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JulieLill's 2018 Reading Challenge

Read it, Track it! (& 12 x 12 Challenge)

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1JulieLill
Edited: Jan 25, 5:15pm Top

2018 Reading Challenge - 72 Books

2JulieLill
Edited: Oct 1, 12:20pm Top

A Little Bit of Romance Never Hurts
1) Landline by Rainbow Rowell 3.5/5 stars 3/6/2018
2) My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart
3.5/5 stars 5/24/2018
3) A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr 5/5 stars 6/17/2018
4) What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen 4/5 stars 8/28/2018
5) The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery 4/5 stars 9/10/2018
6) The Hasty Marriage by Betty Neels 2.5/5 stars 9/11/2018
7) The Awakening by Kate Chopin 3/5 stars 9/25/2018
8) Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley 4/5 stars 10/1/2018

3JulieLill
Edited: Aug 23, 3:44pm Top

How far away the stars seem. . . William Butler Yeats
1) The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers 3.5/5 stars 3/20/2018
2) The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester 3.5/5 stars 6/2/2018
3) The Man In The High Castle by Phillip K. Dick 3.5/5 stars 6/15/2018
Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler Trilogy:
4) Dawn Book One 4.5/5 stars
5) Adult Rites Book Two 4/5 stars
6) Imago Book Three 4/5 stars

4JulieLill
Edited: Oct 19, 12:31pm Top

"I love the mystery behind things." Janelle Monae
1) The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley - 4/5 stars 4/2/2018
2) The Punishment She Deserves: A Lynley Novel by Elizabeth George 4.5/5 stars 4/12/2018
3) Slade House by David Mitchell 4/5 stars 5/18/2018
4) Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels 4/5 stars 5/29/2018
5) The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb 4/5 stars 7/5/2018
6) The Amber Shadows by Lucy Ribchester 3.5/5 stars 8/2/2018
7) The Lost Girls by Heather Young 4/5 stars 8/6/2018
8) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley 4/5 stars 9/18/2018
9) Murder at The Brightwell by Ashley Weaver 4/5 stars 10/19/2018

5JulieLill
Edited: Oct 15, 12:20pm Top

The Truth is Rarely Pure and Never Simple so says Oscar Wilde
1) Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe by Cullen Murphy 4.5/5 stars
2) You Don't Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales by Sheila Nevins 3/5 stars
3) Walking Through Walls: A Memoir by Philip Smith 3/5 stars
4) Chasing the Last Laugh: How Mark Twain Escaped Debt and Disgrace with a Round-the-World Comedy Tour by Richard Zacks -4/5 stars 2/18/2018
5) Womens Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny (Applause Acting Series) by Alisha Gaddis - 2.5/5 stars 2/23/2018
6) The Zoo: The Wild and Wonderful Tale of the Founding of London Zoo:1826-1851
by Isobel Charman 4/5 stars 2/26/2018
7) The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Library of Congress 4/5 stars 2/28/2018
8) The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity by Nadine Burke Harris 4/5 stars 4/18/2018
9) The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathon Eig 5/5 stars 4/24/2018
10) Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix 4/5 stars 6/6/2018
11) Inside Charlie's Chocolate Factory: The Complete Story of Willy Wonka, the Golden Ticket, and Roald Dahl's Most Famous Creation by Lucy Mangan 4/5 stars 7/10/2018
12) Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses by Anthony Slide 3/5 stars 8/19/2018
13) The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica by Laurie Gwen Shapiro 4/5 stars 9/21/2018
14) Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams 4/5 stars 10/6/2018
15) The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories: China From the Bottom Up by Liao Yiwu 3.5/5 stars 10/15/2018

6JulieLill
Edited: Jul 11, 9:07pm Top

Unlocking My Inner Child
1) Santa's Husband by Daniel Kibblesmith 4/5 stars
2) Thornhill by Pam Smy 5/5 stars 5/3/2018
3) Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President by Charlotte Pence 3/5 stars 5/7/2018
4) A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss 5/5 stars 5/12/2018
5) Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick 4/5 stars 6/20/2018
6) The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie 4/5 stars 7/11/2018

7JulieLill
Edited: Jun 28, 5:07pm Top

I've always found the second book in a series is the hardest to write. Rick Riordan
Oz, the Complete Collection, Volume 1 by L. Frank Baum
1) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - 4/5 stars 2/3/2018
2) The Marvelous Land of Oz - 4/5 stars 2/7/2018
3) Ozma Of Oz -4/5 stars 2/12/2018
Oz, the Complete Collection, Volume 2 by L. Frank Baum 4/5 stars
4) Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz-4/5 stars 3/2/2018
5) The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum 3/5 stars 3/8/2018
6) The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum 1910 - 4/5 stars 3/22/2018
Oz, the Complete Collection, Volume 3
7)The Patchwork Girl by L. Frank Baum 3.5/5 stars 4/27/2018
8) Tik-Tok of Oz 1914 by L. Frank Baum 4/5 stars 5/7/2018
9) The Scarecrow of Oz 1915 by L. Frank Baum 4/5 stars 5/12/2018
Oz, The Complete Collection, Volume 4 by L. Frank Baum
10)Rinkitink in Oz 1916 by L.Frank Baum 4/5 stars 5/26/2018
11) The Lost Princess of Oz 1917 by L. Frank Baum 4/5 stars 6/5/2018
12) The Tin Woodman of Oz 1918 by L. Frank Baum 4/5 stars 6/11/2018
Oz, the Complete Collection, Volume 5
13) The Magic of Oz 1919 L. Frank Baum 3.5/5 stars 6/19/2018
14) Glinda of Oz 1920 by L. Frank Baum 4/5 stars 6/25/2018
15) The Royal Book of Oz 1921 by Ruth Plumly Thompson based on unfinished notes from L. Frank Baum 4.5/5 stars 6/28/2018

9JulieLill
Edited: Nov 17, 11:02am Top

Books on My List, Borrowed, Bought, Found or Gifted and Waiting to be Read
1) The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa 3.5/5 stars - 1/9/2018
2) Atonement by Ian McEwan 4/5 stars 1/17/2018
3) Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty 4/5 stars 1/25/2018
4) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 4.5/5 stars 2/2/2018
5) The Thurber Carnival (1957) by James Thurber 3.5/5 stars 5/9/2018
6) Chess Story aka The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig 4.5/5 stars 5/10/2018
7) Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl 4/5 stars 6/9/2018
8) Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh 3.5/5 stars 7/2/2018
9) 'night, Mother by Marsha Norman 4/5 stars 7/14/2018
10) The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh 7/16/2018 2.5/5 stars
11) Noises Off by Michael Frayn 3/5 stars 7/19/2018
12) The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma 3.5/5 stars 3.5/5 stars
13) Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley 3.5/5 stars 9/13/2018
14) A Separate Peace by John Knowles 3.5/5 stars 9/27/2018
15) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand 3/5 stars 11/9/2018
16) The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver 3/5 stars 11/17/2018

10JulieLill
Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 5:08pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

11JulieLill
Edited: Jan 4, 4:04pm Top

Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe
Cullen Murphy
4.5/5 stars
Somehow this book ended up on my hold shelf, I know I must have ordered it but had forgotten all about it. What a wonderful surprise this book was to me! I love comics and this was a look at a slice of life that is disappearing. Cullen Murphy, the author and comic strip artist; writes of the heydey of print comic strips and the artists that lived in Connecticut including his father, John Cullen Murphy who drew the Prince Valiant comic for a time. If you love comics or just a good book, I think you will enjoy this look back at the wonderful artists and the work they did. Non-Fiction

12JulieLill
Jan 6, 6:35pm Top

You Don't Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales
Sheila Nevins
3/5 stars
Filmmaker and television producer, Sheila Nevins writes about life as a woman living and working in this day and age through short stories based on true life scenarios. I did enjoy this interesting book, some tales more than others and I think all women can empathize and share similar stories. Non-Fiction

Santa's Husband
Daniel Kibblesmith
4/5 stars
This is a wonderful story about a different take on one of the most famous couples known. I enjoyed this sweet picture book and was happy to find it after reading about it. Children's

13JulieLill
Edited: Jan 10, 12:19pm Top

The Housekeeper and the Professor
by Yoko Ogawa 3.5/5 stars
A Japanese professor has lost his ability to retain his memory for more than 80 minutes and requires some care. A housekeeper has been enlisted to help him during the day and has brought her son along. Their relationship grows as each day goes by and is helped as the professor and the housekeeper's son's bond with their love of baseball and by the housekeeper's interest in learning more about math.

This had been on my reading list for quite a long time, probably since it first came out and I thought what am I waiting for- either read or take it off my list. This was very popular when it first came out and it still retains its charm. Very enjoyable! Books on List / Fiction

14JulieLill
Jan 18, 6:21pm Top

Atonement
by Ian McEwan
4/5 stars
Briony, a young English girl in pre-WWII, sets into motion a tragedy affecting a young man and her sister when she implicates the young man in a crime. I love McEwan's writing because he is not one to shy away from difficult subjects and doesn't rely on a happy ending to satisfy his readers. Books on List / Fiction/ Gift

15JulieLill
Jan 21, 6:46pm Top

Walking Through Walls: A Memoir
Philip Smith
3/5 stars
In this non-fiction book, Philip Smith, an editor and artist writes about his life growing up with his father, Lew Smith, a decorator and psychic healer. Yes, this is non-fiction though it does read like fiction and in this very interesting account, he details his father’s highly unusual life as he helps heal people psychically using pendulums and also has the ability to talk to the dead. As I read this book, I did and still have my doubts about his father’s abilities but I think you’ll have to read this book to make up your own mind. Non-fiction (Library designation)

16JulieLill
Edited: Jan 25, 5:13pm Top

Apple Tree Yard
Louise Doughty
4/5 stars
Yvonne Carmichael, a English scientist/professor whose life is busy but uncomplicated, meets a man who is quite the opposite of her husband and enthralls her. They begin an affair and when an incident occurs at a faculty party that shakes her to her core, she asks for help from her lover that will have devastating consequences. This is so suspenseful and shocking at times that it was hard to put down.
This reminds me of Gillian Flynn's writing and I just found out this was made into a series in England. I would love to see it just to compare it to the book. Books On My List. . . Fiction

17JulieLill
Edited: Jan 30, 3:25pm Top

The Doctor Wears Three Faces
By Mary Bard
3.5/5 stars
I have always been a big fan of Betty MacDonald and have read her books. I did not know that her sister was also a writer of several books and was very excited to find this one. In this book, Mary describes her married life to a very busy doctor and raising a family, along with remodeling a home and the endless problems with all of it. She has a similar writing style to her sister and puts a lot of humor and wit into her writing. If you enjoyed her sister's books you will enjoy Mary's spin on life. Biography

18JulieLill
Edited: Feb 2, 12:33pm Top

The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini
4.5/5 stars
I am probably the last person to have read this book but had passed it over because I knew some of the content (for me) would be disturbing. But then someone had given it to me as a gift and so I bit the bullet and read it and was really touched by this story of two boys growing up in the 1970’s in Afghanistan. One was Amir, the son of a rich man and Hassan, was the son of his servant. They were very close till a disturbing incident separated them and eventually Amir and his father moved to the States after the Taliban took over leaving Hassan and his family behind. Years later Amir finds out the fate of Hassan and his wife and returns to Afghanistan to try and make up for the mistakes he has made in his relationship with Hassan. Fiction/Gift

19JulieLill
Feb 3, 1:10pm Top

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
4/5 stars
I never read these books as a child but I have been thoroughly delighted with the first book. It is interesting to see what was included in the famous film and what was left out. I'm kinda of sad that some of the book was left out of the movie because I would have loved to see the filmmaker's version of those scenes. I also loved the back story of the Tin Man that was never explained in the film. Lastly, I was glad to learn that the flying monkeys that terrified me as a child were portrayed in a better light in the book. Book Series

20tess_schoolmarm
Feb 3, 1:56pm Top

>19 JulieLill: glad you liked the Baum series, I have them all, but have not read other than the first one. Must get on it!

21JulieLill
Feb 7, 12:02pm Top

The Marvelous Land of Oz Book 2
by L Frank Baum -
4/5 stars
This is the second book in the Oz Series. Tip, a young boy is the main character in this story line. He lives under the control of the evil witch; Mombi who threatens to punish him for trying to scare her. He runs away from her, after stealing her magic powder, to the Land of Oz where the Scarecrow is about to be usurped by the all-girl army of revolt. Tip, his companions and the Scarecrow go to the kingdom now ruled by the Tin Man for help. I am really enjoying this series. Baum is such a delightful storyteller which still holds up today. On to the third book!

22JulieLill
Feb 12, 12:27pm Top

OZ: The Complete Collection Volume 1
L. Frank Baum
4/5 stars
Finished the 3rd book in the collection called Ozma of Oz. Dorothy, whose character returns to the Oz novels, is now traveling by ship with her Uncle to Australia when she is swept into the ocean with her chicken, Billina and they end up in the Land of Ev. They run into Princess Ozma who is traveling with the lion, the scarecrow and the tin man. They are there to rescue the royal Ev family members from the horrible Nome King who has turned them into ornaments. Dorothy is excited to be re-united with her friends and helps in trying to procure the release of the Ev family. Delightful and fun. Book Series

23JulieLill
Feb 19, 11:11am Top

Chasing the Last Laugh: How Mark Twain Escaped Debt and Disgrace with a Round-the-World Comedy Tour
by Richard Zacks
4/5 stars
Not knowing a lot about Mark Twain, I found this book at the bookstore which looked very intriguing. This is not a full biography of Twain but encompasses his later years when he is facing bankruptcy after investing in the Paige typesetter. To get out of debt he agrees to a round-the-world speaking tour beginning in 1896 and traveling through Australia, New Zealand, India, North and South America with his wife and two of his daughters. This book describes his experiences in those countries, the people he meets and retells some of the programs and stories he gives during his speaking programs. The tour is fairly successful but he has bouts of illness and a tragedy happens towards the end of the tour. Interesting! Non-Fiction

24JulieLill
Edited: Feb 23, 11:59am Top

Womens Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny (Applause Acting Series)
by Alisha Gaddis
2.5/5 stars
This is a compilation of comediennes’ monologues. I did not find most of these very amusing but there were a few that were laugh out loud funny. But in defense of these comediennes’, I feel that reading these monologues lack the same impact as seeing them or hearing them on stage that is not captured when just written down. Non-Fiction

25JulieLill
Feb 26, 9:46pm Top

The Zoo: The Wild and Wonderful Tale of the Founding of London Zoo:1826-1851
by Isobel Charman
4/5 stars
Charman does a wonderful job in describing the beginnings of the London Zoo. Each chapter highlights a different time period and a individual or individuals who were involved with the zoo during that time period including, a zoo keeper, a founder, gardener and an animal doctor. Even Charles Darwin gets a chapter for he was a corresponding member of the zoo and used the resources of the zoo in his work and research. I think I was most shocked at the deaths of a lot of the animals that came to live in the zoo and how the zoo personal tried everything they could think of to prevent the loss of the exotic animals. Non-Fiction

26JulieLill
Edited: Feb 28, 12:00pm Top

The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures
Library of Congress
4/5 stars
This is a fun and fact filled book on the history of card cataloging from its origins to its move to computers. I loved the short segment on J. Edgar Hoover, who worked at the Library of Congress and used that knowledge when reorganizing the FBI’s filing system.
Not a very long book but certainly interesting especially to me who grew up with card catalogs and now works in a library. I definitely remember using card catalogs and until a few years ago we had a couple left in tech services until they were sold to some lucky people who appreciate them. Non-Fiction

27JulieLill
Mar 2, 12:03pm Top

Oz, the Complete Collection, Volume 2
4) Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
by L. Frank Baum
4/5 stars
Dorothy, in the 4th book of the series, has traveled to California where she meets her second cousin Zeb. Dorothy, Zeb and Dorothy’s cat, Eureka take a ride in a wagon pulled by Jim, the horse, when an earthquake swallows them up. They end up in the Land of the Mangaboos, where vegetable people who grow on vines live and who blame them for the earthquake and are set to punish them. Luckily, the Wizard of Oz descends in a balloon and so starts the new adventures of Dorothy and the Wizard. Still enjoying this series! Book Series

28JulieLill
Mar 6, 4:03pm Top

Landline
Rainbow Rowell
3.5/5 stars
Georgie McCool is a television sitcom writer married to her stay at home husband, Neal who takes care of their two girls. When she has to work on her newest project over Christmas, they have an argument and he leaves with their two girls to visit his parents in Omaha. Later, she tries to contact him by cell phone but he isn’t answering. Frantic and worried, she goes to her mother’s and is able to reach him on her mother’s landline. However, she realizes that she is not talking to present day Neal but to Neal in the past before they were married. Georgie is flummoxed and knows that she has to do something before she loses everything she values. Funny and sweet! Romance

29JulieLill
Edited: Mar 8, 3:45pm Top

The Road to Oz
by L. Frank Baum
3/5 stars
In the 5th book of the Oz Series, we find Dorothy back at home in Kansas but not for very long. Outside the farm, she encounters Shaggy Man. He is very unkempt but friendly and is looking for the road to Butterfield. Dorothy agrees to help but soon finds that the road splits into 7 roads and she, Toto and Shaggy Man are lost. So they decide to take the 7th road and along the way they meet several unusual characters and so starts their curious adventure on the road to Oz. Loved the beginning of the adventure but the ending, when they return to Oz, is basically just a description of all the people invited to Queen Ozma’s big ball. I do wish this collection had pictures of all the characters which would have enhanced the story. Book Series

30JulieLill
Mar 20, 3:43pm Top

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Becky Chambers
3.5/5 stars
Rosemary Harper is running away from a secret she is ashamed of and takes a job on the Wayfarer, a space ship, as their secretary/administrator to start her life over. She joins a ragtag group of humans and aliens as they go on to a lucrative job digging wormholes, traveling to other worlds and interacting with citizens of many worlds. This is the first book in a series by Chambers. I loved the characters on the ship and how they interacted and I like that the story line has a heart and is not so dark. Science Fiction

31Andrew-theQM
Mar 20, 3:47pm Top

I will have to try the Oz series.

32JulieLill
Edited: Mar 22, 7:43pm Top

>31 Andrew-theQM: I am having fun reading them plus they are still entertaining and interesting!

33JulieLill
Mar 22, 7:39pm Top

The Emerald City of Oz
by L. Frank Baum 1910
4/5 stars
Auntie Em and Uncle Henry are getting old and the farm is too much work so Queen Ozma invites them all to live in her kingdom. In the meantime, the Nome King is plotting to steal the Magic Belt from Ozma by tunneling under the desert that protects the Land of Oz from its enemies. Delightful! One of my favorite parts of the book is the section where the Nome King tells his officials that he needs to talk to Marconi about a wireless sieve. This has to be a reference to Guglielmo Marconi who worked on long distance radio transmission. According to Wikipedia –this was to be his last Oz book (and the ending is written like it would be the final book) but because of his finances he went on to write more books. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emerald_City_of_Oz

34JulieLill
Edited: Apr 2, 12:07pm Top

The Grave's a Fine and Private Place
Alan Bradley
4/5 stars
Flavia, her sisters and Dogger, their servant take off on a trip to recover from a great loss. As they try to relax at their destination, they decide to take a boat ride where Flavia finds a dead body floating in the water. With the help of Dogger, she once again manages to rout out the culprit. Still one of my favorite series. Mystery

35JulieLill
Apr 12, 5:49pm Top

The Punishment She Deserves: A Lynley Novel
by Elizabeth George
4.5/5 stars
Detective Inspector Lynley and Detective Sergeant Havers are back on an unusual case. Set in a college town, Ian Druitt, a local deacon has been found in the police station, dead. He seems to have killed himself after being brought in after being accused of being a pedophile. But of course there is more to the case than it being a simple suicide!
George is one of my favorite writers and she just has a way of twisting and turning a mystery to the final conclusion. My only complaint is now I will have to wait for the next one to come out. Mystery

36JulieLill
Apr 18, 12:16pm Top

The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity
Nadine Burke Harris
4/5 stars
Harris discusses the long term effects that physical and mental adversity have on all children, the ways to treat it and her advocacy in promoting it and encouraging all physicians to screen for it in all of their young patients by using the ACE test (My Adverse Childhood Experience). I was surprised to read that childhood adversity actually changes a person’s DNA possibly leading to “disease and early death”. Harris does a great job explaining the process without too much technical jargon. Non-Fiction

37JulieLill
Edited: Apr 22, 10:31pm Top

Behind Every Great Man: Forgotten Women Behind the World's Famous and Infamous
Marlene Wagman-Geller
3.5/5 stars
Short biographies of women and their famous partners make up this interesting book. While the chapters only give a short synopsis of the women and their partners, Geller entices you to want to learn more about these women. Some of the women written about include Eva Braun, Oona ONeill, Winnie Mandela and Constance Lloyd. Biographies

Later released as Behind Every Great Man: Women in the Shadows of History's Alpha Males. The original title was the one I read and it was an advance copy.

38JulieLill
Edited: Apr 24, 4:19pm Top

The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by
Jonathon Eig
5/5 stars
A reading group had picked this book for discussion and though I did not know very much about the history of the pill, it looked interesting and I love a good non-fiction book. Well, I was blown away at how well written and interesting this book was. The story revolves around the four main players in the development of the birth control pill. First, we have Margaret Sanger, well known women’s activist who opened the first birth control clinic and who brought in Katharine McCormick whose husband was the son of the founder of International Harvester and had deep pockets to fund the research. Gregory Pincus was the third player and was approached by the two women because as a scientist, he had experience in in vitro fertilization. Then there was the charismatic John Rock, physician and Catholic who was recruited to investigate the use of progesterone in developing a pill that could prevent ovulation. Between the four of them, the birth control pill eventually became a reality. Highly recommended! Non-Fiction

39JulieLill
Apr 28, 4:37pm Top

The Patchwork Girl of Oz 1913
By L. Frank Baum
3.5/5 stars
A young boy named Ojo lives with his Uncle Nunkie in the Blue Forest. In a weird accident involving Dr. Pipt, a crooked magician; Dr. Pipt’s wife and Ojo’s Uncle have become petrified. Ojo and Scraps, a patchwork girl who has come to life because of a pair of red leather shoes, take off to find the items to cure his Uncle and the Dr.’s wife. They need to gather 3 feathers from a Woozy’s tail, the left wing of a yellow butterfly, a 6 leaf clover, a drop of oil from a man and water from a dark well. As the two travel to get the needed items, they meet the Shaggy Man who helps them on their journey.
Baum does like to reference events of the time period. The dark water is a reference to radium (which at the time was considered safe and beneficial and the Horners’ home in the book was made of radium because “no one can ever be sick because of radium”. There is also a mention of a phonograph that came to life, which was named Victor Columbia Edison. I am continually delighted with this series especially the references to events in the time period in which the books were written. Book Series

40Hope_H
May 1, 11:11pm Top

>35 JulieLill: I love this series. This particular book didn't grab me like they usually do, but I think it is because of other things going on - not really the story itself. I love Havers and Lynley, although in my head, I can work out whether they look like the descriptions in the novels or whether they look like their TV characterizations! I am hoping that someday Hadiyyah comes back.

41JulieLill
May 2, 12:04pm Top

>40 Hope_H: I do love the series too and I have given up on a few series though I continue to come back to this one. I love the characters and was so devastated with what happened to Lynley's wife, a few books ago. I love Havers and how far she has come in her career.

42JulieLill
Edited: May 3, 5:32pm Top

Thornhill
Pam Smy
5/5 stars
This is a sad and eerie tale told through the perspectives of two young girls in two time periods, one through the written word and one through images. In the early 1980’s Mary, a young girl with speech difficulties lives in a home for girls but is tormented by her fellow orphans so she keeps to her room and works on her dolls. When the home is closing, her main tormentor and Mary remain in the home and the abuse continues to the very end till Mary makes a fatal decision. Years later, Ella and her father move into the building next door to where the orphanage was closed and is in disrepair. Ella explores the property of the old orphanage and finds a doll that is damaged and sees on occasion a shadow in the building. She repairs the doll and leaves it near the home for girls. Eventually Ella explores the home where Mary lived and events unfold from there. Amazing-will definitely be on my best books of the year list.
Teen/ Graphic Novel/Horror

43JulieLill
May 7, 12:32pm Top

Tik-Tok of Oz 1914
By L. Frank Baum
4/5 stars
Although you would think this book would center on Tik-Tok, the mechanical man of Oz, he is only it for a short time. The main story revolves around Shaggy Man, who is on a quest to find his brother who has been missing and was taken by the Nome King aka Ruggedo and aka the Metal Monarch. I find it interesting that some of Baum’s characters have multiple names (and some have none like Shaggy Man’s brother in this book) because it does make it a little hard to keep track of the characters. Though I love his creative characters, some are only in the book for a sentence or two. But I digress, there are also a couple of side stories, one of which involves the Rose Kingdom, where only male roses rule so when Shaggy and Betsy Bobbin picked the Rose Princess out of the ground, she was banished and followed them on their mission to find Shaggy’s brother.

This book also has some interesting references like his other books. Edison is referred to as the “first mortal to discover electricity”, Ozma watched over her citizens through a radium frame, and Ozma and Shaggy talked through wireless telephones that could be put in their pockets! Did Baum conceive the idea of the cell phone???
Book Series

44JulieLill
May 8, 4:05pm Top

Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President
by Charlotte Pence & Karen Pence
3/5 stars

I thought this was a nice children’s book about what the Vice-President does through the eyes of the family’s bunny. I liked the illustrations and the book is supposed to rhyme but at times the rhyming scheme isn’t working.
I definitely would not have read this if there hadn’t been all the controversy about the book but I liked learning about the vice president’s residence. I never knew that he lives at the Naval Observatory Base and that the Pence’s’ added a beehive to the base. Children's

45JulieLill
Edited: May 9, 10:56pm Top

The Thurber Carnival
by James Thurber
3.5/5 stars
This is a collection of Thurber's humorous writings and cartoons. I actually found this first edition on the free shelf at the library and as I have not read anything by him in years, I brought it home. I also looked up its current price online but unfortunately it was only worth about $8 online but I enjoyed reading his essays and cartoons. Some of course are dated but his view of life and humor still shines through. I am going to put this back on the free shelf and hope someone picks it up and discovers his writing. Books on My List- Borrowed, Bought, Found or Gifted – Waiting to be Read

46JulieLill
Edited: May 10, 4:24pm Top

Chess Story AKA (The Royal Game)
by Stefan Zweig
4.5/5 stars
While looking for a book under 100 pages for another challenge I found this book. In the late 1930's, two chess players face off on a ship with one having the most to lose in this interesting short story which explores the background of both players and the role that the past exerts on them. Compelling.
Books on My List, Borrowed, Bought, Found or Gifted and Waiting to be Read

47JulieLill
Edited: May 12, 1:15pm Top

The Scarecrow of Oz 1915
By L. Frank Baum
4/5 stars
This story relates the tale of the one legged Captain Bill and Trot, a young girl with mystic symbols on her head that cannot be seen. They had been walking when from out of no-where a whirlpool takes them and they end up on a sandy beach where they meet Ork from Orkland, who has a tail that is like a propeller. So begins the 9th adventure of the Oz series. Along the way they meet the beautiful princess, Gloria; a lowly gardener, Pon; the Bumpy Man; Pessim, who is a pessimist and the Scarecrow and have a lot of adventures and of a course, a happy ending. Book Series

48JulieLill
May 12, 1:16pm Top

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo
by Jill Twiss, E.G. Keller (Illustrator)
Lovely book for children and adults about tolerance. Beautiful drawings and so well written that even adults will enjoy it. Children's

49JulieLill
May 18, 12:27pm Top

Slade House
By David Mitchell
4/5 stars
Mitchell weaves an interesting and eerie tale of a home in England whose occupants live there only every nine years to lure unsuspecting guests who have something that the owners desperately need. This is a companion book to The Bone Clocks though you do not need to read it to enjoy the story. Mitchell is always a delight to read. Mystery/Suspense/Horror

50JulieLill
May 24, 5:29pm Top

My Brother Michael
by Mary Stewart
3.5/5 stars
Camilla Haven is on a trip to Greece after a breakup with her fiancé. At a café, a man drops off a car for her because she supposedly ordered it and was to take it to Delphi. On a whim she decides to take the car to Delphi and meets Simon who is there looking into what happened to his brother during WWII. As their relationship deepens, unexpected events happen and put the two of them in danger. Suspenseful! Romance/Suspense

51JulieLill
May 26, 6:14pm Top

Rinkitink in Oz
By L. Frank Baum
1916
4/5 stars
Prince Inga’s country of Pingaree has been ravaged, his parents kidnapped and now he is left to deal with the tragedy. Fortunately, he has three pearls that give him special powers and so he takes King Rinkitink and Rinkitink’s talking goat, Bilbil who was visiting during the invasion along as they go to find his parents in this 10th book of Oz adventures. 5 more to go. Book Series

52JulieLill
Edited: May 29, 4:11pm Top

Ammie, Come Home
By Barbara Michaels
4/5 stars
This supernatural mystery revolves around Ruth Bennett and her niece Sarah, who live in Washington D.C. in the 1960s. After a party which Ruth has met a psychic, she invites her home to entertain her niece and her boyfriend. Unfortunately, Sarah is taken over by an apparition, a dark force which shakes the psychic and the group. Ruth and her boyfriend, Pat and Sarah’s boyfriend Bruce take up the task to learn more about the entity and to help Sarah get rid of the ominous force. Despite the age of the book, I thoroughly enjoyed this creepy mystery and I feel it still holds up today. Supernatural Mystery

53JulieLill
Jun 2, 12:08pm Top

The Demolished Man
by Alfred Bester
3.5/5 stars
In this science fiction tale, businessman Craye D’Courtney is murdered for financial gain and Ben Reich, a rival of D’Courtney’s is suspected of the crime. He is targeted by Lincoln Powell, police prefect and whose status as a level one Esper (telepath) particularly makes him apt for this investigation. There are lots of twists and turns in this compelling story which originally came out in a serial format and also won the first Hugo Award. Science Fiction

54JulieLill
Jun 5, 3:19pm Top

The Lost Princess of Oz
By L. Frank Baum
1917
In the 11th book, we find that Princess Ozma has been kidnapped and her Magic Picture box which shows everything that goes on in the kingdom, some magic tools and the Great Book of Records that records everything that happens in Oz are missing. Meanwhile Cakye, the cookie cook is missing her magic pan and she and the Frogman go looking for her magic pan. They come to the kingdom of Ugu the shoemaker who is thought to be involved but where is Ozma? Book Series

55JulieLill
Jun 6, 9:50pm Top

Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction
by Grady Hendrix
4/5 stars
Hendrix writes about the horror genre when it really took off in the 70’s and 80’s. He reviews the different genres (and there are a lot of them) within the horror spectrum, the authors, the publishing companies, the artists that painted the book covers and of course lots of pictures of the actual, wonderfully horrible graphic covers. This is not a dry book; Hendrix uses much humor to describe the plots of these books and I found myself chuckling throughout the book. The only problem with this book is I now have added several more books to my never ending reading list. Non-Fiction

56JulieLill
Jun 9, 1:07pm Top

Kiss Kiss
Roald Dahl
4/5 stars
I never realized Dahl wrote adult fiction, till now I had only thought of him as a children’s book author. When I encountered this short story book, I was intrigued and then very pleased. What a wonderful collection of odd and perverse stories about adults who have no moral boundaries and which still holds up today. I will definitely read more of his adult stories. Books On My List/Borrowed

57JulieLill
Jun 11, 11:40am Top

The Tin Woodman of Oz
By L. Frank Baum
1918
This story follows the tale of the Tin Woodman and his backstory. He and the Scarecrow go to look for the Woodman’s lost love, the Munchkin Nimmie Amee whom he left because he felt he could no longer love her since he no longer had a heart. Along the way, they run into the Tin Soldier, who had a similar story in which the Wicked Witch of the East cut off his limbs and he had also fell in love with Nimmie Amee. As they traveled looking for her, they get involved in various adventures till they come to the final reckoning with Nimmie Amee. Who will she pick? Book Series

58JulieLill
Jun 15, 9:58pm Top

The Man In The High Castle
by Phillip K. Dick
3.5/5 stars
This is an interesting, but very complex, dark science fiction story about the consequences of the assassination of FDR prior to WWII. With FDR no longer in the White House, the Nazi’s under Adolph Hitler conquer most of Europe and the east coast of the US, killing millions and Japan has conquered California, Alaska and parts of Asia. The author follows several characters trying to live their lives under a constant strain of the aftermath of the war and living with cultures that are vastly different from their own. Science Fiction

59JulieLill
Jun 17, 3:27pm Top

A Month in the Country
By J.L. Carr
5/5 stars
Post WWI finds a young man in a small Yorkshire village restoring a mural in an old church, living with a village family and making friends with a kindred spirit who is looking for the grave of a young man who died years ago but was not allowed to be buried in the church cemetery. As the summer goes by, he is taken in by the villagers as one of them and the possibility of a forbidden romance takes hold. But alas the summer ends and the job is finished and he has to take his leave having uncovered the mystery of the mural. Wonderful book, I look forward to reading more of his work! Romance/Fiction

60JulieLill
Edited: Jun 20, 12:14pm Top

The Magic of Oz
By L. Frank Baum
3.5/5 stars
This story revolves around two storylines; the first is about Kiki, a young munchkin who longs for adventure and lives on the top of Mount Munch. His father, Bini had a forbidden magic word that would transform people and objects. Kiki overhears the word and now can use it. The former evil Nome King who is in exile also discovers the power Kiki has and urges him to join him. In the meantime Oz is getting ready for Princess Ozma’s birthday and Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz are looking for the perfect gift for Ozma but first they have to rescue Captain Bill and Trot who have gotten stuck on an island where they hoped to bring back the Magic Flower for the birthday celebration. And so the adventures of Oz continues… Two more books left! Book Series.

61JulieLill
Jun 20, 12:14pm Top

Wonderstruck
Brian Selznick
4/5 stars
After his mother dies, Ben is left alone and he becomes the catalyst that helps solve the mystery of where he came from and what happened to his family.
Told through pictures and the written word, this lovely story encompasses the lives of three different generations who have lost each other due to the ability of thinking they know what is best for others and their inability to empathize. Wonderful!
Childrens/Young Adult

62JulieLill
Jun 25, 12:09pm Top

Glinda of Oz
By L. Frank Baum
4/5 stars
In the 14th book of Oz, we find Ozma and Dorothy traveling to a new land, along with several other Ozians. Princess Ozma has authority over the land but has never visited. Upon their arrival they find that the inhabitants, the Skeezers and the Flatheads (who actually have flat heads) are at war. Ozma and Dorothy are captured when the Skeezers' glass-covered island has been sunk to the bottom of its lake. But don’t worry things always work out in the Oz books. Fun! This is the last book fully written by Baum but there is one more in the Baum series. Book Series

63JulieLill
Edited: Jun 28, 5:06pm Top

The Royal Book of Oz
By Ruth Plumly Thompson based on unfinished notes from L. Frank Baum
4.5/5 stars
Scarecrow goes on a journey to find out where he came from because he doesn’t remember and he soon finds out that he has an interesting backstory. However, he has been gone a long time so Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion go in search for him and end up having their own adventures. If I hadn’t known that Thompson had written this, I would have never have guessed Baum didn’t write this. Quite fun with lots of odd characters and silly situations!
Thompson continued to write the series and added 19 books to the series but she is not the only one to write about Oz. While I may try to find the other Oz books eventually, I plan to move on from the series and explore other books this year. Check out the history of the Oz books at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Oz_books
Book Series

64JulieLill
Edited: Jul 2, 12:30pm Top

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
Allie Brosh
3.5/5 stars
Brosh writes and illustrates this part book/part graphic autobiography about herself and the funny situations she gets herself into. I found myself chuckling through this book and relating to some of the stories. Short read.
Biography

Trainspotting
Irvine Welsh
3.5/5 stars
The book is a series of short stories about a group of friends who are all addicted/ or were addicted to drugs and the unsavory and tragic lifestyles that go along with that culture. Welsh does a great job capturing the time period and the mores of the group and does not sugar coat the drug culture and what happens to the people who get caught up in it.
This was a gift from my son who loved the movie but never read the book. I was not that interested in reading it after seeing the film but gave it a go. It was hard at the beginning because it took me awhile getting used to the different languages of the Scots and the Scottish English/slang used in the book since the spellings were so different. I had to phonetically sound out each word till I got used to it though there is a glossary of terms that helped at the back of the book. The British English chapters were a nice break since I didn’t have to sound out each word but don’t let that scare you off, it was a good read.
Books on My List- Borrowed, Bought, Found or Gifted – Waiting to be Read

65JulieLill
Edited: Jul 6, 11:33am Top

The Unquiet Grave
By Sharyn McCrumb
4/5 stars
A newly married woman dies in the late 1890s and her husband rushes to have her buried. Her family is heartbroken and the mother claims that her dead daughter appeared to her to tell her that her husband murdered her. Years later in 1930, a lawyer has been hospitalized in a mental hospital that had worked on the young woman's murder case and relates the story to his physician. What really happened to Zona Heaster?
This was a hard book to categorize - it is loosely based on a true story, has some ghostly elements to it and there is a mystery that needs to be solved. However, it was a very good read and so interesting. This is the first book I have read by McCrumb and it probably won't be my last one. Mystery

66JulieLill
Jul 10, 2:09pm Top

Inside Charlie's Chocolate Factory: The Complete Story of Willy Wonka, the Golden Ticket, and Roald Dahl's Most Famous Creation
Lucy Mangan
4/5 stars
This is a celebration of the phenomenon of Roald Dahl’s most famous book Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. The writing of the book is covered, the author is discussed and you get to see a lot of the cover art of the different book versions by various artists. The two movies are also dissected. And of course there has to be a discussion made of all the candy produced under the Willy Wonka brand. Finally I was gob smacked to learn that was there was an actual opera production of it. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh7GvGoiTtY Very interesting! Non-fiction

67JulieLill
Jul 11, 9:11pm Top

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
by Lindsay Currie
4/5 stars
Tessa and her family move to Chicago from Florida so her father can play for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has to leave behind her best friend and familiar life. They move into an older house in the city but things do not go well from the start. Mysterious noises and flashing lights occur and her brother’s ventriloquist doll starts crying real tears. Tessa is able to recruit her new school friend to help investigate the weird occurrences and uncover the mystery of her new house. This not just for kids' book is loosely based on real events. Interesting! Children's/Tween

68JulieLill
Edited: Jul 14, 1:25pm Top

'night, Mother
Marsha Norman
4/5 stars
Marsha Norman’s play is about an epileptic woman, Jessie Cates, who has had enough of living and is tired of losing control of her life. She prepares her mother for her suicide while her mother tries to talk her out of it. Very moving! Books on My List....

69JulieLill
Jul 17, 2:59pm Top

The Pillowman
by Martin McDonagh
2.5/5 stars
This strange play is about a writer who is interrogated by the police for writing stories about children who have been abused and which are similar to recent child crimes in the first act. The play also has two other acts that cover the main character’s stories. I found this quite confusing till I found more information online about the book/play but I still had trouble wrapping this around my brain. Books on My List...

70JulieLill
Jul 19, 6:08pm Top

Noises Off
by Michael Frayn
3/5 stars
This play was actually 2 plays inside of one production. We see the crew and the actors' dress rehearsal and getting the play ready then performing the play which goes badly. I had some trouble visualizing this play in my mind. I think this play would be better viewed than read. Books on My List . . .

71JulieLill
Jul 25, 12:17pm Top

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
Ruth Franklin
5/5 stars
Franklin does a wonderful job delving into writer Shirley Jackson’s world. Jackson did not live a storybook life. She was raised by extremely critical parents and even her marriage had its problems including infidelity. She also suffered from depression yet she was so smart and intuitive and her stories were so amazingly complex and intricate. If you only read one biography this year-this has to be the one. Biography

72JulieLill
Jul 27, 12:13pm Top

How About Never—Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons
Bob Mankoff
4/5 stars
Bob Mankoff does a wonderful job on this autobiography/nonfiction book about his life as a cartoonist, his job as former cartoon editor for The New Yorker (now at Esquire) and founder of the online Cartoon Bank. This book is not just about him but a short history of the cartooning business and helping other cartoonists get ahead in the business. Enjoyable and informative. Biography

73JulieLill
Aug 2, 5:43pm Top

The Amber Shadows
By Lucy Ribchester
3.5/5 stars
Set during WWII, Honey Deschamps is working at Bletchley Park working on decoding messages. She is alone in England and one day a young man with a greyhound comes to her home to drop off a package delivered to him by mistake. In the package is a piece of amber. A few more pieces arrive and she is desperate to know what is happening. Are they coming from her brother and who is the man with the greyhound who keeps reappearing? Good but at times I was lost in what was happening. Mystery

74JulieLill
Aug 6, 12:11pm Top

The Lost Girls
Heather Young
4/5 stars
A missing girl, two sisters with a secret and a woman who runs away from an obsessive boyfriend make up this intriguing and shocking tale of broken hopes and dreams. Well done and hard to put down! Mystery

75JulieLill
Edited: Aug 10, 12:14pm Top

Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler Trilogy
Dawn Book One
4.5/5 stars
Am reading a trilogy for another group challenge and found this wonderful book by Butler. Earth has been devastated and the remaining humans have been taken by an alien nation to live on a space ship. Lilith has been picked by the aliens to lead and train a group to re-inhabit Earth but it is a hard and unforgiving task. Can't wait to see what happens in the 2nd and 3rd book.

76JulieLill
Aug 19, 6:50pm Top

Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses
By Anthony Slide
3/5 stars
Slide discusses the various actors and actresses that made a living in the silent film era. Each segment on each actor is only a few pages long. Some made it into the talkie era but many of the others' careers ended when talkies took off. He also discusses the studios and I was surprised that the Chicago Essanay Film Manufacturing Company was a fairly big player in the silent film era. It eventually merged with other studios. Definitely for silent film buffs but I wanted more info though I fear a lot of the silent film era information has been lost. Non-fiction

77JulieLill
Aug 23, 3:42pm Top

Lilith's Brood by
Octavia E. Butler Trilogy
Dawn Book One
4.5/5 stars
Am reading a trilogy for another group challenge and found this wonderful book by Butler. Earth has been devastated and some of the remaining humans have been taken by an alien nation to live on their space ship. Other humans live on Earth but are unable to have children and there is little food. They also continue to fight with the aliens. Lilith, a human, has been picked by the aliens to lead and train a group to re-inhabit Earth but it is a hard and unforgiving task.
Adulthood Rites Book Two
4/5 stars
This is the second book of Lilith’s Brood and takes place years later on Earth and involves Lilth’s family especially Akin who is Lilth’s son and who is also an alien Okanali construct (part human/part Okanali). Humans still inhabit the earth but are still leery of the Okanali who are trying to convince them to merge with them to keep the human species alive and to transfer the rest of the humans to live on their spaceship before the Earth becomes unlivable. But the humans still do not trust them and continue to fight them.
Imago Book Three
4/5 stars
The third book is centered on Jodahs, who is the first Ooloi construct. The aliens continue to help merge and connect with the remaining humans on Earth. Instead of forcing them to go to their space ship, they are now encouraging them to leave Earth to go to Mars, where the humans can live and have children. The humans still don’t trust them but a few are taking the leap when they realize the benefits of cooperation with the aliens. Science Fiction

This was a wonderful series and my synopses don’t do justice to Butler’s beautiful trilogy. Not for everyone but if you love a good science fiction novel this is for you.

78JulieLill
Edited: Aug 28, 3:43pm Top

What Happened to Goodbye
by Sarah Dessen
4/5 stars
Mclean is not having a good life. Ever since her parents divorced, she has been with her father who travels from city to city fixing unprofitable restaurants. Each town she goes to she changes her name and goes under a different persona. When they arrive in Lakeview she decides to be herself and use her own name. Life isn’t easy while she tries to make friends and her mother attempts to get closer to her. Things come to a head when her new friends discover online about her different personas and she takes off. I had to read a teen book for a challenge and thought this was well written and enjoyable. I couldn’t wait to see what happened to Mclean. Romance / Teen

79JulieLill
Sep 3, 1:36pm Top

The Fishermen
Chigozie Obioma
3.5/5 stars
This suspenseful book set in Africa in the turbulent 1990’s in the country of Nigeria concerns a young family who like most of the people in the area are struggling to make a living. The father is unable to work at home and lives away from the family and the mother supports the family running a small store. The four brothers are on their own a lot and the story surrounds them and their encounter with Abulu, a homeless man with mental health issues. Abulu makes a predication about the brothers that seems unlikely but sets off a chain of events which prove unstoppable. Well written! Books On My List

80JulieLill
Edited: Sep 10, 12:03pm Top

The Blue Castle
By L.M. Montgomery
4/5 stars

A young woman lives a miserable life with her family. She has always had some issues with her heart and she goes to the doctor to have a checkup. After the visit, she receives a note from her doctor that tells her that she has a heart condition and only has a few months to live. She throws caution to the wind, does not tell her family and decides what she wants to do. She leaves her family to help a friend who is gravely ill. Her family is appalled and refuses to have anything to do with her. When the young woman dies, she decides to propose to Barney, someone who she cares deeply for and tells him of her health issue. They marry and have a wonderful life enjoying each other till an incident occurs and she leaves him. For a romance novel, I thought this was thoroughly compelling. Montgomery has always been one of my favorite authors and this hasn’t diminished that feeling. Romance

81JulieLill
Edited: Sep 11, 2:18pm Top

The Hasty Marriage
by Betty Neels
2.5/5 stars
Laura, an accomplished single nurse meets her spoiled sister Joyce’s wonderful fiancé Rielof who is also a surgeon from Holland. Circumstances change quickly when Joyce decides to marry a rich American and runs out leaving her sister to tell him that she was not going to marry him. Just as quickly Rielof decides to marry Laura since he needs a wife. Laura accepts, quits her job and they leave for Holland. I thought this was a pretty silly story. I mean how desperate can you be to leave your job, your family and marry a doctor who doesn’t even love you because you don’t want to miss out on being married. I do love a good romance (see the review above) and I would like to read more of Neels but I don’t think this was very realistic even for it being published in 1957. Romance

82JulieLill
Edited: Sep 13, 7:10pm Top

Lily and the Octopus
Steven Rowley
3.5/5 stars
Ted Flask, a gay man has been in many relationships but his longest one has been with Lily, a dachshund. She has been with him through thick and thin but now it his turn to help her. One day he notices an odd growth on her head that is shaped like an octopus. It is cancer but he sees it as an adversary that he needs to fight off in this magical realism story line about love, loss and moving on. Sweet story! Books On My List

83JulieLill
Sep 16, 5:04pm Top

Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart
Scott Eyman
4.5/5 stars
Being a huge movie fan, when I saw this at the bookstore, I knew I had to buy this book and I was not disappointed. The two met in New York as stage actors and became friendly and ended up as roommates. This book follows them through that period to the end of their lives even discussing their time in the military during WWII and their movie and stage careers. So interesting, this will be one of my top books this year. Biography

84JulieLill
Sep 18, 4:20pm Top

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by
Alan Bradley
4/5 stars
I needed to re-read a book for a book challenge so I picked one of my favorite series to pick from and this is the first book in the series. It still holds and I still wonder why this has never been made into a film or TV series. Mystery

85JulieLill
Sep 21, 2:06pm Top

The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica
Laurie Gwen Shapiro
4/5 stars
This is the wonderful true story about William "Billy" Gawronski, a young man who longs to go to Antarctica with Admiral Byrd who had a soft spot in his heart for stowaways. After 3 attempts to hide on the boat, he has been allowed to stay and work on one of the ships on the trip doing odd jobs. Shapiro does a very nice job writing about Gawronksi through his life and highlighting the time period which included the beginning of the Great Depression that rocks Gawronski’s life and the lives of millions of people. Non-fiction

86JulieLill
Sep 25, 4:02pm Top

The Awakening
Kate Chopin
3/5 stars
Edna Pontieller is struggling as a parent and a wife. She decides to move out of her home to live on her own for the first time in her life doing what she wants to do, leaving her children and husband to focus on her happiness and desire for independence and love for another man. This 1899 book is considered an early work of feminism and according to Wikipedia was censored though not banned. It initially had bad reviews and went out of print until interest in the book was revived by those interested in women authors’ works. https://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/27/books/books-of-the-times-a-woman-who-portrayed-adultery-and-paid-for-it.html Romance

87JulieLill
Sep 27, 4:54pm Top

A Separate Peace
By John Knowles
3.5/5 stars
The book is set at the beginning of WWII amidst the tumult of that period and Gene and Phineas (Finny) are best of friends at a boarding school on the East Coast where they reside. One day while hanging out with friends, the two friends climb a tree to jump into the river as an initiation. Gene impetuously jostles the branch and causes Finny to fall and break his leg. Finny has to leave school causing Gene to have to deal with his feelings. Did he do it on purpose, was he jealous of Finny? Books on My List/Fiction

88JulieLill
Oct 1, 12:18pm Top

Words in Deep Blue
Cath Crowley
4/5 stars
Set in Australia, Rachel has suffered the loss of her brother who drowned in the ocean. She returns to the city with a heavy heart but tells no one of her brother’s death as she processes her grief. Henry, whose family owns the bookstore, is the boy she loves but is dating someone else. Despite that she takes a job at the bookstore that his family is selling, cataloging the section of the bookstore called the Letter Library, where people can writes notes and leave them in the books for others to find. The book explores her grief from the loss of her love and her brother and how she gets her life back. Touching! YA/Romance

89JulieLill
Edited: Oct 6, 11:24pm Top

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
Mark Adams
4/5 stars
Travel editor/writer Mark Adams who along with John Leivers, who had explored the Andes before, take off on a unique trip to Peru exploring the region, following the travels of Harvey Bingham’s (an early explorer of Peru who claimed to have discovered Machu Picchu). He also discusses the history of Peru. I found it very interesting and informative especially the information on Bingham. Non-fiction

90JulieLill
Oct 15, 12:20pm Top

The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories: China From the Bottom Up
by Liao Yiwu
3.5/5 stars
Liao Yiwu interviews the citizens of China about life in China following the rise of Mao and beyond. The chapters highlight the jobs these people held and the changes that the revolution had on their lives. It is a sad book about the way the people of China were treated by their government and their fellow citizens who were forced to turn in their neighbors for any offences perceived whether true or not. Disturbing content but well-written. Non-fiction

91JulieLill
Oct 19, 12:30pm Top

Murder at The Brightwell
By Ashley Weaver
4/5 stars
Amory Ames and her husband are on the outs and Amory decides to go to the Brightwell Hotel to get away for a while and help out an old flame. The only problem is her husband ends up following her to the hotel where they get involved in a double murder mystery. This is Weaver’s first novel and I found it quite well done and a fast read. Mystery

92JulieLill
Edited: Nov 9, 12:09pm Top

Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand
3/5 stars
This is an interesting but extremely long fictional book about the need for entrepreneurs and the problems of government regulation especially concerning the railroad which instead of promoting business tears apart the country with businesses shutting down and workers losing their jobs and business owners leaving. The story was very good but at times there were extremely long sections that went on and on about the issues and could have been shortened. Fiction

93JulieLill
Nov 17, 11:04am Top

The Post-Birthday World
Lionel Shriver
3/5 stars
I enjoy Lionel Shriver's writing and this was an interesting look at Irina McGovern, a children's illustrator and the two men she loves. This book's twist is that it follows her alternate lives with both men. One is Lawrence, a thinker and scholar and the other is Ramsey Acton, a snooker player. If you like a book with a twist, this is it. Fiction

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