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DeltaQueen Goes to Sesame Street in 2018 - Part 2

This is a continuation of the topic DeltaQueen Goes to Sesame Street in 2018.

This topic was continued by DeltaQueen Goes to Sesame Street in 2018 - Part 3.

2018 Category Challenge

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Jan 30, 10:09pm Top

Welcome to my 2018 Category Challenge. My name is Judy and I live Delta, a suburb of Vancouver, B.C. I love books and reading and through LibraryThing I have expanded my reading to many different genres. The first month of the year has gone very well and I am really enjoying this year's Category Challenge. The theme of Sesame Street is working well and the books are flying off the shelves!

I have 18 categories and I am planning on reading at least 10 books for 15 of the categories, 5 books and 6 books for 2 more. My eighteenth category is for overflow books so these 161 books plus overflows and additions will comprise my 2018 challenge. I haven’t planned to have a specific category for the various Cat/Kit Challenges or for the BingoDog but if they don’t fit into my regular categories, I will place them in my overflow category.

I came across the following pictures by artist Jane Smith and since so many of us are cat lovers I thought I would share a few fun ones here:

The welcome mat is out and I am ready to continue on with books, conversations and laughs.

Edited: Jan 30, 10:12pm Top

2018 Categories

A. Brought To You By the Number:

The shows aired on PBS and there was no advertising. The show itself though always was brought to you by a number, a letter and a color. The regularity of this brings series to mind, so this category will be for series.

B. The Mystery Box:

Kermit gives the Cookie Monster three guesses as to what is in the Mystery Box. For my guesswork I love to read mysteries and police procedurals so this will be a category for those genres.

C. Big Bird:

Big Bird is larger than any bird I’ve ever seen, so this category will be for the big books of over 500 pages. I will plan on reading five of these.

D Rechov Sumsum & Alam Simsim:

Sesame Street is an international hit, and these are the names of the show in Israel and Egypt. This will be the place to list my global reading – books set anywhere other than Canada, the U.S. or the U.K.

E. It’s Not Easy Being Green:

A song sung by Kermit that encourages children to accept and embrace their differences. This will be a category that features books with a connection to the color green, their cover displays a large amount of green, the author’s name is Green or the word Green is in the title.

F. Elmo:

Elmo is perpetually child-like, so this category will be for Children’s & YA Books

G. The Letters A to J:

Sesame Street is often a child’s first introduction to the alphabet. This category will be a place for books whose authors last names start with the first ten letters of the alphabet.

H. The Letters K to T:

For Books whose authors last names start with the next ten letters of the alphabet:

I. The Letters U to Z:

For Books whose authors last names start with the last few letters of the alphabet.

J. Abby Cadabby:

Magical, fairy-like Abby Cadabby is the perfect choice to head the category for tales of Fantasy and Magic

K. The Count:

Although he is a friendly one, The Count is a vampire so this will be a category for the dark side of fantasy. Ghosts, vampires, zombies and werewolves will all fit here.

L. In Recognition of Excellence:

In recognition of it’s excellence, Sesame Street has won many awards including well over 100 Emmys, so this will be a category for the books that have also been recognized for their excellence by being placed on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die List.

M. Miss Piggy:

Miss Piggy gives a strong female presence to the program, so this will be a category for women authors:

N. Kermit the Frog:

Kermit is an all-round good guy and the object of Miss Piggy’s affection, this will be a category for male authors.

O. Bert & Ernie’s Science Experiments:

Ernie is a master at coming up with experiments where he needs Bert’s help. He is also very good at convincing Bert to do some very strange things, all in the aid of science, of course. This category will be for science fiction.

P. Bob McGrath:

Bob McGrath, a music teacher who lived above Mr. Hooper’s store, was played by a real person, actor Robert Johnson. This category will be for non-fiction.

Q. Oscar the Grouch:

Oscar lives in a garbage can and considers his belongings to be treasures not trash. This category will be for books that have been on my shelf or my Kindle for longer than two years. Will they be trash or treasures?

R. Mr. Hooper’s Store:

Mr. Hooper’s Store carried everything. So this is the perfect place to be the overflow category, a place for graphic novels, for books that don’t fit anywhere else, or whose categories are already filled.

Edited: Jan 30, 10:13pm Top


Total Number of Books Read in 2018:

Total Number of Pages Read in 2018:

Total Number of Books From My Shelf:

Edited: Jan 30, 10:14pm Top

How I Rate Books:

2.0 ★: I must have been dragged, kicking and screaming, to finish this one!

2.5 ★: Below Average but I finished the book for one reason or another.

3.0 ★: Average, a solid read that I finished but can't promise to remember

3.5 ★: Above Average, there's room for improvement but I liked this well enough to pick up another book by this author.

4.0 ★: A very good read and I enjoyed my time spent with this story

4.5 ★: An excellent read, a book I will remember and recommend

5.0 ★: Sheer perfection, the right book at the right time for me

Edited: Mar 16, 1:12pm Top

2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge

1. A book made into a movie you've already seen: Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
2. True crime:
3. The next book in a series you started: Love Story, With Murders by Harry Bingham
4. A book involving a heist: High Sierra by W. R. Burnett
5. Nordic noir: Nemesis by Jo Nesbo
6. A novel based on a real person:
7. A book set in a country that fascinates you:
8. A book with a time of day in the title:
9. A book about a villain or antihero: The North Water by Ian McGuire
10. A book about death or grief:
11. A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym:
12. A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist:
13. A book that is also a stage play or musical: Black Coffee by C. Osborne, play by A. Christie
14. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you
15. A book about feminism
16. A book about mental health: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
17. A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift: A Robot In the Garden by Deborah Install
18. A book by two authors
19. A book about or involving a sport
20. A book by a local author -
21. A book with your favorite color in the title: Friends At Thrush Green by Miss Read
22. A book with alliteration in the title: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
23. A book about time travel
24. A book with a weather element in the title
25. A book set at sea
26. A book with an animal in the title
27. A book set on a different planet : I Dare by Sharon Lee
28. A book with song lyrics in the title
29. A book about or set on Halloween
30. A book with characters who are twins
31. A book mentioned in another book: The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells
32. A book from a celebrity book club: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
33. A childhood classic you've never read
34. A book that's published in 2018
35. A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner
36. A book set in the decade you were born
37. A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to
38. A book with an ugly cover: Cemetery Lake by Paul Cleave
39. A book that involves a bookstore or library
40. Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges - 2017 - A Book Set in the Wilderness: The Revenant by Michael Punke

Advanced Reading Challenge

1. A bestseller from the year you graduated high school
2. A cyberpunk book
3. A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place
4. A book tied to your ancestry
5. A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title
6. An allegory
7. A book by an author with the same first or last name as you
8. A microhistory
9. A book about a problem facing society today
10. A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Edited: Mar 15, 4:32pm Top

Bingo Dog

1. Famous Person in Title
2. Published More Than 100 Years Ago: The Scalp Hunters by Mayne Reid
3. Originally in a Different Language: The First Garden by Anne Hebert
4. New To You Author: The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad
5. Relative Name in Title
6. Money In Title
7. Published in 2018
8. X in the Title
9. 500 Plus Pages
10. Set During a Holiday
11. LGBT central character
12. On the 1001 List: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
13. Read A Cat: Black Coffee - January ColorCat
14. Number in Title
15. Humorous Book: The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith
16. Unread 2017 Purchase: Love Story, With Murders by Harry Bingham
17. Title Contains Something You Would See in the Sky
18. Related to the Pacific Ocean
19. Fits At Least 2 Kits/Cats: The North Water by Ian McGuire
20. Beautiful Cover: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman
21. Autobiography/Memoir: Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
22. Poetry or Play
23. Longtime TBR
24. Story Involves Travel: A Long Walk Home by Judith Tebbut
25. Rank in Title: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Edited: Feb 22, 12:13pm Top

A. Brought To You By The Number ... - Series Reading

Books Read

1. Love Story, With Murders by Harry Bingham - 4.5 ★
2. The City of the Sun by David Levien - 4.0 ★

Edited: Feb 24, 6:41pm Top

B. The Mystery Box - Mysteries & Police Procedurals

Books Read

1. Black Coffee by Agatha Christie, Adapted by Charles Osborne - 3.3 ★
2. The Clocks by Agatha Christie - 3.5 ★

Edited: Mar 31, 9:51pm Top

C. Big Bird - Large Books

Books Read

1. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy - 927 Pages
:Volume 1 - A Man of Property – Completed – 4.0 ★
: Interlude - Indian Summer - Completed - 4.0 ★


* Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

Edited: Mar 12, 1:46pm Top

D. Rechov Sumsum & Alam Simsim - Global Settings

Books Read

1. The In-Between World of Vikram Lall by M. J. Vassanji - 4.2 ★
2. The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad - 4.0 ★
3. Gold Of Our Fathers by Kwei Quartey - 3.8 ★

Edited: Mar 4, 2:15pm Top

E. It's Not Easy Being Green - Book Has a Connection to the Color Green

Books Read

1. The Scalp Hunters by Mayne Reid (green cover) - 2.7 ★
2. Friends At Thrush Green by Miss Read (title) - 4.0 ★

Edited: Mar 16, 1:13pm Top

F. Elmo - Children's & YA Reads

Books Read

1. The Night Is For Hunting by John Marsden - 4.0 ★
2. A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla - 3.0 ★
3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - 4.2 ★

Edited: Mar 18, 12:56pm Top

G. The Letters A to J


1. A:
2. B:
3. C:
4: D:
5. E:
6. F:
7. G:
8. H: Eventide by Kent Haruf - 5.0 ★
9: I: A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install - 4.5 ★
10: J: The Weight of This World by David Joy - 4.5 ★

Edited: Feb 28, 5:07pm Top

H. The Letters K to T

Books Read

1. K:
2. L:
3. M: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty - 4.1 ★
4. N:
5. O:
6. P:
7. Q:
8. R:
9. S:
10. T:

Edited: Feb 12, 11:28pm Top

I. The Letters U to Z

Books Read

1. U:
2. V:
3. W:
4. X:
5. Y:
6: Z:

Edited: Feb 28, 5:05pm Top

J. Abby Cadabby - Books of Fantasy and Magic

Books Read

1. God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell - 4.0 ★
2. The Queen of the Tearling by Erica Johansen - 4.1 ★

Edited: Mar 11, 1:57pm Top

K. The Count Dark Fantasy

Books Read

1. The Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell - 3.5 ★
2. Home by Tom Abrahams - 3.4 ★
3. Cold Hand in Mine by Robert Aickman - 3.6 ★

Edited: Mar 15, 4:33pm Top

L. In Recognition of Excellence - The 1001 Books To Read Before You Die List

Books Read

1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - 4.0 ★
2. The First Garden by Anne Hebert - 2.0 ★
3. The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith - 3.7 ★
4. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh - 3.8 ★
5. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - 4.0 ★

Edited: Mar 1, 11:22am Top

M. Miss Piggy - Female Authors

Books Read

1. Falling From Horses by Molly Gloss - 3.8 ★
2. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu - 4.0 ★

Edited: Feb 11, 12:46pm Top

N. Kermit the Frog - Male Authors

Books Read

1. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy - 4.3 ★
2. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz - 4.3 ★
3. The Revenant by Michael Punke 4.0 ★

Edited: Feb 28, 5:06pm Top

O. Bert & Ernie's Science Experiments - Science Fiction

Books Read

1. This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman - 3.2 ★
2. I Dare by Sharon Lee - 4.5 ★

Edited: Mar 9, 2:12pm Top

P. Bob McGrath - Non-Fiction

Books Read

1. A Long Walk Home by Judith Tebbutt - 4.0 ★
2. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah - 5.0 ★

Edited: Mar 6, 10:55pm Top

Q. Oscar The Grouch - On My Shelf Longer Than 2 Years - Trash or Treasure?

Books Read

1. A Cat Affair by Derek Tangye - 3.7 ★
2. Nemesis by Jo Nesbo - 4.2 ★
3. High Sierra by W. R. Burnett - 4.2 ★
4. Cemetery Lake by Paul Cleave - 4.5 ★

Edited: Mar 4, 2:16pm Top

R. Mr. Hooper's Store - Overflow

Books Read

1. When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord - 4.0 ★
2. The North Water by Ian McGuire - 4.5 ★
3. The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells - 3.3 ★
4. The World of Thrush Green by Miss Read - 4.0 ★

Edited: Jan 30, 10:42pm Top

2018 Reading Plans - Group Reads etc.

Year Long Group Reads

* The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
* Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

January: Hosting the RandomCat
March: Hosting the ColorCat: Green
April: Hosting the ScaredyKit: Supernatural
June: Hosting SF/FFKit: Series Month
Group Read: Ursula Le Guin
July: Hosting the MysteryCat: Police Procedurals

Edited: Jan 30, 10:44pm Top

Welcome Everyone!

And one last picture by Jane Smith:

Jan 30, 10:51pm Top

A new thread!

Jan 30, 10:59pm Top

New thread means I gotta get my gear in order before the bbs start aflying!

Jan 30, 11:29pm Top

Happy New Thread, Judy. You and Robin (rretzler) and I all got new ones underway today.

Jan 30, 11:38pm Top

Wow! A new thread, looking good Judy. I better go back and catch up with the first one.

Jan 30, 11:47pm Top

>27 hailelib: Hi Tricia, I decided to go ahead and get this thread set up since I am going to be losing my computer for a couple of days when we move later on this week.

>28 jolerie: Valerie, I am expecting a slow down in my reading once we move and I have to spend time organizing the new digs. But even so, I will try to shoot straight and true when I do get some reading done.

>29 ronincats: Hi Roni, I am on my way to check out your new thread!

>30 Roro8: Thanks Ro. :)

Jan 31, 1:42am Top

Happy new thread, Judy. The cat pictures are great.

Jan 31, 5:18am Top

Wow, new month, new thread. Jane Smith draws some very pretty kitties!

Jan 31, 7:51am Top

Happy new thread, Judy!

I probably said this on the last thread, but I LOVE the Sesame Street theme so much.

Jan 31, 9:04am Top

Loving all the cat pics! I wanted to comment on the last book on the other thread. It sounds like a fascinating read. It's not one I'll probably pick up myself simply because of the "so many books, so little time" problem, but that type of story is always interesting.

Jan 31, 9:14am Top

Happy New Thread, Judy!

Oh, those colorful folks up top were a big part of our lives when the kids were wee. Those Janie Smith illustrations are fun, including >26 DeltaQueen50:.

Jan 31, 10:51am Top

Happy new thread Judy! Nice kitty drawings, especially the one of Carnival in Venice :)

Jan 31, 11:29am Top

Happy new one, Judy!

Jan 31, 2:53pm Top

I'm just popping in quickly as we are in the middle of going through my husband's office and packing. I thought this had all been done weeks ago but I am discovering that paperwork and my husband do not get along. He reminds me of the worst kind of boss that I had in my secretarial days. He has kept everything but now doesn't know what should be thrown out and what should be kept. Of course we are moving at a bad time what with tax season upon us, so I am trying to go through everything and separate what needs to go to the accountant, what needs to be thrown out and what needs to be kept and filed for future reference. To complicate our lives even further, he sold his business as of January 1st, so we have to keep all the business records separate and in order in case any questions arise over that. Lord, grant me the patience to get through this!

>32 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg, I love Jane Smith's whimsical artwork, it makes me smile to see it.

>33 MissWatson: Thanks, Birgit.

>34 scaifea: I am very happy with how my categories and themes are working out this year, Amber. I love coming to my happy place every day!

>35 thornton37814: A Long Walk Home was a fascinating read, Lori, and I am interested to read about people who survive such terrifying conditions but at the same time, I can only read something like this rarely as it is rather depressing. She was lucky in that her hopes for freedom were realized, but there have been too many cases that have ended in tragedy.

>36 jnwelch: Those colorful folks have also been very present in my life, Joe. From my kids to my grandkids I have watched many a Sesame Street program! :)

>37 leslie.98: I like the Venice picture as well, but my favorite may just be the cats in the dressing room.

>38 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie.

Well, he's off the phone so I better get back there - wish me luck (and patience)!

Jan 31, 4:43pm Top

Perfect categories!

Jan 31, 4:48pm Top

>39 DeltaQueen50: Just when you thought everything was on track for the move. Good luck with all your sorting, Judy.

Jan 31, 6:41pm Top

Happy new thread, Judy. I love the cat illustrations -- also love the Sesame Street categories.

>39 DeltaQueen50: Good luck with the paperwork, Judy. It sounds not so fun.

Jan 31, 8:27pm Top

Happy new one, Judy! I do not envy you the paperwork sorting - wishing you the best of luck with that.

Jan 31, 8:48pm Top

Ugh, I loathe paperwork. I tend to have piles of it needing to be filed, and never quite getting around to it....

Jan 31, 9:58pm Top

Good luck with the paperwork! That's such tedious work. Maybe looking back at the piles at the end of each session and seeing the progress will be inspirational? *tries*

Feb 1, 3:34am Top

Best of luck with the paperwork, Judy. What a hassle!

Feb 1, 12:16pm Top

We did it, paperwork all sorted and moved to his new office. We decided to give ourselves the night off and went out for dinner and just relaxed. Today is going to be a busy one, and gulp, we will be unplugging the computers and tv at some point. Hopefully I will only be off-line for a day or so.

>40 mysterymax: Thanks! I usually end up with very much the same type of categories, and try to always have lots of room for mysteries as those are the books I tend to turn to most often.

>41 Familyhistorian: I think we have everything in order for now, Meg. I divided everything into three boxes - his business stuff, 2017 tax information, and everything else.

>42 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I am so looking forward to not having to deal with anything other than the question of whether I will watch TV or read a book!

>43 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. I did a rough sort for now, my main concern was keeping this year's tax information together and separate from everything else. Once we receive all the necessary details I want to get this over to the accountants so I don't have to worry about it anymore.

>44 katiekrug: My years of being a secretary kicked in, Katie, and I pushed through it!

>45 pammab: I got rid of the chaff yesterday, and now there is a lot less that actually needs our attention. :)

>46 MissWatson: Thanks, why is it that paperwork is such a chore, but I could sort and file books all day long?

Feb 1, 12:27pm Top

17. The First Garden by Anne Hebert - 2.0 ★
Category: In Search of Excellence
1001 Books To Read Before You Die List
BingoDog: Translated
TIOLI #3: Title Contains Something You Love

I wanted to really like The First Garden by French Canadian author, Anne Hebert, but unfortunately I just couldn’t get past the weirdness. The story is about an aging actress who returns to Quebec City after an absence of twenty years. She is trying to reconnect with her daughter, Maude, who has disappeared. She accepts the part of Winnie, the old crone, in Samuel Beckett’s play, Happy Days and she develops a friendship with the young man who’s been living with her daughter and they explore the city, searching for Maude. This was about all that I was able to understand.

For me, the weirdness was that so much of the story takes place in the mind and emotions of the main character. In small scenes she appears to relive some of her own difficult past but also those of various women from the history of Quebec City. I never quite grasped what was going on, other than a plot-less exploration of character and perhaps a glimpse of Quebec’s culture through examining the past.

The First Garden was a fairly easy read, but very difficult to actually understand or relate to. Perhaps something was lost in the translation but I found this book to be so formless and abstract that I skimmed through the pages without really absorbing or understanding what I was reading.

The First Garden was obviously not a book for me.

Feb 1, 3:09pm Top

Happy New Thread, Judy! I get a happy feeling whenever I stop by and see Sesame Street characters!

Feb 1, 4:40pm Top

>47 DeltaQueen50: You deserved dinner out after the paperwork chore, Judy. Good luck with the final move.

Feb 1, 5:09pm Top

Happy new thread! Good luck with the move and hopefully you won't be offline too long!

Feb 1, 8:09pm Top

I haven't checked in for a couple of days - meanwhile you had 38 new messages on your old thread and 51 here!!! How can I ever expect to keep up?

Glad your old albums found a new home! Whew! I was worried.

Feb 1, 10:09pm Top

Good going with the paperwork - I have been avoiding that aspect of my father's death but will have to face it soon.

Try to enjoy your unconnected state while the computers etc. move!

Feb 1, 10:13pm Top

This is it: We are about to pull the plugs on the computers and tv's. I hope my absence will only be a short one and I will catch up with everyone when I get back on-line. I hope my move goes like the picture below, but I'm not counting on it.

Feb 2, 3:13am Top

Good luck with the move. Hopefully all will be back to normal soon.

Feb 2, 4:36am Top

Good luck with the move and I hope you are settled in and feeling at home in the new place really quickly.

Feb 2, 9:01am Top

>54 DeltaQueen50: Good luck! I hope everything goes smoothly.

Feb 2, 9:41am Top

Welcome to your new home! I hope you'll have many happy years there.

Feb 2, 11:39am Top

Good luck with the movie Judy! Your thread will nice and toasty awaiting your return. :D

Feb 2, 12:38pm Top

>54 DeltaQueen50: Best of luck with the move!

Feb 2, 1:29pm Top

Good luck!

Feb 2, 1:34pm Top

Happy Moving Day and Welcome Home!

Feb 2, 9:17pm Top

Happy move.

Feb 3, 12:23pm Top

Judy, wishing you the best of luck with getting settled into your new space.

Feb 3, 2:39pm Top

So excited for you, Judy! I hope the move goes well, but, if it doesn't, don't feel alone. Moves seldom go exactly as planned. It will all come out right in the end, though, and, once you get settled, it will all be worth it!

>62 katiekrug: LOL I'm still looking through boxes for things I know I packed but can't find nine months after the move.

Feb 3, 2:42pm Top

Adding my good wishes for the move going smoothly, Judy.

Feb 3, 6:48pm Top

Happy new thread, Judy!

>39 DeltaQueen50: - Sounds like you have your hands full with the move, what with your husband's office suddenly becoming that proverbial closet everything falls out of when the door is opened. Glad to see you survived the paperwork sorting!

>48 DeltaQueen50: - I haven't read any of Hebert's works yes, although I do have a copy of Am I Disturbing You? which I haven't read yet because the story premise seems to be a bit... disturbing. ;-) Will keep your comments regarding The First Garden in mind as I have a sneaking suspicion that weirdness may be something that permeates her writing.

>54 DeltaQueen50: - Love that gif!

Wishing you a smooth move into your new place!

Feb 3, 7:30pm Top

We'll be mising you while you move and get back online!

Feb 4, 9:37am Top

Whoo-ee! I'm back and the move was almost as painless as I hoped for. The movers were on time, courteous and friendly. One was a reader and he noticed a number of British Detective series among my books so we talked about our favorite detectives. Yesterday we had the phones, computers and television set up and that went very smoothly as well. So here we are, all set up and very cozy in our new digs. We still have some things to pick up at the house which we will do over the next couple of days. The carpet cleaners are coming on Monday and my cleaning lady is coming on Tuesday to help me give the place a final spruce up before we turn over the keys. After that I intend to kick back and do very little for a week or two - I bet everyone is glad that I won't be banging on about moving anymore!

As we had so many people helping us, I didn't have a lot to do so I was able to actually finish a couple of books so I've gotten off to a good start on February's reading. Thanks to everyone for keeping my thread warm and for all your good wishes, instead of answering everyone individually I will visit everyone and catch up on your threads over the next couple of days.

Edited: Feb 4, 9:58am Top

18. The Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell - 3.5 ★
Category: The Count
February SFFFKit: Urban Fantasy
TIOLI #16: Rolling Challenge based on "GoldSilverBronze"

The Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell was a quick read and the first in a series about a trio of women who come together to keep the forces of evil from finding an entrance to the world through their small English town. For centuries Lychford has been a barrier to keep the divide between the different dimensions separate, but the proposed new giant supermarket would change the village layout and destroy the barrier.

Three women, Judith, an older woman, a practising witch who is greatly disliked in the town as she has no patience for fools and is very brusque with them. Unfortunately, she considers most people to be fools. Autumn is the owner of the local magic shop, but believes more in science than in magic. She had a strange experience with the fey which cost her a year of her life, but prefers to believe this was a mental breakdown. Finally there is Lizzie, the new minister in the village. Lizzie is recovering from the death of her husband which she blames herself for. Her faith is a little shaky, but her convictions are needed to keep the forces of darkness at bay.

I found this a fun read about the dangers of holding both modernization and demons at bay with magic, religion and science. The three women are interesting and all have their own side issues to deal with that will probably be explored further in the next books. Since Lychford is the key to keeping evil at bay, I’m sure subsequent stories in this series will be interesting so I will keep these books in mind for quick, simple reads.

Feb 4, 10:00am Top

>69 DeltaQueen50: I hope you love your new place and that the new reading spot is the best one ever!

Feb 4, 10:11am Top

>69 DeltaQueen50: I love random bookish conversations -- great that the mover found your British detective fiction interesting :) Enjoy your new home!

Feb 4, 10:19am Top

>71 clue: Thanks, I have a couple of comfy spots that I tend to migrate to with a book in my hand. :)

>72 rabbitprincess: Yep, Jake the mover and I bonded over our love of Peter Robinson and Mark Billingham. I love those random book conversations as well, it makes the world a happier and friendlier place.

Feb 4, 11:49am Top

I'm glad your move went so well. How fun to share book conversations with one of the movers! Hooray for reading time!

Feb 4, 1:08pm Top

>74 thornton37814: Hi Lori. Hooray is right, I'm convinced that reading keeps me sane!

Feb 4, 1:29pm Top

19. Home by Tom Abrahams - 3.4 ★
Category: The Count
February ScaredyKit: Survival/Disaster
February ColorCat: Brown
TIOLI #3: Title Contains Something That You Love

Home by Tom Abrahams is another new series about a post-apocalyptic world, this time a terrible pneumonia called The Scourge was the culprit that ended with most of the world’s population dead. The main character, Marcus Battle, is a retired army officer. In dealing with his own PTSD, he became a survivalist and he and his family were prepared for most everything that could possibly affect the earth. Everything except for this highly contagious air-borne disease that took both Marcus’ wife and son in a matter of hours. Marcus is immune to the disease and so he must live on without his family. He has spent the last five years living on his isolated property and killing any intruders.

One night he sees a woman running from a group of men and something inside him decides to help her. He rescues her and kills most of the group of men, but one escapes and goes for help. He is a member of the Cartel, a viscous group of ex-criminals and drug dealers who now run what used to be Texas. The woman, Lola, has escaped from the Cartel but wants Marcus to help her rescue her son as well. After the Cartel sends more men against him and burns down his house, he decides to help her and the book ends when they are in the midst of this rescue.

A main character who is so capable at surviving that he is almost on the same level as a super-hero and the unrelenting pace of action and violence made this book feel very much like a comic book. The total cliffhanger ending was expected and I can pretty much guarantee that Battle and Lola will be successful but as in all episodic stories find themselves off on another adventure. I have the next book so I will probably read on at some point but I am not in any hurry to do so.

Feb 4, 2:17pm Top

Happy Sunday, Judy. And Happy Belated New Thread! I hope things are going smoothly with the move. Fingers crossed for my pal.

Feb 4, 2:33pm Top

>77 msf59: Hi Mark. We feel very settled in already. I am now on my way to your thread to hear about Mexico!

Feb 4, 3:18pm Top

Congratulations on a smooth move! Wishing you health, happiness and good books in your new home!

Feb 4, 4:38pm Top

>79 VivienneR: Thanks, Vivienne!

Feb 4, 4:48pm Top

It's great that the move went so well. Enjoy your new home.

Feb 4, 5:46pm Top

Woo-hoo! A smooth move and time for reading as well. Who could ask for more?

Edited: Feb 4, 7:54pm Top

So glad your move went smoothly. It does help when there is a lot of help.

Feb 5, 12:13am Top

>81 hailelib: Thanks, Tricia. We went for a short walk this evening just to get a feel for the neighbourhood. I love the fact that my library is only a couple of blocks away.

>82 ronincats: Yep, I'm living the high life right now, Roni. We sort of feel like we are living in a resort condo and that any day now we are going to have to return home. I guess we'll get used to it eventually.

>83 dudes22: Betty, my granddaughter loves the apartment, I think she is just beginning to think about the fact that someday she will be moving away from home and is imagining what it will be like. It's nice that we are actually even closer to my daughter and her family than we used to be, it's about a 5 minute walk now.

Feb 5, 4:07am Top

Sounds like a perfect location with both your daughter and the library in walking distance. Enjoy the new home!

Feb 5, 7:17am Top

Hi Judy,

Glad to see everything went smoothly with the move. I'm getting there myself, just need to focus on one room at a time. And book talk with the movers, fabulous!

Feb 5, 8:51am Top

I'm glad the move went so well.

Home sounds a lot like a Jack Reacher novel, only post-apocalyptic.

Feb 5, 11:26am Top

Glad to see your move went smoothly! You must be relieved that it is over!

Feb 5, 11:33am Top

I didn't know smooth moves actually existed in reality. Nice going.

Feb 5, 11:55am Top

>85 MissWatson: Thanks, Birgit. I think we are going to be very happy here.

>86 jonesli: Hi Lisa. I am amazed at the amount of work that a move creates! All I know is that we are going to be very careful about accumulating more stuff!

>87 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay. We are so happy it's over. I haven't read any Jack Reacher stories but yes, I suspect this character is an off-shoot of Jack Reacher.

Feb 5, 1:30pm Top

Judy, I'm so glad your move went so smoothly! That is definitely a best-case scenario and bears little to no resemblance to any move I've ever made. Ha! And closer to the library and your daughter? That's a definite win-win.

Feb 5, 1:52pm Top

Sounds like you've found a perfect location, Judy. Only two blocks from the library - all other concerns come in second to that. :-)

Feb 5, 2:23pm Top

>91 rosalita: What Julia said. Although, I can't complain about our big move from Indiana to Georgia. I am so very happy that it all worked out so brilliantly.

Feb 5, 2:26pm Top

Glad to see your move went nice and smooth, Judy!

Feb 5, 7:03pm Top

>91 rosalita: Thanks, Julia. I am really ecited about being able to walk down the street to the library and being closer to the kids is even better!

>92 jnwelch: Ha, Joe, when we first looked at this place all I saw were the giant built-in book shelves in the den and the fact that it was close to the library - I guess you could say I have a one-track mind!

>93 Crazymamie: Mamie, I can't even imagine how difficult a move from state to state or province to province would be. You have to really trust the moving company that your belongings will end up where you want them.

>94 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie. We have a few things to sort through here but all in all, we are settled in nicely. Now I can laze around and read even more!

Feb 6, 5:55am Top

I hope you are sitting and relaxing now after the big move. That paperwork situation sounds like a big pain. My method of dealing with paperwork is much like >44 katiekrug:.
It sounds like you are extremely organised Judy.

Feb 6, 2:06pm Top

>96 Roro8: Years of secretarial training, Ro, makes me somewhat organized when it comes to paperwork. His paperwork is now in boxes, sitting and waiting for him to give it a final sort. I have set up a box for this years taxes, a box for current paperwork, and two large boxes with his ex-business stuff. All I want him to do is separate his business papers into years so we can file it in order. Somehow I suspect this job will end up falling to me.

Feb 6, 2:19pm Top

20. Falling From Horses by Molly Gloss - 3.8 ★
Category: Miss Piggy
February Reading Through Time: Going Hollywood
TIOLI #3: Title Contains Something You Love

Falling From Horses by Molly Gloss was an interesting read set in 1938 Hollywood as it deals with the hopes and dreams of two young people who soon learn that the movie business is anything but glamorous. Presented as the memoir of Bud Frazer, an aging artist, the book tells of his year in Hollywood as he first tried to break into the movies then spent time as a wrangler and stunt rider.

Bud is a young man who has been raised around horses all his life. He decides to go to Hollywood and become a cowboy star. Of course, once he gets there he finds there is no market for his acting skills but he does land a job wrangling horses on the movie sets and eventually becomes a stunt rider and extra. On the bus to Hollywood he meets and becomes good friends with Lilly Shaw, who is going to Hollywood to write movie scripts. They quickly discover that this business is very hard on both horses and women. The stunts were performed with trip wires and very little tricks were used. If a horse needed to go off a cliff, then off it went. Both the horses and the young men who rode them were disposable. As for women, well, they were treated as even more disposable than horses. Winding through the main story of these two characters trying to make it in a tough business were flashbacks to the disappearance and death of Bud’s sister.

The story, told in Bud’s straightforward style could be quite rambling and repetitive at times, due to Bud’s failing memory, but this quirk made the book seem all the more realistic. The authors sense of place and time felt very authentic and I liked the fact that Bud and Lilly only had a friendship, there was no romance. Although I found Falling From Horses was a little slow moving, the story was fascinating and kept my interest.

Feb 6, 6:38pm Top

Hi Judy! I love the cat prints by Jane Smith.

Congrats on getting settled in to your new home. And only a couple of blocks from the library! Perfect!

And this: "The movers were on time, courteous and friendly. One was a reader and he noticed a number of British Detective series among my books so we talked about our favorite detectives." Random book conversation -- yay!!

(and I loved your choice of Home for the TIOLI - Title Contains Something You Love --- sweet!!!).

Feb 7, 12:43am Top

>99 EBT1002: Thanks Ellen, we are glad to be getting settled in. I'm always ready to talk books, but finding common ground in books with a stranger was really cool.

Feb 7, 12:54am Top

21. The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad - 4.0 ★
Category: Rechov Sumsum
February ColorCat: Brown
BingoDog: New To Me Author
TIOLI #18: A Number Larger Than 2 is on the Front or Back Cover

The Wandering Falcon by Pakistani author Jamil Ahmad is a collection of inter-linked stories that are set in the remote tribal lands along the Pakistan-Afghan border. The stories all concern the life of these tribal people and are linked by one character who weaves in and out of most of the stories.

We first meet Tor Baz, the black falcon, when as a young child his parents are killed by his mother’s relatives. She had run away from an impotent husband with one of her father’s servants. They had avoided being caught for many years, but were eventually discovered. From there the child is shuffled around, always wandering and never the main character of the story but instead appearing on the fringes. He is a guide, an informer, a smuggler and a slave trader. This is an unforgiving corner of the world and conditions are harsh. Through these stories the traditions and culture of these tribal people are revealed.

The author writes with great respect and empathy toward these people. Their lives are filled with harshness and cruelty as they wander with their herds. Eventually the political borders are called into play and their wandering lifestyle is curtailed. In one story, “The Death of Camels”, the refusal of Pakistan to allow them to take their herds to fresh pasture across the border, means not only the death of their herds but brings their own lives into jeopardy as well.

Jamil Ahmad is a gifted storyteller and The Wandering Falcon is a moving account of a disappearing lifestyle.

Feb 7, 9:40am Top

Feb 7, 10:38am Top

>103 DeltaQueen50: I hope you enjoy The Wandering Falcon when you get to it. I thought the author conveyed a lot in these stories.

Feb 7, 10:41am Top

>101 DeltaQueen50: - I've had that one on hand for a while. It's so short, I should book-horn it in somewhere soon!

Feb 7, 10:57am Top

>104 katiekrug: I had The Wandering Falcon on my shelves since 2015 and this month's ColorCat finally got me to pick it up. I love finding these hidden jewels amongst my own books!

Feb 7, 1:02pm Top

Reading about worlds so far from our own and experiences we can't even begin to understand is so eye opening!

Happy Hump Day Judy. :)

Feb 7, 9:53pm Top

The Wandering Falcon sounds good.

And hurray for built-in bookcases.

Feb 8, 12:23pm Top

>106 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie. I love reading about different places and cultures.

>107 hailelib: Those built in bookcases are what sold this place to me, Tricia. :)

Feb 8, 8:45pm Top

Built in bookcases are the best! My parents had some in their previous apartment in their retirement community and we were all shocked and dismayed to find that when they moved to another apartment, the management tore the bookcases out (and removed the wonderful pantry in the kitchen). Apparently anything "different" was not to the taste of the sales people :(

Anyway, congrats on completing your move Judy! Enjoy settling in to the new place :)

Feb 9, 2:28pm Top

>101 DeltaQueen50: You hit me with that one Judy. Great review - if you posted that, I will thumb.

Hoping that your weekend is full of fabulous!

Feb 9, 6:33pm Top

>109 leslie.98: Thanks, Leslie. That's a shame about your parent's ex-apartment. I think bookcases give a room both a personality and versatility.

>110 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie.

Feb 11, 12:52pm Top

22. The Revenant by Michael Punke - 4.0 ★
Category: Kermit the Frog
February AlphaKit: P
February ScaredyKit: Survival
2018 Pop Sugar Challenge: A Previous Year's Challenge - (2017) A Book Set in the Wilderness
TIOLI #17: A Book With an Animal on the Cover

The Revenant by Michael Punke is based on the story of Hugh Glass, who, in 1823 was travelling up the Grand River with a party of fur trappers. He was attacked and viciously mauled by a grizzly bear. Hugh is not expected to survive and the group needs to move on so two men are left to stay and care for the wounded man and bury him once he dies. Instead these two men, not only abandon him in the wilderness but take his gun and knife. Instead of dying Glass recovers and, driven by grim determination for revenge, he vows to track down the deserters and begins his long crawl to safety.

The author stays very close to the facts that are known about this event and delivers a spellbinding tale of survival and revenge. This was not the first time I have read about Hugh Glass, his story is also the basis for the 1954 National Book Award recipient, Lord Grizzly by Frederick Manfred, but even on the second reading, the details of this man’s survival are incredible. While Lord Grizzly delved into the actual survival story in greater detail, this book deals more with his pledge for retribution.

The Revenant is a great piece of historical fiction both entertaining and informative as well as an excellent adventure story about one man’s willpower and courage to survive against the odds.

Feb 11, 12:53pm Top

Doing a lot of catching up on threads today. I wanted to comment about Anthony Horowitz that he also wrote for the excellent series Foyle's War and the wonderful YA series about teen spy Alex Ryder. What I found amusing about those books is that he was never allowed to have a weapon but always managed to knock off bad guys one way or another.

Congrats on your successful move!

Feb 11, 12:56pm Top

>113 mamzel: It's good to see you "out and about" on the threads, Mamzel. Anthony Horowitz has certainly has a very interesting and varied career in writing going for himself.

Feb 12, 11:34pm Top

23. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty - 4.1 ★
Category: The Letters K to T
2018 PopSugar Challenge: A Book From a Celebrity Book Club - Reese Witherspoon
TIOLI #1: A Book Tagged Friendship

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty is her follow up novel after the huge success of Big Little Lies. This book is set up much as her previous one in that the reader knows something happened in the recent past at a neighbourhood barbecue and the story delivers both the aftermath of that event as well as small flashbacks that slowly pull the pieces of what happened together.

This is a story of marriage and friendship and how they ebb and flow through life events. In particular a near tragedy that leaves each participant feeling their own guilt but also a sense of blame towards some of the others who were there. Celeste, Erica and Tiffany are the three women and each one has her own problems that are worked through during the course of the book. Celeste has a marriage that has gone stale from balancing young children, work and a hectic lifestyle. Erica is half of a couple who want children and are unable to conceive, and Tiffany is a wife that has a tricky past and is treated more like a prized possession than an equal. The husbands, Sam, Oliver and Vid also have issues to work through, but the bulk of the story revolves around the women.

I had a couple of problems with this story. There is so much foreshadowing and build-up to the night of the barbecue that it felt a little formulaic and contrived. Also the book was very slow moving particularly during the first third of the book. However, once it got going, I enjoyed it very much and there was enough humor and wry observations to keep my interest. The characters were well developed and I came to care about what was happening to them. I listened to an audio version of the book as read by Caroline Lee whose reading I very much enjoyed.

Feb 13, 5:57am Top

>115 DeltaQueen50:, I will definitely be listening to the audio of Truly Madly Guilty too. I think Caroline Lee did a good job narrating Moriarty's earlier books. Good review Judy.

Feb 13, 5:53pm Top

>116 Roro8: Thanks, Ro. I love listening to Caroline Lee although I have seen a number of people call her voice "obnoxious". I think she enhances the books alot.

Feb 13, 6:19pm Top

I read Big Little Lies and quite enjoyed it so I figure it will just be a matter of time before I get to Truly Madly Guilty. I like her stories and her writing is easy to digest but I wonder if after a couple of her books, her "twists" will become predictable. Will have to read on and find out. :)
Lovely review Judy!

Feb 13, 6:38pm Top

>118 jolerie: I like her stories as well, Valerie, but I am going to limit myself to only one of hers a year, just in case she repeats that format in all her books!

Feb 14, 12:21pm Top

24. Love Story, With Murders by Harry Bingham - 4.5 ★
Category: Brought To You By The Number
BingoDog: Unread Book That Was Purchased in 2017
February MysteryCat: Female Detective
2018 Pop Sugar Challenge: Next Book in a Series
TIOLI #14: A Book By An Author You Read Last February

Love Story, with Murders by Harry Bingham is the second book in his series featuring DC Fiona Griffiths, and this series is quite simply fantastic. Fiona is a dominant, fiery, slightly psychotic personality but this book offers a lot more than superbly developed characters. The plot is intricate, there is plenty of action and the police procedures are detailed and informative.

This book opens with the discovery of two bodies, both chopped into pieces and scattered or placed in some pretty obscure places. The police work hard trying to find the connection between these two murders, even though they occurred some five years apart. This bizarre situation develops into a complex, convoluted case that eventually becomes bogged down with politics. Fiona, heavily invested in this case is nonetheless still working through discovering her own identity and trying to find her place on “Planet Normal”. She finds herself falling in love with her boyfriend and thinking about a future that could include marriage and children.

An excellent police procedural that draws the reader in and has you rooting for the police to nail the bad guys. The star is without question the intense and quirky Fiona who has made these books a “must” read for me.

Feb 14, 12:30pm Top

>120 DeltaQueen50: I loved that one, too, Judy! Now we are both ready for book three.

Feb 14, 12:37pm Top

I *really* need to start the Fiona series....

Feb 14, 1:19pm Top

>120 DeltaQueen50: Yay Fiona! I love that series!

Feb 14, 2:23pm Top

>121 Crazymamie: I can't believe that it took me a year from reading the first book to get to the second! Hopefully, it won't take me a year to get to number 3!

>122 katiekrug: You do, Katie, you do. :)

>123 ChelleBearss: Chelle, I started two series last year, and they have both become favorites. The Fiona Griffiths one and the Dr. Frieda Klein series by Nicci French. Both are excellent.

Edited: Feb 14, 2:29pm Top

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I did something for my heart today and had my annual stress test. It's good news as everything turned up in the normal range. I have received a mushy card and flowers from my hubby and I have a chocolate treat tucked away for us to share later. I hope everyone has a lovely day!

Edited: Feb 14, 3:32pm Top

Happy Valentine's Day, Judy. Good for you on getting the stress test, and congrats on the good news results.

Nice reviews! I added The Revenant to my WL. I love the Fiona Griffiths series.

Feb 15, 9:11am Top

Hi Judy - I must pick up the Fiona Griffiths series; it sounds like one I would like. And, of course, I do need to start another series...

Feb 15, 2:18pm Top

>120 DeltaQueen50: Lovely review, Judy! I've thumbed you.

>121 Crazymamie: I am also ready for Book Three, Mamie. I was hoping to squeeze it in this month but I'm not sure that's going to happen. Maybe next month?

Feb 15, 3:30pm Top

I think you got me with the Fiona Griffiths book. I'm adding it to TBR list now.

Feb 15, 4:29pm Top

I just spent the whole morning hunting down clues for the LT Heart Treasure Hunt. I got about 9 on my own, but the rest I picked up by reading the clues that people posted to the thread.

>126 jnwelch: Hi Joe, yes, I was very happy that the stress test went so well, and then I woke up this morning with a sore throat and aching body, so I must have picked up a bug somewhere. Hopefully I can shake it off soon. It's fun how these book bullets work - I originally took a hit from Mark for The Revenant so I am happy to pass that bullet along to you. :)

>127 BLBera: I know, Beth, we all need more series! I seem to have so many on the go that I only get to read about 1 a year from each series and yet, I still keep adding more!

>128 rosalita: Thanks for the Thumb, Julia - and thanks for the clues you supplied for the Treasure Hunt - they came in handy.

>129 cmbohn: Cindy, it's a great series, well written and suspenseful and the main character, Fiona Griffiths is unique, quirky and intelligent.

Feb 15, 9:11pm Top

Congratulations on a good result from your stress test! Well done!

I really must get to Harry Bingham as soon as possible. Love your review.

Feb 16, 7:30am Top

>130 DeltaQueen50: Hope you feel better quickly! A minor bug has been hanging out in our house too and I can't seem to shake it. It's possible that it's allergies but it's February and snowy so I really can't see that

The Heart treasure hunt was fun! I also used the talk thread for quite a few! I hadn't done the pirate one before so this was my first LT treasure hunt!

Feb 16, 11:36am Top

>131 VivienneR: I think you will love the Fiona Griffiths series, Vivienne. It's very well done.

>132 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle, unfortunately whatever this bug is, it's gotten a good hold on me. I feel pretty rough and will probably find someplace comfy to curl up in to read my books and watch the Olympics. Those treasure hunts are fun and a great way to waste a whole morning! Someone mentioned an Easter Egg Hunt which would be a fun one as well.

Feb 17, 9:52am Top

25. High Sierra by W. R. Burnett - 4.2 ★
Category: Oscar the Grouch
2018 PopSugar Challenge: A Book Involving a Heist
TIOLI #16: Rolling Challenge Based on "GoldSilverBronze"

High Sierra by W.R. Bennett is a classic crime story about a heist that goes wrong. After being released from prison, notorious, aging criminal Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort that is the playground of the rich and famous. Earle is the last surviving member of the Dillinger gang and had been in prison for some time so this story is both a crime story and a character study of a man who has outlived his time.

It’s hard to divorce this book from the excellent 1941 film that starred Humphrey Bogart. His portrayal of Roy Earle was vivid and certainly colored my view of this book. The heist story was enhanced by a side plot that has Earle meeting and helping a young crippled girl but when he wants more from this girl than mere friendship he is denied. Instead he takes up with Marie, a floozy that his gang members brought along. He also ends up being adopted by a small white dog, Pard, who has a reputation for bringing bad luck to his owner.

High Sierra paints an excellent portrait of a tormented man, showing both his softer side and the harder outer shell that has the world calling him “Mad Dog Earle”. I found this slightly melodramatic noir crime story to be a very entertaining read.

Feb 18, 9:58am Top

I've added The Revenant to my wishlist. Some of your other reviews are tempting as well.

Hope your virus goes away soon.

Feb 18, 12:39pm Top

>135 hailelib: Hi Tricia, I spent a lazy day yesterday and do feel much better today. Now I have to catch up on housework as I am having company for dinner. I hope you enjoy The Revenant as much as I did.

Feb 18, 1:18pm Top

>134 DeltaQueen50: Another great movie that I didn't realize was based on a book! Humphrey Bogart & Ida Lupino were so good in that.

Feb 18, 11:53pm Top

>137 leslie.98: I love the movie as well. Apparently the author and John Huston worked on the script. It stayed fairly close to the book but the ending was quite different, I think the movie version had a much stronger ending.

Feb 20, 12:17pm Top

26. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen - 4.1 ★
Category: Abby Cadabby
February AlphaKit: "J"
BingoDog: Character's Rank in Title
TIOLI #16: Rolling Challenge Based on "GoldSilverBronze"

For the last few days I have been totally engrossed in The Queen of the Tearling, a fantasy read about a princess who was raised far from court in a secret location. Now surrounded by her very capable but far to few Queen’s Guard, hunted by assassins, she comes of age and is delivered to the capitol to take up her birthright and rule as Queen.

This story kept my interest all the way through. It also is the first of a trilogy, so many threads have been started that I am sure will be followed up over the course of the next book. Kelsea is a great character to follow, a book-loving rather plain girl who has to watch her weight, but over the course of the book becomes a very capable ruler and learns the art of “kick-ass”. She leads with her heart and her people soon come to love her. Of course she has some very bitter and dark enemies, both in her own country and in the neighbouring country of Mortese. There are touches of magic, the dark magic of the Red Queen of Mort and the magic that comes from Kelsea’s two sapphire necklaces that she is just learning about.

The negatives that I felt with this book were that Kelsea is the only strong female, most of the other women who were introduced in this book seem to be victims of violence and/or sexual abuse. The setting is slightly disconcerting as there are many references to our own culture and to “The Crossing”. Obviously this is Earth in the future after some sort of disaster that has set the timeline back to the Dark Ages.

I enjoyed this story of Kelsea and her struggles to bring her kingdom peace and prosperity. The end of the book left many threats hanging over this small kingdom and I will definitely be reading on to see how these threats are resolved.

Feb 20, 3:16pm Top

The Queen of Tearling has been on my list forever. Do you know if the series is finished yet Judy?

Feb 21, 11:45am Top

>140 jolerie: Hi Valerie, I believe The Queen of the Tearling is the first of a trilogy, and all three books have been published, so, yes, it is a finished, complete trilogy.

Feb 21, 1:46pm Top

>139 DeltaQueen50: You're reminding me that I enjoyed The Queen of the Tearling when I read it, and I really should get to the rest of the series soon!

Feb 21, 1:50pm Top

After Benita recommended it, I read the whole Tearling trilogy, and thought it was excellent. There's a major twist in the third one.

Edited: Feb 21, 5:43pm Top

Well, hello there! I'm late to the party - what else is new nowadays - but I am here and prepared to dodge bullets; my challenge this year is strictly TBR-pile, so I'd better not pick up too much. :) Glad to hear the move went well and that you're settling in.

Edited: Feb 21, 10:10pm Top

HI, Judy. You always have such good books going. Good review of The Revenant. Thumb! I liked that book too. The film...not so much.

I remember liking the film High Sierra but I never read the book.

And hooray The Queen of The Tearling. Thumb.The first 2 books, in the trilogy, are terrific.

Hope you are feeling better.

Feb 21, 10:37pm Top

What a day! We had to drive a fair distance to the car dealership as my fob quit working. This is the second time that this has happened they put new batteries in but I think we are going to order a new fob - I just don't trust this one anymore. Luckily it stopped working when I was at home trying to go out, I would have not been happy if I had been out somewhere and have to have had my husband come and bring me his fob. We also did some shopping while we were out. It was snowing but the roads were clear and the snow fairly light so we weren't worried at all, but coming home the snow got deeper and deeper, our area got blitzed! A truck had turned over on the highway and we were caught up in bumper to bumper traffic. It took an hour to travel a distance that we usually do in 10 minutes. At least we are home now and though there's lots of snow - we don't have to worry about shoveling it anymore!

>142 christina_reads: I am looking forward to continuing on with this trilogy, Christina, but all too often it takes me far too long to get back to a series. I am hoping to finally read the second book in the Queen's Thief series next month which has taken me far too long to get back to!

>143 jnwelch: I am looking forward to finding out about that twist, Joe. :)

>144 -Eva-: Welcome, Eva. Great to see you. Good luck with your TBR reading, I try to concentrate on my TBR but I do get swayed by new books and library books all too often!

>145 msf59: I am feeling much better, Mark, thank you. I haven't seen the film of The Revenant yet, I kept putting it off until I read the book, I will probably see it at some point, but it's not that high a priority.

Feb 21, 11:15pm Top

Good luck getting the car issues worked out. Hooray for being out of the snow.

Feb 22, 11:59am Top

>147 cmbohn: Thanks, Cindy. I do have to say that it is beautiful outside today. The sun is shining and the ground and trees are white. This is only the second snowfall we have had this year, so I can't complain too much, and luckily, we have nowhere to go today so can just stay home and stay warm and cozy.

Feb 22, 12:21pm Top

27. City of the Sun by David Levien - 4.0 ★
Category: Brought To You By The Number
February Random Cat: Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler
TIOLI #3: Title Contains Something You Love

The first in his Frank Behr series, City of the Sun by David Levien is an American crime novel set in Indianapolis. Frank Behr is an ex-cop, now working as a private detective. He is hired by Paul and Carol Gabriel who are devastated by the disappearance of their twelve year old son. A year has almost gone by since they last saw their son and they have realized that Jamie’s case has been put on the back burner by the police. They are pretty sure that Jamie is most likely dead by now but they are in limbo and need to find out what happened to their son and who is responsible.

Frank painstakingly works the case and follows every lead, he has his own issues that have left him emotionally damaged. Eventually he and the father, Paul start to work together and they discover that Jamie wasn’t randomly grabbed off the streets, but was part of a well planned operation that is run by a local businessman. Behr finds out that the children are taken to Mexico so he and Paul follow the trail and arrive at a remote location in Mexico.

This is an emotionally wrenching story that grabs the reader right from the start, there is a sense of time running short that keeps the pages turning. High in suspense and action, City in the Sun introduces an intense, troubled character that I look forward to learning more of. This read was an excellent launch to the series.

Feb 22, 12:26pm Top

>146 DeltaQueen50: I've had the fob problem before, Judy, and it's rather frustrating! Although mine has always worked eventually — I found once it started going that it helped to take it out of my purse and warm it up in my hand for a minute or so before trying to start the car (that was in cold weather, of course). But I did eventually have the battery replaced in it and that solved it, thankfully. I hope your new fob will be more reliable.

Feb 22, 8:01pm Top

I would definitely prioritize reading on in the Thief of Attolia series to doing so in the Tearling series, Judy. It's a much stronger series overall.

Glad you made it home safely, and isn't it nice to be able to relax at home and not worry about getting out in the weather?

Edited: Feb 22, 8:05pm Top

>146 DeltaQueen50: Does your fob have the hidden key inside? Most fobs have a key that you can pry out of the fob so that even if the fob doesn't work you won't be stranded.

(eta I feel like I just wrote fob too many times :)

Feb 22, 11:17pm Top

Hi Judy. I have heard so many good things about Queen of the Tearling.

And Fiona Griffiths. Yes.

Feb 23, 8:21am Top

The Frank Behr series sounds interesting.

Feb 23, 1:37pm Top

The snow is really coming down today, I am so happy that we have no appointments or anywhere we have to go today. I slipped out yesterday afternoon and bought groceries so we are all set. My husband is loving this as he can relax and just enjoy the beauty of it - no driveway to shovel, no work to have to drive to. I just made some Cranberry Orange Muffins and am going to join hubby in a cup of coffee in a minute. Ah - retirement life is good.

>150 rosalita: Since they changed the batteries, Julia, the fob is working fine, but we think we should still get a new one just for peace of mind.

>151 ronincats: Hi Roni. I have The Queen of Attolia lined up to read next month and I am going to try to fit the third book in this year as well, although I can space most of my mystery series out for a long period of time, I need to read the sci-fi and fantasy series closer together so I don't lose the thread of the story. I think this is the last stab of winter, it's supposed to warm up starting tomorrow and then hopefully we've seen the last of this kind of weather!

>152 ChelleBearss: Chelle, I didn't know about the hidden key, but, yes, there is key inside. Apparently, if the fob batteries are failing, you can use the key to get inside the car and even a very low battery will have enough juice to start the car to get you home. I have been fooling around with the fob but so far neither I nor my husband can make the key pop out on my fob. My husband's works fine so another reason to replace my fob. And isn't fob a weird word when you start using it over and over again!

>153 EBT1002: Ellen, I really enjoyed The Queen of the Tearling and as for Fiona Griffiths, she was last year's best discovery!

>154 RidgewayGirl: Kay, I have a tendency to read more British mystery series than American, so I was happy to find this one whose characters and storyline I found interesting.

Feb 23, 1:48pm Top

Retirement sounds like bliss Judy! Enjoy! :)

Feb 24, 8:02am Top

Hope you enjoyed your snow day! Isn't it wonderful when you don't have to worry about leaving the house during a storm!

Feb 24, 8:08am Top

Hi Judy! just popping in to say how much I enjoyed Somewhere a Cat is Waiting. What a dream to chuck everything and grow daffodils in a picture perfect setting surrounded by furry friends. Definitely, an escape from the real world.

Have a lovely weekend!

Feb 24, 12:16pm Top

>156 jolerie: Well, there is that tiny little thing of "old" age and the aches and pains that go with it that's hard to ignore, Valerie, but other than that retirement is pretty good. ;)

>157 ChelleBearss: It is a great feeling to be comfortable and warm during a snowstorm and simply being able to watch the snow come down without any pressure to go out.

>158 Carmenere: I am so glad that you enjoyed the Derek Tangye book about their lives in a remote corner of Cornwall. It did feel like an escape to a fantasy location didn't it?

Feb 24, 6:44pm Top

28. The Clocks by Agatha Christie - 3.5 ★
Category: The Mystery Box
TIOLI #4: A Book Set In or Published in the 60s (any decade)

The Clocks by Agatha Christie was originally published in 1963 and features Hercule Poirot. While Poirot is not the main character in this book, he does put the pieces together and come up with correct solution, but he never visits the crime scene or interviews any of the suspects. There are actually two mysteries in this book, the intriguing murder case that Poirot solves and a cold war spy story.

The story starts out very well with the discovery of a murdered stranger in the front parlour of an elderly blind lady but I didn’t feel that the story held together all that well. Poirot solving the mystery from his armchair made many mental leaps that weren’t entirely convincing and some of the best clues turned out to be red herrings. I did like the addition of the spy story as it spoke to the 1960’s timing. Spy thrillers from authors such as Len Deighton, John LeCarre and Ian Fleming were all the rage in the 1960’s.

Agatha Christie never totally disappoints me, her comments on other mystery writers were fun as was the wry poke at herself with her comments about the fictional Mrs. Oliver and her “foreign” detective. The Clocks was good enough, but I have come to expect much better from this author.

Feb 25, 9:59am Top

Hooray for not having to shovel, Judy. I am eying my sidewalk as I write this, thinking, later. :) I think we are all ready for spring.

Queen of the Tearling and City of the Sun both go on the WL. It's a dangerous thread!

Feb 25, 1:08pm Top

>161 BLBera: Spring can't come soon enough for me, Beth!

Feb 25, 1:20pm Top

29. The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith - 3.7 ★
Category: In Recognition of Excellence - 1001 Books to Read Before You Die List
BingoDog: A Humorous Book
TIOLI #15: A Book that is Tagged "Humor"

The Diary of a Nobody written by George Grossmith and illustrated by his brother Weedon Grossmith is an English comic novel that was first published as a serial in Punch magazine in 1888-89 and then presented in book form in 1892. The book is written as the diary that records the daily lives of a London clerk, Charles Pooter, his wife Carrie, his son Lupin and many of his friends and acquaintances over a 15 month period has become a true classic and is still in print today.

Much of the humor in this book is developed from the Pooter’s attempt to rise above their middle class life and the social humiliations that this resulted in. Charles Pooter’s pretensions and petty concerns become a wry satire on middle class aspirations that often sees the reader chuckling and wincing at the same time.

The Diary of a Nobody is a quick and amusing read that is quaint and funny yet also gives us a glimpse into the past and a way of life that has for the most part disappeared. Even though the book is more than a century old, many will recognize the timeless character of Pooter from their own social circle or even from gazing into the mirror.

Feb 25, 7:44pm Top

>163 DeltaQueen50: Ah, Pooter! I did enjoy this book and your review reminds me why.

Feb 25, 8:19pm Top

I really liked that one too! Poor old Pooter.

Feb 25, 9:28pm Top

Hi Judy! Very belatedly, may I congratulate you on your successful move?

I really dropped by to thank you for adding The Wandering Falcon >101 DeltaQueen50: to the TIOLI Challenge this month. I'd never heard of it, but since we often enjoy the same books I decided to give it a try (and I'm always looking for shared reads). I'm almost done with it and have to say that it's excellent! Thanks!

>70 DeltaQueen50: You got me with The Witches of Lychford, too. I requested it as soon as I saw that you'd added it, but I probably won't get it this month.

>120 DeltaQueen50: I've been resisting Fiona Griffiths, but your review was so positive that I just requested the first one from the library. I shouldn't have your thread - I just should have posted.

>139 DeltaQueen50: I loved The Queen of the Tearling - but The Invasion of the Tearling? Not so much. I finished it, but don't plan on reading the final book. I hope it works better for you.

I'll try not to be so long between visits - there are always great books on your thread.

Feb 25, 9:28pm Top

Happy Sunday, Judy. I hope you had a nice weekend, filled with plenty of book time. It is nice that you get to sit inside, all comfy and look at all that snow.

Feb 26, 12:48pm Top

>164 leslie.98: & >165 cmbohn: I really enjoyed The Diary of a Nobody, there's something about British humour that really appeals to me. This book reminded me somewhat of the writings of Jerome K. Jerome and P. G. Wodehouse. As far as I remember, this was the first time that I had read this book, but the name Pooter seemed very familiar to me.

>166 Dejah_Thoris: First off, Dejah, please don't apologize for not visiting more often, I am struggling these days with visiting all the threads that I would like to as well so I know how hard it is to keep up around here! We do seem to often like the same books so I keep a close eye on the books you list at the TIOLI challenges as well. I am glad that you're loving The Wandering Falcon, I thought it was a very interesting story with an unusual setting. Also I think you will enjoy the Fiona Griffiths series, it's very well done. I've heard that the second book in the Tearling series isn't very good, which is a shame, I will give it a try but will be prepared to be disappointed.

>167 msf59: Hi Mark, I did have a nice quiet weekend. We finally went out for a little yesterday and enjoyed the sunshine. It was mild and the snow was melting so there was a real "spring" feeling in the air. Today is going to be a day of chores, mostly laundry, shopping an banking. It's hard to believe we are just about entering the third month of the year already!

Feb 26, 2:21pm Top

I'm definitely in the camp that enjoys winter a whole lot more if no shovelling or commuting is involved. :D

Feb 26, 4:07pm Top

You got me with Diary of a Nobody, Judy. Adding it to the WL, and off to drop a thumb.

Feb 26, 8:19pm Top

That was quite the snow storm on Friday, Judy. I was supposed to go to my RL book club that night but it was uphill in Port Moody. Most of the members live in the area and could walk so they didn't move the time of the meeting. On Saturday I cleaned about 8 inches of snow off my car and shoveled it out so I am mobile again. It is nice to see that the snow is disappearing.

Your thread reminded me of the Fiona Griffith series, I still need to read the second one. You also got me with a BB for the Nicci French series.

Feb 27, 1:13am Top

Of COURSE you are loving I Dare! Would I lead you astray?

Feb 27, 4:59pm Top

>169 jolerie: Me too, Valerie, me too!

>170 jnwelch: I think you will enjoy Diary of a Nobody, Joe.

>171 Familyhistorian: It was quite the snowstorm, I was very happy to just stay home with my books and cuddle into a chair. I can see why you couldn't get to your book club - uphills and downhills can be very tricky in B.C.'s wet snow and icy roads. I think winter is officially over now and Spring is upon us. Both the Fiona Griffiths and Frieda Klein (Nicci French) were my top discoveries last year, I am looking forward to reading more from each of them.

>172 ronincats: LOL! You haven't lead me astray yet. Roni. I am totally in love with the Liaden series! Pat Rin is another great character in a series full of great characters!

Feb 27, 5:54pm Top

>155 DeltaQueen50: "I just made some Cranberry Orange Muffins and am going to join hubby in a cup of coffee in a minute. Ah - retirement life is good."

Ah! I'm envious! P has set June 1 as her retirement date and I'm looking forward to it. I think it will be great to have one adult member of the household with lots of time and leisure to get things done.

Feb 28, 4:55pm Top

>174 EBT1002: Wish P a very happy retirement from me, Ellen. We are finding the slower pace of life very easy to adapt to and love our new way of life, as I am sure you will as well.

Edited: Feb 28, 5:36pm Top

30. I Dare by Sharon Lee - 4.5 ★
Category: Bert and Ernie's Science Lessons
2018 Pop Sugar Challenge: Set on a Different Planet
TIOLI #16: Rolling Challenge Based on "GoldSilverBronze"

The Liaden Universe series by Sharon Lee just keeps getting better with each book that I read. I have just finished I Dare and it was a deliciously satisfying read. These books are chock full of excellent characters that I have come to love and now, the author has added even more. The story picks up immediately after the last book, Plan B, and the action is non-stop as the members of Clan Korval are fleeing from the Department of the Interior and aiding their allies by helping to thwart an invasion of the Yxtrangs on the planet of Lytaxin. The Department intends to eliminate all the clan members except for the black sheep of the family, Pat Rin, whom they intend to turn into their puppet.

Pat Rin is an elegant man, an expert gambler and a top-notch sure-shooter, but unfortunately an outsider in his family but luckily he has unexpected depths and no use for the Department’s plan. He is working on several schemes of his own, including revenge for his family whom he believes have been murdered. With the beautiful and dangerous Natesa at his side he is working to reform a lawless planet.

This series is great escapism reading as it totally immerses the reader in a very different place and time. High adventure, romance and excellent story-lines make these books a feast for the imagination.

Edited: Mar 1, 11:34am Top

31. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu - 4.0 ★
Category: Miss Piggy
March AlphaKit: F
TIOLI #1: The Last Letters of the Author's First and Last Name Form a 2 Letter Word

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu is a series of interlinked stories about five young women. As young girls, Nita, Andee, Isabel, Siobhan, and Dina arrive at Camp Forevermore in the Pacific Northwest. The girls are ten and eleven years old and are all quite different from one another both culturally and in their personalities. Together they share a difficult experience when things go terribly wrong on an overnight kayaking trip. The story of this camping trip unfolds throughout the book but is inter-cut with stories about each of the girls, from their teenage years and on into their adult lives.

The girls are all affected by this trip well into their adult years and eating disorders, failure to sustain relationships and feelings of low self esteem are all part of their stories. Their stories are told in a sensitive, skillful manner and the author keeps each characters distinct and vivid. I was very taken by The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore and the strengths and weaknesses it revealed. These are stories that I expect will linger in my mind for some time.

Mar 1, 11:40am Top

>177 DeltaQueen50: This one sounds really good, Judy. Off to check to see if my library has it.

Mar 1, 12:00pm Top

>179 DeltaQueen50: I think you will like The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, Beth. I don't often read brand new books but I read a review on it and placed an order with the library before it was available, I got in early and so was the fifth person to get it.

Mar 1, 12:44pm Top

>177 DeltaQueen50: - Added that one to my library WL!

Mar 1, 5:26pm Top

>177 DeltaQueen50: We debated ordering that one for our library but opted for a different title we though would check out more with our readers. Your comment about it lingering makes me think I should reconsider when we order this month if we have a few points remaining after ordering the "must haves" from late February to mid-March. The order will be placed tomorrow.

Mar 1, 9:58pm Top

>176 DeltaQueen50: I look forward to getting back into the Liaden books this month. You are the one who first brought this series to my attention and, while not quite as good as the Vorkosigan books, I am enjoying it!

Mar 1, 10:21pm Top

I still have a few Liaden books to find and read. Then I'll probably go back and read them in order.

You've been reading an interesting mix of stories.

Mar 2, 12:19pm Top

>180 katiekrug: Glad to help you fill out that list, Katie!

>181 thornton37814: I am very envious of your job, Lori. Ordering books for a library sounds like the perfect job, of course, there is that pesky thing called a budget.

>182 leslie.98: I love both the Liaden and Vorkosigan series and would have a hard time choosing my favorite of the two. You have reminded me that I need to get back to the Vorkosigan series in the near future.

>183 hailelib: Tricia, I am loving that I have 18 categories to work on this year, that plus the various Cats and Kits are giving me plenty of variety in my reading.

Mar 2, 2:17pm Top

>184 DeltaQueen50: These books are in our lease plan. We get so many points per month. Some books take more than one point. We try to limit ones using more than one so we'll end up with more options, but we do end up getting a few authors who check out really well who take more than one point.

Mar 2, 3:14pm Top

I saw TLGoCF on the NPR blog of book reviews and was on the fence, but your review definitely nudges me into the need to see if my library has a copy side of the fence. Thanks Judy!

Mar 2, 10:09pm Top

>185 thornton37814: Sounds like a fascinating job to me, Lori. Working in a library was always a dream job for me.

>186 jolerie: Although not a book that one can call enjoyable, I certainly hope you find it a worthwhile read, Valerie.

Mar 2, 10:19pm Top

32. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh - 3.8 ★
Category: In Recognition of Excellence - 1001 Books List
TIOLI #8: Read A Book For a Project

Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh was published in 1930 and is a humorous satire on the bright young things of upper class London society who were the rage between World War I and World War II. Their territory was Mayfair and their time was spent in various capricious escapades involving dancing, cocktail parties, promiscuity and sports cars.

The main character is struggling writer, Adam Fenwick-Symes who takes the job of a gossip columnist so that he can afford to marry his fiancee, the aristocratic Nina Blount. He is soon to be found writing about his own social set as they wander aimlessly through life, always looking for their next great sensation. The lampooning starts immediately in the first chapter as various characters are introduced and we discover last-week’s prime minister is called Outrageous and a homosexual journalist has the moniker of Miles Malpractice. The situations in which Waugh places his characters in are no less unconventional and absurd.

This book absolutely skewers this segment of a generation that emerged in the years after WW I, and along with being outrageously witty and humorous, Waugh doesn’t hesitate to expose the darkness and vulnerability that lurks just beneath the surface of these upper crust people. It seems that every generation has it’s own group of “bright young things’ that everyday people want to read about, in the 1950’s they were “the smart set”, and in the 1960’s, “the beautiful people”, even today Twitter and other sites are full of the exploits of the Kardashians, Hiltons and other members of the glitterati. Vile Bodies has more than it’s share of silly characters making poor decisions but overall, I found this book to be a very entertaining but slightly dated read.

Mar 3, 8:49am Top

>188 DeltaQueen50: Great review! I'll have to add that one to my 1001 books wishlist!

Mar 3, 3:14pm Top

>188 DeltaQueen50: said: "overall, I found this book to be a very entertaining but slightly dated read."

Interesting -- I didn't see it as dated but it is very much of its time. Maybe I read too much 1930s British fiction for the dated aspects to have impinged on my awareness, lol! After The Loved One, I think this is my favorite Waugh...

Mar 4, 2:06pm Top

>189 ChelleBearss: Chelle, I am surprised at how 'readable' most of the 1001 Books that I have picked up have been. I have spent most of my life avoiding many of these authors, thinking that they would be to difficult to read, but I am finding that is not the case at all.

>190 leslie.98: You are right, Lesie, I should have worded that differently. Vile Bodies is very much of it's time, but I felt a little out of step with the story - perhaps I am not "dated" enough! ;)

I am about to post a couple of reviews on books that are so very similar that I fear the reviews will sound very much alike. The Thrush Green series is one that I am very fond of, but after 10 books, I am running out of different things to say about it.

Mar 4, 2:23pm Top

33. Friends At Thrush Green by Miss Read - 4.0 ★
Category: It's Not Easy Being Green
March ColorCat: Green
2018 PopSugar Challenge: Title Includes Your Favorite Color
TIOLI #4: Rolling Challenge on a Pangram

Friends At Thrush Green by Miss Read is the tenth book in her Thrush Green series and these simple stories about a small British village have a special place my heart. The author writes of the changing seasons in the countryside and the small affairs of village life in a timeless manner. Her characters have problems but they are usually worked out through the course of each book with the help of their friends and their own good sense.

This book both opens and closes with a visit from previous Thrush Green residents. Dorothy and Agnes were the school teachers at the local school and lived in the house adjoining the school. Upon retirement they moved to a cottage by the sea, but they return to visit with their friends and catch up with local gossip. The book opens in spring and takes us through the course of a year, and some of the other stories that are followed are the on-going search of farmer Percy Hodge for a wife, the worrisome aging of another resident and how the new school master and his family are settling in. Some of these stories take a very serious turn as both senility and alcoholism play a major part.

Friends at Thrush Green was another engaging story about this idyllic village and the wonderful characters that live there.

Mar 4, 2:28pm Top

34. The World of Thrush Green by Miss Read - 4.0 ★
Category: Mr. Hooper's Store
March ColorCat: Green

The World of Thrush Green by Miss Read is a delightful combination of excerpts from her first 10 books about the rural area of Thrush Green and a true life background to how and why she chose to write about this particular area. The book is dedicated to John S. Goodall, whose wonderful illustrations have enhanced all of her Thrush Green books, and indeed, give this book an added depth as well.

Dora Saint who writes under the name of Miss Read, lived in a small Oxfordshire village called Wood Green near Witney from 1940 to 1945, and this location was her inspiration for Thrush Green. She turned to Jane Austen’s advice to her niece, “You are now collecting your People delightfully, getting them exactly into such a spot as is the delight of my life, three or four Families in a Country Village is the very thing to work on.” The first book was published in 1959 and she admits she drew freely from her own experiences and many of her character’s traits were taken from people she knew in Wood Green.

Over the course of 10 books she has managed to inspire and engage her readers in these absorbing, lightly quaint, timeless chronicles and The World of Thrush Green allows her readers to look over her shoulder at how she developed both the lovely setting and filled it with her beloved characters. This is a wonderful companion read to the Thrush Green series.

Mar 4, 6:55pm Top

Judy, I was in a used bookstore in Philadelphia this weekend, and there were several Miss Read books on the shelf, and I immediately thought of you!

Mar 5, 3:00pm Top

>194 katiekrug: Hi Katie. It's pretty obvious that these books speak to the anglophile in me! They are practically fantasy novels in that the setting paints such an idyllic rural British village that I am sure in no way exists today.

Edited: Mar 8, 1:19pm Top

35. Cemetery Lake by Paul Cleave - 4.5 ★
Category: Oscar The Grouch
2018 PopSugar Challenge: Ugly Cover
March MysteryCat: Global Mysteries
TIOLI #4: Rolling Challenge on a Pangram

When private investigator Theo Tate find himself standing by a grave in the process of having a body exhumed little does he know that this is just the beginning of an investigation that will involve multiple corpses, deep secrets and dark betrayals. Cemetery Lake by New Zealand author Paul Cleave opens with a bang and immediately grips the reader and, as the story develops, the more twisted and dark it becomes.

Theo himself is not in a good place as he is dealing with a horrendous tragedy that befell his family two years ago. He is barely coping but when this case comes along it seems to press his buttons and even though he knows he should leave this to the police, he cannot stop taking matters into his own hands. Theo is an ex-police detective but, eaten up with grief and trying to hold his anger, guilt and depression in, he is like a loose cannon. The author keeps the atmosphere dark and the momentum building as Theo pulls himself deeper into a moral abyss as he relentlessly tracks a psychopathic serial killer.

Cemetery Lake is the third book in Paul Cleave’s Christchurch Noir series, and the first, but not the last, to feature Theo Tate. I found this a powerful story that had excellent timing and although Theo isn’t a character that demands either the readers' liking or sympathy, I look forward to reading more about him.

Mar 7, 3:52am Top

I love the Miss Read books. I'm sure they are highly romanticized views of English village life, but they are still delightful reading.

Mar 7, 9:08pm Top

>197 cmbohn: Cindy, I love reading the Miss Read books and I am happy that I have her Village School series to turn to after I finish the Thrush Green books.

Edited: Mar 8, 1:19pm Top

36. A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install - 4.5 ★
Category: The Letters A to J
March AlphaKit: I
2018 PopSugar Challenge: A Book You Borrowed or Was Given to You As A Gift
TIOLI #11: Something That Grows From the Ground is in the Title

It’s hard not to simply fall back on cliches when discussing A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install. It is designed to make the reader feel ‘warm and fuzzy’ and it certainly exceeds in this. It also has humor, charm and is an interesting relationship drama with a quirky, rickety robot for it’s heart. Ben and Amy are a married couple that have drifted apart and are living very separate lives. Ben’s parents recently died and he is grieving, only his grief takes on the appearance of aimlessness and failure to show initiative. His wife, Amy, has submersed herself in her work as a lawyer and feels that she has to be the adult in the relationship. Then comes the day that Ben makes a discovery in his back garden, an outdated robot is sitting in the back yard gazing over the fence at the horses in the next field. This robot is the spark that sets Ben on a course of finding himself, growing up and learning to be an adult.

The story is set in the future as robots and androids are common features in most households. This particular robot, Tang, is one of the most wonderful book characters that I have been introduced to. He is both earnest and emotive and he won my heart in the course of a page or two. Tang is a mystery, he is slightly broken and Ben wants to repair him but doesn’t know where he comes from or how to go about fixing him. When Amy walks out on them, Ben and Tang go on a road trip to discover how to fix Tang, and in doing so, Ben finds a path to fixing himself as well.

A Robot in the Garden is delightful and heartwarming. Tang the robot is loyal, clever, at times difficult to manage and an altogether fantastic creation. Ben starts the book hapless and hopeless but matures into a considerate, caring individual. For me, the character of Amy was under developed, she was very harsh and career-focused at the beginning of the book, but later on that Amy had completely disappeared but without seeing the process, this felt a little contrived. This is not a story with earth shaking revelations or rewarding emotional depths, it is a feel-good story that makes you smile. Nevertheless I loved this book and want to tell everyone to read it for the robot. I guarantee that this retro robot will steal your heart.

Mar 8, 1:20pm Top

Well, it's been a hectic last few days. We have got all our finances and investments in order and decided that we would like to do a little travelling while we are still able. Our passports expired this January and with moving etc. we didn't have time to renew them. We went and got our new passport photos the day before yesterday and I sat down to the computer to fill out the required forms. Mine was straight forward and is ready to be submitted, but when we turned to my husbands, he couldn't find his current passport. We have turned the place upside down but with no luck He always kept his passport in the same place, but when moving, he remembers taking it from there, but he doesn't remember where he put it. We both think it is safely tucked away somewhere but if we can't find it so he can turn it in, he can't renew his passport. He will have to apply for a new passport which means more documentation is required plus it also probably means he will have to go to the passport office in person (and like any government office) that can be a nightmare! Anyway, so much for our woes.

We did go and spend a little time wandering around Steveson which in days goneby was a fishing village and cannery at the mouth of the Fraser River. Today it is an area of restaurants, walkways, and boats. The old cannery is now a museum. We had a lovely lunch overlooking the river and we were able to eat outside on a sheltered porch. Unfortunately the weather has changed again and today it is raining. I intend to catch up on laundry, probably fill out passport forms and, of course, do some reading.

Mar 8, 1:30pm Top

Oh dear about the passport, Judy. I hope it turns up! The Wayne has never had one, but will be getting one this year so we can take our anniversary trip next year.

Where are you and Mr. DeltaQueen wanting to travel to?

Mar 8, 1:39pm Top

Hi Katie, we haven't fixed on a definite destination. Ken loves cruises, but I, unfortunately, get seasick very easily. I thought I would look into some river cruises as a safer option, I would love to do the Mississippi River and see New Orleans. There is also a river cruise that gets rave reviews for autumn travelling. You leave from Ottawa, Ontario and cruise down the Rideau River - going through many locks - you come out on the St. Lawrence River. It would be a great way to see plenty of fall color, but I think you have to book that one a year or two in advance. There are also some river cruises in Europe that I would love to take, we just aren't too keen on long flights. Also being such an lover of all things "English" I would love to go back to the British Isles. I was there as a child but I didn't fully appreciate my surroundings at that time.

Mar 8, 3:08pm Top

There are so many options and so many places I want to see that it can be hard to decide what to actually do! Some of the European river cruises look lovely.

Mar 8, 4:22pm Top

>200 DeltaQueen50: - I can sympathize with losing things when you move. I put our passports in the safe deposit box before we moved so I would be sure not to lose them. I have, however, lost a book of quilts that I want to use to make a quilt for the bed. I thought I'd looked everywhere, but I haven't found it yet. But, back to passports - on our recent trip to Mexico, my husband's passport would not scan at any of the airports. So he's going to have to get in touch with somebody and see how to fix that.

>202 DeltaQueen50: - I've been wanting to do one of those river cruises in Europe too. I like the idea of a smaller boat.

Mar 8, 5:53pm Top

Sorry to see about your passport woes. Ours expired ages ago and the girls have never had one. I feel that will be a long visit to the passport office when we finally go.

Mar 8, 6:39pm Top

>202 DeltaQueen50: My in-laws have done the river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest and really liked it. They've also done a fall colours cruise, although I can't remember where it started, maybe NYC or Boston? Anyway it goes through the St. Lawrence and stops in Halifax, too, which is nice.

I'd endorse your booking a river cruise that leaves from Ottawa, especially if you pencilled in time for a meetup with me and paruline! ;)

Mar 8, 10:29pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Judy. Good review of The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore. I have heard some buzz on this one all ready. Looks like a fun read and so does A Robot in the Garden. Every now and then I am up for a heart-warming read, after a heavy dose of dark & edgy. Hey, that is pair of BBs. You have done your job.

Mar 9, 9:33am Top

You remind me I've wanted to read some Miss Read books, Judy. I must push them up on the list.

Good luck finding the passport. I recently had a scare when I couldn't find mine, but it turned up.

Mar 9, 9:38am Top

My passport has expired, too and so I need to renew that. At least it's a chance to get a better picture than the last one - I was frazzled and in a rush and I look like a homeless person who is on the run from the law in that one.

Good luck finding your husband's passport! When I was pregnant with my youngest, I put my wedding rings away in a safe place. I found them again when he was eleven, so it will turn up eventually.

Mar 9, 12:20pm Top

Yay for travelling Judy! I wish we had done more of it before we had kids but we were busy working and saving up for the kids. :/
I guess we can look forward to it in the future.
We had to deal with passport issues this past summer as well when we travelled to the States. That meant getting a newborn passport pictures for S. What a gong show. I don't know how they can expect a newborn to be awake, look at the camera, have his mouth close and his ears showing for it to be valid?!?! Thank goodness the staff were so kind and patient..hah!

Mar 9, 2:06pm Top

>203 katiekrug: It is hard to actually make up our minds as to what we want to do. We will get the passports straightened out, then hubby and grandson might make a trip back to Saskatchewan as the grandson is curious about his roots. They can fit a quick trip in between grandson's semesters at college. I would like to take a leisurely driving trip around the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and perhaps on down to the Oregon coast which has always been a favorite place for us. A larger trip is in the works as well, perhaps a river cruise or maybe just a trip to Hawaii or someplace warm.

>204 dudes22: Betty, the strangest things have gone missing since the move. The passport I believe is here somewhere, if Ken can just remember what he did with it. But my cheese grater seems to be gone, along with a couple of vases. Those I suspect got put in the goodwill box by mistake. While searching for his passport my husband did find his electric toothbrush which he thought was missing but was just mis-packed. I am hoping that a river cruise wouldn't bring on my seasickness, but then looking at pictures of some of these big Mississippi riverboats, I wonder. The smaller boats would probably be best for me.

>205 ChelleBearss: I hate having to go government offices for driver's licenses or passports, they are always an ordeal. We could do a new passport on-line and through the mail, but you have to submit original documentation like birth certificates for proof of identity and we would rather not trust that to the mail. For renewals it is much easier as they already have the information on file.

>206 rabbitprincess: I think a river cruise of the Rhine, Danube or one of the French rivers would be an amazing way to see Europe. Also their are cruise of some of the British rivers that I would be interested in as well. We have looked into the cruises that go from Montreal to New York highlighting fall colors, but that may be a little to much "open" ocean for me. So the trip that leaves Ottawa and sticks to the Rideau River is really appealing to me. Being able to have a LT meetup with you and paruline would be an excellent added bonus!

>207 msf59: Ha, glad I could call your attention to a couple, Mark. I like the warm and fuzzy occasionally, but as you know, dark and edgy is my first love!

>208 BLBera: The Miss Read books are like slipping on a pair of old, well loved slippers, Beth. They are perfect for curling up with when you need something warm and comfy. :) The only good thing about Ken's passport missing is that at least it is expired so someone can't use it, although it's not a pleasant feeling thinking that his personal information could be in someone else's hands.

>209 RidgewayGirl: I know all about disappointment when you look at your passport photo, Kay. This last one is terrible of me, the photographer was grumpy and I guess my reaction is showing on my face, so my new passport photo can join yours on the "most-wanted" wall!

>210 jolerie: OMG Valerie, I can't even imagine how difficult it is to get an infant passport photo! Kudos to you and your patient photographers. I wish our most recent photographer had been a little more patient with me!

Mar 9, 2:25pm Top

37. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah - 5.0 ★
Category: Bob McGrath
March RandomCat: Ripped From the Headlines
BingoDog: A Memoir
TIOLI #9: A Book Published in the Last 10 Years

I picked up Born A Crime by Trevor Noah because I have read so many positive reviews about the book, in particular the audio version has been lauded so I decided to give a listen. Now I can add my voice to all the others who are praising Trevor Noah’s memoir of growing up in South Africa both under apartheid rule and it’s during it’s aftermath.

The book is full of deeply personal recollections that make the reader feel like you are having a one on one conversation with the author. At times very funny, it is also in turns informative, eyeopening and unnerving. Over and above all, this book stands as a tribute to his mother, who is an amazing and brave woman. Choosing to have a bi-racial child during the dark days of apartheid was dangerous and difficult as this very act violated many of South Africa’s laws at that time. She deliberately chose his name of Trevor as it has no African meaning so that he could grow up to be free to be, go or do whatever he wished. Her valuable life lessons were delivered to her son along with firm discipline and fierce religious values.

Hearing these stories in the author’s own voice gives both the humorous situations and his social observations a feeling of authenticity as he takes you on this journey of his early years. Born A Crime was an excellent listening experience that I highly recommend.

Mar 9, 4:31pm Top

>212 DeltaQueen50: I have the ebook and am hoping to get to it this year. I don't normally do audiobooks, but so many people have raved about this one I may have to make an exception!

Edited: Mar 10, 3:46pm Top

HI Judy, Just have had a fun visit to your thread. I thumbed your review of Born a Crime I read it recently too and had fun doing more research about Noah. He is quite the interesting person and I loved the book too! Did you know he was recently at th Queen E doing stand up, 2 nights in Vancouver?

Mar 10, 1:56am Top

River cruises sound like a great way to see places, Judy. It sounds so leisurely. I think it would be a great way to see Europe or somewhere with lots of great places to visit. I know that when I was in Halifax last year there were many cruise ships there looking for fall colours but there really weren't any because it was so warm in October that the leaves hadn't turned.

Mar 10, 4:27pm Top

>213 Jackie_K: Jackie, I think listening to the book unfold in Trevor Noah's own voice really raised the book up from a 4 and half star read to a five star read for me. Having lived it, he knew exactly when to play it for comedy and when it was far more serious.

>214 mdoris: Hi Mary, I hope you enjoying this lovely day of sunshine we are having! And it's supposed to be even warmer tomorrow. I didn't know about Trevor Noah being in Vancouver, I really should pay more attention to who is coming and going especially now that we have the time to go to these shows.

>215 Familyhistorian: There is something about seeing yourself sitting in a comfortable chair and seeing the sights of Europe drifting by, isn't there, Meg. So many places to go to - I would love another trip back to the east coast of Canada and we've never been to Newfoundland which is another place I would love to go to.

Edited: Mar 10, 6:17pm Top

Speaking of passports...I have done research recently on people who lived in the early 20th century. From what I found, and I haven't actually taken time to check this out, a passport was required for each trip taken. Also, they didn't use pictures, they used written descriptions. Some of them were pretty funny..."big nose, big mouth, big eyes". Yep, I could pick him out in a crowd. I had photographs I could compare with the written description and let's just say these descriptions were a great aid to the criminally inclined.

Mar 10, 6:57pm Top

>212 DeltaQueen50: I have a copy of that audiobook -- glad to hear such a positive review!

Good luck finding your husband's passport. The various river cruises you mentioned all sound great :)

Mar 11, 1:01am Top

I always wanted to take a jazz cruise down the Mississippi with my husband!

Mar 11, 1:43pm Top

>217 clue: Betty, it was certainly easier to discard one identity for another in the past, from what we can gather, my husband's great grandfather did exactly that. He came to Canada and took up land, married and raised a family but years later one of his brothers arrived and gave away the fact that he had left behind a wife and daughter in Germany.

>218 leslie.98: Leslie, you have a great listening experience ahead of you. I also see that there is a movie in the works. His mother, who is an amazing character, is going to be played by Lupita Nyong'o who is currently starring in the "Black Panther" film.

>219 cmbohn: Me, too, Cindy!

Mar 11, 2:15pm Top

38. Cold Hand in Mine by Robert Aickman - 3.6 ★
Category: The Count
March ScaredyKit: Weird Fiction
TIOLI #10: A Book That Isn't A Book

Originally published in 1975, Cold Hand in Mine by Robert Aickmn is a collection of short stories that highlight his ability at writing strange or “weird” fiction. There are eight stories in this collection and they verge on the supernatural but always with an ambiguous tone that leaves the reader wondering what just happened.

Included in this book are some tales that are slightly familiar in theme such as “Page’s From A Young Girl’s Journal” in which a young English girl travels through Italy and meets a handsome stranger who leaves her with a familiar wound on her neck and a craving to sink her teeth into other necks. Other stories are much more puzzling, often the climax of the story is left dangling and the reader is left with unanswered questions. The opening story “Swords” is a fine example of a story that not so much frightens as it disturbs and dismays.

These stories are far from the classic ghost story, yet they speak to our fears and uncertainties. With their chilling atmosphere and multi-levelled meanings, Cold Hand in Mine leaves the reader uneasy with feelings of uncertain menace and dread. Personally I am not very comfortable reading this type of story, as I always wonder if I am missing something, but this collection was an intriguing look at this author’s very original “weird” fiction.

Mar 12, 1:50pm Top

39. Gold of Our Fathers by Kwei Quartey - 3.8 ★
Category: Rechov Sumsum
March MysteryCat: Global Mysteries - Ghana
TIOLI #14: Water On Cover of Book

Gold of Our Fathers is the fourth book in author Kwei Quartey’s police procedural series that is set in Ghana, Africa. In this book the main character, Detective Darko Dawson has been promoted and transferred to Obuasi, a small town that is situated near Ghana’s gold fields. The main plot revolves around the murder of a Chinese mine owner but as he follows the clues and interviews the suspects, he is also made aware that corruption and illegal exploitation are deeply embedded in the country’s mining system.

This is a very readable series with good mysteries set in a country whose culture is so very different from ours. At times I did find that the books’ pacing was off, it would slow down to a crawl and then pick up again but this is more than made up for by the setting of Ghana and the glimpses of it’s culture that the author reveals. The main character, Darko Dawson, is likeable, a family man with a good heart who submerses himself in his cases and refuses to cut corners or to compromise his ethics.

In this fourth book the characters are like old friends you are happy to catch up with. The vivid setting of Ghana, it’s culture and its people rings with a sense of authenticity as it both enlightens and entertains. I will be continuing this series with the fifth book, Death By His Grace.

Mar 12, 2:03pm Top

>222 DeltaQueen50: A setting change! That will be interesting.

Mar 12, 2:21pm Top

Yikes! How could I have not visited your thread for a month and missed 144 posts!?! Well, so glad you are all moved in and isn't it wonderful to be able to walk a couple of blocks to the library! When I lived in a loft in downtown L.A., living a couple of blocks from the main public library was one of the best things about it.

So glad you enjoyed the second Fiona Griffiths mystery. Love Story, With Murders was my least favorite in the series so far, but it was still a good one! I've read all of them through The Deepest Grave, and can't wait for the next. Harry said he hopes to have the next one out by summer, though it may be a little later. Sometime this year, anyway.

I sympathize and empathize on the misplaced passport. I moved in May and am still missing things I'm SURE I packed and brought with me. It's maddening! (I do know where my passport is, though. ;)

Good review of Born a Crime. I'm going to see if I can borrow the audio from the library as soon as I get off LT.

Have a great week!

Mar 12, 6:43pm Top

Took a BB on Gold of our Fathers. What was the title of the first in the series? A series better read in order or does it matter?

Edited: Mar 13, 1:58pm Top

>223 thornton37814: Hi Lori, I liked the change of setting and I am curious to see if he is still there in the next book or if he has been posted somewhere new.

>224 Storeetllr: Hi Mary, great to see you. The Fiona Griffiths series is an excellent one and I am looking forward to reading more of these books. The worst thing about the passport is that my husband moved it from it's usual place to keep it safe - and now he can't remember where he put it or if it could have just dropped out of his pocket. We've searched high and low and are now ready to move on and simply do the extra paperwork to apply for a new passport for him.

>225 mysterymax: The first book is called Wife of the Gods and I think the series is best read in order as there are developments in the Dawson home that are key to the story.

Mar 13, 2:09pm Top

40. A Lion To Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla - 3.0 ★
Category: Elmo
TIOLI #12: A Book With the Word "Lion" in the Title

On June 2, 1609, the Sea Adventure plus eight other ships sailed from Plymouth, England bound for the colony Virginia. These ships were bringing relief to the settlers of Jamestown as this young colony was at war with the natives and facing starvation. A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla is a children’s tale based on this episode. During the crossing a massive storm struck and drove the Sea Adventure aground off the shore of Bermuda. The settlers spent nine months on Bermuda and managed to built two smaller ships that they sailed safely to Jamestown. They luckily brought a lot of food with them from Bermuda and these supplies helped to keep Jamestown going until more ships arrived from London.

A Lion to Guard Us is aimed at children that are 8 to 12 years and because of this there really isn’t a lot of detail added to the story or character development. Amanda is a thirteen year old girl who after the death of her mother, is trying to get herself and her younger sister and brother to Jamestown to find their father. They find a berth on the Sea Adventure. The historical details are slight with most of the author’s attention being on the story of these children dealing with all that is placed in their way. Written in a straight forward, simple style for middle school age children, I think perhaps this story might be too simple to appeal to today’s children. It is interesting to note that the story of the Sea Adventure caught the attention of William Shakespeare and he went on to base his play "The Tempest" on this lost ship.

Mar 15, 3:42pm Top

>226 DeltaQueen50: Thanks! Sounds like a BB for me.

Mar 15, 4:14pm Top

>228 mysterymax: I hope you enjoy the Darko Dawson series, MM.

Edited: Mar 15, 4:47pm Top

41. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - 4.0 ★
Category: In Recognition of Excellence
BingoDog: A Book From the 1001 List of Books to Read Before You Die
TIOLI #10: A Book That Isn't A Book

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen was originally published in 1814 and tells the story of Fanny Price who is sent by her struggling family to reside with their rich relatives at Mansfield Park when she is ten years old. Fanny is the absolute picture of the poor relative, she is meek and mild and at first I found she lacked the spark of other Jane Austen heroines that I have come to love. However, over the course of the book, Fanny proved to be kind, patient and thoughtful. She had a strong sense of justice and morality and this, along with her backbone of steel eventually endeared her to me.

I admit that I struggled with the first third of the book as it seemed to be moving very slowly. I disliked the romantic lead of Edmund, finding him both stiff and priggish. I spent some time rooting for Fanny’s love to be bestowed on Charles, but he eventually showed his true colors and I was glad that Fanny had resisted him. As the story intensified, Mansfield Park grew on me and by the end of the book, I was sorry to have to leave these characters behind. As in most of Jane Austen’s books, this is an excellent social commentary as she examines, in particular, the social influences and the traditions and rules of courting and marriage.

While Fanny grew in her ambiguous role of lowly member of the household to become the most esteemed member of the family, so too did Mansfield Park grow in my opinion. Although the romance of these two cousins is difficult to accept in today’s world, there is still much to admire with the author’s exquisite prose and close observations of upper English society in the 1800’s.

Mar 15, 10:22pm Top

Nice review of Mansfield Park Judy. I don't much care for either Edmund or Fanny; this isn't one of my favorite Austen books but it is an Austen book so above average.

Mar 15, 10:29pm Top

Oh my, good review of Mansfield Park, Judy. Thumb from me. This one was a slow starter for me, too, and I had the same qualms about Fanny early on, but ended up enjoying it for the reasons you give.

Mar 16, 1:53am Top

I am among the few who liked Mansfield Park from the start, but Persuasion will always be my favorite.

Mar 16, 1:07pm Top

>231 leslie.98: Leslie, by the end of the book my opinion of Mansfield Park has risen enough that I would place this book third in my list of Austen favorites. Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion have the first and second spots.

>232 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I am loving exploring Jane Austen's books, some are re-reads and so far only Emma has failed to totally enchant me. The next time I turn to Jane Austen it will be Sense and Sensibility which is a re-read and I remember liking it very much when I was younger.

>233 cmbohn: Cindy, Mansfield Park lacked the wit and spark of Pride and Prejudice and the slow simmering passion of Persuasion, but I grew to love it.

Mar 16, 1:19pm Top

42. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - 4.2 ★
Category: Elmo
March ColorCat: Green
2018 PopSugar Challenge: Mental Health
TIOLI #7: A Book by a Female Author Who Has Had At Least Three Books Published

YA novel Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell explores many themes and situations and the fact that it is such a good book is totally due to the author’s ability to draw her readers into the world she has envisioned and populated. This story takes place over the course of the main character’s first year at university. Cath is one half of the Avery twins. Their mother walked out on the family when the girls were eight. The twins are very close to their father who appears to have bi-polar episodes, but the time has come for them to leave home and go to university. Cath is an introvert and very happy to live the shadow of her more outgoing sister, Wren, but Wren has decided the girls need to live more separate lives and has chosen not to room with Cath. When younger both girls were fangirls of Simon Snow, a young wizard from a series of books who sounds very much like Harry Potter, and while Wren has moved on, Cath is still involved in the world of fan culture, and is the author of a very popular fanfic site.

At first being separated from her sister, who is exploring new avenues, and having to stand on her own was very difficult for her. She retreats into her world of fanfic and spends a lot of her time on her laptop creating stories about her favorite characters. As she slowly expands her horizons, I found myself being totally captivated by her, her experiences and the people she meets. The author doesn’t rush the story and this sensitive portrayal felt very realistic. Although both the twins have issues that arise from their mother’s abandonment, each girl expresses those issues in a different way.

Fangirl is a coming-of-age story that delivers it’s message of allowing yourself to be open to change while not being afraid to still be “you” at all times. I appreciated that not all issues were fully worked out during the course of the book as we all know that it takes living a life to fully reach true inner knowledge but I also was very happy to see that both Cath and Wren dealt with some of their issues and were looking forward to the next year by the time the book ended.

Mar 16, 4:34pm Top

I think I might have Fangirl on my e-reader. At least, I know I have A book by Rainbow Rowell, if not that one. :-)

Mar 16, 5:48pm Top

>235 DeltaQueen50: Ooh, I'm so happy you liked Fangirl, Judy! I highly recommend Rowell's other novels as well, especially Attachments and Eleanor & Park. But I haven't encountered one that I haven't loved!

Mar 16, 7:47pm Top

Hi Judy: The Ghana mystery sounds good; I really like mysteries set in different countries. I'll have to check out this series.

Great comments on Mansfield Park, one of my least favorite Austens, but still... It is Jane.

Have great weekend.

Mar 16, 7:52pm Top

>234 DeltaQueen50: So many people apparently love Emma, but like you, it's not one I like to re-read.

I enjoyed Fangirl, too. Rainbow Rowell has been a pretty reliable writer for me.

Mar 16, 8:55pm Top

>235 DeltaQueen50: Great review of Fangirl! I have that one on the shelf, I'll move it up a bit.

Mar 16, 9:54pm Top

>236 rosalita: Julia, I am pretty sure I have another Rainbow Rowell on my Kindle, I probably read some good reviews of her and added a couple of books to my stack and then sort of forgot about them. This months ColorCat and the need for a green cover brought this one to the forefront.

>237 christina_reads: It may well have been your original praising of R. Rowell that put these books on my Kindle, Christina! Eleanor and Park is the other one of hers that I have.

>238 BLBera: I think you would like the Darko Dawson series, Beth. Each book's murder has been connected with a social or economic aspect of Ghana so far, from the mining and oil industries to homeless street children.

>239 jnwelch: I am almost hesitant to say that I just didn't connect with Emma as that one is so beloved. I just found her to be rather annoying! I am looking forward to picking up more Rainbow Rowell books.

>240 VivienneR: I was pleasantly surprised by Fangirl as I didn't expect it to draw me in as much as it did. I hope I haven't raised your expectations too high.

Mar 17, 2:53pm Top

May your trubles be less and your blessings be more,
and nothing but hapiness comes through your door.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Mar 17, 4:30pm Top

Happy Saturday, Judy! And Happy St. Pat's Day. Hooray for Born a Crime. I also loved that memoir. I also enjoyed Fangirl. I really need to read some Austen this year. I am long overdue.

Mar 17, 4:32pm Top

Hi Judy, just catching up on your reviews. I like the sound of the Trevor Noah audio. I have been listening to a lot more audio books in the last year. The hospital service I work for got a whole new facility built which is fantastic. However, it now takes me 45 minutes to get to work, instead of 25. Instead of being annoyed at all the extra time I now have to spend in the car I focus on the enjoyment of audiobooks.
I also like the sound of Cemetery Lake, but I'm reluctant to start another crime/detective series. No doubt, if I see more fab reviews for his books I probably won't be able to resist.

Mar 17, 7:09pm Top

Most excellent reviews of Mansfield Park and Fangirl! I am not sure I have ever read that Austen, but your review makes it sound captivating. With Fangirl, I can't decide whether it would hit rather too close to home or whether I would adore it. I do tend to like coming of age stories, and a twin setting sounds like it would work as an excellent counterpoint.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Mar 18, 12:48pm Top

>243 msf59: Hi Mark, I am lucky enough to be on a great roll of excellent books right now. We are also lucky that we have a lifetime to explore all the great books that we want to get to at some point.

>244 Roro8: Hi Ro, I have been increasing my listening of books over the last few years as well. I now pretty much have an audio on the go at all times and I find many of the books are greatly enhanced by it's reader. Born A Crime is a perfect example of that. I don't think the book would have had such an impact on me if I hadn't heard it in the author's own voice. I would suggest you keep Paul Cleave's series on your back burner, the first book in his Christchurch series, The Cleaner was absolutely outstanding.

>245 pammab: Thanks, both those books were surprising in their own way. Manfield Park certainly grew on me. Jane Austen has proven to be a very reliable author for me. My expectations weren't very high with Fangirl I thought it would be light and humorous and it did have that, but it also had a lot more story than I expected.

Mar 18, 1:07pm Top

43. Eventide by Kent Haruf - 5.0 ★
Category: The Letters A to J
TIOLI #6: The Author's First Name is the Name of a Town in Your State or Province (Joint Read)

Author Kent Haruf returns to the small rural town of Holt, Colorado with Eventide. In this high plains town we meet many of the characters that we grew to love in his previous book, Plainsong. Life has moved on from the last book so it was wonderful to catch up with the characters while at the same time being introduced to some new ones. Haruf allows his story to unfold naturally and while there is both sadness and hardship in this community, he also shows the sympathy and understanding that exists there as well. Children play an important part in his stories and he realistically captures their earnest dignity and empathy which makes them the heart and soul of the story.

It’s hard not to compare the writing in these books to music, both Plainsong and Eventide deliver a symphony of wisdom, humanity and humor as the author captures the ebb and flow of life on America’s plains. His flawed but oh-so-human characters with their convergent narratives and muti-textured stories blend together in a melancholy yet calming manner.

Eventide is the perfect sequel to Plainsong. In his unique style, Kent Haruf delivers a pitch perfect novel of haunting beauty and grace.

Mar 18, 3:32pm Top

>246 DeltaQueen50:, gee Judy, you recommend the first one so highly I went and put it on my Wishlist. It will definitely be on my radar now.

Mar 18, 8:25pm Top

>247 DeltaQueen50: That reminds me I must get back to him. So many books, so little time.

Mar 18, 11:43pm Top

>248 Roro8: I really loved The Cleaner Ro, it's very dark and twisty, but a very well written page turner. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

>249 thornton37814: I have been hoarding my Kent Haruf books since he passed away, I have the next one Benediction but probably won't get to it for some time.

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