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LauraBrook's 2018 Reading - Chapter 1

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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1LauraBrook
Edited: Aug 26, 5:20pm Top

Hello hello hello, my dear 75ers!!! I've missed you all so much this last year, so I'm back for 2018. I've been spending lots of time on Litsy (I'm LauraBrook there too), and while I still like it a lot, my reading and concentration have really suffered. Not to mention the camaraderie of this wonderful place. I feel like I'm coming back home again!

I'm Laura, living just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in my grandparents' old house. Single, no kids, but I do have a cat, Chico, who is my child and #1 buddy. His littermate sister, Sweetpea, had to go to heaven this past June - what I thought was a progression of her spinal condition ended up being cancer, internal bleeding, and about 4 other horrible things. It broke me (and Chico) to have to let her go, and it's taken us these 6 months to get back to a new kind of normal. Chico is 14, and despite having arthritis, still likes to jump on things 4 feet high and run around like a 2 year old. I love him, even when he stands on my face at 5:30 in the morning. :)

This is year will be my 10th anniversary at LT - April 10th, to be precise - and I'm so chuffed that I found this little corner of the interwebs. Endless thanks to ReneeMarie for recommending it to me at book club a decade ago! As always, my goal for this year is to buy fewer books, read more of my own, and not be overly swayed by the New Book Hype Machine. That damn thing gets me nearly every time.

I'm bumping up my reading goal for this year from my usual 150 to 200. (I realize this isn't divisible by 75, but whatever, I just want to hang out here!) I have a ROOTs goal for 100, so that should help my poor middle-aged brain keep track of the math, which was never my strong suit.




Here's to a happy, healthy, and wealthy 2018 for us all! I can't wait to catch up with you.

2FAMeulstee
Jan 1, 1:39pm Top

Welcome home, Laura, happy reading in 2018!

3LauraBrook
Jan 1, 3:27pm Top

>2 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita! It feels so good to be back. :)

4ronincats
Jan 1, 3:39pm Top

Dropping off a
And wishing you

5Whisper1
Jan 1, 3:42pm Top

It is soooo good to see you here! Happy 2018 Dear Friend!

I look forward to visiting often and checking to see what books you have read, and hearing from you regarding how you are doing.

Much Love

6Crazymamie
Jan 1, 4:44pm Top

SO good to see you back, Laura! Dropping a star.

7drneutron
Jan 1, 7:17pm Top

Welcome back!

8lindapanzo
Jan 1, 8:09pm Top

Welcome back, Laura. I look forward to following your reading again this year.

Maybe a springtime lunch?

9jnwelch
Jan 1, 8:11pm Top

Happy 2018, Laura! Good to have you back!

10thornton37814
Jan 2, 12:08am Top

Welcome back! Hope your 2018 is filled with great reads!

11PaulCranswick
Jan 2, 12:54am Top



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

Lovely to see you back Laura. xx

12Ameise1
Jan 2, 3:46am Top

It's wonderful to have you back, Laura. Happy New Year and happy reading 2018.

13The_Hibernator
Jan 2, 10:24am Top



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

14LauraBrook
Jan 2, 11:49am Top

>4 ronincats:, >5 Whisper1:, >6 Crazymamie:, >7 drneutron:, >8 lindapanzo:, >9 jnwelch:, >10 thornton37814:, >11 PaulCranswick:, >12 Ameise1:, >13 The_Hibernator: Thank you all! I'm so ridiculously happy to be back, and to see you all here, that I'm tearing up. I have really really missed you!

15LauraBrook
Jan 2, 11:50am Top

Book 1: A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths

I started reading the Dr Ruth Galloway series a few weeks ago, and I'm unable and unwilling to stop reading them one after the other. They're so good! This (4th) book finds Ruth with a new neighbor, an Australian Aboriginal man, and the usual cast of characters (Nelson, Michelle, Cathbad, Judy, Clough) are involved in two different investigations that are, of course, somehow oddly involved. While this is my least favorite of the series so far, I still enjoyed it quite a lot, and have already placed my bookmark in the beginning of the 5th book so I can start reading before I go to work this afternoon. 3.5 stars, and a keeper. My Mom, also a big reader, is on the 2nd in the series, and we're so grateful to have someone else to talk to about these books!

16Ameise1
Jan 2, 11:58am Top

>15 LauraBrook: Oh yes, I'm addicted to this series too.

17Crazymamie
Jan 2, 12:12pm Top

>15 LauraBrook: I charged right through those, too, Laura. They are ridiculously addictive.

18jnwelch
Jan 2, 12:26pm Top

>15 LauraBrook: I love that Ruth Galloway series, too, Laura. I'm on A Dying Fall.

19PawsforThought
Jan 2, 12:47pm Top

Happy new year! And well done on finishing your first book already!

20norabelle414
Jan 2, 1:00pm Top

I'm so glad you're back, Laura!

21LauraBrook
Jan 2, 3:16pm Top

>16 Ameise1:, >17 Crazymamie:, >18 jnwelch: - I'm so happy so many of you are hooked like I am! Joe, I'm starting that one in a few minutes, assuming I can tear myself away from LT for awhile. ;)

>19 PawsforThought: Thanks, Paws!

>20 norabelle414: Thanks, Nora, it's good to be back. :) I missed you guys!

22mahsdad
Jan 2, 3:38pm Top

One good star deserves another. Thanks for following me, I'm following you, now. :)

Happy New Year.

23richardderus
Jan 2, 4:43pm Top

>15 LauraBrook: Thank goodness I've already abandoned that series. No need to look it up!

24LauraBrook
Jan 3, 11:25am Top

>22 mahsdad: Thanks, and Happy New Year to you too!

>23 richardderus: Well, poo, I'm sorry you didn't like this one. (Though you read more widely than I do, certainly.) Not necessarily about this series, but in general, I'll read just about any old thing and enjoy it. The last 4 years, I've been reading primarily as an escape from life and ask for not-too-much, though I'm starting to miss reading in a more engaged way. Maybe with the first anniversaries of so many crappy things coming up in the first half of the year, I can start to work the folds of my grey matter a little more? One can hope.

25LauraBrook
Edited: Jan 3, 11:27am Top

Book 2: Ruth's First Christmas Tree by Elly Griffiths

This quickie between-the-numbers e-book was charming and easy, though I don't think you'd miss anything if it was skipped. (Also, why did literally half of this book need to be a re-hash over the basics of all the characters? Presumably anyone reading it would know what in the world is going on.) 2.5 stars

26Crazymamie
Jan 3, 1:32pm Top

>25 LauraBrook: I concur.

27libraryperilous
Jan 3, 9:12pm Top

Welcome back, Laura! Happy reading.

It already is January 3rd. Why haven't you read my SantaThing picks yet?!?!

(Just teasing. Tbh, I have several years' worth of ST picks on my own TBR.)

28msf59
Jan 3, 9:42pm Top

Happy New Thread, Laura! And Happy Reading in 2018! Hope you reach your lofty goal of #200 and we sure hope to see you around, much more often. We have missed you.

29Whisper1
Jan 4, 11:23am Top

Hi Laura

I've placed a hold on book number one in the series. I hope to get to the library tomorrow. It is snowing lots and lots today.

30MickyFine
Jan 4, 1:42pm Top

Laura!!! *tackle hugs* So happy to see you back again, friend. :D

31LauraBrook
Jan 9, 9:55am Top

>26 Crazymamie: I'm glad to see it wasn't just me with that one!

>27 libraryperilous: Thanks! Hah, I know! I have such a backlog of ST books, and I want to read them all badly. I'm glad I didn't join this past year only because I have too many unreads here at home.

>28 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I really missed you all and being here. A lot. Happy Reading to you too!

>29 Whisper1: Linda, I hope you like it! (Now I'm nervous that you won't like it.) But I think you will - if nothing else, Ruth's job is interesting, and I'm enjoying learning about all of these historical things along with the mystery.

>30 MickyFine: Micky! *tackle hugs right back* I'm so happy to be back! :)

No more books finished, though I am chugging along on a few of them. Like every year, I'm trying to buy fewer books and use the library more/read the ones I already own. I was doing pretty well until last night when I ordered 4 books, got 2 from PaperbackSwap in the mail (so they're kind of free), and my Book of the Month choice (I only got the one this time)! I think I need to start accepting the fact that I will always be getting books, and just work on the volume coming in.

32LauraBrook
Jan 9, 10:14am Top

I forgot to add one! Duh.

Book 3: Introvert Doodles by Marzi Wilson

I got tired of waiting for my library system to get this, so I caved and bought it. It's a cute little book with one-page cartoons about being an introvert, and happily about reading and books too. I enjoyed it, and can see myself reading/flipping through it again, but it wasn't anything earth-shattering. Recommended but I wouldn't break my ankle running to get a copy. 3.25 stars.

33Whisper1
Jan 22, 6:13pm Top

>32 LauraBrook: Laura, I will see if I can find Introvert Doodles from our library. Will fits the introvert 99%. He would be quite happy living by himself. Actually, if we are around too many people, and if the noise level is high, he needs to rest for a few days afterward. Why he chose an extrovert like me is a mystery.

34richardderus
Jan 31, 7:46pm Top

>32 LauraBrook: What a great little book! heh

35gennyt
Feb 10, 1:38pm Top

Great to find more fans of the Ruth Galloway series. I wonder what the particular appeal of these books is for everyone? From my point of view, I love the north Norfolk setting, and the location of Ruth's cottage out on the edge of the saltmarsh - I know that bit of the country quite well and it's good to see it evoked in fiction. And I like Ruth's character, and the weird and wonderful collection of friends and colleagues.

36LauraBrook
Mar 7, 11:49am Top

>34 richardderus: It is! And it's always nice to see more books about introverts in a positive light in our extrovert-loving country.

>35 gennyt: For me, I agree with you on the setting being a big draw, and the characters too. I love Cathbad the most. Ruth's job is really interesting, too, and I am a Sucker for any mystery series set anywhere in the UK in any period. Reading these makes me feel like if I were to walk around the marshes or King's Lynn for any amount of time I could run into Ruth or Nelson or Judy.

37LauraBrook
Mar 7, 12:24pm Top

So I'm a space-case and thought I'd been updating this thread this year - turns out, it's just been my ROOTS thread! *facepalm* So, in order to catch up, I'm just going to do a list of what I've read so far in 2018. Fingers crossed I can keep up this momentum!

Book 4: A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
5. Amazing Food Hacks by Peggy Wang
6. The Clocks by Agatha Christie
7. Organize Your Way by Katie McMenamin - this is actually helpful!
8. The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths
9. Pride, Prejudice, and Popcorn by Carrie Sessarego
10. Heart & Brain by The Awkward Yeti
11. An Enchantment by Christian Durieux
12. The Wicked Godmother by Marion Chesney/M.C. Beaton
13. A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt
14. Blacksad, Volume 1 by Juan Diaz Canales
15. Siberia 56 by Christophe Bec
16. Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt
17. Chip Kidd by Veronica Veronique
18. Little Man Little Man by James Baldwin
19. The Chickens Are Restless by Gary Larson
20. Skim by Mariko Tamaki
21. Charlotte in Paris by Joan MacPhail Knight
22. The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths
23. Seeking Spirits by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson
24. The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg
25. The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
26. Here by Richard McGuire
27. Unnatural Selections by Gary Larson
28. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
29. The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
30. How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White
31. Heart and Brain: Gut Instincts by The Awkward Yeti
32. How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis
33. Third Girl by Agatha Christie
34. How to Be Champion by Sarah Millican
35. Whiteout, Vol 1 by Greg Rucka
36. Whiteout, Vol 2 by Greg Rucka
37. Lagom by Linnea Dunne
38. The Planetary Omnibus by Warren Ellis
39. The Color of Earth by Dong Hwa Kim
40. Scooby-Doo Team-Up 3 by Sholly Fisch
41. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
42. The Will to Whatevs by Eugene Mirman
43. Rake's Progress by Marion Chesney/M.C. Beaton
44. The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths
45. Midsummer Delights by Eloisa James

38LauraBrook
Mar 7, 12:38pm Top

46. This is Sadie by Sara O'Leary
47. When I Was Small by Sara O'Leary
48. A Family Is A Family IsA Family by Sara O'Leary
49. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
50. Paris in Color by Nichole Robertson
51. The Color of Water by Dong Hwa Kim
52. The Boy and the Blue Moon by Sara O'Leary
53. The Color of Heaven by Dong Hwa Kim
54. Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie
55. Little House in Brookfield by Maria D. Wilkes
56. Chip Kidd: Book Two by Chip Kidd
57. Kilt Dead by Kaitlyn Dunnett
Book 58: Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry

Phew! (And as a note for future me, it's March 7th.) In the last few weeks I've been in a mini-slump, but I think it's going away now as I read 30 pages last night, and I'm ready to hit the books again, as it were. In my non-book life, I found a new primary care doctor whom I do not like but will suffer through for the yearly physical and that's it. Chico has been diagnosed with kidney disease (he's only 14 1/2 - oh, and my cat, for those newcomers), and so far he seems to be doing okay with his new holistic medications, though he is a week overdue for blood work. I'm still chugging away at massage therapy. Got results back from a full hormone test and my estrogen, testosterone, DHEA levels are all literally off the charts high, with my cortisol levels double the high level of the charts. No wonder I'm a mess! But I'm slowly starting to feel a little better, thanks to my awesome functional medicine/naturopathic/wholistic doc. It'll be a long road to "normal", and I'm glad to finally be on what seems to be the right path after 20+ years of feeling various shades of awful. My Mom is still cancer-free (yay!) though developed a blood clot in her groin (boo!) which is typical for cancer survivors who've been through chemo. She's hoping to be off of the blood thinners in a couple of months as she can tell a difference, and was only meant to be on them for 5-6 months. And I've been veeeeeery slowly making progress in de-crapping my house! Two of the books I read this year (How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind and Organize Your Way, for those interested) have been very applicable and honest and practical, and it's been a big help.

What have you all been up to? Read anything good lately?

39MickyFine
Mar 7, 1:14pm Top

Laura! So happy to see you and glad to see you've found a health plan that works for you.

Way to read like a beast! That's an impressive stack of books, friend.

One big thing is kind of new with me: http://www.librarything.com/topic/279626#6356564

I'm reading a romance novel which is exactly I'm in the mood for right now. It has a super cute dedication to the author's dad that lists all the chapters he shouldn't read.

40thornton37814
Mar 7, 9:39pm Top

You are doing very well on your 2018 reading! Wow!

41tymfos
Mar 13, 11:02pm Top

Wow! 58 books already!

42LauraBrook
Apr 7, 11:59am Top

>39 MickyFine: Hi Micky! Certainly doesn't feel like I'm reading that much, and was starting to feel like I should be reading more. But it's only early April, so I need to calm down. Congratulations! Can't wait to see pics!

>40 thornton37814: Thanks Lori!

>41 tymfos: Thank you Terri! I'm chugging along!

Book 59: The Deadly Dance by M. C. Beaton 4 stars
Books 60 & 61: Scooby-Doo Team-Up Vol 1 and Vol 2 by Sholly Fisch 3 stars each
Book 62: Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie 2 stars
Book 63: I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara 5 STARS!!!
Book 64: Herclue Poirot's Early Cases by Agatha Christie 3 stars
Book 65: Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan 4 staras
Book 66: The Birdwoman's Palate by Laksmi Pamuntjak 1 star

43RidgewayGirl
Apr 7, 12:07pm Top

I'm reading I'll Be Gone in the Dark now. Glad to know you liked it so much!

44LauraBrook
Apr 7, 12:19pm Top

>43 RidgewayGirl: I practically inhaled it! I hope you like it a lot too!

45PaulCranswick
May 6, 6:48am Top

>44 LauraBrook: That sounds like intoxicating stuff.

46LauraBrook
Aug 26, 5:18pm Top

>45 PaulCranswick: It certainly was!

Hello, friends, I'm back again. I don't know where my head has been the last couple of years, and I'm so sorry to be missing from here so often. It certainly isn't doing my brain any good - I can feel myself and my thought processes degrading with internet usage (which is horrifying in and of itself, and something I didn't foresee happening), making it harder for me to concentrate and really be immersed in a story or follow-through on a thought. I'm working on it, of course, but it's scary to me that I can stray so far from where I used to be, with a brain leaning more toward the "youths" and less toward how I always was and how I used to be.

Yikes, that was a little heavier than I expected, but it's the truth. At any rate, I won't review every book I've read in the interim, but I am at 120/200 for the year, so I'm mostly on track in that regard. I'd love to keep on catching up with people here, but I have a virus on my computer (didn't think that was really a thing on a Mac, but I can tell you for sure that it is), so it's being dropped off at the computer place soon. I hope I can pick it back up tomorrow and get back here.

What have you all been up to? How are you? Read anything excellent in my absence?

47lindapanzo
Aug 26, 9:36pm Top

>46 LauraBrook: Looking forward to seeing you for lunch. If I can just find the bag of mysteries I've been saving for you since I saw you last....

I've been reading a lot of local history and, as usual, quite a few cozy mysteries. My next focus, I think, will be to read all those Early Reviewers, Net Galley, and First to Read books that have somehow piled up. Some mysteries, some sports, and some history.

48thornton37814
Aug 27, 12:59pm Top

>46 LauraBrook: Welcome back! I've read lots this year. The Darkling Bride was probably the best one lately.

49MickyFine
Aug 28, 11:39am Top

>46 LauraBrook: Yay! Laura appears!

Life is mad this week with moving, cleaning, and prepping for my wedding (which is now less than 3 weeks away)!

I finally read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society recently and it was lovely. As is the movie on Netflix.

50jnwelch
Aug 28, 12:50pm Top

Hi, Laura. Good to have you back!

Hmm, excellent books I've read recently. I think you might like Less: A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer (won the Pulitzer), and Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly(three women, one a Nazi doctor, during WWII). Circe, by Madeline Miller, the woman who wrote Song of Achilles, is really good, too, although not quite at the level of SOA, IMO.

51libraryperilous
Aug 28, 5:02pm Top

>46 LauraBrook: I'm reading Reader, Come Home right now, and it talks about the ways we can return to reading more deeply but also adapt to the digital world in which we live.

52LauraBrook
Aug 31, 9:30pm Top

>47 lindapanzo: Was so nice to see you (and your parents!) at lunch today. Mom is excited to see the books you've given us, and she says thank you again.

>48 thornton37814: Oooh, Darkling Bride, I haven't heard of that one. Off too investigate (and probably add to my TBR)... Hope you're doing well, Lori!

>49 MickyFine: Hi Micky! I'm glad I didn't miss your wedding! How are you doing, aside from feeling like you're going crazy? Guernsey is on my to-be-read-soon list, mostly because I really want to watch the movie, and also because I've had it since just after it was published. It's time. I'm glad you're doing well! OXO

>50 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I'll check out Less and Lilac Girls, and Circe is one that I already have on my shelves. Still haven't read Song of Achilles yet, but I suspect it'll jump to the front of the line once I start Circe.

>51 libraryperilous: That sounds like something I need to be reading sooner than later. I'm getting so worried about my comprehension level, not so much with ebooks, but just with the internet and being on my cell phone in general. Compared to most people my age (I'm 40 *gulp*) I'm hardly ever on it, a virtual Luddite, but I can still tell a difference when I'm online in some form for awhile. I long for a deep, comprehensive reading experience, like I used to have when I was a teen, when the internet was barely a thing. Plus, I'm a sucker for any kind of book about reading.

53lindapanzo
Aug 31, 9:44pm Top

>52 LauraBrook: So nice to see you today, Laura. Hope we can make a Sat afternoon tea work.

54libraryperilous
Sep 1, 6:01pm Top

>52 LauraBrook: It definitely sounds like a book for you! Another book I read recently that really helped settle my mind and inspire my reading: The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction.

I've been on quite the book about books kick this summer. I'll be 40 this year myself, and it's only in the last couple of years that I've noticed my attention span seems to be shortening. Some of it is just the extra stress of the Second Age of Shoddy in which we're all mired. But I think some of it can be attributed to spending more time online in general, especially on Twitter, and to "reading" a lot of news articles by skimming them. Sigh.

Circe truly is a beautiful novel. I hope you enjoy your read of it.

55LauraBrook
Sep 1, 7:04pm Top

>53 lindapanzo: Me too! I'm only working weekends now for one client (after 11 years of weekends, it's amazing to have two days off together!), so I should be able to make a Saturday afternoon tea date with minimum fuss.

>54 libraryperilous: I'll add that to my TBR too - thank you! (And glad to see someone else my age is noticing the same things. Most of my IRL peers don't notice or don't get it.)

56MickyFine
Sep 4, 4:40pm Top

>52 LauraBrook: I'm doing pretty well. I'm still managing to remember that all the stress of planning will lead to something fun. And you know, a lifetime with a very awesome guy. :)

I hope your managing to get in some good reads. And yay for having more weekends off!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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