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Cindy/LibraryCin's 2018 Challenges

2018 Category Challenge

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1LibraryCin
Edited: Jan 2, 3:45pm Top

Posting my challenges and reviews here for the year.

The first 13 listed are my 12x12, with #13 just being my catch-all for whatever doesn't fit. I've not added any new or different categories this year.

2LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 20, 11:41pm Top

1. Play Book Tag
1. The Radium Girls / Kate Moore. 5 stars
2. In the Pleasure Groove / John Taylor. 4 stars
3. Small Beneath the Sky / Lorna Crozier. 3.5 stars
4. China Dolls / Lisa See. 4 stars
5. The Lake House / Kate Morton. 4 stars
6. Yarrow / Charles de Lint. 3.5 stars
7. Ghosts / Raina Telgemeier. 4 stars
8. Wool / Hugh Howey. 3.5 stars
9. The Alice Network / Kate Quinn. 4.5 stars
10. The Great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald. 2.5 stars
11. Ink and Bone / Rachel Caine. 3.5 stars

3LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 23, 6:56pm Top

2. CAT Challenges
1. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind / William Kamkwamba. 4 stars
2. Big Stone Gap / Adriana Trigiani. 3.5 stars
3. Snow White Must Die / Nele Neuhaus. 4 stars
4. Perfume / Patrick Suskind. 2.25 stars
5. The Concubine's Children / Denise Chong. 4 stars
6. Bullied to Death / Judith A. Yates. 4 stars
7. Sleep With the Lights On / Maggie Shayne. 4 stars
8. Generation Me / Jean M. Twenge. 4 stars
9. The Woman in White / Wilkie Collins. 3 stars
10. Little Girl Lost / Richard Aleas. 4 stars
11. Strangers on a Train / Patricia Highsmith. 3.5 stars

4LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 20, 4:27pm Top

3. Mystery Subgenre
1. Missoula / Jon Krakauer. 4 stars
2. Catch Me If You Can / Frank W. Abagnale. 3.5 stars
3. Charley's Web / Joy Fielding. 4 stars
4. Gone Without a Trace / Mary Torjussen. 4.5 stars
5. The Chamber / John Grisham. 3.5 stars
6. The Good Girl / Mary Kubica. 5 stars
7. Killer Instinct / S.E. Green. 4 stars
8. Sacrifice / S.J. Bolton. 4 stars
9. Immortal in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars
10. Pretend You Don't See Her / Mary Higgins Clark. 3.5 stars
11. Evermore / Alyson Noel. 4 stars
12. Weekend Warriors / Fern Michaels. 3.5 stars

5LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 19, 11:49pm Top

4. Oh Canada! (Canadian Authors)
1. Looks Can Kill / Valerie Walker. 3.5 stars
2. Those Girls / Chevy Stevens. 4.5 stars
3. Into the Silence / Wade Davis. 3.25 stars
4. Black Chuck / Regan McDonell. 4 stars
5. North of Normal / Cea Sunrise Person. 4 stars
6. The Headmaster's Wager / Vincent Lam. 3.5 stars
7. The Firebird / Susanna Kearsley. 3.75 stars
8. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd / Alan Bradley. 3.5 stars
9. The Third Act / John Wilson. 3.5 stars
10. The Anatomy of Edouard Beaupre / Sarah Kathryn York. 4 stars
11. When Everything Feels Like the Movies / Raziel Reid. 3.5 stars
12. The Age of Hope / David Bergen. 4 stars

6LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 14, 7:14pm Top

5. Trim the TBR (On TBR 2+ years)
1. Child of the Morning / Pauline Gedge. 3.25 stars
2. The Darkest Night / Ron Franscell. 3.75 stars
3. Jack of Fables. Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape. 4 stars
4. Deadliest Sea / Kalee Thompson. 4 stars
5. Cult Insanity / Irene Spencer. 3 stars
6. Leaving Microsoft to Change the World / John Wood. 3.5 stars
7. Pills and Starships / Lydia Millet. 3.5 stars
8. Belle Epoque / Elizabeth Ross. 4 stars
9. Dawn / Elie Wiesel. 2 stars
10. I'm Down / Mishna Wolff. 4 stars
11. The Psychopath Test / Jon Ronson. 3 stars

7LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 30, 1:32am Top

6. Will it Ever End? (Continuing Series)
1. Broken Harbor / Tana French. 4.5 stars
2. Fortune's Fool / Mercedes Lackey. 3.25 stars
3. Library of Souls / Ransom Riggs. 3.5 stars
4. Brimstone / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. 3 stars
5. Thereby Hangs a Tail / Spencer Quinn. 4 stars
6. The Secret Place / Tana French. 3.5 stars
7. Crossed / Ally Condie. 3 stars
8. The Fiery Cross / Diana Gabaldon. 3.25 stars
9. Locke & Key. Vol. 5: Clockworks / Joe Hill. 4 stars
10. Finders Keepers / Stephen King. 4 stars
11. Follow Follow / Marilyn Singer. 4 stars

8LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 12, 11:33pm Top

7. Off the Shelf (Print or E- Books I Own)
1. Tiger Drive / Teri Case. 3.75 stars
2. The 8th Confession / James Patterson. 4 stars
3. The Courage Tree / Diane Chamberlain. 4 stars
4. French Lessons / Peter Mayle. 2.5 stars
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder / Joanne Fluke. 3.5 stars
6. Jane of Lantern Hill / L.M. Montgomery. 3.5 stars
7. Milkrun /Sarah Mlynowski. 4 stars
8. The Paris Seamstress / Natasha Lester. 4 stars
9. Born Scared / Kevin Brooks. 3.5 stars
10. The Clockmaker's Daughter / Kate Morton. 4.5 stars

9LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 24, 10:28pm Top

8. Audio Books
1. Before I Fall / Lauren Oliver. 4 stars
2. The Beekeeper's Apprentice / Laurie R. King. 2.5 stars
3. Fool Me Once / Harlan Coben. 3.5 stars
4. Peter the Great / Robert K. Massie. 2 stars
5. Where I Belong / Alan Doyle. 5 stars
6. The Museum of Extraordinary Things / Alice Hoffman. 2.5 stars
7. White Nights / Ann Cleeves. 2.25 stars
8. Conclave / Robert Harris. 3.5 stars
9. From the Corner of his Eye / Dean Koontz. 2.5 stars
10. The Supreme Macaroni Company / Adriana Trigiani. 3 stars
11. Suspect / Robert Crais. 3.5 stars

10LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 14, 7:31pm Top

9. I'll Travel Virtually (Books Set in Other Countries - not Canada or USA)
1. In the Kingdom of Ice / Hampton Sides. 4.5 stars
2. The Woman in Cabin 10 / Ruth Ware. 4.5 stars
3. Machete Season / Jean Hatzfeld. 3 stars
4. Number the Stars / Lois Lowry. 4 stars
5. Catherine the Great / Robert K. Massie. 3 stars
6. The Thirteen Problems / Agatha Christie. 2.5 stars
7. The Little Stranger / Sarah Waters. 3.75 stars
8. The Stowaway / Laurie Gwen Shapiro. 3.75 stars
9. The Poisoned Pilgrim / Oliver Potzsch. 3.5 stars
10. The Door / Magda Szabo. 3 stars
11. Everything is Illuminated / Jonathan Safran Foer. 1.5 stars
12. The Child / Fiona Barton. 4 stars
__________________________________________________​
13. Mata Hari's Last Dance / Michelle Moran. 3.5 stars

11LibraryCin
Edited: Yesterday, 7:03pm Top

10. Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My! (Animals)
1. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat / Hal Herzog. 4 stars
2. The Dogs of Babel / Carolyn Parkhurst. 3.5 stars
3. The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter / Holly Robinson. 3.5 stars
4. Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas / Jim Ottaviani, Maris Wicks. 4 stars
5. The Cat Who Went to Paris / Peter Gethers. 4 stars
6. A Dog's Purpose / W. Bruce Cameron. 5 stars
7. The Sixth Extinction / Elizabeth Kolbert. 4 stars
8. Following Atticus / Tom Ryan. 3.5 stars
9. Chase / Linwood Barclay. 4 stars
10. The Mitten / Jan Brett. 3.5 stars
11. Escape / Linwood Barclay. 4 stars

12LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 6, 4:19pm Top

11. Truth is Stranger than Fiction (Nonfiction)
1. Plastic: A Toxic Love Story / Susan Freinkel. 4 stars
2. Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood / William J. Mann. 3.5 stars
3. Mountains Beyond Mountains / Tracy Kidder. 3.5 stars
4. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu / Joshua Hammer. 2 stars
5. Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants / Richard Mabey. 3 stars
6. We Are the Romani People / Ian Hancock. 3.5 stars
7. Cleopatra: A Life / Stacy Schiff. 3 stars
8. In the Garden of Beasts / Erik Larson. 3.5 stars
9. 3,096 Days / Natascha Kampusch. 4 stars
10. The Tin Ticket / Deborah J. Swiss. 4 stars
11. The Wright Brothers / David McCullough. 3 stars

13LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 14, 7:56pm Top

12. KIT Challenges
1. 20th Century Ghosts / Joe Hill. 4 stars
2. Jane Bites Back / Michael Thomas Ford. 3.5 stars
3. You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried / Susannah Gora. 4 stars
4. The Unquiet Past / Kelley Armstrong. 4 stars
5. Never Let You Go / Chevy Stevens. 4.5 stars
6. Sisters / Suzanne Goodwin. 3 stars
7. The Black Dahlia / James Ellroy. 2.5 stars
8. Blood & Beauty / Sarah Dunant. 2.5 stars
9. Doomsday Book / Connie Willis. 4.5 stars
10. The Heart's Invisible Furies / John Boyne. 4.5 stars
11. See You in a Hundred Years / Logan Ward. 4 stars
12. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow / Washington Irving. 3.75 stars
__________________________________________________​

14LibraryCin
Edited: Jul 11, 11:59pm Top

13. Overflow
1. The Storyteller / Jodi Picoult. 4 stars
2. Daughters of the Sea: Hannah / Kathryn Lasky. 4 stars

15LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 30, 1:32am Top



1. Title contains a person’s rank, real or fictional
2. Story involves travel
. In the Kingdom of Ice / Hampton Sides. 4.5 stars
3. A long-time TBR/TBR the longest. Machete Season / Jean Hatzfeld. 3 stars
4. Poetry or plays. Follow Follow / Marilyn Singer. 4 stars
5. New-to-you author Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat / Hal Herzog. 4 stars
6. Autobiography/memoir. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind / William Kamkwamba. 4 stars
7. Book with a beautiful cover (in your opinion). China Dolls / Lisa See. 4 stars
8. Book that fits at least 2 KIT’s/CAT’s. The Radium Girls / Kate Moore. 5 stars
9. Related to the Pacific Ocean. Ghosts / Raina Telgemeier. 4 stars
10. Title contains something you would see in the sky. Number the Stars / Lois Lowry. 4 stars
11. Book bought in 2017 that hasn’t been read yet Those Girls / Chevy Stevens. 4.5 stars
12. Number in the title. 20th Century Ghosts / Joe Hill. 4 stars
13. Book that is humorous. Where I Belong / Alan Doyle. 5 stars
14. Book on the 1001 list. Perfume / Patrick Suskind. 2.25 stars
15. LGBT central character.The Heart's Invisible Furies / John Boyne. 4.5 stars
16. Book set during a holiday. The Good Girl / Mary Kubica. 5 stars
17. Fat book - 500 plus pages. Into the Silence / Wade Davis. 3.25 stars
18. X somewhere in the title. Plastic: A Toxic Love Story / Susan Freinkel. 4 stars
19. Money in the title - any form of currency, type of payment, etc... The Headmaster's Wager / Vincent Lam. 3.5 stars
20. Book published in 2018. Tiger Drive / Teri Case. 3.75 stars
21. Relative name in the title (aunt, niece, etc...). The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter / Holly Robinson. 3.5 stars
22. Originally in a different language. Snow White Must Die / Nele Neuhaus. 4 stars
23. Published more than 100 years ago.The Woman in White / Wilkie Collins. 3 stars
24. Title contains name of a famous person, real or fictional.In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran / John Taylor. 4 stars
25. Read a CAT (middle square). The Woman in Cabin 10 / Ruth Ware. 4.5 stars

16LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 6, 4:40pm Top

ColourCAT:

January: Black
- 20th Century Ghosts / Joe Hill. 4 stars
- In the Kingdom of Ice / Hampton Sides. 4.5 stars
- The Radium Girls / Kate Moore. 5 stars

February: Brown
- Big Stone Gap / Adriana Trigiani. 3.5 stars

March: Green
- The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter / Holly Robinson. 3.5 stars
- The Courage Tree / Diane Chamberlain. 4 stars

April: Yellow
- Brimstone / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. 3 stars
- Perfume / Patrick Suskind. 2.25 stars
- French Lessons / Peter Mayle. 2.5 stars

May: Blue
- The Lake House / Kate Morton. 4 stars
- The Concubine's Children / Denise Chong. 4 stars

June: Purple
- Sisters / Suzanne Goodwin. 3 stars

July: Pink
- Milkrun / Sarah Mlynowski. 4 stars

August: Grey
- The Alice Network / Kate Quinn. 4.5 stars
- The Woman in White / Wilkie Collins. 3 stars
- The Door / Magda Szabo. 3 stars

September: Metallic
- Ink and Bone / Rachel Caine. 3.5 stars
- The Tin Ticket / Deborah J. Swiss. 4 stars

October: Orange
- Pretend You Don't See Her / Mary Higgins Clark. 3.5 stars

November: Red
December: White

17LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 23, 6:56pm Top

MysteryCAT:

January: Nordic Mysteries
- The Woman in Cabin 10 / Ruth Ware. 4.5 stars

February: Female Cop/Sleuth/Detective
- The Beekeeper's Apprentice / Laurie R. King. 2.5 stars
- The 8th Confession / James Patterson. 4 stars

March: Global Mysteries
- Snow White Must Die / Nele Neuhaus. 4 stars
- Gone Without a Trace / Mary Torjussen. 4.5 stars

April: Classic and Golden Age Mysteries
- Perfume / Patrick Suskind. 2.25 stars

May: Mysteries involving Transit
- Strangers on a Train / Patricia Highsmith. 3.5 stars

*June: True Crime
- Bullied to Death / Judith A. Yates. 4 stars
- The Black Dahlia / James Ellroy. 2.5 stars

July: Police Procedurals
- Sleep With the Lights On / Maggie Shayne. 4 stars
- White Nights / Ann Cleeves. 2.25 stars

August: Historical Mysteries
- The Poisoned Pilgrim / Oliver Potzsch. 3.5 stars
- The Alice Network / Kate Quinn. 4.5 stars
- Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd / Alan Bradley. 3.5 stars
- The Woman in White / Wilkie Collins. 3 stars

September: Noir and Hard-Boiled Mysteries
- Little Girl Lost / Richard Aleas. 4 stars

October: Espionage
November: Cozy Mysteries
December: Futuristic/Fantastical Mysteries

18LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 4, 10:23pm Top

RandomCAT:

January: Ack! I’ve been hit! (Book bullets)
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind / William Kamkwamba. 4 stars
- The Radium Girls / Kate Moore. 5 stars
- Missoula / Jon Krakauer. 4 stars

February: Laissez Vous les Bons Temps Roulez
- The Dogs of Babel / Carolyn Parkhurst. 3.5 stars

March: Ripped from the Headlines
- Into the Silence / Wade Davis. 3.25 stars
- Machete Season / Jean Hatzfeld. 3 stars
- Snow White Must Die / Nele Neuhaus. 4 stars
- Fool Me Once / Harlan Coben. 3.5 stars
- Charley's Web / Joy Fielding. 4 stars
- The Courage Tree /Diane Chamberlain. 4 stars

April: April Loves Books
- Black Chuck / Regan McDonell. 4 stars

May: Spring is All Around
- Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants / Richard Mabey. 3 stars

June: Unusual Narrator
- A Dog's Purpose / W. Bruce Cameron. 5 stars

July: Getting to Know You (Generations)
- Generation Me / Jean M. Twenge. 4 stars

August: Let's Go to the Mountains
- Following Atticus / Tom Ryan. 3.5 stars

September: Happy Birthday
- The Mitten / Jan Brett. 3.5 stars

October:
November:
December:

19LibraryCin
Edited: Yesterday, 7:03pm Top

AlphaKIT:

Year-Long: X, Z
January: V, M

- Looks Can Kill / Valerie Walker. 3.5 stars
- The Radium Girls / Kate Moore. 5 stars
- Missoula / Jon Krakauer. 4 stars

February: P, J
- The Dogs of Babel / Carolyn Parkhurst. 3.5 stars
- The 8th Confession / James Patterson. 4 stars

March: F, I
- Jane Bites Back / Michael Thomas Ford. 3.5 stars
- Into the Silence / Wade Davis. 3.25 stars
- In the Pleasure Groove / John Taylor. 4 stars
- Fool Me Once / Harlan Coben. 3.5 stars
- Charley's Web / Joy Fielding. 4 stars

April: Y, U
- You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried / Susannah Gora. 4 stars
- The Unquiet Past / Kelley Armstrong. 4 stars

May: Q, K
- The Lake House / Kate Morton. 4 stars
- Thereby Hangs a Tail / Spencer Quinn. 4 stars

June: G, R
- The Good Girl / Mary Kubica. 5 stars
- Sisters / Suzanne Goodwin. 3 stars
- Ghosts / Raina Telgemeier. 4 stars

July: S, A
- Sleep With the Lights On / Maggie Sayne. 4 stars
- Crossed / Ally Condie. 3 stars
- Milkrun / Sarah Mlynowski. 4 stars
- White Nights / Ann Cleeves. 2.25 stars
- Killer Instinct / S.E. Green. 4 stars
- The Stowaway / Laurie Gwen Shapiro. 3.75 stars
- Blood & Beauty / Sarah Dunant. 2.5 stars

August: O, D
- The Poisoned Pilgrim / Oliver Potzsch. 3.5 stars
- Doomsday Book / Connie Willis. 4.5 stars
- From the Corner of his Eye / Dean Koontz. 2.5 stars
- The Door / Magda Szabo. 3 stars

September: B, E
- Dawn / Elie Wiesel. 2 stars
- The Heart's Invisible Furies / John Boyne. 4.5 stars
- The Mitten / Jan Brett. 3.5 stars
- Everything is Illuminated / Jonathan Safran Foer. 1.5 stars

October: N, L
- Evermore / Alyson Noel. 4 stars
- See You in a Hundred Years / Logan Ward. 4 stars
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow / Washington Irving. 3.75 stars
- Escape / Linwood Barclay. 4 stars

November: T, H
December: C, W

20LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 14, 7:57pm Top

ScaredyKIT:

January: Gothic
- 20th Century Ghosts / Joe Hill. 4 stars

February: Survival/Disaster
- Those Girls / Chevy Stevens. 4.5 stars

March: Weird Fiction
- Library of Souls / Ransom Riggs. 3.5 stars

April: Supernatural
- Brimstone / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. 3 stars
- The Unquiet Past / Kelley Armstrong. 4 stars
- Perfume / Patrick Suskind. 2.25 stars

May: Close to Home
- Never Let You Go / Chevy Stevens. 4.5 stars

June: Adapted to Film
- The Black Dahlia / James Ellroy. 2.5 stars

July: Science/Techno Thrillers
- Wool / Hugh Howey. 3.5 stars

August: Series
- Locke & Key. Vol. 5: Clockworks / Joe Hill. 4 stars
- Chase / Linwood Barclay. 4 stars

September: Stephen King and Family
- Finders Keepers / Stephen King. 4 stars

October: Ghost Stories
- Evermore / Alyson Noel. 4 stars
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow / Washington Irving. 3.75 stars

November: Serial Killers
December: Psychological Suspense

21LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 20, 4:28pm Top

Trim the TBR/Roundtuit

1. The Woman Who Can't Forget / Jill Price
2. Split Estate / Charlotte Bacon
3. Alfred Hitchcock: a Life in Darkness and Light / Patrick McGilligan
4. Leaving Microsoft to Change the World / John Wood
5. Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange / Amanda Smyth
6. Breaking Out of Bedlam / Leslie Larson
10. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding… / by Gail Steketee
13. Lies of the Heart / Michelle Boyajian
14. Into the Storm / Reed Timmer


1. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat / Hal Herzog. 4 stars
2. In the Kingdom of Ice / Hampton Sides. 4.5 stars
3. Child of the Morning / Pauline Gedge. 3.25 stars
4. The Darkest Night / Ron Franscell. 3.75 stars
5. Big Stone Gap / Adriana Trigiani. 3.5 stars
6. Jane Bites Back / Michael Thomas Ford. 3.5 stars
7. Machete Season / Jean Hatzfeld. 3 stars
8. The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter / Holly Robinson. 3.5 stars
9. Small Beneath the Sky / Lorna Crozier. 3.5 stars
10. Charley's Web / Joy Fielding. 4 stars
11. Jack of Fables. Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape. ? stars
12. Deadliest Sea / Kalee Thompson. 4 stars
13. Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas / Jim Ottaviani, Maris Wicks. 4 stars
14. Peter the Great / Robert K. Massie. 2 stars
15. The Unquiet Past / Kelley Armstrong. 4 stars
16. China Dolls / Lisa See. 4 stars
17. French Lessons / Peter Mayle. 2.5 stars
18. The Lake House / Kate Morton. 4 stars
19. The Cat Who Went to Paris / Peter Gethers. 4 stars
20. Cult Insanity / Irene Spencer. 3 stars
21. The Headmaster's Wager / Vincent Lam. 3.5 stars
22. The Concubine's Children / Denise Chong. 4 stars
23. We Are the Romani People / Ian Hancock. 3.5 stars
24. Yarrow / Charles de Lint. 3.5 stars
25. Leaving Microsoft to Change the World / John Wood. 3.5 stars
26. Sisters / Suzanne Goodwin. 3 stars
27. The Firebird / Susanna Kearsley. 3.75 stars
28. Sleep With the Lights On / Maggie Shayne. 4 stars
29. Pills and Starships / Lydia Millet. 3.5 stars
30. Crossed / Ally Condie. 3 stars
31. Milkrun / Sarah Mlynowski. 4 stars
32. Generation Me / Jean M. Twenge. 4 stars
33. Belle Epoque / Elizabeth Ross. 4 stars
34. Blood & Beauty / Sarah Dunant. 2.5 stars
35. Following Atticus / Tom Ryan. 3.5 stars
36. Sacrifice / S.J. Bolton. 4 stars
37. 3,096 Days / Natascha Kampusch. 4 stars
38. Dawn / Elie Wiesel. 2 stars
39. The Mitten / Jan Brett. 3.5 stars
40. Little Girl Lost / Richard Aleas. 4 stars
41. Finders Keepers / Stephen King. 4 stars
42. I'm Down / Mishna Wolff. 4 stars
43. The Supreme Macaroni Company / Adriana Trigiani. 3 stars
44. The Tin Ticket / Deborah J. Swiss. 4 stars
45. The Wright Brothers / David McCullough. 3 stars
46. Pretend You Don't See Her / Mary Higgins Clark. 3.5 stars
47. See You in a Hundred Years / Logan Ward. 4 stars
48. The Psychopath Test / Jon Ronson. 3 stars
49. The Anatomy of Edouard Beaupre / Sarah Kathryn York. 4 stars
50. When Everything Feels Like the Movies / Raziel Reid. 3.5 stars
51. The Age of Hope / David Bergen. 4 stars
52. Weekend Warriors / Fern Michaels. 3.5 stars

22LibraryCin
Edited: Sep 4, 9:56pm Top

PBT Decathlon

January: a tribute to Linda (Ladyslott)
- In the Kingdom of Ice / Hampton Sides. 4.5 stars

February: one of 10 books on GR tbr the longest
- The Darkest Night / Ron Franscell. 3.75 stars

March: has all three nominated tags (illustrated, classics, autobiography)
- Library of Souls / Ransom Riggs. 3.5 stars (illustrated, classics)
- In the Pleasure Groove / John Taylor. 4 stars (autobiography)

April: Randomizer Chooses from 10 TBR Picks
- Deadliest Sea / Kalee Thompson. 4 stars

May: Man Booker Shortlist/Past 10 Years
- The Little Stranger / Sarah Waters. 3.75 stars

June: Personal Event, past 10 years
- The Firebird / Susanna Kearsley. 3.75 stars

July: Buddy Read
- Wool / Hugh Howey. 3.5 stars

August: Recommendation in the Announcement Thread
- The Alice Network / Kate Quinn. 4.5 stars

September: Monthly tag (Friendship), 5 stars by Admin
- The Heart's Invisible Furies / John Boyne. 4.5 stars

October:
November:
December:

23LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 6, 4:20pm Top

PBT Listopia
Best Biographies: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/29013.Best_Biographies

1. The Real James Herriot: A Memoir of My Father by Jim Wight
4. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
6. The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser
9. Helen Keller: A Life by Dorothy Herrmann


1. Mountains Beyond Mountains / Tracy Kidder. 3.5 stars
2. Peter the Great / Robert K. Massie. 2 stars
3. Catherine the Great / Robert K. Massie. 3 stars
4. Cleopatra: A Life / Stacy Schiff. 3 stars
5. In the Garden of Beasts / Erik Larson. 3.5 stars
6. The Wright Brothers / David McCullough. 3 stars

24LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 19, 11:50pm Top

Travel Across Canada
Continued from 2014+

Alberta:
- North of Normal / Cea Sunrise Person. 4 stars
British Columbia:
- Those Girls / Chevy Stevens. 4.5 stars
- Never Let You Go / Chevy Stevens. 4.5 stars
- The Concubine's Children / Denise Chong. 4 stars
Manitoba:
- The Age of Hope / David Bergen. 4 stars
New Brunswick:
Newfoundland:

- Where I Belong / Alan Doyle. 5 stars
Northwest Territories:
Nova Scotia:
Nunavut:
Ontario:
Prince Edward Island:

- Jane of Lantern Hill / L.M. Montgomery. 3.5 stars
Quebec:
- The Unquiet Past / Kelley Armstrong. 4 stars
Saskatchewan:
- Small Beneath the Sky / Lorna Crozier. 3.5 stars
- The Anatomy of Edouard Beaupre / Sarah Kathryn York. 4 stars
Yukon:

25LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 20, 4:28pm Top

Mystery Monthly Subgenre

January: True Crime
- Missoula / Jon Krakauer. 4 stars

February: Capers & Heists
- Catch Me If You Can / Frank W. Abagnale. 3.5 stars

March: Psychological Thriller
- Fool Me Once / Harlan Coben. 3.5 stars
- Charley's Web / Joy Fielding. 4 stars
- Gone Without a Trace / Mary Torjussen. 4.5 stars

April: Political Intrigue
- The Chamber / John Grisham. 3.5 stars

May: Culinary Mystery
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder / Joanne Fluke. 3.5 stars

June: Conspiracy
- The Good Girl / Mary Kubica. 5 stars

July:
- Killer Instinct / S.E. Green. 4 stars

August: Medical Thrillers
- Sacrifice / S.J. Bolton. 4 stars

September: Futuristic Mystery
- Immortal in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars

October: Romantic Suspense
- Pretend You Don't See Her / Mary Higgins Clark. 3.5 stars
- Evermore / Alyson Noel. 4 stars
- Weekend Warriors / Fern Michaels. 3.5 stars

November:
December:

26LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 14, 7:15pm Top

Passport Challenge

January: Egypt
- Child of the Morning / Pauline Gedge. 3.25 stars

February: Japan
- Fortune's Fool / Mercedes Lackey. 3.25 stars

March: Colombia or South America
- Mountains Beyond Mountains / Tracy Kidder. 3.5 stars

April: Germany (or German author)
- Perfume / Patrick Suskind. 2.25 stars

May: China
- The Concubine's Children / Denise Chong. 4 stars

June: Ethiopia (or Africa)
- Cleopatra: A Life / Stacy Schiff. 3 stars

July: USA
- Pills and Starships / Lydia Millet. 3.5 stars

August: Finland (or cold climate)
- Sacrifice / S.J. Bolton. 4 stars

September: Argentina

October: Wales (or Welsh author
- The Psychopath Test / Jon Ronson. 3 stars

November:
December:

27LibraryCin
Edited: Yesterday, 7:04pm Top

Play Book Tag

January: Science
- Plastic: A Toxic Love Story / Susan Freinkel. 4 stars
- Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat / Hal Herzog. 4 stars
- In the Kingdom of Ice / Hampton Sides. 4.5 stars
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind / William Kamkwamba. 4 stars
- The Radium Girls / Kare Moore. 5 stars

February: Asia
- Fortune's Fool / Mercedes Lackey. 3.25 stars

March: Autobiography
- In the Pleasure Groove / John Taylor. 4 stars
- The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter / Holly Robinson. 3.5 stars
- Small Beneath the Sky / Lorna Crozier. 3.5 stars

April: Strong Women
- Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Diane Fossey, Birute Galdikas / Jim Ottaviani, Maris Wicks. 4 stars
- Number the Stars / Lois Lowry. 4 stars
- China Dolls / Lisa See. 4 stars
- Catherine the Great / Robert K. Massie. 3 stars

May: Family Drama
- The Lake House / Kate Morton. 4 stars
- Never Let You Go / Chevy Stevens. 4.5 stars
- Cult Insanity / Irene Spencer. 3 stars
- The Concubine's Children / Denise Chong. 4 stars

June: Magical Realism
- Yarrow / Charles de Lint. 3.5 stars
- The Museum of Extraordinary Things / Alice Hoffman. 2.5 stars
- The Firebird / Susanna Kearsley. 3.75 stars
- Ghosts / Raina Telgemeier. 4 stars

July: Dystopian
- Pills and Starships / Lydia Millet. 3.5 stars
- Crossed / Ally Condie. 3 stars
- Wool / Hugh Howey. 3.5 stars

August: Espionage
- In the Garden of Beasts / Erik Larson. 3.5 stars
- The Alice Network / Kate Quinn. 4.5 stars
- The Woman in White / Wilkie Collins. 3 stars

September: Friendship
- The Heart's Invisible Furies / John Boyne. 4.5 stars
- The Great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald. 2.5 stars
- I'm Down / Mishna Wolff. 4 stars
- Ink and Bone / Rachel Caine. 3.5 stars
- Immortal in Death / J.D. Robb. 3.5 stars
- The Tin Ticket / Deborah J. Swiss. 4 stars

October: Canadian
- The Third Act / John Wilson. 3.5 stars
- The Anatomy of Edouard Beaupre / Sarah Kathryn York. 4 stars
- When Everything Feels Like the Movies / Raziel Reid. 3.5 stars
- The Age of Hope / David Bergen. 4 stars
- Escape / Linwood Barclay. 4 stars

November:
December:

28LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 14, 6:57pm Top

Reading Through Time

January: Baby, it’s cold out there!
- In the Kingdom of Ice / Hampton Sides. 4.5 stars

February: Going Hollywood
- Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood / William J. Mann. 3.5 stars

March: Something Sporty
- Into the Silence / Wade Davis. 3.25 stars

April: Clash of Cultures
- China Dolls / Lisa See. 4 stars

May: Southeast Asia
- The Headmaster's Wager / Vincent Lam. 3.5 stars

June: Digging Up the Past
- The Sixth Extinction / Elizabeth Kolbert. 4 stars

July: Nautical
- Daughters of the Sea: Hannah / Kathryn Lasky. 4 stars
- The Stowaway / Laurie Gwen Shapiro. 3.75 stars

August: Europe Between the Wars, 1918-1937
- In the Garden of Beasts / Erik Larson. 3.5 stars

September: Let's Have a Drink
- The Great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald. 2.5 stars

October: Old Macdonald Had a Farm
- See You in a Hundred Years / Logan Ward. 4 stars

November: She Blinded Me With Science
December:

29thornton37814
Jan 1, 11:46pm Top

Hope you have a great year of reading!

30LibraryCin
Jan 2, 1:07am Top

>29 thornton37814: Thank you! You, too! I still have to peruse some other people's challenges, now, as well!

31sushicat
Jan 2, 9:43am Top

Stopping by to wish you a happy new reading year!

32luvamystery65
Jan 2, 11:28am Top

Happy New Year!

33LibraryCin
Jan 2, 3:37pm Top

Thank you both! Happy New Year to you!

34rabbitprincess
Jan 2, 8:52pm Top

Have a great reading year! I will be eyeing your July Reading Through Time challenge with interest; I do love a good nautical book :)

35LibraryCin
Jan 2, 11:25pm Top

>34 rabbitprincess: I probably won't even decide what I'll be reading until June! :-) I don't usually look that far ahead. For many of my challenges, I'll only know the month before what the theme is, anyway.

36VivienneR
Jan 4, 1:15pm Top

Dropping by to wish you a Happy New Year. Looks like 2018 will be a good reading year for you.

37DeltaQueen50
Jan 4, 6:59pm Top

Great set up. I've placed a star and I look forward to following along.

38LibraryCin
Jan 4, 10:36pm Top

Hi, ladies! Thanks for stopping by! Happy New Year to you!

39LibraryCin
Jan 5, 10:53pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, PBT, BingoDOG

Plastic A Toxic Love Story / Susan Freinkel
4 stars

This book takes us through the history of plastic, the different types of plastics and how they are made; and it focuses on certain common plastic items, such as: Frisbee, comb, chair, lighters, shopping bags, bottles and medical supplies.

I really liked this. It was very interesting. There were some sections of chemistry that I maybe didn’t quite “get” (or even if I did while I was reading it, I can’t recall it now), but overall, this was very readable. Other topics in this book include “bioplastics”, the effect on wildlife and the oceans, plastic (i.e. credit) cards, etc. Personally, I’ve been trying for a while now to buy less plastic, but it is pretty much impossible to cut it out; it’s so entrenched.

40lkernagh
Jan 6, 12:45am Top

Happy New Year and looking forward to following your 2018 reading!

41LibraryCin
Jan 6, 2:31pm Top

>40 lkernagh: Happy new year to you!

42hailelib
Jan 6, 9:37pm Top

I've tentatively put Plastic on my wishlist.

43LibraryCin
Jan 7, 12:43am Top

>42 hailelib: I hope you think it's worthwhile! I have another friend who rated it 5 stars.

44threadnsong
Jan 7, 5:05pm Top

Hello and Happy New Year! You have such interesting reading lists and I look forward to staying up to date on your finished tomes.

Regarding >39 LibraryCin:, I have tried to eschew plastic for most of my adult life, but when bottling companies mention that it's cheaper to transport drinks in plastic bottles because the weight is less than glass, it becomes harder to swear off plastic.

45LibraryCin
Jan 8, 12:18am Top

>44 threadnsong: There seem to be pros and cons about everything. Including bioplastics, which she also writes about in her book.

46mamzel
Jan 8, 6:21pm Top

Happy New Year! Hope you have a great reading year in 2018.

47LibraryCin
Jan 8, 8:49pm Top

>46 mamzel: Thank you, mamzel! Happy New Year to you!

48LibraryCin
Jan 8, 10:56pm Top

12x12 Animals, PBT, BingoDOG, Trim

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat / Hal Herzog
4 stars

The author is a psychologist with an interest in animal-human relationships. This book looks at studies on so many topics, many of which create moral quandries with regard to animals. He covers so many topics, it’s hard to recall them all, but based on the title you can probably guess, one of them looks at why some cultures keep dogs as pets and some eat them. Topics include pets, animal testing, farm animals, cock fighting, dog shows and breeding, animal activists, and so much more.

I love animals, and I have plenty of moral quandries with what I do/don’t do or think, feel, etc. when it comes to animals. I am not vegetarian, but what (little) meat I eat (not very often) is humanely-raised. I won’t buy products tested on animals. I do wear clothes made from animal parts (though not fur). I will catch and release bugs, spiders, etc. One thing – that he mentioned a few times – that I always found odd was that some vegetarians eat fish. That’s one I don’t “get”! There is a lot of information and he presents the results of lots of studies, and it’s hard to remember everything, but I did find it all very interesting. And I’m still conflicted about many things!

49LittleTaiko
Jan 10, 3:40pm Top

If I were to become a vegetarian, I'd probably become one of those that wouldn't give up fish, a pescatarian. I could give up chicken and pork easily enough, would struggle to give up beef, but absolutely no way could I give up fish. Life without sushi is just not worth it in my opinion. :)

50mamzel
Jan 10, 5:35pm Top

>49 LittleTaiko: Hear, hear!
Unfortunately, the one sushi restaurant we have in town gave my husband some bad uni and we are forbidden from going there any more.

51LibraryCin
Jan 10, 9:37pm Top

>49 LittleTaiko: Oh, I forgot there's a name for that! That makes more sense to at least call it something different, in my opinion! I often use the word "flexitarian" for me.

I am not a fan of fish, so that's not really an issue for me. Oh, unless it's coated in lots of fried/breaded stuff and slathered with tartar sauce (so you can barely taste the fish! LOL!).

Sushi... *shudder! (Sorry!)

52LibraryCin
Jan 10, 10:11pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, ColourCAT, ScaredyKIT, BingoDOG

20th Century Ghosts / Joe Hill
4 stars

This is a book of short stories, some horror, some fantasy, some a combination. Some of the stories include: a young Van Helsing, a movie theatre ghost, a boy who wakes up one morning having turned into a bug, two brothers – the younger a savant who builds cardboard box mazes, an inflatable boy, a very reclusive horror writer, a basement with an old nonworking phone that rings, an odd museum, a boy who can actually fly while wearing his cape, and more.

I really enjoyed most of these stories. Collections of short stories often end up ok for me, with a mix of liking some stories and not liking others. I don’t think there were any I disliked in this collection, and most I really liked. Many of the stories don’t quite “end”… with more of a leave-it-up-to-your-imagination kind of thing, which can be extra-creepy with horror stories! I have had “The ants go marching one-by-one...” going through my head since I finished the book (it played a role in one of the last stories).

53LibraryCin
Jan 13, 1:26am Top

12x12 Travel, PBT, PBT Decathlon, ColourCAT, BingoDOG, Reading Through Time, Trim the TBR

In the Kingdom of Ice / Hampton Sides
4.5 stars

In the late 19th century, Captain De Long paired up with the owner of the New York Herald (who funded the trip) to sail the USS Jeannette to the North Pole. At the time (though no one had yet been there), some people thought that once you pushed past the ice, there was warmer and open water. De Long, armed with maps (many of which were simply incorrect) from German cartographer Petermann, took off on the multi-year voyage with 32 other men to sail through to the ice-free section and the North Pole. Without wanting to give too much away, this would prove to be incredibly dangerous.

This was amazing! Some of the background information near the start of the book, particularly about Bennett (who funded the trip), wasn’t as interesting, but it wasn’t uninteresting, either. I seem to be fascinated by survival stories (though I’m about the opposite of a risk-taker, myself - I’ll just read about it, thanks!). This one read like fiction and it kept me wanting to keep reading to find out what happened next. It is nonfiction, so it really happened, but I honestly didn’t know how it would turn out, so I was riveted!

54Helenliz
Jan 13, 4:33am Top

>53 LibraryCin: that looks really interesting! I'm like you, I'll take my adventure through the pages of a book.

55LibraryCin
Jan 14, 5:10pm Top

12x12 Travel, MysteryCAT, BingoDOG

The Woman in Cabin 10 / Ruth Ware
4.5 stars

Lo is a travel writer with an opportunity to sail on a small new luxury cruise ship. On her first night on the ship, she is awoken to a scream next door and she’s certain someone has been thrown overboard! But, no one believes her. The room next door is empty and always was. There is no evidence anywhere to indicate that what Lo recounts might have actually happened.

I didn’t describe the first chapter in my summary, but as a single woman living alone, reading in bed just before turning the light off, that was creepy! I love cruises, so I loved the setting right off! This one pulled me in right away and I wanted to just keep reading. In fact, except for starting the book so late the first night, the next day, once I sat down to read, I just kept going until I finished! Twists and turns galore, and though maybe not necessarily realistic, it kept me on the edge of my seat!

56LibraryCin
Jan 16, 12:04am Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, RandomCAT, PBT, BingoDOG

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind / William Kamkwamba
4 stars

William Kamkwamba grew up in an African country, Malawi. His family were farmers and relied on the land and weather to be able to eat. When a famine hit the country and many people starved, William’s family made it through, but there was no money to send William to school. He so desperately wanted to go to school and learn. Instead, he went to the library and took out science books, from which he taught himself. He managed to build a windmill to provide his family home with electricity and had ideas for more things he wanted to build to make life better/easier.

This started off really slow for me, and I wasn’t hopeful at first. But, about ¼ of the way through (when the famine hit), it really picked up for me, and just seemed to get better and better. The parts that weren’t as interesting to me was when he talked about the superstitions and magic and the hold they sometimes have over the Malawian people. I’m not sure why those parts lost my interest, but they did. Overall, though, I was excited with William when he showed off his windmill to all the people gathered, and was happy for all his successes after.

57mamzel
Jan 16, 3:16pm Top

>56 LibraryCin: I really liked this book and I book talk it all the time to my students (no takers, unfortunately). I sent a copy to my dad who is an engineer and I thought he would enjoy the making-something-from-nothing story. It brought a tear to my eye when his mother was able to cook with help from the one light.

58dudes22
Jan 16, 7:26pm Top

>56 LibraryCin: - This sounds like it would be interesting and I’m going to mention it to my brother also. Long story short - he became friends with a man in Malawi through Facebook who is the pastor of a church. Through research and other connections (very long story), our church is raising funds to set up a feeding station for orphans in his town and my brother and SIL are going to Malawi the end of Feb.

59LibraryCin
Jan 16, 7:46pm Top

>58 dudes22: Wow, that's great!

I'm not sure if I should admit, I'd not even heard of Malawi before...

60cmbohn
Jan 16, 7:47pm Top

56- I 💘 that book. I'm my church we have a monthly fast and give the money that we would have spent on food to the relief of the poor. This book always helps me remember that I have no idea what it really means to be hungry. And what a difference it makes when you can learn something that will change your life.

61thornton37814
Jan 17, 3:55pm Top

Enjoying the discussion here. My Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes went to Malawi and Swaziland this year.

62threadnsong
Jan 17, 4:27pm Top

>52 LibraryCin: That almost sounds like some of the re-tellings of fairy tales around these days, when they're consolidated into one volume.

63dudes22
Jan 17, 8:28pm Top

My brother told me that Malawi is the poorest country in the world.

64LibraryCin
Jan 17, 8:51pm Top

>61 thornton37814: Nice!

>63 dudes22: I looked Malawi up on wikipedia after I finished the book, and sadly, I do think it said something along those lines.

65hailelib
Jan 18, 9:39pm Top

>56 LibraryCin:

That was one of my favorite books the year I read it.

66LibraryCin
Jan 20, 12:02am Top

12x12 Oh Canada, AlphaKIT

Looks Can Kill / Valerie Walker
3.5 stars

Laura is on holiday in Italy and is kidnapped due to her resemblance to a woman who has just died. Her kidnapper has an elaborate plan to get money out of this.

It’s a good story, but a bit simplistic. That is, things happened too easily, I thought – too many coincidences, nice people to help along the way, etc. I didn’t realize, until reading the note about the author at the end, that this was meant to be YA. It does read more like YA, so the simplicity makes more sense knowing that, though the main character being 21-years old, I wouldn’t have actually guessed it was meant to be until reading it at the end. However, I still enjoyed the story, overall. It is told from a few different viewpoints (including the kidnappers) but I was most interested in Laura’s own story.

67LibraryCin
Jan 21, 11:14pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, ColourCAT, AlphaKIT, RandomCAT, BingoDOG

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women / Kate Moore
5 stars

In the early 20th century, radium was touted as being beneficial to one’s health. Clock dials were being painted with radium so they would glow in order to be read in the dark. Young women, mostly in their late teens or early 20s, were working in factories, hand painting the radium on to those dials, and being paid very well to do so. Not only hand painting them, but licking the brushes they used to paint, in order to make a nice sharp tip to be able to paint perfectly. Eventually, many of these women began having health problems, from their teeth falling out to carcinomas in various parts of their bodies. The companies that employed these women continued to insist it wasn’t radium that was the problem.

Wow! Scary stuff! Imagine your jawbone disintegrating and breaking through into your mouth in pieces. These women were still young, wanted to get married and have families. Even worse was when a group of women who worked at a factory in New Jersey successfully sued for their health problems, but the company in Illinois told their employees that the radium the company used in NJ wasn’t to blame – it was something additional they put in theirs that wasn’t used in the Illinois factory… so the “lip, dip, paint” method continued in Illinois.

This book is nonfiction, but read like fiction. It kept me wanting to read, and it was a surprisingly fast read. Even more horrifying, ”lip, dip, paint” was still being used in Illinois in 1978!!!!!!. I guess it’s nonfiction, so I shouldn’t need a spoiler there, but I’m putting it in, anyway.

68rabbitprincess
Jan 22, 5:54pm Top

>67 LibraryCin: Great review! The circumstances were even more horrifying because they actually happened. I still think about radium jaw and the teeth falling out *shudder*

69LibraryCin
Jan 22, 8:17pm Top

>68 rabbitprincess: Thank you! And, I know - it's horrible! Can't even imagine the pain... :-(

70LibraryCin
Jan 24, 11:42pm Top

12x12 Series

Broken Harbor / Tana French
4.5 stars

Mick (really!? I listened to the audio – it was pronounced “Mike”! Anyway...) is a senior detective and is on a case where almost an entire family was murdered – dad and two kids, and mom almost didn’t make it. They live in an area outside the city that was supposed to be developed, but the development stopped not long after they moved in. Mick knows this area, which used to be called “Broken Harbor”, as he and his family used to go there when he and his sisters were young. Mick is working with a new detective, Richie, on the case.

Ok, so my summary isn’t very enticing on this one. But, the book really pulled me in quickly and I wanted to keep reading. I really, really liked this one! I loved Richie and (although French always has different detectives in her books), I was hoping for him to be featured in another book! Richie and Mick made a great team! Until, of course, Richie supremely let me down!!!. I guess that was just one of the twists and turns in the book. I hated Mick’s mentally ill sister, Dina… although it made for another interesting story. But, she drove me nuts and I could not fathom how he could put up with her antics! Overall, though, I really liked this one. This is such an amazing series!

71LittleTaiko
Jan 25, 10:41am Top

>67 LibraryCin: - Really nice review. I'm still bummed that this book didn't make my book club's list for this year, but I definitely intend to read it anyway.

72LibraryCin
Jan 25, 11:06pm Top

>71 LittleTaiko: Thank you! And that's really too bad. It would be a great book club book! Either way, yes, you should still read it, anyway. :-)

73lkernagh
Jan 26, 1:26pm Top

>70 LibraryCin: - Great review and I will keep to "Mick" "Mike" in mind as I plan to listen to the audiobook. ;-)

74LibraryCin
Jan 26, 7:21pm Top

>73 lkernagh: LOL! Thanks, and I hope you like it! I guess I didn't really say much about the audio, but I really thought it was very well done. :-)

75LibraryCin
Jan 27, 1:27am Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town / Jon Krakauer
4 stars

In Missoula, Montana, many of the reported sexual assaults go unprosecuted, even if there seems to be evidence that should take these cases to trial and even when the victim wants to go ahead with charges. Even still, the prosecuting attorney often decides not to press charges. One of the tricky things in Missoula is that it’s such a football town and athletes are revered, so when they are the ones accused, there is a huge backlash. The US Department of Justice also stepped in around 2010ish to find out why rapists weren’t being prosecuted and how it can be made better to help the victims. Krakauer focuses on a few separate cases of celebrated football players being accused of rape, and the various ways this played out in and out of court.

Wow! Pretty scary that it happens so often. I had no idea! I have to admit, though, that because Krakauer went back and forth between cases in parts of his book, I did – a few times – get mixed up on who was who, and which case we were looking at at which times. There is a lot of information and stats that are quite horrifying. As soon as I finished the book, though, I had to go look up Beau Donaldson (a former football player and one of the rapists Krakauer focuses on) to see if I could find out where he is now.

76pammab
Jan 27, 1:44am Top

>55 LibraryCin: You have such a great review of The Woman in Cabin 10! I can sense the excitement -- and the creepiness. Atmospheric writing is so enjoyable, but for me it can't be so atmospheric that my skin actually begins to crawl....

77LibraryCin
Jan 27, 3:23pm Top

>76 pammab: Thank you! And, yes, you've also stated that well about atmospheric writing!

78LibraryCin
Jan 29, 10:45pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, Passport Challenge

Child of the Morning / Pauline Gedge
3.25 stars

In ancient Egypt (I looked it up, and Hatshepsut lived around 1500 BC). Hatshupset ruled Egypt as a female Pharaoh (normally only a title/position for men). This is a fictionalized account of her life.

I seem to be in a minority for my opinion on this but… The first half was just not interesting to me. It was ok, but nothing more. It picked up somewhat in the second half, after her father died, with the power struggle between her and her half-brother. So, most of the second half, I would rate good, but there were still parts that lost my interest. It seemed, at times, like what happened was drawn out longer than it needed to be. I would have liked to know how much of the story was true, but there was no author’s note, unfortunately. All that being said, what an incredible woman, especially for the time. Decided on a rating between “ok” and “good”.

79cmbohn
Jan 30, 1:26am Top

Darn. I DNF'd a non-fiction book about Hatshepsut last year. She's a fascinating subject, but the writing was just dreadful. sorry this one didn't work out very well for you.

80LibraryCin
Jan 30, 3:35pm Top

>79 cmbohn: I am in a big minority on this one. Many people have rated it 5 stars! If you still wanted to give it a try, in place of the other one you set aside, it might be worthwhile for you.

81LibraryCin
Edited: Feb 2, 12:52am Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, BingoDOG

Tiger Drive / Teri Case
3.75 stars

Mostly set in 1989, Janice and Harry have been married for 30 years, but Harry is an alcoholic and is abusive. They have seven kids, four who still live at home in their “double-wide” trailer (there’s a story there!), though two are in their late teens and close to leaving. Janice had to give up her dreams when she got pregnant young and still pines for what she gave up.

It’s told from a few different points of view: Janice’s, Harry’s, WJ’s (their oldest son who has problems of his own), and Carrie’s (their youngest daughter, who at 17, will be graduating from high school soon and desperately wants to find a way to go to college).

Really liked the story, but I thought the end wrapped it up too nicely; it didn’t seem realistic to me. It wasn’t enough to bring my rating down to 3.5 (good/liked it), as I really liked most of the rest of it, but it was just enough to bring my rating down that little bit from 4 stars. The abuse at the very start of the book was a bit tough for me, though. I think almost all the characters were pretty unlikable, at least in one way or another, but they were still interesting enough that that didn’t put me off. I guess most of them had some redeeming quality of some type and/or the reason they were the way they were was explained. I also enjoyed the 80s references!

82LibraryCin
Feb 2, 11:11pm Top

12x12 Audio

Before I Fall / Lauren Oliver
4 stars

It’s “Cupid Day” at school, and Sam and her best friends love this day! It just reinforces how popular they all are! This day ends with a party, a confrontation with a girl Sam and her friends have been bullying for years, and a car crash. And Sam wakes up the next day to replay the day over… and the next day, and the next day…

Omg, those are hateful girls! I hated them all so much! Of course, this being from Sam’s POV, though I hated her at the start, as the day kept replaying for her, she learned things and did get “better”. I actually thought I was going to hate the book at the start, those girls were so terrible! I listened to the audio and the narrator did a great job! She was very good with distinguishing voices, as well. Lindsay (the worst of the four of them) had a voice that “fit” the personality, I think, and Elody had a kind of sing-song, whiny, airhead voice. I suppose getting the reader to hate the hateful characters so much, as much as I hated them, is a good thing?

83LibraryCin
Feb 4, 5:50pm Top

12x12 Animals, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT

The Dogs of Babel / Carolyn Parkhurst
3.5 stars

When Lexy falls (or jumps?) from a tree and dies, her (and Paul’s) dog, Lorelei, is the only one who knows what happened. Paul, a linguist, decides to teach Lorelei to talk so she can tell him. The story also goes back in time to tell Lexy and Paul’s story.

It was good. Can’t believe Paul would take Lorelei with him to that meeting!!! Poor Lorelei. Have to admit, I didn’t really connect with Paul (or Lexy), so I didn’t really feel that badly about Lexy’s death. I maybe felt more badly for Lorelei! Paul just seemed distant or something; he didn’t even seem that affected… or that might have been how it was written. Overall, though, it was still good.

84LibraryCin
Edited: Feb 7, 11:51pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, PBT Decathlon

The Darkest Night: Two Sisters, a Brutal Murder, and the Loss of Innocence in a Small Town / Ron Franscell
3.75 stars

In a town in Wyoming in 1973, 18-year old Becky and her 11-year old sister Amy went to pick up some groceries. By the next morning, Amy was dead in a canyon, thrown of a high bridge, and Becky somehow managed to survive the night with a broken pelvis after having been raped and also thrown off the bridge. The author was the girls’ neighbour. The book not only looks at the crime, but it also looks at Becky and Amy’s lives, the lives of the two convicted murderers/rapists, and the author thinks back on his own life in the small town where it happened.

The first half of the book was the most interesting, where it focused on the crime and aftermath, including the trial. The next part of the book follows Becky’s life, as well as Ronnie’s and Jerry’s, in jail for their crimes. The books slips a little (at least I found it less interesting) as it looks closely at an autobiography written by Ronnie; as the author scrutinizes the autobiography, it becomes more clear why he includes as much of it as he does in the book. But, it is due to this section that I brought my rating down to just under 4 stars.

85LibraryCin
Feb 11, 2:26am Top

12x12 Series, PBT, Passport Challenge

Fortune's Fool / Mercedes Lackey
3.25 stars

Katya is a sea princess, daughter of the Sea King. Sasha is the 7th son of the leader of a land kingdom; he is a fool and a songweaver. After a little romance between them, Katya is called away to save some kidnapped girls, and Sasha later comes to find Katya.

I mostly enjoyed this one, though I did lose interest at various intervals. I did like Katya – she is a strong character and a spy for her father. Parts of the book were from her point of view, while other parts were from Sasha’s. At the start, I enjoyed Katya’s POV more, but I was enjoying Sasha’s more in the second half of the book, as well.

86LibraryCin
Feb 17, 7:17pm Top

12x12 Audio, MysteryCAT

The Beekeeper's Apprentice / Laurie R. King
2.5 stars

Mary Russell is 15-years old when she meets a “retired” Sherlock Holmes. They find they have similar styles in deduction, so they team up to solve mysteries. At some point, it seems that someone is trying to kill people associated with Holmes (or maybe Holmes, himself?)

I listened to the audio (though I’m not sure reading it would have made a difference) and I often lost interest. I just didn’t find it very interesting, but that seems to be par for the course for me and Sherlock Holmes. I really should give up on him (Conan Doyle’s Holmes or otherwise), but I think I have a book in print that features him, so I’ll probably read that, but that may be the end of my trying Holmes, as I just don’t seem to enjoy any of his stories, including this one.

87LibraryCin
Feb 17, 7:42pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Reading Through Time

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood / William J. Mann
3.5 stars

William Desmond Taylor was a silent movie director into the 1920s when he was murdered. His killer was never found, or at least, never tried or convicted. There were suspicions on who might have done it, but no arrests and nothing proven. This book looks at his murder, along with other Hollywood business practices, crimes, and scandals. There is some focus on Taylor’s friend and actress, Mabel Normand, as well as another young actress who was in love with him, Mary Miles Mintner, whose mother was very protective of Mary and didn’t like Taylor at all. There was also some focus on Adolf Zukor, who ran a number of (Famous Players) movie theatres, and his business practices.

I found the murder mystery part of this book interesting, but wasn’t as interested in the cut-throat business practices of Hollywood at the time, so I did lose focus at times. Overall, the murder story was enough to keep my rating at “good”. There are a number of photos included in the book, which was nice, as I don’t know and can’t picture most of the people mentioned (though I certainly recognized prominent names from Hollywood at the time!).

88LibraryCin
Feb 19, 2:28am Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, MysteryCAT, AlphaKIT

The 8th Confession / James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
4 stars

A school bus blows up, taking innocent lives with it. A homeless man is found violently murdered. A rich, well-known couple are found dead in their beds… and the cause of death is a mystery, even after full autopsies.

Reporter Cindy found the homeless man, so when the police (including friend Lindsay) don’t want to spend time or resources on solving it, Cindy turns it into a story to force them to look into it. Lawyer Yuki is trying a case where a girl murdered her father – the pressure is on to get a conviction. All three are in various stages of relationships.

I really liked this one. More than some of the others in the series, but that may (at least in part) be due to usually listening to the audios. The audios aren’t bad, but maybe I’m liking it just a bit better in print. Even the relationship interactions were enjoyable, though I can’t say I liked either Lindsay or Yuki’s reactions to various relationship “twists”. However, still really enjoyed the book!

89dudes22
Feb 19, 8:10am Top

>88 LibraryCin: - I've been reading this series on and off for a few years now and I can't say I remember this one although I'm a few numbers up from this. I find a lot of series reading I do is a read and forget.

90LibraryCin
Feb 19, 2:25pm Top

>89 dudes22: To be honest, I often find that, as well. Hard to say if it will be memorable later on. Most likely not!

91LibraryCin
Feb 22, 11:40pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, ColourCAT, Trim the TBR

Big Stone Gap / Adriana Trigiani
3.5 stars

In the late 1970s in a small town in Virginia, Ave Maria is 35-years old and a “spinster”. She is a pharmacist and owns the town pharmacy. She has never worried too much about not having a man. Her father died a long time ago and her mother just recently died; she left a letter for her daughter: a letter that will change Ave Maria’s life!

I liked it, but I didn’t like the parts in Italy as much as the parts in Virginia. And did she really have to throw that extra bit in at the very end? I know, most people probably like and expect that kind of ending, for how that story was going, but I didn’t like or expect it. It actually hadn’t even occurred to me until it happened. I will still, however, continue the series (trilogy?).

92LibraryCin
Feb 25, 5:36pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre

Catch Me If You Can / Frank W. Abagnale
3.5 stars

Frank Abagnale Jr. was only 16 years old in the 1960s when he left is father’s home (his parents had recently separated) and spent years impersonating an airline pilot, a pediatrician, a lawyer, a teacher, before switching to producing counterfeit cheques. Once he was finally caught, after spending time in prison in a few different countries, he ended up helping the FBI with recognizing scammers.

This was a good book. The most interesting parts to me was the impersonations, rather than the info about the cheque counterfeiting. Also, once he was caught, the prison systems in the different countries was very different (France vs. Sweden); I was surprised at how different it was in each country. I liked the movie that came out a while back (and now want to re-watch!), but although the book seemed short, there was still more in the book.

93LibraryCin
Feb 28, 11:20pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, Travel Across Canada, ScaredyKIT, BingoDOG

Those Girls / Chevy Stevens.
4.5 stars

Due to the abuse suffered at the hands of their father (their mother died a few years earlier), three sisters, Dani, Courtney, and Jess, run away, only to find themselves in a town where some initially seemingly nice guys help them out. But, this goes badly and they end up in another terrifyingly horrible situation! 18 years later, after having lived in Vancouver since then and having built a life for themselves, things take another turn and the past is back…

I was trying to describe that with no spoilers - at least nothing that was not mentioned on the back of the book (I may have mentioned less than what’s on the book blurb)! The first half of the book is told from Jess’ point of view; Jess is the youngest sister. Perspective switches for the second half. This was a book I just didn’t want to put down! I wanted to keep reading. There is a lot of violence, though, so be warned of that.

94LibraryCin
Mar 3, 2:56pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR

Jane Bites Back / Michael Thomas Ford
3.5 stars

It’s current day. Jane Austen (now known as Jane Fairfax) is a vampire and is running a small bookstore in a town in New York State. She has written a novel and has been trying for a long time to get it published, but she has been rejected 116 times! She is friends with Lucy, the woman who works for her, and is fighting possible romantic feelings for a local man who is interested in her, Walter.

I really enjoyed this! It’s just a light, enjoyable read and I enjoyed the literary characters. Funny thing – yes, it’s a vampire novel (so obviously unbelievable to start with!) – there were a few little things I found unbelievable, though they were little things. It’s the first book in a series (or trilogy?) and I do plan to continue.

95virginiahomeschooler
Mar 3, 3:43pm Top

>94 LibraryCin: Oh that sounds like a fun one. I'm going to have to see if the library has a copy.

96LibraryCin
Mar 3, 3:44pm Top

>95 virginiahomeschooler: Hope you like it!

97LibraryCin
Mar 5, 9:14pm Top

12x12 Series, ScaredyKIT, PBT Decathlon

Library of Souls / Ransom Riggs
3.5 stars

Trying to do a summary without giving anything away in the previous books: Jacob and Emma, along with talking dog, Ambrose, need to help the others. (Hey! It’s a “Ridiculously simplified synopsis”, like I used to sometimes add on shelfari!)

This one picked off right where the 2nd book left off. It took me a while to remember what was going on and to get back “into” it, but I quite enjoyed it once I did. I don’t think I liked it as much as the first book, though I still love the old photographs and how the author used them to come up with a story, but I liked it better than the 2nd book.

98pammab
Mar 6, 12:07am Top

>94 LibraryCin: "It’s current day. Jane Austen (now known as Jane Fairfax) is a vampire and is running a small bookstore in a town in New York State." -- best opening line for a review that I have seen in quite a while! Your delivery made me giggle.

99-Eva-
Mar 6, 8:20pm Top

>78 LibraryCin:
I loved-loved-loved that one when I was a kid. It's on my to-reread list, but I'm worried that it won't hold up to my memory of it.

100LibraryCin
Mar 6, 10:39pm Top

>94 LibraryCin: I'm glad I could make you laugh! :-) Thank you.

101LibraryCin
Mar 6, 10:40pm Top

>99 -Eva-: I do seem to be in a minority on that one, so you might like it just as much! Of course, it's hard to say.

102LibraryCin
Mar 11, 3:54pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, AlphaKIT, RandomCAT, BingoDOG, Reading Through Time

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest / Wade Davis
3.25 stars

George Mallory made three attempts to summit Everest in the early 1920s. On his third attempt in 1924, he and a young, inexperienced Sandy Irvine went missing, and no one knows whether they made it to the top or not. This book looks at all three attempts, plus the people who were involved, many who also fought in WWI.

I really liked the last 1/3 of the book (4 stars worth), but the first 2/3 were hit or miss for me. There were parts that seemed really good, but they just didn’t hold my interest. Some of the stuff on the war was very well-written, but overall, that part of the book just wasn’t all that great for me. However, in the last 1/3 of the book, which followed the last two attempts at Everest in 1922 and 1924, I was fascinated (as I usually expect to be when reading about Everest!). It is possible (but hard to say for sure) the not-holding-my-attention in the first 2/3 of the book (over 400 pages!) could simply be due to stress in my life at the moment. There were also a lot of people involved, so sometimes I would lose track of who was who.

103LibraryCin
Edited: Mar 13, 7:35pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, PBT Decathlon, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG

In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran / John Taylor
4 stars

John Taylor of Duran Duran was born Nigel John Taylor and he was an only child. He and his best friend, Nick, later formed what would become Duran Duran. This book looks at John’s life.

I enjoyed more of his childhood and personal life than the details of Duran Duran, to be honest. He did mostly keep to his own life and didn’t share too much of the other guys’ lives beyond the group (so no “dirt” dished out in this book!). John shared more of his seemingly happy childhood than details on the alcohol, drugs, and women as he got older (and successful!), though there was some of that, as well. However, despite being short on details, I still really enjoyed this. There were lots of photographs spread throughout the book and it was quick to read.

104LibraryCin
Mar 14, 11:00pm Top

12x12 Travel, Trim the TBR, RandomCAT, BingoDOG

Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak / Jean Hatzfeld
3 stars

The author first wrote a book where he interviewed 14 survivors of the genocide in Rwanda. I haven’t read it, though I've read plenty of other books about it. It was only later that he thought to interview some of those who killed during the genocide. In this book, the interviews were interspersed with history, sometimes a description of interview process and how it came about that the author decided to write this one, sometimes the voices of some of the survivors are included.

The killers just came across to me as very cold, no remorse – to them, it was a job. I wonder if that’s why the book didn’t affect me all that much? I felt detached while reading it. Overall, I’m rating it ok, but for me, there are much better books about Rwanda out there.

105LibraryCin
Mar 15, 11:36pm Top

12x12 Animals, Trim the TBR, ColourCAT, BingoDOG, PBT

The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter / Holly Robinson
3.5 stars

This follows Holly Robinson as a child and teenager, and into the start of college. She grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s and her unorthodox father, while in the Navy, decided to pursue his interest in breeding gerbils, a new type of animal to be potentially used in laboratory research.

I enjoyed the book, but was disappointed to discover that the gerbils were being bred for research purposes (I hadn’t realized that initially), rather than as pets. Other than that, I did enjoy the story, the information about the gerbils, etc. There was also a little bit of humour here and there in the book.

106cmbohn
Mar 16, 1:46am Top

103 - Wow, that takes me back! My BFF and I were so obsessed by Duran Duran back in the day! I'd love to read that book, probably for the pictures most of all. I don't think I'd want to read a while book, but it would be fun to have something to remind me of my younger days.

107mathgirl40
Mar 16, 7:46am Top

>93 LibraryCin: I liked Chevy Stevens's first book, Still Missing, very much when I'd read it years ago. I really should read more of her works!

108LibraryCin
Mar 16, 9:32pm Top

>106 cmbohn: You should give it a try, then! It is quick to read, and the photos are fun! :-)

>107 mathgirl40: "Still Missing" made my favourites list the year I read it. That and "Those Girls" are the only two I've read by her so far, but I'm sure I'll be reading more!

109jualobatpenis
Edited: Mar 16, 9:42pm Top

This user has been removed as spam.

110LibraryCin
Mar 19, 1:26am Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, BingoDOG, MysteryCAT, RandomCAT

Snow White Must Die / Nele Neuhaus
4 stars

Tobias is just coming home after 10 years in prison for murdering two teenage girls (his own age) in the small town he lived in. He was convicted on (damning) circumstantial evidence, and that he had blacked out and couldn’t even remember if he’d done it himself. In those 10 years, his family lost so much. There is a new girl in town, Amelie, who befriends Tobias, and tries to find out more about the case. Meanwhile, the townspeople are not happy that Tobias is back.

I really liked this. The viewpoint shifted quite often, which was fine, but there were a lot of characters, so I was getting people confused for a while. Especially amongst the police, as they would sometimes refer to the same person by their first name and other times, by their last name. There was some following of the two main police officers, but I didn’t find either of their personal stories all that interesting. Tobias’s story was, by far, the best part of the book.

111LibraryCin
Mar 21, 10:24pm Top

12x12 Audio, Mystery Subgenre, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT

Fool Me Once / Harlan Coben
3.5 stars

Maya, former military, witnessed the murder of her husband, but soon after, sees him on her nanny cam! She sets out to find out what’s going on – is her mind playing tricks on her?

This was good, but maybe not as much as many of his other books. There were plenty of twists, and I definitely didn’t see the end coming! I really disliked Maya, though, and I was still left a little bit confused about one thing at the end. As a side note, I listened to the audio, and the narrator did a nice job.

112LittleTaiko
Mar 22, 2:37pm Top

>111 LibraryCin: - I'm a big Harlan Coben fan but that was one of my least favorites, probably because it was hard to like Maya.

113LibraryCin
Mar 22, 11:05pm Top

>112 LittleTaiko: Glad I'm not alone! I have been reading many of his stand-alone novels, for sure. I've read a couple in the Bolitar series, but I mostly focus on the stand-alones.

114LibraryCin
Mar 23, 11:28pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Listopia, Passport Challenge

Mountains Beyond Mountains / Tracy Kidder
3.5 stars

Before Paul Farmer became a doctor, he spent some time in Haiti with poor people. He already had an anthropology degree. He realized that helping these people get well was what he wanted to do with his life. And workaholic that he seemed to be (at least doing this, what he loved to do), that’s what he did! And, he started a foundation (Partners in Health) that expanded to Peru and Russia and beyond. They treated mostly TB and HIV.

This was good. Impressive, everything he did/does, but at the same time one wonders how he managed/manages to get everything done. He had to also navigate political interactions, as well.

115LibraryCin
Mar 23, 11:42pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, Travel Across Canada, Trim the TBR

Small Beneath the Sky / Lorna Crozier
3.5 stars

Lorna Crozier is a poet. She was born in 1948 and grew up in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. This tells of her life, much of it during her childhood. Her family didn’t have a lot of money and her father was an alcoholic.

I liked this. I wasn’t sure at first, as there are short chapters that just seem descriptive, which I guess shows more of her poetic side, but those sections didn’t interest me nearly as much as her life stories. I grew up in Southern Sask, and my dad grew up in Swift Current, so it’s always fun to read about places you know. It’s a short book, and she did skip over a lot of stuff. Overall, though, I did enjoy the parts about her life and the familiar places.

116LibraryCin
Mar 26, 11:10pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Trim the TBR, Mystery Subgenre, RandomCAT, AlphaKIT

Charley's Web / Joy Fielding
4 stars

Charley (Charlotte) is a columnist for a newspaper. When she is contacted by a child murderer on death row to write her side of the story, Charley is a bit hesitant, but decides to do it. Meanwhile, she and her two kids’ lives are being threatened due to some of what she’s writing in her columns.

This really pulled me in. I wanted to keep reading, and I did! I finished it faster than I’d expected, but the drawback is that I’m afraid I might forget it quicker, as well. However, it was a great read while I was reading, that’s for sure! Definite twist ending I certainly didn’t see coming!

117LibraryCin
Mar 30, 1:18am Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, MysteryCAT

Gone Without a Trace / Mary Torjussen
4.5 stars

One day, when Hannah comes home from work, she finds her boyfriend, Matt, gone. All his stuff is gone, and her stuff is put back in its place from before he moved in. It’s as if he was never there. All his online profiles are gone, all photos that included him are missing, including from Hannah’s devices, all emails and texts are gone. There is no trace of him.

I got sucked into this right away! This sure kept me wanting to read! And the twist!!! I didn’t see it coming at all, but to be honest, I usually don’t. Hannah was extremely obsessive, and there was plenty to not like about her, but I still felt badly for her and wanted her to find Matt. I couldn’t believe the way her best friend, Katie, was treating the whole thing – I did not like that at all. I will stop there; I don’t want to say too much more, for fear of accidentally giving something away.

118LibraryCin
Mar 31, 12:10am Top

12x12 Nonfiction

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu / Joshua Hammer
2 stars

According to the title (and subtitle), this is meant to be about librarians in Timbuktu (a city in the African country of Mali) who saved over 300,000 manuscripts from Al Qaeda after they occupied Timbuktu. Really, there was some about the guy collecting all these manuscripts, and later on, about evacuating them all; but, the majority of the book was really about the history of Islam, and the history of the area.

I was disappointed. I guess I’m just not that interested in the history, at least the way it was written in this book, anyway. I listened to the audio, which may have had a bearing on what I thought, but in all honesty, I still don’t think I would have liked it.

119LibraryCin
Apr 1, 1:55pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, ColourCAT, RandomCAT

The Courage Tree / Diane Chamberlain
4 stars

When Janine’s 8-year old, Sophie, goes away to a camp with the other Brownies/Girl Scouts, it’s an adventure for her. Sophie is in end-stage renal failure, but has been feeling so much better on an alternative herbal mixture that is being tested. On the way home, she and another little girl are in a second vehicle with a younger leader. When their vehicle doesn’t return home, time is ticking on Sophie’s treatment. What happened? Janine and her ex-husband, Joe, are frantic to find Sophie!

This was really good. Another page-turner that kept me wanting to stay up late and read! Oh, Joe and Janine’s parents just made me want to smack them all, though. In addition to a couple other characters.

120LibraryCin
Apr 1, 2:22pm Top

12x12 Trim the TBR, Trim the TBR

Jack of Fables. Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape / Bill Willingham
4 stars

Jack Horner/Jack the Giant-Killer is a big shot in Hollywood, but when he walks away from it, he is captured and brought to a “retirement home” for Fables. Really, it’s a prison and they aren’t allowed to leave. Jack manages to convince the others to try to escape.

I quite enjoyed this! As with all the Fables graphic novels, the illustrations are amazing. I enjoyed the little gallery at the end of various sketches of some of the characters, as well. I liked the new characters at the prison, the Page sisters (called “librarians” but really, their jobs have them in “Retrievals”, “Security” and “Research”). I will definitely be continuing this spin-off series! (Now, if only I would go back and finish the original Fables series – I only have a couple more to go!)

121LibraryCin
Apr 2, 10:11pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, RandomCAT

Black Chuck / Regan McDonell
4 stars

Real’s best friend, Shaun, has died, and Rael feels responsible, though all he remembers is beating Shaun up that night; after that, he can’t remember. Shaun’s 16-year old girlfriend, Evie, is pregnant. As Real tries to come to grips with what happened, he and Evie become closer.

This started off kind of slow, but I liked both Rael and Evie and how they related to each other. I’m not sure how big or small the town was meant to be, but it had a small town feel, with the teenagers drinking, partying, and drugs being available.

122LibraryCin
Apr 9, 8:18pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre

The Chamber / John Grisham
3.5 stars

Adam Hall is a new lawyer. In Mississippi, Sam Cayhall, a (former) KKK member, is on death row for bombing a building in 1967 where a Jewish lawyer worked; the bomb went off when the lawyer’s 5-year old twin sons were there and both were killed. When Adam learns that Sam is his grandfather (Adam was only 3 when his father left Mississippi and changed all their names so as to not be associated with his own racist KKK father), he decides to head to Mississippi to fight the death sentence against Sam.

This was good, but maybe not quite as good as many of Grisham’s others. I think it was a bit slower. There were sort of two parts to it: the legal case being made and the pro/con death penalty, but also the story of a family with secrets, as Adam and Sam (and Adam and his aunt, Sam’s daughter) get to know each other. I thought about upping my rating just a little bit at the end, but decided I’d stick with how I felt through the majority of the book and go with 3.5 stars “good”.

123LibraryCin
Apr 10, 9:32pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT

You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried / Susannah Gora
4 stars

This book looks at ‘80s teen movies, including many John Hughes’ movies. The book takes the reader behind the scenes in the movies and we learn about the actors, as well as John Hughes and the other directors. There are chapters on “Sixteen Candles”, “The Breakfast Club”, “St. Elmo’s Fire”, “Pretty in Pink”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “Some Kind of Wonderful”, and “Say Anything”.

What a fun book for someone who was a teenager in the 80s (me)! I’ve seen all but two of the movies (and now feel like I should see those two!). Many of the actors were part of what became labelled the “Brat Pack”, based on an article written that was originally meant to be about Emilio Estevez, but became about a group of them who were out together one night. To be honest, I’d not even realized the phrase was meant (at the time) to be derogatory; I never read the article, nor had I realized that’s even where the term originated. So, I did learn plenty about the actors and the movies. I also want to go back and re-watch some of the movies I’ve already seen. My favourites were “Pretty in Pink” (I love Duckie!) and “Some Kind of Wonderful”.

124Helenliz
Apr 11, 9:57am Top

This is very odd! I'm listening to an interview of 6Music at the moment for a book that sounds very similar but is a different author. It's called Fast Times and Excellent Adventures by James King, a film critic.
I was a teen in the 80s as well, so either ought to be right up my street. I watched the Breakfast Club again at Christmas, having not seen it since it came out. Initially I thought it had dated badly, but by the end of it, I was 15 again and had remembered why it and it's fellows were generation defining.

125LittleTaiko
Apr 11, 10:09am Top

>123 LibraryCin: - Oh that is definitely going on my wishlist. I was a teenager during the 80's as well and have seen all of the movies you referenced. My favorite was probably "St. Elmo's Fire", though "Say Anything" was pretty good too.

126LibraryCin
Apr 11, 10:00pm Top

>124 Helenliz: Oh! Another similar one! Sounds interesting.

Of the movies they talk about in this one, it's only Say Anything and St. Elmo's Fire that I haven't seen. All the others I've seen multiple times! :-) Though it's been years for any of them!

Oh, that's funny >125 LittleTaiko: that those are the two you liked best!

127LibraryCin
Apr 11, 10:00pm Top

But, I found Say Anything on Netflix, so I'll try to get to it at some point. St. Elmo's Fire isn't there, though. Hmmm, maybe the library has it.

128cmbohn
Apr 12, 1:31am Top

I loved Say Anything!

129LibraryCin
Apr 13, 11:08pm Top

12x12 Series, ScaredyKIT, ColourCAT

Brimstone / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
3 stars

In this Pendergast novel, someone is found, seemingly burned from the inside-out and there is a burnt hoof-print in the room.

I liked the beginning and end of the book, but much of the middle lost my interest. I’ve listened to many of the Pendergast novels, but have not been happy with them, so I finally tried an ebook, but I’m not sure it’s worth another chance. This one was way too long, and I don’t think I’m enjoying them enough to continue on. The ending has me a bit intrigued, but I’m not sure it’s enough. Hmmm, I’ve looked back and I liked more than I thought of the previous books. I guess it’s just the couple I didn’t like as much that stuck in my head. Maybe I should keep going, after all.

130Chrischi_HH
Apr 14, 8:56am Top

Stopping by to say hello, for the first time this year... And I'm hit by a late BB for The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

131LibraryCin
Apr 14, 2:36pm Top

>130 Chrischi_HH: Hi! Thanks for stopping in! Hope you like it when you get to it!

132LibraryCin
Apr 15, 2:26am Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, PBT Decathlon

Deadliest Sea: The Untold Story Behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History / Kalee Thompson
4 stars

In 2008, a fishing trawler sunk in the Bearing Sea in Alaskan waters. There were 47 people on board. They were hours away from any help, but Coast Guard helicopters made their way there, along with a ship to help rescue as many people as possible.

The book started off a little “slower” (though still good), with cutting back and forth between the sinking of the boat and background information. At times, I found it a bit hard to follow… but only at first. As the book continued on, I got to know the people better (though there were a lot of people, so it was still easy to get some of them mixed up), so it helped me “place” where we were in the story (whether “current” timeline or background info on the people, or the history of the area, or the fishing industry, or whatever). In the end, I thought it was really good. The book was primarily put together based on interviews with the people involved.

133LibraryCin
Edited: Apr 15, 8:51pm Top

12x12 Animals, PBT, Trim the TBR

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas / Jim Ottaviani, Maris Wicks
4 stars

This is a YA graphic novel that tells of the lives and great ape studies of Jane Goodall (chimpanzees), Dian Fossey (gorillas), and Birute Galdikas (orangutans).

This was really good! I’ve read about Goodall and Fossey before, but nothing about Galdikas (though I’ve now added one of her books to my tbr!). Because it’s a fairly short graphic novel that covers all three women, it skips a lot of detail, but I really enjoyed the information that was there, and I loved the illustrations! There is also a very nice bibliography included at the end. Beautiful graphic novel about three amazing women.

134LibraryCin
Apr 16, 11:49pm Top

12x12 Travel, PBT, BingoDOG

Number the Stars / Lois Lowry.
4 stars

It’s 1943 and the Nazis have occupied Denmark for a few years now. Annemarie is 10-years old and lives in Copenhagen. Her best friend, Ellen, is Jewish. When Ellen’s family learns that the Nazis will start relocating Jews, they make plans to hide, and Annemarie’s family is helping.

This is told from Annemarie’s point of view. So, there is a lot she doesn’t know, but she can often tell when something is bad or wrong. It’s a very short book (but, of course, it’s intended for kids), but very good. I didn’t know of the Nazi occupation of Denmark (or, I guess, hadn’t really thought about Scandinavia during the war), so it was interesting to me to learn about what happened there (and that Sweden, on the other hand, was left alone by the Nazis). Lowry included an author’s note at the end to explain what was real and what was fiction; I always appreciate that in my historical fiction.

135LibraryCin
Apr 17, 12:19am Top

12x12 Audio, Trim the TBR, Listopia

Peter the Great: His Life and World / Robert K. Massie
2 stars

This is a biography of Peter the Great, who was Tsar of Russia in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Of course, it’s also a history of Russia at the time. Entwined with that (due to wars) is some history of Sweden.

I should start by mentioning that I listened to the audio. It was very very loooooong. And boring. At least, the entire looooong middle section about warring with Sweden (or Tsweden, as pronounced by the narrator – like tsar; and unfortunately, we also got words like tsea and tsince), just isn’t all that interesting to me, so I tuned out. The stuff about Peter’s family life and Russian architecture – that held my interest a bit more, but not by much, unfortunately. But, oh my god – listening to that guy pronounce many words starting with ‘s’ as if they start with ‘ts’ - gaaahh! I should also add that I do find the history/biography of women more interesting to start with. Also, I seem to prefer female narrators – not all the time in either case, but often. So, all those factors may have lessened my interest in this one.

136christina_reads
Apr 18, 5:27pm Top

>134 LibraryCin: Glad to see you liked Number the Stars! It was one of my favorite books as a kid.

137LibraryCin
Apr 18, 7:52pm Top

>136 christina_reads: I had never read it before, so it was new to me!

138LibraryCin
Apr 18, 9:32pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, Travel Across Canada, AlphaKIT, ScaredyKIT, Trim the TBR

The Unquiet Past / Kelley Armstrong
4 stars

This is one of 7 books in the “Secrets” series, all written by different authors. The premise behind the series, as a whole, is that, in 1964, an orphanage in Ontario has burnt down. The oldest kids are sent off on their own with only a small piece of info given to each of them about their past.

In this one, Tess is given only a phone number (but it’s out of service) and an address in a town in Quebec. The address leads to a large abandoned house. Tess has visions, and has never told anyone other than her very best friend about them. She gets an eerie feeling in this house. What happened here and what is Tess’ connection to the place?

I really liked this. I loved the super-creepy feeling at one point in the story. Wow, this author was very good with creating that creepy atmosphere! This is the second book I’ve read in this series, and I do plan to continue on.

139dudes22
Apr 19, 6:21am Top

>138 LibraryCin: - I think I'll take a BB for this. I find it very intriguing.

140LibraryCin
Apr 19, 6:59pm Top

>139 dudes22: I hope you like it! I suppose I didn't come out and say it in my review, but I'm hoping it came through in the description, but it is a YA novel. Just so you know!

The creepiness.... in the about the author paragraph at the end of the book, I discovered the author actually has a series of gothic (may also be YA) books, as well, so that's probably why she was so good at that description!

141dudes22
Apr 19, 7:50pm Top

I had checked the series out on fantasticfiction.com and the covers made me think it might be YA. But that's ok - I like to read them too.

142LibraryCin
Apr 19, 10:43pm Top

>141 dudes22: Oh, good! :-)

143LibraryCin
Apr 22, 2:00am Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, MysteryCAT, Passport Challenge, ScaredyKIT, BingoDOG, ColourCAT

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer / Patrick Suskind
2.25 stars

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was an orphan and people didn’t like him from when he was a baby and wanted nothing to do with him. Mostly, he didn’t want anything to do with other people either. To other people, there was something very odd about him. Though others didn’t necessarily know it, Grenouille had an amazing sense of smell, unlike any other human.

WTF was that ending!? Despite how slow-moving the book was, with a TON of description (slow-moving and lots of description is not usually my thing), I was ready to rate this 3 stars (ok) or possibly even 3.5 stars (good), but if I was the kind of person to throw a book across the room (I’ve never done it), this is the book I would have thrown due to the ending! WTF was that!? Other than the end, I surprised myself by not skimming and being completely bored by all the description of the scents and such. But, seriously!? What a ridiculous ending! Oh, the title is a bit misleading; well, there are murders, but they are almost all within a very short interval close to the end of the book. I’m giving it the extra .25 star for somehow managing to keep my interest despite all the description and nothing happening.

144LibraryCin
Apr 23, 9:48pm Top

12x12 Audio, Travel Across Canada, BingoDOG

Where I Belong: Small Town to Great Big Sea / Alan Doyle
5 stars

Alan Doyle grew up to become lead singer of Great Big Sea. He grew up in a small town, just outside St. John’s, Newfoundland with 3 siblings and a very musical family; in fact, they were known as “The Doyles from Petty Harbour” and everyone knew they were musical. The book is told as a series of stories, and include stories of his family and friends, music, religion (Catholic vs. Protestant), fishing, and more.

I listened to the audio, read by Alan himself. I loved it! The accent and the phrases, and he’s so funny! I laughed out loud many times (people on transit probably stealing odd glances toward me?)! Oh, what a great storyteller! Listening to the audio, he actually played a recording of a brief conversation with his mom, and when there were lyrics in the text of the book, he sang them. Sigh…

I had a roommate/best friend in my 20s who was from Newfoundland (in fact, from The Goulds, near Petty Harbour, where Alan went to high school) – the accent and phrases and funny stories all made me think of her. He’s only a few years older than me and my friend, so I recognized many things/places that she talked about, as well. Oh, I even remember her mentioning the high school band he was in – I think she showed me a yearbook photo of them with the FA on the drums (for First Attempt).

I really don’t think people would need the personal (or in my case, secondary) references to enjoy this, though. I highly recommend the audio!

145-Eva-
Apr 24, 2:43pm Top

>143 LibraryCin:
I read that one back when I was a teenager and remember liking it a lot. I need to reread it, for sure! Can't remember the ending, so... :)

146LibraryCin
Apr 24, 10:05pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, Reading Through Time, BingoDOG, Trim the TBR

China Dolls / Lisa See
4 stars

It’s 1938. Grace is from small-town Ohio, where she and her parents were the only Orientals, though her parents brought her up to be completely American, and has left her abusive home to go to San Francisco to try out as a dancer at an expo. While trying to find her way around Chinatown, she meets Helen, who was raised in a very traditional Chinese family/home. She convinces Helen to come with her to try out, as well. At the tryouts, they meet Ruby, another dancer, who wants to become famous. They become friends and live through WWII trying to make ends meet as entertainers in the Oriental clubs, and later on, touring the “Chop-Suey Circuit”.

I really liked this! I have to admit, I liked Grace best of the three girls, and I found her story the most interesting. The book is told in alternating chapters from each of the girls’ points of view. Each chapter is titled with the girl’s name, so I was able to follow this quite easily. It was really interesting to learn about the Chinese entertainers from the time period.

147LibraryCin
Apr 27, 10:40pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, Trim the TBR, ColourCAT

French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew / Peter Mayle
2.5 stars

The author writes about food and wine in France.

I think I received this via a “white elephant swap” a while back. I’m not a foodie, and I’m sure someone who appreciates food, particularly French food, would get much more out of this. I found most of the food he discussed quite disgusting. I also don’t drink alcohol, including wine, though I think there was only one chapter on wine (maybe two?). At the same time, he actually is an engaging writer. And there were a couple chapters near the end that didn’t talk about food that I found more interesting – one was about food critics and travel guide ratings, and one was an entertaining chapter as the author and his wife stayed at a spa for a few days.

148-Eva-
Apr 30, 1:52pm Top

>147 LibraryCin:
That's a shame, I've been eyeing that one.

149LibraryCin
Apr 30, 10:58pm Top

>148 -Eva-: If you are more "into" food, then this one might be appealing to you! I'm just not.

150LibraryCin
Apr 30, 11:12pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, Travel Across Canada

North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Counterculture Family, and How I Survived Both / Cea Sunrise Person
4 stars

It was the 1970s. Cea was born to a 15-year old mom at a time when her mom, grandparents, aunts, and uncle were leaving California for Alberta to live out in the wilderness. They lived primarily in a tipi during Cea’s first 5 years of life. After that, her mom, Michelle, found Karl, so they left Cea’s grandparents behind to head to BC to live in a cabin… at which time Karl mostly managed to steal things they needed (including sleeping arrangements). Michelle seemed to only be able to function when she had a man to take care of her and Cea. Oh, yeah. Also, the drugs… that includes Cea’s grandparents. And the nudity, and sex. No one cared about privacy.

Interesting story. Sure don’t agree with how they lived, and the poor girl had such a crazy life. I liked that she continued her story, though not in as much detail or in nearly as many chapters (the bulk of the book/story was her childhood), into her teen years (when she became a model) and adulthood and how she dealt with her “unusual” background. People compare her dysfunctional family life with Jeanette Walls and “The Glass Castle”. It’s been a few years since I read it, but the neglectful parents/adults sure fit the theme! Toward the end, I considered upping my rating, but decided to go with how I felt reading the majority of it.

151LibraryCin
Apr 30, 11:29pm Top

12x12 Travel, PBT, Listopia

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman / Peter K. Massie
3 stars

Catherine the Great was Empress of Russia in the mid- to late-18th century. This looks back at her entire life and reign.

I listened to the audio and there were parts that were ok and parts that I liked. I suppose (no surprise to me) I enjoyed the parts about her personal life more than about her reign. In fact, I probably enjoyed the first half better for that reason – the second half was after she became empress. I think I’ve read one other book about her, but had forgotten about her very childlike husband, Peter III (the grandson of Peter the Great). I thought it was a decent biography, though another friend who likes history was bored by it. In my opinion, though, it was much better than the author’s book on Peter the Great!

152LibraryCin
May 6, 3:56pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, ColourCAT, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR

The Lake House / Kate Morton
4 stars

In 1933, when Alice was a teenager, her 11 month old brother disappeared one night during a party. In 2003, Sadie, a detective, has been suspended from her job and is in Cornwall when she comes across the mystery of Alice’s baby brother, Theo, so she tries to figure out what happened to the little boy.

I quite liked this. There are a lot of perspectives and a lot of jumping around in time, which usually don’t bother me, but even when in the past, I really had to pay attention to the start of the chapters (which outlined what time period we were in), as we even jumped between the 1930s and earlier than that. The end was quite a coincidence, though I think there as an attempt to explain coincidences a bit earlier (though in a different context). It wasn’t impossible, but still a bit far-fetched. This and “The Distant Hours” are the ones I’ve rated the lowest by her, though 4 stars is still very good, in my opinion. Have to admit that, going through a stressful time, there were times when I had a bit of trouble focusing, but I don’t think I really missed anything for it.

153LibraryCin
May 9, 10:42pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, RandomCAT

Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants / Richard Mabey
3 stars

This is mostly a history of plants that may be considered weeds – basically, plants that are somewhere where a human doesn’t want it to be. It looks at how they travel, plants that were used medicinally, how they (re)populate decimated areas. He looks at how they’ve been viewed in history, including in literature, and more.

It was ok. Some parts were interesting, and others were dry. I probably tuned out a lot when he was looking at literature (except “In Flanders Fields”, which has more meaning). I still love the idea of the book, though!

154LibraryCin
May 12, 5:46pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, ScaredyKIT, Travel Across Canada, PBT

Never Let You Go / Chevy Stevens
4.5 stars

Lindsey’s ex-husband, Andrew, has been in jail for the past decade. He was abusive toward Lindsey, and she has since built a new life for her and her daughter, Sophie. Unfortunately when Andrew gets out of jail, he comes back to the town where Lindsey and Sophie live.

I have not yet been disappointed in a Chevy Stevens novel. I found this very fast-paced and suspenseful, and I wanted to keep reading. I listened to the audio, which was very well done; it was read by two different narrators, one for Lindsey and one for Sophie. The book does jump around in time (now and then) and perspective (Lindsey and Sophie). Very very good, in my opinion! There was what I thought of as a coincidence at the end, but without saying too much, it turned out to be planned, so not a coincidence, after all.

155LibraryCin
May 13, 1:17am Top

12x12 Travel

The Thirteen Problems / Agatha Christie
2.5 stars

This consists of short stories, but joined together by way of a group of friends, including Miss Marple, who gather to tell mysteries and try to solve them.

I still like the character of Miss Marple, but short stories are not my thing. I’m coming to learn that Agatha Christie isn’t really my thing, either. I actually liked the interactions between the friends, but my mysteries themselves weren’t very interesting. Unfortunately, my mind wandered throughout most of them.

156LibraryCin
Edited: May 14, 12:02am Top

12x12 Animals, Trim the TBR

The Cat Who Went to Paris / Peter Gethers
4 stars

The author was a writer of screenplays and books, and never liked cats. When a girlfriend and his brother got together to get him a Scottish Fold cat (their ears are bent down), he fell in love instantly! But, his lifestyle involved a lot of travel. Right from when the little kitten, at 6 weeks old, came to live with him and flew across the country to do so, Peter brought Norton with him most of the time when he was travelling. Norton had no problems with it. He loved people and people loved him.

Love this little cat! What a charmer! Felt badly that he was separated from mom and siblings at only 6 weeks, though (that’s really too soon; from what I’ve read, ideal is 12 weeks to be completely socialized, though most breeders and many rescues will send them out at 8 weeks, when they are physically ready). I’m not sure the years/decades Norton lived, but the book was written in 1991, so maybe less attention was paid to that back then? There were cute little cat illustrations at the start of each chapter, as well.

157LibraryCin
May 18, 10:01pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, PBT

Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement / Irene Spencer
3 stars

Irene Spencer was part of the FLDS (Fundamentalist Mormons) and one of multiple wives of Verlan LeBaron. The LeBaron’s were not thought highly of; in fact, it was thought they were crazy. Verlon’s brother Ervil thought himself a prophet, and when people didn’t follow him, he decided it was time for “blood atonement” - that is, those who didn’t follow him should be killed.

Irene Spencer wrote an earlier book (Shattered Dreams) that I liked much much more. It followed her life. In this one, she was on the sidelines (somewhat), though her and her husband’s lives were in danger. I have to admit, when I started reading it, I was expecting a continuation of her first book (though I don’t recall where her earlier book left off, so maybe there wasn’t much to continue?), so it took me a while to realize that this wasn’t her own story this time, so it took a while to get a little more interested. There are a lot of people, so sometimes hard to remember who’s who. Overall, I’ll rate this one “ok”.

158LibraryCin
May 20, 1:33am Top

12x12 Travel, PBT Decathlon

The Little Stranger / Sarah Waters
3.75 stars

Dr. Faraday is called out to an old house (mansion?), Hundreds Hall. It’s now falling apart, but when Faraday was a child, his mother was one of the servants. Now, the house has only three inhabitants: Mrs. Ayers, and her two adult children, Roderick and Caroline. They have only two servants, young Betty and Mrs. Bazeley. As Faraday is treating various members of the family, he comes out to the house more and more. He becomes entangled in the lives of the Ayers, and the creepy old house. The old house that seems to… have a mind of its own…?

It’s not a fast paced book, but it’s very creepy in parts. There was one part close to the start that was a bit slower for me, but the rest of it, despite the slowness of it, kept me interested. Definitely creepy, though, and I quite liked the ending.

159LibraryCin
May 21, 11:36pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, Reading Through Time, Trim the TBR, BingoDOG

The Headmaster's Wager / Vincent Lam
3.5 stars

Percival is a Chinese man living in Vietnam during the war. He runs an English school, and he longs to go home to China. When his son is arrested and later released, Percival arranges to have his son sent to China so that he’ll be safe. As Percival moves on with his life with Vietnemese-French woman Jacqueline, he worries about his son.

This one started really slowly for me. It went back and forth in time, and with a few characters having both Chinese and English names, I was slightly confused, initially. Once we got about a third of the way into the book (and mostly, those characters with multiple names were known by their English names), it picked up for me. This was about the time Percival’s son was son was sent away – or maybe when he was arrested. Anyway, it really picked up for me. There were some parts that were more political that I wasn’t as interested in. I know next-to-nothing about the Vietnam War, so initially I felt like that also made it a bit harder to follow the story, but again, it seemed to get clearer as the book went along. Overall, I’m rating it “good”.

160thornton37814
May 25, 12:44pm Top

>156 LibraryCin: I read that one when it came out years ago. I loved the idea of the cat traveling with him and loved learning about the Scottish fold breed.

161LibraryCin
May 26, 2:44pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, Passport Challenge, Travel Across Canada, PBT, ColourCAT, Trim the TBR

The Concubine's Children / Denise Chong
4 stars

This is a biography of three generations of a Chinese-Canadian family. Chan Sam came to Canada and left his Chinese wife at home, but soon brought a beautiful younger Chinese woman to Canada as his concubine: May-ying. May-ying gave Chan Sam 3 daughters; before the 3rd one (Hing) came along, the other two had been taken back to China to live with Chan Sam’s Chinese wife. Hing, the daughter who stayed in Canada, was mostly neglected by her drinking, gambling mother. Hing’s daughter, Denise, is the author of the book. The book does focus mostly on May-ying, but it also tells the story of the family in China, as well. I can’t recall the phrase in the book, but something along the lines of a split family.

I thought this was very good. It covers a good portion of the 20th century, so it also includes a bit of history of how Chinese people were treated in Canada, and North America, in general, over that century. The story was interesting, and it did primarily focus on the most interesting person, in my opinion, May-ying. There was also a nice set of photos included – photos of those in both Canada and China.

162LibraryCin
May 27, 1:50am Top

12x12 Series, AlphaKIT

Thereby Hangs a Tail / Spencer Quinn
4 stars

This is the 2nd Chet and Bernie mystery; Bernie’s a PI, and Chet is his partner and dog. When Chet and Bernie are hired to be bodyguards for a show dog, Princess – although being bodyguards are not their usual “thing” – things go wrong when both Princess and her owner are kidnapped.

The story is told from Chet’s point of view. It took a chapter or two at the start of the book for me to remember/get used to this, but after that, I quite enjoyed the dog’s POV. It added some humour and we got to see some things that Bernie didn’t get to see, particularly between Chet and Princess. I didn’t like Princess, initially (neither did Chet), but she grew on me (as she did Chet), and I quite enjoyed their interactions after that. I’m pretty sure I liked this better than the first book in the series and I will definitely be continuing on. (Hmmm, reread my review, and I guess I rated both books the same, after all!)

163LibraryCin
May 28, 11:18pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, Mystery Subgenre

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder / Joanne Fluke
3.5 stars

Hannah owns a cookie shop and when one of her delivery guys turns up shot in the alley behind, she helps out her brother-in-law, a cop, with the investigation.

I mostly enjoyed it. You could tell it was written a while back (published in 2000 – I actually though a little earlier while reading), as the technology is not up-to-date. My ebook had an extra novella (that I quite liked!) tacked on at the end that had more current technology – it was written in 2006. There are many cookie recipes at the end of some of the chapters (I think every chapter in the novella had one). You could probably make an entire cookie recipe book out of just the recipes included! I liked the characters and the small town feel. After the main novel, I wasn’t sure if I would continue the series, but after reading the novella, I decided that I would.

164thornton37814
May 29, 4:31pm Top

>163 LibraryCin: The series is uneven. Sometimes I enjoy them; sometimes they drive me crazy.

165LibraryCin
May 29, 7:17pm Top

>164 thornton37814: Interesting, but good to know! If I have too many lukewarm in a row, I'll probably stop at that point. :-)

166LibraryCin
Jun 1, 11:11pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Trim the TBR

We Are the Romani People / Ian Hancock
3.5 stars

I thought this was a good introduction to history and culture of the Romani people (more commonly known as “gypsies”). It was interspersed with photos and cartoons, and it was written by a Romani. I knew nothing, beyond stereotypes. I have read one fictional book that stuck in my mind and created an interest in reading some nonfiction about Romani. In addition to history (including slavery and the Holocaust), more detail about some of the culture included food (including a few recipes) and language. There were also some well-known/notable Romani people (and descendants) listed (including Charlie Chaplin, Rita Hayworth, Django Reinhardt, Michael Caine, Bill Clinton). Good book, certainly a good introduction, in my opinion.

167LibraryCin
Jun 3, 2:53pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, Travel Across Canada

Jane of Lantern Hill / L.M. Montgomery
3.5 stars

Jane has been living in Toronto with her rich grandmother and her mother as long as she can remember. She doesn’t even realize her father is still alive and living on Prince Edward Island, until a letter comes asking if she can stay with him for a summer. Her (hateful!) grandmother hates Jane’s father, and all Jane knows is to hate him, and she doesn’t want to go. But, when she meets her dad, she is pleasantly surprised.

I enjoyed this! LM Montgomery’s books are pretty simple, and the end was tied up with a nice bow, but I still enjoyed it, overall.

168-Eva-
Jun 3, 10:53pm Top

>158 LibraryCin:
I'm bad at creepy books, but I really want to read this one. I'll only read it during the day. :)

169LibraryCin
Jun 4, 8:58pm Top

>168 -Eva-: Good idea! And good luck! :-)

170LibraryCin
Jun 4, 10:32pm Top

12x12 Series

The Secret Place / Tana French
3.5 stars

When 16-year old Holly, a girl who attends a boarding school, goes to a detective who helped her in the past, she brings with her a card – a card with a secret. The person who wrote the card says she knows who killed Chris Harper. Chris was murdered the year before. The detective, Stephen, is a cold case detective and goes to the original detective on the case to see if they can try again to solve the murder.

I listened to the audio and liked both narrators, but I did lose interest a bit more in the girls’ voice. One of the narrators (a male) voices the parts told from the POV of Stephen. The female narrator told the story from the girls’ points of view in the time leading up to the murder, and after the murder – the bit of time until Holly goes to Stephen with the card. Overall, it was good, but not nearly as good as the other books in the series to this point, in my opinion. I do love listening to the Irish accents on the audio, though.

171LibraryCin
Jun 6, 9:42pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, Trim the TBR

Yarrow / Charles de Lint
3.5 stars

Cat is an author and gets her inspiration through dreams. Unfortunately, she has not been dreaming for a few months and is now blocked. What she doesn’t know is that there is… something out there feeding on her dreams! And he’s feeding on others, as well, but Cat’s dreams are the ones he really wants.

This was good. I liked the real world sections of the book more than the dream sections, but that’s not a surprise to me. Cat didn’t really have friends in the real world, so I enjoyed the sections where she was making friends (though that was more secondary to the story). There were a lot of characters introduced at the very start of the book, so I was afraid I would get them confused, but surprisingly, it was rare to not figure out who we were following in the story fairly quickly – de Lint must have given enough clues to be able to follow easily.

172LibraryCin
Jun 8, 10:19pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, BingoDOG, AlphaKIT

The Good Girl / Mary Kubica
5 stars

When Mia is kidnapped, her hired kidnapper, Colin, doesn’t deliver her to the actual kidnapper; instead, he takes off with her!

The story is told “before” and “after” from a few different points of view: from Colin’s, from her mother Eve’s, and from the detective Gabe’s. The chapters tell you whose POV you are following and when, so I found it easy to follow. It was a bit slow-moving at times, but I was still fascinated with what was happening. In my opinion, I thought the author did a very good job of keeping me “on board” with what was going on (as I try to describe it without giving too much away!). The twist at the very end – impressive. If I was one to reread, I would definitely reread and look for potential clues! I did reread the epilogue.

173LibraryCin
Jun 10, 1:47am Top

12x12 Trim the TBR, Trim the TBR

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World / John Wood
3.5 stars

John Wood was working for Microsoft when he took a trip to Nepal only to discover the lack of books/libraries in the schools there. Being an avid reader since he was a kid, he promised to return in a year with books for the school. It didn’t take long before he became so passionate about it, that he quit his job and started up what later became Room to Read in order to help developing countries build schools and libraries. This was later extended to grant scholarships to be sure girls would complete their schooling, as well. Room to Read has also expanded beyond Nepal into a number of other (mostly Asian) countries.

This was good. He obviously loves what he does and it’s amazing how quickly Room to Read grew and how many countries it now helps. The first half of the book includes parallels and how working at Microsoft helped him start up this small non-profit. In the second half, he tells more stories of some of the kids who were/are personally impacted by the schools, and particularly some of the girls who have been granted scholarships.

174LibraryCin
Jun 13, 9:09pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, MysteryCAT

Bullied to Death: A Story of Bullying, Social Media, and the Suicide of Sherokee Harriman / Judith A. Yates
4 stars

Sherokee Harriman was only 14-years old when she committed suicide in a park in front of some of the kids who bullied her. She led an extremely troubled life – abused from the time she was only 3 years old, she also had a number of mental illness issues. When she plunged a knife into her belly on that day…

I think the subtitle of this one is a bit misleading, as I don’t think “social media” needs to be there. The author used social media in her research, as well as texts between Sherokee and her family and friends (in addition to interviews and plenty of other research). However, it is a sad story of a mentally ill girl who just couldn’t seem to get a break. Chapters near the end include some stats on bullying and suicide, so at that point it gets away a bit from Sherokee’s story, specifically. But, still interesting.

175LibraryCin
Jun 13, 9:24pm Top

12x12 Audio, PBT

The Museum of Extraordinary Things / Alice Hoffman
2.5 stars

This is set in the early 1900s in New York City. Coralie was born with webbed hands and she is an amazing swimmer. Her father runs the “Museum of Extraordinary Things”, which includes sideshow “freaks”. Coralie becomes a part of them, and feels she fits in with them. Eddie is a photographer.

I listened to the audio and there are three narrators: Coralie, Eddie, and a generic narrator (voiced by Judith Light). Of the story itself, only Coralie’s story interested me. (Which is why I have said next to nothing about Eddie in my summary, as I can’t tell you much more, as my mind wandered during his parts.) As for the audio, one thing that bothered me was Judith Light’s dialogue for any character – it seemed to me very staccato/robotic, but only when she was doing the dialogue. The audio includes a short interview/conversation (that kind of disintegrates into gushing about each other’s work at times) between Judith Light and Alice Hoffman. The book/story, though – really didn’t interest me all that much, though in addition to Coralie’s story, there were some interesting tidbits about the Triangle Factory fire.

176LibraryCin
Jun 17, 12:12am Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT, ColourCAT, Trim the TBR

Sisters / Suzanne Goodwin
3 stars

This is a romance set in England during WWII. We follow three sisters who all fall for military men. One, a pilot; one, a submarine guy; and the third sister… well, she just falls for them all.

There probably is more of the historical fiction to this than the romance. Or, since I so rarely read romances, maybe that’s just what I focused on more. I don’t even remember why I have this book, but I’ve had it a long time! Overall, I’m rating it ok. The story was fine, and I did enjoy the setting, but there were definitely some eye-rolling moments, as well as some cringe-worthy moments when it came to the various romances.

177LibraryCin
Jun 18, 12:05am Top

12x12 Animals, RandomCAT

A Dog's Purpose / W. Bruce Cameron
5 stars

This tells the story of a dog that lives multiple lives. (S)He remembers his/her previous lives and builds on them. His first life is quite short, but his next life is as the best friend to a boy. After that, he becomes a search and rescue dog… then circles back around as a friend to an older man.

I loved this! This is told from the dog’s point of view and it really feels like the dog is telling the story. The author seemed to get things so right. This dog had a few bad things happen to him, so the reader gets a glimpse into some of the bad things that can happen, but mostly this dog leads good lives. I had to laugh a bit at his thoughts about various pet cats! It was a quick read, and I think any animal lover would enjoy this!

178DeltaQueen50
Jun 18, 1:20pm Top

>177 LibraryCin: I just read A Dog's Purpose as well and I also loved it, even though it did bring me to tears a few times. The author obviously knows dogs and did a good job of breathing life into his four legged characters.

179LibraryCin
Jun 18, 9:04pm Top

>178 DeltaQueen50: Oh, yes, I cried, too! I specifically chose a weekend to read it at home instead of reading it on public transit to/from work during the week! LOL!

180DeltaQueen50
Jun 19, 2:07pm Top

>179 LibraryCin: Good plan!

181LibraryCin
Jun 20, 10:51pm Top

12x12 Animals, Reading Through Time

The Sixth Extinction / Elizabeth Kolbert
4 stars

There have been five major extinctions. We may be headed (primarily due to humans) toward a 6th. This book is a mix of archaeology, paleontology, geology, anthropology, zoology, biology, history… The author looks at some species that have already gone extinct and others that appear to be heading that way. The book is filled with mastodons and mammoths, dinosaurs, rhinos, bats, neanderthals and humans (though we’re the only ones in this scenario that are expanding!).

I quite liked this, but I have to admit (and maybe it’s – at least in part – due to listening to it rather than reading it), I’m afraid I won’t remember most of it before too long. The information was not really surprising to me, but I did find it very interesting while I listened, even if I’m not sure how much I will remember.

182LibraryCin
Jun 24, 12:33am Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Listopia, Passport Challenge

Cleopatra: A Life / Stacy Schiff
3 stars

Cleopatra ruled Egypt as queen for 22 years within the 50 years before the common era (BCE). She was a strong and smart woman.

Women were pretty much equal in this time and place – at least in Egypt, though not necessarily in Rome or elsewhere at the time. Unfortunately, though, there is not a lot of contemporary/primary source material on Cleopatra. Also unfortunately for me, I do prefer reading about historical women, not men. This book (by necessity, I think) told mostly of the men who ruled at the time of Cleopatra (Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Octavius…) and for purposes of trying to recreate her life, it feels like she’s an afterthought in the book, always where she is and what she’s doing in relation to these ruling men. Because of that, I tended to lose some interest in the book. It’s too bad, because I really don’t know much about her. I know a bit more now, and I’m still rating it “ok”, but I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more about her.

183LibraryCin
Jun 28, 12:43am Top

12x12 Oh Canada, Trim the TBR, PBT, PBT Decathlon

The Firebird / Susanna Kearsley
3.75 stars

Nicola is able to “see” things when she touches them. When her work takes her to Russia to buy some art, she has a second mission in mind. A woman had recently come in wanting to sell a piece of art that she insisted came through her family’s generations, originally gifted from Peter the Great’s wife, Catherine. But there is no proof. Nicola is hoping to find some proof while she’s in St. Petersburg, along with her friend, Rob, who has the same “gift” of sight, but is better at it than Nicola is.

I preferred the modern day storyline to the historical one in this one. I’ve been to St. Petersburg and loved “visiting” some of the places again: Church of the Saviour on the Spilt Blood and, in particular, the Hermitage… but also, one of a chain of restaurants our tour group visited, Stolle, was mentioned in the book: “a small chain with several locations strung all through the city, and served what one might call traditional Russian ‘fast food’: homemade pie.” Yum! Good memories!

Anyway, I was surprised to find that many of the historical characters in this one were real – thanks to an author’s note at the end, which I always like to see in my historical fiction! In fact, it was quite a detailed note. I guess this is the second book in a “series” (loosely-based, I think), where one of the (historical) characters in the first book reappears in this one (I haven’t read that one). I recognized one of the contemporary characters from another book by this author that I’ve read, though, so that’s always fun.

184LibraryCin
Jun 28, 1:02am Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG

Ghosts / Raina Telgemeier
4 stars

Cat’s little sister, Maya, has cystic fibrosis, so in order to help her health, they are all moving from southern to northern California, to a town beside the ocean with more cloud, rain, and fog. Not only that, but when they arrive, Maya is excited, and Cat nervous, to learn that the town they’ve moved to is known for the ghosts. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Nov. 1, is very big in this town.

I enjoyed this. The girls are learning more about their Mexican heritage, and I found it really interesting to also learn about Dia de los Muertos. I also learned a little bit about cystic fibrosis. This is a YA graphic novel and I loved the illustrations; they are fairly simple, bright, and effective. For the Dia de los Muertos celebration, I thought the illustrations showed the joy and fun of the night.

185LibraryCin
Jun 28, 1:22am Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, ScaredyKIT, MysteryCAT

The Black Dahlia / James Ellroy
2.5 stars

“The Black Dahlia” was the name given to a murder (true crime) that happened in LA in 1947. Elizabeth Short had been tortured and was found naked, cut in half. It was never solved. This is a fictionalized account, focusing on a detective who worked the case.

It took a long time for the story to really get going, I thought. I really wasn’t interested in the detective’s personal life – at all. Once Elizabeth’s body was found, it got more interesting, but even still, only to a point. I listened to the audio, so it may have had some effect on my rating, but I’m not sure it would have brought it up all that much if I’d read it, either. I have to admit, the narrator did accents very well.

186LibraryCin
Edited: Jul 5, 3:14pm Top

12x12 Overflow

The Storyteller / Jodi Picoult
4 stars

Sage is a baker and a loner. When she goes to a grief couselling session, she becomes friends with Josef, a ninety-something year old man. It’s not long before Josef confides in Sage that he was a Nazi. He would like Sage to forgive him (after finding out she’s Jewish), then “help him die”.

This was very good. It alternated viewpoints between not only Sage and Josef, but also Sage’s grandmother, who had been in a concentration camp, and Leo, a detective who hunts down war criminals. Should I admit that I didn’t like some of what Sage was doing to Josef, who now trusted her with a pretty big secret? Surprisingly, I figured out the twist about half-way through.

187LibraryCin
Jul 5, 3:30pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, MysteryCAT, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR

Sleep With the Lights On / Maggie Shayne
4 stars

Rachel has been blind since she was a teenager, and now she’s receiving a cornea transplant that finally “takes”. She has no idea what she’s in for. She received the corneas of a serial killer and is now having terrifying visions. And the killing continues…

I really liked this one. It kept me wanting to read. I did guess at the mystery very shortly before it was revealed, but I still really enjoyed the story to get there. Apparently, it is a series, and I do plan to continue.

188LibraryCin
Jul 5, 3:50pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, Passport Challenge, PBT

Pills and Starships / Lydia Millet
3.5 stars

Nat and Sam are siblings and their parents have paid for a contract to take their own lives. The Coporations have packages one can choose and, although there are different settings to choose from, there is a set plan for that last week of their lives. The family is heading to Hawaii. As the week goes on, more “pharms” are given to all of them to make things easier on everyone. It’s sometime in the future, and Nat and Sam’s parents are in their 80s and 90s (it’s not uncommon for humans to live longer and longer now) and can remember when life was as we know it now: before things had to change as most species went extinct and nonrenewable resources are no longer available for human use/consumption.

I quite liked this. It’s a fast YA read, and seemingly/possibly not that far off once we run out of oil and such. It is told in diary form from Nat’s point of view. She writes as if she is writing to “you”, the reader, as a space person of some sort, which I thought was a bit odd. The “you” part didn’t bother me, but I’m not sure where exactly space fit in. Overall, I thought it was good.

189LibraryCin
Jul 7, 2:04am Top

12x12 Series, AlphaKIT, PBT, Trim the TBR

Crossed / Ally Condie
3 stars

It’s been so long since I read the first book in the trilogy, I can only assume this is picking up where book 1 left off. I hope I’m not giving away any spoilers for book 1 by simply saying that Ky and Cassia have been separated and they are searching for each other.

I really hate when a series (especially one that continues right where the last one left off) doesn’t give some kind of recap of the previous book. I was pretty lost for a good portion of it, but it did pick up for me about half way through. Even though I still didn’t understand how the characters got to where they are now, at least I could just concentrate on what was happening “now”, in this part of the story. This was told in alternating viewpoints between Ky and Cassia. I liked a couple of the new characters, particularly Eli and Hunter. I will read the last book in the trilogy, if nothing else but for closure of the series. I’m rating this one “ok”, only because it was better in the second half.

190rabbitprincess
Jul 7, 8:49am Top

>189 LibraryCin: That is annoying when there isn't some sort of recap. Hope the third book is more self-sufficient (if that makes sense).

191LibraryCin
Jul 7, 3:06pm Top

>190 rabbitprincess: It does make sense and I hope so, too! I suppose it would help if I didn't go years in between reading them, but I know me. That could happen again!

192LibraryCin
Jul 10, 12:11am Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, PBT Decathlon, ScaredyKIT

Wool / Hugh Howey
3.5 stars

I think it’s hard to give a summary for this one without giving too much away. It starts with Holston, whose wife, 3 years ago, was sent for a “cleaning”. Basically, she was suited up, and sent outside where she was meant to clean the cameras, and she never returns. It seems that anyone breaking the law is sent for a cleaning. There’s much more beyond this, but that’s where I don’t want to start giving things away.

It was good. There was a lot of tech stuff (mostly mechanical) that I wasn’t as interested in. But, it was definitely interesting and it picked up for me a little ways in, with the focus more on Juliette (except the mechanical stuff!). For some reason, I thought this was YA, but it’s not. I think I will continue the series (I read the Omnibus, which collected the 5 short stories, but there are apparently two more books beyond this one).

193mathgirl40
Jul 10, 9:38pm Top

>192 LibraryCin: I liked both Wool and its sequel Shift. I haven't read the third book yet, but my understanding is that it brings the various storylines together, so I'm looking forward to that.

194LibraryCin
Jul 11, 12:28am Top

>193 mathgirl40: Oh, that sounds good! It could be a while before I get to "Shift". I tend to go long periods of time between books in a series!

195LibraryCin
Jul 11, 1:27am Top

12x12 Off the Shelf, ColourCAT, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR

Milkrun / Sarah Mlynowski
4 stars

When Jackie’s boyfriend leaves for Thailand (after she has packed up in order to follow him to Boston!) to “find himself”, then she hears from him that he’s found a new girlfriend, Jackie is devastated and doesn’t quite know what to do. With one of the very few girlfriends she has (she only has two, and one is in New York), she decides to get all dolled up and go out and find someone new.

This was fun! I wasn’t crazy about Jackie, herself, but parts of the story were quite amusing and I laughed out loud! Her job was entertaining (she’s a copy editor for a romance publisher). I don’t read a lot of chick lit, but I quite enjoy it when I do. This was a quick read and I do like this author. I really liked the ending.

196LibraryCin
Jul 11, 11:59pm Top

12x12 Overflow, Reading Through Time

Daughters of the Sea: Hannah / Kathryn Lasky
4 stars

It’s 1899. Hannah is an orphan and, at 15 years old, can no longer be supported by the orphanage. When she is sent inland (from Boston), she has an odd skin reaction and soon after ends up back in Boston where the sea air seems better for her. She finds a job as a scullery maid, and meets a painter who seems to be able to sense something about her…

I really liked this. It’s YA, so very quick to read. The author has some beautiful descriptions. Quickly glancing at other reviews, some people didn’t like the focus on a servant’s life, but I really like historical fiction and found it very interesting!

197LibraryCin
Jul 13, 3:06pm Top

12x12 Audio, MysteryCAT, AlphaKIT

White Nights / Ann Cleeves
2.25 stars

A stranger has wandered into an art opening on the Shetland Islands, and makes a scene. He is later found dead – it is initially deemed a suicide, but on closer inspection, it appears to be a murder.

So, the premise sounds really good. I was hopeful. But, I was also listening to the audio, and it just couldn’t hold my interest. I did follow enough at the start to get my little summary (and it’s why the extra .25 stars), but it really went downhill after that, and I could rarely focus on what was going on. It makes me not want to continue the series, but I feel like I should try the 3rd one, just not on audio, and decide from there. I don’t remember the first book blowing me away, either, though I did rate it as “good”.

198LibraryCin
Jul 19, 11:53pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, AlphaKIT

Killer Instinct / S.E. Green
4 stars

Lane is a teenager and has urges to hurt, or possibly even kill, people. She is fascinated by serial killers and begins to satisfy her urges by becoming a vigilante and hurting those people who seem to get away with a crime. In the meantime, she is contacted by a real-life serial killer, but why is the killer contacting her?

I thought this was really good. I was pulled in right away and found it fascinating (and a bit terrifying!) to be in Lane’s head! Being a YA book, it is a fast read. I listened to the audio and was kept interested. Lane did have a bit of a “softer” (somewhat) side to her when it came to her family and to animals, which I found kind of interesting, as well.

199LibraryCin
Jul 20, 2:38am Top

12x12 Series

The Fiery Cross / Diana Gabaldon
3.25 stars

*****Possible SPOILERS for earlier book(s) in the series*****
Roger and Brianna are getting married, as are Jocasta (Jamie’s aunt) and her beau. Stephen Bonnett (who raped Brianna) may or may not be dead, and Brianna’s son, Jemmy, may or may not be Roger’s.
*****END SPOILERS*****
Plus lots more to cover over 1000 pages…

These books are so long. I read one/year, during my holidays from work. I don’t know whether or not it’s worth continuing. This one (as the others might, but it’s been a while) felt like a series of vignettes… in order to fill over 1300 pages, so in some ways, kind of like short stories with the same characters. Some of those vignettes I found interesting; others, I didn’t. It’s not a fast paced book (or series), but there were open-ended threads left at the end of the book. The length of these books makes me not want to continue, but I’m still interested, so I don’t know. I will certainly continue watching the tv show.

200LibraryCin
Jul 22, 3:00pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf

The Paris Seamstress / Natasha Lester
4 stars

In the early 1940s, Estella, in her early 20s, is sent away by her mother to the United States when the Germans are coming close to Paris. Estella takes with her the knowledge of Paris fashion, how to design, and how to sew. In 2015, Estella is in her late 90s and lives in New York City. Her son has recently died, and she has a very close relationship with her granddaughter, Fabienne. Fabienne hasn’t heard her family’s story. In fact, much of Estelle’s own family history was a surprise to her when she arrived in New York in the 40s.

I really liked this. I got caught up in it early on, and I was kept wanting to read to find out. I don’t feel like there were many twists, but I thought the secrets were unraveled very nicely. One thing that did come as a surprise to me was in the author’s note about what events were historically true.

201dudes22
Jul 23, 5:51am Top

>200 LibraryCin: - That's quite a tease at the end of your review. I like books of this sort ( two periods of time) and will be taking a BB and adding this to my wishlist.

202LibraryCin
Edited: Jul 23, 2:01pm Top

>201 dudes22: I hope you enjoy! It was an ARC for me from NetGalley. Looks like it will be published in September, BUT it also looks like it has already been published in Australia, so you may or may not be able to get your hands on it for a bit (I can't recall where you live without heading over to your profile - if you even mention it there!). :-)

ETA: OK, you're in the States. I saw one edition with a publication date of Sept. 18 and another with an October publication date, though an Australian publisher (she is an Australian author) has already published it as of March.

203dudes22
Jul 24, 4:21pm Top

Thanks for the info. I wasn't necessarily looking to get it right away. I'll probably wait till the library gets it anyway.

204LibraryCin
Jul 24, 5:19pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, Trim the TBR, RandomCAT

Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled -- and More Miserable Than Ever Before / Jean M. Twenge
4 stars

What the author, a professor of psychology, calls “Generation Me” has also been referred to as “Millennials” and “Generation Y” – people born primarily in the 1980s and 1990s. She compares studies of three generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X and “GenMe”, with the focus on GenMe, and brings those statistics to this book. The statistics speak to averages and she also offers anecdotes that illustrate those averages she’s found in the statistics.

GenMe-ers have always been told they are special, to pursue their dreams and that they can be anything they want to be. But, the reality is that it’s now harder for that to realistically happen. So, people of this generation are disappointed, sometimes to the point of anxiety and/or depression when they do not actually realize those dreams. Additional chapters in the book also look at sex, equality, and work.

This was originally published in 2006, but I read the “Revised and Updated” edition, published in 2014, so there was more up to date info. I found this very interesting. It is a lot of stats, but I thought the author made it very readable. I think it might be even more interesting to parents, teachers, etc, as she also offers advice at the end of the book.

205LibraryCin
Jul 26, 1:13am Top

12x12 Travel, Reading Through Time, AlphaKIT

The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica / Laurie Gwen Shapiro
3.75 stars

Billy Gawronski’s parents immigrated from Poland to New York. He grew up wanting to be a sailor, and at 17, though his Dad wanted him to take over his successful interior design business, Billy stowed away on a ship belonging to his hero, Richard Byrd. Byrd had planned to be the first to fly over the Atlantic, but Lindberg just barely beat him to it. Instead, Byrd decided to head to Antarctica by ship, then to be the first to fly to the South Pole. Billy wanted to be part of it all.

This was good. It followed Billy (and Byrd), not just to Antarctica and back (and that is the bulk of the book), but I liked that it continued when they returned. They returned in 1930, just after the collapse of the stock market and the economy was bad, so it was not easy for any of the returning crew (though hailed as heroes) to find work at that time.

206LibraryCin
Jul 26, 1:23am Top

12x12 Off the Shelf

Born Scared / Kevin Brooks
3.5 stars

13-year old Elliot has been afraid of everything since he was born. About the only things he’s not afraid of is his room, and three people: his mother, his aunt, and his doctor. This is a severe, debilitating phobia of everything. He needs pills just to make the phobias less severe (though they are still there).

One Christmas Eve day, just before the stores will be closed for a couple of days, there is an error with Elliot’s prescription. Elliot’s mom must leave him at home by himself to go pick up the correct prescription, but things go terribly wrong, and Elliot must find a way to get that prescription before it runs out…

This was good. It is YA, so the chapters are short and overall, it’s very fast to read. I thought the author has some really good descriptions of Elliot’s fears. I was waffling between 3.5 stars (good) and 4 stars (really good), but went to the 3.5 when it ended without wrapping up quite as much as I would have liked to have wrapped up. Also, there was a lot of coincidence in things happening as they did at the same time as Elliot was trying to get his prescription. Still a good read, overall, though.

207LibraryCin
Jul 27, 3:46pm Top

12x12 Audio

Conclave / Robert Harris
3.5 stars

This is a fictional account of a conclave, when Catholic cardinals from around the world are called to Rome when a pope dies. They must now elect a new pope. To do so, anyone can be voted for, but there needs to be a 2/3 majority. They just keep voting until that happens. If it takes longer, they take breaks in order to pray on it.

This story is told from the point of view of the “Dean”, Lomeli, who is basically in charge of making sure protocol is followed properly. In addition to prayer, there is a lot more going on behind the scenes, including politics and scandal.

This was much more interesting to me than I expected it to be (I am not Catholic, nor even religious). Because I listened to the audio, it did take a bit at the start to get “into” it, but once it got going, it was pretty good. There is quite the twist at the end!

208LibraryCin
Jul 28, 5:25pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR

Belle Epoque / Elizabeth Ross
4 stars

When Maude leaves her home in the countryside of France, she heads to Paris. The only work she is able to find is to work as a “repoussoir”, or as a sort of “foil” to a pretty girl. That is, Maude is the ugly or plain girl who is hired to accompany a debutante to one or more events in order to make the debutante look better by comparison. Maude is hired by the Isabelle’s mother, but Isabelle doesn’t know that that’s why Maude is there. They become friends and Maude wants to help Isabelle in the things she wants, but she is forced to help Isabelle’s mother encourage Isabelle to marry, as that is her job.

I really liked this. I was wondering if it was based on a real agency that hired out girls for this purpose, so I was looking forward to the author’s note at the end (it was based on a fictional agency in a short story). It was also set during the time the Eiffel Tower was being built, which is interesting. The book has some strong girl characters.

209christina_reads
Jul 30, 9:46am Top

>208 LibraryCin: That premise sounds fascinating!

210LibraryCin
Edited: Jul 30, 3:05pm Top

>209 christina_reads: I hope you like it if you decide to give it a try!

ETA: I should add (as I didn't mention it in the review) that it is a YA book, if that makes a difference for someone wanting to give it a try. Also, though, because it's YA, it's fairly quick to read.

211LibraryCin
Jul 30, 10:24pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT, Trim the TBR

Blood & Beauty / Sarah Dunant
2.5 stars

This book follows a fictional account of the Borgias. Rodrigo became pope in the late 1400s. He had four(?) children, including Cesare and Lucrezia. History has not looked upon them kindly. Rodrigo had a number of mistresses. Cesare, though becoming a cardinal (for a while) also slept around. There were rumors of incest among them, and murders happened. This book opens when the conclave is happening just as Rodrigo will be voted in as the new pope and Lucrezia is 13 years old and soon to be married.

How was this even acceptable for a pope!? How did he get voted in? (Hmmm, missed in in my reading of the book, but the summary tells me he bought his way to the papacy.) And for a cardinal (Cesare)? All the sleeping around. Even if there wasn’t any incest going on, Rodrigo’s children made it obvious he wasn’t celibate. Was this not a requirement of priests and higher ups in the Catholic Church at the time!? Anyway, I just didn’t find most of the book very interesting. I found the parts that focused on Lucrezia the most interesting and paid most attention to that, otherwise I was often skimming.

212LibraryCin
Aug 5, 1:40am Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Listopia, PBT, Reading Through Time

In the Garden of Beasts / Erik Larson
3.5 stars

This book follows the American Dodd family in Berlin in the 1930s, with the focus being 1933 and 1934. William Dodd, a history professor, was the US ambassador to Germany at the time, and his entire family, including his adult children in their 20s, moved to Berlin at this time, so they all experienced life in the German city during the rise of Hitler. The book primarily follows William and his 20-something year old (very promiscuous) daughter, Martha.

The setting is certainly an interesting time and place, but I didn’t like it as much as the other books I’ve read by Larson. I found the descriptions of what was going on in Germany interesting, but there was a lot of politics that I didn’t find as engaging. Overall, though, I still thought the book was good, just not as good as his others, at least for me.

213LibraryCin
Aug 5, 4:39pm Top

12x12 Animals, RandomCAT, Trim the TBR

Following Atticus / Tom Ryan
3.5 stars

The White Mountains in New Hampshire have 48 peaks over 4,000 feet. The author, Tom Ryan decided to raise money for cancer by hiking these peaks in the winter with his little miniature schnauzer, Atticus. This is their story.

I listened to the audio (read by the author). He does have an accent, which took my mind off what I was listening to occasionally to spell the word in my head (i.e. park = pawk), though mostly it wasn’t a big deal. (Oh, but for the life of me, I could not figure out the town he lived in (though that wasn’t the accent)! All I could hear was “Newb Report”; I looked it up and it was Newburyport. Say that fast (or even a normal speed!) and it sounds like Newb Report, which sounded like a very odd name for a town!) Anyway, I liked Atticus and they sure had a wonderful connection. The story just didn’t “wow” me, but it was enjoyable.

214LibraryCin
Aug 6, 1:58am Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, Trim the TBR, Passport Challenge

Sacrifice / S.J. Bolton
4 stars

Tora has recently moved to the Shetland Islands, a ways off the coast of Scotland, with her husband, Duncan. When one of her horses dies and she digs a hole to bury him, she discovers a very well preserved body of a woman. Tora works at the local hospital with pregnant women and can tell that this woman gave birth not long before she died. Also, her heart was taken. Tora can’t stop herself from trying to figure out what happened, even as the police as also trying to do their jobs.

I really liked this. I was pulled in early and wanted to keep reading, to know what was happening. There are a few twists along the way and page-turning moments. Also, there is some local mythology that makes up a good portion of what’s going on, which is interesting.

215LibraryCin
Aug 8, 10:08pm Top

12x12 Travel, AlphaKIT, MysteryCAT

The Poisoned Pilgrim / Oliver Potzsch
3.5 stars

This is book 4 of the series. Jakob is the hangman in a small town in Bavaria; Magdalena is his adult daughter. She married “above her station” to the local doctor, Simon, and they have two young sons. Magdalena and Simon have gone to the next town over on a pilgrimage. They are at a monastery when two murdered monks are discovered and a third has disappeared along with an automaton one of the monks had been working on. Jakob comes to help find out what’s going on.

I quite enjoyed this installment of the series. I hate when I’m not sure how to rate something, though. 3.5 is good, and that’s how I felt through most of the book. I never lost interest in the almost 500-page book, but at the same time, it wasn’t really a “page-turner”, either. Boy, the number of times everyone seemed to insult others, though! I still enjoyed it enough, though, to continue with the series.

216LibraryCin
Aug 12, 5:44pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, PBT Decathlon, ColourCAT, MysteryCAT

The Alice Network / Kate Quinn
4.5 stars

It’s 1947. Charlie is pregnant and her mother is taking her to Europe to take care of it. While there, unbeknownst to her mother, Charlie wants to try to find her cousin, Rose, who disappeared late in the war. Charlie has a couple of names and an address to help start her off. So, she pays Eve a visit. Charlie doesn’t yet know this (she knows nothing about Eve), but Eve was a spy in WWI. Now, Eve is a bitter woman, but she, her driver, Finn, and Charlie head to France to see what they can find out about Rose. It was the other name Charlie showed up with, Rene, that convinced Eve to help. On their journey, both Finn and Charlie find out more about Eve’s life as a spy as they also try to find what happened to Rose.

The book flipped back and forth between Charlie’s viewpoint in 1947 and Eve’s during WWI, but the start of the chapter tells us who we are following and when, so it’s pretty easy to follow. I liked both storylines equally. Everyone had flaws, but I liked all the main characters, even the cantankerous Eve! “The Alice Network” really was a network of women spies during WWI, which I hadn’t heard of. It was really interesting to read about. Despite the length, I found it quick to read. I really, really liked this and I’m sure it will make my top 10 of the year.

217LibraryCin
Aug 13, 10:39pm Top

12x12 Series, ScaredyKIT

Locke & Key. Vol. 5: Clockworks / Joe Hill
4 stars

In this volume of the Locke & Key series, the kids find a key for a clock that can take them back in time. We find out some history of how and why the house ended up as it is, and also, the kids go back to 1988 when their dad was a teenager. He and his friends knew all about the keys and had some trouble as they were playing around a bit before they knew they would soon start to forget about the keys, as they finished high school and moved away.

I think this might be among my favourite volumes in the series. I particularly enjoyed the parts with the kids’ father and his friends. Apparently, there is only one more volume left.

218LibraryCin
Aug 13, 10:59pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, MysteryCAT

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd / Alan Bradley
3.5 stars

Flavia has come home from her stint at boarding school in Canada to find that her father is ill and in the hospital. Before she gets a chance to go visit, she – once again – stumbles across a dead body and must (in her opinion) set out to figure out what happened.

I still think the character of Flavia is a lot of fun, and I love Jayne Entwhistle doing her voice for the audio books. To be honest, I’ve never thought much of the mysteries themselves. I keep going for Jayne’s version of Flavia. Here’s the thing I’ve never mentioned, though. With most audio books, if my mind wanders too much, I rate it lower – usually a 3 or less. With this series, Jayne/Flavia have been propping it up for me. I think this one actually kept my attention a bit more, but not much more. Surprising to me, I’m actually debating whether or not I should try the next one NOT in audio format – just to see if I might enjoy the mystery/plot a bit more without a wandering mind.

219LibraryCin
Aug 15, 10:48pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Trim the TBR

3,096 Days / Natascha Kampusch
4 stars

Natascha Kampusch was 10 years old in 1998 when, walking to school alone for the first time, she was grabbed and thrown into a white delivery van. She was kept prisoner, mostly in a “dungeon” underground in her kidnapper’s house for 8 years before she escaped.

This is the first kidnapping story that I remember being so blown up in the media. (Sadly, there have been a number of them since). For those who are squeamish about sex/rape, she leaves this out; it doesn’t actually sound like there was a lot of that, anyway. There is plenty of physical abuse, though.

It is a translation, so there is the occasional awkward phrase or sentence, but I was certainly interested in her story. I think it gave a really good insight into how dependent she was on her kidnapper, especially since she was with him during those formative years between the ages of 10 and 18, and why she might have mixed feelings towards him. I feel so badly that she was not always treated well after she escaped due to those mixed feelings towards her former captor.

Something interesting about this book that I’ve not seen before (though I don’t have a Smartphone, so couldn’t take advantage of them) were the QR codes for more information at the end of each chapter. The book was published in 2010, so it’s possible the codes may not work anymore. However, as with many true crime stories I read, I had to look up more information online to find out how she’s been doing since the book was published.

220LibraryCin
Aug 17, 9:59pm Top

12x12 Animals, ScaredyKIT

Chase / Linwood Barclay
4 stars

Chipper is a dog, but he’s much smarter than the average dog (to say the least!). As the book opens, he is in a cage and the “White Coats” are coming for him. He manages to outsmart the humans and get away: far away, where he is looking for Jeff. Jeff is 12-years old. His parents both recently died and he is living with his aunt, who is making him work hard at her business. But, the White Coats, who are coming after Chipper, won’t stop…

I really enjoyed this. It’s YA, so not nearly as complex as Barclay’s other novels, but I thought it was still a good thriller. As YA, it’s a quick read. The point of view alternated, mostly between Chipper and Jeff, but I think there was an occasional other POV thrown in every so often. Unfortunately, there wasn’t really an end to the book, as it left off on a cliffhanger. I will, of course, pick up the sequel.

221VivienneR
Aug 22, 9:33pm Top

>220 LibraryCin: That's one for the wishlist, I love Linwood Barclay.

222LibraryCin
Aug 24, 8:06pm Top

>221 VivienneR: so do i! i hope you enjoy it!

223LibraryCin
Aug 26, 5:59pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, ColourCAT, BingoDOG, PBT, MysteryCAT

The Woman in White / Wilkie Collins
3 stars

When Walter comes across a mysterious “woman in white”, he must find out who she is. In the meantime, he has fallen in love with Laura, who will be married to Sir Percival, though she is in love with Walter.

The book is told from many different points of view – technically, all “secondary” characters to the story. I actually thought this was kind of a cool way to tell the story, it’s just that I didn’t enjoy all the perspectives – many of them bored me.

I was bored by the beginning and the end. It did pick up for me about ¼ of the way through (in my edition, that took about 125 pages), but then it slowed down again for the last 175 pages. It was the middle section, as told by the sister, Marian, that I really liked. This was when Laura/Lady Glyde was married. I’m not sure if it was just that part of the plot that kept my attention the best, or if I preferred the narrative as told by a woman? I quite liked Marian’s character, but thought Laura was pretty much a non-entity – she had no personality… despite being so much part of the plot, she seemed to mostly be in the background. I suppose that could be due to the fact that it was told by everyone else’s perspectives?

Averaging out that I wasn’t crazy about the beginning and end, but that I really did enjoy the middle part, I’m giving it 3 stars, “ok”.

224LibraryCin
Aug 29, 10:21pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT

Doomsday Book / Connie Willis
4.5 stars

Kivrin has decided she wants to travel back to 1320, as she’s always been fascinated with the Middle Ages. She is prepared, but when the day comes, she is sent back in time, but things go wrong! When she arrives, she is sick. Not only that, one of the techs who sent her back is also ill (still in the 20th century). Kivrin is coping with being in the 14th century while ill, while Bahdri, the tech, can’t make himself understood to someone who could help Kivrin as to what exactly went wrong with “the drop”. Meanwhile, the illness (in the 20th century) is spreading like wildfire.

A little bit of time travel, a little bit of suspense, a lot of historical fiction. All things I like. The last one-quarter to one-third of the book had me on the edge of my seat and I just wanted to keep reading. At the same time, as the book continued on, it was heartbreaking. A roller coaster of emotions for this one.

225christina_reads
Aug 30, 1:41pm Top

>224 LibraryCin: I'm glad you enjoyed Doomsday Book! Have you read any others by Connie Willis? Her To Say Nothing of the Dog has all the time travel and historical fiction goodness, but it's much lighter in tone!

226LibraryCin
Aug 30, 10:38pm Top

>225 christina_reads: I did read To Say Nothing of the Dog a year or two ago (can't recall why I read it first - must not have realized it was the second in a series when I picked it up!). I have added Blackout to my tbr, now. I liked TSNotD, but not nearly as much as Doomsday Book.

227LibraryCin
Aug 31, 12:01am Top

12x12 Audio, AlphaKIT

From the Corner of his Eye / Dean Koontz
2.5 stars

Junior is a rapist and murderer, including pushing his wife off a cliff. Anges goes into labour and has her baby, Bartholomew, shortly after she and her husband are in a car crash and her husband dies. Bartholomew is a prodigy and loses his eyes to cancer when he is only 3 years old. Fimmy (sp? aka Seraphim) has a baby after being raped by Junior; her sister Celestine brings up baby Angel. How are they all connected?

Not a very good summary, I know. I listened to the audio, and it just didn’t hold my attention much, so I missed a lot. I was tempted to rate it ok (3 stars), but I don’t know. Although I’m a tough rater and don’t give out 5 stars often, on the other side, I feel like I’m often not harsh enough on some books. This is definitely not your usual Dean Koontz.

228christina_reads
Edited: Aug 31, 10:45am Top

>226 LibraryCin: I liked Blackout as well! Be advised, it's not really a standalone novel and should definitely be read with its sequel, All Clear.

229LibraryCin
Aug 31, 9:01pm Top

>228 christina_reads: Good to know! Thank you!

230LibraryCin
Sep 2, 1:38am Top

12x12 Travel, ColourCAT, AlphaKIT

The Door / Magda Szabo
3 stars

The narrator (I don’t think we ever learn her name in the book, though the blurb on the back calls her Magda) is a writer who hires an older woman, Emerence, to do her housekeeping. Emerence does lots of cleaning jobs and shows up when she feels like it. The two women form a friendship, despise Emerence’s “quirks”, including where she doesn’t ever let anyone, anyone at all, see inside her home.

I hated Emerence and didn’t see how there was any kind of friendship on either side. I would, in fact, call Emerence a crazy old b**** - seriously crazy. She had temper tantrums that she took out on everyone around her, including the narrator’s dog, Viola. Not sure why Viola liked Emerence so much, when Emerence periodically beat Viola for no reason to do with the dog. Emerence also had cats and I worried for their safety, in addition to Viola’s. Though the book was pretty slow-moving, it did pick up a bit toward the end. But, I still hated Emerence and didn’t “get” the friendship, at all.

231LibraryCin
Sep 2, 2:02am Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, AlphaKIT

Dawn / Elie Wiesel
2 stars

Set after WWII, Elisha had been in a concentration camp, but when he got out, he wasn’t sure what to do with himself. He was then recruited into a terrorist group in Israel. At 18 years old, Elisha is told he is to murder a kidnapped English soldier. The (very short) book (in the intro, Wiesel calls it a novel, but it’s under 100 pages) is the day or two leading up to the murder, as Elisha is coming to terms with what he has been tasked to do.

Boring. The premise doesn’t sound too bad, but ultimately, it was mostly Elisha discussing philosophy with his fellow terrorists. It is billed as book 2 after “Night”, but it was fiction whereas Night was a memoir. I won’t be reading the 3rd book.

232LibraryCin
Sep 4, 9:58pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, PBT, PBT Decathlon, AlphaKIT, BingoDOG

The Heart's Invisible Furies / John Boyne
4.5 stars

When Cyril’s teenage mother gets pregnant in 1945 rural Ireland, she is publicly humiliated by her priest and kicked out of town. She heads to Dublin, not sure what she will do next. While there, she finds a job and decides to give up her baby for adoption. Cyril is raised by Maude and Charles Avery, who don’t really seem all that interested in Cyril, though he is not treated badly. He is, however, always reminded that he is their “adopted son”, and not a real Avery. When Cyril is 7, he meets Julian, whom he is fascinated by. They don’t see each other again until they are 14 and at school together, when they become best friends.

I won’t go into more, but the book jumps forward every 7 years and goes over something substantial that happens in Cyril’s life at those times. The book follows Cyril through his entire life. The book touches on many different issues as time goes on, particularly in very Catholic Ireland, but even beyond. To be honest, it’s slow paced, but I was interested and wanted to know what would happen. At almost 600 pages, I managed to finish it over 2 days in a long weekend. I can’t say I liked Cyril all the time, and I certainly didn’t like Julian all that much, but since it followed Cyril (and some of the people he interacted with) through his entire life, people grow and change. There were a lot of coincidences in the book. I suppose the world Cyril was a part of is smaller (probably especially at the time), but I think still some big coincidences.

233LibraryCin
Sep 4, 10:24pm Top

12x12 Animals, AlphaKIT, RandomCAT, Trim the TBR

The Mitten / Jan Brett
3.5 stars

This is a Ukrainian folk tale turned into a picture book. A boy asks his grandmother to knit white mittens for him and he promptly loses one of the mittens. In the time it takes him to find it again, various wildlife find their way into the mitten to get warm and cozy.

I’d rate the story 3 stars (ok), but the illustrations (as usual in her books) are gorgeous. There is a main picture on each page, with beautiful borders on either side. She does a very nice job of making it look Ukrainian (the first page describes some of the research she did for the book), and the borders add a bit of a preview as to what might be coming on the next page. So, 3 stars for the story and 4 stars for the illustrations gives it 3.5 stars from me, overall.

234LibraryCin
Sep 5, 10:08pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT, Reading Through Time

The Great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald
2.5 stars

Nick is renting a place on Long Island near some very rich people; his immediate neighbour is Jay Gatsby. They finally meet at one of Gatsby’s parties and Gatsby asks Nick to help set up a meeting with Nick’s friend (or cousin?) Daisy, who is married to Tom. Amidst adultery, drinking, partying, and driving (in the 1920s, when not everyone did drive), things go horribly wrong.

I thought about rating it 3 stars, ok, but decided to go with the lower rating when I read a wikipedia summary, knowing I’d missed what happened at one point (even after reading it a couple of times, I still couldn’t quite figure out exactly what had happened) and wanting to find out what it was I’d missed, only to realize I’d missed way more than I thought throughout the book!

I thought I was mostly following, but somehow, in Fitzgerald’s vagueness (or was it just not keeping my attention? Since I tried reading that one part twice and it still didn’t make sense, I’m saying vagueness – at least mostly), some things just went right over my head. It would be nice to not have to reread sections to figure out what he was trying to say, especially when I still couldn’t figure it out on the reread! I saw the diCaprio movie when it came out, and I thought it was good, but it was long enough ago, that I didn’t recall most of it to help me with the book. But hey – at least it wasn’t a long book.

235christina_reads
Sep 6, 9:31am Top

>234 LibraryCin: This is only tangentially related, but I had to share these Gatsby comics!

236LibraryCin
Sep 6, 10:44pm Top

>235 christina_reads: LOL! Oh, that's cute!

237LibraryCin
Sep 7, 10:46pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, MysteryCAT, Trim the TBR

Little Girl Lost / Richard Aleas
4 stars

John Blake is in his late 20s and is a private investigator. When he sees in the news that his high school girlfriend, now a stripper, has been murdered, he takes it upon himself to find out what happened. Not just the murder, but how did the girl he once knew, who left to go to school to become an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist, he couldn’t remember), end up a murdered stripper ten years later?

I really liked this one. There was a personal element to it, so that might be why I liked this more than most “noir” mysteries that I’ve read. But also, I liked John and I liked one of the other characters who was helping him. It crossed my mind at one point (in part) what might have happened, but I had good reason to doubt that, so it only briefly floated through my mind. So, the end wasn’t a complete surprise, though it did have to be explained how that could even be (and it was explained). There is another book in the series, but only one more, so I’m not sure if there will be more or not, but I will definitely read the 2nd one.

238LibraryCin
Sep 10, 10:25pm Top

12x12 Series, ScaredyKIT, Trim the TBR

Finders Keepers / Stephen King
4 stars

When Morris and a couple of friends break in to an author’s home, Morris really just wants to steal notebooks. His favourite series didn’t end how he wanted and Morris hoped to find a better ending to the series in the author’s notes. They end up murdering the author and they steal the notebooks and money. Morris later goes to jail for raping a girl, but only after he’s hidden the notebooks and money. Decades later, when teenager Pete finds them (his family now lives in what was once Morris’s home), he doesn’t tell his parents, but instead anonymously mails them some of the money every month, in order to try to stop them from breaking up over money. When Morris is released from prison, though, he is looking for that money and those notebooks…

I listened to the audio, and though there were occasional parts where my mind wandered somewhat, there was enough that kept my attention that I liked it. Even better, as it got closer to the end, I was kept wanting to listen to find out what would happen. What I’ve found with some mystery/suspense/thriller books – whether on audio or if I’m actually reading the words – the parts where I’m more likely to lose focus is usually when it’s the POV of the “bad guy”. Though that wasn’t the case all the time for this book, it was for a portion, I think. Overall, though, another really good book by King.

239LibraryCin
Sep 12, 11:33pm Top

12x12 Off the Shelf

The Clockmaker's Daughter / Kate Morton
4.5 stars

When an archivist, Elodie, in 2017 comes into possession of a few items, it leads her to a house that holds all kinds of secrets since the mid-1800s. In fact, her family is even connected to the house; her grandmother and her grandmother’s children once lived in that house.

This one covered snippets of many points in time, starting with the mid-1800s onward (well, it hopped around back and forth in time), though the bulk of the story is in that earliest time period. It took me a long time to figure out who the “I” was, to be honest, as there was an “I” character in many different time periods. The shocker at the end (quite horrifying, really) was what brought up my rating to 4.5.

240LibraryCin
Sep 13, 12:03am Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, PBT

I'm Down / Mishna Wolff
4 stars

Mishna was a white girl raised in a poor black neighbourhood in Seattle. Her father wanted to think he was black, so that’s the neighbourhood he chose to raise his two daughters. Mishna, in particular, had a hard time fitting in when she was young. Once she finally started making friends in the neighbourhood, though she still lived there, she had tested high on some academic tests, so she had to switch to a school in a rich neighbourhood with smart rich kids, and once again, she didn’t know how to fit in there.

I really liked this book. She wrote it, mostly with a humourous slant, but it was sad to see that her father did not treat her well. His girlfriends varied on how they treated Mishna. She did learn later on that even some of the rich kids, despite their money, had problems, as well. She was born not long after me, so I certainly identified with much of the 80s culture, in general, which is always fun. It was a quick read.

241lkernagh
Sep 14, 9:38pm Top

>239 LibraryCin: - So happy to see we both loved the latest Morton read! I hear you on how some of the narration was a bit ambiguous, but lovely to see Morton continues to churn out fabulous reads. ;-)

242dudes22
Sep 16, 8:52am Top

>239 LibraryCin: - I still have a couple of her books in my TBR pile and keep saying I need to get to them. Good to know I'll still have another one to look forward to.

243LibraryCin
Sep 16, 2:22pm Top

>242 dudes22: Yeah, this one was a NetGalley advanced copy. I think, with that, I'm all caught up on hers.

244LibraryCin
Sep 16, 4:00pm Top

12x12 Travel, AlphaKIT

Everything is Illuminated / Jonathan Safran Foer
1.5 stars

I don’t even have a summary. There was a Ukrainian translator with horrible English. There was an author visiting Ukraine, who met up with the translator and they, along with the translator’s grandfather were looking for a village that didn’t seem to exist, so it seemed. And, throughout the book, some chapters backed up in time to Jewish people starting in the 1700s, but I never quite figured out what was going on there, as the time jumped forward in other chapters; at some point it was during WWII. Apparently, these were ancestors of the author (the author character, not the actual author)?

This was weird. It is going to be my lowest rated book of the year (I think this is only the 2nd book, ever, I’ve rated less than 2 stars). I couldn’t figure out how the translator could even be a translator with his awful English; the author had the same name as the actual author of the book, Jonathan Safran Foer, so that simply confused me for ages. There were other odd parts written like a play or written like Bible verses. Weird. Not good. At all. It’s too bad – I think the only other book I’ve read by this author (nonfiction) made it on my favourites list for that year.

245Helenliz
Sep 16, 4:11pm Top

>244 LibraryCin: I'm wondering what it did to rate as highly as 1.5 stars from your description. One I will avoid if ever it crosses my path.

246mathgirl40
Sep 16, 9:44pm Top

>226 LibraryCin: I loved Doomsday Book too. That is one I will definitely reread at some point. I'll confirm what >228 christina_reads: says about Blackout. You have to read it together with All Clear because they are two halves of one novel. I found those books weren't as tightly written as Doomsday Book but I still liked them a lot.

247LibraryCin
Sep 16, 11:57pm Top

>245 Helenliz: I have a hard time rating things lower than 2! 1 star usually indicates "hate" and that's pretty strong. I have only ever not finished one book, for sure (The Mill on the Floss), and possibly Frankenstein (I can't recall if I finished it or not), but both of those were before I was rating and reviewing books. Those might be ones that would qualify, I think.

I guess there is one other that I did finish (again, before I was rating/reviewing books), that I could rate 1 stars (Wuthering Heights) - that's going on memory from 25ish years ago!

To be honest, I just have a hard time giving really low ratings.

248LibraryCin
Sep 17, 10:54pm Top

12x12 Audio, Trim the TBR

The Supreme Macaroni Company / Adriana Trigiani
3 stars

In this third book of the series, Valentine is getting married. While on her honeymoon, she discovers something that could be very bad for her shoe-making business and has to figure out what to do about it.

I didn’t like her husband, Gianluca. I actually agreed with most of her thoughts, actions, etc, except I couldn’t understand why they rushed into their marriage and didn’t talk about many of the things that ended up creating conflict beforehand. I’m not sure why I didn’t like Gianluca, but every time he did something nice, I had this foreboding feeling. Overall, the story kept me interested. I was listening to the audio and I think the narrator did a good job with accents and such. Overall, I’m rating it ok. Not as good as the others in the series, though; the first book was definitely the best one.

249LibraryCin
Sep 20, 11:42pm Top

12x12 PBT, PBT

Ink and Bone / Rachel Caine
3.5 stars

I’m not even sure how to describe the world, but Jess has been called to become a librarian. Well, he is amongst a group of teens who will be trained and six of them will become librarians. Librarians aren’t quite how we think of them now, though. In this world, they protect the books from even falling into the hands of regular people. There is some kind of war going on.

I was a bit confused by the world itself, which is why I don’t have much of a summary. What I did like about the book was the characters and the friendships/relationships. I don’t even feel like I should rate it as high as I have, given that I didn’t quite understand what-all was going on. But, I liked the characters and given the situations they were in, I was interested to find out if they would make it out ok. Maybe a bit surprisingly, I think I will read the next in the series.

250LibraryCin
Sep 23, 6:57pm Top

12x12 CAT Challenges, (May) MysteryCAT

Strangers on a Train / Patricia Highsmith
3.5 stars

When Guy is on a train from New York to Texas, in order to obtain a divorce from his wife, he meets Bruno. While in conversation, Bruno makes a proposal: if Bruno kills Guy’s wife, Guy should kill Bruno’s father, in return. They don’t really know each other, so neither would be suspected of murder. Guy is rightly horrified with the thought, but Bruno won’t give up that easily.

This was good. Very much a psychological novel, as we are mostly in Guy’s mind as he tries to deal with Bruno, and at the same time, move on with his life. It does switch to a couple of other perspectives, as well, but mostly we follow Guy. Good book.

251LibraryCin
Sep 24, 10:29pm Top

12x12 Audio

Suspect / Robert Crais
3.5 stars

Maggie was a military dog whose handler died and she herself was shot. Scott is a police officer who was shot and his partner murdered. Maggie and Scott are later paired up, and months later, Scott wants to find who killed his partner and shot him.

I listened to the audio and never lost interest. I loved Maggie and the story was good. I thought about upping the rating, just for Maggie, but I kept it to a respectable 3.5 stars (good). There is another in this series that I will plan to read.

252dudes22
Sep 25, 6:50am Top

>251 LibraryCin: - I like Robert Crais and thought I might have this in my TBR, but I don't. I'll have to look for it at a library sale or on the sale shelf at the library.

253LibraryCin
Sep 25, 8:20pm Top

>252 dudes22: Hope you enjoy it!

254LibraryCin
Sep 27, 11:39pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, PBT

Immortal in Death / J.D. Robb
3.5 stars

When Eve’s best friend, Mavis, is charged with murdering a model, Eve has to get to the bottom of it and free Mavis. She knows Mavis would never do such a thing, though it does look bad.

Thought I’d leave any of Eve’s personal details out of the summary, so as not to be spoilery (though this is only the 3rd book in the ridiculously long series, so I suspect most people who are interested have already (probably long since!) bypassed this one). I will say that I didn’t dislike Rourke nearly as much in this one as I did in the previous two books. The book was good. This was probably a similar rating as what I gave the first two books, I think. Decent story, but nothing overly special. I was surprised at the ending. Will I continue the series? I suppose I probably will, at least for now. They are quick to read.

255LibraryCin
Sep 30, 1:33am Top

12x12 Series, BingoDOG

Follow Follow / Marilyn Singer
4 stars

This is the author’s 2nd book of “reverso” poems. She takes a fairy tale and writes a short poem; the poem is then presented in reverse to give a slightly different angle on the story – maybe another character’s POV, or the same character, but just a slightly different look at the story. The poem, in reverse, might have slightly different capitalization and punctuation, but the words and lines are the same, just in reverse.

Some of the fairy tales she represents in this one include The Princess and the Pea, The Little Mermaid, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Tortoise and the Hare, and more.

It’s really very clever and I loved the first book! This one is also very good, and it amazes me that she can come up with these! It’s presented very nicely in a picture book. The poems themselves are side-by-side – the poem, then its reverse, beside in a different colour. The pictures to go with are presented on the page beside, with two slightly different pictures side-by-side, representing each poem and its reverse.

256LibraryCin
Oct 1, 12:15am Top

12x12 Nonfiction, ColourCAT, PBT, Trim the TBR

The Tin Ticket / Deborah J. Swiss
4 stars

In the early to mid-1800s, women “criminals” were transported from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales to Tasmania (a small island off Australia) to serve their time. Of course, almost none of them came home when they served their time. Not only that, a large number of these criminals were merely stealing food or clothing because they couldn’t afford it.

This book takes a look at a few of these women throughout their lives – how they grew up and what caused them to steal, which caused them to be sent to Tasmania; it followed them into the horrible gaols of the time; and it followed them to Tasmania – their time imprisoned, as well as a short section on how they lived after they were freed. There was also a Quaker woman who, ahead of her time, realized the horrible conditions these women were living in in the jails, and worked hard to make things better for them, as much as she could.

I found this very interesting. I knew that criminals had been sent to Australia, but I had never before read any of their stories. It’s pretty sad how little it took to be charged and sent away.

257LibraryCin
Oct 2, 10:48pm Top

The Child / Fiona Barton
4 stars

When a newborn baby’s skeleton is dug up on a construction site, a reporter, Kate, wants to find out what happened. In her investigation, she comes across Angela, whose newborn baby disappeared in the 70s, and Emma, who as a teenager in the 80s, was living with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend at the location where the skeleton was found.

The book mostly follows the perspective of these three women, though a few other perspectives are thrown in there, as well. This hooked me at the start and it has short chapters, which kept me wanting to read. I guess this is the 2nd book involving reporter Kate, and there were a few mentions of bits of what happened in the other book, so I will be seeking out the other book to read, as well. I caught on to the ending just about as Kate did, I think, but it wasn’t spelled out until a couple of pages later.

258LibraryCin
Oct 6, 4:20pm Top

12x12 Nonfiction, Listopia, Trim the TBR

The Wright Brothers / David McCullough
3 stars

Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first to build and fly in their “flying machine” in the very early 1900s. They started out building and selling bicycles. This book includes a bit of biography, and a lot of technology and description of their flying experiments. They travelled from their hometown of Dayton, Ohio to North Carolina (Kitty Hawk), then to France. There seemed to be more interest in what they were doing in France than in the US.

It was ok. I listened to the audio, which was narrated by the author, which may not have been the best choice, but it does make it hard to decide if the parts I wasn’t as interested in was due to the subject in those sections of the book or because I just lost interest due to the narration. I’m going to guess a bit of both. I did find the biographical parts much more interesting than all the information about their experimenting. I also liked reading about their sister, Katharine. I did also have a copy of the print book, which was nice, as it includes photos.

259LibraryCin
Oct 6, 4:41pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, ColourCAT, Trim the TBR

Pretend You Don't See Her / Mary Higgins Clark
3.5 stars

When real estate agent, Lacey, witnesses the murder of a woman she is selling a house for, she is in danger. Not only that, the dying woman tasked Lacey with giving her daughter’s journal to her daughter’s father. Her daughter was killed in a car crash a few months previous. However, the journal is now evidence.

I liked it, but there were a lot of characters that I had a bit of trouble keeping straight. The author jumps to different perspectives, on occasion, and the reader knows who the killer is (as does Lacey) from the start, but how it all ties together is unknown. Overall, it was “good” for me.

260LibraryCin
Oct 8, 1:39am Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, AlphaKIT, ScaredyKIT

Evermore / Alyson Noel
4 stars

16-year old Ever is in a car crash with her family and their dog; she is the only survivor. She has since gone to live with her aunt in California. She can also suddenly see people’s auras and hear people’s thoughts. Not a fun situation. Though she used to be popular and beautiful, she now hides behind a hoodie and plays loud music to drown everything else out; she’s a freak. When a gorgeous guy starts school, she cannot figure out if or why he might be interested in her.

I really liked this. There were shades of Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse, each for various reasons. I liked both the storyline with Damon, the boy at school, and the one with her ghost sister, Riley.

261LibraryCin
Oct 9, 12:10am Top

12x12 Oh Canada, PBT

The Third Act / John Wilson
3.5 stars

In current day, Tone, girlfriend Theresa, and friend/roommate Pike all came from China to go to university in the US. Tone is passionate about physics and has just gotten word that he is receiving a prize for his work/research and will be able to continue that research at MIT. He would like his actress girlfriend to come with him, but she’s just gotten a part that she thinks will open things up for her career in theatre. Pike is only where he is because it’s where his father wants him to be, doing what his father wants him to be doing. His father supports him, so he has money to burn, but he isn’t putting in the work.

Meanwhile, in 1937, Nanjing, China, there is a war going on. The Japanese have captured the city of Nanjing, but there has been a “Safety Zone” set up. Chinese-born, Lily is there, along with the American man she loves, playwright Neil Peterson (though he could go home, he wants to stay), and Hill, who wants to find his older brother, a soldier in the war.

The chapters alternate between the time periods. The play in the current day portion is the third act of a play Peterson never finished, about his time in 1937 China. It took me a bit of time to get interested, but once I did, it was quick to read and quite interesting. There wasn’t as much about the historical portion as I might have liked, though admittedly, I was a bit more interested in the current-day portion, anyway. Our three current-day protagonists are trying to find their way in a new culture, and are feeling like they are losing their own culture in the process. The end was a definite surprise!

262LibraryCin
Oct 14, 6:58pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT, Reading Through Time, Trim the TBR

See You in a Hundred Years / Logan Ward
4 stars

Logan and his wife, Heather, decided to leave their jobs and lives in New York City and take their 2-year old to Virginia to buy and live on a farm. Not only that, they were going to renovate the house to make it so that they would be living in the year 1900. They wanted to live this way for a full year.

I find these so interesting! There was a British tv show (which gave Logan and Heather the idea) called The 1900 House. Not long after, in Canada, there was a tv show called Pioneer Quest that took two couples and did pretty much what Logan and Heather did, except they went back a few years earlier to the 1880s, and they had to build their homes from scratch.

That being said, I found this really interesting. At the same time, considering the tv I’ve seen with similar topics, I wasn’t surprised at how difficult it was, as well as a huge reliance on (unpredictable) Mother Nature. It was nice to see the community and neighbours come together to help them out. The only thing is that I would have liked more in the epilogue – how much of hat they did/learned during that year did they continue with when they returned to the current day?

263LibraryCin
Oct 14, 7:16pm Top

12x12 Trim, Trim the TBR, Passport Challenge

The Psychopath Test / Jon Ronson
3 stars

The author is a reporter and, once he got his hands on a test to determine whether or not someone is a psychopath, he tried to figure it out by asking people questions from the test. He looked a little more into psychiatry beyond psychopaths, as well.

Ok, not the greatest summary, but I guess this wasn’t what I thought it would be (should have read summaries closer!). He’s not a psychiatrist, or even a psychologist, so if you want real information on psychopaths/sociopaths, I would recommend “The Sociopath Next Door” as being much better. Some of the history Ronson provided was interesting, though, and particularly a look at current diagnoses of kids today. I listened to the audio, read by the author, and my concentration varied. Overall, I’m rating it ok.

264LibraryCin
Oct 14, 7:31pm Top

12x12 Travel

Mata Hari's Last Dance / Michelle Moran
3.5 stars

Mata Hari was a well-known dancer/stripper (very high class, I suppose – she danced naked, anyway) in Europe in the early 20th century. She slept with men who could pay her way in life. She was later arrested, imprisoned, and put to death in France – the country she called home – via firing squad for being a spy for the Germans. This is Moran’s historical version of her life – at least from the time she started dancing, with flashbacks to the rest of her life.

I knew nothing of Mata Hari except for her name – not a thing. I read the book because I like the author, but this one wasn’t nearly as good as her others, I didn’t think. At least now I have an idea of who she was, though I can’t say I particularly liked her. I wonder if I would have been more sympathetic toward her if her life had been told chronologically, rather than in flashbacks? Either way, I’m rating the book good, although I feel a bit like that might be generous.

265LibraryCin
Oct 14, 7:57pm Top

12x12 KIT Challenges, AlphaKIT, ScaredyKIT, Fall Flurry of Holidays

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow / Washington Irving
Reread on audio this time:
3.75 stars

I’ve read the story a couple of times before, but when I saw someone else post a review for the audio, I thought this would be a good time of year to listen to the audio if my library had one available. Lucky for me, it did! Not only that, the one I borrowed was read by Anthony Heald (Giles from Buffy!). I really enjoyed his narration of the story. I feel like I even caught a few things that I might have missed in reading it. It still has a lot of description and you really do need to pay attention, but I did well with this audio. I think my older reviews kept the story at “good” 3.5 stars, but I’m giving the audio an extra .25 stars.

266LibraryCin
Oct 16, 12:06am Top

12x12 Oh Canada, PBT, Trim the TBR, Travel Across Canada

The Anatomy of Edouard Beaupre / Sarah Kathryn York
4 stars

Edouard Beaupre was born in 1881; he was Metis and was the first child born in the small Southern Saskatchwan settlement of Willow Bunch (which happens to be about an hour from where I grew up). He died in 1904 at the age of 23; he was 8’4” and still growing. He spent parts of his adult life as a giant and strongman in travelling sideshows and circuses. Where the story actually starts and ends is with a doctor who is studying his corpse.

I knew of Edouard Beaupre when I was younger, but knew him as the “Willow Bunch Giant”; I don’t remember if I knew his name when I was younger. There is a museum in Willow Bunch that I have been to, once about 15 years ago. I was very interested to find this book about him. I think I initially thought it was a biography, but it’s actually fiction, but it sounds like a lot of research went into it and so it sounds like most of it is probably fairly accurate. I found it very interesting and a little bit sad, for him.

267LibraryCin
Edited: Oct 16, 12:42am Top

12x12 Oh Canada, PBT, Trim the TBR

When Everything Feels Like the Movies / Raziel Reid
3.5 stars

Jude is gay, wears makeup, and likes to dress in his mother’s clothes. He isn’t shy about this, even at school. But, of course, he is bullied because of it. He thinks of himself, though, as a movie star, and his life is like a movie; this allows him to deal with the other kids and the bullying. He does have a best friend, Angela, who sleeps around with many of the boys at school.

It was a bit hard to get into at first, a bit hard to follow. Have to admit, I didn’t like either Jude or Angela. As a warning, there is a lot of sex and drugs, or at least talk of it. It probably shouldn’t have, but the end came as a surprise to me. But, it blew me away! Overall, I’m rating it “good”.

268LibraryCin
Oct 19, 11:51pm Top

12x12 Oh Canada, Trim the TBR, Travel Across Canada, PBT

The Age of Hope / David Bergen
4 stars

Hope was born in 1930. She was fairly young when she married Roy. They lived in the small Mennonite town of Eden, Manitoba. They had four children, and we follow Hope’s thoughts and feelings throughout her entire adult life, as she marries, becomes a mother to her four children, while Roy is mostly working. She feels lonely and Roy doesn’t understand since she has four kids around. But, Roy loves her; he is a nice man and treats her well. But, sometimes Hope has trouble and needs some help. The story follows Hope through her entire life.

There is not a whole lot to the story, ultimately, and definitely not fast-paced, but it was still really good. The (male!) author does a really good job of bringing us into Hope’s world, I thought.

269LibraryCin
Oct 20, 4:28pm Top

12x12 Mystery Subgenre, Mystery Subgenre, Trim the TBR

Weekend Warriors / Fern Michaels
3.5 stars

Myra’s daughter is killed in a hit and run by someone with diplomatic immunity. She sinks into a deep depression and only comes out when she sees, on the news, a woman – whose daughter was killed, but the killer gets off on a technicality – shoot the killer. Myra’s rich, so she pays the woman’s bail and helps her disappear. Myra wishes she would have done something like that to her daughter’s killer. She then recruits her adopted daughter’s help – Nikki is a lawyer – to organize a vigilante group of women who never got justice through proper legal channels. As a group, they’ll plan and hand out that justice, instead.

I’m a bit mixed on this one. The story was entertaining, but I sure didn’t like the women, nor did I agree with what they were doing. I also found it difficult to believe that Nikki would put her career on the line like that. I also found that it was too quick and easy that they were able to find the people they wanted revenge on. I also feel like the cover is quite misleading – it’s a pretty white cover with flowers… hmmmmm. This is the first in a series, so they primarily focused on one of the women and her revenge, though they all have different stories. I’m not sure if I’ll continue or not.

270LibraryCin
Yesterday, 7:04pm Top

12x12 Animals, PBT, AlphaKIT

Escape / Linwood Barclay
4 stars

This is a straight continuation of Barclay’s first YA book, “Chase”. It picks up pretty much where “Chase” left off. I’ll just give the basics of what’s going on so as not to spoil the first book. Chipper is a dog that has been altered by “The Institute” – he is still part-dog, but also part-robot. He escapes and finds 12-year old, Jeff, whose parents passed away not long ago. The Institute is now looking for Chipper, and by extension, Jeff.

I really enjoyed these two books. They really are two parts to the same story, so I’ve rated them the same. It’s fast-paced, but it is meant for younger readers, so it is more simple than his adult books, but he still throws a couple of twists into the story, as well.

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