rretzler (Robin) Reads Reams in 2018 - Chapter 3
This is a continuation of the topic rretzler (Robin) Reads Reams in 2018 - Chapter 2.
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List of Books Read in 2018
Books Read in January
Books Added to My Library in January
Books Read in February
Books Added to My Library in February
Books Read in March
Books Added to My Library in March
Challenges, Group Reads, etc
January to March Books Read
Prior Year Favorites
A Book A Year
Hi, I'm Robin, and this is my 7th or 8th year with the 75'ers Group. I'm 54, and I've been married to Ed (54) for 26 years. We have two sons, Beckham (16) and Keegan (almost 13), and four cats, Picasso (12) and the kittens, Mycroft, Bandit, and J'Zargo (8 months.) Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus (the capital of Ohio) has been our home for the past 20 years. Our boys are involved in travel soccer and many school activities, and they keep us very busy driving them around. That may change when Beckham gets his driver's license soon.
I own a tax practice which I have run out of my house for the past ten years - prior to that, I was the Tax Director for one of the top 100 accounting firms in the US for five years, a shareholder in a small accounting firm for five years, and worked at Ernst & Young, an international accounting firm for 12 years where I headed the local tax compliance department. I have been slowing down my tax practice for the past few years intending to retire soon to spend time with my boys before they go off to college. Ed is in IT at Huntington Bank, a national bank headquartered in Columbus. Beckham is in 10th grade and is accelerated in math - he finished his high school math credits while he was still in middle school. He is currently taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses at one of our local high schools. Keegan is in 7th grade at a local middle school and is accelerated two years in math. He has been struggling with hearing issues since he was about four months old and has been wearing hearing aids in both ears for two years. He has been diagnosed with dyslexia, but he also does very well in school.
I learned to read at a very young age, and have rarely been without a book (or many) since then. My library on LT reflects those books that I have kept track of since I started as a member seven years ago. I am slowly trying to capture books I have read before that time, but I'm guessing that a lot of books that I have read will never be recorded as I have forgotten them. I am totally an addict, and the daily deals on Amazon for $1.99 will probably be my financial ruin. I just cannot help myself when it comes to a bargain of that sort!
I mainly read mysteries, science fiction, fantasy and children's/young adult books (along with my sons.) Specifically, most of the mysteries that I read are British mysteries in the style of the Golden Age of Detection, and I enjoy soft sci-fi, especially dystopian, a bit more than hard sci-fi. Until this past year, Beckham, Keegan and I read together every night, but it has been difficult with Beckham's course load to do this. I hope to start reading together again this year, but realistically it will be weekly, not nightly. In school, I never had to read many of the classics, so I am slowly going back to read some of those. I also try to read several best sellers each year. Additionally, I have been working my way through the Newbery, Hugo, and Nebula awards.
I proudly consider myself to be a geek (okay, maybe a nerd too). My favorite TV shows are Sherlock (BBC version) and Doctor Who (both classic and new series). We enjoy Marvel movies - The Avengers, Captain America, Doctor Strange, etc. - and also the Marvel TV series - Agents of Shield, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, The Punisher, etc. My other hobbies include making beaded jewelry and sometimes knitting. I love to travel, but since we have children who are quickly approaching college age, we don't do as much as we used to.
If we would win the lottery, the first thing I would do (aside from paying off the mortgage and setting aside the funds for college for my sons) is to go back to school myself! I love to learn and would probably take lots of psychology, philosophy and literature courses.
I'm so glad to be back with the 75'ers again this year and am going to attempt to visit more than I have in the past.
I thought I would share some pictures of our family.
Ed and I on vacation on the beach at Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 2017
Keegan and Beckham in Massachusetts showing our vacation tradition of trying on gift shop hats - here they try on Pilgrim hats in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Bandit, Mycroft and J'Zargo inspecting the snowflakes outside
Challenges, Group Reads, etc.
The God Stalk Group Read
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens Group Read
Two Giudo's - Brunetti and Guerrieri - Mystery Read-Along- I'll just participate in the Donna Leon series - every other month - Death at La Fenice
Goodreads - Reading the Detectives - The Abbey Court Murder
Group Read of Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy - Assassin's Apprentice
Group Read Arthur & George
Goodreads - Reading the Detectives - Mystery Mile
Group Read of Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy - Royal Assassin -
Two Guido's - Brunetti and Guerrier - Mystery Read-Along - Death in a Strange Country
Group Read of Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy - Assassin's Quest
Two Guido's - Brunetti and Guerrier - Mystery Read-Along - Dressed for Death
I plan only to loosely follow the challenges - if I read a book and it fits, I'll count it, but I am not going to plan my reading to complete a challenge. If I need a book to read, I'll consider something that fits the challenge.
PopSugar Reading Challenge
Read Harder Challenge
Modern Mrs Darcy
Just the Facts, Ma'am Vintage Mystery Challenge
New Release Challenge
NetGalley Review Challenge
British Book Challenge
Family Tree Reading Challenge
Newbery Reading Challenge
British Author Theme Challenge
Pick and Mix Reading Challenge
Space Opera Reading Challenge
Choose Your Own Adventure Reading Challenge
Men of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge
Read the Sequel
I Just Have to Read More of That Author
The Unloved - Sci-fi/Fantasy books that have not won an award
January to March Books Read
My Kindle Preorders
This is where I keep up with the books that I have preordered on amazon.com. These are mostly series books for which I am waiting for the next installment
I've never planned out what I read before. I've just had a vague idea of books that I might like to read, and I just picked my next books based on a whim. This year, I have decided to try to plan my reading a little. There are many books that I have wanted to read, but I never get around to, and I'd also like to plan to participate in various challenges. So...here is my attempt to plan my reading.
My Series on FictFact.com
Next Book List on FictFact.com
Reading and Current
Peter Diamond by Peter Lovesey
Inspector Lynley by Elizabeth George
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James by Deborah Crombie
Flavia de Luce by Alan Bradley
Mary Russell by Laurie R King
No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Hamish MacBeth by MC Beaton
Agatha Raisin by MC Beaton
Siri Paiboun by Colin Cotterill
Genevieve Lenard by Estelle Ryan
Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor
Freddy Pilkington-Soames by Clara Benson
Rosalind Thorne by Darcie Wilde
Aunt Dimity by Nancy Atherton
Isabel Dalhousie by Alexander McCall Smith
Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
Clare Fergusson by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Maggie Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal
Grantchester by James Runcie
Ruth Galloway by Elly Griffiths
A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin
Veronica Speedwell by Deanna Raybourn
Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde
Nursery Crime by Jasper Fforde
Shetland by Ann Cleeves
Richard Jury by Martha Grimes
Stephens & Mephisto by Elly Griffiths
Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold - Diplomatic Immunity
Robert Langdon by Dan Brown - Inferno
Inspector Morse by Colin Dexter - The Wench is Dead
Touchstone by Laurie R King - Touchstone
Inspector Richardson by Basil Thomson - The Case of Naomi Clynes
Bryant & May by Christopher Fowler - The Water Room
Alan Grant by Josephine Tey - A Shilling for Candles
Amelia Peabody by Elizabeth Peters - The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog
Albert Campion by Margery Allingham - Look to the Lady
Inspector Sloan by Catherine Aird - Passing Strange
Fethering by Simon Brett - Death on the Downs
Mrs Jeffries by Emily Brightwell - The Inspector and Mrs Jeffries
Jimm Juree by Colin Cotterill - Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach
Alexandra Gladstone by Paula Paul - Symptoms of Death
Inspector Banks by Peter Robinson - Past Reason Hated
Detective Lavender by Karen Charlton - The Sans Pareil Mystery
Sergeant Cribb by Peter Lovesey - The Detective Wore Silk Drawers
Miss Silver by Patricia Wentworth - Lonesome Road
Mrs Bradley by Gladys Mitchell - The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop
Inspector William Meredith by John Bude - The Lake District Murder
Inspector Wexford by Ruth Rendell - Sins of the Fathers
Roger Sheringham by Anthony Berkeley - The Wychford Poisoning Case
Inspector Gamache by Louise Penny - A Fatal Grace
Discworld by Terry Pratchett - The Light Fantastic
Desmond Merrion by Miles Burton - Menace on the Downs
Father Gilbert by Paul McCusker - Death in the Shadows
Inspector Ramsey by Ann Cleeves - A Day In The Death Of Dorothea Cassidy
George and Molly Palmer-Jones by Ann Cleeves - Come Death and High Water
Vera Stanhope by Ann Cleeves - Hidden Depths
Inspector Littlejohn by George Bellairs - He'd Rather Be Dead
Inspector Pointer by A Fielding - The Charteris Mystery
Guido Brunetti by Donna Leon - Dressed for Death
Kencyrath by PC Hodgell - Dark of the Moon
Cherringham by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello - The Body in the Lake
Mordecai Tremaine by Francis Duncan - So Pretty a Problem
Farseer by Robin Hobb - Assassin's Quest
Atlas Catesby by D M Quincy - Murder in Mayfair
Charles Lenox by Charles Finch - A Beautiful Blue Death
Finished - Too numerous to list all, but here are several
Adam Dalgleish by PD James
Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
Goldy Schultz by Diane Davidson Mott
Chief Inspector Barnaby by Caroline Graham
Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie
Miss Marple by Agatha Christie
Peter Wimsey by Dorothy Sayers
Constable Evan Evans by Rhys Bowen
Oliver Swithin by Alan Beechy
Roderick Alleyn by Ngaio Marsh
Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
Maze Runner by James Dashner
Burford Family by James Anderson
Angela Marchmont by Clara Benson
Foundationand Extended Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Robot by Isaac Asimov
Empire by Isaac Asimov
Integral Trees by Larry Niven
Oxford Time Travel by Connie Willis
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Dalziel and Pascoe by Reginald Hill
The Cat Who by Lilian Jackson Braun
Ender by Orson Scott Card
Imperial Radch by Ann Leckie
Lady Julia Grey by Deanna Raybourn
Very English Mystery by Elizabeth Edmondson
Prior Year Favorites
Fiction - A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
Middle - From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by EL Konigsburg
Mystery - The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
Nonfiction - The Complete Maus by Art Spiegleman
SciFi - Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold
Fantasy - The Woodcutter by Kate Danley
Literary fiction - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Middle grade - The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Mystery - The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R King
Science Fiction - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Young Adult - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
ala.org Newbery Medal and Honors List 1922 to Present
2016 - Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
2014 - Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
2013 - The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
2010 - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
2009 - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2004 - The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo
2002 - A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
1997 - The View from Saturday by E L Konigsburg
1994 - The Giver by Lois Lowry
1990 - Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
1979 - The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
1978 - The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
1969 - The High King by Lloyd Alexander
1968 - From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler by E L Konigsburg
1964 - It's Like This, Cat by Emily Cheney Neville
1963 - A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
1959 - The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
1952 - Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
1936 - Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink - Medal
2016 Honors - Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
2016 Honors - The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
2015 Honors - El Deafo by Cece Bell
2014 Honors - The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
2007 Honors - Rules by Cynthia Lord
1983 Honors - Doctor DeSoto by William Steig
1966 Honors - The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
1964 Honors - Rascal by Sterling North
1957 Honors - Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
1953 Honors - Charlotte's Web by EB White
1949 Honors - My Father's Dragon by Ruth Gannett
1948 Honors - Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
1944 Honors - These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
1942 Honors - Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
1941 Honors - The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
1940 Honors - By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
1939 Honors - Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater
1938 Honors - On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
1929 Honors - Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
Hugo Award for Best Novel List
2014 - Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
2013 - Redshirts by John Scalzi
2011 - Blackout by Connie Willis
2011 - All Clear by Connie Willis
2009 - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2008 - The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
2005 - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
2002 - American Gods by Neil Gaiman
2001 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
1999 - To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
1995 - Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
1993 - Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
1992 - Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
1991 - The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold
1987 - Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
1986 - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
1985 - Neuromancer by William Gibson
1983 - Foundation's Edge by Isaac Asimov
1977 - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
1976 - The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
1974 - Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
1973 - The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
1971 - Ringworld by Larry Niven
1970 - The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
1967 - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
1966 - Dune by Frank Herbert
1963 - Man in the High Castle by Phillip K Dick
1962 - Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
1961 - A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller
1958 - The Big Time by Fritz Leiber
1954 - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
1946 - The Mule from Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
1939 - The Sword in the Stone from The Once and Future King by TH White
Nebula Award for Best Novel List
2017 - All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
2014 - Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
2011 - Blackout by Connie Willis
2011 - All Clear by Connie Willis
2008 - The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
2003 - American Gods by Neil Gaiman
1993 - The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
1989 - Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold
1987 - Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
1986 - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
1985 - Neuromancer by William Gibson
1976 - The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
1974 - Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
1973 - The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
1971 - Ringworld by Larry Niven
1970 - The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K LeGuin
1967 - Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
1966 - Dune by Frank Herbert
A Book A Year
I loved this idea - so I am copying Paul, Roni, Karen and possibly others. This may take some time to put together - I started it a month or so ago and then lost my list, so I will be adding slowly. These books may not necessarily be my favorite book published that year, but are books that I have rated highly, enjoyed, and likely reread, and have some meaning to me. I've tried not to add too many books by one author and have tried to keep it representative of my overall library.
(Published dates according to Wikipedia)
1963 - The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
1964 - The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
1965 - Dune by Frank Herbert
1966 - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein and Tall and Proud by Vian Smith
1967 - From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by EL Konigsburg
1968 - The Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt and That Barbara! by Wilma Thompson
1969 - Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
1970 - Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
1971 - The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty and Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
1972 - Watership Down by Richard Adams and All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott
1973 - The Princess Bride by William Goldman
1974 - Carrie by Stephen King and Centennial by James Michner
1975 - Curtain by Agatha Christie
1976 - Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter
1977 - The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough and The Shining by Stephen King
1978 - The Stand by Stephen King
1979 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
1980 - The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
1981 - The Man With a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes
1982 - Foundation's Edge by Isaac Asimov
1983 - The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov and Deadheads by Reginald Hill
1984 - The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
1985 - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, and Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov
1986 - The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
1987 - The Sign of Chaos by Roger Zelazny and Patriot Games by Tom Clancy
1988 - Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov and A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
1989 - The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
1990 - Robot Visions by Isaac Asimov and Devices and Desires by PD James
1991 - The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey
1992 - The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
1993 - The Giver by Lois Lowry
1994 - The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R King
1995 - Wicked by Gregory Maguire
1996 - A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin and Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold
1997 - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
1998 - No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
1999 - Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card
2000 - Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
2001 - The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
2002 - Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual Spatial Learner by Linda Kreger Silverman
2003 - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
2004 - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
2005 - Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
2007 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
2008 - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
2009 - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley and When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
2010 - Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
2011 - Headhunters by Jo Nesbo, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
2012 - Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
2014 - All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
2015 - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
2016 - Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation by James Runcie
2017 - The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
I can't seem to get the touchstones working on this post!
Happy New Thread, Robin!
Good to see a fellow Jessica Jones appreciator. We can't wait for the new season to start up. Have you seen the Black Panther movie? One of the best from Marvel.
Happy new thread Robin!
I like your lists. Those Hugo and Nebula lists are an inspiration, I might want to do those lists as well, some really good reading there!
Happy new thread, Robin! I enjoyed reading through your stats on the previous thread.
>22 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle.
>23 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. We went to see Black Panther on opening night (was it last weekend or the weekend before last?) and I agree it was one of the best - Marvel's movies just seem to keep getting better and better. One more week for Jessica!
>24 drneutron: Thanks, Jim.
>25 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. I really do enjoy reading the Hugos and Nebulas - I haven't read many lately, but I have several coming up soon that I'm planning to read.
>26 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie.
Happy new thread, Robin.
Plenty going on here already. Of course i love all the lists. xx
Happy Reading, Robin! I wish it were not so, but I'm with you in not loving either *Gstalk* or *A's Apprentice*. I'm still struggling with the former, and I will finish it, but no love. It's a comfort to find a comrade in taste.
>28 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul. Thanks for stopping by - I need to return the favor soon. I'm still trying to catch up on reviews.
>29 humouress: Thanks, Nina.
>30 LizzieD: Hi, Peggy. I actually really enjoyed both GodStalk and AA, so, unfortunately, and sadly, no comfort from me 😓? I think you may have gotten that impression because I said that LT didn't seem to think I would like AA when ironically I rated it 5-stars!
Honestly, these days, it seems like there is always some drama at our house and I absolutely abhor drama!
On Tuesday night, I had to take Beckham to the urgent care for conjunctivitis (pink-eye), which is very contagious. It turns out that when they took his blood pressure it was high and when they tested again, it was still high. Urgent care doctor was very concerned and asked if Beckham had ever tested with high blood pressure before. Apparently, he also tested with high blood pressure at the controversial pediatrician appointment a couple of weeks ago... Now I feel that was something that should have been communicated with me, and so did the urgent care physician, who says that we need to follow up and stay on top of the issue.
Keegan has been having a lot of trouble in school recently with projects. He doesn't seem to be able to organize the project and sometimes isn't even clear on the expectations. He had a recent math project that he was allowed to re-do - the details are just too long and complicated to go into, but it looks like its back to the school for another round of meetings with his instructional support specialist. Since Keegan is both gifted and learning disabled, it is a struggle for everyone, because I think most teachers don't understand this concept. Keegan's ability is very high, but he has some reading and writing issues, and I think there are likely some executive functioning issues as well. He has the potential to be very successful, but the learning difficulties are holding him back. We want him to learn the skills and have the tools that he needs to be able to achieve to the level of his potential. He does get good grades but has very poor writing and organizational skills. Also, his dyslexia at times hampers his reading comprehension, and his hearing issues don't do him any favors either. I am just incredibly frustrated with the school right now.
Robin--Happy new thread! Your lists are over the top, intimidating, and wonderful, all at the same time. I spent a lot of time looking them over. Keep it up! Go nerds! : )
Edited to add--good luck with the school issues facing Keegan. So frustrating.
>33 Berly: Thanks, Kim! They are over the top, aren't they? 😜 Gotta love data (what true nerd doesn't)?!?!
Off to bed - its way too late!
Happy new thread, Robin!
Big hugs to both of your boys, and one for Momma, too.
And I'm excited to see The Girl Who Drank the Moon on your March reading list - I hope you love it as much as I did!
>32 rretzler: I'm sorry you seem to be having such difficulty with your doctor. I hope things improve. I think I quit going to the pediatrician somewhere around 5th grade. The pediatrician who was my favorite went to Africa as a medical missionary. Mom know I didn't really like his partner, so she just began taking me to the "family doctor." I liked him much better.
17. Mystery Mile by Margery Allingham
Original publication date: 1930
Series: Albert Campion #2
Page count: 248
Challenge(s): Just the Facts Ma’am, British Book, PopSugar
Returning home to London from the United States on a steamship, the vacuous-seeming Albert Campion saves Judge Crowdy Lobbett from death by electrocution from a poorly-wired magician’s cabinet. Judge Lobbett, as Campion learns from a fellow passenger, Alistair Ferguson Babar, has recently escaped death four times – accidents that killed individuals close to him. Lobbett is the judge attempting to take down the infamous Simister gang. The gang operates internationally, and no one has ever seen Simister, the leader of the gang, except for one man who was killed shortly afterward. In London, Campion is visited by Lobbett’s son, Malcolm, who enlists Campion’s help to keep his father alive. Thinking of his friends Giles and Biddy Paget and their secluded home on Mystery Mile, a tiny village surrounded by marshes, Campion convinces the Lobbett family to rent the Padget’s home for the next few weeks. However, after dinner on the very night the Lobbetts arrive, the Lobetts, Pagets, Campion and the village’s vicar are visited by a wandering palmist who seems to know more about them than he should. The next day, Judge Lobbett disappears from the center of a maze on the Paget’s property, and soon afterward, Biddy is kidnapped. Campion knows that it is the work of the Simister gang and to protect his friends and the Judge, he must stop Simister himself at any cost.
Mystery Mile is the second book in Margery Allingham’s Campion series, but is the first to feature Albert Campion as the main character. We know little of Campion as a character after the first book, as Allingham intended to have another character feature in her mystery series. Campion is a very intelligent and resourceful individual; however, he frequently plays the part of a very fatuous well-to-do Englishman, who, as a result, is underestimated by the villain in the book. I also think he is underestimated by readers, especially in the early books, before Allingham matures him as a man and a detective, and he loses his silliness in later books.
Although Allingham was considered one of the “Queens of Crime” during the Golden Age of Detection, Mystery Mile is not a typical whodunit of the period. It has some whodunit elements, as well as some spy elements and is also something of an adventure story. There is the obligatory death, but this is not a typical murder mystery. I realize there are many who don’t like Allingham as much as Christie or Sayers, but I find Campion’s silliness fun – there are so many serious detectives, and Campion can be serious, but he does have an irreverent side that I find very refreshing. I honestly did not catch on to the identity of the villain and there were one or two other “red herrings” that worked on me and contributed to my enjoyment.
Allingham is a mixed bag for me. I like some installments more than others.
>39 thornton37814: Lori, its funny for me - I like her books quite a bit more now than I did 30 years ago, which is the last time I read several of them. I guess my tastes have changed over the years.
18. Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke
Original publication date: 2018
Series: Hannah Swenson #22
Page count: 385
Challenge(s): PopSugar, NetGalley, New Release
Hannah Swenson, who owns the bakery in small-town Lake Eden, Minnesota, has not heard from her new husband, Ross Barton, in over two weeks. He left home one day, leaving his house keys and car behind with no indication of where he has gone. One evening, Hannah lets P.K., Ross’s assistant, borrow Ross’s car and P.K. ends up dead, wrecking the car after being poisoned. Hannah immediately jumps in to investigate, aided by her best friend, Norman, the dentist. She soon finds that Ross has left her more than just the keys and his car.
Raspberry Danish Murder is the 22nd book in Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swenson series. I have read a few of the books in this series before reading this one, and I believe that this book could be read as a stand-alone, but the reader may be missing the background on most of the characters. The Hannah Swenson series seems to be a very popular cozy mystery series, but I can say after reading this that I am not a fan. First, I find it a little hard to believe that Hannah, a baker, would be allowed to involve herself in a police investigation the way she does in this book, trading clues with her former boyfriend, a policeman, and being able to question witnesses. Second, there wasn’t anything of interest happening in this story – there was nothing that made me care about any of the characters. The characters were all a little annoying to me and a little one-dimensional. Third, I find it difficult to believe that a bakery in such a small town could afford to employ as many people as seem to work there, and still provide enough income for the livelihood of both owners. There were several other things in the story that didn’t make sense to me but I won’t share them because they are spoilers.
In a few places, I wondered who the author thinks might be reading her books when she proceeds to explain that the quote “it never rains, but it pours” means that everything happens at once. Another example occurs when Hannah goes to check her telephone messages, and she sees a blinking light and the numeral five, Fluke explains to the reader that this meant five people had called. Sigh.
Aside from the recipes, which although they sound delicious, seem to feature quite a few bar cookies, it was hard for me to find much to recommend about this book.
>42 harrygbutler: Harry, I'm also trying to read them in publication order this time. I read several of them years ago, and liked them, but not nearly as much as I do now!
Happy new one, Robin!
You have have a lot of different stuff going on that all looks fun. I want to play. Sadly, I read at such a low volume per year I should probably be in a 25ers group rather than a 75ers. I hope all is well.
Have you got a discussion question prepped for this thread?
>44 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie. The great thing about this group is that it doesn't really matter how many books you read!
I'm trying to think of a good discussion question for this thread - it will be hard to top the interesting discussion from the last one.
19. Some Die Eloquent by Catherine Aird
Original publication date: 1979
Series: Inspector CD Sloan #8
Page count: 198
Challenge(s): British Author Theme, British Book
Beatrice Wansdyke, chemistry mistress at an all girl’s school in Berebury, England, is found dead in her home due to complications from diabetes, from which she had suffered for many years. Her only living relatives were two nephews, one the co-owner of a plastics company and the other a ne’er do well, and a niece who is a nurse. Her death appeared to be from natural causes until the police find that her bank account contained a quarter of a million pounds, recently deposited into her account. Inspector CD Sloan has been called upon to investigate, but he has other challenges as well – his wife is expecting their first child at any moment.
Some Die Eloquent is the 8th book in the Inspector CD Sloan series by Catherine Aird. This series is a delightful example of a Britsh police procedural. Sloan is a modest, but effective, police inspector who is hampered in his investigations by his boss, Superintendent Leeyes, and his subordinate, Detective-Constable Crosby. He is a very likable character and both Leeyes and Crosby provide comic relief. The much-maligned Crosby usually unknowingly provides an insight that aids Sloan in finding the culprit, thereby making himself somewhat valuable to the team. Superintendent Leeyes spends his personal time taking classes at the local college and wants to share his knowledge with his subordinates, who usually find ways to avoid him.
I found this book well-plotted and the storyline very interesting. I don’t think it’s spoiling anything to say that there was a murder committed, but Sloan first had to prove that it was murder before he could narrow down the murderer from several plausible suspects. Sloan is not afraid to use his intuition and follow hunches, which typically turn out to be correct.
Although this is considered a police procedural and was written in 1979, it has many of the elements found in Golden Age mysteries, and I think fans of the genre would enjoy this book. Some of the book – the portion taking place in the hospital – is a little dated, but not enough to hamper one’s enjoyment.
>41 rretzler: Sorry to see that one was a bust. I enjoyed the first two books in the series but then got mad when the third one got spoiled for me before I got past the first page. I’m not sure I’ll go back.
>47 ChelleBearss: Yeah, I read a couple of her earlier ones that were better than this one, but I honestly wasn't sure I was ever going to be a big fan. I think with some of the cozy series it gets harder to have a plausible mystery - how many ways can a baker in a small town actually get involved in a murder investigation that actually makes sense - same goes for caterers, tea-shop owners and the like. There are a few series like that I've read over the years, which start out fairly good, but tend to drop off fairly quickly unless they can take the act on the road, so to speak.
Per Brodie's request 😉, here is my question for this thread, although I think nothing will prompt as good a discussion as the question from the last thread.
Question: We're all friends here, so is there any book that you are embarrassed to say that you have never read? (Or maybe embarrassed is not the right word, so perhaps a book that everyone else seems to have read and discussed and you have not?)
>41 rretzler: The Fluke series is pretty uneven, and it sounds like this one is not one of the better installments. I avoided requesting it from NetGalley, and it didn't make the cut this month with the library's book order. I'm sure I can count on the public library getting a copy if I change my mind and read it later.
>49 rretzler: I think my answer would probably be either The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger or The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
My grandmother was an English teacher and had just about every classic you could think of on her bookshelves - and I honestly can still remember the location of quite a few of those books and what her copies looked like. I never really liked the descriptions of either of those books, and I was never required to read them, so I haven't. Most well-read people that I know have, of course, read them and raved about both, and although I know I probably "should" read them, I just haven't quite been able to make myself read them.
I think for me it may even go back to the discussion about whether old classics are relevant - perhaps these have some societal relevance, but I never saw the relevance to me, enough to give me a burning desire to read either of them.
I expect that most of you will have read both of them.
>50 thornton37814: Lori, I'm not sure what actually made me request it from NetGalley, other than optimistically thinking that perhaps the series would somehow get better instead of worse. I've read a lot of negative reviews about it as well, so I'm fairly certain its not just me (for what it's worth.) I think if someone was invested in the series, they would probably want to read it as there are a couple of things that happen to advance the series.
>49 rretzler: I'm not really embarrassed to say I've never read just about anything, but most people are shocked I've never read any of the Harry Potter books.
>49 rretzler: The Grapes of Wrath is an embarrassing haven't read for me. I have read a number of other books by John Steinbeck, but that one seemed both long and unrelentingly grim.
>51 rretzler: My mother taught French, so I've read a fair amount of Camus and Sartre (in English) because that was her thing, and Dumas, because that was mine.
Really good book on working on executive skills is Smart but Scattered. I used Dawson's books in my work with kids as a school psychologist.
Hi, Roni. I am not embarrassed by any specific book I haven't read. Just the many TBR piles.
>53 thornton37814: I also have some series that are like that for me - sort of a non-challenging guilty pleasure. One series like that in particular for me is Victoria Laurie's Psychic Eye series - but it has started wearing on me a little lately too.
>54 thornton37814: Lori, I guess embarrassed is probably not the right term, because I don't feel exactly embarrassed either about my picks, it's just that it seems like most everyone has read them and I have not. And I don't think it's shocking about Harry Potter - if you don't think you would like the books, then there's no reason to read them just because everyone else has - which is my reason for not reading Catcher and Grapes.
>55 quondame: Susan, good to know that I'm not alone. I took French in HS and college, and one of my college professors was crazy about Sartre, so we read Huis Clos (No Exit) and several of his stories in class in French. My grandmother had several of Camus' books, but they didn't seem to appeal to my young self, although I suspect that I might enjoy Camus now.
>56 ronincats: Thanks for the recommendation, Roni. I've had that particular book for several years and had started to read it, but stopped for some reason. I'll have to pull it out again.
Unfortunately, the problem with Keegan is that he doesn't take helpful suggestions or constructive criticism well at all. He tends to shut down the minute he even thinks that someone is approaching him with a suggestion, which is very frustrating for everyone involved. I suspect that Keegan feels that Beckham doesn't seem to need "extra" help, and perhaps he feels that he shouldn't either. But while Beckham might not need help in the areas that Keegan does, I also suspect that Keegan doesn't see the issues that Beckham struggles with (procrastination and perfectionism are the biggies and go hand-in-hand for him.) Keegan wants to work on his schoolwork independently, so we just let him do what he's going to do 99% of the time. Once or twice this year, we've asked a particular teacher to get involved because we can tell that he is struggling. I communicate with the teacher and then ask Keegan to send the teacher an email asking for help, so he is learning to advocate for himself to some extent. When the teacher can provide him with a little more guidance, he does an excellent job, and he seems to accept the help better that way - perhaps because he's asked for it himself, or perhaps because it is coming from the proper person. His other issue is that his memory (and therefore sometimes his executive functioning) seems to be very selective, or perhaps just variable. He tends to recall things that are meaningful to him, and school projects are not necessarily meaningful. He has a great memory for some things and is terrible at remembering others. So everything is just very hit or miss at times. I'm sure it seems more frustrating to me than it really is because I live with it on a day to day basis.
>57 Berly: Kim, don't we all have those large TBR piles? Fortunately, no one can see mine because they're hidden in my Kindle.
>58 LizzieD: Peggy, yes "The Unloved" is a category for a book challenge that means SciFi/Fantasy books that haven't won awards. So, no, I'm not with you on GS or AA, sadly, but I too can live with that. I guess that's what makes the world interesting - how boring it would be if we all liked the same books.
Robin reading - (see >4 rretzler: in case I don't update this) Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon
Robin listening - Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
Ed - Midworld by Alan Dean Foster - I think he's going very slowly on this one
Beckham - A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford for pleasure. He just finished The Great Gatsby for school and will soon be starting Of Mice and Men. Since I've never read it, and it's short, I'll probably read it with him.
Keegan - Gravity Falls graphic novel for pleasure. He is between books for school
Keegan and Robin listening - One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Beckham, Keegan and Robin - reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling - no active reading so far this year - we're going to have to make a plan to read again.
For many years, our family really didn't watch much television, only movies on Friday nights, the boys would watch an occasional Disney channel show, and Ed watched The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad, and I watched Doctor Who and Sherlock. Now that the boys are older, we are watching more TV (I'm not sure that's a good thing.) We now tend to watch series on either Amazon Prime or Netflix so I thought I would share some of what we are watching currently.
The Office - season 7
Parks and Recreation - season 3
Game of Thrones - season 1 (just Ed & Robin)
Marvel's The Punisher - season 1
The Detectorists - season 2
Stranger Things - season 2
The Detectorists - season 3
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD - season 5
In the theater
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok
Marvel's Black Panther
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Ready Player One - releasing March 29
Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War - releasing April 27
Star Wars: Solo - releasing May 25
Marvel's Agent Carter - season 2
Doctor Who - classic - season 1 rewatch
Marvel's Jessica Jones - season 2
>49 rretzler: Never, one day I will read it, or not ;-)
I find it more problematic when everyone seems to love a book and I read it and don't like it.
>59 rretzler: Procrastination and perfectionism are not a good combination. I put things off for forever because they have to be done exactly correctly.
>65 FAMeulstee: Anita, I agree - when everyone else loves a book and I don't, I always wonder what I have missed (or privately whether there are others who only say they like it because they think everyone else does!)
>66 humouress: Yep, Nina, you are so right. I am like that as well, so at least we know where Beckham gets it. Unfortunately, I have no way to help him because I have never been able to help myself! Interestingly, he is the first born and I am an only child - if you tend to believe in birth order, then it all makes some sense. (This is likely why I can't seem to get around to getting all of my reviews written 😜!)
Hi Robin - Good luck with the blood pressure and the school woes. You are probably ready for a break. Do you have a spring break?
Great comments on the Allingham and the Aird. I've read and liked both of them. Fluke I could never get into, and it sounds like I'm not missing much.
Have a great weekend.
>67 rretzler: *sigh* Agreed. Sometimes I wonder who I’m doing it for, because I’m the only one who’ll ever see it (like the inside of my cupboards). But then I know that if I don’t put things away neatly, I’ll just end up being frustrated with the way it looks and pulling everything out to tidy up. Which could then take months ....
My kids don’t seem to have the same problems, though I wouldn’t mind a bit of perfectionism.
I'm not embarassed by any book in particular I haven't read. There are so many of them, and tastes are so different!
Looking at the list of 1001 books you should read before you die, there are lots in there that I know I wouldn't like, and don't want to read.
I’m working on filling in some gaps in my reading this year, but I can’t say that there’s any one book I feel I ought to read, or that is surprising that I haven’t read.
I wish I could send more than good wishes and healing vibes for Keegan's conjunctivitis and high blood pressure problems. It is unconscionable that the pediatrician didn't report Keegan's high blood pressure to you and that you had to find out about it at an urgent care visit. Hugs for you, Mom, as you work so hard to take best care of your son.
>49 rretzler: I don't have a problem having not read a book read by other LTers, but I am seriously embarrassed that I've never read any Plato, Homer, Euripides, Aristophanes, Dante, Aristotle, Voltaire, and other authors of classical and philosophical works.
Belated happy new thread Robin! I'm sorry to hear that doctors and schools for the boys are being generally frustrating at the moment :-(
You hit me with a book bullet for Raymond Postgate's Somebody at the Door on your last thread - I really enjoyed Postgate's Verdict of Twelve last year.
>38 rretzler: I'm glad you enjoyed Mystery Mile. I have been working my way through all the Campion books but very slowly. I like the fact that she varies the style she's writing in so much. You've reminded me I need to get back to that series.
>49 rretzler: I'm embarrassed to say I still haven't read War and Peace but mainly because I think it's the book I own that's been on my TBR the longest (maybe 20 years now? Yikes!)
I guess I'm having trouble posting too - I answered everyone last night and now it appears that my post has disappeared. *sigh* It makes me wonder if any of my visiting posts are still there or if they too are lost.
>68 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. Our schools do have a spring break which this year is the last week of March. I think I'm done with Fluke also. I've now read several and given them a chance, and they just don't appeal. Unfortunately, I find that sometimes I have this compulsion that I need to keep reading a series once I've started it, so I hope I can avoid that this time.
>69 humouress: Nina, I'm the same.
>70 EllaTim: Ella, it's good that you don't feel compelled to read books that you know you aren't going to like.
>71 foggidawn: foggi, perhaps that's a good way for me to look at those book I've neglected over the years, merely as gaps that I haven't filled. Of course, I'm guessing that some of my gaps will likely remain unfilled.
>72 karenmarie: Thanks for the hugs, Karen, they are much appreciated. Those authors and philosophers you have mentioned have likely not been read by many, many others, so I wouldn't be too embarassed about not reading them. I have read Homer and Dante, and there are several philosophers that I would like to read someday - Nietzsche, Kant, Schopenhauer, for a start - but I don't know if I'll ever get around to it.
>73 souloftherose: Thanks, Heather. Glad to hear you enjoyed Verdict of Twelve as well. I've had War and Peace on my TBR as well - maybe someday.
Let's hope this posts!
Robin, so glad you found me! I'm looking over your organization and lists in awe and wonder. So many stars meaning you are reading a lot of really good books. Looking forward to following your reading his year as well. :D
>77 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie. For better or worse, I pick books that I think I'm going to like. On the one hand, that means I may not be challenging myself, but on the other, it means that I am enjoying myself! Glad you've stopped by.
So, Beth had asked about spring break, and in the post that disappeared, I had expanded a little on my spring break situation. I was too tired last night to try to replicate that, but it is something important and current that's happening in my life, so I thought I would share.
I started my career in public accounting in January 1987 in tax during "busy season" (which is January through April.) While at my first job, Ernst & Young, I worked an average of 85-90+ hours a week during busy season - and no one was allowed to schedule time-off during that time. I was there for 11 years, and then at two other firms, one very small (25 people) and the other a Top 100 accounting firm with ten offices and over 100 people, until I left and started my own firm in January 2008. While my hours have decreased somewhat over the years, last year in 2017, I still worked around 80-90 hours between March 1 to April 15. In those 30 years, I have never been able to take time off for spring break. This has frustrated me the past 11 or so years, as many of my kid's friends got to go on great spring break trips and they had to stay at home. When they were in elementary school, we sent them to spring break camp for a few years, until my mother started staying with us during this time to cook, clean, do laundry and take the kids where they needed to go. Typically, during that 6 week time, I would see my family for the 30 minutes at dinner and at bedtime - which has always been extremely frustrating for me (especially as I realized many years ago that although I was good at it, accounting was not the right career for me.) 2017 was a particularly bad year, and Ed and I finally decided that perhaps I should call it quits.
So...in early January, I informed my clients that they would need to find someone else to help them out this year. So I guess I am officially retired. At some point in the next year or so, I may offer my services part-time to one of several firms I know, but if I do, I am going to make it very clear that I will only work 30 hours/week and will take spring break off (this may not be viable, but we'll see.)
Interestingly, although I have a lot more time on my hands this year, it seems to get filled very quickly with one thing and another - so I don't seem to have as much free-time as I thought I would, but I probably just need time to get into a better routine. Not having a routine at all right now is kind of like the letdown I get right after tax season is over, I have so much time on my hands that I feel at loose ends and have trouble settling to get anything done.
So after 30 years, I am free to go on spring break if I want to! And now since we have less money coming in and with Becks 2 years from college, I don't know if we can afford to go somewhere, but we may try to take a small trip for some part of the week. It's just nice to have the freedom, and even if we don't go somewhere, I can spend the week doing things with the boys, as long as I can pry them away from their computers. Now if I could just figure out how to win the lottery or find a genie in a bottle to grant me a few wishes...😜
Robin - My sister worked with an accounting firm, so I understand what you mean when you talk about tax season. Good for you to decide enough is enough. Good luck with the next steps in your life.
I'm sorry to read about Keegan's high blood pressure. I hope you get that sorted out very soon. Could it be that so called " White Coat " high blood pressure? The sort where blood pressure goes up with the anxiety of seeing a doctor? I'm hoping so. I recall my younger son having some wild blood pressure reading of 170 / 110 when he was just 14 - mind you, he had been struck by a car and taken to the hospital by ambulance. He was just walking on the sidewalk when two cars collided and he hear it and was able to jump onto the hod of the car and his hip cracked the windshield. He was fine, but it was pretty scary. They told me his high blood pressure would be due to the anxiety. I think I took him back later to the doctor get his blood pressure re- checked. My youngest brother, a seemingly easy going guy also has " White Coat High Blood pressure, but it is actually fine away from the doctor's office.
My friend who is also an accountant once told me it's like famine or feast. Either she is so busy she can't catch her breath or she is normal busy which by comparison seems like a famine when those few months in the year has her spinning circles.
Glad to see that you are making choices that work for you and your family!
>80 BLBera: Thanks, Beth.
>81 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. It's actually Beckham with the high blood pressure (but no biggie 🙂.) It's possible that it is due to the anxiety of seeing the doctor - Beckham doesn't believe that he is anxious in any way, but we haven't taken enough readings at home to know if that's the case yet. Wow, how scary for your son (and I'm sure for you) - I'm glad that everything turned out fine and that he had the presence of mind to know what to do.
>82 jolerie: Valerie, that's a good description. I think when people decide in college that they want to be an accountant, it should come with a warning. Ironically, I changed my major from Pre-Med to accounting my 3rd year of college because I didn't want to deal with the crazy hours of internship and residency that go along with Med School. No one told me that those hours would only be a temporary part of life, while the accounting hours would go on for my entire career. Oh, well.
I'm only a month behind on my reviews - but trying to catch up! I'll try to get another couple done today.
20. The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K Le Guin
Original publication date: 1971
Genre: Science Fiction
Page count: 175
Audio length 6 hours, 48 minutes
Narrator George Guidall
Challenge(s): Audiobook, The Unloved, PopSugar, ReadHarder
Living in Portland, Oregon in a future 2002, George Orr has been caught using drugs and is sentenced to “voluntary” therapy. George has “effective” dreams that change the reality and been taking drugs to prevent them. In one of George’s first dreams, his aunt had been visiting his family and causing problems for him. After a particularly stressful event, George dreamed that his aunt had died in a car accident near her home weeks before. Upon waking, he learns his aunt has never visited and has, in fact, died in a car crash. In the new reality, as in the dream, the visit had never taken place, and George is the only one to remember the former reality. Once George is able to convince his assigned therapist, William Haber, that his effective dreaming does change reality, Haber attempts to control George’s dreaming initially to make the world a better place. However, with each change that Haber tries to bring about, there is an unintended adverse consequence. As the world becomes more chaotic, Haber becomes more power-mad. George and his friend and lawyer, Heather, know they must stop Haber before he destroys the world.
The Lathe of Heaven was published in 1971, so the future 2002 in the book was still 30 years away. The dates are possibly the one thing that makes the book feel slightly outdated. I like the idea of this book, it is unique, and yet it is reminiscent of the many stories where one has three wishes, and with each wish, there is an unintended adverse consequence. I also like the messages that I think Le Guin is trying to send, that even the best intentions can go awry if one does not understand all of the consequences of their actions; and that one person may think they know what is best for others, but the others may not always agree. I felt that Le Guin did a great job of portraying George as an “every-man” that we want to succeed even though he essentially has a “super-power.” The reader may feel pity for him because he seems to be in a situation that is beyond his control.
I listened to The Lathe of Heaven as an audiobook and thought the narration was good, but not outstanding. Although the book is well-written and tells a good story, the many changes in the book’s reality sometimes made it challenging to keep up, especially when one is listening instead of reading.
Congratulations, Robin, on being retired! You will figure out your routine.
We, too, experienced a reduction of income when I retired, and we're still trying to come up with a budget and decrease some expenditures. Also, I was always told at work that people brought stuff to me because "ask a busy person and it will get done." Now, I am way less driven to get things done RIGHT AWAY - most days are getting one or two things done and reading and puttering around the rest of the time. And you know what? It's okay.
You're putting your family and your sanity first and it takes more than a few months to settle down, relax into the big changes you and Ed are making, and enjoy Not Working.
Congrats on deciding to retire! I'm sure you could do a bit from home if you desire to but the freedom to say no will be wonderful!
Hoping all the health problems are resolved soon.
>79 rretzler: You sounds like my sister, who is a sole practitioner/ consultant. When she’s got a consulting gig, she’s too busy to take a holiday but when she’s between contracts, she has to budget for all her expenses and doesn’t have enough money to go on holiday. Which means we rarely get to see her, as she’s a continent away.
>86 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. You are so right about being able to be more efficient when you are busy - I have operated that way for at least the last 30 years. I'm also glad to know that there are others who only get one or two things done - frankly right now I feel a little guilty, but I'm sure that will pass as I get used to this feeling!
>87 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle.
>88 humouress: Nina, it can definitely be difficult to be a sole practitioner without help in the busy times and money coming in during the non-busy times, although there are many benefits, as well. Being your own boss is a big one! Even before I became a sole practitioner, I was a partner in the firms I worked in for the ten previous years, and a Senior Manager running a department for a couple of years before that, so I could call a lot of the shots even though I worked for a company. I think it would be extremely frustrating for me to have to work under someone else's supervision now - especially given that I dislike authority anyway! 😜 It's too bad that you don't get to see your sister often, but I guess we do live in an age where it's much easier to communicate instantaneously.
21. Murder in an Irish Churchyard by Carlene O’Connor
Original publication date: 2018
Series: Irish Village #3
Page count: 304
Challenge(s): NetGalley, New Release
The night before Siobhán O’Sullivan is due to start her first day as a Garda (police) in her hometown of Kilbane, Ireland, Father Kearney, the local priest, knocks on the O’Sullivan family’s door at half past one AM. After hearing a gunshot, Father Kearney had investigated and found a dead body in the church graveyard. Although Siobhán is not yet technically a Garda, she has been successful in catching two previous murderers in Kilbane, and Father Kearney wants her to be the first on the scene. The next day when the case is officially assigned, Siobhán is chagrined to discover that she will be reporting to DS Macdara Flannery, her former boyfriend, who has moved to Dublin while she attended police college. Siobhán and Macdara learn that the murdered man and his family are from Dublin, Ohio and are visiting Ireland to research their family’s ties to Kilbane. They must put aside their feelings and work together to discover which of his family might have wanted him dead.
Murder in an Irish Churchyard is the 3rd book in Carlene O’Connor’s Irish Village series. Carlene is an American author whose great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland with many stories about Ireland. O’Connor also writes under her real name, Mary Carter. I’ve read the previous two books in the Irish Village series and was fortunate enough to receive this book courtesy of NetGalley and Kensington in exchange for an honest review.
I have enjoyed this cozy mystery series. While it is possible for this book to be read as a standalone, I think it makes the book more enjoyable to know the background from the previous two books. The mystery here is unique, well-plotted and holds together logically. The recurring characters, mainly Siobhán’s five brothers and sisters and a few townspeople, are fun and engaging characters, although there is less emphasis on the family in this book than in the prior books. I also appreciate that although the series started out centered around the family’s business, Naomi’s Bistro, O’Connor has progressed the main character, Siobhán. She has gone from primarily running the family business to becoming a Garda, so there is a logical reason for her to become involved in a criminal investigation.
I was also excited that Dublin, Ohio, my home, was mentioned in the book. Carlene graciously responded to my email, and I found that she has visited here for the annual Irish Fest. She also told me that she had signed another three-book deal for the series.
I recommend this book, and series, to anyone who enjoys a fun and well-written cozy mystery. I’m looking forward to the next three books in the series.
You hit me with Murder in an Irish Churchyard, Robin. I will have to look up this series.
>91 BLBera: It has grown on me, Beth. The first was not quite as good but showed a lot of promise. I went back and looked at my review of it and noticed that one thing I didn't like was that there was so much Irish dialogue, which I thought detracted from the story. I didn't get that at all with this book, so I feel as though the author is also growing as a writer.
Hi, Robin. I'm glad you're getting back some time for yourself. I know what you mean about it filling up faster than you'd guess.
Good review of Lathe of Heaven. That's the one I plan to re-read in her honor. There was a pretty good PBS(?) movie made of it years ago. https://smile.amazon.com/Lathe-Heaven-Bruce-Davison/dp/B00004U8P6/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1520370255&sr=1-2&keywords=lathe+of+heaven&dpID=412MNP77TGL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
>90 rretzler: I'm glad to see a good review of that one. I need to read the earlier two.
>93 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I haven't seen the movie yet; I'll have to check it out. This year I've been trying to watch some of the movies related to the books I'm reading. I've never made a conscious decision to do that before, so you link is very timely!
>94 Carmenere: Just what I need, Lynda. Thanks!
>95 thornton37814: Lori, you'll have to let me know what you think.
>96 rretzler: Well, I actually read the first one and gave it 3 stars. My review basically thought it had potential--maybe a bit too much conversation-driven. My review was based on a Netgalley copy. I forgot I'd already read it. The second one just showed up today off my hold list at the library so it's now one of the books I need to read this month.
So, it appears that we may finally know what happened to Amelia Earhart. In a study that just came out in the journal Forensic Anthropologist this month, a skeleton that was found and evaluated back in 1941 was reevaluated using modern anthropological methods. Unfortunately, the remains have been lost, so the photos of the skeleton taken during the initial evaluation were analyzed; otherwise, it might have been possible to do a DNA analysis. The initial study found the bones to have been male, but Richard Jantz, professor emeritus of anthropology and director emeritus of University of Tennessee at Knoxville's Forensic Anthropology Center, believes that to have been an error. The recent study concludes that
This analysis reveals that Earhart is more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99% of individuals in a large reference sample. This strongly supports the conclusion that the Nikumaroro bones belonged to Amelia Earhart.I suppose we may never know for certain.
ETA Washington Post article here
Stopping by to say hi! Sorry I mixed up your son earlier! And I confess that though I have heard of Amelia Earhart, I've not paid much attention to the whole story. I do enjoy a well written cozy, so I'll keep Murder in an Irish Churchyard in mind.
>103 vancouverdeb: No biggie, Deb!
Ever since I was very young, I've been fascinated by women like Amelia Earhart, so I have always been on the lookout for news about her. It seems in recent years there has been a spate of information, which may be ended with this study. I suppose in a way I'm glad that the mystery might be solved but sad that she may have died on the island on which her plane wrecked.
>99 rretzler: I saw the Earhart article in some of the Knoxville press. It was fascinating, but like you all, I wish they'd kept the bones.
Wow! Somehow I got behind over here. Happy New Thread, Robin. Sorry, for the long delay. You have some very interesting current reads going. Are you reading The Once and Future King? I am a big fan of this one. Not completely perfect but so much to enjoy.
Happy Saturday, my friend.
>105 souloftherose: Thanks, Heather. I'm sure we'll end up doing something fun at least a day or two.
>106 BLBera: >107 thornton37814: I thought the same, Beth and Lori. I'd be interested to know how long they held on to the bones before disposing of them.
>108 msf59: Mark, I have been very slowly reading The Once and Future King - I was listening to the audiobook and was on The Candle in the Wind but got so tired of hearing about Lancelot (who was never my favorite) that I put it aside for awhile and never got back to it. My plan is to finally finish it this year - Lancelot and all. I'm really looking forward to The Book of Merlin so that should keep me going, I think.
22. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Original publication date: 1995
Series: Farseer #1
Page count: 464
Challenge(s): PopSugar, The Unloved
Six-year-old Fitz is brought to the Buckkeep’s court because his family can no longer afford to keep him. His maternal grandfather claims that he is the bastard son of King-in-Waiting, Prince Chivalry, and no one who sees him can deny the likeness. To protect Fitz, Chivalry abdicates his place in the royal succession and leaves the Castle, giving the upbringing of his son to his trusted man at arms/stablemaster. King Shrewd, his grandfather, although not officially recognizing Fitz, desires that he attend school, be taught basic combat, and be trained as an assassin. As the Red-Ship Raiders from the Outislands attack the Six Dutchies coastline, and King Shrewd and Prince Verity attempt to find ways to strengthen their kingdom, Fitz’s new skills are called into play.
Assassin’s Apprentice drew me in from the beginning. I was delighted by Robin Hobb’s style of writing. Every sentence just kept me wanting to read more. The world-building was well thought out, especially the inclusion of two special abilities – the Skill and the Wit – of which Fitz may be capable. Hobb makes us care about Fitz and root for him as we watch him come of age. There is much intrigue and treachery in the book which keeps the plot moving along and the reader interested. It was very difficult for me to put this book down, as I kept wanting to find out what was going to happen next. I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series.
23. The Man on the Train by Clara Benson
Original publication date: 2018
Series: Angela Marchmont prequel
Page count: 52
Challenge(s): New Release, British Book, ReadHarder
It is 1925, and Angela Marchmont is traveling via train to Chicago. Due to inclement weather, the tracks are flooded, and when the train stops near a small town in Indiana, a young man hides in Angela’s train car. Acting on impulse, Angela hides the young man, William Tibbs, from the police as they search the train. William has been accused of the theft of a large sum of money from the manager of the vaudeville company for which he works, but he maintains his innocence. While the tracks remain flooded, Angela takes a room in the hotel in which the vaudeville company is staying and attempts to prove William’s innocence.
The Man on the Train is the short-story prequel to the Angela Marchmont series by Clara Benson. I have enjoyed all of the Angela Marchmont books and was happy to read more about Angela. Benson attempts to write her stories in the style of Golden Age detection and succeeds admirably. Although short, this story is a good example of her writing, although it doesn’t quite match the quality of her novels. Even though this is a prequel novel and could stand alone, it would be more meaningful to those who have already read a few books in the series.
>110 rretzler: I love this book as well, but with such a glowing review why is it in the category The Unloved? (Maybe you have explained it before, but I don't get it?)
>112 humouress: I have read and reread The Sword in the Stone but the rest of the books are a lot darker and the last one was the heartbreaker to me. Never read The Book of Merlin though I still want to.
Have a nice week Robin. Not on spring break yet?
>112 humouress: Nina, I agree - it really seemed to me that there was way to much Lancelot and not enough Arthur especially as things went along.
>113 EllaTim: Ella, The Unloved is a category for sci-fi/fantasy books that haven't won any awards. I'm looking forward to The Book of Merlin because I think its a return to Arthur even though it will obviously be sad. No spring break yet - it's the last week of March.
>110 rretzler: I haven't read anything by Hobb yet but this one sounds good! That's one I need...another series to add..haha!
>115 jolerie: The advantage with this series being that it has come to a good stopping place!
24. Murder in Bloomsbury by DM Quincy
Original publication date: 2018
Series: Atlas Catesby #2
Page count: 304
Challenge(s): NetGalley, New Release
In Regency London, Atlas Catesby, the fourth-born son of a Baron, has tried for nearly a year to get over his feelings for widowed Lady Lilliana Warwick. Unfortunately, when Lady Lilliana’s maid’s brother dies suddenly, Lady Lilliana summons Atlas to investigate. He soon finds that things are not what they seem. Although the coroner has ruled Gordon Davis’s death an accidental overdose of arsenic, Atlas has reason to believe that Davis has been murdered. Following the clues, Atlas finds that there are many who may have wanted Davis dead, including a high-born woman whom Davis was seducing to obtain her wealth. However, Atlas has his own problems – he realizes he still has feelings for Lady Lilliana when the Marquess of Roxbury, who wants to court her, warns Atlas away.
Murder in Bloomsbury is the second book in DM Quincy’s Atlas Catesby series. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. Not having read the first in the series, I was still able to follow along quite well, and I believe that this book can be read as a standalone. I enjoyed it and plan to read the first book. I thought the story flowed well and it was easy to read. The mystery was well-plotted, and there were several suspects to keep one guessing. While I’m generally not a big fan of romance in a mystery unless it takes a very secondary role, I did discover myself rooting for Atlas to win Lady Lilliana’s affections, or perhaps for Lady Lilliana to win Atlas’s affections. I didn’t note any glaring historical inaccuracies which might distract me.
I recommend this to anyone who likes cozy historical mysteries, especially with a hint of romance.
>119 quondame: I always hate it when a good series comes to an end - but perhaps that's better than lingering on and stagnating.
Just finished Royal Assassin and when I came to the computer to log it into my database found that Stephen Hawking had passed away earlier today. His was such a brilliant mind, and he was such an inspiration. RIP.
We're getting ready to go to Cincinnati, OH this weekend for the first soccer tournament of Keegan's spring season. He has two games on Saturday and one game on Sunday, with a second game also possible if they go to the final. Unfortunately, I don't think the team is strong enough to get to the final, so we will likely have time for lunch on Sunday at the Hofbräuhaus in Newport, KY (even though we could just go to the one here in Columbus.) I haven't looked at the weather yet, but if it's like most tournaments this time of year, it will be cold and likely rainy! Oh, well, I guess that's why we have lots of gear for bad weather.
Keegan's futsal team was in the finals last week but lost 8-9. I was proud of them and thought they did very well. The opposing team was sponsored by the league, having tryouts and practicing together starting in October/November while Keegan's team was a group of boys from his Club who rotated weekly and never practice together. The other team was better, but Keegan's team came together in the second half and almost pulled it out!
Beckham recently got his score back from the National German Exam (Level 3) that he took a month or so ago. He received a Gold Medal and was one of 29 (out of 301) in Ohio and one of 947 (out of 6,986) in the US to score in the 90th percentile or higher. It's his second year in a row to receive a Gold Medal (the exam is not given in first year German in his HS). Wir sind sehr stolz auf ihn! (or is it ihm? I guess I'll have to ask my expert!)
I think I'm going to start posting my reviews out of order - I have a few done for ARC books I've read which are waiting on me to get done with other books. I may just start to post them, since no one really cares, including me, about the order.
>122 rretzler: Well done and sehr gut!
I have found that people sometimes notice when a review is posted out of order; in at least one case it helped me realize I had forgotten to write one. :-)
>122 rretzler: Hope you get some Skyline Chili and Graeter's Ice Cream while you are in Cincinnati and think of me when you are eating them!
>127 thornton37814: Lori, fortunately or unfortunately, Dublin has our own Graeter's and Skyline, and we go to both quite often. Graeters is our favorite place for birthday cakes, and Skyline is just a favorite, period! So, I don't know if we'll get them when we're in Cinci, but the next time we visit here, I will certainly think of you!
As a matter of fact, the only restaurant that I can think of in Cinci that is not up here is Montgomery Inn - we even had one in Dublin for several years, but it closed a couple of years ago. It was about 2 miles from our house, and I thought we would go there more often, but we didn't. Come to think of it, since we can go to Hofbrauhaus any time we want, perhaps we'll have to make a stop at Montgomery Inn Boathouse.
>123 humouress: > 124 Thanks, Nina and Valerie.
>125 harrygbutler: Danke, Mein Freund. You're right - and I had decided that I would probably confuse myself if I skipped around I'm sticking with posting them in order.
>126 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. It will be good to get out of the house and be somewhere else for a few days!
I'm very excited - I've been very careful about requesting ARCs from NetGalley because I'm so backed up, but yesterday when I saw Island of the Mad by Laurie R King, I just had to request it. The Mary Russell series is one of my favorites. I received an email earlier this evening that I was approved, so I've already downloaded it and started to read it. I just love King's writing - it flows so well and I feel like I am right there with Mary and Sherlock!
>128 rretzler: LaRosa's moved into the Knoxville area. I can enjoy canned or frozen Skyline here in East Tennessee, but Graeter's is not to be found.
I hope you enjoy your first Spring Break, even if you just do something local. Congrats to Beckhamonteh German Gold and good luck on the soccer!
>130 rretzler: Hi, Robin! I'll have to make sure that Erika knows that book will be out soon, as she's a big fan of that series, too.
Have a good time in Cincinnati and KY! Gooooo Keegan! and Congrats to Beckham!
I recently joined NetGalley but I've yet to request anything. I'm sure the new King will be just as good as her others.
>131 thornton37814: Lori, that's too bad about Graeter's not being near you - do they sell it in the grocery store at all? I do know that you can get it shipped in dry ice... We also have a LaRosa's up here too - the boys really like it, but it's not my favorite, the sauce is a little too sweet for me.
>132 Berly: Thanks, Kim.
>133 harrygbutler: Harry, fantastic to know that there's another fan of the series. Tell Erika its due out in early June and can be pre-ordered now if you guys are into pre-ordering.
>134 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda.
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