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Alphaorder (Nancy) jumps into the deep end

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Yesterday, 9:01am Top

I have been a LT member since March of 2007, but recorded my reading in Club Read group. This year I am joining a number of my friends in the 75 Challenge. The last few years, I have been averaging 60-70 books a year, but hope to stretch that to 75. If not, oh well!

I've had a love of books since I was very young. My mom was a librarian. I was a bookseller/marketing director for an independent bookshop in the midwest from 1989-2009. I now do marketing for a nature center, which I also love. (Learning to bird is cutting into my reading time.)

Twenty years ago, literary fiction was my main focus. I am finding I am reading more nonfiction the last few years.

I met my husband in the bookshop, although we grew up less than a mile from each other about two hours away! Although the bricks and mortar portion of the company closed, there is an online division that remains. He still works there. We have a lovely 16-year-old daughter. I can't believe that she will be going away to college in just a few short years.

Anyone is welcome to join in my thread. As a bookseller, I was much more open to talking about books on the floor than writing a written review. Therefore, don't expect a lot of reviews - mostly a record of my reading. BTW - I have paper records from the '90s.

Most of my comments are made on my friends' threads, especially that of the fellow birder, beer- and booklover Mark (msf59).

2018 Reads

1. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk - Novel
2. A Glorious Freedom
3. The Female Persuasion - Novel
4. A House Among the Trees - Novel
5. Tales of Two Americas

6. The Immortalists - Novel
7. It's Even Worse Than You Think - Nonfiction, audio
8. An American Marriage - Novel
9. Heart Berries - Memoir
10. I Am, I Am, I Am - Memoir
11. CALM not BUSY - Nonfiction

12. Fair Shot - Nonfiction, audio
13. Hotel Silence - Novel
14. No Time To Spare - Essays, Audio
15. Lake Michigan - poetry
16. The Common Good - Nonfiction, audio
17. Every Note Played - Novel
18. By the Book - Novel
19. All He Ever Wanted - Novel

20. Look Alive Out There - Essays, Audio
21. Trick - Novel
22. Wade in the Water - Poetry
23. Norwegian by Night - Novel
24. Natural Causes - Nonfiction, Audio

25. A Higher Loyalty - Memoir, Audio
26. Less - Novel
27. My Ex-Life - Novel

28. Tin Man - Novel
29. Destiny Thief - Essays, Audio
30. Our Towns - nonficton, audio
31. Good Riddance - Novel

32. Late in the Day- Poetry
33. Trajectory - Stories
34. Bullets into Bells
35. Reporter: A Memoir - Nonfiction, Audio
36. Bad Blood - Nonfiction
37. Squeezed - Nonfiction, Audio
38. Exit West - Novel
39. Lost Chapters - Nonfiction, Audio
40. If You See Me, Don't Say Hi - Stories

41. It's Hard to be Hip over Thirty - Poetry
42. The Art of the Wasted Day - Nonfiction, Audio
43. The Shakespeare Requirement - Novel
44. Invisible Gifts - Poetry
45. The Death of Truth - Nonfiction, Audio
46. Brother - Novel

47. French Exit - Novel
48. The World as It Is - Nonfiction, Audio
49. A Carnival of Losses - Essays
50. What the Eyes Don't See - Nonfiction, Audio
51. Call Them By Their True Names- Essays, Audio
52. American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time - Poetry
53. Winners Take All - Nonfiction, Audio
54. How to Retire with Enough Money- Nonfiction
55. Heartland - Memoir, Audio

56. Men Explain Things to Me - Nonfiction, Audio
57. Bibliophile
58. Straight Man - Novel, Audio

Dec 28, 2017, 9:19pm Top

Welcome! I'm glad you decided to join us.

Dec 28, 2017, 9:23pm Top

Welcome, Nancy! Looking forward to following your reading journey.

Dec 28, 2017, 10:08pm Top

>1 alphaorder: - Hi Nancy. This is the first year I have reached 75 books, a first for me. And I also keep written records of book titles and authors, going back to 1992. I wish I had started doing that years before but the older I get and the more memory cells diminish, the more grateful I am to have those little books as a reference when I talk about books and can't recall a title or author!

Dec 28, 2017, 10:08pm Top

Welcome to the group! May your year be filled with good reads!

Dec 28, 2017, 10:35pm Top

^Nancy is joining us! Nancy is joining us! Huurah!!

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 7:45pm Top

My family did our Christmas book exchange (part 2) today. Here is what was given/received:

Dec 30, 2017, 7:46pm Top

Thank you all for being so welcoming!

Dec 30, 2017, 8:25pm Top

Nice to see you here, Nancy. Happy reading!

Dec 30, 2017, 8:40pm Top

>9 ffortsa: Great to see you (again), too! Thanks for welcoming me to the group.

Dec 30, 2017, 8:49pm Top

Hurrah! Great to have you join us, Nancy.

Dec 30, 2017, 8:53pm Top

>7 alphaorder: Very nice!! Love the idea of a Christmas book exchange, and um...part 2? There was a part 1?

Dec 30, 2017, 9:33pm Top

>12 Crazymamie: Ah, here is part 1:

Dec 31, 2017, 1:16am Top

Oh! I want that Inkblots one! And I love The Odyssey. What a lovely selection of books that both parts make together - thanks for showing me part one.

Dec 31, 2017, 8:18am Top

>7 alphaorder: Great Christmas book haul! Many fine gems. I want to read Wintering. I really liked his last 2 books. I was hoping to get "Devotions" for the holiday but it looks like I will have to gift it, for myself. Smiles...

Are you in Madison for the New Year?

Dec 31, 2017, 9:43am Top

For context:

>14 Crazymamie: Inkblots was for my dad, who is a psychologist. Odyssey was from my dad to my brother.

>15 msf59: I gave my mom Devotions. And Wintering was a gift from my mom to Alina.

Books that were added to my library via the exchange:
Misfortune of Marion Palm
The Givers
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
What Unites Us

I will definitely be borrowing from my sister The Driftless Reader and Grandma Gatewood's Walk.

Mark - we only went to Madison for the day. Had a long lunch with my cousins and went chocolate and cheese shopping!

Dec 31, 2017, 9:45am Top

Wow, that’s a great set of books in your swap!

Dec 31, 2017, 9:51am Top

>17 drneutron:. I agree! Can you tell I come from a family of readers?

Well, it looks like I won't get another book in this year, so I finished at 62. If you are interested, you can see the full list here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/246076

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk takes place on New Year's Eve, so I think it is a perfect book to read today and start off 2018!

Dec 31, 2017, 10:11am Top

I really enjoyed Lillian Boxfish. She is a memorable character. Good choice. Rooney is a local author too. I like her book reviews, in the Chicago Tribune.

Nothing wrong with 62!!

Dec 31, 2017, 10:14am Top

>19 msf59: Ah, I didn't remember that you read Lillian. Now that you mention it, maybe I added it to my wishlist because of you!

Happy New Year, Mark. Here is to a great 2018! I hope we get together for some birding, beers, and book talk in the coming year.

Dec 31, 2017, 10:20am Top

I met Rooney's husband, Martin Seay at one of the Booktopia events. I loved his last novel The Mirror Thief. Talented couple.

And hooray for birding, beers, and book talk! I plan on hosting a Meet Up, in the spring and I am sure I will make it up to your area, a time or two.

Edited: Jan 1, 8:01pm Top

>21 msf59: I want to come down to Morton's too!

DId you notice, thanks to you, I have almost met my total posts on my 2017 thread and it isn't even 2018 yet?

Dec 31, 2017, 12:42pm Top

Happy New Year! I wish you to read many good books in 2018.

Dec 31, 2017, 2:20pm Top

Happy reading in 2018, Nancy!

Jan 1, 12:09am Top

Wow -- at the family book exchange! We actually exchanged lots of books overall. This, however, was the "cat-themed" year for me so I ended up with fewer books than others. However, I won't be missing out too much because I have plenty of books in my stash and in library collections, both print and electronic!

Edited: Jan 1, 3:46am Top

Happy New Year
Happy New Group here
This place is full of friends
I hope it never ends
It brew of erudition and good cheer.

Lovely that you will be in the group this year, Nancy.

I will be a regular here I reckon.

Jan 1, 8:38am Top

^Hope you are having a great holiday, my friend.

Jan 1, 2:39pm Top

Happy New Year, Nancy! Hope you're staying warm at home today. :)

Edited: Jan 1, 8:02pm Top

>28 LauraBrook:. Great to see you, Laura! Thanks for stopping by. We need to catch up! Happy New Year to you too!

Edited: Jan 1, 8:04pm Top

>26 PaulCranswick: Love the poem, Paul! Happy to be moving onto 2018 and joining this group. I haven't spent much time over here, so I need to head over to your thread and catch up. Best to you in 2018!

>27 msf59: Thanks, Mark!

Jan 3, 1:59pm Top

Welcome and Happy New Year, Nancy. I love the look of your family book exchange.

Jan 3, 2:51pm Top

It's nice to have you join us as an official 75er, Nancy! You've got some good reading ahead of you by the looks of those piles.

Jan 3, 8:49pm Top

>31 BLBera: >32 rosalita: Thanks to both of you for the welcome! Happy to be here.

I might need to clarify - I took pictures of ALL of the books that were exchanged among my family members. Only five ended up with me, but we are good at sharing...

Jan 4, 8:45am Top

Hi Nancy!

I'm glad you've joined the 75ers. I look forward to checking in here over the course of the year.

Jan 14, 9:18am Top

Hope you have not got tired of your thread already, Nancy!

Wishing you a wonderful Sunday. xx

Jan 14, 9:23am Top

Morning, Paul! Thanks for keeping my thread going. I will stop back later today and do some posting.

Edited: Jan 14, 10:28am Top

Some updates:

In case you missed it, The Millions has posted one of my favorite lists of the year: Most Anticipated: The Great 2018 Book Preview. Here is the link: https://themillions.com/2018/01/most-anticipated-the-great-2018-book-preview.html

2 books down for 2018. I absolutely loved Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk. Somehow, even though it is early in the year, I think it will be a best of contender. I also read A Glorious Freedom, which seemed appropriate for this time in my life. Great stories of women reinventing themselves later in life.

Started Meg Wolitzer's forthcoming The Female Persuasion yesterday. I am halfway through and thoroughly enjoying it. I'll be hosting her in April at the nature center in conjunction with my former bookselling colleague, who now owns Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee.

Speaking of the nature center, I started a new daily ritual after Thanksgiving. Each workday, before heading into the building, I hike down to the Lake Michigan shoreline and take a picture - try to get the same view every day. Below is the shot from day 22; tomorrow will be day 29. It has been fascinating to see the changing shoreline with the crazy weather we have been having. Our director of conservation is particularly excited about my project as it is a record we can look at in the future.

If you want to follow the shoreline project, i am posting every day on instagram:


Jan 14, 11:42am Top

Dropping by to star your thread and admire your Lake Michigan posts! What a wonderful idea!
The Female Persuasion sounds good- I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

Happy reading from the other side of the lake :-)

Jan 15, 7:27am Top

Hi, Nancy! Some great updates over here. Hooray for Lillian Boxfish, (I really liked this one too), the new Wolitzer, (I loved The Interestings) and congrats on posting a lovely shoreline photo. I hope they continue.

Let me know when the Wolitzer event is happening. There might be a possibility, I could make it up there for that.

Had a great visit with Joe yesterday.

Edited: Jan 15, 7:32am Top

I Go Down to the Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall–
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.

-Mary Oliver

Jan 15, 8:16am Top

>41 msf59:

Thank you so much for this Mark! It is a really special post - that you found a poem by one of my favorite poet's to honor my daily ritual. Thank you.

Will post today's picture later. I am sure it is very different down there today with the snow. Off to work! Enjoy your massage, lunch, and books!

Jan 15, 11:20am Top

I can't wait for the new Wolitzer. She is one of my favorites. Lucky you to get an advance copy.

Edited: Jan 16, 7:48am Top

What a difference a weekend of snow and cold makes! The ice shelf extends the lakeshore.

Jan 16, 2:57pm Top

>45 alphaorder: We'd be out of school a few days if that came here!

Jan 16, 6:33pm Top

>45 alphaorder: Wow! That is quite a difference, Nancy. Does someone clear the trails, before you walk on them? Or do they just give you a shovel?

Jan 16, 7:26pm Top

>46 thornton37814: Thanks for stopping by, Lori.

>47 msf59:. They do plow the main trail down to the lake, but it depends if I get there before facilities crew gets to it.

Zoe added some great photos of the still-forming ice canos to the Center's FB page. https://www.facebook.com/SchlitzAudubonNatureCenter/

They were so dramatic today that I got a local news crew out to cover it. Haven't seen what they aired yet, but it should be pretty cool.

Jan 16, 8:28pm Top

I started the latest Julia Glass novel A House Among the Trees, and can already tell it is going to be my type of book. In nonfiction/audio, I am going to start David Cay Johnston's It's Even Worse Than You Think, which I am sure will infuriate me, but I respect Johnston's work and believe I need to read it.

Jan 16, 10:50pm Top

I loved A house Among the Trees, Nancy. I didn't hear much about it, but it was one of my favorites from last year.

How was the Wolitizer?

Jan 17, 8:04am Top

>50 BLBera:. Well, I read the 454-page Wolitzer in two days, so I guess that says I liked it! It was an engaging story and I was curious about the characters. I didn't read The Interestings, which I know a lot of people loved, so I can't say how this stacks up against that.

Jan 17, 8:29am Top

Hooray for ice canoes! Very cool. not sure, I have heard of them before.

Morning, Nancy. Hope you have a nice lakeshore walk today. How often do you see any birds, or are you always looking down?

Jan 17, 8:39am Top

>52 msf59: I hear birds more than see them. I suspect that will change during migration.

Jan 17, 3:03pm Top

Your daily photographs are a great project, and quite beautiful. I added my hearts to two or three of them over on Instagram.

Is that beach glass in one of the other pictures? We used to see a lot on Fire Island, but lately plastic must have taken over because there's none coming up on the tide.

Happy reading.

Jan 17, 9:03pm Top

>54 ffortsa: Hi Judy! Thanks for stopping by and for following the lake progress on Instagram.

My daughter and I collected to the beach glass included in the two photos I posted. It is from the lake shore on a beach a few miles from the nature center. We had such a great time doing to together, but the weather turned cold before we could do it again. My goal is to collect a mason jar full before she heads off to college in 2020.

Happy reading to you two, too!

Jan 18, 7:04am Top

Morning, Nancy. Sweet Thursday. The night owl stroll is today. Wish us luck!

Jan 18, 7:45am Top

>56 msf59: Oh, I hope you get to see some owls! I will check your thread tonight to find out.

Jan 18, 10:38am Top

>55 alphaorder: Sounds like a lovely way to spend time at the shoreline. I much prefer finding beach glass to finding plastic!

Edited: Jan 29, 11:08pm Top

Been a while since I posted an update.

Loved the Julia Glass: A House Among the Trees. Tonight I finished the eye-opening collection Tales of Two Americas. I think I will start Ali Smith's Winter tomorrow.

Speaking of winter, it has been here in Wisconsin. I have maintained my routine of heading down to the Lake Michigan shoreline daily. Here is today's photo, 39th work day in a row.

Feb 3, 10:04pm Top

>59 alphaorder: Wow, I feel cold just looking at your photos, Nancy.

Hope you have a lovely weekend (and a warm enough one). xx

Feb 3, 10:11pm Top

Thanks for visiting, Paul! I am warm enough in my house, although the snow and cold are around outside. Spending the weekend with The Immortalists. Will catch up with you by spending time on your thread tomorrow.

Feb 3, 10:37pm Top

Happy Sunday, Nancy. Thanks for keeping my thread warm. I have spent very little time on FB, this past week but it seems like you are still taking your lakeshore hikes. Yah!

I am glad you are enjoying The Immortalists and I am finally starting What is Not Yours is Not Yours tomorrow.

Edited: Feb 4, 8:53am Top

>62 msf59:

I think you can see all of the Lake Michigan photos on Instagram without having an account: https://www.instagram.com/nancywquinn/

Feb 4, 9:11am Top

Happy Sunday, Nancy. I plan on relaxing with the books today. We may watch the first half of the game somewhere but I would also be fine, hanging here.

Thanks for the Instagram link. You get much snow? We got an inch or so.

Feb 4, 9:17am Top

>64 msf59:

We have a number of inches - not sure how much because I don't plan on leaving my house today! Hope you are enjoying What is Not Yours is Not Yours.

Feb 10, 10:39am Top

Reading update: Savoring An American Marriage - highly recommend. Bought No Time to Spare in audio in prep for next week's commute.

Feb 10, 11:44am Top

Morning, Nancy. Happy Saturday. I am working but at least it is a bit easier moving around and it is currently not snowing.

I am really enjoying The Power. This might be your cuppa too.

Feb 11, 12:56pm Top

Finished An American Marriage. Will be starting Heart Berries this afternoon.

Feb 24, 8:17pm Top

Will look out for An American Marriage, Nancy - the book leastways!

Have a great weekend.

Feb 24, 8:19pm Top

Very funny, Paul! Nice to see you here - thanks for stopping by. I haven't been hanging out on threads lately, so I need to stop by yours to catch up!

Hope you are having a nice weekend too.

Mar 31, 11:04pm Top

Wishing you a lovely Easter weekend, Nancy.

Apr 1, 7:55am Top

>71 PaulCranswick:

Thanks, Paul! As you heard from Mark, it is cold and dreary here and looks to be for some time. I am ready for spring!

I hope you are having a nice weekend.

Edited: Apr 1, 8:05am Top

I finished the first quarter at 19 books - a nice number for me! And one of my recent best also in terms of quality. A good mix of fiction and nonfiction

Lillian Boxfish still remains my favorite novel of the last three months, but I read many others I recommend, including Every Note Played, An American Marriage, The House Among the Trees, Immortalists and The Female Persuasion.

In recommended nonfiction: I listened to Robert Reich's The Common Good, appreciated Fair Shot and think the Tales of Two Americas should definitely be more widely read.

Apr 1, 8:26am Top

Morning, Nancy. Happy Sunday. This weather stinks, doesn't it? When is our turn?

Thanks, for the book update. Always nice to see these. I hope to get to The Female Persuasion. I haven't seen much LT activity on it yet, other than yours.

Apr 1, 9:00am Top

>74 msf59: It gets released this week, so I bet there will be a lot more activity.

Apr 1, 9:04am Top

>74 msf59:

Note: I think that The House Among Trees and The Female Persuasion could have used a bit more editing... Some of the same issues I had with Invisible Furies, but I still recommend.

Edited: Apr 22, 1:27pm Top

Thank you for this link!

Above our kitchen door is a beautiful early sunrise - through the clouds, so everything on the Lake and shore are lightly bronzed -
photograph taken many years ago around 70th Street and South Shore in Chicago. My photographer friend and I lived in apartments adjoining the shore.
I walked my dogs there 2-3 times every day. They loved the crashing waves.

Apr 22, 3:13pm Top

>77 m.belljackson: What a lovely story. The lake changes you.

Closing in on 90 days in a row. Nice to get some sun after all this snow and wind. The shoreline has changed in the past few weeks.

I had a meeting all morning Friday and almost forgot to head down. Thankfully, a co-worker brought up Lake Michigan. I would have been so disappointed if I missed a day just because I was too busy, not because of the weather.

May 6, 4:03am Top

Hope the weather is now more bearable, Nancy, although I would guess it will soon be too hot.

May 6, 8:26am Top

Thaks for stopping by, Paul! Yesterday was beautiful. Today is rainy and cool, so I am heading in to work. I am launching a new website - supposedly around June 1 - and I am behind. I look forward to working when no one is there to constantly interrupt me. Also means that I will head down to the lake for picture 100!

May 6, 8:39am Top

Good luck, Nancy!

Jun 4, 9:30pm Top

Hi, Nancy! Since we "met" on Mark's thread, I thought I'd come by your place and say hello. You are taking a photo a day of Lake Michigan? What a great project! I was born & raised in Chicago and loved the lake and the skyline from Lake Shore Drive. Where are you posting your pics?

Jun 5, 7:07am Top

Mary - I love Lake Michigan! I work at a nature center that is on the shores of the lake 15 minutes north of Downtown Milwaukee. I walk down the bluff every day and take a picture at the same spot. I have now done this 119 working days in a row. It is neat to see the changing shoreline.

You can see the images here: https://www.instagram.com/nancywquinn/

Thanks for asking! Hope to meet you in Colorado some day!

Jun 5, 9:19am Top

Morning, Nancy. With this perfect weather, those lakeshore strolls, should be ideal.

I am really enjoying the Lake Michigan collection. It packs quite a punch.

Did you see my text yesterday, about Kingbird Highway? I could never imagine myself this obsessive, but it is sure fun to read about.

Jun 5, 9:12pm Top

>84 msf59: Yes! I thought I responded - sorry. Of course, Zoe has already read it. :)

Jun 5, 9:24pm Top

Hi, Nancy. I think that is great that Zoe has read Kingbird Highway. She knows her books. I hope she gets to read Birding Without Borders. A perfect companion piece to Kingbird.

Jun 5, 9:26pm Top

I did figure out, what the duck was today. It was a female wood duck with her brood. Never, expected to see this, at work, especially in a funky stream.

Edited: Jun 5, 11:43pm Top

>83 alphaorder: Wow, those were amazing pics! Were the ones from February showing ice on the lake shore? I remember going to the lake in Chicago one year and marveling at the big chunks of ice that covered it, at least near the shore.

Edited: Jun 6, 7:51am Top

>88 Storeetllr:

Yes - we call them iceanos!

You may have also noticed a few pictures from Iceland in there... When I make my flip book or video, I will take those out. :)

Sep 2, 12:16am Top

Hope you come back and update soon, Nancy.

Have a lovely weekend.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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