male authors -- finished reading May 7th -- 2.5 stars
5. (44) Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers -- OLLI mystery novels class -- finished reading May 11th -- 4 stars
6. "Je ne parle pas français", short story by Katherine Mansfield -- for pleasure --read May 11th.
7. (45) Germany: Memories of a Nation by Neil MacGregor -- OLLI German Cultural History course -- finished reading May 14th -- 4 stars
8. (46) The Drop by Michael Connelly -- OLLI mystery novels class -- finished reading May 16th. -- 4 stars
9. (47) Talking about Detective Fiction by P. D. James -- OLLI mystery novels class supplementary reading (recommended by Judi Church) -- finished reading May 20th --4.5 stars
10. (48) A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman -- OLLI mystery novels class --finished reading May 23rd -- 3.5 stars
11. (49) Ties that Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves by Marie Jenkins Schwartz -- Books Sandwiched in candidate -- finished reading May 29th -- 4.5 stars.
12. (50) The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives by Bryant Simon -- Books Sandwiched in candidate and BingoDOG second card -- finished reading May 31st -- 4 stars

7sallylou61
Edited: Jul 18, 9:11pm Top

Titles read in June: (without double numbers -- short works)

1. (51) Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly -- ColorCAT (purple) -- finished reading June 7th -- 5 stars
2. (52) Murder in Lexington by Daniel S. Morrow -- MysteryCAT (true crime) -- BingoDOG 2nd card (x in title) -- finished reading June 10th -- 3 stars
3. (53) Probable Claws by Rita Mae Brown and Speaky Pie Brown -- LT Early reviewers, RandomCAT (nonhuman narrators), AlphaKIT (R) -- finished reading June 14th -- 3.5 stars
4. (54) The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan -- Northside book group -- finished reading June 18th -- 2.5 stars
5. (55) Natural Causes: an Epidemic of wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenreich -- finished reading June 20th -- (talked about article based on it in Aging meeting)
6. (56) Eleanor and Hick: the Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn -- finished reading June 22nd -- 5 stars -- BingoDOG (LBGTQ Central character, Hick) and ROOT
7. (57) Sister of Silence by Daleen Berry -- MysteryCAT (true crime), BingoDOG 2nd card -- finished reading June 25th -- 4.5 stars
8. Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon (children's picture book), BingoDOG 2nd card -- read June 27th.
9. (58) Santa Clawed by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown -- BingoDOG (holiday) -- read June 27th evening and June 28th morning -- 4 stars
10. (59) Wait, What?: and Life's Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan -- finished reading June 30th -- 3.5 stars

8sallylou61
Edited: Jul 29, 4:25pm Top

Titles read in July:

1. (60) Lady Cop Makes Trouble: a Kopp Sisters Novel by Amy Stewart --MysteryCAT (police procedural), AlphaKIT -- finished reading July 2nd. 3 stars
2. (61) Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener -- BingoDOG 2918, JMRL summer reading program 2018 -- finished reading July 6th -- 3 stars
3. (62) Haworth Harvest: the Lives of the Brontës by N. Brysson Morrison -- BingoDOG 2018 (long-time TBR) -- finished reading July 8th -- 3 stars
4. (63) Playing with Dynamite: a Memoir by Sharon Harrigan -- RandomCAT, BingoDOG 2nd card, Virginia Book Festival 2018 -- finished reading July 9th -- 4 stars
5. (64) Pressure is a Privilege by Billie Jean King -- read July 12th -- 3.5 stars
6. (65) Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte —BingoDOG —— finished reading July 17th — 4 stars
7. (66) The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath — ColorCAT (pink lettering on cover), BingoDOG second card— finished reading July 20th — 2.5 stars.
8. (67) The All of It by Jeannette Haien— Northside Book Group, BingoDOG second card — read July 20th — 3.5 stars.
9. (68) What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton -- OLLI discussion group to be held in August -- finished July 29th -- 4 stars

9sallylou61
Edited: Sep 6, 4:30pm Top

Titles read in August:

1. (69) Atticus Finch: the biography by Joseph Crespino -- saw on new book shelf of public library, read for pleasure -- finished reading Aug. 1st -- 3.5 stars
2. (70) Daughter of the Stars by Phyllis A. Whitney -- JRML summer reading prize -- BingoDOG (something in the sky) -- finished reading Aug. 3rd (12:45 a.m.) -- 3.5 stars
3. (71) The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin -- BingoDOG 2nd card (something in the sky) -- finished reading Aug. 6th -- 4 stars
4. (72) In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs 13) -- MysteryCAT (Historical) -- finished reading Aug. 9th -- 4 stars
5. (73) Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund -- Northside book group -- finished reading Aug. 14th -- 3.5 stars
6. (74) The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather -- BingoDOG (2nd card pub. over 100 yrs. ago in 1915) -- finished Aug. 16th -- 3.5 stars
7. (75) Mountains, Madness, & Miracles: 4000 Miles along the Appalachian Trail by Lauralee Bliss -- BingoDOG 2nd card -- read August 17th afternoon and evening after hearing Ms. Bliss give talk at JMRL Northside -- 3 stars.
8. (76) To Die but Once by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs 14) -- MysteryCAT (historical) -- finished Aug. 20th
9. (77) The Well Ain't Dry Yet by Belinda Anderson (RandomCAT, setting is West Virginia) -- finished Aug. 20th -- 3 stars.
10. (78) Quakers Are Funny by Chuck Fager -- BingoDOG 2nd card -- finished Aug. 30th -- 3 stars

10sallylou61
Edited: Sep 24, 11:09pm Top

Titles read in September:
1. (79) The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed -- BingoDOG second card (longtime TBR), Sept. RandomCAT (birthday, author born Nov. 19th) -- finished reading Sept. 3rd -- 4 stars
2. (80) Called Again: a Story of Love and Triumph by Jennifer Pharr Davis -- pleasure -- library book --finished reading Sept. 6th -- 3 stars
3. (81) Strike Sparks: Selected Poems, 1980-2002 by Sharon Olds -- RandomCAT (birthdays, Nov. 19th) -- finished Sept. 6th -- 3 stars
4. (82) Who Moved My Cheese: an A-mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson -- read Sept. 11th after reading in the Washington Post about its being published 20 years ago -- 2.5 stars
5. (83) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott -- finished reading Sept. 14th -- RandomCAT (birthday month), BingoDOG second card -- 3.5 stars
6. (84) The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper -- (fictional biography of May Alcott Nieriker) -- finished reading Sept. 18th -- 4 stars.
7. (85) People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks -- ColorCAT and Northside book group selection -- finished reading Sept. 21st. -- 3 stars
8. She Who Holds the Sky: Matilda Joslyn Gage by Sally Roesch Wagner (70 p. of text) -- read Sept. 24th.

11sallylou61
Dec 20, 2017, 9:24am Top

Titles read in October

12sallylou61
Dec 20, 2017, 9:24am Top

Titles read in November

13sallylou61
Dec 20, 2017, 9:24am Top

Titles read in December

14sallylou61
Edited: Aug 3, 12:54am Top

Category 1. BingoDOG -- I have always enjoyed the BingoDOGs and BingoPUPs. I personally prefer to choose what to read when I want to read it instead of needing to do a particular kind of reading during a specified month (as with the CATs). The CATs often provide me with readings for some of the BingoDOG squares.

My first card -- am aiming to complete it.


Second card at https://www.librarything.com/topic/278405#6386453

15sallylou61
Edited: Aug 7, 11:15pm Top

BingoDOG -- books read for my first card:

1. Title contains name of a famous person, real or fictional: The Three Faces of Nellie: the Real Story behind Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Nellie Oleson" by Robynne Elizabeth Miller -- read Jan. 18th -- 3.5 stars

2. Published more than 100 years ago: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte -- finished reading July 17th.

3. Originally in different language: Agamemnon by Aeschylus, translated by Richmond Lattimore -- read Feb. 23rd.

4. New to you author -- Life after Life by Kate Atkinson -- finished Jan. 9th -- 2.5 stars

5. Relative name in title: Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush -- finished Mar. 11th -- 4 stars

6. Money in title: How Not to Get Rich: The Financial Misadventures of Mark Twain by Alan Pell Crawford -- finished Jan. 27th -- 3 stars

7. Book published in 2018: The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century by Simon Baatz -- finished reading Feb. 12th -- 2.5 stars

8. X in title: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie -- finished reading May 3rd -- 4.5 stars

9. Over 500 pages: Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser (515 p. of text plus endnotes, index, etc. -- finished reading Jan. 5th -- 4.5 stars

10. Set during holiday (Christmas): Santa Clawed by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown -- read June 27th evening and June 28th morning -- 4 stars

11. LGBT central character: Eleanor and Hick: the Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn -- finished reading June 22nd -- 5 stars (Hick was a lesbian)

12. 1001 list: The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by R.D. Boylan -- finished reading May 2nd.

13. Read a CAT: Molly Brown from Hannibal, Missouri: Her Life in the Gilded Age by Ken and Lisa Marks (Feb. ColorCAT -- brown) -- finished Feb. 2nd -- 3 stars

14. Number in the title: The Class of '65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness by Jim Auchmutey -- finished reading Jan. 14th -- 4.5 stars

15. Humorous --Lysistrata by Aristophanes, translated by Alan H. Sommerstein -- finished Mar.19th for Greek drama class -- BingoDOG (humorous)

16. 2017 purchase: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee -- finished reading Jan. 24th -- 3 stars

17. Title contains something you would see in the sky: Daughter of the Stars by Phyllis Whitney -- finished reading Aug. 3rd -- 3.5 stars

18. Related to the Pacific Ocean: Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener -- finished reading July 6th -- 3 stars

19. Book that fits at least 2 KIT’s/CAT’s: Dark Horses and Black Beauties by Melissa Holbrook Pierson (January ColorCAT, black, and January AlphaKIT, M.) -- finished reading Jan. 11th -- 2.5 stars

20. Beautiful cover: A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline (scene reminiscent of "Christina's world")-- 4.5 stars

21. Autobiography or memoir: Hacks: the Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House by Donna Brazile -- (memoir of interim Democratic National Committee chair during 2016 campaign) -- finished reading Jan. 25th. -- 3.5 stars

22. Poetry or plays: War Poems selected and edited by John Hollander -- finished reading Feb. 25th -- 3 stars

23. Long-time TBR (gift from my father July 21, 1969): Haworth Harvest: the Lives of the Brontës by N. Brysson Morrison -- BingoDOG 2018 (long-time TBR) -- finished reading July 8th -- 3 stars

24. Story involves travel: Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller (lot of travel from Wisconsin to Kansas and back again) -- finished reading Jan. 12th -- 4.5 stars

25. Title contains rank: Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini -- finished reading Feb. 15th -- 4 stars

Books read for second BingoDOG card at https://www.librarything.com/topic/278405#6386456

16sallylou61
Edited: Jul 4, 9:34pm Top

Category 2. Books by/about male authors -- I have tended to read female authors whenever possible. I would like to read at least 16 books by or about men -- all from my TBR collection (or books purchased for class reading).

Link for bingo card I created but cannot copy here: http://mfbc.us/m/xhjgq5

6/18/18: Somehow all of X's (indicating read) had disappeared, and items were in a different order:

### entry ### equals completed

Topics include:

### 1. Autobiography or memoir: A Far, Far Better Thing by Jens Soering and Bill Sizemore -- first 200 pages memoir about Soering's relationship with Elizabeth Haysom and how it led to his imprisonment ###

2. Photograpy such as Holsinger's Charlottesville or Still Philadelphia

### 3. Short story or essay collections: What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank by Nathan Englander -- finished Mar. 7th -- 3.5 stars ###

4. sports (especially baseball players such as Clemente by David Maraniss or Lefty Grove by Jim Kaplan
(13)

###5. Other Nonfiction (not covered by other topics): Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher -- finished reading Jan. 17th -- not counted as Mysteries/true crime because the emphasis is on the Amish faith and its practice of forgiveness, not on the murder of the 5 Amish girls killed and 5 other girls shot and injured in their school by Charles Carl Roberts IV on Oct. 2, 2006. -- 4 stars ###

### 6. Poetry collections: A Journey to Elsewhere: Poetry through the Seasons of Life by Leonard Tuchyner -- read twice Feb. 3rd -- 4 stars ##

7. Presidents before Nixon -- such as Congressman Lincoln by Chris DeRose or Theodore Roosevelt in the Badlands by Roger L. Di Silvestro

### 8. Plays: both by Euripides: Euripides' Medea and Hippolytus (plus two other Classical Greek plays for OLLI class) ###

9. University of Virginia or Penn State University -- worked at UVA for over 20 years, and graduated from Penn State, worked there for 11 years, met husband there where he worked for 9 years, father taught there 20 years, both my siblings and their spouses from there

10. Travel

### 11. Literary award winners: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (2015 Pulitzer Prize) -- finished reading May 7th ###

12. Racial injustice

13. Virginia history

### 14. Mysteries or True crime: Silent no more : victim 1's fight for justice against Jerry Sandusky by Aaron Fisher and Michael Gillum with Dawn Daniels -- finished reading Jan. 28th -- 4.5 stars ###

### 15. Artist: Magical & Real: Peter Hurd, art by Peter Hurd; text by Sara Woodbury, Melissa Renn, and Leo G. Mazow -- finished reading Apr. 13. ###

16. Novels

17sallylou61
Edited: Sep 21, 11:24pm Top

Category 3. CATs and KITs -- I will probably read something from at least one CAT or KIT each month although I am not excited about any of the winners. If the Random CAT topic interests me or I will probably do it. I'm planning to fit my TBR reading into a CAT or AlphaKIT as much as possible.

January -- ColorCAT (black) and AlphaKIT (M) -- Dark Horses and Black Beauties by Melissa Holbrook Pierson

February -- ColorCAT (brown) -- Molly Brown from Hannibal, Missouri: Her Life in the Gilded Age by Ken and Lisa Marks -- finished Feb. 2nd -- 3 stars
February -- RandomCAT (reminds one of celebration) --A Journey to Elsewhere: Poetry through the Seasons of Life by Leonard Tuchyner -- read twice Feb. 3rd
February -- ColorCAT (brown) and MysteryCAT (female detective) -- Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown (and her cat Sneaky Pie Brown) -- finished Feb. 5th. -- 4 stars
Feb. -- AlphaCAT (letter P) -- Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont -- finished reading Feb. 8th --2 stars
February -- ColorCAT (brown) and MysteryCAT (female detective) -- Murder at Monticello by Rita Mae Brown (and her cat Sneaky Pie Brown) -- finished reading Feb. 9th -- 4 stars
February AlphaKIT (letter J) -- Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule -- Jennifer Chiaverini -- finished Feb. 15 -- 4 stars

March -- ColorCAT (green) -- Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush -- finished Mar. 10th -- lot of green on cover -- 4 stars
March -- RandomCAT (news headline) -- We Were Eight Years in Power: an American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates -- finished Mar. 11th -- 4.5 stars
March -- ColorCAT (green) --The Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier: a Reader's Edition (touchstone does not work) -- edited by William Jolliff -- finished Mar. 12th -- 3 stars
March -- RandomCAT (news headline) -- A Far, Far Better Thing by Jens Soering and Bill Sizemore


April RandomCAT (April purchase) -- Women Illustrators of the Golden Period edited by Mary Carolyn Waldrep -- read April 7th.
April RandomCAT (April purchase) -- Ladies for Liberty by John Blundell -- finished reading April 9th.
April RandomCAT (April purchase) -- Magical & Real: Henriette Wyeth -- finished reading April 10th.
April RandomCAT (April purchase) -- Magical & Real: Peter Hurd, art by Peter Hurd; text by Sara Woodbury, Melissa Renn, and Leo G. Mazow -- finished reading Apr. 13
April RandomCAT (April purchase) -- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng -- also New Dominion Book Group -- finished reading Apr. 17th -- 4.5 stars
April RandomCAT (April 2018 publication) -- Dinner in Camelot by Joseph A. Esposito -- finished Apr. 23rd -- 4 stars
April RandomCAT (April 2015 purchase) -- Gotz von Berlichingen by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by Charles E. Passage -- finished Apr. 29th.

May MysteryCAT (Travel) -- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie -- finished reading May 3rd -- 4.5 stars
May ColorCAT (blue) -- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (blue cover) -- finished reading May 7th

June ColorCAT (purple) -- Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly -- finished reading June 7th -- 5 stars
June MysteryCAT (true crime) -- Murder in Lexington by Daniel S. Morrow -- finished reading June 10th -- 3 stars
June RandomCAT (nonhuman narrators) and AlphaKIT (R) --Probable Claws by Rita Mae Brown and Speaky Pie Brown -- finished reading June 14th -- 3.5 stars
June MysteryCAT (true crime) -- Sister of Silence by Daleen Berry -- finished reading June 25th -- 4.5 stars

July MysteryCAT (police procedurals) and AlphaKIT (S and A) -- Lady Cop Makes Trouble: a Kopp Sisters Novel by Amy Stewart -- finished reading July 2nd. 3 stars
July RandomCAT (different generations) and AlphaKIT (S): Playing with Dynamite: a Memoir by Sharon Harrigan -- finished reading July 9th -- 4 stars
July ColorCAT (pink lettering on cover) and AlphaKIT (S): The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath — finished reading July 20th -- 2.5 stars

August RandomCAT (mountains) and AlphaKIT (D): Daughter of the Stars by Phyllis A. Whitney -- finished reading Aug. 3rd -- 3.5 stars
August MysteryCAT (historical): In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs 13) -- finished reading Aug. 9th --4 stars
August RandomCAT (Mountains): Mountains, Madness & Miracles by Lauralee Bliss -- read Aug. 18th -- 3.5 stars
August MysteryCAT (historical): To Die but Once by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs 14) -- MysteryCAT (historical) -- finished Aug. 20th -- 4 stars
August RandomCAT (mountains): The Well Ain't Dry Yet by Belinda Anderson (RandomCAT, setting is West Virginia) -- finished Aug. 20th -- 3 stars.

September RandomCAT (birthdays -- author born Nov. 19th): The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed -- finished Sept. 9th -- 4 stars
September RandomCAT (birthdays -- author born Nov. 19th): Strike Sparks: Selected Poems, 1980-2002 by Sharon Olds --finished Sept. 6th -- 3 stars
September RandomCAT (November birthday): Little Women by Louisa May Alcott -- finished Sept. 14th -- 3.5 stars
September ColorCAT (metalic)(author's name and part of design on cover in gold): People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks -- finished reading Sept. 21st. -- 3 stars

possible reads for color cat (using color in title only)
December -- White Castle of Louisiana, Slave in the White House (or another title with White House)

18sallylou61
Edited: Aug 20, 12:01pm Top

Category 4. Mysteries -- I have a backlog of mysteries, but expect that most of them are cozy mysteries. If I find that any of my are in other categories, I will probably read them during the MysteryCAT month.

1. Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown (and her cat Sneaky Pie Brown) -- finished Feb. 5th. -- 4 stars
2. Murder at Monticello by Rita Mae Brown (and her cat Sneaky Pie Brown) -- finished Feb. 9th. -- 4 stars
3. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie -- finished reading May 3rd -- 4.5 stars
4. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers -- OLLI mystery novels class -- finished reading May 11th -- 4 stars
5. The Drop by Michael Connelly -- OLLI mystery novels class -- finished reading May 16th.
6. A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman -- OLLI mystery novels class --finished reading May 23rd -- 3.5 stars
7. Probable Claws by Rita Mae Brown and Speaky Pie Brown -- LT Early reviewers -- finished reading June 14th -- 4 stars
8. Santa Clawed by Rita Mae Brown and Speaky Pie Brown -- BingoDOG (holiday) and Northside summer reading -- finished reading June 28th.
9. Lady Cop Makes Trouble: a Kopp Sisters Novel by Amy Stewart -- finished reading July 2nd. 3 stars
10. Daughter of the Stars by Phyllis A. Whitney -- finished reading Aug. 3rd -- 3.5 stars
11. In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs 13) -- finished reading Aug.9th -- 4 stars
12. To Die but Once by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs 14) -- finished Aug. 20th -- 4 stars

19sallylou61
Edited: Sep 21, 11:25pm Top

Category 5. "Assigned" readings -- book clubs, classes, committee work, etc. I am in at least one book club, and may join others. Recently, OLLI (the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute, University of Virginia branch) has not offered as many literature classes as in the past, and many of the readings have been relatively short so that I am not listing the classes in a separate category as I have sometime in the past.

1. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson for Northside Library Book Group January reading -- finished Jan. 9th
2. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee for New Dominion book group . -- finished reading Jan. 24th
3. Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont -- finished reading Feb. 8th for New Dominion book group --2 stars
4. A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline -- reread for Northside Book Group -- 4.5 stars
5. What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank by Nathan Englander -- finished Mar. 7th -- JMRL Same Page program and Northside Book Club -- 3.5 stars
6. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng -- New Dominion Book Group -- finished reading Apr. 17th -- 4.5 stars
7. Dinner in Camelot by Joseph A. Esposito -- LT Early reviewer -- finished Apr. 23rd -- 3.5 stars
8. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr -- Northside Library book group May read -- finished reading May 7th.
9. Germany: Memories of a Nation by Neil MacGregor -- OLLI German Cultural History course -- finished reading May 14th -- 4 stars
10. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie -- finished reading May 3rd -- 4.5 stars
11. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers -- OLLI mystery novels class -- finished reading May 11th -- 4 stars
12. The Drop by Michael Connelly -- OLLI mystery novels class -- finished reading May 16th.
13. A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman -- OLLI mystery novels class --finished reading May 23rd -- 3.5 stars
14. Ties that Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves by Marie Jenkins Schwartz -- Books Sandwiched in committee -- finished reading May 29th -- 4.5 stars
15. The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives by Bryant Simon -- Books Sandwiched in candidate -- finished reading May 31st -- 4 stars
16. Probable Claws by Rita Mae Brown and Speaky Pie Brown -- LT Early reviewers -- finished reading June 14th -- 4 stars
17. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan -- Northside book group -- finished reading June 18th -- 3 stars
18. The All of It by Jeannette Haien — Northside Book Group — read July 20th — 3.5 stars.
19. What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton -- OLLI discussion group to be held in August -- finished July 29th -- 4 stars
20. Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund -- Northside book group -- finished reading Aug. 14th.
21. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks -- Northside book group selection -- finished reading Sept. 21st.

20sallylou61
Edited: Sep 24, 11:11pm Top

Category 6. Short stories, essays, poetry, plays -- I really enjoy reading short stories, and read some collections of poetry. I will only list short poetry collections here, not longer ones. If my OLLI classes involve reading short stories, essays, plays, etc., I will probably list them here instead of in category 5.

1. Some Say Tomato: Poems edited by Mariflo Stephens (Local editor) -- finished reading Jan. 17th
2. A Journey to Elsewhere: Poetry through the Seasons of Life by Leonard Tuchyner -- read twice Feb. 3rd
3. Agamemnon by Aeschylus, translated by Richmond Lattimore -- read on Feb. 23rd for OLLI Greek drama class.
4. Euripides' Medea by Euripides, translated by Oliver Taplin -- read Mar. 3rd for OLLI Greek drama class.
5. Hippolytus by Euripides, translated by David Grene -- read Mar. 11th for Greek drama course
6. Lysistrata by Aristophanes, translated by Alan H. Sommerstein -- finished Mar.19th for Greek drama class.
7. The Fly by Katherine Mansfield -- short story for OLLI class held Apr. 17th
8. An Indiscreet Journey by Katherine Mansfield -- short story for OLLI class to be held Apr. 24th (no touchstone)
am also reading number of stories in Stories by Katherine Mansfield, will list separately if end up not reading all of them
9. "Sun and Moon" by Katherine Mansfield -- short story for OLLI class to be held May 1st. (read Apr. 24th)
10. The Garden-Party by Katherine Mansfield -- short story for OLLI class to be held May 1st. (read Apr. 24th)
11. "Powerful angels" by Cathryn Hankla -- short story New Dominion book group -- read May 3rd
12. Who Moved My Cheese: an A-mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson -- short 94 p. book -- read Sept. 11th -- 2.5 stars
13. She Who Holds the Sky: Matilda Joslyn Gage by Sally Roesch Wagner (70 p. of text) -- read Sept. 24th. -- 3 stars

21sallylou61
Edited: Jul 9, 10:59pm Top

Category 7. Virginia Book Festival. My favorite annual local event is the Virginia Festival of the Book which is held in Charlottesville each March. This category will be for reading any books from the 2018 festival (either owned or borrowed) plus books for past festivals, which I purchased but still have not read. In 2018 I'm not going to hold interesting books from the festival until they become ROOTs.

1. The Class of '65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness by Jim Auchmutey -- finished reading Jan. 14th -- 2016 festival -- 4.5 stars
2. A Journey to Elsewhere: Poetry through the Seasons of Life by Leonard Tuchyner -- read first time Feb. 3rd -- 4.5 stars -- 2016 festival -- actually program at Colonnades organized by Sara Robinson held during festival
3. A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline -- 2017 festival -- finished rereading Feb. 17th -- 5 stars
4. What We Talk about When We Talk about Anne Frank by Nathan Englander -- 2018 festival -- finished reading Mar. 7 -- 3.5 stars
5. What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte -- 2018 festival -- finished reading Mar. 29th -- 3.5 stars
6. A Far, Far Better Thing by Jens Soering and Bill Sizemore -- 2018 festival -- finished reading Apr. 1st -- 4.5 stars
7. Sister of Silence by Daleen Berry -- 2015 festival -- finished reading June 25th -- 4.5 stars
8. Wait, What?: and Life's Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan -- 2018 festival although not a program which I attended -- finished reading June 30th -- 3.5 stars (library book
9. Lady Cop Makes Trouble: a Kopp Sisters Novel by Amy Stewart -- 2018 festival -- finished reading July 2nd. 3 stars
10. Playing with Dynamite: a Memoir by Sharon Harrigan -- 2018 festival -- finished reading July 9th -- 4 stars

22sallylou61
Edited: Aug 20, 12:03pm Top

Category 8. Books published in 2018:
1. The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century by Simon Baatz -- bought Jan. 28th, finished reading Feb. 12th -- 2.5 stars . (pub. Jan. 16th)
2. What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte -- finished reading Mar. 29th (pub. Feb. 6th)
3. Magical & Real: Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd by Henriette Wyeth (art work) and others -- 2 volumes -- finished reading April 13th. (publication not available thru Amazon -- don't know date)
4. Dinner at Camelot: The Night America's Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House by Joseph A. Esposito -- finished reading Apr. 23rd. -- LT Early Review book (pub. Apr. 3rd)
5. Probable Claws by Rita Mae Brown and Speaky Pie Brown -- LT Early reviewers -- finished reading June 14th -- 3.5 stars -- pub. May 29th)
6. Natural Causes: an Epidemic of wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenreich -- finished reading June 20th -- (pub. Apr. 10th) -- library book
7. Atticus Finch: the Biography: Harper Lee, her Father, and the Making of an American Icon by Joseph Crespino -- library book -- finished reading Aug. 1st -- (pub. May 8th) -- library book
8. The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin -- finished reading Aug. 6th -- (published June 5th) -- library book
9. To Die but Once by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs 14) -- (published Mar. 28th) -- finished Aug. 20th

23sallylou61
Edited: Sep 6, 4:27pm Top

Category 9 -- Miscellaneous -- does not fit anywhere else:
1. Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova -- finished reading Feb. 27th -- 4 stars -- library book, saw on display
2. Pressure is a Privilege by Billie Jean King -- read July 12th -- 3.5 stars -- library book -- read for JMRL summer reading challenge

24mamzel
Dec 20, 2017, 1:23pm Top

It looks like a challenging year of reading ahead! Happy reading!

25DeltaQueen50
Dec 20, 2017, 3:22pm Top

Great to see you here and all set up. Looking forward to following along in 2018.

26rabbitprincess
Dec 20, 2017, 6:37pm Top

Have fun with your updated challenge! I like to pick books that fit the CATs but treat them more like Bingo books, reading them when I feel like rather than in the assigned month.

27thornton37814
Dec 20, 2017, 7:20pm Top

I'm following along with you. I'm looking forward to seeing those Virginia history choices. I'm hoping to read two or three Virginia history titles also.

28MissWatson
Dec 21, 2017, 5:02am Top

Happy reading!

29lkernagh
Dec 23, 2017, 8:27pm Top

I am looking forward to another year of following your reading!

30sallylou61
Edited: May 18, 9:00pm Top

I enjoyed reading Prairie Fires: the American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser; it qualifies for the BingoDOG over 500 pages square. This could be considered a joint biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, there is so much information about Lane. This detailed study begins with a brief history of Laura's ancestors and ends following Rose's death and the status of the estates of Laura and Rose. The uniqueness of this book is its coverage of Laura's adult life between her childhood and the writing of the Little House books, a discussion of her adult political beliefs, and information about her relationship with her husband, Almanzo Wilder after their marriage. Many other LIW books cover her childhood and her writing of her children's books (including the conflicts between LIW and RWL concerning their writings). I was not surprised that this book paints a very unfavorable portrait of Rose Wilder Lane since Ms. Fraser has an article in Pioneer Girl Perspectives which portrayed her dishonesty. However, I think this book gives a very balanced account of the lives and views of both women.

Several times Ms. Fraser discusses photographs, which do not appear in the book itself. Also, her habit of referring to Laura as Wilder instead of Laura when writing about her as an adult was a bit confusing at first since I considered Wilder to be Almanzo; however, I got used to this feature. Ms. Fraser also referred to Rose as Lane and a few other women by their married surnames.

4.5 stars

31sallylou61
Edited: Jan 10, 10:04am Top

For one of my book clubs which meets next week, I've finished reading Life after Life, by Kate Atkinson, a new for me author. I had a hard time getting into this novel; I was nearly 1/3 of the way through when I started enjoying it. I do not particularly care for the author's technique of going back and forth in time, and of telling some of the same stories, in practically in same words, more than once. Early in my reading, I found a list of characters in the story on the web, and made a printout of them; this helped me read the book. I have heard from several others in the book club about not really liking the book; our discussion should be interesting.

2.5 stars

32sallylou61
Edited: Jan 11, 2:38pm Top

For the ColorCAT (black), the AlphaKIT (M) and the fits at least 2 CATs/KITs square of BingoDOG, I read
Dark Horses and Black Beauties: Animals, Women, a Passion by Melissa Holbrook Pierson. 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.

2.5 stars

33virginiahomeschooler
Jan 11, 4:09pm Top

>31 sallylou61: i gave up on this one about 100 pages in. I don't know if it was the back and forth perspectives or what really bothered me, but I wasn't enjoying it enough to keep going.

34sallylou61
Jan 11, 8:59pm Top

>33 virginiahomeschooler: I would not have finished Life after Life if I wasn't reading it for my book club.

35sallylou61
Jan 12, 11:28pm Top

I really enjoyed reading Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller, a novel featuring Carolline (Ma) in the Little House books. This is a story of Little House on the Prairie told from the view of Ma, describing what life would be like for a pioneer woman, and how she would feel. Ms. Miller changed some parts; the Census records show that Carrie Ingalls was actually born in Kansas (Indian Territory) instead of being taken there as a small child. Ms. Miller describes how the long wagon ride would feel to a pregnant woman (over 40 % of the book), and she has Ma giving birth to Carrie in the "Little House," attended to by a female neighbor she did not know. Near the end of the story, there are some love scenes between Caroline and her husband, Charles.

4.5 stars

36virginiahomeschooler
Jan 13, 10:15am Top

>35 sallylou61: I'm so glad to hear good things about this one. I bought it for kindle a couple of weeks back when it was on sale, and I've been looking forward to it.

37DeltaQueen50
Jan 13, 4:31pm Top

>35 sallylou61: I am also happy to hear you enjoyed Caroline as I received it as a Christmas gift. I have been thinking of re-reading the Little House series at some point so I may just kick it off with reading Caroline first.

38sallylou61
Jan 14, 9:00pm Top

>36 virginiahomeschooler:, >37 DeltaQueen50: . As I mentioned, I really enjoyed reading Caroline. Last year, I reread all of the Little House books. I'm glad that I reread Little House on the Prairie recently since a number of the same incidents appear in both it and Caroline. Actually, Little House on the Prairie is my least favorite of the original Little House books; I enjoyed Caroline more than the book it is based on.
I don't think it makes any difference which of the books, Caroline or Little House on the Prairie is read first.

39sallylou61
Jan 14, 9:11pm Top

I've been doing a lot of reading the past few weeks. I just finished The Class of '65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness by Jim Auchmutey for the number in the titleBingoDOG square (and number 7 in my category challenge, Virginia Book Festival books). This is a very moving account of the abuse Greg Wittkamper, who lived in Christian commune which advocated pacifism and racial justice, suffered as a student at the Americus High School in rural Georgia (near Plains) during the 1960s (the class of '65 is his high school class), and the growth of some of his classmates who 40 years later apologized and invited him to their 40th reunion, which he attended with positive results. The abuse of the 4 black students who attempted to integrate the school is also told; they were in later classes, and only one of them completed high school there.

4.5 stars

40sallylou61
Edited: Jan 17, 2:13pm Top

I decided to read something not aimed toward a CAT or BingoDOG challenge or assigned. However it was not really pleasure reading because of the topic -- the murder of the 5 Amish girls and the wounding of 5 other girls shot in their schoolhouse by Charles Carl Roberts IV on Oct. 2, 2006, and the forgiveness shown toward the killer's family by the Amish community. Although Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher describes the shooting at the beginning of the book, the emphasis is on the Amish faith and its practice of forgiveness. The Amish community's action of forgiving the Roberts family captured the news; many were favorably impressed by it while others felt that the Amish forgave much too quickly. The authors discussed in detail the culture of the Amish, and the basis of their life around following the teachings of Jesus with particular emphasis on the Sermon on the Mount in which the Lord's Prayer appears. The Amish say the Lord's Prayer at least twice daily, and take the forgiving part very seriously. In order for the Amish to be forgiven by God, they must forgive others. Thus, they were prepared to forgive the killer even before the killing happened. Moreover, Charles Roberts killed himself after shooting the children making the tragedy an event in the past. The families grieved heavily and had to actively forgive again and again; they were helped through their support of each other and of their community.

Although the verso of the title page gives a 2007 copyright date and no other date prominently appears, the edition I read was published in 2010 or later. It contains an afterword written in 2010 plus an interview with Terri Roberts, Charles' mother, dated that year.

4 stars

41thornton37814
Edited: Jan 17, 2:17pm Top

>40 sallylou61: It reminds me of P. L. Gaus' Separate from the World in which the Amish forgave a crime, almost to the point of not being able to catch the killer.

42sallylou61
Jan 17, 3:53pm Top

>41 thornton37814: I'm not familiar with that book. I looked at your review, and think I might read it sometime.

43thornton37814
Jan 17, 3:59pm Top

>42 sallylou61: I've really enjoyed the entire series. I've been listening to them lately, after listening to one of them on a trip.

44sallylou61
Edited: Jan 17, 4:23pm Top

I decided to finish reading Some Say Tomato: Poems edited by Mariflo Stephens, which I started reading in December. Mariflo is the leader of a book group I am in which meets at a local small bookstore; we had a poetry session after which I purchased the book. Mariflo collected poems which contained the word "tomato." I found this collection of poetry very disappointing. Many of the poems merely mentioned "tomato" or a product containing tomatoes such as catsup. Tomatoes are the central theme of very few of the poems. Many of the poems are about gardening, and several mention many vegetables and fruits.

I had never heard of most of the poets although the collection contains poems by a few famous poets such as Rita Dove, Pablo Neruda, and Maxine Kumin. Four of the poems are by children.

I've decided not to count this small volume containing 50 poems for either the BingoDOG challenge or as a ROOT although it would qualify for both.

3 stars

45sallylou61
Edited: Jan 19, 9:08am Top

For the "Title contains name of a famous person, real or fictional" BingoDOG square, I read: The Three Faces of Nellie: the Real Story behind Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Nellie Oleson" by Robynne Elizabeth Miller. I read it for pleasure and then realized that it fit a square. This short volume (116 p. of text not including bibliography) provides information about the three girls upon whom Laura Ingalls Wilder based the character of Nellie Oleson, her rival in the Little House books: Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters, and Estella (Stella) Gilbert. Nellie Owens is the Nellie in On the Banks of Plum Creek, Genevieve Masters is the Nellie in most of the scenes in the novels set in the Dakota Territory (De Smut area), and Stella Gilbert is the Nellie in These Happy Golden Years who tries to win Almanzo Wilder away from Laura. In addition to providing information about the personalities and adult lives of these three girls/women, Ms. Miller researched and give genealogical information about them including their ancestors and descendants, which is the unique feature of the book. A careful reading of the annotations in Pioneer Girl: the Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Pamela Smith Hill gives the names and some information about the sources for Nellie.

3.5 stars

This is the last recently received book/pamphlet concerning Laura Ingalls Wilder or the Wilder family which I'll be reading. Any additional L.I.W. books will be from my TBR collection or rereads.

46cmbohn
Jan 19, 12:20am Top

I had no idea there were so many books about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

47sallylou61
Jan 19, 9:15am Top

>46 cmbohn: There has been a lot of discussion concerning Laura Ingalls Wilder over the years. When Pioneer Girl, the annotated edition of Laura's autobiography, was published in 2014 by the South Dakota Historical Society Press, the publisher greatly underestimated the interest in it and had to order additional printings. 2017 was the 150 anniversary of her birth, which appears to have prompted at least 4 full-length books about her or her family.

48lkernagh
Jan 21, 2:13pm Top

>40 sallylou61: - Great comments regarding Amish Grace!

49sallylou61
Jan 23, 9:30am Top

50sallylou61
Edited: Aug 7, 11:21pm Top

I read Pachinko by Min Jin Lee for my book club. I had a hard time getting into this novel about 4 generations of a Korean family living in Japan during the 20th century, but found it hard to put down once I read approximately 70 pages. I'm disappointed in the way 2 central characters, Mozasu and especially his son Solomon turned out in the end.

3 stars

51sallylou61
Edited: Jan 29, 9:19pm Top

I read Hacks: the Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House by Donna Brazile which is Ms. Brazile's description of her frustration working as the interim Democratic National Committee chair during the summer and fall of 2016. She never was able to establish a good working relationship with Hillary Clinton's campaign, which was run from Brooklyn, New York, and Ms. Brazile had numerous problems with it. A young glorified clerk from the campaign monitored what Ms. Brazile was doing and reported back to Brooklyn. Robbie Mook, the campaign manager, was fascinated by number crunching, and appeared not to realize the importance of meeting the public and supplying enough campaign literature. Ms. Brazile felt that the campaign headquarters seemed more like a hospital than an active, energetic, enthusiastic headquarters. Much of the book deals with the hacking of Democratic electronic files by the Russians, an ongoing problem which started long before Ms. Brazile assumed her position. The best parts of this book appeared in the Washington Post prior to the book's publication.

3.5 stars

52sallylou61
Jan 27, 7:15pm Top

I've read How Not to Get Rich: The Financial Misadventures of Mark Twain by Alan Pell Crawford for the money in the title square of BingoDOG. Our cats gave this book to John and me for our wedding anniversary a few days ago. It's a financial biography of Twain; his writings are mentioned only in relation to his finances. A great nephew claimed that Twain "tried to be an Edison as well as a Shakespeare, and a few other great men besides" p. X. I was amazed to read how often and far Twain kept getting into debt, sometimes for an invention which did not pan out and sometimes for poor publishing decisions. (He was involved with publishing other people's books.) He went through both his and his wife's fortunes. He finally got a robber baron who liked his writing to manage his business affairs.

I enjoyed the first part of the book which discussed his experimenting in different fields prior to discovering himself as a writer. Mr. Crawford included a lot of humor there. Reading about his later financial difficulties and his stubbornness at not giving up when he was losing great sums of money on a particular venture got rather tiring in my opinion.

3 stars

53sallylou61
Edited: Feb 1, 10:20am Top

Silent no more : victim 1's fight for justice against Jerry Sandusky by Aaron Fisher and Michael Gillum with Dawn Daniels -- finished reading Jan. 28th
I'm not writing much now because last Tuesday night I feel and injured my right elbow. My arm is in a splint and sling; any typing I do is left-handed; I'm right-handed. Tomorrow I hope to find out whether it is broken; there was too much fluid in my elbow to tell on the Xrays taken Tuesday evening.

4.5 stars

54cmbohn
Jan 29, 1:33am Top

Yikes! Good luck with the X-Ray.

55MissWatson
Jan 29, 3:18am Top

>53 sallylou61: I hope the news will be good and your recovery speedy!

56LittleTaiko
Jan 29, 12:38pm Top

>52 sallylou61: - I love how thoughtful your cats are!

>53 sallylou61: - Ouch! Hopefully you are feeling better soon.

57christina_reads
Jan 29, 6:00pm Top

Best of luck for a quick recovery!

58rabbitprincess
Jan 29, 6:05pm Top

Yeowch! Hope your elbow heals well.

59sallylou61
Jan 29, 7:27pm Top

>54 cmbohn:, >55 MissWatson:, >56 LittleTaiko:, >57 christina_reads:, >58 rabbitprincess: . Thanks to all of you. Good news. The orthopedic doctor examined me today after my heavy splint was removed, and thinks I'm healing well. He wants me to pretty much try my normal activities, and return in a month for a follow-up visit. The main activities to avoid include any kind of weight lifting (i.e. weight machines and also using noodles in the water for strength exercises). I need to use my judgement, and stop doing anything that hurts. I have found that although I can use a knife to cut my food or spread butter, etc., it really hurts to put anything in my mouth. Thus, I'm still eating left-handed, which is normal for me since I like to keep my right hand free for using a knife.

60sallylou61
Edited: Feb 1, 10:20am Top

> 53 . Write up for Silent no more:
Silent no more : victim 1's fight for justice against Jerry Sandusky by Aaron Fisher and Michael Gillum with Dawn Daniels, was published in 2012 after Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse. Aaron was the first victim to come forward and tell about what Sandusky had done to him. The book --- written by 18-year-old Aaron, his therapist, Michael Gillum, and his mother, 36-year-old Dawn Daniels --- describes the ordeal which they all went through to get Sandusky recognized as a serial pedophile and convicted for child sexual abuse. Aaron was 10 1/2 (around 2004 or 05) when he first attended the Second Mile Camp for disadvantaged kids run by Sandusky. The abuse started the second summer when Aaron went to camp; after that Sandusky often took Aaron to special events such as football games for which they stayed in hotels in the same bed. Sandusky also took Aaron to the basement of his house, where he abused him; Mrs. Sandusky stayed out of the basement. (Aaron came from a broken family; he lived with his mother and two siblings in public housing in the small town of Lock Haven, PA; his mother cared greatly for her children and did not realize that abuse was occurring.) Aaron did not tell anyone about the abuse until November 2008; he saw Mr. Gillum the day that school officials decided that he might have been abused. Mr. Gillum immediately realized that Aaron had been badly abused, and worked with him constantly to heal and to get Sandusky convicted; the therapist believed that there were probably other victims of Sandusky. The wheels of "justice" went very slowly; the case was being handled by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office since the abuse had happened in several Pennsylvania counties (plus outside the state -- Maryland). Sandusky was a former football coach under Paterno and a very powerful and well-liked man himself. Bringing him to justice involved confronting Penn State University community. The Pennsylvania staff (prosecutors, police, etc.) kept changing; the attorney general was running for governor in 2010. Promises were made and broken. Aaron as an unnamed victim had to testify to three grand juries (beginning in 2009). A large part of the problem seemed to be that officials were trying to find additional victims feeling they needed more than one to convict Sandusky, who was not arrested until November 2011. At the trial in June 2012 in Bellefonte -- approximately 10 miles from Penn State -- 10 numbered, unnamed victims testified against Sandusky in the trial which ended in his conviction. With the conviction, Aaron felt as if he was no longer a victim; he was Aaron.

4.5 stars although the book does not contain an index and sometimes it is hard to tell what date something is happening.

61VivienneR
Feb 1, 7:49pm Top

>53 sallylou61: & >59 sallylou61: Sorry to hear of your injury. I hope you have a speedy recovery. I can sympathize with the trouble you have trying to use your left hand!

62sallylou61
Edited: Feb 2, 10:55am Top


For the February ColorCAT, I've read Molly Brown from Hannibal, Missouri: Her Life in the Gilded Age by Ken and Lisa Marks, an overview of the life of Molly Brown. The authors, who are Hannibal residents and curators of the Hannibal History Museum, wanted to show that Molly, who was actually Margaret Tobin Brown, was born and raised in Hannibal. She was not known as Molly until after the Titanic sinking. She did not go to Colorado until she was a teenager. At first the book seemed more a history of Hannibal than a biography of Margaret since the authors spent so much time describing the town. The book itself is interesting but poorly arranged; it keeps jumping around in time. For over half the book I wondered what a man like J.J. Brown would see in Margaret, raised in poverty. It turns out that J.J. was also from a humble background; together J.J. and Margaret worked hard to make a living in Colorado, and they became rich when J.J. became lucky in mining endeavors. The authors also mention that Margaret worked to help support her family while growing up; they do not describe this until well into the story. I was surprised to learn that Margaret, who lived the life of a very wealthy woman traveling to Europe and having homes in Denver and Newport, RI, was involved in social reforms including women's suffrage, working conditions and pay for miners, child labor, etc. I would have liked to read more about this aspect of her life, especially since the authors mentioned that growing up poor in Hannibal contributed to her social reform and philanthropy efforts.

The book contains numerous photographs of people and buildings. However, maps of some of the places Margaret lived, particularly Hannibal, Leadville (CO), and Denver would have been helpful since the authors often mention street names as if the reader would know where they are.

3 stars

63lkernagh
Feb 3, 6:29pm Top

Glad to see the good news from the orthopedic doctor regarding your elbow recovery! Recoveries from an injury always take longer than we would like but it seems you have some good strategies in place to help the recovery along.

64sallylou61
Edited: Feb 3, 10:18pm Top

I've read a short collection of poetry by a relatively local author: A Journey to Elsewhere: Poetry through the Seasons of Life by Leonard Tuchyner. Mr. Tuchyner's poetry is arranged by seasons -- Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Beyond -- which he interprets as the seasons of life from early childhood through old age and death as seen by a male psychotherapist in his 70s, who has been legally blind for three decades. The language in the poems is beautiful. Many of the poems I enjoyed, and some I really related to although I'm a female. A few poems did not say anything to me, which is not unusual in a poetry collection.

I'm counting this for RandomCAT since I first heard Mr. Tuchyner read his poetry and purchased this book at a program during the Virginia Book Festival in 2016.

4 stars

65DeltaQueen50
Feb 5, 5:03pm Top

So sorry to read of your injury, but it was good that orthopedic doctor feels it's recovering. Sounds like you will be a pro at using your left hand by the time you are fully healed!

66sallylou61
Feb 5, 5:48pm Top

>65 DeltaQueen50: Thanks. Fortunately, I can use my right hand now for almost everything -- just not driving since it hurts to fasten my seatbelt, shift gears (even on an automatic gearshift, steer, etc.).

67sallylou61
Feb 5, 5:53pm Top

For both the ColorCAT and MysteryCAT, I read the cozy mystery, Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown (and her cat Sneaky Pie Brown). I enjoyed this Mrs. Murphy mystery which is set in Crozet, VA (near my home in Charlottesville) and has many of the same characters as the earlier Wish You Were Here although I felt the first dead body should have shown up earlier in the story.

4 stars

68sallylou61
Feb 8, 11:08pm Top

For my book club which meet next week, I've finished reading Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont. I would not have read this book otherwise; it was written by a woman in her 20s and sounds aimed at people that age. The book starts out with pornographic scenes, and throughout contains a lot of bad language. Moreover, none of the characters are very likeable.

2 stars

69sallylou61
Edited: Feb 10, 9:39pm Top

I've read another Mrs. Murphy mystery, Murder at Monticello by Rita Mae Brown which fits both the Color and the MysteryCAT. I enjoyed the solving of the modern day murders more than the 1803 murder at Monticello. This book contains a lot of history which I also enjoyed reading.

4 stars

70rabbitprincess
Feb 10, 10:06am Top

>69 sallylou61: That was my favourite of the Mrs. Murphy series, probably because of the historical background.

71sallylou61
Edited: Feb 12, 9:08pm Top

>70 rabbitprincess: Rita Mae Brown is a local author. I've heard her speak several times. She is a wonderful speaker; I enjoy listening to her even more than reading her books. In a speech several years ago, she spoke about local history.

72sallylou61
Edited: Aug 7, 11:25pm Top

For the "Published in 2018" BingoDOG square, I read The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century by Simon Baatz about the murder of famous architect Stanford White by Harry Thaw over White's treatment (including probably rape) of Evelyn Nesbit, a beautiful young chorus girl, whom Thaw later married. The book briefly portrayed how White treated some young girls including Evelyn, and his very public murder at the opening performance of "Mamzelle Champagne" at a rooftop theater. Both Stanford White and Harry Thaw mistreated Evelyn Nesbit who was a naive teenager when she met both men. Most of the book centers on the trials of Harry Thaw, his sentencing to a state mental hospital, and his very wealthy family's attempts to get him freed. Harry Thaw was a very sleazy man; his story following the murder gets tiresome. This is one of a few books which made my feel nausea while reading it.

The title, Girl on the Velvet Swing, refers to a velvet swing which Stanford White had in his fourth floor studio; he pushed young girls, including Evelyn, on it.

This is a timely book considering the current atmosphere concerning powerful men's treatment of women.
2.5 stars

73sallylou61
Edited: Feb 15, 5:06pm Top

For the Title contains rank in BingoDOG, I read Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini, a novel about Julia Dent Grant and her slave. This title does not accurately describe the book, which is much more about Mrs. Grant's relationship with her husband (with whom she was with on many occasions during the Civil War) than with her slave about whom very little is known. The story of the slave is fictional although Julia came from a slave-holding family and General Grant from an abolitionist family; both families opposed their marriage. The relationship between Julia Grant and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln receives attention; Mrs. Lincoln snubbed Mrs. Grant several times during the war.

4 stars

74sallylou61
Edited: Feb 19, 11:24pm Top

For my book club which meets on Wednesday (and for the Beautiful Cover square of BingoDOG), I reread A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline, and enjoyed it as much if not more than when I read it last spring. It is a fictional account of the life of Christina Olson and of Andrew Wyeth's doing numerous paintings at the Olson farm in Maine, culminating in his painting "Christina's World." The interactions of Christina and her brother Al with whom she lived and Andrew Wyeth are explored; he really seemed to understand her, as demonstrated by the painting which pictures her as a young girl (as she saw herself) instead of a middle aged crippled woman. The cover shows a house in a field; the house, field, and sky are reminiscent of Wyeth's famous painting.

4.5 stars last year; upped to 5 stars this year

75sallylou61
Edited: Sep 14, 11:56pm Top

My second card -- was finding that I was reading at least second book which could fit in some squares --decided to see how these fit into a second card, which I may or may not finish.

76sallylou61
Edited: Sep 15, 11:12am Top

Books read for my second card:

1. Fits at least 2 KITs/CATs: Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown -- February ColorCAT (brown) and MysteryCAT (female detective)

2. Famous person in title: Magical & Real: Peter Hurd, art by Peter Hurd; text by Sara Woodbury, Melissa Renn, and Leo G. Mazow -- finished reading Apr. 13.

3. Money in title -- The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives by Bryant Simon -- finished reading May 31st -- 4 stars -- cheap used 3 times in title, referring to money, economics, what society can afford

4. Originally in a different language: Euripides' Medea by Euripides, translated by Oliver Taplin (Classical Greek)

5. Unread 2017 purchase: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath — finished reading Jule 20th — 2.5 stars — first Bingo — top horizontal line

6. New to me author: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng -- New Dominion Book Group -- RandomCAT April finished reading Apr. 17th -- 4.5 stars

7. Autobiography or memoir: Playing with Dynamite: a Memoir by Sharon Harrigan -- finished reading July 9th -- 4 stars

8. 2018 imprint: What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte -- finished Mar. 29th

9. Longtime TBR: The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed -- received as Christmas gift in 2008 -- finished reading Sept. 3rd -- 4 stars

10. Beautiful cover: Women illustrators of the Golden Age edited by Mary Carolyn Waldrep -- read April 7th.

11. Plays or Poetry: The Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier: a Reader's Edition (touchstone does not work) -- edited by William Jolliff

13. Read a CAT: We Were Eight Years in Power: an American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates -- March RandomCAT (news headline) -- finished Mar. 11th -- 4.5 stars

14. Rank in title: Ties that Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves by Marie Jenkins Schwartz -- finished reading May 29th

15. Published over 100 years ago: The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (1915) -- finished Aug. 16th -- 3.5 stars

16. Humorous book: Quakers Are Funny by Chuck Fager -- finished Aug. 30th -- 3 stars

17. Over 500 p.: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (530 p.) -- finished reading May 7th

18. X in title: Murder in Lexington by Daniel S. Morrow -- finished reading June 10th -- 3 stars

19. Relative term in title: Sister of Silence by Daleen Berry -- finished reading June 25th -- 4.5 stars

21. Set during holiday: Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon (children's book) -- read June 27th

22. Something in the sky: The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin -- BingoDOG 2nd card (something in the sky) -- finished reading Aug. 6th -- 4 stars

23. 1001 list: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott -- finished reading Sept. 14th -- 3.5 stars

24. Number in the title: Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont

25. Involves travel: The All of It by Jeannette Haien — read July 20th — 3.5 stars — 2nd bingo— diagonal, upper left to lower right. -- replaced August 17th by Mountains, Madness, & Miracles: 4000 Miles along the Appalachian Trail by Lauralee Bliss -- 3.5 stars.

77sallylou61
Edited: Feb 25, 1:49pm Top

For the Poetry of Plays square of my first BingoDOG card, I read War Poems selected and edited by John Hollander. I had not been planning to read this collection at this time, but in our Wednesday afternoon poetry group we discussed some poems about World War I which whetted my interest. This collection of poems, in the Everyman's Library Pocket Poets series, was disappointing in that the selector provided a brief introduction at the beginning of the volume, but did not say anything about the poets or the poems with the poems themselves. He did provide an index of poets, with birth and death dates, but no other information. Fortunately, with the internet, I could find out more about the poets, especially whether they had actual experience in war and whether or not they died as a result of war. The volume is arranged by time period: Heroic Ages: Ancient through Renaissance, Before and after Napoleon, The American Civil War, Modern Warfare: World War I, World War II and After, and General Observations. One of the poems was about the Vietnam War; there were no poems included about wars after that although the collection was published in 1999. Some of the poems are very well-known including "Defence of Fort McHenry" (which became "The Star Spangled Banner) by Francis Scott Key and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" by Julia Ward Howe. Others were much less familiar. Although most of the poems were originally written in English, some of them, including portions of The Iliad and The Aeneid were translations.

3 stars

78sallylou61
Feb 27, 11:12pm Top

I've finished reading Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova, which I saw on display at our public library. It's a novel about how an Irish Catholic family in Boston copes with Huntington's disease by Lisa Genova, the author of Still Alice which I read several years ago. I was particularly interested in reading this book since the husband of one of my friends had that disease; a lot of the description, I could relate to having seen it in him. This book was hard to put down. I was disappointed in the ending, which left the situation of one of the main characters unresolved.

4 stars

79-Eva-
Mar 6, 6:04pm Top

>31 sallylou61:
I've not read that one (yet), but I very much enjoyed her series about Jackson Brodie, starting with Case Histories (also made into a TV-series, starring the excellent Jason Isaacs).

80sallylou61
Mar 7, 11:27pm Top

I have just finished reading What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank by Nathan Englander for my public library book club and the library's program called Same Page in which members of the community are encouraged to read the same book. This takes the place of the llbrary's normal Big Read program, for which the library did not get funding this year. Mr. Englander will be featured at our branch library to discuss this book during the Virginia Festival of the Book; he is also the Festival's luncheon speaker. These short stories all feature Jewish themes; I would have understood them better if I was more familiar with Jewish culture. I was impressed with how different the stories are. "Everything I Know about My Family on My Mother's Side" is a very interesting piece of writing, being 63 numbered thoughts; I'm not sure I would call it a story.

3.5 stars

81sallylou61
Edited: Mar 10, 8:36pm Top

Mostly for pleasure (and also because it fit the March ColorCAT with a lot of green on the cover) I read Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush. In this memoir the twin daughters of former President and First Lady George W. and Laura Bush tell stories about their close relationship and their family or discuss their views on topics. The order of the pieces (memories) appears to be more topical than chronological; the women skip around in time. Also, they do not strictly take turns; sometimes there will be several consecutive pieces by Jenna or by Barbara. Sometimes the sisters describe their opinions about a particular topic such as war or what their father is like under the same heading. There are no chapters in the book, only topics.

4 stars

82sallylou61
Edited: Mar 12, 11:33am Top

I have read We Were Eight Years in Power: an American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates which fits very well into this month's RandomCAT. This is a collection of selected essays, one for each year, that were published in The Atlantic during the Obama administration. Prior to each essay, Coates includes "Notes" about the year in which he discusses the essay, why or how he wrote it, and critiques it saying what he no longer believes or how well it has stood up in time. Although some of the essays are directly related to Obama's presidency, others discuss important topics such as why blacks should study the Civil War, the question of reparations, and the problem of mass incarceration. In my opinion, the essay "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration" was the least interesting because it was long and the most scholarly with a lot of footnotes; it seemed the least personal of the essays. In the Epilogue, Coates discusses Trump as "the first white president" with his ideology of white supremacy. Throughout the book, Coates pointed out the problem of blacks' being considered inferior to whites -- of the history of white supremacy in the United States. This book particularly resonated with me since I live in Charlottesville, VA, where we had a violent alt-right demonstration last summer; the community is trying to find ways to heal, to recognize the worth of everyone, and to avoid such occurrences in the future.

4.5 stars

83sallylou61
Edited: Mar 15, 9:41pm Top

I've finished reading The Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier: a Readers' Edition (touchstone does not work) -- edited by William Jolliff, which is a selection of Whittier's poetry. It is divided into five sections: "Prophet of the Republic" (social reform, especially in relation to slavery), "The Warming Haze of Yesterday" (memories), "Snow-Bound" (a long single poem), "Crafting the Past" (long, narrative poems), and "Tokens of an Inward Journey" (religious poems). The editor provides introductions to the work as a whole, each section, and each poem. In many cases, I found the introductions more interesting than the poems themselves although I liked some of the poetry very much. I was disappointed in the selection of religious poems; I much preferred those published in Selections from the Religious Poems of John Greenleaf Whittier published by the Tract Association of Friends in 1999. I particularly missed "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind," a hymn which appears in hymnals of various religions, for which Whittier wrote the words.

Unfortunately, this paperback book was very poorly bound; although I bought it new several years ago, it feel apart as I was reading it.

3 stars

84lkernagh
Mar 18, 8:59pm Top

>78 sallylou61: - I have enjoyed Lisa Genova's previous works, and look forward to finding time to read Inside the O'Briens.

85sallylou61
Edited: Mar 19, 10:32pm Top

>84 lkernagh: I saw Inside the O'Briens on a library display shelf (from which we were encouraged to remove books). The only other book by Lisa Genova which I have read is Still Alice. Having read these two books, I would like to read more by her.

86sallylou61
Mar 29, 10:42am Top

Last Saturday at the Virginia Festival of the Book I attended a panel discussion titled Appalachia: Contemporary Portrayals" featuring Elizabeth Catte (What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia), Steven Stoll (Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia), and Wendy Welch (Fall or Fly: The Strangely Hopeful Story of Foster Care and Adoption in Appalachia). The most interesting feature in this session was the negative reaction of all three panelists to J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy which they felt presented a partial picture of Appalachia. I have finished reading Catte's short book about Appalachia. She says "There's not a single social problem in Appalachia ... that can't be found elsewhere" (p.8), stresses the diversity of the Appalachian people who include blacks and Hispanics (two groups which have had over half of the region's population growth recently), and emphasizes the role of large corporations (including mining companies) in exploiting the people. She also gives a history of Appalachia, showing that the problems are not new. Included in the history is a history of writing about Appalachia in which she evaluates titles of important books/studies.

Catte's book is disappointing in that she does not give footnotes or endnotes of any kind, and she constantly "paints pictures" describing scenes (some of which are in her mind) but does not include any photographs in the book. She does include a bibliography.

3.5 stars

87sallylou61
Apr 2, 11:13am Top

I've read another book which I bought at the Virginia Festival of the Book in late March: A Far, Far Better Thing: Did a Fatal Attraction Lead to a Wrongful Conviction? by Jens Soering and Bill Sizemore. This was featured in a program about criminal injustice. Jens Soering was a young teenaged freshman at the University of Virginia who became infatuated with Elizabeth (Liz) Haysom, another freshman. Both had lived in various countries although Elizabeth, who was two years older, was much more sophisticated than Jens. The following spring (April 1985) Liz killed both of her parents, and convinced Jens to take the blame to save her from the electric chair. The young couple flew the country and traveled through Europe and Asia. They were caught in London for using fraudulent travelers checks. Liz was the daughter of a prosperous family with ties to the area in which they were killed, Jens was the son of a German diplomat. The Virginia authorities overlooked evidence which pointed to Liz (and let her plead as being an accomplice to the crime) and tied Jens to the killings although his testimony was false and contained numerous wrong details. The first three quarters of the book is Jens' memoir of his love affair with Liz through their arrest, his trial, and briefly the efforts to get him out of prison. The last quarter of the book, by Bill Sizemore, a journalist who became interested in the case, discusses in brief chapters specific aspects of the case, pointing out the numerous things which went wrong in the investigation and trial. This includes but is not limited to Jens' confession which was improperly gotten and should not have been allowed, the questioning of Jens leading to his arrest not taking into account how his testimony conflicted with the crime scene, the judge's ties to the family of the deceased (he was a friend of the mother's brother) and his giving an unfavorable charge to the jury, and the ineffectiveness of the lead defense lawyer. Jens' crime should have been considered accomplice after the fact (since he was involved in the cover-up) which was considered a misdemeanor in Virginia and punishable with a year in prison. Mr. Sizemore described the appeals which later lawyers took to court, all the way up to the Supreme Court, which were denied. Mr. Soering has been in prison in Virginia since 1990 for two murders he did not commit; he is losing hope of being freed.

Unfortunately, the book was not have any endnotes, bibliography (other than a list of books Mr. Soering has published), or index.

4.5 stars.

88sallylou61
Apr 12, 10:58pm Top

My husband and I were on a week's vacation. The first part of the trip was to the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA, where we saw works of the Wyeth family among other artists. We also toured N.C. Wyeth's house and studio, Andrew Wyeth's house and studio, and the Kuerner farm, the setting of many of Andrew's Pennsylvania paintings. At the gift shop, I ended up buying Women Illustrators of the Golden Age by Mary Carolyn Waldrep (touchstone goes to a different title which is probably an alternate title for the same work), and a set of books for an exhibition of the paintings of Henriette Wyeth (Andrew's sister) and her husband, Peter Hurd being held at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA.

Women Illustrators of the Golden Age is primarily a collection of book illustrations by 22 British and American women artists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I was familiar with very few of the artists, namely Kate Greenaway, Beatrix Potter, and Lois Lenski. Approximately 5 to 7 pages were devoted to each artist; many of the illustrations were full-page illustrations. Among the illustrations most often occurring were ones for Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses, various fairy tales and Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes. Of course, Beatrix Potter's illustrations were for her animal stories were featured; these illustrations were much smaller with usually four on a page. Ms. Waldrep gave very brief biographies of the artists. I don't know how accurate these are since she claimed that Beatrix Potter was an only child; Beatrix had a brother, Walter Bertram Potter (1872-1918) with whom she grew up. However, this might be the only error in the biographies.

4 stars

89sallylou61
Edited: Apr 13, 11:04pm Top

Going to the exhibition of Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd on our vacation was a special treat. I knew that Andrew had three sisters -- two of whom were artists and the third an artist and musician -- but I was not familiar with their work. I am disappointed that so often the Wyeth family with three generations of painters -- N.C., Andrew, and Jamie -- are discussed with little reference to the three women. Carolyn even taught Jamie. I really enjoyed reading Magical & Real: Henriette Wyeth (the first volume of a two volume set) after viewing the Wyeth/Hurd special exhibit at the Michener Art Museum. Kirsten M. Jensen, who wrote the text for the Wyeth volume, both describes many of the paintings and provides a biography of Henriette Wyeth, who struggled with living much of her adult life in New Mexico, away from her birth family in Pennsylvania, and was a mother of two and a wife who often helped her husband to the detriment of her own career. Henriette was particularly close to her father, N.C., whom she was the most like in temperament of any of his children, and keenly felt his early death. (Other members of the family were also effected.)

Although the text is very interesting, it could have stood better proofreading. Several times words are unintentionally repeated.

4.5 stars for this volume.

>91 discusses volume on Peter Hurd

90sallylou61
Edited: Apr 13, 12:04am Top

I took Ladies for Liberty: Women who Made a Difference in American History by John Blundell on vacation with me. Mr. Blundell, a conservative British non-scholar's book of American women making a difference is an odd beast. The author includes a number of women who worked for liberal causes including Abigail Adams (urging her husband John to remember the women when writing for independence), Sarah and Angelina Grimke (abolition of slavery and women's rights), Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul (women's rights with Alice Paul leading the militant group), and Rosa Parks (civil rights). However, many of the women, especially in the twentieth century, are conservatives including libertarians. All the 27 women covered wanted liberty of some kind. Liberty including freedom is the way the women made a difference. At the end of each chapter, Mr. Blundell claims that the woman/women just discussed were extremely influential, and, in my opinion, gives them too much credit for a movement many were in. For example, he ends the chapter on Abigail Adams by stating "As an outspoken advocate of equality for women, she can be considered the founder of the real US women's rights movement." (p. 37).

On several occasions Mr. Blundell had his facts wrong, or stated something in a misleading way. For example, in the chapter on Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mr. Blundell states that by moving to Seneca Falls, NY, "she was now only a few miles away from Lucretia Mott, which (sic.) whom she had kept up a correspondence" (p. 65). It is true that Lucretia Mott was in the Seneca Falls region at the time of the 1848 Seneca Falls women's rights convention; however, Lucretia, who lived most of her adult life in Philadelphia, was visiting her sister then.

Moreover, Mr. Blundell's in his recommendations for reading about the various women missed out on some important books. He failed to mention by title Gerta Lerner's classic The Grimke Sisters from South Carolina published in 1967. He claims that the best book concerning Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane is The Ghost in the Little House by William Holtz, which has been recently discredited by several Laura Ingalls Wilder scholars. Although many of these were published after Blundell's book (2013), Laura Ingalls Wilder: a Writer's Life by Pamela Smith Hill (2007) and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane: Authorship, Place, Time and Culture by John E. Miller (2008) both preceded it.

3 stars

91sallylou61
Apr 13, 11:25pm Top

Magical & Real : Peter Hurd; art by Peter Hurd; text by Sara Woodbury, Melissa Renn, and Leo G. Mazow is vol. 2 of the 2 vol. set: Magic & Real: Henriette Wyeth (and) Peter Hurd. Although these volumes accompany a special exhibit of these artists' works at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA and later at the Roswell Museum and Art Center in Roswell, NM, this volume about Peter Hurd is less an exhibition catalog than the one about Henriette Wyeth. The text of the Peter Hurd volume is three essays: "This Ambition which Haunts Me Every Moment: the Multifaceted Career of Peter Hurd" by Sara Woodbury, "An Enduring Record: Peter Hurd's Art for Life Magazine" by Melissa Renn (which is focused on his World War II artwork), and "Hydroculturally Yours: the Windmills of Peter Hurd" by Leo G. Mazow. In all three essays, works by Peter are discussed in some detail, and many of the works are in the exhibit. However, Renn's essay discusses Life's World War II artists and mentions works of other artists (which do not appear in the volume), and Mazow's essay gives a brief history of windmills in the discussion of Hurd's work and describes both Hurd's paintings and his lithographs to a much lesser extent. In the different essays, a few of the same works are described in relation to the different topic. Also, more of Hurd's works which do not appear in the volume are referred to than is true of Henriette's volume.

4 stars for this volume.

92-Eva-
Apr 14, 11:29pm Top

>88 sallylou61:
Sounds like a wonderful trip!

93pammab
Apr 14, 11:48pm Top

>82 sallylou61: Trump as the US's "first white president" is an interesting framing from Ta-Nehisi Coates. I hadn't heard it before, and I'm not sure if I agree, but there is some substance there to think more about. Really appreciate your review of We Were Eight Years in Power!

94sallylou61
Apr 17, 7:45pm Top

>92 -Eva-: We really enjoyed the trip. Thanks.

>93 pammab: The Epilogue of Coates' book is where he discusses Trump as the first white president; it was not from one of his articles in The Atlantic. The title of the Epilogue is "The First White President" and the first sentence says "IT IS INSUFFICIENT TO STATE THE OBVIOUS OF DONALD TRUMP {all in caps}: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact {p.341}." ...
Trump as a white president is seen as a result of having a black president. "Barack Obama delivered to black people the hoary message that in working twice as hard as white people, anything is possible. But Trump's counter is persuasive --- work half as hard as black people and even more is possible. {p.343}." ...
"The relationship between these two notions is as necessary as the relationship between these two men. It is almost as if the fact of Obama, the fact of a black president, insulted Trump personally. ... Replacing Obama was not enough --- Trump has made the negation of Obama's legacy the foundation of his own. And this too is whiteness. --- Trump truly is something new --- the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his correct name and rightful honorific --- America's first white president. p. {344}."
These are just some of the points Coates makes. He talks more about Trump and whiteness. The Epilogue ends on p. 367. The last chapter before the Epilogue is titled "My President was Black."

95sallylou61
Edited: Apr 17, 10:34pm Top

For my book group, I've just read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I found it hard to put down even though I did not like some of the characters, especially the mother, Elena Richardson. I expect we will have a lively discussion since the novel deals with the meaning and practice of being a mother; problems of ethics, honesty, integrity; class distinction, conventional/nonconventional lifestyles, etc. The setting of the story is in Shaker Heights, a wealthy Cleveland suburb.

4.5 stars

96sallylou61
Edited: Apr 24, 10:25pm Top

I've read Dinner in Camelot: The Night America's Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House by Joseph A. Esposito, a LT Early Review book. Mr. Esposito tells the story of the special White House dinner in honor of American Nobel Prize winners held April 29, 1962. This was the dinner at which President Kennedy made his famous remark: "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone" (p. v).

See review for more discussion of the book: https://www.librarything.com/work/21469088/reviews/155197815

3.5 stars

97sallylou61
Apr 29, 2:37pm Top

I read Gotz von Berlichingen by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by Charles E. Passage as supplementary material for my OLLI German Cultural History class. This play gave a good picture of medieval life, of fighting among various German areas, of treachery, of changing sides, etc. It is a very early work by Goethe and includes many characters from different walks of life.

98sallylou61
May 2, 9:17am Top

I've read another work by Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther as supplementary reading for my OLLI German Cultural History class. We are going to discuss Goethe tomorrow. I read the edition, translated by R.D. Boylan which is available online through Project Muse. This is the story of a love triangle and is based on Goethe's love for a friend's fiancee. The story, which is largely told through letters, is full of emotion, and also contains images of nature (the natural world).

This is a reread; I read it three years ago for an OLLI class on Goethe.

3.5 stars this time; 4 stars last time

99sallylou61
May 4, 12:11am Top

I have just finished reading my first novel for my OLLI Mystery Novels class next week: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie which also qualifies for (x in title square) of BingoDOG and this month's MysteryCAT (travel). I enjoyed reading this murder mystery. I've never read an Agatha Christie novel which is laid out in parts as this one is. Also, I did not guess the ending even though I had seen the movie starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot over 40 years. (I remembered the movie ending after finishing reading the novel).

4.5 stars

100pammab
May 4, 9:18pm Top

Are you taking these classes for fun? It seems like it is bringing you to a wide variety of books, and for a lot of them, discussion and context is probably pretty valuable!

101sallylou61
May 4, 9:46pm Top

>100 pammab: Yes. I take the classes for pleasure. OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) helps support adult education programs, especially for seniors, connected with approximately 120 universities and colleges in the United States. Here is a link to the member institutions: https://www.osherfoundation.org/index.php?olli_list

Here in Charlottesville, our program is connected with the University of Virginia. Our courses usually last anywhere from 3 to 6 sessions, and are usually given during the daytime. They range from seminar type to large lectures. I particularly enjoy taking the seminars, which have reading assignments. Many of the non-seminar classes have suggested readings, which people may or may not read. One of the questions on our class evaluations form concerns whether we do optional readings.

102pammab
May 5, 10:23am Top

That is a huge reach! I was expecting something much smaller, but it looks like they have a presence in a huge number of communities across the country. I will have to keep them in mind -- it is a nice recommendation for you to post here.

103sallylou61
May 7, 3:36pm Top

For my book club and the May ColorCAT I read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I found this to be a very disappointing read; it was much much much too long, and Marie-Laure and Werner, two important characters from different sides of the war, do not meet until near the end of the book. Moreover, the book keeps jumping around in time, which gets confusing.

2.5 stars

104christina_reads
May 7, 5:55pm Top

>103 sallylou61: I wasn't a huge fan of All the Light We Cannot See either...I liked it overall, but I was also irritated by the constant jumping around in time and POV. Glad to know I'm not the only one who didn't love it!

105sallylou61
May 10, 4:06pm Top

>104 christina_reads: I'll be interested in seeing the reactions of people in my book club to it next week. Already one of my friends said that she doesn't like the jumping around in time.

106sallylou61
May 11, 4:32pm Top

I have finished reading Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers for OLLI mystery novels class. I really enjoyed this murder mystery, and was particularly interested in seeing the roles Miss Murchison and Miss Climpson played in helping to solve the mystery.

4 stars

107Helenliz
May 12, 5:25am Top

>106 sallylou61: It's an interesting sideline in the Wimsey books that he makes use of an agency (which at some stage we discover was funded by him) staffed with single women who are not generally perceived as being useful to society. Miss Climpson appears in a couple of the other novels as well, if you decided to read more of them.

108sallylou61
May 12, 9:15am Top

>107 Helenliz: It mentions in Strong Poison that Wimsey funded the agency. That was interesting also. I'm planning on reading Gaudy Night sometime this summer. I just googled the title, and Miss Climpson is not listed as a main character in that book.

109sallylou61
May 14, 8:16pm Top

I have finished reading Germany: Memories of a Nation by Neil MacGregor for my OLLI adult education German Cultural History course. We were only assigned certain chapters for our six week class; however, I read the unassigned chapters before our course began as background information. The book, which covers approximately 500 years of German cultural history plus the political history necessary to understand what was happening, is very interesting. The author is very good at linking developments or people he is discussing back to other chapters or pages where he discussed something related to it/them. Unfortunately, although there are plates of colored maps and illustrations in the middle of the book, most of the illustrations accompanying the text are black and white. Perhaps it would have gotten too expensive to include more colored ones. This book contains over 560 pages in the text section, but it seems much shorter when reading since there are so many illustrations.

4 stars

110sallylou61
Edited: May 16, 10:38pm Top

For my OLLI adult education mystery novels class I've read the police procedural, The Drop by Michael Connelly. I usually do not read this type of mystery, and enjoyed reading it. I was impressed by the way the author juggled the solving of two cases concerning deaths --- one a current case and the other an old cold case which when certain discoveries were made turned into a horror case of many murders. I was a bit hampered by the author's use of acronyms, some of which I had to look up on the internet. Also, near the end of the book another possible case was brought up; I could not understand why Bosch's thought the way he did about it. I also thought that the book ended rather abruptly.

4 stars

111sallylou61
May 20, 2:25pm Top

As supplementary reading for my OLLI adult education mystery novels class, I just finished reading Talking about Detective Fiction by P.D. James. This book was suggested to me by a friend in my book group. It really is pertinent to what we have been discussing in our class concerning what detective mysteries are and how they relate to the social conditions at the time they were written. Although she has read numerous mystery novels and might have arrived at her own ideas, I wondered our instructor was influence by this book. Although Ms. James focuses on the Golden Age detective novels, she also discusses the current scene at the time she wrote the book (published in 2009). Talking about Detective Fiction is a very good introduction to the genre and some of the most prominent authors writing in it. Unfortunately, it lacks an index.

4.5 stars

112rabbitprincess
May 20, 3:46pm Top

>111 sallylou61: Will have to borrow this one from my mum on my next visit home! Glad that you enjoyed it.

113sallylou61
May 21, 5:58pm Top

>112 rabbitprincess: . I just heard about Talking about Detective Fiction on Friday, and fortunately was able to borrow it from our public library that day. It was really useful. I'm planning on keeping it until my course ends, which is before the book is due.

114cmbohn
May 22, 1:05am Top

103 We read that for book club too and I didn't enjoy it. I don't really remember why though.

115sallylou61
May 23, 10:14pm Top

>114 cmbohn: It turns out that I was the only one at my book club meeting who did not like the book.

116sallylou61
May 23, 10:22pm Top

As the last book for my OLLI adult education mystery novels class which ends next week I read A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman. Although I enjoyed reading this mystery, it was my least favorite of the class assignments. I think one problem was that I am just not that familiar with Navajo culture. However, I was initially surprised by the solving of the many murders in the book. Thinking about it more, with the clues given, it was a logical solution.

3.5 stars

117thornton37814
May 24, 9:12am Top

>116 sallylou61: The series grew on me when I read most of them years ago. As you read more, you'll probably enjoy more of those. Margaret Coel offers a similar series set featuring a priest and attorney on the Wind River Reservation of Wyoming.

118sallylou61
May 29, 2:23pm Top

>117 thornton37814: . Thanks for the info. I'm not sure whether or not I will try reading any more books in this series. I do not read as many mysteries as I would like, and still have many, many authors and series to explore. Today at class our instructor had difficulty getting us to discuss the book because, having read only one book in the series, a lot of us did not have enough background with the series or know enough about Navajo culture to answer her questions.

119thornton37814
May 29, 4:18pm Top

>118 sallylou61: I think that is where the benefit of reading a few more helps with the Navajo culture, at least. I understand what you mean about too many series out there to explore. My number of series underway is astounding, and I only revisit a few of them each year. There's no way to "catch up" on all of them, even if I wanted to do so. Find the ones you love most and stick with them.

120sallylou61
Edited: Jun 2, 11:33am Top

In the past week, I've read two nonfiction books as a member of our local library's Books Sandwiched In committee. We decide on what books to feature in a monthly program in which an invited speaker reviews a book. Each committee member reads one or two of the suggested books which we discuss and then vote on whether or not to include.

I will discuss the books I read in two posts.

Ties that Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves by Marie Jenkins Schwartz discusses the owner/slave relationship of the families of the first three U.S. Presidents from Virginia, with special reference to the women: Martha Washington, Martha Wayles Jefferson (wife) and Martha Jefferson Randolph (daughter), and Dolley Madison and their relationships especially to their personal maids. This is a local topic for us since the Jeffersons lived right outside of Charlottesville and the Madisons in Orange County, less than 30 miles away. The relationship was more complex than might be recognized; the white female owners were in daily contact with their slaves and often saw and dealt with them more often than their own husbands. As a whole, they did not acknowledge that their slaves were human beings who might have feelings. The first ladies were sometimes deceitful. Martha and George Washington, while living in the capital in Philadelphia, sent their slaves back and forth to Mount Vernon since Pennsylvania law said slaves could be free after being in that state for six months. Thus, they were not obeying a law. Martha Jefferson Randolph and some of her children denied that Thomas Jefferson had fathered any children with Sally Hemings although they all lived at Monticello and could see the resemblance in physical features and traits such as speech; Martha tried to blame other relatives. Dolley Madison would change documents and take credit for things which she did not do including rescuing the picture of George Washington from the White House during the War of 1812. I found it interesting that both Martha Washington and Dolley Madison were more conservative concerning freeing slaves than their husbands were. Martha freed George's slaves following his death since he specified it in his will but did not free her own slaves. James Madison did not free any of his slaves in his will although there is speculation that he may have left instructions to do so which were not obeyed. Dolley did not free any slaves; it was her son, Payne Todd, who caused the Madisons great grief and expense during their lives who freed 15 slaves (and gave them a little money) upon his death.

4.5 stars

121sallylou61
Jun 1, 11:08am Top

In the past week, I've read two nonfiction books as a member of our local library's Books Sandwiched In committee. We decide on what books to feature in a monthly program in which an invited speaker reviews a book. Each committee member reads one or two of the suggested books which we discuss and then vote on whether or not to include.

I will discuss the books I read in two posts. Post 2:

The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives by Bryant Simon uses a fire which occurred in a chicken processing plant in Hamlet, North Carolina, as a case study of the effects of government labor policy in society today. A fire swept through the Imperial Food Products plant on September 3, 1991, the day after Labor Day, killing 25 people: 24 employees and a delivery man. These people included 18 women, 12 of whom were black. The plant was a safety hazard which was never inspected: the plant owner made extensive renovations without hiring any architect or securing any work permit; the employees worked in a plant with locked doors, slippery floors, no fire drills, doing repetitive work resulting in injuries under a white supervisor (the owner's son) who yelled at them and timed bathroom breaks. However, the employees were earning a dollar more than minimum wage, and had little access to better jobs. This is primarily a book about economics and society. Mr. Simon is most effective when he is telling the stories about the individual employees as in the last chapter, "Endings" and the Epilogue. Some of the middle chapters, especially the one on deregulation, dealing with economics tends to get bogged down. However, the whole book vividly displays the cost of cheapness in our society today. This cheapness includes the cheap food -- sugary, salty, and fatty food -- the only food the poor can afford to buy and its impact on obesity. It is also a study of race relations in the area around Hamlet. Many black employees felt racial discrimination. For example, although a fire department staffed by blacks was the closest fire department, it was ordered to be a back-up, and stay away even though it offered several times to help; the blacks used this in their argument about discrimination. The cheap lives are those of the employees in plants such as this one.

Especially since the author emphasizes the human cost, I'm disappointed he did not include a list of the names and a bit of biographical information about each victim.

4 stars

122thornton37814
Jun 1, 11:29am Top

>121 sallylou61: Your mention of a chicken plant reminds me of the vile smell coming from the local one when I went to church Wednesday night. If it smell that bad in the air outside, can you imagine what it's like for the people working inside the facility?

123sallylou61
Jun 1, 1:28pm Top

>122 thornton37814: Mr. Simon also mentions the smell, and states that sometimes the employees processed spoiled chicken or chicken that had fallen on the floor at the demand of management.

124sallylou61
Edited: Jun 7, 11:38pm Top

For the June ColorCAT (purple) and for pleasure, I have just read Lilac Girls, a World War II novel by Martha Hall Kelly. The story is centered around Ravensbruck, the Nazi Concentration Camp for women, and the torturous experiments done on healthy Polish prisoners (called rabbits), leaving them dead or seriously disabled. Although there are many characters in the book, the story features three women in particular: Caroline Ferriday, a former actress who is instrumental in getting many of these badly injured Polish women to the United States for treatment; Herta Oberheuser, the female Nazi doctor who was active in torturing the prisoners; and Kasia Kuzmerick (and to a lesser extent her sister Zuzanna), two Polish prisoners were among those experimented upon who survived. Carolina Ferriday and Herta Oberheuser were real people, and Kasia and Zuzanna were based on two sisters, both of whom were operated on. The stories of these main characters before and after the war are also told.

I would rate this novel, along with The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah as excellent World War II stories focused on females. I really am glad to read another moving war story, especially after struggling through All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr for my book club last month.

5 stars

125sallylou61
Jun 10, 9:17pm Top

For the June MysteryCAT (true crime) and the X in title square of my second BingoDOG card, I read Murder in Lexington: VMI, Honor and Justice in Antebellum Virginia by Daniel S. Morrow. Several years ago we lived briefly in Lexington, and I purchased this book at a small local bookstore when we were driving through the town a couple of years ago. This is an account of life in Lexington in the 1850s and the value placed on honor. It also shows the rivalry among the three higher learning institutions for men in that town at that time: VMI, Judge John White Brockenbrough's Law School (which later became the Washington and Lee University School of Law), and, to a much lesser extent, Washington College (which later became Washington and Lee University). Honor meant fighting among the men if they felt they were dishonored. Charles Burks Christian, a law school student, felt snubbed by a beautiful young lady and decided her cousin, VMI Cadet Thomas Blackburn was responsible. Christian met Blackburn as the latter was escorting another young woman to church and asked him to come with him. The two men got into a scuffle, and Christian - who was armed with two guns and a knife - stabbed the unarmed Blackburn to death. Much of the book centers on the first trial of Christian, which resulted in a hung jury. In a later trial in another community, Christian was found not guilty. At both trials Christian had numerous lawyers, 6 and 8 respectively, and members of both juries included friends or relatives of the defendant. The author repeatedly states the pedigrees of many of the characters in the book, showing their importance.

3 stars

126sallylou61
Edited: Jun 28, 11:07pm Top

I read a LT Early Review book, Probable Claws, a Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown. It also qualifies for the RandomCAT since it is partially narrated by cats and dogs.

A local architect, Gary Gardner, is shot to death in the presence of Deputy Cynthia Cooper and “Harry” Haristeen by a masked motorcyclist. “Harry,” a central character in the Mrs. Murphy Mystery series, against the orders of the police, endangers herself by becoming involved in solving the murder with the help of her pets -- cats, Mrs. Murphy and Pewter and dog, Tee Tucker. Once again the story is located in the small town of Crozet, Virginia, although some scenes take place in Richmond. Although this is a work of fiction, a real person, Anne de Vault and her small Crozet business, Over the Moon bookstore are featured fictitiously. I checked with Ms. de Vault, and she knew ahead of time that she and her bookstore would be portrayed in the novel.

Probably Claws includes stories from two different time periods, late December 2016 through late February 2017 and November 1786 through June 1787. As typical with the Mrs. Murphy series, the main characters, both human and animal, are listed at the beginning of the book. This is especially useful for this novel since there are numerous characters, particularly with the 18th century story concerning two plantations with free whites and black slaves on each. I often had to refer back to the list.

The 18th century characters were apparently featured in the preceding novel in the series, A Hiss before Dying and will appear again in the book following this one. Thus, some readers may have already met those characters, and would not experience such an overload of characters as I did.

I was a bit frustrated reading the book since in an exciting place in the current story, Ms. Brown shifts to the earlier story. 31 of the 46 short chapters tell the current story. Each story was interesting in itself, but I would have preferred to have only the current story told; it was whole in itself and not strongly connected with the earlier one. I continue to enjoy reading these Mrs. Murphy mysteries, especially since they are set in Crozet near where I live.

3.5 stars (lowered rating after reading Santa Clawed which I felt was much better)

127thornton37814
Jun 16, 7:03pm Top

>126 sallylou61: I won Probable Claws which was on my doorstep when I got home yesterday. I've been anxious to dig into it, but since it does fit the RandomCAT, I can mix it in with my current rotation--the nonfiction challenge's travel theme book, a book I'm reading with a genealogy study group (I have 200 pages to read before tomorrow night), and now the Brown book. I'm not caught up on the series so your note that the 18th century characters were in the previous installment concerns me a bit, but I will give it a try and remember that not being caught up may cause me to lower my rating.

128sallylou61
Jun 17, 8:45pm Top

>127 thornton37814: Hi Lori, I have thought more about what narration means and have decided that Probable Claws does not have enough narration by animals in it to include it in the RandomCAT theme. The pets in their conversation help carry the story (and give clues which the humans have difficulty understanding), but do not really narrate the story.

I enjoyed this book by a local author, which includes as part of its setting a small bookstore which I like to support. However, as a whole I enjoy Rita Mae Brown as a speaker more than as a writer. She's an excellent speaker.

129thornton37814
Jun 18, 11:20pm Top

>128 sallylou61: If it doesn't count, I won't manage to get another book read this month unless I find a children's book that fits the bill.

130sallylou61
Edited: Jul 18, 10:20am Top

For my bookclub which meets this coming Wednesday, I've finished reading The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. We read one or two nonfiction books each year (June through May), and one or two classics; the rest are fiction. I'm disappointed that we picked this as one of the few nonfiction books since there are so many really interesting nonfiction books available. The Worst Hard Time is about the 1930s Dust Bowl and the people who remained (instead of moving elsewhere); the stories of individuals are interesting although many suffer from the same conditions: dust getting into their lungs (in addition to in their houses, on their clothes), etc. Many people suffocated. This is a book which I kept putting off; I kept finding something I'd rather read. The few times I picked it up, I read big chunks at a time. Without being familiar with the towns discussed, it was hard to keep the people straight. The story was primarily chronological, telling about what happened in different places and to different people around the same time, which meant that it kept picking up the story of a place/person. This made it rather choppy. Sometimes I wasn't sure which year was being discussed. An appendix identifying the main characters with brief biographical information would have been helpful.

2.5 stars

131sallylou61
Jun 18, 11:49pm Top

>129 thornton37814: . Sorry I didn't think far enough ahead as to what narration actually meant. I was not a literature major, and in our book club meetings I sometimes have difficulty determining who the narrators are.

132thornton37814
Jun 19, 8:05pm Top

>131 sallylou61: I think they are narrating in their own sphere. They are uncovering clues and getting the pet human's attention.

133sallylou61
Jun 20, 2:31pm Top

>132 thornton37814: . Thanks. If you end up counting this book in the RandomCAT challenge, I think that I will also. When I asked in the June RandomCAT thread whether the whole book needed to be narrated by nonhumans, I was told no, but that there needed to be narration, not just animals talking.

134sallylou61
Jun 20, 2:43pm Top

Because I'm interested in the topic, I just read Natural Causes: an Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenreich. Some years ago, I read her Nickeled and Dimed, which I found very pertinent to our society. I was not aware that Ms. Ehrenreich is a scientist with a doctorate in cellular immunology. I found the beginning and ending of the book very interesting when she talked about unnecessary medical testing, heroic measures to keep people alive, physicians' control over women during such things as childbirth, exercise as work, food regiments, and what death means. However, the middle chapters when Ms. Ehrenreich discussed the action of cells and decision-making by them, etc. I could do without.

135rabbitprincess
Edited: Jun 20, 5:52pm Top

>134 sallylou61: Good to know about the middle of Natural Causes. I'm in the holds queue for that one at the library. The beginning and end sound like exactly what I hope to get out of it.

136thornton37814
Edited: Jun 22, 8:15am Top

>133 sallylou61: I'm counting it. There was even one entire chapter that was mostly the cats and dogs talking to one another--not to mention the other times. Granted, sometimes the narration is less prominent than at others, but it's enough to me to be considered. After all, we do know what the animals are thinking--especially Pewter!

137sallylou61
Jun 22, 1:26pm Top

>136 thornton37814: . Thanks, I'm counting it also. I was interested in seeing that we both would have preferred only one story instead of two different ones in two different time periods.

138thornton37814
Jun 22, 5:10pm Top

>137 sallylou61: Honestly, it's been so long since I read her books I'd forgotten that was the biggest issue I always had with them. I love historical fiction, and I love mysteries, but if they are going to both be present in the same book, they need to connect!

139sallylou61
Jun 22, 11:44pm Top

For the LGBTQ square of BingoDOG, I read Eleanor and Hick: the Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn, which is a joint biography of Eleanor Roosevelt and her lesbian lover, Lorena Hickok, an AP reporter when the two women met. This book tells about the relationship between Eleanor and Hick, but also the contributions of each woman, especially during FDR's administration. It also discusses their relationships with other lovers -- other lesbians for Hick and young men for Eleanor, especially during WWII and after FDR's death. The book is also a good overview of FDR's administration.

5 stars

140sallylou61
Edited: Jun 25, 2:17pm Top

For my local library summer reading program (read a memoir), I just read Sister of Silence by Daleen Berry, which would also fit the MysteryCAT for this month, true crime. It is a story of child abuse and wife abuse -- physical, sexual, and emotional. When she was 13, Daleen was raped by a man. The sexual abuse continued for several years and Daleen was afraid to tell anyone, fearing her family would think she was a bad person. When she was around 16, she became pregnant by her abuser, and felt she should marry him because she would be un-pure for any other man. She still had not told anyone. Daleen had four children by the time she was 21. Finally she got a job as a newspaper reporter in her small rural town. She became a crime reporter and realized that women in her kind of situation were being murdered by their husbands; she finally realized that she was being abused and her children were suffering. Initially she and her husband tried marital therapy, but when Daleen finally told the therapist her history of abuse, she had individual therapy. She decided she was going to leave her husband and take her children. With the help of her therapist, she was admitted as a psychiatric hospital as a nonpaying patient since without medical insurance and being on leave from her job, she had no money. She made splendid progress in the hospital, and came out realizing she wanted to continue being a journalist (and columnist) and a mother. Daleen probably did not seek help earlier because she lived in Appalachia in a climate where women generally stayed with their husbands even if they were being abused. Moreover, her mother had stayed with her father, an abusive alcoholic.

4.5 stars

141sallylou61
Edited: Jun 28, 3:50pm Top

This past Monday I went to my eye doctor for a follow-up appointment concerning my cataract surgery earlier this month. He mentioned it was 6 months before Christmas; my next appointment is in approximately 6 months (sometime in December). I then decided to read a Christmas book for the holiday square for BingoDOG.
In the past two days, I've read both Santa Clawed, a Mrs. Murphy mystery by Rita Mae Brown for my first card, and Christmas in the Trenches, a picture book by John McCutcheon and illustrated by Henri Sorensen for my second card.
Santa Clawed was a fun read. Once again, it featured the same main human and animal characters and was set in Crozet, VA near Charlottesville. Once again, the animals save their human owner, Harry Haristeen. This book also had events taking place in Charlottesville and Waynesboro, over the mountain from Charlottesville. I recognized all the places mentioned. I did not guess the murderer, but upon finishing the book, I realized the clues were there.

The folksinger, John McCutcheon, used to live in Charlottesville although he moved away many years ago. Ever since I heard him sing it, I've loved his Christmas song "Christmas in the Trenches." I just read his children's book accompanying that song, which I don't think I had actually read before although my husband downloaded the music (and text) from the accompanying CD onto my ipod, and I've listened to many times. Although the book is a picture book, I'm not sure what age children it would appeal to. The colors are all very muted, and the solders' uniforms appear to be in good shape (not dirty or torn).

4 stars for Santa Clawed.

I'm not rating the book; the 5 stars on my record are for the songs (as explained in the comments field of the record)

142sallylou61
Edited: Jun 30, 8:18pm Top

Wait, What?: and Life's Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan is an expansion of a graduation address which he gave as Dean of the Harvard School of Education. Ryan feels that asking a good question is vital in obtaining a good answer. Primarily using experiences from his life and that of his family, he discusses what he feels are five essential questions: (1) Wait, what? (asking for clarification); (2) I wonder why or if (exploring through curiosity); (3) Couldn't we at least ... ? (getting past disagreements to consensus); (4) How can I help? (the basis of human relationships, showing that you care); and (5) What truly matters? (setting priorities, determining what is really important). His bonus question is "And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?" (p. 132). I don't necessarily agree with Mr. Ryan, but found the book valuable in learning more about Mr. Ryan himself and his family through his stories. Many of the stories are very personal; he discusses the births of his first two children, his and his wife's decision to have a fourth child (he was initially opposed and she definitely for), and his finding his birth mother. Mr. Ryan is the incoming President of the University of Virginia, an institution where I worked for over 20 years and located in the town where I still live.

3.5 stars

143sallylou61
Jul 3, 9:28am Top

For the MysteryCAT challenge and for my local library summer reading program new to you author square, I read Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart. I had heard Ms. Stewart speak at the Virginia Festival of the Book last March, and enjoyed listening to her more than reading her book. Although I enjoyed the book by the end of it, I felt that it started out slowly. I think that a nonfiction book on the case described might have been more interesting than this fictional account. It was interesting to learn more about how difficult it was to have women in police work in the early 20th century before they had the vote though.

3 stars

144sallylou61
Jul 6, 10:16pm Top

For the Pacific Ocean square of BingoDOG I read James A. Michener's Tales of the South Pacific. I particularly enjoyed the stories relating to the musical South Pacific such as "Our Heroine" featuring Nellie Forbush and Emile De Becque, "Fo' Dolla'" featuring Bloody Mary, Lt. Cable, and Liat, and "Those Who Fraternize" featuring four of Emile De Becque's daughters. In the book De Becque has eight daughters by at least three different women, none of whom he married instead of a daughter and son as in the musical. Other characters from the musical also appear various stories in the book. I found the last story in the book "A Cemetery at Hoga Point" in which the narrator talks to one of the two Negro caretakers about the men buried very moving. Not surprisingly, many of the stories are about the military and the men's lives; as a whole, I did not find these stories as interesting.

3 stars

145sallylou61
Edited: Jul 8, 11:38pm Top

For the long-time TBR BingoDOG square I finally read Haworth Harvest: the Lives of the Brontës by N. Brysson Morrison, a gift from my father in July 1969. My parents and I visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth when I vacationed in Britain with them early in my library career, and I have treasured this book as a memory of our trip. I finally got around to reading it. This is an interesting account of the whole family with special emphasis on their personalities and relationships and the lives and writings of the sisters. Unfortunately, although there is a bibliography, there are no endnotes or timeline of events, which would have been especially helpful since sometimes it was hard to know when an event was happening.

3 stars

146sallylou61
Edited: Jul 9, 11:44pm Top

I've finished reading Playing with Dynamite: a Memoir by Sharon Harrigan, a local author whom I heard speak at the Virginia Festival of the Book last March. This is a rather unusual memoir because it describes Sharon's search for herself through learning more about her father who died when she was 7 years old. It is also a story of various generations: Sharon and her siblings are early GenX, her parents late Silent generation, and her children a millennial and GenZ. She brings all of them into the picture as she describes her search. Sharon is a poet, and the memoir jumps around in time and her interactions or lack of them with various family members. Parts of the story just describe her thoughts. Sharon's life with her father included domestic violence, especially to her brother; she and her brother had very different remembrances of their father. Sharon does not really learn about her father until nearly 30 years after his death when she talks to an uncle and aunt who were close to him. That is only a short time after she could talk to her mother about her father and sister, who as an adult had not talked to Sharon for years. When she learns more about her father from her uncle and aunt, she realizes that much of what she thought she knew was not true. Her father had not lost his hand playing with dynamite; he was working when the accident occurred. To Sharon, playing with dynamite was "Digging up the past, exposing family secrets to the world. Writing this book." (p. 224.)

4 stars

147sallylou61
Edited: Jul 12, 11:32pm Top

In Pressure is a Privilege, Billie Jean King (with Christine Brennan) described her philosophy of life using examples from her own life, especially her famous 1973 tennis match against Bobby Riggs known the Battle of the Sexes. This could be considered a self-help book; Billie Jean constantly mentioned how qualities needed to be successful in tennis could be applied to many aspects of life. She ended each of the twelve short chapters with boxed in information labeled "instant replay" in which she summarized the main points she made. The audience for the book appears to be primarily young people even though one chapter is titled "Aging is an Art." Once I got used to the format, I enjoyed the book, especially learning more about Billie Jean and her family. Also, she gives some good advice. I read this book as part of my local library's summer reading program.

3.5 stars

148sallylou61
Edited: Jul 17, 7:22pm Top

I just finished reading Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte for the Published over 100 years ago BingoDOG square. I recently read Haworth Harvest, a biography of the Bronte sisters (and brother), and was eager to read a novel by Anne Bronte, having read both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I was particularly interested in Agnes Grey since it paralled Anne's life. I enjoyed reading this novel contrasting the lives of wealthy families and their governesses; it portrayed both class differences (including the way governesses could be treated) and moral questions.

4 stars

149sallylou61
Edited: Jul 24, 12:16pm Top

I've read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, which I found very depressing. I got tired of reading about a young woman's desire to commit suicide. Many of the characters I found shallow and depressing. However, the book was probably a good description of the portrayal of depressed young women and their treatment for psychological during the late 1950s prior to the women's movement, birth control pills, etc.

2.5 stars

150sallylou61
Edited: Jul 24, 12:16pm Top

For my book club meeting next week, I read The All of It by Jeannette Haien. I would have preferred the book without so much fishing, especially using so many fishing terms. I enjoyed the main story.

3.5 stars

151sallylou61
Edited: Jul 29, 5:22pm Top

Our OLLI (Osher Livelong Learning Institute), UVA branch courses are normally given during the winter. This August, a number of small, seminar-like discussion groups are being held. I'm enrolled in one to discuss Hillary Clinton's book What Happened, her analysis of the 2016 election. On Wednesday we will begin our discussion analyzing a quote from the introduction "In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I've often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I am letting my down my guard" (p. xiii-xiv). I've read the whole book, noting some examples of this.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading the book, especially since I was only a lukewarm supporter of Ms. Clinton, voting for her as the much less of two evils. (I did not campaign for her or donate any money to her campaign. I will be interested in finding out about the viewpoints of others in our discussion group concerning her.) I'm well aware that this account was written from Ms. Clinton's point of view; she provides a lot of interesting personal information. She also admitted mistakes, but described all the forces working against her, which were numerous. The press was constantly covering Trump, who continued getting attention by all the outrageous things he said and did. Ms. Clinton had great difficulty getting her message across; the press spent limitless time on her e-mails, and failed to cover important points she was trying to make in her campaign. However, I noticed some concerns Ms. Clinton did not address that Donna Brazile, the interim Democratic National Committee chair during the summer and fall of 2016) discussed in her book, Hacks: the Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House (which I read in January). In fact, Ms. Clinton just mentions Ms. Brazile once, and does not address her campaign's interaction with the Democratic National Committee. The failure of Ms. Clinton's campaign to work with the DNC was something which greatly frustrated Ms. Brazile, and, in my opinion may have also had an impact on the election. I'm planning to borrow a library copy of Hacks; I didn't keep my own copy, thinking I would not be studying this election.

In her book, Ms. Clinton kept mentioning that she had specific plans in many areas to help people, which she never had the opportunity to discuss. However, in her book she does not give any specifics of how she expected to accomplish any of these goals. Much of her book describes how she has been an advocate of women and children throughout her adult career.

4 stars currently, might go down

152sallylou61
Edited: Aug 2, 9:18am Top

I just finished reading a book which I saw on the new book shelves of our public library, Atticus Finch: the Biography: Harper Lee, her Father, and the Making of an American Icon by Joseph Crespino. Mr. Crespino described Ms. Lee's writing of both To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, a story that has already been told elsewhere. He analyzes why the character of Atticus Finch is so different in the two novels, describing Ms. Lee's ambivalent feelings towards her father, the model for Atticus, in connection with race relations. The Atticus Finch in Mockingbird is seen through the eyes of Scout, a child who adores her father in a story taking place in the 1930s. The Atticus Finch in Watchman disappoints Jean Louise (a grown-up Scout) when he goes to a White Citizens' Council meeting; he is no longer so perfect; he is a man of his times in the 1950s. Mr. Crespino goes into detail about the history of the South and of Monroeville, Alabama, Ms. Lee's hometown which is called Maycomb in her novels during the times of the novels, and shows the impact of the times on the stories. Since readers might not be familiar with Watchman, a philosophical novel with little plot, Mr. Crespino describes it in detail. This description tends to bog down the book, especially for a person who has read Watchman.

In my opinion, Mr. Crespino devotes too much time in the last portions of the book to Alabama history in the 1960s, showing what was occurring both at the time of the filming of Mockingbird and the impact of the book and movie on this history. Martin Luther King used Atticus Finch as "an example of an American responding to moral force" (p. 170). Mr. Crespino even states "What Abraham Lincoln had done or Harriet Beecher Stowe, when, as legend has it, he referred to her as 'the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war,' Martin Luther King did for Harper Lee in invoking her most famous character as the example for those Americans who might yet do what's right" (p. 171).

Mr. Crespino's description of the making of the movie, and analysis of the differences in Atticus's role and character is very interesting. The book features Scout as a central character much more than the movie, which puts Atticus more central to the story.

3.5 stars

153sallylou61
Aug 3, 10:02am Top

I read a lot of books by Phyllis A. Whitney as a teenager many years ago, and recently have been kind of interested in reading something by her. Yesterday I selected her Daughter of the Stars as a prize in our local library's summer reading program. I started reading it immediately, and, after a slow start, found I could not put it down. It's locale is primarily Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, but secondarily in Charlottesville, Virginia where I live. At times it was hard to keep all the relatives straight. I did not guess the murderer; Ms. Whitney gave some "false" clues toward the end.

By reading this book and counting it for the Something in the sky square, I finished by BingoDOG card.

3.5 stars

154thornton37814
Aug 3, 10:46am Top

>153 sallylou61: I vaguely remember that one from way back when. I also remember thinking it was a little more "different" than some of her other books, and I didn't enjoy it quite as much. I read a Phyllis Whitney book earlier this year. I may consider doing a gradual re-read of her works at some point. You may be interested in Laura Andersen's book, The Darkling Bride, if you enjoy that genre. I finished it earlier this week. Great read!

155sallylou61
Aug 6, 4:23pm Top

>154 thornton37814: I might try The Darkling Bride sometime. I normally do not read Gothic style books very often although the last few I've read I've enjoyed. I don't remember the plots of the Phyllis Whitney books I read as a teenager; just that I enjoyed her books. I think I'll look on your thread to see which of her books you read earlier this year, and possibly read that one even though I have plenty of books in my backlog to read.

156sallylou61
Edited: Aug 6, 5:24pm Top

I'm trying to borrow more books from the library this year for my general reading instead of buying them. I recently borrowed The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin, which I had on hold. The title of the book is a quote from the first words Anthony Ray Hinton said to the people waiting outside the jail when he was finally released after serving nearly 30 years on death row for crimes which he did not commit. During those long years when he was on death row, he did not see the sun. He was an outdoors man who was initially arrested when he was mowing his mother's yard. The "justice officials" in Alabama decided he was guilty even before his trial. A policemen told him that he would be convicted because: (1) he was black, (2) a white man would say that you shot him, (3) the district attorney is white, (4) the judge will be white, and (5) the jury will be all white (paraphrased from p. 51-51). The book tells Ray Hinton's story of his childhood, arrest, trial, life on death row with all the legal setbacks, final release and briefly his post-prison adjustment.

Mr. Hinton had three lawyers prior to obtaining Bryan Stevenson from the Equal Justice Initiative, who spent 15 years on his case. His first lawyer did not care and gave an incompetent performance, and the third wanted to get him life in prison without parole. Mr. Hinton maintained his innocence; life without parole was completely unsatisfactory to him so that he fired his third lawyer. He would either go out free or die. Much of the book pertains to his years on death row, and shows his growth from being incommunicative at the beginning to showing love for his fellow death rowers. He got permission to form a book club, and for death row prisoners to be allowed to have two books each in addition to their Bibles. Many of the men on death row read the books, and they would have informal discussions outside the club. Mr. Hinton had been brought up to be kind. When he could not be with his own family, the fellow prisoners became his family, and many of them considered themselves family.

During the time Mr. Hinton was on death row, 54 people were executed not far from his cell. The inmates shook the cell bars and cried out so that the person being executed would know that he was not alone.

The afterword includes nearly nine pages of three columns each giving the names of those on death row in March 2017. Statistically probably ten percent of them are innocent.

An index would have been helpful.

4 stars

157sallylou61
Aug 9, 10:26pm Top

For the August MysteryCAT (historical) I just finished reading In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs 14), part of a series I have always enjoyed reading. This Maisie Dobbs mystery takes place around the time that England enters World War II, but talks a lot about trauma on the characters which occurred during World War I. I have usually (but not always) read this series pretty much in order. However, I selected this book from a booktruck of prize books for our local library's summer reading program. I found that a lot has happened in Maisie's and her assistant Billy's lives since the other books I've read in the series.

4 stars

158thornton37814
Aug 11, 5:12pm Top

>157 sallylou61: I'm behind on that series. I'd like to read the "next in series" (for me) later this month if I have time.

159sallylou61
Edited: Aug 15, 8:30pm Top

For my book club meeting tomorrow, I've finished reading Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund. I really had a hard time getting into this book; the thoughts seemed to be so scattered. However, after about 50 pages (out of over 500), I found myself getting more involved, and found the book hard to put down. This is a civil rights novel which takes place in Birmingham in the 1960s. The four spirits in the title refer to the four young girls killed in the church bombing in Birmingham on September 15, 1963. Although many of the events described seem scattered, the stories come together near the end of the book. Characters on various sides of the civil rights struggle -- blacks and whites, some of whom are working toward integration, and vicious white police and KKK members -- are all portrayed.

3.5 stars

160sallylou61
Aug 16, 10:30pm Top

I finally finished reading The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather, a book which I did not start reading until this summer after I had had cataract surgery since the print in my copy is so small. I somewhat enjoyed this story of Thea Kronborg and her struggles to become an opera star. She was from a poor family, and worked hard to earn money for piano and singing lessons; she also had some teachers (mentors) and benefactors who helped her at crucial times. The story is one of the struggle to become an artist. The story is also a modern one since Thea at times was caught between pursuing her career and getting married. I thought that the story dragged at times, and did not care for the Epilogue; I would have preferred if the book had ended with the last chapter which stated "Here we must leave Thea Kronborg. From this time on the story of her life is the story of her achievement. ... This story attempts to deal only with the simple and concrete beginnings which color and accent an artist's work ..." (p. 324).

3.5 stars

161sallylou61
Edited: Sep 6, 9:50pm Top

Yesterday at our nearest public library branch I heard a slide illustrated talk by Lauralee Bliss (trail name Blissful) about her hiking the Appalachian Trail both south to north (with her teenaged son) and then north to south (alone). I then read her book Mountains, Madness, & Miracles: 4000 Miles along the Appalachian Trail, which was a quick read. Reading the book was a different experience from hearing her talk. There were very few illustrations in the book, and these were black & white whereas her slides were colored. The book emphasized her hike as a spiritual experience; she made numerous references to God, which she really played down in her talk. Perhaps I felt a bit of a letdown with the book in comparison to Ms. Bliss's talk, but I did not find it as inspiring as Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis which I read several years ago for a book club. However, from the talk and books, I learned that every hiking experience on the Appalachian Trial is different. Moreover, Ms. Bliss and Ms. Davis were very different people; Ms. Bliss was a middle aged woman who finished her second trip four years after her first one and talked about being older where as Ms. Davis was a recent college graduate in her early 20s.

3 stars for Ms. Bliss's book

162sallylou61
Edited: Aug 20, 12:10pm Top

I've just finished reading To Die but Once by Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs 14) which I saw in the Best Seller collection of our public library. I enjoyed this World War II novel, which Ms. Winspear created from stories of the experience of her father as a teenager doing war work. The novel centers on the death of a young man who experienced bad headaches when painting poisonous fire retardant on air force buildings, but contains many other war stories.

4 stars

163sallylou61
Aug 20, 10:31pm Top

I've also finished reading a short story collection set in West Virginia which I purchased on a trip to West Virginia slightly over a week ago: The Well Ain't Dry Yet by Belinda Anderson. This is an interesting although uneven collection of stories about people of various ages and races. The stories "Reunion" and "Picasso's Cat" (in which a cat locks the owner of a car out of his car) are humorous although I would not call this a humorous book.

3 stars

164sallylou61
Edited: Aug 30, 11:05am Top

I began reading Laughter in Quaker Grey by William H. Sessions for the ColorCAT but decided not to do so at this time since someone in our family has had it since it was published in the mid-1960s, and reading the book made my allergies kick in. I decided I still wanted to read a humorous book for the BingoDOG humorous book square so that I read Quakers Are Funny by Chuck Fager. This book contains accounts of funny happenings, jokes, and poems about Quakers -- both old items including ones I heard in my childhood, and things happening in the 1980s when the book was published. Maybe I just don't care for funny books, but this did not appeal to me.

3 stars

165sallylou61
Edited: Sep 7, 1:00pm Top

I just finished reading a long-time TBR book, The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed, which I received for Christmas in 2008, the year it was published. I received the incentive to read it when I heard that a book club I used to belong to was reading it. Although this book is very long and got quite repetitious, it was interesting to read about the whole Hemings family and to learn more about the inter-relationships (including day to day living) of the Wayles/Jefferson/Randolph families with the Hemings family. One also learns a lot about why Thomas Jefferson probably did the things he did concerning this situation.

This book, which won multiple awards including the Pulitzer prize in history, was very well researched. However, unfortunately Ms. Gordon-Reed often refers to any Hemings family member she is writing about at any particular time as "Hemings." Sometimes I had to look back to find out which Hemings she was talking about, especially for the men whose story is not as familiar. I found it rather jarring to have Sally Hemings often referred to simply as Hemings.

4 stars

166sallylou61
Edited: Sep 7, 12:55pm Top

For Last month's RandomCAT challenge I read Mountains, Madness & Miracles: 4000 Miles along the Appalachian Trail by Lauralee Bliss about hiking the Appalachian Trail south to north with her teenaged son, and then north to south in stages by herself. The book was not nearly as vivid as Jennifer Pharr Davis's Becoming Odyssa, about a recent college student's hike of that trail, which I read for a book club five years ago. When I returned Ms. Bliss's book to the library, I saw a more recent book, Called Again: a Story of Love and Triumph by Ms. Pharr Davis. In this later book, Ms. Pharr Davis describes about two through hikes (i.e. hiking the whole trail) north to south she took 2008 and 2011; both times she was aided by her husband. Most of the book is devoted to the 2011 hike in which she established the speed record for hiking the trail in 46 days. This was a very disappointing read because of the character of Ms. Pharr Davis. She was aided the whole way by her husband who supplied her daily with food and comfort at numerous stops along the trail, set up her tent most nights, and scheduling people to hike with her, etc. and also by a number of expert hikers and friends who helped her plan her trip, and took time off work or from their daily lives to accompany her on her way, carry her supplies so she would not be so burdened while hiking, getting her food and medicine, etc. She treats these helpers very badly; she comes across as being an extremely selfish person who thinks only of herself and is constantly complaining. One of her companion hikers became sick on the hike and she went on ahead, and later told her husband that she assumed her companion would be okay -- even though she got very concerned about herself when she was sick or injured. It is true that she did a difficult hike, and suffered injuries; however, she became determined to accomplish the record, putting her health at risk. In the acknowledgements she thanks the people who helped her get her book published by name, but fails to do so for any of the people who actually helped her during her hike.

3 stars

167sallylou61
Sep 7, 1:28pm Top

For the RandomCAT challenge I read Strike Sparks: Selected Poems, 1980-2002 by Sharon Olds who shares my November 19th birthday. This is a collection of 116 poems which Ms. Olds selected from her first seven volumes of poetry. Many of the poems center around her family, including her father (who mistreated her) with particular emphasis on his death, her rather distant mother, her own sexual experiences, and childbirth and raising her children. Some of the poems are quite graphic in sexual content with various body parts named and sexual acts described. Several poems refer to specific events such as the disappearance of Etan Patz, to which readers of a certain age would relate. I personally found the poems from the earlier collections more enjoyable and understandable than the more recent poems.

3 stars

168sallylou61
Edited: Sep 11, 8:04pm Top

Who Moved My Cheese: an A-mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson -- read Sept. 11th after reading in the Washington Post about its being published 20 years ago. (I remember my supervisor's mentioning having read it shortly after it was published.) I don't know how popular this simplistic story still is. After it appeared, apparently many companies used it with their staffs. It's a story of two mice and two small people (the size of mice) and their strategies of either adapting (or not) to change. The cheese is what you want in life, and the maze (through which the characters had to go to find the cheese) represents where you look for what you want, whether it's in your workplace, home, or community.

2.5 stars

169sallylou61
Sep 15, 11:10am Top

I've finished reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The edition of a work can make a big difference; I started out reading a Penguin Classics paperback edition (491 pages of text) which I had had before joining LT in 2007, but it bothered my allergies. I purchased a hardback edition (629 p.) published in 2013 for Books a Million, and found it very enjoyable reading since the print was larger, the book was printed on better quality paper, and did not smell of ink.

Although I had watched at least two versions of the movie, I had never read the book. Little Women was originally published in two volumes; Ms. Alcott was asked by her publisher to write a second volume and marry off all the March sisters. Apparently Ms. Alcott, who herself never married, did not want to do this, but wrote it since she needed the money. Now both parts are published together. I did not enjoy the second part nearly as much as the first; it seemed rather forced to me, and relatively little of it is in the movies. The whole book tends to be didactic, talking about morals, especially applied to wealth or the lack of it.

3.5 stars

170sallylou61
Sep 18, 11:27pm Top

After reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, I decided to read a book about her youngest sister, May: The Other Alcott, a historical fiction by Elise Hooper. This story stuck pretty much to the biography of May's life although a few fictional characters were added, and some events were not described in the correct order. (I personally prefer nonfictional biography to fiction although I enjoyed this account.) The book emphasizes the difficulties women in the nineteenth century had in being recognized as serious authors and artists. Ms. Hooper explores the tension between Louisa and May (who did not like the way she was portrayed as Amy in Little Women).

4 stars

171sallylou61
Edited: Sep 21, 11:40pm Top

For my book club meeting next week I've finished reading People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. This was a reread for me; I read it many years ago for another book club. It remains my least favorite of the four novels I've read by that author. I do not care for the way it jumps around in time periods between the present (when book conservationist Hanna Heath attempts to trace the history of the Sarajevo Haggadah) and the earlier times of significance concerning the book. The history of the book is given backwards from 1940 to 1894 to 1609 to 1493 to 1480. The present and past are given in alternating chapters. There is considerable violence in the history of the book.

3 stars

172sallylou61
Sep 24, 11:48pm Top

I decided to request Born Criminal: Matilda Joslyn Gage, Radical Suffragist by Angelica Shirley Carpenter through the LT Early Reviewers program. This reminded me that I had never read a pamphlet about her which I've had since before joining LT in November 2007: She Who Holds the Sky: Matilda Joslyn Gage by Sally Roesch Wagner. This pamphlet is not a biography of Gage; it's more a discussion of her ideas and her efforts on behalf of women and other people lacking freedom such as the American Indians. Her motto is on her tombstone: "There is a word sweeter than mother, home or heaven. That word is liberty" (p. 66). Mrs. Gage was prominent in the early years of 19th century women's suffrage movement; initially she was as involved as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and they worked together. However, by the late 1870s, Mrs. Gage became convinced that religion was at the root of the belief that women were inferior to men and should not have the vote. Much of the pamphlet describes dissension in the suffrage movement, especially among Mrs. Gage, Mrs. Stanton, and Miss Anthony. Mrs. Gage died before either Mrs. Stanton or Miss Anthony; much of the "official" record of the early movement was Miss Anthony's version of it, and she wrote Mrs. Gage out of the history. This pamphlet is an attempt to write Mrs. Gage back into it.

Dr. Wagner's writing is not always clear. She quotes from many sources, and put Mrs. Gage's words in bold italics.

3 stars

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