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Rosylibrarian's 2018 Challenge v.1

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Jun 28, 5:16am Top

Hello! My name is Marie and this is my ninth year with the 75ers. I'm an American living in the UK with my husband. We are expecting our first baby in November! We belong to a tiny dog named Finn and a giant cat named Neko. I read eclectically, to say the least, so there's something for everyone.

Previous Threads:
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Jan 1, 12:24pm Top

Hope your 2018 is filled with good reads!

Edited: Jan 1, 1:09pm Top

Jan 1, 12:30pm Top

Dropping off a start and hoping your 2018 is filled with good reads to help you through the big move.

Jan 1, 12:38pm Top

>4 thornton37814: I hope yours is too!

>6 archerygirl: Thank you! Yes, I'm thinking unambitious, stress free reads during that time.

Jan 1, 1:02pm Top

Dropping off a
And wishing you

Jan 1, 1:02pm Top

Marie, your image in >5 rosylibrarian: and on my thread is not showing up.

Jan 1, 1:10pm Top

>8 ronincats: Happy New Year to you!

>9 ronincats: Thanks for the heads up. I think it should be working now. That's what I get for trying to clever with images. ;)

Jan 1, 1:34pm Top

>7 rosylibrarian: *fistbump* I'm also moving to the UK this year (!!) and unambitious, comforting stress free reads are going to be key, I think.

Jan 1, 1:43pm Top

>11 archerygirl: *fistbump* Ooo, from where? What made you decide to move? My husband is in the Air Force, and this is his second time being stationed there, but my first (apart from studying abroad in London).

Jan 1, 1:48pm Top

>12 rosylibrarian: From Nova Scotia, Canada. I lived in the UK until nine years ago, so I'm going back home really. I miss my family and friends there. I guess the military will help with a fair bit of the paperwork and move complexity for you?

Jan 1, 1:56pm Top

Happy New Year, and congratulations on the upcoming move!

Jan 1, 2:06pm Top

>13 archerygirl: That will be nice! I've lived away from family for past 12 years, and know how that goes. The military does help with the paperwork, and they do pack/ship everything for us, so as long as we hit everything on their checklist I'm hoping for a smooth move.

>14 Miss_Moneypenny: Happy New Year, and thank you!

Jan 1, 2:31pm Top

Happy reading in 2018, Marie!

Jan 1, 4:17pm Top

Happy New Year, Marie! May you have some great reads in 2018.

Jan 1, 4:22pm Top

Happy New Year, happy new thread, and good luck on the big move!

Jan 1, 5:18pm Top

Just adding to the wishes here for a great 2018 and a smooth move.

I rather imagine you are very organised, and of course finding info is pretty much your job description, but if there's anything a current resident can help with, please do shout, happy to help.

Jan 1, 7:35pm Top

>16 FAMeulstee: You too!

>17 kgodey: Happy New Year!

>18 foggidawn: Thank you, I appreciate it. I have a few months to go, but I imagine it will go by quickly.

>19 charl08: Thank you! I very much appreciate your offer. I don't know that I would call myself organized in my personal life, but I do try. :)

Jan 1, 7:54pm Top

Top 5 2017 Reads

1. Any of the Sherlock Holmes books by Arthur Conan Doyle (I read them all in publication order.)
2. Any of the Poldark books by Winston Graham (I stopped at the 6th book so I didn't get too far ahead of the PBS series.)
3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
4. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
5. La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Jan 1, 8:38pm Top

Welcome back!

Jan 2, 12:58am 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.

Jan 2, 8:38am Top

Happy New Year, Marie!

Jan 2, 9:27am Top

>22 drneutron: Good to be back, Jim. Thanks again for this group. :)

>23 PaulCranswick: Happy New Year, Paul!

>24 norabelle414: Hey, Nora! Happy New Year to you too.

Jan 2, 9:45am Top

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

Jan 2, 12:37pm Top

>26 The_Hibernator: Happy New Year! I like how the dog is wearing one leather glove while toasting, LOL.

In exciting news, it might snow in Charleston tomorrow up to 3 inches! (Sad, I know, but it's a miracle for this area.) I'm hoping they cancel work so I don't have to hazard the crazy driving that is sure to ensue. It would also help me to recover from a nasty cold I caught while in Colorado this past week. Cross your fingers!

Jan 2, 3:11pm Top

*fingers crossed*

Also happy new thread and happy new year! Looking forward to all your adventures this year. :)

Jan 2, 3:56pm Top

>28 MickyFine: Hi, Micky! Happy 2018 to you.

And in more exciting news, they did cancel work tomorrow, yay!

Jan 3, 2:21pm Top

Happy New Year! How exciting to be moving to England!

Jan 3, 2:31pm Top

>30 mstrust: Happy New Year! Yes, we are very excited for this opportunity. We will be there for at least 4 years.

It's snowing in Charleston, South Carolina! This is the first time it has snowed here since we moved here in 2011. I wish I were feeling better to enjoy it, but it's pretty to see it out the window.

Jan 3, 3:25pm Top

What a picture! I think I hear the wind howling.
My husband talked to his aunt in Vermont last night. Six degrees and four feet of snow. We had tried calling repeatedly this past week but they never answered, so Mike assumed they were gallivanting around on a trip as she's just retired. Nope, the power lines keep going down.

Jan 3, 5:33pm Top

>31 rosylibrarian: Well I do declare! (Statement best read in a Scarlett O'Hara voice)

Glad you're enjoying the white stuff.

Jan 4, 5:54pm Top

>32 mstrust: Wow, four feet! Glad your husband's aunt is okay. We got 5 inches yesterday and they literally declared a state of emergency, ha ha. Work was cancelled Wednesday through tomorrow, so five day weekend!

>33 MickyFine: I am enjoying it...from afar. This head cold has really knocked me down. I'm actually starting to feel human tonight though.


I'm reading two books right now. One is a short biography of Winston Churchill I picked up after watching The Crown. The second is a third book in a series called Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions. I think I should have both finished by tomorrow.

Speaking of which, tomorrow is my birthday! Pretty sure Charleston will still be shut down, so I don't think we're going to be able to go have the nice dinner we were planning on, but a snow filled week is a pretty good present.

Jan 4, 6:21pm Top

Happy New Year, Marie. I hope your move goes smoothly.

Enjoy the snow.

Jan 4, 6:32pm Top

Have a Happy Birthday! It's a good thing you like snow, but hopefully you'll be able to go for your dinner.

Jan 4, 11:06pm Top

>31 rosylibrarian: I admired the views of Charleston while the Weather Channel was broadcasting live from there. It's probably my favorite city. I saw some lovely photos taken by a photographer making their rounds on Facebook today along East Bay and around the downtown area with all the churches. Stunning photos!

Jan 5, 9:02am Top

>34 rosylibrarian: Happy birthday! I'm glad the snow is a good present for you.

Jan 6, 6:56am Top

>35 BLBera: Thank you, much appreciated!

>36 mstrust: Our dinner reservations were cancelled downtown, but we went to a family owned Italian restaurant closer to our house that I am going to miss when we move. It was lovely. :)

>37 thornton37814: Charleston is beautiful. I haven't been able to make it downtown since Tuesday, but I agree the photos have been beautiful. The roads were a little better yesterday, but everything keeps refreezing overnight, so we will see how today goes.

>38 archerygirl: Thank you! It was a nice birthday. I do like snow, but probably because I have been living in hot climates for the past 9 years. (Arizona and South Carolina)


Today is going to be another relaxed day. It's still icy outside, and I have the house to myself since the husband went to work. I'm hoping to finish up two books today, and start on a third.

Jan 6, 9:43am Top

Dropping a star here, Marie - with you a happy new reading year. It snowed briefly here today but nothing much - too mild for it to hang around. We've had a very mild winter until now in Denmark.

I think I'm going to start watching The Crown this weekend. So many talks about it being good. I think also I should try to read a Churchill biography - now also the movie The Darkest Hour will be one I look forward to.

Jan 6, 11:38am Top

Ooh! Snow! Just endless rain here, it seems. Hope you are good and warm, and have plenty of books.

Jan 7, 1:42pm Top

>40 ctpress: The Crown is so, so very good. I think I am going to finish season 2 this week with, or without my husband. (I would have finished it weeks ago, but he's been dragging his feet.) I think I will wait for The Darkest Hour on DVD. I still need to go see Star Wars in theaters... ah, where does the time go?

>41 charl08: Yeah, the snow has been fun, but it's back to work I go tomorrow. I am indeed warm, with plenty of books. Hope you are too!

Jan 7, 1:58pm Top

Finally, the first book of the year.

1. Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart

This is a solid series for me, starring Constance Kopp, the lady deputy. In this installment, Constance fights morality laws touching the lives of three different women, including Florette, her younger "sister" who has run away from home seeking the glamour of show business. It's an eye opening look at what happened to women when they were deemed too loose, or too wild for their parents and guardians. All the meanwhile, World War I rages in the background of the narrative. I'm looking forward to the next book due out in September 2018.

Jan 8, 10:51am Top

2. Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie

Ugh, uuuugh. I thought this book was going to be another cozy installment of murder and mystery, only to have it tear my heart out. Spoilers to follow.

Hildegard dies, and Runcie rips your heart out as he describes Sidney finding her, telling Anna, and following through with the funeral. As someone who lost a parent when young, this scene was excruciating. Runcie must have lost someone close to him to so vividly describe the thoughts and feelings Sidney has after her death. His description of grief is poignant, and truthful. I immediately forgot the beginning of this book because the ending was so emotional.

Jan 10, 6:49am Top

I'm being wishy washy about what I want to read next, and I'm looking for recommendations. I think I'm in the mood for fantasy, but not YA, and not anything thousands of pages long. So, epic, maybe, not not necessarily epic in size... any recommendations you guys can suggest?

Jan 10, 7:09am Top

>43 rosylibrarian: Oh, I'd completely forgotten about this series! Fantastic. Will go look for this book on kindle now(ish).

Re recommendations - Not sure if you've read this one - I loved Strange the Dreamer, although I don't read much fantasy. It didn't strike me as YA, but I'm def not expert on that category, so could be? There was a big fantasy library, which sounded just wonderful. Sigh.

Jan 10, 10:57am Top

I like all of Nora's suggestions!

Jan 10, 11:37am Top

>47 norabelle414: I second the first two of Nora's suggestions and the other two are on my list :-) My contribution would be a suggestions for Assassin's Apprentice so you could just the Farseer read when we start Royal Assassin. Both are epic fantasy that aren't epically long. Or if you haven't read it, I could also suggest The Curse of Chalion because Lois McMaster Bujold's fantasy is just as good as her sci fi.

Jan 10, 12:25pm Top

Oh, Jasper Fforde. Very Good Suggestion >47 norabelle414:

Jan 10, 12:32pm Top

>46 charl08: Warning, it is so sad, but I'm glad you want to read it so we can trade thoughts. :) Glad to hear you enjoyed Strange the Dreamer. I met the author last year at a book festival, and she seemed lovely, but I had never read any of her books. I'll have to give it a go.

>47 norabelle414: Thanks, Nora! I have read none of those. I read the first book in the Thursday Next series, but that was eons ago.

>48 foggidawn: Me too!

>49 archerygirl: That is so funny that you recommend that series because I just downloaded the audiobook thinking it might fit my description. I've never read a thing by Robin Hobb, so I'm looking forward to it. Is there a group read going on for it? I'll also look into the other book you suggest, thank you!

Jan 10, 12:33pm Top

>50 charl08: I read the first one a long time ago, and now I can't really remember a thing about it. I'll have to give those books another go.

Edited: Jan 10, 12:36pm Top

>51 rosylibrarian: I've had Assassin's Apprentice on my phone for ages and was eyeing it a few days ago. I don't know whether there is a group read, but I'd be up for one.

(I'll also drop a recommendation for The Bear and the Nightingale.)

Jan 10, 1:29pm Top

>51 rosylibrarian: souloftherose and I are planning a group read of all the Robin Hobb books, starting from Royal Assassin because we've both read Assassin's Apprentice recently and we'd started out just plotting just a joint read. Several people have expressed interest, so we'll get a group read thread(s) going soon :-) Which gives people time to read Apprentice first!

Jan 11, 9:38pm Top

>53 swynn: I just started Assassin's Apprentice today, so I hope you give it a go so we can trade notes.

>54 archerygirl: Perfect, I'm in, so let me know when that thread starts.

Jan 23, 10:10am Top

Still here. Just buried in work, moving and all that jazz. We're T-minus 90 days away from moving, so it has been consuming my life.

I've been chipping away at Assassin's Apprentice. It took me awhile to get into it, but now that the main character is semi-grown up, I'm finding it more compelling.

Jan 23, 11:36am Top

Ugh, moving. Yes, it does consume your life, because as you're trying to box stuff up, you still need it.

Jan 23, 1:18pm Top

>56 rosylibrarian: Ugh, moving. I'm at t-minus six months, so that's not quite as imminent as you. So far, I've picked a shipper for my cats. Probably should start thinking about a shipper for my physical goods...

I had this plan that I'd spend the winter sorting and condensing my stuff. So far I've...thrown out some old calendars?

Jan 23, 5:43pm Top

>58 archerygirl: This sounds like me!

Hope the packing is not too painful Marie.

Jan 23, 5:54pm Top

>56 rosylibrarian: I haven't started it yet, but hope to as soon as I finish my current Kindle read.

Jan 24, 7:16am Top

Moving can be a pain, I totally understand why it's eating up your life. I just moved from my parent's house into my fiancé's house, and luckily I can slowly move stuff from my parent's. That gives me reason to check up on them frequently without seeming to be worried about leaving them on their own, lol.

Jan 29, 11:11am Top

>57 mstrust: Yes. Luckily the military moves us, but I already have a suitcase sort of primed with things I think I'll need to bring.

>58 archerygirl: We just got our shipper too. Customs are so confusing, so I'm glad we hired someone.

>59 charl08: Not too bad. We don't have a giant house to move, but we're still trying to go through everything.

>60 swynn: I finished it. Must write a review.

>61 The_Hibernator: Moving is a pain - and moving in with a soon to be spouse can be tricky! ;)

Feb 2, 10:58am Top

Where did January go?

3. Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

I was in the mood for fantasy and this was a nice step into a new author for me. This appears to be one of those series that begins with the character's birth and ends at their death - so I might need to buckle in for a lengthy ride. I will say that the beginning of this book was slow for me, but as soon as the character began to develop and the magic system made more sense, I grew to enjoy the story more and more. I'm going to try and keep up with the group read for this series.

Edited: Feb 2, 11:06am Top

4. Churchill by Paul Johnson

I have long been fascinated by Churchill and once took a class that studied his leadership qualities when I was studying abroad in London. Since finishing season one of The Crown, I thought I would jog my memory and read a short biography of him.

For such a short book, this one took me most of January to read. I think part of this is just my current head space - but part of it was the clipped writing. It just wasn't very compelling - and Churchill certainly was compelling. I think part of the other issue is that the author wrote for an audience familiar with British politics, which I must admit I am not. Still, a nice short way to familiarize oneself with Churchill.

Feb 2, 11:50am Top

Wow, January came and went and having only read 4 books this past month, it seems pretty clear I'm in a reading rut. I don't know if it's because I have SO MUCH going on right now or not, but nothing holds my interest after ten minutes. Goodreads tells me I'm already two books behind, so thanks for that added stress, GR.

How do you guys break out of your ruts? Any recommendations that are 5 star amazing reads?

Feb 2, 3:52pm Top

When I feel like nothing will keep me interested, I'll read a magazine or two. Or nothing, and it usually takes me no more than a day to pick up a book after that. Just what works for me.

Feb 2, 4:32pm Top

>66 rosylibrarian: Sometimes I read an old favorite to break out of a rut, or a new book that I've been really anticipating.

Since you asked for recommendations, I tried to think of some different types of things, suited to different moods. I like LibraryThing's "What Should I Borrow?" feature -- here are some of the books from my library that it recommends for you:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo -- a nice, pacy fantasy with great characters and worldbuilding, if you want to try immersing yourself in another world.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson -- A deeply emotional realistic YA, if you want all the feels.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel -- A fascinating story about the world during and after a pandemic, if you want something a little bit scary but also a little bit hopeful.

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli -- A lighter YA read, if you want some of the feels but also to laugh.

Feb 2, 5:41pm Top

When I was in a very bad reading slump I read some graphic novels. I don't know if they actually helped me read more, but at least I felt like I was finishing *something*. I like Lumberjanes and Mockingbird, Vol 1 and Squirrel Girl, Vol 1.

Also Omg yes read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and then watch the movie trailer so we can gush about it

Feb 8, 8:23pm Top

>67 mstrust: It has been a long time since I read a magazine. I have a stack of celebrity gossip magazines in my house that just started appearing in my mailbox. Maybe that would help...

>68 foggidawn: Thanks for the recommendations! I loved Bardugo's other series, but haven't read Six of Crows yet. And I do want to read Albertalli's book. I think her movie just came out?

>69 norabelle414: I just picked up a graphic novel from the library. I can't even remember what it's called right now, but I think it's the next thing I'll read. I'll look up the other ones you suggested.

Thanks for the help, everyone!

Feb 8, 8:28pm Top

5. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

I've long wanted to get to this book and since the movie came out not that long ago, I thought I'd give it a whirl. I've read one other book by Christie, but none in her Hercule Poirot series. I wonder if for that reason, this book didn't particular do anything for me. It was a quick and succinct murder mystery book with a colorful cast of characters - but there wasn't anything compelling about the detective himself. Should I try anything else in this series or would I be getting more of the same in her other books?

Feb 8, 8:36pm Top

6. Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember: The Stroke That Changed My Life by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee

This book started off very interesting... and then it felt self indulgent and kind of repetitive. It's a memoir about a 33 year old woman who has a stroke and spends the next few years in recovery. The story isn't linear and she jumps back and forth in time, covering her childhood, her early marriage, and ultimately the birth of her daughter and their divorce. I was hooked for about half the book as she describes what it felt like to have a stroke and what she had to do to put her life back together again. But then she spends a lot of time describing her fledgling writing career and being vague about why her marriage fell apart. It was disappointing to feel like the author changed her tactic in the middle of her narrative.

Mar 4, 2:20pm Top

>63 rosylibrarian: Really glad you enjoyed AA and pleased you'll be joining us on the group read :-)

>71 rosylibrarian: Hmm, I'm a big fan of AC but if Orient Express didn't work for you for the reasons you mention I don't think another book in the series would give you anything but more of the same. She's very good at what she does but she never goes into a lot of depth with Poirot or any of her other detectives. I think that's one of the big differences between the golden age authors and later crime writers.

Mar 23, 7:00am Top

Hey, Marie! Settled in England yet?

Jun 25, 4:39am Top

Hello anyone still following this thread. I don't blame you if you gave up since I disappeared at the end of March. I promise I have two good reasons though:

1. I moved to England in April and we finally settled into a house at the end of May. We just got reliable Internet about a week ago, so the radio silence was in large part because I had no access.
2. I'm pregnant! I'm due in November and currently about 19 weeks. We should find out if it's a boy or a girl relatively soon. I've also been really, really, really sick. They finally had to put me on meds that allow me to semi-function, but reading has been a struggle. Even audio books were tough to concentrate on. Thank goodness for podcasts, or I might have gone insane.

So, hopefully I will be able to catch up on threads in the next week or so and start posting some of the books I did manage to muddle my way through. Hope everyone has been doing well!

Jun 25, 8:40am Top

(and also comiserations on the being really sick part). Hope you are feeling more the thing now.

Jun 25, 9:23am Top

Welcome back, Marie! Congrats on successfully moving and congrats on your pregnancy!
Did your move go smoothly? What is your housing situation like? What podcasts have you been listening to?

Jun 25, 8:39pm Top

>75 rosylibrarian: Oh wow, congratulations on a successful move and your coming little one! I hope the meds are helping out and you're feeling better.

Jun 25, 10:04pm Top

Great to hear from you, Marie! Glad you have the move over with and are settled AND have internet access--we expect to be hearing more from you now. And congratulations on your pregnancy!

Edited: Jun 26, 4:46am Top

>75 rosylibrarian: Congratulations for lots of those things but sorry to hear about the being sick part :-( I hope the meds help and you feel better soon.

Jun 26, 2:02pm Top

Welcome back, and congratulations! You've had a lot going on!

Jun 27, 4:30am Top

Thanks, everyone! It has for sure been a little bit crazy and it will probably get more crazy once the baby arrives.

In the meantime, we're still unpacking and figuring out a routine. I always forget how much mental effort it takes to figure a place out. Where do you grocery shop? Where can I get a haircut? In England, it's been... how does the garbage system work? Why is the bank making it so hard to get a bank card? Ha ha, but we're slowly getting there.

I have to say, I've never had nicer neighbors. In the US, I never met my neighbors. Maybe it is because we lived on a military base, but our neighbors frequently changed and I never learned any of their names. Over here, they have all come over and introduced themselves. My cat may be partially to blame. We left a window open and he escaped for about 48 hours until a neighbor spotted him in some hedges. Everyone was so wonderful though and some of them even helped me look. It made me feel really good about the neighborhood we chose to live in.

Edited: Jun 27, 8:53am Top

I am going to update my thread in monthly batches. I left off in February, so here is what I read:

5. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
6. Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember: The Stroke That Changed My Life by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee
7. I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski
8. At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider
9. The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui

Thoughts: As we got closer to moving in April I started reading books about travel. I See London, I See France was a cute YA contemporary book that followed two best friends traveling in Europe over the summer. The book touches on the realities on traveling, which reminded me that traveling can be very unromantic, ha ha.

At Home in the World was a memoir about a nomadic family that travels all over the place with their three young kids. I knew I was pregnant at this point so I was trying to reassure myself that children are portable. Their children were obviously older than an infant, but it was comforting all the same.

I ended the month on a graphic novel that examines an immigrant's journey from Vietnam to America during the 1970s. I apologize for the soapbox, but if more Americans read books like this, maybe we would have more empathy for those crossing our borders. Like many, I've been horrified to read about families being separated while seeking asylum. My own grandmother sought asylum during the Spanish Civil War and without her bravery I probably wouldn't exist. Anyways... this is a really good graphic novel and worth sitting down with.

Jun 27, 6:31am Top

Congrats, Marie!! That's wonderful news!

Jun 27, 8:16am Top

>76 charl08: >78 bell7: >79 ronincats: >80 souloftherose: >81 mstrust: >84 scaifea: Thank you! Good to be back.

>77 norabelle414: Move went as smoothly as it could, minus being so sick. We found a house about 30 minutes away from Cambridge in a town we really like. Our stuff and car came about 2 months later. The house itself is really nice. There are some things we are adjusting to, but one of the biggest selling points was that it had a garage and we needed extra storage for things that we just won't touch in the next four years.

As for podcasts, these are my top favs, though I dabbled when I got bored:
Stuff You Should Know (Actually, I listen to a lot of podcasts from How Stuff Works.)
Rooster Teeth Podcast
Omnibus! (With Ken Jennings and John Roderick.)

Jun 27, 8:47am Top

Sounds like a really good place! Sorry you've been so sick, though.

Jun 28, 4:21am Top

>86 foggidawn: Well, I think it will be worth it in the end, but it was quite miserable. I'm told 20 weeks is the best part of the pregnancy, so I'm trying to enjoy some of the energy I have back.

Jun 28, 4:36am Top

I'm going to lump March and April into one batch because for the first time in a very long time, I only read one book in a month. As you can see, April is when we moved and when I became very, very ill.

10. The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker
11. Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone by Richard Lloyd Parry
12. The Angry Tide by Winston Graham
13. The Stranger from the Sea by Winston Graham

14. The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham

Thoughts: The Dorito Effect was interesting, but I don't know if I would call it surprising. I guess there is more food manipulation in meat products than I suspected, but again, not surprising.

Ghosts of the Tsunami was very good. I was very disconnected from the news in 2011 when the tsunami struck Japan. I knew it happened, but I don't recall looking at videos or being horrified by the events that unfolded. This book does an excellent job of placing us in the minds of its victims, including the parents of children whose entire school was wiped away. It was also an interesting look at Japanese culture and how it deals with natural disasters, grief, and recovery.

From there I dipped back into Poldark as the stress mounted. There are so many spoilers wrapped up in how these books have progressed and how I feel about them. I'll just say a few things. Wow, I did not see them killing off Elizabeth. It made me feel a lot of empathy for George. He really did love her. I do delight in his misery though when it comes to his new wife. Also, I am not team Steven. Ugh. I was so glad Clowance got rid of him and was really annoyed when she ended up marrying him in the end. I think I only have one or two more books in this series, so I think I'll go back to them soon.

Jun 28, 4:59am Top

Hi Marie! I saw from Charlotte's thread that you're in the UK now, so I'm dropping in to say welcome to the British "summer", and don't worry about the heat because it probably won't last past the weekend and then everyone will be talking about coats again :-)

Sorry you've been so ill - I hope you're past the worst of it and you have an uneventful time until November.

Jul 2, 3:44am Top

>89 susanj67: Hi, Susan. Thanks for the welcome! I have you starred now. It has been warm, hasn't it? We took a stroll down to the market this weekend and by the time I got home I felt pretty overheated. I think half of it was the sun and half was pregnancy though. :) Sitting in front of the fan felt nice, but I would love some rain this week.

Jul 2, 4:09am Top

15. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
16. The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do about Them) by Lucy Jones
17. I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
18. The Loving Cup by Winston Graham
19. What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather

Thoughts: I started off with what has probably been my favorite book of the year. Educated is the memoir of a "home schooled" girl named Tara who lived in Idaho with survivalist parents who were, and probably still are, anti-government. There are a lot of other elements at play in her story including mental illness, abuse, religion and the power of education. It's a compelling story that shines a light on pockets of communities where this is normal. I grew up one state over in a tiny town, so the setting she paints was familiar and I knew of kids my age that didn't go to school and instead lived on ranches. Highly recommended.

The Big Ones was okay if you're interested in natural disasters. It's well researched, but not captivating. I'll Be Gone in the Dark was an interesting mix of true crime and a glimpse into the life of a woman who makes it her life to catch a serial killer. It's was kind of a true crime/memoir with a hint of the celebrity thrown in since the author was married to a famous comedian before her untimely death about a year before a suspect was arrested in the case. I don't know if I can say I enjoyed it, since it's a rather grisly book, but I enjoyed it in the way you enjoy true crime.

I've already talked about the Poldark books, so I'll skip that one. I ended the month of Dan Rather's What Unites Us. I like Dan Rather in his "retirement". I can't say I remember his CBS days very well, but I follow what he has been writing since the 2016 elections and what his views on Trump have been since he took office. I appreciate the measured tone he takes as he seeks to start conversations about why this presidency is so abnormal and why we should strive not to normalize what is happening. His book takes the long view and exemplifies when America has been in crisis before and why he thinks we have a chance of becoming a better country after we move past this time period... if we can stick to the values that made us successful in the first place. It's cautiously optimistic and made me feel better.

Jul 2, 5:52am Top

>75 rosylibrarian: Lovely to see you back Marie and with - mostly - apart from the morning sickness - with great news.

I hope you are settling well back in the UK and I hope to be doing the same process very soon.

Am making my own return to the group after a couple of weeks of semi-absence. xx

Jul 3, 6:42am Top

>92 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul. Great to see you as well. The best part of LT is that it is always waiting for your return, even when you need to focus on other things.

We are continuing to settle. We seem to be moving at a snail's pace when it comes to unpacking, but the weather has been too nice to sit around debating whether we should keep what's in the box. I hope your process is more pleasant!

Jul 6, 11:34am Top

Glad to see you back, Marie! And congratulations on surviving the move and on the wonderful baby news! Hopefully the pregnancy is a bit easier from here.

My move happens next week - I'll be touching down in the UK on Thursday. Thankfully things like bank cards should be fairly easy for me (I've still got my UK bank accounts) and I'll be staying with parents so the internet situation should be okay. Everything else...well, I'm going to take it as it comes. I'm glad you've found great neighbours, that can make such a difference!

Jul 10, 3:02am Top

Congratulations, Marie! Such good News :)

Jul 10, 10:55am Top

>94 archerygirl: Thank you! Hope you have a safe and painless move back to the UK.

>95 Apolline: Thank you! It's been a busy year for us. :)

Jul 28, 5:07am Top

>97 archerygirl: It's been as safe and painless as any international move with cats in tow ever can be :-) So far, anyway!

Jul 29, 8:02am Top

Hope the unpacking is going well Marie (or not: I've had boxes not unpacked for years in the past, so no judgement!)

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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